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Posted at 5:05 PM ET, 02/11/2011

Elijah Dukes is rapping now, says he smoked marijuana before Nationals games

By Adam Kilgore

The Tampa Tribune is going to run what sounds like a crazy story about Elijah Dukes in tomorrow's editions, and there is a preview up now on its Web site. Dukes, the Nationals' former right fielder who was released last spring training, is now rapping in his home city of Tampa, having evidently halted a comeback in baseball that took him briefly to the independent Newark Bears last summer. He calls himself Fly Eli, and he mines his troubled past for material.

The most salacious part of the upcoming story has little to do with his rap career. He makes some pretty wild accusations and claims. An example:

He says he was blackballed by baseball after he came forward last year with allegations that fellow ball players were smuggling drugs onto chartered aircraft, using drugs in hotel rooms after flights and how he would sometimes smoke marijuana before home games when he played for the Washington Nationals.

Dukes struggled mightily after the Nationals released him last year. He was depressed and didn't see it coming, according to one source close to Dukes. He had not recently found trouble outside of baseball, and he didn't think the Nationals would release him solely on the merit of his ability. But Mike Rizzo decided he had better baseball options, and no other team took a chance on him.

Once he finally recovered, Dukes joined the Bears. But he arrived out of baseball shape, and he showed up late for the second half of the team's after missing a flight. It may have been his last chance to make it in baseball, and he could not take advantage.

In November, Dukes was arrested and charged with contempt for allegedly failing to pay two women child support.

And now, it seems, Dukes's life has take another, altogether surprising and odd turn.

By Adam Kilgore  | February 11, 2011; 5:05 PM ET
 
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Comments

"Dukes struggled mightily after the Nationals released last year. He was depressed and didn't see it coming, according to one source close to Dukes. He had not found trouble outside of baseball, and he didn't think the Nationals would release solely on the merit of his ability."

What were you smoking when you wrote this, Kilgore?

Posted by: nunof1 | February 11, 2011 5:07 PM | Report abuse

I am rather disturbed at this story but not surprised I had faith that Dukes would stay at it maybe have his agent try and get him a tryout this spring, not give up and become "a rapper" i'm sure "Dr.Dre" can't wait to lay down some tracks for him.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 11, 2011 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I never believed Stan Kasten for one moment when he said that there were no behavioral issues involved relating to Dukes abrupt release last year. Now, it looks like we are getting the rest of the story---the real story and it is ugly.

Posted by: bupbups | February 11, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

There is absolutely no question he was blackballed. In '08 he posted a line of .264/.386/.478 with a 127 OPS+, by 2010, he's out of the league. He was built like a gladiator, had a cannon arm in right, and showed a real fire and passion to win on the field.

If he were white, knowing his background, he'd be a redemption story. When David Wells claims to be drunk on the mound, he's just a good ol' boy, not unlike the Great Bambino before him.

In 3 seasons he averaged a 104 OPS+, not great, but above average. With plenty of room for growth and defensive skill. To not have a job is completely beyond me, there is only one answer...

He was BLACKballed. Emphasis on black.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | February 11, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

If Dukes names names tonight, this will be a big story tomorrow; Adam is soft pedaling it now, IMHO

Adam also isn't making the possible connection from drug use to the surprising release last March.

Posted by: swanni | February 11, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Question to be asked: where exactly did Dukes smoke pot before games? Locker room?

Posted by: swanni | February 11, 2011 5:54 PM | Report abuse

>Question to be asked: where exactly did Dukes smoke pot before games? Locker room?

Posted by: swanni

The manager's office. Pants was in there too.

Posted by: Brue | February 11, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

swammi -- I agree. But, my guess is that he will not name names of players that did anything wrong, though he may drop names of folks in management he claims have knowledge of bad behavior. This could be very interesting stuff.

Not that I am thinking some conspiracy was afoot, but they did just dump the guy at an odd time for no apparent reason last year. And the idea that no other club thought he could pay a dividend in their system, given his tools, is a bit odd.

Posted by: dfh21 | February 11, 2011 6:09 PM | Report abuse

He was BLACKballed. Emphasis on black.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | February 11, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse
______________________________

Are you retarded?? The dude was smoking weed before games... I'm all about smoking trees but come on... be responsible, do your job, & then smoke the weed.

David Wells pitched a perfect game... What has Dukes done in the majors except set a bad example & be a poor teammate.

Posted by: tony325 | February 11, 2011 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Dukes was a great player, maybe his personal problems were related to how he was treated by baseball teams.

Posted by: j_belljr | February 11, 2011 6:39 PM | Report abuse

Hahahaha.

