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Kevin Youkilis on trade uncertainty: ‘It was not an easy time for me’

06.25.12 at 8:21 pm ET
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Kevin Youkilis made his White Sox debut on Monday night (AP)

Former Red Sox corner infielder Kevin Youkilis joined his new team, the White Sox, in Minneapolis on Monday, one day after he’d been traded in exchange for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart. Youkilis talked to reporters on Monday about the difficulty of life on the trading block, his offensive struggles this year and his outlook on joining the White Sox.

Here are some highlights:

On whether he was expecting to be traded: “Yeah. I was informed by [Red Sox GM Ben Cherington] that things were getting talked about. Basically he said he’ll come back to me, tell me when it starts picking up. After the game the other day, he said, ‘It’s definitely picking up.’ I just didn’t know. There’s a few teams out there. It was not an easy time for me. It was tough for my family, trying to figure out where we’re going. But it’s a great thing to be in a great city in Chicago, a lot of great history, and I’m very fortunate to play for two baseball teams that have such a storied franchise.”

On his offensive struggles: “I think I started out really cold, and I hadn’t been playing up to my capabilities. It was very frustrating. I wasn’t very happy with how I was doing. I wasn’t playing good baseball. I was inconsistent. The playing time went back and forth. It wasn’t the way I was accustomed to playing. I’m excited just to come to Chicago, get out there and play and try to have as much fun as possible.”

On being dealt to the White Sox: “I heard a lot of Chicago fans saying stuff to me, like, ‘Come here to Chicago,’ and stuff like that. Other than that, I knew it was one of the teams that wanted me. I enjoyed the city when I was there. I’ve always enjoyed it. I think it’s a great city, and a great town. It’s driving distance from my parents in Cincinnati, so it’s a great fit.”

On the ovations he received at Fenway Park on Sunday: “Probably the most emotional thing I’ve ever gone through on a baseball field. It was definitely very surreal, and hit me like a ton of bricks when I got pinch-ran for. It was a great send-off. The Red Sox fans were unbelievable. They’ve always been unbelievable to me. I can’t thank them enough for all the great years I had there, how they treated my family and friends. A lot of great memories.”

On what he will take from his time in Boston: “You know, there’s two titles. The greatest thing, though, is I met my wife there and got married in Boston at my house there. I had to leave it today for the last time. There’s a lot of great memories I have there with baseball, but there’s a lot of great memories with friends and people I met along the way that I’ll take out and can still continue to go to and see over the years.”

On his impact on the White Sox: “Hopefully I can come to the White Sox and just bring it day in and day out, play the game hard, play the game the right way. I can’t guarantee anything with stats and all that, but I know one thing that I’ll come out here every day and play the game right and give it my all. Hopefully that’s enough.”

On whether he has something to prove: “I don’t think it has something to do with there as much as there’s a lot of talk, saying, ‘You can’t play baseball anymore.’ I think I can. I think I can play at a high level and I think I can go out there. Talk is one thing, and I’m going to have to go out there and prove it with my actions.”

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