Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Breaking the Youk

Pennies on the dollar. The Pale Hose hosed the Red Stockings. Nuff said.


Kevin Youkilis is now a member of the Chicago White Sox.  For what? A 25th man on the roster in Brent Lillibridge and his career .215 batting average and Zach Stewart, a big right-handed starter who is on his final chance to prove he is a MLB pitcher and not a faded prospect.  Not the haul one would expect for a gold-glove winning, multi-All Star, multi-position player with power. 


Of course, the haul is less when a player is injured, loses his job, and is batting under .240.  The Red Sox have committed to Adrian Gonzalez, which should have led to Youkilis being traded, not moving back to third base.  Of course, the Red Sox should have ponied up for Mark Teixeira when the Yankees swiped him out from under the Red Sox front office's noses; re-signed Adrian Beltre; kept their prospects and never traded for Adrian Gonzalez, and then had Will Middlebrooks to take over third and move Beltre or let David Ortiz walk and break Middlebrooks in at DH.  Or, forget Teixeira, keep Youkilis at first base and kept Adrian Beltre at third until Middlebrooks was ready.


For a player who made his mark with patience at the plate, Youkilis's early career was sitting and waiting to get into the line-up.  Youk sat behind 2004 post-season hero Bill Mueller before getting into the lineup full-time in 2006 at the age of 27.  In the post-season of 2007, Youk carried the Sox offense past the Indians in the ALCS, looking like the best player on the field (and also in 2008 when they Sox almost got past Tampa). Injuries started taking him off the field in 2010 and 2011, and his frustration at moving across the diamond was on his face at every at-bat as his strike-outs looking and subsequent explosion at the home plate umpire.  Youk moved to third without complaint as Adrian Gonzalez came over, but he obviously was more comfortable at first base.


There are a lot of #20 jerseys that are gathering dust next to the Ramirez, Schilling, Crisp, Damon, Matsuzaka (no one dares wear one in public these days), and Papelbon jerseys in the back of closets throughout New England.  Regardless of past missteps by the front office, Middlebrooks is the future at third base and the finest offensive prospect since, well, since Dustin Pedroia, I guess. Kevin Youkilis is off to Chicago (to the delight of the President) and the Red Sox need more.  Waiting on injured players to return is not the answer.  The Red Sox need to clean house. Youkilis going out was the right move, but only if it's the first move.



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