Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas has an in-depth story about Michael Young’s departure from Texas and all of the drama that surrounded his final three years with the Rangers.
Interesting: Jon Daniels admits that he didn’t handle things well following Young’s trade demand in the 2010-11 offseason following the team’s pickup of Adrian Beltre. Daniels doesn’t elaborate, but he said he learned a lot then and, as of now, no longer discusses the status of current players with the media.
Also interesting: Young admits that he didn’t handle things well when he was moved to third base off shortstop prior to the 2009 season after Elvis Andrus was given the starting shortstop gig. That precipitated an earlier trade demand. Now, however, he says that “if I could go back in time, I would have embraced it as a great challenge.”
Seems like a lot of reasonableness is afoot. Young says, however, that he has no relationship with the Rangers’ front office and, prior to the trade to Philly, had told them to deal only through his agent.
I would assume that all of this will be forgotten in a couple of years when Young returns to Texas as a coach, goodwill ambassador or — depending on how he does in Philly — a bench guy/DH playing out the remainder of his career where he was always happiest, front office strife or not.
UPDATE: This is interesting. The comments from Young about his regret in the way he handled his trade demand before the 2009 season came from his press conference with the Phillies yesterday. These comments are getting big play in stories like the linked one here from Durrett. Absent from most of the writeups, however, were a comment Young made about how he handled his second trade demand, in the 2010-11 offseason:
Interesting how that — which would otherwise be a juicy quote — doesn’t make most of these stories.
Josh Hamilton is not and never was a key part of the 2017 Texas Rangers plans. He was in camp and under contract and had at least a chance to make the team, but the Rangers fate as a ballclub did not depend on him. It would merely be nice for them if he revealed that he had a bit left in the tank and if he could, like a lot of other superstars in baseball history, give them one last season of decent production in part time play as a matter of depth and flexibility.
As such, this development is more unfortunate for Josh Hamilton and those who root for him than it is for the Rangers as a club, but it is unfortunate all the same:
That’s the fourth surgery he’s had on that knee in less than two years and the 11th knee surgery he’s had overall in his baseball career. It’s sad to say but safe to say that Hamilton’s days in baseball are numbered if not over completely. At some point an athlete’s body can only take so much.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.