Has Youkilis Made the Red Sox Clubhouse Toxic?
As the reports keep getting tweeted and written about, it seems clear that Kevin Youkilis is being traded, and he’s being traded fast. Many sources are expecting the move to happen sometime today, and with Will Middlebrooks becoming the everyday starting third baseman for the Red Sox, it’s a move that must be made.
One event that has always stuck with me about Youkilis, is when he and Manny Ramirez got into a physical altercation in the dugout during a game in 2008. Just weeks later Manny Ramirez was sent packing to the Dodgers. Obviously this one event wasn’t the only factor in Ramirez getting the boot, but it makes me wonder how much Youkilis complained to the front office, and had a factor on having Manny moved.
There have also been other rumors over the past few years about Youkilis having “beef” with other teammates. One in particular is Jacoby Ellsbury. Of course Ellsbury proved last year that he can do some real damage to teams when he’s healthy. Although Youkilis can be great at times, if I had to choose who I would want on my team out of those two, the easy answer would be Jacoby Ellsbury.
Teammates aside, Youkilis doesn’t seem like a like-able guy. When he strikes out he leaves the batters box screaming. When he first came into the league I thought that doing that after every at bat showed great passion, but I’ve realized it’s more of an “A-hole move.” Just a couple weeks ago when the Sox were playing in Miami, Youkilis complained to umpire Ron Kulpa over a called strike, and had to be restrained in the Red Sox dugout. He then publicly criticized Kulpa after the game.
Considering how much experience he has now it’s a little surprising that e didn’t face much heat as the rest o f the Red Sox team after the September meltdown, and he never stepped up and truly defended his teammates after everything happened last year.
Although nobody was a big fan of what Bobby Valentine did in April when he criticized Youkilis for showing lack of passion while playing, it can make you think that maybe Valentine was right. Valentine knew exactly what he was talking about, and I’m sure Youkilis didn’t accept Valentine with open arms when the season started. Of course his teammates stood up for him after Valentine made those comments and Valentine backtracked, but had his teammates not shown their support it would have been very obvious the clubhouse was on turmoil.
Whether or not Youkilis really does bring the Red Sox clubhouse down, moving him should help the clubhouse in some way. No matter where Youk winds up, the whole Red Sox organization will be relieved to turn the page on Kevin Youkilis.