Elijah Dukes the hiitting coach

Nationals outfielder Elijah Dukes showed how much of a good teammate he was on Tuesday morning.

During batting practice, Dukes noticed that outfielder Roger Bernadina was gripping the bat too tight and his elbows were too close to his body. Dukes wanted Bernadina to keep his hands back. The way Bernadina was holding the bat in the past, it gave him trouble hitting inside pitches.

After practice, both Dukes and Bernadina went into the locker room with Dukes giving Bernadina tips. The session lasted about 10 minutes. There was Dukes holding the bat and demonstrating how to hold the bat from both sides of the plate. Dukes also was telling Bernadina how to get more power to his swing.

Dukes declined to talk about his good deed. But he did say, “I want everybody to make it.”

Bernadina talked about how grateful he was to get the advice from Dukes. He said he took the advice because Dukes had a productive season in 2008. In 81 games, Dukes hit .264 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs.

“Elijah saw things and he was trying to help me out,” Bernadina said. “He was trying to help me get better. I took the advice. He is trying to help me get to the next level. He is a good guy. He is always trying to help somebody in the clubhouse. I appreciate it a lot.”


Nice nugget, Bill. Thanks.

It paid off, as Roger hit a 3 run walk-off homer today. Sweet!

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