August 26, 2009

Youkilis Is Sick Of The Media

Yook:
I'm just annoyed with the media as a whole. People write stuff about players on this team throughout the whole year and it's been going on for years and people just keep writing crap. ...

One night we get beat and it's the end of the world and the next night we win big and it's totally solid. We're back. It's up and down. One night we're getting bashed and the next time they're cheering. One guy has a bad game one night and they're all over him and the next night he has a good game and he's a hero. ...

I get sick of the questions. After we lose a game, [they're saying] it's over in the AL East. What are you gonna do now?
These quotes can be found in today's CHB column. And so we are given absolutely no context for his remarks. We don't know when Youkilis said these things. We have no idea what he was responding to. And if he said these things only to CHB -- I see nothing about this at the Herald or MLB -- we have no idea how accurate they are.

The up-and-down attitude Youkilis describes is nothing more than the job description of a sports columnist. And he should be well aware of that by now. It is usually a snapshot of the now. There is no perspective, no reasoned consideration. A bad loss means further losses will follow. An exciting win, however, could be predictive of a long string of success -- or it may mean the team is "due" for some losses.

Sadly, far too many fans are content to not think for themselves and adopt this attitude completely. The Chicken Littles drive me nuts and I have almost no contact with them. It must make the players insane. (And this is with 2004 and 2007 presumably fresh in everyone's mind.)

More:
When people ask me, "What do you love about Boston?" I say, "From 7 o'clock until the last pitch is thrown." That's the best time in the world. I love it. I love playing on the field.

But there's a lot of stuff that goes on. People portray people. I've been portrayed as a guy who breaks helmets and breaks bats. I don't do that.
This is odd. Yook has certainly calmed down on the field, but the Red Sox held several team meetings a couple of years ago to address his petulant tantrums after making outs. But are Red Sox fans bothered by his outbursts? I thought they loved it (as Yankee fans loved Paul O'Neill) and saw it as evidence that "he cares". Those same fans complain that J.D. Drew doesn't throw stuff around after an 0-for-5 night.
People know me. I have good intentions, I do good things in the community. But I've heard more and more crap from people, [they] talk to my wife and talk to my people and say stuff, and I'm like, "You know what? I'm sick of it."
I wish Youkilis would elaborate more on this -- or if he did, the quotes had been printed in the paper. This cannot be solely from his mound charging/suspension. Yook's apology for that and his regrets about how it might have impacted his work with kids seemed quite genuine. Were people in Boston making that a big deal about the incident? Was he actually portrayed as an evil guy?

If I made a list of the most popular Red Sox players, I would put Youkilis near the top. He has been very consistent as a hitter and is solid at two infield positions. I have no reason to doubt what he's complaining about, but I wouldn't think he gets much shit from fans. Perhaps he hears crap about the team in general.

The comments sound a lot like what he said back on August 18, when he returned from his five-game suspension. Yet it's not like the CHB is sit on quotes like these for a week. If he had them before last night, we would have seen this column on the eve of the Yankees series.
Example
I had the following ready to go as a post back on April 26. I didn't have much to say about it, so I did not put it up, but it seems appropriate to dust it off now. It was titled "Milton Bradley Makes Sense":

Things are not going well for Milton Bradley in Chicago. His season began with an ejection for arguing a called third strike, he has gone 1-for-23 (.043/.290/.174) and is currently sidelined with a groin injury. He is also not happy with the media. Last Thursday, he broke his 11-day silence.

April 23:
You come in here and all they want to talk about is how often you get hurt and your attitude and everything. ... [T]he more reporters get in my face, the more I talk, the more things get written the way I don't say them or they're taken out of context, and that's when you lose teammates and you lose fans. ... [S]omebody throws a question at you, just the way they ask it or the question, might make me look perturbed at the question they're asking. ...

I can see already I'm going to be that guy that since nothing else is going on in here -- "We're going to harp on Bradley all year and see if we can get him to snap." I'm not going to go for it. ... If I talk to you, you're going to make something up, and if I don't talk to you, you're going to make something up. So just go ahead and make something up and leave me out of it.
April 24:
I'm tired of being told somebody wrote this about you when that person has never even come in here and talked to me. You can't write articles and consider yourself a legitimate, credible reporter when your information is based on nothing. ...

Basically, for me, I talk to people I like. I don't particularly like the media, and the media doesn't like me. So let's not pretend we're buddies or you're trying to do anything for me. If anything, you hurt me more than help. So I don't see any benefit of really talking to the media.

18 comments:

Tom said...

Can we please stop legitimizing Shaugnessy? Stop linking, stop commenting on, stop reading his articles.

Please?

L-girl said...

Trouble is, Tom, he's already legitimized by being such a visible prescence in the mainstream sports media. Debunking his (and other mainstream media) nonsense is an important part of what blogging can do.

(I don't read him either - but I don't read any mainstream sports media.)

redsock said...

Can we please stop legitimizing Shaugnessy? Stop linking, stop commenting on, stop reading his articles.

I rarely link to anything with his by-line. I wish I could be 100% on this, but I cannot.

I did not quote any of CHB's words in this post. I never read his usual columns, so they will never be discussed or noted here. (I saw these quotes in SoSH's media forum.)

However, if Youkilis said these things, then they are worth noting and discussing, regardless of which mediot brought them to our attention.

James said...

