Wednesday, February 24, 2010

DFW, We Have a Leader


For a particular story I am doing, I have been asking a number of Rangers about who their leader is.  I have asked Manager Ron Washington  and GM Jon Daniels who they look to when they need to impart a message to the team.   The unanimous answer, on all fronts, has been one man: Michael Young.

This shouldn't come as a shock or surprise; but I will tell you it's impressive.  He leads by example and does it vocally, as well.   Pitcher C.J. Wilson might have said it best: "He's made so many sacrifices for the team.  To keep his bat in the lineup and keep his different positions, win a gold glove at short, now he's playing 3rd.  He can win a gold glove there you know."

Young's willingness to do whatever it takes and ability to excel at each attempt isn't lost on his teammates.  "Everyone's going home and looking at himself in the mirror saying 'what can I do to push the team over the top?' Wilson added.

Why does that impress the hell out of me?  Because for years I have asked just about every key player on every pro team in Dallas who the leader on his team was.  EVERY, single player gave me a different answer or named a few guys.  Some players (dallas mavericks) named the owner (mark cuban)!  It's so refreshing to have a team that knows who that guy is.  What's even more refreshing is to have a guy who's willing to put himself on the line to do it.  Many players aren't brave enough to do that and for Young to do is a testament to his character. 

Almost More Impressed by the Peeps
While I've been busy dissing the autograph flies at spring training, I must give huge kudos to the fans.  They are a loyal bunch.  I have asked Rangers execs asked if the number of fans is lower than in years' past given the economic climate.  Overwhelmingly the answer is no.  Fan turnout is impressive for a team not named the Cowboys, Yankees or Packers.  There's something to be said for the loyal baseball fan.  Even more impressive is the loyal Rangers fan.  There have been some rough years in the Arlington.

BTW, my personal favorite, The Cookie Lady, is in Surprise with her husband.  I did a story with her years ago and received about two dozen cookies for my colleagues at the station.  Here's hoping we see some of her sweets in the next few days! ;)
2 comments on "DFW, We Have a Leader"
  1. It's so nice to hear teammates being complimentary about each other. I think CJ's recent PR snafu was mostly a result of being quoted out of context, and I'm glad his quotes here sound more like the loyalRanger CJ.

    I'm glad there's a unanimous team leader, for position players and pitchers. With all the ownership flux the Rangers are under, glad that some things are constant. Who organizes the pitchers, would you say? Is it Feldy? Is Rich Harden an outsider star who is only dipping his toes socially, so to speak?

    Also glad to hear the Rangers have their very own Cookie Lady braving a trip out to Arizona! Is she there for all of spring training, or just an early week? How did the tradition start, anyway?

    Thanks for your continuing coverage!

  2. Thanks for the comment! Scott Feldman is your guy when it comes to the pitchers. I asked him specifically about that and he said "I'm still a young guy!". I joked that winning 17 games kind of puts you in a position to be a a leader. He said yes. He's a little more reluctant to do so but I think the job falls on him. Washington said as much.

    Harden is just getting to know the team and the guys.


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