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posted: 6/24/2012 8:09 PM

Nothing not to like about Youkilis trade to Sox

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  • Kevin Youkilis tips his helmet to Red Sox fans as he comes off the field after hitting a triple and being replaced by a pinch runner in the seventh inning Sunday, his last day in Boston after being traded to the White Sox.

      Kevin Youkilis tips his helmet to Red Sox fans as he comes off the field after hitting a triple and being replaced by a pinch runner in the seventh inning Sunday, his last day in Boston after being traded to the White Sox.
    Associated Press

 
 

The White Sox featured third basemen on parade Sunday.

One, Orlando Hudson, popped out with the bases loaded and two out in the ninth inning of a scoreless game.

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Another, Eduardo Escobar, drove in the winning run pinch hitting in the 10th inning.

Another, Brent Lillibridge, was the batter pinch-hit for, and then was traded to Boston.

Another, Kevin Youkilis, was the player the Red Sox sent to the White Sox.

A 1-0 victory the acquisition of a needed third baseman a move back into first place

Not too many days are better than this on the South Side.

Oh, one more thing: Starting pitcher Jose Quintana continued his surprisingly terrific performances with 8 shutout innings.

The only thing that could have made the day better for the White Sox would be if a couple of other starting pitchers parachuted into Comiskey Park to fill out the rotation.

But the trade deadline is more than a month away and Sox general manager Kenny Williams still has time to be even more creative and greedy.

All he can do now is wait for arms to become available and hope that Youkilis is better than the risks posed by his .233 batting average and month on the disabled list earlier in the season.

The deal is positive because the players sacrificed -- Lillibridge and pitcher Zach Stewart -- weren't part of the White Sox' nucleus and the Red Sox will pick up a good chunk of Youkilis' salary.

For a team struggling for attendance, cash considerations are paramount.

Williams didn't want to talk "dollars and cents" but did say, "the deal made sense for us."

Perhaps the best aspect of the trade for the White Sox was the day Youkilis had in his final game with the Red Sox.

With rumors swirling about his imminent departure, Boston fans gave Youkilis an early ovation when he was introduced and a late one after he was removed for a pinch runner.

Youkilis said goodbye by hitting a triple and waving his hat toward the crowd while leaving for the dugout, where teammates waited with a parting package of hugs.

Boston likes players who play hard and well, as Youkilis did the past nine years. Chicago fans like them, too, don't they?

"He wants to come in (here) and prove some people wrong," Williams said.

One of those people is Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, who buried Youkilis behind rookie Will Middlebrooks this season.

If there's a negative here it's that Youkilis has been on the disabled list each of the past four seasons, but injuries didn't compromise his intensity.

"He's a good teammate, plays hard, is a pro," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said.

The deal is a gamble, as most are, or the 33-year-old Youkilis wouldn't have been available for what the White Sox spent.

Williams was desperate, however, after watching Lillibridge hit .175, Hudson .194 and Escobar .203.

The only alternative to Youkilis at this point would have been Ventura, a former outstanding White Sox third baseman during the 1990s.

Youkilis is a better option if only because he's married to the sister of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, for what that's worth.

Ventura said, "He's been there, done that," referring to Youkilis' contributions to two championship teams in Boston.

Those are the kinds of parades the White Sox would like their new third baseman to be a part of here this October.

mimrem@dailyherald.com

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