The Elijah Dukes saga continues. Last night, during the 5th inning of the Bulls game, Dukes ran through a stop sign from the third base coach and was thrown out at home. He was then seen arguing with Manager John Tamargo in the dugout, and was removed from the line-up before the start of the next inning.
This level of consistently stupid behavior is absolutely inexcusable. This is his 4th incident this year, and he's been suspended twice (possibly three times, nothing has been announced yet for this incident but we'll see if he's in the line-up tonight). The first suspension was for getting into a clubhouse argument with a coach. For that he was suspended for a week. He was scratched from the line-up on another night for being late the game. The third incident was a fight with teammate Ryan Knox in a hotel lobby. Following that he was suspended for 15 games. Now this. He was suspended twice last year, once for 6 games once for 3 games. In addition to team issues, he's been arrested at least 4 times, including battery, and domestic violence since 2003.
The DRO has to do something. What? I don't know, but something must be done. These outbursts cannot be tolerated, especially when the guy has a past like Elijah does. He has shown absolutely no improvement in his maturity level. He went to anger management classes during the off-season, but they haven't seemed to help at all. At what point does the Rays front office have enough? Perhaps they should just suspend him for the season, send him to anger management classes again and progress from there. There is obviously some psychological issues here, maybe start his off-season now, and get him to a psychologist for the off-season. Or, do they take extreme measures, and do as Jay Bradley from Raysbaseball.com suggest and out-right release him? I think that is a bit extreme because of his talent level, but drastic measures have to be taken, and soon. His bat is big league ready, and has been for some time, but at this point, he has the maturity level of a 13 year old, and he cannot be a Tampa Bay Devil Ray when he acts like a middle school bully much of the time.
Now, Elijah Dukes has had a tough life. Here is an article with some family history. But at some point, he has to mature and move beyond and rise above where he came from. I know that may be hard, and it's likely that there are significant psychological issues, but he's got to realize that he's on the verge of throwing away a career in Major League baseball because of his stupidity.
Here is an article about this years problems.