Wanted to take a moment to say goodbye to Kevin Youkilis, who was traded away yesterday to the White Sox for two players I had never heard of (25-year-old RHP Zach Stewart and 28-year-old utility man Brent Lillibridge, more details on them here) to make room for the en fuego Will Middlebrooks, who has a .960 OPS, nine homers and 33 RBI in his his first 40 games.
While for that reason and getting Gonzo out of the outfield, I know he needed to go, I'll miss having Youkilis on the team. It wasn't too long ago that he was perhaps the toughest out in baseball, even if he did look really, really strange up at the plate doing it.
I should mention that it did appear like both Youkilis and the team were ready to move on from each other. On his best days, Yook didn't have a sunny disposition, and as the team tries to recover from last season and rebuild itself around Bobby Valentine he did not seem to be fitting in. Combine that with his poor performance this year and the writing's been on the wall for some time. Still, Yook is only 33 and may still have some good years left in him, and it makes me sad to see another mainstay from the Sox' championship days send packing. I'm also not sure how to explain to my 5 year old that we won't be chanting "Yooooook!" during Sox games any more.
Farewell #20! We'll see you again on July 16th.