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Back stiffness forces Polanco to take a day off; Heaney reassigned to rehab; Ruggiano hopes to return this week

JUPITER -- The Marlins had concerns about Placido Polanco's back when they signed the 37-year old third baseman back in December. 

Polanco's back finally flared up Saturday after practice. But according to the two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner the pain isn't serious and he likely will only need a few days off as a precautionary measure.

"I should be ready for Tuesday," said Polanco, who will also rest during the Marlins' day off Monday. "It's not bad. I'm feeling good right now. It has nothing to do with what happened before. It's something to be on the safe side. If the season started today I could go."

The Marlins have always liked Polanco. The question has always been his health. In 2012, Polanco was bothered by back injuries, and he appeared in 90 games, batting .257 with two home runs and 19 RBIs. Lower back problems also plagued him in 2011, a season during which he also dealt with a sports hernia injury. He missed 40 games that season and 30 games in 2010.

"I think obviously a guy who has been banged up a little bit in the past we make sure we take care of him," Redmond said. "We want him to be healthy over the course of the season. So, if we got to hold him back a little bit in spring training and make sure we get him in when the it counts that's what most important. We're definitely going to have to monitor him. Me and him have talked about it, being on the same page. I think we are."

> The Marlins announced that 2012 first round pick and left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney has been reassigned to rehab with a strained lat muscle. Heaney, who went 1-2 with a 4.66 ERA in six minor league starts last season, had yet to appear this spring.

> Center fielder Justin Ruggiano (strained back) said Sunday he feels a lot better and is hopeful he will return to game action this coming week. He started playing catch Thursday, hit in the batting cage Saturday and ran for the first time since hurting himself two weeks ago on Sunday.

"It takes me a good while to get my timing down and get my legs underneath me so I'm kind of chomping at the bit to get back out there," Ruggiano said. "It's feeling a lot better."

SUNDAY'S LINEUPS

> Mets (2-3-3): 1. Jordany Valdespin 2B, 2. Omar Quintanilla SS, 3. John Buck C, 4. Mike Baxter RF, 5. Andrew Brown LF, 6. Kirk Nieuwenhuis CF, 7. Jamie Hoffman DH, 8. Brandon Hicks 3B, 9. Josh Satin 1B. RHP Dillon Gee.

> Marlins (3-3-2): 1. Juan Pierre LF, 2. Donovan Solano 2B, 3. Rob Brantly C, 4. Casey Kotchman 1B, 5. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 6. Chris Coghlan RF, 7. Chris Valaika 3B, 8. Derek Dietrich DH, 9. Gorkys Hernandez CF. RHP Nathan Eovaldi. 

Comments

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Dionysus Thelxinoe

I read Lebatard's column about Loria today and while it was well-written and he appears to try to be objective, I was compelled to respond. Had to email him, since the column doesn't allow comments. Thought I'd share ...

To: dlebatard@miamiheral.com

Subj: Jeffrey Loria, Trust, and Facts

I enjoy reading your columns. Descriptions like “You’d have more luck drawing fans to your new ballpark by combining Food Poisoning Night with kick-you-in-the-groin coupons” are part of the reason. But I was very troubled by some implications in your latest column about Loria.

For example, in your second paragraph you write, “It was an understandable effort, trying to get the facts out last week, but this organization has created an atmosphere so contaminated that even truth has somehow ceased to matter.”

Dude, what truth? Where and when did Loria speak the truth in this 3-day public relations campaign? All I saw was where he consistently twisted HALF-truths into an incomplete context that cast him into an undeserved, unearned favorable light. He used the fact that the Marlins had a losing season to purge himself of the payroll he promised the Miami community. The facts are that he signed Reyes and Buerhle, as well as Delgado before them, to heavily back-loaded contracts without no-trade clauses, promised each player he would not trade them, then traded each one of them after only one season. That is clear evidence of a long-term pre-planned strategy. And if you believe that, you have to also believe that he never intended to spend beyond the one season, instead intending all along to trade them away after the one season and simply deal with the resulting fallout (even if the Marlins had won the 2012 World Series!!!), just like he’s done in the past.

Using the fact that the ballpark tax money is paid by tourists is the most disingenuous part of his recent campaign, and you even appear to buy into it. The fact is that this money is collected by the MIAMI community and intended to benefit the MIAMI community, yet it was used to build a stadium that radically increases the valuation of the Marlins franchise, and thus lines Loria's pockets for untold millions. He knew this going in, just like he knew all along that his long term strategy was NOT spending on payroll, as he was leading us all to believe.

You write, “There is nothing these people who work in the fun-and-game business can say or do now that won’t result in shaking torches and pitchforks.” But you’re ignoring the truth here. How about if Loria were to keep his promises to we, the people? Yes, he CAN sign Stanton to a long-term deal. But he won’t. Stanton may have already decided to leave, but if Loria were to offer him his true market value, PLUS a no-trade clause AND a player’s option to void after 2-3 seasons, in case they don’t build a winner, he’ll sign. That would be in keeping his commitment to the people of Miami.

There IS something these people can do or say... they can keep their promises to us. The truth hasn’t ceased to matter, not to the Miami community. The fact of the matter, and what your column ignores, is that the truth has NEVER mattered to Jeffrey Loria.

Repectfully,

A Marlins Fan Who Will Not Spend Another Dollar Until Loria Is Gone

P.S. For the record, the Marlins losing record last year was due solely to their CHOICES in talent which, just like their abysmal draft selections, was made by a management team that is still fully intact.

joe giradi

Who cares??? Loria, et al are slimeballs in a sea of pus!!!

CSC employee at Marlins Park

Boycott these morons until they are gone. They are terrible liars to work for,too.

charlie

agree with D T, Lebretard is kissing up to loria

Flagstafffishfan

Sad baseball is dying in S. Fla. It was already on life support but when Stanton is traded it will flatline once and for all. The cup can't be half full when there's a hole in the bottom.

Pope

LeBaturd kisses the assss of whatever or whoever his agenda is at the moment. Zero credibility. Douche clown

Dionysus Thelxinoe

Flagstafffishfan, in spite of the historical attendance figures, I believe that baseball CAN succeed in south Florida, but not under the ownership of Loria, who is in it for only two reasons, his ego and money (not necessarily in that order).

I believe it's possible for baseball to succeed here because the new stadium was absolutely the right idea, just with the wrong owner, a proven liar and hustling carpetbagger.

An owner who is sincerely interested in running a successful franchise would have all kinds of credibility with the community, whereas Loria does not, having lied and cheated his way through the Montreal and now Miami communities.

MLB cannot now move the franchise under any circumstances. That is the only leverage we have in order to make Loria get out of south Florida, but it requires that we NOT ATTEND MAAArlins games and NOT BUY MAAArlins merchandise. Vote with your feet and your wallets, south Florida!!! The only language they understand is money. Make Loria GET OUT!!!

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