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Kevin Youkilis: “I’ll always be a Red Sock”

Feb 15, 2013, 6:26 AM EDT

Kevin Youkilis Reuters Reuters

I like this interview with Kevin Youkilis in the Daily News, as he appears totally unwilling to take the bait we usually see laid for new members of the Yankees, especially ones who had a long tenure with another team.

You know the bait I mean: interviews which seem geared toward getting the player to talk about how special it is to be a Yankee and how much different and better and important it is. There’s almost a propaganda aspect to it, actually. The first spring training interview with a new Yankee player is the first chance the tabloids or talk radio get to place the new guy in the True Yankee Continuum.

Here Youkilis, while sounding totally professional about his new team and new challenges, and while handling questions about hot button topics like A-Rod, Joba Chamberlain and The Rivalry, doesn’t lose perspective about his career:

“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 said. “I’ll always be a Red Sock.”

It’ll be interesting to watch how the Yankees media reacts to and treats Youkilis this season. I imagine there’s a pretty big temptation to play up the Boston-New York stuff. Maybe even to use this quote against him somehow. But to me it sounds like he’s going to navigate it OK. Neither falling into the Yankees genuflection many expect of new arrivals nor allowing himself to be portrayed as some sort of heel.

  1. pisano - Feb 15, 2013 at 6:45 AM

    I don’t think I’d have chosen those exact words, but if that’s the way he feels at least he’s a guy who states what’s in his head. He’ll be judged on what he contributes to the team, and if he gets off to a good start the Yankee fans will accept him with open arms, as we all know Arod wasn’t the most loved Yankee by any stretch of the imagination.

    • gilbert718 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:23 AM

      I understand what he’s saying.
      But it’s like your girlfriend talking about her ex’s, you just don’t want to hear about it.

      • deathmonkey41 - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:48 AM

        Unless her ex is a really hot chick.

      • byjiminy - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:48 AM

        “talking about her ex’s”?

        her ex’s what?

        oh…

        yeah, who wants to hear about that!

  2. dan1111 - Feb 15, 2013 at 6:47 AM

    Good for Youkilis. I’ve always liked him, and now I like him even more for properly using the singular form of Red Sox.

    • paperlions - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:39 AM

      Except, of course, for the fact that the singular of Red Sox is Red Sox and not Red Sock.

      • dan1111 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:03 AM

        Really? Is Youkilis now a Yankees? Do you wear a socks on your left foots?

      • paperlions - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:14 AM

        Yes, really. English is teeming with exceptions and oddities, especially when it comes to non-traditional spellings. Interestingly, the fact that Red Sox and White Sox are both plural and singular is even used as an example of making plural nouns singular when the plural does not end in an “s”.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:05 AM

        Except in Boston, and in the Western Time Zone on every third Thursday of the lunar calendar, and leap years.

        In Mississippi, now, the format is: 1 hick –> all y’all hixes

      • dan1111 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

        @paperlions, if you want to go all “English language” on this, then fine. Check out the Webster dictionary definition of sock:

        http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sock

        It lists “sox” as an alternative plural for “sock”, which of course means that the singular of “sox” is “sock.”

      • historiophiliac - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:13 AM

        I think the good news is that you got dan to crack open a dictionary.

      • js20011041 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:27 AM

        I personally don’t care if the singular of Sox is still Sox. It sounds goofy, so I’ll continue to say Sock. I’m a bit of a grammar nazi, but you can take it too far. Kind of like how about a decade ago, people decided to start using RBI as the plural form rather than RBIs.

      • electstat - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        Probably because it’s neither Run Batted Ins or Runs Bats Ins. If you wanted to be accurate, it would be RsBI.

      • dan1111 - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:07 AM

        Ahh, the good old RsBI! It reminds me of a classic onion piece:

        http://www.theonion.com/articles/william-safire-orders-two-whoppers-junior,3351/

      • byjiminy - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        Please! I can’t stand all this fighting! It’s making me cry! Sniff….

