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Dukes: Another domestic case

The St. Petersburg Times reported on its Web site this afternoon that another woman has sought protection from new Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes. We have confirmed the charge, filed in Hillsborough County court in Tampa -- Dukes's home town -- and there will be a story in the $.35 edition.

The case was filed Dec. 10, a week after the trade. It stems from incidents in October and November, before the trade.

This certainly is not what the Nationals needed. Since the trade, they have been actively involved in helping Dukes find counseling, etc. They have put him under the wing of Barry Larkin, the former Reds shortstop, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

We'll see how this plays out. For more info, read the story in the morning.

I'll also post about an afternoon meeting with Stan Kasten in which the Nationals' president addressed the media on the Mitchell Report, something few executives with any teams have done. Kasten did not talk specifically about Paul Lo Duca -- the only active National named in the report -- but did say the club had no knowledge of who would be named before it was released. Thus, according to Kasten, the Nationals did not know of Lo Duca's involvement prior to his introduction at a Tuesday press conference, roughly 48 hours before the release of the report.

I'll post a transcript of much of what Kasten said tomorrow. We'll have a story about that as well.

By Barry Svrluga  |  December 17, 2007; 8:42 PM ET
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Next: Official 2008 Schedule Released


Perhaps the Nationals should get counseling for Jim Bowden. What a trade.

Posted by: SuicideSqueeze | December 17, 2007 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Sweet. Will Duke's be gone before Spring Training begins?

Posted by: rally | December 17, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

I hope this guy never moves to DC. He's not damaged goods, he's broken. Nobody needs to win that badly.

Posted by: Baldino | December 17, 2007 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Fire Jimbo now.....He is just to fast and loose with the facts. Go back and look at all the quotes from the Nats FO about how hard they looked into the background Dukes....this was going on the month before the trade! On Lo Duca, Jimbo must have been the only one in MLB who did not know about the Lo Duca and the juice back in LA.

Stan must act now to stop the bad press and get back to building the club with high character guys. Yes they cost more up front but this is going to get ugly fast and we lost a pitching prospect for nothing.

Posted by: JayB | December 17, 2007 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Shouldn't the Nats just buy out his text messaging contract? Leave just normal voicemail service. On second thought, does he really need a mobile phone?

Posted by: Anonymous | December 17, 2007 9:36 PM | Report abuse

I can only hope that Dukes lied to the Nats ("Anything else we should know about?" "Nope, I'm as clean as a boy scout, other than the occasional death threat to the wife and kids!") and that the Nats have the intelligence to take this opportunity to cut this train wreck in progress loose.

Somewhat of a forlorn hope given that they were stupid enough to go after him in the first place.

Posted by: joebleux | December 17, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope he and Lo Duca both get kicked out!

Posted by: Ben | December 17, 2007 9:51 PM | Report abuse

It's a little bit of a stretch to equate spouse abuse/death threats with using HGH. I'd say with Dukes it's "one strike and you're out" and he just took a strike right down the middle.

No way Stan can let the reputation of this franchise, the Lerners, the city suffer at the hands of Bowden and Dukes. Buh-bye, Elijah, we hardly knew ye.

Posted by: Vandy | December 17, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Disappointed. I don't have a huge problem with DC become a place where you'll get your second change, but I feel like whichever second chance Dukes got, it should be considered blown. The children of this city deserve a better role model than this man.

Posted by: Atlanta | December 17, 2007 10:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: natsfan1a | December 17, 2007 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Listen folks, all this talk about hoping Dukes get kicked off is nonsense. This is not 'strike one', by any means. It happened before we signed him. It's just an allegation. You don't know anything at all about what happened. Chill out a bit. I fully believe in the Nats front office and I applaud them for taking on the challenges that others wouldn't. I look forward to cheering Elijah on.

Posted by: Nattaboy | December 17, 2007 10:43 PM | Report abuse

So did the domestic violence incidents with two other women. Seems to be a pattern here...


This is not 'strike one', by any means. It happened before we signed him.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 17, 2007 10:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you for the time being, Nattaboy. This is allegations of something that happened before the trade. I'm very dubious about Dukes, but let's see where this goes before we throw him under the bus.

