I don’t blame Michael Young for being mad. He has been nothing but a terrific and underrated player during his 11-plus seasons with the Rangers. And he’s always been accommodating.
Play second base…no shortstop…no third base…
All the while he put up terrific numbers, collected 200 hits a year, won a Gold Glove, made the All-Star team and represented the Rangers with class and dignity.
Young must feel like the devoted and faithful spouse whose betrothed is constantly flirting with young beauties and never appreciating what he has at home.
So yeah, he should feel a little betrayed when the Rangers say, “We want you to be the designated hitter.”
And I understand the Rangers might want to pull a Sting and say “If you love someone, set them free.”
Don’t. I am telling you, there will be an EASY solution to this problem. It’s called the regular season.
Chris Davis, Mitch Moreland, Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus and Adrian Beltre are all right now crowding the infield. And Young, who has the most hits of any Ranger in history, is on the outside looking in.
But guess what?
Someone is going to get hurt or slump. And I can say with total certainty that there will be a spot in the Rangers infield.
Young, with his three years at $16 million a season contract, will be hard to trade. There is no way the Rangers will get equal value from the Rockies or Diamondbacks or whomever for Young. They’ll get some reliever or some minor leaguer who won’t be making an impact.
Then at one point Kinsler might get hurt or Moreland will slump or Beltre will revert back to his Seattle days.
And the Rangers will stick some subpar infielder in the starting lineup, all the while checking the box scores pining for Young, like the unfaithful spouse who only appreciates how good he or she had it after the marriage was over.
Remember how the Red Sox kept trying to dump Mike Lowell last year? In the end, Lowell got his at-bats because the Red Sox were devastated by injuries and he retired a Red Sox.
Young will get his at-bats. He already has more official at-bats than any Ranger ever, and with 61 more plate appearances, he will pass Rafael Palmeiro for the team lead.
With 66 more games, Young will play more games in a Rangers uniform than anyone in history. With 41 more runs scored, he will be the all-time leader for the Rangers in that category. He’s six doubles away from the all-time franchise mark. He’s already got the most triples.
And with the upheaval in the front office and uncertainty going into their American League pennant defense, why not have one of the great pillars of the team’s history around to give the team some stability?
Now is the time that the Rangers need to offer flowers and buy dinner, and Young needs to realize that it’s better to work things out instead of moving into a strange new house.
Or there will be a point when the Rangers will see Esteban Germán in a prolonged slump in the starting line up while Young is collecting hits in front of indifferent Diamondbacks fans. And at that point both will think “I should never have left home.”
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