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Close Friends Face Off Tonight

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This is something I didn't know but then again I'm not sure why I would.

It was a ritual between two close friends in the three years they were Marlins teammates: On the days after he pitched, Dontrelle Willis would throw in the outfield to Juan Pierre.

Pierre, an outfielder, took it so seriously, he bought a left-handed catcher's glove, which he said he "retired" after he was traded to the Cubs on Dec. 7. But the glove came up in conversation Monday when the two friends reunited.

We had breakfast this morning," Pierre said. "I told him I'm going to get him. I said, 'You think I was catching you just for your benefit? I was waiting for this day, too!' "

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Willis said facing his old friend would be "no big deal. He's a good dude. He took care of me when I first came in (in May 2003). I'll always have a lot of love for him."

My money is on the D-Train but that isn't really the point.  During the season we are going to see a lot of occasions where former Marlins are going to face our young team.  The encounters will have a bitter sweet quality to them such as the one tonight.

One thing to keep in mind is that the vast majority of last year's team were traded or not offered contracts.  They didn't choose to leave - they were sent packing.  There is no doubt who I will be rooting for in tonight's game or any other Marlins game for that matter.  But there is still a warm spot in my heart for the ones I cheered for last year.

The exception being those middle relief bozos - young call ups excluded.