He has a chance to turn things around with the Nats. I hope he takes it and thrives. If he doesn't...if he has even one incident while in a Nats uniform...he needs to be shown the door.

Posted by: LA Nats | December 17, 2007 10:51 PM | Report abuse

More like, where's there's flames, there's fire.

I'll stop now.

But Robert Charles John Fick, this stuff steams me.

It's just an allegation. You don't know anything at all about what happened. Chill out a bit. I fully believe in the Nats front office and I applaud them for taking on the challenges that others wouldn't. I look forward to cheering Elijah on.

Posted by: Nattaboy | December 17, 2007 10:43 PM

Posted by: Cevans | December 17, 2007 10:55 PM | Report abuse

The point is, when we signed him, we did so knowing he had many bad problems off the field and that he needed counseling and leadership in a big way. Say this case was brought to light before we traded for him, right after it happened? The story would be the same. Nats take on troubled, risky outfielder with huge potential.

To ask Barry Larkin, Meat, and the rest to turn him around before they even establish a relationship is ridiculous.

I agree this is bad news, but this is still the same second chance, and I wholeheartedly believe it was the right thing to do.

Posted by: Nattaboy | December 17, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

What the bleep does that have to with anything????
This is allegations of something that happened before the trade.

Posted by: LA Nats | December 17, 2007 10:51 PM

Posted by: ce | December 17, 2007 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Which reminds me, have they signed Charlie Slowes yet? I have a feeling I'm going to be listening to a lot more games than I'll be watching.

Posted by: CEvans | December 17, 2007 11:03 PM | Report abuse

Well, really, what "this happened before the trade" has to do with anything is that he has not "taken a strike" since the trade. This is completely unrelated to whether or not he's cleaned up his act since he became a National (not saying he has, but it's not like any of us would know). And really, until you know any of the facts about this charge, it's not like this can really change your opinion about anything. Either you think that Dukes should never have been brought over in the first place, you wanted him gone w/ or w/out this charge, or you think he should have had "one strike and he's out" since he came over, in which case he should still be around. But you absolutely cannot say w/ any modicum of logic that he has "taken his one strike" that he was given last week based on an incident that may or may not have happened months ago.

Posted by: Jake | December 17, 2007 11:05 PM | Report abuse

She looked over his shoulder
For athletes at their games,
Men and women in a dance
Moving their sweet limbs
Quick, quick, to music,
But there on the shining shield
His hands had set no dancing-floor
But a weed-choked field.

A ragged urchin, aimless and alone,
Loitered about that vacancy; a bird
Flew up to safety from his well-aimed stone:
That girls are raped, that two boys knife a third,
Were axioms to him, who'd never heard
Of any world where promises were kept,
Or one could weep because another wept.

The thin-lipped armorer,
Hephaestos, hobbled away,
Thetis of the shining breasts
Cried out in dismay
At what the god had wrought
To please her son, the strong
Iron-hearted man-slaying Achilles
Who would not live long.

Posted by: Auden | December 17, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Get rid of Dukes now. That trade should have never been made. I really have no interest in paying $10K a year in season tickets to root for someone like this.

When are the Nats going to cut bait, when he brings a gun into the clubhouse and starts firing?

LoDuca and Milledge are one thing -- this is quite another. It angers me that they took on trouble like this, it is absolutely ridiculous. Six weeks ago there were several available center fielders who weren't threatening women with guns. A few of them are still left.

Posted by: Ray | December 17, 2007 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Funny, no one in this town had trouble paying for season tix when I was "riding high" and the Redskins were winning Super Bowls...

As far as Dukes, everyone that is so high and mighty about the kids poor judgement (that we have about 1% as much knowledge as the Nationals themselves do) will be slapping me high-fives after his first HR.... we cheer the uniform, not the player: it just makes it that much sweeter when we can cheer the name on the back of the uniform as well-

Posted by: Dexter Manley | December 17, 2007 11:25 PM | Report abuse

Who did the FO have investigating E.D.? Must have been Inspector Clouseau. Doesn't matter really, the point is, they missed it. Now, I wouldn't bring the axe down tonight, but I would have Barney down there and soon to check out this story. Better yet, maybe Andy should go. Someone didn't finish there homework.

