Red Sox

Youkilis says Red Sox need manager that can 'handle the media, first and foremost'

Youkilis says Red Sox need manager that can 'handle the media, first and foremost'

LOS GATOS, Calif. — Kevin Youkilis knows better than most what can go wrong with a Red Sox manager, particularly when it comes to the media.

The former Red Sox star said Friday afternoon that he thinks both Alex Cora and DeMarlo Hale would be great fits to replace John Farrell because of their experience in the market. He acknowledged both are friends — Cora as a former teammate, Hale as a former coach. But he believes in their credentials as well.

“I think Alex Cora’s a great fit, I think DeMarlo Hale’d be a great fit,” Youkilis said Friday afternoon from the restaurant he owns in California, Loma Brew. “Because they both have experience in that city, they know that city, they’ve been around it. I think it’s hard — I don’t know what it takes to be a manager. I’ve played for good managers. I just know in Boston the key is one, the media, and two, culture-clubhouse. It can go sour quickly, and if you’re that guy, the glue that can hold the team together while also holding the glue together and handling that, it’s a great fit. 

“The reason I’d hire them is they have the experience working not only with the media, but just being in that town and seeing winning in that town. And understanding success and the failures, even when we lost. They’ve seen both.”


Youkilis was criticized by Bobby Valentine in a television interview early in the 2012 season, an incident that prompted Dustin Pedroia to speak out and proved the beginning of the end for Bobby V.

“I think Tito worked out well because he came from a long background in baseball and his personality was perfect for Boston,” Youkilis said. “So I think Tito’s personality — just, you got to have somebody that can handle the media, first and foremost, and that can separate the team from the media and how to be the middle man. So [to me] personally, the Red Sox job, probably more than 50 percent is media driven. A sense you have to be able to handle the media and take on that role and be OK with it.”

Youkilis is still involved in baseball, helping out the Cubs and his first general manager, Theo Epstein.

“And the other half is making sure the culture of the clubhouse is good and the product on the field [is good] and the guys are doing the right thing,” Youkilis said. “That’s easier when you hire a good coaching staff. I’ve learned that through the Cubs. You put together a great staff, your in-game management’s easier. 

“But, managing in Boston’s a very tough task. And you got to have very, very thick skin. You just got to want to take on the challenge. And you’re going to have to force laughter when there’s no laughter to be around, and I think that’s why Tito did so well. And so, you have to have a good personality in a way. Or, you just have to be this guy that just enjoys that spotlight. Because if you don’t enjoy that spotlight…. you’re going to have a lot of clashes that aren’t needed.”

Living in Northern California, Youkilis has teamed up with Jonny Gomes — who’s from the area — to help those affected by the wildfires in the area. Youkilis is storing supplies at his restaurant and plans to deliver them himself next week.

“I’m driving up a truck on Tuesday,” Youkilis said. “We got a bunch of stuff here.”


Kimbrel back in camp, but infant daughter on his mind

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Kimbrel back in camp, but infant daughter on his mind

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel has returned to Fort Myers after spending the past three weeks in Boston, where his infant daughter Lydia has undergone multiple heart surgeries at Boston Children's Hospital.

On Monday, an emotional Kimbrel spoke to reporters in Florida, including The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman, about the ordeal after throwing a batting practice session.  

"We’ll be in and out of Boston Children’s Hospital the rest of her life but for this stay, hopefully, a couple more weeks," Kimbrel said. “She’s in the recovery process but life-threatening wise, she’s in a good place that I can be down here." 

Kimbrel said he and his wife Ashley "can't say enough about how amazing Boston Children's Hospital has been." 

"There's no denying it's been the toughest thing we've ever been through," Kimbrel said.  

"In the last week, her recovery has been unbelievable and she's showing great signs and we're very blessed and we want to thank the Red Sox and Alex [Cora] for understanding they've been through this and working with us," Kimbrel said. 

He said Lydia, born in November, will need another surgery when she's around 3 or 4 years old to help ensure normal development. 

"It's been tough, I can say that. We're definitely, me and my wife, we've had each other and we've had our family, we've had a great support. Everyone is sending out prayers that have definitely been heard. Now, I'm back down here. The other day I threw a live BP up at Babson [College in Wellesley, Mass.], and me and her got to talking and seeing where Lydia is, and how she's progressed, she's in a good, comfortable place for me to be down here. If she wasn't, I wouldn't be here.

"My family comes first and then baseball comes. I have to thank the Red Sox for letting me be there with my family and then helping me continue to prepare while I was at home. Stepping away for a few hours was definitely a release. It did help to get in the weight room. It did help to throw the ball. But that's not going to take away the emotions we went through in the hospital."

Kimbrel said he and his wife talked about how fortunate they were to be in Boston and its world-class healthcare facilities. 

"We believe that everything in life happens for a reason, even if we don't understand it at the time," he said. "There's a lesson to be learned and something to be shared through every step you go through in life. As difficult as this is, and I know it will take time, hopefully, this experience and everything we've been through, we can share that with others, try to impact someone else's life. Because I know for a fact my daughter's going to be able to do that one day."



Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

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Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”

Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.

“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”