BOSTON (CBS) – Loyalty is a virtue.

Isn’t it?

I guess it depends on where you stand, or live.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

All Bostonians will surely nod approvingly when they hear that former Red Sox fan favorite Kevin Youkilis, on his first day wearing a Yankee uniform in spring training, was waxing eloquent about his loyalty to Boston.

“I’ll always be a Red Sock,” he was quoted saying by the New York Post.

“Guys play on different teams but that’s part of history, that’s part of your life and you can’t change that. It was great years in Boston… I saw a Red Sox fan this morning and I bought him coffee and we talked.”

Youkilis is just the latest in a string of former Red Sox to maintain a loyalty to the city and team no matter how awkward their departure may have been.

Wade Boggs went into the Hall of Fame as a Red Sock even after playing for years with the Yankees, and Carlton Fisk did the same despite playing longer for the White Sox than the Red Sox.

I’m sure there are many former Yankees who feel the same way about New York, but in any case, this was deemed by some New York fans to be a bit of a gaffe by Youkilis, and the next day he claimed he misspoke. Which goes to show how loyalty can be seen as a virtue or a vice, depending on who’s doing the seeing.

Many of us do not approve when family or political loyalty gets somebody with sketchy qualifications hired to a public job.

As Mark Twain once said: “Loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it.

Twain thought a lot about this topic; he also wrote: “Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.

Loyalty has its limits, as you’ll see when Youkilis returns to Fenway in pinstripes on July 19th.

Many Red Sox fans will boo the uniform, but appreciate the loyalty of the player. Youkilis will be loyal to his new team while trying to win, proving that dual loyalties are possible without violating either one.

And all Red Sox fans will understand the distinction, even if some Yankee fans may have to have the concept explained to them.


You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.


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