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Coaches to all return in 2009


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NEW YORK -- As the Marlins close out their regular season, the organization already is looking ahead. At least in terms of the coaching staff. On Friday afternoon, manager Fredi Gonzalez announced the entire staff will be back in 2009.


Three coaches already were signed to two-year deals: Carlos Tosca (bench), Jim Presley (hitting) and Mark Wiley (pitching). They signed through 2009 after last year.


Now, third base-coach Bo Porter, first base-coach Andy Fox and bullpen coach Steve Foster, along with bullpen coordinator Pierre Arsenault, will all return.


Additionally, head trainer Sean Cunningham, assistant trainer Mike Kozak and strength and conditioning director Paul Fournier are on board for next year.


Gonzalez, who is completing his second season as manager, is under contract for 2009. When he took over in 2007, Gonzalez signed a three-year deal.


The Marlins, facing the Mets for three games beginning Friday, are winding down the fifth winning season in franchise history.


A year ago, they were 71-91, finishing in last place in the National League East. Florida will now wrap things up in third place in the division in 2008.


Gonzalez noted that importance of maintaining continuity with his staff.


"Look at the franchises that are successful, the Minnesota Twins, they're in there [challenging for the playoffs], and their coaching staff stays there a long, long time," Gonzalez said. "The Atlanta Braves, when they were winning it 14 years in a row [division titles], they had the same staff for the most part. They plugged in a guy here if a guy decided to go do something else. But it's the same staff."


Offensively, the Marlins set a franchise record for home runs in a season.


The starting rotation also is very promising, and with so many young arms in the system, the organization wanted to retain Wiley.


One of the priorities for next year is to improve defensively.


The Marlins have an abundance of young talent on their roster and coming through the Minor League ranks. The objective of the team is to implement a system where players know what to expect in the farm system all the way up to the big league level.


"I think it's very good for the whole organization to be on the same page," Gonzalez said. "When the guys in the Minor Leagues come up, they know exactly how we're going to run things. I think the successful organizations are built that way."

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