Tuesday, May 1, 2012
Regarding Delmon Young
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.