Tag Archives: Kevin Youkilis

The Youker Files: Going AWOL from Cubs camp in Arizona to wave this new penis size study in Terry Francona’s face

Former Red Sox infielder Kevin Youkilis played in the major leagues from 2004-2013 before spending last year in Japan. He announced his retirement last fall and subsequently took a job with Theo Epstein’s Chicago Cubs as a special assistant.

I’ve been waiting for this moment for years, you guys.

Scientists finally did it. I’m sure we’re all aware of the fact that back when Terry Francona was my coach with the Red Sox, he made some incredibly insensitive remarks about my penis length. He didn’t exactly term it that way, but we all know what he meant. He said I wasn’t a Greek god of anything because he’d apparently stole a few glances of my hog while I was in the locker room. Just ignorant.

So yeah yeah yeah, he was obviously kidding around. But that kind of colorful quote is the thing media types run with. I’ve never lived it down.

Until now.

I’ll admit, when I first glanced at the story my heart sank. See, the first article I read off the Internet earlier this week was from some British newspaper in England and numbers like 13 and 11 jumped off the computer screen at me. The pit of my stomach burned with a flurry of feelings I can’t even describe.

I guess my new boss Theo Epstein caught wind that I was moping around the Chicago Cubs’ spring training complex in Mesa (Arizona). All of a sudden I got a little sticky note inside my locker saying he wanted to see me. Now, I’ve seen the movie Major League about 40,000 times so this slip hanging in my locker scared the hell out of me.

I’m glad I didn’t barge into his office and tear the sticky into a thousand little pieces like I planned at first. Theo sat me down and explained something to me in layman’s terms – chiefly, the whole metric system.

Let me just say first off I don’t get Europe – why do they have to reinvent the wheel and fix things that ain’t broken? They can’t just use inches?

But I’m getting off track here.

Theo’s math lesson was a lot confusing and I stopped paying attention after a while, but not before doing a little math with Boy Wonder and figuring something out – Terry shortchanged me and it was time to formally seek his apology.

Now, mind you, I haven’t been a special assistant for the Cubs for very long. Less than a month, counting weekends and some personal time. I’m not really sure I’ve accrued a hell of a lot of vaca.

But Terry Francona’s Indians do their spring training stuff in Goodyear, Arizona – only about 45 minutes west of the Cubs’ facility. So I thought the best course of action would be to steal off for a few hours (it wouldn’t take long – I’d bring a fully printed, professionally bound copy of the penis study and wave it mockingly in Tito’s face). And to be stealth about it, I’d take a rental car and leave my car safely parked at the Cubs’ stadium, hence saving the trouble of having to take a day off yet also maintaining the appearance I was putting in my due time at the office so to speak. For all the Cubs knew, I was teaching my patented upper-hand bat grip slide to a youngster working on his swing timing.

So anyway I got lucky on Wednesday – the Indians were playing the Reds. As a Cincy kid from way back in the day, I figured this was probably a sign that this was my time to strike.

The ride was a breeze – rented a Jeep so that in case things didn’t go well with Terry I could do a little off-roading in the desert somewhere and blow off some of the inevitable steam.

Anyway, I encountered a couple of things of note in the parking lot once I got to Goodyear. The first was some inconsiderate goonball who had taken up two spaces in the garage with a compact car. I wasn’t about to let that go so I ripped a page from the large binder I had with the penis study in it. I figured the thing was so long-winded I could spare a page. I wrote out a long, detailed note to the guy about what a jerk he was to take up a space – what if somebody missed the ballgame looking for a spot because this guy decided he needed two? Et cetera et cetera.

I thought with that minor hurdle out of the way, I’d be able to walk into the Indians locker room and find Tito, show him the evidence about my normal-size member, and drive on back to the Cubs grinning ear to ear for getting the last laugh a decade later.

Unfortunately, I was accosted by several rabid fans in the parking lot. ‘You’re Kevin freaking Youkilis! Hey Kevin, sign me something!’ All these people were just swarming me. I could barely breathe.

The little kids all had hats and gloves and baseballs they wanted signed – lots of Reds fans from Ohio who remember me from my Cincy days. Really flattering and they were all begging me to come out of retirement and whatnot. Told ’em I’d think about it. Can’t say no to kids, you know?

