Rays could still discipline, dump Dukes
Devil Rays principal owner Stuart Sternberg said Sunday in Chicago that the team could still take disciplinary action and/or release OF Elijah Dukes, the subject of controversy since the Times last week reported allegations from his wife that he threatened to kill her and their children.
Sternberg said there was no time frame for a decision, and that it would be made as much, or more, based on what is in the best interests of Dukes and his family than the team's interests.
"No doors are closed at this point,'' Sternberg said in his first public comments on the situation. "But when we make whatever decision we will make, we are going to do it with the confidence that we're feeling it's in the best interests of the parties involved, and we will move on. We will move on with Elijah as a member of the Devil Rays organization that we will give as much assistance to as we possibly can and somebody to help him through whatever issues he has, or we will move on and he won't be part of the Devil Rays organization and we will do really fine and everything will be great. I'd like to think in a perfect world he can be part of all that and we can be part of helping him overcome and deal with the issues he's got and make him a good, productive citizen and father and husband and whatever it is he would like to do. That's a perfect world. That's what we're striving towards.''
Sternberg said when he first heard of the allegations in Wednesday's Times, "My immediate reaction was unprintable'''and that Dukes would have been let go. Sternberg considered the situation "deplorable'' but also said he believes that "life decisions" should not be made in snap judgment and that he was "glad" they didn't take immediate action.
Dukes sat out the first two games after the report, then returned to action Friday. The Rays were rained out Saturday and Dukes is in the lineup again Sunday.
Look for more on this in Monday's Times.