Mahalo and Happy Shane Victorino Day! Yes, Governor Neil Abercrombie declared that today is Shane Victorino Day in Hawaii. And no, you cannot make this stuff up, folks.
Shane tweeted about the event earlier today: “Just founded out that Hawaii Governor Abercrombie declaring today as Shane Victorino Day in Hawaii! Whoa…honored! #TeamMana” But what I really want to know is, where was Mr. Fitch today and did he knit a ridiculously expensive sweater for the occassion?
Seriously, congrats to Shane! The Flyin’ Hawaiian has earned the honor!
Taking a back seat to the Victorino news today was the signing of utility man Ty Wigginton, 34. The Phillies will pay half of his $4 million salary next year and they expect he will fill in mostly at 3rd and 1st since both Ryan Howard and Placido Polanco had surgery this off-season.
Wigginton has been tossed around MLB like a ping-pong ball. The Phillies will be his 7th team entering his 11th major league season. He is a lifetime .265 hitter and batted .242 last season.
The big draw here appears to be his power, but the right-handed Wigginton will probably see limited at-bats so I question that reasoning. I also question why the Phillies picked up another aging player on the tail end of his career whose batting average has dropped steadily each year since 2008.
With all the talk about this team needing to get younger, I am confused. We signed a 34-year old who will likely replace 29-year old Michael Martinez on the major league roster. And this is after signing and severely overpaying for a 31-year old Jonathan Papelbon (to a FIVE year deal) and 41-year old Jim Thome. Is it just me, or are the Phillies sort of going backwards here? I understood the addition of Thome, which is good on a number of levels. But this one? Not so sure…
Not to mention Wigginton has a nice list of injuries to his credit, including groin strains, oblique strains, a fractured thumb, a broken hand and a sore back.
While Wigginton did not cost much and has value as a versatile player, the Phils already have plenty of versatile, average hitting bench guys (Wilson Valdez, Martinez, Ben Francisco). This seems a bit redundant to me.
Anyone else care to share their opinion? Feel free to comment below. And please, have a super Happy Shane Victorino Day :O)
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Photo by Jenn Zambri Photography