Sunday, June 24, 2012

Yoooouuuukkkk

Let it go one more time for old times sake...Yoooooouuuuukkk

Kevin Youkilis was traded today to the Chicago White Sox for Zach Stewart, who is basically another Clayton Mortensen, and utility man Brent Lillibridge. The Red Sox will pay all but one million dollars of the salary still owed to Youkilis.  All in all the deal is not that bad considering it looked like the Sox may have to release Youkilis outright about a week ago when he was in the middle of a long O-fer.  Stewart was a 3rd round draft pick out of Texas Tech and he has now been traded to his fourth team.  He has been a highly thought of prospect at times, but has yet to reach his potential.  He will be sent to Pawtucket while Lillibridge will join the big team.

There are too many great Youkilis memories over the last decade to cover all of them, but here are some of my personal favorites.  Being the Mainers that we are it is worth mentioning that he was one of the first Red Sox prospects who played for the Portland Sea Dogs and make it to Boston to play for the Red Sox, but my favorite Youkilis moment happened when a certain unnamed Yankee fan was watching a game at Fenway Park with me. Youk got a big hit late in the game against the Orioles several April's ago then he received one of the loudest Youk cheers ever.  This game was during the peak of his popularity with the Sox.  The Yankee fan sitting next to me in the bleachers got caught up in the moment (perhaps due to some $7.50 beverages) and screamed "Yooooouuuuuukkkk" more than once.  This is one of my personal favorite Youk moments.  He's had many memorable moments in a Red Sox uniform.  SHARE YOUR FAVORITE YOUK MOMENTS IN THE COMMENTS SECTION.

In other Sox news today.  Clay Buchholz was put on the DL today to make room for Aaron Cook.  Daniel Bard struggled with wildness again today for Pawtucket.  He may be in need of a Roy Halladay type demotion, when he was a young player for the Blue Jays.  Where he goes down to Fort Myers for a while and then starts all over again at Single A and works his way back up to the majors.  It's seems safe to say now that the move to switch him to the starting rotation, while he showed some potential as a starter, seemed to mess with his mentality and they now have a fragile pitcher on their hands.  IF/OF Oscar Tejeda was designated for assignment today to clear up some room on the 40 man roster.

20 comments:

  1. Tough on the spot trying to think of my favorite Youk moment, how about the extra inning walk off to beat the Yankees in the first meeting on the year in 2011. As an aside who else do fans want out of Boston as I am 3 for 3 with my Sox player t-shirts getting traded: Shea Hillenbrand, Manny, and Youk...although the legend of Shea Hillenbrand lived during the '04 run as I wore that thing every night for the entire month of October

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    1. I'm with you. Every Red Sox jersey shirt in my drawer is a 58 Papelbon shirt. I think I may need to invest in a Willie Middle shirt.

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    2. Well if you talk to Michael Felger he would want you to buy a Josh Beckett shirt. If you play for the Boston Red Sox currently you should buy a Bobby Valentine T-shirt. If you wanna keep the streak alive I say you buy a Ryan Sweeney T-shirt or perhaps a Kelly Shoppach T-shirt. Of course you may have to make those two shirts yourself I'm not sure they sell those ones on Yawkey Way.

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  2. I can't remember any personal Youk stories except bellowing Youk at the top of my lungs from the Fenway bleachers, but I will always remember two things about Youk:

    1. His batting stance. I mean, why? Who in their right mind decides for themselves that standing at home plate looking like they're trying to line up a pool shot at a table above their head is a good way to prepare to hit an incoming baseball? How did he not have a coach along the way who demanded he change it?

    2. A story I heard via Deacon Art about an interview with Terry Francona. Tito was asked about Youkilis being called the Greek God of Walks, and Tito replied, "I've seen Kevin Youkilis in the shower. Trust me, he isn't the Greek god of anything."

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  3. In other Sox news CSNNE is reporting that pitching coach Bob McClure will return to the Red Sox tomorrow.

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  4. Over time Youk will be remembered for a few things. The Greek God of walks and his tie in to Moneyball is one thing. Obviously the "Yoooouuuukkk" chant, which may end up being more legendary than his play. Also his ability to grind out bats and work the pitch count starting in '04 on a part time basis and as a regular from '05 to '10 and being hurt for much of his last two season. He was partially responsible for a lot of 4 hour plus long baseball games. One other thing will be his dirt dog type style of play which the fans of Boston appreciate.

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  5. I hope that Brandon plans on giving us a look at Sox news tomorrow with several links about the stories surrounding the team. I found a couple of interesting nuggets on ESPNBoston.com that can help get him started. I don't want to steal his thunder too much, but I want to mention a couple of the key pieces of information.

    1. http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/20279/gm-middlebrooks-needs-to-be-in-lineup
    A great piece here with GM Ben Cherington breaking down the Youkilis trade. The most interesting quote to me comes at the end of the article that says something like, and I'm paraphrasing, "for most of his time here, Kevin embodied what we look for in a Red Sox player". Clearly they were not happy with how Youk has been acting in the clubhouse for the last few months of his Red Sox tenure including the end of '11.

