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Marlins closer Steve Cishek talks fatherhood, recycling and baseball

On Tuesday I got a chance to catch up with Marlins closer Steve Cishek, who was filming a commercial and public service announcement on recycling at the local waste management center in Pembroke Pines. Billy the Marlin was on hand for the commercial, too.

Cishek, signed to a one-year, $6.65 million deal for 2015 and with two years of team control left, said this off-season felt a lot like the one in 2012 when the Marlins went bonkers spending money to upgrade the roster before the opening of the new stadium.

This year, though, feels different Cishek said because the Marlins went after the right kind of guys, and they signed the cornerstone of the franchise, All-Star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton, to a record 13-year, $325 million deal. Cishek, who has made Jupiter his off-season home, said he's excited and ready for the official start of camp on Friday when pitchers and catchers report. 

 "This off season I really wanted to rest up," said Cishek, who finished 4-5 with a 3.17 ERA and a career-high 39 saves in 2014. "I always usually take the first three weeks off and then get right in to the weight room. Last year was a grind for me. I started off throwing a lot in the beginning to middle of the year and got into a rut, kind of ran out of gas for a second. Then, I picked it back up. This off-season I wanted to make sure I got in the proper work to handle the workload and be able to perform well from start to finish."

Although the Marlins could end up adding more arms to the bullpen before the start of the season, Cishek said Tuesday "our bullpen is great as it is."

"I watching some of the guys throw bullpens today and I was like 'Man, you got some strong arms,'" Cishek said. "Sam Dyson came in today and was throwing cheddar. There are some guys who are sleepers. Dyson is one of them. He's got tremendous stuff. Obviously, [Bryan] Morris, just watching them throw bullpens has been ridiculous. Dunn just signed a two-year deal. He's been phenomenal for us. He throws gas, is a lefty. I'm like the underhand pitcher in that bullpen. You've got guys throwing heat and I'm just flipping it in there."

Cishek family photo from JanuaryCishek, who turns 29 on June 18th, became a father shortly after the season when his wife Marissa gave birth to daughter Emmie. 

"She's been an absolute blessing in our life," Cishek said. "I've learned a lot about myself through her -- like how selfish I can be. A baby is very demanding of your time and energy. And not that I didn't appreciate her before, but it gave me a huge appreciation for my wife who during the season is going to have to take care of her on her own when we [the Marlins] are on the road. Not only is it going to be tough for me to leave her and my baby it's going to be tough on her."

Cishek said he's become an expert at changing diapers. "I had to jump in there early on and just went right at it," he said. "Basically I was picking the nurses brain as soon as the baby was delivered."