Morning Grind: Put Up Your Elijah Dukes!
On Wednesday, the Washington Nationals finally washed their hands of outfielder Elijah Dukes and released him. Can you imagine that… The worst team in the National League cutting bait with the promissing, but troubled, young outfielder not because of any off the field incident or behavioral issue, but simply because he simply wasn’t that good…
And here come the Mets! Or at least many of their bloggers…
It didn’t take long for all “Let’s Sign Dukes” posts to rear their ugly heads, and surprisingly enough, it’s the saber-crowd and those who wax poetically who have posted the loudest appeals.
Nevermind the fact Dukes had a -9.6 UZR/150 and his WARP was -0.1, those things only matter most when building a case against solid citizens like Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur…
According to Nats GM Mike Rizzo, he made countless attempts to trade Dukes but could not find one interested team in the whole lot… not one.
They wanted so desperately to rid themselves of him that he was cut outright even though he still had minor league options… wow…
But before the plague starts to spread and more fans start clamoring for Omar Minaya to jump on Dukes and sign him, I caution all of you to read his rap sheet as reported on Wikipedia:
In 1996, Dukes’ father was convicted of second-degree murder. One year later, Dukes was arrested for the first time. Dukes has been arrested at least three times for battery, and once for assault. According to court records, he fathered at least five children with four women between 2003 and 2006.
On May 23, 2007, it was reported that his wife filed a restraining order after he threatened to kill her. On June 12, a 17-year-old foster child who was living in the care of a relative of Dukes accused him of impregnating her. Police said the sex was apparently consensual. When the girl confronted Dukes, he allegedly got angry and threw a bottle of Gatorade at her.
Dukes has received anger-management training. When Dukes was traded to the Nationals, the team also hired an ex-police officer in the role of “Special Assistant: Player Concerns”. This person accompanies Dukes everywhere to ensure that he keeps himself free of trouble.
Wouldn’t he fit right in the Mets clubhouse along with David Wright and Johan Santana?
Have you ever seen Dukes play? Of course you have, we played the Nationals 19 times last season, so you must be fully aware of his lackadaisical play in the field first hand, not to mention his complete and total lack of any baseball instincts whatsoever.
He had one of the worst fielding percentages as an outfielder last season at .965… and to prove it was not a fluke it’s exactly the same fielding percentage he posted in 2008 as well. Can you imagine someone this bad, roaming the wide open spaces of Citi Field? And yet his biggest proponents are the same ones who moaned and groaned all offseason about Jason Bay’s defense. Remarkable…
You may remember his tirade with Mike Pelfrey in 2008 that ended with him giving the Mets fans seated behind the Nats dugout at Shea, the universal arm gesture for performing an unnatural sex act against oneself.
You may also remember (see image) last season at CitiField when he lazily misplayed two fly balls that allowed four unearned runs, leading to a Mets victory. When a team official asked him to remain at his locker and speak to reporters after the game, he responded:
“If they don’t like it they can (expletive),” Dukes said. “Why should I talk with them if they don’t know what the (expletive) happened?”
Dukes would be about as perfect a fit on the Mets as Howard Stern would be at a church social.
Can you imagine Dukes mixing it up with the always pointed New York media? Although maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad idea if he shows Wallace Matthews the Bronx..
About the Author: Joe DeCaro
I'm a lifelong Mets fan who loves writing and talking about the Amazins' 24/7. From the Miracle in 1969 to the magic of 1986, and even the near misses in '73 and '00, I've experienced it all - the highs and the lows. I started Mets Merized Online in 2005 to feed my addiction. Follow me on Twitter @metsmerized.
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