JUPITER -- While it was only necessary for Marlins pitchers and catchers to report to spring training Monday, outfielder Giancarlo Stanton sauntered in with Ricky Nolasco at 9:45 a.m., walked past several autograph seekers without stopping, and ducked inside the clubhouse for his mandatory physical. He didn't stop to talk to reporters, either -- not that there are many of those lurking about.
Unlike last spring, when the national media descended on Roger Dean Stadium like locusts to document the new-look Marlins, the atmosphere was considerably more subdued this time around. There were no reporters, for example, from The New Yorker and The New York Times magazine. Also missing was the production crew for "The Franchise." Only one South Florida TV station was represented. So there you go.
New manager (isn't there always a new manager for the Marlins this time of year?) Mike Redmond said he showed up at the ballpark at 5 a.m., even arriving ahead of habitual early-riser Juan Pierre.
"All I care is I beat J.P. here," Redmond said jokingly of his former Marlins teammate, as well as the team's new-old left fielder. "I blew him out. We didn't even talk about it. It's more of a mental thing for me than anything. I got here a little after 5. (John) Silverman, our clubhouse guy, was here, but I'm going to beat him tomorrow."
Redmond was a backup catcher for the Marlins when they moved their spring training headquarters from Viera-Melbourne in 2003 to Jupiter. He said when he walked through the clubhouse Monday morning, he looked over at the locker he once used.
"I know for all of us who were in Viera for so long, it was such a refreshing change for us," he said. "There's some great restaurants here, whereas up there in Melbourne, it was a little dicey -- when I was there. Now it's great because it's all built up. But, when I was there, there was nothing around."
With what is believed to be a franchise-record 74 players in camp, Redmond said he'll probably incorporate a number of "B" games and intrasquad games into the Grapefruit League schedule in order to evaluate everyone.
"I feel confident that we'll be able to work these guys into games and get a good look and identify what we have out there," Redmond said.
One player in particular that Redmond says he's anxious to see is Jose Fernandez, the Marlins' top pitching prospect.
"He's definitely a guy we want to get to see," Redmond said. "He's part of the future of the Marlins and going to be a big part of it when that day comes. I have never seen him pitch, and neither has our pitching coach. From what I've heard, it's going to be impressive. You know I like pitchers. From what I've heard he's a tremendous competitor, confident and has unbelievable stuff, so I'm really excited to see him."
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