The Marlins have just hit the field for their first full-squad workout of spring training, but not before Edwin Rodriguez gave them a speech he's had prepared and saved for years -- his first as a major league manager.
Rodriguez said he has waited for this day for 15 years. That's when he prepared the speech he delivered to players and coaches before they hit the field for Tuesday's workout. He said he's practiced the speech on his wife now and then. But, this being his first spring training as a manager at the big-league level, this was the first time he was able to use it for real.
"It was emotional knowing that I'm going to eventually getting close to that speech," Rodriguez said. "But as soon as I started talking, it was gone. I was concentrating on delivering the message that I was trying to get across."
That message included his goal of winning the World Series.
"I said that I know them for many years, pretty much everybody, and at one point I managed them," he said. "And I know what kind of makeup they have. There's a lot of winners in that room. There's a lot of guys that have the mental toughness needed to win championships. Let your abilities take over."