During Monday's win over the Marlins, Vin Scully told a story of Miami manager Mike Redmond, back in the former catcher's playing days.
"While he was playing for the Marlins in 2003, the team was in Cincinnati, a long and losing road trip," Scully explained. "The Marlins had just fired their manager and after a team meeting, in a rather somber and sleepy clubhouse the morning of an early game, Redmond headed to the indoor batting cages wearing nothing but his shoes, socks and batting gloves. That's all."
The Marlins fired Jeff Torborg after a 16-22 start and replaced him with 73-year-old Jack McKeon. But the first three legs of a long road trip saw the Marlins lose seven of nine games, including six straight heading into Cincinnati. Florida won the first two games against the Reds before the Sunday afternoon finale, on May 25, which began Redmond's tale.
"Andy Fox, a teammate and infielder looked at him and said, 'Are you serious?' Redmond said, 'Yep' and the door shut behind him. He went in, naked like the day he was born," Scully went on. "One by one the team noticed and broke up laughing. The entire team was hysterical, until he game started. When the game started, the Marlins scored early and beat the Reds 6-2, and Redmond had two base hits.
"The next thing you know, there he was, naked, shoes, batting glove and bat headed for the batting cage, underground of course. And he did it for the next seven or eight straight days, and the Marlins kept winning. Redmond kept the clothes off his body, and his eyes on the ball. They won six in a row."
It happened again later in the season.
"When the team suddenly was cold, he did it again in Pittsburgh and you won't believe this one," Scully continued. "Mike Redmond, after doing it again, the Marlins went 20-8 for the rest of the season and clinched the National League wild card playoff spot."
The Marlins were swept in that series in Pittsburgh, Sept. 2-4, but did finish 21-8 the rest of the season, then went on to win the World Series.
The story is legendary in Miami, and when Redmond was hired to replace Ozzie Guillen as manager in November 2012, the USA Today ran this headline: 'Marlins replace Ozzie with batting-cage nudist'