BOSTON Kevin Youkilis is out of the Red Sox starting lineup for the third straight game, as trade rumors continue to swirl around him, and as Will Middlebrooks continues to perform.
I have no thoughts on anything, Youkilis said in the Sox clubhouse before Saturdays game against the Braves. I havent been told anything so until Im told anything I can't really respond.
You want to play. I definitely want to play. You want to play the game, you want to enjoy it and you want to have fun. I dont know my situation. I never was told whats going on here. Lets put that straight. And Ill leave it at that. I dont want to start up anything. There was no conversation. That was it. but it has been addressed.
The statement is contrary to what manager Bobby Valentine indicated on Friday, when he said the situation had been addressed with Youkilis.
Before the lineup was put up? Thats true, Valentine said Saturday.
Asked when he specifically had that conversation with Youkilis, Valentine replied:
Im not going to go there. Because I dont want to pull out date books and all that kind of stuff.
But Valentine stressed there was a conversation with Youkilis on Friday.
I did yesterday, but not before the lineup was up, Valentine said. But Im not going there. I thought the question yesterday was whether he was spoken to before the game, before the lineup when I came up here to speak with the media and I said yes. I didnt speak to him. I thought he was spoken to. If he wasnt spoken to and he didnt understand, I made a mistake. And you know, somehow in life we all make mistakes. But I thought he was spoken to.
Valentine also said Friday he would play the hot hand. In this case it is Middlebrooks at third base.
Im just trying to play the people that I want to be in the lineup, Valentine said. I think thats one of the things Im allowed to do.
Valentine acknowledged it has not been easy managing the YoukilisMiddlebrooks situation.
And difficult and stressful, all those things, Valentine said.
Baseballs an interesting game and a lot of things are happening and happen in baseball that you have to adjust to. So Im trying to adjust to everything thats happening.