Kevin Youkilis Says He’s ‘Past’ Issues With Bobby Valentine, ‘Leaving It Behind,’ But Grateful for Fans

by NESN Staff

June 26, 2012

Kevin Youkilis Says He's 'Past' Issues With Bobby Valentine, 'Leaving It Behind,' But Grateful for FansFew people seem to know for sure what happened between Kevin Youkilis and manager Bobby Valentine as Youkilis' days in Boston came to an end.

What had once promised to be a fruitful player-manager relationship was obviously tense in the final days, with some misunderstandings of who said — and meant — what.

But Valentine was sure to send Youkilis into the sunset with a proper farewell, and now it appears Youkilis wants to stop any rehashing and just move on to his next phase as third baseman of the Chicago White Sox.

When asked about Valentine in Chicago on Monday, Youkilis declined to comment.

"We're past that," he told ESPN Chicago. "I'm here, and that's that. We're just leaving it behind."

Youkilis said he was eager to build a new legacy in Chicago, which has its own sense of history, winning and fandom. He did acknowledge that leaving Boston behind would be tough, though.

"It was definitely very surreal," he said of his send-off at Fenway Park after he hit a triple and was pulled for a pinch-runner as the trade went through. "The Red Sox fans were unbelievable. They've always been unbelievable to me. I can't thank them enough for all the great years I had there, how they treated my family and friends. A lot of great memories."

He called his final curtain call "probably the most emotional thing I've ever gone through on a baseball field."

For all of the questions of how Youkilis would fit in this year as Will Middlebrooks gradually took the starting spot at third base, Youkilis' place in fans' hearts was never in question.

That's something he and Valentine can always agree on.

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