Just because they’ve got their own season to worry about doesn’t mean the Marlins haven’t been keeping an eye on what’s happening in the NBA and NHL playoffs.
While a good chunk of the clubhouse has been following the Heat closely (a handful went to see the Heat play against the Pacers two weeks ago), catcher Brett Hayes has been focused on another team — his hometown Los Angeles Kings.
Hayes said he was going to rely on updates from the Marlins training staff on Game 4 Wednesday night while sitting on the bench. Hayes, born and raised in L.A., said his parents were Kings season-ticket holders for four years. Hayes said he played club hockey for six years as a kid and “grew up wanting to be a King more than a Dodger.’’
“We actually played our games in the same training facility as the Kings,’’ Hayes said. “I had Rob Blake’s No. 4 jersey, still have it in fact. My wife just bought me a new Kings jersey the other day.’’
Hayes said he recently picked up the sport again this past offseason. He said he plays in a noncontact pickup league.
“I’m in gear from head to toe,’’ Hayes said. “I look like an idiot. Everybody is in shin guards and hockey pants, and I’m in full gear, face mask, shoulder pads. But it’s fun.’’
• If Giancarlo Stanton does receive an invite to represent the National League in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game festivities in Kansas City, Mo., next month, it won’t be the first time the 22-year-old Marlins slugger has participated in such an event.
In fact, Stanton said Wednesday, he’s 0 for 3 in his lifetime in derbies, pointing out that he lost to a teammate in high school and former Nationals prospect Michael Burgess in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game (high A ball) in 2008.
“The reason I probably lost was because I tried too hard,’’ Stanton said. “It’s hard, man. You have a packed stadium and people wanting to see you hit it as far as you can. Your hips start leaving earlier; you start hooking things. You have just got to stay inside yourself and not try to do too much ... it’s easier said than done.’’
• After Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez put his pitcher to bat eighth Tuesday and had a little success with it ( Tim Hudson went 1 for 4 with two RBI), Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said Wednesday he doubts he’ll ever do it.
“I never did, I never tried,’’ Guillen said of batting his pitcher eighth. “I almost tried to call people and ask why they do it. I’ve got to get a good feeling about it. I’d have to have a great answer to do that.’’
• Former singer and American Idol judge Paula Abdul watched the Marlins take batting practice before Wednesday’s game. Abdul took time to pose for photos with owner Jeffrey Loria and Mr. Marlin Jeff Conine.
• The Marlins hosted Archbishop McCarthy’s Class 6A state championship baseball team Wednesday, a night after hosting the Class 3A state championship baseball team from Plantation American Heritage.
• Thursday: Marlins LHP Mark Buehrle (5-5, 3.53 ERA) vs. Atlanta Braves LHP Mike Minor (2-4, 6.98), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-3, 4.35) at Tampa Bay Rays RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-2, 2.69), 7:10 p.m., Tropicana Field.
• Scouting report: Buehrle, coming off his shortest start of the season in a loss to the Phillies, is 3-0 with a 4.05 ERA in three starts against Atlanta. Minor is 0-1 with a 7.65 ERA in four career starts against the Marlins.