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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Victorino (Shane)”

Hawaiian Superman

He fished out all the islands with a magic hook There would've been more but somebody looked He pulled morning sky, the sun he entwined To slow down his flight, so kapa could dry — Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole, “Maui Hawaiian Sup’pa Man” “Kapa” is the fabric made by pounding the bast fibers of plants into fabric. It was said that the people could not dry their kapa because the sun flew so quickly across the sky. The demigod Maui slowed down the sun so the people could have their cloth. Shane Victorino flashed some of his heroics last night. In the fourth inning he sent Roenis Elias’s pitch out of the park to score the first run of the game and give his team the lead. Victorino staunched a potential Mariners rally in the seventh. Justin Ruggiano lofted the ball to deep right field. Chris Taylor thought he would get the go-ahead run easily on the fly ball but Victorino had other plans. Like Maui snaring the sun Victorino caught the ball. Victorino redirected his momentum after hitting the wall and fired to Mike Napoli. When you fly too close to the sun you’re going to get burned. Your browser does...


Ten years ago come this May I was at the Hall of Fame to celebrate my birthday. The Boston squad was enjoying its reign as the world champions so it wasn’t painful to see case after case of Yankee greatness in Cooperstown. If you thought it was all a dream you only had look over at a case full of Red Sox memorabilia from 2004. I had planned my visit around the Hall of Fame Game between the Tigers and the Red Sox. The Red Sox lost 6-4 but we got to see Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez play. These two highly touted prospects were going to power the player development machine that Theo Epstein envisioned. The 2004 Red Sox were not going to be one-and-done if the organization stuck to Epstein’s vision. The 2005 Red Sox tied the Yankees’ regular season record of 95-67 but placed second because of their head-to-head record. They were swept by the Chicago White Sox in the American League Divisional Series. The South Siders went on to break their 88-year championship drought. Rather than patiently grow their drafted talent the Red Sox traded Ramirez, Sanchez, Jesus Delgado, and Harvey Garcia for Josh Beckett, Guillermo...

He’s a Stroman

Comin’ to ya from a dusty moundThat strike zone, I will poundAnd when you get a hit, you’ll only get oneSo don’t worry, ’cause you won’t get a runI’m a Stroman! (Horn riff.) Great, yet another Blue Jays rookie pitcher that can totally dominate the Red Sox lineup. How many of these guys does Toronto have? Shane Victorino broke up the no-hitter with a bloop single to center in the seventh inning. Victorino along with Brock Holt, Stephen Drew, Christian Vazquez, and Jackie Bradley, Jr. had bases on balls. To add injury to insult David Ortiz left the game in the ninth with back spasms. He’s back in the lineup tonight but there’s nothing like seeing your best hitter get pulled late in a meaningless game. I said it. These games only serve to give the younger players experience in the big leagues. With any luck Mookie Betts will make the drive up 95 before the season is done. Game 102: July 24, 2014 Boston Red Sox47-55 0 L: Rubby De La Rosa (3-3) No extra base hits Toronto Blue Jays54-49 8 W: Marcus Stroman (6-2) 2B: Ryan Goins (2), Melky Cabrera –3 (26)Jose Bautista (18), Josh Thole (3)3B: Ryan...

Running Interference

Shane Victorino dashed down the first base line as Rick Porcello pursued the ball. Just as the ball went foul Victorino seemed to have stepped over it. John Farrell was confused by Clint Fagen’s eighth inning call. “He was called out for runner interference. To me, in my view, he was already past the ball. And still Clint felt he interfered with the play and called him out.” Major League Rule 7.09(i) states, “It is interference by a batter or a runner when --” He fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball, provided that if two or more fielders attempt to field a batted ball, and the runner comes in contact with one or more of them, the umpire shall determine which fielder is entitled to the benefit of this rule, and shall not declare the runner out for coming in contact with a fielder other than the one the umpire determines to be entitled to field such a ball; Rule 7.09(i) Comment: When a catcher and batter-runner going to first base have contact when the catcher is fielding the ball, there is generally no violation and...

