As you may have heard, Washington Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes was recently hit with a $500 fine for arriving minutes late to a Nationals team meeting. The reason? Our hero was appearing at a local Little League event, speaking to the kids and signing autographs. Since then the cries of injustice have come pouring down from the masses. Every Tom, Dick, and Rick (Reilly) chiding the Nats for having the audacity to fine Dukes for his “good deed.”
Dukes is a good guy, right? Oh. Wow. Not even a little bit huh? But this is a totally different situations, he’s made amends he’s better, just trying to help the kids and he gets punished. It’s unfair.
Well today Great Falls Little League President Jim Mraz agreed with the injustice and offered to pay Dukes’ fine of $500, plus a dollar for “administrative expenses.” A sweet gesture to say the least, so I opened the story expecting the predictable ending of Dukes (who is slated to make $415,000 in 2009) refusing the generous offer. You know, since he is a professional athlete making more money than most doctors and well…he owes karma (and society at large) a few. Yet to my surprise per the story “Dukes had no comment”. What? Really Elijah? You’re perfectly happy to allow a Little League to pay your fine? What kind of monster would do that?
But it gets even better! Apparently Dukes was paid a $500 dollar appearance fee for a brief autograph session with the young aspiring ballplayers and about 1 minute of what I’m sure was a Gettysburg Address-like speech. So for those of you scoring at home, that’s $1001 that Elijah Dukes has worked out of the Great Falls Little League. They’re going to have to sell a whole lot of whatever the hell it is they sell to make up for that.
I attempted to reach out to Dukes to get his side of things but was informed by his publicist that he is out hunting orphans for blood sport.