Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Stunner!

Elijah Dukes officially released--unconditionally. An absolute stunner!!

Just when it looked liked he was pulling everything together. The details surely will come out soon.

Just stunning.

This was the entire release from the team:

The Washington Nationals today unconditionally released outfielder Elijah Dukes. Nationals Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.

The Nationals currently have 44 players in their big league camp.

12 comments:

natsfan1a said...

I was really surprised at this news. I feel bad for Dukes, what with his father's recent passing and all. Good luck to him.

William said...

I was shocked by this too. It seemed that Dukes was on the right track, and that the team was willing to give him a chance to prove he could turn into a quality player. I'm sure someone will pick him up and give him a chance. All the best to Dukes!

Pete said...

Stunner.....It seemed like his skills, talent and attitude was headed in the right direction...Stunner We will see him again, Best of luck!!

Mr. NATural said...

I have a theory--let's see if there's anything to it.

Dukes has seemed frustrated to me, both in the field and especially at the plate. I think the overemphasis in the Eckstein system on taking pitches may be getting to him--he might thrive more in a Tito Gaston environment, where Gaston lets his players swing away and gets terrific results in the process.

On to my theory. The other day, I think in the Braves game on MASN, Dukes took a check swing and the 1B umpire rung him up on the appeal. Dukes was chewing gum or something and as he walked back to the dugout he looked at the ump and spit his gum out--right toward the ump. I theorize they called him in and said the Nats aren't going to be doing that kind of stuff, the discussion went badly, and the Nats looked at his production, fielding, and behavior and said this is the time to cut ties.

Just a theory!

Mr. NATural

SaintsFanatic342 said...

what say you now? You proclaimed him many times as a 5 tool player.

I agree with natsfan1. On a personal level, I feel for Dukes. On the field and outside of the clubhouse, he was a good guy.

Who knows what happens behind closed doors (clubhouse).

Edward J. Cunningham said...

Nobody is going to confuse Elijah Dukes with Roberto Clemente, but I can't see this as a "purely baseball" decision. He must have popped off his mouth or swung his fist at somebody. If that's the case, I doubt that we will ever hear (at least from the Nats on the record) the full story.

Presidents Race Fan said...

Rizzo insisted it was performance based, than quickly said "the clubhouse will be more cohesive, more united."

Add one more Nat to the list of "potential stars" that was given his unconditional release after failing to attract a single trade offer. Just goes to show how thin they still are relative to other clubs.

Screech's Best Friend said...

SaintsFantasic342: Elijah Dukes does have five tool talents. Unfortunately, he didn't reach that potential in Washington--perhaps somewhere else if something changes for him. We are sorry see his time in D.C. end this way--we've felt he's come a long way, personally.

But Rizzo's "more cohesive, more united clubhouse" quote late this morning can't be ignored and puts this unexpected breakup more into perspective.

SenatorNat said...

Rizzo is clearly in charge - and the catch lightening in a bottle approach of Bowden is virtually all in the dust bin, now, with the biggest gamble shown the door. I agree with Mr. NATural that the replication of what he did last season vis a vis the umpire in right who missed his catch with his gum, etc. caught their attention negatively. Coupled with the brass's anticipation that were they to bat him 8th, it would not have been long before he balked and sulked. It also may explain the push to get Desmond playing in right going back to last year at new Mets stadium in September...

If the Jermaine Dye reports are serious, then Rizzo has the support of the Lerners now that cheap and risky winds up more often that not to be a sour investment.

I shared everyone's hope for him, but I respect Rizzo-Riggleman wanting 25 players with good attitudes - look at what guys like Haynesworth; Portis; D.Hall do to the cohesiveness of a team regardless of how much $$$$ is being thrown around.

Trust in Professional Baseball. And the Dye being cast. All better.

Sherwinator said...

Something was very shady about the whole release. Something must have happened, because we all know the talent was there. Why did the front office decide today of all days that they finally had enough with his off field shenanigans. I wrote an article about it if you're interested.... http://www.whatsgoodblog.com/2010/03/elijah-dukes-released-today-washington-nationals/

Laurie said...

I am not surprised at all. Mr Potential and his antics have run their course. We were also at that Braves game and his body language was poor. We were all commenting that his "potential" never seems to be more than that. I am not surprised and its a long time coming.

paul said...

I vividly remember his arrival sparking an incredibly negative outpouring of messages from the NATS320 faithful, in those days when one could post and see your comments instantly. Since his bio resembles a number of kids I work with, I rooted for him more than anyone. I never saw his emotional intelligence improve much, though, and I know he was not a popular player with the other guys or their wives. Not that I care, but it is a fact.
It is a tough business. He basically lost his job to Ian Desmond, who is equally unproven but, shall we say, more charismatic with more fans. I hope Elijah lands on his feet and thrives somewhere.