Kevin Youkilis, a weekly guest on WAAF's Hill-Man show during the season, spoke on the radio program today about the disappointing end to the Red Sox season, shared his thoughts on reports that have surfaced recently about some players, and confirmed that he's having surgery to repair a sports hernia tomorrow.
"I'm still in shock," Youkilis said regarding the events that took place over the last five days. "I don't think it's really hit in a lot of ways, whether it's the bad September, Tito resigning, and it's been wild, and the one thing is is I think for a lot of us players, it won't hit us until we walk through those doors in Fort Myers and realize that Terry [Francona] is no longer with us and the crazy thing is is we're all going to be walking into a different environment anyway with the new spring training, so it's going to be a weird couple of months but I think hopefully this team will get the pieces together and be prepared for the 2012 season."
Youkilis was asked if had any awareness that Francona was feeling he was unable to get through to the team.
"Every year there's different players that come in, whether it be young guys or veterans, it's always different," Youkilis said. "I don't know. I think sometimes it was hard to tell. We started out 2-10, and then we had the most unbelievable months ever where we were just winning like it was the easiest game possible and then we had the month of September, so I think the biggest thing was is in all this is the fact that the thing that is upsetting is there's so much finger pointing at this person and that person and this and that but we're failing to realize that we're all at fault.
"Everyone needs to understand that every single person on that team. Everyone from the coaches to the general managers to the front office, whomever, we're all at fault. We always go with the philosophy that we win as a team and we lose as a team. And we all lost. To sit around and blame this person and that person and try to figure out the answers, it will take... you're just going to... too much blame will go around. We all need to be accountable and we all were at fault."
Youkilis was asked about a published report that singled him out as a potential problem in the clubhouse.
"Jackie MacMullan, I've always respected and every time she comes in the clubhouse, which this year was maybe three times, that one really irked me," Youkilis said. "It really irked me for two things. One, she comes around three times a year, so she really doesn't know what's going on in that clubhouse, and the funny thing was when I read this article, and it said that I brought up the Jacoby Ellsbury thing which, this thing is getting overplayed more than anything I've ever dealt with in my life and she came to me because she was writing a story on Jacoby. So she asked me what happened last year, what transpired, and then I read this article like I didn't even mention this...
"I have no issue with Jacoby. When this game was over and I went up to him, I said I just want to tell you that that was one of the most remarkable seasons I've ever seen a player and I just think that, I just want to tell you, I know it didn't end well but that was one of the most impressive seasons I've ever seen. The thing is it's played out like everyone keeps talking about that and everyone's misquoting, and that's the problem. My philosophy is this, and I will believe in this until my dying day: There should be implemented, which has always been implemented, when you're hurt, you either go to Fort Myers or you go with the team, and I'm not going to change my philosophy, and it's a matter of opinion, some people don't believe in it, some people do, it's opinion and it's not that big of a deal, and everything is really blown out of proportion and quite frankly, I was answering a question about this this year that I don't even know why. It didn't matter. And you sit there and you sit back at your locker like what is going on here? God, this is a never-ending story."
Youkilis was asked if there was an issue of calling guys out in the locker room this year.
"No, I don't think so," Youkilis said. "I think we're talking about, for three months this season, life was good. Life was real good. And going along with that Jackie MacMullan thing, she said I was a detriment because I was meddling in people's affairs. The thing that happened was, she was in the locker room, and I'm going to set this straight, something was happening because one of her colleagues keeps on writing stories that are inaccurate about players. And the thing I was frustrated about, and I keep getting frustrated about, is: Why are there more stories now written by sports reporters that don't talk about sports? They talk about people's personal lives, they talk about what's going on. And then, when they're not accurate on those stories, one, that's not fair to the person that they're writing about, but two, it's not fair to the public. It's not fair to the fans [to get] inaccurate stories. They don't need to be fed inaccurate stories and the problem is we have no accountability anymore. Things just get blasted on Twitter. Things get blasted out everywhere, and next thing you know, the story's out there, the athlete can't answer the question because, you know what, either way, you're better off not answering...
