You’ve probably heard by now that Elijah Dukes got fined and benched because he showed up late for work.

Dukes was five minutes late for stretching drills because he was signing autographs at a local little league.

Now that little league has volunteered to pay Dukes’ $500 fine.

Buster Olney thinks Major League Baseball should pay the $500.

Rob Neyer thinks Dukes doesn’t get it and never will.

I think this whole thing is fascinating.

The little league president has praised Dukes, saying, “I could see if he was out trying to do something small or private, but he just came into my community and gave us a shot in the arm” and “The point is, this guy gave back to our community, and now he’s in a hard spot. We need to help him.”

But let’s be honest. Dukes is no saint. He didn’t volunteer his time. He got paid $500. Now, that’s not a ton of money, especially for a guy who’s making $400K. But he wasn’t exactly doing a lot of heavy lifting, either. Dukes “signed autographs, watched the parade of teams and spoke to the players for about a minute.”

Wow. A whole minute.

What kind of a person charges a little league $500 for a few autographs and a photo op? The kind of person who fathered at least five children with four women between 2003 and 2006, I suppose. That’s probably a lot of child support to pay.

Moreover, what kind of little league says to itself, “Gee, it’d be really swell to get a Major League player to come sign autographs on opening day. Who should we get? How about Elijah Dukes?! He’s been arrested at least three times for battery, and once for assault, and he’s threatened to kill his wife and he knocked up a 17-year-old foster child, but aside from that he’d be great!” Maybe the other Nationals players were too expensive?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Thank god for the Nationals. Never a dull moment.

10 Responses to “Elijah Dukes does it all for the kids”

  1. Thank God the Nationals left Montreal, since i don’t have anymore love for this team. They are so ridiculous.

  2. Sarah Green says:

    It’s not clear to me that Dukes got paid $500 for the appearance – it seems ambiguous in the article, like they may just be paying him $500 now, after the fact, to cover the fine.

  3. No, I think it’s clear he was paid $500 for the appearance. The little league has volunteered to pay the fine, but they haven’t concluded their fundraiser yet and haven’t yet signed the check. When they do, the $501 will go to MLB

  4. Great points, but in fairness, maybe Dukes is a good person to bring in and talk to kids, albeit on a completely volunteer basis. He has a incredibly long list of things where he messed up and can share how those decisions have hurt him as a person and a ballplayer. Again though, that would be on a volunteer basis, not a paid appearance.

  5. Man, I dunno. I think if I had a little league and I wanted to invite a player to come talk to the kids, I’d choose a guy who is a little farther removed from all of his past indiscretions.

    Did you know that (according to Wikipedia) the Nationals hired a person with the title “Special Assistant: Player Concerns” who accompanies Dukes everywhere to ensure that he keeps himself out of trouble?

  6. The money doesn’t go to MLB. It goes to charity. All fine money goes to charity.

  7. Crap.

    Copy paste the whole thing. :o

  8. What game is that from?

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