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51 posts from May 2011

May 31, 2011

Hanley Ramirez on the improve; Chris Coghlan has private chat with manager

    PHOENIX -- It's triple-digit hot here today and they've closed the roof at Chase Field, which could keep the ball from flying out. Last night, with the roof open, the Diamondbacks hit five homers while the Marlins (Gaby Sanchez) belted one.

    Some encouraging news for the Marlins on the injury front, as Hanley Ramirez says his back is improving and he might be able to play on Wednesday. Manager Edwin Rodriguez said Ramirez told him he was feeling better after performing some stretching exercises with trainer Sean Cunningham within the past couple of hours.

    "He said he's feeling much better today, so tomorrow is a possiblity," Rodriguez said.

    But Rodriguez said that, with an off day scheduled for Thursday, he would prefer just to wait until Friday before putting Ramirez back in the lineup.

    "If he comes in tomorrow and he's running and jumping and doing everything full speed, I would say (he can play Wednesday)," Rodriguez said. "But if he's not close to 90 percent, I would say no. I'd rather wait until Friday. At least he's heading the right way."

    COGHLAN BACK IN TOP SPOT -- One day after dropping Chris Coghlan to the eighth spot in the order, Rodriguez had him back on top in the leadoff position. Furthermore, Rodriguez met privately behind closed doors this afternoon with Coghlan -- along with hitting coach John Mallee -- and told him he can expect to bat in his customary leadoff spot. But he also told him he needs to start producing.

     "In the long run, if we want to win, he should be our leadoff guy, so he needs to find a way to get out of that slump," Rodriguez said. "He's struggling against left-handed pitchers. If we want to win, Coghlan has to be able to hit left-handers. He needs to step up."

     Coghlan is hitting just .119 against lefties. With southpaw Joe Saunders on the mound for the Diamondbacks on Monday, Rodriguez had Emilio Bonifacio bat first, and he responded by reaching base four times with a pair of singles and two walks. Tonight, with the D-Backs sending out right-hander Ian Kennedy, Coghlan is back in the leadoff position and Bonifacio is in the No. 8 hole.

      JOSH JOHNSON UPDATE: No major developments concerning Josh Johnson (shoulder inflammation), who continues to throw on flat ground but has yet to step on a mound to throw a bullpen session, a prerequisite before he heads back to the mound in a game. Rodriguez said it' could be Thursday or Friday before Johnson throws in the pen, and that there is a growing chance he'll need a rehab outing somewhere before he rejoins the rotation.

      TONIGHT'S BULLPEN -- Rodriguez said he'll have five relievers available for tonight's game: Brian Sanches, Edward Mujica, Randy Choate, Clay Hensley and Leo Nunez....Outfielder Scott Cousins, who fouled a pitch off his right foot and was limping on Monday, is available to pinch-hit tonight.


      Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, cf; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Logan Morrison, lf; 4. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 5. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 6. Mike Stanton, rf; 7. John Buck, c; 8. Emilio Bonifacio, ss 9. Anibal Sanchez, rhp.

      D-Backs: 1. Ryan Roberts, 3b; 2. Kelly Johnson, 2b; 3. Justin Upton, rf; 4. Stephen Drew, ss; 5. Chris Young, cf; 6. Miguel Montero, c; 7. Juan Miranda, 1b; 8. Gerardo Parra, lf; 9. Ian Kennedy, rhp.

      UMPIRES: HP -- Gerry Davis; 1B -- Greg Gibson; 2B -- Todd Tichenor; 3B -- Sam Holbrook

May 30, 2011

Hanley Ramirez says he's in the worst pain of his life; Josh Johnson update

    PHOENIX -- Hanley Ramirez isn't in the lineup, not that it's any great surprise considering how pessimistic he sounded in Los Angeles on Sunday after he left the game with stiffness in his lower back. The $64 million question is how long he'll remain out.

    But it doesn't sound like he'll be back anytime soon, not based on his comments to reporters just a moment ago, even though he and the Marlins are calling it a day-to-day situation.

    "I think it's the worst pain I've had in my life," he said. "I feel it doing anything. I can't put my shoes on. To get up from bed, I've got to take 10 or 15 seconds. I've got to do everything slow."

     Ramirez said that, except for the takeoff and landing, he stood the entire flight from L.A. to Phoenix -- about an hour flight -- to keep his back from stiffening. What's more, he said he's feeling tingling down his left leg.

     "That's not a good sign," he said.

     He said that if he doesn't improve over the next couple of days -- and he has not felt improvement since yesterday -- he'll undergo a MRI.

