Back when baseball managers ruled with an iron fist, ballplayers were subject to curfews and bed-checks to keep them out of trouble while traveling on the road. But while we might live in more enlightened times today, Detroit Tigers outfielder Delmon Young is probably wishing he had subjected himself to just that sort of discipline — discipline that might have helped him avoid an altercation that could land him in jail.
According to multiple press reports, Young was standing outside the Hilton New York in Manhattan at around 1:30 a.m. this morning when a panhandler wearing a yarmulke and a Star of David approached a small group of tourists from Chicago. As the group approached the hotel, Young began to shout anti-Semitic slurs and started a fight with the tourists. Not long after, the police were called and Young was charged with aggravated harassment as a hate crime.
Young, the younger brother of former Tigers star Dmitri Young, is no stranger to trouble. He was suspended twice for altercations with umpires while playing in the minor leagues. In 2005, he received a three-game suspension for bumping an umpire while arguing balls and strikes in a Southern League game. The following year, he was suspended for 50 games after tossing a bat at an umpire who had called him out on strikes in an International League game. That suspension is the longest in the history of the 129-year-old minor league.
Eric McErlain blogs at Off Wing Opinion, a Forbes “Best of the Web” winner. In 2006 he wrote a “bloggers bill of rights” to help integrate bloggers into the Washington Capitals’ press box. Eric has also written for Deadspin, NBC Sports and the Sporting News, and covers sports television for The TV News. Follow Eric on Twitter.