Monday, March 17, 2008

A Dawg-ed Plan

Svrulga has a tremendous story about Elijah Dukes that's really worth a read. He presents a balanced picture of the kid and gives us a little more depth into his background without excusing his behavior.

What's striking about it though, is the plan the Nationals put in place to deal with Dukes and to change his environment and provide him a network of support, and how much thought they've put into it to rehabilitate a player. It's not the kind of effort that they could impart for every player. But not every player needs that level of hand-holding either.

Moneyball is often misunderstood as a book about on-base percentage. It's not. It's about finding things that are undervalued, and this, in some ways, is an outgrowth of that. They've focused on the good, and tried to find ways to minimize (or neuter) the bad. It's certainly working so far.

I still have my problems with the guy. I don't begrudge him a second chance (or, to be accurate, a tenth or a thirteenth), but I can't say I've been thrilled it's on my team. But as long as he is, I'm impressed at the efforts the team is going to to make it work out.

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