Painful flashback: Youkilis sparks memories of Lowell

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Painful flashback: Youkilis sparks memories of Lowell

By Art Martone
CSNNE.com

So why do I think that, any day now, the Red Sox are going to announce that Kevin Youkilis has been shut down for the season?

Because we've seen this act before.

Youkilis is (admirably) attempting to play throw both bursitis in his hip and a sports hernia, though he's not doing it very successfully; he's only 6-for-40 (.150) since coming off the disabled list at the beginning of the month. Plus his range in the field is greatly diminished, as anyone who's seen him attempt to play third base these last few weeks can attest.

So when the Sox announced after Thursday night's loss that Youk is being given Friday night off -- even though they're locked in a life-and-death playoff struggle with the Rays, even though every game is beyond important -- two words leapt to mind.

Mike Lowell.

Lowell also attempted to keep on keeping on in September 2008, even though a hip injury that would eventually require surgery -- and, really, end his days as an everyday player -- had hobbled him to the point that he could barely move. The Sox tried to make it work, but eventually they succumbed to the obvious. He left the lineup on Sept. 16 (kismet!), made one more attempt to come back (playing three innings on Sept. 26), then sat out the rest of the way.

Sound familiar?

The two differences: Youkilis' injuries may not be quite as debilitating (though you couldn't tell by the way he's been playing) and the '08 Sox had options the '11 Sox don't. In '08, they moved a then-healthy Youkilis to third base and played Mark Kotsay and Sean Casey at first. Now, with Jed Lowrie also hurting, the Sox will be forced to go with Mike Aviles at third in some of the biggest games of the year.

Still, after hearing Terry Francona last night -- "He's sore . . . We'll watch him. He's nowhere near pulling the plug onthe season, or anything like that. But it's pretty obvious he'sstruggling out there." -- it just brought back memories of '08.

And led us to contemplate a stretch run with a utility guy from Kansas City in the starting lineup.

Art Martone can be reached at amartone@comcastsportsnet.com.

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Pedro Martinez tells WEEI Ortiz will make comeback this season

Never say never?

While Red Sox officials said at the team's annual Winter Weekend at Foxwoods on Saturday that they'd be traveling to the Dominican Republic to talk to David Ortiz about a role with the team, Pedro Martinez told WEEI he sees Big Papi returning to his old role - designated hitter - this season.

CSN's Trenni Kusnierek and WEEI's John Tomase talked to Martinez on their show Saturday at Foxwoods and Martinez said his old teammate would be making a comeback despite the long, emotional farewell tour last season. 

For the full interview with Martinez, click here.

Red Sox executives Tom Werner, Sam Kennedy and Dave Dombrowski made no mention of Ortiz returning as a player when talking about their Dominican trip. Ortiz has repeatedly said he is going to stay retired. 

Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

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Chris Sale on leaving White Sox: 'Time for both sides to do something different, I guess'

MASHANTUCKET, Conn. -- While there’s a deal of anticipation going into Spring training with the four Killer B’s, David Price and Pablo Sandoval’s shot at redemption and Rick Porcello looking to be something similar to his 2016 self, there’s one name that trumps them all.

Chris Sale.

The lankly lefty received an ovation from fans at the Friday night Town Hall, kicking off Red Sox Winter Weekend. With his consistent success, there’s reason to be excited.

But there’s also reason for apprehension given the way Sale’s departure from Chicago was depicted. But he’s made sure to clear the air.

“I wouldn’t say . . . ya know . . . I loved my time in Chicago,” Sale said when asked if it was time to leave the Windy City. “My best baseball memories are there [and] will be there forever. I love the city; I love the people in the organization.

“It was time for both sides to do something different, I guess. I talked to (White Sox Senior V.P.) Rick on the phone, I talked to (White Sox pitching coach Don) Coop (Cooper). We’re all cool, it’s fine. We understand where both of us are, it happens in baseball, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Chicago.”

He didn’t seem irritated discussing the issue, and certainly wasn’t timid -- we all know that’s not in his DNA.

He genuinely seems excited to deal with the large sum of Sox fans and to call a new place home -- in a city his wife’s fond of no less.

But ultimately, he’s focused on winning, nothing else.

“Every time I’m out there it’s gonna be all I got,” Sale said. "Every time, no matter what. Can promise you that.”