Mo Vaughn was a pretty big target who liked to crowd the inner half of the plate. It was no surprise when he got backed off repeatedly with fastballs in on the hands. If any pitcher throws 10 of those, 1 will at least graze the batter. Kevin Youkilis's hands hover in over the plate, but a good portion of his body is back in the middle of the batters box due to his strange stance. So why is it that he has been hit 72 times in his short career?
As is shown at any Yankees/Red Sox game at Yankees Stadium, Youk hears the loudest boos (Ortiz being a close second) and whenever there is a retaliation by the opposing pitcher, Youkilis appears to always be the target. Youkilis made an attempt to retaliate when he was beaned by Tiger's pitcher Rick Porcello (who the Sox will face on Friday). The young Porcello gave Youk a simple toss over his hip and the next thing you know the two were on the ground and the benches were on the field. The way Youkilis went for Porcello, you could tell the normally kind-hearted Youkilis was out of his element as he kind of went off to the side and grabbed Porcello's jersey rather then directly tackling the smaller, younger pitcher. This was about sending a message, not an attempt to hurt anyone.
However, the rest of baseball appeared to have missed the message as they continue to try to pitch Youkilis inside. If we want to look at the baseball reason this happens, its because Youkilis has made pitchers pay for pitching him inside becoming good friends with the Green Monster and pulls fastballs and sliders in on the hands off of and over it on a consistent bases. So when pitchers go inside to Youkilis, they go as far in as they can. Some of these are bound to make contact. But with the importance and frailty of Youk's hands, he is going to have to try to dodge a few here and there to prevent further injuries.