Excitement for the playoffs!

I’ve been in the playoffs twice before — when we won the World Series in 2004 and when we lost in the first round the following season. But this is my first time as an everyday player and it’s exciting. It’s a lot of fun going into the playoffs as a starter, and knowing you’re one of the guys who will be relied on heavily.

It’s come full circle now. I got to sit back and watch it. Now it’s time to actually go out there and play. I’m truly excited to just go out there and play and have fun out there, and try to win Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday night.

To me, I think going through it and just watching it a couple of times will help me in the fact that I won’t be as nervous for my first playoff game. Now I just look at it as, I’m playing and it’s just another game. I think when you play every day, you just get used to the grind of playing every day and just going out there and playing.Fenway500

It’s going to be exciting. I think when game time hits, I’ll definitely be nervous. Every player out there, everyone is going to be nervous. But I get nervous before every game and I get excited to play. There’s always nerves kicking around. It should be fun — a lot of fun.

When I watched the playoffs the other years we were in it, you just learn that every pitch, every at-bat, every play in the field is a big deal. You have to go out there, and whatever has happened in the past, you have to let it go and move on. You can’t do anything about what happened before. You have to play for the moment. For me, I learned a lot about that. It’s all about winning and doing whatever you have to do to get the job done — moving runners over, driving runners in and making smart decisions on the field and on the basepaths.

The Angels are a great team. We can’t take anything lightly in the postseason. The playoffs is when you throw all the stuff out that has occurred in years past and this year, and it doesn’t matter anymore. Anyone can win any day. The fact is, you have to play for each game. You can’t look to the next game or the next pitcher. You have to focus on every pitch and every at-bat that you get.

They’ve got a lot of good pitching. They have good team speed. They play the game pretty well, they know how to run the bases well and they make you make errant throws. I think the biggest thing is trying to slow them down. We need to try to make the game kind of speed up on them a little bit. Not in the sense of running, but just try to speed it up in the fact that they can’t have those opportunities to run.Fenway275

The key to this series, as with any series, will be pitching. You win championships with pitching. You saw last year with Detroit: it pitched great through the playoffs, but then its pitchers made a lot of errors in the World Series. The Tigers didn’t field the ball well, and that’s what lost them the World Series. Pitching is the key. Your pitchers have to go out there and they have to throw well. Offensively, you have to score runs, but if your pitcher holds them down, that’s the key to winning.

As for me, I was able to get back out there the last week of the season after my wrist injury. I feel good. Once you get your adrenaline going, the pain kind of goes away. For me, I’m not going to think about anything. I’ll just hopefully be full of adrenaline and a lot of excitement.

Obviously, we like starting playoffs with Josh Beckett on the mound. We all feel that he’s deserving of the AL Cy Young Award this year. We’re confident. We feel he’s the best pitcher in baseball right now. He’s been in the postseason before — an MVP of the 2003 World Series for the Marlins — and so we’re excited to have him on the mound. Hopefully, he’ll go out and pitch a great game.

I’ll be back for another post after Game 1, and I’ll be blogging after each playoff game, so keep coming by!

Talk to you later,

Youk

33 Comments

Nicely put, Youk. We’re behind you one hundred percent and looking forward to your success in the postseason. It’s been great fun watching you all year, and we’re insanely proud of all of you. Thanks for an awesome season!

ur a great guy kevin and i hope sox win the world series this year!!! take it one game at a time and redsox pitching and hitting will win the games. takecare, GO SOX!!!

Youk, thanks for your inspirational play and tremendous effort all year long. Not only do you help get us fans going, but I’m sure your team-mates get jazzed up from your positive drive as well. You are fun to watch. I also appreciate your good hearted nature. Be healthy and strong and have fun in the playoffs. We are with you and the whole team!

Glad you’re back in the lineup! Everyone’s missed you :). Good luck tomorrow, and thanks for being an awesome player and person!

I like your perspective on the post season Kevin. It’s been really exciting to watch the Sox play this year… as I tell my friends “it’s a good year to be a Red Sox fan!” I’m eagerly anticipating watching you all play in the post season, and proud and happy for you too. Great to see you back in the line up. Hinske did a great job holding down the fort, but I missed Yoooouk! Good luck!

