I watched Kevin Youkilis charge the mound last night, and I just nodded my head.
I know what's happening here: he's an ass.
The sports media should reevaluate the way it reported the Joba-Youk showdowns of the past few years.
Youk has always taken exceptional issue when pitches come near him:
Chamberlain threw inside, barely missing the Boston first baseman with a pitch that went behind his legs.
Youkilis took several steps toward the mound...
It all has to do with expectations. I remember a few seasons ago, Roger Clemens was pitching against Manny Ramirez, and everyone was expecting Rocket to buzz Ramirez. There was a pitch up, but hardly in, and Manny started toward the mound with the bat in his hand.
Maybe Youkilis is especially jumpy against young fireballers. Maybe he's trying to get in the head of a rookie, or maybe he's agitated because he doesn't want to be embarrassed by a pitcher with great stuff. Maybe he's jealous of players who were able to make the show before age 25.
He had been hit the night before, and Miguel Cabrera had been hit in the hand earlier in the game (he's been hit Monday, too). But why would Rich Porcello intentionally hit the first batter of the second inning? If you're going to drill someone, you do it late in the game, preferably with a big lead and two out.
I've seen Youkilis enough to be familiar with his behavior, but so far I haven't heard enough condemnation of charging the mound. It will be very, very interesting to see what his suspension will look like. AJ Burnett got 6 days for throwing a pitching that didn't hit anyone while counterpart was unsuspended for twice drilling Mark Teixeira.
This will be an interesting one to watch.