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October 30, 2007 at 12:39 am ET
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The Redemption Of Elijah Dukes: “Showing Class” And Running Fast — Game 8 w/ YouTube

What we changed
Was innocence for innocence; we knew not
The doctrine of ill-doing, nor dreamed
That any did.

WARNING: The following story is NOT about Alex Rodriguez*.

Our Hero.When we last left our hero (Elijah Dukes NOT A-Rod) he had played his first 7 games for the Dominican Republic’s storied Tigres del Licey. Since then he’s had an off-day, a rain-out, a rain-shortened 5-inning game, another rain-out, and a rain-out of a make-up of one of those rain-outs. It’s been raining a lot in the Dominican because of Tropical Storm Noel — at least 20 people have died and the entire country lost power for about two hours on Monday.


In the rain-shortened game on Saturday, Dukes accounted for nearly all of Licey’s offense against Escogido.

Facing pitcher Joel Santo (a Dominican native who started one game for the AAA Iowa Cubs this year), Dukes blasted a double to lead off the second. After Dukes advanced to third on a ground-out, and with outfield-mate/Cubs rookie sensation Felix Pie at the plate, Santo uncorked a wild pitch and Dukes scampered home to give Licey a 1-0 lead.

In the 4th, with his team now trailing 3-1, Dukes did it all again: he doubled off Santo, then advanced to third, and came home on a second Santo wild pitch. (All that’s on the beginning of the YouTube, plus crazy looking mascots from both teams.)

Unfortunately, that’s how the game ended 3-2, with Dukes getting 2 of Licey’s 3 hits and scoring both runs. The loss dropped Licey into 2nd place, 1 game behind defending champs/archrivals Aguilas.

The 2-for-2 night extends Elijah’s gaudy 8-game numbers:

.381 BA (8/21) 5 R 3 2B 1 3B 1 HR 3 RBI 4 BB 6 SO 1 CS .500 OBP .762 SLG

Meanwhile, Felix Pie has only appeared in 3 games, and is hitless in 8 at-bats with 3 strikeouts. The La Romana, DR native does have 1 walk and 1 steal.

Elijah has already impressed the staff of Listin Diario (the Dominican Republic’s oldest and most trusted newspaper, founded in 1889):

Rápidamente Elijah Dukes ha demostrado clase y se ha ganado el cariño de la afición. El moreno norteamericano, un prospecto de verdad, comenzó el partido de anoche contra las Aguilas bateando .375. En el segundo epidodio del encuentro demostró que tiene un cañón en el brazo

[freetranslation.com says that means:] Quickly Elijah Dukes has shown class and the affection of the fondness has earned itself. The dark one American, a prospect truly, began the party of last night against the Aguilas batting. 375. In the second inning of the encounter showed that [he] has a tube in the arm [a cannon for an arm?]

There are also some interesting quotes from Elijah in a Listin Diario article that ran before the Dominican season opener:

“This it is a very intense league and that is the baseball that I like to play, I do not do this simply by money, but because I enjoy it and is splits important of my life”, said Dukes to DL.

Its season with the matted Hair Bay Devil Rays was limited to 52 parties where batted for. 190, with 10 home runs and pushed 21 careers. Dukes will be one of the eight imported that the Tigers of the Licey will present since this night at first of the Dominican autumn-winter ball.

“I have listened a lot on the tradition and history of this team, the large players that have played here and in little less than one week that I have in this country great satisfaction has given me to belong to this team”.

“This play never is finished to learn and with the personnel that I have worked I have felt me well comfortable, so I expect to play all the season”, added.

But are our D-Rays believers? Despite having ROY candidate Delmon Young, Carl Crawford, B. J. Upton, Jonny Gomes and the chronically-injured Rocco Baldelli, the Rays still signed another outfielder — Australian Chris Snelling, who spent time with the A’s and Nats this year. It’s tempting to agree with The Professor’s typically pessimistic appraisal of Snelling –

the only person in professional baseball with legs worse than Rocco Baldelli. In 8 professional seasons he has been on the DL seven times, including…

  • torn ACL (2002)
  • knee surgery (2003)
  • right knee tendinitus (2003)
  • torn meniscus in the left knee (2005)
  • surgery (2006)
  • yet another knee surgery (2007).

— and yet The Times Heater Blog points out Snelling’s been effective at the Trop, where he has a .375 career BA (6-for-16) with a home run.

*For those looking for A-Rod stories, there are a few on our site:

Elijah scoring against Escogido.

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One Response to “The Redemption Of Elijah Dukes: “Showing Class” And Running Fast — Game 8 w/ YouTube”
  1. Brad Bortone Brad Bortone says:

    That Professor makes me feel a lot better about myself. Which one of us should change the name?

    I had no idea there would be so many A-Rod stories yesterday. Had I known, I would have written about a more original topic…

    …like Barry Bonds.

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