written by Charles Saffell
While he would rather be spending this time of year playing in the World Series, it wasn’t meant to be this season for Kevin Youkilis and his Boston Red Sox. The Sox finished third in the American League East and Youkilis tore a muscle in his thumb in early August which ended his season. Instead, he took the opportunity to come home to Cincinnati and catch up with some of his old teammates and coaches at the annual Home Run Derby at Marge Schott Stadium. With his agent on hand to ensure Youkilis wasn’t tempted to pick up a bat, he spent a few minutes talking to reporters about the rehab on his thumb, his offseason, and his trip home.
“(The thumb) is great its pretty much 100%,” said Youkilis. “Real close to 100% in strength. I’m hitting, throwing, doing all the good stuff. I’m ready to go now to play baseball, but there is no baseball to be played.”
He has been participating in baseball activities for about two weeks and will be ready to return to his spot with the Red Sox next spring. Youkilis is a versatile infielder and he is preparing himself to play either first or third base.
“I’m preparing myself to play third base,” said Youkilis. “If you prepare yourself to play third base and you play first it is an easy transition.”
So far this offseason he has spent time watching the Bengals and Bearcats on TV whenever he can. He did say that watching the Bengals this year has been tough, but he has hope they will turn it around and start winning some games. He was also able to get to the NBA season opener between the Heat and the Celtics in Boston on Tuesday night. While he says he is not a huge fan of the NBA living in Boston has turned him into a fan of the Celtics. His trip home has given him a chance to spend some quiet time with his family.
Prior to heading over to Marge Schott Stadium he got a chance to meet Butch Jones and address the football team.
“He seems like a great guy,” said Youkilis. “The players seem to have taken a liking to him. He seems like a good fit. He seems like a good thing for years to come here.”
While the team hasn’t performed as well this year as the last couple, Youkilis thinks things are headed in a good direction under the new staff.
“The overall attitude and the dedication these coaches are going to put into this program, I think it is going to go a long way.”
This weekend Youkilis plans on attending the Syracuse game with his family and close friends. Those friends will also be joining him on a road trip to Morgantown for the game against the Mountaineers in two weeks. They try to get to one road game a year so he and his friends can, “Live it up like we were back in college again.” On Sunday his family and friends will join him at Paul Brown Stadium for some tailgating, despite not having tickets to the game yet.
While he is a superstar in the city of Boston, trips home to Cincinnati give one of UC’s favorite sons a chance to relax and live a pretty normal life. So normal, he even has trouble getting tickets to watch his favorite NFL team take the field.