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Marlins players quick to back Guillen

PHILADELPHIA — Nearly all the Marlins rushed over to the dugout railing and playfully pretended to listen when Joey Cora sat down to speak about filling in for suspended manager Ozzie Guillen.

Shortly after Guillen addressed the team in the clubhouse Wednesday and apologized for saying he admired Fidel Castro, it was business as usual for the players. To a man, they publicly had his back.

"It's really a hard time for him and his family," closer Heath Bell said. "We felt bad for him. You have to understand that occasionally guys make mistakes. At least he's owning up to it and not trying to hide or shy away from it. He's going to try and make up for his mistakes.

"He can only be a better person out of it. Like he said, if he doesn't learn from this, he's stupid. That's what he said."

Guillen's comments about the former leader of Cuba led to his five-game suspension that started when Miami played the Phillies in the second game of a three-game series.

A day after a contrite Guillen held an hourlong news conference in Miami, he talked to the team for less than 10 minutes and expressed similar emotions.

"There's nothing he needs to apologize to us about," reliever Mike Dunn said. "He's our manager, and we back him 100 percent."

OF Logan Morrison said: "I love the guy."

NEW DEAL FOR KINSLER: Ian Kinsler and the Rangers finalized a new $75 million, five-year contract that locks up another one of their key players and makes the leadoff hitter one of the best-paid second basemen in the majors. Kinsler, 29, is in his seventh season with Texas. His new deal begins next year and includes a club option for 2018.

UNION WANTS LENIENCY: Steroid use shouldn't keep baseball's best sluggers and pitchers out of the Hall of Fame, the head of the players union said. Michael Weiner told the National Press Club he thinks the Hall "is for the best baseball players that have ever played." The executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association also said Pete Rose should be in the Hall despite his history of gambling, just as team executives aren't barred for engaging in collusion against the players in the 1980s.

GOOD NEWS FOR TIGERS: Injured Detroit DH Victor Martinez does not need reconstructive surgery for his anterior cruciate ligament. Martinez, who had microfracture surgery in January on his left knee, was expected to need another operation.

VLAD CLEARED: The attorney for Vladimir Guerrero said no charges will be filed against the former major-league star stemming from a disco brawl in the Dominican Republic.

ANGELS: RH reliever Michael Kohn needs elbow ligament-replacement surgery and will miss the rest of the season.

BREWERS: LF Ryan Braun was scratched with what the team called mild chest and ribcage tightness.

CARDINALS: 1B Lance Berkman sat out a day after tweaking his left calf muscle.

GIANTS: C Buster Posey, who missed most of last season with a broken left leg, was diagnosed with shingles and is day to day.

METS: 3B David Wright, out a second straight game with a fractured right pinkie finger, won't need surgery and could return to the lineup by the weekend.

NATIONALS: Closer Drew Storen had minor surgery to remove a bone fragment from his right (pitching) elbow.

ORIOLES: Veteran RHP Joel Pineiro, 33, signed a minor-league contract.

RANGERS: C Mike Napoli was out of the starting lineup, but not because he was beaned in the previous game. Manager Ron Washington said it was Yorvit Torrealba's turn to catch.

TWINS: RHP Scott Baker will have season-ending surgery on his pitching elbow to repair his flexor pronator tendon.

YANKEES: Newly retired C Jorge Posada will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the home opener Friday.

Marlins players quick to back Guillen 04/11/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:56pm]
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