I had no idea.
I knew that Youkilis used to be good. Used to be. But when he was traded from the
on June 24, he had fewer homers and RBIs that month than
, the man he was supposed to replace at third base.
Wait, there’s more: Youkilis also had been on the disabled list for a bad back, and now it looked like he might have a bad front, as well. This move smelled like that Ken Griffey Jr. landfill four years ago.
Youkilis is hitting .319 with four doubles, four homers and 18 RBIs in 18 games for his new team.
I thought Youkilis was a decent gamble. I didn’t expect an MVP candidate. Youkilis has filled a hole nearly as big as the one in
Sox general manager
swiped Youkilis for
, two players the Red Sox couldn’t wait to get off the major league roster.
Youkilis came cheap because Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine seemed to want to embarrass the popular and respected Youkilis out of the lineup so he could insert rookie
And this week, Youkilis proceeded to pants both of them in the first two games of this series.
On Monday, after receiving a standing ovation before his first at-bat in
, Youkilis singled, drawing more cheers. Then, on an
groundout, Youkilis raced past Middlebrooks, who was shifted towards second base and slow to react. When the prized Youkilis replacement did make a move, he couldn’t handle the throw. Allowing Youkilis to score from first on an infield grounder.
For those of you scoring in Boston, that’s Youkilis making Valentine’s Red Sox look like Little Leaguers.
The next night, Youkilis came to bat with two on and two out in a game the White Sox led 3-2. First base was open. The left-handed-hitting Dunn was on deck. Valentine allowed left-handed starter
was to pitch to Youkilis.
Youkilis promptly hammered a Lester pitch over the
, executing the remarkable accomplishment of sticking it into the Monster seats and Valentine’s face at the same time. Or maybe it was another body part. Either way, Youkilis’ sixth game-winning RBI since the trade was done with a flourish.
“He’s showing off now,’’ Sox manager
Truth is, what Youkilis is doing is giving the White Sox lineup a big-boy look. The White Sox can hide Beckham at the bottom while sending up a 1-8 so strong that one of the best clutch hitters,
, is hitting eighth.
The White Sox lineup isn’t the
or Rangers, but it’s more relentless than the
and Indians, and that’s all that matters until the playoffs.
Oh yeah, that’s another thing Youkilis did: He made the playoffs look like something the White Sox could accomplish on their own instead of praying that