Player Profile: The Passion of the Shane?


My previous three player profiles basically wrote themselves. Something about Chase, Ryan and especially JWerth and that marvelous beard of his that just made words pour out like cheap beer from a McFadden’s tap on game day. But ever since I decided to write this week’s profile on Shane Victorino, I’ve been nursing a raging case of writer’s block.

It’s not that I don’t appreciate what our All-Star outfielder brings to this Phillies team—a powerful bat,  Rawlings Golden Glove-caliber fielding, lightning-quick speed. And I know first-hand that he has a legion of fans who adore him. So why am I not jumping feet first on the Pineapple Express? Don’t get me wrong, I’m both a Victorino supporter and a fan, but why does  Shane leave me, well, less than inspired?

After procrastinating for the past two days, including spending the last 30 minutes Googling the alleged affair between LeBron James’ mom and his teammate Delonte West (it completely fascinates me, by the way, to see someone pulling off a “Stiffler’s Mom” outside of the American Pie movies), I finally decided I needed to tackle this Victorino profile—and my mixed feelings for the Flyin’ Hawaiian–head on. So I’m employing a tried-and-true method I’ve usedto solve other critical life issues, like the time I had to decide whether to relocate for a new job, or whether to break up with this guy who was really hot, but wouldn’t show up until three in the morning, drunk and peeing on my neighbor’s lawn: the pro and con list.

Pro

  • Shane is involved in fundraising for many charities, including the Hawaiian Children’s Cancer Foundation and the Hawaii High School Athletic Association. Which is more than awesome. Enough said.
  • Speaking of Hawaii, Shane was probably the most famous ambassador of our oft-forgotten 50th state, until, well, that Obama guy kinda stole his thunder.  But president or not, there’s only one Flyin’ Hawaiian. And how many men could rock a grass skirt and still look like a total stud, like Shane did in bobblehead form on Shane Victorino Day back in 2007.

    Pro (Getty Images)

  • One of my favorite moments of the 2008 playoffs was Shane’s reaction to Dodgers’ pitcher Hiroki Kuroda sailing a pitch over his head during one of his at-bats, seemingly in retaliation for pitches Brett Myers threw at the heads of two Dodgers in the previous game. Shane’s repeated, manic  “not at the head” guestures to Kuroda led to a bench-clearing on both sides of the diamond and was all-around pretty bad ass.

Con

  • Shane appears to be a big fan of the Ed Hardy tee, a look that is only allowable in the most extreme of circumstances, say, if the guy in question is at tryouts to appear on VH1’s Tool Academy.
  • Shane invited fellow Ed Hardy abuser Jon Gosselin to his wedding last November. Nothing classes down a formal affair like the presence of a bloated D-list reality star. Was there an Axe Body Spray-sponsored fondue bar at the reception, too? Come on, Shane, you’re better than that.

    If it's from the Barry Gibb Formalwear Collection, it's a Con. (Albert L. Ortega / PR Photos)

  • It was recently revealed on the big screen at a Phillies game that Shane’s favorite movie is The Passion of the Christ. Yet again, Shane, you force me to question your judgement.  I’m not going to debate whether  it’s a good movie or not, but I do have to question its re-watchability factor. When I think of my favorite movies, I think of movies I’ve watched in double-digit numbers. I just can’t see Shane grabbing a six-pack and popping in The Passion on a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon, or quoting Jim Caviezel movie lines while hanging out with his friends. A movie that moved you? OK, I gotcha, brother. But a favorite movie? Much like a Schindler’s List, this one just doesn’t belong in that category.  
  • Along the same lines, while I like Bob Marley as much as the next guy (if the next guy just got off a moonlight booze cruise in Montego Bay), it’s all about song selection, dawg, and I become very unenthused every time I hear “Buffalo Soldier” start up as Shane’s walk-out music. Walk-out music should convey an excitement, an “I’m gonna hit this bitch out” confidence, not remind me of the time I was stuck in my best friend’s boyfriend’s basement with some shirtless guy playing bongos and giving me a five-minute dissertation on the chemical compounds that made up the good shit in his back pocket he was about to smoke.
  • I’m not sure why this one bothers me, since I’ve never been in the same room as Shane, but is the virtue of silence lost on this man? Anytime I’m watching a game and the camera pans to the Phillies dugout, there’s Shane chatting up one of his poor, glazed-over fellow teammates or coaches. I always picture that scene in the movie Airplane! where the guy is going on and on about his ex-girlfriend to the old lady sitting next to him, not even realizing that she’s hung herself. I swear one of these days we’re going to see Shane on one of his dugout tangents and Jimmy Rollins sitting next to him, beating his own head in repeatedly with a baseball bat.

While it appears that the cons outweighs the pros where me and old Shane-o are concerned, this little exercise has actually made me realize that I’m not ready to give up on our resident Hawaiian. Because much like the hottie I dated who I’d often find passed out in old Mrs. Dougherty’s azalea bushes, long-term relationships are all about compromise, and taking the good with the bad. Love you, Shane. Call me.

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