Youk appreciates past, focused on present

Youk appreciates past, focused on present

Youk appreciates past, focused on present
KANSAS CITY -- Since Kevin Youkilis began his time with the White Sox on June 25, the third baseman's focus has been completely on his present team.

There has been almost no mention of his highly successful years with Boston, especially his turbulent final season before the Red Sox traded him for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart. But with the White Sox visiting Fenway Park for a four-game series starting on Monday, it's a topic the third baseman couldn't really avoid on Sunday.

Youkilis played parts of nine seasons with the Red Sox, contributing to World Series titles in 2004 and '07. He holds a special place for Boston, but it's a special place in the past.

"All the memories I have and the stories are from there," Youkilis said. "But the thing for me is, I'm making my own story with this team, new stories and a new beginning. It's going to be fun, and the good thing here is we are in first place and we have to keep going and playing well, and stay in first place."

Prior to Monday's series opener, Youkilis released a letter to Red Sox fans through ESPNBoston.com on Sunday morning. The gist of this classy piece of prose was to thank everyone from Red Sox Nation to former manager Terry Francona to those who supported his charity, Youk's Kids.

The thought process for Youkilis was to get a letter out there to thank people for all the great years. Current Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was not mentioned in that letter.

Valentine stated on Sunday that Youkilis never got over a comment the manager made to WHDH-TV about him in early April, that the veteran didn't seem as physically or emotionally into the game as in the past. Youkilis chose to let the comment pass when informed of Valentine's latest sentiment.

"I got nothing [to say] about any of that stuff," Youkilis said. "I'm over the Boston thing this year. There's a lot of great past history, but this year I'm focused on the White Sox."