I've always liked the National League and liked visiting the NL cities a little better. This is my first year with the Marlins, but it seemed like a pretty good fit and it's been great so far.
This year is my first experience as a role player -- not expecting to start every day. So it was good to come back to the NL, where there's no designated hitter and bench players get more opportunities to play. But so far I've had a lot of chances to play.
I came here with no expectations, but I've been playing every day at first, pretty much, since Mike Jacobs broke his thumb in mid-May. It's been an adjustment, this new role, and it's been a learning experience too.
But I'm enjoying it a lot. I'm in a pretty good place in my career right now, playing for the right reasons and just trying to enjoy every day and be the best player I can be every day. I don't really worry about tomorrow anymore.
We've got a lot of young talent on the Marlins but we've been a little banged up. We've had pitchers and position players injured. Sometimes you can find a way to get by when players are hurt, but sometimes it comes back to bite you, too.
But we feel like we can still be a very good team. I've been very impressed with the overall talent in our clubhouse.
A lot of these guys played last year as rookies. I think some of them are still learning how to compete at this level. But that can be said of veterans, too. It's a process for everyone. We're all learning every day, every week, every year.
For the most part, though, these guys are pretty confident in their abilities and they know they belong here. You're going to see a lot of these young guys around for a long time.
Take Hanley Ramirez and Miguel Cabrera. Those two guys, from a talent standpoint, are great players and they'll only get better.
Hanley's as talented a guy as there is in the game. Being that he's a second-year player, you hear that term, "The sky's the limit," and that applies to him. I call Miggy "Albert Einstein" because when he steps into that box that genius light goes off. You'd be hard pressed to find a more gifted hitter in baseball. He's tough too. He's fought through some injuries.
This club reminds me a little bit of some of my old Reds teams, but even then we had more of a veteran mixture.
When I was with Cleveland, we had a good mix of young talent and more veteran players. We were much further along, though. We had quite a few veterans last year. Even the year before, we were young as a whole, but we had young guys with three or four years' experience. We're a lot younger here.
I'm the old guy in this clubhouse and these guys are a little crazy, but it's been a lot of fun.
Veteran corner infielder Aaron Boone is batting .275 with five homers and 26 RBIs this season, his 10th as a big leaguer and first with the Florida Marlins. A third baseman throughout his career, the 34-year-old is playing primarily at first base in place of the injured Mike Jacobs this year.
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