Kevin O’Neill, Meet Paul Youkilis

It’s been said that you hate most in others what you actually see in yourself.

Perhaps that’s why many Yankee fans hate Kevin Youkilis. Cliff Corcoran at Bronx Banter calls him the "Jewish God of Sqwalks" and did so even when Youkilis was writhing on the ground in pain, wrist potentially broken by a Chien-Ming Wang fastball. Likewise, reaction to Youkilis’ reaction on Yankee blogs was nearly universal disdain; rare was the fan who expressed concern about a player who was clearly in pain.

Meanwhile, Youkilis’ contention that his style of play wasn’t that much different from Yankee-fan favorite Paul O’Neill’s was met with snickers from the New York faithful. One of our YF co-moderators in an email even pulled out the old Bentsen/Quayle chestnut — "… Paul O’Neill was a friend of mine …"

Now, someone else says Youkilis reminds him of O’Neill: Paul O’Neill!

“I loved to compete and I loved to win,” O’Neill said. “He’s the same way. In Boston and New York, they really care about winning and losing. I think they appreciate that about you more than in other cities.”

(This might also explain why I hated Paul O’Neill so frigging much but have a documented man-crush on Kevin Youkilis.)

So let’s stop the hate, people. Because, really, it just means you’re hating yourself.

46 comments… add one
  • Please. I don’t expect you to love Paul O’Neill. Don’t expect me to feel anything but revulsion for Youkilis.
    The last sentence of the article:
    “Youkilis, or O’Neill Lite, could not have said it better.”
    That’s what Youkilis is: O’Neill Lite. Paul O’Neill’s Mini-me. He might come from the same emotional template but he nowhere near as good as O’Neill was.

    doug YF October 5, 2007, 12:31 am
  • he nowhere near as good as O’Neill was.
    Might be wise to look at some stats before making statements like that.
    O’Neill, 1st two full seasons:
    1988: .252/.306/.414, 102 OPS+, 16 HR, 73 RBI
    1989: .276/.346/.446, 123 OPS+, 15 HR, 74 RBI
    Youkilis, 1st two full seasons:
    2006: .279/.381/.429, 108 OPS+, 13 HR, 72 RBI
    2007: .288/.390/.453, 120 OPS+, 16 HR, 83 RBI
    So actually, they’re essentially the same player.
    See! The hate does no one any good!

    Paul SF October 5, 2007, 12:44 am
  • Like I said before, YFs and SFs getting along…cats and dogs living together…mass hysteria!
    I like the whole “peace and love” vibe that’s been going around here the past couple of days, it’s nice. I wonder what brought it on, but I hope it continues.
    And to make a semi on-topic comment, I didn’t realize how close O’Neill and Youk were stat-wise. Would be nice for you SFs if he continued along Paulie’s lines. Personally, I don’t care about his kvetching all that much, I just can’t stand that small dead animal he wears strapped to his chin. Sorry.

    yankeemonkey October 5, 2007, 1:14 am
  • I really hope Youk mans up soon. I always hated O’Neill’s crying after called third strikes, and I’d rather not have to hate Youk for doing the same. October 5, 2007, 2:10 am
  • Completely OT, and I don’t want to disrupt the peace and love vibe, but just saw on FSN that Hanley Ramirez is undergoing shoulder surgery. So for anyone who was still down on the Beckett/Lowell trade even after last night… will THIS bring you around?

    Anonymous October 5, 2007, 3:04 am
  • I’d say the Ramirez trade remains a daring deal for both sides that has worked out well for everybody. Part of me yearns for a shortstop that can hit, but it’s hard to argue with Josh Beckett in 2007.

    C Joseph SF October 5, 2007, 4:36 am
  • good post paul…quite some time ago i commented here that i root for the uniform not the man, with maybe a few exceptions…i’d love youk on the yankees, just as i loved o’neill, but i wouldn’t love either on the sox…not a big fan of the drama from either of them, and the stats are rather ho-hum, which i could have told you without the comparison you posted…but having said that, i wouldn’t mind a team full of either of them…they have the heart, desire, and toughness that i admire in a player…

    dc October 5, 2007, 7:09 am
  • I think it’s also a lot of fun that we have the (in demeanor) anti-O’Neill on the Sox as well.
    Just kidding J.D. You’re awesome.

    QuoSF October 5, 2007, 7:54 am
  • It’s a new golden age for Heeb ballplayers. No problems here. But he’s no Ryan Braun.

