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Case against Dukes is dismissed


Amanda E. Reese, the woman who brought a petition against new Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes last week, did not show up in court this morning in Tampa. The case against Dukes was subsequently dismissed, according to court officials in Hillsborough County, Fla.

Last week, Reese, 23, filed a charge of domestic violence -- based on what she considered to be threatening text messages she said were sent in October and November. In her petition to the court, Reese said she felt threatened by Dukes at least in part because of his bitter, public divorce -- a case in which Dukes's estranged wife accused him of leaving a chilling voicemail on her cell phone.

Our story from the $.35 edition about the charges is here. The Nationals have been adamant since they traded for Dukes - who has a long history of legal and personal problems - that they will provide him with whatever counseling is necessary to help him turn his life around. That process is ongoing.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 18, 2007; 11:42 AM ET
 
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Comments

From the "Glass Half Empty" department:

Hopefully there isn't another shoe to drop...

Posted by: Wigi | December 18, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I find it dusgusting the Nats would sign this human piece of garbage in the first place. I hope he never plays a game for the Nats.

Posted by: Where there's smoke there's fire | December 18, 2007 11:54 AM | Report abuse

While I am concerned by the Nat's signing of a man who shows consistent legal and personal troubles, I hope that with a solid foundation and a SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY he can change his ways and become a productive ballplayer and member of the Washington DC community.

Posted by: glass half full | December 18, 2007 11:56 AM | Report abuse

What I'm saying is... he's here, that's not changing, the nats are committed to helping this kid so maybe we in the community should show some support. He's still young, he can still reform, and if he doesn't he'll be out of here faster then you can say "restraining order"

Posted by: glass half full | December 18, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I am not predisposed to the "Glass Half Empty" perspective... it was just what I overheard at their deepartmental meeting... I am of the other school, actually...

(The "Glass Half Empty" folks watch too much 'Law and Order')

Posted by: Wigi | December 18, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

hey, i watch a lot of law and order, and i'm in the "glass half full" camp! ;)

i still hope there isn't another shoe to drop. i know a lot of times women don't follow up on these cases out of fear. still, ballplayers are convenient targets. i hope it's the latter and not the former, but i'm not gonna judge either way w/o more info.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 12:15 PM | Report abuse

"According to Todd Zolecki, about nine teams watched free agent Kris Benson throw 60 pitches yesterday. The Phillies and Nationals were definitely present."

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope that the story is she doesn't feel at risk anymore. No woman should ever have to feel worried about her safety or her child's safety because she is a woman.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 12:25 PM | Report abuse

You people always rush to judgment. He's innocent.

Posted by: Wil Cordero's Wife | December 18, 2007 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, Wil Cordero's wife, he's only "not guilty"

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Gee, Where There's Smoke --- "human garbage." That's pretty tough stuff; probably pretty tame though compared to what you'd call Brett Myers (actual abuse, not text messages), Mickey Mantle (legendary promiscuous sex), Steve Garvey (fathering multiple children out of wedlock)......

Oh....but then again, probably not...

Posted by: NatsInNC | December 18, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm not advocated or excusing Dukes behavior by any means, but can everybody take a step back and look at some of the facts. Try to move all outside bias and thoughts. Yes, there is proof that Dukes sent threatening texts and has several kids; however, all of the subsequent actions taken against him don't hold much water with me. These women who are charging him with these things know his reputation and they also know that they need a meal ticket from a potential millionaire athlete. Think about it, a young lady with not much going for her sees an opportunity and knows that history will back her up. What does she do? "Courts" Elijah and maybe pops out another kid, then makes up some type of acquisation to get rid of him so that she can be free of him but still getting a monthly check. She knows that with his rep. that the courts will not take him lightly. The fact that the accuser didn't show up today only makes this thought stronger.

These women may be of little means, but they aren't stupid. They see an opportunity, know that they can get out of it easily by making something up, due to his reputation have the courts back them on this, and (as Emiril would say) BAM there is a monthly child support check or lawsuit/settlement.

Now, I could be totally wrong. And, until Elijah makes a mistake (a proven mistake) as a Washington National, he deserves my applause as a baseball player. Would I vote him into office? Heck no! Welcome to 21st Century professional athletics.

Just my $.02

Posted by: Corey | December 18, 2007 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I look forward to seeing this retraction story placed as prominently in tomorrow morning's Post as the accusation story was placed in today's print edition. That would be front page of Sports, below the fold, with accompanying photo. Will I see that? I seriously doubt it. Stories with any kind of negative slant on the Nationals always receive bigger play in the Post than stories with any kind of positive slant on the team.

Posted by: Section 419+1 | December 18, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm not with those saying that Dukes is innocent or was slandered unfairly. All I'm saying is that the woman who formerly thought she needed the state to ensure he didn't get near enough to harm her no longer thinks it's necessary to ask the state to help.

And that's a good thing.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm just hoping that the Nats rehabilition plan includes a vow of celibacy and taking away his cell phone. Those two remedies would seemingly avert many of his problems.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 18, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't care less what this man-child did prior to his being traded to the Nationals. No question, he was a bad dude in his time with the D-Rays.

But, people change, and changing scenery (leaving his home town, playing for a new team) just might help Dukes regain his balance.

