Saturday, February 1, 2014
Michael Young, GM able to patch things up
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Three years ago, it seemed unlikely that general manager Jon Daniels would ever be sitting on a stage right beside Michael Young -- and getting emotional talking about him -- at Young's retirement news conference.
But maybe there really is truth to the idea that time can make a difference in repairing a rocky relationship.
It was in February of 2011 that issues between Young and Daniels spilled over publicly with Young demanding a trade and saying he was "misled and manipulated on different occasions." Young said there was a "breach of trust" between himself and the club and figured he'd be dealt. Of course, he wasn't. Young arrived in Surprise that spring -- his drive from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to Arizona was chronicled by fans and media on Twitter -- and went about his business. But he didn't have much to say about Daniels. Even a year ago, when Young approved a trade from Texas to Philadelphia, the veteran said he had "no relationship" with the front office.
Now, though, that's not the case. Both men have had a chance to talk and heal some old wounds.
"We had a pretty unique and very good relationship before the situation that was well-documented," Daniels said. "We communicated after he made the playoffs with L.A. We saw each other this offseason and had a chance to talk. But more than anything, it was time and being away from it that helped."
Daniels said he learned a lot from the situation -- like "that line and separation between players" -- and wishes he had done some things differently.
"I don’t regret the decisions," Daniels said. "I do regret some of the circumstances surrounding it and how I handled elements of it."
Daniels and Young got some things out on the table and spoke frankly in large part because both men have respect for one another. Young said at his Friday news conference that there wasn't a time with the Rangers where he didn't feel "valued," even when things weren't going well. Daniels said his respect for Young never wavered, despite their differences a few years ago.
"He was the first to embrace Elvis (Andrus). He embraced Adrian (Beltre). He embraced Mike Napoli," Daniels said. "Those guys became some of his closest friends on the team. In large part, the way that the clubhouse remained strong and, in many ways, got stronger was due to the way he handled those situations. Despite their arrivals having a personal impact on him (Young had to move to third base for Andrus and move to DH for Beltre), he made those guys feel welcome and brought them into the fabric of the team. They had success together, but in no small part because of that."
Daniels has talked about a desire to bring Young into the organization in some sort of role after the veteran infielder has had some time with his family. And Young, who thanked Daniels for the kinds words he said about him during Friday's news conference, is clearly open to it. Read more about that here.