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News, notes and pre-game quotes from Opening Night at Marlins Park

The Marlins' opening day payroll of $93.3 million is not only a franchise record, but dwarfs payrolls from many previous seasons, most notably the the $14.9 million total figure for the 2006 team. The previous highest payroll for the Marlins belonged to the 2005 team ($60 million).

The highest earner on the Marlins is pitcher Carlos Zambrano. But the Chicago Cubs are picking up the big chunk of his $18 million salary. In all, the Marlins have 14 players making at least $1 million, and eight topping $5 million.

Not included in the total payroll figure is the $6 million salary Juan Carlos Oviedo is due to earn once he takes care of of his visa issues and is allowed back into the country. But his pro-rated salary will end up being significantly less due to a six-week suspension the league plans to impose on the reliever after he's removed from the restricted list.

> The Marlins finalized their 25-man roster on Wednesday by placing Jose Ceda on the 15-day disabled list and selecting the contract of reliever Chad Gaudin. Ceda was scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery on Tuesday, but president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said the surgery was postponed until next week.

> Beinfest said Anibal Sanchez pitched well in a minor-league game in Jupiter on Tuesday, tossing seven strong innings. Sanchez will make his first Marlins start on Monday in Philadelphia.

> Ozzie Guillen spent only one year working at Sun Life Stadium -- the season he served as the third base coach when the Marlins won the World Series in 2003.

He's happy that as the team's new manager he didn't have to drive there Wednesday. "I don't mind driving here every day," Guillen said of Marlins Park.

"I drove to the old ballpark before and it was painful. First of all, I don't know what they called it. Sun Life? Dolphins Stadium? I worked there for a little while. When you looked up to the stands nobody was there. 120 degrees. You had to wait for rain delays. The only good thing about it was you came in quick and you got out quick. In 10 minutes you were back home."

> New ballpark openings are old hat for Austin Kearns.

The reserve outfielder for the Marlins was with the Reds when Cincinnati's Great American Ballpark opened in 2003 and Washington when Nationals Park opened up in '08. In fact, Kearns was the first Red to go deep in their new park and recorded the third hit for the Nationals in their new facility.

"I think opening days are special anywhere, but there's a little extra excitement when there's a new park," Kearns said.

> Zambrano, who will start Sunday in Cincinnati, said the twin 450-gallon fish tanks behind home plate is the feature he enjoys most at Marlins Park. It might even ease him when he's struggling.

"Psychologists say having a fish tank helps you relax and not stress," Zambrano said. "I have a big fish tank in Venezuela. I have like 20 fish. I have small stingrays. One of the fish killed it, so I had to take that fish out and put it in jail."

Zambrano didn't rip the home run sculpture in center field, but insinuated those in other ballparks can be a bit annoying.

"We’ve got the flamingos and birds in center field [in that statue]. I think Stanton will end up killing one of those birds," Zambrano said."

When told of Zambrano's feelings towards other home run sculptures, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said: "Shouldn't have given up so many home runs. Wonder if that was the annoyance?"

> Closer Heath Bell served as a celebrity bartender Sunday at The Clevelander at Marlins Park and joked he received a lot of tips -- which he passed onto the real bartenders -- because he was wearing a tight shirt.

"My favorite drink to serve is Bud Light over the top," Bell said. "Then probably Jack and Coke."

-- CLARK SPENCER AND MANNY NAVARRO

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