You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

Valentine says Youkilis never got over April remark

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.

Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Kevin Youkilis returns to Fenway Park on Monday as a member of the Chicago White Sox.

The third baseman was traded to Chicago on June 24. The move was made to clear a spot for rookie Will Middlebrooks. But a secondary issue was the strained relationship between Youkilis and manager Bobby Valentine.

Continue reading below

In April, during an interview with Channel 7, Valentine was asked about Youkilis and said, “I don’t think he’s as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason.”

The remark caused an uproar at the time. Valentine apologized for upsetting Youkilis and general manager Ben Cherington stepped in to mediate. Youkilis claimed at the time he had moved past the issue.

This morning, Valentine initially spoke innocuously about the return of Youkilis until he was asked about their relationship and any “friction” that may have existed.

Continue reading it below

”I think that’s a joke,” Valentine said. “I wasn’t here last year. There was no friction in spring training. So I think that’s a joke. But I’ll take all that. I think the comment that I made early, he made a big issue out of and I don’t think he ever wanted to get over it.”

Valentine was asked how his relationship was with Youkilis after the Channel 7 comment.

”I have no idea,” he said. “It’s whatever he wanted it to be. Like I said, we didn’t have any strained relationship in spring training and I wasn’t around last year.”

By invoking last season, Valentine is apparently referring to the notion that some players on the team believe Youkilis was the source of the story regarding drinking in the clubhouse during games.

”Yeah, I was aware of that,” Valentine said. “I was a newcomer. I inherited that situation, didn’t cause it.”

Youkilis hit .233 with a .692 OPS in 42 games for the White Sox. Since the trade, he has hit .316 with a .91 OPS for the White Sox. Over 15 games, he has three homers and 15 RBIs.

”I haven’t seen him play. But he’s gotten a lot of hits,” Valentine said. “He’s played a lot of games. Seems like he’s healthier. ... I’m not surprised. Matter of fact, [hitting coach Dave Magadan] said no doubt that if he went somewhere else he would play better.”

Youkilis has not said much about his impending return to Boston, at least not yet.

“When Boston comes, it comes. We’ll probably talk about it all four days we’re there,” he told reporters on Saturday.

Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.