Let's start with the obvious, his full name is Shane Patrick Victorino or Shawn Victorini if you happen to go by the name M. Dawg. He is a 28 year old outfielder for the defending world champion Phillies with great speed and defensive ability. More impressively, he came from being a rule 5 draft pick, like the Mets own Johan Santana and many others listed here
.His career batting stats aren't too shabby either, especially for a Rule 5 draft pick. Oh and let's not forget his supposed personal life, where shown here
or through a friend of mine who has met him, he thinks of himself as quite the "ladies man" or jerk, depending on how you see it.
But lets go back to his baseball career for a second. He plays for the Philadelphia Phillies, who as I mentioned are the defending World Champions, as much as that pains me to say. This Phillies team, led by an outspoken Jimmy Rollins, has said for years that the Mets celebrate too much. They make light of Reyes' handshakes and the smiling and obvious enjoyment of the fact they can play a game for a living and make millions. Any sports fan would give up quite a bit to have this kind of lifestyle, so forgive me if I don't get offended for players having a good time with this.If you want to talk about what the Mets do, it is in no way an attempt to show up the other team when they get a big hit, get a save or hit a home run. Does Frankie Rodriguez stare into the opposing dugout when he gets a save and points to the sky while I assume saying a prayer? Does Jose Reyes do a handshake with Carlos Delgado in the Phillies on-deck circle while staring in at them as well? Lets go one step further, if David Wright scores a run late in a game against a division rival, does he fist pump directly at the opposing team dugout? The answer to all of these questions is NO. They show emotion and excitement to their own team, teammates and mostly to themselves..I will say though, that for the most part, the Phillies don't do the things Mets players do with the handshakes and gestures to the sky, but does that make mean them immune from the criticism? Absolutely not. Jimmy Rollins showed us on Tuesday night that he likes to play with the crowd, and you know what? Good for him, but realize that this is very similar, if not worse to what Mets players do. Worse because once again most players do their celebrations only for their enjoyment as a teammate and as a player, not to opposing fans or players. Ryan Howard will also admire virtually every homerun the big man hits, and again, for good reason as they are typically landing the next day in another country. By all means take that sight in before you trot around the bases, you earned it. Once again though, with this observation lets quit with the double standard of the Mets celebrations. How is admiring your home run from the batters box and different from a handshake on your way to the dugout?For the record, I dispise seeing virtually every batter on the Phillies come to the plate, not because I would not love a player like that on my favorite team, but simply because they can always hurt you. Even with Jimmy Rollins batting a bomby .226 , he still makes me nervous stepping to the plate in a big spot against the Mets. The one player that doesn't fit into this same mold is Shane Victorino, and not because he can't get a big hit to hurt the Mets. He has proven he can, but its his other actions that make no sense.Victorino unlike the players on his team does taunt toward the opposing team and specifically seems thinks that is the right thing to do, he does it repeatedly. Did anyone else notice last night after Utley hit the eventual game winning homerun that most players in the Phillies dugout were celebrating, high fiving and excited. Victorino was too, but he needed to make it about himself, trying to mock Frankie Rodriguez and also had no other Phillies players near him to high five. Coincidence? When he gets a big hit late in a game and is standing on base, what does he do? He claps loudly, typically in the exact direction of the Mets dugout, and I can only imagine the words out of his mouth. Last year after scoring a run against the Mets in a close game, he literally STOOD both feet on home plate, again, clapping toward the Mets dugout. How is this not worse than a high five or a fist pump when a player on the Mets gets a big hit? I actually don't think that Victorino does this by chance though.
Last October in the NLDS against the then CC Sabathia of the Milwaukee Brewers, Victorino hit a grand slam into the left field stands at CBP. He responded by rounding the bases with one arm raised, as he should have, it was a huge hit and the first of a very successful postseason for Shane. After the game, his teammates put a sign on his locker with "J Reyes" as the name. This is dumb on a couple levels, beginning with the fact that Victorino can't be excited to hit a huge grand slam in the playoffs? This homerun all bust secured game 1 of this series, and put shockwaves through the Brewers system as if Sabathia couldn't do it, who could? Secondly, why is it after the Mets are playing golf, the Phillies must still think about the Mets?
Victorino does many things that I honestly don't think you would see out of the rest of his teammates. I may hate the Phillies as a passionate Mets fan, but they come to play, they may showboat a bit and not admit it, but they play clean. They slide hard into second, they run around the bases as fast as possible and they make great defensive plays on what seems like a nightly basis. They even have relief pitching, which even when not as solid as last year, can still get the team through a close game, as they did last night. Victorino disrespects the other team, makes bush league plays like the shove of Jose Reyes last month and feels the need to always be seen.With all this said, I have come to the conclusion its not that Victorino is trying to be hated, I actually feel sorry for him. He does make the bushleague plays, and that may just be him, but it may be something else. What if Victorino is not meant for this Phillies team? What if he has a Napoleon complex? What if he looks at the Mets team having fun, smiling, high fiving and doing some dancing in the dugout and wishes he was there? Shane Victorino might just be jealous of what the Mets have, and he just doesn't fit on his own team. The truth appeared to come out during that homerun against Sabathia and even last night when he imitated Frankie Rodriguez, his natural reaction may have been to jump up and down and run around the dugout high fiving, but he can't do that. He can't do that because the Phillies just don't accept that type of personality. They don't appear to accept him on their team, they seem to dislike him. For that reason he needs to relate it to what the Phillies say about the Mets, they celebrate too much.Keep telling yourself this Shane, or Shawn, whatever you like to be called, but from now on, I'm going to give you a pass and not let it effect me as much because its sad and its pathetic. Be yourself, I bet your teammates and the fans will respect and cheer for you even more. You can tell they sure don't now, and if I'm wrong about this, Phillies fans, let me know! You would never fit on the Mets, at the least, players on the Mets, while on the field appear to be themselves. They may not be perfect, but they show the emotion they want to show, they high five, they point to the sky, but that is who they are. I respect players and people who know who they are, and you Shane, obviously have no clue who you are as a person.