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Lo Duca looking forward


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PHOENIX -- The Marlins' new No. 3 hitter, Paul Lo Duca, did not take Saturday's trade from Los Angeles personally, but he does look forward to facing his old teammates in two weeks.

"It's over with. I could care less," he said on Tuesday of the deadline deal. "I want to go back in there and kick their [rear ends], I'll tell you that much.


"And am I rooting against them? Yeah. Wouldn't you? I want [the Marlins] to win, and I could care less what else happens as long as we get to the playoffs."


At the same time, Lo Duca credits Dodgers manager Jim Tracy for giving him his first shot in the Major Leagues, as well as coaches John Shelby and Glenn Hoffman for their work in making him a polished pro.


"I have a lot of friends over there. I wish them the best of luck, except when we play them," said Lo Duca, who came up with the Dodgers in 1998 and has been a regular since 2001. "It's not a slap in the face. Things happen. That is part of baseball."


The trade came at a trying time for Lo Duca, as his wife, Sonia, is 6 1/2 months pregnant with the couple's first child, a girl.


"It's tough," he said. "The toughest thing about it is moving everything, making sure things aren't getting lost. I'm more worried about supporting two ladies instead of all this going on."


Arizona also expressed interest in Phoenix native Lo Duca at the trade deadline but instead ended up with catching prospect Koyie Hill, who came over in the Steve Finley deal.


"I heard Arizona was involved," said Lo Duca. "My hometown ... I don't know it if would have been good or bad. I know too many people here. It didn't matter where I went. I still love to play the game."


Lo Duca plans to meet with the Marlins' starting pitchers in the near future to discuss repertoires and approaches, and he sees good things ahead.


"This is where they took off last year," he said. "Right after the trade deadline is when they got hot, and they carried it right through the World Series. Hopefully, we can do the same thing.


"With the pitching staff here, they can win ballgames every night. I think it's going to be a fun time the next two months."

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