THE NEWBERG REPORT — SEPTEMBER 26, 2007
I’m at my desk at work, not in the yard, not in front of a TV. But I’ve got chills, courtesy of a little radio baseball.
Another 200-hit season is not the same thing as a September 26 game that could help determine whether you get to keep playing into October, and Michael Young will be the first tell you that, but it’s a testament to the consistency and, this year, the resilience of a player around whom a winner is going to be built here.
The process is underway, and while the groundswell effort this summer to create horizontal and vertical depth in prospects is going to be a big part of that, the March decision to lock Young up through 2013, by which time the best of those prospects will have arrived or been moved for impact veterans, is just as important.
If you’d have told me on May 3 that Young, who sat at .198 for the season, would reach 200 hits for the fifth straight year, I would have said you might want to consider tapping the brakes.
If back on May 3 you’d have told Michael Young the same thing, to his face, give yourself some credit: You pretty much locked those 200 hits up. Don’t ever tell him what he can’t do.
It’s cool that Young got those three hits today, to get to 200 in the season’s final home game. And while Young admits that 200 hits means something to him – because it’s evidence that he’s healthy enough to post up just about every day – the only significance he’ll place on the fact that it happened today will be that those three hits drove in two runs and led to him scoring three of his own, all contributing to what, for the moment, is a 16-2 Rangers lead.
Count on another 200-hit season for Michael Young in 2008. Here’s hoping that next year’s 200th hit, no matter what stadium it comes in, helps this team to a win that pushes Texas closer to the post-season appearance that its shortstop deserves, and soon enough that he will get.