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A few items to peruse while signing up to follow The Stew on Twitter ...

• This Elijah Dukes fined for charity work story keeps getting better and better.

As reported by the Washington Post today, the local Little League the Nationals outfielder visited has raised enough money to cover the cost of the fine that Dukes received from manager Manny Acta after showing up to Nationals Park five minutes late last Saturday.

According to the story, Dukes was late to report because he stayed at the event through a 54-team parade of Great Falls Little League teams, several speeches, a cheerleading routine, the National Anthem and then his own remarks to the children.

Feeling bad that Dukes was benched, fined and threatened with demotion, the parents of the Little Leaguers decided they had to do something for the player who "was here for us." 

From the Washington Post: 

"The next day we're reading the paper, and we're hearing he was [fined and] benched," said Leslie McClain, mother of 11-year-old Luke. "We were just really horrified by that, so our first thought was we want to raise the money in the community to pay that fine. We just think it's appalling."

After a short email campaign, the Little League raised $501 to send to Washington — $500 for the original fine and $1 to "cover any administrative costs." Any surplus will be donated to a Little League in Southeast D.C. in Dukes' name.  

It's a nice ending to a story that should have never become an issue in the first place. However, one fact in the story stood out to me: Dukes was paid $500 for his original appearance at the event, so it doesn't exactly match the true description of "charity work."

Does the fact he got paid change your opinion over this controversy at all?

• Wrapping up another Nats-related issue from last week: Majestic has publicly apologized to the Nationals for sending Adam Dunn and Ryan Zimmerman out into the field with those "NATINALS" jerseys last Friday night. [Biz of Baseball]

* * *

Other links from around the league ... 

• So the Mets finally bowed to public pressure and allowed Dwight Gooden's signature to stay on that Citi Field wall. But did the team really need to wait until it became a sports radio controversy to finally listen to its fans? [Metsradamus]

• Could someone actually lift the barcodes from your tickets while in the mail and then sell them on StubHub, leaving you out of luck at the turnstile? One Cubs fan says it may have happened to him, keeping him from seeing Saturday's win over the Cards. [Addison-Clark]

• A how-to manual on how to use Denny McLain to ruin a Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams autographed baseball [Baseball Analysts]

• Al Jazeera visits the new Yankee Stadium and takes note of the excess. [Bugs & Cranks]

• Matt Taibbi has a new article in Men's Journal this month that absolutely shreds Brian Cashman for not using all that money to win a championship the past eight seasons. Do you agree or disagree with his take? [Legend of Cecilio Guante]

• Personally, I'd wait a month or two before deciding to tattoo someone's face — especially if they're not related to me — onto my arm. But that's just me. And that's not my arm. So ... Godspeed Mr. Man With The Well Done Harry Kalas tattoo! [The 700 Level]

• A good primer on why the Ricketts family is now looking for other people to pony up cash so this Cubs sale can finally get done. (In short: They screwed up big time.) [IvyChat]

• "One Diamondback official — who shall remain nameless — had this look on his face the day the [Eric Byrnes] deal was announced. The kind of look a dad might have when his ex-wife buys their daughter a pony for her birthday. A look that said, 'Not my idea, I knew he was a career .261 hitter'" [AZ Snakepit]

• Last year, Jason Giambi and the Yankees used a golden thong to break slumps. This year, Cody Ross and the Marlins are using a magic tin of Skoal. [FishStripes]

• And one more Nats link, for good measure: I love me some Miss Chatter, but someone needs to tell her the reason her kids aren't into baseball has a lot less to do with the sport and a lot more with the Nationals team she keeps dragging them to see. (Seriously, though, they'll appreciate one day how cool it is to have a mom that loves baseball). [Miss Chatter]

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