Young frustrated by misconceptions

Young frustrated by misconceptions

WASHINGTON -- A few days after being placed on the disabled list, Nationals first baseman Dmitri Young said he is upset that people in the media are insensitive about the way he looks in a baseball uniform.

He doesn't like that fact people are pointing out that he is out of shape and needs to lose weight. Young pointed out that was much bigger when he first joined the Nationals in February of 2007.

"I know the work that I put in this offseason. If anyone watched [dlifeTV on CNBC], they saw the work that I did," said Young, who is listed in the media guide at 298 pounds.

Today, Young, who is a diabetic, wants to find the right insulin in order to have a healthy life and help him stop gaining weight. He feels people are making too much of a big deal about how he looks.

"I don't necessarily need to lose the weight. That's what everybody is stressing on," Young said. "Why does that have to be the key point of diabetes? Health is the issue, and insulin is a big part of it. You have to find the right mixture. Everybody is stressing on the weight, weight, weight. And that is what is wrong with the world today. Everybody has to be a beanpole. If everybody looked like that, it would be a weird-looking place. Everybody would look the same.

"I feel people don't know the effects that insulin has. If I don't take the insulin, I will die. I will be in a worst position without it. We are trying to figure it out. I'm going to the doctor. We are on a program right now to see what we can do about it. It's a trial-and-error thing in order to figure out what's right. This is about life, not about baseball."

Young is currently on the disabled list because of pain in his lower back. He hurt the back swinging a bat during Spring Training. Young said he kept playing because he was competing with Nick Johnson for the starting first-base job.

Young was on the Opening Day roster as a backup, going 1-for-2 with an RBI, but the pain got the best of him on April 3, rendering him unavailable to pinch-hit against Phillies.

The Nationals gave Young a cortisone shot in hopes he would get better, but he was placed on the disabled list on Tuesday.

Young received a second cortisone shot recently, but there is no timetable as to when he will return to action.

"I took the [first] cortisone shot, and it really didn't get better," Young said. "I got an epidural and another cortisone shot. Right now, I'm in a little agony. Time will tell. I don't know how long I'll be out. We are talking about the lower back."

Young acknowledged that he feels bad that he wasn't able to help the Nationals during their eight-game losing streak. He felt he could have done something against Braves right-hander Tim Hudson, who pitched eight shutout innings on Friday.

"There are situations where I could see myself coming in getting a hit here," Young said. "I want that kind of challenge. I want to face the best."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.