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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Good for Mike Pelfrey

Sorry. If that makes me a bad fan, I will live with that. I knew it was coming. You knew it was coming. The ump obviously knew it was coming. My only surprise is it wasn't a foot more inside and a foot or so higher.

The monster home run should have been reward enough for Dukes. That kiss trick was low rent, classless, unnecessary. Ray Knight, to his credit, hammered him on the broadcast.

I'm more convinced with each day that the guy is an incredible player. I'm less convinced that we can stop worrying about some sort of blow up. I don't know what it will take for him to grow up. I don't know if it is even possible.

I suspect they'll throw at him next time, too.

A.M. UPDATE - I fell asleep after the Mets broke the 7-7 tie so I missed Guzman's second home run and the continued Dukes antics. I'm glad I did, I may have broken my TV. What he did last night - the whole ball of wax - is nonsense to the 10th power. I thought the comments in the various media outlets were telling and I suspect more than one Nat is getting tired of the act. Someone in the Nats' hierarchy needs to make it very clear very soon that this kind of horsecrap must stop. Nats.com says Dukes "responded professionally" in the dugout but didn't "take it to heart" when he stepped on the field. I hope he sits tomorrow, maybe all weekend.

FURTHER UPDATE - Read Boswell.

17 comments:

Chris Needham said...

Joe Guillen was a good guy that first year, too.

Steven said...

You got it all wrong. The shithead punks on speed from Secaucus behind the dugout are talking all kinds of shit, and he gives knocks one out and then blows them a little kiss to make sure they know he knows who The Man is.

God forbid MLB have a little personality. A little NBA style and maybe MASN's ratings would catch up to antique roadshow.

Then Pelfrey decides that he needs to enforce the "no confident black men need apply" rule in MLB, and Dukes talks a bit. Manny reminds him that he needs to stop right there if he intends to be a millionaire. No harm, no foul.

Then Dukes gets beaned, and... wait for it... walks to first like a cool breeze.

Elijah was LL Cool J.

Jim said...

Oh yeah, Elijah's just being oppressed by the Man. Give me a break. Bob Gibson would have decapitated him.

I'll pass on the "NBA style" thanks. WWF smackdown is on another channel.

Mark said...

Redemption players are a complicated lot. For every success, there are ten wrecks on the side of the highway.

Call it a liberal pansy attitude. But this man comes from a seriously messed up background, and the lifetime he has lived --- no matter how many millions of dollars he makes --- doesn't get righted overnight.

Right or wrong, the man is fighting his demons on the field, and nobody knows who's gonna win. Yet.

I'm rooting for Dukes.

Gus said...

I am rooting for Mark Teixeira at 1B in 2009.

MikeHarris said...

A. I'm pulling for him, too. He's a quality player but I also like success stories. I just don't have much faith it is going to work.

B. He's being heckled? Deal with it. That happens on that level. When I saw him play in Richmond, some guy yelled WIFE BEATER every time he came up. He never reacted, except by smashing the ball.

C. I covered countless athletes from bad environments and almost all of them were fine citizens who appreciated the opportunity to escape and didn't use it as an excuse for poor behavior. One who stands out was Aaron Rouse, former VT player. Had a young son. His dad was in jail. Aaron busted his ass to make sure he was able to be there and to provide for his son.

He's no longer in that environment. He has a grand opportunity. It would be a shame if he didn't take advantage.

Steven said...

Aaron Rouse is great, and as a Packer fan I know him well. But just because Dukes isn't a total saint doesn't mean he's a fecking sociopathic homicidal scumbag jerk.

Dukes deserves credit for the good he's done and blame for the bad. From the news media coverage of him, you would think he's a serial-murdering rapist drug-dealing animal. The truth is he's a young man with a temper who has gotten in a lot of arguments, a lot of traffic violations, a lot of girlfriends, and one little pot bust. He's never stolen from anyone, never even been accused of having or firing a gun, never been involved in drugs (pot doesn't count, sorry).

People try to make it seem like throwing a remote control at someone (and missing) is wife-beating. That leaving a rant on a voice mail is the same as attempted murder. Sorry, those are temper tantrums, not violent, criminal acts. Admirable, no. But he's not the guy we were told he was, and I'm tired of people harping on little things and making him out to be some sociopath.

