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Former Boston Red Sox Player Kevin Youkilis Mistreated
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Former Boston Red Sox Player Kevin Youkilis Mistreated

Long-time Boston Red Sox Kevin Youkilis was traded earlier this week to the Chicago White Sox for a couple of players that, let’s face it, aren’t really anything special. The fact that he was traded for players that aren’t anything special says a lot. It says they wanted Youkilis out. That what they got in return wasn’t the biggest aspect of this trade. It was the off-field aspect that was most important. So the fan favorite was shipped off, something many fans didn’t expect to happen this early in the season, if at all.

It all started in April, and it never really ended. New manager Bobby Valentine made his presence known in a big way by calling out Kevin Youkilis. Valentine questioned Youkilis’ dedication to baseball, saying that he didn’t think Youkilis was ‘into the game’ like he had been in the past. And so began the media coverage of the relationship between the two. The question came into play because Youkilis started the 2012 season slow. Perhaps Valentine was trying to light a fire under his player? However, it came off as throwing his player under the bus.

In the beginning of May, Youkilis went on the DL with a bad back. This allowed prospect Will Middlebrooks to be called up to showcase what he can do until Youkilis came back. However, it went a little different than planned. Middlebrooks had preformed exceptionally well. So well that when Youkilis came back from injury he found himself fighting for playing time from this rookie.

A veteran player should not lose playing time, let alone a spot on the ball club, because of an injury. You let the veteran player play himself out of a starting spot. Youkilis’ numbers weren’t up to the standard he had set for himself the past couple of seasons, but they were never worthy of being traded in favor of a rookie who has about a month or two of big league experience. Will Middlebrooks is off to a great start to his major league career. Apparently, he proved all he had to in less than two months. A hot few weeks for a rookie was enough to send a long-time, fan favorite to another club for minimal assets in return?

There has got to be more to it than that. Youkilis was mistreated. He unfairly lost his job because, for whatever reason, the manager had something against him. He got hurt, and came back to find that his spot was already given to another player. The veteran player didn’t even have a chance. Youkilis spoke out about never really knowing what his role was anymore, because of a lack of communication with the manager. Bobby Valentine made it known, indirectly, that he wasn’t too fond of Kevin Youkilis. Because of that, Kevin Youkilis is now a member of the Chicago White Sox.

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