Maybe we can finally put all of this ?Kevin Youkilis can?t run? stuff to rest now.
Ever since I was drafted I?ve been labeled as someone who can?t run well and I?ve been determined to prove that I can get around the bases. Now, after hitting my first inside-the-park home run last night, maybe the doubters out there will have second thoughts.
I knew I?d hit the ball well and I knew the wind was blowing out toward right field a little. Then I saw Grady Sizemore running after it and, knowing the way Grady Sizemore plays, I half expected he?d make a miraculous catch by diving for it or something.
But as I was rounding first it kicked off that little triangle-cut wall in center field and I figured I better get moving. I thought if I could get going pretty good I might have a shot at an inside-the-park home run. I picked up DeMarlo Hale, our third base coach, and took off from there.
It was pure adrenaline — and a little bit of exhaustion — by the time I reached home plate. The score was just 3-1 at the time, so the run was important. It was my first inside-the-park home run ever, at least since I?ve been playing on fields with fences.
I?m not a fast starter. I?m not usually too quick the first 30 feet or so when I try to steal a base, for example. But once I get going, I?m OK the rest of the way. I?m usually pretty good going from first to third or first to home. Even in school I was always had better times in the 60-yard dash than the 40-yard dash. I just need to get a head of steam.
So it was great. It showed the doubters out there that I can run a little bit. Even the doubters on my own team.
Dustin Pedroia, pictured here below, thinks he?s faster than me but I think we put that to rest last night with the inside-the-park home run, too. He?s just not as fast as me.
On the road trip before this one there was a big debate on the club about who was faster -? Dustin or me. We had a lot of fun with it. It was all a big joke, really. Julio Lugo was in the middle of it in the dugout, saying, ?I?m picking Dustin. He?s definitely faster than you.?
It?s a good time to be a player on the Red Sox right now. Winning makes everything a lot more fun as a player. Everybody gets along great when you?re winning. There are a lot of positive things happening with our club at this point.
The joking around about who?s faster was great for guys like Dustin and myself who haven?t been around all that long. It pulls us in and helps bring everyone together as a team. It?s all good humor and we?re enjoying what we do.
As far as I?m concerned, I?ve already proven I?m faster than Dustin but, who knows, maybe we can have a race for charity sometime. It couldn?t be during the season ?- in case one of us ever tweaked a hamstring or something -? but maybe we could do it in the offseason. It would be fun.
Personally, I?ve enjoyed flying under the radar but I?ve been hitting well recently and don?t know how much longer I can do that. Batting in front of David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez in the order, I get pitched to more often. Pitchers want to get me out, so I see more pitches. Knowing they don?t want to fall behind allows me to be a little more aggressive.
I always felt I could hit if I go out and play every day and gain that confidence. But I?m not playing this game to become a superstar or win awards. I just want to have fun, do the best I can each season and hopefully have a long career.
The only goal that matters is winning a championship.
Name this blog
I noticed that Geoff Jenkins was asking fans to help name his blog and I think that’s a pretty good idea. So Red Sox fans, let’s hear some of your thoughts about what we should call this blog and we’ll have some fun with it.
Posted by MLB.com during BP on Youk’s behalf…he had to run