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Slow-starting Conine looking for answers


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Slow-starting Conine looking for answers

 

By Joe Capozzi, Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Sunday, April 18, 2004

 

ATLANTA -- April never has been kind to Jeff Conine -- his.266 career average going into 2004 is his worst in any one month. But the Marlins' left fielder is getting impatient about his traditional slow starts.

 

"You always want to get off to a good start, and when you don't, you start pressing and you try harder and soon you dig yourself a bigger and bigger hole and you got to climb out of it,'' said Conine, who is batting.167 (5 for 30) in his first eight games.

 

"You always do, but you sit there and scratch your head. I've got 6,000 at-bats (5,384) in the big leagues. I think I'd be able to figure it out by now.''

 

After watching Conine go 1-for-11 on the first four games of the road trip, manager Jack McKeon benched his left fielder Saturday in favor of rookie Abraham Nunez.

 

"His swing is ugly right now and he'll be the first one to admit it,'' hitting coach Bill Robinson said. "His hands are dead, causing him to lunge, upper cut or pull the ball... He has always been a slow starter, but not this slow.''

 

Robinson did early batting practice Saturday with Conine and Ramon Castro, who was 1-for-3 Saturday but is only hitting.182 on the season.

 

Another Marlin who is struggling is center fielder Juan Pierre, who was 0-for-5 Saturday and is in an 0-for-16 slump.

 

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Let's hope that extra batting practice get him going today!

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