Young deserved Roberto Clemente Award
Michael Young has twice won the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award. Presented by the Players Association, that award is voted on by the players themselves so it’s hardly a surprise that Young has won it twice.
That’s not the case when it comes to the Roberto Clemente Award.
Major League Baseball announced on Sunday night that Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is the 2012 winner of the Roberto Clemente Award, which “recognizes a Major League Baseball player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.”
Young has been the Rangers nominee for four straight years. He has yet to win it, unlike Pete Rose , Sammy Sosa or Curt Schilling.
The Rangers have also never won a Cy Young Award but, other than Ferguson Jenkins in 1974, they have never had a worthy candidate. That’s not the case with Roberto Clemente and yes, this is a big deal because this is a prestigious award.
It is one that Young richly deserves.
If Young doesn’t represent everything that Clemente Award embodies then they might as well stop giving it because their standards are way too high.
All right, 2012 wasn’t his best season but his 12-year body of work is still pretty impressive. But it nothing compared to the off-field work both by Young and his extraordinary wife Cristina. Start with their work in Wipe Out Kids Cancer and then go down the line to just his day-to-day charity work for the Rangers.
Or just his day-to-day accountability with the media, which did not waver even during his most trying season.
On the 2012 Rangers, there were five people who stood head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to accountability: manager Ron Washington, hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh, outfielders Josh Hamilton and David Murphy and Young. Most of the starting rotation – Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, Matt Harrison and Scott Feldman – also merit mention.
But, when it comes to accountability, Washington and Young are off the charts.
Young is off the charts in many ways. His teammates and his opponents recognize that. Major League Baseball should too. Young should have won the Roberto Clemente Award.