Kevin Youkilis responded Monday morning to statements Red Sox skipper Bobby Valentine made Sunday night questioning the third baseman's effort and commitment.
"I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Valentine told WHDH Sunday during an interview. Which triggered this response Monday from Youkilis: "I go out every day and play as hard as I can -- take every ground ball in the morning, take every at-bat like it's my last. I don't think my game has changed at all. ... That's just not how I go about the game of baseball." Dustin Pedroia has come to his friend and teammate's defense, telling the media Monday, "I really don't know what Bobby is trying to do but that's not the way we go about our stuff around here." This is a situation that has great potential to turn even uglier. Youk is not in Monday's lineup.