        Hold on a sec, I have to get a Kleeneck.

    • purnellmeagrejr - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:04 AM

      Who cares how sportswriters treat Kevin YOukilis other than other sportswriters? Jast a case of people who wish they could but can’t be part of the game. Maybe there should be a separte league just for sportswriters.

      • dan1111 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:35 AM

        But without sportswriters, who would find out about the controversies that they manufacture?

      • deathmonkey41 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:56 AM

        Plus Craig would probably still be living in his mother’s basement playing Dungeons & Dragons and eating Cheetos.

      • Gamera the Brave - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        monkey,
        You got some issue with Cheetos?!?
        D&D I can understand – but why hate on Cheetos?

    • rmfields - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:04 AM

      This article is quoting him wrong anyways. Youkilis actually said, “I’ll always be a Red Sox.”

      http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2013/02/14/yankees-youkilis-is-red-sox-for-life/1921217/

      • electstat - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        Bazinga

  3. fanofevilempire - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    He said what he believes, I accept that, just remember
    that the Yankees where black sox on the field.

    • proudlycanadian - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:29 AM

      typo?

  4. tfbuckfutter - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    And I think Red fans still appreciate all you did for the team over the years.

    And also hope you continue to do things for the team by being absolutely terrible as a Yankee….you know, like you were for the last calender year while playing for the Sox…..ok, still a little bitter about that…..

  5. hitdog042 - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:44 AM

    Lol. Red sock is not singular for Red Sox. Everyone on the team is a Red Sox.

    • Old Gator - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:55 AM

      Yeah, Curt Schilling is the only one with a red sock.

      • dan1111 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:09 AM

        Just be glad that you don’t have to suffer the indignity of being singularly pluralized.

        I suppose the Fish have the opposite problem.

      • Old Gator - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        Declining a noun is the least of Youk’s problems. That…face….is the main one.

  6. Jeremiah Graves - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    So if he struggles against the Sox this year and makes a costly error or whiffs in a bit situation, who is the first reporter to throw out the “inside job/conspiracy theory” angle?! It is Heyman? Is it one of the guys from the New York dailys? Is it Murray Chass? Is it ESPN?

    More importantly, will it warrant another Congressional hearing and investigation?!

    • historiophiliac - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:55 AM

      Well, he did just show up on time.

      • Jeremiah Graves - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:04 AM

        To lull them into a false sense of complacency??

        To ensure he can begin the sabotage right out of the gates??

        To beat everyone to the clubhouse buffet??

        Seems a little too convenient that a veteran would report on time with his new team. The heel turn cometh!!

      • heyblueyoustink - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:33 AM

        Yes, yes, that is the key. Not performance, all one needs is mere punctuality. Of course according to Fredi, he’s still a day or two late.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        A-ha! Mediocrity in showing up to work? Check.

        The question is: how obvious does the sabotage have to be before the NY press starts yearning for the Return of A-Rod?

      • Jeremiah Graves - Feb 15, 2013 at 10:27 AM

        Terry Collins would have thrown him under the bus months ago.

        “If he wasn’t here by Christmas Eve, he might as well not show up at all!” – Terry Collins

  7. Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 15, 2013 at 7:48 AM

    You’re damn right you’ll always be a Red Sock/Sox. I’d hope you feel that way.

    As a Yankees fan, I’d rather have that honesty than a Johnny Damon-like “it’s always been my dream to be a (looks at the jersey he’s wearing) a _______”

    Respect that guy, Youk. Will even root like mad for him.

  8. ctony1216 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    Well, it’s better than “I’m the straw that stirs the drink.” – I wonder if Reggie will have a talk with him about the NY media. Anyway, if Youk has thick skin and works hard and plays well, he’ll be fine in New York. He may even like it and want to come back, like Damon did.

