Posted by Michael Baumann, Tue, July 05, 2011 04:00 PM Comments: 8
For the Phillies Nation news report on Shane Victorino’s injury, click here.
Dear Shane Victorino,
I think I owe you an apology. I’ve got a lot of rage in this tiny little heart of mine, and a lot of it tends to be directed at ballplayers. For a long time, I’ve championed the cause of Cole Hamels because he was a lot better than the average fan seemed to think, and I’ve spent countless hours trying to convince anyone who would listen that Wilson Valdez was nowhere near the player they thought he was.
So Shane, while I’ve never really thought you were a bad ballplayer, I certainly thought that you made so many running catches not because you had the defensive ability of a young Andruw Jones, but because you would spend several seconds after the crack of the bat running aimlessly in circles almost at random, like a golden retriever chasing a frisbee. I thought your overaggressive approach at the plate was compounded by a stubborn insistence on trying to knock the ball out of the park, rather than beating the ball into the ground and running, the way Ichiro would. I thought your speed, perhaps unmatched in the game, was wasted by your rank inability to read pitchers on the basepaths, as you racked up the caught-stealing totals while Jimmy Rollins, Jayson Werth, and Chase Utley seemingly (and sometimes literally) went years without being caught.
I’ve always thought you were a decent ballplayer, if not a star, and I’ve caught a lot of flack for standing by that opinion. Like this time. And this time. And while I’m not quite ready to take back everything I’ve said, I will say this: I’m sorry, Shane, because you’ve been great this year.