The problem was I couldn’t leave some of the cute ladies who were also fighting for my attention, asking for my autograph. Only none of these girls had anything for me to sign – they didn’t have balls or pennants or my 2004 Red Sox rookie card or any of the typical stuff I expect my true fans to carry on their person. They were real pushy and none of them had a Sharpie either so I couldn’t just sign their breasts or buttocks and be on my way. (Some women like it when I just sign Yoooouk right across the cleavage.)

These chicks were so ill-prepared, but I’ve been turning over a new leaf and mellowing out big time now that I’m retired and married to Tom Brady’s sister. I’m a simple man and don’t want any trouble. So being the people person I am, I ripped some pages from my penis study binder that I had printed for Terry and signed Kevin Youkilis a dozen times and sent them off on their way.

Well, I’m sure you can tell where this is all going, tragically, by now. By the time I made my way to the clubhouse and asked for Terry, I realized basically all of the pages that proved my point about society’s misconceptions about the male hog were gone. The entire meat of the report – missing. Scattered about on car windshields and folded into purses of fickle female fans.

Ugh.

When Tito finally walked out of the clubhouse, he saw me holding the binder and began pointing and laughing hysterically. It was awful. I was in the height of my shame.

I dropped the binder and went after him the same way I did Rick Porcello a few years back. I didn’t care. I was steamed. I was going full bore right at him and was gonna tackle him when out of nowhere my former teammate Mike Aviles cut me off and chipped me off my route. Apparently, he didn’t care much for me during the time we were both in Boston in 2011 and we exchanged some mutual feelings of dislike. I’m glad the other guys there pulled me out of there and restrained me before I completely punked him.

After that, an executive from the Cleveland organization asked me not so politely to leave. What a long lonely walk back to the Jeep. The entire drive back to Mesa, all I could see was that image of Terry Francona pointing and laughing at me. Just a horrible feeling. So bad I forgot to even stop in the desert – I was too depressed for off-roading. Wasn’t up for sighting cacti – I’d dealt with enough pricks for one day. (Specifically, I’d bumped into a cactus grabbing a soda at a gas station and it left some pock-like marks.

So yeah, that’s about it. It’s unfortunate I had to pull a Schilling and take to the Internet. But awareness is important and I’m glad I didn’t back down to his bullying. I guess this beef with Terry Francona talking about my weenie is just going to continue onward into the abyss. So it goes.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to my new role as a special assistant with the Cubs. It’s gonna be like old times – Chicago even signed Manny Ramirez to some sort of a mentor role. I think they probably see the two of us as a good cop (me), bad cop (Manny) kind of dynamic.

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The Youker Files: Hanging ‘Em Up for Good

youker

Written exclusively for Fenway Pastoral by former Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis.

Retirement.

Gosh, this is a lot more emotional than I thought it would be. I feel almost sick to my stomach. Disgusted.

I’ve torn the velcro from my hulkish, oversized elbow guard for the last time. Thrown my helmet in utter disgust across a crowded dugout full of people for the last time. Ripped open my last bag of sunflower seeds. Defaced my last dugout lineup card that doesn’t have me hitting cleanup with crudely drawn dicks and middle fingers. Spat out my last juicy mouthful of chaw.

Well, OK. In the major leagues, that is…I’m still lifting and doing bench presses and stuff so that I can join one of those small town over-40 softball leagues and show everybody what a home run really looks like; yeah, I know I’m not 40 years old yet but close enough and last I checked some rinky dink town ain’t gonna be asking for a birth certificate or a printout of my baseball ref page.

I’m sure a lot of reporters are going to be calling me about my thoughts on potentially one day being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame. I’m not the one to make the decision but it’s probably the right thing to do since most of the fanbase really started to appreciate the art of drawing walks for the first time because of me. I was the first third baseman who made getting on base “cool” in this town. I doubt most Bostonians would disagree.

Some may point to my relatively quick fall from grace as evidence of the cruel realities of baseball’s aging curve. But what I think most people may not know is that I was basically a man-child at a young age. Not trying to brag here. But; I gotta say it: I was really mature as a youngster and well sorry if it makes you guys a bit uncomfortable but puberty rolled through me early and by the time I was in junior high, I was just dominating these noodly armed prepubescent pitchers I went up against in local baseball leagues. Those years count in my book, and I remember them well and fondly. Wouldn’t trade them for anything.

Point is, yeah, I only hit 150 homers in the big leagues, but if you add on all those dingers from my Babe Ruth and high school years? I’ve gotta think I’m well over 500. Conservatively. Ask anybody who was paying attention to the metropolitan Cincinnati youth baseball space back in the mid-1990s. I was something to be reckoned with.

