Tampa Bay will start listening to offers on Elijah Dukes, simply to get him away from the environment of his Tampa neighborhood.
This was the same sentiment reported by Jayson Stark last week in his latest Rumblings and Grumblings…
We’re hearing the Devil Rays have been floating the name of troubled Elijah Dukes to see whether a trade can (A) get Dukes a fresh start away from his hometown and (B) bring them a decent, badly needed bullpen arm.
This must be a publicity ploy by the Rays to beef up Dukes trade value by trying to convince teams that he will be well-behaved in another organization. There are several reasons why a “change of scenery” won’t be the deciding factor in Dukes behavior
- He will still be in Tampa during the off-season and is likely to still have the same friends.
- Consider that his latest incident, in which he threatened his wife and children happened with a cell phone. Pretty sure he could still do that even if he was playing in Manitoba.
- All of Dukes’ suspensions have been the result of incidents in the ballpark. Whether it was fights with teammates or coaches or tirades directed at umpires. None of these suspensions had anything to do with which organization he was playing for.
- And of course, since Elijah Dukes was drafted he has played 518 games (including spring training). Of those 518 games, he has played a grand total of 77 games in the state of Florida (including spring training). In other words he has spent 14.9% of his professional career in the state of Florida.
In other words, if Elijah Dukes is going to get in trouble again, it won’t make a difference where he is playing and who he is playing for. And if a lil’ ole blog like ours can figure that out, we are fairly certain that 29 major league general managers and owners can figure it out also. OK, maybe not Peter Angelos.