Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Dukes Can't Seem to Duck Controversy

A lot of scuttlebutt is being made of the Nationals disciplining outfielder Elijah Dukes for being 5 minutes late to the ballpark after making a “charity” appearance at the opening day for a Little League in Great Falls, VA.

Some of the well heeled citizens of the area - and for those not from D.C., just think of Great Falls as the hilly, densely tree covered, bucolic version of Beverly Hills. Replace actors with rich politicians, lobbyists, and the like, and you get the picture – are now crying foul because Elijah was soooooo niiicceee to their kiddies, and hey, it was “only” 5 minutes late.


Late is late. And this guy is out of chances.

I was watching the excellent feature on Charlie Manuel on HBO’s Real Sports the other night. He told Frank Deford he only had two rules as manager.

1. On time.
2. Hustle.

That’s it! Deford seemed amazed at the simplicity, but when you think of it in baseball terms, all good things come from those two little rules.

Besides, anybody who knows how pro sports teams operate, know that being on time is taken very, very seriously. Why? Because with 20+ millionaires or more on a team, ALL OF THEM think THEY are somehow special, and ALL of them would start pushing the lateness envelope if clubs made exceptions.

What annoyed me, was that I didn’t seem to get the sense that anybody from Great Falls Little League took it upon themselves to MAKE SURE that Mr. Dukes made it from the land of 5 acre horse estates and $2 million dollar Potomac River mansions, all the way down to Southeast D.C.

It might be the most winding, arduous, tortured Point A to Point B “commute” you could draw on the DC-VA-MD map!

Sure, the Little League said they would take up a collection to pay his fine ($500) and then also paid him $500 up front. But how about making sure you don’t get the guy in trouble?


Thanks to you guys, the Steve Czaban Show podcast on iTunes is rockin’! Here’ the latest from the tech guys at SIM:

Attached are the stats for the Fox Sports radio podcast of Czabe’s show. You can see that they are slowly increasing every day. The drops in numbers are the weekends, and then they go right back up. The screenshot is from itunes. We went from being on page 2 under the (Sports > Professional) area for the new and notable area. It’s also currently #90 in the top 100 podcasts under the (Sports > Professional) area.


I don’t know about anybody else, but I give the Lions a nice THUMBS UP to their logo “tweak.” Here’s the new, and the old, so you can compare.

Like the Arizona Cardinals when they went to a subtle, slightly more “angry” bird, this update is just right. While the pretty red birdfeeder bird is not AT ALL indigenous to the desert southwest, the logo is certainly indigenous and widely recognized in NFL history – albeit mostly as a laughingstock.

Same too, the Lions. I never did like that flat, silhouetted Lion cut-out logo, but also think it’s important to maintain the original feel. This tweak gives some nice dimension to the Lion, and a snazzy new font that’s not obnoxious.

Maybe the curse of Bobby Layne really is, ovah?

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