Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is healthy and wants to play, that’s the message he delivered to reporters on Saturday afternoon.
Speaking about his current status with the team Youkilis said:
“You want to play. I definitely want to play the game and enjoy it and have fun. I don’t know my situation. To be honest, I was never told what’s going on here — let’s get that straight.”
Manager Bobby Valentine said he spoke with the third baseman on Friday but Youkilis shot down that claim, noting:
“There was no conversation and I’ll leave it at that. I don’t want to start-up anything, but there was no conversation. But it has been addressed. … It’s been addressed that I’m not playing today. Basically, there was no conversation about it and I’m just coming in here and getting my work done. If I need to pinch hit and play the game, I’ll come in and play.”
Valentine shot back that he spoke with the third baseman but not in person and not before Saturday’s lineup was posted. Valentine said:
“I did (speak to him) yesterday, but not before the lineup was up but I’m not going there. I thought the question yesterday was whether he was spoken to before the game, before the lineup and I said, ‘Yes.’ I didn’t speak to him. I thought he was spoken to. If he wasn’t spoken to and he didn’t understand, I made a mistake. And you know, somehow in life, we all make mistakes but I thought he was spoken to.
“I’m just trying to play the people that I want to be in the lineup,” he added. “I think that’s one of the things I’m allowed to do.”
In the meantime the third base position is being met with a fight by rookie Will Middlebrooks who has racked up 31 RBIs in just 39 games since moving up to the major leagues.
Valentine has admitted that the competition between the two men has become “stressful” and delicate.
In the meantime rumors are circulating that several teams would like to get their hands on Youkilis and that the Boston Red Sox may be prepared to trade him. Among interested teams are the White Sox, Dodgers, Braves, Diamondbacks and Indians.