A lot of my fans have been asking me why I didn’t continue my quest to go for 500 dongs as a professional the old-fashioned way – as a late-career refugee over in Japan. Rest assured, I would have probably done that if I chose to stay over there long enough, but the whole culture in Rakuten is different from the U.S. They weren’t bowing down to me or asking for pointers on how to glide your right hand up and down the handle of the bat as a timing mechanism the way I assumed they would. They really just seemed to view me as a novelty of sorts and I didn’t like it. I felt cheap and used.

Honestly, it felt like I came from some other area of the world or something. I tried to relate, I really did. Thought I was starting to endear myself. When I told people I was married to Tom Brady’s sister and that I did yoga, they rolled their eyes and exchanged knowing glances with each other. Humiliating. Worse, when I didn’t immediately put up the numbers I did back when I was a teenager full of piss and vinegar, they turned their backs on me like an old, damaged dog from the junkyard doghound outhouse. It sucked.

So anyway, the question now is what the hell am I going to do with myself with all this free time? Well, I’m sure MLB Network and Fox Sports and all those TV channels are going to come calling. I’ll weigh those offers pretty earnestly but I’ve always believed once you start appearing in movies (Milk Money, Oscar-nominated Moneyball, Oscar-snubbed piece of  cinéma vérité Cowboy Up: The Story of the 2003 Boston Red Sox), you can’t go back to TV. It’s just not a viable career move. I think, though, a cameo here or there in which I come out on stage and put Gabe Kapler in a headlock might not completely obliterate my rep or anything like that.

As you probably guessed, I’ve also got a few book ideas in the pipeline. Tell-alls, autobiogs, retrospectives, science fiction spaceship adventure dramas. A chilling recount of love bitterly deferred, based on a true story from one fateful night that ended in the parking lot of a Little Caesar’s during a road trip when I was in the minor leagues.

Apps? Yup, got a few logs burning on the fire of that front as well. A WWKYD thingy; a tell-all retrospective science fiction spaceship adventure drama game. An Apple iPhone Maps program that tells you where the nearest Little Caesar’s is. Things like that.

Lawsuits: Sadly, yes, I’m working on a few of those. Chiefly, this article published online by The Onion in 2012, “Kevin Youkilis Takes Out Full-Page Ad in ‘Juggs’ to Thank All the Trim in Boston.” Yeah, I don’t really know where the hell that came from, but it’s completely false and made up. I keep having to tell people, including my wife, that I’ve never even seen the magazine Juggs. Don’t know what it’s even all about. So in light of those facts, tell me how the heck would I have come to pay for an ad in a magazine devoted to large-breasted women (I’m guessing that’s what it is…sounds pretty suggestive doesn’t it?).

I’ve also decided to officially go after Terry Francona for defamation. As I’ve told you guys before, I was none too pleased when he decided to tell reporters I have a small penis. Supposedly he was just joking, but sometimes it seems like that’s all anybody who I come across on a busy city street seems to want to remember. It’s very embarrassing (also not true you guys my penis is a normal length and hopefully I don’t have to prove myself in front of an entire court of law or anything but if that’s what it comes down to so be it).

Lastly, I’m most definitely going after Rick Porcello because he tried to hold me down and kiss my mouth after throwing at me during an at-bat back in 2009. I think if he just publicly apologizes and acknowledges that was a pretty weird thing to do in the middle of a brawl, maybe I’ll let that one slide. I don’t want to be one of those litigious types.

Youkilis v Porcello

But anyway. A lot of people say that when one door closes, it slams into your bare foot and you stub your toe really hard and it hurts like nothing else in the world and you hop around in sheer agony. But, once it’s over, there’s another door that opens up in its place and, even though you’re fairly sure you’ll somehow stub that same throbbing toe again going through it, that door represents opportunity. And obviously (once your toe feels better) you walk on through it.

What I’m trying to say is I’ve gotta stop wasting my life drawing 10-pitch walks and grinding down pitchers, working up pitch counts. Fighting off pitch after pitch after pitch. Laying off any and every pitch that may look enticing but is, in fact, out of the strike zone. Making bitter beer faces at umps when they call a strike on some borderline pitch and not so successfully holding in farts when I step out of the batter’s box during particularly long ABs. At the end of it all, I can’t keep taking those high and tight pitches that end up running up on the ribs or off armpit…all in the name of furthering the win probability of some baseball team.