Posted by: SC Nats Fan | December 17, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

What Jake said...much more eloquently than I did. This is something that may or may not have happened before the trade went down. The "one strike, you're out" mandate pertains to everything Dukes does from the moment of the trade into the future.

He has a chance to keep his nose clean, under the watchful eyes of Larkin and Young, among others. It's a chance he didn't have before the trade. I hope he takes advantage of it and turns his life around. If not, he's out...and deservedly so.

We shall see. I'm just not willing to give up on the kid before he's had a real shot at turning it around.

Posted by: LA Nats | December 17, 2007 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Bowden messed up here. He didn't do his due diligence on LoDuca or Dukes. Inexcusable.

Kasten needs to say "Jim, fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, you're fired."

Then, before the door hits old Jimbo on the way out, have his secretary get Mike Rizzo into his office pronto, with a GM contract already waiting to be signed.

Let's get Rizzo in the job before some other team gets smart and hires him - then we really lose.

Getting Rizzo into the GM's seat is an upgrade. Saying goodbye to Bowden is addition by subtraction!

Posted by: natswriter | December 18, 2007 12:46 AM | Report abuse

This is a Washington DC baseball team, not a sunday school picnic. Let this play out. The latest allegation surfaced after the trade.

Still, as much as I root for Bad-News-Bears-Style reform, this case seems dire.

Barry, please stop listing Dukes in the starting line-up for 2008. As with Dmitri, Dukes should be told that he's a minor leaguer until he sorts himself out.

Posted by: Kamau | December 18, 2007 1:24 AM | Report abuse

Waitaminnit -- you're telling me that Bowden knew NOTHING about the potential steroid/HGH use of any of the players he asked about/traded for?!?

This is the same Jim-Bowden-trade-baseball junkie we're all talking about, right?

Posted by: Juan-John | December 18, 2007 3:23 AM | Report abuse

The points made about due diligence are well taken.

There's also such a thing as due process. Some of the comments I'm hearing in this Journal disturb me almost as much as the latest allegations do.

The decision to sign Dukes was not just Bowden's. Kasten, Acta, and the Lerners had to buy in, and we know they didn't just rubber-stamp a trade or stick their heads in the sand.

Nor did the signing transfer responsibility for Dukes' behavior away from the man himself. On the contrary, it accentuated the spotlight under which his actions would be viewed.

On and off the field, Dukes, like everyone, should be held accountable for his actions. If justice is done, he will be, as will we all. We have a system in which that can take place. There are more expeditious systems in the world, to be sure, but I'm pretty sure I don't want to live under any of them.

Haters of Dukes (and Bowden) may yet get their wish(es), but the only thing I'm rooting for is for the truth to come out and justice to be done.

Posted by: Hendo | December 18, 2007 6:10 AM | Report abuse

When your ownership group orders you to bottom feed, you may not like what you bring to the surface.

Posted by: swanni | December 18, 2007 6:24 AM | Report abuse

Now available at

"Nationals Prison Leg Bracelet! (Modeled here in the picture by Washington's Elijah Dukes). Just $49.95. Lights up everytime a Nationals player gets a hit -- or is arrested for domestic abuse, steroid violations or any other criminal infraction! Fits all sizes!"

Posted by: swanni | December 18, 2007 6:29 AM | Report abuse

Oh, God, here we go again.

Posted by: Hendo | December 18, 2007 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Exactly, Hendo. At a time when you are trying to build the franchise and establish an image in the area, why take on someone like Elijah Dukes? The potential downside is far too great.

Instead of bottom-feeding for the likes of Dukes, the Nats should look for players who would be good additions on field and off. But that takes spending real money.

Posted by: swanni | December 18, 2007 6:54 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Stan and Jimbo, a chance at a World Series ring is worth a few beaten and choked women.

