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Posted on Sun, Mar. 21, 2004




Enough 'humble pie' for Easley




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The Marlins haven't tapped Damion Easley on the shoulder and told him he should start looking for summer housing in South Florida, but Easley hasn't given anyone reason to believe he won't end up on the opening-day roster.


Easley homered for the third time this spring Saturday and is batting .400.


''He's hitting the ball good and he's playing well,'' manager Jack McKeon said.


Easley is trying to rekindle his career with the Marlins after consecutive disappointing seasons with Detroit and Tampa Bay, this for a one-time All-Star with the Tigers who hit 27 home runs with 100 RBI in 1998.


''I ate the whole humble pie,'' Easley said of his decline. ``I didn't get a piece of it. I ate the whole thing.''


The Marlins have played Easley at four positions: shortstop, third, left field and his natural spot, second base. Assuming he makes the roster, Easley would serve as a utility infielder along with Mike Mordecai.


''Physically, I feel like I'm the same player [as in 1998],'' Easley said.




Andy Fox has had a good time chiding Nick Johnson -- his new teammate with the Montreal Expos -- about the Marlins' World Series title. The New York Yankees traded Johnson to the Expos in the Javier Vazquez deal. Fox ended up in Montreal by way of the Rule 5 draft after initially signing with the Texas Rangers.


Fox printed a photograph of the World Series ring that appeared on the Internet and showed it to Johnson, and the name tag above Fox's locker in the Expos' clubhouse says ``World Champ.''


After spending the past three seasons with the Marlins, including 2002 when he played full time in place of injured shortstop Alex Gonzalez, Fox is an Expo -- but not by design.


After the World Series, Fox signed a minor-league contract with the Rangers with the idea of backing up Alex Rodriguez. But the Expos grabbed Fox in the Rule 5 draft, and Rodriguez ended up with the Yankees.


Fox figured his days as a Marlin were over.


''I just felt [with Mordecai] playing as well as he did last year that there really wasn't a fit,'' Fox said. ``I just got the impression it was time to go.''


But Fox, who was popular among teammates, got together with them one last time in January when he joined them on their White House trip.


''I made it a point to fly down to Florida [from his home in California] and fly up to Washington D.C. with the team,'' he said. ``I think it was important for me after what we went through.''






McKeon's old baseball friends are crawling out of the woodwork.


One from his minor-league playing days, pitcher Don Schultz, hooked up with McKeon before Saturday's game. McKeon caught a no-hitter thrown by Schultz when the two were batterymates in Burlington, N.C., in 1954.


But Schultz let reporters in on a little secret about McKeon, who wasn't much of a hitter.


''He was an automatic out,'' Schultz said.




McKeon plans to start Carl Pavano in a minor-league game today so the manager can get a better look at Justin Wayne, who will start against the New York Mets at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. Wayne pitched three scoreless innings in his most recent outing.




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Guest markotsay7

Yay, Admin's a Justin Wayne fan.


I used to like Justin Wayne just becasue he was Jewish and from Honolulu, when he was on the Expos. But when he came here I saw his potential and REALLY liked him.

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