I’ve been in denial about the seemingly impending Kevin Youkilis trade. I wouldn’t categorize him as my binky but when all my binkies pretty much got dfa’d, traded or retired, I kind of clung to him as a remnant of when this team could do no wrong. Plus, as someone who has been very critical of the way he’s acted and things he’s said in the past, I felt like I watched him mature right before our eyes. So it’s fair to say that I developed a fondness for Youk and when he’s gone I will miss him.
Having written that, I get the business of baseball and I see why it wouldn’t be the worst thing to trade him. Watching Will Middlebrooks play is fun and every time they announce he’s in the lineup I’m actually excited to see what he’ll do. Even in the midst of losing streaks. So that takes the sting out of losing someone like Youk, for me anyway.
Were Youk my brother I’m sure I’d be taking all the trade talk personally. So I understand why his chef brother Scott decided to use Twitter to release some of that anger. I think, though, it’s fair to say Chef Youk has the same communication issues that plagued his brother early on. Which is to say, he doesn’t communicate very well.
Now I understand getting irrational because anyone who reads my blog or my Twitter feed knows I can get as irrational as anyone. But there is something blindingly stupid, in my opinion, about trashing the city that embraced your brother even at times when he didn’t necessarily earn being embraced. Boston has adored Youk from the beginning and to start some Twitter vendetta against the town is not only stupid but really just obnoxious. Boston, the only city Youk has played for in the bigs, is where he developed a fan base so strong he turned his popularity into a charity. If he leaves here he’s leaving with TWO World Series rings. Boston is a hell of a place and regardless of what happens with the team Youkilis should be leaving here with fond (and some bittersweet) memories.
And he probably will. It isn’t fair to judge Kevin Youkilis but the assholiness of his brother, but it’s also difficult for me to just let said assholiness go. Which is why I did respond to that tweet I quoted but didn’t get a response back. My response: “Yeah, it isn’t like Kevin accomplished anything in Boston like winning a World Series or developing a huge fan following.”
No one likes when these situations arise. You never want to see a player you like traded and especially not when it looks like it’s a scenario where the new guy is replacing the old guy. It’s tough to watch happen even if you think it’s for the best. So I get there are going to be emotions flying around about this…but I won’t stand for our city or fans to be maligned unfairly. And one of Chef Youk’s follow up tweets: “Yep. This is the ugly side of sports in Boston” is actually something I’ve heard and read from other people as well. As if Boston is the only sports town that ever traded a player. The situation with Youk is lousy but it is far from unique in sports, especially baseball. While I get that Youk’s brother probably thinks he’s just defending him, the man is a chef who owns two restaurants. He’s not some highly sensitive tween who can’t control his impulses. He knows what he’s writing and he knows how he sounds (and that he’s offending not the team but the fans who have so completely supported his brother) and he’s doing it anyway.
It’ll be amusing if it turns out that 1) Youk doesn’t get traded to Chicago or 2) Youk doesn’t get traded at all because then the good chef will have much egg on his ace.
Not that I think he’ll notice.