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Redmond introduced as Marlins' manager

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Redmond introduced as Marlins' manager

MIAMI (AP) At his introductory news conference Friday, new Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond engaged in the traditional ritual of donning the team jersey for photos, then sat down at a microphone and announced he would keep his shirt on while taking questions.

His pants, too.

As a backup catcher for the 2003 Marlins, Redmond took batting practice naked in an indoor cage to help the team shake a slump. The ploy worked, and the Marlins went on to win the World Series.

Now he's back in Miami and eager to be remembered for more than ``the nudity incident,'' as Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest called it.

``That was a thing I did to get a laugh, and it still gets laughs,'' Redmond said with a laugh. ``But if you ask any guy on that team about that, they'd all say the same thing - it did its job. It kept us loose, and as crazy as it is, it worked. At the time, we needed it.''

Redmond, who spent the past two years managing Class A teams in the Toronto Blue Jays' system, signed a three-year contract. He replaces Ozzie Guillen, fired last week following one dismal season in Miami.

After Guillen flopped as a big-name, headline-making manager, the Marlins went the other direction with his replacement. Redmond, who spent 13 years in the majors as a backup catcher, wryly said he has only two followers on Twitter - in part because he has never tweeted.

He becomes the Marlins' fifth manager since mid-2010, and Beinfest said they've finally found a keeper.

``This man is universally respected and liked throughout baseball,'' Beinfest said. ``This is a major win for us in a lot of ways. Mike is going to have so much support from people he has touched in the game that it is going to be tough for him not to succeed.''

Redmond, 41, recalled that even in his first minor-league season in 1993, his baseball card said he would ``be a coach when his playing days are over.''

``I sat on the bench a lot,'' Redmond said. ``It's well documented. And I watched. I learned. I asked questions. I pumped my teammates up. I did the things I knew would help a team win. And now as a manager, I know what to do. I know what buttons to push, and I can't wait to get going. I wish spring training started tomorrow.''

First he must complete a coaching staff. Joe Espada was retained as third base coach, Reid Cornelius was retained as bullpen coach and Perry Hill was hired as first base-infield coach. Batting coach Eduardo Perez and pitching coach Randy St. Claire will not return.

Redmond signed his first professional contract with the Marlins in 1992, the year before their first game, and he played with them for seven seasons.

He was the backup catcher to Ivan Rodriguez on the 2003 team, and the story of Redmond taking batting practice naked has become the stuff of franchise legend.

``It was just one of those days, man,'' Redmond said. ``I just got up and grabbed my bat, and off I went.''

When the Marlins began winning, he took BP nude for about a week straight to help them rebound from a poor start to the season. He went without clothes again to help them end a slump in August.

Beinfest, who was then with the Marlins, said the high jinks were revealing regarding Redmond in more ways than one.

``You could do that but have no impact. He had a way where the timing was correct,'' Beinfest said. ``It's very hard to lead from the bench. This guy was a leader. To be able to lead a championship-caliber team from the bench and have the respect of the guys playing every day speaks a lot to what he's about.''

Redmond said that while his sense of humor is a plus as a manager, he takes winning and losing very seriously.

``As a player I was a guy who kept guys loose. As a manager I'm still that guy,'' he said. ``At the same time I'm a leader and a competitor, and I have a lot of fire. Ask any guy I played against.''

Redmond wore his gaudy 2003 World Series ring to the news conference as a reminder of the franchise's past glory. The Marlins were a bust in their new ballpark this year, finishing last in the NL East at 69-93, their worst record since 1999.

``To the fans: Things are going to get better,'' Redmond said. ``I'm going to get it done.''

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

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Soto, Harper homer in Nats' win over Padres

WASHINGTON -- Juan Soto, the youngest player in the majors at 19, hit a three-run homer in his first career start as the Washington Nationals defeated the San Diego Padres 10-2 on Monday.

Mark Reynolds had two solo home runs for the Nationals, who snapped a three-game losing streak. Bryce Harper had a homer and an RBI double.

Soto's drive highlighted a five-run second inning for Washington. The promising outfielder, who played for three minor league teams this season, hit the first pitch from Robbie Erlin (1-3) over the Nationals bullpen in left-center field. Soto also singled.

Soto's homer traveled an estimated 442 feet at Nationals Park. He earned a standing ovation from the crowd and the teenager responded by taking a curtain call. Per Baseball-Reference.com, Soto became the first teenager to hit a home run in a major league game since Harper on Sept. 30, 2012.

Called up to Washington on Sunday, Soto became the first 19-year-old to make his major league debut since Dodgers pitcher Julio Urias in 2016. He entered that game in the eighth inning as a pinch-hitter and struck out.

Washington's starting left fielder began the season at Class A Hagerstown. He hit a combined .362 with 14 homers and 52 RBIs in his three minor league stops.

Gio Gonzalez (5-2) allowed two runs and two hits in seven innings.

San Diego's Franmil Reyes, playing in his seventh career game, also hit his first career home run.

Trea Turner hit a pair of RBI doubles for Washington. Reynolds had three hits.

Erlin surrendered six runs and seven hits over four innings in his third start of the season. San Diego had won three in a row.

Reyes connected for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, but the Padres' lineup generated little else against Gonzalez, who allowed one run over six innings in a no-decision at San Diego on May 9.

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

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Juan Soto crushes a homer in the first at-bat of his first-ever start

Juan Soto, the highly-regarded 19-year-old Nationals' prospect, got his first major league start of his career tonight. 

How did it go, you ask? Surely it would take Soto - who was in Single-A less than two weeks ago - some time to adjust? 

What were you doing at 19??

2018 MLB POWER RANKINGS AND OTHER NATS NEWS:

- Rankings Update: Where does your team fall?
- Cause For Concern?: How worried should Nats fans be?
- Very Persuasive: How Rizzo convinced Reynolds to come to D.C.