Young situation in Texas once again proves that sports is a business first

es in the first inning at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in Arlington, Texas, USA, 15 October 2010. This is the first game of the best of seven of the 2010 American League Championship Series. EPA/PAUL BUCK fotoglif760759

On June 16, 2010, Michael Young hit a two-out ground ball up the middle off Marlins’ pitcher Jay Buente to collect his 1,748th hit of his career. With that base-knock, he passed Ivan Rodriguez for first place on the all-time Rangers’ career hit list.

If he continues to play in Texas, he would probably need half a season to become the all-time games played leader in franchise history. But that’s only “if” Young continues to play in Texas.

Young is furious with the Rangers over what he perceives as being “misled and manipulated” by the club. We can only speculate as to why he feels that way, but chances are he’s feeling disrespected because the club is saying one thing and doing another. The Rangers publicly maintain that they want Young to be their primary DH and play multiple positions as a super utility player. But for the past month, they’ve flirted with other DH options like Jim Thome and Manny Ramirez (both of which have signed with other clubs).

If the Rangers want Young to DH, why would they speak with those other candidates? It’s hard to blame Young for feeling shunned. He moved to third (albeit begrudgingly at first) to make room for Elvis Andrus in 2009 and is now being replaced with the signing of free agent Adrian Beltre. Young is overpaid at $16 million a year, but given what he’s done for the Rangers over the past decade, he deserves the club’s respect.

Of course, that’s not the point is it? The point is that he’s making $16 million, plays shoddy defense and the Rangers feel like they can replace him in the lineup with cheaper options. Sports aren’t usually about respect. Young isn’t worth what the Rangers are paying him, so they’re taking the necessary steps to replace him. Sure, they’re publicly maintaining that they still need him, but actions speak louder than words. I can tell my girlfriend that she’s the only one I want to be with but if I turn around and flirt with three other women at the bar, how is she supposed to feel?

Nobody should blame Young for feeling the way he does, especially considering he helped them reach their first World Series last year. Just because he’s overpaid doesn’t mean he hasn’t earned the club’s respect. If the Rangers told Young that he would be their DH, then that should have been the end of it. Thome and Ramirez (two players who would have been difficult to keep on the bench and out of the DH spot) should have never been in the discussion.

But the Rangers are also trying to do what’s best for them in the long run, which is shedding Young’s contract. After all, they’re running a business you know.

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