$3 million dollars a year for a Gold Glove owning, no error having First Baseman coming off a year when hit .288 with 16 homers, 83 RBIs and 35 doubles to go along with a .390 on-base percentage. Throw in the fact he looks like an extra from Deliverance, grinds out each at bat like it's the last one he'll ever have, and causes opposing pitchers such aggravation they apparently can't help but throw at his head, and you're making a case for him being grossly underpaid.
Every team has a guy like Youk; somebody so intense and focused you either love him or hate him. Ask any self respecting Yankee fan and they'd tell you if Paul O'Neil had played on another team while they were winning championships in the late 90's, they'd have hated the guys guts. Instead, he's considered one of the key players that helped them dominate the rest of baseball.
Think about it: the Yankees had O'Neil, the Mets had, well, everyone of those scuzzbags caused feelings of intense hatred, and the Dalton Family has Rakes.
One of those obnoxious, never give in and never, EVER, give up guys who shake their head at called strike one, mutter an expletive at called strike two, and bounce their helmet off of home plate while loudly protesting called strike three. Youk is THAT guy for the Red Sox; and while there are times I want to tell him to just shut up and get back to the dugout, part of me loves his fire.
One big reason I admire his psycho mannerisms so much is I'm raising two miniature Youk's myself. One thinks playing Star Wars on the PS2 is a matter of life or death, while the other one only shows his "Youkness" when he wants food.
I realize it'll only get worse, but for now, whenever they get a case of "showingmytailitis", I just tell myself they are channeling their inner Youkilis and all is well.
By the way, THAT particular thought process?
It's really not working.