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backwardsk

Dukes benched on Saturday for off-field issue...

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...his issue, he was 5 minutes late for the mandatory reporting time on Saturday because a team sponsored charity effort ran too long.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Nationals-bench-Dukes-after-Little-League-relate?urn=mlb,157410

I was driving yesterday and put the Nats game on the radio. It was late in the game and Dukes came in to pinch hit. He'd been playing well, and I was surprised he wasn't in the lineup. Then the broadcastor reminded everyone that Dukes was benched for breaking team rules. He was working, on the Nats behalf, with Little Leaguers and got to the park 5 minutes late. Now when you hear about Dukes breaking team rules, the first thing that came to mind wasn't very promising. But, it turns out, he was trying to do something good.

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...his issue, he was 5 minutes late for the mandatory reporting time on Saturday because a team sponsored charity effort ran too long.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Nationals-bench-Dukes-after-Little-League-relate?urn=mlb,157410

I was driving yesterday and put the Nats game on the radio. It was late in the game and Dukes came in to pinch hit. He'd been playing well, and I was surprised he wasn't in the lineup. Then the broadcastor reminded everyone that Dukes was benched for breaking team rules. He was working, on the Nats behalf, with Little Leaguers and got to the park 5 minutes late. Now when you hear about Dukes breaking team rules, the first thing that came to mind wasn't very promising. But, it turns out, he was trying to do something good.

That is really surprising. I don't even know what to make of that. It's a strange decision to bench him for that. I don't understand what the purpose is.

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It wasn't actually a "team-sponsored" event. The Nationals, just like every MLB team, encourage their players to do good things for the community. However, the "sponsorship" ends there. The Nats had absolutely nothing to do with the event that Dukes was attending. This was all done on his own accord, and while commendable, he was late nonetheless and was rightfully punished as a result.

That blog on Yahoo is typical media hype that simply serves to influence and blow something up out of proportion. Gotta love it.

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Ummm, did anyone notice they misspelled "Nationals" as "Natinals?"

TV rating stinks. Radio ratings stinks. Attendance stinks.

Gotta cut costs somewhere... ;)

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Not sure if anyone was watching the Nats game earlier, but Dukes got a ground ball off the bat of Matt Diaz, which he very casually and leisurely trotted to get. Needless to say, Diaz hustled around first and was 3/4 of the way to 2nd before Dukes had any idea. Seems like this guy has so much talent, just always some sort of an issue with him. It's debateable whether or not he'll ever have the attitude to sustain a successful major league career.

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Nats could have handled the Dukes thing better, and should have. They didn't need to go public and they could have been more measured.

"Dukes, you're late. Put a hundred bucks on my desk. Don't let it happen again."

"But coach, I was with Little Leaguers!"

"Did you teach them how to make excuses too? Make it 200 bucks. Now get out there."

And it's done. Everyone on the team will hear about it and it's kept in the clubhouse. Dukes was treated like an adult and it doesn't affect morale.

Nats need a very sure hand to get them through what is going to be a very long season.

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Not sure if anyone was watching the Nats game earlier, but Dukes got a ground ball off the bat of Matt Diaz, which he very casually and leisurely trotted to get. Needless to say, Diaz hustled around first and was 3/4 of the way to 2nd before Dukes had any idea. Seems like this guy has so much talent, just always some sort of an issue with him. It's debateable whether or not he'll ever have the attitude to sustain a successful major league career.
Previous issues aside, this instance of being late isn't a makeup issue. Here's a posted comment on the story:
My family was at the little league event Saturday morning and Elijah Dukes was terrific with the kids. He ran late because the event was running late and he didn't want to disappoint the kids. He made a huge impact with his remarks and had wonderful things to say. He was great with the kids and the autographs--so patient although he was really trying to get out of there and get to work. It was such an effort for him to get there in the first place after a game that ran late the night before. The Nationals organization has really disappointed me. Thanks Elijah--you really made a difference for my son.

And the fact that the Little League org is paying Duke's fine says volumes. Let's not conflate this issue with previous issues of makeup - it's not fair to the guy.

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Previous issues aside, this instance of being late isn't a makeup issue. Here's a posted comment on the story:
My family was at the little league event Saturday morning and Elijah Dukes was terrific with the kids. He ran late because the event was running late and he didn't want to disappoint the kids. He made a huge impact with his remarks and had wonderful things to say. He was great with the kids and the autographs--so patient although he was really trying to get out of there and get to work. It was such an effort for him to get there in the first place after a game that ran late the night before. The Nationals organization has really disappointed me. Thanks Elijah--you really made a difference for my son.

And the fact that the Little League org is paying Duke's fine says volumes. Let's not conflate this issue with previous issues of makeup - it's not fair to the guy.

I wonder if he left early he would not have fulfilled his contract and not been paid the money? I imagine getting $500 for making an appearance is nice. Oh well . . . guess he will learn to use his day planner a little bit better next time.

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I wonder if he left early he would not have fulfilled his contract and not been paid the money? I imagine getting $500 for making an appearance is nice. Oh well . . . guess he will learn to use his day planner a little bit better next time.

I don't think he got paid for the event. Although I could be wrong.

They paid his fine, but that is not exactly the same.

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And it's done. Everyone on the team will hear about it and it's kept in the clubhouse. Dukes was treated like an adult and it doesn't affect morale.

For better or worse, hardly anything stays in the clubhouse anymore.

But with that being said, the Nats did an awful job handling this situation, in my opinion.

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But with that being said, the Nats did an awful job handling this situation, in my opinion.
It's somewhat of a comfort having those guys just a few miles south of us. We can always look at them and think, "there but for the grace of God go we."

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