Lucas Duda spent winter in Southern California talking hitting with Marlon Byrd

Lucas Duda of the Mets celebrates his sixth-inning

Lucas Duda of the Mets celebrates his sixth-inning home run against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Photo Credit: Jim McIsaac

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PHILADELPHIA - In spring training last year, Lucas Duda became a fixture at the locker of veteran outfielder Marlon Byrd. The two often talked hitting.

But this winter, the Southern California residents moved beyond mere talk, with Byrd spending some time working with Duda on his swing.

"Anytime that Marlon says anything, you tend to listen because of who he is," Duda said before the Mets faced Byrd and the Phillies Tuesday night.

Byrd resurrected his career with the Mets a year ago following a PED suspension. He was eventually traded to the Pirates, where he helped the franchise to its first postseason since 1992.

This winter, Byrd signed a two-year, $16 million deal with the Phillies. But not before spending some time with Duda.

 

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Steal of home?

Duda believes he's a victim of theft. Shortly after the Mets first baseman discovered that about $1,600 worth of valuables had gone missing, he filed a complaint to police on Saturday, an NYPD official confirmed.

Before Duda left town on April 6 for a team road trip, a team employee hired a moving company on the player's behalf. All of Duda's belongings were supposed to be taken from his old apartment in Queens.

But when Duda returned from the road on April 17, he noticed that a black backpack had gone missing, according to the police official. The bag had contained a checkbook and jewelry.

 

Extra bases

Rain forced first pitch to be pushed back by 1 hour, 28 minutes . . . David Wright entered play with 19 homers at Citizens Bank Park -- the most by an opposing player.

With Anthony M. DeStefano

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