Rougned & Martin’s Laugh-In

Jon Lester sat nine batters in order until the fourth frame. Shin-Soo Choo doubled over Jackie Bradley, Jr., who misread the ball off the bat. Elvis Andrus grounded out to second base to advance Choo and Adrian Beltre walked on four pitches. With runners at the corners Prince Fielder powered the ball to left field, which allowed Choo to tag up and score the Rangers’ first run of the game. A flag troop rushed out onto the grassy hill in center. There is no element of football the Rangers fail to incorporate at Global Life Park. Who knew a sacrifice fly that rendered the score 6-1 deserved an end zone celebration. This guy was a tad late for May 4th but just in time to see Choo’s 1-for-4, three-strikeout showing. The force was not strong in Choobacca yesterday. It was strong in Shane Victorino. From the two-hole Victorino went 3-for-4 with a run scored. His single in the second inning could have driven in both Will Middlebrooks and Bradley but only the third baseman arrived home safely. Bradley’s slide was not ideally placed, perhaps because David Ortiz’s directions weren’t clear or in time. Ortiz made up for it with a...

It’s a Shame About the Rays

The Red Sox returned home after a rousing series win fired up to face another divisional foe. They had baserunners in every inning but didn’t tally a run until the fifth frame. The two players that completed the circuit that powers the Red Sox motor, Will Middlebrooks and Shane Victorino, were pivotal to getting on board. Middlebrooks worked a leadoff walk, Jackie Bradley, Jr. laced a double to his counterpart, and Victorino lofted a sacrifice fly to center. The Rays tied the game in the top of the sixth inning but Boston responded with five runs. The local nine fell one short of batting around. Middlebrooks, Bradley, and Victorino all doubled. Joe Maddon went through Brandon Gomes and Juan Carlos Oviedo (formerly known as Leo Nunez) but neither his relievers nor potential replay loopholes saved the day. The familiar strains of “Dirty Water” played with the Red Sox victory but it was odd to hear Steve Lyons with Don Orsillo. I kept on thinking Fox Sports music riffs should be playing. Lyons was fired from Fox for ethnically insensitive comments about Lou Piniella’s Spanish ancestry. Let’s see how long he lasts at NESN. Wil Myers was born in 1990. He...

Three Little Birds

Shane Victorino entered the batter’s box in the third inning with two out and the bases loaded. The day before the outfielder had won the Gold Glove, beating out Nick Markakis of the Orioles and Josh Reddick from Oakland. He was thankful for the honor but was frustrated offensively of late (along with every other hitter besides David Ortiz). Thus far in the Fall Classic Victorino was hitless and ailing. He was pulled from the lineup in Games 4 and 5 due to back spasms. When the local nine returned to Fenway, John Farrell dropped him from the second slot to the six-hole. He was back in a familiar park and situation, but which Victorino would swing the bat? The one who had been 0-for-10 or the one who sent a grand slam into the Green Monster seats against the Tigers in Game 6 of the ALCS? Your browser does not support iframes. It didn’t matter to Victorino where he hit in the order as long as he was hitting. He didn’t sulk but seized the opportunity. His high fly ball didn’t find the seats this time but it caromed high and far enough off the left field wall to...

’Cause Every Little Thing is Gonna Be All Right

On a team of ragged, bewhiskered veterans, rookie Xander Bogaerts’s modest goatee doesn’t command a lot of attention. But his inclusion in the bottom part of the order has been pivotal to Boston’s American League Championship. Where some seasoned players were hopelessly whiffing on Max Scherzer’s offerings Bogaerts stood patiently, working walks or extracting extra base hits. He led off the third inning with a base on balls and Jacoby Ellsbury followed his example. Unfortunately Shane Victorino popped out on a bunt attempt and Dustin Pedroia grounded into a double play to end the early threat. Before the inning-ending twin killing Pedroia mashed the ball over the Monster but replays showed that the ball was barely foul. The Red Sox didn’t have a baserunner again until Bogaerts batted in the fifth. Scherzer handily induced fly ball outs off the bats of Jonny Gomes and Stephen Drew, using only five pitches between them. Bogaerts not only laced the ball to deep to center for a stand-up double but did so with the count full. As before Ellsbury followed Bogaerts’s example, this time with a line drive hit of his own. The center fielder notched a single to right to get the...

