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Kevin Youkilis spent eight-plus seasons with the Red Sox and won a pair of World Series rings with them. So we can understand why he'd say,"I'll always be a Red Sock." But it was notable that he chose his first day of spring training with the New York Yankees to declare his affection for his new team's archrival.

On Friday, Youkilis acknoweldged that comment, made Thursday, "looks bad" on its own and stressed that he's "proud to be a Yankee" and will play hard for his new team. Did Youk manage to diss his new teammates and fans before he could clarify his comments? Or was he smart to offer Boston fans a Valentine's Day message, lest he be served the same venom previously dished out to Red Sox-turned-Yankees Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs and Johnny Damon?

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Kevin Youkilis has agreed to a one-year, $12 million contract with the New York Yankees, which is going to be a strange visual for everyone involved. Youkilis made his name as a goateed Red Sox stalwart -- now, he'll be clean-shaven and on the Red Sox's most hated rivals. Will he be the answer the Yankees are looking for at third base?


Switching sides

Youkilis spent some time with the White Sox after being traded by the Red Sox last season, so it's not like he's going directly from one rival to another.

SportsNation

Would you blame a former player for your favorite team for signing with your team's rival after he'd been traded?

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Bobby Valentine and Kevin Youkilis never really got along in Boston, and now that Youkilis is returning to Fenway with the White Sox, the war of words is again heating up. Whose side are you on?

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Bobby Valentine has never been one to censor his thoughts, as Kevin Youkilis and the Red Sox have just found out. Valentine apologized to Youkilis for appearing to question his commitment and emotional state. Valentine said he was trying to refer only to Youkilis' swing, and that the way he worded his answer added to the confusion surrounding it. What likely matters most right now to a number of Sox fans? The Red Sox are 4-6 and in last place in the AL East early.


The right fit?

Bobby Valentine's managerial style is somewhat different from Terry Francona's.

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Is Bobby Valentine the right fit for the Red Sox?

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A cunning plan?

Valentine may have been trying to defend or motivate Youkilis, albeit in a roundabout way.

SportsNation

What do you make of Bobby Valentine calling out Kevin Youkilis for not being ''physically or emotionally'' into the game?

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Youkilis' future?

Youkilis was a frighteningly productive hitter in 2010, but injuries in 2011 robbed him of much of his effectiveness.

SportsNation

What kind of year do you expect out of Kevin Youkilis this season?

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So much for a chance for Robinson Cano to boost his MVP candidacy with some free airtime (granted, it's not like people who play for the Yankees hurt for exposure). The Home Run Derby wanted Robinson Cano, and Cano wanted to take part in the Home Run Derby.

There was only one small problem. The team that pays Cano wasn't interested. Citing a back injury hampering their second baseman, the Bronx Bombers pulled Cano from the hitting contest. And at least one fan thinks that's a dive worthy of a yellow card.

Pete (San Francisco)

Who are your AL and NL MVP's at the half-way-point of the season? I know we still have half a season to play, but if you were forced to choose someone from each league to be an MVP at this point in the season, who would it be?

Joe Morgan
Joe Morgan

In the AL, I would pick Robinson Cano. His team has the best record in the league and he's their leader, their star player. He's been their most productive and consistent player on their team. The NL is a little toughter. I would have to give it to 2-3 guys: David Wright, Troy Glaus, Pujols. Then I'd have to give Scott Rolen and Joey Votto a nod. I don't think it's as clear cut in the NL as it is in the AL. Full transcript.

Dan (Detroit, mi)

Is Miguel Cabrera the best hitter in MLB today?

Jerry Crasnick
Jerry Crasnick

Dan, Even though Albert Pujols isn't having quite an Albert Pujols-type of year, it's hard to pick anybody over him. Still, Cabrera is having an amazing year. He's got to be right in the MVP mix in the AL. Full transcript.

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