$12 million for one season doesn't buy what it used to. Kevin Youkilis, who will make more in 2013 than David Wright will, made his New York Yankees debut Thursday. And he promptly announced his loyalties to his old Boston Red Sox team, saying "I’ll always be a Red Sock." Oh, great.
I couldn't stand Youk -- I call him Yuck -- as a Red Sock, and the fact that he is now a Yankee makes my skin crawl. This isn't the likeable, self-deprecating and fun Johnny Damon becoming a Yank at the prime of his career. This is an overpaid has-been who can't stay healthy, and who even some Red Sox fans and players acknowledge is a jerk. Even his fellow players got sick of the way he threw a hissy fit every time he struck out.
Can't say Youkilis has made a great impression on me so far. He's made Joba Chamberlain look like paragon of maturity -- Joba had the guts to reach out to him first, only to be treated to radio silence for a month. Then when Youk arrives in Florida as a Yankee, the first thing he did was buy a Red Sox fan coffee. Whatta guy.
Some say that he's just being honest by saying that he'll always be a Red Sock. But there is a way of saying that his time with Boston meant something to him, without saying it the way he did.
And really, if he were being 100% honest, here's what he should have said. Even I could have respected this real attempt at honesty:
"Hello, suckers! Of course I'll always be a Red Sox -- their fans are the ones who will be paying my freight at card shows and Red Sox reunion events for the next fifty years. You think I want to pull a Johnny Damon and alienate the people who will be paying for my time on the golf course in my golden years? No way.
"I have no desire to be part of the Yankee way, other than to cash that $12 million check that Brian Cashman gave me. And people think Bobby Valentine is a knucklehead. Only Cash would sign me, somebody who missed more time to injury in 2012 than Alex Rodriguez, to replace A-Rod. And pay me $12 million to do it, way more than anybody else even came close to offering me.
"But Cash goes crazy for anybody related to the 2004 Red Sox -- me, Derek Lowe, Alan Embree, Mark Bellhorn... I wouldn't be surprised if he tries to talk Curt Schilling out of retirement to make a comeback!
"Oh, and I still hate Joba Chamberlain.
"Now, I'm off to spend $12 million of the Yankees' money while I hang out with denizens of Red Sox Nation. Ka-ching!"