06/23/07 11:07 PM ET
Notes: Club to 'make sure' Dukes helped
Mohr back from Triple-A; Rays go 'old school' on Saturday
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
"Elijah's a person who is looking for some assistance and we're going to make sure he gets it," Sternberg said. "What the future holds none of us ever knows."
Dukes was optioned to the Minor Leagues on Friday and placed on the temporary inactive list following some off-the-field problems. Sternberg said the chosen course of action is such that he can look himself in the mirror.
"I will not look back on this with any regret," Sternberg said. "I think that a big part of this was Elijah wanting to do something for himself. ... He is asking for assistance and I will not turn my back on someone who asks for assistance. And where this leads, nobody knows. But I can assure you we will have very little, and zero tolerance towards anything that will become a distraction to this organization and what it is trying to accomplish going forward."
According to Sternberg, the Rays are going to make sure Dukes receives the assistance he needs with professional people dealing with his problems.
"And if he's up to the task, it remains to be seen if he will or not, we won't know," Sternberg said. "Nobody here can predict what the future means. We can all have our opinions on what will happen. But nobody knows for certain and it will be his path to lay out, as it lays out in front of himself, and his path to go down as he would choose to. And we're going to put the proper mechanisms in place that will allow him to change himself."
Sternberg was asked what he needed to see from Dukes in order to welcome him back.
"It's difficult to say at this point," Sternberg answered. "I don't know if welcome back is really the goal at this point. The goal at this point is for Elijah to square himself away."
Mohr in the house: Dustan Mohr joined the team Saturday after being selected from Triple-A Durham. The veteran outfielder could have a short stay if he is the player sent out when B.J. Upton returns from a left quadriceps strain. Mohr said he can't worry about his status, which he said he did with Boston last season when he ended up hitting .175 with two home runs and three RBIs in 21 games with the Red Sox.
"I don't know that I can worry about trying to change their mind," Mohr said. "I think if you try to play up to other people's expectations, that can be detrimental."
Mohr sounded comfortable with who he is.
"You're not going to look at my baseball card and say, 'Wow,' " Mohr said. "I've been a fourth outfielder my whole career. And I do feel I have established myself as a Major League fourth outfielder. That's just me. I've always felt that I can help. Not just on the field, but in the clubhouse. Things like that. That's what I'll do while I'm here. And hopefully that will be the whole season."
Turn back the clock: The Rays and Dodgers turned back the clock to 1955 as the Rays donned the uniforms of the 1955 St. Petersburg Saints of the Florida State League and the Dodgers wore the uniforms of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who won the 1955 World Series.
The uniforms went over well in the Rays' clubhouse.
"They're cool," came Carl Crawford's endorsement.
Jonny Gomes called the baggy pants "old school."
"I just couldn't imagine playing in these in the middle of summer," said Gomes of the cotton uniforms. "These aren't that heavy. The one's they used to wear, they were like flannel. Those guys had to have been really sweating."
Brendan Harris observed how big and thick the uniforms felt.
"If you wore them every day you'd lose a little weight, I'm sure," Harris said. "They always say players are bigger or whatever today. It might have something to do with the fact they're not losing 15 pounds wearing those wool uniforms any more."
Hickey out for Cleveland: Pitching coach Jim Hickey's right eye -- injured Tuesday when he got hit in the eye with a golf ball -- turned out to be a detached retina that requires surgery on Monday; Hickey will not be able to fly with the team to Cleveland. Dick Bosman, Rays Minor League pitching coordinator, will substitute for Hickey in Cleveland. Hickey's status for the Boston series that follows Cleveland remains unknown.
Up next: The Rays will conclude their three-game series against the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon in a 1:40 ET contest at Tropicana Field. Right-hander Edwin Jackson will start for the Rays and will be opposed by left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo.
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.