Victorino 'back to reality' with Sox after World Baseball Classic

Victorino 'back to reality' with Sox after World Baseball Classic
March 17, 2013, 4:15 pm

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- After a two-week detour at the World Baseball Classic, Shane Victorino returned to the Red Sox lineup Sunday, buoyed by the experience but eager to rejoin his club.
      
"The word 'disappointed' is definitely sitting in our minds," said Victorino after Team USA lost in the second round and failed to make the final round of the WBC, "but we're back to reality now and we get to go back with our teams and prepare for 162 (games)."
      
Despite the outcome, Victorino thought playing in the tournament, with its emotion, was good preparation for the season.
      
"I'm not saying that spring training games don't mean anything," he said, "but there was something on the line and we definitely played with a different intensity. I'd like to keep that here, keep that intensity going. I told John (Farrell) today, whatever he sees fit, I'm ready to go. If he wants me to play every day, I'll play every day.
      
"Physically, I feel good. Being in game mode and in that type of
atmosphere was great."
      
Victorino didn't feel he fell behind at all, despite the quirks of the WBC schedule and a crowded, talented roster.
      
"I probably got more (at-bats than I expected)," he said. "I wanted to play on the field a little more (he served at DH). But I got almost 15 at-bats; how much would have I had here? I don't know. I definitely worked on everything every day and do the same things I would have done here.
      
"Unfortunately, I didn't get to play (in the outfield much). I only played on game in left, but with a great time like that, Joe (Torre) did the best he could to balance everybody's time in the playing field. But I definitely got my at-bats in and I'm ready to go now."
      
One concern the Red Sox had earlier in camp was making sure that Victorino and center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury had enough playing time in the outfield together, so they could comfortable with each other.
      
But Victorino isn't worried about that and never was.
      
"What if somebody gets traded at the deadline?" he asked. "I don't get to go and work with them. I don't get to say, 'OK, let me take a week with whoever gets traded over. Hunter Pence got traded (to the Phillies in 2011) and I didn't get time to go work with him. And Jacoby and I talked about that.
      
"Sometimes people want to make it like, 'OK, we have to work together - you have to do this and do that.' Ultimately for us, it's 'I've got it,' or 'You've got it.' We've got to get the ball. It's something that you work on. There's no preparing for it. Yeah, you can go out there and you can work on it and prepare for it. But you step into a game, with that adrenaline, that's a different level.
      
"The only way you can do that is by getting into a game. For us, we discussed it early on. We had a couple of opportunities when the ball was hit in the gap. He called early, I called early or we communicated. It worked out perfectly. Are scenarios going to come up that we might not have time to work on? Definitely.
      
"I understand how good he is; he understands the kind of ground I cover. That's the kind of stuff that will come in time. We still have two weeks to prepare ourselves."