|Kevin Youkilis: ‘I’m proud to be a Yankee’||02.15.13 at 11:47 am ET|
Kevin Youkilis‘ first day in Yankees camp was an interesting one, with the former Red Sox star saying Thursday, “I’ll always be a Red Sock,” and admitting that he still had not met face to face with longtime adversary and new teammate Joba Chamberlain.
Youkilis took a new approach Friday, acknowledging that his comment about his devotion to Boston wouldn’t gain him many fans in New York.
“Let’s be honest, I mean, the comment by itself looks terrible, but that was not what it was meant to be,” he told the media in Tampa, Fla.
“I went on ESPN,” Youkilis added. “I said, ‘Oh my God,’ that does not look good. It is one of those things that you have to take with a grain of salt. It wasn’t meant to be like that. It was talking about the history of who I am.”
Youkilis also got some ribbing from Yankees veterans like Andy Pettitte, who chuckled about the New York Post back cover that showed Youkilis with the headline “Red Blooded.”
“The back page was right there and I was getting ragged on pretty good,” Youkilis said.
Youkilis did his best to soothe New Yorkers who might question his loyalty.
“I’m a Yankee today and I’m excited,” he stated. “I’m proud to be a Yankee.”
Added Youkilis: “I think the Yankee fans are going to love the fact that every day I’m going to bust my butt and get dirty on the field and do all that stuff. It wasn’t meant to be anything like, ‘My heart is in Boston,’ because honestly it wasn’t there. My heart is in New York. I’m excited to live in the city. I’m excited for the whole experience.”
Youkilis also finally met with Chamberlain, who left a voicemail for Youkilis in December that went unanswered.
“I said hi to Joba today,” Youkilis said. “We shook hands. He is growing a mustache. Tomorrow, we’ll hug. It will all be fun. Everything is good. Life is good. There is no reason to get all worked up on the second day.”
|New Yankee Kevin Youkilis: ‘I’ll always be a Red Sock’||02.14.13 at 9:03 pm ET|
Kevin Youkilis might reside in New York now, but he hasn’t surrendered his loyalty to Boston.
“To negate all the years I played for the Boston Red Sox, and all the tradition, you look at all the stuff I have piled up at my house, to say I’d just throw it out the window, that’s not true,” Youkilis told the New York media after his arrival Thursday at Yankees camp in Tampa, Fla.. “I’ll always be a Red Sock.”
Added Youkilis: Guys play on different teams and that’s a part of your history; that’s a part of your life and you can’t change that. It was great years in Boston. One bad half-year doesn’t take away from all the great years I had there and all the good things I’ve been able to do along the way and accomplish as a team, as an individual. It was great.”
Youkilis, who shaved his facial hair to meet Yankees standards, was signed to fill in at third base for the recuperating Alex Rodriguez. The 33-year-old, who hit a career-low .235 last year with the Red Sox and White Sox, said he’s not expecting to replace A-Rod’s production.
“You can’t be thinking about shoes to fill, because I’ll never be Alex Rodriguez,” Youkilis said. “I mean, Alex Rodriguez is one of the best hitters of all time. I’m not going to be that same guy. But I can be a good major league player who can help the team win, and that’s all you’ve got to do.”
Youkilis greeted some of his new teammates in the clubhouse, but he did not meet face to face with former rival Joba Chamberlain, who threw a number of pitches at Youkilis’ head over the years.
“You guys have written a lot about it, and I think it’s just something you guys keep going on and on about,” Youkilis said. “But we’re here at spring training as a team and ready to play. I hope the only drama this year we create is walk-off home runs and hits.”
Added Youkilis: “At some time, we’ll all sit down and talk, but things all are going to be OK. Don’t worry.”
|Kevin Youkilis on WAAF: Why he chose the Yankees, bringing more love to the rivalry, and getting Derek Jeter to rock a ‘stache||12.18.12 at 5:10 pm ET|
Former Red Sox All-Star Kevin Youkilis, in an interview on WAAF’s Hill-Man Morning Show (to hear the complete interview, click here), said that he didn’t envision signing with the Yankees at the start of the offseason, and that the decision to do so “wasn’t easy.” He had a preference to play close to the Bay Area — where he and his family live during the offseason — and he was also intrigued by the possibility of playing for Terry Francona in Cleveland, where the former Red Sox manager will now steward the Indians.
But, ultimately, the Yankees’ combination of a competitive opportunity and a sizable one-year, $12 milliion contract sold Youkilis on joining the Yankees for 2013.
