Robbie Neyer, ESPN's national baseball columnist, is at it again. Called Dukes a "borderline psychopath"., and projecting Dukes will be in jail in four years...
Neyer is getting all his info from his boys at the Slant Pete Times-taking it to a national stage-and giving the SPT trash legitimacy by throwing his less then two cents in:
Devil Rays should release Dukes
posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2007 | Feedback | Print Entry
If I were a Devil Rays fan [You mean you're not?-- ed. Only late at night, when everybody else is sleeping], there would be a lot of things to smile about. Oh, except for the bullpen, which blew a 7-1 lead last night. And Elijah Dukes, who's stepped in it again, calling a radio show to complain about various things.
And as Marc Lancaster writes, obviously the Devil Rays are getting frustrated ...
Dukes apparently has told team officials in recent weeks that he knows he probably would be better off playing somewhere other than his hometown. Of course, any trade would be contingent on another team being willing to take a chance on him and give up something of value. But if Dukes is simply released, he is talented enough that one of the other 29 organizations surely would risk signing him -- keeping in mind that he still can be optioned back to the minors this season.
The Rays could take that route themselves, but Dukes probably would not receive a warm welcome in Triple-A Durham after the difficulties he had there last season, when he was suspended five times. And if he remains in the organization, out of sight would not equal out of mind.
One key number that nobody seems to be noticing: .190.
That is Dukes' batting average. In 52 games, he's batting .190 with 44 strikeouts. Obviously, there are some things to like, too. He's hit 10 homers and drawn 33 walks, and given enough at-bats he certainly is not a .190 hitter. But can a young team trying to build a winning atmosphere really devote a precious roster spot to a borderline psychopath who's batting .190?
I don't think so. Dukes turns 23 next week, and if he were simply a Strat-O-Matic card in a keeper league, you'd love to have him. But he's not a flimsy piece of card stock. He's an emotionally troubled man, and he's going to bring little but headaches and heartaches to whichever team gives him a uniform. My guess is that in three or four years, Dukes will be serving time somewhere. Whether it's in prison or in some obscure independent league, I wouldn't want to hazard a guess.
Here's a guess, though: When the Devil Rays are ready to win, Elijah Dukes won't be a component in the formula. So why delay the inevitable? This organization has done some good things lately, but management has also displayed an odd tendency to ignore the obvious.
I wonder if Robbie will do a national columne on the SPT "journalist" who just got jammed up for a DUI?
Nah..don't think so...the media stick together when crucifying someone.