It was a nice note to make, but it may not have held too much weight at that moment. Many people likely expected that Youkilis would be welcomed back the same way he was sent off — with gratitude for his years with Red Sox Nation, and with an acknowledgement that his trade was unfortunate but necessary. With Will Middlebrooks waiting to take over third base and Youkilis appearing to be fading fast, the trade was just one of those things that had to be done.
But, oh, how times have changed.
Then, on Sunday, a day before Youkilis was due to return to Fenway Park, Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine shared some of what he had been feeling as he and Youkilis were at odds earlier in the season. He said Youkilis didn’t put much effort into patching things up, while Youkilis said he didn’t want to talk about it anymore. Youkilis had already released a letter earlier in the day thanking Red Sox fans for their support over the years.
But even with the bad blood that has come up, and Youkilis providing a spark for another American League team, many Red Sox fans still have a special place in their hearts for Youk.
What about you — will you root for Youkilis, even against the Red Sox?