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Sanchez: One Marlin happy to see Pujols sign elsewhere

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist
JUPITER, Fla. -- While Hanley Ramirez's every frown and mood swing was well-documented over the winter after the Marlins signed Jose Reyes to play shortstop, you didn't hear anything about Gaby Sanchez.

OK, so Ramirez had to pull up stakes and shove over to third base upon Reyes' arrival.

And while Sanchez stayed at first base, it was very, very public knowledge that the Marlins spend considerable time trying to give his job away, too.

And? You might have heard. Albert Pujols eschewed the Marlins and signed with the Angels.

"They weren't rumors," says Sanchez, a 2011 NL All-Star and rock steady for the Marlins in each of the past two seasons.

Alas, no they weren't. The Marlins kept in touch with Sanchez through his agent, and he stayed calm.

"We knew they were pursuing Albert," Sanchez says. "I understood it. When you're talking the caliber player that Albert is ... you're talking about one of the best, if not the best, right-handed hitters in the game.

"You can't fault the Marlins for going after him. I wanted to stay in Miami. I was born and raised here. I wanted to continue playing here."

While the Marlins maybe were disappointed when Pujols went to the Angels for 10 years and $254 million, the man who would remain employed at first base for them sure wasn't.

"For me, it was definitely nice when I heard he was going to the Angels," Sanchez says. "I definitely enjoyed that part of it.

"I knew the type of team they wanted to have here this year, and I wanted to be a part of it."

Sunblock Day: Yes. And an umbrella day. Crazy South Florida weather, 80, sunny and hot one minute, a downpour the next. Not too much rain though. Just a little inconvenience.

Likes: The Mets' blue T-shirts with an enormous orange No. 8 on the front in tribute to the beloved, late Hall of Famer Gary Carter. ... Jack McKeon at Marlins camp on St. Patrick's day, wearing a stylish, silk green shirt. With a cigar in the breast pocket. ... Taking the left on a street named Northwestern Peacock Rd. to get to the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie. Sadly, I've never seen a peacock while driving on it. ... The guy taking a bowl of food out to some stray cats at my hotel the other night. Apparently, some folks at the hotel take care of the cats, feeding them behind some bushes off the parking lot. Very cool. ... The State Farm Insurance Bobby Knight advertisement. ... Carmine's Trattoria in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. Great dinner at the outside bar, boats bobbing at their docks, warm breeze blowing across the bar.

Dislikes: Failed to get to the outstanding Bennett's Coffee Shop in Fort Myers when I was there. My loss.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"There's flies in the kitchen
"I can hear them buzzin'
"And I ain't done nothing since I woke up today
"But how the hell can a person
"Go on to work in the morning
"Come home in the evening
"And have nothing to say"

-- Bonnie Raitt (John Prine), Angel From Montgomery

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