An Ode to Kevin Youkilis

We will miss you, number 20

Kevin Youkilis in a familiar pose with umpire Brian Runge (photo: Samara Pearlstein)

By now you’ve all heard that Kevin Youkilis has signed a one-year, $12 million contract with the hated New York Yankees. In his introductory press conference, Youkilis said, “It was more of a shock at first of like ‘Oh my God, I never thought I’d have the Yankees call me and want me on their team.’” I hold no animosity toward Youkilis for signing with the Yankees, as he had already been traded to the White Sox and he definitely deserves a job in the majors, so good luck, Kevin. What I want to do is remember what number 20 meant to the Red Sox.

Wait.

Number 20.

Twenty.

I don’t want to talk about Kevin Youkilis anymore. I want to talk about 20 children who were murdered in Newtown, CT. Twenty-year-old Adam Lanza, after killing his mother at her home, entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School clad in black fatigues and a military bullet-proof vest, armed with a Glock and a Sig Sauer (both semi-automatic handguns) and plenty of ammunition. He then proceeded to kill the principal of the school, a school psychologist, four teachers and twenty children (ranging from the ages of five to ten) before taking his own life.

Twenty children. Twenty.

That’s 20 children who will never experience the joy of holding their mother or father’s hand and enter Yankee Stadium to see Kevin Youkilis (supposedly) wearing his familiar #20. Twenty children who will never again ride their bikes with baseball cards in the spokes. Twenty fewer voices root, root, rooting for the home team. Twenty children who will never get a chance to be the next Mike Trout or Jennie Finch. Twenty.

It is way beyond time to have a conversation about serious gun control in the United States.

“You heartless bastard,” you might say. “Now is not the time to have this discussion. Let the parents grieve. We can have this discussion later.”

I guess you’re right. Now isn’t the time to have this discussion. And it wasn’t the time to discuss reasonable gun control after the shooting at a mall in Portland, Oregon this past Tuesday (two dead, one injured). And it definitely wasn’t the time to discuss it after the mass killing in Minnesota on September 27 (five dead, three injured). Nor was it the time to discuss it after the mass killing at the Sikh temple in Milwaukee on August 5 (10 killed or injured). It surely wasn’t the time to discuss it after the killings at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado on July 20 (70 killed or injured). We couldn’t discuss the issue on or about May 20, after the shooting at a Seattle cafe (seven killed or injured). How dare we discuss the issue after the shooting at Oikos University in Oakland (10 killed or injured) on April 20. It would have been insensitive to discuss the issue after the shooting at a spa in Norcross, Georgia on February 22 (five killed or injured).

And that’s just this year.

It wasn’t the time to discuss gun control after Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot (along with 18 others) in Tuscon. Nor after Fort Hood. Or after Northern Illinois University. Or after Virginia Tech. Or after the killings at the Amish school in Lancaster, PA. Or after Red Lake, Minnesota. Or after Brookfield, Wisconsin. Or after the Damageplan concert in Columbus, Ohio. Or after Lockheed-Martin. Or after Wakefield, Massachusetts. Or after the killings at the Baptist church in Fort Worth. Or after the Atlanta day-traders office. Or after Columbine.

You’re right. Now isn’t the best time to discuss gun control in America. That time was before any one of those twenty shootings. But because we failed all those victims, including twenty children in Newtown, Connecticut, by our refusal to discuss gun control in America after any one of those previous massacres, we owe it to the myriad victims and their families to have this discussion.

Now.

Categories: Boston Red Sox Chicago White Sox Kevin Youkilis Mike Trout New York Yankees

Scott Candage is a long-time Red Sox fan. He recently came in third in the 127th annual Upperclass Twit of the Year competition. His best friend is a tree and he is a stockbroker in his spare time.

8 Responses to “An Ode to Kevin Youkilis” Subscribe

  1. Nicholas C December 15, 2012 at 1:20 PM #

    This is the worst article I have ever read on a BASEBALL WEBSITE. Gun control does not solve the issue, and when someone is trying to get away from the terrible news for 5 minutes to escape into a world they love (baseball), this is not what we want to read. I am beyond disappointed in my favorite website in this terrible article. Heroine and meth are illegal, does that stop criminals? Those guns were legally owned by his mother, the only question is why did he not have access to mental health help and why did he have access to his mothers guns. They should have been locked up, and away form him if he is having issues which he obviously was. If rape is illegal why are women still getting raped? Why are people still driving drunk? Making things illegal DOES NOT stop it from happening. All it does is punish the people who legally own and are responsible with their firearms. How did he get into the school? Arent all schools supposed to be un-enterable by non students after the start of the school day? How about putting better security into schools with the tax dollars we pay instead of wasting time discussing gun control.