     "I've been playing with a little pain in my lower back," he said.  "It just got worse with my second swing yesterday. It just got tight and stiff. I couldn't move. I couldn't rotate. I wanted to say in, but Edwin (Rodriguez) told me no. He didn't want me to look bad out there."

        Ramirez said he never told anyone about the pain in his back even though he's felt it for about a month.

      "I wanted to play," he said. "I didn't tell anybody. I know how much pain I've got right now, so that's my concern."

     Said Rodriguez: "It is a concern that Hanley is not able to play. It is a concern that he's experiencing very sharp pain in the lower back, so we have to wait and see."


    And that's not the only discouraging news for the Marlins. Josh Johnson is coming along so slowly from right shoulder inflammation that Rodriguez said a June 7 return date now looks doubtful. Because he doesn't want to have another bullpen day, as he did on Saturday against the Dodgers, Rodriguez said the organization is mulling their minor-league options. Problem is, nothing jumps off the page at Triple A New Orleans, or anywhere else in the system.

     "We've been shuffling some options because I would hate to use a bullpen day again," Rodriguez said. "That would affect your whole bullpen strategy before and after you use a bullpen day. We'll see who's more ready to come up here (from the minors) and give us some innings. The thing is, we already tried that. We called up a starter (Jay Buente) from the minor leagues and he only gave us three innings."


    With Ramirez out, Rodriguez did quite a bit of juggling for tonight's game against the Diamondbacks. Emilio Bonifacio will lead off and play short, Omar Infante gets elevated back the No. 2 spot. And Chris Coghlan drops all the way to 8th. Rodriguez said the decision with Coghlan is based on his .125 average against lefties this season, and the Diamondbacks are sending out a left-hander tonight in Joe Saunders.


    Marlins: 1. Bonifacio, ss; 2. Infante, 2b; 3. Morrison, lf; 4. Sanchez, 1b; 5. Stanton, rf; 6. Dobbs, 3b; 7. Buck, c; 8. Coghlan, cf; 9. Volstad, p.

     And with Ramirez idled, the Marlins have only three position players on their bench, one of whom is backup catcher Brett Hayes. That really leaves only Scott Cousins and Wes Helms as legitimtae pinch-hitting options. Even Cousins is not 100 percent. He fouled a ball off his right foot on Sunday and is limping. Rodriguez said Javier Vazquez would be his first choice among his pitching staff to pinch-hit if necessary. In addition, relievers Brian Sanches, Edward Mujica and Steve Cishek are unavailable for tonight's game. And Burke Badenhop can provide no more than one inning.


     Manager Edwin Rodriguez discusses the Hanley Ramirez injury situation:

May 29, 2011

Ramirez doesn't sound optimistic about injury

    LOS ANGELES – Shortstop Hanley Ramirez came out of Sunday’s game after complaining of stiffness in his lower back in the first inning, and his status for the rest of the road trip is unclear.

   But Ramirez did not sound optimistic when asked whether he thought he could play Monday in Arizona.

   “Bad,” Ramirez said.

    Said Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez: “We’ll find out tomorrow. I have to find out what’s the situation , what’s the status with Hanley and then we’ll go from there.”

    After popping out in the first inning, Ramirez told Rodriguez that his lower back was bothering him. Ramirez took his position at shortstop in the bottom of the first, but he didn’t return for the second inning.

   “I sent him back to take the field that first inning, but I didn’t like what I saw,” Rodriguez said. “When he went out there, he said he would try. Swinging is one thing. But when he can’t perform defensively, now he’s going to be hurting the pitcher, he’s going to be hurting the whole team.”

    Ramirez said his back was bothering him before Sunday.

    “It’s been bothering me,” he said. “But it got a little bit worse with that swing. I don’t know. It’s day to day.”

     The Marlins were already playing with a short bench due to having 13 pitchers on the roster. If Ramirez is unable to play, they’ll have only 11 available position players when they open a three-game series in Arizona on Monday against the Diamondbacks.

Jerry Springer on Marlins winning '03 Series over Yankees: "Frankly, I'm @$%*&"

     LOS ANGELES -- Talk show host Jerry Springer made a surprise appearance inside the Marlins clubhouse this morning, and he was quite the hit. Players and coaches posed for pictures with Springer and had him autograph baseballs.

