After Ten Seasons, Michael Young Set To Clinch First Division Championship
Talk to anyone in the game about Michael Young and you'll hear pretty much the same thing over and over again.
One of the best hitters in the game, relentless work ethic and professional in every aspect.
You'll also hear them say it's just a shame he's spent his entire career for the losing Rangers or he could have been as big as Derek Jeter.
Well, it appears Young is about to finally take his bat to the primetime drama of playoff baseball as his patience has finally been rewarded by the Rangers front office.
The Rangers open up a four game series against the second place A's tonight in Oakland. The math is simple, win two of the four and the Rangers will have a champagne shower in the visitor's clubhouse.
Lose all four and the A's are back in the race with a week to go.
I don't know if they'll clinch in Oakland, but I really don't believe they'll get swept either; Michael Young won't let that happen.
Throughout his career Young has always risen to the challenge whether it's the game winning hit for the All-Star Game or putting the team on his shoulders when the grind starts to affect the younger players.
If you really take a look at the Rangers season to this point you will find the Rangers have been cast in Young's image.
They've had rough stretches but kept their heads up not letting the downturn hurt them long term.
They've played hard, worked hard and had a lot of fun; just look at the Claw and Antler phenomenon that has swept through the Rangers fan base like a California wildfire.
All of this is vintage Michael Young and as the playoffs get closer and the Rangers start icing the champagne there's Young doing everything he can to keep his team sharp.
If they do finish the job in the coming days the player I'm going to be looking for through all the bubbly flying in the air is the Rangers Team Captain.
When that moment does arrive I'm sure I won't be the only Rangers fan shedding a happy tear as Young celebrates accomplishing what he and the Rangers have been trying to get done for 10 years.
Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixiera had their opportunities to stay here and win, they chose to abandon the Rangers and their teammate for lots of Yankee dollars.
He stayed through two rebuilds, consistent 200 hit seasons for a team that couldn't pitch effectively to the kids in the Little League World Series.
He stayed through not one, but two position switches.
He took less than market value with his first big contract to help the team afford other players and didn't hold out for a ridiculous contract the next time.
Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus are outstanding infielders and teammates because Young taught them both everything he knew about playing in the middle of the infield.
In my mind, there is no one in the Rangers organization that deserves this moment more than Michael Young.
He should be the first to grab a bottle of champagne and be the center of the clinching celebration.
Knowing Young though, he'll simply grab a beer, spray champagne on his teammates and stay low key and focused on the task ahead.
After waiting 10 seasons, Young wants nothing more than to have three more champagne showers to make up for lost time.
A playoff rematch with the Yankees looms and this time the Rangers won't be a stepping stone for the Yankees to win another World Series.
Michael Young will see to that.