The Red Sox and White Sox could play each other now through the end of the season, and you probably still wouldn't get to see much interaction between Kevin Youkilis and Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine. This is Bobby Jenks and Ozzie Guillen territory.
Youkilis, the former Red Sox third baseman who was traded to the White Sox, returns to Fenway Park for the first time on Monday, 22 days after he was dealt in part because of his strained relationship with Valentine. Boston and Chicago play the first game of four at Fenway Park.
"I got nothing about any of that stuff," Youkilis said Sunday. "I'm over all the Boston thing this year. There's a lot of great past history, but this year I'm focused on the White Sox."
Said Valentine on Sunday of their relationship following an April disagreement: "I have no idea. It's whatever he wanted it to be. Like I said, we didn't have a strained relationship in Spring Training, and I wasn't around last year."
Not all is sour, though. Youkilis said Sunday he thinks the fans who were behind him for most of nine seasons in Boston will probably cheer him, at least for Monday.
"Probably a good reaction," Youkilis said. "But after the first day, they don't want me to do well playing against your team. So you never know what you are going to get. I think it will be a good reception.
"It will be different. It will be a different feeling, different dugout and all that stuff. Different emotions, but you have to bear down and really focus. I think once the game starts, that's all you really play for. It's what the game brings you. A lot of people there will be cheering me on and some people won't be. But that's the way it is in sports."
Youkilis also put out a letter to fans that was published Sunday on ESPNBoston.com. Youkilis said he thought the letter wasn't going to come out until Monday, but its message remained -- he owes a lot to his time in Boston.
"You know, I'm looking forward to seeing some people," Youkilis said. "It will be good to see some players I played with and people that have been around that city. It will be good to see some people and some friends that live there, and a few friends I made for a lifetime. So it will be good to hang out with them and enjoy it."
White Sox: With Floyd scratched, Axelrod in
Right-hander Gavin Floyd has forearm and elbow soreness in his throwing arm and was examined in Chicago on Sunday. An MRI found no structural damage, but tendinitis will keep him from making Monday's scheduled start.
Dylan Axelrod, another righty, gets the start in his place. Axelrod threw two scoreless innings and 31 pitches in relief on Friday.
This isn't the first time the White Sox have had injury troubles in the rotation this season.
"One thing after another it is," manager Robin Ventura said. "But again, it's part of having a long season. You're always having stuff like that."
Red Sox: Crawford to be activated on Monday
Outfielder Carl Crawford's first Major League action of 2012 will come on Monday when the team activates him from the disabled list, where he's been with a left elbow strain.
"Just got the word from Carl," Valentine said after Sunday's 7-3 win over Tampa Bay. "He'll be there tomorrow, ready to go."
Crawford completed his rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday night, going 2-for-5 with a run while playing all nine innings in left field.
Red Sox right-hander Aaron Cook is making his third career start against the White Sox. He last faced them on June 30, 2011, when he was with the Rockies, and took a no-decision after letting up one run in six innings.