Pete Abe chimes with a bit of news that will likely irk some fans who want their Yankees to harbor lifelong enmity towards Red Sox players:
Kevin Youkilis mentioned on Monday that he did not start hitting until Feb. 1 — at the advice of former Yankees player Paul O’Neill.
“He told me the older he got, the later he hit,” Youkilis said. “He believed — and I believe it, too — to get your body physically ready and get as strong as you can and then you go hit. The hitting will come, you have six weeks of spring training.
“You have so much time to get ready. He believed that physically he wanted to get strong and get away from the game. You don’t want to beat yourself up all the time.”
The connection? Youkilis and O’Neill are from the northeast section of Cincinnati. O’Neill, in fact, lives close to where Kevin went to high school and they share an agent, Joe Bick.
“He lives in the same town I grew up in,” Youkilis said. “Great guy. Awesome guy.”
My favorite player giving advice to one of my least favorite is not the most exciting news I could have heard this week. It is funny that these two players are being linked, seeing as fans of the other 28 teams frequently compare them and find both of them fairly irritating. I will note, in Paulie’s defense, that most of his complaining was about his own performance, while Youkilis loves to shout at umpires and apparently has never been thrown a strike. O’Neill’s actions were simply those of a passionate player, while Youkilis is more of a malcontent. That’s my story and I am sticking to it.
While on the topic of Youkilis and his general abhorrent nature, I wanted to point out the results of an informal poll that I took on Twitter last week. I asked my tweeps to name their least favorite baseball player, expecting to see a large number of names. Although some other names came up, such as Youkilis, Papelbon, and Randy Johnson, the one name that was mentioned by practically everyone was Curt Schilling. With his annoying bluster and outsized personality, Schilling seems to have engendered an enormous amount of hatred from Yankees fans.
Which former or current MLB players do you love to hate? Is Schilling on that list? What about Youkilis?