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Let’s keep a tally of the Michael Young tongue-baths for the next 48 hours

Oct 17, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT


Look, I don’t have anything against Michael Young. Fine player. For all I know he’s a nice guy.  But the level of adoration he gets from the baseball press has always vexed me.

It’s been some time since he was the best player on his team, yet he is treated as though he is.  He has been involved in the sorts of little clubhouse and front office controversies that get most players branded “difficult,” yet they instantly become part of his legend, with Young “putting such adversity behind him” despite the fact that he created the adversity in the first place.  Again, this doesn’t make him a bad guy. He’s human just like anyone else.  But why he gets such great press when no one else who has performed, who has behaved or who has been paid like him gets the same treatment is beyond me.

He’s back in the World Series and the Michael Young love-fest begins anew. Danny Knobler of CBS had a feature on him over the weekend. There’s another in the New York Times today.  I’m guessing we’ll see many more in the coming days.  I’m assuming we’ll see more stories about Young than we will about Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli and the rest of the Rangers roster combined.

  1. Alex K - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:33 AM

    Just throwing this out there – he is not the AL MVP. Not even close.

  2. Clinton Manitoba - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Did I just read someone from the press complaining about the press writing about someone?

    One day things will line up just right and the earth will swallow itself.

    • JBerardi - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:40 PM

      What the hell kind of sense is that supposed to make? Can a doctor not complain about the poor practices of another doctor? When did it become a rule that you can’t criticize others in your own field for their shoddy work? Because that seems like a dumb rule to me.

      • foreverchipper10 - Oct 18, 2011 at 11:34 AM

        If anything you should be able to criticize people in your own field MORE than those in others.

  3. Jonny 5 - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    The guy had a pretty awesome 2011 after all… But he needs to get his sh—- together when it counts or he just doesn’t deserve all this love.

    • cur68 - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:38 PM

      No he doesn’t Jonny. He can keep his feces in whatever places he choses. know why? He not named “Jose Reyes”.

  4. bigxrob - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    You should also keep track of the stories about the scrappiness and grittiness of the Cards. I think they are being written as we speak, or blog, or comment (whatever this is called)

  5. mkd - Oct 17, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    Thank you.

    Once an official meme gets going its almost impossible to break. The whole Michael-Young-is-a-great-teammate-and-a-consummate-professional thing is proof positive of that.

    When the Rangers wanted to move Young and his substandard defense to 3B to make room for Elvis Andrus what did this great teammate and consummate professional do? He pissed and moaned and told anyone who would listen that he was being disrespected and he wouldn’t do it.

    When the Rangers wanted to move Young to 1B after they signed one of the greatest defensive third basemen in the history of baseball what did this great teammate and consummate professional do? He pissed and moaned and then repeatedly DEMANDED A TRADE. Why doesn’t anyone ever mention that the only reason this guy is still playing for the Rangers is because he didn’t get his way in the offseason?

    In both cases Young cared more about his own ego more than about the overall quality of the team. In both cases Michael Young would have happily made his team worse in order to satisfy his own vanity. Think about that everytime Joe Buck tells us what a great teammate he is.

    • The Baseball Idiot - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:20 PM

      If you went to work tomorrow and were being told you were going to be replaced by someone better at your job than you are, how would you handle it?

      • 18thstreet - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:24 PM

        I’d complain to the press, but no one cares what I do.

      • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:34 PM

        Unless your answer, BI, is “I would seek out the press and tell them that my employer find me a job with another company even though they said they still wanted me in an important role,” I hope you’re being rhetorical.

        Which, by the way, is exactly what happened. The role he now gets credit for being such a team leader for covering — super utility and stuff — is what the Rangers presented him with and which caused him to ask for a trade.

      • Kevin S. - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:57 PM

        If I was told that I would be fully guaranteed my salary for the next three years, I’d probably be fine with it.

      • aaronmoreno - Oct 17, 2011 at 3:44 PM

        Aww, but look at that smile! Who could stay mad at him?

    • thefalcon123 - Oct 17, 2011 at 3:47 PM

      90% thumbs up to this comment

      10% thumbs down for “greatest defensive third basemen in the history” statement says Brooks Robinson and his 27.3 career DWAR.

      • aaronmoreno - Oct 17, 2011 at 4:37 PM

        “one of the”

      • thefalcon123 - Oct 17, 2011 at 8:52 PM

        Look, you can’t expect me to read all of the words in your post, can you?

  6. b7p19 - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Well, he’s white. I mean that probably helps his situation. He also gets dirty more than the average player does, which is huge on the gritty/team player scale. Being white and getting dirty will overshadow an offseason of demanding a trade because you aren’t willing to be a DH (you know, team player and all).

    • aceshigh11 - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      It’s too bad he’s 6’1″.

      If he was, like, 5’7, he’d have the Dustin Pedroia trifecta going on.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:25 PM

        Isn’t Pedroia one of the rare gritty players who is actually good?

