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Team's attitude impresses Delgado


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DENVER -- Carlos Delgado has figured that a laid-back attitude is a key to the Florida Marlins' success. With an easy smile and wit, he has no problems fitting right in.


Yes, even a road trip from the mountains to the East Coast to the South will not disturb his groove.


Of course, this trip is big.


Granted, three games at Coors Field is never an easy assignment, even though the Colorado Rockies entered Tuesday night's series opener with the National League's worst record (6-12).


Then the Marlins head back to the NL East -- where 2 1/2 games separated everyone at the start of the day -- to face Philadelphia and Atlanta.


But Delgado, who signed up for a lot of big games (not to mention $52 million over four years) with the Marlins after playing in relatively few with Toronto from 1993-2004, sees no need for stress.


"We were off yesterday, we're going to play today and we're off on Monday, and we'll be off on Thursday again," said Delgado, who entered the game batting .310 with two home runs and nine RBIs. "So I don't think this is what you'd call grueling.


"You go on a terrible road trip and you win more than what you lose, it's a great road trip. I don't want to break it down too much, because I don't know what I'm talking about anyway."


The Marlins have their 30-something leaders such as third baseman Mike Lowell and catcher Paul Lo Duca, and outfielder Juan Pierre is wise beyond his 27 years, but so much of the heart of the club is refreshingly youthful and carefree. That impresses Delgado.


"They're young, but they've got a little bit of experience," he said. "I guess they kind of know what it takes. They're laid back and they don't care."


Manager Jack McKeon believes thinking and analyzing are overrated. More importantly, he believes his team approaches matters they can't control, such as the schedule, with that same attitude.


"It's no big deal," McKeon said. "It's only a big deal if you make it a big deal, you know what I mean? Sometimes these guys here, they're so loose, they don't know what town they're in."


McKeon noted that the Marlins face worse trips. There's the Chicago-Los Angeles-Atlanta-Tampa Bay swing of 12 games in 14 days in June, and Philadelphia-Arizona-San Francisco for 10 games in 11 days coming out of the All-Star break.


Of course, there's more to the Marlins than the rap music and dominoes games in the clubhouse. A youthful bunch like this one didn't win the World Series in 2003 by not being aware of what's happening. Pierre knows there are real games beyond the fun and games.


"This is big right here," Pierre said. "As you see the East, everybody is in it. It's going to be a dogfight. Especially when teams are not doing so well, you have to beat them. Everybody knows the Rockies play well at home. They're one of the best home teams out there. This is a test for us."



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