Let the “Michael Young for Rangers manager” stumping begin

27 Comments

As soon as Ron Washington stepped down I thought “it’s only a matter of time until someone says Michael Young should be the next Rangers manager.” Out of respect for Wash, I assume, they gave it a week. Now Richard Justice begins the stumping:

Young knows that the game is not easy, and because he had an awareness of the people around him, he would know that every player isn’t going to care as much as he cared. He was a leader in a quiet way, a guy who led more by example, but would also say what needed to be said. He was universally respected by his managers and teammates alike . . .

. . . With Rangers’ home attendance down for a third straight year, with it off almost 700,000 from two years ago, the Rangers need to do more than simply hire a competent manager. They need someone to inspire confidence in fans. Young is the only potential replacement for Washington who could instantly win over the fan base.

While Young would no doubt be respected by players, it’s also the case that he and Jon Daniels clashed on multiple occasions when Young was with the Rangers, with the discord that led to Young’s position-change dramas often being defended by Young partisans as a function of Daniels undercutting Young and not being straight with him. I have no idea if that’s true. For what it’s worth, Justice says Young and Daniels patched things up “at a wedding last summer.”

But in this day and age a GM wants a manager who will be his guy, no questions asked. Not a guy who can appeal to his own constituency in the press or among fans in such a way that, if the GM and he clash, the GM is undermined. That dynamic ended up causing riffs with Nolan Ryan and Daniels. Justice compares Young to Ryan in several places in this column. You think Daniels wants any part of that again?

There is a lot of talk about “optics” and washing away all of the bad news the Rangers have had in the past couple of years. Winning baseball games washes that stuff way more thoroughly than a nice press conference and a few stories about how Michael Young has “come home.”

(thanks to Caheezy for the heads up)

Yasmani Grandal signs a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox

Getty Images
5 Comments

The first truly big free agent signing of the offseason has gone down: the Chicago White Sox just announced that they have signed catcher Yasmani Grandal to a four-year, $73 million deal.

Grandal, 31, was the best catcher available in free agency. He is coming off a fine year with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom he had to settle for a one-year pact in 2019. He hit .246/.380/.468 with 28 homers and 77 driven in. It was his fourth straight season with 20+ homers. While his catching has been criticized due to some high-profile mistakes in the postseason, the two-time All-Star once again proved himself to be one of the best pitch-framers in the game if not the best. Between the bat and the glove he has a claim to being one of the best all-around catchers in baseball.

The signing leaves open the question of what happens to James McCann, who was himself an All-Star this year. It’s not that hard a question, of course, as Grandal is a far superior catcher to McCann in every respect. The Sox could make McCann a backup. Alternatively, they could try to trade him to fill other holes on the roster.

The White Sox finished 72-89 in 2019 but are showing signs of coming out of rebuilding mode and into contention mode. This signing pushes them a big step into that direction.