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Top O' The Order: Please Elijah, don't hurt ... err, blow 'em kisses

Big League Stew

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Five quick links to start your day ...

1. Thought we'd get out of this season without Elijah dipping back into being Elijah? Uh, wrong. During last night's game against the Mets, Elijah Dukes was at his angry best, having to be restrained from going after Mike Pelfrey after almost being hit by a pitch. (Dukes had homered in the second.)

Order was restored, but that wasn't it for Dukes, who walked to first peacefully after Pelfrey hit him in the fifth.

From MLB.com:

After scoring on Wil Nieves' RBI single in the fourth, the crowd booed, and Dukes made an obscene gesture directed at the fans before heading into the dugout.

After lining out to David Wright in the seventh, Dukes stuck his tongue out at the fans. In the ninth after grounding out to second baseman Argenis Reyes, Dukes jogged toward the dugout, waved his arms to a booing crowd and then blew them a kiss.

While the rest of America watches this social experiment as some sort of intriguing freak show, it's important to remember that the hardcore Nats fans are heavily invested in a guy who could become a five-tool player IF he gets past all his demons. Check out the take from this Nats blogger, which is begging, pleading, disappointed and flatout kinda creepy, all at the same time. [Nats 320]

2. Is Major League Baseball making a major league mistake by having the Cubs fly into a city where a Category 4 hurricane is about to hit? Phil Rogers thinks so. [Chicago Tribune]

3. I'm thinking our man Dave Chalk really needs the postseason to get here. During last night's 14-inning game, he went through Tampa Bay's entire roster and decided which Muppet would play each player in a movie. The really scary thing? He says this is only part 1. [Bugs & Cranks]

4. Joe Girardi says his team should be playing for the postseason. His players say they should be playing for pride. I say they should all get on the same page and go from there. [NYDN]

5. This is not at all related to baseball, but I just wanted to point out that iTunes' new "Genius" feature is blowing me away. Does it replace one of my favorite pastimes of mix-tape making? No. But it certainly puts together some good playlists when I have other things to do. [iTunes]

To submit a link for TOTO consideration, email 'Duk at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com.

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