Dukes Gets Benched for Being a Nice Guy

April 19, 2009 at 12:58 pm 6 comments

(Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

The headline is not a joke. According to the Nationals team site, manager Manny Acta, backed by acting general manager Mike Rizzo, benched Elijah Dukes for showing up five minutes past the report time because he was doing charity work, signing autographs at a local Little League function. What a joke!

I understand an employer having rules and enforcing them but this is a joke, especially with all the blunders the team has currently made.

Elijah Dukes is trying hard to keep his nose clean, and he has done a fine job of doing so. For all we know, the charity work that got him in trouble could be a regular thing for the new and improved Dukes. But, when the team is rewarding good behavior by benching them for showing up five minutes late (and this is not five minutes late to the game but five minutes late to the report time which is 3-4 hours before game time) and threatening to demote them to Triple-A, there is something wrong. Here is the statement by Acta:

“He was late for work, he broke a team rule, and we are going to change the culture here — regardless of how well a guy is playing … And it was a bizarre situation, because he was doing something that we encourage our players to do: He was out in the community doing something for some Little League program and just showed up late to work. He was very remorseful about it. He felt bad, but we have to lay the law on whoever.”

The article also notes that “the outfielder was warned that if he was late again, he would be optioned to Triple-A Syracuse.”

Nicely done by an organization that is already in shambles.

-Jonathan C. Mitchell

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

Gamel Should be in Milwaukee Little League Program Bailing Dukes Out

6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Danno  |  April 20, 2009 at 7:37 am

    This is about as ludicrous as it gets. When I first caught wind of this, I was shocked. I can see if he were an hour or more late, but 5 minutes? You’re right….an absolute joke.

  • 2. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  April 20, 2009 at 8:02 am

    I agree. It’s very sad because Dukes is trying to change his life around and this function wasn’t even a team orchestrated thing. He was doing this on his own and he got caught up signing autographs. This organization is a mess.

  • 3. Erik  |  April 21, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Dukes doesn’t deserve a demotion for this kind of lateness, especially since the Nationals are probably a hurting club for fans if anything it made him an ambassador to the community (at least in this case). Well then again this would probably be right along with the sudden demotions of Steven Shell and Saul Rivera two of their better relievers in 2008. Seems like everyone is on a short leash in Nationals land.

  • 4. Jonathan C. Mitchell  |  April 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    That organization has no idea what it is doing. They actually have a good nucleua of young players but no direction.

  • 5. 3GUYSANDASPORTSPAGE.COM  |  April 21, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    […] the wake of the National’s fining and benching Elijah Dukes, the Little League Program he did work with has raised $501 to pay Dukes’ fine […]

  • 6. MikeMcGinnis  |  April 22, 2009 at 9:24 am

    a mickey mouse move by a mickey mouse organization


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