Per the tweets flowing down from the Michael Young farewell press conference, which went down live earlier in the 5:00 p.m. hour:
Michael Young said he didn't want to have a conference call. Wanted a press conference instead to say thank you and goodbye.— Emily Jones (@EmilyJonesFSN) December 10, 2012
Young starts by thanking his teammates, staff and Ron Washington, in particular.— Emily Jones (@EmilyJonesFSN) December 10, 2012
Young to the fans: Never had the chance to say goodbye, but that's the nature of the business.— Emily Jones (@EmilyJonesFSN) December 10, 2012
Michael Young on #Rangers fans: "It was my pleasure and my honor to go out there and play for them on a daily basis."— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) December 10, 2012
Young said told he would get about 300 at bats if he stayed with the Rangers, and that was a firm number.— Emily Jones (@EmilyJonesFSN) December 10, 2012
Young said he knew writing was on wall when ABs were getting cut.— Anthony Andro (@aandro) December 10, 2012
Young on Rangers management: There's no relationship there.— Emily Jones (@EmilyJonesFSN) December 10, 2012
Young hasn't talked with front office since trade talk surfaced. Talked to Wash yesterday.— Anthony Andro (@aandro) December 10, 2012
Michael Young says he regrets the way he handled move to third, praises Elvis.— Or Moyal (@OrMoyal) December 10, 2012
Michael Young regrets way he handled being asked to move to third. But the way DH move went down? "I wouldn’t change a damn thing," he said.— Jeff Wilson (@JeffWilson_FWST) December 10, 2012
Young also spent significant time praising Profar. Among quotes: "My kind of guy."— Or Moyal (@OrMoyal) December 10, 2012
Young, of course, netted 651 plate appearances last season, and the predominant -- and understandable -- line of thinking was that Young would still be in line for everyday playing time in 2013, given Ron Washington's fierce loyalty to him and the front office's reluctance to interfere in matters such as Washington's lineup construction. This, however, suggests that something significant happened during the aftermath of their late-season collapse, and that either Washington saw the light and consciously downscaled Young's projected 2013 role (which still seems a bit doubtful from my perspective), or that upper management swallowed hard and handed down an edict from above.
It's also possible that Washington and upper management bilaterally agreed on a significant cutback in Young's playing time being in the best interest of the team, which is what you should be hoping to be the case if you fear the notion of bad feelings developing between the dugout and the front office. Either way, though, I'm surprised -- and, frankly, a bit relieved -- to hear that Young actually was going to be slotted as a part-timer next season if he had remained in Texas.
I'm not surprised to hear that Young remains hacked off at Rangers management, though, or that he still resents the front office for their perceived role in triggering his 2011 blowup/trade request, or that he would have handled everything the exact same way if he could do it all over again. I'm also not surprised that Young gushed praise for his teammates (specifically, Elvis Andrus and Jurickson Profar), or that he genuinely appreciates his teammates, his manager, and the fan base for everything that they've given him. I believe he was being completely sincere with his words of appreciation and thanks (which is more than you can say for some pro athletes), and, frankly, I'm glad he took this opportunity to say goodbye in a way where he could directly connect with the fan base that unwaveringly cheered/hoped for him to perform at his best for more than a decade.
Peace out, Michael Young. It was a fun ride ... well, most of the time.