Dukes - at least from what I've read - didn't grow up in an enviroment where values and morals were at a premium. He's the product of his surroundings. These surroundings can make a decent person angry, and an angry person downright homocidal.

So, take him out of his sink-hole existance, threaten him, love him, support him, and give a zero-tolerance second chance. Thus far, he's been all talk -- lots of threats but little else.

America loves more than anyone else those those who tried, and failed, and was then reborn into a better person. Dukes could end up in jail, or he could tour D.C. area schools years from now saying, "Look, I made changes, and so can you."

Let's hope, for his soul's sake, that he grows up and grows up fast. If he does, he'll be a 45 homer hitting fool for the next decade with a deep abiding loyalty to both the city and the team.

And that's a pretty good thing.

Posted by: The Beltway Boy | December 18, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

The Nats have made a committment to try to give another young man a second (or fifth)chance to improve and try to turn his life around. The Nats have a unique opportunity that many other people and/or organizations don't. They have the resources available to them to do it.. They should be applauded, not ridiculed. People wish we wouldn't have signed him and left in down in Tampa so he could continue to wreck havor on society?? Let's make a valiant effort to help him and see how it goes.

Posted by: Loggie | December 18, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Nicely put, Beltway Boy

Posted by: nats fan in boston | December 18, 2007 1:02 PM | Report abuse

"I'm just hoping that the Nats rehabilition plan includes a vow of celibacy and taking away his cell phone. Those two remedies would seemingly avert many of his problems."

While possibly introducing other and perhaps more nasty problems, eh?

Posted by: US Conference of Catholic Bishops | December 18, 2007 1:10 PM | Report abuse

God knows all those boys would have been safe if priests had the ability to use cell phones!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 1:15 PM | Report abuse

On a happier note, I am making a Google Calendar for the entire public of the Nationals schedule. Anyone who uses google calendar, you can add it now and watch the snail's pace I insert dates into it!

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Barry,

The Post really should run a follow-up story on the Dukes charges being dismissed. This is more than just this woman deciding not to appear. Dukes has his own side of the story, which seems at least facially credible: http://blogs.tampabay.com/breakingnews/2007/12/injunction-dism.html

The guy deserves a fresh start here in D.C. (with a zero tolerance rule to back it up if he doesn't get it right). Falsely pinning him with something, though, isn't going to help matters. The D.C. media doesn't need to further alienate him based on uncoroborated allegations.

Posted by: 408 / 204 | December 18, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

408 is right, though I will point out that it took the All Star nod beofre Dmitri got it -- from anyone

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 1:46 PM | Report abuse

408/204 - care to summarize for those of us who can't get to that link?
******
Dukes has his own side of the story, which seems at least facially credible: http://blogs.tampabay.com/breakingnews/2007/12/injunction-dism.html

Posted by: 408 / 204 | December 18, 2007 01:32 PM

Posted by: Enq. Mindful | December 18, 2007 1:57 PM | Report abuse

meat hook actually choked a woman, now he is our leaders...people change

Posted by: love | December 18, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Injunction dismissed against ex-Ray Dukes

TAMPA -- A Hillsborough judge dismissed the latest domestic violence injunction against ex-Rays player Elijah Dukes after his accuser failed to show up for a court hearing today.

Amanda E. Reese, 23, got a temporary protective order Dec. 10 after accusing Dukes of sending threatening text messages and making harassing phone calls.

Hillsborough County Judge Raul "Sonny" Palomino was supposed to consider today whether to grant Reese protection for a year. Dukes, 23, attended the hearing, planning to contest the allegations. Reese didn't appear.

According to Dukes' attorney, Grady Irvin, Dukes had asked Reese to watch his car and home while he was playing baseball in the Dominican Republic this fall. When Dukes decided to discontinue that plan, his car disappeared. Also missing from his home were Christmas gifts for his daughter, Irvin said.

The car eventually was located, but the stereo equipment was gone, Irvin said.

"Elijah's been trying to move on with his life, and quite frankly thought that was somebody that he could entrust his property with," Irvin said. "One of the things I tell Elijah is that he's got to realize that he's a target."

The attorney said he was pleased with the judge's decision to dismiss the protective order, which Irvin said was "replete with false allegations."

His client, he said, is looking forward to a fresh start with the Washington Nationals after being traded recently by the Rays.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2007 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The "DC media" reported correctly that the woman had filed for a restraining order against Dukes. So you think they should have buried the story? What is factually incorrect in what's been reported?

Posted by: joebleux | December 18, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

"The 'DC media' reported correctly that the woman had filed for a restraining order against Dukes. So you think they should have buried the story? What is factually incorrect in what's been reported?"

No, nothing was factually incorrect in the reporting, and nothing should have been buried. But as I already said, they now need to give the retraction story equal play to what they did for yesterday's accusation story. That would be fair and balanced reporting, nothing more, nothing less. Don't hold your breath, though, that we'll actually see that.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

i think the point about the media was that they aren't as likely to print the story saying the charges were dropped and dukes' explanation as prominently as they did the original story.

that's not really a "sports" thing as much as it is a "what sells papers" thing. as you can see from the way some respond to issues like that here, people are far more likely to viscerally respond to lurid allegations than to retraction of those allegations.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"Don't hold your breath, though, that we'll actually see that."

We already see it as a prominent link on the Sports page: "Case Against Dukes Dismissed".

