Shane Victorino feels for Gerardo Parra but says Fenway sun ‘should teach him a lesson’
|08.04.13 at 9:27 pm ET|
Right field at Fenway Park on a sunny afternoon can be one of the hardest positions to play in all of baseball. Sunday was a classic exhibit of why.
Arizona right fielder Gerardo Parra, who spent extra time in right working with coaches before the series started on Friday, dropped a line drive off the bat of David Ortiz in the first inning. Then, he lost a Jacoby Ellsbury pop fly to shallow right that allowed a run to score in a two-run sixth for Boston. The Red Sox didn’t capitalize on his first mistake but did later as they beat the Diamondbacks, 4-0.
Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino certainly had his moments. He crashed into the wall with his left hip trying unsuccessfully to catch a foul fly in the third inning. In the ninth, he experienced what Parra did earlier, when he lost Martin Prado’s fly to shallow right.
“I take pride in my defense. Unfortunately, in that last inning, I lost that ball in the sun,” Victorino said. “The ball against the wall, if I get a chance to make an out, sometimes I get a little carried away. It was a little dangerous there but again, I felt like I could make the play. Obviously, it hit my glove. As they always say the rule is if it hits your glove, you should catch it. So I was upset at myself for not catching it. Sometimes, there’s some risk involved. Again, collectively if you look at what we’ve done in the outfield. Jonny has made some great plays. The other night, he crashed into the wall.
“You have to continue those kind of things. Anytime, you can get an out, put a glove on it and catch it, every out counts.”
Victorino gave up his body on the foul fly in the third, something he doesn’t regret.
“It was my left hip,” he said. “My left hip hit the wall pretty well. It didn’t really feel too comfortable. But actually, I don’t know if that was a good thing that I hit the wall with my left hip. It might have made everything feel better on my left side. So, again, anytime I have the chance to make a catch, I’m going to try and make it. Knock on wood I came away unscathed from a serious injury. I’m going to continue to play that way.”
Victorino, who was hit by a pitch on the left arm a half-inning after his dive into the stands, said it was a battle all day as the sun came out in the second inning and stayed out for the rest of the game.
“It was not fun,” he said. “Today was definitely was one of those days. It was tough. Understandingly, people are going to say, ‘Why didn’t he have glasses on?’ For me, I say the same thing, too. I’m not him. I don’t know why he didn’t have glasses that one inning. Again, even with glasses, I lost that ball the last inning. I feel for the guy. Anytime you see your counterpart struggle out there with balls in the sun or even struggling with dropping the ball, you feel for him. But hey, that’s a benefit for us and we’ll take it in stride and try to build off of it.
It was not a fun day out there. But you know, there’s no excuses. We play this game for those reasons, something we practice. Hey, the excuse of not having glasses or if he’s going to say that’s the reason, he obviously had glasses on later in the game, so that should teach him a lesson.”
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson, who started Parra in right over DH Cody Ross, wasn’t forgiving of his right fielder’s mistakes.
“I think the first one Ortiz hit kind of an explosive knuckleball or whatever, and yeah, he lost the ball in the sun. But you know, you have to catch those. You know it’s there. You have to position yourself, you have to put darker glasses on. That ball has to be caught. You can’t give those guys opportunities like that. It’s not good baseball, not good baseball.”
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