The Hero Becomes The Villian


“You either die a hero or live long enough see yourself become the villain” –Harvey Dent
 In a perfect world, the Rangers win the World Series last year and Michael Young walks off into the sunset after a 2011 slash line of .338/.380/.474. Since we live in an imperfect world, the Rangers failed to win the WS and Young still has another year on his contract that sees him being paid $32 million these final two years.  
Young was the hero Ranger fans deserved 2004-08 to bridge the gap between the “ARod years” and the “Camelot years” the Rangers are enjoying now. On teams full of mediocre talent, Young shined brightest. During these years, MY racked up such amazing rWAR seasons: 1.6, 3.0, 3.6, 2.9 and 2.8. 

It was those amazing seasons that helped launch MY into Ranger deity status. His ability to get clutch hits for non-playoff teams and be named the MVP of a meaningless game, only made him more legendary in the eyes of casual fans, national media and the president of his fan club, DMN’s Evan Grant.  

All that being said, after posting a mediocre 2010 line of .284/.330/.444, the 2011 season was a gratuitous crotch grab towards the harshest of his critics. From an offensive standpoint, it looked to be that Young had found Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth. His OPS+ of 125 was the third highest of his career, and the 106 RBI were a career high.
The 2012 season has seen Young become the worst player statistically on the team as his rWAR sits at -2.0. Entering Tuesday’s game, Young’s .643 OPS was the 11th worst in the American League among qualified batters. His .344 SLG is ninth worst in the American League. 

What do you do with a $16 million designated hitter that doesn’t hit? 

Answer: He becomes a very expensive platoon player. While he is mired in the worst season of his career, Young has actually hit left-handed pitchers decent with a slash line of .327/.364/.416. He still doesn’t flash any power against LHP, but he is not hurting the team when facing southpaws.  

If Wash and Young want to do what is truly best for the team, Young will only play against LHP when Moreland comes back from the DL. 

The Modified Lineups (stats entering Tuesday): 
*The Rangers are in desperate need of a RH bat to fill this lineup. Players like Scott Hairston or Reed Johnson are cheap, effective hitters against LHP. 

Let’s see if #FACE can do what is best for the team this time around. 
Eddie Middlebrook is the Chat Coordinator and Junior Staff Writer for ShutDowninning. He can be reached
Eddie Middlebrook
Eddie Middlebrook is Senior Writer for @ballparkbanter9 and @shutdowninning. Formerly with @wfaasports and @FoxSportsSW. @IBWAA member. Eddie can be found on Twitter @emiddlebrook.

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