Bobby vs. Youk: Does it matter?

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Bobby vs. Youk: Does it matter?

Happy Monday, everyone! But before we get too excited about the start of another sweaty work week, theres one very serious matter to attend to.

First of all, if there are children in the vicinity of your computer, you might want to cover their eyes and ears. If you have a panic room, even better. Lockem up!

OK, ready? Here we go:

So yesterday before the Red SoxRays game, Bobby Valentine was asked a series of questions about Kevin Youkilis.

Did his relationship with Youk affect the third basemans play? Did he feel that Youk had issues with him? Had he ever seen Youkilis naked in the clubhouse and if so, would he care to elaborate?

OK, I made that last one up, but at some point during the real Q&A Valentine unleashed a bomb, one that still has the world buzzing nearly 24 hours later, and here it is:

I think that the comment that I made early (in the season about Youkilis not being 'into it'), he made a big issue out of. And I don't think he ever wanted to get over it.

Woah!

Everyone all right? If so, its safe to take off the childrens blindfolds. We made it! But now weve got to deal with the aftermath. More specifically, one ginormous question:

Is this really a big deal?

Now obviously we all agree that Valentine should have kept his mouth shut. Regardless of how many questions he was asked or how desperate the media was to coax him into saying something stupid, he shouldnt have taken the bait. Instead, he should have known that whatever he said was going to be blown out of proportion and instead grabbed a page out of the Book of Belichick: Errrr, guys. Kevin Youkilis isnt on this team anymore. I only want to talk about the guys in our clubhouse. And that would have been that. We wouldnt be having this conversation.

But Bobby V. being Bobby V., he had to comment. And the Boston media being the Boston media, we had to overreact and turn it into big to-do. But is it? Is there anything in Valentines quote that we werent already aware of? Anything thats even remotely shocking or outlandish?

We already know that these guys dont like each other. We know that Bobby V. had every right to be upset with Youk in the spring. We know that Youk had every right to be upset over being called out. We know that Youk never got over it. It was obvious he never got over it. Its obvious that he still hasnt gotten over it. I mean, maybe he hasnt been as blatant about his dislike for Valentine in the media, but Im still waiting for Youks first interview from Chicago where he doesnt go out of his way to praise the White Sox coaching staff. Thats not an accident.

And to borrow another line from the BoB: It is what it is. This happens all the time. Sometimes people dont like each other. So lets just let them not like each other. After all, Youk doesnt even play here anymore. In terms of how it affects this team, Valentines shaky relationship with Kevin Youkilis is about as relevant as his relationship with Joe Maddon, Buster Olney and non-robot umpires. Whatever.

Instead, let's talk about the fact that the Sox had a solid start to the second half. Sure, it could have been better, but well take two out of three in Tampa. Theres no shame in beating Jeremy Hellickson and James Shields. Not to mention, Jacoby Ellsburys back, and with three hits yesterday, is already getting comfortable. Carl Crawford will be back tonight, and even if youre not drowning in optimism over what he might bring to this team, you never know. For some reason, there are a lot of people around here who take offense to mentioning that despite all their struggles, the Red Sox are still in the playoff hunt, but Im not one of them. I have no problem pleasantly pointing out that the Sox are only 1.5 games out of a playoff spot.

But more than anything, in terms of tonight, and regardless of what was said before yesterday's game, let's celebrate Kevin Youkilis' time in Boston.

Of course, not the last few months, or even the last two years. I think we've all just accepted that no one was at their best during those times, and that we're better off forgetting the immediate past and focusing on all the good times. That there's no reason to make it about the BS that's existed between Youk and his manager or Youk and his teammates. That tonight, it should only be about one thing: Youk and the fans.

And we'll feel that tonight when he takes the plate for the first time.

In those 15, 20 or who knows, 30 seconds, we'll all remember how much he meant to this city, and how little Bobby Valentine's super-important and controversial quote means to anything.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Good news for Benintendi: Just a sprain, and he may return this year

Good news for Benintendi: Just a sprain, and he may return this year

BOSTON -- The news was about as good as it could be -- under the circumstances -- for rookie outfielder Andrew Benintendi.

Benintendi underwent a second round of tests and examinations Friday, which revealed he is only dealing with a sprained left knee. The tests found no structural damage to the knee, and the ACL remains intact.

"When you think back and look at the video,'' said manager John Farrell, "this could have been much, much worse.''

Benintendi injured the knee Wednesday night at Tropicana Field when he attempted to return to second base after breaking for third on a grounder to shortstop, and had the knee buckle on him.

He had to be helped off the field and, initially, it was feared Benintendi had suffered a more severe knee injury, one that would require a surgical procedure.

"I'm definitely fortunate,'' said Beintendi. "It looked a lot worse than it actually was. It's unfortunate it happened and I'll try to get as healthy as possible as quickly as I can.''

"We're lucky that the ACL is not involved,'' said Farrell. "We're still optimistic that he could return this season.''

Benintendi was placed on the disabled list Thursday and will be lost to the team for at least the next two weeks, and likely longer.

"It's an interruption,'' acknowledged Farrell. "His production has been apparent, on both sides of the baseball. He's had an impact. So we're going to miss him. But at the same time, I think we've gotten a lot of good news here today that, despite the injury and the DL stint, there's optimism in this and that's in his return sometime this season.

"He'll be back as (soon as) available, and optimistically, we're thinking that could still be the regular season.'' Farrell praised Benintendi for being a "complete player.''

Benitendi was walking without a limp, though he was wearing a brace on the knee for additional support.

"He's actually feeling better today than [Thursday],'' said Farrell. "He's improved. This is going to take a little time. Obviously, it's going to take 15 days at a minimum. What further time is needed remains to be seen. But today was some good news -- (especially considering) what could have been.''

"At the time,'' added Benintendi, "I was nervous and didn't know what to expect.''

Farrell: Red Sox ‘optimistic’ Andrew Benintendi can return in 2016

Farrell: Red Sox ‘optimistic’ Andrew Benintendi can return in 2016

Red Sox manager John Farrell said rookie left fielder Andrew Benintendi sustained no further structural damage to his knee, other than the previously diagnosed sprain, after injuring it on the basepaths against the Rays.

Farrell said the team is optimistic that Benintendi, placed on the 15-day disabled list on Thursday, will be able to return before the end of the season. Watch the video for more.