Put Up Your Dukes

It’s nice easy being a Duke.

First, Duke Snider passed away on February 27.

Then on March 2, former major league outfielder Elijah Dukes was held in a Florida jail after his pregnant ex-girlfriend accused him of slapping her in the face during an argument. He was arrested on charges of aggravated battery on a pregnant woman and driving with a revoked or suspended license. He also had been wanted on a contempt of court warrant.

Now comes the news that on Saturday night, Diamondbacks lefty Zach Duke is likely to miss two months with two fractured bones in his pitching hand. Duke was hit by a line drive off the bat of Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon and found out from hand specialist Dr. Don Sheridan on Sunday morning that the injury was more serious than expected.

Yesterday, Justin Duchscherer (DUKE-sher) couldn’t throw in a scheduled simulated game because of recurring hip soreness, making it even more likely that he won’t be part of the Orioles’ Opening Day rotation.

In other Duke news…

Roger “The Duke of Tralee” Bresnahan, Hall of Fame catcher, died in 1944 at the age of 65.

Duke Maas, former pitcher for the Tigers, A’s, and Yankees died in 1976 at the age of 47.

Fortunately, there has been no news on Duke Carmel, or Duke Sims.

On the bright side, Duke University beat the University of North Carolina 75-58 to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship. And speaking of Duke which has produced 32 major leaguers, alum Chris Capuano has a 3.60 ERA for the Mets this Spring Training. And, along with Terry Francona, former Duke and Pirates’ great Dick Groat, who led Duke to its first College World Series appearance in 1952, was voted into the 2011 induction class of the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

One last “Duke” reference. The King’s Speech won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Colin Firth plays the role of King George VI of the United Kingdom, who struggled to overcome stuttering. The film begins with George before he became king, when he simply was…the Duke of York.