Kevin Youkilis mentioned on Monday that he did not start hitting until Feb. 1 — at the advice of former Yankees player Paul O'Neill.
"He told me the older he got, the later he hit," Youkilis said. "He believed — and I believe it, too — to get your body physically ready and get as strong as you can and then you go hit. The hitting will come, you have six weeks of spring training.
"You have so much time to get ready. He believed that physically he wanted to get strong and get away from the game. You don't want to beat yourself up all the time."
The connection? Youkilis and O'Neill are from the northeast section of Cincinnati. O'Neill, in fact, lives close to where Kevin went to high school and they share an agent, Joe Bick.
"He lives in the same town I grew up in," Youkilis said. "Great guy. Awesome guy."
This will not sit well with those fans on both sides who like to think the teams hate each other. If Paulie is buddies with Youk, perhaps drunks can resist slugging each other in the bleachers.
No, probably not.