Friday, March 13, 2009

Two Youngs

MLB Network ran a documentary about Dmitri and Delmon Young titled "We Are Young."  Two full hours of footage, interviews and insight into the brothers' ascent into professional baseball.  I was struck by their father's dedication to becoming their baseball coach--because this was a man who knew NOTHING about baseball when Dmitri first took an interest in it.  He immersed himself in baseball, and ultimately became an astute coach and motivator.

It was an interesting look at their years in youth baseball on up through the ranks, along with extensive interviews with mom, dad, and the boys themselves.  Two hours offers ample time to dig in to the story and develop it fully.

Of course, the show had to look at some of the troubles Dmitri and Delmon faced--Delmon's 50 game minor league suspension for throwing a bat, which hit an umpire.  Dmitri's battles with substance abuse, and domestic violence.  

I admit that when Dmitri was released in 2006, it was a shocker.  The situation was very strange.  Jim Leyland, who generally tells it like it is, stayed stubbornly with the lie that the release was performance-based.  I was left with a very bad taste in my mouth over the whole thing.  Yes, Dmitri had major issues, had some very self-created problems, and if they wanted to release him over personal problems, that's fine.  Just come out and say that.  Don't cling to the outlandish claim that it was strictly based on performance on the field.   

Dmitri was the one bright spot in several of those horrible, loss-infested seasons.  I'll always appreciate his contributions to the team.  I was happy to see him come back as the NL "Come Back Player of the Year" in 2007 with the Nats.

Seems his demons are not completely exorcised, however.  Dmitri came to camp very overweight in 2008, and the Nats were not pleased--understandably so.  Being that he's got diabetes, he really needs to keep his weight down.   Appearing in only 50 games, garnering 150 ABs, Dmitri  hit .280 with a .394 OBP and .400 SLG.  He's currently a non-roster invitee for the Nats.

I'm sure MLB Network will run and rerun the documentary ad nauseum, ad infinitum, so check it out.

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