USA TODAY US Edition
Marlins ready to put fuss behind
News media sessions will be tamer. The clubhouse will be quieter. The attention may shift back to the players.
The Joey Cora era, short as it might be, is upon the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins resumed play Wednesday with a 7-1 loss to the host Philadelphia Phillies, their first under interim manager Cora, who is filling in for Ozzie Guillen.
Guillen addressed the team at Citizens Bank Park, then left to begin serving a club-imposed five-game suspension for making flattering comments about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro that ignited criticism in Miami.
While the Marlins had a day off Tuesday, Guillen was in Miami apologizing and explaining his remarks.
Cora told news reporters Guillen was honest and at times funny talking to his players.
“He’s not going to change his personality, but I’m pretty sure when he is meeting with (the news media) ... he is going to think about what he is saying all the time,” Cora said.
Though the Guillen controversy has created a huge distraction and cast the team in a negative light just as it’s opening the season in a new ballpark, the players came to his defense.
“There’s nothing he needs to apologize to us about,” reliever Mike Dunn told the Associated Press. “He’s our manager, and we back him 100%.”
“I don’t really see this as an adverse time for us,” outfielder Logan Morrison told
The Palm Beach Post. “It’s absolutely tough for him. We stand behind him.”
Cora, Guillen’s longtime bench coach, said it was difficult to watch as a subdued Guillen asked for forgiveness in a news conference.
“He is going to do anything — anything, I’m telling you guys — in his power to make it right,” Cora said.