Victorino: I'm going to miss these guys


BOSTON -- If it's true there's no crying in baseball, someone forgot to tell Shane Victorino. 

An emotional Victorino broke down in tears on three occasions while meeting with the media to discuss the trade that, before the Red Sox' 10-8 loss to the Chicago White Sox, sent him to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for infielder Josh Rutledge.

Victorino sat down at the podium and cracked a few jokes at the outset to diffuse the situation, but his first emotional speed bump when he spoke of his now former teammates.

"I wish nothing but the best for the guys here,'' said Victorino. "That's the toughest part . . .''

Victorino then paused to regain his composure, but broke down again when he recalled Red Sox ownership and front office for taking a chance on him after a sub-par 2012 season.

"I have a lot of respect for John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Tom [Werner], Ben [Cherington], John [Farrell] and more importantly, my teammates'' said Victorino, struggling to regain composure. "I'll miss them. That's the toughest part. I'm going to miss these guys.''

Victorino had heard talk of possible deals and said he "sensed something might happen,'' when he saw GM Ben Cherington and assistant GM Mike Hazen walk past him on the field Monday afternoon.

Minutes later, he was called into the clubhouse and told the news.

"I am who I am and I am what I am,'' said Victorino. "I was bred one way and I wanted to win another one here and be with these guys.''

The most emotional moment for Victorino came when he discussed his walk-up song, "Three Little Birds'' by Bob Marley, which, with it's chorus of "Don't worry/'Bout a thing/'Cause every little thing's/Gonna be alright'' that became something of a rallying cry for the 2013 Red Sox in  the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.

"You never think about a song, as an athlete,'' began Victorino, as he began to sob, " . . . to have a city sing it . . . that's something I will never forget. When I get to Anaheim, I'm going to have to change it, for the association of respect for Red Sox Nation and the fans of this region who fell in love with the song. It means a lot. That song will always be remembered.''

Victorino expressed frustration over his inability to stay on the field more in the last two seasons. He was limited to just 30 games last year before undergoing back surgery in August last summer, and played just 32 this year, with two more DL stints.

"It was definitely tough out there,'' said Victorino. "From the standpoint of not being out there. When I talk about the things that have happened here the last two years, I take a lot of the fault for not being out there.''

He added that he hoped people remember him for his contributions and, "understand that injuries are something that any athlete doesn't want to face, especially an athlete like me who wants to be part of something and have fun doing it. That's the toughest part.''

If there's any consolation, Victorino noted, it's that he'll join a team that is in first place in the A.L. West, with a good chance to reach the postseason.

"I want nothing more than to win,'' he said, who noted that his wife reminded him the might get a chance to win a third ring elsewhere. "The two best times in my life was when I won in '08 in Philly and '13 here in Boston. So to get that opportunity and to be looked at it as a guy (who can help) . . . I look forward to going to Anaheim and getting an opportunity to make a postseason run."

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