- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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The veteran infielder basically was run out of town by Boston Red Sox management, which traded him to the White Sox late in the spring.
His return to Chicago next season is in doubt despite the fact he solidified a troubled spot for the White Sox at third base. The White Sox have an option on a contract for Youkilis for 2013 at $14 million, and it's assumed the team will not pick it up. And it is unclear if Youkilis wants to return to Chicago.
"What I learned this year is baseball is a business," he said. "For me, personally, I have enjoyed it and have had a lot of fun. It has been great for my family in Cincinnati to come up and watch. As for the future, who knows what is going to happen? Now that I have a family, they will come first in my decisions."
Having to deal with prior injuries and a bum knee certainly impacted Youkilis' final numbers (.235, 19 home runs, 60 RBIs).
As for his Chicago experience, the 33-year-old veteran said he is thankful for his time on the South Side.
"It was a good life experience," Youkilis said. "This has been a wild year for me and my family. The biggest part for me was the family part, a lot of changes of different directions in traveling and all that."
After leaving Boston, Chicago was a safe haven for him.
"Baseball wise, to sum it up, we had a hard fight here and came up a little short in the end," Youkilis said. "The guys here have been great and fun to play with. Bottom line is this team wasn't supposed to be here. It was cool to be a part of a team that fought and challenged a lot of other teams."
Playing in front of small crowds at U.S Cellular field was an adjustment for a player used to sellouts every day in Boston.
"There were little (things) here and there that are way different than Boston," he said. "Boston, you are use to sold-out crowds every night. It was very surprising that when we were winning, we were still second fiddle to the Cubs. I thought we brought a lot of enjoyment to the fans. There is a great fan base that was there.
"It seemed like the same ones would come out to cheer us on every night. That was the only surprising part, to still be that second team in Chicago. They do have great fans, but you wish more would come out. As players, you can't worry about that and you go about doing your business."