Sunday, April 08, 2001

Young's gestures all in fun

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Dmitri Young just wants to have fun. That's why his home run celebrations last longer than the seventh-inning stretch and involve more players than a bench-clearing brawl.

        “It's all in fun,” he said. “It's not to try to show the other team up.”

        Young's antics include:

        • The two-handed, C-shaped point: He usually uses this after doubles and directs it at the Reds dugout. This year, he has added a little finger shake to it.

Dmitri Young points to Reds dugout after a 3-run double.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
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        • The wiggling-fingered medium-five: He has broken this out after home runs. Everyone in the dugout participates.

        • The red-seat toss: He used this Tuesday after making a catch to end a particularly long inning. He whirled and threw the ball into the left-field red seats — much to the delight of the few fans gathered there.

        • The saxophone: He does this when leading off first base. It looks like he's playing an invisible sax. He does it to relax. Vin Scully talked about it for an entire inning when the Reds played the Dodgers last year.

Young signals after a HR.
(Jeff Swinger photo)
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        Again, it's all done in fun.

        “That's what it's all about,” he said. “Some of these professional teams like the Atlanta Braves are so dull. Baseball is boring enough. We're trying to spice it up.”

        Teammate Sean Casey, another big celebrator, agrees.

        “You're out there trying to have fun,” Casey said. “When you do something good, it's such an adrenaline rush, you want to celebrate. It should be that way. If you don't have fun, it becomes a job.”

        Celebration is a team thing with the Reds.

        In 1999, it was “The Hop,” when the whole team would huddle in a tight circle around home plate and hop about to celebrate game-winning hits.

        Last year, it was the interlocking arm bump.

        This year, the wiggling-fingered medium-five probably will be a team thing.

        “We needed to revise it from 2000 to 2001,” Young said.

        Young developed it with consultation from a celebration expert.

        “He got that from Deion (Sanders),” Casey said. “It might catch on.”

        Before Deion, Young collaborated with former Red Jeffrey Hammonds, who was responsible for “The Hop.”

        “Jeffrey invented a lot of stuff,” Young said.

        But Young is getting a rep around the league.

        “Guys are saying, "I don't want to give up a double to Dmitri with all that stuff he does,' ” Young said. “Robert Person said that last year. Then I hit a double off him the next day.”


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