Posted by: Plan Man | December 18, 2007 8:12 AM | Report abuse

I have no words for that, Plan Man, except that I hope you never have a daughter.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2007 8:28 AM | Report abuse

and the sharks start circling. you blame bowden but i remember this was as much if not more on kasten.

let it play out. save the hate for your family at christmas. you actually know them.

Posted by: longterm | December 18, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

i have a daughter.

Posted by: longterm | December 18, 2007 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Geez, this site has become a fountain of negativity. "Beaten and choked women" did not happen in the last news release that I read concerning Dukes.

Perhaps some of you would be better off not following baseball at all and would be merrier plugging into the Court TV channel 24/7.

Did this breakup with the last girlfriend happen prior to the National's involvement with Dukes? Yes.

Did a physical assault take place? No.
The woman perceived a threat based on the publicity of Duke's past record and acted to get a court injunction for him to be kept away from her. This was a sensible thing for her to do.

Let us just see how Dukes acts from the time he was traded to the Nats. This was the tabula rasa that Kasten offered to Dukes. If he stays out of trouble and helps the Nats then it may balance out. If he stays out of trouble and does not help the Nats then it becomes good as well.

Posted by: Dale | December 18, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

How much is too much "extra" to pay to help someone get a second chance?

Who pays for the counselors? are they just like trainers and work for the club?

I'm all for giving someone a second chance, and as far as I'm concerned Elijah Dukes second chance began when he put ink on a contract with the Nationals.

This incident was alleged to have happened before that, so this is just a test of how he handles the inevitable bad publicity.

What I'm not in favor of is running a halfway house. These tough cases better be stellar players (and people) by Memorial Day or boo birds will come roost in the upper deck/standing room only areas of Nationals park.

p.s. the poetry around here sure has grown up since the limericks and haiku of summer...

Posted by: i hate walks | December 18, 2007 8:49 AM | Report abuse

OTOH, there's this item, from a recent story in one of the OPs: "The Rays tried to assist Dukes almost from Day One. They sent him to counseling and anger management classes, but his attendance was sporadic at best."


He has a chance to keep his nose clean, under the watchful eyes of Larkin and Young, among others. It's a chance he didn't have before the trade. I hope he takes advantage of it and turns his life around. If not, he's out...and deservedly so.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 18, 2007 8:55 AM | Report abuse

"Auden" is quoting from W.H. Auden's The Shield of Achilles, poem published in 1952.

There is a bit of a discrepancy re the LoDuca story - Kasten, per the newspaper article, says that they did not know his name would be in the Mitchell Report, not that they did not know that he had been using.

Posted by: Traveler | December 18, 2007 9:06 AM | Report abuse

On Kasten's remarks - I'm throwing the BS card. IF scouting reports - that you yourself reported on in the post - contained stats and splits annotated with Juiced or Not Juiced, I'm going to surmise that Kasten knows who used, who uses, when they used/use, and what they use. This clusterf**k is more than likely one of the biggest acts of collusion between players, owners, and union in the history of baseball. The fan, especially the fan that loves to intertwine the history of past performances to modern day players, is the only victim here. Unless you want to consider the kids out there that use PEDs as if it is part of the MLB experience (see the story about all of the Dominicans that buy animal steroids from DVMs for that added edge). Kasten's sound bite on the radio this morning just plain pissed me off. I want to see George Mitchell appointed as commissioner BY CONGRESS. And I want him to rein in these players, owners, union chiefs, and all of those who have sullied MY game.

Oh, and on DUKES? Roid Rage.

Posted by: 6th and D | December 18, 2007 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Did a physical assault take place? No.
The woman perceived a threat based on the publicity of Duke's past record and acted to get a court injunction for him to be kept away from her. This was a sensible thing for her to do.

Yo, Dale this is too nuanced a point for the group that wants to fire Bowden everytime they realize some of his acquisitions have potential downsides. This is a kid with more talent, and more problems, than Delmon Young. He was acquired for a low - A pitcher who may never have the stuff to get outs against advanced hitters. If he over comes his awful start in life, he could be a major "piece." If he does not, we know the Nats are trying.
Longterm - don't let your daughter date ballplayers or politicians.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2007 9:12 AM | Report abuse

Please, please do not read this as a defense of Dukes behavior because I do not intend it as such. I do have a question about which crimes Dukes has been accused of. Has he ever been charged/convicted of assualt and battery or is he only charged with threats? Both behaviors are wrong, but I want to understand how out of control he is.

