Ray Allen said he didn’t expected to get booed the whole time in his return to TD Garden on Sunday, January 27. Did anyone measure his nose after that comment because I am almost certain it grew a few inches? Ray Ray was in Boston long enough to know that an athlete becomes Benedict Arnold as soon as they deliberately leave, especially when they go to a hated team.
But no competition has been more drama-packed in the past century than the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry. Though the days of Wade Boggs, Luis Tiant, Carl Mays and the Bambino are over, recent players like Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon have added spark to the dull flame. Now, Kevin Youkilis, the once pitching target of Yankees’ Joba Chamberlain, is now putting on a pinstriped uniform.
How will Fenway react when Youk makes his return on Friday, July 19?
NESN took a poll to ask if fans will boo when Youkilis returns to Fenway and only 39.1 percent responded by saying yes.
It’s hard to believe that Youkilis will be shunned at the historic ballpark. After all, it was Bobby Valentine that Red Sox nation had queries with after Youkilis changed his sox to white. Even though Bobby V claimed it was the third baseman’s ego that spoiled the relationship, everyone was so sick of the drama that they viewed the manager as the boy who cried wolf.
Allen was essentially handing over his resume to the Miami Heat at the end of Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals. Youkilis was different.
Even after the staff practically kicked him to the curb, the third baseman failed to fight off tears as he gave his farewell to Fenway Park on Sunday, June 26. The crowd gave Youkilis a standing ovation as he tipped his cap and blew kisses to his beloved, loyal fans.
In the nine years Youkilis batted for the Red Sox, he accumulated 961 hits, 594 runs scored, 564 RBI, .487 SLG, .388 OBP, a Golden Glove and three All-Star appearances in a total of 953 games.
Even in Chicago, it appeared that his third base position was becoming too much for him to handle. Youkilis posted a .236 batting average with the White Sox. While his OBP increased with Chicago, he still was not a good fit for the organization.
Youk’s future with the Yankees is blurred. He only signed a one-year contract and the Yankee’s original third baseman Alex Rodriquez’s job is still in jeopardy. However, what is for certain is that Youkilis did win two World Series with the Red Sox. Let’s give credit where credit is due.
And if it is any consolation, Youkilis is married to Tom Brady’s sister. That has to count for something too, right?
Instead of “booooo,” I am quite confident the Fenway crowd will give the former Red Sox his traditional “Yoooouuuukkkkk.”