Four Chicago Cubs players walk into the visiting clubhouse in Marlins Park. Catcher John Baker, infielder Emilio Bonafacio and outfielders Chris Coghlan and Justin Ruggiano each established their status as Major Leagues with the Florida/Miami Marlins.
It's been said that the consummate competitor constantly needs adversity to stay motivated and activated. The truth is not that always need adversity but in fact an adversary. And these four players forever have an arch enemy in the Marlins.
“100 percent,” said Coghlan who won the 2009 NL Rookie of the Year award with the Marlins. “Being as long as you did and the way things left, I don’t have any animosity but for darn sure every time I play the Marlins, I want to dominate them.”
And dominate they did. Each of the Marlin renegades shared Coghlan's sentiment and relished in their 6-1 win on Wednesday. They clinched the season series 4-2 (won two of three in Chicago earlier in the month of June) and exacted their revenge.
The former Marlins combined to go 6 for 24 (.250) with four runs scored and one run batted in. Not much of a drop-off compared to their success against the Marlins at Wrigley Field, where they went 10 for 33 (.303) with three runs batted in including a two-run homer from Bonafacio in the second game of the series.
They didn’t just damage the Marlins score-wise, they literally damaged the Marlins. Coghlan’s double in the first inning led to star right fielder Giancarlo Stanton bruising his right wrist. He hit a solo home run later in the inning so the cause for concern was minimal at that point."
That double, it just bruised his hand," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "I saw him kind of grimace in that first at-bat, and then he hit the home run. So I wasn't too concerned. I think as the game went along, it looked like it continued to get a little sore on him.
"At that point, being down, 5-1, we wanted to make sure we got him out of there. We need this guy for the long haul. He wanted to stay in. But I'm thinking about tomorrow and the next day. We got him out of there, precautionary."
Speaking of former Marlins, the team announced the signing of former Marlins starter Brad Penny to a minor-league deal. Penny is second former Marlin who signed a minor-league deal with the club this season.
Penny went 14-10 for the Marlins' World Series championship team in 2003. In 2004, he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Paul Lo Duca trade.
Penny was released from a minor-league contract by the Kansas City Royals in March when he failed to make the club out of Spring Training and hasn't pitched in the majors since 2012 with the World Champion San Francisco Giants, when he appeared in relief appearances and had an ERA of 6.11.
Penny has the reputation of being lazy despite being talented. Before signing with the Giants in the middle of the 2012 season, Penny agreed to a one-year $3 million contract with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks on February 5, 2012. After allowing six runs and five stolen bases in only 3 1⁄3 innings in his debut game, Penny pulled the Rodney Dangerfield move a la “Caddyshack” and claimed that he injured his elbow and asked to be removed from the game. He was immediately sent to the disabled list and two MRI exams produced negative results and Penny was released a month later.
The Marlins plan start Penny off in the Gulf Coast League (rookie level).