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Yankees player plays the “no one believed in us” card

Apr 10, 2013, 11:32 AM EDT

New York Yankees infielder Youkilis takes batting practice during a workout at the team's MLB spring training complex at George M. Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Florida. AP

Normally that’s crazy, but actually, in this case, Kevin Youkilis was probably right. The Yankees were considered dead and buried by everyone before a pitch was thrown this season, and that was just irrational. But as Youk tells Mark Feinsand, the Yankees haven’t given up even though, as strange as it sounds to say it, no one believed in them:

“It’s a good thing; guys are swinging the bats well, and putting together great at-bats. I think we all had confidence within ourselves. And that’s probably been the biggest talk – no one’s had confidence in us. So we stick together as a team, keep trying to have good at-bats.”

The bigger question is whether this is still the case when the season is more than a week and change old, but his point is well-taken. Even if it’s weird to hear it with respect to the Yankees.

  1. royhobbs39 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    I can hear the ground crew worker in the background “You’re five foot nothin’, a hundred and nothin’, and you have barely a speck of athletic ability. And you’re hanging in with the American League East.”

    • number42is1 - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:55 AM

      Well done
      /clap clap clap

      RUDY! RUDY! RUDY!

  2. Brian Donohue - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Whatever Youk says is gospel to me; he once gave me a crucial golf tip. I was watching him a couple years back, when he played for Boston, and noticed his “no-grip-grip”. I took that image out to the range and was making solid contact on plane almost instantly. A while later I encountered a quote from Trevino who said that the club should be gripped as if one is holding a live bird between the hands. Same message as Youkilis gave me visually.

    • kevinbnyc - Apr 10, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      Cool story bro

    • Cris E - Apr 11, 2013 at 10:08 AM

      I got a similar tip from listening to Trevino and watching Ramiro Pena at the plate with a 1 iron.

  3. shaggylocks - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    I’m less jarred by this type of talk surrounding the Yankees than I am in hearing Youk talk about the Yankees by using the term “we.” I guess I often have this reaction for the first few weeks of the season whenever a Boston player joins the Yanks.

  4. mybrunoblog - Apr 10, 2013 at 11:59 AM

    The revered baseball sage Mitch Williams picked the Yankees to finish dead last in the AL east. Mind you the lineup was a mess going into the season but the staff is Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettitte, Hughes, and Nova. Oh year, Robertson and Rivera at the back end of the bullpen.
    Last? Really?

    • bigharold - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:49 PM

      “The revered baseball sage Mitch Williams picked the Yankees to finish dead last in the AL east.”

      The revered sages around HBT, .. none of them had the Yankees finishing better than 2nd, .. most worst.

      Doom Watch anyone..??

  5. cur68 - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:00 PM

    Yeah, guilty on the Doom Watch over here. I don’t know how much of this is luck, but its not like these guys have been swinging with their eyes shut. Somewhere along mid-offseason I was pretty certain that the Yankees were STILL the Yankees, but in the avalanche of injury and age it just seemed like they couldn’t overcome all that bad news as the pre season wound down. Full Doom Watch seemed warranted.

    Now, though? Well, to some degree I guess Gardner getting on base non-stop and of course Cano still being Cano has carried them along so far. Their pitching hasn’t been that bad, either. A 40 year old Pettite seems like he can still get it done. Sabbathia has rebounded a bit, still not the guy he used to be, but with that offence to carry him, he doesn’t need to be.

    The big surprises, though are Vernon Wells (BA: .360, OBP: .467, SLG: .720, & OPS 1.187) and Lyle/Bay (.270, .353, .438, .791). Both guys are well above their career norms. Who saw that coming? And don’t tell me Cashman did.

    As for the rest of it? Luck? Or, Vintage Yankees? Whatever. Effin’ Empire.

    • djpostl - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:10 PM

      Obviously some of them are over-achieving, even for their primes maybe but in the end they are’re seasoned pros. They’ll work some counts, give ya some decent swings.

      If/when they drop Jeter/Granderson/Teixeira (who knows, maybe even a somewhat useful Arod at some point) in the middle of that line-up it is going to be long & lethal with no rest for opposing pitchers…not even on the bench.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:11 PM

      Oh, come on. It’s just fun to poke at them. They get all cranky before 10am. Plus, it’s only like 2 weeks in — the Royals are in 1st at this point.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:22 PM

      Reminds me of the old Bill Simmons line about how they could plug a hooker in at second and she’d hit .280.

