Monday April 16, 2012 | 10:28 AM

Meant to get this blog out earlier but have been following from afar the Bobby Valentine comments on Kevin Youkilis.

A quick recap: In a taped interview televised Sunday night on a Boston station, Valentine said Kevin Youkilis' at-bats were getting better, but also said: "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason."

Youkilis spoke with Valentine this morning and later told reporters: "I'm more confused than anything. Everyone know I go out and play the game as hard as I can."

Dustin Pedroia came to Youkilis' defense, saying no one plays the game harder and that all his teammates have his back. "I don't know what Bobby's trying to do, but that's not the way we do things here."

Is his normal pre-game media briefing, Valentine said (of course) that his comments were taken out of context when he used the words physically and emotionally.

"I should have explained," Valentine said, "that his swing isn't what he wants it to be. The physical part of his swing is frustrating. Frustration leads to emotion. I haven't seen him break as many helmets as I saw him break on TV ..."

So, I get it. Youkilis has to do better at the plate (he's 6-for-18 with 3 walks in his last 5 games, by the way). And he has to throw more helmets - always a key to success.

Peter Gammons weighed in on the issue later on NESN: "Bobby has to think about this more ... this is a very emotional town ... everything is a firestorm here."

The Sox will play at 11 a.m. today on Marathon Monday. Youkilis is not in the lineup, more because of a sore groin muscle than anything else.

As for the minor leagues on Sunday, here's an abbreviated re-cap from Pawtucket's game.

If not for the Valentine-Youkilis thing, the talk this morning may have been about Andrew Miller's rehab appearance for Pawtucket on Sunday.

First batter: strike, ball, strike, ball, ball, ball - walk.

Second batter: ball, ball, ball, ball - walk

Third batter: strike, ball ball, ball, ball - walk

Fourth batter: Full count before a single

Fifth batter: Full count before a strikeout.

That was it. 3 walks, a single and a strikeout. 29 pitches, 11 strikes.

No word on if Miller threw his glove afterward.

Will Middlebrooks, the eventual replacement for Youkilis (2013?), went 2-for-5 with a double. He is now batting .364 with a 1.014 OPS.

First baseman Mauro Gomez (.325) remained hot with a 3-for-4 game, with two doubles

While Gomez is at first, Lars Anderson is in left field. Anderson (.235) went 2-for-5 Sunday.

I'll be back later from Hadlock Field. The Sea Dogs play at 6 p.m.

 

About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Celtics and Maine Red Claws on Holding Court


Subscribe to the
Holding Court RSS

Subscribe to the
Clearing the Bases RSS

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

October 2013

More

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

March 2012

February 2012

January 2012

November 2011

October 2011

September 2011

August 2011

July 2011

June 2011

May 2011

April 2011

March 2011

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.