The importance of team chemistry is sometimes pooh-poohed in baseball's analytical circles, but Kevin Youkilis endorsed it Wednesday night.
In an interview with Comcast SportsNet's Jessica Moran, Youkilis emphasized chemistry as half of his two-pronged reaction to the acquisitions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. The other? The increased chance of winning a World Series.
"It's very exciting just to have these guys come help and try to win a championship," Youkilis told Moran. "Hopefully, they can step in and we'll just try to have fun and enjoy ourselves this year and just keep it loose around the clubhouse."
Youkilis knows Crawford personally, and has high hopes for the new power-hitting first baseman in town.
"Carl Crawford's a great guy," he said. "Adrian Gonzalez I don't know much about, but I've heard good things."
Gonzalez, who batted .298 with 31 home runs and 101 RBI in San Diego last season, was acquired in a trade over a week ago. But it was general manager Theo Epstein's Winter Meetings' coup of signing Crawford that secured the offseason A.L. East space race for the Red Sox.
The welcomed additions came as a surprise to many on the team's roster, but that carries no odd flavor.
"We never know what's going on," Youkilis said, going as far as to share his response to the question he most-often hears: Did you have any input?
"I had no idea. They just told me where I'm playing -- I'm playing third base -- and I'm just getting ready for the season," he said. "We're happy that the moves were made."
His shift to third base is necessitated by the acquisition of Gonzalez, a career first baseman. Youkilis said a week ago he actually welcomes the move across the diamond to the position at which he started with the organization.
"It's not that big of a transition; I've played there my whole life," said Youkilis. "We take so many ground balls in Spring Training that you kind of get sick of ground balls, so it'll be good to work over at third base."
"I'll be ready by Opening Day," he added.