Of Michael Young and nothing else

“The lights are going out all over Europe and I doubt we will see them go on again in our lifetime.”

Sir Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon, on the eve of World War I.

The Rangers are 10 days away from pitchers and catchers reporting to Spring Training and nobody knows if Michael Young will be in Surprise. The Rangers all-time hits leader, six-time All-Star and “face of the franchise” apparently would prefer that not be the case

So much for a celebratory off-season for the American League champions. Fans have had ample opportunity to have their photo taking with the championship trophy but the possibility of ever seeing Young in a Rangers uniform is dwindling.

Or at least seeing him smiling in a Rangers uniform.

michael-young.jpgMaybe cooler heads will prevail but right now that is a dubious proposition at best.

All indications are that the Rangers and Young are “butting heads” again – as he described it two years ago, and this time there may not be a happy ending.

A month ago Young was expressing his willingness to be the Rangers designated hitter after they signed free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre. That was a shock at the time but that was what he said publicly so that’s what was reported.

That appears no longer the case. Young likes playing defense and wants to go to a place where they will let him do just that. Colorado needs a second baseman, the Angels need a third baseman, well…there are a lot of teams that might be able to use a player as good as Young.

They probably don’t want to pay $16 million a year for the privilege though, or give up equal value in return. That’s why the Rangers are resistant to a deal, not to mention having no idea how to replace him in the lineup.

Two years ago Young demanded a trade when the Rangers asked him to switch to third. After a few days and nothing happening, Young publicly agreed to switch to third and it had a happy ending. Elvis Andrus took over at short, Young moved to third and the Rangers eventually ended up in the World Series.

But they lost.

Young didn’t immediately demand a trade this time. Now, apparently the reverse is true. What’s changed? Who knows…transparency has taken a holiday.

But the idea of him playing every day as a designated hitter seemed to erode when the Rangers pursued both Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez. Then the Rangers acquired Mike Napoli, which seemed to set everybody off. However the idea of the Rangers being better off with Napoli at DH over Young seems a stretch. Napoli is a nice addition but hardly the answer at DH.

The Rangers don’t have an answer at DH if they trade Young, unless they got somebody in return. The Rangers are unlikely to be able to pull that off . Maybe they could sign Troy Glaus but the Rangers obviously would prefer Young “be happy in his work” and remain in Texas.

They thought that would be the case a month ago but one too many cards may have been played. Plus when agents get involved, all bets are off.

With all the rumors floating around, Young may have the perception that his role on the team is not as clearly defined as he once thought and there are teams out there who want him as a defensive player. That may be the genesis for him wanting to go elsewhere.

This is a familiar story often repeated throughout Rangers history. Star player, “face of the franchise”, hero to the fans ends up leaving town in a cloud of discord. The good guys always die in the end. Young isn’t out the door yet but a happy ending for one and all does not appear in sight. There is no road map for peace unless Nolan Ryan can figure out a way to mollify Young. He may be the one guy who can do just that.

Or the Rangers just wait until they get to Spring Training, where they will have ample opportunity to soothe Young and demonstrate their sincerity in getting him maximum playing time.

Or, as Robert Redford said in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, “They could surrender to us but I wouldn’t count on it.”

19 Comments

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose avec The Texas Rangers.

Loosely translated: brand new year ? same old Rangers. They had us fooled didn?t they? AL champions, a trip to the World Series ? they wanted us to believe that they?d joined the elite clubs of MLB. But the Michael Young situation has proved that not much has changed at the offices on Ballpark Way. Wonder what Adrian Beltre is thinking right now ? how are they going to treat me at the end of my contract? Doesn?t send a good signal to other potential free agents who consider signing a long-term contract with the Rangers.

Maybe Lance Berkman was right – the 2010 Rangers were just lightning in a bottle.

What a mess. Why can’t the Rangers enjoy success? Michael Young was one of the reasons why the Rangers got to the World Series.

Why mess with a good thing. Because they are too smart for the rest of the world?

Seems to me Chuck Greenberg and his boys were desperate to spend money and show what great owners they were, and Adrian Beltre was the only one who would take their money. Or Scott Boras.

Now we have another typical Rangers mess. This franchise is cursed with self-stupidity and they have only themselves to blame.

Or the general manager has to flex his muscles and show who is in charge.

