For a professional baseball player, other than winning the World Series, I can't imagine there is a better feeling than being the key part of a win over your hometown team. Especially when you desperately wanted to be drafted by that team, yet were picked in the 8th round by somebody else.
So I'm guessing Kevin Youkilis is feeling pretty good about himself right now. The Red Sox led the Reds 4-3 going into the bottom of the ninth today, and with the Papelbot on the mound I figured all that was left in doubt was which type of victory cigar Tito would be puffing on later tonight.
An Edwin Encarcaion HR on a splitter that didn't split? Threw that bit of brilliant deduction right out the proverbial window.
Top of the 10th? Youk DRIVES a ball, Coco follows right behind him, and all is right with the world; Sox win 6-4, and Youk gets a single, a double, and a HR for the day. Plus a big screw you to the Reds for passing on the local boy who has gone on to win 2 World Series, a Gold Glove, the Major League RECORD for consecutive chances at 1B without an error, and is the owner of the baddest beard in all of baseball.
Yeah, he takes every a/b like it's Game 7 of the World Series, and he may throw a random helmet or bat when he strikes out, grounds out, or gets his pick caught in his enormous facial hair. And sometimes even the most serious of teamates like Manny occasionally take offense and there is a minor slap fight in the dugout. Meh. Some guys can shrug a bat a/b off and move on; Youk just don't roll like that.
Who am I to judge? Whatever he's doing, it's working. The guy is a machine at 1B, one of the toughest outs in the game, and other than needing a few anger management classes I think he'll be OK.
Besides, with Trot off in New York, we need another guy who'll punch somebody in the marbles when the occasion calls for it, pitches a random fit, and ends every game with his uniform looking like he took a mud bath in it.
The 2008 Red Sox Dirt Dog.
6 hours ago