© 2024 WUTC
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Obama's Baseball Taunt Gets Boos From Donors, Or Were They 'Yoooooks'?

New Chicago White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is shown during pre-game warmups prior to a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Monday.
New Chicago White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis is shown during pre-game warmups prior to a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins on Monday.

There's a bit of a silly argument going on in Washington today.

It revolves around a speech President Obama gave during a Boston fundraisers last night.

Wrapping up the President said, "And finally, Bos, I just want to say thank you for Youkilis."

The reference is this past weekend's trade of veteran infielder Kevin Youkilis, who went from the Boston Red Sox to the Chicago White Sox.

As soon as the president brought up Youkilis, the crowd pounced. The official White House transcript says the crowd boos and President Obama seems to have heard the same thing.

"I'm just saying," Obama continued. "He's going to have to change the color of his 'sox.' I didn't think I'd get any boos out of here, but I guess I shouldn't have — I should not have brought up baseball. I understand. My mistake."

Being that we're in middle of a heated presidential campaign the Romney campaign opened its daily email to reporters taking a swipe at the president for his remarks.

The Boston Globe reports:

"Last night in Boston, President Obama went to the heart of Red Sox nation and committed an error by taunting fans over the Kevin Youkilis trade to the Chicago White Sox," wrote spokeswoman Andrea Saul, a bit tongue in cheek. "And he was booed for it...at his own event!"

"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," Saul went on. "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."

In Washington form, the White House went to work, putting some Cy Young spin on the news.

Here'sThe Hill reporting on Press Secretary Jay Carney's comments:

"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," said Carney. "He is a White Sox fan, he owns his fandom of the White Sox. He proved that again last night."

"Anyone who knows Boston, knows the Red Sox and anyone who was in that room last night knows that the preponderance of people shouting in response to what the president said about Kevin Youkilis were saying 'Yoooook' and not 'Booo,' for God's sake," Carney said.

Yes, yes. Very important stuff. But before you make fun, know that these trades do cause heartache.

Just look at this 5-year-old reacting to the Youkilis trade. The is crying for Brent Lillibridge, who was the kid's "favorite guy" and is now headed to Boston.

The 5-year-old's dad talked to the Chicago Tribune and told them he sent the video around to show Lillibridge that he has fans out there.

"There's times I know he's probably got down on himself for the way his performance has been this year, but I've always seen him be positive, and I wanted him to catch a note from a fan saying, 'We're going to miss you,'" Jason DeWitt told the paper.

Correction at 2:47 p.m. ET. An earlier version of this post contained a picture that was not of Kevin Youkilis. Instead, it was a picture of Adam Dunn. White Sox fans are encouraged to boo this blogger.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.