Kevin Youkilis and the trade to the Chicago White Sox

English: Kevin Youkilis is warming up before t...

English: Kevin Youkilis is warming up before the Min @ Bos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kevin Youkilis, the fan-favorite third baseman for Boston traded in his red socks for some white ones. The trading of Youkilis to the White Sox is a surprise, but isn’t surprising. Youkilis was a rock at third for the Red Sox through eight seasons and two World Championships. This trade is the right move at the right time for both organizations.

The Red Sox are going through probably one of the rougher transitions in recent sports memory. Terry Francona leaving, the adjustment to Bobby Valentine, the usual competition in the American League East. Youkilis’ numbers are not stellar. It was his time to leave Boston. If David Ortiz departs, the transition will be complete. The addition of Youkilis to the South Side of Chicago was a smart move for the White Sox organization. Youkilis not only brings experience at third, but he brings veteran leadership to the clubhouse. His leadership and experience are the true asset the White Sox acquired.

The Fans

The fans in Chicago always struck me as some of the most passionate. Regardless if they cheer for the ChiSox or the Cubs, Chicagoans know their baseball and expect much from their teams. This is where Youkilis will fit perfectly. Boston is as much a baseball pressure-cooker second maybe to New York (this statement is debatable and may just be a future post). Youkilis is better for having played in the Boston baseball fishbowl. The Chicago fans will adopt him quickly.

The Player

As I still believe it was the right time for Francona, and former Boston GM Theo Epstein to leave, so it goes for Youkilis. Almost all players reach a point where the time has come. In many ways all of us, regardless of profession, reach similar crossroads.

Finally, as a Yankee fan, I can finally feel good about Youkilis being successful. I always respected his play and what he brought to the team. Unfortunately, it was for those pesky Red Sox.

Good luck Youk.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!

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Is Interleague Play Really That Entertaining?

This is the 15th year of Interleague Play. Outside of New York, Chicago, and possibly San Francisco and Oakland, are the matchups truly entertaining? The rivalry between the Yankees and the Mets always attracts a large following. Billed as the “Subway Series,” New Yorker’s look forward to the competition. The Cubs and White Sox may not have the most storied rivalry, but the competition is fierce.

Oakland and San Francisco are across the Bay from each other. The bragging rights are obvious. This season in particular with the Giants being the defending Champs. Overall, I think Interleague play has lost its luster. For example, the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates? Texas and Philadelphia? Seattle and San Diego? Minnesota and Arizona? Not interested. I’m sorry.

I will give credit to the Cincinnati and Cleveland series. This is only due to the Indians dominating the AL Central and the Reds are in the hunt for the NL.  I get Tampa Bay and Florida. However, the Rays seem to generate more interest from other AL East cities than Tampa Bay itself.

Washington and Baltimore draws my interest more simply due to geography. However, neither team brings charisma to the field or a winning record.

The Cubs and the Red Sox. Except for these being two of the oldest franchises and the Cubs ongoing quest for a World Series title, there is no significant interest for me. Although I do like the vintage uniforms in Fenway.

I would suspect I may feel differently if some teams were in tighter races. If there was more on the line. Unfortunately, at this time I can’t provide any good alternatives. I guess Interleague will have to stay.

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think!

Give the AL Central to the Twins

While the AL East will come down to the wire as usual, the Central will not be as dramatic. The Minnesota Twins will be the team to beat this season. Mauer, Morneau, Cuddyer, and Young will earn their salaries this season. Did I mention they have Francisco Liriano?

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