Michael Young Says the Rangers Not Wanting Him Has Put a Fire in His Belly in Philadelphia

December 13, 2012 – 9:00 am by Chris Fedor

After 13 seasons in the majors with one team, the Texas Rangers, Michael Young will have to put on a new uniform for the first time in Spring Training. Young is now a member of the Philadelphia Phillies after he approved a trade to Philly last weekend. Even though Young expressed an interest to stay in Texas for the remainder of his career, it was clear the Rangers had other ideas and now Young will hope to bring that veteran leadership and his reliable bat to a team that underachieved a season ago.

Michael Young joined ESPN Dallas with Galloway and Company to talk about leaving his mark on the Rangers during his 12 seasons in Texas, when he thinks it will finally hit him that he is no longer a Ranger, whether he is leaving the Rangers on good terms, if he thinks he will ever be friends with Rangers GM Jon Daniels and whether he is trying to recruit Josh Hamilton to come to Philadelphia with him.

On leaving his mark on the Rangers during his 12 seasons in Texas:

“I definitely appreciate that guys. I’ve loved my 12 years here. I wouldn’t change a thing and having an opportunity to play with great teammates and one thing that I’m very proud of is now that I’m leaving the Rangers and leaving Texas professionally I would like to think the organization is in much, much better shape than when I first got here. It means a lot for me to have been a part of that and can’t say enough about how great the fans have been to me over the years and the fact that they made me feel like I’m a welcomed part of the community, it makes me feel good as a player and as a fellow citizen of this area. It makes me feel good and I’m really proud to call this place home.”

When he thinks it will sink in that he is no longer a Ranger:

“I’m not sure when it’s going to be. I think it’s been a gradual process so far. Today I got an e-mail from Nike with my cleats for this year and they’re bright red. It was weird. Just small things like that are going to be weird leading up to Opening Day with the Phillies. Just because of the way my thought process was for 12 years. Following what the team is doing in this offseason, seeing how it’s shaping up heading into Spring Training and now I’ve shifted gears and I’m seeing what the Phillies next move is going to be. It’s definitely something I’m excited about but it’s going to be a gradual process and I don’t know when it’s going to kick in completely. I’m definitely on my way and at a point now where I consider myself a proud member of the Phillies organization and I’m going to do my best for them.

Are you leaving the Rangers on good terms?

“Of course, of course. I have relationships there that are going to last me a lifetime. I have fantastic relationships with the guys I’ve played with, I’ve been in contact with pretty much every last one of them, wishing each other well and I know that these are relationships that I’m going to have well after all of our careers are over. We’ve been through a lot together as teammates and as friends so I’m going to be pulling for them in a different league and I feel like I’m leaving on great terms. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

If he thinks he will ever be friends with general manager Jon Daniels:

“I feel like a lot was made, a couple of days ago when I spoke to the local media, I think a lot was made of that. When I mentioned that, one I was answering a question about our relationship and two I didn’t mean that with any malice at all. I didn’t mean that thinking that was a bad thing at all. The fact is he does what he has to do to improve the Rangers and I do what I do to prepare myself as best I can to contribute to the team I’m playing for. I didn’t mean that as a bad thing at all but the fact of the matter is there isn’t a huge, friendly relationship there. That’s fine. We both have families we have to deal with. I don’t think it’s a massive priority for either of us to have a situation where we can call each other best friends. When I answered that question in no way, shape or form did I mean that to be a negative thing.”

Whether he thinks it was just time to go:

“Once the offseason started to shape up a little bit I definitely knew what the Rangers intentions were. I’ve been in the league long enough to know the business side of it and understand that teams are trying to do whatever they can to help themselves win games. I made no secret of the fact that I wanted to stay early in the offseason, it didn’t bother me one bit to have the opportunity to earn my at bats and I made a point to communicate that to them through my agent, but then it was communicated right back as the winter meetings started to progress that I wasn’t going to get the opportunity to to earn my at bats anymore. It was pretty much a firm number around what I was going to get. At that point I kind of shifted gears and if I wasn’t going to get the opportunity to earn my playing time I wanted to find a way to settle into a spot like Philly. This is a situation where the Rangers, I feel like they’re doing whats best for them but as a competitor when they’re talking about fielding a good team and they think the best way to do that is to send me to a different team then obviously there’s a fire in my belly that starts going a little bit. That is the nature of the beast. This is the business that I decided to play in. I love it. I love the good side and I love the bad side and nothing is going to stop me from my preparation of the 2013 season and helping the Phillies win games.”

Whether he is trying to recruit Josh Hamilton to Philly:

“I have no idea what is going on with those negotiations. I’ve left Josh alone this offseason. I’ve pretty much been in touch with him just to wish him well and to enjoy the process. The one thing I can pretty much guarantee is that if Josh did end up being a Phillie then I’m pretty sure they would blame me like I was the one that convinced him to go there. I don’t know where it’s at and I don’t even know if the Phillies are involved. I don’t know where Josh’s priority list is. I have no idea. The one thing I know is I wish the guy well and I want what is best for him and his family.”

Listen to Michael Young on ESPN Dallas here

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