Kevin Youkilis demonstrates his new stance on "Yankees Access"New Yankee also discusses Jewish heritage and more on special premiering Feb. 5
Yankees Access is a YES Network original series which provides unprecedented behind-the-scenes off-the-field access to Yankees players. Previous Yankees Access shows have featured Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and David Robertson.
The February 5 Kevin Youkilis Yankees Access special features YES’ Yankees reporter Jack Curry travelling to Youkilis’ Bay Area home in California to interview Youkilis and his wife Julie. Among the highlights:
• Youkilis, owner of arguably the most distinct batting stance in the majors, demonstrates his new stance to Curry while at a local driving range. The changes: lower hands, he’s crouching a little more, more balance, a shortened delivery, and he has less of a leg kick. Youkilis explains how and why he has been working on the new stance.
• He reveals that he hesitated asking out his now-wife Julie at first out of respect for her brother, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, whose advice to his sister when she and Kevin started dating was “If I were you, I’d move as slow as molasses.”
• He describes the impact his Jewish heritage has had, and what he expects when he moves to New York; he also quotes comedian/actor – and Yankees fan -- Adam Sandler (also Jewish) telling him: “Gosh, I gotta root for him (Youkilis). It’s sacrilegious not to root for a Jewish ball player but he plays for the Red Sox, so I can’t root for him.” “I always cheered for you, but man, you always killed us and I always hated that part.”
The Youkilises on what type of relationship Kevin has with his brother-in-law, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, and how wife Julie (Tom’s sister) says that Tom suggested she take it verrrrrry slow with Kevin:
Kevin Youkilis: “Well, I can say I’m his only brother right now, so that’s a cool thing. We always joke about that: the brother you always wanted, and I’m like, “I don’t know if you wanted me as a brother, but you didn’t have a choice in this matter now.” He’s great. It’s pretty fun. I ask him questions. I even asked a question about coming to New York: “Could you ever be a Jet or a Giant?” And he’s like, “I don’t know. Luckily I’m not in your shoes.” And I’m like, ‘Thanks a lot for your advice, buddy!’”
Julie Brady-Youkilis: “You know, he (Kevin) was living in Boston at the time I was in California (when they started dating). It was really slow. I think we became really good friends because all we had was the long distance. I had told him (Tom Brady), “I think I may go see him (Youkilis),” and he (Tom Brady) goes, “If I were you, I’d move as slow as molasses.” And I go, “But Tommy, that means you don’t move at all,” and he goes, “Exactly!”
Youkilis on how Yankees fan Adam Sandler grudgingly rooted for Youkilis when he played for the Red Sox:
“I talked to Adam and he always says it was the hardest thing for him every time I came up to bat. Because being Jewish, he’s like, “Gosh, I gotta root for him, it’s sacrilegious not to root for a Jewish ball player but he plays for the Red Sox so I can’t root for him.” He said, “I always cheered for you, but man, you always killed us and I always hated that part.””
Youkilis on how his Jewish heritage is a significant part of his life, bar mitzvah requests, what he can expect in New York, and hanging with other Jewish Major Leaguers:
“You know, the Jewish heritage thing has been such a huge impact in my whole entire career. From the requests my agent gets to bar mitzvahs and weddings to you name it, it’s a big thing and it means a lot to a lot of Jewish youth and the Jewish community. You know I try to embrace it as much as I can and I wish I could go to as many as bar and bat mitzvahs as I can, but the schedule doesn’t allow for it. It is kind of fun around the league when I see (Milwaukee Brewers outfielder) Ryan Braun and (Texas Rangers second baseman) Ian Kinsler and sit on the same field with them, and we kind of joke around a lot. And I know in New York it’s going to be larger than life because I think it’s the first time in many years that a Jewish ball player will be playing for the Yankees, but what a great honor to be in a city with the probably the biggest population of Jewish people in America.”