Shane Victorino just wants to hang out with his friends, but mean Boston sports radio mongrels won’t let that sort of thing slide. The former Phillie was quoted in the Daily News, saying:
“Any time you can get a No. 1, as I told these guys – not the front office, but the players – any time you can go get a guy in my opinion who is established, who has done it [you do it]. And I understand you don’t want to give up this prospect or that prospect. You’re hoping this guy becomes a Cole Hamels. Hoping. Oh wait, that guy is there now. And even as a hitter. Why would you hope that guy becomes this hitter, when you have it right now? And I understand there’s a financial side. And there’s a bigger picture. But like I said, at the end of the day, it’s right here in front of you. Why are you hoping?
That’s why they’re called prospects. And I understand the future is important, but for an organization – and anybody, any organization, not just here [with the Red Sox] – I’m going to give up, maybe not everybody, but I’m going to give up 2-3 pieces that I think are necessary for a certain guy. Because it warrants it. This guy is established.”
Okay. So those comments actually are a bit iffy. We all know Cole Hamels has a ton of value, but it might not be in Victorino’s best interest to play GM to Ryan Lawrence and say he’d “give up 2-3 pieces that I think are necessary.” Obviously, the next step was Victorino being torn apart in the local press, but at least he defended himself. Victornio called in to 98.5 The Sports Hub and took the hosts to task for taking his quotes “out of context.”
“All I said, a question was asked of me about getting Cole Hamels. I said, ‘Hey, if you can go get Cole, I’ll be all for it.’ Nothing against everybody in this clubhouse. I said from Day 1, I’ll be fine with what we have. We can go win with what we have. But if you can add another element of a guy who’s been there, I said, why wouldn’t you? And that’s the part for me is they took it obviously as me, and the names that were attached to these (rumors), I never mentioned anybody’s name. I said, ‘If you can give up two or three prospects, could be anybody, could be a second-, third-tier guy, my whole career I’ve watched that.”
But the biggest question mark was Mookie Betts, a top prospect in the Red Sox system, who is in line to take Victorino’s centerfield spot. Victornio defended himself, saying he never used Betts’ name. ” I said two or three prospects — whoever,” Victornio said. “It could be anybody. I was never a prospect. I was part of every single trade talk every year (with Philadelphia).”
But it wouldn’t be an athlete calling out a bunch of media slappies for taking things out of context without a challenge of sorts:
“These individuals who make the situation bigger than what it needs to be have no credibility on making statements behind the mic. Come in the clubhouse. Let me ask you face-to-face. That’s the thing that frustrates me more than anything. Individuals sit behind a mic and they take a story and they make it into a big fish rather than keeping it a little fish.”
Luckily for everyone involved — except maybe the Phillies who would get a huge haul — Shane Victornio isn’t the Red Sox GM. He’s probably still a step up from the guy we got, though.