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January 15, 2009

A few more notes on Young

Michael Young made it clear that he was aware of the public divide that had been created by his initial refusal to move to third base. While he made no reference to specific comments that had been made or stories that were written, he was aware that Rangers fans were in a tough spot. And Elvis Andrus, too.

"There are a couple regrettable things in this whole thing, one being the fans," Young said. "The fans shouldn’t be in a position where they have to choose between the organization and the player. At the end of the day we all want the same thing: We all want to see the team win a championship.

"The last thing I wanted to do is have that happen. It’s tough on Elvis. He’s a 20-year-old kid trying to make his way to the big leagues. I met him last year a spring training. He’s a good kid, he works hard, and I want the best for him. I’m going to do anything I can to make this kid a better player. And I’m pretty sure he’s going to keep asking me questions. He did last year, and I’m pretty sure he will be this year. I’m going to do everything I can to help him out. It is tough to be a kid in a position where he’s at. He’s trying to find his own way, and now before he’s even set foot on a big-league field, people are questioning, ‘Is he ready? Is he this? Is he that?’ That’s not fair to him, and to be honest, it’s not fair to either one of us."

<>There is a divide between Young and general manager Jon Daniels. Young said he hasn't spoken to Daniels since the December meeting in which Young was first approached about moving positions. And that appears to be just fine with Young.

"I don't have anything to say," Young said. "I’m doing exactly what I was asked to do. I’m playing third base. When I get to spring training, I expect my competitive nature to take over. I respect that fact that I look across that locker room and I see eyes on me. I see them seeing what I’m going to do next. To that end, I’m going to go to third base, and I’m going to do everything I can to get good at it as quickly as I can. And that’s it."

Daniels said he hopes that time will mend any potential damage the Rangers' request has done to his relationship with Young.

"We wanted to let Michael have some time to make this call and make it on his own timeline, and I feel the same way about he and I getting back together. We've had a good relationship over the years. I'd say a very good relationship. I'm hopeful there's a time when we can get back to that point. I understand his reaction to our decision, and I certainly have respect for that and I think he's earned that. He knows how to contact me, and I'm going to give him his time."

<>Apparently, all is well between Young and manager Ron Washington, who sat in on the December meeting and hadn't heard from Young since. That ended Thursday afternoon.

Said Young: "I’ve always had a lot of respect for Wash, and I think that’s something we’ve always had together. Wash respects me. I respect Wash. That was the theme of our conversation. We both want the best for each other. I do think that Wash wants the best for me, I want the best for him, and we both want the best for the team. It was just water under the bridge. It wasn’t a conversation that needed to take up too much of our time."

Said Washington: "Michael is a pro. I’m not going to question what he feels and the way he feels it. However long it takes for him to feel it, I’m OK with it. He assured me that when he gets to spring training, he’s going to be ready to go and he’s going to be the Michael Young he always is.

"It’s a relief just to be able to talk to Michael. However long Michael think he needs to deal with this, I’m giving him the time to deal with it. This hit him deep, and we just have to allow him to deal with the best way he can."

 

<>Young knows moving to third base will be difficult, but Washington thinks Young will handle it well.

 

"I think it's obvious that he has some of the best hands in the game," Washington said. "All third base is about is reacting. That's to his benefit to be down there. It's not going to take Michael Young any time to adjust to what he has to do. He's a pro."

 

-- Jeff Wilson

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