    Beyond disappointed in your website for using it as a political source and not a baseball source. That post has absolutely nothing to do with Kevin Youkilis and was merely a ploy to trick readers into viewing your political views. You need to reassess why you write for this website if that is the kind of stunt you are going to try and pull. I am debating if I will ever read another article on this website. Gun Control does not solve the issue, there are over 8 MILLION (legal) gun owners in this country, why don't you look at the number of crimes commited by them, and then look at how many are committed with illegal firearms, as yesterdays was, those were stolen guns, they were his law abiding mothers, he was not legally allowed to possess one as he is under 21. Look at crime rates in kennesaw georgia where all homes must possess a firearm and compare them to any location where guns are not allowed. You will be shocked to see that people will not break into a home where the owner is armed, no wonder, they don't want to die.

    Scott Candage- You are a disgrace to baseball fans and writers.

  2. Brett December 15, 2012 at 4:19 PM #

    Scott Candage – Bravo. I was also surprised by the turn of the article but appreciate that you (and many others) decided to take a stand and say "enough!" I particularly appreciate that you took the time to list out in stark detail the rash of massacres that have taken place in this country recently.

    Nicholas C – you need to STFU. The fact that you immediately went on the attack (personally) says more about you than Scott. The reality is that the U.S. has the most relaxed gun control laws in the advanced world AND the highest incidence of gun deaths in the advanced world. If you compare the South to areas of the country with stricter gun laws, the same picture emerges. Take another look at that list. No one can say how many of those massacres would have been avoided had more stringent gun control laws in place, but that is no reason for reasonable citizens to collectively agree that gun control is worth trying. What's the alternative – Arm the kids? Install detectors in all schools, buildings and stores across the county & become a police state? Is the relative convenience of gun owners (law abiding or no) worth more than potentially saving the next 1st grader from getting gunned down?

  3. Izzy December 15, 2012 at 8:34 PM #

    Hi Scott. I've been watching the news nonstop since yesterday. I came here to take a little break from it and saw an article about one of my favorite former Red Sox players and got a little excited. I'm not trying to dismiss your opinion; I just don't think this is the way to get your message across. Hundreds of articles have been written in the last 36 hours making the same points- but those articles didn't feel the need to mislead readers.

  4. Alex December 16, 2012 at 12:52 PM #

    Scott-
    I recently (less than one week ago) found this website. As an avid Red Sox fan I have read every article that is available to me on this site. I went into this article with the same excitement only to be utterly disappointed. No matter my political opinions, I will kindly never be back to read something here again.

  5. Jim December 16, 2012 at 6:56 PM #

    Please keep your political rants off of my baseball website…. I come here to read about the red sox, not your political beliefs. If I wanted that I would have gone to another website.

  6. Daniel Poarch December 17, 2012 at 11:31 AM #

    "My sports are more important than real life issues!" -Everyone in this comment section

    Kudos for putting your thoughts out there, Scott. It's a topic that needs to be discussed, comfortable or not.

    • JMReviews December 17, 2012 at 3:25 PM #

      I don't think that's what people are saying. This tragedy was terrible, and many people look to sports as a way to escape from life, especially the negative parts of it. I don't think it's as simple as discussing gun control. A similar tragedy occurred in China with somebody using a knife.

      That being said, I don't think a baseball site has to steer clear of politics. Chip's thoughts on Yunel Escobar's "Tu Ere Maricon," for instance easily has a place on this site. I take issue with the fact that this article is deceptively titled and begins deceptively. I also take issue with the fact that Scott doesn't first try to honor the memory of the victims with his post.

      • Daniel Poarch December 17, 2012 at 4:36 PM #

        It's a complicated issue and yes, I agree that there is more to it than gun control – it seems to me that mental healthcare should be much more discussed than it is currently. It's an amalgamation, however, of several different issues in this country. One of those issues is certainly gun control. Whether that is the most important factor at play is a matter of opinion the same as anything else.

        While there may have been a more tactful way to present the article than disguising it as one about Kevin Youkilis, in no way does this make Scott "a disgrace to baseball fans and writers." There's still quite a bit of whining happening here. He made his point and he presented it in a way he wanted. It's his right to do that.

        Bottom line, I'll always have a problem with Internet Tough Guys who post scathing comments on people's work just because they can like good ol' Nicholas C up there. You mentioned "Tu Ere Maricon," – go read the comments section on that one again. It's a doozy. Nobody has to like how Scott presented his point, but people can still have some respect.