Care to make a bet as to whether the print edition carries this story?

And again, I would point out that there is nothing to be retracted.

Posted by: joebleux | December 18, 2007 2:09 PM | Report abuse

joebleux, part of getting a story right is presenting the entire thing. The Post accurately reported that Ms Reese filed a restraining order. To not report that the injunction has been nullified would be akin to not reporting or burying a story about how a President's claims that weapons of mass destruction exist in a nation he would like to go to war with can't be corroborated by any facts and don't stand up to the most basic scrutiny. For example.

Also, Sonny Palomino is probably the name of a purveyer of vignettes on the internet that lonely ballplayers might use to pass the time on the road....

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Enough with the Dukes stuff! The woman didn't show for her court hearing. If she was so concerned about being protected from Dukes, where was she? She must have known about his past before she became involved with him, so why did she associate with him. Sounds like a shakedown using his past history to convict him in the court of public opinion but she discovered she needed real evidence in a court of law. CASE DISMISSED!! Dukes is suppose to be staying with Barry Larkin and his family who is a class guy and should be a positive influence on Dukes. Good Luck, Dukes-you'll need it in this town.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

on a side note, any doubt i (or anyone else) had about brian roberts has been quashed by roberts himself.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3159406

"Baltimore Orioles second baseman Brian Roberts has acknowledged using steroids, but insists he only tried it once before realizing he had made a "terrible decision.""

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"And again, I would point out that there is nothing to be retracted."

i'll agree that the word "retracted" is the wrong word to use in this case.

it's more like updating the story so that people know the circumstances around the allegations and can make their own informed judgement about dukes with all of the facts, instead of just having the negative side of the story out there without seeing the other side.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

506, they've already reported on the web site that the woman didn't show up. Again, would you care to make a bet as to whether they report that in tomorrow's print edition?

Why are you assuming that they won't?

Posted by: joebleux | December 18, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Balanced reporting would have been the item posted above "Injunction dismissed against ex-Ray Dukes" which gave his side of the story.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2007 2:22 PM | Report abuse

just saw this info on ESPN about opening at nats stadium:

===
The team announced Tuesday that it will play its first game at Nationals Park on ESPN's "Sunday Night Baseball" on March 30 against the Atlanta Braves. The team has invited President George W. Bush to throw out the first pitch.
===

i can only hope he declines, but don't expect he will. please... please... PLEASE!!!! learn from the first opening day at RFK when security turned getting into the stadium into a joke. we showed up about 1:30 early and got to our seats about 5-10 mins before the ceremonies started last time, and at least a third of the seats looked empty as they started, since so many of the fans were still outside trying to funnel through about 4 security lines for 45k+ fans. kasten/lerners/et al need to make sure a repeat of that doesn't happen, or it will start off the season with a bad taste in the mouths of those who went through it in 05, as if nothing changed.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 2:23 PM | Report abuse

oh, and a shot from ESPN (via Getty) from the top of the upper deck in the stadium (1st base side) with a fisheye lens.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/gallery/enlargePhoto?id=3159664&story=3159586

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

While possibly introducing other and perhaps more nasty problems, eh?

Posted by: US Conference of Catholic Bishops | December 18, 2007 01:10 PM
--------------------------

One might want to look at some of the statistics from the public schools before casting about stones in a particular direction. Duke's case however, certainly could only be helped by some chastity and charity.

Posted by: lowcountry | December 18, 2007 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm not assuming they won't, I'm just playing Ombudsman and saying they should print a full story. Just like when I play GM and say the Nats should trade so-and-so. Not a person here or anywhere else cares what I think, so I feel empowered to say what everyone should do. You should capitalize your name.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 2:31 PM | Report abuse

CAPITAL LETTERS ARE EVIL!

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Ha! You're one to talk. It's really annoying the way you capitalize "Section" and not "506".

Posted by: joebleux | December 18, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

There is no glass half anything. There is no shortage of evidence. Dukes has been cited twice for abuse and the evidence was damning enough. If he dodged a bullet this time, applause is hardly warranted. Bowden is bad news. We do not have to dredge the bottom to build a team and I for one am disturbed that we are inclined to do so with such regularity. I don't care how many home runs this guy hits, I will not cheer for him any more than I will for Roger Clemens. Cal Ripken is my measure of a baseball player. You want a team of Ty Cobbs, count me out.

Posted by: Julia's dad | December 18, 2007 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, well you can't even spell "blue" right

Posted by: Section %)^ (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Any of you'all married? Any of you have kids? I've got three under 5 years old and they're my only yardstick. We are giving Dukes his 5th or 6th chance and we're doing it because he's got great baseball "upside" and he's cheap - no charity, just a lot of drool. That's about it and I'm not happy at all about it. Five kids by four women, two born within days of each other? One restraining order that HASN'T been rescinded? I don't want this guy to ever play for the Nats because I don't want to cheer for him.

Barry, here's how you could convince me to give this guy a chance - tell me how he takes care of his kids. Tell me he has partial custody of any of them or that he's been current on all child support. Tell me he wants to be a part of their lives. Tell me he's going to be a positive part of the clubhouse and not someone we've got to constantly baby. Tell me all the babysitting will be over within a year and people can stop walking on eggshells around this prima-donna.

This is the first time in three years I've had a substantive negative thought about this team and the organization. Someone in the PR department might deserve a bonus come opening day...

