Thursday, April 5, 2012

How it all works out

Baseball fans, please pop the name "Brien Taylor" into your personal Google and see if you remember this man.

In 1991, the Yankees, who suck, had the first pick in the major league draft, and they used it to hire Brien Taylor, 19, out of Beaufort, NC, to throw baseballs for them.  He was a great high-school pitcher, and scout after scout was sure that he would have an outstanding career after some seasoning in the minor leagues.

He had finished his second minor-league season and was seemingly bound for glory when, in December 1993, he got into a fight with the brother of a girl that his brother was dating.  And then, when Brien Taylor went to throw a haymaker at his opponent, he missed him, and the can't-miss prospect was standing there with a damaged left arm - the arm that he used to throw baseballs.  Medically, it would have been better for that punch to land.  As his left arm sailed through the night, connecting with nothing but air, a capsule and a labrum were torn, and the best orthopedic surgeons in the world could not put him together again, not, at least, well enough to throw baseballs at 99 mph anymore.

We've heard similar stories, and that business about Taylor was the last I heard about him, except for the inevitable release from the Yankees, who really do suck, and fruitless tryouts with the Mariners and Indians.

So it was a little sad this week to see that Brien Taylor, who still lives at home with his parents and works with his Dad as a mason, his dreams of glory long since faded into dust, has been involved in the drug trade, so authorities say.  You can see it here in the Jacksonville NC Daily News online. His apparent descent into crime was even bigger news down there than "Man Charged With Having Sex With Dog."

They don't even mention what he was supposed to make of his life.  That's the tough part - it isn't what you might do, or what you are given the talent to do.

It's what you do that counts.

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