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"It was emotional," Ortiz said. "He's my boy. I've been playing with Youk forever. To see him go like that is not easy. It's part of the game. It's like I told him, 'Go out and do your thing.' "
Ortiz said that word had filtered throughout the Red Sox' dugout just prior to Youkilis' final at-bat that a trade was being completed and the infielder would be exiting the game.
"That was the talk in the dugout, that he was coming in and that he just got traded," said Ortiz, pointing to Youkilis' locker, which was already without the nine-year veteran's nameplate by the time the media entered. "Everybody was expecting that.
"How long was he here for, nine years? It doesn't happen every day. He was kind of mad and upset. I don't blame him. He knew it was coming, but it's still tough."
I attended yesterday's game and there was a feeling throughout Fenway that this was it for Youk. From the standing ovation in the second inning, all the way down to the triple in his final at-bat, fans were saying goodbye even though Then the players showing some emotion when he got pulled afterwards which gave fans some truth to the rumors.
But the final nail in the coffin was the tribute video played once the seventh inning ended. It was surreal watching all of this happen and it was a grim reminder that even if a trade is the right thing to do, it sucks seeing a player who has done so much get shipped elsewhere.
And it is good for everyone: Youk gets to play third everyday and is closer to home while the Red Sox give Will Middlebrooks the everyday spot that he has earned and hopefully he'll be able to do better than his predecessor. It's a pretty tough act to follow.
Rest of the Links: Globe: Nice sendoff for Youk | Many will miss Youk| Sox 9, Braves 4 | Herald: Youkilis changes Sox | Ross two good in Sox win | Middlebrooks takes torch at 3rd | Youkilis trade makes sense for everyone| Buchholz to DL | CSNNE: Kiss him goodbye | Youk leaves a winning legacy| Punto, Sox react to trade| Cook uses right ingredients in second start for Sox |WEEI: A quest fulfilled | Ortiz: To see Youk go like that is not easy | What we learned on Youkilis' last day as a Red Sox