Kevin Youkilis Isn't Ready to Talk to Joba Chamberlain

Former enemies are yet to transition to friends

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Jan 23, 2013  |  Updated 12:58 PM EDT
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Youkilis and Chamberlain haven't buried the hatchet just yet.

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Football's been done in these parts for more than a month, which means that we can't really rely on the Jets to provide material to make us laugh every week. 

They'll still have their moments, especially when it comes time to run Tim Tebow out of town, but we're increasingly going to have to look to other teams for our moments of pure absurdity. It will be tough for the Knicks to top Honey Nut Cheerios, which makes it a good thing that we've got Joba Chamberlain and Kevin Youkilis. 

The Yankee teammates have a long, hostile history with one another stemming from the fact that Chamberlain liked to throw fastballs at various parts of Youkilis' body just about every time that the two faced off when Youkilis was still a member of the Red Sox. When Youkilis signed with the Yankees as a free agent, there was some chuckling about the two of them sharing a clubhouse but it was mostly assumed that all would be fine after Youkilis said all would be fine. 

All's not quite fine. Joba's gotten the cold shoulder from his new teammate after sending him a message welcoming him to the team. 

"I did everything I can do," Chamberlain said. "I can’t control what Kevin Youkilis does, I can only control what I do and, you know what, we’ll go on from there."

It is a little bit odd that Youkilis wouldn't just send some "Thx" text back to Joba the way you do whenever you get a message from someone you'd prefer not to talk to without turning the whole thing into fodder for the tabloids before you've even gotten to spring training. It isn't the kind of odd that should have any particular impact on the Yankee season, mind you, but it is odd nonetheless. 

If you really wanted to stretch things, you could point to Youklilis as one of the army of Red Sox players who have been blamed for the team's collapse in 2011 and the season that went nowhere in 2012. From there, you'd probably wonder if this lack of normal human communication foreshadows more problems for Youkilis in the Yankee clubhouse that could impact the Yankees record. 

Maybe that happens, but we're guessing Joe Girardi's been around enough blocks to figure out how to win with a team where two of the 25 players aren't friendly with each other since he's certainly already done it in every other season as a manager. If you wind up criticizing Brian Cashman for this move down the road, it will be because Youkilis' production has declined sharply the last two seasons and because he hasn't been healthy in three seasons. 

Having said that, we won't really complain if they wind up firing this up again at some point in the summer. July and August can be kinda monotonous so a good interteam feud would be more than welcome. 

Josh Alper is also a writer for Pro Football Talk. You can follow him on Twitter.

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