"And that's the problem a lot of guys have is they don't want to say too much, or they don't want to say what's on their mind because they're sometimes worried and that's the problem right now is, and the fact is when stories are inaccurate, we don't see, and it's been going on for years, it's like the blurb is down in the bottom corner of the newspaper. But I think that was one of the tough things. And that was the thing, I was frustrated because somebody was writing an inaccurate story about one of my teammates. And the problem is we all try to stick up for each other, and it's media vs. players, media vs. players, media vs. players. And it doesn't need to be that way."
Youkilis said he expects the finger pointing to be rampant during times like this.
"When things like this happen, in a town like this that is so passionate about their baseball, they want answers," Youkilis said. "And sometimes there is no answer for it. And we can sit around and make up as much stories as you want and say it was this, it was that, this person did this, and I know there's a story out there that a source on the team, and I hope all the players that want to say what they want to say about this year, say, 'Put my name on it.' Don't be a coward, don't be a guy that's going to be the source said. Put your name on it and say what you gotta say if you want to say it... if people are going to talk to reporters, be a man, put your name on it. Don't go to this media source to try to get this going."
Youkilis was asked about reports of Red Sox starters drinking beer in the clubhouse this season.
"You know that's something that's in-house, and I don't even want to talk about," Youkilis said. "That's in-house things that, if it happened, if it didn't happen. A lot of us position players, we're so busy playing that we don't what's going on. There's things that you have no idea what's going on. You're so busy playing that you don't know even half the stuff. That's the funny thing too is, I swear to you I'm always the last person to find out things, too."
The Red Sox third baseman wouldn't say whether or not there was a beer-filled cooler in the locker room.
"I mean, that's another thing too, that's... I don't know if that's been out there, that's in the media, what we have and what we don't have," Youkilis said. "I don't know if I'm allowed to say if there is or there isn't."
Youkilis was then asked if he cared if anyone who wasn't playing had a beer in the clubhouse.
"I don't think it's the right thing to do, personally," Youkilis said. "I don't think it's the proper way to go about things but I also don't think that's how you win or lose games. To say that's the reason why you're losing games, I don't think so, but yes, I don't think that's the right thing to do."
Youkilis also spoke about the Red Sox conditioning, which has come into question this season.
"The funny thing is is the greatest player of all time is Babe Ruth," Youkilis said of the larger-than-life baseball legend. "People are going to say whatever, and I'm speaking for myself. I don't have what you call the best body in the world. It's been well-stated and well-known. I think people are expecting baseball players to look like football players and I'm just going to tell you right now, that's not going to happen. Pitchers need to have a little more weight, and they're going to tell you that. If pitchers are skinny and ripped up, they're going to have a lot of physical issues. I've always loved that one: 'Oh, my God that pitcher looks out of shape,' I'm like, 'How are they out of shape?' What they're doing is they're going down hill every time and to have more weight that's going to give you more velocity a lot of times. Not to say that you should be 300 lbs., and six-foot tall, but I think that [Josh] Beckett's overplayed and guys are out of shape and this is what happened and I think that's kind of crazy because our strength coach [Dave Page] is really good, great guy, and he works his butt off and is very passionate about this team and being healthy."
Youkilis was asked about some of the complaints aired by Red Sox players at the end of the season and if he thinks some on the team feel they're entitled.
"Overall, and talking to guys around the league, the younger generation is a lot more entitled," Youkilis said. "And I think that's something that's going to go on for years...
"Sometimes it's tough and you're not feeling good that day, you got in at 4 a.m., you’re just not feeling it that day. It’s tough but you gotta go out and play and I know everyone’s blowing this up about Adrian [Gonzalez], I think he’s just giving you an example about how a season with all the crazy games on Fox or ESPN, it can have an effect on players but on the other end, you got to think as a player, too, and a lot of this stuff is why we get paid a lot more in Boston and New York and all these other places but New York had to go through the schedule we had to and we can’t use excuses why we win and lose.”
Youkilis also confirmed that he is scheduled to have surgery to repair a sports hernia tomorrow.
“I’m having surgery tomorrow,” Youkilis said. “The best thing is is the doctor said in four weeks you should be 100 percent and ready to do stuff and then hold off on lifting a little bit longer but he told me I could be riding a stationary bike in a week, so I’m pretty pumped about that.”
The main contributors to The Buzz are:
- Matt Pepin, Boston.com sports editor
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Gary Dzen, Boston.com senior sports producer
- Zuri Berry, Boston.com sports producer