Young states position with Gold Glove
Rangers shortstop says first-time honor 'is as good as it gets'
ARLINGTON -- Rangers shortstop Michael Young made the routine play and turned the double play better than anybody at his position in the American League this year.His reward was the first Gold Glove of his career.
RANGERS FOR THE DEFENSE
"Making the routine play is huge," Young said. "I think my two biggest assets are my hands and my arm strength, and those are the two things you have to make the routine play and the double play."At the same time I was able to work with a great double-play partner in Ian Kinsler. He really pushes me and it's great to have somebody who holds up his end. He'll win a Gold Glove some day. He's just hitting the tip of the iceberg with his ability." One criticism of the Gold Glove is it's often based on reputation. But Young beat out three shortstops who have won multiple Gold Gloves: Derek Jeter of the Yankees with three and Orlando Cabrera of the White Sox and Edgar Renteria of the Tigers with two apiece. The award comes at a time when there has been some debate about how long Young will remain at shortstop. He moved over from second base in 2004 after the Rangers traded Alex Rodriguez to the Yankees and there has been some internal discussions about moving him to third base to make room for top prospect Elvis Andrus.
THE TOP STOPS
|The eight AL shortstops who played enough to qualify to be among the fielding leaders, ranked by fielding percentage.|
Young is adamantly opposed to switching positions and a Gold Glove reinforces his stance."I don't look at this as validation," Young said. "I try to stay in the middle. I don't get too excited when somebody pats me on the back and I don't care if somebody criticizes me or says I can't do something. I almost prefer it when somebody says I can't do something. That makes me try harder. Those guys are my best friends in the league." Despite Young's play at shortstop, the Rangers finished with the worst fielding percentage in the Major Leagues. He is the first infielder to win a Gold Glove on a team with the lowest fielding percentage. Three pitchers, three outfielders and one catcher also accomplished that feat. He is the second Rangers middle infielder to win a Gold Glove. Rodriguez won it at shortstop in 2002-03. No Rangers second baseman has ever won a Gold Glove, although Young finished second behind Bret Boone in 2003. Young also restores the Rangers to the Gold Glove team after they were shut out in 2007 for the first time since 1991.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.