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Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, in his weekly interview for WHDH-TV's Sports Xtra, said that third baseman Kevin Youkilis seemed to be less "into the game" than in the past.
"I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Valentine said in the interview. "But [Saturday] it seemed, you know, he's seeing the ball well, got those two walks, got his on-base percentage up higher than his batting average, which is always a good thing, and he'll move on from there."
Youkilis, 33, is hitting .200 with a .265 OBP, .233 slugging mark and .498 OPS this year, though he's 6-for-18 with three walks and two doubles in his last five games.
So here we are with the Sox pulling off three straight against a team that usually has the Sox number and NOW Bobby Valentine has decided to call out a player. Kevin Youkilis struggled mightily in Detroit & Toronto but he's 4-for-10 with 3 RBI & 6 runs in the past three games. The picture above is him scoring what would be the winning run all the way from first and he appeared to be in the game when he slammed his hand down on home.
This is the micromanaging of Bobby V coming to play . Bobby V is never afraid to use the media to send a message to his players. The real question is: why Youkilis? He's the one guy that has been accused of being overly emotional (and getting into it with Manny Ramirez). The timing of this is incredibly odd. Yes, this is what Bobby V does and he wants to use this to light a fire under Youk, it's just incredibly unnecessary nine games into the season.
Rest of the Links: Globe: Ortiz lifts Sox past rays 6-4 | Ellsbury examination will affect moves by Sox | Striking turnaround for bullpen | Herald: Sox take out trash| Ortiz success includes owning lefties | Dubront throws a splitter | CSNNE: Byrd to Red Sox? | Bobby V: Youk not physically or emotionally involved in game | Sox power their way out of early slump | WEEI: David Ortiz is a man on a mission | Have Sox figured out secret in beating Tampa?