Sounds like the typical Natinals player.

Wonder how many times he, Strasburg, and Zimmerman all hit the gravity bong in the dugout before games.

Certainly explains why the Natinals win so few games.

hahahahahahhhhahahahaa

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 11, 2011 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Whether it's "Smiley" or "Fly El," Rizzo must feel like the ghost of Jim Bowden will never leave the building.

Posted by: swanni | February 11, 2011 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey J-Bell.... Here is Dukes threatening his ex-wife, and his own children. You're right, he's such a model and misunderstood citizen. As for being "a great player"....HAHAHAHAHAHA!! The dude was a lifetime .242 hitter with 31 career home runs. That's great?? What are you smoking?

"Hey, dawg. It's on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain't even bulls-------. Your kids too, dawg. It don't even matter to me who is in the car with you. N-----, all I know is, n-----, when I see your m-----f------- a-- riding, dawg, it's on. As a matter of fact, I'm coming to your m-----f------ house.

Posted by: brian1va1 | February 11, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

"Hey, dawg. It's on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain't even bulls-------. Your kids too, dawg. It don't even matter to me who is in the car with you. N-----, all I know is, n-----, when I see your m-----f------- a-- riding, dawg, it's on. As a matter of fact, I'm coming to your m-----f------ house."
----------------------------------------------------

This would make for good lyrics within the context of a show tune. Perhaps as part of an "Elijah! The Musical" off-off-Broadway production.

Posted by: Ted_Striker | February 11, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

"Dukes is a great player".
Right. And I should get a tryout with the Caps.

Posted by: TJDemo | February 11, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Another Bowden type - full of potential, a scumbag everywhere else. Rizzo didn't waste any time - good. Nobody owes you squat in life based on "potential." I wish I had his ability!! I'd be an allstar. What a waste.... no sympathy. Did "the hood" ruin his future? Pu-lease! Spare me the sob story... he had his chance and smoked weed before games?! That shows cintempt for the game, and for the fans. Have a nice life - LOSER!

Posted by: Capitalist-1 | February 11, 2011 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Wonder how many times he, Strasburg, and Zimmerman all hit the gravity bong in the dugout before games.

Let's see, since he was released in March I doubt if SS had much time to blow smoke with ED. As usual Poopy's material (including punctuation) comes from the lower end of the alimentary canal.
The poor creature won't be happy until everyone is as miserable as he/she is.

Posted by: Natmeister | February 11, 2011 10:01 PM | Report abuse

He was BLACKballed. Emphasis on black.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq
------
I won't deny that racism still exists, but you're being very selective in forgetting that the Nats gave Dmitri Young another chance, and he repaid the team with an all-star performance in '07 before diabetes set him back.

Posted by: nats24 | February 11, 2011 10:21 PM | Report abuse

@ Imjustlikemusiq:

Any normal person could look at Dukes ridiculous attempt at a career and objectively say that he deserves to be out of baseball.

You're defending his egregious effort only because he's black. And that makes YOU, not all the GMs in MLB, the racist.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | February 11, 2011 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Snitches get stitches and wind up in ditches.
------------------------------------------------------------

P00PY_MCP00P aren't you aware that Tim Lincecum led the Giants to the 2010 World Series title last as the winning pitcher in 2 of the 4 games required for his team to claim that honor? I suppose you think if he weren't a pothead he would have won all 4 games. Oh yes, and a 3rd consecutive Cy Young award.

http://lettimmysmoke.com/

Posted by: bpayne2 | February 12, 2011 12:59 AM | Report abuse

I don't care how good they are, headcases like Dukes, and Milton Bradley cannot be tolerated in a team environment. Will GM's ever learn this?

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 12, 2011 3:42 AM | Report abuse

If he were white? Just another case of the man trying to keep the black man down. It's starts with blackballing this fine upstanding athlete who just so happens to enjoy a little weed before the game. Where will it end?

Posted by: fish4 | February 12, 2011 6:20 AM | Report abuse

I am sure there are more potheads in Baseball than most think. Same with every sport.

10% of the US is high.

The question is, is pot performance enhancing. I could see it slowing down the game for some.

Also would explain it if we see any outfielders rolling around in the grass.

Posted by: alex35332 | February 12, 2011 7:42 AM | Report abuse

I was high on Dukes myself after 08, but purely on baseball performance had one blip of success - a little over half a season of plate appearances in 08 - in a mediocre although short ML career. And remember that he was one of the culprits of bad baserunning and bad defense in 09 despite his physical skills. Not the sort of performance worth overlooking his other problems.

