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Cliff Lee “baffled” at the way the Rangers treated Michael Young

Feb 25, 2013, 5:02 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies infielder Michael Young stretches during a workout at the team's MLB spring training in Clearwater

Cliff Lee, who played for the Rangers for a few months, weighed in on new teammate Michael Young’s treatment by those same Rangers. He said the Rangers “borderline took him for granted” and otherwise treated him poorly:

“I think that baffled a lot of people who were around that organization … I can’t understand their thinking on a few of the moves they made with him. He’s a really good player. I don’t know why you wouldn’t just let him do his thing … in my opinion, you want guys like Michael Young around. And you want him to be happy. And you want to let him go out there and just do what he does.”

I have no idea what the Rangers allegedly did to mistreat Young. He was moved off shortstop, second and third for better players. Despite this he was always a full-time player, routinely playing in 150+ games a year with 600+ plate appearances.

I have heard that the lines of communication were poor and that may very well have led to some bad blood between Young and the front office. But Young likewise didn’t always communicate well, turning beefs with the front office, legitimate or otherwise, into trade demands and public drama.

Clearly stuff happened and clearly it took two to tango, but if someone could tell me how that amounted to Young not “being able to do his thing,” I’d really like to hear it.

  1. jwbiii - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:06 PM

    5/$80M? Would anybody like to take me for granted like that?

    • cur68 - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:18 PM

      “Past-A-Diving-Jwbii”? Doesn’t have the same ring to it like “PADMY” does. I don’t think you’re professional enough.

    • vanmorrissey - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:19 PM

      Yep, exactly. Like the $75 mill they paid him, “.. and you want him to be happy.” Oh how pathetic. If poor Cliff Lee has to stick up for someone who got paid that much and he needs to ‘be happy’ I think there’s some reality adjustments that need to be made by Cliffy boy. What Young did ‘not’ do was perform in the field as well as others, or generate runs for as much as he was getting paid to do. I’m getting set to take a major hit shortly for a family of 4 with one income, so I think poor, poor Mikey will somehow be able to adjust.

  2. gallaghedj311 - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM

    Hey Craig, Ryan Howard had a pair of singles along with a sac fly against a lefty today….

    Much love from Philadelphia :)

    • hammyofdoom - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      A one armed man once hit a home run while playing in the major leagues. Doesn’t mean he should play every day

      • schlom - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        I’m assuming that you are talking about Pete Gray but he never hit a HR in the majors: http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/g/graype01.shtml

        He did hit 5 HR in the minors with Memphis in 1944 but those were the only HR in his minor league career.

  3. Detroit Michael - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    The ability to play baseball ≠ the ability to evaluate baseball performances

  4. chacochicken - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    I was just having a conversation with my dog yesterday. I said that I was glad the Rangers were finally doing something about Derek Holland’s hi jinks and he said that he thought Michael Young was being treated like a second class citizen. I told him that Young was the most under-rated of the over-rated and then we got into an argument about WAR and the quality of his dog food. True story

    • sophiethegreatdane - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:59 PM

      Man, that’s ruff.

      • chacochicken - Feb 25, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        Well, I win more than I lose. I mean, who can argue about the how under-rated Young’s over-ratedness can be?

      • polonelmeagrejr - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:28 AM

        he was the “nicest of the damned” – a phrase from THey Might Be Gians.

  5. El Bravo - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    Texas Rangers front office apologist!

  6. beefytrout - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    I was similarly baffled when Cliff Lee went 0-2 in the ’10 WS for the Rangers.

    I can’t wait to see what Cliffy has to say when Michael Young is himself baffled by balls hit his way at 3B and grounding into every double play he possibly can during Lee’s starts.

  7. yankeepunk3000 - Feb 25, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    I think the way they messed with him was they continued to change his position. A player has to get in a groove through out the season and he would sometimes played DH then 3rd and so on. He had to continue to change his craft daily. Plus he only talked about trade talks once in a 3 year period where they continued to move him around. Now people want to talk about money but it does not matter, they gave him that contract. all players have egos all want to stick to a position and play it, but people defend others but not Michael Young because of the money. A lot of players are over paid so ether we treat them all the same and forget the dollar signs or judge them all by contracts, either or. I’m sick of this flip flopping, and Now that he knows he’s playing 3rd all year I’m sure he’s numbers will improve plus being a DH a player has a BIG diffrent approach then playing on the field I also think that messed with him a lot.

    • paperlions - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:33 PM

      WTF are you talking about?

      About all he played in 2002 & 2003 was 2B….and he played it badly.

      He wanted to move to SS when the moved him in 2004. That is all he played from 2004 through 2008, and he played that badly.

      They moved him to 3B in 2009 for a far superior fielder (Andrus). And 3B was all he played for 2 years….and he played that badly as well.

      Then they had a chance to get a far superior player for 3B (Beltre) so he wound up playing some 1B/3B and DHing. He can’t even play a decent 1B.

      Only for the last 2 years has he played multiple positions…and each time he was moved it was for a superior player. You are suggesting they should have hurt the team by keeping an inferior player at a position and hoped that he “got into a groove”?

      • paperlions - Feb 25, 2013 at 8:33 PM

        Also….a “professional hitter” shouldn’t need to stand at a particular position in order to hit. Plenty of rookies play multiple positions to get in the lineup and are productive while doing it…surely a “professional hitter” could do the same.

