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Youkilis: “It was a little bit of a surprise”

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Kevin Youkilis is on a conference call to talk about his new contract.

“It was a little bit of a surprise,” Youkilis said. “… It was one of those things where we had to go over all the options, but I was very humbled and amazed that the Yankees jumped into the picture. I never thought I’d be on the other side of the rivalry.”

On the Joba Chamberlain rivalry
“It’s not a big deal to me. If it was that big of a deal I wouldn’t be signing with the Yankees.”

On why he chose New York
“The first thing was family. I really wanted to make sure, with all these options, what’s best for the family.”
Youkilis said he chose the Yankees because his family thought it would be “unbelievable” to live in New York City for a year, and he thought the Yankees would be his best chance to win a World Series this year.

On the reaction of Yankees fans
“You can’t control what people are going to think about you. All you can control is what you’re going to do in the game.”

On whether he could be booed at Yankee Stadium next season
“I’m going to take it as they’re all saying, ‘Youk.'”

On what he’s been told about playing time and his role when Alex Rodriguez comes back
“They just told me that I’m going to play third base. With Alex, when he comes back, he’ll probably DH a little bit, play a little third. There’s no telling. We hope that he recovers as soon as possible.”

On his health
“I passed my physical, which is good. No, I feel good. I feel good physically and I feel good mentally. Last year was a difficult year and a learning experience.”