Touch 'Em All: Yankees razz Youkilis for Red Sox remarks

Melky Cabrera is looking for redemption with his new team, the Blue Jays. He served a 50-game suspension last season after testing positive for testosterone.
Melky Cabrera is looking for redemption with his new team, the Blue Jays. He served a 50-game suspension last season after testing positive for testosterone. (AP)
Posted: February 16, 2013

Kevin Youkilis had some explaining to do when he walked into the Yankees clubhouse on Friday.

The third baseman made the back page of the New York Post and the Daily News for telling reporters at his first day of spring training: "I'll always be a Red Sox."

"I was basically defining that, as a player, I'll be a Red Sox, and a White Sox, and a Yankee for life," Youkilis explained. "Three storied franchises. I'm excited to be part of this, and be with the Yankees.

"Trust me, there's no way that was meant to say my heart is in Boston or anything like that. My heart is here with the Yankees."

That's a pretty diplomatic answer, worthy of the State Department. But can you blame him if he still has an attachment to Beantown? He spent more than eight years with the Red Sox, and won a pair of World Series with them.

Later, he admitted the comment "by itself looks terrible."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi got a big smile when asked about his new infielder, joking that Youkilis maybe missed the club's media training session.

On the good Cabrera

Since there's no Quadruple Crown, it's going to be tough for the Tigers' Miguel Cabrera to top last year's Triple Crown performance. But he's working on it.

Talking to reporters Friday, Cabrera was a bit aw-shucks about the season and then delivered this gem: He wants to work on his defense.

Cabrera, who moved from first base to third base last season, said he wants to "try to get better in the first step - side to side, to slow ground balls."

On the bad Cabrera

The other Cabrera, the disgraced Melky, said he's done talking about the past and wants to focus on the future.

Melky, who was leading the NL with a .346 average last year when he was suspended for 50 games while with the Giants, said during his first day in camp with the Blue Jays that he won't talk about his juicing.

"This statement will be the last comment I will make on the events of the 2012 season," he said in a statement released Friday. "I have put my mistakes behind me, have learned my lesson, and have served my punishment. I am here to play the best baseball.."

Citing advice from Cabrera's lawyers, the Blue Jays told reporters that specific questions about performance-enhancing drugs would be strictly off-limits.

The thinking around here is that he won't get off that easily, especially since his name has been linked to a South Florida clinic, Biogenesis of America L.L.C., that delved in PEDs.

And on the cheater

Speaking of tainted ballplayers, the Brewers' Ryan Braun took the same well-traveled route when facing reporters on Friday.

Braun, who reportedly also has been linked to Biogenesis, said up-front that he would not take any questions about the clinic.

"I understand why a lot of you guys are probably here but I made a statement last week," Braun said. "I stand behind that statement. I'm not going to address that issue any further. As I stated, I'm happy to cooperate fully into any investigation into this matter."

After his name recently surfaced, Braun issued a statement saying he had used the clinic as a consultant during his appeal after testing positive during his 2011 MVP season for steroids. Braun fought the test, and the 50-game suspension that came with it, and won after an arbiter found chain-of-custody issues in the handling of his test sample.

From a Brave to an Indian

Former Atlanta Braves centerfielder Michael Bourn officially joined the Cleveland Indians on Friday, signing a four-year, $48 million contract that will pay the all-star $7 million this season, $13.5 million in 2014 and 2015, and $14 million in 2016.

- From wire reports

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