Sports Of All Sorts Scattered Between The Dots…………..Michael Young: Say It Ain’t So Rangers……………..By RC

I guess we all knew that the day was coming when Michael Young would no longer be a Texas Ranger. But after the last couple of episodes of the organization pushing him toward the back of the bus and seemingly not caring what his reaction would be, we all just had that feeling that the clock was ticking for this future (hopefully) Hall Of Famer. I’m sure that someone will wear #10 again for the Rangers but it will never seem right unless the name Young is stitched right above that number………………………..
………………..Being a Yankee fan, I have fought the urge to allow myself to become attached to any team or player even though they may hail from the Lone Star State. Admire their character, be entertained by their heroics, and be impressed by their leadership sure, but to attach myself to them as someone that I could call a favorite was just out of the question. But then Michael Young and all his greatness on and off the field began to grow on me whether I liked it or not. A trip to The Ballpark was enjoyable just because I could watch the on the field intensity and the consummate professional play of this Ranger favorite………………..
………………Now he has headed not only to the Quaker State but to the National League as well. The one thing that we can all be proud of is the fact that he will be with a contender and a quality ball club. And according to former teammate Cliff Lee he is about to be embraced by some of the most endearing fans in the game today. I believe that to be correct just from watching them in the recent playoffs. And with the National League now completely dominating all phases of the game from the All-Star Game to the World Series, he will have a chance to do something that eluded him in Arlington: win a championship ring………………..
……………….We will forever recall the 2011 season when the Rangers were favored to win it all only to be denied by some really freakish heroics by the St. Louis Cardinals that kept them out of the throne room. That team was so focused and mission based and had all the parts clicking. And the key that started the machine was Michael Young. He delivered in the clutch time and again as he had done on so many occasions for the Rangers but this time it was for the big trophy. His example set the tone for a monster year by Mike Napoli, Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, and on and on. His leadership was on display day in and day out and you could just tell that the team knew who the leader truly was. He knew how to win with dignity and lose with class but above all he knew how to keep the game in context whether winning or losing. He was special………………..
………………..So having just completed a season that was somewhat subpar for Michael, why would the Phillies want a superstar whose best days could very well be behind him? I think even the unrelenting Young would tell you that he can no longer hit, run, or field like he could as a youngster who in one year made then entire state forget about a so-called superstar named Alex Rodriquez. But here is something that I think he would also admit in a heartbeat which is that he believes that his worth inside the clubhouse as a leader is greater than ever and that his quest for the ever-elusive championship hardware is a burning quest. I think most people who ever competed at anything: sports or otherwise, will tell you that no sense is as strong as the sense of urgency. I think the Phillies realized this and made a commitment to him as an everyday third baseman that will be rewarded rather handsomely. Let’s hope so!…………………….
…………………..Now all of us so-called adults will try to understand the departure of this iconic player simply by telling ourselves that it is a business decision and that sports is a business, but the little guys who have grown up with the brightest of Ranger stars and who are still growing up with him will not understand. And trust me that really stinks! Nothing hurts as much for an adoring kid who follows and studies the game, especially the habits of their hero, than to see that player signed away or traded away. For them no matter where Michael Young goes, he will always be a Ranger…………..
……………………With Young and Napoli also gone I can only hope for all the youngsters that Josh Hamilton continues to roam the outfield and bash towering home runs in the red and blue. If he goes not only do I feel sorry for those youngsters but I also fear that a big chunk out of the team chemistry will be missing. The leader Young is gone, the determined Napoli is gone, and allowing the talent of Hamilton to leave might just be more than the team can overcome. Sure I know that the Rangers are supposed to be the envy of major league baseball with their loaded minor league teams full of future superstars. But currently they are just talented prospects and not talented performers at the big league level…………………….
……………………I guess that with all my ranting about this, the real reason is that I’m just a little bit old school and was a kid prior to free agency and megabucks that have much more worth to an organization that the players themselves. I know that the Napoli’s will come and go. Who can blame him for cashing in on the extremely fruitful 2011 season before it is forgotten. I can even understand that a talented but troubled superstar like Josh Hamilton will eventually part company but for that handful of heart and soul heroes like Michael Young there should be some way to keep them included. If they are worth something to a team like the Phillies, then they still have worth for the Texas Rangers………………..
………………….One of the things that has drawn me to Young has been the fact that he is good friends with Derek Jeter, the same kind of person and player as himself. The Yankees although unsure of how much mileage is left in “The Captain” made a commitment to him last year. It seemingly rejuvenated his career. He had a great season and was one of the few bright spots in a very dismal display of talent in the playoffs. And I’m sure his leadership and clubhouse presence is without compare unless you are talking about Michael Young. We shall see!…………………….
…………………..So as Michael rides off to the greener pastures of the National League east I can only wish him the best. I think most of the loyal Ranger fans feel the same as I do. But for those of you who believe one poor showing is just cause for shipping off the heartbeat of your team: shame on you…………………….
……………………#10 is a winner, he is a survivor, he is all that is good about major league baseball and he will once again flourish with his new club. People like Jon Daniels had better hope that his newly structured team flourishes as well or he will learn the hard way that proven loyalty is so much better than hopeful loyalty……………………..
……………………Here’s hoping for a ring someday for one of the greatest Rangers if not the greatest………………. RC

About Ronnie Clifton

Ronnie Clifton was a Texas Football Coach for 29 years. In addition to football, Clifton also served as the head coach in basketball and both girls and boys track. “I loved being involved in and playing sports as a kid, and I soaked up every ounce of available information about any sporting event; I also love to write. What better combo for me than becoming the writer of a sports blog?”
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