What's wrong with Michael Young?

Updated: July 24, 2012, 3:54 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

Sometimes the end of the line comes a bit early for not only fantasy owners, but real teams. I was reminded of this when the Seattle Mariners sent Ichiro Suzuki to the New York Yankees on Monday night, getting shockingly little for a once-great player with a terrific career. Nobody has more base hits since the start of the 2002 season than Ichiro, but the only thing he's doing to help fantasy owners these days is stealing the occasional base. You know who is second in base hits over the past 10-plus seasons?

Texas Rangers infielder Michael Young is hitting a hollow .271 this season with three home runs, 39 RBIs and two stolen bases. Not that we expected a ton of power or any speed, but Young is a lot more fun to own when he's contending for a batting title. This season, Young is not contending for a batting title. It just seems to me Ichiro's downward spiral is a bit more well-known, while Young continues to languish as the two-time defending American League champions' No. 5 hitter.