09/21/12 11:17 PM ET
Marlins have fun with rookies on trip to New York
By Joe Frisaro and Joey Nowak / MLB.com
The Marlins on Thursday did their annual "rookie hazing" ritual, dressing up players as the U.S. Olympic water polo team. The rookies were in bathing suits during the flight to New York, and the bus from the airport went straight to Times Square, where the rookies got off.
Veteran reliever Heath Bell was the captain of the team, leading the players through Times Square, walking several blocks to the team hotel.
"We inspired some people in Times Square, and a 15-block radius around there," Bell said. "We ended up at the hotel. We inspired a lot of Americans, because we were telling them U.S.A. was there. We were telling them that. We went as the water polo team. We had American flags.
"It was good. Everybody was into it. All the young kids had fun with it. Even if they dressed up before."
The rookies included Rob Brantly, Nathan Eovaldi, Jacob Turner, A.J. Ramos, Dan Jennings, Chris Hatcher and Donovan Solano.
"The speedo they got me didn't fit that great," Ramos said. "My butt was hanging out a little bit. So that was kind of awkward."
Even manager Ozzie Guillen and his family enjoyed the spectacle.
"They have nice bodies," Guillen said. "You see those guys' bodies? I showed [the photos] to my wife, and she took a look twice."
Ozzie not worried about rumors regarding his job
NEW YORK -- Finishing the season strong and striving to win games is foremost on Ozzie Guillen's mind.
The outspoken Marlins manager isn't sweating speculation about his job security.
Signed through 2015, Guillen isn't paying attention to rumors about whether he will be back next year.
"I never worry about my job, never did," Guillen said before Miami faced the Mets at Citi Field on Friday. "Three-year contract, one-year contract, no contract. I don't [worry]."
The direction the club is heading remains unclear, but the rumors remain persistent.
"I expect to be back, 100 percent," Guillen said. "But it's not what I expect. These people who think I don't do my job, they should be managing this ballclub this year to see how it feels, to see how good they can be."
As an organization, the Marlins rarely respond to rumors. And that stance was repeated on Friday when team president David Samson offered no comment to any reports that are swirling.
Team owner Jeffrey Loria and president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest also were not commenting.
Beinfest, like Guillen, has been the subject of rumors. There are reports the team plans to either dismiss or reassign Beinfest.
Guillen spoke about his situation with the media during his daily pregame talk.
When asked about reports his job is on the line, Guillen responded by laughing.
"Can I say something about those people? Ha, ha, ha," Guillen said. "They make me laugh. The rumors and the people, they make me laugh."
The Marlins enter the weekend in last place in the National League East, no laughing matter considering the high expectations the club had in Spring Training.
"If Jeffrey doesn't think I'm doing the job I should do, it's not the first time he's fired a manager," Guillen said.
But Guillen isn't the only manager on the hot seat.
There are similar talks about Detroit's Jim Leyland and Boston's Bobby Valentine.
"You know why? Because we're in last place," Guillen said. "Leyland didn't do what he's supposed to do, I didn't do what I was supposed to do. Bobby didn't do what he's supposed to do. ... Their team's not playing good and we're in the spotlight.
"There's a lot of guys in last place that they're not talking about. They're not supposed to win, either."
Guillen hasn't had any meetings with Loria regarding next season. But the two talk regularly about the ballclub.
"About my job, I'm not gonna talk to anybody," Guillen said. "In my job, the worst thing about my job is packing. My house in Miami, I got a lot of clothes. But after that, nope."
The Marlins recognize there is collective blame to what went wrong.
"I let those guys down," Guillen said about the front office. "I don't fire everybody. Loria's the one who's gonna do it. I make people get fired. The thing about this group, we all failed, and we're all responsible for this.
"We all thought it was gonna be better for us. It wasn't. We might have picked the wrong guys. We might have picked the wrong team. We might have spent money on the wrong people. Just name it."
Ruggiano exits with right shoulder sprain
NEW YORK -- Justin Ruggiano, a bright spot in an otherwise rough Miami season, exited Friday night's 7-3 loss to the Mets with a right shoulder sprain.
After being examined, Ruggiano is confident he will be able to play sometime in the final 11 games.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said he doesn't expect the outfielder back on Saturday.
"I jammed it," Ruggiano said. "I know it's not too serious."
To add depth, outfielder Scott Cousins, who spent most of the season at Triple-A New Orleans, is being called up.
The injury occurred in the fifth inning when New York's Scott Hairston lined a triple to left field. Ruggiano made a diving attempt on the ball that skipped by him.
"I dreaded throwing the ball in," he said.
When the play was over, Ruggiano removed himself, moving gingerly off the field as assistant team trainer Mike Kozak and Guillen tended to him.
One of the Marlins' top performers this season, Ruggiano is batting .313 with 13 homers and 36 RBIs.
For most of the second half, Ruggiano has dealt with back spasms.
The Marlins acquired Ruggiano from the Astros in May, and he has been a regular for most of this tenure with the club.
Bryan Petersen replaced Ruggiano on Friday night.
Miami's outfield is thin on depth because Giancarlo Stanton is resting a sore left intercostal muscle.
Sore left side keeps Stanton out of lineup
NEW YORK -- Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton still is not ready to return from a sore left intercostal muscle that has kept him out of the lineup since Sunday.
Stanton said he tweaked his side while swinging during Saturday night's game against the Reds, and felt some discomfort when he played on Sunday.
He said before Friday's series opener in New York that the injury is not healing the way he hoped, and manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't expect to have him available until at least Sunday.
"He's not feeling good enough out there," Guillen said. "He couldn't do a few things we asked him to do, so we'll see how he feels for Sunday."
Stanton, batting .283 with 34 homers and 81 RBIs, tried to take swings this week but was visibly frustrated Friday and said he "didn't think it was going to react like this."
"It's not where I want, so I'm not going to aggravate it when [swinging] is the thing that hurts it," he said.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.