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Redmond, Marlins look forward to settling in at home

NEW YORK -- You'll have to forgive Mike Redmond if he's a little eager to get home. Redmond, the Marlins' manager, still hasn't moved into his apartment in Miami and has never seen a game at Marlins Park, but he'll have a chance to get comfortable at his team's home opener on Monday.

The Marlins will kick off their home slate against division rival Atlanta on Monday afternoon, and Redmond said his players are looking forward to heading home after an arduous spring.

"I think it's going to be big," he said. "Obviously, you start the season on the road, and Washington was a tough go. Those three games, we didn't get a lot going. We didn't have a lot of opportunities. But we got that first win out of the way [in New York]. Nobody likes to start the season on the road, and it seemed like we were in Washington forever. We got there Saturday, had a workout, we played a game, another day off. It seemed like we couldn't get out of there. So it's been a long trip so far."

Redmond, who signed with the Marlins as an undrafted free agent in 1992 and won a World Series with the team in 2003, said that he's looking forward to being introduced to the home crowd. Redmond, a first-year manager, couldn't help but reflect on the long road he's taken to get to this point.

"When I took this job, I had so much pride in this organization," he said. "Being a player and making my Major League debut and winning a World Series here, I love this organization. It's going to be neat. Obviously, I understand that it's been a rough go over the last year, but at the same time, we're turning the page and we're moving in a new direction. I'm excited to be in charge and to lead this team."

Veteran Kevin Slowey will get the ball on Monday, and he'll be matched against Paul Maholm for the Braves. Slowey, like Redmond, hasn't moved into his apartment yet. But there's one major difference: Slowey hasn't even found an apartment yet, making his return home a little unorthodox.

"I have a couple prospective places to look at, and I wanted to make sure I got a chance to see them in person. And to let my wife see them," he said. "I don't think it should be a problem. It seems like there are a lot of good family-oriented places around there. But you know what? It's really not that weird.

"It's just sort of the baseball lifestyle. Until you get to a place -- unless you've been there in years past -- you want to get a feel for it before you figure out where you're going to be."

Redmond agreed, saying that it's just a normal baseball phenomenon. He may not have moved into his apartment yet, but the transient lifestyle is something Redmond grew accustomed to long ago.

"I'm living out of a suitcase, literally. I have all of my belongings with me on the road, so that's no fun," said Redmond of finally returning home. "In a normal environment, it would probably be difficult, but since it's baseball, I think we're all used to it. We're all used to travel, and we're all used to adjusting and lots of crazy stuff, so it's really not that big a deal. But it would be nice to be settled in."

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for
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