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Thread: Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

  1. #1
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    By Kyle Nagel

    Staff Writer

    Saturday, June 14, 2008

    CINCINNATI — When Kevin Youkilis awoke on Friday, June 13, he faced a realization about returning to Cincinnati.

    "I get to have Skyline Chili," Youkilis said in a tunnel outside the Boston Red Sox clubhouse.

    The anticipated lunch was one of the treats surrounding Youkilis' homecoming. The former Sycamore High School and University of Cincinnati player arrived on Friday as the Red Sox began a weekend series with the Cincinnati Reds. When finishing his Bearcats career, though, Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds, enough that some Youkilis supporters were sure to notify the Reds that he was available to be drafted.

    "There was another time when a scout asked my college coach if there were any players who were draftable, and my college coach kind of laughed and said, 'You don't know there's a player that you can draft?' " Youkilis said. "That's how the story goes. Ever since then, when my college coach told me that ... it was more emotional right then, because it was around the draft, but now there's a whole different regime here in Cincinnati and totally different people.

    "A little bitterness when it all happened, but I can't complain because I have two World Series rings."

    Youkilis said 120 friends and family members rented the party deck above the batter's eye in center field for tonight's game. Although the weekend is filled with memories — including the fact that Youkilis attended Tom Browning's perfect game for the Reds in 1988 — this weekend marks his first visit to Great American Ball Park.

    "If it was at Riverfront Stadium, it probably would've brought a lot of childhood memories," he said. "Coming to games, eating frosty malts and all that good stuff. This park is a lot nicer."

    Kep and Hop update

    Infielder Jeff Keppinger (left kneecap) and outfielder Norris Hopper (right elbow) continue their recoveries on the disabled list. Manager Dusty Baker said Hopper is progressing on his Class A Sarasota rehabilitation assignment a little ahead of Keppinger, who will play third base and be a designated hitter before moving back to shortstop.

    "The main thing is you don't want him to get fatigued and end up hurting something else, that's what usually happens," Baker said. "You want to get his legs underneath him, get some at-bats, play some third, and after a few days move to short."

    Finished trade

    The Reds on Friday acquired right-hander Henry Arias from Kansas City to complete a March trade that sent pitcher Brad Salmon to the Royals. Arias, who was assigned to the Dayton Dragons, is 2-3 with a 3.78 ERA in his sixth professional season.

    Quick hits

    • The Red Sox became the first team from Boston to play a regular-season game in Cincinnati since the Reds beat the Boston Braves on Aug. 28, 1952.

    • Entering the weekend, Ken Griffey Jr. had 49 interleague home runs, second to Jim Thome's 53.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/con...redsnotes.html
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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  3. #2
    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    Hey, he's a free agent at the end of the season. He'd be a great fit against lefties at either first or third base. He should especially be considered if the Reds choose not to re-sign Dunn. This would help Votto's transition to left. Sox only paying him 3 Million, but you can bet they will be offering a lot more than that at the end of the season.

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    BobC, get a legit F.O.! Mario-Rijo's Avatar
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    Re: Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    "There was another time when a scout asked my college coach if there were any players who were draftable, and my college coach kind of laughed and said, 'You don't know there's a player that you can draft?' " Youkilis said. "That's how the story goes.
    And that right there is why the Reds F.O. past & present get second guessed on most moves. There's a future major leaguer right under their noses and they don't even know about him, wow!
    "You can't let praise or criticism get to you. It's a weakness to get caught up in either one."

    --Woody Hayes

  5. #4
    The Lineups stink. KronoRed's Avatar
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    Re: Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    Eh he's a base clogger.
    Go Gators!

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    Member blumj's Avatar
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    Re: Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Homer Bailey View Post
    Hey, he's a free agent at the end of the season. He'd be a great fit against lefties at either first or third base. He should especially be considered if the Reds choose not to re-sign Dunn. This would help Votto's transition to left. Sox only paying him 3 Million, but you can bet they will be offering a lot more than that at the end of the season.
    This is his first arbitration season, he won't be a free agent until after 2010.
    "Reality tells us there are no guarantees. Except that some day Jon Lester will be on that list of 100-game winners." - Peter Gammons

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    I'm gettin paper Homer Bailey's Avatar
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    Re: Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by blumj View Post
    This is his first arbitration season, he won't be a free agent until after 2010.
    My bad. I just looked at this quickly and immediately thought he was going to be a free agent.


    Kevin Youkilis 1b
    1 year/$3M (2008)

    re-signed 2/10/08 (avoided arbitration, $3.7M-$2.525M)

    1 year/$0.4245M (2007), renewed 3/07

    1 year/$0.3546M (2006), re-signed 2/06

    1 year/$323,125 (2005), re-signed 3/05

    drafted 2001 (8-243), $12,000 signing bonus
    agent: Joe Bick

    ML service: 3.093

  8. #7
    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    Youkilis with a bit more power is the kind of hitter Alonso might become... Good to see the Reds finally appreciating the value of a guy who can just plain ol' hit.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    Quote Originally Posted by Mario-Rijo View Post
    And that right there is why the Reds F.O. past & present get second guessed on most moves. There's a future major leaguer right under their noses and they don't even know about him, wow!
    Sort of pales from the other UC player not signed by the Reds - Sandy Koufax.
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    Here's a story from today's Boston Globe with more about Youklis and his time at UC. As the story notes, not many teams thought to go after him.

