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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.

Reader Comments

Por (Dominick Alesandrini) on June 19, 2007 (Suggest removal)

How about everyone leaving this guy alone so he can deal with his personal issues. For whatever reason there seems to be a negative campaign to get this guy. The press has overstepped the boundaries more than once. Did he really ##### that many people off when he confronted Dave Reynolds? It seems that all the press can do is dog the guy. Just leave him alone and let him play ball. We should be supporting him for overcoming the odds of a poor black kid making it to the Majors,and then were surprised that he makes mistakes and has the same issues that many, who think he should be kicked out of baseball have.  How about everyone be a little more patient. Paris will be out soon and you can go back to butting into her business.

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Por (Tom Carver) on June 19, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Dukes has made many mistakes but he has overcome many obstacles. He got a chick pregnant out of wedlock.. He broke a remote out of frustration.. Look at the Bengals. Have you seen what they have been going to jail for? Dukes makes things a lot worse than what they should be. He is not the smartest player by any means.  His mom will never be nominated for the best mom of the year award. He hasn’t had the best childhod. Have you met his sister? I saw her in the stands one day with all of her friends. She seems to be 5x worse. He needs to get out of this town and try to play for someone else. I hope he grows up and makes something out of himself.I really do wish him the best.

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Por (Steve Liddell) on June 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Option him down to Montgomery in AA.Durham doesn’t want him back.Playing for Montgomery would enable him to perhaps get his career and life back in order.

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Por (JRocks) on June 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Dear Dominick,

Poor black kid? I think he signed a contract that pays pretty well. Now that he is professional baseball player, he should act professional. Its a simple concept. Your true colors come out in your last line about Paris. Keep your racist thoughts to your self. Most of us could care less about paris hilton. Atlest, Dukes earned his money.

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Por (Linda Edwards) on June 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Dominick, I could not have said it better…Enough said.

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Por (BRuce Galle) on June 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Dukes is hitting 50 points below his weight and dropping like a rock. You cannot leave him alone as he will just keep dropping.

Rays need to trade or release him before he kills himself (metaphorically in baseball) or he really kills someone (murder.

He could be optioned to Durham, but that did nto work last year.

Best to let him go and wish he becomes another Josh Hamilton.

You have to admit the Rays can really draft the head cases! Between this and the medial problems the team has I would say their biggest need is medical , if you inclued psychologists as medical (sigh).

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Por (Steve Boggs) on June 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Sorry Dominick this kid brought this on himself. He’s the one who called the radio show, he’s the one who had everyone single one of his family members from tally to miami calling in. He’s the one whose had 6 kids with 5 different mothers and just recently got a 17 year old foster girl pregnant. The kid has had too many chances to change his ways. He was cursing Dave Reynolds, which was totally out of line. So yes he deserves what he’s getting because he started all of this. No one is trying to get this guy, he’s brought this all on himself. Some kind of role model he is, Right??

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Por (Burke Bagwell) on June 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Poor, Poor Elijah.  He has multiple kids from multiple mothers, made death threats to his family, and has been in jail.  I don’t think he has overcame all that much and is certainly not like me.  When he is hitting .190 and distracting the team, they should not let him play ball The Devil Rays are running a business not a babysitting service.  The Rays would be even worse if they had to worry about the personel well being of each player they wanted to trade or send to the minors.  Get rid of this guy before we hear the next stupid comment or action this guy does.  Trading him for the last pick of next year’s draft would be an upgrade to the organization and the area.

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Por (Dominick Alesandrini) on June 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

this kid came from a very troubled background. He has been given a salary that the rest of us can only dream about. Is this guy buying or selling drugs? Is he assaulting police officers ? His ex is running her mouth all over town. She is more articulate than he is so she automatically gets more credibility. What is going to happen here is he is going to be let go and she and her children won’t get anything. She needs to shut her big mouth and let him get back to playing ball. He needs an attorney who will shut her up and help him get back on track. If you corner a lion, expect to get hurt.

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Por (Mike Pietrzyk) on June 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

What are the D-Rays waiting for??  This kid is hitting under .200 and an embarrassment off the field.  That’s great all that he has overcome, but he doesn’t understand what it means to be a professional ballplayer.  Aloha means goodbye!

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Por (Dominick Alesandrini) on June 20, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Jrocks-You are a moron. There was nothing racist about any part of my post. How does referring to Paris Hilton even compare to racism. I’m not saying he is without fault. And for the record, he DID come from a very troubled home and HAS overcome a great deal. He should be helped not thrown away like yesterdays Tribune. His wife is getting her 5 minutes of fame ,but it could wind up ruining his career and compromising the financial security of her children.

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Por (Ted Freed) on June 21, 2007 (Suggest removal)

Enough is enough!

This poor excuse for a moral human being does not deserve the $360,000 salary that hard-working decent people never have a chance to earn!

Can you say Strawberry/Gooden?  Maybe the Yankees would like to take a chance on him before he self-destructs.

Cut out the cancer and drop this unprofessional, pitiful child as soon as possible - he’s unappreciative of what he has and is disrespectful as well.  He’s a disgrace to the team doesn’t understand what it takes to be a “professional”.

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Por (Charles Troeger) on June 22, 2007 (Suggest removal)

So with a trade imminent for Dukes and Doug Waechter beginning a rehab assignment & no one called up that looks to me like they have a pitcher in mind for Dukes.  I hope a good one not a has been. How about—Dontrelle Willis from the marlins with whom they are having trouble & have the need for an outfielder.

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