      • rangersfan5555 - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:36 AM

        Guess he won his gold glove at shortstop for playing it badly

      • paperlions - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:29 AM

        Yes, actually, he did “win” it for playing it badly, because he was one of the worst defensive SS that year. As you may have noticed, coaches and managers are not particularly adept at knowing who is a great defender and often just vote for the best offensive player at the position.

      • rangersfan5555 - Feb 26, 2013 at 12:38 AM

        And he’s the rangers all time hits leader and has most 200 hit seasons as a rangers.. So yea he did hit at any position like a “professional hitter”

      • paperlions - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:32 AM

        That comment was in response to the ludicrous statement that Young sucked last year because they kept moving him around. Yes, Young has had a few good years at the plate, but 1) he has no power to speak of, and 2) he is a babip reliant hitter as he doesn’t walk much, meaning he doesn’t hit enough to be a productive corner player….especially considering how horrible his defense is.

        I admit, it cracks me up that Ranger fans defend his defense, when if it wasn’t for horrible defensive play at 1B in game 6, the Rangers win that game and the WS (yes, there were other contributing factors, but Young certainly wasn’t a positive force in that series).

      • Jonestein - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:41 AM

        @paperlions
        “…it cracks me up that Ranger fans defend his defense”

        I think you meant “uninformed, casual Ranger fans”. Believe me, Ranger fans that actually pay attention do not defend his horrific defense, especially his “gold glove” year. Pretty sure we coined his PADMY nickname, if that tells you anything.

        Nor do we buy into the DFW media-fabricated “MY did what was asked of him without complaint” narrative. He pissed, moaned, and demanded to be traded every freakin time he was asked to change positions.

      • gt929 - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:42 PM

        True that, Jonesy.

      • comfrtblynum - Feb 28, 2013 at 8:45 PM

        yeah paperlions , i think those gold gloves he won are given out to the worst fielder at each position . if you’re gonna be a negative fool, at least be a well-informed one . m young is gonna shock all you naysayers who don’t follow baseball but just follow home team . wonder if you will all stand up and be recognized for what you are when he puts together a near all star season . 5 to 1 you will all be patting his back as if you were never stabbing it . it’s amazing how you attach failure to people who are successful because you don’t want to look at how much a failure you are

  8. Jonny 5 - Feb 25, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Well if Cliffy says it, it’s got to be true. It’s not your job to question the mistreatment now that Cliff has enlightened us to this. Now let’s focus our efforts on finding out to what degree this took place. I heard that their CEO is known to punch infielders and put them in headlocks and stuff. I can’t imagine the terrors Mike had to endure working for such a monster.

  9. Walk - Feb 25, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    He did win a gold glove in 2008. Those awards meant a lot to me when i was younger but i feel like they kinda miss the point these days. I get more excited for fielding bible awards now.

  10. officialgame - Feb 25, 2013 at 8:23 PM

    Cliff Lee wasn’t talking about money. We all know ballplayers of that ilk are overpaid. He couldn’t understand the blame targeted at Young, the trade to the Phillies with the Rangers still still paying 75% of his salary. The Rangers FO couldn’t wait to get rid of this man who is still a pretty dam good ballplayer.

    • paperlions - Feb 25, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      He is? He has been a poor defender for over a decade. He hasn’t hit enough to play a corner position for a while now, if he was a plus defender, sure the bad would be fine, but even as depleted as the 3B position is in the majors, he doesn’t hit enough to play it….and he certainly doesn’t hit enough to play DH or 1B. Last year he was the worst or 2nd worst everyday player in MLB…he may bounce back, but at his age, that bounce likely won’t be too great and will only be offensive….he’ll continue to be a disaster in the field.

    • Jonestein - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      @official – Were you in a coma during the 2012 season? MY was not a “pretty good ballplayer”, he was downright horrific.

  11. gt929 - Feb 25, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    I hope Cliff Lee doesn’t take Young’s defense behind him for granted.

    • paperlions - Feb 26, 2013 at 7:34 AM

      It is hard to take something that isn’t there for granted.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:18 PM

        paper, I’ll tell ya…for a guy who gets on me for posting a lot, you sure do have a HARD-ON for Michael Young and anyone who posts anything positive about the guy. Shit, at least when I post, I respond to people who respond to me. I don’t just go willy-nilly around to certain posts and answer every freaking comment that I do not agree with.

        I’ll tell you what…go take a cold shower, forget about Michael Young, and maybe your blood pressure will go down along with other things.

      • paperlions - Feb 26, 2013 at 2:25 PM

        Enjoy MY this year. I’m sure you will find him veterany, and awesome in intangible ways best measured by batting average and errors.

  12. greymares - Feb 26, 2013 at 8:35 AM

    Love Cliff Lee as a player, but just 1 more reason why players are really out of the loop.

  13. Jonestein - Feb 26, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    I think this sums up the Young sitch rather well:
    (from a commenter over on LSB):

    “GEEZ. It is like Young is the slightly off uncle who everyone loves and is super protective over.”

  14. coloradogolfcoupons - Feb 26, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    I’ve been to Arkansas. Nice scenery and nice people. Would not want my kids to be educated there. Clif is easily ‘baffled’, and spent half a season in Texas. Those of us who have watched him butcher ground balls for 13 years are not ‘baffled’, and as he rated as the WORST player in MLB last year, were actually leaping for joy when we heard he had been traded. Wait till the Philly fans see Young at 3rd, Clif, and you will no longer be ‘baffled’

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