With spring training now upon us, it’s hard not to get excited about the 2006 season. But if you’ll indulge me for a moment, I have to mention this bizarre article by Paul Hagen in today’s Daily News. It concerns Darren Daulton and his rebirth into the world of metaphysics. Not as much a philosopher as an unapologetic believer, Dutch now claims he understands the world in the 4th and 5th dimensions, while the rest of us mortals stop at the 3rd: "I see life in a different perspective than I used to, in a way that’s different from how most people see it." (I wish I was making this up because it only gets crazier, so please read on…)
It all started around the time Daulton was traded to from the Phillies to Florida for Billy McMillion. While playing for the Marlins one day at Wrigley, the epiphany hit him. "That was the first time I realized it," he said. "I remember coming out of the stadium and I started crying. [His wife] said, ‘What’s wrong? You just got the game-winning hit.’ And I said, ‘I didn’t hit that ball. Something happened, but it wasn’t me. The strange thing was I didn’t hit that ball. I never hit balls inside the third base line!" Well, if that’s not reason to question the meaning of life, I don’t know what is. Perhaps, Dutch just missed the post game chats with Nails and Jake where they reassured him that he was just as crazy as the rest of the lot.
But the metaphysical mindset didn’t end there. "It was 4 or 5 years [after that day in Wrigley Field] that I started seeing this other dimension," he said. "I saw [former Phillies manager] Lee Elia, my folks, my brother running on the beach. They were all much younger. But it was real." Now whether he was just drunk and watching Baywatch, we’ll never know, but this encounter prompted him to dig a little deeper and fine tune his new found capacity. Eventually he compiled his thoughts into a manuscript tentatively titled, "If They Only Knew." This of course was lifted from the popular John Kruk expression used to describe the locker room high jinx of the ’93 team. Besides outlining Daulton’s personal manifesto, the book intends to shed light on the secrets of the pyramids, which Dutch insists are strategically placed all over the galaxy. Funny, this seems eerily similar to the plot of Alien vs. Predator, which was loosely based on Mayan history…much like Daulton’s brain. He even goes as far as claiming the world will end on Dec. 21, 2012 (the last day recorded on the Mayan calendar).
Now to put this all in a bit of context, around the same time that Dutch started to develop his theories he increasingly had run ins with the law. Perhaps while in jail he used the study of metaphysics to pass the time. This, when combined with the unholy culture of prison life, may have somehow warped his fragile mind. Yet, he is relentless in his defense. "I’ve been thrown in jail five or six times," Daulton says. "Nicole thinks I’m crazy. She blames everything on drugs and drinking. But I don’t take drugs and I’m not a drunk. Nicole just doesn’t understand metaphysics."
Very few of us do, Dutch. I’ve dabbled a bit in a few philosophy departments, and somehow have yet to reach similar conclusions as those posited by Daulton. One of my roommates at Penn graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Philosophy and while a bit eccentric, never quite reached the level of insanity now offered by Darren Daulton. But hey, who knows, maybe Dutch is right and has a more developed brain than the rest of us. Still, until 12/21/12 rolls around, I’m just gonna assume he’s taken one too many fastballs off the mask.