ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Troubled Tampa Bay outfielder Elijah Dukes apologized Tuesday for allegations contained in a published report revealing his estranged wife sought a restraining order after being threatened by the 22-year-old rookie.
Dukes spoke briefly before Tuesday night's game against the Detroit Tigers and initially bungled remarks that were not prepared in advance when he mistakenly apologized ``to the organization for sticking with me in a situation like this.''
The Devil Rays issued a clarification in which Dukes said he misspoke because he was nervous.
``I would like to apologize to my family, teammates, the fans and the organization for the distraction that this situation has caused,'' Dukes said in the prepared clarification. ``I would like to thank them for standing by me and hope that my family and I can move on and put this behind us.''
Dukes was held out of two games last week after the St. Petersburg Times reported his estranged wife sought court protection after the athlete left a threatening message on her cell phone and also received a text message that included a picture of a gun.
The player's wife also gave the newspaper an account of an April 30 incident at the middle school where she teaches, saying Dukes threatened her at her classroom while the students were at lunch.
Dukes returned to the lineup last weekend in Chicago and hit a three-run homer in his first game back. He singled with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, driving in two runs to beat the Tigers 6-5 on Monday night - his first home game since the report.
The Devil Rays said Dukes would not take any questions about his off-the-field problems, however he did say he had been able to remain focused on baseball.
``The other stuff doesn't weigh on my mind. When I step out on the field, all I concentrate on is playing baseball,'' Dukes said. ``I'm always focused when I step between the lines. You have to be focused to play this game.''
There was a smattering of boos when the center fielder was introduced before Monday night's game, however there was little crowd reaction to him as the game progressed.
``I don't know if they're saying `Dukes' or `Boo,''' he said. ``It blends right in.''

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail World Series opener pits Lester vs. Kluber Two title-starved organizations are ready to kick off one of the most intriguing World Series matchups we’ve seen in some time.
Thumbnail Kershaw tries to keep visitors' run going The Cubs seized a 3-2 edge in the NLCS by winning Games 4 and 5 in Los Angeles. Will Clayton Kershaw be able to save the Dodgers’...
Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages