I don't know; you tell me:
"I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason. But on Saturday it seemed, you know, he's seeing the ball well, got those two walks, got his on-base percentage up higher than his batting average, which is always a good thing, and he'll move on from there."
That's Bobby Valentine on his third baseman, Kevin Youkilis, during an appearance he made Sunday night on Channel 7's Sports Xtra.
Not "as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been", Bobby? Really? I have no doubt you believe it, and I have no reason to think it's not true. You're there, and you know Youk a whole lot better than me (even if, having only been with him for a couple of months, you may not know him much at all).
But why -- why in the world -- would you say something like that publicly?
Is it supposed to motivate Youkilis? Shake him up? Make him play better? That would seem to be the goal, right? How, exactly, does a public statement like that do such a thing? Especially since it would seem to do nothing more than call attention to his engagement to Tom Brady's sister, something he clearly wants out of the public eye.
Hey, maybe it'll work. Maybe this sort of thing is what the Sox need after eight years under a manager who did his one-on-one work behind closed doors. Certainly you'll never go wrong with (most of) the fan base by calling out -- even in the mildest of ways -- underachieving players.
I guess the main message here is, there's a new sheriff in town. And every day, in every way, we're reminded just how different he is than the old one.