Could Michael Young return to the Rangers?

Michael YoungThere was some troubling news announced this week out of Surprise, Arizona. It had to deal with some shoulder problems with the wunderkind Jurickson Profar. While it doesn’t sound like anything major at this time, what if he isn’t ready for opening day, or it requires more medical attention. What are the Rangers going to do without him at 2nd base? Well, I am sure if they wanted to they could find someone in the minors to fill a gap, but do we really want to trust 2nd base to someone who may not have played in the Majors yet? I wouldn’t want to trust that big of a spot to someone who hasn’t played at this level, especially when there is someone out there who has played with the majority of our infield and is as selfless a player as there has ever been in a Rangers uniform. Yes I am talking about Michael Young. Continue reading

Farewell Michael Young

Over the weekend we learned that fan favorite and the face of the Franchise, Michael Young had indeed waived his no trade clause for the opportunity to be traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. This came as a shock to most longtime Rangers fans who loved Michael Young, but there isn’t anybody out there who will say a bad thing about him. This was a prime opportunity for Young to become an everyday player again.

Things have been frosty between Michael Young and the front office since 2009 when there was a public outcry against the move from shortstop to third base. But Young being the consummate professional just accepted the multiple moves and continued to be a great “room guy” even when he disagreed with the move. You could tell last season that Young was not happy about his playing time being cut, and the fact he wasn’t an everyday player in the field.  But you never heard him publicly complain, or make any stink in the clubhouse about it.

Young even said himself “when this opportunity came available, it was a no brainer”. Michael Young is a competitor and a great player; he needs to be thanked for his 12 years of dedication and loyalty to the club. Fans need to remember, this was not something he requested, or even made happen on his own. The Phillies threw out an offer to the Rangers and Young had the chance to say no and stay, but knowing he wouldn’t play every day, and he would probably play less this season, he couldn’t help but say yes.

Michael Young’s hand was practically forced by the organization to accept this trade, because they have been pushing him further and further back for the last three years. Was he the best defensive player? No, was he the best hitter? No, but he was consistent and always gave his all. That is all you can ask for from a player, he never acted better or too good for the team. He was the consummate teammate and professional. There need to be more players like him in pro sports because he is the perfect role model.

Farewell Michael, we wish you the best of luck in Philadelphia, I will gladly stand and cheer for you next time you visit the ballpark.

Is Michael Young done?

I had once written that Michael Young was the consummate team mate and leader on the Rangers. This still holds true, as we are getting into the stretch run of the 2012 season, but Young has not had a typical season to his standards. His numbers so far this year are below his yearly average, I am sure some of that could be due to not playing in the field everyday and when he does, it is at a different position. This has led to the question in the media and on sports talk radio, is Michael Young done?

While I won’t be one of the ones to jump on Michael Young when he makes a mistake or has a bad game, I will admit his numbers are far lower than his career averages. Is this season just an anomaly? or is this the beginning of a downward slide at the tail end of a career? We won’t know the answer to either of those questions for some time, and all we can really focus on is this season. There is still plenty of time for Young to catch fire and boost his numbers this season.

Honestly I could really care less about his numbers during the season, the time when I want his numbers start climbing is when the playoffs start. If he can produce when the bright lights of the playoffs are shining then what he did during the season will not matter. It has been mentioned that the Rangers should bring up their top prospect Jurickson Profar and get him some time in the Majors. But who does he take away at bats from? or will he take away playing time in the field from Young?

Michael Young is the leader of this team hands down, and the front office has always handled him with care when it comes to tough issues about playing time, positions and overall happiness. This is one of those times they need to let him work this out on his own and see if he can produce when it counts the most, you have given him that much respect to this point, don’t knee jerk on one bad season.

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Michael Young for MVP?

