Valentine questioned Youkilis’ commitment this season
Bobby Valentine has had to apologize for comments he made about third baseman Kevin Youkilis’ lack of commitment to this season on a Boston TV station over the weekend.
Bobby Valentine said that he didn’t feel Youkilis was “as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason. But (on Saturday) it seemed, you know, he’s seeing the ball well, got those two walks, go his on-base percentage up higher than his batting average, which is always a good thing, and he’ll move on from there.” Bobby Valentine apologized to Youkilis this morning before the game but said, “I don’t know if he accepted my apology. It was sincere.” There are those who feel Bobby Valentine made the comment as a kick in the pants to Youkilis who had a poor spring training, but he is batting .200.
Bobby Valentine’s comments made Youkilis demand an explanation this morning. “I’m more confused than anything,” said Youkilis. “Everybody knows I go out and play the game as hard as I can.” He added, “I go out every day and play as hard as I can—take every ground ball in the morning, take every at-bat like it’s my last. I don’t’ think my game has changed at all. I still get upset with myself. I still get mad. That’s just not how I go about the game of baseball.”
Bobby Valentine tried to clarify his comment made on TV, “I should have been more specific. Physical is about your swing, emotional is about not being happy when he doesn’t hit a ball off the wall.” He added that he doesn’t think Youkilis’ passionate approach to playing has changed. He doesn’t want Youkilis to think that he was “jabbing at him.”