     Springer is quite the fan of basebal,as it turns out, and in particular, a huge fan of his beloved New York Yankees. That caused him quite a bit of grief in Cincinnati in the mid-1970s when he was a local politican and a soon-to-be mayor. During the 1976 World Series -- when the Big Red Machine swept the Bronx Bombers in four -- word got out that Springer was a diehard Yankees fan and he said the Cincinnati Enquirer ran a story bearing the headline: "Springer A Yankees Fan."

      "So I got booed by 58,000 people," Springer said. "Thankfully, it wasn't an election year."

      Springer said he doesn't know much about the Marlins other than the fact they knocked off the Yankees in the '03 Series. Said Springer, standing in the visitor's dugout at Dodger Stadium and cupping his mouth so that he wouldn't be overheard by Marlins players and team officials: "Frankly I'm p***ed."Springer

      But Springer said his fondest baseball memory took place at Fort Lauderdale Stadium in 1988 when he participated in a fantasy camp with the New York Yankees. Let Springer tell it:

       "The greatest thrill I had was at that '88 dream camp. I was a catcher, and on the final night, the campers play the Yankees. But they give you one of the professionals to be a pitcher, so 10,000 pack into Fort Lauderdale Stadium, or whatever it held, so this is like the greatest moment of my life because they announce the batteries, 'And for the Yankees, (Whitey) Ford and Springer. Whitey's warming up and the game starts, and 10,000 people get to their feet, screaming and yelling, because out of the dugout, here comes Mickey Mantle to step into the batter's box.

       "I start physically shaking because my whole life is flashing in front of me. I'm remembering my mom saying, 'Gerald, no ball playing in the house.' I'm shaking. And I'm in tearing up. And my glasses under the mask are fogging up. So I thought I'm going to get hurt because Whitey still threw pretty hard. So I call timeout and I run out to the mound and Whitey says, 'What are you doin'?' 'Whitey, I can't stop shaking.' He just rolls his eyes, and I'm like a little kid, and he says, 'Get the &*#$% behind the plate. Mantle hasn't hit in 20 years and he's stone drunk.' Now I'm fine and I crouch behind the plate, and he flew to left."

     Before the Marlins took the field for batting practice this morning, Springer yelled out in the clubhouse: "If there's a fight today out on the field, just starting chanting ("Jerry, Jerry, Jerry") and we'll cover it."

Marlins catcher John Baker chimes in on Collision-Gate

   LOS ANGELES -- Back at Dodger Stadium this morning where it appears the fire department has extinguished the blaze that sent smoke bellowing over the diamond throughout the course of last night's game. In case you didn't see it, Marlins center fielder Chris Coghlan had the funniest line when describing his reaction when he first saw smoke in about the fifth inning:

    "I could smell that smoke and I was, like, 'Gosh, that ain't no hot dog stand,'" Coghlan said. "Then I saw this huge puff, and I thought, 'Oh my gosh, this place is on fire."

    Turns out the fire was contained to a storage area and was never a real danger. The game was played without interruption. But it resulted in the re-location of fans in several sections of the upper deck to another section of the stadium.

    So here we sit on another splendid day in southern California, preparing for Ricky Nolasco to take on his favorite boyhood team. Still waiting on the lineups, and I'll post those as soon as they become available. In the meantime, check out John Baker's take on the Scott Cousins/Buster Posey collision. As always, Baker is articulate and insightful, and his words carry some weight considering that he is both a catcher and a teammate of Cousins.

     Anyway, you can check out his take on matters by reading here.


     Marlins: 1. Coghlan, cf; 2. Ramirez, ss; 3. Morrison, lf; 4. Sanchez, 1b; 5. Stanton, rf; 6. Buck, c; 7. Infante, 2b; 8. Bonifacio, 3b; 9. Nolasco, p.

     Dodgers: 1. Furcal, ss; 2. Blake, 3b; 3. Ethier, rf; 4. Kemp, cf; 5. Sands, 1b; 6. Gibbons, lf; 7. Navarro, c; 8. Carroll, 2b; 9. Kershaw, p.

May 28, 2011

Marlins looking for some O from the top of the order

       LOS ANGELES – As 1-2 punches go, the combination of Chris Coghlan and Hanley Ramirez (and before him, Omar Infante) at the top of the Marlins’ order has been the least productive tandem in the National League so far this season.

     “To take this team to the next level, those two guys have to show more offense,” said manager Edwin Rodriguez.

    The Marlins’ .296 on-base percentage from the No. 1 spot in the lineup (predominately Coghlan) ranks 14th of 16 teams. And the team’s .577 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) from the No. 2 position ranks 15th.

