Stairs Trades His Bats for Victorino's Shoes
The Fightins discovered earlier this week that Shane Victorino, who enters tonight’s game against the Braves riding a career-high 16 game hitting streak, has been using Matt Stairs‘ Rawlings-made bat.
“He’s a bat wh—,” he chuckled. “I give him my bats. I take his shoes. I take his shoes for his base-stealing ability and he takes my bats for my hitting ability. It’s a fair deal.”
Stairs pointed to the cleats in front of his locker with the letters “HI” stitched into the back. The HI stands for Hawaii. You might have heard Victorino is from Hawaii. They call him the Flyin’ Hawaiian or something like that.
“It’s top heavier, so he just likes the way it feels,” Stairs said of the bat. “He thinks it slows his body down a little more and once you get the barrel through the zone you get some pop off the bat because it is top heavy.”
Stairs said he isn’t sure how much the bat that Victorino uses weighs because he has different weights depending on the pitcher or how he feels at the plate.
I tried asking Victorino about Stairs’ bat Wednesday in New York, but he is acting superstitious about it and responded only by smiling.
“When I got here last year he started using them, and he liked them,” Stairs said. “He liked the feel of the bat. But he uses a lot of people’s bats. I don’t even think he has a bat contract. His bat contract is the ’09 Phillies. It’s good for him, but I get his shoes. I’m going to wear them tonight.”
If they fit. Victorino wears a 9 – 9 1/2 shoe, while Stairs said he wears a 9, sometimes an 8.
“He’s a bat scoundrel,” Stairs said.
The Phillies are going to visit the White House next Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to commemorate their 2008 World Series championship.