Also, please stop with this "fire Bowden/Kasten" garbage. Thank Kasten/Bowden for taking a reasonable approach toward Dukes and backing up their talk with sound actions. One example: Dukes is moving in with Barry Larkin in January. We don't know (and should not know) all the details of how they are supporting/counseling Dukes.

As for not knowing about Lo Duca, I have no doubt that they looked at his statistics and suspected past involvement with steroids/HGH. I also have no doubt that they suspected he was off the steroids last year when his statistics fell. I have no problem with bringing Lo Duca into the fold whether they knew or just suspected he was a former user. I have heard multiple experts (former players) say that 25-30% of players used at one point. Not good. Very stupid. But here we are. You can't take 25-30% of the players out of the market. You can't restrict your player acquisition that much. Just try to keep the players you get/got clean going forward. Work within the system to enforce/promote good health habits and honest competition.

Posted by: NatBisquit | December 18, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for being a voice of reason, NatBisquit. They seem increasingly rare in here.

Posted by: faNATic | December 18, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse

This incident is the third one that involves the police. The first one was not the one last summer that got him suspended. That was number two and the level of threatened violence escalated from the first. This newest incident doesn't look as nasty, but it builds on the others. Doesn't an official police charge imply a resolution in court? With so many priors--as they say--is Dukes looking at a jail sentence for this latest incident?

Posted by: Julia's Dad | December 18, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

Actually, a bit of online research turns up multiple sources saying that Dukes has arrests for both assault and battery. I believe that battery does indicate physical assault from a legal standpoint.


Did a physical assault take place? No.

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 18, 2007 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I've got to side with Hendo, we have a criminal justice system for this reason. I think the Mitchell Report made it clear that baseball is not self-enforcing (except maybe about things like admiring home runs).

What did everyone expect from Kasten and Bowden? Omniscience? To know that Dukes would have an "incident" before the victim herself was convinced that it was an incident? Maybe she was in denial or maybe she was in terror, but either way she didn't report it to the police, why would you think she would tell the Nationals?

Did you expect saints? That Bowden was too much of a man of principles to trade for an aging, formerly (and possibly currently) juiced catcher? If you're going that route, get out your lantern Diogenes (as imagined by Neil Young, I suppose) because it's going to be a long walk searching for a man of principles in major league baseball.

I'm not saying that it's wrong to have standards, just that I don't understand the righteous indignation. Really, you respected these guys?

On a lighter note, I will say that Lastings Milledge can feel free to record all the rap albums he wants now...

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Info on Dukes' record and on the Rays' anger management program:

Posted by: natsfan1a | December 18, 2007 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Here's how the story in the Tampa press actually reads. Perusing it, I think there's some room for interpretation. As someone above said, she was probably wise to act given his history but there is no allegation of personal threats. If you consider the actual language used, there's room to say Dukes was implying "you blew it".

Amanda E. Reese, 23, was granted a temporary injunction for protection against domestic violence on Dec. 10. She is scheduled to appear in court Tuesday morning to seek extended protection.

"At this point, I fear for me and my child's life, due to his past history with his estranged wife," Reese wrote in her petition to the court.

In court filings, Reese said she and Dukes had briefly dated. She said they met in August and split in October.

Reese says Dukes sent her a text message on Oct. 23 that stated she would "have to deal with the consequences" and "don't let me see you when I come home" and "it's a promise, now make your move."

On Nov. 24, according to Reese, Dukes came to her home to discuss an incident that took place in his home before their split. After that visit, she said, he has been calling her home at inappropriate times.

"It's on," Dukes said during a 5 a.m. phone call, according to Reese.

Posted by: The Facts | December 18, 2007 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Another important legal distinction is that anyone can go to their local courthouse or police department and seek a temporary restraining order based solely on what they say. There's no sort of corroboration or verification process to see whether or not the facts that you state are true.

