The hibernation is over for Kevin Youkilis.
After spending his offseason in California, the third baseman returned to Boston for his charity event “Youk’s Kids.”
It prompted Youkilis to revisit memories of last season’s troubles, one that triggered changes in management and in the front office. Although Youkilis was sidelined for most of September with a sports hernia, he acknowledged the existence of issues within the clubhouse, according to ESPN.
“I definitely didn’t think we had the best vibe in the clubhouse,” he told reporters at the charity event. “It was very different. It was noticeable early, but when you win, winning heals all the wounds. We definitely didn’t have the right attitude in a lot of ways…sometimes it snowballed out of control where we were worrying about things we shouldn’t have been worrying about and not playing the game of baseball.”
Now, Youkilis is aiming to erase those memories with a healthy 2012. It started with an official introduction to manager Bobby Valentine, who attended the event on Thursday. Prior to the meeting, the pair only spoke by phone or text.
After playing in 120 games last year, the 33-year-old will look to rebound from his injury-plagued season. The third baseman rehabbed in California over the offseason and expressed optimism after visiting with the Red Sox’s new medical team upon arrival.
“I’m doing great,” Youkilis said. “We’re definitely going in the right direction…there are little things here and there this time of year that you have to get going and ramp it up. I’ve started to ramp it up as much as I can. I feel great, healthy, lifting, with no restrictions.”
With the organization’s overhaul in the past four months, Youkilis anticipates a much different attitude in Fort Myers come February.
“We’re going to be working our butts off with Bobby — not that we didn’t before, but I think we’ll be hitting a lot more of the fundamentals,” Youkilis said.