Every so often a team will make a roster decision or attempt to redefine their team in a way that simply makes most fans scratch their heads. It seems that the Texas Rangers are now in the process of doing exactly that with their handling of the Michael Young situation. Young has been nothing short of the consummate pro for the reigning American League champs producing on the field year in and year out. The Rangers acquisition of third baseman Adrian Beltre this offseason has lead to controversy over what type of role if any, Young will maintain with the Rangers. Now the debate over whether he still belongs to play the field everyday or be resigned to primarily handling DH duties has gotten ugly and could potentially lead to a messy divorce.
As a career .300 hitter who has spent his entire career with the Rangers and played all over the infield, Young has earned the respect of the league and established himself as a leader in the Texas clubhouse. Recent reports seem to indicate Young has had enough dealing with the prospect of not playing the field everyday and would like to move on to another team who can provide him that guarantee. Manager Ron Washington has recently come to the defense of his player and lobbied for a resolution but it seems the damage in the situation may be beyond repair.
While Young is now starting to get up in age at thirty four, he is only 2 seasons removed from a campaign that landed him a gold glove at Short Stop and this seemingly quick move to designate him to strictly DH duties seems like not only a hasty move but a rather disrespectful one. Here you have a guy that not only can still swing it with the best of them at his respective position but who also goes to work every day, leads by example and is a fixture on one of the most competitive teams in baseball.
Beyond the reasons behind each party’s reasons for wanting a split lies the fact that the organization does owe it to one of their most vital pieces the right to be given the respect they deserve in trying to bring their squad back to compete for another championship. Young has given too much time and effort to this organization to be treated in such an unprofessional manner and if the right opportunity presents itself, the Rangers owe it to him to let him move on to another more favorable situation. This is a sad way to see such a loyal and productive player get treated by his organization but things could still work out between the teams and with Young’s hefty contract and limited trade clause finding a suitable partner would prove to be no small task for the Rangers. We will have to sit back and see how this whole thing pans out but there may be an All-Star caliber player on the move early in the 2011 season.