Tankersley is ready for spring training
Tankersley, however, said by phone from the Marlins' spring training facility in Jupiter, Fla., that it's just a chance to find a role on the team.
"It gets me an opening to stay on a big league team," Tankersley said. "If they think I can fill that role as closer, that's great. It's an opportunity I would love to have.
"If they want to bring me in as a lefty-on-lefty or as a set up guy like last year, that's fine. It doesn't matter to me. I just want to be on a big league team."
Tankersley is spending his off-season training in Jupiter.
"Some of the players live here, but when I go in to train, I'm pretty much on my own. Personally, I can get more out of my arm with this type of weather. That's why I live by the complex."
Tankersley is eagerly looking toward the 2007 season, when he feels Florida will be a contender in the National League East with the defending champion Mets and rising Phillies.
"We have a chance to be a winning ball club. We have a very good club coming back and I love our chances," Tankersley said. "I know the Mets are really good and the Phillies are good, but our starting pitching is one of the best in the league. I like our staff."
I like the staff too. It is good to hear the boy is furthering his craft this off-season. The Marlins may have a couple of players who are spending their off-season "working out" but their pursuits have little to with baseball.
I still don't think Tank will be first in line for the closer's role but that doesn't mean he won't end up there.