   “Coghlan has been very inconsistent sometimes,” Rodriguez said. “One game he shows up and looks like the best hitter on the field, and then, for two or three games, he struggles.”

     Coghlan, who brought a .237 batting average and .304 on-base percentage into Saturday’s game against the Dodgers, said he is heeding the advice of hitting coach John Mallee, who watched tape of his 2009 season when he was named the league’s Rookie of the Year.

    He said Mallee approached him in San Francisco at the start of the road trip and suggested he “stay back more” to wait longer on pitches before swinging.

   “I was just pulling a lot more balls than I do normally,” Coghlan said.

   Ramirez has not snapped out of his hitting slump in the nine games since being moved from the No. 3 to the No. 2 spot in the lineup, where he is hitting just .200.

         "We need their offense,” Rodriguez said. “They know that.”


          As the Dodgers series is a homecoming for quite a few Marlins players and executives (president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest was an All-City shortstop here) tickets for family and friends are in high demand.

          Mike Stanton, who is from nearby Panorama City, has his own cheering section in the right field bleachers for the three games. And catcher Brett Hayes also went to Stanton’s Notre Dame High School.

          But no one has a larger following than Ricky Nolasco, who expects a contingent of anywhere from 100 to 200 just to see him pitch Sunday.

          “I try not to let it affect me,” said Nolasco, who is from nearby Corona. “But I can’t help to get motivated from it. All my family and friends – everybody – grew up Dodgers fans. To come here and have their support is truly amazing.”

          Nolasco used to attend about 10 Dodgers games a year with his father and sat in the front row of the loge section behind home plate.

          He’ll be making only his second lifetime start at the ballpark, and first since 2008 when he did not receive a decision.



    Marlins: 1. Chris Coghlan, cf; 2. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 3. Logan Morrison, lf; 4. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 5. Greg Dobbs, 3b; 6. Mike Stanton, rf; 7. Omar Infante, 2b; 8. Brett Hayes, c; 9. Brian Sanches, p.

   Dodgers: 1. Rafael Furcal, ss; 2. Casey Blake, 3b; 3. Andre Ethier, rf; 4. Matt Kemp, cf; 5. James Loney, 1b 6. Jerry Sands, lf; 7. Rod Barajas, c; 8. Aaron Miles, 2b; 9. Hiroki Kuroda, p.      

May 27, 2011

Josh Johnson likely to return on June 7

    LOS ANGELES -- Manager Edwin Rodriguez says he's more inclined to have Josh Johnson make his next start on June 7 rather than push matters and have him return on June 1, the first day he's eligible to come off the disabled list.

    "I'm leaning to make sure he's 100 percent whenever he comes back," Rodriguez said. "If there's any doubt that he will be 99 percent coming off the DL, that won't work for me. We should make sure that whenever he comes off he's 100 percent."

    The Marlins were thinking that Johnson would be ready on June 1, the final day of the road trip. But, with an off day on Thursday, June 2, the Marlins could move Johnson's start back to June 7 and not have to drum up a starter like they're doing here Saturday when reliever Brian Sanches will take the mound.

    Johnson, who has been on the DL since May 21 with right shoulder inflammation, has done nothing more than play catch so far. Rodriguez said he could throw off a bullpen mound for the first time within the next three days.

    "So far he's painless," Rodriguez said. "Now he's trying to get his strength back. I think one bullpen for me would be pushing it. I would like to see two bullpens from him -- three bullpens from him -- to make sure he's 100 percent."


     As long as Rodriguez doesn't have to dip into his bullpen early tonight when Javier Vazquez takes the mound, he'll send out Sanches on Saturday for what would be the pitcher's first big-league start and use a cast of relievers to make it through the rest of the way.

     Sanches said he's looking forward to the opportunity, especially since it comes at Dodger Stadium, where he made his major league debut as a reliever.

     "I'm excited," he said. "It's crazy. I was telling my wife before the season, 'Man, I'd like to start a game I think. It would be cool to start a game.'"

     Rodriguez said Sanches will be limited to no more than 50 or 60 pitches.


     The Marlins' reward for sweeping the Giants in San Francisco?

     Team president David Samson and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest ponied up and bought In-N-Out burgers -- a West Coast delicacy -- for the team's charter flight down to L.A. All 200 of the burgers were long gone by the time the plane touched down at LAX.Inandout

      "I guess that's what happens when you sweep the World Series champs," said pitcher Ricky Nolasco, a California native and In-N-Out disciple. "I don't think any of them were left, and I hate two double-doubles myself. They're amazing."






     Marlins: 1. Coghlan, cf; 2. Ramirez, ss; 3. Morrison, lf; 4. Sanchez, 1b; 5. Dobbs, 3b; 6. Stanton, rf; 7. Buck, c; 8. Infante, 2b; 9. Vazquez.

     Dodgers: 1. Furcal, ss; 2. Blake, 3b; 3. Ethier, rf; 4. Kemp, cf; 5. Gibbons, lf; 6. Loney, 1b; 7. Barajas, c; 8. Carroll, 2b; 9. Garland, p.

May 26, 2011

A day later, emotional Scott Cousins is still upset over hurting Buster Posey

SAN FRANCISCO -- Less than 12 hours after he scored the winning run in the Marlins' 7-6, 12-inning victory over the Giants Wednesday night, Scott Cousins was still feeling "pretty crappy" over how he earned it.

Scott Cousins The reserve outfielder, who played at the University of San Francisco and lives in the Bay Area, fought back tears before Thursday's game in the Marlins clubhouse when talking about his collision with Giants catcher Buster Posey, who fractured his lower left leg and ankle trying to block Cousins from scoring. 

"I'd like to say I don't care and we won, but I have compassion for that guy," Cousins said. "I don't want him hurt. He's a great player. He's a leader over there, a leader of that team, defending World Champion, Rookie of the Year. Did I want to end his season? No. Not at all."

Cousins, who said he didn't get a wink of sleep Wednesday, said he called over to the Giants clubhouse twice after Wednesday's game hoping to talk to Posey. But he was only able to leave a message with trainers. He said he urged them to relay the message to Posey. If he doesn't hear back, Cousins said he would try to reach out to Posey again after Thursday's game.

As for Cousins' family, friends and teammates? They've all been backing him.

"I've gotten messages from the front office, management, the coaching staff [Giants outfielder and former Marlins teammate] Cody Ross, players everywhere, family, friends," Cousins said. "I've gotten 65 text messages and Facebook postings saying I did nothing wrong. I understand it, got all the reassurance I need. But it's just still unfortunate and I can't help but still feel crappy about it."

Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez reiterated Thursday he felt Cousins and Posey both made "clean, hard plays" and said his team was upset Posey was hurt.

"Even after he scored, there was no celebration in the dugout," Rodriguez said. "Guys were shaking hands. But there was zero celebration in the dugout."

Cousins said he still feels he made the right play. "It's part of the game," he said. "If you go in first feet and slide they punish you. If you hit them, you punish them and you punish yourself, but you have a chance of that ball coming out. And that's the difference, the only difference. But you still get punished.

"I got punished last night. I had full speed momentum going in there. But he's a big guy. He's bigger than me. It hurt a lot. It's just one of those things, it shouldn't be changed. It's part of the game. But you don't ever want to see anybody get hurt over it. You wish he could just, his legs would come out from under him and he could just roll over it, dust himself off and maybe even say something to me. I'll take it. But you don't want to see his leg get broken. That's the worst."

Marlins, Cousins feel bad for Posey, but remain confident the collision was clean

SAN FRANCISCO -- Scott Cousins knew from the moment Nate Schierholtz camped under the ball in shallow right field he was going to have to come racing toward home full speed to have any chance to score.

What Cousins was hoping to find was a lane to slide through. But Giants catcher Buster Posey never gave him one.

So Cousins used his shoulder instead, bowling over Posey to pave the way for the winning run in the Marlins 7-6, 12-inning victory over the Giants at AT&T Park.

"I don't know if I'm going to be welcomed at home as much anymore, but it's a baseball play," Cousins said. "I feel bad for Buster Posey. I hope he's okay, I really do. I'm going to send a message over there to him.

"But at the same time, we got to keep stringing wins together. We're in an extremely tough division and we know the Phillies got a tough win [Wednesday] also. There's no time for us ever to back down."

The Marlins (28-19) had plenty of reasons to fold Wednesday. Up 6-2 in the ninth inning, Edward Mujica and Leo Nunez teammed up to blow the four run, costing Nunez, the major league leader in saves, his first blown save opportunity in 19 tries.

But the Marlins, who improved their major-league best road record to 14-7 road, showed resiliency by rallying to win the game in the 12th.

John Buck started the rally with a single to left, his first hit in 15 at-bats. Cousins tried to move him to second with a sacrifice bunt, but couldn't get the job done, forcing Buck out on a bouncer back to the mound. But one batter later, Cousins went from first to third on Omar Infante's single to right on a called hit and run, bringing Emilio Bonifacio to the plate.

