Kevin Youkilis enjoyed a remarkable journey in Boston yet his stay was cut short.
A product of the Theo Epstein rejuvenated minor league system. Kevin Youkilis was drafted with little fan fare or expectation. "An overachiever with an overwhelming sense of tenacity". A line I wrote of Youkilis in 2004. Quickly he became a fan favorite. A team first type of guy. Time and time again he accepted assignments to triple A without any flack. He knew his time would come and it did. In 2008 the Red Sox sent long time disgruntled slugger Many Ramirez packing. Youkilis stepped right in and handled the cleanup roll for the Sox. He was now the big bat on the squad. His time finally had come.
It was not long until the milk began to turn. A casual observer would be able to determine Youkilis' discontent. A diminished attitude and lack of respect for management led to the end. Involved with the "fried chicken" attitude club of 2011. Youkilis had also historically had spats with team members including the earlier mentioned Ramirez. In one particular dispute Youkilis may have given us his an exclusive look into his psyche. His extreme discontent with his nonsensical teammate for not giving his all. Youkilis got lippy.
After verbally and noticeable taunting Manny, things got out of control. Ramirez (despite the Sox denying it happened) connected with an open hand slap. Some may even call it a: "bitch smack". Fitting considering many feel that's how Youkilis acted. He quickly avoided any more of the altercation as he pouted alone in the dug out.
The Red Sox dismissed two time World Series manager Terry Francona for the fried chicken and beer nonsense in 2011. They have since inserted disciplinary Bobby Valentine to clean up the mess. Youkilis was not the only name on the house cleaning list certainly. He made zero effort not to be. Publicly disagreeing with Valentine, and an extremely noticeable decrease in numbers sealed the once beloved Youkilis' fate.
Youk was sent to the White Sox on June 24th for Zack Crawford and Brent Lillibridge. The era had ended. The message from the Sox front office was delivered. A much needed change had begun.