Michael Young changes the music on the stereo in the Texas Rangers clubhouse in Surprise, Ariz., then takes the bat between practice swings and uses it like a guitar as he mimics the hard-rock riff.
A new first baseman’s mitt is among several different gloves in Young’s locker. There is a smile on his face while joking around with teammates.
Though the Rangers’ longest-tenured player and career hits leader requested a trade this offseason and is changing positions again, Young is “completely comfortable” in the clubhouse.
“This is my home away from home being with these guys,” Young said Monday. “I obviously have a lot of loyalty toward them, I know they have a lot of loyalty toward me. ... My place in the clubhouse has nothing to do with anything else.”
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Young, now the primary designated hitter and utility infielder for Texas, played first base in a game for the first time in a Cactus League game against Kansas City on Monday.
Using a mitt borrowed from Chris Davis instead of his new one still being broken in, Young had two fielding chances in his four innings. There was an unassisted putout on a grounder and he took a throw from second baseman Ian Kinsler on another grounder. At the plate, Young was 2-for-2 with a double and a triple.
Two-time Gold Glove winner Adrian Beltre was signed this winter to play third base, Young’s position the past two seasons after he had been a five-time All-Star shortstop.
The Rangers tried unsuccessfully to accommodate Young’s trade request.
When he reported to spring training, he told his teammates he wasn’t going to be a distraction as the American League champions prepared for the season.
General manager Jon Daniels, who has gotten inquiries from several teams about Young, has repeatedly said he will make a deal only if it makes the Rangers a better team.
“We’re ready to roll with the group we have,” Daniels said.
BECKETT HIT, MAY HAVE CONCUSSION
Red Sox right-hander Josh Beckett has mild concussion symptoms, according to the team, after he was hit in the back of the head Monday during batting practice in Fort Myers, Fla.
Beckett walked from the field on his own, with trainers at his side. But after being examined by a doctor, he was sent home to rest. The Red Sox expect an update on Beckett today.
Beckett was in the outfield when coaching staff assistant Ino Guerrero attempted to use a fungo bat to return a ball to the infield. Instead, the ball hit Beckett.
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright had Tommy John tendon reconstruction surgery on his right elbow and the team said he would be out 12-15 months. General manager John Mozeliak said the surgery went “very well.” ... Bryce Harper, the 18-year-old Nationals phenom, struck out twice and didn’t see any action in the field as Washington beat the Mets, 9-3, in their spring training opener in Port Lucie, Fla. But the top pick in last year’s amateur draft cleared a hurdle, saying, “I felt really comfortable out there.” ... Brewers All-Star right fielder Corey Hart is expected to be sidelined for two weeks with a strained lower abdominal muscle on his left side. Hart was hurt during throwing drills Saturday. ... Marlins outfielder Mike Stanton says he expects to miss about two weeks because of a strained right quadriceps. Stanton was hurt Sunday in Florida’s exhibition opener, pulling up while running out a ground ball. ... Carlos Beltran is moving to right field for the Mets, with Angel Pagan taking over in center. Beltran told Pagan and new manager Terry Collins that he wanted to make the switch because of decreased mobility following knee surgery on Jan. 13, 2010. ... Indians manager Manny Acta has chosen Fausto Carmona as his starter for Cleveland’s season opener against the Chicago White Sox on April 1. ... Harvey Dorfman, a pioneering sports psychologist known for his work with baseball players, died Monday at age 75. Dorfman died at his home, according to agent Scott Boras.