When I organized this series of posts, little did I realize that the featured player on the second card would make such a news splash the same day that I intended to write about him. Oh, Delmon.
Young, who was second in the 2007 American League Rookie of the Year voting behind Dustin Pedroia, was dealt by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to the Twins in an off-season three-fer. Along with Brendan Harris and Jason Pridie, Delmon was swapped for eventual Rays MVP Jason Bartlett, star pitcher Matt Garza and, as Paul Allen would put it, something called Eduardo Morlan. Before Young ever stepped foot onto a Major League diamond, he had earned himself a reputation as a hot head. He received multiple suspensions for aggressive behavior, including one well documented incident in which he threw his bat at an upmire.
While with the Twins, Delmon enjoyed the most successful season of his career to date. In 2010, he logged career high season totals with 46 doubles, 21 home runs and 112 runs batted in while finishing 10th in MVP balloting. Delmon often had a habit of swinging and missing the first pitch of many at-bats during his 3 1/2 year tenure with Minnesota. He had also been labeled by Twins fans as a very unmotivated player, seemingly only trying to succeed if his team was playing well and playing with very little effort when his team was performing poorly.
When it appeared that the Twins could not compete in 2011, Delmon Young was unloaded to the Detroit Tigers for next to nothing. Minnesota snatched from the Tigers two below average minor league pitchers in Cole Nelson and Lester Oliveros. The Tigers played the Twins the night that Young was traded over. Delmon went yard on his old team that night during his very first at-bat with Detroit. From April 1 through August 14 of 2011, Delmon hit only 4 home runs with the beleaguered Twins. However, with playoff-bound Detroit, Young seemed to find purpose and belted 8 dingers from August 15 through September 28 of that same year and added 5 more in the playoffs.
So far this year, Young has remained fairly quiet on the diamond–batting just .242 while blasting only one home run.
Earlier this morning, Friday April 27 2012, Delmon Young was arrested in New York City on charges of third-degree assault described as an aggravated harassment hate crime. Young is accused of allegedly shouting anti-Semitic slurs and engaging in a physical altercation with a group of tourists which reportedly left one man with minor injuries.
When Young was traded to Minnesota, I was ecstatic. My opinion of him, however, changed drastically over the few short years that he wore a “TC” cap. He was at one point my wife The Over-thinker’s favorite player. While she still holds out hope for him, her support of Young has quickly and decidedly dwindled. My wife and I were at Miller Park in 2011 when Young injured himself while lazily dogging it after a fly ball which turned into an inside-the-park home run. This is the ONLY time I have ever been publicly upset with a player on one of my favorite teams. Not that I wished him harm, I had just become tired of his uninspired play and his poor attitude. Hopefully he can learn to correct his temper because he has all of the potential in the world to be a future Hall of Famer. Until then, though, someone needs to tell him about himself!