President Obama did something when he cracked a joke about Kevin Youkilis being traded to the Chicago White Sox at a fundraiser in Boston. At the close of his speech yesterday, the President of the United States looked into a crowd of Boston Red Sox fans and stated, “Thank you for Youkilis.” It was then that the boos started (although some have suggested it could have been chants of “YOUK” for Youkilis.) Anyway, as the President laughed it off he jokingly said Youkilis would, ”have to change the color of his Sox.” When the booing continued, he smiled and said, “I didn’t think I’d get any boos out of here.” Dude, really? Have you ever met a Red Sox fan?
The Red Sox aren’t exactly having the best season. They’re currently six and a half games back in the AL East — making them and the Toronto Blue Jays the worst teams in their division. There are several possible reasons for this (cough Bobby Valentine cough). Not only that but the departure of Kevin Youkilis — Gold Glove award winner, Hank Aaron award winner and two time World Series champion — morale among fans isn’t very high.
The Romney campaign has tried to take advantage of the situation. In an email, the campaign called out the president for kicking Red Sox fans while they’re down: ”The Red Sox have suffered many setbacks over the years — the Babe Ruth trade, the ball through Buckner’s legs, the Bucky Dent home run. Maybe the President should have congratulated the team for winning the World Series in 2004 and 2007. Instead, he chose to mock them for trading away one of its favorite players at a time when the team is struggling.”No doubt the Romney campaign hopes this gesture will make everyone forget about how the former Massachusetts Governor (and avowed Red Sox fan) screwed up the fact that it was 86 years since the Red Sox won the world series in 2004, not 87. I realize that doesn’t sound like a huge mistake, but in the history of the Boston Red Sox this is a major oversight. Also losing Youkilis isn’t exactly like watching a ball slip past Bill Buckner’s legs during game six of the 1986 World Series. If losing Youkilis is like a pin prick, the Buckner incident is being stabbed in the heart. (Note: the Buckner video can be found here for any Sox fan who wants to torture themselves or Mets fans looking to relive past glory.)
Responding to the dustup over the president’s remarks, Press Secretary Jay Carney said eariler today, “There has been some really silly reporting about the president’s remarks regarding Kevin Youkilis last night. It is highly commendable, in my view as a Red Sox fan, that the president has always refused to pander on sports. He is a White Sox fan, he owns his fandom of the White Sox.”