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Little League offers to pay fine

Associated Press
WASHINGTON ó When outfielder Elijah Dukes made a personal appearance at a Virginia Little League’s season-opening gathering for a little extra cash a few hours before a Washington Nationals game, he turned up late at his day job and was fined.
Now the Great Falls, Va., Little League ó already out the $500 Dukes was promised so he’d show up over the weekend ó says it will raise another $500 to cover Dukes’ penalty for failing to arrive at Nationals Park on time. He also was dropped from the starting lineup that day.
Dukes’ 2009 salary with the Nationals is $415,500. He declined to comment about the matter before Washington’s game against Atlanta on Tuesday night.
“We felt terrible, because he was doing work for us that made him late,” Great Falls Little League president Jim Mraz said Tuesday in a telephone interview.
The Washington Post first reported on his league’s plans to cover Dukes’ fine.
“We’re raising the money. We’re going to pay the fine. It’s not a question of whether he can afford it or not. That’s none of our business,” Mraz said. “If he was put in a bad light because of us, we should at least pay the $500 for him.”
The league planned to have collection jugs at its games starting Tuesday night. Any extra money raised will be donated to a little league based near the Nationals’ stadium.

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