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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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2007 MLB Preview
Dad: Bat toss taught Delmon self-control
By MARC TOPKIN
Published April 1, 2007
Teammates, baseball fans and Devil Rays officials weren't the only ones stunned when Delmon Young threw his bat at an umpire after being called out on strikes in a Triple-A game last April.
"I was listening to the game over the Internet and when it happened, I said, 'Oh, crap,' " said Larry Young, Delmon's father. "I was totally shocked. He called me right away. He told me he wasn't trying to do it.
"I think ... at that point he was really frustrated by what was going on, and he was trying to be an a--. He was trying to be a jerk. He was going to throw his helmet, throw his bat and walk off the field. I don't think for a moment he was trying to hit the guy. He was just trying to be an a-- and show up the umpire."
Delmon, who received a 50-game suspension, said he learned from the experience, and Larry Young said that as bad as the situation was "a lot of good came out of it," because the lesson was a valid one.
"You can't let other people control your emotions, and you have to think before you react," he said.
Larry Young equated the incident to a situation when he was driving on the interstate with a young Delmon and was being harassed by another driver who wanted him to go faster.
"I've got this Rabbit diesel, with almost 200,000 miles on it, wide open and it's blowing black smoke and this guy comes up behind me and he's honking his horn for me to get out of the way," Young said. "I'm trying to move over so he can have the left lane and he's honking and flipping me off. ... I'm not doing anything, and I'm telling Delmon not to look over.
"He could have had a gun. That one second of indiscretion could change my whole life. You don't let anyone control your emotions because that could make you do something you'd regret your whole life."