Sanspo and Sponichi have posted interviews with Kevin Youkilis.
You played in your first game on the 23rd against Yomiuri.
I'm getting used to the team. I want to prepare myself for opening day by getting myself ready and using games as an additional boost. Adjusting to the things in front of me is more important than opening day at this point.
What is your motto?
Play as hard as you can because you don't know when it will be your last game.
You have been involved in suicide prevention efforts in the United States.
A good friend of mine committed suicide on Thanksgiving Day. My wife also lost a friend to suicide. Everyone at some point in their lives wishes they can get away from things. I got involved because I wanted to help people see just how wonderful life can be.
What would you like to do in Japan, other than baseball?
I want to spend a lot of time with my family. And I want to make sure my family has a great time living in Japan. I was actually trying to sign with a team close to my home in San Jose. I have a two-year-old daughter. The last few years have been difficult because I wasn't able to see my family a lot. My wife wanted to see what it was like living abroad, so I decided on Rakuten for my family.
Did you know about Rakuten?
Honestly, no. I checked the internet. I found out that AJ and McGehee were on the team. I also learned that the team was from the Tohoku area that suffered damage from the March 11 earthquake. It's very sad to lose someone you love. I want to learn more about what happened.
What surprised you after you came to Japan?
The players practice a lot. They work out a full day and then come back the next day and do the same thing. This is not the United States. I am getting used to things little by little. I'll be fine if I follow AJ.
Have you picked up any Japanese?
I know basic greetings, like ohayogozaimasu. I think it's funny that Don't touch my mustache apparently sounds like doitashimashite.
That is a nice beard.
I have no head on top, so I grow this out. But I might shave it if I can't get any hits. I think my wife will be surprised if I shave it. It would be best if that didn't happen.
Source: Sanspo 2/25/2014