    • ctony1216 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      Seriously, though, not that this comment is an indication of anything, but Youk needs to be a little more media savvy than he was in Boston. One reason the Bobby-Valentine-hates-Youk-Soap Opera became such a big distraction in Boston was that both Youk and Bobby V, kept talking to reporters about it. If the two of them had just shut up about it, it would have died in a day. But Bobby V has a big mouth and Youk hasn’t learned to say “I’m here to play baseball and win games.” If you ever wondered how Derek Jeter could survive for so long in New York, just look at how he deals with the press.

      After a while, players say something like, “I’m not going to talk about that anymore.” The sooner they reach that decision, the better it is for everyone. It’s baseball, not TMZ.

  9. DelawarePhilliesFan - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:14 AM

    Cue Whitney Houston “And I-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i will always love you-u-u-u-u-u-u-u…..”

    And before anyone says it – I hate that song with a vengence. That is meant as a put down

  10. uyf1950 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    As long as he helps the Yankees win I couldn’t care less who he is in his heart. After all this “rivalry” on the field between the 2 teams is dying on the vine. Over the past few years the bigger rivalry in the AL East has been between the Yankees and the Rays. Just my opinion.

  11. jayscarpa - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    This is going to end badly.

  12. heyblueyoustink - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    I’ll always be a sock monkey.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:24 AM

      My niece loves your work.

  13. hooks024 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    I remember last time we pilfered a third baseman from the BoTards. It set in motion a series of events that led to Jeter, Mo, and Pettite getting their first 4 rings. Wade Boggs navigated it quite well.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      The difference being Boggs could still play. We’re not sure about Youk right now.

      • belichickrulz - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:16 AM

        Compared to A-Rod?

  14. brewcrewfan54 - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    Good god every sportstalk show today is going to make a big deal about this because there’s nothing else to talk about right now.

  15. snowbirdgothic - Feb 15, 2013 at 8:47 AM

    I look forward to the New York media finding a way to somehow blame this on A-Rod.

  16. randygnyc - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:19 AM

    Except the Sox don’t feel the same way about you, Youk. As evidenced by the tire tracks all over your soft, doughy skin.

    I get why you said it. You understand that that Yankee fans will never really embrace you. We’ll tolerate you, but only if you produce. Otherwise, you’ll need another one of your famous “convenient injuries”. The good news is that he’s aware enough to realize he’s not an integral part of the Yankee family. Just a temporary, bit player.

  17. severinsmith - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:23 AM

    Wow. Class act. Love comparing this guy to Papelbon and his complete lack of loyalty and social skills. What a difference. Class act guy. Congratulations New York, I wish the Sox still had him.

    They get rid of Youkilis, and hire Gomes, and have the BALLS to act heroic by telling fans they will not RAISE ticket prices, after one of the biggest debacles of a season in Baseball.

    It’s getting harder and harder to wear the B.

    • js20011041 - Feb 15, 2013 at 9:32 AM

      Papelbon is one of those guys that you root for because he’s on your team, but you secretly realize he’s a douchebag. I have no doubt that if he played for the Yankees instead of the Red Sox, he’d be in Joba Chamberlain territory.

  18. agelardi - Feb 15, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    TRADE HIM IMMEDIATELY!!!!!

  19. drewzducks - Feb 15, 2013 at 12:13 PM

    Of course he’s gonna say that. He entered the league in 04, albeit in a reserve role, and is part of two world championships. Had he been unfortunate enough to be a Yankee during his career he’d only have one.

  20. bh0673 - Feb 15, 2013 at 4:47 PM

    Coming to New York is never easy when it comes to the media and the New York Sports writers. I do get what he meant, I will always be my first wife’s ex husband we did have a kid together there is a history but I remarried and have a new history. I think he is a tough enough competitor that the New York fans will give him support and accept him. It is up to Youk to not press to hard and get off to a bad start. Let’s all remember Clemons was a Red Sox and a far more hated player to New York fans and even he was able to win Yankee fans over. I look forward to seeing him play.

  21. Corethree - Feb 17, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Old story. Story is over.

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