“What are some of the personal memories you have of pitching here at Fenway Park?”
Rick Porcello was asked such Friday while speaking with reporters for the first time since the Boston Red Sox acquired him from the Detroit Tigers at last week’s Major League Baseball winter meetings.
The pitcher took a moment, grinned, laughed and jokingly said, “There it is.”
While the question was innocent and Porcello knew it, the inquiry still opened the door to address the elephant in the room — the elephant in this case being a ticked-off Kevin Youkilis.
No, Youkilis wasn’t at Fenway on Friday. And chances are the former Red Sox corner infielder harbors no ill will toward Porcello. But it’s funny how things have a way of working out.
Youkilis, of course, charged the mound against Porcello during the right-hander’s rookie season with the Tigers in 2009, sparking a bench-clearing brawl at Fenway. Porcello, who was 20 years old at the time, flung Youkilis to the ground and landed on top of the slugger. Chaos ensued.
“Getting thrown out in the second inning my rookie year. Getting charged by Kevin Youkilis,” Porcello responded Friday, still smiling at the harmless awkwardness of the question. “That was definitely one of (the memories).”
Porcello, who turns 26 next week, has made four starts at Fenway in his six-year career. He has been knocked around a bit — literally and figuratively — but he also posted a solid outing last season in which he lasted eight innings en route to a win.
“For whatever reason, I had a couple of rough starts here, and last year I broke through in this ballpark and had a quality start,” Porcello said Friday. “That was a nice game for me. I had a lot of my family here. I just remember that one for some reason.
“It’s funny, my first year and my last year were my two most memorable moments I’ve had in this ballpark to this point.”
Now, it’s time for Porcello to make some new Fenway memories in a Red Sox uniform. Perhaps then the question won’t be so awkward.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@CSNNE
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