As iconic hero Walter White said in Breaking Bad, ‘I’ve still got things left to do.‘ With that, I’m hanging ‘em up. And, well, nobody better get in my way…

Youkilis v Posada

The Youker Files: Packing up for a year in Japan

Written exclusively for Fenway Pastoral by former Red Sox infielder and fan favorite, Kevin Youkilis.

(Youker Files diary archives can be found here.)

As a child of the early 90s, I’ve seen the movie Mr. Baseball about a thousand times thanks to TNT and TBS. In the film, a former major league superstar played by Tom Selleck is traded from the New York Yankees to the Chunichi Dragons when his career in the U.S. goes south. Selleck’s character struggles to fit in on his new team.

youkilis mr. baseball

But then some weird stuff happens. He falls in love with one of the locals, wins over the fan base, starts to figure out the culture and, at the climax of the movie, hits home runs in seven straight games in really dramatic fashion. He marries the girl, returns triumphantly to the U.S. and winds up becoming the manager of the Detroit Tigers. I won’t rehash any more details in case some of the younger readers haven’t seen the film yet.

So anyway, the parallels here are eerie, right? Only a few minor details are different. I myself just finished up a less-than-stellar year with the Yankees. And I’ll be playing for the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, not for Chunichi. But otherwise – the killer mustache? the Hollywood pedigree? the rugged American sex symbol in a classic fish-out-of-water scenario? the hairy forearms? I’m blushing here, but yeah, I am like the real life Mr. Baseball or whatever.

Back when I went over to Tokyo in March 2008 with the Red Sox to play the Athletics to start the season, I didn’t have a lot of time to really assimilate into the culture or anything. It was just too much of a whirlwind. But if we had been there for a few more days, though, the vibe I got was that I was on the verge of total acceptance. I mean, no offense to Red Sox Nation here, but Japanese fans coordinate their chants in perfect synchronicity. It’s amazing. So I really think these Golden Eagles fans are going to nail the “Yooouuuk” thing pretty early on.

Plus, check out this picture the Associate Press got of me trying to follow along with a pregame Awaodoi dance routine put on by some of the native dancers. I think I held my own pretty well.

Youkilis in Tokyo

On top of that, just check out this article in The Japan Times about how Japanese baseball fans love the artistic genius of unconventional batting stances. In fact, the writer says I am the Michelangelo of batting stances. Yeah, I definitely feel the same way and he was my favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle as well so there is just a lot of Zen-like harmony and symmetry in this world.

There are other reasons I had to do this deal with Tohoku you guys. I get a $4 million base salary and I can get another million more if I hit some basic benchmarks. And this is where I really took them for a ride: Part of how they calculate the incentives is how many walks I draw. I mean, c’mon! They would have been calling me The Wolf of Yawkey Way or something if MLB teams had stuff like that written into their contracts five or six years ago.

Some people have been asking about how I’ll assimilate into the culture. (Tom Selleck didn’t really get it at first because he was being an idiot.) But I think I’ll do just fine. I’m taking my wife, Tom Brady’s sister Julie, and my kids. Plus, I’ve done pretty well for myself in yoga class even after the embarrassment of that first session, when I accidentally ripped a fart in the middle of one of the poses. A lot of people sent me heartfelt messages after that incident and told me to just keep my head up and forge ahead. Turns out that farting isn’t all that uncommon during yoga and I never had to feel as ashamed as I did. I kinda figured that, but it was still nice to hear people come out of the woodwork and say it.

It’s not going to be all baseball over there either. I’ve got some things I wouldn’t mind doing while I’m over there. If they’re still around, it would be cool to meet the guys who made the 8-bit Nintendo video game Contra. I was so good at that game back when I was 11 or 12 years old that I didn’t even need to use the cheat code for unlimited lives. I’m pretty sure there are only a handful of us around so maybe the developers of that game would appreciate meeting me?

So I guess it’s off to the Far East. I’m not sure why they can’t just call it the Near West if you fly to Japan from California or really anywhere on the West Coast, but whatever. I’m not in the mood to fight every little battle. For example, the sushi thing. Yeah, that’ll probably come up a fair amount. I don’t eat raw fish and people will just have to deal with that.

I know that some of you guys out there kind of floated the idea of me coming back to the Sox before the team re-signed Napoli. Yeah, I would have probably crushed it at first base and as a DH spelling David Ortiz, but I think it was some Zen Buddhist or other Asian philosopher who first coined the phrase “Everything happens for a reason.”

