Delmon Young will always be known in Birdland as the guy who hit the double that was, in all likelihood, the biggest hit in the history of Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The rest of the baseball world remembers him as a guy with problems who does very bad , racially-motivated things. He was back up to those tricks on Sunday night, with local Miami media reporting that Young was arrested after choking and threatening to kill a valet attendant.
That sounds pretty bad to begin with. It doesn't get much better when you read about the specifics, as did Miami's ABC 10 affiliate. It's a depressing story in a "Never meet your heroes" kind of way. If you're like me, you probably wanted to believe that Young had turned over a new leaf with his O's tenure, that he was no longer the guy who, when he was with the Tigers in 2012, was arrested after getting into a fight and yelling anti-Semitic epithets.
It's something similar in the present, it seems, as Young is alleged to have threatened the attendant by saying, "I'm gonna (expletive) kill you, you Latin piece of (expletive)." Young casually went back to his condo, and when police were called there, he reportedly answered the door naked from the waist down and appeared to be drunk. Young allegedly told one of the officers responding to his residence, "I'll slap you in the face with money, you (expletive) Cuban."
This side of Young never bubbled over publicly during his O's tenure. He was well-liked in the clubhouse, at least based on quotes from the time he was designated for assignment last July. That Baltimore Sun article even describes Young as having helped to mentor Jonathan Schoop during his first two O's seasons.
How is he the same guy who was popular in the clubhouse, capable of hitting clutch doubles in the postseason, and also so thoroughly unpleasant to do the things he is alleged to have done? I don't know. People are complicated and so is life. I want it not to be true, but I know better than to think that Young's year and a half with the O's could have so radically changed him. He is who he is and probably who he always has been.