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    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Jul 2000

    The Next Generation

    NEW YORK -- A USA Today article about Devil Rays prospects B.J. Upton, Elijah Dukes and Delmon Young did not sit well with the Rays' organization.
    All three play for Triple-A Durham.

    Among the disturbing comments was one by Young, who expressed his displeasure that none of the three had been called to the Major Leagues when he said: "I don't know what they're waiting for. They're what, 30 games [actually 20] out of first place? They think we're going to mess up their clubhouse chemistry? B.J. should be up there. What are they waiting for? They always have an excuse."

    Young then said he was just venting.

    And Dukes commented: "In the big leagues, you throw your uniform on the ground, and it's washed and hung up nicely in your locker. Here [in Durham] you do that, you come back the next day and find it still on the floor. Those guys up there [in the big leagues] shower in Evian. Here, we use sewer water."

    Rays manager Joe Maddon read the article prior to going on a morning walk Friday.

    "The first thought that came to my mind was, 'What does the average fan think when he reads an article like this?'" Maddon said. "And I think an average fan has to be appalled by what he read."

    Maddon cited the comment about the shower.

    "I have a hard time with that as being the manager of this team," Maddon said. "I think it indicates a lot of work that we have to get done within this organization. ... It's something we don't tolerate. We don't condone. We don't agree with. Furthermore, I was really concerned about the insulting nature of the article toward the city of Durham. Because, for me, it indicates that's a bad place. I've never [seen the stadium at Durham], but I've heard it's one of the top facilities in all of Triple-A. I've heard that the people there are fantastic. So I was appalled by the whole thing."

    Maddon went on to say that the photograph of the players glaring also disturbed him.

    "The connotation of the photograph is demeaning," Maddon said. "And I just thought the tone of the entire article was negative. And it's not at all how the Devil Rays want to be portrayed."

    Maddon was asked if the problem stemmed from the trio's immaturity.

    "I was immature when I was 22," Maddon said. "But that doesn't mean that you do certain things or you lack respect. To me, it's a total disrespect situation. Whether it's for the game, or for yourself, or for your parents or where you came from. From the city of Durham. From the Devil Rays, it's a lack of respect.

    "I don't know what qualifies people at any age to disrespect people in the manner that that article indicated to me. It speaks to disrespect in general and it speaks to the sense of entitlement that young athletes have today. ... Nobody should be given anything until they've earned it. A brief period of time in the Minor Leagues does not indicate anything except that you did well for a brief period of time. But the respect part of that is the part that offended me the most."

    Andrew Friedman, the Rays' executive vice president of baseball operations, expressed similar displeasure to Maddon's and said he has not decided on what actions, if any, will be taken as a result of the article.

    Left fielder Carl Crawford just shook his head when asked about the article.

    "To be honest with you, when I saw that I was just speechless," Crawford said. "Maybe they think that's how they need to act. I don't know why. I haven't set that kind of example. Other players around here haven't set that kind of example. So I don't know why they're even acting like that."

    Reporters teased Ty Wigginton about the "shower in Evian" reference. To wit, Wigginton replied with tongue firmly in cheek: "Actually, we all get individually scrubbed from the trainers. I go back there and sit in a big Jacuzzi [and the trainers] give us a sponge bath."
    I too was left speechless. Dukes is mostly a follower but Upton and Young know better. ukes has tried to show what type of "man" he is on a few occasions. Caertainly did not help his cause with the suspensions. Obviously Young learned nothing from his suspension. I have no idea why players think they "deserve" to be in the big leagues. It's a privelege and an honor.

    There were a lot of pros and cons to Greg Vaughn as a clubhouse presence. His physical abuse of teammates was applauded by some and appaling to others. In this case I'd like to see Greg Vaughn in the Durham clubhouse.

    Here is a link to the original article. http://www.usatoday.com/sports/baseb...ts-cover_x.htm
    Last edited by Team Clark; 07-29-2006 at 04:55 PM.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
    Cedric 3/24/08

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