"Tears of joy," he called them Monday night, but the manRed Soxgeneral manager Ben Cherington called one of the most passionate players he has ever known could not hide the sweet sorrow of his parting from the Red Sox.
Victorino was traded along with cash considerations to the Los Angeles Angelsfor infielder Josh Rutledgea little more than an hour before Boston's 10-8 loss to the Chicago White Sox,
It was a game Victorino watched from inside the Red Sox clubhouse.
The Red Sox will pay $3.8 million of the $4.9 million remaining on Victorino's contract, according to a major league source.
He is going from the last-place team in the AL East to the first-place team in the AL West, a stroke of good fortune for any player who values winning as much as Victorino says he does.
And Victorino, who won a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 and another with the Red Sox in 2013, acknowledged that he embraces the chance to win another.
"My wife [Melissa] said to me this morning, she [asked] me about going somewhere. I said, 'I'm fine here, I want to finish the deal.' She said, 'Don't you want to go and win another ring?'" Victorino said.
"Sometimes you overlook that simple fact. Yes, there's nothing I want to do more than win another ring."
But almost before taking his next breath, Victorino covered his face as he sobbed, reflecting on what he is leaving behind.
"People doubted me in 2012," said Victorino, alluding to the year the Phillies traded him to the Dodgers, who subsequently acquired Carl Crawford and elected to let Victorino walk as a free agent. "The Red Sox gave me a chance to win a World Series. I have nothing but respect for John Henry, Larry Lucchino, Tom [Werner], again, Ben [Cherington], John [Farrell]. More important, my teammates. I mean, I'm going to miss them. That's the toughest part.
"I'm going to miss these guys."
Victorino -- who played a vital role for the Red Sox in their title drive in 2013, when his 6.1 WAR was second on the team toDustin Pedroia's 6.3 -- expressed regret about how little he was able to play the past two seasons, injuries repeatedly taking him off the field for extended periods. He played a total of only 63 games in 2014 and '15 due to leg, back and thumb injuries.
"The last two years, I take a lot of fault for not being out there, not being healthy," he said.
"What am I going to be remembered as in a city like this? I hope people remember me one way and understand injuries are not something that any athlete wants to face. I hope I'll be remembered for what happened in '13. We use that slogan that will always be a part of us: Boston Strong."
And when he was asked whether he could fully appreciate how much his walk-up music, Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds," with its hopeful lyrics of how "every little thing is gonna be all right" meant to a region buffeted by the Boston Marathon bombings in 2013, Victorino was again overcome.
"That's my answer," he said. "Tears of joy, understandably so. Think about a song as an athlete, to have a city sing it, that song is something I'll never forget. When I go to Anaheim, I think I'll have to change it, out of respect for Red Sox Nation. The fans in this region fell in love with this song. It means a lot not only to myself, my family, my friends who witnessed it.
"Ihope they never forget that song. I know I'll never forget that song."
Cherington, in a conference call, said the deal came together over the weekend.
"We talked to Shane during batting practice when it became official,'' he said. "It was tough for everyone. John [Farrell] and I were in there with Shane. He's meant a lot -- stating the obvious -- he's meant a lot to the team and obviously was a part of a very special year in 2013 and part of a lot of great moments that October.
"He's always throughout his career played with incredible passion and is a passionate person. He cares a lot, so it was a difficult position. On the one hand, I think he was happy to have an opportunity to get on a contender and have a chance to play meaningful games down the stretch.
"On the other hand, we know this was an important part of his career for him, being in Boston, so we expressed to him how grateful we were for everything he's done, wished him the best, and he probably leaves a mark on the Red Sox and a lot of people that are still in that clubhouse."
Victorino, who went on the disabled list May 24 with what was called a left calf strain, came off the DL on July 3 and in 13 games (10 starts) batted .231 (9-for-39). When the Red Sox were in Anaheim right after the All-Star break, Victorino played in both ends of a day-night doubleheader, which might have helped persuade the Angels that he was healthy.
In 2013, Victorino hit 15 home runs, stole 21 bases in 24 attempts, posted an .801 OPS and won a Gold Glove in right field. He drove in 12 runs in the postseason, one fewer thanDavid Ortiz's team-leading 13, and hit a grand slam in the clinching game of the American League Championship Series and a three-run double in the clinchinggame of the World Series.
Rutledge, 26, was with the Angels' Triple-A team in Salt Lake. He originally was drafted by the Colorado Rockies.
Cherington said Rutledge will join the big league club here upon his arrival. Pedroiajust returned to the disabled list with a strained right hamstring, and Brock Holt, who hurt his left knee when he stumbled coming around the first-base bag, was kept out of Monday's game.
"He's an offensive infielder with some defensive versatility around the infield," Cherington said of Rutledge. "We'll get a look at him, and in all likelihood, he will join the big league team when he gets here.
"He can play second, short and third. With Pedroia out a little bit, there should be some playing time in the infield with us, and we'll get to know him better."
Victorino traded to Angels
Alex Cora discusses the trade that sends Shane Victorino from the Red Sox to the Angels, and other moves Boston could make.