Over the winter, the Red Sox made a curious decision not to retain outfielder Cody Ross after he basically performed as the team’s 2012 MVP. It left many fans, including me, scratching their heads. Many wondered what the Red Sox plan was going to be in right field with Ross out of the picture.
General Manager Ben Cherington gave us the answer a couple of days into the baseball winter meetings when the team announced they had signed former Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino to a 3-year, $39 million deal.
Victorino endured an injury plagued 2012 campaign but the Sox think it is an aberration. They think the player they are really getting is the dynamic player who was a key piece on the excellent Phillies teams of 2007-2011.
If his arrival in spring training is any indication, the Red Sox are getting themselves a ball of fire and great clubhouse influence. He is excited to be in Boston with all the history the Red Sox franchise brings to the table.
Victorino recognizes he stunk last season. He was injured a lot during the year and he never really got in the proper frame of mind because he couldn’t perform the way he wanted at his usual high energy level. He is chomping at the bit to prove last season was a fluke.
I’ve watched a lot of Victorino because I’ve seen a lot of the Phillies the last few seasons. I think the Sox are getting a player who can be clutch and disruptive to opponents in big spots. He’s a real gamer that understands and can play in the pressure of a big market.
He’s always been considered a high motor player with gold glove skills and excellent speed. Add to that his reputation as a clubhouse leader and voice and the Sox may have just lucked into an outstanding contributor who is also ready to help change the stagnant clubhouse culture.
Red Sox fans should love the excitement and positive energy Victorino brings to his game. If he’s the player he was in Philly prior to 2012, the love affair between fan and player will develop quickly.
For more on this story check out the link to my web show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n02v2CBg9l4&feature=youtu.be