Valentine: Youk not 'physically or emotionally into the game'


Valentine: Youk not 'physically or emotionally into the game'

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.

Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev


Morning Skate: Tempered expectations for Bolts' rookie Sergachev

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while simply shaking my head at David Price. What a typically soft, boorish ballplayer not meant for a big market where more is expected of those wearing the Red Sox uniform.

*There are tempered expectations for rookie defenseman Mikhail Sergachev as he gets things going with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

*Keith Yandle believes that Dale Tallon being back in charge of the Florida Panthers is going to bring unity and solidarity to the Panthers once again.

*Kevin Shattenkirk believes that the New York Rangers are right on the cusp of challenging for a Stanley Cup title.

*Here 20 thoughts from the just-concluded Chicago Blackhawks prospect camp, where there’s some pretty strong, young talent.

*Even as the highest-paid player in the NHL, Connor McDavid is underpaid for what he brings to the table, says Ron MacLean.

*Interesting look at the Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog situation in Colorado, where both players have watched their performance fall off a bit. This is why I’d be very nervous about giving up the farm to trade for either of these players if I’m the Bruins. The jury is out on whether they’re in decline as players, or if it’s simply the mess in Colorado getting them down.  

*For something completely different: What a sweet interaction between "Wonder Woman" Gal Gadot and a young, emotional fan all decked out in WW gear.  


Report: Celtics have called Cavaliers about potential Kyrie Irving trade

Report: Celtics have called Cavaliers about potential Kyrie Irving trade

Celtics fans aren’t the only ones thinking of ways Kyrie Irving could end up in Boston.

Even though it would be hard to imagine last season’s No. 2 seed in the East trading one of the best players in the league to last season’s No. 1 seed in the East, ESPN’s Zach Lowe wrote Monday that the Celtics have indeed called the Cavs about the 25-year-old point guard. 

Wrote Lowe:

Most teams, including the asset-rich Celtics, have placed the obligatory call letting Cleveland know they would like to be kept in the loop, sources say. Boston could offer Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and one of their golden picks -- Brooklyn's pick next season, or the Lakers/Kings pick they got from Philly in the Markelle Fultz deal. It's unclear if they would dangle all of that, but those picks could represent the young stud Cleveland needs. Regardless, a deal between the East's two best teams seems unlikely.

While nobody’s counting on Irving joining the Celtics, a trade of Irving elsewhere could still swing the balance in the East in Boston’s favor depending on what Cleveland gets back. Irving reportedly requested a trade from Cleveland earlier this month.