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Former Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes released by Washington Nationals

11:43 AM, Mar 17, 2010   |    comments
Elijah Dukes
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KISSIMMEE, Florida (AP) -- Outfielder Elijah Dukes has been released by the Washington Nationals, a sudden move with about two weeks left in spring training.

The Nationals announced the transaction with a terse, two-sentence press release Wednesday.

The 25-year-old Dukes had been expected to be Washington's starting right fielder.

He hit .242 with 31 homers and 123 RBIs in three seasons with Tampa Bay and Washington. He was limited to 188 games with the Nationals the past two seasons because of injuries.

Dukes appeared to have put his troubled past behind him, though, including suspensions in the majors and the minors for various confrontations with umpires, coaches and teammates while in Tampa Bay's organization; arrests for assault and for marijuana possession; and paternity suits.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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