Marlins all business as full-squad workouts begin

Mattingly's message: 'You've got to earn what you get'

Marlins all business as full-squad workouts begin

JUPITER, Fla. -- With little fanfare, the Marlins opened full-squad workouts on Tuesday afternoon at Roger Dean Stadium with a simple message -- earn what you get.

Unlike some previous years, where there has had a rah-rah mood heading into Spring Training, new manager Don Mattingly is setting a businesslike tone. It was conveyed at the team meeting before the players took the field.

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"We've got to work, pretty simple," Mattingly said. "You've got to work. You've got to earn what you get."

The Marlins haven't had a winning season since 2009, and they haven't been to the playoffs since capturing the World Series title in '03. So the mood around the organization is to not be too boastful.

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There's not a lot of self-promotion going on, and that is fine with the team's biggest star, Giancarlo Stanton.

Asked about the pre-workout meeting, Stanton replied: "Good. Direct. What we need to do."

The 2012 Marlins, for instance, made headlines for all the wrong reasons in Ozzie Guillen's only season managing the club. That year they were the focus of the sports reality TV show, "The Franchise," which aired on Showtime. It turned into a disastrous campaign.

Now, the feeling is less about putting the spotlight on individuals and doing what it takes to get the job done collectively.

"No attitudes," Stanton said. "No extra nonsense. Do what you need to do, and go home. That's how it should be."

In Mattingly, the Marlins have a manager with star power. He's also a proven winner, in his playing days with the Yankees and managing the Dodgers to three consecutive National League West titles. He also has a low-key personality.

Taking over the Marlins presents a different challenge. In Los Angeles, of course, Mattingly guided a high profile team. With the Marlins, he's watching over a club in the bottom third in payroll.

"We've got a lot of guys who are going to make a lot of money, eventually," Mattingly said. "They just haven't gotten there yet. We've got a lot of talented guys. If we keep this team together a long time, we're going to have a big payroll."

Players were on the field about two hours Tuesday, and pitchers were given a day off from throwing off the mound.

Miami's first exhibition is set for March 1, at Roger Dean Stadium against the University of Miami.

The way Mattingly looks at game preparation is he is focused on the six weeks of Spring Training, and being ready for Opening Day, April 5 against the Tigers.

"I look at it as more of a six-week process, not seven days to get ready for the games to start," Mattingly said. "The games don't mean anything right now. It's six more weeks."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.