If you really think about it, that’s pretty insightful. It’s definitely a little more useful than other motivational sayings I’ve heard like Millar’s “Cowboy Up” thing. Then again, Kevin Millar wouldn’t understand a good koan if you etched it on a baseball and drilled it into his ribs. I suppose that’s my way of saying the Red Sox will be alright without me. And, hey, if the Red Sox end up signing Masahiro Tanaka away from my new team, it’ll be kind of an even trade right? Funny how these things work out in the end.

And, look, at the very least my new career in Japan can’t possibly be any weirder than Manny going over to Taiwan last year, right?

The Youker Files: An Old Friend Offers Boston His Congratulations

Earlier today, former Red Sox corner infielder and friend of the site, Kevin Youkilis, penned a nice note to his fans and readers at Fenway Pastoral.

(Youker Files diary archives can be found here.)

Kevin Youkilis Youker Files

They did it, you guys. I’m really happy for all my old teammates up in Boston for winning the 2013 World Series last week. I’m sure there are some people out there who think I cheer against the Red Sox now since I got traded to Chicago in 2012 and then played for the Yankees this year. After all, I was one of basically a handful of that really awesome core of dudes who brought glory back to the city back in 2004 and then again in 2007. We were the original grinders. Then it all came to an end pretty quick and bitterly.

But, no. Now that those stupid buttheads in the Yankees’ front office have officially declined to extend me a qualifying offer, I think I can safely come out and say that I still bleed red blood. Type B. Boston B, that is. Brian Cashman can eat my doodoo.

I’ll let you guys in on a little secret, too: As a Yankee, I might not have been able to outwardly show my solidarity by growing a beard along with some of my old buddies in Beantown like Papi and Dustin. I mean, the Yanks have some pretty tough facial hair standards. But I want you guys to know that I still grew some pretty awesome Napoli-like tufts down somewhere that the Yankees couldn’t, you know, regulate. I’m talking about nether regions right now. OK?

Yeah, what I’m probably not saying clearly is that I grew my pubic hair really long.

Anyway, I’m happy there wasn’t another round in the playoffs. My wife Tom Brady’s sister Julie was getting pretty annoyed. I was a big, hot, hairy mess watching these games. And emotionally speaking, I was a wreck too. I was throwing all kinds of stuff around our living room, just getting really intense and into the moment.

Here are my most vivid memories from the 2013 postseason run:

Smashing a serving plate into like a million pieces after Joe West screwed the Red Sox during ALCS Game 1. Anibel Sanchez was getting everything called in the first game of the ALCS, huh? I mean, I don’t care about pitch charts and FX stuff. West had it in for the Red Sox. He owes them a bunch of make-up calls next year. You just know that if I were playing in that game, I would have gotten screwed too. Some umps resent that I have such a keen eye. I would have been making my bitter beer face all over the diamond. Some of these guys just have no regard for the rules of the game. If I don’t swing at a certain pitch, it’s because it’s out of the strike zone. I don’t even need you there trying to tell me differently, dude.

Losing my voice from screaming at the TV for Shane Victorino to charge the mound after guys kept hitting him. Shane Victorino got hit by, what, like 10 pitches over the course of three rounds? At some point, someone should have told Shane you gotta run at the pitcher to reinforce your place in the food chain. Hitters don’t get any respect from umps these days. Pitchers are just teeing off on guys and the batters are always being discouraged by the commish’s office from running at these dangerous, irresponsible headhunters with bats and fists raised. I always assumed The Flyin’ Hawaiian nickname was an homage to the WWE or at least had something to do with Victorino being a good wrestler. So I was surprised he never just took off for a good old-fashioned brawl after one of those fastballs to the ribs. I gotta say, if I were on base when Victorino got nailed, I would have made a beeline for the pitcher and delivered a Brian Urlacher bone-cruncher to make sure his team knew I wasn’t messing around. Every little thing BAM! Is gonna be alright POW!

Flipping my coffee table over in sheer joy when Ortiz hit that grand slam. Oh my god, what a comeback and what a classic moment from Papi. I probably would have worked the count full to mess with the pitcher a little more, but that bullet that David hit into the Sox pen was just exhilarating to watch on TV. Maybe TOO exhilarating: My wife Tom Brady’s sister Julie had just poured herself a glass of burgundy from a pretty expensive bottle. The whole thing wound up on our white sheepskin rug when I got carried away in my sheer glee and launched the living room table up in the air. It did like a full 360-degree flip and dented the flooring. I left D.O. a message Saturday when he was at the parade asking if he’d maybe help pay for the damage. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect a check within the next few days. He knows my address.

