Kevin Youkilis played nine years for the Red Sox, so he knows what Patriots Day means to the city of Boston.
He has been there at the finish line to greet his wife.
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Even from afar, the Yankees third baseman felt the strong tug of those emotional ties after hearing of Monday's terrorist attack on the marathon.
"It ate me up a lot," Youkilis said before last night's game against the Diamondbacks at Yankee Stadium. "We were pretty much sick to our stomachs."
Youkilis is more than just a former Red Sox player who signed with the team's biggest rival. He was part of two World Series champions in Boston, and his wife is Julie Brady, the sister of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.
Youkilis recalled walking over from Fenway Park to watch his wife finish the marathon, so it was especially chilling for him to see the video of the bombing on what he described as "the most exciting day of the year in Boston."
"I was actually right there," Youkilis said. "I would have been on the other side of the street from where that occurred. I would have been in plain view of where the first explosion went off.
Yankee Stadium, in a respectful nod to its hurting neighbor, had a distinct Boston flavor for Monday night's game. The video marquees outside the stadium had the Yankees' 'NY' logo along with Boston's 'B' and "United We Stand" between them. During the third inning, they played "Sweet Caroline," which is Fenway Park's eighth-inning anthem.
"I think it's important that we recognize that we're all behind the people in Boston," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You think about that being a song that's a tradition there, that's special to Fenway Park and the people of Boston, and you put the baseball teams aside. We want to be there for them."