MIAMI -- Third baseman Michael Young now owns the Rangers' record for most hits in a career. He is clear about what's next on his list of personal achievements.
"I'm just thinking about winning," Young said. "That's what's good about this team. We all have one goal and we share that same goal. This is my 10th year, and all I'm thinking about is winning."
Young, who had a double and a single in the Rangers' 6-3 win over the Marlins on Wednesday to pass Ivan Rodriguez with 1,748 hits, cracked the Texas lineup permanently in 2001, but the team hasn't been in the playoffs since 1999. The Rangers did enter Thursday's game with the Marlins holding a two-game lead over the Angels in the American League West.
"This team is doing what it set out to do, and that's keep getting better," Young said. "We're better now than we were in May and we were better in May than we were in April. I like the direction we're headed.
"The offense has become more consistent, our starting pitchers are battling, the bullpen has been doing a great job and I think we've tightened up our defense. We just need to make sure we get consistent effort from everybody, 1-25 [on the roster]."
The Rangers still have areas they would like to address before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. At one point, catching was a concern. That has faded into the background as the Rangers have been satisfied with the work of Matt Treanor and Max Ramirez.
Starting pitching appears to be Texas' biggest concern right now, but the Rangers are also looking for a right-handed hitter off the bench who can play first and third.
"I'm sure the front office has some ideas," Young said. "That's their job, to figure things out. My job is to do what I can to help my teammates win. I like our team and I'm open to improvements. Our team made the goal to keep getting better and not let anybody out-work us or out-hustle us. In that sense, I like the direction we're headed."