There is an old Latin phrase, In Vino Veritas, which strictly translated is, In Wine Truth. In looser translation, it is often seen as, In Wine (there is ) Truth. Either way, it pretty much means after a few drinks, an impaired person tends to speak the real truth of their soul.
Delmon Young gave fans and observers alike a first hand view of what might be a literal translation of that phrase. Young was arrested in New York close to 3 am in the morning when he ALLEGEDLY was not sober and had an altercation with a panhandler wearing a Yarmulke in which ALLEGED anti-Semitic remarks were made. Young was charged with aggravated harassment, but he could be further charged with hate crimes, though this is extremely doubtful in my opinion.
Young is just one of many professional athletes who had too much to drink and was out far later than he should have been on a game night and said something he shouldn’t have and since he is a professional athlete it was on Twitter and the Internet faster than you can blink. He of course issued the obligatory apology to the team, fans, baseball saying that he would improve himself. His lawyer of course says that there are many false charges against his client.
While jail time would be almost unthinkable in a case like this with a high profile athlete with lots of money and very slick lawyers, the Tigers have moved to place Young on the restricted list. He will be replaced on the roster by Danny Worth. The Tigers had little comment beyond the patent statements about such matters where the police, an arrest and alcohol are involved.
Baseball can little afford to have yet another image of bad behavior on its list. Steroids, alcohol related incidents, drug usage, none of these things help to rebuild baseball’s image in the public view. Baseball just recently celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, a milestone in Civil Rights history and then a player goes out and ALLEGEDLY uses an anti-Semitic slur and then tackles a man wearing a Yarmulke. Not exactly the image you want to portray to America and the world on top of all the other negative things coming out of the baseball world in the past few years.
Delmon Young will likely get the lightest punishment possible for this event. He will likely not be charged with anything remotely resembling a hate crime. MLB might move towards some punishment, however light it may be, in view of his alcohol intoxication. But the bigger picture will not be served in this. Anti-Semitic words and views will not be addressed. The civil rights of those involved won’t be front and center. Young will get his slap on the wrist and issue the obligatory and quite likely meaningless apologies and baseball will just move on into yet another arena of black eyes and stains on the game never to be removed.
It is how professional sports work in this country and some others as well. Despite the negatives and the bad behaviors and the outright criminals in some regards that populate the sports we fans spend our money on and put our hearts into, the games just go on. As long as your team is winning, the negatives just don’t matter….right? Sad but true.