Youkilis excited to return to Fenway tonight


Youkilis excited to return to Fenway tonight

BOSTON -- Kevin Youkilis is back in town and it hasnt gone unnoticed.

As he walked from the visiting clubhouse at Fenway Park to a press conference on Monday afternoon, two female Red Sox employees whispered to each other as Youkilis strode past in his black and white No. 20 White Sox jersey.

Outside on Yawkey Way, a young fan in a Red Sox jersey and cap also spotted Youkilis as he passed an opening in the stadium and pointed. Even the grounds crew at Logan Airport chanted Youk late Sunday night when the two-time All-Star and former Red Sox star arrived from Kansas City with his new teammates.

Youkilis said hes excited to return to his former home of eight-plus seasons.
But as soon as the subject of his departure and disagreement with Boston manager Bobby Valentine surfaced, Youkilis made it clear hes here on business.

Im not here to talk, Youkilis said. I dont understand why this is still a big rift and things are going on. Im just here to play baseball and things will happen and thats all it is, going out and playing the game. Im not worried. Theres no Bobby V. vs. Kevin Youkilis or vice versa. Its about Chicago White Sox vs. Boston Red Sox and just playing baseball.

One day earlier and three months after he originally questioned Youkilis desire to play, Valentine fired off more comments about the veteran, noting Youkilis never let the comments go.

But Youkilis stood firm on his refusal to discuss the past.

There have been a lot of great moments, there have been a lot of down moments and a lot of in between, Youkilis said. So Im not going to reflect on those, Im just going to keep moving forward and playing ball and thats what its all about.

Youkilis said one of his favorite things about his new locale is the focus on baseball, that theres less drama than there was in Boston. He also appreciates how his new team has welcomed him with open arms and how hes already considering a return to the club next season.

Youkilis quickly dismissed the idea, however, when asked if he and White Sox general manager Kenny Williams have discussed the club picking up his 13 million option for next season.

I got a lot more hitting to do to get to that club option, Youklis said.
Youkilis also took several opportunities to mention his love for Red Sox fans.
Teammate Alex Rios said he was impressed how Youkilis handled a barrage of questions for 16-plus minutes.

He addressed it the right way, said Rios, one of several White Sox players who watched the press conference live from the clubhouse. It was well-played.

Youkilis mentioned that as excited he is to return to Fenway, his teammates might be more excited. On Sunday, Youkilis said he believes the fans will give him a similar reaction to the standing ovation they delivered after his final at-bat on June 24 when it was clear he would be traded.

I dont think the fans have anything bad to say about him, Rios said. It makes it exciting. Theres a lot of people who want to see how it turns out.

Reliever Matt Thornton has a pretty good idea how it will based off the way Youkilis was treated in his final game and again on the jet way at Logan on Sunday.

He was a special player for them, Thornton said. The Boston franchise and the Boston fans, they love him. Theres no doubt about it. You saw it when he was pulled out of game with the standing ovation he got when the rumors he would be traded were flying. It was pretty special. They love him. You kind of expect it.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks show urgency vs. the undefeated

USA Today

Blackhawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks show urgency vs. the undefeated

The Blackhawks finally got on the board for the season and did so in front of the 500th consecutive capacity crowd at the United Center.

Pat Boyle, Jamal Mayers and Charlie Roumeliotis break down the impressive performance by the Blackhawks against the undefeated Edmonton Oilers and discuss how Jeremy Colliton’s message got through to Alex Nylander and the rest of the team.

Plus, after an impressive performance in net, should Corey Crawford get the next game vs. the Blue Jackets? And what does the future have in store for Kirby Dach? Jamal makes a bold prediction.

0:54 – Blackhawks finally show urgency in 2nd period

2:47 – Penalty kill starting to show some life

5:00 – Thoughts on the Shaw/Strome/Kane line

6:43 – Blackhawks eliminating some defensive breakdowns

9:23 – Big rebound performance from Corey Crawford

11:36 – Colliton’s message to Alex Nylander got through

15:21 – Brandon Saad has been a pleasant surprise early on

17:15 – Dominik Kubalik’s impressive performance

18:31 – Will Kirby Dach be with the Blackhawks all season?

22:42 – Does Crawford or Lehner start vs. the Blue Jackets?

Listen to the entire episode here or in the embedded player below.

Blackhawks Talk Podcast


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Controversial calls played a large part in the Detroit Lions NFC North loss on Monday night


Controversial calls played a large part in the Detroit Lions NFC North loss on Monday night

The Green Bay Packers managed to pull off a dramatic comeback victory on Monday night, defeating the Detroit Lions 23-22 on a last-second field goal from Mason Crosby. But after the game, it wasn't Aaron Rodgers usual clutch ways that people were talking about, it was the officiating crew, who had two controversial hands to the face penalty calls against the Lions that all but killed any momentum they had going. 

As you can see in the clip above, both hands to the face calls seemed questionable at best, and downright ludicrous at worst. What makes the calls so tough is the timing. The first hands to the face penalty on Lions DE Trey Flowers came after he sacked Rodgers on third-and-10 and the penalty both took away the sack and provided the Pack with an automatic first down. Later in the drive, Rodgers dropped in a great 35-yard touchdown pass to bring Green Bay within two points 

The second questionable hands to the face call came on third-and-4 and it was the most costly call of the game. The Packers received another automatic first down and ran down the clock—Detroit was out of timeouts—to set up the eventual game-winning, walk-off field goal from Crosby. 

And it didn't take long for many people, everyone from former NFL greats to NFL reporters, to chime in on social media with their thoughts on the officiating that seemingly cost Detroit a crucial win. 

With the Green Bay win, the Lions moved to last-place in the NFC North, while the Bears now sit 2.5 games back of first place heading into their Week 7 matchup against the New Orleans Saints.