Nine Pitchers Pitching

Eight bases on balls. Seven umpires umpiring. Six pitchers in the bullpen. No gold rings. Four catwalk rings. Three runs scored. Two saves for Koji Uehara. And an ALCS ticket for the Red Sox. Joe Maddon swapped out pitchers faster and more often than Lady Gaga changes costumes. Jeremy Hellickson, who had been a much-vaunted prospect in Tampa Bay’s system, was tapped to start the game. He began promisingly by sitting the first three batters without incident. In the second frame, however, the wheels came off quickly. David Ortiz and Mike Napoli walked on four pitches each and Daniel Nava lined a single to right field. Rather than seeing how the Tampa Bay “RAYS”ed hurler would perform with the bases loaded and none out Maddon pulled Hellickson in favor of Jamey Wright. Maddon proved what a brilliant tactic this was when Jarrod Saltalamacchia struck out and Stephen Drew lined into an improbable double play. Just like he drew it up. Maddon’s luck ran out in the seventh inning. He would have preferred a shut down frame after his team had finally scored when David DeJesus drove in Yunel Escobar. But the Red Sox skipper made a move that, unlike Maddon’s...

Rock This Town

The Red Sox pummeled the Rockies with a 15-run barrage spearheaded by Will Middlebrooks. Boston’s third baseman clouted two home runs; a three-run shot in the fifth and a grand slam in the eighth. Middlebrooks’s four-baggers added to the lead that Shane Victorino established in the fourth with a three-run homer of his own. Victorino must have felt he should make the most of his at bat as Jake Peavy smacked a one-out double to center. “Another example of pitchers being great athletes,” quipped Mike Timlin. Timlin also got a kick out of Peavy’s Willie Mays Hayes gloves. Jacoby Ellsbury played for the first time since September 5th, and if he has been letting his beard grow since then he has about five years to go before can hold a candle to Mike Napoli’s shrubbery. Ellsbury went 1-for-2 and he followed Peavy’s double with a base on balls. In his last home game Todd Helton went 2-for-3 with a solo home run. The Colorado Rockies gave him an American Paint horse named A Tru Bustamove as a retirement gift. Young MC approves of the name. Not only did the Red Sox do their level best to maintain the best record...

Fear the Beards (and Beers)

Now that the Red Sox have a favorable playoff berth I can’t help but be annoyed by two missed calls in this game. In the bottom of the fourth Jackie Bradley, Jr. was called out as the first part of a 4-3 double play but the replay showed that Ryan Goins missed the tag. With the bases loaded in the seventh Mike Napoli knocked the ball to Jose Reyes. The Blue Jays shortstop threw to J.P. Arencibia to get Dustin Pedroia at home but Arencibia’s relay to first drew Mark DeRosa off first base. Missed calls such as these would certainly but the dampener on a postseason series. If only the proposed instant replay system could be in place for these crucial games rather than in 2014. The 37,215 fans at Fenway Park knew that they could be sprayed by champagne if they stayed to the the final frame. But an unfortunate attendee was struck in the head by a can of beer punted into the stands by Jonny Gomes. In addition to winning the American League East with this defeat over the former darlings of media Blue Jays, Jon Lester won his 100th game. In his post-game interview the...

Koji-to Ergo Sum

Ryan Dempster assumed the role of John Lackey last night, both in a paucity of run support and maintaining a fairly good pitching line (6 innings, 3 hits, 2 earned runs, 4 walks, 5 strikeouts). He passed out more bases on balls than Lackey would have, but the Baltimore batters that scored off him were no slouches. Manny Machado singled in the first but nothing came of it. J.J. Hardy laced a double in the fifth that put Danny Valencia into scoring position. Chris Davis launched his 51st circuit clout of the season to lead off the sixth, a blast to dead center. The Red Sox scrimped with two runs the entire game. Dustin Pedroia had Don Orsillo yelling “la luna” in the first. The other Boston run came as a result of series of gaffes by the Orioles in the fourth frame. Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s batted ball into the right field area where Machado was playing in the shift was ruled an error. Stephen Drew followed with a walk and he and Saltalamacchia were sent on a double steal. The throw got to third before the Red Sox catcher but Machado missed the tag. Then Nate McLouth whiffed on Xander...

