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Leyland fires back at Dmitri Young

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Detroit manager Jim Leyland fired back at
former Tiger Dmitri Young on Tuesday, saying Young was "totally
out of line" for accusing the team of unfairly cutting ties with
him last season.

"I'm not looking to have a bone to pick with anybody, but
knowing what went on last year, for Dmitri to criticize the
organization for lack of support I think is totally out of line,"
Leyland said.

Young hit .250 with seven home runs in 48 games with the Tigers
before being let go in September in what team president Dave
Dombrowski reiterated Monday was "strictly a baseball-related
decision."

Young said he doesn't buy Dombrowski's explanation, considering
all he went through in 2006, including an assault charge, treatment
for alcoholism and depression, a divorce and hospitalization for
diabetes. He was cut by the Tigers a month before they played in
the World Series.

"They were probably saving their own tail, because they thought
that the whole court thing there was going to be a distraction for
a team that was winning," Young said Monday. "I thought it was a
little [unfair] on their part, especially [because of] the time
that I spent with the Tigers and represented them in a positive
manner. I would have figured they would support me in the same
manner, but they didn't."

Leyland said Tuesday that he was responsible for Young's
release.

"In my opinion, Dmitri Young was not an asset to our ballclub
on the field last year," he said. "And he also needed to take
care of some very important issues for the welfare of Dmitri
Young.

"The part that upsets me is this guy missed a lot of the season
taking care of a problem that he created, not that the Tigers
created," Leyland said. "Don't put it on Dave. Don't put it on
the organization. Put it on Jim Leyland."

Young is in the Washington Nationals' minor-league camp this
spring and has a shot at resuming his career, and Leyland said he
wishes him well.

"To this day, I hope Dmitri Young has his life intact, because
he's a good guy," Leyland said.