At one point, Dom Brown was the next big thing. Arriving in Philly as a thunderous, multi-tooled prospect, he started things off with an RBI double and then on out, we reasonably expected him to retain his 1.000 batting average through the tenure of his career.
The pressures of such expectations got to him, as well as a mangled attempt by management to change his awkward batting stance and keeping him on a ML roster where he saw zero playing time, and eventually, something in Dom exploded. He became a warped version of his former self, not only unable to perform as a Major Leaguer, but as a person. He was dropping minor league fly balls and getting booed by crowds he’d grown up with. And sadly, a lot of us turned away from the mess to focus on the excitement of the 2011 playoffs!
But had any of us bothered to check in with Dom in recent months, we’d be a little more aware of what the fella is up to. We assume he lives under the bleachers at Coca-Cola Park, eating scraps of meat and earning a little extra cash for batting cage sessions by getting all the pig-themed mascot costumes dry cleaned on Tuesdays.
No, instead, he is in the middle of a white hot offensive streak, and he is also very, very angry.
A vicious seed has sprouted in his very core, and, culminating in a vocal, intense, benches-clearing statement to the Gwinnett Braves a few nights ago, Dom Brown seems to be channeling that anger into having a lot of fun playing left field. Which isn’t something head cases say.
So now everybody’s talking again, about the kid with the bat and long balls and the hopes they used to have for him. And maybe, when the next Phillie inevitably goes down, maybe this floundering offense will see that it’s not so productive that inserting Dom Brown will hurt anything.
When Hunter Pence threw himself into the outfield wall last night, Dom looked up from his meat scraps and sniffed the air. Was that… blood? Outfielder blood?
No. He was fine and he stayed in the game. But soon. Soon, that chance will arrive.
And when it does, you better pack that anger, son. You’re gonna need it.