Posted by: Bringing my 5 year old girl to the game | December 18, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Your mother wears army boots and is from Philadelphia.

(Gee, this is fun.)

Posted by: Hendo | December 18, 2007 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Not directed at "Bringing...," BTW.

Posted by: Hendo | December 18, 2007 2:49 PM | Report abuse

YOUR MOTHER WAS A HAMSTER AND YOUR FATHER SMELT OF ELDERBERRYS!

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Can't say I have any disagreements, "bringing".

Hendo your BABIP makes your PrOPS look like a DER

Posted by: Section %)^ (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

By the case, in case I missed it, did you guys note Tom Boswell's reference to a "former Expos standout" who Jim Bowden said suddenly looked "small" in spring training of 2005? The suggestion was the player was on steroids. Boswell says the player was traded the next year.

Vidro?

Posted by: swanni | December 18, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Swanni,
I think it was Wilky. Didn't it say traded before the next season?

Posted by: Atlanta | December 18, 2007 3:06 PM | Report abuse

I find it dusgusting the Nats would sign this human piece of garbage in the first place. I hope he never plays a game for the Nats.

Posted by: Where there's smoke there's fire | December 18, 2007 11:54 AM

I find it disgusting that members of the public who have no idea what the facts of the case are would come on to national blogs and make ill informed accusations and irresponsible assumptions about a very private matter.

Posted by: Barno1 | December 18, 2007 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Could be Wilkerson. Makes sense considering the power decline. But the reference said he was traded the next year, which is a little vague.

Posted by: swanni | December 18, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Plus, if anything, Vidro was bigger, albeit around his waistline.

Posted by: swanni | December 18, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Couldn't it be Bennett?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Not rushing to judgment on Dukes. He's committed to the Nats to try and clean up his life, and the club has indicated that he's done everything they've asked to this point. there does seem to be, real or perceived, an effort by this young man to do the right things. The club apparently did a lot of homework on Dukes before making the deal. I'll trust them until Dukes gives reason not to.

Posted by: FearlessFreep | December 18, 2007 3:20 PM | Report abuse

On another topic, anyone else still bummed we don't get 4th of July at home?

I'm such a nerd. I already printed out the schedule and circled my 20 games.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 18, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Sure, 506, it COULD be Bennett, but where would the fun be if we stuck with the obvious answers? There have been baseless accusations, denials, snarking back and forth all day, so I think we should continue, you capital-letters-user!

It was actually Frank Robinson, but only HGH after '05. I mean, he had to find energy somewhere.

Posted by: Atlanta | December 18, 2007 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Also, the saga is surely not over (as far as MLB is concerned) regarding one current and one former Nat.

Buster Olney (our favorite) reports on ESPN:

"Major League Baseball is looking into the cases of at least 14 players named in the Mitchell report where it is suggested violations of MLB steroids/HGH rules may have taken place since 2004.

Those players are Rondell White, Larry Bigbie, Ron Villone, Ryan Franklin, Cody McKay, Stephen Randolph, Jerry Hairston Jr., Paul Lo Duca, Bart Miadich, Eric Gagne, Matt Herges, Brandon Donnelly, Howie Clark and Nook Logan.


MLB plans to request meetings only with the players who may have violated the rules since the league implemented its policy against performance-enhancing drugs. The league started steroid testing in 2003; penalties were not in place until 2004 (HGH use was not banned until 2005). The league may well apply penalty standards that were in effect at the time of the violations. Earlier this month, MLB suspended Orioles outfielder Jay Gibbons and Royals outfielder Jose Guillen for the first 15 days of the 2008 season. Those penalties matched what a second offense would have drawn under 2003-04 rules.

Gibbons has accepted his penalty; Guillen has filed a grievance through the players association."

Posted by: faNATic | December 18, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

You're right, Atlanta. I bet it was Brian Schneider.

And I agree on July 4th, NatsNut. P-Nats have fireworks, though!

Posted by: Section %)^ (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Atlanta, that was cruel, are you saying that him going toe to toe with all 1 of the umpires was 'roid rage? Oh the humanity!

Posted by: SF Fan | December 18, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

NatsinNC said:

>>Gee, Where There's Smoke --- "human garbage." That's pretty tough stuff; probably pretty tame though compared to what you'd call Brett Myers (actual abuse, not text messages), Mickey Mantle (legendary promiscuous sex), Steve Garvey (fathering multiple children out of wedlock)......

Oh....but then again, probably not...<<

I think you got it, I really do.

Posted by: amb141 | December 18, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I'm a little slow, but I just got 506's moniker in capitals.

I'm laughing too hard.

Also, I just realized ya'll already had the 4th of July conversation on the other post.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 18, 2007 3:41 PM | Report abuse

"Gee, Where There's Smoke --- "human garbage." That's pretty tough stuff; probably pretty tame though compared to what you'd call Brett Myers (actual abuse, not text messages), Mickey Mantle (legendary promiscuous sex), Steve Garvey (fathering multiple children out of wedlock)....."

I want legendary promiscuous sex

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2007 3:58 PM | Report abuse

In a way I'd like to see a presidential opener (I saw Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon) and the 8:PM situation would make it not so bad. It would simply be a matter of arriving about 5:30. Admittedly two things would spoil it as an opener, George Bush and the fact that it would not be the formal opener of the baseball season. The games scheduled to be played in Japan the preceding week kind of spoil the uniqueness of the game.