The most important thing that happened last night is that Dukes tip-toed right up to the line of doing something that could cause a suspension or something really damaging... and he stepped back. Tomorrow, it'll be a new day. No harm, no foul. Good for him.

MikeHarris said...

Steven, I love you man and we agree on most things. Not on this one. He hasn't been a model citizen. He hasn't been a criminal, true. But the deal with Manny in the dugout? The crap with the umpire? This stuff last night? A lot of little things that add up to a problem that has to be addressed.

Jim said...

While I obviously don't agree with the racial angle concerning a brush-back pitch, I do agree that the world would be a better place if one very angry and troubled young man got it all together.

In fact, I actually pray for Dukes.

I think Mike pretty much nails it-- one really hopes for the best, but one has to prepare for the worst.

Behavior and personality traits are just very hard to change, even with normal aging and development.

traderkirk said...

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=gallo/080910&sportCat=mlb&lpos=spotlight&lid=tab2pos2

Pirates made the blueprint for consistency, history

Step 1. Get the ball rolling by making one of the worst talent evaluation decisions of all time.
For example, decide Andy Van Slyke is your future, not Barry Bonds. Andy Van Slyke, nice guy. Barry Bonds, not so nice. But after the 1992 season, Van Slyke only hit 14 more home runs for the Pirates than Bonds did.

Welcome to your future.

Steven said...

Mike--Ditto. Hugs and kisses. Agree to disagree. It's totally good to have different points of view.

MikeHarris said...

Easy on the hugs and kisses! I don't like you that much!! We may have to turn in our manly man cards.
I think we're supposed to fist bump.

Anonymous said...

I think some of the problems with Dukes, and some of the other young players, is a clear lack of on-field leadership. In today's Post, Zimmerman mentioned something to the effect of "I'm not sure there's a place for that in this kind of game." That's a start.

However, I don't believe that Zimmerman can be the kind of leader the Nats need right now. They need a Varitek or Lowell. Zim needs to be left alone develop as a player rather than 23 year old player/leader/babysitter.

Maybe the new first baseman Bowden was talkiing about can be that leader. Just thinking out loud.

Dave

MikeHarris said...

Valid point. I actually think they saw LoDuca in that light, somehow overlooking the fact that this leader needed to still be able to, you know, play at a high level.
Sign CC and let him throw at his own teammates when they get out of line??

George Templeton said...

I am not going to defend a crotch grab towards fans. And I am not going to defend his prior bad behavior.
What I will say is that Dukes is improving in this regard. Yeah he stared down Pelfrey, but he didn't run out there and try to beat him down (now whether that was Dukes showing restraint or being restrained, I don't know, I didn't see it).
And his blowups while still too many aren't nearly as frequent. Getting Elijah Dukes where we want him as a player and a person isn't going to happen overnight. The little incidents are bad, but they aren't big incidents and that's a start on the road to no incidents (we hope).

Fire Jim! And beware of Boras (see the Pedro Alvarez situation). The winner of the Strasburg Cup might be the loser.

An Briosca Mor said...

I covered countless athletes from bad environments and almost all of them were fine citizens who appreciated the opportunity to escape and didn't use it as an excuse for poor behavior.

How'd you ever get out of covering the Vick brothers among all those countless athletes? (Or is that why you said almost all?)

Dukes today reminds me a lot of how Dexter Manley was on the Redskins of the 1980s. Different issues, of course, but the pattern of stellar on-field performance coupled with antics that occasionally run close to the edge and which are definitely out of the mold of an otherwise straight-laced team is definitely the same. The Redskins and Manley prospered then, let's hope Dukes and the Nationals do the same now, and that there's a better long-term outcome for Dukes than there has been for Dexter.

MikeHarris said...

I did cover the Vick brothers. In college, Michael was a pleasure to cover. He was out of my life by the time the trouble hit. Marcus was another story. Pampered from the start, alway something with him. When VT finally booted him, a bunch of us went out and did "AMF" shots.
A couple days later, he gets hit with that gun charge and I told the reporter who drew that one: My favorite words in the story are 'former Virginia Tech quarterback!'
In 30 years in that business, he may have been the biggest pain in the ass of all.