Reporting Tim Kephart
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JUPITER, Fla. (CBSMiami) – The squad that began showing up in Jupiter, Florida Monday barely resembles the Miami Marlins from 2012. All over the field the team will be new faces from the bullpen to the dugout and that has new manager Mike Redmond excited.
Pitchers and catchers officially have their first session of spring on Tuesday with the rest of the team reporting later in the week. The Marlins are hoping for a fresh start with all the new faces.
“It was good to see all the guys and get to finally meet some of the guys that I’ve read so much about,” Redmond said. “Like I said, everybody’s excited. Obviously, we’ve got a tremendous opportunity for guys in this camp and I think everybody realizes that.”
Redmond was a backup catcher on the Marlins’ 2003 World Series team that had low expectations. He’s facing a similar situation this season as the Marlins blew up the roster, fired manager Ozzie Guillen, and traded away most of the Major League talent on the team.
Still, Redmond said last year is last year and the team is done talking about the disaster that was 2012.
“It’s over. We’re moving forward. We’re going to talk about, day to day, what goes on and how we can build this thing back up and get this thing headed in the right direction,” Redmond said.
The Marlins lineup will consist of the All-Star ability of Giancarlo Stanton and not much else. Stanton is likely only in the Marlins lineup for a little while longer. He made his unhappiness known when the Marlins blew up the roster last year.
Plus, with no free agent having any trust in anything the Marlins organization tells them during contract negotiations, if the Marlins’ prospects don’t work out, there literally is no hope for the future.
Stanton did not take questions from reporters as he and pitcher Ricky Nolasco walked into the clubhouse, and he didn’t join teammates at a fan event at the Marlins’ ballpark in Miami — about 90 minutes south of the spring-training site — over the weekend.
He was certainly going to get some questions from Redmond, who was slightly eager to meet his best hitter.
“I hadn’t seen him,” Redmond said, not long after Stanton’s arrival. “Looking forward to getting a chance to talk to him a little bit.”
For as much as Redmond talked about moving forward, both as individuals and a franchise, Monday was tinged with nostalgia for Miami’s first-year skipper. He said he found himself regularly gravitating from the manager’s office toward the clubhouse, looking for his old locker that, as he put it, was far from where the Marlins’ star players would be assigned space.
Even the food room off the clubhouse brought back memories. Redmond said that he remembers a time where whenever he would walk into that room, Miguel Cabrera’s father would be in there dining.
“A lot of good memories, you know? … Remembering what we went through, all the good times, it brought back a lot of good memories,” Redmond said. “To say that I’m excited about tomorrow and this season is an understatement.”
Pierre said his teammate-turned-manager’s excitement level is unmistakable, and those 5 a.m. arrivals is one way for it to show.
“I don’t think he was here that early when I played with him,” Pierre said. “But I think he’s as excited as ever. His first go-round as a manager, that’s a big deal. That’s not anything to take lightly, because guys have been waiting years and years to become a manager of a team and for him to do it so quick … we always knew he was going to be a manager. He always had that demeanor.”
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