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Rays drop Dukes from roster



The Devil Rays finally had enough of Elijah Dukes, at least for now.

The troubled outfielder was optioned to the minor leagues and placed on the temporary inactive list.

“It’s the right move for right now,” Rays manager Joe Maddon said. “The tack we are taking will make everyone better.”

Maddon, who held a meeting with the players though said it wasn’t specifically about Dukes, said Friday’s move will “be viewed as a positive ... By everyone.”

Executive Vice President Andrew Friedman said there is no time limits with regards to the temporary inactive list, and said it is possible that Dukes could return to the major league team.

"I would not rule that out," Friedman said.

Dukes, a 22-year-old rookie from Tampa, has been the subject of controversy and scrutiny for weeks, since the May 23 St. Petersburg Times report of allegations by his estranged wife that he threatened to kill her and their kids.

Dukes created another controversy Tuesday by calling a Tampa radio station to defend himself and his family and make further accusations against his estranged wife, NiShea Gilbert.

Rays officials were not pleased, acknowledged they were frustrated over the distractions he had caused and seemed poised to accelerate plans to cut ties.

The Rays called up outfielder Dustan Mohr from Durham to replace Dukes on the roster.

In other news, the Rays moved outfielder Rocco Baldelli from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL as a result of his recurring hamstring problems.

Marc Topkin, Times staff writer

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


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