Phillies Notes: Phillies' Victorino discusses argument with Lee

Posted: May 27, 2012

ST. LOUIS - After declining comment Friday night about his verbal dugout altercation with pitcher Cliff Lee, Shane Victorino opened up about the incident before Saturday's game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

"Yeah, everything is fine," the Phillies centerfielder said about the heated exchange that was caught on camera. "I have no hard feelings about it. At the time, when emotions are flying high, you let it get to you. When emotions aren't [flying high], you let it go.

"To me, it's just nothing. It's just part of the game. I've seen it with multiple teams and, at the end of the day, we're going to go out there as teammates and be competitors and go out there and protect each other and go out there and win ball games together as a team."

The disagreement occurred after Victorino lost a David Freese fly ball in the twilight sky at the start of the bottom of the fourth inning during Friday night's 5-3, 10-inning Phillies victory. Freese reached third with a triple and scored on Yadier Molina's RBI single, giving St. Louis a 3-2 lead. Things got worse for Lee when rightfielder Hunter Pence lost a routine fly ball off rookie Matt Adams' bat later in the inning.

Pence said he never saw either fly ball.

"It [stinks]," Victorino said. "It was one of those things. You hope to pick it up and you can't. Before the inning, I looked up and the sky was a little pinkish above the stadium, but I thought it was still dark enough that I'd be fine. Two balls later, 'Oh - ' "

Victorino confirmed that the altercation was about the play in center field.

"That's what we talked about," he said.

Lee and manager Charlie Manuel refused to talk about the incident Friday night.

"It's the competitive state of the game," Victorino said. You never want to see that kind of stuff, but looking at a positive side, you both want to go out there and you both want to win. That's what it is about in the end. You're both competitors and you both want to win the game. Beyond that, it's nothing. You brush it under the rug and it's gone."

Victorino ended up being part of two huge plays that helped the Phillies pull out their third straight win. After Pence collided with Victorino on the second lost fly ball of the inning, the Phillies centerfielder picked up the ball and nailed Molina at third base for the first out of the strange inning.

With the game tied at 3-3 in the bottom of the eighth, Victorino started the three-part sequence that resulted in the defensive play of the game. He retrieved a ball hit by Adams inthe right-center- field gap and threw to cutoff man Freddy Galvis, who fed catcher Carlos Ruiz a strike at home plate. Ruiz held on to the ball after Molina bowled him over for the final out of the inning.

"I wish I had made a better throw on the relay," Victorino said. "I kind of took Freddy to his right a little bit so he had to go and kind of backhand the ball. Other than that, everything was executed perfectly.

"When you're running out there and trying to get the ball, you're trying to get it in as quick as you can and make the best throw you can. But out of that whole play, the one thing that would have made it easier is if I would have made a better relay. The play would have come together a lot quicker, but, hey, we still got the guy out."

Catcher's collision

Molina said his run in to Ruiz at the plate in the eighth inning Friday night marked the first time he had ever been involved in something like that with a fellow catcher.

"He asked me if I was OK," Ruiz said. "I think it was a clean play. If I was a runner, I think I'd be doing it the same way. That's a part of the game."

Molina, a three-time all-star and four-time Gold Glove winner, said he admires Ruiz's work as a catcher.

"Yeah, he's getting better every year," Molina said. "For a guy to put up good numbers and stay healthy, because it's so hard to stay healthy, especially as a catcher, I'm happy for him. Hopefully, it can continue."

Ruiz, whose .362 batting average ranked third in the league through Friday, has never made an all-star team, but is hopeful that will change this season.

"It would be special to me as a player," Ruiz said. "It's something you're going to remember for your whole life, going to an All-Star Game. Definitely, for the first time, it would be exciting."

Tracking Chase

Second baseman Chase Utley took more than 20 grounders at second base before Saturday night's game and he added the dimension of throwing to first base. Assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said Utley was scheduled to remain with the team when the Phillies open a three-game series against the Mets in New York on Monday.

comments powered by Disqus