Friday, March 25, 2011

No Apologies to Michael Young

There are three things we know about Michael Young. The first is that he is a professional who goes about his business earnestly and does everything he can to help his team win. The second is that he tends to whine to the press when he isn't happy. The third is that he makes a lot of money...far more money than his play is worth. The first fact is to his credit. The second is unfortunate and the third is not his fault. Hey, the Rangers agreed to give him that much money in a fair bargaining process. After extending an olive branch and attempting to smooth things over with Michael Young, Rangers' general manager, Jon Daniels, went to talk to Young and after he had done so, took responsibility for some of the criticism Young received. There was no need for Daniels to do so.

Michael Young chose to air his grievances publicly. That was his choice. Nobody pointed a gun to his head and told him to do that. And it's not the first time. When he was told two years ago that he was moving to third base to make room for Elvis Andrus, Young did the same thing. Those are matters of public record. The only thing Jon Daniels is guilty of is trying to improve his team. A part of those efforts resulted in affecting Young's standing and position on the team. That's the way it goes at times. The Fan isn't saying that Daniels is blameless. Perhaps he could have been more communicative with Young. But who is to say that Young would not have still complained publicly about the decisions that were made that affected Young and the team?

It is doubtful that Daniels is talking about criticism of Young from this space. The Fan is just one lone voice crying out in the wilderness. But this says that the Fan's criticism wasn't alone and that other, more powerful voices joined the Fan in that exercise. The criticism stands. The guy is getting paid $16 million to happily do whatever his organization asks him to do. Most of us in the real world would be the designated hitter AND clean the toilets AND do the laundry for that kind of money and would be singing a happy tune while doing it.

As much of a team guy as Michael Young much of a professional as he is in his preparation, he is a world class athlete and by nature, such humans are pampered and coddled and given a sense of entitlement that you and this writer could never understand. When such entitlements come face flush with reality, those used to those entitlements don't react gracefully. Many of us would react the same way. But that still doesn't make it unworthy of criticism. Michael Young has been blessed with a talent that has given him the kind of rewards we will never receive for our talents. That's life. It's not often fair. But those of us who do not receive the kinds of compensation for our skills have every right to call out a player who complains despite their level of compensation.

Michael Young is not a bad guy. He just should have kept his mouth shut. He should have realized how his complaints would be perceived and once he makes those complaints public, the public is going to pounce and his lack of fielding skills and other value-added stats will be poured over. This writer gives him credit for going to camp and working hard and performing well. Credit is also due Young for not allowing his personal feelings to distract what the Rangers are trying to accomplish as they get ready for the season. Young is not a monster and on the grand scale of good and evil, he comes down on the good side. But the criticism was justified and there won't be any apologies least not from this space.

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