Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Rays ‘frustrated’ by Dukes distraction
Posted Jun 19, 2007 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Jun 19, 2007 at 08:42 PM
PHOENIX—Rays officials took no action against Elijah Dukes after he aired out his frustrations on a radio show this morning, but it’s clear the continuing nature of the Dukes saga is taking a toll.
Rays executive vice president Andrew Friedman met with Dukes today, but no disciplinary action is forthcoming. Friedman spoke for the organization on the latest flare-up.
“Elijah’s family situation has been the subject of conversation on AM radio for a number of days now,” said Friedman. “We wish Elijah had not engaged in the conversation but obviously he felt compelled to do so. We’ve spoken to him about it and we all want to minimize the distraction that it causes the organization. It’s unfortunate that the focus on Elijah has taken away from a lot of positive storylines for the team. The team’s playing with a lot of heart and confidence right now. We’re eager for the focus to shift back to the encouraging play on the field.”
Asked if he felt the maelstrom surrounding Dukes had a detrimental impact on the team as a whole, Friedman reiterated his desire for the focus to shift back to the rest of the group, adding: “As a result of that, I’m sure a lot of people are very frustrated. I think that stems all the way throughout the organization.”
Some sort of move involving Dukes—whether it be a trade, releasing him or optioning him to the minors—would seem to be the only solution, but it remains to be seen when and if the Rays will take one of those steps.