- FanGraphs Fantasy Baseball - http://www.fangraphs.com/fantasy -

Kicking Rocks: Hating Michael Young

For two of the last three off seasons, Michael Young dominated the headlines with his contempt for the Texas Rangers and his demands for a trade.  He was angry with the team for asking him to move from shortstop to third to make room for Elvis Andrus back in 2009 and then the whole story repeated itself this past winter when the team signed Adrian Beltre, asked him to move to DH and then traded for Mike Napoli, who was supposedly going to steal some at bats from him.  The fight was getting bitter and every time you turned around, there was a new rumor popping up as to where Young was going to land.

Great.  Fine.  See ya later, Mike!  I’m bored with your whining and all the attention you’re getting from it.  Can’t you see you’re disrupting the flow of my Brett Favre retirement/genital photography coverage on ESPN?  Besides, I got me a whole new fantasy baseball plan for this year and it starts with a 20+ HR catcher moving out of Mike Scioscia’s doghouse and in to the best hitter’s park in the majors.

I was ecstatic over the idea of Napoli becoming a regular in the powerful Texas lineup.  It was supposed to be a dream come true.  With that crybaby Young off in Colorado or wherever the Rangers shipped him off to, Napoli was going to grab 450-500 at bats and rock the catcher’s position with the potential for 30 HR.  I set my draft strategy accordingly and happily snagged him in the 16th round.  I was actually a little surprised he fell so far what with Young already halfway out the door.


Now look at this mess.  Not only is Young still with the Rangers, but the guy is killing it with a slash line of .347/.363/.448 and he just came off of a 15 game hitting streak.  He’s firmly entrenched in that lineup and he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.  You’d think after all that whining and crying and talk of betrayal that maybe he’s be struggling at the plate or riding the pine a little more, but no.  Of course not.  He’s now seemingly channeled all of that animosity and turned it onto the baseball.  Stupid Michael Young.

Meanwhile, Napoli has appeared in just 14 games this season and has been relegated to pinch hitting in two of the last three games.  To say that his playing time is limited would be an understatement.  Sure, on the surface, the .286-5-11 batting line looks good, but with the sporadic play Ron Washington is giving him, it’s turned into a relative crapshoot as to when the guy is going to be in the lineup.  It’s not like he’s playing against just righties or just lefties, so you can’t even plan accordingly for the upcoming week.  One week the guy gets eight plate appearances and goes 0-for-7 with a walk and the next week he gets 14 PA’s and whacks a pair of home runs with five RBI.  There’s no rhyme or reason to it, atleast none that I’ve seen.

It’s ridiculously frustrating as a fantasy owner and it’s getting to the point where those of us that drank the Kool-Aid this off season are scouring the waiver wire looking for extra help for behind the dish.  What’s even worse though, is that you can’t drop this guy.  I mean, sure, maybe if you’re in a 8 team head to head league, but nothing deeper than that and probably not rotisserie.  The last thing you want is to let him go and watch him start raking on a more consistent basis, because you know, once you do drop him Ian Kinsler is going on the DL and Young will be asked to take over at second, right?  So now, not only are you getting hosed on the playing time, but you’re also eating up a bench spot waiting….hoping….praying that somehow the fantasy gods are going to make this right for you.  Well, like I’ve said before…you can crap in one hand and wish in the other and see which fills up first.

Oh, and for all of you that drafted Young late and have that stupid smirk on your face right now — eat it!  May your fantasy team’s offense go silent and may all of your pitchers take it in the WHIP-hole (special thanks to one commenter last week for that catchy little phrase).  This ain’t over yet!