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Samson Dips, Johnson Rips -- Marlins/Braves


  Not making this one up. A moment ago, during batting practice, Marlins president David Samson took a pinch out of Hanley Ramirez's can of Skoal and placed between lip and gum. Samson said he had never dipped in his life but was doing so to show his solidarity before a big series against the Braves.

  Despite predictions by some Marlins players that he would either become violently ill or pass out within a matter of minutes, Samson managed to remain upright for a good 10 or 15 minutes before deciding enough was enough and spitting out the small wad of tobacco.

  "If I ever had occasion to taste animal feces, I would assume that would be the taste," Samson said afterward. "I did not get sick, but I was on the cusp of getting sick. I wasn't going to drop on the field. No warrior goes down on the field. But I will never chew again. I will never dip again."

-- Nick Johnson hit, ran and took ground balls on Monday and was given the green light to play for Single A Jupiter on Tuesday. If all goes well, the Marlins think Johnson -- on the disabled list since Aug. 16 with a hamstring injury -- could rejoin the club on Friday when it opens a road series against the Nats.

-- Pitcher Burke Badenhop and catcher Brett Hayes are expected to be among the first reinforcements when rosters expand on Tuesday for the first time. It'll likely be another week -- after the end of the minor-league season -- when the rest of the September call-ups join the club. Manager Fredi Gonzalez said Badenhop would be used out of hte bullpen.

  -- Andrew Miller will make one more rehab start for Triple A New Orleans before he ireturns to the team.

  -- With Brad Penny going to the Giants, the Marlins will need to name a starter for Wednesday's game against the Braves. The likely choice: Rick VandenHurk.

  -- Chris Coghlan and Ramirez are the first tandem to each collect at least 45 hits in one month since Dante Bichette and Eric Young did it 1996 with the Rockies.

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