Personally, I'd rather see Harry Thomas toss the first pitch.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 18, 2007 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Get used to these type of headlines with DUkes. He is so ignorant he cannot aviod trouble of numerous kinds. He's already a "5 and 6" guy at age 23; how slow can you learn. He is Mike Tyson in the making. Good riddance and thanks for getting him outa here.

Posted by: Tampa | December 18, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

You're funny, 506!

---

Also, Sonny Palomino is probably the name of a purveyer of vignettes on the internet that lonely ballplayers might use to pass the time on the road....

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 18, 2007 4:10 PM | Report abuse

well, at least the opener is a sunday, so a 5:30 arrival for an 8pm game isn't as bad as it would be for a monday night game.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sure it was Brad Wilkerson.

The issue I find interesting about the Elijah Dukes situation is the different points of view that underlie our opinions about him. Some of us seem to look at baseball and pro sports in general as a place we can find upstanding citizens and role models for our children and us to root for. Others of us see sports as a diversion - following a group of people and an organization as they play a game we love to watch. For me, I learned long ago that pro athletes for the most part are people whose personal behavior I do not want to emulate. If my daughter ever brings a pro baseball player home, I will slam the door in his face. I'm not looking for Elijah Dukes or any other National to inspire me or my daughter to act morally. I have other outlets for that which I find too personal to discuss in a public space like this.

What does concern me about having Elijah Dukes on this roster is that his personal behavior could impact the team's ability to win. If he goes to jail or otherwise causes a distraction for this club, he will be a drag on the rest of the guys in the locker room. His five children with four women and whether he's paying child support - I cannot get too worked up about that. I say again that if we knew the personal lives of every National, I am certain we would cringe at most of their behavior. I am fairly sure that among them are serial philanderers and drug abusers. Domestic violence is one of the more disgusting acts that a man can partake in (Dmitri Young). I have no time for it. However, other than the impact that it will have on the Nationals chances of winning, I'm not going to judge Dukes' or anyone else's behavior. I certainly don't care to call another person "a piece of human garbage".

Posted by: #4 | December 18, 2007 4:21 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't really matter what the facts are when fans of a club read a headline that contains the player's name and any of the following words or phrases: domestic violence, restraining order, death threat.

I'm a saeson ticket holder, and I'm not really in the "half full" or "half empty" camp-that remains to be seen, right? I do know that the Nats haven't shown me quite what I'd hoped to see out of the organization. Is it too much to think that we might have at least one player that is capable of hitting 35 HRs who isn't a pariah?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

How many "former Expos standouts" were there? It's not like it's a long list.
___________
... Tom Boswell's reference to a "former Expos standout" who Jim Bowden said suddenly looked "small" in spring training of 2005? The suggestion was the player was on steroids. Boswell says the player was traded the next year.
Vidro?
Posted by: swanni | December 18, 2007 03:01 PM
__________
Swanni,
I think it was Wilky. Didn't it say traded before the next season?
Posted by: Atlanta | December 18, 2007 03:06 PM

Posted by: CE | December 18, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Hey, what's with all the screwy game times at Nationals Park? Who decided 7:10 was the ideal time to start on a weekday, but 7:35 was better on Friday?

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Pretty sure it wasn't me.

Posted by: Livan | December 18, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

I instantly thought Wilky, and judging by the way he's played in TEX, I'd still go that way.

Five kids by four women by age 23 is, while unusual, not unheard of in an age where 13 and 14 yo mothers are not unknown. And let's face it, when you are young, all the sexual favors, legendary or otherwise, go to the jocks. Nerds don't get laid til they get paid.

Posted by: RL | December 18, 2007 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Not me, either. Come to think of it, why DIDN'T I take HGH after I ran into that wall . . . ?

Posted by: Ryan Church | December 18, 2007 4:59 PM | Report abuse

The only difference between Dukes' five kids and many of us is a condom...

Posted by: BT23 | December 18, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

BT23 wins for quotation most likely to cause widespread confusion if taken out of context. Barry, please see that it's added to the little talkback section at the beginning of the Sports section.

Posted by: Section %)^ (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Hold on a second I thought those little purple pills were HGH...

Posted by: eDukes | December 18, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm all about the context. Just waiting for the typical over-reaction...

Posted by: BT23 | December 18, 2007 5:21 PM | Report abuse

The other difference between Dukes' 5 kids and any of us is $306,000 dollars.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Make that $380,000, a difference bigger than my annual salary.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Timing's a little off, otherwise it would fairly obvious that the ex-Expo is (of course) Jamey Carroll. All the signs are there: career year followed by a precipitous falloff the next year, preposterous bulking up of the physique, etc, etc, etc.

Too bad he waited until he went to Colorado to start juicing; we could have used that .300 average in 2005.

Posted by: joebleux | December 18, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

heresy! Jamey Carroll is a good ole boy from the heartland and he would never do such a thing to disgrace the game of babseball!

. . .waiting for video of Jamey Carroll injecting himself with 'roids in the middle of the Colorado clubhouse as Todd Helton and Matt Holliday exchange syringes in the background.

Posted by: Atlanta | December 18, 2007 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Hey, ya'll quit picking on my boy, now!