If I could appeal to Michael Young I would ask him to reconsider. Through all this rebuilding there he was there plujgging away and leading the team ever upward. Michael, Ranger fans respect you and really do see you as the face of the team. Trust Ron Washington to find a place for you everyday. “Good guys” may not get to the Hall of Fame because of their sacrifice but isn’t baseball about playing the game and winning?
TR, how strange you quoted Grey of Falladon… there probably aren’t a half dozen people in North Tx who who he is without looking him up.

TR,you nailed this one ,we need michael young at this point ,not only as a DH , but as a safety net for up and comming mitch moreland ,if mike napoli was a great addition why only a one year contract?.

Mike Young is a bad third baseman. He’s slowing down with the bat. He makes way too much money. All that said, he’s still a pretty good player. But the Rangers are the good guys in this one. Young may or may not have led the team to the Series, but the front office definitely put things together. They know how to evaluate talent, and they have rightfully determined that there’s no way they can let Mike Young play third base anymore.

Because he can’t play where he wants to, he wants to pick up his toys and go somewhere else. Young threw a similar fit when Andrus arrived and they wanted to move Young off of short. A lot of the truly great players in the game have had to change positions as they reached their mid-thirties. Why does Mike Young think he’s so special?

It’s selfishness. He thinks if he’s a DH he can’t get a big contract when this one runs out. So he’s also delusional, because if the Rangers do trade him, the team who gets him isn’t even going to pay his current salary. Texas will be throwing in a bunch of cash in any deal.

Young always said he wants to go to the playoffs. He acted as if nothing else mattered. Well, his team finally does make it to the playoffs. Not only that, but they beat a very good Tampa Bay team to advance to the ALCS. And then they proceeded to beat the New York Yankees, another very good team, to go to the World Series. An incredible, hard-fought accomplishment. Fast forward to 2011 and the team is trying to make itself better. They determine that a good way to do that would be to sign one of the best defensive third basemen in the majors. Young would have to move positions so he wants to be traded.

He’s the one who wants to walk away because in the end, it’s all about Mike Young and his next contract. It’s not about winning, because there is no team in baseball with a better chance of winning their division in 2011 than the Texas Rangers.

He also reportedly threw a fit whenever Ron Washington wanted to give him a rest. All ballplayers worth their salt want to play everyday. I get that. But in this grueling heat, the ones with common sense will accept a day off even if they don’t like it. It’s good for them and it’s good for the team.

So, bye, Michael Young. Take your whining someplace else.

Note to Mr. Young.

Michael I am a huge fan and I really enjoy the way you play the game. Let’s be honest, 3B is a very hard position and you have played it admirably. What we need now is someone who can take over at 2B when Kinsler gets hurt, can play 1B without missing a beat, can take on 3B and SS to provide some rest but can still play every day at the plate.

Any team would love to have you but they will do the same after having you for a season. So stay with Texas, fulfill your contract, retire a Ranger and maybe win a ring and join the hall of fame as the rare player who started every position in the infield during their career.

if Micheal leaves I will follow him. Rangers should keep Micheal because they will lose all the fans that are loyal to him and that is a lot of people.

I am the biggest MY fan out here. The only player jerseys/shirts I own are MY shirts, and I have a whole wardrobe of Rangers shirts. I really think if everyone, including Michael, will take a deep breath, get to spring training with his usual job first attitude, this will all work itself out in the long run. The Rangers are perpetually having unforeseen injuries/issues. I truly believe MY will get to play more than anyone can foresee right now. I also know that if we trade him, we will regret it, probably sooner rather than later.

Exactly what I was afraid would happen- Rangers get a good thing going and then start messing around with what they have. Michael Young needs to stay right where he has been- he is the anchor of that team. Not a happy day for Texas Rangers.

Please don’t leave Michael! The team needs you the fans need you. Please!

Really? A guy that is guaranteed about 4-5 times the money that he’s worth over the next 3 years is upset because he doesn’t like his new role on a World Series contending team? Give me a break. How about he void his remaining contract, and then I’m sure the Rangers would gladly let him go sign with anybody he wanted, and then he’ll find out what he’s really worth and how good he had it in Texas. It makes me sick. He said he was all about winning a WS and he would do whatever is best for the team. I guess that was a joke. Good riddens, Mr. Young. Enjoy playing out your last 3 years with the “going nowhere” Rockies.

