Few folks can say they’ve put in as much time and effort to one team without being rewarded anything more than a steady paycheck than Michael Young. In fact, only Randy Winn, now with the St. Louis Cardinals, has played more games, total, without playing in a playoff game, and Winn has played for five different teams.
Young was called up by the Texas Rangers 10 years ago. Six All-Star appearances, a batting title and one Gold Glove later, he’s finally getting a sniff of playoff baseball as Texas clinched a postseason berth this week.
Michael Young joined ESPN Radio Dallas with Galloway and Company to discuss how special it is to make the playoffs after playing so long with the Rangers, which American League team he’d like to play in the Division Series, how quickly the team shifted to its next level of goals, where Josh Hamilton is with his injury and the biggest dinner bill he’s ever made a rookie pay.
On whether making the playoffs is more special to him than anyone else because he’s been in Texas for 10 years:
“Well it was special. I don’t know if it was more special than anybody else, but it was definitely special. To put in 10 years with one organization and finally get rewarded with an opportunity to play in the postseason is something that I’ve been waiting for. I was hoping it would be really sweet and it was better than I imagined.”
On which team he wants to play in the Division Series:
“I think we’re watching [the race] now, but we didn’t follow it at all until we clinched, ourselves. Once we did, we’re following now just to find out where we’re going to go. We really don’t care who we play. We know that any team we play is going to have homefield advantage, so it doesn’t really matter. We know it’s two good teams just like we know we’re a good team. Once you get into the postseason, you know you’re going to play a good team. … For us, I know we really don’t have a preference, we just want to know where we’re going to go.”
On how quickly the team shifted goals from making the playoffs to something more:
“We made it a point to say that to ourselves even when we were having fun on Saturday. When we got back to the ballpark on Sunday, without a doubt, at that point we were all talking about the next step. We really do believe this is a team that’s capable of so much more. This isn’t a team that’s supposed to get in and shut it down. We want to get in and make some noise now. We have the ability to do it. The biggest thing for us over this next week or so here at home is making sure we get healthy.”
On where Josh Hamilton is with in terms of his injury:
“I think that’s why day-to-day is so frustrating in the sports world sometimes. It means the same to you as it does to me. Day-to-day is exactly that, we’ll know a lot more tomorrow than we know today and so on and so on. We know what Josh means to our [batting] order and we want to get him in there as quickly as possible. It’d be great to get him some at-bats here this week. … But we just want to get him back. Having said that, if he doesn’t … we’re still confident we’re going to go play well.”
On the biggest bill he’s ever hit a rookie with:
“I’ve never hit a rookie with a bill for dinner, actually.” On reaction to Dez Bryant: “Reaction to that one was I think he probably had a little B up his you know what and had to get him back. Football is a little different than baseball, I guess. I wouldn’t do that to a guy. The only thing I’ve ever done is, some hotels you can put a room service thing on the front of your door so you don’t have to call in the morning. I put it out in front of one guys door for about 16 omelets.”