All season the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago White Sox have been on a seesaw in the race for the American League Central Division title, with the Detroit Tigers not too far behind. In the type of deal that usually doesn’t happen with over a month to go before the trading deadline, the White Sox just got better by acquiring Kevin Youkilis from the Boston Red Sox. The ChiSox didn’t give up much for the third baseman/first baseman, who was mentioned in the movie “Moneyball” as the “Greek God of Walks” while in the minor leagues.
A healthy Youkilis is exactly what the Indians need, a corner infielder who produces runs. And the price didn’t seem outrageous. The White Sox will only be responsible for $2 million of his $12 million 2012 contract, and they will have the offseason to decide whether to pick up the club option for $13 million or let him go. All they gave up was utility player Brent Lilli-
bridge, who at the time of the trade was hitting just .175 with two home runs, and Zach Stewart, a pitcher with a major-league record of 3-8 with a 5.92 ERA.
The Indians were in the running for Youkilis but apparently didn’t want to beat the White Sox offer. They must not have felt he was healthy enough; he has missed significant time the past three seasons due to injury. Red Sox’ Bobby Valentine for some unknown reason didn’t like Youkilis, and Will Middlebrooks, his replacement at third, has been tearing the cover off the ball. The Indians must have been concerned with his health, otherwise the price tag would have been higher. They also must believe in a combination of Lonnie Chisenhall, Jack Hanahan, Casey Kotchman and Carlos Santana at the corners.
By not acquiring Youkilis, however, it means the Cleveland teams missed out on a Jewish trifecta that may not have ever taken place in any city with three pro franchises. The Cavs have Omri Casspi, the Browns have second-round pick Mitchell Schwartz, but the Indians came up short in their quest for Youkilis.
ACE FOR GOFFMAN: Attorney Ira Goffman gave himself a pretty good Father’s Day present at Beechmont Country Club in Orange. The father of three, a once-a-week golfer, chalked up his first hole-in-one.
That’s pretty impressive, but how about this true story? About 20 years ago, my friend Tom Bond, the GM and pro at Chardon Lakes, accomplished the unbelievable feat of getting a hole-in-one on each of the two par-3s on the front side, Nos. 4 and 8. The course record of 67 was set by Jack Nicklaus during his only appearance at the beautiful public course. Bond had a 30 on the front nine and was in terrific position to take the honor from the Golden Bear.
But, it was Mother’s Day, and Tom had been scheduled to pick up his mother for a family brunch. Unfortunately cell phones weren’t available at the time. You can decide if he did the right thing: He chose to give up the pursuit of Nicklaus’ record and went ahead with the family brunch.
The gods of golf have long memories. Last Saturday morning, Bond got a double-eagle two on the 483-yard par 5, No. 2. After a 285-yard drive, he canned the eagle from 200 yards. Congratulations to Tom Bond and Ira Goffman, who have accomplished something so many of us can only dream about.
Les Levine can be seen on “More Sports and Les Levine” Mon.-Fri. from 6-7 p.m. and 11-midnight on NEON Ch. 23 on Time Warner Cable. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or on Facebook at ClevelandJewishNews or on Twitter @LesLevine.