    Youkilis had old-school grit

    By Gordon Edes
    Globe Staff / June 15, 2008

    CINCINNATI - The body was soft. Chubby. Truth be told, said Brian Cleary, who first met Kevin Youkilis at a University of Cincinnati baseball camp Cleary was running, there were those who came right out and said Youkilis was a little fat.

    So, why did Cleary recruit Youkilis, who went to nearby Sycamore High, to play for the Bearcats?

    Cleary was a pragmatist. He had gone 12-46 his first year as coach, which was an improvement over the five wins UC had won under his predecessor the year before.

    "I knew he was better than what we had," Cleary said. "I'd love to say I saw something everybody else didn't, but I knew he was a big Cincinnati fan, his dad was a Cincinnati grad, and I knew this was a place he thought about going to school."

    But over the next four years, Cleary also would learn this about the kid with the squared-off body and few of the tools that fill the stands with scouts:

    "He had a sick determination that most guys don't have. He was told so many times, in so many places, that he wasn't good enough, he took it very personally.

    "There were times we thought, 'We've got to calm him down.' He was very, very driven. Every at-bat was life and death, but that's why he is where he is. He wasn't athletic, a tools guy. He was a grinder, a gritty guy."

    Yesterday, Cleary was in Great American Ball Park as a fan to watch Youkilis play for the first time as a major leaguer in his hometown. He wasn't alone. Youkilis said he had about 140 family members and friends occupying the party deck in center field.

    Cleary is too honest to say he knew that this day would come. During an unremarkable freshman season, Cleary had told Youkilis that if he didn't make a few changes, he'd find somebody else who could play third base.

    "I said some things his freshman year that make me cringe now, seeing where he is today," Cleary said. "He was a stubborn guy, but in a healthy way.

    "By the end of his freshman year, I was thinking, 'Hey, we've got something here.' But I take no credit. He coaches himself. He knows his swing. Any time we said anything to him, he was already a step ahead. He made the adjustments he had to make. I just think he's a really smart guy who had a great feel for what he had to do.

    "He was an incredibly easy guy to coach. He's the most self-motivated player I've ever coached."

    By the time Youkilis finished four years at Cincinnati - he went undrafted after his junior year - he'd rewritten the UC record book. He was the Bearcats' all-time leader in home runs (53), walks (206), slugging percentage (.627), and on-base percentage (.499), and his .366 batting average was second-best all-time.

    "He was the greediest hitter I've ever seen," Cleary said. "If he went 3 for 3, he was still dialed in on his last at-bat. If he made an out and went 3 for 4, it ruined his night."

    This is what Cleary tells the kids who play for him now:

    "Pay attention to your at-bats the way Youkilis does. You've got to be greedy like Youkilis. Greedy hitters are hitters."

    It bothers Youkilis to this day that the hometown Reds showed little interest in him. The Reds knew who he was, Cleary said, but just weren't excited by what they saw. Not many teams were.

    The Red Sox took him on the eighth round. The Athletics, whose GM, Billy Beane, would dub Youkilis the "Greek God of Walks" - an amusing tag to place on a man of Romanian descent - also had shown interest.

    "Teams were afraid to pull the trigger," Cleary said. "The tools didn't project, and there were concerns about his body every step of the way.

    "I can't tell you I thought he would be a big leaguer, but I knew he wouldn't just peter out after a year or two of pro ball."

    Cleary follows the Sox, mostly on the Internet. The other day, Youkilis told him that he felt he'd grown into his body after he left college. Cleary is also aware of the recent dugout spat between Youkilis and Manny Ramírez, and how Youkilis has said that maybe he needs to find a greater emotional equilibrium.

    "He's probably wanting to try to balance that," Cleary said, "but those emotions are one of the key traits to his success. He's never satisfied."
    “In the same way that a baseball season never really begins, it never really ends either.” - Lonnie Wheeler, "Bleachers, A Summer in Wrigley Field"

    The Baseball Emporium - Books & Things, that's Rallyonion.com

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  11. #10
    Big Red Machine RedsBaron's Avatar
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    Re: Youkilis wanted to play for the Reds

    Youkilis is exactly the type of hitter the Reds have a shortage of: a guy who gets on base. Other than Dunn, the Reds are a team of free swingers with relatively low OBP (Bruce and perhaps Votto may be exceptions to that rule). The Reds need a few tablesetters, guys who will "clog the bases." A couple of more good righthanded bats would also be nice.
    "Hey...Dad. Wanna Have A Catch?" Kevin Costner in "Field Of Dreams."


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