Instead, if you'd like to turn it into ongoing protection, there will be a hearing on that matter with both sides allowed to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. Thus, at this point, it sounds like we only even have one side of the story.

Posted by: The Facts, pt. II | December 18, 2007 10:05 AM | Report abuse

I'm on record as being opposed to bringing Dukes in here in the first place on the grounds that he's already had his three strikes. With that said, however, having traded for him, given him a clean slate and a zero-tolerance policy, there is no reason that the Nats should cut him now just because a former girlfriend is afraid of him (which is about all we know about this latest incident at the moment).

Posted by: Bob L. Head | December 18, 2007 10:15 AM | Report abuse

The real question here is why the Nats felt like they had to take a chance on someone so dubious like Elijah Dukes.

Answer: Because the cheap ownership group won't spend our hard-earned ticket dollars on the team. Where our money is going, who knows? But it's not going on the field.

Posted by: swanni | December 18, 2007 10:22 AM | Report abuse

506, Hendo:

If our opinions are to be limited to what can be proven in a court of criminal law, I think it's going to get awfully quiet around here.

I'm comfortable making judgments about player's character given a preponderance of evidence. If you're not, good for you (I guess), but I don't think that gives you any special moral high ground.

I don't see anything out there that contradicts the fact that he threatened to kill his wife and kids, and that he went into a middle school to confront her on another occasion. For me, that's more than enough to tell me that I don't want him on my team.

Posted by: joebleux | December 18, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

swanni, they're spending all their money to buy off the post so they won't print stories about them.

Posted by: 231 (other 506) | December 18, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

"Where our money is going, who knows? But it's not going on the field."

Can you be sure about that, swanni? Take a look at the ballpark webcam sometime. See all that green? My sources tell me that's not grass. They actually took thousands and thousands of dollar bills, rolled them up real tight and stuck them in the ground one by one. And in the infield, they used Benjamins. And those are YOUR Benjamins too, y'know?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | December 18, 2007 10:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm not saying our actions are limited by only what can be proven in a court of law, I'm saying that if you want to bring down the hammer of punishment on Dukes, then you need to use the legal system. Baseball is not the punishment.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Amend that. Baseball is particularly INEPT at punishing.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 10:46 AM | Report abuse

This is also not a defense, just a clarification, because there seems to be some confusion in the differences between threats, assaults and battery. If you want to get technical, assault is a threat of violence via a show of force (like taking a swing at someone), while battery is the actual harmful contact (the landed punch). A verbal or written (texted?) threat from afar is neither.

Also, this latest incident is simply the ex-girlfriend filing for an injunction against Dukes contacting her. This is not a criminal case, so no, Dukes does not have to appear in court and will not face any jail time.

Posted by: Scott in Shaw | December 18, 2007 10:54 AM | Report abuse

506, this isn't about using baseball as punishment (although, if it were, forcing him to spend his entire career in Tampa Bay would have been the way to go).

This is about drawing a line terms of what's acceptable in terms of poor character when it comes to the Nat's players. For me, everything I know about Dukes puts him way on the wrong side of that line.

Posted by: joebleux | December 18, 2007 11:10 AM | Report abuse

A lot of ppl are overreacting, JimBO this, Elijah that...When all this happend before he was even traded over to here Relax everyone give the man a chance. If he messes up as a Nat then jump all over him.

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

NatBiscuit, are you sure Dukes is moving in with Larkin in January? Incredibly generous of Larkin.

I don't imagine someone with Dukes's history turns it around very often, but there is such a thing as redemption.

And thank you Auden, esp the middle stanza.

Posted by: Old Section 406 | December 18, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

I am going to ignore the Dukes thing for right now.

What I'm curious about, and swanni, 419 I'm hoping you'll give me the answers, is how people can suddenly chalk this up to Bowden/Kasten?

If Bowden had done a terrible job up until this point, I'm with you. But JimBo took a terrible team and made some acquisitions in 2005 that made it competitive. Then he got rid of some low-grade players and got an All-Star. This without any budget. Then last year, as the ownership took over, he managed to put a product on the field that after a terrible start, was 100% better than expectations.

