I felt that the $500 fine levied on Elijah Dukes for being a couple of minutes late to Saturday’s game against the Marlins as a result of signing autographs for Little Leaguers was pretty lame. Sure, Dukes technically broke a rule, and sure he’s a guy you want to give a shorter leash than many, but he was giving back to the community and all of that, right? Well, kinda:
Dukes, who was paid $500 for his appearance, signed autographs, watched the parade of teams and spoke to the players for about a minute. He then sprinted to his car and headed to the ballpark, the Post reported.
Dukes charged the Little Leaguers $500?! Is this normal? Even if it is, doesn’t this change our sympathy calculus a bit? What if he was at a baseball card show? Sure, the money would have been different, but he’s still essentially out there making a buck as opposed to feeding the homeless or something. In fact, now that I think about it more, I think that Dukes should definitely be paying his $500 fine in the interests of balance. Indeed, he should pay it to the Little Leaguers!
But he won’t pay the fine himself. The Great Falls Little League, where he was speaking prior to the game, says it will pay it for him after a fundraising effort, according to The Washington Post.
If Dukes accepts this money, in effect doubling his dubious appearance fee, there will be no words that can sufficiently describe the sheer fail on his part.
(Thanks to MooseinOhio, who not only sent me the link, but who made the above point too. Get me, I’m a bigger ripoff artist than Dukes).