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The Marlins show up late

When the sports reporters entered the clubhouse for yesterday's pre-game round of interviews, almost no one was there.

Fredi Gonzalez told his team to get lost; told them to go to the movies, go to the park, go to the top of the Gateway Arch.

He didn't care. He just didn't want them to show up.

And sure enough, the Marlins -- who were ordered by Gonzalez not to come to the ballpark until 5 p.m. -- finally did show up on the field, where they ended an eight-game losing streak...

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So Gonzalez was willing to try anything.

''It was a good call by him,'' said Josh Willingham, who spent the extra time visiting the Gateway Arch with his wife and father-in-law, and then hit two home runs, including a grand slam to finish with a career-high six RBI.

``Anytime you lose eight in a row and you can do anything to relax the guys -- I guess that was his intent -- it's a good idea.''

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Like Willingham, Cody Ross, whose three-run pinch-hit home run in the sixth lifted the Marlins to a 7-1 lead, liked the idea of coming in at 5 p.m.

''It would be funny if we kept doing it and rolled off 10, 15 wins in a row,'' Ross said. ``I don't think they'll go for that.''

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''I thought I made a mistake,'' Gonzalez said, 'because they thought I was punishing them. They came in and it was `what's going on?' We will be back to the normal time [today].''

No, No, forget the normal time.  Is this not baseball?  Is not baseball possibly the most superstitious of all the sports?  I agree with Cody, and to use an old rodeo adage in his honor, You ride 'er till she bucks ya, or you don't ride at all.

I'm sure they are many good sites to see in Cincinnati and if not, the players can always watch reruns of WKRP.

But no matter what, the creativeness of yesterday's report time decision is definitely commendable.