Great moments in moving on: Michael Young

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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:

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.

Straight-away center field will be 385 feet at London Stadium

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Marley Rivera of ESPN has a story about some of the on-field and in-game entertainment, as well as some aspects of the field conditions, for this weekend’s London Series.

The fun stuff: a mascot race, not unlike the Sausage Race at Miller Park or the President’s race at Nationals Park. The mascots for London: Winston Churchill, Freddie Mercury, Henry VIII and the Loch Ness Monster. I suppose that’s OK but, frankly, I’d go with Roger Bannister, Shakespeare, Charles Darwin and Guy Fawkes. Of course no one asks me these things.

There will also be a “Beat the Streak”-style race which had better use the theme to “Chariots of Fire” or else what the heck are we even doing here.

They’ve also taught ushers and various volunteers who will be on-site to sing “Take me out to the ballgame,” which is a pretty good idea given how important that is to baseball. As a cultural exchange, I think some major league team should start using “Vindaloo” by Fat Les during the seventh inning stretch here. It’s a banger. It also seems to capture England a bit more accurately than, say, “Downton Abbey” or “The Crown.”

That’s all good fun I suppose. But here’s some stuff that actually affects the game:

The end result will have some interesting dimensions. The field will be 330 feet down each foul line, and it will have a distance of 385 feet to center field, which will feature a 16-foot wall. Cook also said it would have an expanded, “Oakland-like” foul territory, referencing the Athletics’ Oakland Coliseum expanse.

Those dimensions are unavoidable given that the square peg that is a baseball field is being shoved into the round hole that is a soccer stadium. As Murray Cook, MLB’s senior field coordinator tells Rivera, that sort of thing, while perhaps less than ideal, is at least in keeping with baseball’s strong tradition of irregular field conditions. It will, however, be one of the shortest dead center distances in baseball history.

Oh, and then there’s this:

Protective netting was also an important issue addressed when building the ballpark, with Cook stressing that his team has implemented netting that “is the largest you’ll ever see in any major league ballpark.”

[Craig makes a mental note to bookmark this for the next time MLB says it won’t mandate extended netting in the U.S. because doing so is too difficult]