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Monday, November 05, 2012
I just started wearing my YOOFS t-shirt…I ain’t going back to my YOOK one!
Youkilis will be 34 years old on Opening Day. He has been on the disabled list at least once in each of the last four seasons and hasn’t played 130 games since 2009. His least productive season as a major-league regular was in 2012, with career lows in batting average, on-base percentage and OPS. His 2012 numbers were down markedly from his 2011 numbers, and those were his worst in six years.
...Bringing back Kevin Youkilis would be a mistake. Not a fatal one as one-year bridge, but a mistake nevertheless. He was a superb player with the Sox for the great majority of his career—back-to-back top six MVP finishes in 2008-09, a career .388 on-base percentage—but that player is gone. If the Sox sign Youkilis you’ll get to watch a player in his mid-30’s continue to decline until the inevitable injuries put him on the disabled list. There’s just no upside there anymore. Nostalgia won’t turn the 2013 Kevin Youkilis into the 2008 Kevin Youkilis.
The solution? Well, James Loney had an OPS of .630 last season, .574 in 30 games for the Sox. Do you want to trade for Kendry Morales, or invest huge money in Mike Napoli or Nick Swisher? If I’m Cherington I think I’d find a serviceable veteran for short money and take my chances with Jerry Sands, who has hit 35, 29 and 26 homers in each of his last three minor-league seasons. This team isn’t going to win the World Series next season and there is no perfect free-agent fit. Put it another way: I don’t know who or what the answer is for the Sox at first base in 2013.
But I know it’s not Kevin Youkilis.
Posted: November 05, 2012 at 05:39 AM | 10 comment(s)
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