“I look at what I was saying as more like a baseball card,” said a smiling Kevin Youkilis to reporters in Tampa today, backtracking on his remark yesterday that he — now a Yankee — “would always be a Red Sock.”
“When you look at it, there are going to be nine seasons (with Boston). That’s why I said that.”
Is there anyone who doesn’t really understand what Youkilis was trying to say? Was such a harmless statement really worthy of such a ridiculous amount of outcry from the press and on the local talk shows? Let’s admit it: if there was really anything worth talking about regarding the upcoming season, would we be talking about this?
Look on the back of Youklis’s baseball card and you’ll see that he won two World Series rings with the Boston Red Sox — so what do you expect the first thought to jump into his head to be, when you ask him about career memories? He couldn’t have any Yankees memories yet, as he hasn’t even played a spring training game in pinstripes.
If a Yankee player had two World Series rings and went to another team after nine seasons, what would you expect him to say? Would you even want a guy on your team who won two Word Series rings with another club and didn’t have the loyalty to acknowledge that fact?
Kevin Youkilis hasn’t even had a baseball card wearing a Yankee uniform yet; this year’s recently released Topps card shows him in White Sox road grays. And let’s not kid ourselves: If Youkilis doesn’t hit better than the .235 he posted last season with Boston and Chicago, he never will have a baseball card in a Yankees uniform.
All I really want to know regarding the Youkilis flap is this: What does Denis Leary think about it? In his heart, is Youkilis a Red Sock or a Yankee? Next time he goes on Jon Stewart. will he really tells us how he thinks of “Juke-lis.” (In Leary’s famous phrase.)