Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Regarding Delmon Young

Let’s review.

Delmon Young allegedly got drunk late last week, made an anti-Jewish slur, and got into a physical altercation with someone over it all. He claims that some of this is false, yet we do not know exactly what.

Justin Verlander said the following about it. "I got his back. I wasn't there, so I can't hold judgment on the other stuff. Until I have some facts, of course I'm taking my teammate's side."

Many fans and media members, however, are not sharing Verlander’s views. In today’s short-attention span world of gotcha journalism, you’re guilty until proven innocent…and oftentimes just guilty because we’ve already moved on to the next story before getting the facts. I’ve seen several people calling for Delmon’s release. Many talk about him needing to seek help and get his life together. Others are insinuating the Tigers breed this kind of environment due to Miguel Cabrera’s past problems.

Personally, I just don’t support any of those reactions.

Let’s pretend everything’s true. Delmon got loaded, started yelling about, alleged quote “fucking Jews”, and got into a scuffle over it. What does that information tell us? It tells us that Delmon Young is an ignorant prick.

Why does this matter to us? Why do we insist our athletes somehow be better than the rest of mankind? I don’t understand.

Don’t get me wrong. Whether you’re Jewish or not, I don’t expect anyone to like Delmon Young as a person anymore over this situation, if true. I know I like him a lot less for it. But are his ignorant actions enough for him to lose his job? They shouldn’t be.

As I’ve said countless times on here, I work in a bar environment. Every day I see people drink too much. And sadly, nearly every day I hear ignorant comments about blacks, Jews, the president, gays, the athletes on the TVs behind me, other customers in the restaurant, etc. Even though we are in the most PC time in human history, there are still a lot of racist/homophobic/whatever folks out there. You can’t change the way everyone thinks. As someone with a Polish last name, if I got upset every time I heard a Polack joke, I’d be in a mental hospital trying to figure out how many of my people it takes to change a lightbulb.

And as Delmon has shown us, it’s not just redneck white people that say/do stupid things. It’s black people, too. It’s Hispanic folks. It’s both men and women. It’s even policemen. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen cops drive drunk and/or make hateful remarks at the bar about groups of people.

My point is, humans are a flawed race and each person has their personal demons and beliefs, no matter how deplorable they may be. Why do we care so much what an athlete thinks? I know I don’t. I couldn’t care less if Delmon Young likes me, or Jewish people, or puppy dogs. All I care about is if he can help my baseball team. Does that make me a bad person? I just don’t look to my team’s left fielder to be my guide for personal beliefs.

Imagine a banker. Or a construction worker. Or a nurse. Or a busboy from Olive Garden. They go out, have too much to drink, and get into a fight over a stupid remark they made. Would their employers be dealing with a decision to fire or suspend them? Would their employer even find out? Highly unlikely. Why are athletes held to a higher regard when it has nothing to do with their job performance?

As for Delmon needing help, that’s his business, not mine. I don’t care, I’m sorry. Sure, it would be nice if every athlete was a nice guy like the recently departed Brandon Inge, but the reality of life tells us that’s not going to be the case. I only want the guy to learn to take a pitch, hit the occasional homer, and not turn every fly ball into a circus routine. He can be the biggest jerk on the planet as far as I’m concerned, as long as he hits. .270, 20, 85, and catches the ball.

We all remember Mel Gibson's famous drunken episode that ended him labeled as the world's biggest anti-Semite. After all that, I tend to think that Mel and I wouldn't be friends if we hung out with each other. But it doesn't change the fact that I love the hell out of "Braveheart" and "Ransom". How I personally feel about Gibson and how I view his movies have nothing to do with each other. I feel the same holds true with Delmon Young.

And for those trying to put blame on the Tigers, you’re more ignorant than even Delmon could ever be. The Tigers obviously do not encourage bad behavior. That’s just a ridiculous statement made by people trying to get attention and I’m not going to give into it. Quit trying to turn a player’s mistake into your personal gain at your newspaper/website. These are grown men. The Tigers are not and should not be responsible for babysitting them on their off time.

Look, I’m personally not a fan of Delmon Young. I hate his defense. I can’t stand his lack of plate discipline. It annoys me that he scoffed at being the DH. I could care less if he’s still a Tiger at the end of this week/month/year. But if we don’t have a better option on the field, then I’m going to support him. On the field.

The man got drunk and said something stupid leading to a mini-brawl. Yeah, he's a moron and should be ashamed of himself. But I could care less. The personal beliefs of a baseball player have zero effect on my life.

And the same should be said of all of us. Fuck Delmon Young. But I hope he helps the team like he did in the playoffs last year. That's all I care about in regards to him or any of the Tigers. Anything else is just pointless.


Jbeckman said...

And let's not even getting into the other stupidity here - getting into a fight is a misdemeanor, but saying a naughty word is a felony (hate crime). WTF? Isn't assaulting someone more serious?

As you noted above, people do stupid things. When they're drunk, they do *extra* stupid thins. Why does everyone need to be fired if they screw up? There are no other penalties available anymore? 

Jay Hathaway said...


H2OPoloPunk said...

As a Jew, I also could not care less if he made an anti-Semitic comment during a fight; I know most of the world hates us and I'm pretty callous to it anymore. Hell, I make anti-Semitic comments when I'm in a drunken brawl. Like you said, all I want out of an athlete is for them to perform on the field. The mighty sage Charles Barkley once said, "I am not a role model." That really should apply to all athletes. 

ChaunceyD said...

As a former prosecutor and current criminal defense attorney, I can tell you that the moment someone famous gets "in trouble", everyone involved ups the ante.  From the prosecutor's office to the judge to the public, perceptions change.  What is a rouiine case for a Joe Plumber gets extra attention. The prosecutor wants to look tough, the judge wants to look competent, and no one wants to look like the famous person is getting preferential treatment.  So, just because of the defendant, everything that is supposed to hold true in our judicial system gets thrown out of whack.

Just part of the price of being famous.  Delmon knew that when he signed his first contract, or should have known. 

I DON'T THINK ITS RIGHT OR FAIR.  It is what it is.

Mike Kole said...

Great summary Nate. Couldn't have said it better, well maybe I could, but no one reads my blog.
Nice Job

Paul said...

I'm Jewish, and I agree with you.
The juxtaposition between the departed great guy/no hit Inge and the stupid shit/sometimes hit Young is interesting.  It proves that off the field activities really don't matter.  If Young had Inge's stats, he would be cut.  That's all that matters.
The larger issue is one of personal responsibility.  A player who can't control their drinking and actions the night before a game - whether Young or Cabrera - has to make the Tigers concerned.  Once a screw-up, always a screw-up.  But hitting 20-30 home runs is one big hall pass.

Lori said...

Awesome.  Agree 100%.  Very well said.

Phil Coke's Brain said...

You forgot "What Women Want"

Dan Bacon said...

What? Who cares about Delmon, Inge was hitting 2nd in Oakland last night, thats a way bigger story, thats worse then Don Kelly hitting for plate protection behind cabby.

Justin W said...

if i were to write an article on my feelings for the topic...i would just plagiarize this.  suits me well.

Bo130 said...

Rogo you're right.  However, one thing that you didn't really bring attention to is the fact that if Delmon commits a crime, he can't play.  And that his off-field behavior can potentially become a contributor to a toxic environment in the clubhouse.

B Ward said...

Well put RoGo. My personaly favorite was " I only want the guy to learn to take a pitch, hit the occasional homer, and not turn every fly ball into a circus routine." I lol'd alot.