Posted by: Jamey's mom | December 18, 2007 6:52 PM | Report abuse

Besides, it was the humidors...

Posted by: Jamey's mom again | December 18, 2007 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Oh no, wait, that was the pitchers. Okay, it was the thin mountain air, then. :)

Posted by: Jamey's mom yet again | December 18, 2007 6:54 PM | Report abuse

Some of the game times make sense. I'm guessing that the 7:10 is sort of an attempt to ameliorate the 7:05 last year, when there were crowds arriving late if close to game time (don't know how to cure those who arrive at 8 & leave at 9). The Friday 7:30 is an attempt to get more people there for the first pitch, without worrying about getting to work the next day.

PS, if you check the complete schedules, particularly for the away games, you will see that the start times are all over the place. It seems to be some sort of an attempt, on the part of the teams to accommodate their particular constituency.

Posted by: Catcher50 | December 18, 2007 7:42 PM | Report abuse

I just wish FOX Sports didn't have the Saturday schedules tied up. It'd be nice to catch a Saturday game in the afternoon.

One of about 150 items for the next (real) Commissioner to work on.

Posted by: Hendo | December 18, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

Well, seems like this girl didn't think this was so bad? Not showing up for your own complaint... I would be pissed. To those who say he is bad news, get a life and watch him play Baseball for the Washington Nationals. He's a 23yo young man. Let him grow-up and mature. It seems that his Mother or family did not show him how to treat a woman or be a man. I think Dukes will be fine here in Washington.

Posted by: QuietStormX | December 18, 2007 8:19 PM | Report abuse

This girl knew about the "You Dead Dawg" when she started dating him. Not that I condone his behavior but there are two sides to every story. Who's to say she wasn't just trying to cash out by taking advantage of "You Dead Dawg"?

All these chicks aren't getting pregant by pro athletes because the guy's a player. They're using their Baby's Momma status to get a lifetime meal ticket from a pro athlete.

Posted by: Elijah's a Nat | December 18, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Who's to say she was? My God, but we're taking an oddly cynical, it's-all-the-woman's-fault attitude on here. (Not everyone, I know!) I worry that some of these comments are but a breath away from "And she asked for it!" Actually, some of them are closer than that.

Posted by: Atlanta | December 18, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Hey "Where there's somke there's fire" gives Dukes a chance, people do change, case in point Dmitri Young. Who are you to call this man a piece of trash? you know nothing at all about him. Some 23 year olds need time to mature, hopefully the judges decision is a step in the right direction for him. It would be great for him, and the organization if this guy turn his life around and show he's the real. deal.

Posted by: Skyerocket1969 | December 18, 2007 10:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, I didn't call him a piece of trash, so thanks for that, but whatever. Sure, people turn their lives around and if he does, I agree, fantastic for him. And you don't know anything about him, either, so why should I give him the benefit of the doubt when numerous incidents prove that this guy is more than a little messed up? Which isn't what I was saying before either; all I said was that I think people need to be a little more careful when discussing the circumstances around Dukes's case. Show me one single incident where domestic abuse was justified. It's a slippery slope down the road of "it's her fault." Her mouth said no, but her eyes said yes, so it must be okay.

Posted by: Atlanta | December 18, 2007 10:30 PM | Report abuse

Amen, Atlanta.

---

Show me one single incident where domestic abuse was justified. It's a slippery slope down the road of "it's her fault."

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 18, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

well, if there was something substantial behind the filing, she would have shown up in court.

she didn't, and in doing so she denied Dukes(who DID show up) his right to face his accuser.

case closed.

my theory is that when Dukes told her to leave his house, she had his car stolen and chopped up as retribution, and then made up the abuse charge to divert the attention from her.

a reporter should go find that woman, and ask her why she did not show up for her own court hearing, and what happened to Dukes' car.

but we won't do that, because we all want this to be true, and we all want Dukes to get in trouble again, so that the Nats can release him. Right NJ posters?

I don't ever condone a man hitting a women. no woman ever deserves to be abused.

But unlike most here, I don't condone women LYING about it either.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 18, 2007 11:07 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking forward to the new season. I'll happily cheer for Dukes on the field if he plays well and behaves himself off the field. I think I would have at least as many issues as him if my father was jailed for murder when I was 13 years old and my mother was selling crack. I certainly think a man/boy like that might need more than one chance to learn how to cope with frustration. Who was there to raise him? Who were his role models? Who cared or even paid enough attention to him to try to teach him anything other than how to hit a fastball? I'm not saying he's not accountable for his own mistakes - he is. But, other than talent he was not dealt a winning hand. Some see the trade for Dukes as some sort of failing of the Nats management, but I do think that trying to help someone, risking your own reputation, and potentially your own job is a bit of a profile in courage. I'm not ready to call it a smart move, but its not arrogant, its not insensitive. It can't turn out well for the Nats unless Dukes is successful in conquering his own demons.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 18, 2007 11:15 PM | Report abuse

And i worry that too many of these negative comments are too close to "he's a black man and a thug and he's never going to change because that's the way they all are." Especially in a city like DC we need to understand that even if a person isn't like you, didn't grow up in an upper class white family like you, didn't have a college fund of a steady role model like you, that doesn't make him less of a person.