“It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t easy to sign, because I had Tito in Cleveland, New York and there were a couple other teams in the mix. But in the end, I had to do what was best. I thought it was the best opportunity to win the World Series, was with the New York Yankees,” he said. “I think when you’re a free agent, it’s never easy. For me, the easiest decision would have been if the Oakland A’s or San Francisco Giants were in the running because they’re the closest teams to where I am now. Read the rest of this entry »
|Kevin Youkilis at Yankees introduction: ‘I never thought I’d be on the other side’||12.14.12 at 10:33 pm ET|
The development was certainly unexpected.
For years, Kevin Youkilis was among the most loathed visitors to Yankee Stadium. As a member of the Red Sox, he seemed the ultimate antagonist in the American League East rivalry, in some ways Boston’s answer to Yankee predecessor Paul O’Neill (a player to whom former Yankees manager Joe Torre sometimes compared Youkilis). If there was a bloodthirstiness to the rivalry, it seemed as if the Yankees (and their fans) wanted Youkilis’ blood more than any other player’s, with memorable instances in which Joba Chamberlain threw over Youkilis’ head and in which Scott Proctor once actually did send a fastball glancing off his helmet.
Given the side of the fault line on which he resided for the first eight-plus seasons of his big league career, then, it came as something of a shock even to Youkilis that he donned pinstripes on Friday for his introductory press conference as a member of the Yankees following his agreement to a one-year, $12 million deal to play for New York in 2013.
“I never thought I’d be on the other side of the rivalry,” Youkilis admitted to reporters in New York. “I was very humbled and amazed that the Yankees jumped into the picture.” Read the rest of this entry »
|Hot Stove: Kevin Youkilis has multiple contract offers||12.05.12 at 10:51 am ET|
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — With a market that is bereft of available third basemen, and given the fact that he can fit a team in search of a starter at either corner infield position and that he will not cost a draft pick to sign, Kevin Youkilis is attracting interest from a number of teams. According to multiple industry sources, he has multiple contract offers on the table.
The 33-year-old hit .235/.336/.409/.745 (all career lows) with 19 homers in 122 games in 2012. Still, he was a productive player with the White Sox after the Red Sox traded him for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart (both of whom have been subsequently designated for assignment), with his marks of .236/.346/.425/.771 and his characteristic plate discipline helping to bolster Chicago at third base. He hit .275/.386/.492/.878 against lefties.
While Youkilis has been willing to discuss one- and multiyear deals with teams, for now, while the Yankees have a need at third base in the aftermath of revelations about hip surgery for Alex Rodriguez and while GM Brian Cashman has talked to the player’s representatives, as of yesterday, New York did not appear likely to pay prevailing market rate, even on a one-year deal.
UPDATE: Youkilis has multiple multi-year offers, according to an industry source. He still remains open to the possibility of a one-year deal with a premium average annual value, particularly for a team with legitimate championship aspirations such as the Yankees.
|Hot Stove: Yankees reach out to Kevin Youkilis||12.04.12 at 1:42 pm ET|
According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, the Yankees have spoken to the agent for free agent infielder Kevin Youkilis. The Yankees’ interest comes in wake of the news that they will be without Alex Rodriguez (hip surgery) for the first two months of next season.
The former Red Sox infielder would consider a one-year deal if it was for a “premium amount,” according to Curry.
|Ben Cherington on Red Sox Hot Stove Show: Building the ‘next great Red Sox team’||11.02.12 at 8:13 am ET|
Halloween enjoys a place of some infamy in the Red Sox front office. The memory of Theo Epstein resigning and leaving Fenway Park in a gorilla suit in 2005 still lingers, seven years later. Still, there have been no known repeats of such an incident, and this year, Epstein’s successor, Ben Cherington, opted for a look best described as “hard-working Red Sox front-office member.”
“My costume was a pair of khakis and a collared shirt, sitting around in the office very late,” Cherington said on the Red Sox Hot Stove Show on Thursday night.
There likely will be many more such nights given the goals articulated by Cherington and the challenge of achieving them. Now just over a year into his tenure as Red Sox GM and coming off the disappointment of a 69-93 record, Cherington talks often of what the end game is for a team in transition. He talks of building “the next great Red Sox team,” a goal that will require both considerable effort and, to his mind, patience to address the numerous deficiencies that emerged in 2012.
What, Cherington was asked, does he mean when he discusses his aspirations?
“It’s a team that gets on base more. It’s a team that’s strong up the middle. It’s a team with guys that want to be here. It’s a team with pitching that’s aggressive and attacks the strike zone. It’s a team that can do that over the course of a six-month season, and that grinds through the tough periods. All the things that made us good in the past. Our best teams I think had a lot of the qualities I mentioned,” said Cherington. “Those teams are not built overnight. If you lose 93 games, it means you’re a ways away from that team. We feel like we have some of the pieces necessary to be that kind of team. We think that we have more on the way in the farm system, so we’ve got to be protective of the guys in the farm system that we most believe in and we’ve got to be selective about the types of guys we bring in. Read the rest of this entry »
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