So glad that you’re back in the lineup and feeling healthy. It’s alot of fun watching you play. It’s awesome the way you hustle especially when you hit your inside the park home run this season. I look forward to this post season. The Sox are the best!!

Best of luck to you and your team. It seems that every sportswriter and their mother has picked you guys to win it in four. Thankfully, sportswriters are fallible creatures.

Be sure to tell “Table For One” that we’ll be waiting for him in Anaheim.

-Sid McHenry

http://thecaliforniateam.mlblogs.com/

Well said, Youk! As you always do – make the Angels throw a lot of pitches to you and hopefully, our pitching will keep them from any early leads,and off the basepaths. Go right at thier team speed and make them try to play long ball catch up. I was able to see Josh beat the Padres on the trip this summer; just repeat! Congratulations to you and the whole team for an awesome summer!
RSN So. CA will be with you for every play!

P.S. Would love to Mike at third base in uniform with you for the next few years!

It’s great to be back in the post-season. Last year just wasn’t the same. I like Boston’s chances. It seems like everyone is playing well at the right time. Can’t wait until the first pitch tomorrow!

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

Hey Yooouk, well i guess its time huh, just wanted to say that i admire the way you play the game, theres something special about your game, and im shure its gonna help this SOX do big things this postseason, one game at a time, i basically want to show my support to you and this whole Red Sox team. GO SOX!!!

Greetings from Vermont Kevin. we are loving the pride that comes along with A division title. It’s been a while. Me along with my whole family feel like you have a lot to do with it. Great job! Ladies and Gentlemen Your 2007 GOLD GLOVE First Baseman……….YoooouuuuK!!!!

Hey youk! Just wanted to let you know my family and I, along with every other member of the Red Sox nation, are wishing you and the rest of the team good luck in post-season! I’m sure you guys will play great! This season was amazing…thanks for playing with your heart on your sleve day in and day out-it’s nice to see your love for the game! have fun tomorrow 🙂

Kevin;
Greetings from Yorba Linda, California. Just want you to know the Red Sox Nation here sends all its’ best for a great play off season. We love all you guys and we are in hopes that in the Angel’s series you clinch it here when will be in attendance.

Great job this year–a gold glove year for you!

Have fun and enjoy the moment. Remember one win at a time—go for it as the Team PLayers you all are. Good Luck!

Hey Youk – My husband and I are all set to watch you and the team take the first game of the play-offs. We have our Sammy Adams – October Fest – beer, salt & vinegar chips and New England clam chowder. What else could you want????Even though we live in hostil territory (outside of LA) we have our Red Sox flag flying high and our “Go Sox” decal sticker on the SUV. Go out there and do what you do best – some RBI’s and a homerun or two. Absolutely love to watch you play – with so much emotion, heart and team spirit. I read a comment on another blog that you need to stop arguing with the ump and throwing temper tantrums. First of all my mom and I love your quick Greek temper and facial expessions (who wouldn’t be pissed when someone throws twice at your head!) and second of all the person who posted that comment obviously is confusing intensity with “temper tantrums and is not part of the Red Sox Nation so therefore can not comprehend the intense feelings of pride in being a Red Sox player and the heartfelt desire to win for the team/RSN. Hmmm maybe that intensity is why we were in first place the entire year and have home field advantage in the paly-offs??? Anyway keep doing what you do best and go out there and help lead us to a victory over the LAA – one game at a time. Go Sox!!!!!

Hey Youk! Greetings from Wisconsin. It’s great to have you back to the line up – I’m sorry you were hurt by the pitch. Anyway, as many others have written, I’m cheering for you (loudly!) through every game. I purchased MLB.TV this summer and watched EVERY Game – it was great! I think your plan to let everything else go and just focus on the moment is an excellent idea. Very Zen. In closing, YYYYOOOOUUUUKKKK! You Rock! Thank you – and thanks to the whole Red Sox organization – for all your hard work all season and best of luck in the upcoming games. Katherine

Hi Youk, Hello from New York. We are glad you are back and healthy just in time for the playoffs. You have had a great season(gold glove) and you are our favorite player. The Red Sox are truly blessed with a great team this year. Lets go all the way and be 2007 World Series Champions. I wanna see another dance!!!Take care and have fun out there Youk. GO SOX!!!!