Receiving a letter from the lawyers representing Fox Sports after having several choice-worded phone calls with producers. Fox’s refusal to show the pitch tracker box like TBS did during the ALCS finally had my blood boiling by the time the World Series began. Craig Breslow’s throwing error in Game 2 had me in a pretty weird place, and in the aftermath of that, I just lost my usual cool, calm, collected self in a sea of expletives that involved a few phone calls that I guess people took literally. I mean, idle threats delivered over a phone? Who takes those seriously.

Screaming like a little schoolgirl when David Ross was called out at the plate during Game 5. OK, fine. So the play didn’t cost the Red Sox the game in the end, but Ross clearly slid under, around and then over Yadier Molina’s mitt. Seemed like a black-and-white call to me. Should have been reviewed. Ross seems like a nice enough guy, but I think what might have been better is if he got up after the play and got up in the ump’s face and asked very politely for him to reconsider. I mean, just because the ball beats the runner by a couple of steps, the ump should assume the catcher will still bungle it. Catchers are oafish klutzes and us baserunner types are graceful enough to know how to get around their mitts using smoke and mirrors and voodoo and stuff.

Anyway, I’m just gonna say congratulations again to all the fans of Boston. Seems like you guys had a pretty awesome season. Now that I’m a free agent, you never know maybe I’ll wind up back in Boston. Probably a long shot, but you never know. I’m going to shop around and see what’s what.

Thanks to Boston’s success this year, I think a lot of front offices are realizing now you need some hard asses who work counts at the plate and who aren’t afraid of growing fistfuls and fistfuls of facial hair. I’ve already started growing my beard out and you guys know better than anyone from back in the day when I had my goatee, I know how to do it right. I also know how to win so I’m pretty sure there’s going to be a bit more interest in my services this year compared to last. Especially when I have an full-fledged afro growing out of my chin by December.

I don’t know, I’m just super-pumped about this offseason. This is going to be the winter of the hairy 30-something free agent who has a chock full of the intangibles. Damnit, I can’t wait.

Youker Files Archives: A Retrospective

Kevin Youkilis debuted for the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and quickly became a fan favorite. Over the past few years, Youk was a regular contributor in this space, providing episodic snapshots of his life and times.

As a service to Yankees fans excited to learn more about their newest third basemen, Fenway Pastoral has pulled together its archives of Youker Files.

  • 10 Tips for a Successful Job Interview Youkilis offers fans some practical career advice and generally basks in the glow of being one of only a handful of third basemen available on the free agent market.
  • On My Bittersweet Swan Song as a Red Sox Kevin’s emotional goodbye to Boston after he was shipped out to Chicago is sure to tug at the heartstrings.
  • In Which I Accidentally Fart during Yoga Class with Mrs. Youkilis-Brady Kevin pontificates about the true meaning of life and comes to the realization that even embarrassing bodily functions can sometimes lead to enlightenment.
  • Marrying Tom Brady’s Sister Kevin rehashes his nervous excitement leading up to his marriage proposal to the sister of a fellow Boston sports legend.
  • Dinner With the Guys at Applebee’s Back before anyone knew just how sourly the year would end, a 2011 spring training team-building dinner at a local bistro seemed innocent enough.
  • A Trip to the Farmer’s Market Youk weighs in on the staying power of a popular consumer trend while on the shelf with a thumb injury.
  • 4th of July Fireworks Safety Tips Kevin articulates his passion and appreciation for a popular American past-time (other than baseball).
  • A Day on the Links Youkilis manages to fit in one last round of golf with Dustin Pedroia prior to the beginning of the 2010 regular season. The results aren’t completely disastrous.
  • An Evening at the Nutcracker Demonstrating an appreciation for high culture that is sure to resonate with the box-seat dwellers at Yankee Stadium, Kevin cleans himself up and takes his then-girlfriend “wife” to a popular holiday-themed ballet.
  • My Visit to Disneyland A day before the first game of the 2009 ALDS against the Anaheim Angels, Kevin made a regrettable decision to ride the teacups.

