February 20th, 2007

Tigers on Dmitri

Dmitri Young’s comments that he was disappointed in the Tigers releasing him did not sit well with manager Jim Leyland.

"I like Dmitri Young very much. In my opinion,
and Dmitri or anybody else can hold me totally responsible, Dmitri Young was
not an asset to our ballclub on the field last year, and he also needed to take
care of some very important issues for the welfare of Dmitri Young. And you can
hold me totally responsible for the dismissal of Dmitri Young. Don’t put it on
the organization. Don’t put it on anybody else. I did not feel that Dmitri’s
performance on the field was an asset to this organization, and it broke my
heart. We wanted a left-handed hitter all year.

"Dmitri Young was a guy that I
was counting on. The part that upsets me is this guy missed a lot of the season
taking care of a problem that he created, not that the Tigers created. So [his
comments are] very disappointing to me. But don’t put it on Dave [Dombrowski]. Don’t
put it on the organization. Put it on Jim Leyland. And to this day, I hope that
Dmitri Young has got his life intact because he’s a good guy, and I like him
very much. But he had some issues that needed to be taken care of, and it was
best for Dmitri Young, if you want to know the truth."

On the issues behind releasing him: "It really wasn’t an issue. I just felt like,
‘You know what? It’s just not working.’ I’m not looking to have a bone to pick
with anybody, but I think — and I was only here one year — knowing what went
on last year, for Dmitri to criticize the organization for lack of support, I think
it’s totally out of line. And I’ll leave it that."

"I really like him. But if you want to know the truth,
it appears that Dmitri feels the organization disappointed him. And I’m sorry
he feels that way, but I feel like Dmitri disappointed us. It’s a non-issue.
He’s got a new lease on life and he’s on another club now and I wish him the
best. And I mean that sincerely. The fact of the matter is that if Dmitri Young
was the Dmitri Young we knew that could hit like Dmitri Young could, he was the
left-handed hitter we needed. It didn’t turn out that way."

From president/GM Dave Dombrowski: "I always have liked Dmitri and continue to do so.
I feel for him, because he went through a tough situation. But I couldn’t disagree
with him more. I think the organization was behind him strongly. We helped him
a great deal. And because of the personal nature of it, I can’t get into all of
that. I know myself, because I was personally involved with a lot of that, we were
very patient with him and gave him an opportunity. And unfortunately for him,
he didn’t perform, and that’s why we gave him his release. But also I think at
that point, it was probably the best thing for him from a personal perspective,
because he was struggling through a lot of things."