2013 in brief: Late-season acquisition made every single out in the playoffs. Every last one.
2014 status: Free agent, possibly headed to retirement.
I’d been so terrified of Michael Young coming to the Dodgers for so long that not only had I been referring to him as “future Dodger Michael Young” for some time, I’d been making posts regarding the rumors for years. No, really: back in 2009, I compared him to Blake DeWitt. In 2011, rumors popped up and I decided I didn’t prefer him to Casey Blake, posting on it twice. (I might have been wrong about that one.) By July of this year I joked that it was inevitable; and then of course on August 31, it was real. All too real.
Now I will say that part of my concern was that his overblown reputation would cause him to come in and immediate bounce the superior Juan Uribe from third base, hurting the Dodgers on both sides of the ball, but especially defense. To Don Mattingly‘s credit, that didn’t happen. Young started only five September games at third (along with five more at other infield spots) and not once in the playoffs, despite Steve Lyons spouting some garbage about how he was certain to. And since the bench obviously needed help and losing Rob Rasmussen was no big loss, you could at least see how the trade made sense.
But man, was Young brutal. Yes, he hit .314, though that only shows you how limited batting average is; since he walked only once and had three extra-base hits, that made him barely league-average in limited play with the Dodgers, and the lousy defense made him below replacement. In the playoffs, of course, he was horrible, collecting just one single in ten plate appearances and, in Game 1 of the NLCS, hitting into two double plays and putting up one of the worst playoff games of all time despite not entering until the eighth inning.
Young is a free agent, and he’s been rumored to retire, though nothing is yet certain. After years of worrying about his arrival and six weeks of watching it unfold just as we expected, I don’t think I can take any more.
Next! You think watching Young was painful? It’s Luis Cruz!