      • aceshigh11 - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:50 PM

        Pedroia’s an amazing player…he’s only one of a handful of Red Sox that played worth a damn in September (the others being Ellsbury, Scutaro, Papelbon and Aceves).

        I’m just saying that the media loves to play up Pedroia’s gritty playing style, and the fact that he’s short-statured relative to the average ball player.

      • 18thstreet - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:17 PM

        I think to truly be considered gritty, you have to (a) be white, (b) be short, (c) have a dirty hat, and (d) suck at baseball. Failing to suck will prevent you from being recognized as gritty. See, only those who are part of the game can truly understand why David Eckstein is so great. The rest of us can’t figure it out.

      • cur68 - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:47 PM

        18thstreet; thanks for laying it out so succinctly. Since you’ve been following HBT you’ll have been paying attention to my substantive writings (and if not why not?) so you’ll of course know that it is my self-important mission to reverse the paradigm of “gritty”. Henceforth all of my fellow people of color that play sports will be known for their hard work, ‘scuffling’, small size, and ‘ballplayeryness’. Its been hard work to alter this paradigm, but I’m on a mission. A mission for change. Change we can…meh, you know the rest.

        So, now that we’re in tune, here it is, a big helping of Paradigm Change; That Mike Young; been coasting on his grace, rhythm and natural ability since forever. Wish he was as gritty as Jose Reyes.

        Paradigm change a mo-fo. Yo. etc…

    • hardjudge - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Do your homework, his mother is Mexican as is his wife and I believe he has citizenship in both countries.

      • b7p19 - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:10 PM

        If thats true, I would say perception is everything. Does his dual citizenship make him not white? I would also say I learned something about Young. So thats good, thank you.

        I didn’t mean to get into a discussion about race, I was pointing it out as a trend we’ve discussed here many times before.

      • JBerardi - Oct 17, 2011 at 5:51 PM

        There’s plenty of white mexicans.

  7. Francisco (FC) - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:12 AM

    This looks like another drinking game. Every time the press publishes a love fest story on Michael Young we all guzzle a shot!

    • jwbiii - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      If hardjudge is correct, they should be shots of tequila.

  8. sdelmonte - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    I want features about Nelson Cruz myself. At least one for each home run he hit.

  9. hermitfool - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    Young’s comment after the Rangers clinched the AL West: “We have a great club house. Even the players who make the most money(that would be him) root for the other guys.”

    • paperlions - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:28 PM

      Why in the world would how much you make determine if you root for your team mates? They are your team mates, when would you not root for them?

      That fact that this would even occur to Young to say tells you exactly what kind of team mate he is….and it isn’t a good one.

      • clydeserra - Oct 17, 2011 at 2:51 PM

        I am with you pl, just want to point out that there is a perception that players want there competition for playing time to do poorly so they can play.

  10. thefalcon123 - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    # of Goggle results for players who got to 2,000 hits this year:
    (search done by Player Name + 2,000 Hits)

    Juan Pierre: 148,000
    Orlando Cabrera : 179,000
    Scott Rolen: 206,000
    Paul Konerko: 276,000
    Adrian Beltre: 293,000
    Carlos Lee: 394,000
    Albert Pujols: 1,790,000
    Michael Young: 2,570,000

    • hardjudge - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:14 PM


      • Ari Collins - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:35 PM

        That Michael Young got way more attention for hitting that milestone than anyone else.

      • JBerardi - Oct 17, 2011 at 6:04 PM

        Man, Adrian Beltre is a better player on the same team, did anyone even hear about him passing 2000? I didn’t…

  11. Kyle - Oct 17, 2011 at 11:58 AM

    Well this should be both hilarious and depressing.

  12. purnellmeagrejr - Oct 17, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    Craig just isn’t scrappy enough.

    • cur68 - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:49 PM

      he’s getting by on his athleticism

  13. ezwriter69 - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    “Look, I don’t have anything against Michael Young.”
    Bullbleep. Actions speak louder than words, and yes, you do. A LOT of things, apparently.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:27 PM

      Oh really? So my thinking that he should have the same level of criticism applied to him that other players who behave similarly do constitutes me “having something against him?”

      Or were you thinking of some other anti-Michael Young action I’m not recalling?

    • paperlions - Oct 17, 2011 at 1:32 PM

      mkd nailed it….if Young got his way during the off-season, he wouldn’t even be on the Rangers because he requrested a trade….he also does not seem to root for all of his team mates all of the time and that apparently is related to their respective salaries some how.

      I don’t have anything against MY, I just think the press should present an accurate depiction of who he is and what he has done instead of the hyper-biased crap they keep repeating.

  14. Bryan - Oct 20, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    But Craig, the batting average! 33.8% of his plate appearances that didn’t end in a walk, a hit by pitch, a sac bunt/fly, or a catcher’s/fielder’s interference resulted in Young reaching base on a ball that an official scorer deemed not easily playable. If that’s not proof of his superiority to Beltre and Napoli, what is?

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