DALLAS -- Texas Rangers general managing partner and CEO Chuck Greenberg was all smiles Wednesday evening as he dished on the day's free-agent signing of third baseman Adrian Beltre. Greenberg also was quick to tip his cap to Texas Rangers captain Michael Young, whose willingness to abandon third for the role of designated hitter and "super" utility player made the signing easy.
"He came to us and was adamant about how strongly he felt about staying with the Rangers and being a part of our collective success and embracing whatever role he could in that journey," Greenberg said. "I'm sure if he had his druthers he would be at third base every day, but you can't say enough about his professionalism and his willingness to put the organization first. Because at the end of the day we all have a singular goal and commitment, and that's to win. The fact that he felt so strongly about being a part of that says a great deal about Michael and a great deal about his belief about the path that we're on."
Greenberg is participating on a five-member panel that includes Eddie Gossage, Bill Lively and Mark Cuban as part of the National Sports Marketing Network's North Texas Chapter's inaugural event. The area's sports leaders gathered with area mayors and sports marketing professional to discuss the state of sports business in D/FW in terms of the economics and growth of the region. Greenberg took time to talk baseball prior to the panel discussion.
Young moved from second base to shortstop earlier in his career to make way for Alfonso Soriano, who refused to play the outfield. Young then transferred from shortstop to third base to make room for phenom Elvis Andrus. And now Young is moving again. But this time he's been asked to give up playing the field on an everyday basis.
He's been given assurances that he'll see action at all the infield positions, which could include first base, and that he'll get his typical number of at-bats during the season.
The question really becomes if Rangers manager Ron Washington will truly be able to keep Young active enough in the field to keep him from becoming bored as a designated hitter when Young believes he can still contribute much more.
"The reality is it gives Wash so many different options and ways to approach the lineup," Greenberg said. "One hundred sixty-two games is a long season and you pencil everything in emerging from spring training and there are always surprises thrown your way. Inevitably there will be things that you don't hope for and you don't count on. This gives us so many different ways to deal with it. There will be plenty of at-bats and plenty of opportunities in the field for everybody. That's just the nature of the game."