Christ, Elijah. You pull some non-baseball related shenanigans and look what happens. Embarassment and more work for me. Thanks. Thanks a lot.
Nationals.com has the charming story and video of how Elijah Dukes had a bit of a break down last night during the Nats 13-10 loss to Team Choke East. Pitcher Mike Pelfry belted an inside pitch to Elijah Dukes who didn’t like it and came at Pelfry. Manny Acta and Lenny Harris had to hold him back while the benches did not clear. Replay says: no contact on Dukes.
“I definitely was not trying to hit him,” Pelfrey said. “I was just happy in his last at-bat when I hit him [in the fifth inning] that he knew it wasn’t on purpose. He’s probably not the guy, you know, you want to make mad. He flipped out, and I didn’t even think that ball was even close, so I looked back at him and said, ‘Why would I hit you?’ I know he’s an aggressive hitter, and I was just trying to get the ball in on him.”
Later in the game Dukes was shown taunting the crowd, giving gestures, and even sticking out his tounge. Dukes’ behavior in the words of pretty much everyone with a semi-stable mentality: bizarre.
“That’s not for me to talk about, but I think he is an emotional player,” Zimmerman said. “But I don’t know if there is a place for that in this kind of game.”
Listening to Ron Darling and the rest of the brown nosers on SNY-HD you would of thought Dukes pulled down his pants and hosed down the leg of the homeplate ump. Fact of the matter is, Dukes’ actions were juvenile and nothing worse than some of the blow-ups Team Choke East has seen from Jose Reyes and the rest of the NY Yankees Lite hacks, so I am unsure when Darling and his cronies became so easily offended.
However, I do agree Dukes actions where stupid and embarassing. For awhile Dukes was flying high; taking any anger, rage and weirdness and putting it into his bat and producing like an animal. That was good stuff. But now there is a crack in the mold. Why Dukes decided to act like he did last night is still unclear, but what is clear: his rehab from bad boy to model citizen is far from complete.
The Nats record of rehabbing troubled players is still questionable (*See Dmitri Young), but the Nats still have plenty of time to work with Dukes. They need to slap this kid on the wrist in some way; a one game suspension, fine, cleaning up poop at the local zoo, something and then move on.
Dukes needs to be told, once again, weirdness around here will not be tolerated.