    YF October 5, 2007, 8:11 am
  • Great post Paul.
    YF, help an Italian/Catholic guy out here…”It’s a new golden age for Heeb ballplayers.” Is Heeb an exceptable term these days? LOL.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 5, 2007, 8:36 am
  • Youk is 28, at 28 he actually has better numbers then Paulie at the same age. (Except HR’s) It actually wasn’t until he came to NY that his OBP was over .350 for the first time.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 5, 2007, 8:44 am
  • I would think it’s a good thing he’s not Ryan Braun. Ol’ stonehands at 3B reduced a lot of his value with his “fielding” this season.
    That’s an interesting problem for the Brewers to face. Their IF has TWO below-average 1B, one of which doesn’t even play 1B currently.

    QuoSF October 5, 2007, 8:54 am
  • “I would think it’s a good thing he’s not Ryan Braun.”
    I don’t know, man, Braun’s numbers over a whole season are pretty ridiculous, probably more than enough to make up for his fielding. I’d rather have him than Youk.

    Nick-YF October 5, 2007, 9:13 am
  • a friend of mine (a fellow YF) was complaining about youk the other day.
    i raised my hand to hush him and said, “if he played for the yankees, he’d probably be one of your favorite players.”
    he paused, grimaced, and then begrudgingly admitted that he’d love the guy if that were the case. (much as dc was saying above.)
    i’ve always liked youk. my dad and brother came to fenway for a yankees/sox game this year and would put their elbows in my ribcage everytime i’d yell “yooouuuuk” as he came to the plate.

    Yankee Fan In Boston October 5, 2007, 9:22 am
  • YFIB, you crossed the line with the “Yoooooouk” – ing. I will file the paper work you are officially kicked out of Yankee Universe.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 5, 2007, 9:24 am
  • It’s really funny, I had this exact debate with some Yankee fan friends recently. First, much like Doug above, it’s amazing how much better Yankee fans remember O’Neill being than he actually was. Second, they all hate Youk for the same reasons they loved O’Neill. In my case though, none of them would admit it.

    LocklandSF October 5, 2007, 9:26 am
  • Eh, if you trust BP’s numbers at all, his fielding really destroyed a lot of his value.
    Braun: 113 G, -20 FRAA, 5.3 WARP3
    Youk: 145 G, 14 FRAA, 7.8 WARP3
    Will these be the results every season? Probably (absolutely) not. But the gulf between them this season (even adjusting for PT) is negligible, non-existant, or in Youk’s favor.
    Though really, these comparisons need to be made to all those voters who surely voted for Braun as RoY without a second thought towards Tulowitzki. (23! FRAA, 10.4 WARP3)

    QuoSF October 5, 2007, 9:26 am
  • Lockland from age 30 until he retired he was very very good. .300, as high as .400 OBP, 18-24 HR’s. It’s prior to coming to the Yankees that he was not so good.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 5, 2007, 9:30 am
  • john-
    if it pleases the court, i’d like to add that i was also the only person i could see who stood to cheer for mr. rodriguez each time he did anything.
    (aside from those guys wearing the blonde girl masks, that is.)

    Yankee Fan In Boston October 5, 2007, 9:31 am
  • Trisk, I didn’t mean to say he wasn’t very good, I meant for some Yankee fans the memory is God like.

    LocklandSF October 5, 2007, 9:33 am
  • Quo, good call. I’m surprised by Youk’s WARP total. Better than I expected, and I knew Braun was a butcher out there, I just didn’t realize how much damage it did to his overall game.
    But I did write that Jeter-fan Tulowitski should win the RoY.

    Nick-YF October 5, 2007, 9:34 am
  • off topic, but the story about the sox fans getting jumped because they are sox fans is unsettling and disappointing.
    but go here ( ) and check out the unfortunate URL that the story was given.

    Yankee Fan In Boston October 5, 2007, 9:40 am
  • off topic, but the story about the sox fans getting jumped because they are sox fans is unsettling and disappointing.
    but go here ( ) and check out the unfortunate URL that the story was given.

    Yankee Fan In Boston October 5, 2007, 9:40 am
  • sorry.

    Yankee Fan In Boston October 5, 2007, 9:41 am
  • That’s messed up, but what’s really strange is that the attackers were both from PA.

    LocklandSF October 5, 2007, 9:51 am
  • i thought that was strange, too, lockland.

    Yankee Fan In Boston October 5, 2007, 10:10 am
  • i was surpised that Pettitte has so many post season stinkers.. but then again, he has many post season appearances…

    Ric October 5, 2007, 10:36 am
  • He also has the most postseason wins, IIRC.

    yankeemonkey October 5, 2007, 10:39 am
  • The attack was just sad. I hope the guy’s okay. :(
    As for the topic at hand, I have to say I kinda loathe some of Youk’s antics, for the same reason I wasn’t such a fan of O’Neill. It’s great that he’s intense, but the bitching after every called third strike gets reeeallly old.

