Victorino eager to get started
In just his second season with the Red Sox, Shane Victorino is an entrenched member of the team, coming up with as many big hits as anybody on the way to last season’s World Series championship.
He arrived in good shape, though not fully cleared to resume baseball activities after having surgery to release a nerve in his right thumb back in December. But the right fielder confirmed he’ll be good to go for when it matters — Opening Day in Baltimore.
Reflections? He’s had a few: “That’s the kind of things about this game that you sit back and reflect on and you enjoy and you be appreciative to understand how lucky I am. As you said, to win a World Series in two different places, in two leagues, you know, and all those kind of things. But as I said, that’s behind me. I want to prepare for ’14 and defend that title and hopefully do it again.”
The grand slam in Game 6 against the Tigers: “You think about it every day and that’s the kind of stuff that you live for, the opportunities you look forward to when you get that opportunity. You know, as I said, those are things you kind of look back upon. When it’s all said and done, maybe I’ll understand the magnitude of that moment but you know, right now, I’m just living in the moment and enjoying myself and happy to be back in the clubhouse with these guys. you enjoy your kids, you enjoy your family in the offseason, but you know, you get itchy and antsy as it gets closer to go, coming here. I’m excited, I’m happy, coming in this morning, I was the first one here, but seeing everyone come in now, seeing all of you guys, this is what it’s all about. this is what you live for. This is what you work hard all offseason and you prepare your, is this kind of moment.”
Fans are wearing Victorino shirts all over Boston now: “You just play the game. you try to look at that and focus on that and whatever happens off the field, to be a role model for kids or to have that opportunity to make an impact on a kid’s life, that’s awesome. as I said, you go out there and you play the game because you love it and that, for me, is the most important thing, is that I go out there and try to give 100 percent every night. I leave it all on the field and then nobody can second guess what I do, because I know, in my heart, I give 100 percent and I leave it all out there every single night.”
RF at Fenway: “I’m still working on it. yeah, you’re going to talk about what I was able to do but you know, again, every year is different. When I say that it’s every year you have to get better, every year you have to do the things to get better. it was a work in progress – a lot of work by Arnie and myself to go out there and try to be the best right fielder that we could possibly put together but yeah, lucky it worked out for me. But hey, this is a whole another year. I don’t’ reflect on what I did last year.”
Recovery from surgery: “Good, it feels good. I’m going to ramp up some activity obviously and we’re definitely going to work through it and be smart about it. As I said, we’re preparing for 162 games and more so we’re going to take time and work through the process and go from there.”
Not taking winning for granted: “You know, there’s one thing that you shoot for and every year, and I think that’s every clubhouse that comes in there, everybody shoots for that one goal and that’s to be in the world series. you know, to be in a super bowl, to be in the NBA Finals, whatever sport it may be. you know, but you think that way but it’s good. I want kids to think that way. That’s the only way that you know, and that means you want to work hard and you want to get there at the end of every single season. you know, yeah, is it hard to do? absolutely. I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to make the postseason six out of seven years in my career so I think that’s a positive. But at the end of the day, my thing to the young kids is just to go out there and have fun and enjoy the ride, work hard, continue to work hard and buy into what we’ve got here.”
Where are you in your recovery? “A hundred percent, full go. No, no, I’m not. I’ve started doing some activities. Obviously I don’t really sit where I stand. I don’t never want to … I took some dry hacks, I haven’t really hit in regards to making contact and stuff like that. it’s going to be a work in progress, like I said. I want to make sure I’m ready for Game 1 of 162, more importantly than anything else. I’m just taking one day at a time and progressing through this process and seeing where I’m at.”
A beardless Jonny Gomes: “I told him,I teased him, he looked like a freshman in high school, clean shaved. But he said don’t judge a book by its cover and I said, I know one thing, I would not judge your book by the cover. Jonny, it definitely looks young, but I’m sure that facial hair will grow back.”
Will he go back to full-time switch hitting? “I’ll let you guys watch and learn.”