Blog Entry

was i wrong about THIS guy

Posted on: May 7, 2009 1:11 am
Like all sports fans, i have my opinions about moves that my team makes.  Some moves i like.  Some moves i hate (like pretty much EVERYTHING the Broncos have done this offseason except signing Brian Dawkins).  Sometimes i'm right, other times i'm wrong.  While i'm more than happy to brag about the things that i was right about, i'll also man up and admit when i was wrong.  This is one of the latter occasions.  The subject: Shane Victorino.

After the 2007 season, the Phillies had a choice to make: re-sign CF Aaron Rowand, or let him leave via free agency.  If Rowand went, the Phils would plug Shane Victorino into CF, and try to find another OF through free agency or a trade.  I wanted them to keep Rowand.  The guy had just come off an All-Star season, and while it was a contract year for him, he's not the kind of player who only goes all-out when he's playing for his next paycheck.  I didn't think Rowand could ever be "THE guy", the one you can buld a lineup around (which he's proven in San Francisco), but he proved that as a complimentary player in a stacked lineup like the Phillies have, he could put up big numbers.  He also proved that he's definitely a Philly-type player willing to run through a wall to make a play (or at least into one).

On the other hand, my opinion of Shane Victorino in the fall of 2007 was a little different.  I thought that he was a nice player, better suited as a role player either off the bench, or as a part-time player.  He's fast, and has a great arm, but i just didn't think he could get on base consistently enough to play every day, or be able to stand up to the rigors of being an every-day player.  And by putting Victorino in CF every day, they lost the ability to bounce him between CF and RF, necessitating the need for another OF.  The Phils decided to sign free agent Geoff Jenkins and platoon him and Jayson Werth in RF.  Yes, at the time, i felt it was the wrong move.  And yes, i was wrong.

Victorino has become the spark plug in CF that the Phillies have lacked since Lenny Dykstra (when he was healthy).  He played really well last year, and he's playing even better now, on pace to hit .307, with 27 HR, 128 RBI, 20 SB, and 155 runs scored.  He's also started to come through in clutch situations.  Meanwhile, Jayson Werth has proven that he's fully recovered from the wrist problems that he suffered while playing for the Dodgers (if you have any doubt about how badly wrist problems can affect a hitter, look at Derrick Lee).  When Victorino went on the DL early in 2008, he had a chance to play every day, and played so well that by the end of the season he was the starting RF.  He too is on pace to have an even better season than he had in 2008. 

So yes, i was wrong about not re-signing Aaron Rowand, but with the way 2008 turned out, i'll be more than happy to take my lumps for it.

Since: Jan 6, 2007
Posted on: May 9, 2009 12:43 pm

was i wrong about THIS guy

It's refreshing to see someone admit they were wrong.  I think that most fans, me included, and GM's would have agreed with your initial analysis of Rowand v. Victorino.  As we are seeing with Ibanez, offensive #'s are inflated in Citizens Bank Park.  Rowand has been replaced, and the Phils are much better for sure.    

Isn't it interesting to see how often the Dodgers organization supplies talent for the Phils?  Ironically, former Phils skipper Danny Ozark, who was originally involved with the Dodgers, passed a few days ago.  He was a big part of bringing winning baseball to Philly back in the early 70's.  Unfortantely, he could not seal the deal against his old organization in the '77 and '78 playoffs.  Where would the Phils be without Victorino and Werth?  Victorino helped get some historical revenge for himself and the Philly faithful against the Dodgers in game 4 of the 2008 NLCS with his clutch homer.  Hope to see more of the same from Shane!

Since: Oct 3, 2006
Posted on: May 8, 2009 11:33 am

was i wrong about THIS guy

I LOVE Victorino. He plays the game with such can see it rubs off on his teamates. He can cover some ground out there in centerfield too, which is the most important part of playing that position. Not to mention he's younger than Rowand. Werth himself is a 5-tool guy. I wasn't so sure about his arm but I've seen him make impressive assists this season. The Phillies really got lucky with these two guys. Who could have guessed three years ago Shane, Werth and Ibanez would be our starting OFs?

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