Much as I’ve always thought the final days of Casablanca Records would make mine subject matter for a motion picture, the off-field exploits of the 2005 Tampa Bay Devil Rays could be a more entertaining script. From the St. Petersberg Times’ Marc Topkin and Dave Schrieber.
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.”