CLEARWATER, Fla. — Michael Young was a man who thought he found a home and would spend forever there. On the day he was traded from Texas, his boss said, "If there were crying in baseball, I guess I'd cry."
Young entered the Phillies clubhouse for the first time Friday morning and saw familiarity. He high-fived Jaxon Lee, son of Cliff, a teammate for half a season. He hugged Jonathan Papelbon, with whom he played in the World Baseball Classic three years ago.
He settled in the corner of the room before TV cameras gravitated.
"I don't expect it to be difficult at all," Young said. "The fact that I came to the Phillies makes it easier, actually. It would be one thing if I went to a team that I knew would have a tough time to win or if it was a situation where I wasn’t familiar with the surroundings, but this isn't entirely different. I know a lot of the guys here. I knew the second I got to spring training I'd be able to hit the ground running."
Young cited that familiarity as a reason for waiving his no-trade clause and leaving home. Yes, he is still a Dallas Cowboys fan. Yes, he is excited for a new challenge.
Following the trade, he structured his workouts to involve more time at third base, a position he has not played regularly since 2010. Young craved stability in Texas and caused controversy when he resisted a position change.
It required a trade to find that stability after a career-worst .682 OPS. Young said he made his message clear to his new boss, Charlie Manuel.
"He's going to get effort from me every night," Young said. "As for as the way last year went and moving forward, nothing really exceeds my own expectations of my own standards. Those are the things I tend to focus on."
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