|Shane Victorino was a player to move, but will not be kicked out in shame.
The Phillies traded Shane Victorino yesterday to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for right-handed reliever Josh Lindblom and Double A catcher Ethan Martin as well as a player to be named or cash. The deadline day deal seems like a pretty decent move for the Phillies, who I did not expect to re-sign Victorino after the year the way the 2012 season was playing out (the Hunter Pence trade I have a slightly different take on, but we'll explore that another time).
Victorino had been struggling this season on offense, on defense and running the bases. It may not have been pretty but Victorino may not have been quite as bad as some would have you believe. That said, the Phillies will be bringing in a relief pitcher (a clear area of need) and a prospect who could fit in to the picture in a few years. Yes, the Phillies were rightly labeled as "Sellers" this trade deadline, but stuck in the bottom of the division with such a huge hole to fill, Ruben Amaro had to make a move to get something for Victorino while he still could. Overall, this seems like a decent enough move.
As Victorino now finds himself in a playoff hunt in Los Angeles, perhaps he can provide some sort of spark and get back in to the mix the way he was during the Phillies' playoff runs in recent seasons. The change of scenery may be enough to relieve some pressure on Victorino, and hopefully that becomes the case.
Was Victorino the kind of player that should never be traded away? Of course not. Victorino was a nice find by Pat Gillick, developed nicely to become a stable player and dependable starter in the outfield. This season has been unkind to him, or it may be that he is on the decline. But Victorino's time as a Phillies player will not be forgotten, as he did provide many fond memories for Phillies fans, and his dedication to the community should never be overlooked.
Victorino may wear a different uniform, but there should be no reason to serenade him with a chorus of boos next season when he returns to Philadelphia with the Dodgers (assuming Los Angeles resigns him - I think that will be the case). Here is a look back at some of the top highlights from Victorino's time with the Phillies.
First, some quick honorable mentions:
Hawaii Five-O - Victorino's Hollywood debut came in the opening sequence to an episode of the re-launched Hawaii Five-O.
The Shane Victorino hula bobble figurine - Playing off his Hawaiian influence, of course.
Getting ejected from center field - You may never see this again, but Victorino managed to get thrown out from home plate umpire while standing in center field. Surely this did not sit well with radio analyst Larry Andersen.
5. Beer shower in Wrigley
File this under the "Didn't happen in Philly" category. Victronio, setting up to catch a fly ball to the ivy-covered outfield wall in Chicago's Wrigley Field, ended up getting soaked as a fan tossed a plastic cup of beer in his direction at the same time the ball was coming in. Fortunately the Gold Glove center fielder did not let it distract him as he recoreded the out in a 2009 regular season game.