First pitch: Sorry Derek, no more 'Youk'
June, 25, 2012
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney tweeted that Derek Jeter told him he couldn't envision the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry without Kevin Youkilis.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, Derek. The time has come.
Youkilis was dealt from Boston to the White Sox on Sunday, in exchange for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart.
The Red Sox were the only team Youkilis had ever known. He made three All-Star teams and won two World Series rings during his nine-year tenure there. He anchored the middle of the lineup and became a fan favorite.
But at 33, Youkilis wasn't producing this season like he normally does. There was, it seemed, a rift between "Youk" and his manager, Bobby Valentine. And the younger, cheaper Will Middlebrooks had supplanted him as Boston's best third baseman.
Youkilis bid an emotional farewell to the fans and his teammates at Fenway Park.
Now, he and the Red Sox are moving on.
When players get old, it always seems to get ugly. Need proof? See the Yankees' contract negotiations with Jeter and Jorge Posada's final year in pinstripes.
Jeter might be sad to see Youkilis go, but Yankees pitchers and their fans probably aren’t.
In 97 games against New York, Youkilis batted .312. He ways always a thorn in their side, capable of getting into deep counts and coming through with clutch hits.
Remember: Joba Chamberlain once threw at Youkilis' head twice in the same at-bat, then got a two-game suspension for his actions.
Will you miss Youkilis? What are your thoughts about his exit in Boston? Let us know in the comments section.
Up now: Wally thinks the Subway Series is still great. Anyone who watched the latest three-game set would have to agree, no? I wrote about Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano, who both blasted homers in Sunday night's 6-5 victory. "Not bad for a bunch of chickens," Swisher said.
On deck: Hiroki Kuroda and the Yankees take on Josh Tomlin and the Indians in the Bronx. Andrew Marchand has you covered. First pitch is set for 7:05.