Young wishes time with Mets went better

Young wishes time with Mets went better

NEW YORK -- Chris Young was likely the most popular man on the field as the Subway Series began on Friday at Yankee Stadium, with a succession of former Mets teammates making their way over during batting practice to offer the outfielder a handshake or a hug.

Young's time in Queens did not go as anticipated, leading to his release last August after batting .205 in 88 games, but he has found a new home in the Bronx. Young was not in Friday's lineup against right-hander Jacob deGrom, but he's batting a sizzling .357 with four homers and nine RBIs, playing a key role in the Yankees' early success.

While Young wouldn't mind delivering a few big hits this weekend, he insists that he harbors no ill will toward the Mets.

"I wish I had this fire burning within me to want to go and hit four homers today. I just want to go out and play my game," Young said. "That's simply all I want to do. If my card gets pulled tonight, I want to be able to stay within myself, and whether it's offensively or defensively, be able to come through with whatever opportunity I'm brought into."

Young was a frequent target for the boo-birds at Citi Field, but he has given Yankees fans plenty of reasons to cheer. Since joining the Yanks on Sept. 2, 20 of his 35 hits have gone for extra bases (13 doubles, seven homers), filling in nicely earlier this month when Carlos Beltran was sidelined because of an illness.

"He's given us a lot. Obviously, he's swung the bat extremely well, had clutch hits for us," manager Joe Girardi said. "He's played every outfield position, which I think is really important as well, because you can give guys a day off. In the absence of Carlos being sick, I thought he stepped up and did a really nice job. He's been important to our team."

Young said that on the afternoon that he was designated for assignment by the Mets, he recalls feeling disappointed in himself for not living up to his one-year, $7.25 million contract. He believes that a fresh start with the Yankees allowed him to clear the slate and begin playing up to expectations.

"It was a bad stretch. I should have played better," Young said. "I can own up to that, I'm accountable for my actions, I'm accountable for my struggles when I was there. As a player, it's never the way you draw it up, it's never the way you want things to go. You always want to play your best and you always want to produce. It didn't work out there for those couple hundred at-bats."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebookand read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.