Boston reporters who've been around White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis for a long time say Youkilis looked as though the weight of the world was lifted off his shoulders the day he played his first game with his new teammates and manager Robin Ventura.

That was in Minnesota on June 25. Three weeks later, Youkilis is thoroughly enjoying a relaxed atmosphere in the clubhouse.

"Yeah, this is great,'' Youkilis said Wednesday. "Come to the field every day and you just play baseball. Not much is said other than: 'Just go out there and do it.' They give us the luxury of being baseball players and going about our business in the right way every day. And until we don't — and I don't see that happening — they're going to be here to help us out when we need the help and let us play.''