    Jackie (SF) October 5, 2007, 10:42 am
  • In fairness to Youk, he had pretty good cause to bitch the other night – that strike three was low and outside.
    From his bitching about calls, it seems that he’s more often surprised by the strike call than surprised by the pitch itself. I’m hopeful that Youk can get better at expanding the zone with two strikes and become a better hitter.
    I’ve heard Braun is a LF in the making, though I’m not sure if that’s the Brewers’ plan or the ESPN analysts’ pipe dream.

    Tyrel SF October 5, 2007, 11:14 am
  • I have to agree that if Youkilis was on the Yankees he’d be one of my favorite players.
    I really cannot stand that whinging SOB!

    jimintokyo October 5, 2007, 11:24 am
  • I’ll cop to being the emailer that invoked the Quayle/Bensten/Kennedy chestnut, but in the spirit of full disclosure, in the article in question Youk said, “I’ve been compared to Paul O’Neill. I know Paul O’Neill. We have the same agent.” The joke writes itself. Plus I did admit that I had a lot more respect for Youk than I ever had for Quayle.

    attackgerbil October 5, 2007, 11:27 am
  • God, that Bensten/Quale video is awesome, haven’t seen that in a long time.

    LocklandSF October 5, 2007, 11:42 am
  • Doesn’t matter if Youkilis’ first 2 years are as good as O’Neill’s. Is that some sort of cosmic sign that the stars are aligning to put him on an identical career path? Are you trying to force me to love and respect him all of a sudden? Screw that. Why should I?
    Paul is right in one respect. If he were a Yankee, I’d probably love the guy. Also, if he were a Yankee, he wouldn’t have that bear bar lumberjack beard and he’d look more like a normal person. I saw a picture of him from the minors clean-shaven and he’s actually a pretty good-looking guy.

    doug YF October 5, 2007, 1:04 pm
  • “I saw a picture of him from the minors clean-shaven and he’s actually a pretty good-looking guy.”
    youre crazy.

    Ric October 5, 2007, 1:37 pm
  • Keep the beard, Youk. The scruffier, the better.

    ToddSF October 5, 2007, 2:00 pm
  • Is that some sort of cosmic sign that the stars are aligning to put him on an identical career path?
    No, but it’s a down-to-earth, carved-in-history fact that your belief that Youkilis is “O’Neill Lite” is dead wrong.
    Coincidentally, today is actually the 19th anniversary of that Bentsen/Quayle debate.

    Paul SF October 5, 2007, 2:25 pm
  • Today’s lineup makes me weep. The part where Matsui is back “hitting” 5th, particularly so. Why, Joe? Why?! What did Giambi do to deserve this? And, conversely, what does Matsui have on him?

    yankeemonkey October 5, 2007, 3:32 pm
  • YM, haven’t seen the lineups yet, I am busy chasing around my son. But If you are referring to Giambi not playing, I read today that Joe’s planning on using Giambi as a bench player mostly in this series. Something about it gives them a strong bench and some versatility.

    John - YF (Trisk) October 5, 2007, 3:44 pm
  • Honestly right now giambi and matsui are 6 of one, half a dozen of the other

    Sam-YF October 5, 2007, 3:47 pm
  • Sam, I basically agree but Matsui has looked a little worse in my opinion.

    Nick-YF October 5, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • Actually, “good looking” is a little too strong. “Regular guy” is a better descriptor.

    doug YF October 5, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • Yeah… I still don’t like him. And I don’t buy for a second he’s lived up to O’Neill’s career achievements. That’s carved in stone, down to earth, etched in cement, expressed through interpretive dance, whatever.

    doug YF October 5, 2007, 3:55 pm
  • Lineups, courtesy of Pete A.
    Damon LF
    Jeter SS
    Abreu RF
    Rodriguez 3B
    Matsui DH
    Posada C
    Cano 2B
    Cabrera CF
    Mientkiewicz 1B
    Pettitte LHP
    Sizemore CF
    Cabrera 2B
    Hafner DH
    Martinez C
    Garko 1B
    Peralta SS
    Lofton LF
    Michaels RF
    Blake 3B
    Carmona RHP

    yankeemonkey October 5, 2007, 3:55 pm
  • More from Pete via a press release, and it doesn’t sound good:
    The New York Yankees announced today that public address announcer Bob Sheppard will be unable to attend 2007 Division Series games at Yankee Stadium due to a bronchial infection. He will be replaced by longtime backup Jim Hall.

    yankeemonkey October 5, 2007, 3:59 pm
  • Doug, Nobody was saying “he’s lived up to O’Neill’s career achievements.” Show me where anyone said that?
    What you said was “but he nowhere near as good as O’Neill was.”
    That’s an incorrect statement based on the fact that you can’t compare that yet, all you can do is compare what Youk has done and what O’Neill had done with the same amount of service time. Youk could very well end up being a lot better or a lot worse.
    It doesn’t change the fact that what you said was incorrect. That’s all anyone is taking issue with.

    LocklandSF October 5, 2007, 4:18 pm

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