Michael Young IS the heart and soul of the Texas Rangers and
if he leaves, he will take the heart of the Rangers with him?.

Baseball teams can have amazing talent, but without leadership and heart they cannot endure the grueling length of a baseball season and come out winners?

IF MICHAEL YOUNG LEAVES?he will take the heart of the team with him?PERIOD?game over?and it will take a very LONG time for The Rangers to recover?

I knew the Rangers were in deep “you know what” when they dealt with Scott Boras again……this guy brings nothing but bad luck to the Rangers…..he is the Rangers “billy goat curse”….until the Rangers clear their roster of any of his clients the Rangers are doomed….
Michael….you WILL be missed!!!! and us fans appreciate all you have done for the team!!

I’m a big Michael Young fan, but he is getting older and slower in the infield. That said, he needs to play his entire career in Texas. Make him the DH/super utility guy. Beltre has a track record of injury. Kinsler has spent much time on the DL the last couple of years. KEEP YOUNG! Make sure he has adequate playing time. Napoli? Good player that is tenacious and a good add to the team. Not to mention that I am sure it irritates LAA that he is in a Rangers uniform. He did a great job at first when Morales pulled up lame. I’m not convinced that Moreland is the answer at first. Also, Napoli is really a catcher and this is insurance should the 38 year old catcher show his age. Show Mike some love. Make this work.

There’s the T shirt….”Show Mike Some Love”….come on Rangers…make nice with Mike!

The Rangers made a move to improve their team defense and it doesn?t fit into Michael Young?s plans as an individual. I have no doubt that he?s a tremendous influence in the clubhouse, but he?s far from the ultimate team player that some have tried to make him out to be. Beltre, just like Elvis 2 years ago, is a dramatic upgrade over Young, defensively. I certainly hope that Young reconsiders his stance because the team is better with him on it, even if his contract is a hindrance. I understand that his ego won?t allow him to believe that he stinks in the field, but it was that same ego that made him balk at the move to accommodate Elvis and even the most ardent Michael Young apologists should be able to admit that the Rangers are a much better team with Elvis at shortstop.

I appreciate that Young doesn?t want to be a DH but what I, and a lot of other Ranger fans, don?t want is to see balls sneaking into leftfield for hits that would?ve been turned into outs by an average third baseman. I guess the people taking Michael?s side on this issue like him so much on a personal level that they are unable to admit that he?s a liability financially and defensively, and it?s these people?s unrealistic opinions of Young that would make it a terrible move from a public relations standpoint if Young actually ends up getting traded. Michael?s competitive nature is a huge part of what?s made him a fan favorite, and one of my favorite Rangers of all time. Unfortunately, it?s that same competitive nature that?s keeping him from seeing that this club is better off with him as a DH/super utility player than with him hurting the pitching staff, with his poor range, as an everyday third baseman. Or, is it selfishness? Either way, this tumult is not about Scott Boras or Adrian Beltre as much as it?s about a player with a reputation for putting the team ahead of himself, not living up to that reputation.

This is a salary dump folks pure and simple. Same ole Rangers. They are going to deal Young and take on 50% of his salary per year and pay 24 million over 3 years in order to save 24 million over 3 years. This is what the Rangers do, evidently no matter who is running or owning the team. I personally would not care if they did this and got a frontline starting pitcher from whomever they deal with. But history teaches us that we will get a third rate prospect or marginal player for Young our face of the franchise….. What a joke. The more things change, the more they stay the same. The key to discovering what kind of deal this is, is how much salary we take on and who we get in return? How about some of those vaunted draft picks???? Kind of interesting that other teams see him as a second baseman, but all we can see is Kinsler? Deal Kinsler and play Young at second base is what i say….

Fans love Michael Young. He is a positive force on the team and a positive force in the community. I think he has more than lived up to the sports hype. I hope with all my heart he (you) choose that he stays. I know I will certainly be less than enthusiastic nest spring if he is gone.

bm whines for years that the Rangers should trade Young and now that the time is upon us……he’s against it. Typical. Kind of like his huge flip flop on the Cliff Lee trade. I know you won’t defend your foolish statement, so I’ll just ask rhetorically, why move the younger, cheaper, player who is better on both offense and defense to accommodate the player who has demanded to be traded twice in about two years?

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