Found May 04, 2012 on
Fox Sports Detroit:
DETROIT --- Delmon Young was back in uniform Friday night, a week after being arrested in New York for an alleged hate crime.
He's hoping that will be the next step in regaining some normality in his life.
Young came off baseball's restricted list at the end of his seven-day suspension, and met with the media before Detroit's game against Chicago. He started the press conference with an apology to the fans, his teammates, the Tigers organization and "anyone that I hurt with my actions."
Young then revealed that he has begun an MLB-supervised treatment for alcohol issues.
"I know for a fact that I wouldn't be here talking to you guys if I hadn't had too much to drink, or if I just didn't go out to drink at all," he said. "Without the alcohol, none of this would have happened, so that's what I need to work on."
On the advice of his attorney, Young did not discuss the particulars of his early morning arrest. He is accused of making anti-Semitic remarks to a panhandler and then getting into a physical altercation with a bystander.
While he wasn't able to discuss the allegations of the remarks, he did spend a great deal of the press conference discussing the general perception of him as an anti-Semite.
"That has been the toughest part of all of this," he said. "I'm being branded as a racist and a bigot, and that's not me. I grew up in a very diverse area and I was raised to always respect everyone around me."
To try to fight that perception, Young spoke earlier this week to Rabbi Joshua Bennett of Temple Israel in West Bloomfield, and plans to work with him in the near future.
"I think that was a very important step for Delmon," Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said Friday. "I have known Delmon for quite some time, and I have never felt that he is anti-Semitic. If we did feel that he was, this situation would have been handled quite differently, because that is not something we would ever tolerate from a member of our organization."
Dmitri Young, Delmon's older brother, said earlier in the week that he felt partly responsible because of his own substance-abuse problems during his career, but Delmon dismissed that on Friday.
"These were my actions -- you are your own person, and you make your own decisions," Delmon said. "What Dmitri did in his life and career doesn't control my life or my decisions."
Young wasn't in the starting lineup Friday, but Jim Leyland said that he expects to use him as the designated hitter on Saturday and Sunday.
"I would never make light of this situation, but we have to move on," Leyland said. "Delmon Young is coming back as a Detroit Tigers player, and we need him to play well."
Young, though, knows it will be a while until his performance on the field will be people's main focus.
"I have no one to blame but myself, because I put myself in bad situation," he said. "Now I've got to go out there and show that what has transpired and what has been said about me is not me.
"It's going to be up to me to give them the opportunity to show forgiveness."
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