Youkilis more relaxed playing for ChiSox

Before Monday's four-game series opener against his former team, Kevin Youkilis spent nearly 17 minutes answering questions about his return to Boston after being traded to the White Sox on June 24. He took the high road when asked about his strained relationship with Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine, refusing to acknowledge publicly any tension between the two.

"I don't understand why there's [speculation of] this big rift," Youkilis said. "I'm here to play baseball."

But Youkilis also acknowledged that he is more relaxed playing in Chicago, where the White Sox are leading the AL Central with a 49-39 mark.

"We have like four beat writers that follow us and one time they didn't ask me a question after a game, and I was like, 'Are they going to ask me a question? Nah.' It was great," Youkilis said.

"I definitely miss my house that I had here. A lot of good memories, lot of great things and a lot of good friends, a lot of good friends that are here and they're sad that I left. They can come out and visit in California in the offseason or vice versa, I'll come back here, have a charity event here in the offseason so this isn't the last of Boston. I hope to keeping doing stuff in the community and helping out as much as I can and do good things, not on the baseball field but off.

"I would say there is less drama all around. No offense to [media] but there's always a story. With us [White Sox], it's going about the game, you play, it's over with, you get a question but there's no drama of questions all the time. It's just fun, it's fun. We're also second fiddle to the Cubs so it's always great. We don't get a lot of [attention]. It's easy. [Manager] Robin [Ventura] is laid back about just go play the game and do the things [you need to do] and we have a lot of fun. Not to say we didn't have a lot of fun in Boston while I was here, it's just a different entity in the Midwest, I guess."

Youkilis said he will always look back on Boston fondly and told reporters he has no regrets about the way his time with the Red Sox ended.

"Any regrets? 2008, I wish in Game 7 [of ALCS] I had hit more home runs against [Matt] Garza," Youkilis joked. "No, but there's no regrets. I had a lot of fun, won two World Series, came in my rookie year and won a World Series and won another one playing every day. Some guys can't even say they won one. I was very fortunate to win two, and got to go to All Star games and all cool stuff, met my wife here. So, there's no regrets of what happened and I'll never look back and say I should've done this or done that."