Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Why didn't I think of that?

Just read a really good piece by ESPN's Steve Berthiaume where he discusses Kevin Youkilis eventually moving off third base in the future to be the Sox' full time DH. Of course loyal readers of Sexy Boston Sports, will quickly remember that I made this same suggestion almost a month ago when talking about the emergence of Jed Lowrie:
I would sure like the team to unleash Jed Lowrie to the league with far more regularity to see if they have someone who can keep Iglesias in the minors longer to learn how to hit and then potentially push Youkilis to a DH role and slide over to third once the Cuban short stop makes his ascension. 
I'm not pointing this out to show that once again your buddy X Mark got the jump on a storyline ahead of more highly credentialed writers. What I wanted to point out was the blindingly obvious comparison that Berthiaume makes between Youk and retired 3B/DH (and hopefully future Hall of Famer) Edgar Martinez:
Martinez's major league career got off to a relatively late start. He wasn't in the Mariners' everyday lineup until 1990, when he was 27, the same age at which Youkilis became a permanent Red Sox regular in 2006. Martinez was Seattle's primary third baseman through the 1994 season. It was when he was made the regular DH in 1995, however, that he consistently began putting up Hall of Fame numbers.  
Doh! I urge you to click on the link in case you forgot how good Martinez used to be.

Berthiaume goes on to note that Martinez was actually a decent fielding third baseman when he was called up and was shifted off the position not because of ineptitude but because of injuries. While Youk's injury last year was a fluke and not related to playing the field, his, um, shapely figure may hold up better if he focused fully on hitting. Of course with the mentality of a doberman pincher on two hits of crank stuck in rush hour traffic on the DC beltway, Youk may have a tough time settling into this more relaxed role. If he can though, the comparison to Martinez would be extremely apt and very exciting for us fans.

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