I do feel for the guy and his reputation a little bit because all(?at least most) of his current legal troubles relate to inability to pay child support resulting from his past transgressions. Legitimate for sure, but not what I think of as an ongoing repeat offender - more ongoing consequences of previous offenses.

And what better publicity for an aspiring rapper than scandalous accusations of drug use? Not much reason to believe him about the team. Maybe he was toking up, who knows, but who cares?

Posted by: utec | February 12, 2011 9:01 AM | Report abuse

"Hey, dawg. It's on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain't even bulls-------. Your kids too, dawg. It don't even matter to me who is in the car with you. N-----, all I know is, n-----, when I see your m-----f------- a-- riding, dawg, it's on. As a matter of fact, I'm coming to your m-----f------ house."
*************

I hope that's part of his first single.

Posted by: senorbeavis | February 12, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

If he were white, knowing his background, he'd be a redemption story. When David Wells claims to be drunk on the mound, he's just a good ol' boy, not unlike the Great Bambino before him.

In 3 seasons he averaged a 104 OPS+, not great, but above average. With plenty of room for growth and defensive skill. To not have a job is completely beyond me, there is only one answer...

He was BLACKballed. Emphasis on black.

Posted by: Imjustlikemusiq | February 11, 2011 5:40 PM | Report abuse

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

David Wells or Tim Lincecum never threatened to kill anybody.

Posted by: egoodman8 | February 12, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

A lot of talk and not many answers. That video didn't name anyone except if you know who carried the man purses.

The pot smoking was done before games as in before he would arrive at the ballpark.

We would be naive to think that there aren't many players smoking prior to coming to their team's locker rooms.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | February 12, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Whoa! Dog bites man. Stop the presses.

I would have been quite surprised if Elijah Dukes DIDN'T smoke weed. Now, THAT might have been newsworthy.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | February 12, 2011 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Dukes is just another case of great athletic ability being unable to overcome a complete lack of basic intelligence. In other words his head was simply too big an obstacle to be overcome. Even when he was earning hundreds of thousands of dollars a year, he was defaulting on his child support payments, which in turn was threatening his baseball career. Idiot! How many teams hire a babysitter to try and keep a promising player from doing some new, incredibly self-destructive thing? This is a guy who was given every chance and simply blew it!

The other thing at play here is simple math. Every year a new crop of young athletes arrive to start their progression towards the majors. The number of good athletes that want to play at the highest level and are willing to work for it far outnumbers the number of jobs there are. If you're really good you get a window of opportunity, if you have exceptional tools, that window is a little longer, but sooner or later if you haven't delivered, you're gone. Dukes had tons of opportunities and finally reached the stage where ALL MLB clubs decided he wasn't worth the trouble. They can fix a torn lambrum or MCL; there are no head transplants yet!

Posted by: lesatcsc | February 12, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

So what? Lots of people smoke marijuana. Yes, it is against the law, though that is eroding, but it doesn't give a competitive advantage, and if a rock band can put on a great performance after smoking it, I've got no trouble with a baseball player smoking it. Jeez.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | February 12, 2011 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Like i said in an earlier post i was hoping he would seek another chance try to get himself a tryout to prove the Nat's wrong because America loves a redemption story but he gave in to the demons.I smoked weed for years and i mean for years but as my daughter got older i had to try and set a better example for her and myself. I liked Elijah and hoped he would have an impact on this team in a good way. I know this he never punched his wife in the face in public(with a closed fist) like the pitcher for the Phillies did, Dukes should keep his mouth closed and move on with his life.

Posted by: dargregmag | February 12, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

What a loser. The guy was a damn blueprint for an athlete. He just couldn't take the every day discipline it took to become a professional athlete.
The Elijah pussyDukes rap:

I had it so hard makin' my money
I had to get up in the mawn'in,
n' be on time, dats funny!

n' catchin' my plane on time, too much to expects, I gotta life! no respect,

fo' a black man like me. I got it hard, so I shout! I cry all day, and wuss out.

I like to do my thing, and blame other peeps, cuz dats how it is in the hood, ridn' in my jeep!

Dem fools got popped, took dey corner, next day, set up shop. Fo'get about D.C. I'm headin' to East St. Louis, cuz them n's don't know us.

Dukes, you succcccck!

Posted by: shred11 | February 13, 2011 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Stop it, P00PY_MCP00P! You'r makin' me cry!

Posted by: shred11 | February 13, 2011 9:21 PM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7o1bX7Ku4Y

Posted by: dattaarup | February 14, 2011 1:04 PM | Report abuse

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