The people who talk up how classy and how much of a team player Michael Young was either totally ignore or attempt to explain away the stuff about how Young bristled greatly at being asked to move positions on multiple occasions, complete with trade demands and all sorts of things that would get less-loved players labeled attitude problems.
“We can’t know what went on and what was said!” we’re told. Strong hints are made that the Rangers front office was really to blame. It wasn’t Michael Young’s fault, that’s for damn sure. And even if he acted poorly to some extent, we’re told that he’s got latitude because of all the good things he does that we don’t see.
I have no idea. Maybe that’s true. All I know is that Young did what guys who are usually credited with being stand-up team-first guys don’t do and made a dispute with his team media fodder. He did a couple of things, however justified privately, that get almost any other player lambasted. And yet it’s considered rude to even bring that up in his case.
Whatever happened, though, Young having to move off second base is now ancient history, right? Nothing of consequence when assessing his legacy. Water under the bridge:
“If I could’ve spent 13-14 years at second base, I would’ve loved to see what would’ve happened.” – Michael Young on #MLBNHotStove
— MLB Network PR (@MLBNetworkPR) January 31, 2014
Nope, he’s still hung up on it. Post-retirement and many years after the fact, Young is still stung that he was moved off second base in an effort to make the team get better.
And really, if you think about it, there are only two ways to read that quote: Either “My personal greatness as a player would have been elevated had I stayed at second base;” or “My team screwed up in taking me off second base and the Rangers would have been better had they not done that.” So he’s both fixated on it and fixated on it for personal reasons.
And I suppose it’s rude to bring this up as well.