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Fish To Face American Leauge


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The Marlins have done good in the past against the A.L. and I hope they can continue doing well. It also bring back good memories going to Cleveland to play the Indians. And of course its always good to see teams play whom we don't get to see a lot from the A.L.





MIAMI -- Snowflakes in batting practice come to mind when Marlins left fielder Jeff Conine reflects on the 1997 World Series games played at Jacobs Field in Cleveland.

"It was October, and you were thinking you shouldn't be playing baseball in weather like this," he said. "We all had gear on that was not made for a baseball field."


During that blustery game on Oct. 21, 1997, some Marlins players were bundled in hooded jackets under their uniforms.


"It was snowing in BP," said Conine incredulously, almost seven years later.


In icy conditions, the Marlins managed a 14-11 win in a nine-inning game that lasted four hours and 12 minutes.


On Tuesday the Marlins return to Jacobs Field for the first time since 1997 to face the Indians in a three-game series that opens Florida's Interleague schedule. Eighteen of Florida's next 24 games will be against American League opponents.


Traditionally, the Marlins have fared well against the AL. Not counting their two World Series appearances, the Marlins are 70-47 in Interleague action. Their World Series record is 8-5.


Last season they went 9-6.


After the three games in Cleveland, Florida visits an improved Detroit team that features former Marlins Ivan Rodriguez and Ugueth Urbina.


Rodriguez, the 10-time All-Star catcher, was a leader and big-game performer for the 2003 title squad. Urbina, who was acquired from Texas before the 2003 All-Star break, was the Marlins' closer late in the season and in the playoffs.


Manager Jack McKeon, who developed a close relationship with Rodriguez, looks forward to seeing the star catcher.


"He was a very important part of this club last year," said McKeon. "I enjoyed working with him. I miss having him around."


Center fielder Juan Pierre expects to test Rodriguez and the Tigers on the base paths.


"It will be fun," he said. "We didn't just go to battle with him, we won the World Series. There are going to be some emotions. He's done well over there. Hopefully, he won't throw me out."


McKeon makes it clear that the Marlins will test the Tigers with their running game. Asked if the Marlins will run, he said, "We'll try. And he knows it."


After the six games in Cleveland and Detroit, the Marlins return to Pro Player Stadium on June 15 for six games against the White Sox and Rangers.


White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was the Marlins' third base coach in 2002 and 2003.


From June 25-27, the Marlins will play the first three games of the Citrus Series against the Devil Rays at Tropicana Field. The Marlins swept Tampa Bay last year in three games at Pro Player Stadium.


The teams will meet a total of six times, with the Devil Rays visiting Miami from July 2-4.


"Interleague is good for baseball because fans get to see some teams they never would see, unless they went to the World Series or something," said Pierre.

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