      • cur68 - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        Tell me about it. Are we sure that Wells & Overbay AREN’T hookers? Pay ‘em in Yankee-Bucks and then they produce. Otherwise, you get there presence and not much else.

    • bigharold - Apr 10, 2013 at 3:15 PM

      Cur ol’Buddy, Doom Watch?? We continue to scoff.

      But a couple of points…

      “Their pitching hasn’t been that bad, either.”

      Their pitching was never going to be that bad. And, they still have options in the event that Hughes doesn’t get it together, .. like Phelps and Pinda, .. eventually.

      “Sabathia has rebounded a bit,..”

      Sabathia poor start has been over analyzed he is notoriously slow starter. He got beat up in the opener, .. just like 2009. An almost identical line. Sabathia will be Sabathia by the time the weather warms up.

      “The big surprises, .. Vernon Wells, ..and Lyle/Bay, .. Who saw that coming? And don’t tell me Cashman did.

      If not Cashman than who? Look at his record with guys like Jones, Ibanez ans Ichiro. And, no I don’t expect them to keep it up all season but I also don’t think the Yankees will need it either.

      “Luck? Or, Vintage Yankees? Whatever.”

      Or, maybe just early in the season and perhaps we are over thinking it. After all the RS are in first place. But, if the Yankees get their big bats back and are at or near the top of the division by the ASB they are the team to beat. The other teams have their strong points and will contend. And, the Yankees aren’t clear cut prohibitive favorite in the AL East but the Yankees are the best team in the division.

      And, we here on the Bridge of the Death Star are digging it. I think it’s going to be a fun and exciting season. And Doom Watch, … “we don’t need no stinking Doom Watches”

      • cur68 - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        Laugh it up, FurBall.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 10, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        I wonder if a Doom Watch sounds the alarm like every hour or just on days you lose. Does it reset to anti-Doom if you win? What kind of alarm might that have? Adams Family theme or more like a piercing shriek? I wonder if the face is cloudy and then it clears to Vader…breathing furiously. Hmmm.

      • bigharold - Apr 10, 2013 at 5:46 PM

        “What kind of alarm might that have? ”

        The Imperial Storm Trooper March, .. you had to ask? Incidentally, that’s also the ring tone for my boss.

    • badintent - Apr 11, 2013 at 2:17 AM

      Doom and Gloom is for life insurance salesman, Wall Street gurus and Femheads. Not for sports, baseball, or Yankee Nation.

  6. nineroutsider - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    He’s right though; they don’t give up until the postseason.

  7. Kevin Gillman - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    I’ll listen to him when he grows a goatee again.

  8. kjericho43 - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:09 PM

    It is a week into the season. Since when is a team’s purported destiny decided or reversed?

  9. beefytrout - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:12 PM

    what a bunch of entitled jackwads. I read several articles predicting that the Spanks would be OK and actually have an outside shot at a wildcard. Most seemed to have them in 3rd place. I guess 3rd place in a tough division is “dead and buried”, and not automatically penciling them into the ALCS is “not believing in them.”

  10. munsonsgravity - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    Poor little millionaires. Nobody believes in the little over-paid engine. I THINK I CAN JUICE ! I THINK I CAN JUICE ! Still gonna finish last. 2 wins against a crappy Indians team means nothing.

  11. Jason Lukehart - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    People may have been down on the Yankees, but computers still saw them as a very good team, as evidenced by various projection systems.

  12. pellypell - Apr 10, 2013 at 12:52 PM

    And this why they play the games

  13. livepredictor - Apr 10, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Wild card…Derek, Curtis and Mark all have one big season left in them.

  14. huffdaddyco - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    Yankees. The feel good story of the year.

    Disclaimer – This story makes nobody feel good.

    • bigharold - Apr 10, 2013 at 3:18 PM

      I’m feeling pretty good about it.

  15. spudchukar - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Awfully damn proud of a record of 4-4, vs one good team, one mediocre team, and one sub-.500 team.

  16. greymares - Apr 10, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    stop it ! they have played less than 10 games and against Boston and Cleveland, not upper echelon teams. the Yankees are the worst team in the A.L. east

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