Texas Rangers

Michael Young: Great Player! Good Riddance?

Michael Young, meet Michael Finley.

Seems like forever Finley was a good solider on bad Mavericks teams, the best player and the involuntarily spokesman absorbing and explaining years of losing while the cast of crappy teammates and coaches around him constantly changed. He played hurt. He played well.

He was an All-Star on the field; a sparkling role model in the community.

Though he led his team to a couple playoff cameos, Finley's Mavericks were never a serious championship contender. Eventually, with his personal accolades ultimately ringing hollow, Finley was gone.

Sound familar, Rangers' fans?

News broke last night - in the form of a hastily organized conference call - that the Rangers are suddenly shopping 5-time All-Star shortstop and forever face-of-the-franchise Michael Young. Manager Ron Washington recently told Young - who moved from second base to shortstop in 2004 to fill the void left by the Alex Rodriguez trade and to make room for Alfonso Soriano - he's switching from short to third to make room for 20-year-old defensive whiz Elvis Andrus.

Young, who understandibly for years has grumbled about the team's flip-flopping philosophies, isn't keen on another switch in what appears to be another rebuilding season. So he's asking to be traded.

"I'm not playing third base," Young says. "I'm pretty adamant about my stance. I told them I wanted to be traded."

Though the move makes total sense - Elvis is spectacular defensively and Young, despite a Gold Glove last season and a long-time Platinum reputation, is declining in defensive range and offensive power numbers - I don't blame Young one bit for telling the Rangers to screw off.

The Rangers and their long-awaited youth movement may someday be better off without Young. For certain Young deserves better. The parting seems inevitable.

Finley, remember, finally got his championship ring with the San Antonio Spurs.

One of the teams Young expected to be in the bidding for Young: the Boston Red Sox.