tampabay.com

Maddon: Why boo Young?

By MARC TOPKIN
Published September 1, 2006


CHICAGO - Manager Joe Maddon said he will be disappointed if Devil Rays fans boo controversial rookie Delmon Young tonight in his Tropicana Field debut.

"If he had just opened up there, I may have understood a little bit more, but based on what he's done the last three days, and he couldn't have handled himself any better as a professional and as a man, so I would like to see the people appreciate that aspect right now," Maddon said.

At the worst, Maddon said, he would expect fans to express their displeasure initially, then cheer when they see Young play, similar to the way they treated B.J. Upton upon his Aug. 1 arrival.

"I think (Young) has demonstrated - if there is such a term - proper remorse for what he's done, and I see him fitting in very well right now - and not just because he got a bunch of hits," Maddon said.

"I've been watching how he's been working among his teammates, and it's been a good thing. The fans may have to do what they have to do originally, but I think just like B.J., he'll win them over rather quickly."

Young was booed and heckled by Chicago fans throughout the three days, and though he would prefer cheers, he said, he wasn't concerned about the reception at home.

"It can't be any worse than here," he said.

"As long as my uniform says Major League Baseball, I'll take getting booed for the rest of my career. What happens outside the lines doesn't really matter. It's what happens between the lines. That's the only thing I care about."