Waiting to see what’s next for Delmon Young
Tigers outfielder Delmon Young was released on $5,000 bond Friday evening after being arrested early Friday morning for allegedly assaulting a man in front of a New York City hotel.
Young was charged with aggravated harassment, a charge that could be escalated to a hate crime, a New York Police Department spokesman told MLB.com earlier Friday.
“We are aware of the situation; however, it is our club policy not to comment on pending legal matters,” the Tigers said in statement Friday afternoon. “As we understand it, this is an allegation and we need to allow the legal process to take its course. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time.”
His on-field situation remains uncertain. Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski was still working through matters Friday night, according to a team spokesperson, and was not available for comment after Friday’s loss to the Yankees.
The Tigers played a man short Friday night, though they didn’t run short on available players in the 7-6 loss. Though Young is now out of jail, the Tigers could look to make a roster move that would allow Young to focus on his situation while letting his teammates focus on baseball.
“Per a provision in the Major League Baseball Basic Agreement, any allegation that involves alcohol is referred to MLB’s Employee Assistance Program,” the Tigers said in their statement.
Major League Baseball spokesperson Pat Courtney confirmed that they’re following the situation.
“We are looking into it,” Courtney told MLB.com in an email. “As this is a current police matter, we cannot comment any further at this time.”
According to the NYPD, the incident began as a verbal dispute and turned physical. Officers got involved at 2:41 a.m. ET just outside of the Hilton hotel, where the Tigers are staying while they take on the Yankees this weekend.
Detective Joseph Cavitolo told the Detroit Free Press that it began with a group of four men and a panhandler wearing a yarmulke.
“They have a discussion and the panhandler leaves,” Cavitolo said.
Cavitolo told the Detroit Free Press that were there “some anti-Semitic remarks” made during the incident.
The victim, a 32-year-old male, suffered minor injuries and refused treatment. Young was taken to Roosevelt Hospital for treatment, reportedly to sober up, and was released to the police.
By itself, aggravated harassment is a misdemeanor. If it is deemed a hate crime, the district attorney could choose a more severe charge for Young, according to a police spokesman.
“Anti-semitism certainly has no place in the game, either on or off the field,” the Anti-Defamation League said in a statement. “We hope that Mr. Young will take the necessary steps to apologize and ensure that his alleged anti-Semitic words do not reverberate and do lasting harm.”
Young’s representatives released a statement on behalf of Young Friday evening.
“I sincerely regret what happened last night,” Young said in the statement. “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.”
Young’s attorney, Dan Ollen, said Young will make no further statements while the legal process is ongoing.
“Let me be clear, there are many false allegations regarding the actions of my client,” Ollen said in a statement, “and I am confident that the legal process will separate fact from fiction and discredit these reports.”
The Tigers arrived in New York on Thursday evening after being swept in a series against the Mariners in Detroit. Ground delays in Newark, where the Tigers were scheduled to land, delayed their flight for close to two hours, setting back their arrival until just before 10:30 p.m. ET.
What happened with Young during that time was not immediately clear.
Young, a top overall Draft pick of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2003, was suspended for 50 games by the team in 2006 after throwing a bat at an umpire and hitting him in the chest during a Minor League game. He had no known history of incidents with the Tigers since Detroit traded for him from Minnesota last August.
The Tigers have had to deal with their own off-field incidents involving other players in recent years. Miguel Cabrera missed the start of Spring Training in 2010 after being arrested on charges of driving under the influence in Florida. Cabrera pleaded no contest and did not have to serve jail time. Gerald Laird was arrested after the 2009 season after an incident at a Phoenix Suns.