 Michael Young has been with the Texas Rangers for his whole career, and has put up with Moe than the average player. But that isn’t the whole point of this piece, I have written before about the way he has handled himself when asked to make changes by the Rangers brass. But one thing has always been steady with Michael Young, his play on the field. Every year Young is good for a steady average with a few home runs and some RBI’s scattered in there.

But this season Michael Young is one of the more productive players on the Rangers. While the team has had some of it’s super stars on the disabled list throughout the long and arduous season, Young has been consistently ready to play and has been one of the only players who has consistently provided the offensive spark that this team needs. While he may not always be flashy, or the type of player who will put himself above the team. He will always find ways to help the team win and do it quietly.

The fact that Michael Young is a quiet guy who will not draw attention to himself is one of the big reasons I think he deserves a chance to be in the running for AL MVP. While guys from Boston or New York will always draw national headlines and have the flash and pop that most baseball fans around the nation long for, but he will consistently hit and drive in runs that help a team win games. Sure, he won’t wow you with his season stats year after year, but look at the whole picture and his stats start to get very impressive over time.  Michael Young is the Rangers team MVP by a landslide this season and you can easily say this team would be worse off if he wasn’t in the line up every day.

The MVP award should go to the player who does the most to help their team win, and the player who the team would be lost without. And without a doubt this year, Michael Young fits that mold and he deserves serious consideration. It never turns out that way because it becomes a popularity award for the player who ends up being the flashiest or have the most padded stats. But you have to look at what Young has done for the Rangers this year alone and what he has meant for the team. Michael Young should be the MVP for this year, plain and simple.

Rangers Young quietly get 2,000 hits

On Sunday night, Michael Young joined a very unheralded group of players, when he got his 2,000th career hit as a Texas Ranger. This is normally not a very talked about feat and usually is just a small note in the papers, but there are some interesting facts with which this number has become more special. Michael Young has been the consumate teammate and an on field leader who has been nothing but true class. He has made numerous moves at the request of the organization and continually puts the needs of the team before himself. But even with all of that, there are still people who won’t give Michael Young the credit he deserves, It will not be noted except in the fine print that Young got to his 2,000th hit quicker than the following players, Paul Molitor, George Brett and Ted Williams.

How can anyone sit there and say that this guy is not something special? He has 2,000 hits quicker than the one guy who has been called the greatest hitter in the game of baseball. It is a fact that Young has spent his 11 year career as a Texas Ranger, and through all but one of those seasons, Texas was not a great team. But he has continually played the best he can every day and continues to be one of the driving forces behind the Rangers success. While people will find ways to nit pick and tear down Young, he is continually a .300 hitter and is one of the few guys on the roster who will play everyday if he is allowed.

Part of the Problem with Young not getting any respect is that he has not been on good teams, if he had been placed on a team like the Yankees, then his 2,000th hit would have been an hour long piece on Sportscenter. But then again people would probably want to over rate him at that point much like they do Derek Jeter. I am not saying Jeter is a bad player, or he isn’t deserving of his accolades, but he gets more attention for being a New York Yankee, than he does for being a baseball player. Michael Young deserves more fan fare than he gets and he deserves more respect from the fans and media in the area. It is too common of an occurrence where someone will blast Young for a minor mistake and go on a rant about how terrible he is. All I have to say is how can the guy be terrible if all he does is contribute and help the team win?

There was a point this season where Michael Young was one of the sole offensive contributors in the line up day in and day out. But nobody wanted to credit him, everybody wanted to complain about an error, or complain that he struck out at a bad time. Ranger fans need to look in the mirror and come to grips with reality, because if this team didn’t have Michael Young, then this team wouldn’t be as good as it is. It is time to sit back and enjoy what we have in front of us, give the guy his credit and show him the respect he so much deserves. In today’s game, he is a throwback player who plays the game the way kids do and he swallows his pride and does what he can to help the team. Most players today wouldn’t do that, they would pack their bags and wait to be traded.

Congratulations on your 2,000th hit Michael Young, can’t wait to watch you climb your way up to 3,000.