Former Rangers infielder Michael Young, the club's all-time leader in multiple categories, met with the local media Monday for the final time before heading to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Young, who accepted a trade over the weekend, graciously thanked just about everyone he came across. The one exception was club management, with whom his relationship has steadily disintigrated since the off-season before the 2009 campaign.
His former teammates, manager Ron Washington and Rangers fans received the most praise from Young, who also went into his side of the trade talks.
“They said maybe I would get 300 at-bats,” Young said. “They have to do what they feel is best for the Rangers.
“It was a great opportunity in Philly, having an opportunity to go from one great team to another one. I was ready for a challenge. As a competitor I want to push myself as much as I can.”
No member of the club's front office has called to speak with Young since the trade as they dealt only with his agent. Team president Nolan Ryan, who is out of town on business, said that he plans to call Young once his trip ends.
“There’s no relationship there, but that’s fine with me,” Young said. “My relationship is with guys in uniform. I haven’t spoken with management since this whole thing went down.”
Young even lauded 19-year-old Jurickson Profar, who in part helped convince the Rangers that they needed to clear a logjam in their infield. Profar could take the majority of the 611 at-bats Young had last season, his worst since 2003.
“He’s a really good kid, [and] he’s always got a smile on his face,” Young said. “In that sense, he’s got a lot of Elvis in him, which is a good thing. I think offensively he’s going to be really, really good.”
Young and his family will continue to call Dallas home. He said that he knew the trade was best for his career, but he needed to make sure his family would figure out how to manage a summer with him in another city full-time.
“We never really thought we’d be here on a full-time basis, but we love it here, in large part because of the people I get to be around,” Young said during a news conference at the Park City Hilton.
“Just a massive ‘thank you’ to the fans here from me and my family for everything they’ve given us. It was my pleasure and my honor to go out there and play ball for them on a daily basis.”
-- Jeff Wilson