Draft Picks Should Examine Their Space

Many of us aren't really familiar with MySpace.com. It's a site geared primarily toward teen-agers and gives them an opportunity to share their thoughts, likes and dislikes with others their age. Unfortunately, they don't realize the damage it can do.

There is a definite dark side to MySpace.com. More than once the site has been mentioned in news stories about kids gone wrong. Judging by the news stories about the site, it would seem to be a home for troubled teens looking to expose themselves before they do something that we all regret. Actually, it's much more than that. There is nothing wrong with anyone - teens included - expressing themselves and having an outlet for that expression. It's one of those things that is basically a good idea, but it turns dark thanks to some of those truly troubled members of the site.

There's another side to it that many teens - and probably some adults - don't realize. Anytime that you put your thoughts out there, be prepared for the analyzing to begin. Especially if you find yourself in a high profile position, such as beind drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the MLB Draft.

A friend of mine brought Kyle Drabek's MySpace page to my attention. I checked it out, planning on seeing a lot of stuff about his baseball career and sure, some of the usual teen chit-chat about bands and of course, girls. It was a little shocking.

The first thing that caught my eye was a section relating songs that apply to Kyle Drabek. The song that most fits his life? Unwell by Matchbox 20. I don't claim to know the song, but it doesn't sound good. Still, maybe it's a tongue in cheek sort of comparison. Then there's the part that asks "What makes you hot?" Kyle's response? "How you do it". A little risque for an 18 year old. The section where friends put in comments for Kyle is a little disturbing. The "F" word is thrown around pretty liberally and one friend relates memories of "when me and you used to torture people."

One area of concern is where Kyle himself has filled in information relating to him. When asked if he smokes or drinks, he replies "no/yes". Having had one run in with police over public intoxication, that comment is especially disconcerting. It's not what anyone - fans, team officials, friends or family - would want to read.

We have to keep one thing in mind. This is an 18 year old kid. Yes, he's in a "grown up" situation, but he's still basically a kid. Let's not stick our heads in the sand either, 18 year olds throw around the F-Bomb as much as they do the work "hello". They also talk big. They make sexual inuendos that are many times just the product of one part imagination and two parts wanting to appear cool and save their reputation. Let's not jump to conclusions about Kyle Drabek's MySpace.com page or that of any other draft pick. (For the record, we looked up other Phillies picks and couldn't find pages that they had posted.)

Not all of the stuff on the page is bad. He's definitely a kid who is loved by his friends and he shows a caring attitude toward his friends. He's even posted an open apology to a friend that he apparently had a pretty ugly argument with. He talks about being in a serious relationship and shows a lot of caring for an 18 year old "jock". There is no doubt that there is a good, bright kid in there and it definitely comes across on his site. Unfortunately, the other stuff raises red flags that can be hard to ignore. After all, when it comes to something like teen drinking, there is more to consider than Kyle's future as a major leaguer.

The Phillies drafted a kid with a somewhat questionable background. The bad part of that is simple - it's a risk. The good part is that Kyle Drabek has an opportunity to show that kids can make stupid kid mistakes and it doesn't mean they're bad people. Still, perhaps now would be a good time for Kyle to remove his MySpace page or at least do some editing. It would go a long way toward disproving those stupid mistakes that kids make.

Oh, there's one thing that Kyle has wrong on his page. He lists his income as being in the $250,000 range. Good news Kyle; you stand to push that substantially higher.

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