Former MLBer Elijah Dukes has been arrested in Tampa for failing to pay child support.

Just about the only thing that Dukes could be forgiven for is wondering exactly which kid he failed to support, having fathered at least five children with four different women between 2003 and 2006.

Dukes, as you may have guessed, is no stranger to run ins with the law.  He’s been arrested three times for battery, once for assault and had a restraining order filed against him by his wife at the time in 2007 after the former Nationals and Rays outfielder sent her a voicemail expressing his feelings about their future together.

Some of the language he used is harsh so you may want to cover your eyes while you read:

Hey, dawg. It’s on, dawg. You dead, dawg. I ain’t even bullshitting. Your kids too, dawg. It don’t even matter to me who is in the car with you . . . all I know is . . . when I see your motherfucking ass riding, dawg, it’s on. As a matter of fact, I’m coming to your motherfucking house.

Just in case she failed to understand his intentions, he also sent her a photo of a gun.

Later that year, it was reported that a 17 year old foster child, living under the care of Dukes’ grandmother, claimed that Dukes had impregnated her.  When she informed Dukes of her condition, he allegedly threw a Gatorade bottle at her.  Unfortunately for Dukes, electrolyte drinks don’t have the same potency as morning after pills.

When the Tampa Bay Rays finally gave up on Dukes after his trouble walking the straight and narrow, and a disappointing rookie campaign, he was traded to the Washington Nationals.  At the time, the team was acquiring several talented players who were known for their off field troubles.  Dukes was thought of so highly, that the Nats  hired an former police officer in the role of Special Assistant: Player Concerns.  This position called for accompanying Dukes and ensuring that he kept out of trouble, sort of like a baby sitter.

Dukes played very good baseball for a stretch in 2008 despite multiple trips to the Disabled List, compiling an .864 OPS in 334 plate appearances.  However, the next season, Dukes struggled at the plate, unable to bring his SLG above .400.

He was released by the Nationals in Spring Training of 2010.  Despite Jim Bowden’s claims that it was a part of a zero tolerance policy his former team had adopted toward Dukes, the organization said it was about his performance on the field and his regression at the plate.

Interesting considering that Dukes still had Minor League options remaining.

Special Ass. To The GM

Former Toronto Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi has been hired by the New York Mets as a Special Assistant To The General Manager.  The Costanza-like title is expected to have something to do with player development.

However, judging by his history in Toronto, it will likely involve transforming relievers from the scrap heap into contributing members of the Mets engine, acquiring a ton of mediocre middle infielders, alienating the local media, lying to fans and generally doing a pretty good job at everything outside of optics.

Ricciardi is said to have spurned an offer from the Red Sox organization to join Sandy Alderson’s front office. The new Mets GM isn’t finished assembling his staff and is reportedly interested in bringing back others from his days with the A’s, including Paul DePodesta and Grady Fuson.

And The Rest

Edwin Rodriguez isn’t finished with the Florida Marlins, and the Florida Marlins took their time figuring out that they weren’t done with him.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are a 150/1 shot to win the 2011 World Series.  Place your bets.

Former Detroit Tigers manager Sparky Anderson is in very serious condition.

Rich Lederer explains that it’s best to always blame sample size when your predictions go awry.

It’s the last time I’m going to bring up television ratings for a while.  I swear.

How good was the pitching this postseason?

Moneyball is garbage because the Giants won?  Right, because anyone following a Moneyballesque strategy would have no interest in Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner.

Getting Blanked’s favourite contributor is cheating on us over at Walkoff Walk.

The Vladimir Guerrero debate rages on.

Finally, Jonah Keri speaks with Rob Neyer in his latest podcast.  Love him, hate him or be completely indifferent, Jonah Keri has the best intro music ever assembled for a radio like show.