When outfielder Christian Yelich spoke to Jim Morris on the field before Tuesday's exhibition, it was their first conversation since the prized prospect notified UM's baseball coach nearly two years ago that he had decided to turn pro rather than play for the Canes. A few hours later on Tuesday, Yelich went 2-for-3, delivering the game-tying hit in the bottom of the ninth in a game the Marlins won 7-6 on Terry Tiffee's game-winning single.
"I said hi to him, asked him how it was going, how the team was doing," Yelich said of his pre-game pleasantries with Morris. "It was a little awkward. It was the first time I've talked to him since I decided not to go there. The last conversation I had with him was saying I'm not going to come to MIami."
Yelich, who is rated by Baseball America as the Marlins' top prospect, instead entered the 2010 draft, where he was the team's first-round pick (23rd overall). Yelich, who will likely start the season at Single A Jupiter, said he has no regrets.
"It was definitely a good decision," Yelich said. "I feel bad (about turning down UM), but it's part of the game. I was pretty close to going to the other side of the field, and I know some guys over in Miami's dugout and coach Morris."
Yelich was excited about the opportunity to play at Marlins Park. He was told two days ago that he would be making the trip down to Miami from Jupiter to play with the Marlins in the exhibition.
"I was pumped," he said. "I wanted to come down and check out the stadium, see what it's all about," he said. "It was awesome. It was my first time ever in a big league environment. I was a little nervous during B.P. But once the game started, I just kind of relaxed."