Red Sox will field Three Portuguese Americans in 2013
This post is also available in: Portuguese (Portugal)
Maybe they will start serving chourico and chips next!
The Red Sox have set a new record for the number of players hailing from Portuguese decent on the major league squad, adding their third this week.
While a number of teams have one player of Portuguese background, including the New York Yankees, (Mark Teixeira) Cincinnati Reds (Kanekoa Texeira), Tampa Bay Rays (Brandon Gomes), the Portuguese presence in baseball seems to be at an all time high. While former players like Davey Lopes, Robin Ventura and others paved the way, the modern trend has reached home.
The Red Sox, already had Dustin Pedroia, the feisty spirited “heart” of the Red Sox as he has been called. Pedroia is a fan favorite, who until last year, was always heralded for his dedication to the game, his hustle and his penchant for leading his team in heroics.
A dust-up with former Manager Bobby Valentine soured that reputation temporarily when Pedroia chided the manager publicly for his leadership style. But by the end of the season it was clear, Valentine’s style was a problem.
The short and fiery Pedroia is a Red Sox product having reached the majors after working his way up through the farm system and one of the key players the team is built around.
So, as the Sox went into the off-season after two terrible seasons, the management team decided it wanted to bring in players with “good character”.
A week ago, the team officially added Jonny Gomes of Petaluma, California, who is described as a “great clubhouse presence.”
Gomes, who began his career with the Rays, is known for his charitable work in Tampa and elsewhere. His former managers in Tampa and Oakland praise him for his examples for the younger players and his character and occasionally prankster personality. Big, and at times a clumsy fielder, he is expected to bring some decent power to the Red Sox where he is expected to play Left Field.
This week, the team also added veteran Shane Victorino, 32, a switch-hitting outfielder who was born in Hawaii. Victorino, who is known for his speed and defense and a solid but not powerful bat, explained his heritage to the Philadelphia Inquirer in 2011: He was a long-time member of the Philadelphia Phillies.
“My name is really Victorine, which is Portuguese,” he said. “My great-great-grandpa, when he was in the war, they spelled his name with an O at the end instead of an E, and it became Victorino.”
The name confusion even caused Victorino to be approached by the Italian World Cup baseball Classic team, seeking his services for them to which he responded:
“That’s nice, but I’m Portuguese!”
And so there you have it. Of course none of this means the Red Sox will go anywhere in 2013, but at least the team will have some of the same flavor as the state.