The Improbable Dream

Jake Peavy had a mishap pursuing Brett Gardner’s bunted ball in the third. He probably should have let Ryan Lavarnway try to field it, but Peavy is the kind of player that wants to contribute as much as possible. Because of this spirit John Farrell tends to leave Peavy in situations that usually would have him gesturing to the bullpen. Farrell stuck with Peavy in the seventh and didn’t call on a reliever until the starter had allowed the first two batters he faced to reach base. Perhaps Farrell was trying to rest his taxed bullpen. Junichi Tazawa had done so well in his set-up role and there were so many injuries that he was one of Farrell’s favorites. But last night he and Matt Thornton allowed all their inherited runners to score. Peavy was erased from the decision when the Yankees took the lead, 8-7. It was a comeback so detestable that even replaying Alex Rodriguez’s stumble on his fourth-inning double didn’t inspire a smile. Unlike Tazawa, David Robertson pitched a perfect frame in the eighth. Mariano Rivera was one out away from adding another treasured memory to Mariano Rivera’s retirement tour scrapbook in the ninth. He dispatched David...

Dos Mil

David Ortiz’s 2,000 career hit was bookended by home runs. The double was laced to dead center and one-hopped Fenway’s center field wall. It drove in newcomer Quintin Berry and increased the local nine’s lead to 11-4. Perhaps there would have been more majesty in a home run marking the milestone, but there is poetry in this hit. Ortiz sent it straight and true to center and his path ended at the middle of the basepaths. Through many seasons of triumph and turmoil Big Papi has been a steadying force. At the beginning of his career he was second fiddle to Manny Ramirez, who had more pop. But when Ramirez outwore his welcome Ortiz became the ceaselessly cheerful face of the franchise. He became a star, but unlike others he didn’t think himself greater than the whole. Some say designated hitters aren’t athletes. Here is evidence (as if you needed it) that pitchers are far from the most physically gifted specimens on the field. Ryan Dempster scampered after Don Kelly’s bleeder and nearly bloodied himself gathering it and firing it across the infield. Koji Uehara tried to catch Daniel Nava’s two-run homer in the sixth. Between trying to shag his...

Maui Nō Ka ’Oi

“Maui nō ka ’oi” means “Maui is the best.” Shane Victorino, originally from Maui, had a career day last night in a blowout against the Orioles. The right fielder went 3-for-3 with two homers and a double. With seven RBIs to his name, Victorino drove in more runs than many entire teams scored (I’m looking at you, Marlins, Nationals, Pirates, Blue Jays, Athletics, Tigers, Orioles, Indians, Braves, Angels, Rays, Phillies, Mets, Astros, White Sox, Royals, Twins, Reds, Cardinals, Giants, Rockies, Cubs, Dodgers, Rangers, and Mariners). That’s a long list; I should have picked teams that had more runs than Victorino. But it wasn't Victorino’s somewhat sparse beard that Felix Doubront touched but Mike Napoli’s. I’m not sure if it was for luck or if Doubront subscribes to the maxim that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Napoli’s facial hair looks as if it could propagate more than a few pathogens and a family of three. Doubront overcame a rough third inning to tally his tenth victory. The starter seemed stymied by Wally Bell’s strike zone and even asked the umpire “Were those balls balls?” at one point. The Red Sox bats supported Doubront, enabling him to stop worrying about...

Showtime Shane

Jonny Gomes, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Dustin Pedroia enjoyed the game like regular people on their off day. Well, normal folks who can afford seats near Geddy Lee. Pedroia’s expression seems to say, “We got these guys.” Shane Victorino was the primary reason for his team’s victory. In the sixth the Blue Jays threatened to add to their 1-0 lead when Jose Reyes led off the frame with a base on balls. He advanced to second on Rajai Davis’s ground out and was on his way home when Edwin Encarnacion arced the ball into right field. Victorino fielded the orb in a flash and threw out Reyes with a few feet to spare. In the top of the eleventh inning Victorino took the box with the score knotted at 2-2. Saltalamacchia waited at third while Jacoby Ellsbury distracted Aaron Loup at first. Ellsbury swiped second as Victorino fell behind in the count 2-1. Victorino sent Loup’s two-seamer up the middle to plate the go-ahead and insurance runs. While Mike Napoli continued to be frustrated at the dish (0-for-5 3 strikeouts, 5 left on base), he didn’t fail at the defensive side of the game. Napoli beat out Davis in a footrace...

