I hope that is the case. I couldn't find that quote in the local papers or the team website. Dukes has a family to take care of, and clearly, he is having a really rough time. The media horrors seem to have gotten the best of him.
Carl Crawford actually paid Dukes a compliment, saying Dukes is actually very talented, but he's had some mis-steps in this process.
Of course, continuing to feed the hatred, columnist Fennelly of the tribune dubbed both Dukes and Young the "entitlement twins", and that BJ should not be dragged down by the two.
Fennelly is, in my opinion, what is wrong with this whole thing. To write such a thing, knowing the kid has troubles, has four kids and a wife to feed, and in all likelyhood was misquoted, is irresponsible at best, and downright mean at worst.
Management has to take a stand about this type of publicity spun way out of control. Deerayfan, read the column I am referencing (yesterday's tribune), you will see what I am talking about.
A call from the FO to the editor barring this jerk from the clubhouse is a start. A call to MLB to also put in a call to the editor would also help. The leverage of an advertising boycott has some teeth too.
I am pulling for Dukes. My rules never allow anyone to kick someone when they have troubles. It's nothing short of bullying. I hope guys like Fennelly get suspended and or fired for their irresponsible, reckless reporting.
The topic thread sends you to the interview with Dukes and his response to the USA article is that he never said any of that stuff about the locker room, the uniforms, etc.
Dukes goes on to say in another article how he loves to play in Durham-that he will sign a 10 year contract to play there if the club will have him. Does that sound like a guy disenchanted with being in AAA?
Last night I was watching the Cards-Phillies game, and the announcers began talking about the USA today article, and "how the three minor leaguers from the Tampa franchise" were quoted as being miserable in AAA and felt they were entitled to be playing at the major league level". They go on to add their comments about the article, what a disgrace these boys were.
Well, knowing all three players have disputed the article, don't you think fair and balanced journalism/broadcasting would have included the fact that the subject has actually disputed the article?
This is what happens when runaway articles get spun way out of control. The impact on these kids-especially Dukes has- been devastating. These kids have been labeled, and thanks to the irresponsible journalism of the USA writer, Dukes may be out of baseball for good. What do you tell his kids, when he can't put food on the table? "oh, sorry kids-you can't eat today because some a-hole newspaper writer created a fictional tale about Daddy being miserable in baseball, but at least the writer sold some papers".
Like I said, ban these writers from the clubhouse. Advertising boycotts. Demand the firing and or suspension of this guy-the story has taken on a life of it's own. And now there are real consequences.
The ironic part is that these writers can do so much good for people if they wanted to. Instead, they would rather frame a story to sell the most papers-truth be damned. Well, the consequence in this case are that a father of four is out of a job. Alot of it stems from the article.
That's where management and MLB can step in. They have the strength in the form of advertising dollars to put an end to this stuff.
Look, it's not OK, but in the world of journalism, it appears to be acceptable to do a slam job on someone when the subject can deal with the fallout, i.e., Barry Bonds. He's got more money than Carnegie, so let him deal.
The line gets crossed when you fabricate a story that has enourmous ramifications to an individual that has a family to feed, and is not financially secure.
If the Rays front office had been silent as to the aforementioned USA Today article, I would not expect any large degree of support from them when the players disputed the story. However, since and only because management was so quick (too quick in my opinion) to comment negatively about the story, to take their players to task, and to ultimately suspend Dukes (you're kidding yourself if you don't think the USA Today article had nothing to do with the suspension), it is morally incumbent upon them (Friedman and Madden) to, at this time, come out vociferously in support of Dukes, and even behind the scenes, demand disciplanary action against the reporter. Like I said, MLB, the Rays, and an advertising boycott have some serious teeth.
It would be great to see. Madden's already softened his stance by saying he's all for a second chance. Now lets see Friedman publically try to work this out with Dukes, and cal for disciplanary action against the reporter.