Michael Young Wants Out and I Don't Blame Him
He's been the face of the franchise for a decade, the team spokesman who was left to explain a lot of horrible Texas Rangers baseball. He's been a batting champ, an All-Star Game MVP and a Gold Glove fielder with a sparkling image.
He's moved from second to short to third to, now, a diminished role as a part-time DH.
Michael Young's had enough. He wants out. And who can blame him?
Most of us saw this coming a couple weeks ago. Even though owner Chuck Greenberg and general manager Jon Daniels promised Young would still be a vital player in 2011, the math didn't add up.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that the arrivals of Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli are prompting the departure of Young.
Unfortunately, Young demanding a trade will also tarnish his legacy in Texas.
Because you can't say "anything for the team" one week and then decide "eff it, if I'm not a prominent player I want out" the next. I understand his position. I also recognize such a stance comes with consequences.
Young is owed $48 million over the next three seasons, a steep price for a utility man with dwindling numbers at the plate and who is a defensive liability in the infield. To trade him, of course, the Rangers will have to pay a big chunk -- as much as $20 million, maybe -- to another team.
(Before you jump off the cliff, remember that Young also made trade rumblings a couple years ago when Elvis Andrus bumped him to third. It's not impossible that he calms down, goes to spring training and lives a little less happily ever after right here in Arlington.)
The whole thing stinks, but we knew it would come to this. Eventually, it always does. (See: Mike Modano.)
Trying to decide who looks worse here: The player demanding a trade from the only franchise he's ever known and who just made it to the World Series? Or the team that apparently has misled its long-time leader?
Bottom line: This is progress. If the Rangers still sucked, Young would still be one of their best, most indispensable players.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Observer's biggest stories.