Tigers OF Delmon Young reinstated after suspension
By NOAH TRISTER
DETROIT (AP) A week after being arrested and accused of yelling anti-Semitic epithets in New York, an apologetic Delmon Young is trying to make amends.
"I'm sorry to all the fans, the Tigers, my teammates and everybody out there, but I just want everyone to know that I am not anti-Semitic," the Detroit outfielder said. "I wasn't raised that way. I came from a good family and we weren't taught any of that."
Young spoke to reporters in the dugout before Friday night's game against the Chicago White Sox. He was reinstated earlier in the day from the restricted list following a seven-day suspension, but Young was not in the starting lineup. Manager Jim Leyland said he likely will use him at designated hitter over the weekend.
"I already talked to Delmon," Leyland said. "I certainly would never make light of a situation like that at any time - never. However, you do have to move on. ... Sometimes that rubs people wrong. You don't mean it that way, but the fact of the matter is Delmon Young, he's got to play and he's got to play good for us. And the personal situation is one that's taken care of by the proper authorities, and then you move on."
Young had been forced to sit out by Major League Baseball since police say he yelled anti-Semitic epithets during a late-night, drunken tussle before he was arrested at a New York hotel the morning of April 27.
Young said Friday he couldn't talk about anything "case related" but he says he's getting treatment in MLB's alcohol program.
"I put myself in a bad situation, and I have no one to blame but myself," Young said. "I hope that going through the treatment program will get all the help I need to come back and be a great teammate and a successful baseball player in the Tigers' organization."
Young was acquired by the Tigers in a trade last August, and the team avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $6,725,000, one-year deal with him in January.
But Young, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2003 amateur draft, appears to be at a crossroads in his career. He said Friday he's reached out to a Detroit-area rabbi and had a positive conversation - and his agent, Arn Tellem, released a statement.
"I have known Delmon for most of his life, and I can assure you that he is not anti-Semitic. He has a big heart and has always been exceedingly fair and broad-minded," Tellem said. "He acknowledged that he drank too much on the night of the incident, and that he put himself in a compromising situation."
Tellem is involved with the Jewish National Fund, the Peres Center and is an active supporter of the Jewish community in Israel and the United States.
This wasn't Young's first suspension. In 2006, he was given a 50-game ban by the International League for throwing a bat that hit a replacement umpire in the chest.
Young says alcohol is to blame for this latest incident - not any ill feelings toward members of any religion.
"I know for a fact that I wouldn't be sitting here talking in front of you guys if I didn't have too much to drink or if I just didn't go out and drink at all. I know that for a fact," Young said. "That's the toughest part - just being branded anything racist or a bigot, especially when that's not me."
According to Leyland, the Tigers arrived in New York at 10:30 p.m. the night before Young's arrest after their plane sat on the tarmac for 2 hours, 15 minutes in Detroit.
General manager Dave Dombrowski said Friday alcohol is served on the team plane, and although that policy is often reviewed, it would remain the same going forward. Dombrowski said Young's rehab process is handled not by the team but though the commissioner's office and the players' union.
"I will say from all of my experiences and exposure to Delmon Young, I have never felt that he is anti-Semetic. ... If we felt that he was - or any of our players - it would not be tolerated," Dombrowski said. "From an organization perspective, you support your employees, on the field, off the field, if you think they need support. You're in a position where you don't condone certain behaviors, and you let them know that, but you work with them."
Detroit cleared a roster spot by designating Brad Eldred for assignment after he hit .188 in five games.
Updated May 4, 2012