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May 23, 2007 at 3:36 PM

Mateo to be reactivated

The Mariners have decided to allow relief pitcher Julio Mateo to join their Class AAA Tacoma affiliate tomorrow. Mateo has been on the AAA Temporarily Inactive List since last week, when his 10-day suspension for missing a game in New York came to an end. He was suspended and shipped to the minors after being arrested in New York on May 5 for having assaulted his wife, Aurea.
GM Bill Bavasi said last week that Mateo continued to receive counseling and that the squad wasn’t even close to thinking about reinstating him. But manager Mike Hargrove let it slip in a conversation with reporters before tonight’s game that Mateo was to be activated. That will take place Friday and he can then pitch in Tacoma games.
A statement put out by the Mariners moments ago states that: “Mateo has continued to voluntarily work with his counselor, and the Mariners have been advised by her that he is working diligently and is ready to be returned to the work environment.”
It is tempting to bash the Mariners, who face a union grievance over their decision to suspend Mateo without pay, for not taking a stronger stand and shedding themselves of a player who still faces a June 15 court date in Manhattan on third degree assault charges. But then, there is today’s development here in Florida involving Devil Rays rookie Elijah Dukes to consider.
Dukes found himself on the front page of an explosive St. Petersburg Times story detailing how his wife has taken out a restraining order against him. Among the accusations she is making:
— That he threatened to kill her in a message left on a telephone answering machine that the paper heard an audio recording of.
— That he sent her a text message of a gun, a photo of which was on the paper’s front page this morning.
— That Dukes showed up last month at the middle school where she teaches, banged on her classroom door (students were out at lunch) and threatened to kill her and her children. He had to be talked into leaving the school grounds by a deputy, the principal and others, court documents state.
Read the rest of the story. Parts of it sound like something out of a Jerry Springer episode, while others are downright shocking, horrifying and sad, if true.
The Devil Rays reaction to it all?
Here is the statement released by the team a short time ago:
“The Devil Rays as an organization takes these types of allegations very seriously, but at this point it remains a private matter between Elijah and his family. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide ongoing assistance to Elijah.”
Devil Rays’ manager Joe Maddon said he kept Dukes out of tonight’s lineup because he didn’t think it would be in anyone’s best interests to start the talented, but highly troubled 22-year-old. Dukes is available though, and could be in tomorrow afternoon’s lineup.
Makes Seattle’s actions in the Mateo case seem downright revolutionary by comparison. There was a lot of interest from the local media down here today in how the Mariners tackled the sensitive Mateo issue. For now, the D-Rays are taking a pass on tackling anything.



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