(Elijah Dukes has signed with the independent Newark Bears. AP Photo via Daylife.)
Also, he's "a huge teddy bear", if his estranged (?) wife NiShea Dukes is to be believed.
Guess it was only a matter of time before Elijah Dukes would start getting paid to play baseball again after being abruptly dumped by Mike Rizzo during Spring Training. (Just a baseball decision, right Mike? *wink* *wink* *wink*) Clubhouse favorite Elijah Dukes has signed on with the Newark Bears of the independent Atlantic League, reports Mark Zuckerman over at Nats Insider. Zuckerman points out that Carl Everett will be a teammate of Dukes in Newark. That should be fun.
Here's a link to the official release by the Bears issued earlier today.
We should probably state openly that we'd still take Dukes in right today for the Nationals. Still don't understand Rizzo's decision. Wouldn't you feel better looking at an outfield consisting of Willingham (LF), Bernadina (CF), and Dukes (RF) every night? Yes, you would.
In honor of Dukes getting a new job, let's take a moment to reflect on the most bizarre moments of the Elijah Dukes Era in D.C. Without further ado, the Top 5 Most Bizarre Moments of the Elijah Dukes Era in D.C., in no particular order. Feel free to rank and/or add your own to the comments:
- Manny Acta fines and benches Dukes for being late for work after Dukes makes a paid appearance at a local Little League event (April 2009).
- VA Little League moms rush to Elijah's defense and offer to raise $500 to pay off the fine imposed by heartless Manny Acta (April 2009).
- A 9th inning dugout blowout between Dukes and Manny Acta in Pittsburgh, during which Manny Acta actually showed emotion. It all happened moments after the eventual game winning homerun by Lastings Milledge, but to this day it isn't clear what Dukes did to make Manny act like a human being. After the game, Dukes refuses to hi-five his manager in line on the field (June 2008).
- In order to cut his probation short by five months (after a domestic "incident"),Dukes does 25 hours of community service cleaning out animal cages at a zoo in Tampa. An attempt by a Nationals Enquirer intern to photoshop Duke's head onto a zookeepers body for comic effect failed miserably (April 2008) .
- Dukes manages to piss off the entire city of New York and set the tabloids ablaze with his antics at Shea Stadium (September 2008).