Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Burgos' Bling Burglarized,
The 'Real' Dukes Shows Up

Ambiorix Burgos had his chain snatched. How does a pitcher this bad carry around jewelry this expensive?

New York Mets reliever Ambiorix Burgos had $270,000 in jewelry stolen from his hotel room here Tuesday after leaving it in a shaving bag, Port St. Lucie police said.

Most of the bling was recovered last night, according to a police spokesman, but Burgos went to the police station today after the Mets’ full-squad workout and discovered four to five pieces worth $20,000-$30,000 were still missing.

The theft happened when Burgos, who made $415,000 with the Mets last season, switched floors of his hotel near the Mets’ Tradition Field complex. Cops say Burgos left the bag with the jewelry in his earlier room, and when he went to get it back, it was gone.

Burgos, 23, had a large diamond necklace and an assortment of bracelets, chains, watches and rings in the bag. The Dominican Republic native told The Post today that he stored the jewelry in the bag because the Spring Hill Suites doesn’t have room safes.

Let's get this math straight. Had jewelry worth an estimated $270,000 stolen from him and he made a total of $400,000 last year for the Mets. That mean - using my superlative mathematical skills - Burgos was wearing trinkets worth nearly 3/4ths of his entire paycheck for 2007. Ok . . . to each his own.

Elijah Dukes is a changed man. At least that's what the article says.

Elijah Dukes, the talented but troubled outfielder acquired by the Washington Nationals over the winter, reported to spring training this afternoon and declared himself a changed man.

“I’ve been working on myself a long time,” the 23-year-old said in a press conference at Space Coast Stadium. “I finally found a breakthrough, and from now on, everybody gets a chance to really see [what] the real Elijah Dukes is like.”

...Dukes has been working extensively with a player adviser hired by the Nationals to mentor and watch over him. General manager Jim Bowden said the adviser, James Williams, has spent nearly every waking moment with Dukes over the last two months, at times even sleeping at the player’s house.

“He kind of comes in and gives me that tough love and shoots it to me straight,” Dukes said. “We kind of do things together that kind of reflect a kind of father and son type thing. That’s a good feeling to always have.”

Sorry, but I will never get over this radio interview in which Dukes describes the benefits of crack-cocaine. If he has turned his life around, congratulations. Excuse me while I reserve judgment on Mr. Put Up Ya Dukes.

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