- There really has to be something we don't know. Dukes is too talented, and despite years of warnings about what a bad guy he is, the other shoe just never dropped. People like Chico Harlan who have watched Dukes day in and day out insist that he's got some issues, but he's not a bad guy, and he hasn't been a problem for this team.
- If there isn't something we don't know, I'm really worried that Mike Rizzo is going way, way, way overboard emphasizing 'clubhouse chemistry.' I hate to even validate the idea that getting rid of Dukes helps the chemistry, because we really don't have any reason to think Dukes was a problem in the clubhouse. People say he doesn't give everyone warm fuzzies, but is that the standard? Just following the rules and working hard isn't enough? Do you have to fit in really well with the Dunn-Willingham-Zimmerman clique? Is this a baseball team or a frat rush?
- Who plays right field now? I guess it has to be Mike Morse. They could stick Willingham in right and start Maxwell or Harris in left, but I don't think that's where they're headed. Adam Kilgore dropped a Mike Morse-Jason Werth comp into a blog post recently, and I don't think he made that up himself. We'll see, but I would expect the Nationals to have substantially sub-replacement performance from the corner outfield if that's really the plan.
- Dukes haters will say be clucking today, but any way you cut it, this is a talented player who didn't fulfill his promise. I won't call that a failure of the organization, but it's not a success. I often point to the Dennis Rodman example. I don't blame the Spurs for what happened there, but I give Phil Jackson a ton of credit for how well it worked out in Chicago. Truly great organizations can succeed in bringing out the best even in deeply flawed individuals. That didn't happen here. Who's fault is that? Dukes'. But just cuz Elijah failed doesn't mean the team succeeded. Quite the opposite.
- Bottom line, the Nationals are a worse team and a step closer to a third straight 100-loss season than they were yesterday.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Elijah Dukes released. Quick reactions:
Posted by Steven at 10:49 AM