Chicago White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is making a not-so-subtle statement to Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine in his return to Fenway Park. Valentine watched the latest statement sail over the fence in the sixth inning of Chicago's 7-5 win Tuesday.
The three-run homer by Youkilis turned out to be another game-winning hit and yet another chapter in the legend of Youk. Through the first two games of this series, which has been split between the two teams, Youkilis has four hits in eight at-bats.
Since being traded from Boston to Chicago June 24, Youkilis is hitting .319 with four home runs and 18 RBI. In just 18 games, he has infused energy into the White Sox offense. With Paul Konerko struggling with the bat, it couldn't have come at a better time.
Not only has Youkilis come back strong in his old stomping grounds, but the home crowd at Fenway has not been shy about expressing their support for their former third-sacker. Youkilis remarked after the game to Scott Merkin of MLB.com that he's enjoyed the warm reception.
Every inning. It's been great and not too many opponents get to come in here and have that opportunity. Usually, it's a little more negative toward the opposition. I've enjoyed it.
Valentine? He's probably not getting a kick out of it.
The Boston fans are saving the negativity for Valentine, who clashed with Youkilis and set in motion the events that saw him traded to the White Sox. With Brent Lillibridge now designated for assignment by the Red Sox, all they have to show for the trade is Zach Stewart, currently in Triple-A Pawtucket.
Youkilis' blast gave Phillip Humber a win in his first game back from the DL and gave him yet another game-winning RBI. The message he has been sending since coming to the South Side should be loud and clear to Valentine.
If the fans' cries of "YOUK" haven't drowned it out.