Forever Young

by Ben Dieter

MY
“Twelve years is a long time, playing in front of the same group of fans, I loved it here. It was my pleasure to play in front of them. I couldn’t guarantee the wins or how many hits I got but I could guarantee I could play hard every night. What I had with the fans was very special. I don’t take that for granted. They saw every hit, every at-bat, every strikeout, every error. I’m going to miss that.”

We are going to miss that too, Michael.

As you all are painfully aware by this point, The Texas Rangers and Michael Young parted ways last week in a move that we all knew was bound to happen at some point. Michael was the undisputed face of the Franchise for the last five to seven years, and he was, in my humble opinion, the heart and soul of the Texas Rangers during that time. His defense had declined over the past few seasons, and he had moved positions quite frequently in the last 4 seasons, but he never left anything out on the field.

He did have his moments of struggle with the front office in a spat made public when Young was asked to move to designated hitter in 2011, and he regrets to this day how public that process was. He eventually did move to designated hitter and played it well in 2011, the year that the Rangers should have been World Champions. Mike was also the guy that always seemed willing to welcome the new guys with a pie in the face or a kind word or a fun shot at them. Everyone on the team looked up to him, and it will be very interesting to see what the clubhouse dynamic will be in 2013 without him. Michael moves on the Phillies and looks forward to a new challenge while we are left to remember what was. Michael leaves the Rangers as their all time hits leader as well as being close or leading the Rangers in many other categories. One of my fondest memories of Michael was watching him run of the field after Neftali Feliz struck out A-Rod to send the Rangers to their first ever World Series in 2010.

The look on his face after being a Rangers for all those bad years is what finally brought me to tears on that night. The only regret I along with many other Rangers fans have is that they could not seal the deal while Michael wore Rangers blue.

And now, as a new chapter starts in Michael Young’s career and in our lives, I have nothing but well wishes in mind for the Young. I was born in the Philadelphia area and my first baseball game to ever attend was a Phillies game. I will continue to be a fan of Michael throughout his career, he has entertained me and I feel like I have gotten to know him over the years through my television and being at games. Michael will not only be missed on the field, he will also be missed on television sets all over the greater metroplex area. Good luck Michael, and we hope to see you in the World Series. Only this time, we hope you lose to the Rangers! Thanks for the memories.

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