Ahead in the Count

Let’s Take a Poll

What’s worse: that the Nationals fined Elijah Dukes $500 for showing up 5 minutes late for a game because he was supporting a local little league’s Opening Day or that Dukes charged the local little league $500 for his appearance?



April 26, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I’ll start.
    My vote is for Dukes charging a little league any amount, for anything.

    Comment by coachspring | April 28, 2009

  2. Both are OK, IMO. By definition [1], the word “charity” doesn’t imply that Dukes shouldn’t be compensated for his work, so although seemingly dick-ish, someone at the little league made the decision that Duke’s presence is worth more than that cost. Win-win, IMO.

    The “big” fine, I’m sure, is not a surprise – I imagine the players being on time is very important for such big events to go through smoothly.

    The little league’s “charity” seems out of place, though – it’s certainly not their fault Duke was late. A strange, but nice gesture, I suppose.

    1. from http://dict.die.net/charity “3: an activity or gift that benefits the public at large” seems to fit best

    Comment by Andrey Fedorov | April 28, 2009

  3. coachspring: Expound on your reasoning regarding when charging money for a service is appropriate and when it isn’t?

    The use of the word “charity” is dubious, but I’m having trouble justifying moral qualms with Duke’s appearance. Is it because he’s rich and the little league isn’t? How do you generalize that?

    Comment by Andrey Fedorov | April 28, 2009

  4. A few comments:

    1) Little Leagues are non-profit organizations for the benefit of children that often struggle to raise enough funds to operate. Being a “taker” and not a “giver” toward any little league is absurd.

    2) When all the major professional sports organizations in this country advertise tirelessly about how community- oriented their leagues and their players are, to hear about a player making over $400k this season accepting $500 from a little league to show up at Opening Day is absurd.

    3) In the big picture, I suppose I have no problem with someone accepting compensation for appearances at non-profit functions, if that is how that person makes a living. Dukes plays baseball for a living (and gets paid very well to do so). Taking $500 from a little league when that little money means nothing to him but could be significant to the leauge is absurd. Remember, he received a $500,000 signing bonus after inking his first contract.

    4) To be honest, when I heard that Dukes was fined for being late due his committment at the little leauge, I thought “shame on the Nationals.” When it was later revealed that he received payment from the little league, I felt the Nationals were completely justified. Imagine if Dukes had showed up to the stadium late because his other job as a bartender, for example, caused him to run behind schedule.

    5) Regardless of what the dictionary may say, the essence and value of being a volunteer or participating in charity is the selfless giving of one’s time or energy for the sole benefit of others. Accept compensation (other than if it is your only source of income), and immediately the endeavor loses that spirit and, in my opinion, is no longer charity.

    6) Let’s say you’re accountant by profession, – would anyone really consider you spending time at a homeless shelter charity if you received an hourly wage while you were there? I think not – most would then consider it a second job.

    Comment by coachspring | April 29, 2009

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