"Terry Adams is a quality right-hander." "There is a reason Chris Coste is a 33 year old rookie, he sucks." "If Ryan Madson stays healthy, his move to the rotation will look like a stroke of genius." "No way David Bell is gay, he's as straight as an arrow." All of these misguided quotes have been uttered by me over the past few years. I admit when I'm wrong, as I was obviously far off on my analysis of the above. One more quote to add to that list, "Shane Victorino will never be a starting outfielder in Major League Baseball." Like I said, I admit when I'm wrong. Fellow blogger, Corey, has always liked the Flyin' Hawaiian, and constantly clamored for him to be called up and given a shot in '05. Victorino didn't do much to impress me in his brief time with the Phils in '05, but he did make a reluctant believer out of me last season.
Like fellow Hawaiian players before him (Ron Darling and Benny Agbayani), Shane has a flare and zest for the game. Just like this image that I found with the appropriate "Flyin' Hawaiian" on it, Victorino goes balls-out in his effort at bat, on the bases, and in the field, which makes him a fun player to watch. As fans and therefore critics, we find faults with almost all players, and Shane's is his plate discipline, but hey we can't all be Bobby Abreu. I do not expect Victorino to jack 20 homeruns or bat .300, but I do expect him to play an amazing right field (of Gold Glove merit) and produce respectable numbers at the plate (.280, 12 homeruns, 90 runs, and 65 rbi) from the 2 hole. One facet of his game that he vows to improve is his stealing of bases. The dude is fast as a fat kid gobbling down cookies, and is capable of swiping 30-40 bases with the proper technique (thank you Davy Lopes). In conclusion, Shane Victorino is an every day outfielder, and will be a pleasure to watch for a full season in Philly.
This pic is for you Corey, as I know you dig this lovely Hawaiian...hello Tia Carrere.