Tripped Up

No one was more upset than Jake Peavy with how he pitched last night. He gave up the lead early but Drake Britton added fuel to Peavy’s fire by allowing both runners he inherited to score, along with many more. The sixth-inning, six-run outburst by the local nine rendered Mike Napoli’s bases-clearing double in the fourth moot. But it was good to see the Red Sox first baseman produce runs in key situations. A pivotal play in Kansas City’s rally was David Lough’s line drive to Shane Victorino. The right fielder made the catch but stumbled on the turf before composing himself for a throw. Had Victorino not tripped he may have thrown out Mike Moustakas at home. Game 118: August 9, 2013 Boston Red Sox70-48 6 BS, L: Drake Britton (1, 1-1) 2B: Jarrod Saltalamacchia (29), Mike Napoli (29)HR: David Ortiz (22) Kansas City Royals60-53 9 W: Francisley Bueno (1-0)H: Kelvin Herrera (14), Tim Collins (18)S: Greg Holland (31) 2B: Billy Butler (22)HR: Justin Maxwell (5), Alex Gordon (12)...

Webster’s Win

The Red Sox scored in every inning except the third and seventh. The copious run support allowed Allen Webster to tally his first major league victory. Webster had a chance at a win against the Royals in April but Andrew Miller lost the lead in the eighth inning and in June he was the pitcher of record against Toronto but Andrew Bailey surrendered the game-tying home run in the seventh. He now has one more win than Josh Beckett this season. Shane Victorino went 2-for-4 with a run scored. He sported a crimson glove in celebration in Independence Day. The Red Sox dedicated a black seat in honor of the more than 92,000 unaccounted soldiers. Your browser does not support iframes. The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command is located on Oahu and is responsible for the global search, recovery, and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans. The Defense Prisoner of War Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) was created so that there was a single office managing POW/MIA issues. Their motto is “Keeping the Promise.” Game 87: July 4, 2013 San Diego Padres40-46 2 L: Eric Stults (6-7) 2B: Will Venable (7), Jesus Guzman (9), Logan Forsythe (4) Boston Red Sox53-34 8 W:...

In-Shane in the Membrane

Our favorite Maui boy Shane Victorino went 4-for-5 with five runs batted in. He got the team off to a lead with his first-inning solo shot. Victorino’s personal success (he tied his personal record of RBIs in a game) led to the team’s triumph (he accounted for half of the offensive production in the club’s 10-6 win). To mix things up Victorino tried to throw out Miguel Cabrera on the slugger’s seventh-inning single. You do what you can to get the former MVP out somehow. Victorino’s performance somewhat masked Jon Lester’s continuing struggles. The southpaw’s line (5⅔ innings, 9 hits, 5 earned runs, 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts) shows that Lester has yet to return to his early-season dominance. Then again, it is difficult for any pitcher to do well against the Tigers’ potent lineup. Cabrera’s three-run homer in the fifth was as surprising as the sun rising in the east and setting in the west. Paws, the Tigers mascot, visited the stands. I could have sworn Brandon Inge was at the game, but he’s with the Pirates. Jenny Dell pitched Red Sox wines produced by a company called Wine by Design. Perhaps it would be more appropriate if it...

Say Hey Shane

Shane Victorino returned to the lineup and made an immediate impact. He took C.J. Wilson’s second offering into left field. Jonny Gomes followed with a double off the wall that had Victorino sprinting home. Victorino got up limping after his dash around the bases. It wasn’t quite on par with Gregory Campbell playing with a broken leg, but Victorino stayed in the game. Fortunately the center fielder remained to prowl the outfield. Howie Kendrick’s fly ball in the fourth inning seemed destined to kick around the triangle but Victorino chased it down and made an outstanding over-the-shoulder snare for the first out of the frame. Another recently ailing player, Clay Buchholz, made a triumphant return. The ace went 6⅔ innings with 6 hits, 2 earned runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts and improved his record to 9-0. He leads the American League in wins and earned run average but is 14th in strikeouts, so a pitching Triple Crown (like so many of these crowns) is unlikely this season. In the fourth Buchholz found himself tumbling after Alberto Callaspo’s chopper. He missed the ball with his glove but his somersault brought him towards first base where he reached up just in...


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