Like Manny Like Youk? Grind Away!
I came across an interesting article in the Thursday Boston Herald. In it, Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt expressed his theory that soon Kevin Youkilis will command Manny Ramirez-like respect from opposing pitchers as he bats cleanup for the Boston Red Sox. Youk, the gentleman that he always is, or at least most of the time, had this to say. My thanks go out to the Herald and John Tomase...
“Oh god,” Youkilis said. “I don’t know about that. I don’t think I’ll ever get to that point. If I did, it would be amazing. But you’re talking about the best hitter in baseball. No one’s ever going to be Manny. I don’t think anyone’s ever going to pitch to me like him. The home run threat’s not there like it is with him. . . . But it’s definitely a nice thing when a guy of Schmidt’s caliber says that. I think the key isn’t so much are guys hitting for power, it’s are they giving good at-bats,” Youkilis said. “You have a guy like J.D. Drew, he grinds out pitchers. Jason Bay, Mike Lowell, all the way down the line we grind out good at-bats. We don’t need another bat here. We just need to keep grinding, the way the Boston Red Sox have for years now. That’s our motto - to grind it out every day.”
I understand his reaction but Kevin WAS second runner up in the '08 AL MVP voting and he just seems to get better at the plate every year. His defense at first base is almost legendary, or it WILL be. And that's the name of THAT tune.
Yesterday in Florida, the Red Sox scored a run in the top of the ninth and the bullpen hung tight in the bottom of that frame, allowing Boston to defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates by a score of 4-3. Josh Beckett started and gave up a ton of hits but not many runs. It was his last tuneup before his opening day start on Monday. Here's the Red Sox pitching summary...
IP H R ER BB SO ERA
Josh Beckett 3.2 7 3 3 1 4 3.03
Javier Lopez 2.1 0 0 0 0 2 3.24
Manny Delcarmen 1.0 1 0 0 1 1 3.55
Jonathan Papelbon 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 3.00
Chris George 1.0 0 0 0 0 1 0.00
Let's hope Beckett gets his act together before his Monday Fenway start against one of the three teams who will be involved in the AL East race. The other two are the Yankees and the Red Sox. Yes, that's right...it's a three team horse race to the very end of the season, Tampa Bay, Boston and New York. At least that's the way I see it.
Thanks for popping in and enjoy your Thursday. On a personal note, my girlfriend Nadia is on a bus right now on her way here from Minnesota. I wish she could have taken a plane but ID problems presented themselves. She'll be in, God willing, Friday at 2:30pm EDT. That's WAYYY too much time on a bus for me and I'll worry until she first steps on Farmington, Connecticut ground. You can click on this post's title for that Youk article, among others, and as always, BE WELL. Shalom. Aloha. See ya. Safe trip, Nadi. Love you.