Shaugnessy challenged me to a fight once. I sent him an angry email about one of his columns, he accused me of (I swear to god) living in my mom's basement and never having been to a baseball game, and that I wouldn't say any of what I said to him in my email to his face, or he'd sock me.

This was when I was working at Fenway and hadn't missed a game in about two years; and I told him as much. I also indicated that I didn't have any desire to fight him, but told me where I could be located and what I looked like.

He was pretty gracious and reasonable then, he sort of apologized, and said that when he found some time he'd drop by and we could chat. He never came by, which is fine with me.

It was really strange.

Iridescence said...

I hope Youk did say these things! He's already one of my favorite players and I agree with everything he says here.

So many sportswriters are just utter clueless sensationalistic assholes and play to the lowest common denominator of fairweather fan. It's absolutely true.

L-girl said...

he accused me of (I swear to god) living in my mom's basement and never having been to a baseball game

Leave it to CHB to resort to cliches and personal attacks!

Cool story.

Ish said...

Speaking of cool story, remember me telling you about one of my dad's coworker's sons buying Pedroia and "someone else" a beer in Washington?

The "someone else" was Beckett.

James said...

I don't really care one way or the other if Youk said this, as long as he keeps mashing.

redsock said...

James: You should have agreed to fight him.

His replies to any emails are all very consistent -- always smug insulting. Though I have sent him a couple of emails, but he has never replied.

redsock said...

SoSHer JohnnyTheBone:
I heard John Dennis mention on the crossover that Youk was under the impression the article would be about him switching back and forth from first base to third base. He's surprised the article came out the way it did, apparently.

My reply:
Yook's been here how long? And he doesn't know CHB's m.o. by now?
Any Red Sox player who has been here more than two days should know to either ignore CHB or answer his questions with a "Yes" or "No" or "I'm late for an appointment, sorry, gotta run".

James said...

Also: I always kind of liked Milton Bradley, until I read that his favorite book was the Fountainhead, Then I read this interview.

Q: Who introduced you to Ayn Rand's "The Fountainhead"?

MB: I never read that. Somebody wrote that it was my favorite book. I never even read it [laughs].

Which is really strange. Why would someone make that up, except to make him look like a bad guy? I'm willing to accept that there's an anti-Milton Bradley conspiracy out there.

redsock said...

Gotta share a troll moment!

Our mostly recently banned Yankee fan thinks it's pathetic how, after our win last night, a few of us switched over to watch the ninth inning of the Rangers/Yankees game and posted about it.

That's pathetic, but a Yankees fan visiting a Red Sox blog and typing out a comment (a comment he knows will be tossed in the trash) about how silly Red Sox fans are for paying attention to another team -- well, that's perfectly normal. Hoooo-kay.

papa sime said...

living in boston - it really can be suffocating. i dont listen to weei much but it is really absurd how crazy some people get about everything. just the comments on boston.com are full of extreme, irrational and often hateful opinions.

i also think the red sox get a ton of coverage on espn/sportscenter - and they are one of the guiltiest parties when it comes to sensationalizing sports, creating controversies, and leading the public opinion's towards being outraged.

redsock said...

I agree with SoSHer Razor Shines:

"Maybe this is closed-minded of me, but whenever I see or hear someone claiming that "player x has no heart" I immediately write off everything else they have to say. It just strikes me as the height of arrogance to claim that you know what goes on inside another person's brain, or what degree of pain another person is feeling.
Usually, J.D. Drew is a great litmus test to separate rational fans from the braying jackasses. But, Kevin Youkilis is just as good here. He has been, without a doubt, the best player on this team over the past 2 years. If you find yourself focusing on his equipment throwing, bitching about strike calls, or the one time in his professional career that he charged the mound, it's time to reassess your priorities. Maybe this whole "Red Sox fan" thing isn't for you."

****

L-girl said...

I'm willing to accept that there's an anti-Milton Bradley conspiracy out there.

I'm pretty sure there is.

L-girl said...

just the comments on boston.com are full of extreme, irrational and often hateful opinions.

Papa Sime, I don't doubt your observations of the Boston sports milieu, I'm sure you're right on target.

However, the comments section of every major media site is full of extreme, irrational and often hateful opinions.

In Canada, where discourse tends to be more moderate than the US, it's the same way. The comments section are dominated by viscious, extreme, irrational vitriol. Always best ignored, although sometimes that is difficult to do.

L-girl said...

Maybe this is closed-minded of me, but whenever I see or hear someone claiming that "player x has no heart" I immediately write off everything else they have to say. It just strikes me as the height of arrogance to claim that you know what goes on inside another person's brain, or what degree of pain another person is feeling.

Excellent comment.

Dean Goss said...

I think Youk's complaints have some merit. Look at how the writers handled the Jim Rice vs Derek Jeter issue: They couldn't WAIT to run to the NY clubhouse to get Jeets' reaction. Talk about fabricating a story out of whole cloth. And to anyone in Boston, has Dan Shaughnessy EVER been anything but a seer with endless tales of woe and doom? Honestly, I've been a hardcore fan for most of my life (I'm 43 and I got hooked in '75, watching Fred Lynn tag a 3-run homer against the Reds) and I understand our collective pessimism, it's an integral part of the communal psyche. At least we're happy some of the time...Shaughnessy is NEVER happy. If the Red Sox bring the guy THAT much misery, why doesn't he turn in his media credentials and engage in some Leo Buscaglia hug-therapy? Fer Pete's sake...give it a rest Dan, you whiny pessimistic mope.