The Youker Files: 10 Tips for a Successful Job Interview

After a dramatic, heartfelt goodbye to Boston, free agent and former Red Sox 1B/3B, Kevin Youkilis returns to Fenway Pastoral for the first time to talk about the free agency courting process.

What’s up everybody. I’m writing this from the gate of an airport terminal while waiting for my flight to leave Chicago. Or is it Cincinnati? Or is it Milwaukee or Cleveland?

Sorry, guys. My agent won’t let me say where I am right now where because he says it could compromise my “market leverage.”

Whatever the hell that means. This free agency stuff is pretty strange. This is the first time in my career that it will be up to me to decide where I get to play next season.

Everybody has their ass all a-pucker over the fact that I’m 33 years old. Like I’m some kind of ancient artifact or a dinosaur or a wrinkly, white-haired wizard. I mean, seriously. I don’t even have hair on the top of my head right now but I could grow it out and be in shampoo ads like Tim Lincecum if I felt like it.

Obviously, last year was a down year for yours truly. But I’m not nearly done smashing baseballs. Some people are going to find that out the hard way next year. Pitchers mostly. And the manager, players and fans of opposing teams, too, I guess.

But first thing’s first. (Or third, too. I can still play third base too, you guys.)

I’ve got to prove to these general managers and front office dudes that I’m totally worth a 3-year, $60 million contract. That’s only $20 million a year, which is fair if you’re getting a guy who will mash 40 home runs and be a clubhouse leader like me. Yeah, sure: the player’s union won’t let me specifically promise any of those things in an actual contract. But I mean, what are the actual chances that some weird, freak injury keeps me from fulfilling that unwritten pledge?

Anyway, I’ve already learned a lot about how to present yourself properly when meeting with a potential employer.

Here’s what they don’t tell you on Monster.com:

1. Brand yourself a winner right off the bat. When I shake hands with the executives of an interested team, I want to make sure to jog their memories of my two World Series wins in 2004 and 2007 with the Red Sox. So I wear one WS ring on each of my hands. As I’m introducing myself, I squeeze their hands extra tight and bring my left hand in for one of those extracurricular back-of-the-hand pats that you mostly only do if you’re in Europe or if you’re in the mob. Here’s the wrinkle, though: Hold that position for a 15-second count, glance down at the rings and say, “How’d you like one of these to have a (fill in the appropriate team name here) logo on it??

2. Make eye contact. As you’re gripping and patting hands, lock your eyes in on the other person’s irises. And don’t be the first to look away. Back in elementary school, I was king of staring contests during lunch. So I’m pretty sure I’ve been nailing this one the last couple weeks.

3. Carve out time for a preemie just before your interview. Selling yourself to a potential employer is nerve-wracking. When I get nervous, I can feel things swirling around in my stomach. The less things you have swirling around in your stomach, the less the chances are that you’ll have to rush out of the office in the middle of the interview to relieve your bowels. Scout out suitable restroom venues in advance. You don’t want to wind up crushing out your preemie in the bathroom stall next to the general manager you’re about to shake hands with five minutes later. Take it from me: It gets weird.

4. Wear a subtle amount of protective gear (elbow pads, shin pads, etc.) over your suit. Even if you’re a guy who doesn’t have durability concerns, this tells the interviewer that you’re pretty damn serious about staying at an optimal level of health. As an added bonus, you’re pretty much all set to take some hacks in the batting cage if there are any skeptics questioning your bat speed, hitting eye, etc. Also wear a tie.

5. Make your ‘weaknesses’ sound like attributes.Well, sir, I’ll admit to you right now sometimes I swing at bad pitches…and they usually wind up going 400 feet instead of 420 feet…

6. Blame embarrassing photos of you on the Internet on advancements in technology. Seriously, I’m sick of all these nerds circulating “photo-shopped” pictures of me flipping the bird.

7. If you’re related to Tom Brady, mention that you’re related to Tom Brady. Think about it: If you had high SAT scores in high school, wouldn’t you list them prominently on your resume? A job interview is no time to get all bashful.

8. Don’t get visibly annoyed if they take a few minutes to find and hook up a VCR so you can show them your highlight tape. One of my high school buddies from home in Cincy cut me a tape back in the 1990s. I dug it out after the White Sox bought out my contract and I officially became a free agent. It’s important to show the big-wigs that you have extensive, prolonged experience in whatever industry you happen to work within.

