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Dukes' statement and re-statement

Elijah Dukes on Tuesday apologized to "family, teammates, the fans and the organization" for causing a distraction, though it took him two tries to get it done.

Dukes first stood on the field after batting practice, looking nervous in front of cameras and reporters and speaking without notes. "I feel like a movie star,'' he joked, and his words came out a bit jumbled.

About 90 minutes later, the team issued a written "clarification" in which Dukes said he was nervous and this is what he meant to say:

"I would like to apologize to my family, teammates, the fans and the organization for the distraction that this situation has caused. I would like to thank them for standing by me and hope that my family and I can move on and put this behind us.''

After the initial statement, Dukes answered some questions. Here is what was said:

Team spokesman Rick Vaughn: We’ll take any questions we have regarding baseball.

Q: How do you feel like you’ve played in this situation?
Dukes: Like I always play, 110 percent every day. And I play to win.

Q: Have you felt additional pressure?
Dukes: No pressure at all.

Q: What did you think of the reaction of the crowd (Monday) night?
Dukes: I don’t know if they’re saying “Dukes” or “Boo,” so it blends right in.

Q: Does it help to be out there (on the field) for 3 hours every night, is that what you look forward to?Dukes: I just look forward to winning, that’s it; just trying to win, and play hard every day. That’s all I look forward t

Q: You had the three-run homer the other night, the game-winner last night, have you been more focused on baseball in trying to put the other stuff out of your mind?
Dukes: The other stuff don’t ever weigh on my mind. When I step out on the field, that's all I concentrate on is just playing baseball. I’m always focused. When I step in between the lines, you have to be focused to play this game.

Q: Does baseball mean more to you now, even more?
Dukes: My family means the most to me. Baseball is a great love, but it’s always family first.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:31am]


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