A friend of mine on Facebook wrote on Saturday, “Can’t wait to say goodbye to Youk.” Later he complained about what a crybaby he had become. I had to respond, saying the guy had given the Boston Red Sox a lot of quality years and was an important part of their success. Oh, yes and that Youk, like all of us, was only human both in terms of his problems at the plate and his “attitude.” (God knows, I’ve had ATTITUDE at times.)
My friend responded. “His earlier years were great, but he now just reminds me of all the mistakes Theo made along with Drew, Lugo, Cameron, granted he was not AS bad of a signing, but still over payed, and a whiner.”
And my response is if his “earlier years were great,” then what’s the problem? Okay, my friend and I will NEVER agree on this. But I do feel we’re so willing to forget some of the quality years an athlete has given and simply negate their accomplishments when things turn sour.
Last at Bats as a Red Sox
Hey, Youk went out in style, going 2-4 and was 6-14 in his last four games. He had been benched for three straight games until Sunday’s contest. During his last day at Fenway in a Red Sox uniform the guy got two standing ovations and then another when he came out for his final curtain call. And the great thing for him is he’s going to a quality team—the Chicago White Sox. I think he’ll do well there. I hope he does. And I am sure the next time the Sox and Sox meet that he will do damage to us. (I mean isn’t that ALWAYS the case?)
Kevin Youkilis’ Stats & Rep
Youk’s stats as a Red Sox in 8 ½ seasons include a .287 BA, 133 home runs and 564 RBI in 953 career games. Youk, was a Gold Gove first baseman and a three-time All-Star. Perhaps most importantly to Boston fans, he was a member of the 2004 and 2007 championship teams.
He was known for being solid through and through, and I never saw the guy dog it, quit or lose his edge. The Red Sox have had bigger names who have “shut it down” for the season, stopped running halfway to first on a ground ball and retired to the clubhouse early during a game. That was NOT Youk.
Middlebrooks Looks Good
My friend is extremely excited about Middlebrooks (and so am I). I mean the guy looks like he could be great. But that’s after just 42 games. How will he do over the course of the rest of the season and how will he perform during the next eight years? Will we be condemning him, calling him washed up and a whiner? Probably. But in the meantime, Red Sox Nation has hope again and it’s in the purest of forms—the rookie player up from the farm.