Victorino catches up with former teammates

Victorino catches up with former teammates

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The real homecoming for Shane Victorino comes May 29-30 when the Red Sox visit Citizens Bank Park for a two-game series. The Phils' trip to Boston's spring home on Thursday -- and Boston's subsequent trip to Clearwater on Sunday -- are just warm-ups.

Victorino, who on Thursday faced the Phillies for the first time since he was traded last year, said he's looking forward to both the spring and regular-season trip to his old stomping grounds.

"Yeah, absolutely," Victorino said. "Of course I am. Of course I'm excited to go back, but you know, again, I think ultimately it'll happen in May, when we come back [to Citizens Bank]. It's going to be nice for me. Will it be tough? Yeah, you know, all the memories. But again, it was good times. And that's how I look at it. ... It didn't end bad. It was just one of those things the opportunity presented itself for a trade to happen."

This isn't about revenge, though. Victorino played 987 games for the Phillies in eight seasons, and he doesn't have any grudges about being traded to the Dodgers -- or the fact that neither the Phillies nor the Dodgers brought him back when he was a free agent this winter.

"Obviously that was a choice," Victorino said of re-signing in Philly. "I feel like I kept that choice open, and it never worked. Obviously they went in a different direction. Hey, it's a part of the game. I understand it's a business. So again, I'm a Red Sox and I'm happy to be one.

"People said the same thing about L.A., when I didn't get my opportunity there. 'What was it?' … I said, 'I don't care. I just want to play the game.'

Victorino said he still follows the Phillies from afar. He caught up with former teammate Jimmy Rollins while they were with Team USA during the World Baseball Classic, and Victorino also recently exchanged text messages with Ryan Howard.

"I'm going to definitely pay attention to them and wish them the best of luck in the National League," said Victorino.

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Evan Drellich is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.