How can Bowden be blamed for a player's transgressions when he has been one of the most resourceful and successful GM's the past few years? Kasten has barely anything to base a judgement off of here, but if this even took place before the trade and wasn't reported until after, how can that impact the trade? We knew we were getting a dubious character!

The finger pointing at the Lerner's, I don't know if I agree with, but at least I can accept. That makes sense. The bashing of JimBo (and I'm no JimBo apologist) and Kasten is irrational at best.

With that said, let's go back to being a fun blog. Proctoring exams is boring, I need something to pick me up.

Posted by: NattyDelite! | December 18, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Umm... not trying to stake out any particular moral high ground, joebleux. Just trying to exercise critical faculties.

That may be a wasteful activity. It certainly isn't gaining popularity in this forum.

Perhaps I should jump onto the shrill, monotonous "NATS ARE CHEAP! OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!" bandwagon. Stupidly contrarian as it may seem, I'm reluctant to do so just yet.

Posted by: Hendo | December 18, 2007 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I didn't know this before:

Dukes's rap sheet includes arrests for * * * domestic battery in 2005 (he pleaded no contest and received one year's probation).

First of all, battery requires physical contact. Second of all, a no contest plea is right next to a guilty plea. So, it's not just a bunch of allegations and charges.

Posted by: Arkymark | December 18, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

TWO new posts up.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Hendo, don't forget, we've already given him due process -- the torches are lit and the pitchforks are sharpened.

Listen, folks, I hate that Hendo and I are looking soft on domestic violence while I work on measures to curb domestic violence in my real life. Here's how I got here, one more time, in hopes that you can see what I'm trying to say:

Dukes plead nolo contendere to battery charges while he was playing for the Rays. THIS IS BAD. I'm not being trite, just trying to be clear where I stand.

Dukes did something that made his brief girlfriend of the fall fearful.

The Nationals acquired Dukes and pledged to be tough to help him turn around.

Dukes's girlfriend filed for a restraining order.

Nats Journal sharpens the pitchforks and lights the torches.

Not yet happened:
Dukes pleads guilty, nolo contendere, or is conviceted on evidence that he really did threaten her.

Should she be scared? I'd say so. Should she file for an injunction? I'd say so. Did he threaten her? Unclear, but I wouldn't be surprised. Was it before he became a Nat and was vouched for by the team? Yes. Does that mean that it was the end of the old Dukes? We ought to find out.

Posted by: Section 506 (Before moving) | December 18, 2007 11:59 AM | Report abuse

It seems that any news about Mr. Dukes pretty much reinforces previously-held perceptions of him. That is certainly understandable, given that reports of his behavior are just short of a marauding Mongol or Visigoth. I imagine that a good part, if not all, of this behavior was known to the Nats before they traded for him.
How he handles the criticism and ramifications of his previous actions will go a long way towards the individual he indicates he wants to become. If he is able to control himself and perhaps channel his frustrations into athletic play, then it could be a situation where everyone comes out ahead. He can earn a living and pay his debt to those he has harmed and the Nats can have someone with quite a bit of talent playing for them.
As to the job of the front office, knowing when to spend a bundle of money is just as important as who to spend it on. The overwhelming majority of free agents available this year where not what this team needed at this time. The trades that have been made so far, I believe, where impressive. We have another potential starting pitcher, two new outfielders who have immense potential, and a very solid bench. All for a pretty reasonable price. When it is time to open the checkbook, I think the owners will be quite willing to do so.

Posted by: Section 223 | December 18, 2007 12:00 PM | Report abuse

"What I'm curious about, and swanni, 419 I'm hoping you'll give me the answers, is how people can suddenly chalk this up to Bowden/Kasten?"

Hey, don't go lumping me in with that swanni dude. I'm not chalking anything up to Bowden/Kasten. IMHO, anyone who now says that Bowden/Kasten failed to perform due diligence before acquiring Dukes and LoDuca needs to be giving props to the foresight and skill that same Bowden/Kasten duo exhibited in getting rid of Stanton, Guillen and Logan before the allegations were raised against them. And I don't see anyone saying that, do you?

Posted by: Section 419+1 | December 18, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

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