Close to home, McKeon gets in another Marlins visit

Former manager on hand as big league club plays exhibition vs. Grasshoppers

Close to home, McKeon gets in another Marlins visit

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Marlins assistant hitting coach Lenny Harris walked past Jack McKeon on Friday and offered the following greeting:

"Welcome home, Jack."

For McKeon, who guided the Marlins to the 2003 World Series championship, his involvement as an advisor continues at age 84. While he spent a few weeks in Spring Training last month, this might best be described as McKeon's stomping grounds.

He lives in Elon, about 20 minutes away from NewBridge Bank Park, where the Marlins played an exhibition game against the Class A Greensboro Grasshoppers on Friday.

"It's nice to get out of the house," McKeon said, pointing out that he might attend about half of the games in a typical Greensboro homestand.

McKeon has been back home for about a week, so he had a good feel for what was going on with the big league team. He said he understands the heightened sense of expectations around the team.

"That's going to depend on no injuries, which is the case with every club," he said. "And starting pitching, that's always something you have to have."

Bob Sutton is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.