Bonifacio then lifted a soft fly ball to right field, setting the stage for a mammoth collision at the plate that left the 2010 National League Rookie of the Year squirming in pain and with an injured left ankle.

Replays showed Posey never caught the ball, which came in on a bounce. But Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez contends the play was clean.

"It's a baseball play," Cousins said. "It's part of the risk of being a catcher. We're trying to win the game also. I'm not going to concede the out by any means. I'm on this team to do the little things to help this team win and if that means going hard and forcing the issue because I have speed, that's what I'm going to do. I'm not going to concede an out."

Cousins spent a few moments kneeling at home after the play was over hoping to see Posey was okay. But he had to be helped off the field by Giants trainers.

"You never want to see an opposing catcher get hurt like that, it's scary stuff," said Mike Stanton, who had four hits and four RBI for the Marlins. "I believe it was clean. It's not like he went out of his way to go hit him. He went straight over the plate."

May 25, 2011

JJ plays catch, Stanton aims for big glove at AT&T Park & more

SAN FRANCISCO -- Marlins ace Josh Johnson played catch Wednesday for the first time since he was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. So how did it go?

"It felt weird," Johnson said. "I hadn't taken that many days off since November. It felt like the first day of the offseason playing catch. I didn't know where the ball was going to go. It felt like the ball was going to go into the stands half the time. But it was a good day to get that feeling back, have the ball in my hand, all that."

Johnson said he played catch for about five to six minutes from a distance of 60 feet. Barring any discomfort in his shoulder when he wakes up Thursday morning, he said he expects to proceed his rehab by playing catch again (this time from 75 feet). He'll follow it up with long toss. If all goes well, he could throw just one bullpen session before getting back in rotation as soon as June 1st at Arizona.

But it's more likely the Marlins will take a cautious approach and probably give Johnson a few more days off, especially since they'll have a day off at the conclusion of their nine-game road trip.

"I don't think I'll need that much time [to get ready]," Johnson said. "But me and [pitching coach] Randy [St. Claire] talked about making sure when I throw long toss, that I get good extension. I wasn't getting that earlier in my last four or five starts. I need to have that. If I'm not getting that, then I'm not going to go out to the mound. So it depends on that."

All Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said he cares about is that when Johnson does return, he doesn't have any other setbacks. "The main reason we shut him down was because we wanted him to be fine for the rest of the season. So now that he's down, we want to make sure he's 100 percent when he comes out," Rodriguez said. "We're not only looking for him to be painless, but strong too."

As for who will fill-in for Johnson Saturday, Rodriguez said Wednesday he still doesn't have an answer.

STANTON 'BECOMING A SHOWMAN:" There was a time not too long ago when fans across the country showed up early to watch Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and other sluggers put on power displays during batting practice.

Mike Stanton hasn't develop such a following yet, but he's building a big fan base at AT&T Park. Before Tuesday's game, he received a loud ovation from several thousand Giants fans who saw him drill a ball just to the left of the 501-foot sign in left-center field. According to Josh Johnson, the ball bounced off the concourse and nearly hit the giant-sized glove and Coke bottle.

"Amazing," Johnson said of the blast. "I guess somebody talked to a fan who has come to all the BPs that said it's the furthest ball he's ever seen hit here."

Rodriguez said he thinks the cheers Stanton received might be the loudest he's ever gotten on the road. "He's having fun," Rodriguez said. "He's starting to become a show man, enjoying all the attention. But at the same time, he's staying within himself."

Rodriguez said he saw Stanton's blast during BP, but missed his 11th home run of the season in the fourth inning Tuesday -- a 400-foot straight away blast to center field -- because he went into go get his jacket.

"I was upset I missed that home run," Rodriguez said. "As a fan you don't want to miss it. The way he's been handling himself is amazing. Although he's only 21, he's very mature."

Stanton, who is from the Los Angeles area, said his father and a few friends who are students at nearby Cal-Berkley came to watch him play Tuesday. He said they weren't necessarily impressed by home run.

"They all saw the Dodgers and San Diego series last year," Stanton said. "It's not a big deal."

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria joked Tuesday that if Stanton were able to hit the ball inside the giant-sized glove he would consider giving him his red Ferrari. Told what Loria said, Stanton replied: "That's a shot. Who knows on a good day, maybe. I'll see what I got today. Maybe I can unload one or two."

Stanton unloaded a few crowd pleases Wednesday, but didn't hit the glove.