So, is this Kevin Youkilis-to-the-Yankees thing going to end with him re-enacting Wade Boggs' famous horse ride after the '96 World Series? If so, it would be another stick in the eye to the Boston Red Sox fandom and another feather in the cap of the Bronx Empire. Yes, the similarities between Youk and The Chicken Man are superficial — but not that superficial.
• After achieving legendary status among the Fenway faithful, both third basemen left Boston on shaky terms after a down season. Boggs was 34 years old, Youkilis 33.
• Both made multiple All-Star game appearances in their time with the Red Sox, though Boggs' stat line produced a 142 adjusted OPS, better than Youk's 124.
• Boggs earned a thee-year, $11 million dollar deal from the Yankees after, he claims, Boston did not deliver on a promise made by Jean Yawkey to give him $51 million over seven years. Boggs made $2.96 million in the first year of the deal in '93, which made him the fifth-highest-paid player on the team. Youkilis only got a one-year deal from the Yankees (sign of the times) and his $12 million salary is eighth-highest on the Yankees. Seventh, if Curtis Granderson is traded. Close enough!
• Boggs mustache, you can stay. Youk's chin bush? Sayonara!
And then what? Boggs revived his career in '93, '94 and '95, and the Yankees won the World Series in '96, setting off their most recent dynasty and giving the world Wade Boggs on police horseback. Going forward, it's hard to imagine Youkilis sticking with the Yankees for four seasons until they win a World Series. They might have been patient enough for such a delay back in George Steinbrenner's day, but such non-championship behavior is no longer tolerated.
And yet, the way both teams are constituted today, it's also hard to imagine Boston winning another World Series before Youkilis does. Like Boggs 20 years ago, Youk has the upper hand here.
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- Wade Boggs
- World Series