Youk, you’re the man. Make sure the guys stay loose and have a great time out there… and make sure you get dirty. :o)

Hi Youk, greetings from Southern Vermont. Our town definitely has playoff fever! Hope you stay healthy and have a good time, we’re all pulling for ya! Cheers.

youk, your a classic red sox player, team, team, team, first! it’s great to have the sox gold glove 1st baseman back in the lineup! and you are that, a move from 3rd to 1st can be tuff for a headcase, but in your case you took the spot and did all you could to be the best you can at it! the never done attitude is so fresh in this sox team, and it’s players like you that make that happen! good luck in the playoffs and LET’S GO RED SOX !

KY – Nice to hear you are feeling no pain. You are a first class ballplayer and obviously a party animal. Not sure if you’ll read this before the game or not, but remember that the Angels wouldn’t expect to see YOOOUUUUUKKK trying to swipe a bag. 😉

Hey Kevin,
So much fun watching you guys celebrate after the game!! Don’t listen to the stuffed shirts who call in to talk radio – it was a ton of fun for us to watch and be able to celebrate with you.

That being said…good luck tonight! I’ve mentioned it before, and I’ll say it again – you guys play with a lot of heart, and that will take you far. Talent is one thing, but teamwork and cohesiveness is what makes you guys successful. We can see it when the cameras pan the bench. You guys seem to just click.

Can’t wait for game time!!!

http://supergoddessgirl.blogspot.com

Watching Game 1 now, and you just hit a homerun. Getting things started off right…WAY TO GO YOUK!!!

GREAT START YOUK!!!! what a whallop!!! KEEP IT GOING!!! GO RED SOX!!!!!!!!

UR IN THE ZONE YOUK!!!!! keep it going!!!! GO RED SOX!!!!!

This is so cool. I live in Canada and have been a fan forever and I BELIEVE!
KEEP IT GOING – GO SOX!!!!!!!!

2 STARS OF GAME JOSH BECKETT AND KEVIN YOUKILIS!!!!!!!!!! GO RED SOX!!!!! 1 game down, way to go YOUK!!!!!!

YEAH COMPLETE GAME SHUTOUT FOR THE SOON TO BE CY YOUNG WINNER JOSH BECKETT. good job Youk your first career postseason hit and its a HR good job. Good luck on the road to the WS Red Sox.

glad your wrist is healed YOUK!!!! takecare GO SOX!!!!!!!!

Hey Youk,
I went WICKED crazy when you hit your home run tonight. As I posted earlier talent combined with heart is unstoppable! I wanted to give you a big hug when you rounded third on your way to home plate (no worried – not a stocker – been married for 20 years – love my husband :-). You do remind me so much of my younger brother (even looks) which really makes you dear to my heart. Anyway keep doing what you do best and glad to hear from your after game interview that your wrist is feeling better. Give Papi, Manny and Beckett a hug from me (Manny might like it too much 🙂 – love that guy too! GO SOX!

Liked the way you put the Sox on top with your home run tonight. Hope you’ll blog a bit more on how your teammates are playing this post-season, as well as thoughts on rookie Dustin Pedroia and my favorite, Jacoby Ellsbury. I’ve even written a biography for him, culled from the many articles about him on the web. Hope you’ll all be playing together next year in an attempt to become repeat champions!
http://themudvillemegaphone.com/NewsFiles/Ellsburybio.html

that was a great article youk, just read it, glad your first hit in post season was a homerun, will not be blogging thru game on friday night, be working that night, blog saturday morning, takecare and GO SOX!!! u deserved the bosox man of year, YOUK!!!!!!!

Glad to see the Yankees fans are to busy watching them lose to the Indians!! Look at Red Sox Nation out in full force! Great way to start the palyoffs with that home run!! Thanks for a great season, Youk!!

You have to ask Pedroia if he learned that HomeRunSwing from Manny. Dustin dropped the bat as soon as the ball left the grain, like he knew it was gone, long gone, got-all-of-it, just like Manny. Nice touch guys. Don’t forget to bring your ear muffs when you get to Denver, and somebody needs to find that Henderson guy with the sno-****** just in case. Thanx

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