Nobody disapproves of domestic violence more then i do. I was raised to treat women right, but I was also raised to not judge a book by its cover and to treat people the way i'd like to be treated. All I'm saying is that with Dukes as part of our community we should support him and give him the benefit of the doubt for now. I'm sure that it will be easier for him to reform if the community as well as the team is behind him.

-------------------------------------------

I worry that some of these comments are but a breath away from "And she asked for it!" Actually, some of them are closer than that.

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | December 18, 2007 11:24 PM | Report abuse

I am by no means a Elijah Dukes Fanboy, but I believe this needs to be said.

I've been perusing other boards and other places where Nats talk occurs....especially in light of this latest charge/non-charge that has come and gone...

and the sheer amount of people who are *ACTIVELY hoping and wishing and praying* that Dukes does something to get himself released from the Nats is absolutely ridiculous.

and don't hand me this "oh i'm not rooting against him, i just doubt he's gonna change" BS. that's just guilt talking because you actually want him to not change so that you don't have to root for him when you root for the Nationals.

I say, the minute he does something stupid, he's gone. But until then, he is a National. period. you don't have to root for him or even like him, but I don't believe it is right to root AGAINST him.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 18, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Ditto MrMadison

Posted by: VT Nats Fan | December 18, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

They only dated for TWO MONTHS. He didn't have time to get to the real beatings.

I say that a little facetiously because I agree with those who are appalled and disgusted at his behavior, but I also agree with those who say give the guy a chance HERE.

Though I'm very interested in how blogs are changing the landscape of journalism, one of the downsides is that although they seem to empower us a little more (i.e, the Carpenter backlash), they also make us a little more entitled, like our opinion of a player's character deserves more weight in player transactions than it should.

Ya'll remember when Guillen's, ahem, "girlfriend" was robbed outside a nefarious check-cashing joint at 3 in the morning, right after cashing his check? At least this blog wasn't up and running at the time (not sure about the others), so there didn't seem to be a big to-do about it. If that happened now? We'd all be demanding his head, and for the TRUTH about it from Barry. Which can be a good thing. But, on the other hand, how much did it REALLY matter? I remember chuckling, thinking he was a bit of a loser, also thinking there's probably alot of stupid things players do that we don't know about. Then about a second later I was all, yawn, who's pitching tonight?

Just trying to get a little perspective is all.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 18, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Just wanted to give the Post and Barry some props for getting the dismissal of the case front and center in the 35¢ edition. I thought it might be buried--or not mentioned at all--in print.

Posted by: anon. | December 19, 2007 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Right on NatsNut.

C'mon guys, can't I believe that beating women is wrong and women have a right to file injunctions, but also that this information is prior to Dukes's pledge to clean up with the Washington Nationals and shouldn't affect our evaluation of that?

When Sean Taylor died the initial response of a lot of folks (ahem, Wilbon) was to say they weren't surprised because of the life he led. Turns out they were completely wrong about what life they thought he led.

The cases aren't analogous, Dukes DID leave that life. But one of the things Wilbon, et al., said was that the hardest part about leaving a rough life behind is that the rough life refuses to let you go. All sorts of characters from your past continually try to pull you back and, most especially when you're famous, the law and the fans and the media try to pull you back into that life.

Elijah Dukes, that past life is not welcome here in DC. You are. Make sure to leave that past in Florida and we'll help you keep it out.

So let's help him keep it out.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 19, 2007 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Speaking for myself, as previously noted, I do hope that Dukes can turn his life around for his sake and for that of any woman with whom he comes into contact. What he can bring to the team on the field is a secondary consideration for me. Frankly, I'm inclined to believe that he and other players get a pass on domestic violence because of their talents (see Brett Myers, for example). To me, it's cynical of the FO to suggest that their main interest is in him or any other player turning his life around, when IMO a player is more important to them as an (ultimately financial) asset than as a human being. If they really want to help Dukes turn his life around, why not give him time during the season to work on his issues outside the pressure cooker environment of MLB? Again, I hope that he can turn things around but that doesn't always happen with abusers, even with a change of scenery. The real change has to come from inside, not outside.

On the other side of the issue, I am dismayed whenever such threads come up on this or on other forums to see the number of postings assuming that the woman is at fault or somehow deserved whatever she got. Domestic violence can be perpetrated by all age groups, races, and sexes. I find it disturbing no matter who does it. One thing that I've done in an effort to effect positive change in that regard this holiday season was to make a donation to the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

As far as rooting for the Nats, right now I'm feeling disillusioned with MLB what with the steroids cloud and other issues. Perhaps I was naive about the character of the sport and its players. I'm trying to work through that but right now I am having a hard time getting excited about next year and that saddens me.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 19, 2007 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Maybe he was going to make a donation to a local church a la Tony Batista?

---

Ya'll remember when Guillen's, ahem, "girlfriend" was robbed outside a nefarious check-cashing joint at 3 in the morning, right after cashing his check?

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 19, 2007 9:22 AM | Report abuse

natsfan1a, to cure your disillusionment in baseball check out this link:

The Washington Nationals

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 19, 2007 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Guess HTML doesn't work on this blog...

http://i.a.cnn.net/si/2007/writers/john_donovan/09/13/acta.nationals/p1.acta.jpg

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 19, 2007 9:28 AM | Report abuse

i'm really losing interest here. it was a good trade. a chance worth taking. and i'd love a josh hamilton (the elijah dukes story) right here in dc. i'm thinking nats will do a better job than tampa did. if it doesn't work. it doesn't work.

but it does make me sick that people ask for trouble to be proven right. bunch of weirdos if you ask me.

