This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but Shane Victorino wanted to return to the Phillies this winter. Of course, the feelings weren’t mutual because paying Victorino $39 million over the next 36 months – something the Red Sox signed up for – at this stage of his career is ridiculous. But despite Victo’s sometimes annoying Twitter and all that Slappiness, for me, the Phils trading Victo signaled the end of an era. Not the end of success, (because the Phils still have plenty of players remaining from the 2008 team and will contend for the next few years)… just the end of a short, magnificent era of Phillies baseball.
Victorino was in (Not-So) Nicetown* on Friday for the one-year anniversary of his Boys & Girls Club. Here’s what he told Matt Gelb of Philly.com about wanting to come back to the Phillies:
"Oh yeah, absolutely," Victorino said. "I focused on that. I wanted to come back. We kept in touch and informed them on what was going on and the opportunities I was getting. We gave them every last shot to give me an opportunity to come back. This was the place I wanted to be. But unfortunately it didn't work out."
"I look at all the memories I've left here and I will always have here," Victorino said. "You never say never. Will I never be a Phillie again? Who knows? But right now I'm a Red Sox and I'm focused on that opportunity. Every time I come back to this city, the memories rekindle.”
Phillies fans will have a chance to formally show their gratitude for Victorino's service May 29-30, when the Red Sox play a two-game interleague series at Citizens Bank Park. "To be a visiting player in my home park," he said, "it's going to be fun."
The folks in Boston may take issue with Victorino calling CBP his “home park.” But I’m just fine with it.
*He was joined by his old boss, Phillies president David Montgomery.