Kevin Youkilis silently rides into Boston despite Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine fanning the flames of an already rocky relationship. Valentine had initially made some comments about Youk’s commitment to the team, both physically and mentally while the third baseman was still playing in Boston. Now that Youkilis is thriving in the Chicago lineup, Valentine offers:
“I think the comment I made early, he made a big issue out of, and I don’t think he ever wanted to get over it,” Valentine said.
Whatever his motivations may be, it seems that Valentine is just stoking the fire. Youkilis has kept quiet on the matter since coming to the White Sox but I’m sure he’s looking to let his bat do the talking tonight.
Since we are without the services of Gavin Floyd for now, Dylan Axelrod will be making his start. The last time Axelrod stepped in for somebody in the rotation it didn’t end well. We’re all hoping to see some better things this time around from Mr. Axelrod. Shouldn’t take too much, if he gets through the first 4 batters without giving up 4 runs, it’s an improvement.
Aaron Cook is on the mound for the Red Sox. Cook has made only 4 starts, the first of which he got roughed up in, and that’s the driving force behind his 4.37 ERA. Since then he’s had some good looking outings, including a complete game 2-hit shutout against the Mariners. We all know what a good start against the Mariners can do for your season. More on that tomorrow…
1. De Aza – CF
2. Youk – 3B
3. Dunn – DH
4. Konerko – 1B
5. Rios – RF
6. AJ – C
7. Dayan – LF
8. Alexei – SS
9. Gordo – 2B
One would think that the Red Sox faithful will be welcoming to Youkilis in his return, though it seems that some fans are pretty glad to see him gone. Be sure to turn your sound up and keep all other noise down in order to best differentiate the “boo” from the “Youk”.
Youkilis isn’t the only return of the night. Carl Crawford will be making his first appearance of the 2012 season after missing the first half of the season with multiple injuries. Personally I’d like to see Crawford return to form, but perhaps he should take a few games to get himself acclimated first.