DETROIT — Back in April, Delmon Young was charged with a hate crime and suspended by Major League Baseball.
Six months later, his timely hits sent the Detroit Tigers to the World Series.
Young was selected MVP of the AL Championship Series on Thursday after batting .353 with two homers and six RBI in a four-game sweep of the New York Yankees. The designated hitter capped his latest clutch performance with a run-scoring single in the first inning of an 8-1 rout in Game 4.
“Unbelievable,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “He got hot again this year at the right time for us. And, you know, he stepped it up under the big lights. Not that they are not bright all year, but they are a little brighter this time of year. He stepped it up two consecutive years for us. And the MVP, what a tremendous honor for him.”
Young became the first player with four game-
winning RBI in one postseason series, according to STATS LLC.
STILL THE MAN: Cardinals’ fans gave a standing ovation before Thursday’s game to the greatest Cardinal of them all – Stan the Man.
Stan Musial, 91 and battling early stages of Alzheimer’s disease, waved to the crowd as he was driven around the warning track in a golf cart. He paused at the Giants dugout for a handshake from manager Bruce Bochy before stopping in front of the St. Louis dugout, where he shook hands with manager Mike Matheny.
ANGELS: Albert Pujols had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee last week, and the first baseman should be ready for the start of spring training.
The Angels on Thursday confirmed the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s report on the surgery, describing it as a minor cleanup procedure.
Pujols overcame a slow start to hit .285 with 30 homers and 105 RBI this season.
DODGERS: Hired Gerry Hunsicker as senior adviser of baseball operations to help general manager Ned Colletti and president and CEO Stan Kasten with the major league club.
METS: Pitcher R.A. Dickey had abdominal surgery and is expected to be ready for spring training.
The team says Dr. William Meyers performed the operation Thursday morning in Philadelphia to repair a core muscle injury.
A leading contender for the NL Cy Young Award, Dickey was 20-6 with a 2.73 ERA this season. The 37-year-old knuckleballer led the National League in strikeouts (230), innings (2332/3), shutouts (three) and complete games (five).
After his final outing of the season, Dickey revealed that he had pitched with a strained muscle on his right side since mid-April.
New York holds a $5.25 million option on Dickey’s contract for 2013 with a $300,000 buyout. General manager Sandy Alderson has said the Mets would like to sign the right-hander to a multiyear deal.