Prompted by Friday night’s near brawl with the Orioles and Daniel Cabrera, the Boston Globe’s Gorden Edes grilled Red Sox 1B Kevin Youkilis on the old business of Joba Chamberlain’s repeated beanball attempts.
What Youkilis does is emote, sometimes on a grand scale. He throws helmets and bats, grimaces at umpires, looks stricken when he hits a ball hard and it’s caught. Perhaps, it was suggested to him, that rubs some people – the Yankees – the wrong way.
“They play ‘Yankeeography’ on Paul O’Neill every day,” Youkilis said, referring to the Yankees’ practice of showing highlight films on the stadium scoreboard of Paul O’Neill, a beloved former Yankee known for his dramatic mood swings. “So, what’s the problem? I’ve been compared to Paul O’Neill. I know Paul O’Neill. We have the same agent [Joe Bick].
“People find things to hate about everyone. They’re not going to like somebody for this reason or that. What are you going to do? I go out and play. I’m emotional. Some people say, ‘Oh, he shouldn’t be like that.’ Other people say that’s the best thing about you. So who am I supposed to please?”
The night before he faced Chamberlain for the first time, Youkilis hit a home run off Yankees reliever Kyle Farnsworth. The Sox first baseman reacted incredulously to a question of whether he might have shown up Farnsworth in some way, provoking retaliation from the Yankees.
“Show him up?” Youkilis said. “I don’t think I’ve ever shown anyone up on the field. I’ve never pimped a home run in my life. I run every time I hit a home run.
“You can ask Kyle Farnsworth if I showed him up. I don’t think I did. I’m not one of those guys who’s going to pimp home runs, do stuff like that. If they say I’m showing up, I think they’re searching.”
Youkilis suspects that the 21-year-old Chamberlain might have been prompted to do what he did.
“Joe Torre said to me as he’s walking out on the field that it wasn’t intentional,” Youkilis said. “I saw two balls from a guy I watched on the mound throw balls that are a little up and in but not over the head. It is what it is.
“Maybe someone on the team told him to. You never know in this game. You never know. People know, but they’re not going to say. They’re not going to put it out publicly, but they know.
“He’s a young guy. I don’t know him as a person, I don’t know how he is, but I don’t think he would come in there and do it.