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The Thing People Don’t Understand

Posted By Michael Baumann On April 30, 2013 @ 9:34 pm In Crabshurn Urly,Philadelphia Phillies,Potpourri | 13 Comments

Delmon Young made his Phillies debut today. Or maybe yesterday. I can’t be sure.

And he homered in his first at-bat. Bully for him, even though the Phillies were ground into a fine powder and dissolved in the collective tea of the Cleveland Indians. But that’s really neither here nor there.

Because in advance of Tuesday’s game, Phillies assistant GM Scott Proefrock had this, among other things, to say about Young.

The thing people don’t understand about Delmon, in my opinion, he’s a baseball player.

I realize that Proefrock was in the middle of making a point that, in the larger context, makes sense. Click that link and read through Matt Gelb’s piece and you’ll find a paragraph that, while not particularly eloquently cast, does seem reasonable. And let’s face it, coming up with the perfect incisive turn of phrase isn’t Proefrock’s job, and he’d probably be a lot better at my job than I would be at his, so I’ll cut him some slack.

Or at least, I would if there wasn’t so much potential in that sentence. What did Proefrock really mean?

Delmon Young Will Find A Way To Win
This is probably what Proefrock meant. That, by some combination of Disney Sports Movie Normative Evaluation and if-wishing-made-it-so, Delmon Young will become a capable baseball player for the first time in nearly a decade if we tell ourselves he is and nobody bothers to do anything rash, like, you know, check for empirical evidence.

Delmon Young is Not Zach Parise
Reporter: “The Minnesota Wild signed Zach Parise as a free agent last offseason, but the Phillies only got Delmon Young. Why is that?”
Proefrock: “….”
Reporter: “Was it contract length? Cost? Are the Phillies set on the power play?”
Proefrock: “Isn’t Zach Parise a hockey player?”
Reporter: “Sure. But people don’t understand why Zach Parise isn’t a better option than Delmon Young.”
Proefrock: “The thing people don’t understand about Delmon, in my opinion, he’s a baseball player.”

A Man is what He Does
Proefrock: “I know Delmon Young is a baseball player.”
Socrates: “How do you know this?”
Proefrock: “I’ve seen him play baseball. My employer has just hired him to play baseball.”
Socrates: “But is he playing baseball now?”
Proefrock: “Not to my knowledge.”
Socrates: “What, then, makes you say that Delmon Young is still a baseball player? I’ve seen that poor bastard try to play the outfield–what’s to say he won’t take up painting or somesuch? Maybe he’ll give up sports altogether and put us out of his misery. Will he be a baseball player then?”
Proefrock: “I think that once on is a baseball player, one is always a baseball player.”
Socrates: “Does a man’s work make the man? Even when he’s left the profession?”
Proefrock: “I believe so.”
Socrates: “Will people understand this?”
Proefrock: “The thing people don’t understand about Delmon, in my opinion, he’s a baseball player.”

Delmon Young Is Not a Starship
Ruben Amaro: “Why’d you ask me to sign the ship from Starship Troopers?
Scott Proefrock: “That’s not Delmon Young. That’s the Rodger Young.”
Amaro: “I could have sworn that was Delmon.”
Proefrock: “It’s not.”
Amaro: “But I thought Delmon Young was a starship.”
Proefrock: “The thing people don’t understand about Delmon, in my opinion, he’s a baseball player.”

Scott Proefrock is Living in the Big Island Scenes from Cloud Atlas and Thinks Ruben Amaro is Old Georgie
Proefrock: “Who tripped the Fall, if not Old Georgie?”
Meronym: “True-true? The Old Uns.”
Proefrock: “That’s just a rope o’smoke. Old Uns got the Smart. They mastered sick and seeds, they make miracles and fly across the sky.”
Meronym: “True. All true. But they got somethin’ else. A hunger in their hearts, a hunger that’s stronger than all their Smart.”
Proefrock: “Hunger? For what?”
Meronym: “A hunger for more.”
Proefrock: “The thing people don’t understand about Delmon, in my opinion, he’s a baseball player.”

 


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