It started with another day off, it continued with another DL trip, and it might have just ended yesterday with the announcement that he was going to need surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back. The battle between Kevin Youkilis and his back has been waged, and Youkilis has lost. You can check the calendar if you want, but the 10-12 week estimated timeframe for his recovery all but ends a Yankee career that was snuffed out almost as quickly as it started.
As it is, Youkilis will end his Yankee career with a .219/.305/.343 batting line in 118 plate appearances. It wasn't the production anybody hoped for, least of all Youkilis himself, but it's a testament to the grit and desire and passion for the game Youkilis had. He wore the pinstripes with pride, although usually in a stiff and uncomfortable looking posture, and honored the # 36 like no Yankee had since Freddy Garcia. He'll make a cool $12 million this year - $1 mil for every run he scored, 1.5 for every RBI, or 6 for every HR - and no man, woman, or child could say that every cent of it wasn't well earned.
Kevin Youkilis wasn't a Yankee for very long. He joined them later in his career, when his flame had started to burn a little fainter. It's a flame we'll never forget though, and a flame that will burn on in time for the rest of Yankee history. Now somebody hit the music.