DETROIT – Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young was suspended by Major League Baseball for seven days without pay on Monday, following his arrest this past Friday outside of a hotel in Midtown Manhattan. Young is also accused of starting a drunken altercation with four men outside of the Hilton New York hotel, where he allegedly yelled anti-Semitic slurs at a panhandler.
“The commissioner’s statement, which speaks for the game and for everyone in this situation, says that those associated with our game should meet the responsibilities and standards that stem from our game’s stature as a social institution,” Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said, after the suspension was handed down. “An incident like this cannot and will not be tolerated. I understand that Mr. Young is regretful and it is my expectation that he will learn from this episode.”
The suspension is retroactive to last Friday, meaning that the earliest Young could return to the field is Friday evening, when the Tigers open a series against the Chicago White Sox at Comerica Park. Young did not play in any of Detroit’s three weekend games against the New York Yankees and underwent anger management and alcohol evaluation on Monday by a doctor appointed by MLB’s employee assistance program.
Young, in his first full season with the Tigers, was alleged to be “highly intoxicated” when he got into a heated argument with the four men on Sixth Ave. and East 54th Street in Manhattan around 2:40 a.m. on Friday. The New York Post reported that Young approached and yelled, “You bunch of f**kin’ Jews!” after seeing the four men give a Jewish panhandler $20.
He allegedly shoved Jason Shank, who was in town from Chicago visiting friends for a bachelor party, and caused minor injuries to his arm. Young, 26, had to go to a local hospital to sober up before being brought into custody around 11:15 a.m.
“Under Major League Baseball stipulations, there is no dual discipline,” Dombrowski said in regards to whether additional punishment will be levied. “Part of his program is that (Young) needs to do some things with himself per the counselor’s recommendations.”
Young was charged with third-degree assault and aggravated harassment, both misdemeanors, and released on $5,000 bail. The harassment charge was classified as a hate crime by the NYPD. Young, the No. 1 overall pick of the 2003 MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, has had a history of anger issues.
In April 2006, while playing for the Durham Bulls, Tampa’s Triple-A affiliate, Young was called out on strikes and ejected for refusing to leave the batter’s box. Young left the box, then turned and threw his bat at the umpire, hitting him in the chest. Young was eventually suspended 50 games without pay.
Young, who has a career .287 average with 72 career home runs, was traded to the Tigers from the Minnesota Twins on August 15, 2011 and made an immediate impact. He hit a home run in his first at bat with the team and hit five home runs for Detroit in the playoffs last year, including three against the Yankees in the American League Division Series.
“I sincerely regret what happened last night,” Young said in a statement on Friday night. “I apologize to everyone I affected, the Ilitch family, the Detroit Tigers’ organization, my teammates, my family and the great Tigers fans that have supported me since Day One.”
“I take this matter very seriously, and assure everyone that I will do everything I can to improve myself as a person and player.” After this weekend’s incident, Young worked out with the team and took batting practice on Monday.
It is unclear when he will return to the lineup after the suspension. Dombrowski said that manager Jim Leyland would make determination. “I haven’t seen (Delmon) face-to-face (since the incident),” Dombrowski said.
“It has been a very difficult time for him. He feels very remorseful and sorry for what took place. But I can’t really speak on this too much. I’ve been in my office dealing with phone calls about this.”
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