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:
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:
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.”