It's amazing how a change of scenery is all it takes to boost one's morale.
The same can safely be said about Kevin Youkilis and his new found home in Chicago as a happy contributor to the White Sox. Since arriving in the Windy City, Youkilis has looked like the 2009 version of himself.
For White Sox fans, that's a good thing. For Red Sox fans, they're kicking themselves for letting him go.
In 42 games playing for the Boston Red Sox this season, Youkilis had just 34 hits, four home runs, drove in 14 RBI, walked only 14 times while putting up a batting line of .233/.315/.377/.692.
Recent reports in Boston are circling back to the early season riff with new manager Bobby Valentine as the reason for the poor production, coupled with his injury. ESPN Boson's Gordon Edes quotes Valentine as saying "I think the comment I made early, he made a big issue out of, and I don't think he ever wanted to get over it."
Edes goes on to write that Valentine was alluding to a comment he made to WHDH-TV's Joe Amorosino on April 15.
"I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Valentine told Amorosino.
Youkilis is a very proud man. He's a proud ball player. Looking at what he's doing in his new home only adds support to what Valentine was saying.
Since his arrival in Chicago, Youk has played in just 16 games, but in that time he has already obtained 18 hits in 80 fewer at-bats, three home runs, 15 RBI, has drawn 10 walks already and has significantly boosted his batting line to .295/.397/.475/.873 in Chicago.
Clearly, Youk was in need of a change. He is once again playing like Sox fans of old knew and loved for today's Sox fans, who will surely grow to love him.