    2. http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/red-sox/post/_/id/20268/pitching-coach-mcclure-back-with-team
    This piece talks about Bob McClure's return to the team. I found it interesting that Bobby V and Assistant Pitching Coach Randy Niemann haven't been talking to McClure while he's been gone. At least that's how Bobby V made it seem with his quote in this article. I know McClure has been dealing with a personal matter and he deserves privacy for that, but no matter what the situation wouldn't you think that there would still be communication with the pitching coach over the phone or at least email? Interesting stuff!

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    1. I would have loved to compile a links and thoughts piece today, but I was busy sitting in on interviews for an English teacher position. I do have some extended thoughts about the Youk trade and possibly other Red Sox news. I will make a post either tonight or tomorrow.

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  6. I live in seattle and am a mariners fan. When I see guys like youk or pedroria play with the passion and effort everyday I realize what the M's are missing to compete. Angels, rays, and Sox and such teams seem to have guys on their team that want to win more.

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    1. Thanks for commenting! It's funny how it often seems you don't miss something until it's gone...or you can only truly appreciate something from afar, where you can't see all the flaws and imperfections. Youk certainly embodied a go-all out win-at-all-costs dirt dog mentality for this team for years. With all the clamoring to trade him (and rightly so) I think this was overlooked a little until the nice standing ovation moment at Fenway on Sunday.

      For what it's worth your M's seem to have a nice young nucleus developing. It might not be long until you're challenging the Angels and Rangers. Although Eric Wedge looks like he has constantly either sucked on a lemon or has enormous hemorrhoids. So there's that.

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  7. Two things to mention, I do not have a moment I remember, but to me Youk legacy is this: he came up as a OBP guy (Greek God of Walks) with a large question if he had enough power to play corner infield in the bigs. By sheer will and work he turned himdelf into the middle of the lineup hitter who hit 16 HR and 83 RBI's for the 07 champs and followed that with 08 and 09 seasons of 29-115 and 27-94.

    Also in the shameless plug dept. I went to Baseball Reference.com to verify Youk's power stats. They list three in the news items for Youk and THIS post is the first thing listed. I do not know if they keep rotating other stories in but as of 9:45 Monday AM it is right there on their website.

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    1. There have been several Youkilis posts added today knocking us down the list, but we still have had about 100 views linked through from baseball-reference.com.

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  8. In more breaking Red Sox news, Marlon Byrd has been suspended for 50 games by MLB (even though he doesn't play for a team currently) for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. I think I speak for all of us when I say: "wait, Marlon Byrd's performance was ENHANCED?!?" That was a sneaky good drug test (last sneaky good Byrd reference ever...sad, really).

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    1. I think he shared them with Scott Podsednik before he left.

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    2. I think Marlon needs to find a different drug dealer if his performance was enhanced.

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  9. I think all in all the Red Sox received about what we could have expected for Youk. A "lottery ticket" type prospect or two was the usual expectation. There are two types of Lottery ticket prospect , someone in the lower levels toolsy enough to develop or the Zach Stewart kind. Stewart has all ready pitched in the bigs and and recently as 2010 was the Blue jays #1 prospect, but he has not clicked completely. If Ben C wins the Zach Stewart lotto he has a big league starter, if not??

    The fact Cherington was also able to acquire a useful proven major league player ( albeit the utility guy type) was somewhat of a surprise. This is likely a reflection of having more than a couple of teams interested in Youk. Lillibridge who surprisingly is only 28, can play both INF and OF. He can hit some although has not this year. He can cover the Sox at 1B and 3b but he is accepting of the backup role that Youkilis would not have been.

    All in all considering the Sox have eliminated the lineup triangle and saved a couple of million in salary, the acquisition of these players in addition makes it a very acceptable deal from Boston's viewpoint.

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    1. I saw in an article on the Red Sox website that mentioned Bobby V took notice of Lillibridge's ability to hit lefties, the article references his .237 average against them. I hope that is a typo and should read .327 otherwise we are all in big trouble.

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  10. Great article from Grantland about Youk: www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8093512/red-sox-nation-says-good-bye-Kevin-youkilis

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    1. I loved this article! Everybody go read it. Now. I'll wait....

      Okay. So I swear I did not read this article before I made my first post up above (actually the Grantland article was posted on June 25 and my first comment above was on June 24, so there), but I found it fascinating that my two points that I will remember about Youk were both covered in the Grantland piece. I laughed hysterically at the paragraph about his batting stance, and appreciated the re-hashing of the Tito joke about Youk in the shower (gross).

      Here is probably my favorite line from the piece: "...over those three years he was among the five or so very best hitters in most ways that matter. He was one of the best players in the game. But what made him special was how weird it was that this was true."

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