tampabay.com

Young's agent, mom accuse Rays of lying

By MARC TOPKIN, DAVE SCHEIBER
Published September 16, 2005


ST. PETERSBURG - The Devil Rays can only hope Delmon Young causes as big a stir when he gets to the majors as he did this week for not getting promoted.

Monday, Young made headlines when he blasted the Rays and said they were "cheap" for not calling him up and inconsiderate for not informing him of their plans.

Now his mother, Vernell, and agent, Arn Tellem, claim team officials lied about the circumstances and were unprofessional in their dealings.

Their point of contention is whether the Rays told Young he was not being called up. General manager Chuck LaMar and player personnel director Cam Bonifay said they did, which LaMar reiterated Thursday.

But Bonnie Young said Wednesday after seeing LaMar's initial comments on TV, "they never talked about that subject" and "For Chuck LaMar to do that, I was just dumbfounded."

Thursday, Tellem e-mailed a statement to sportswriters saying he was "surprised and troubled" by LaMar's comments.

"In one comment he says he should have handled the situation better, and in the same breath he makes up stories about phantom meetings that the Devil Rays had with Delmon and his family," Tellem said.

"The facts are as follows. There was never a meeting with Delmon and his family, and no one communicated a thing to Delmon or to me about why the best player in minor league baseball was not called up in September when over a hundred others were called up around the league. The lack of communication is mind-boggling, unprofessional and something I have never experienced in my 25 years in this business."

LaMar responded with a statement saying the Rays sent Bonifay to Durham at the end of the Triple-A season "with the intent to answer any question from any player concerning September call-ups, winter ball and any other pertinent issues."

"I know Delmon Young was one of the players he spoke to concerning these matters. As I have said, the organization made the decision not to call up Delmon because we felt it was the best thing for his overall development."

Delmon Young's initial comments were met with criticism by current Rays players. Thursday, in his own e-mailed statement, he claimed his remarks, made on a conference call, were "twisted" and he did not mean any disrespect toward the current Rays.

"My frustration has been made worse by the lack of communication from the team about my situation," Young said. "That is the entire story. I never intended any lack of respect to the Devil Ray players. And however the team chooses to handle my situation, my commitment to work as hard as I can to be the best player I can be remains unaffected."

CANTU OUT: Top RBI man Jorge Cantu hopes to return to the lineup tonight or Saturday, thankful his left elbow was only bruised and not broken after being hit by a pitch Wednesday.

"There's nothing serious," he said. "It's just pretty swollen and pretty sore. It got the nerve."

Cantu feared worse because his arm and hand went numb and he didn't regain feeling until around 4 a.m.

CROWD CONTROL: The Rays, already last in attendance, drew only a combined 46,835 for three Yankees games.

Manager Lou Piniella offered a simple solution: Win more.

"Once you play meaningful games in September on your side you'll find out what kind of baseball market you have," he said.

MISCELLANY: The Rays were swept for the 14th time. ... The Yankees' six-run sixth was their fourth inning of five or more runs in the series. ... Jonny Gomessnapped a 44-at-bat drought to become the 11th rookie since 2000 to hit 20 homers. ... The Rays allowed their 10th grand slam, most since the 2003 Angels did the same. ... Tino Martinezreturned after missing 12 games.