The Ticket staff has been so thankful for the last few days, because the Rangers’ brass has stirred up the pot in only a way that this franchise is capable of doing. Depending on who you ask, Michael Young has been asked or told to move to third base to make room for wunderkind Elvis Andrus. Young, not to thrilled about the move despite the opportunity to play next to Elvis, has asked to be traded to a list of teams that he has approved.
Not only has this given the boys something to talk about in the doldrums of sports winter, but it brings up an interesting discussion point: How do the Rangers continue to do these kind of things year after year after year? I do not consider myself a Rangers fan, but I like to see them do well. From an outsider’s perspective, the ineptitude of this franchise continues to stun me. Just when one thinks that they have started to do some things that make sense (draft pitching heavy, develop young stars, sign veterans for trade bait), they publicly take a dump on their most celebrated player. From this humble vantage point, Michael Young has done nothing but excel for this franchise, both on and off the field. He moved to short from second when Soriano got here. He played hurt. He takes the field in 100 degree heat day in and day out. He is the consumate professional.
Buuuut…he makes a ton of money. But is that his fault? If someone put a guaranteed contract in front of you, with a no-trade clause on it, wouldn’t you sign it?
I don’t think that Michael Young is in the wrong here, but I think he could have done a better job recognizing the situation he is in. There aren’t many teams who will want to trade for an aging, 16mm a year shortstop with limited range. Sure, he can still hit, but his decline is rapidly approaching. As an added bonus, other clubs will know that the Rangers need to get rid of him before it gets too ugly, and will really hold Jon Daniels hostage for trade value. They won’t get much for him.
I saw a suggestion today that you move Young back to second and put Kinsler in left field. Would that work? How would that make Kinsler feel? Should the Rangers worry about how people feel? These are the situations where an experienced manager makes all the difference. If Earl Weaver or Lou Piniella asks you to move positions, you have to take it into consideration. When your 31 year old GM asks you to move, you have the right to question that decision.
I feel that if the Rangers had approached this differently, we wouldn’t be having this brouhaha. But how many times have we heard this before from the Rangers? When will it end? Will Hicks ever get it right? How many empty seats at the Ballpark will it take for him to realize that he isn’t going about this right?