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2007 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I do love Manny Acta! (grins)

Speaking of whom, now would be a great time to have details about his foundation for those looking for year-end donation possibilities. (hint hint, Barry)

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 19, 2007 9:32 AM | Report abuse

"you don't have to root for him or even like him, but I don't believe it is right to root AGAINST him."

MrMadison -- so you would root for any player that the Nats acquired, no matter what they'd done? Even Barry Bonds? Brett Meyers? How about Lawrence Phillips playing for your football team?

If so, you're more forgiving than I am. I don't buy this "everyone deserves a second/third/fourth//fifth.... chance stuff". Let him go back to school, prove he's a human being, and get his fifth chance as an accountant or something.

I do hope that Dukes fails here as quickly as possible so we can be rid of him and have team I can root for without reservation.

Posted by: joebleux | December 19, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Well, I think we've exhausted this conversation. We all see where we stand, let's reconvene on this topic in April to see what has changed since then.

I have a question to propose:

Judging by all of last year's starting pitchers performances (not potential), what would be your starting five in order on 2007 Washington Nationals "All-Stars" Squad?

I would say:

Hill
Bergmann
Redding
Chico
Bacsik

I really like old baldy on the mound, I don't know what it is about him. It's sure not his stats.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 19, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

What I don't understand is the fact that several people are commenting that people on this blog are saying the women "is getting what she deserved." I haven't read any of those comments. People are just saying that the woman didn't show up in court to tell her side of the story. Based on the circumstances, it appears that it could be a total lie.

Also, I think that there are a lot of hypocrites posting. It almost seems that some people wished this happened, so they would cut Dukes.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 19, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Uh, which one is old baldy?

---

I really like old baldy on the mound, I don't know what it is about him. It's sure not his stats.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 19, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Speaking for myself, and just to clarify for you, I wasn't referring only to this thread. IMO, the blame the victim phenomenon seems to arise whenever the domestic violence issue comes up.

---

What I don't understand is the fact that several people are commenting that people on this blog are saying the women "is getting what she deserved." I haven't read any of those comments. People are just saying that the woman didn't show up in court to tell her side of the story. Based on the circumstances, it appears that it could be a total lie.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 19, 2007 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Sorry. Old Baldy-est

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 19, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

"MrMadison -- so you would root for any player that the Nats acquired, no matter what they'd done? Even Barry Bonds? Brett Meyers? How about Lawrence Phillips playing for your football team?

No, I would not necessarily root FOR them. But I would not ACTIVELY ROOT FOR THEM TO FAIL just so I can say "I told you so", as long as they are wearing the Nationals Uniform.

"I do hope that Dukes fails here as quickly as possible so we can be rid of him and have team I can root for without reservation."

then you are a pitiful excuse for a "fan".

Posted by: MrMadison | December 19, 2007 11:13 AM | Report abuse

I second that, 506, especially about Bacsik. Even though the nigh on continuous loop of Barry Bonds and 756 gets old, seeing the class and dignity with which he handled the moment makes me smile. Dagnabbit, he might not be that good at baseball, but he sure does try hard!

Posted by: Atlanta | December 19, 2007 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I'm not saying to cheer him. or to think he is the greatest person ever. or even to give him a 497935684375975th chance.

that's not what I am saying at all.

I don't like him, and I didn't like the fact that we acquired him.

I'm just saying that until he screws up he is a National.

and saying "I hope he screws up" is a pitiful display of fandom, and all the mouth breathers who say this should have their season tickets revoked and their money refunded.

Posted by: MrMadison | December 19, 2007 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Actually, Atlanta, that gives me an even BETTER idea.

Name your "Family Picnic" baseball team. Guys who may not be the best, but you'd sure get a kick out of playing some pick-up ball with them while showing down on potato salad.

I have Bacsik as starting pitcher

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 19, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Tony Batista can be awkward evangelizing Uncle/First Base

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 19, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

right on, MrMadison. joebleux, I have to disagree with you this time. I'm cheering the ballplayer, not the husband. And if I'm not cheering, I'm silent. I can't stand it when fans who boo their own players.

506: Family picnic, fine. Bascik's the starting pitcher. I love him to death. Nicest, humblest, most sincere guy. But no, I don't want him on the mound. Keep him in the bullpen singing with Chad.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 19, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Brian Schneider for catcher, of course. The normal, quiet uncle who'll still slip you a beer when mom's not looking.

Brandon Harper as his back-up.

Posted by: Atlanta | December 19, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

new post

Posted by: Anonymous | December 19, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

did Chico really lead the team with 94 strikeouts? omfg. longterm is losing patience.

Posted by: longterm | December 19, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut, I didn't suggest booing Dukes, and I agree with you 100% about that. The only time I would ever boo one of my team's players is for gross lack of effort.

And with that I'm just going to drop this (much to %)^'s disappointment), and we'll just have to agree to disagree about wanting Dukes to succeed here.

Posted by: joebleux | December 19, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Carlos Baerga as a pinch-runner, because it's funny as all get-out to watch him run.

---

Name your "Family Picnic" baseball team.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 19, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

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