9. Demand to know when they’re going to make a decision. If they waffle, pull out your cell phone and put it to your ear like you’re answering an important call from your agent. Make a bunch of contemplative faces and say cryptic things like, “Wow, that’s a generous offer!”, “Geez, I guess I have a lot to think about now…” and “Adam LaRoche just signed a contract for HOW much??

10. Wait until you’re being walked out to offer autographs for their wives and kids. This is just simple, common sense stuff. But it’s still worth remembering.

Alright, guys. My flight is about to start boarding. I need to get on the plane ASAP. I want to ask the pilot before he heads to the cockpit not to mention that I’m on the flight. I don’t want to stir up speculation I might be signing a deal before we even get to Thanksgiving. I want to savor this process in case I end up signing a five or 10-year deal that takes me into retirement.

Who knows? Maybe it’ll be back in Boston. Weirder things have happened. (To me, at least…)

The Youker Files: On My Bittersweet Swan Song as a Red Sox

Written exclusively for Fenway Pastoral by former Boston Red Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis.

Well guys, I guess this is it.

(Photo from USA Today)

I was kind of expecting I’d be here for another decade or so pounding doubles all over Fenway and taking over at DH for Ortiz. But apparently word got down to the dugout during Sunday’s game that I’d been traded to the Chicago White Sox.

It was weird being in the lineup knowing that you might not technically be a member of the team by the time the game you’re in is over. Now I know what it felt like to be Manny Ramirez every day during the month of July from 2004 until 2008.

It was classy of Bobby Valentine to take me out after I stung that triple to right in the seventh. But I gotta be honest, I was planning a straight steal of home on the next pitch and if I was safe, I was going to throw my helmet really high in the air and run around Fenway smacking five with everyone like Carl Yazstremski as everyone was losing their mind in Youk-phoria. But I guess this was alright as a backup plan. We had a pretty big lead at that point so stealing home might not have gone over well in the Braves dugout.

Nine years as a member of the Boston Red Sox organization. I can’t say it was perfect, but the important thing is that I’ve made a lot of great memories here. (I’m ignoring the time Terry Francona implied to the media that I have a small penis…).

It’s always bittersweet when you walk away from something great. I remember when we wrapped up filming of Milk Money in 1994, I was pretty broken up about not knowing when I’d see Melanie Griffith again. I guess in some ways that’s how I feel about guys like Beckett and Ortiz and Salty and Petey — they’re like adult versions of what Melanie Griffith meant to me in my youth. I hope that makes sense and doesn’t sound weird or creepy or anything.

(I never really liked Ed Harris. So I guess Bobby Valentine can be Ed Harris minus the obvious acting talent.)

Sorry for all the rambling, but I’m still at a loss for words about leaving a town where I’ve seen my life flash before my eyes so many times. All the fans out there lived through it all with me. Every missile fired at my neck by some forgotten, head-hunting middle reliever. Every broken bat tomahawking down the third-base line at my skull. Every ill-advised headfirst slide into first base. Every bench-clearing dust-up where I screamed myself hoarse at some overzealous hardass on the other team who thought he was being a good teammate but was really just in over his head.

I’m going to call my brother-in-law Tom Brady later today to make sure he’s doing OK. Local athletes in the city kind of have an unspoken kinship, especially the bigger stars like me and Tom Brady. So I want to make sure TB12 knows we’ll still have that connection even if I’m in Chicago since he’s my brother-in-law and all that.

To all my fans, I know a lot of guys pay local papers like Boston Globe for those full-page ads expressing their thanks for all the support, but I don’t know if I really need to do that. It seems kind of self-serving. If, or when, I come back here during the playoffs and hit a couple towering walk-off dongs over the Green Monster, I’m probably going to be pretty fired up about it, so the whole thing would kind of look phony at that point, right?

So yeah, I’m off to the Midwest, near where it all began for me back in the day. Being a Cincy native, I always thought Chicagoans were a bunch of flashy holier-than-thou snobs, but I’m sure at heart they mean well. I just hope they don’t expect me to change who I am. I’m still going to let out loud strings of expletives every time I foul a ball off my big toe.

I’ve had a lot of kids tell me they learned most of George Carlin’s seven major curse words from me telling off bad umpires. I can’t help but well up a little bit knowing I’ve touched so many lives during my time here.

Somebody once said something pretty deep to me. I hope I get this right – it was, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because you never tore every muscle in your shoulder irreparably while repeatedly hammering your batting helmet on the dugout water cooler after being called out on strikes.”

I don’t think I can say it any better or more simply than that. Adieu, Boston.