Favorable press is nice, sometimes, but unabashed gushing can beleaguer a major league ballplayer just as easily as vitriolic barbs from Boston’s talented stable of provocateurs.
That is the Number One Reason why Shane Victorino is excited to be a Red Sox.
Speaking at the team’s spring training facility earlier this week, Boston’s newly signed switch-hitting outfielder expressed enthusiasm for what he expects to be a miserable first year in town trying to win over a by-and-large skeptical, provincial fellowship of bitter white dudes.
“In Philly all those years and then in LA for part of last year, it was like a honeymoon. The media was just kind of indifferent toward me. It was infuriating that they were so affectionate all the time. Calling me the ‘Flyin’ Hawaiian’ and applauding my non-stop hustle. Fuck, that got old.”
After signing a 3-year, $39m deal to play in Boston, Victorino suspects those days are in the past.
“I sure hope so,” he said. “I can’t wait for my first 0-for-5 game. I hope it comes early on in the season so we can get the hand-wringing going right out of the gate. Seriously, the press is even crapping on David Ortiz for not playing in spring training games after rupturing his Achilles last year. I mean, David Ortiz! The guy won two World Series and is a fan icon…”
Asked about any other character flaws that might be gradually introduced into columnists’ rip-jobs, Victorino did not shy away from offering up some nuggets that will undoubtedly be filed away for later use.
“Let’s see. I don’t participate in charitable endeavors as much as I could. My back is kind of sore. I don’t mind video games. I’m not going to hit 30 home runs or have 100 RBI. I hate Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. I’m not Caucasian. And oh yeah, $39 million is a lot of money, but I’ll be honest with you guys: I don’t even really need all of it.”