FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Oh, how Shane Victorino is annoyed by the showoffs, the grandstanders, the bat-flipping, attention-hogging, look-at-the-magnitude-of-me players who have no qualms about showing up the opposition on the field. At least he detests ‘em when they’re not wearing the same uniform he is.
Which is why the Red Sox outfielder is still a little self-conscious about his reaction to the grand slam home run he hit against Detroit that catapulted the Sox into the World Series last October. Never mind that there are few people on the planet who would begrudge Victorino his explosion of joy when he hit an 0-and-2 curveball from Jose Veras into the Monster seats in Game 6 of the ALCS.
Even now (unless you’re a Tigers fan), you can’t help but smile when you watch the video: Victorino’s leap in the air, fist thrust skyward, when the ball lands, the raucous pounding of his chest as he rounds first base, the vigorous slap to the hand of third-base coach Brian Butterfield, and then his triumphant arrival at home plate, where he high-fives Dustin Pedroia, chest bumps Jacoby Ellsbury, raises both fists overhead like Ali, embraces David Ortiz, the mob scene in the dugout.
All of it, spontaneous, undiluted excitement.
“You know me, I’m not emotional," he said here. “I don’t usually show emotion. That’s why, when I took the podium after the game, what was the first thing I did? I said, ‘I want to apologize to Detroit because I don’t want you to think that [he was showing anybody up].
“I always hated that guy from the other side, the guy acting like a nitwit -- you know what I mean? That always fires me up, to be on the other side.
"I’ve always been that guy who never wants to show anyone up, never want to show a team up.
“The magnitude of the moment might have justified that a little more. But if I’d have been on other side, I’d have had the [expletive] ass."