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Friday morning notes: Youkilis explains, laughs off Red Sox comments

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Kevin Youkilis said he was on ESPN’s website yesterday. That’s when he found out his “I’ll always be a Red Sock” comment had taken on a life of its own.

“I went on and I was like, ‘Oh my God, this is a headline?’” Youkilis said. “Next thing I know, I read it and I’m like, here we go. All the guys are having fun with it and joking around. It wasn’t meant to be like how some people are perceiving it. It was just basically explaining, that’s my past and the history of who I am.”

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Standing outside of the Yankees clubhouse this morning, Youkilis laughed while he explained himself. His intention seemed pretty clear yesterday — part of the same quote is the phrase, “It’s part of your life, it’s not defining” — but of course, comments in the heat of this rivalry tend to carry extra weight.

“It hit me hard,” Youkilis said. “I was like, ‘Oh man, I’ve got watch my mouth here.’ The whole thing, for me, I look at it, when I was saying it, it was more like a baseball card. When you look at it, there’s going to be nine seasons or whatever (with the Red Sox), and that’s why I said that. But in the context of what I said, if you read it as, ‘I’m always a Red Sock,’ it looks bad. But it’s not that way. I’m a Yankee today, and I’m excited. I’m proud to be a Yankee, and I’m proud for Opening Day and playing against the team that I spent all those seasons with. Trust me, if you know my personality and know who I am, it doesn’t matter what team’s along the way, I want to beat everyone. I want to beat the Red Sox because I want to start out with a win in Yankee Stadium.”

[2]• Michael Pineda threw a 25-pitch side this morning. All fastballs. He said everything went well. Still no setbacks for him. “We just have to be wait, and I have to be honest that it’s a question mark,” Brian Cashman said yesterday. “We just don’t know. I’m hoping, because he’s an important piece, that if he’s back and healthy and performing up to his ceiling, that’s a huge thing for us. Right now, I can’t represent any of those things. I just appreciate him working his tail off and doing everything necessary to give it a chance.”

• Cesar Cabral also threw a 25-fastball side this morning. Cabral and Pineda are on the same schedule — “Every day the same,” Cabral said — and just like Pineda, Cabral said he’s happy with the way his arm has responded. “I feel great,” Cabral said. “My arm rotation, everything.”

• If you’re curious, Youkilis said he shook Joba Chamberlain’s hand this morning and felt no awkwardness. Chamberlain said the same, saying they talked more about growing mustaches than anything else (Chamberlain is growing one right now, he wants Youkilis to do the same). “Tomorrow we’ll hug,” Youkilis said.

• Looks like a pretty light day out here. Pineda and Cabral threw sides already, but there doesn’t seem to be much scheduled for today’s workout. A lot of PFP and the usual batting practice for the catchers, but otherwise, it’s pretty light.

Live batting practice
Vidal Nunez (throwing to Kyle Higashioka)
Facing Francisco Arcia and Gary Sanchez.

Zach Nuding (throwing to Austin Romine)
Matt Tracy (throwing to J.R. Murphy)

Batting practice
Group 1
Francisco Arcia, Kyle Higashioka, Austin Romine, Gary Sanchez
Group 2
Francisco Cervelli, J.R. Murphy, Chris Stewart, Bobby Wilson