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Friday, January 31, 2014

The Consummate Captain

October 29, 2011.  The day that will live in Rangers infamy FOREVER.  FOR.EV. ER.  Actually…October 27th was the even worse day.  Thanks Nelly Cruz!  Jackass. 

There are no words.  NONE.

Losing the World Series in 2010 sucked, don’t get me wrong.  But that was no contest.  San Francisco kicked our asses.  It hurt.  But, I felt overmatched from the start.  (Yeah…I’m still on the team) 2011…that was our year.  It really was.  So close…so damn close…

Still cryin...


So why am I ripping off this scab?  (That still is NOT healed)

I’m reliving this because Leo and I have been talking about our now RETIRED captain.  (Like nonstop.  Not kidding.  We might need to take some time off.  Bereavement days.) 

I told him that Michael Young retiring makes me legitimately sad.  Like October 27/29, 2011 sad.  That is the best way to describe this. 

Newberg always calls this “sports sad”…but I think I’m legitimately sad.  Like if something in my own personal life was ruined.  I might need a MY support group.  This might even be worse than I felt on those fateful October 2011 days. 

Yes, you're right...he's kind of a prick.

 How could that be?  How could it possibly be worse? 

Well…I guess…it’s that…the Rangers will have plenty more chances for a World Series…not that they’re easy to come by…but there are chances.  This is it for Michael Brian Young, the consummate captain of your Texas Rangers and one of the BEST sports figures DFW has ever known.  And that, my friends, is high praise in this sports-crazy town. 

The thing is…there is a lot you can say about his game. The dude is a hitting machine.  And I’m saying IS because I think he could still get out there and rake.  Maybe not his usual 200-hit self at this point, but he could hit .280.  He could.  Damn it.  (And could the Rangers not use another bat?  Stupid Jon Daniels.)

I kinda hate the guy on the left right now.
And say what you will about his defense…and I know a lot of people have A LOT to say on this particular subject.  But, what do you expect when you move a guy from his natural position (that he played his whole life) to TWO other positions.  And he never even got enough time to even come close to mastering 3rd.  The guy was there for a minute in the grand scheme, and all of a sudden that makes him the proverbial defensive liability.  Bump that.  The guy is good at baseball.

See  he caught that didn't he?  DIDN'T HE?!
The other thing to consider in all this from the fan perspective is that…the Texas Rangers have had A LOT of bad seasons.  They have.  Lots of bonehead organizational moves.

Exhibit A:

Not that he wasn’t talented, but that team needed pitching.  THANKS TOM HICKS!

In MY’s 12 full seasons with the Rangers, we had a total of 5 winning seasons.  FIVE.  And four of those were his last four seasons with the team.  Think about that.  He played here for EIGHT YEARS with only one winning season.  He was the one bright spot for me and most Rangers fans. 

In that time, he had over 200 hits in a season six times, he won a gold glove (2008, SS), he led the league in hits twice, he won a batting title (2005), and he went to seven All-Star Games (MVP, 2008). 

What a sad state of affairs that was...until 2009.  Sheesh

The truth though is, this is only half of the story.  Maybe even less than half.  The bigger deal is/was MY’s attitude, leadership, and character.  THAT is what made him the guy we are all hoping every sports “hero” can be.  Not many of these guys live up personally to being the hero that our kids aspire to be.  Sure, they’re good at sports…but a lot of times, they suck at life. 

Am I right?
 When I was talking about this yesterday, someone said, “You have no idea!  He could be a real a-hole!”  And that is completely true.  BUT, that’s true of any public figure.  We don’t know them.  The difference is…the majority of these guys do a great deal to prove us right in thinking they’re a-holes.  So why not champion a guy that does everything in his power to at least come off to us as a good guy?  Because there are plenty of guys that COULD be a-holes and ARE a-holes publicly. 

And I think in this particular instance...there’s been plenty to back up the “good guy” theory.  From former teammates, coaches, reporters…  errrrbody…


And you know like I know, people come out of the wood work to say something negative, even just for shock value, if they have any ammo whatsoever. 

I’m sad y’all.  Really sad.  We have about FIFTEEN MINUTES before MY formally retires at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.  And that’s really the only bright spot in the end of this story…that he’s retiring as one of us…in our park. 

Thank you, Michael Young. 

That's quite the Ranger career.

P.S.  I polled a bunch of people about their favorite baseball movies yesterday and the day before.  And!  I’m done.  The post is complete.  Just needed to post it.  But Michael Young trumps all.  Stay tuned for that post in the next couple of days. 

And because we have to end with pleasant MY thoughts: more...

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