Youkilis expounds on comments
Frustrated with a few fans, All-Star praises Boston
BOSTON -- Kevin Youkilis made it known on Wednesday that he has no ill will toward Red Sox fans. Not by a long shot.
One day after expressing frustration with fan and media negativity in an interview with The Boston Globe, the All-Star corner infielder expounded on his comments while emphasizing that there's no place he'd rather play than Boston.
"I've heard from a couple people around here that I'm angry at the fans, which couldn't be further from the truth," Youkilis said. "I've also been told I don't want to play here anymore, which is way far from the truth. I love playing here. The greatest time of the day for me is 7 [p.m.] to the last pitch, because there's nothing better than playing baseball here at Fenway Park every night.
"That's the greatest part of my day -- coming here and being with the fans."
Youkilis said his comments were not directed at all of Red Sox Nation, just the select few who are overly critical -- particularly of his teammates.
"The big thing about the fans and negativity is that there are negative comments from some fans every once in a while that are made toward, not even me, but my teammates," Youkilis said. "A lot of times, I feel like I have to stick up for guys. Maybe it's not my platform to do that. You know you have teammates who go out there and work hard. Sometimes they're not producing like they would like to, but they're putting forth a hard effort. That's not because they're not trying. It's because they're not having success."
If professional athletes are supposed to set an example for youngsters, Youkilis thinks the same should be expected of older fans.
"The one thing I've always said is that I see somebody yelling and cursing at a game, and there's a kid sitting next to them," Youkilis said. "We're looked to as role models, but sometimes those people need to watch what they say."
A veteran of six Major League seasons, all of which have come while wearing a Red Sox uniform, Youkilis understands the dynamic of playing in a sports-crazed city. In fact, he believes the issue of negativity in sports extends beyond Boston.
"It's about sports in general all over the place," Youkilis said. "This isn't just Boston. It's all over the country. A lot of [negative] stuff gets played up, but there are a lot of positive things, too. Maybe I was wrong by making my comments the way I made them, but these aren't new comments. Sometimes you're at fault for saying things because they get put out in the media in a different light than what you mean."
If it were up to Youkilis, every fan and media member would view him and his teammates in a positive light. But the 30-year-old slugger has learned to realize that such a scenario just isn't realistic.
"Some people get so wrapped up in the games," Youkilis said. "I understand people might have one opportunity to come to a game, and they might see us get beat pretty bad. That can definitely be frustrating.
"There are people who are going to be positive in life, and there are people who are going to be negative in life. You can't change people. That's maybe something I didn't comprehend as much. I wish everyone was happy-go-lucky, but that's not going to happen."
John Barone is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.