Elijah Dukes was apparently released by the Nationals. Carlos Beltran is indeed injured, and based on the past we cannot be sure how long he will be out. And while we certainly cannot count on good production from his possible replacements, Dukes is absolutely not the type of player the Mets should take in.
Despite my esteemed colleague TRSâ€™ stating so, Dukesâ€™ life and career have not been remotely similar to Lastings Milledge’s. Milledge did indeed find troubleâ€”as a high school juniorâ€”for engaging in sexual contact with a minor. This is the only brush with the law that this writer can recall Milledge ever having. This writer likes rap music too; yet I have never been called a thug or a violent criminal; nor should Milledge be considered one.
According to various sources, Elijah Dukes has also had sex with a minor, but as a 23 year old, not as a 16 year old. And the minor was a foster child living with a relative of his. He supposedly has five children with four different women.
He has been arrested four times for violent incidents.
The Nationals hired an ex-police officer tail Dukes everywhere to try and curb his obviously serious inclination for violent, irresponsible behavior.
Gary Sheffield came with baggage, but not of the consistently violent, law-breaking kind that Dukes comes with. Sheffield also came with a near-HOF pedigree.
Dukes does not have much on-field success to offset his personal history, and would certainly be sitting on the bench if Beltran returns healthy soon and if Frenchy performs up to expectations. Dukes will soon turn 26, and has had fair-to-good stats in the minors and majors; this is not a young, budding star.
Is this what we want this team to go after? Is this who we want sitting on our bench all summer?
We need starting pitching and we need our players to be healthy. We have Pagan and Matthews to fill in, and if this spring is any indication, we have Fernando Martinezâ€™s day rapidly approaching.
Just say no to Elijah Dukes, and say it loud and long.
He does not deserve the privilege of wearing a Met uniform.