Saturday, March 3, 2007

Law on Young's new deal

Keith Law of recently wrote an article questioning the wisdom of Young's new deal with the Texas Rangers. He cited various reasons why, which I will get into in a moment.

Keith Law's bio on the website says he spent four and a half years with the Toronto Blue Jays as a Special Assistant to the General Manager. I think his Young article proves why he is with the media now instead of a MLB team. If you have an ESPN Insider account, you can read his article here.

His first argument is that the Rangers jumped the gun and committed to Young too early. In the case of most other ball clubs, this would be correct. But what Law fails to understand is that the Rangers are in damage control mode. Management needs to extend some goodwill towards the players to show that things have changed since Hart and Showalter were in charge. If that means that you extend Young a little early, you do it. Relatively speaking, the guy has been working for peanuts for six years anyway. It also sends the message to the rest of the team (read: Teixeira) that the Rangers are serious about winning now.

Strike one to Law.

His second argument is that Young doesn't deserve the contract. Says he's not that good, although he admits Young is the 'heart and soul' of the team. Let's look at some of his accomplishments:

  • 2006 All Star Game MVP
  • 2005 AL batting champ
  • Three time consecutive All Star
  • Top ten in most batting statistics since 2003, including (but not limited to) batting average, runs, hits, doubles, triples and total bases.

But he's not a player? Please, Keith, your East Coast Bias is showing. If Young played for the Yankees or the Sox, he might possibly be the biggest name in baseball other than Bonds. As for Law's claim that he'll begin to decline in the next two years, I just don't see it. He's thirty, in excellent health and he's not a power hitter. These types don't slow down by thirty-two. If anything, I would expect him to get more patient at the plate, maintaining his batting average while cutting down on Ks and increasing walks. And I haven't even mentioned yet that Young is the ultimate clubhouse leader, always plays, never takes plays off, sacrifices himself for the good of the team and never shows up in the police blotter. He is a parent's dream for an athlete role model for their children in a world with too many players like Pacman Jones, Barry Bonds and Ron Artest.

Law takes strike two looking.

For Law's third knock he gets a little vague. I guess he is trying to say that the Rangers should not give this kind of money to anyone on their roster because they all stink. He would rather see them rebuild the team through free agency. Well, see Keith, the Rangers tried that a few years ago and we got stuck with two guys named A-Rod and Chan Ho something or other. Didn't work. Actually, I think you might remember because you did mention we are still paying A-Fraud. That one chaps my hide, too, but given the choice, I'd still rather pay him $8 million to go away than $25 million and have to deal with his act every day. As for Teixeira, I don't like his choice for an agent, but Young's deal increases the Rangers chances of re-signing him, not decreases. If he does walk, he would have done it anyway. Then Law bags the rest of the position players as being 'complementary', but I'll take Kinsler, Blalock, Laird, Cruz and Cat with Lofton as a stopgap in center. This isn't the Yankees: we can't put All Stars at every position, not that it's helped them lately. The starting rotation might not be the AL's best, but it's better than it's been since, well, ever. And the bullpen could be a league leader.

I say the Rangers make Law look silly and win the West. Strike three, you're out!

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