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Jake's Take: Sucker Punched

Hulkamania lives!

The offseason, especially for Rays fans, can just drive a baseball fan insane. You never know what to expect and sometimes decisions made are more confusing than the dumb contracts that teams make.

Well, if you're a Rays fan, you better buckle up for today's doozy of a move. In a surprising decision, Elijah Dukes basically "manned up" and elected to move to 1B to replace Wes Bankston in the Arizona Fall League. We knew that Gomes was considering a move to 1B, seeing as  it helps the team and gets him playing again. However, never in my wildest dreams would I see Dukes electing to give up playing the OF to play 1B, especially if it were basically no more than something to just help the team. Dukes, in my
opinion, has always been a problem child and never looked at things from an outsider's view. I always considered Dukes a part of the "Me" generation, so this decision by him shows some maturation by him.

On a sad note, as shown by Tyler's diary, the search for Eric Walker continues. While he may not be one of our top pitching prospects, he appeared(in his 20 appearances) to be a highly polished college reliever and I'm willing to consider him a strong candidate to be a "break out" prospect for the Rays in 2007. He appears to be more polished than Orvella did at this point in his career as a reliever. God willing, I hope he is safe and alright.