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An article defending Michael Young's defense

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T.R. Sullivan has an article up, defending Michael Young against criticisms of his defense, that includes some quotes from management-types, and from Young himself, making it clear he doesn't want to change positions:

A quicker first step will help with Young's range. That's been the one part of his defense that has come under the most scrutiny, and he is not oblivious to the debate.

"I think it's funny because everybody wants Ozzie Smith range," Young said. "I want people to show me a guy that has turbo range like that. I'm happy with that part of my game. I don't have anything to prove to anybody except me and my teammates. I get to balls. I think it's funny people tend to nitpick over small things."

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Young also knows there is debate about his future at shortstop. There has been speculation that he may have to switch positions at some point, especially when Double-A Frisco shortstop Elvus Andrus is ready. But Young is quite clear with his feelings about a possible position switch.

"Not anytime soon I'm not," Young said, who admits to strong feelings and stubbornness about the subject. "Because I've had to defend my defense so much, I feel I've had to develop a certain amount of stubbornness. But I don't see that change taking place anytime soon."

Washington said switching Young to another position has not been discussed. Washington said he sees Andrus at Triple-A Oklahoma next year.

General manager Jon Daniels said: "Michael Young is our shortstop. His track record speaks for itself."

Washington said Young's range could improve with better positioning. Right now, Young plays what Washington calls a "straight-up shortstop." When he learns to shade hitters in the right situations, Washington said his range will get better.

There's also this interesting tidbit:

it must also be pointed out that the infield at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas, is possibly the fastest in the game.

The grass is kept extremely short, and the heat and wind bake the infield dirt into a rock-hard surface. Ground balls zip through that infield, which doesn't hurt an explosive offense, but doesn't help defensive players.

"It's very fast," Washington said.

One has to wonder why, if you have a pitch to contact, groundball staff, you wouldn't do everything in your power to make the infield as slow as possible, to reduce the hard grounders that make it through, since you (one would figure) will give up more of those balls than you would hit, given the makeup of your staff.