Jeff Conine helped the Marlins capture the 1997 and 2003 World Series titles, spent nearly a decade of his post-playing career as a front office advisor and continues to rank among the franchise’s all-time leaders in numerous offensive stats. He joins Ely Sussman on The Offishial Show (4:15) to discuss his MLB career, the relationship with his son, power-hitting outfield prospect Griffin Conine, his recent coaching experience and more.
Enjoy Episode 178!
Previously with the Royals, Conine was selected by the Marlins in the 1992 expansion draft. He memorably had four hits in the franchise’s inaugural game, then followed that up with three more multi-hit performances en route to playing all 162 games of the 1993 regular season.
“When I went to big league spring training with the Marlins, I was comfortable. I was there from the very start. I knew I had a good chance to make the team and start in the outfield.
“It’s all about comfort. I was comfortable. I was comfortable with my teammates and I was comfortable with my game. I had confidence going into that season and I think that’s all the difference in the world.”
In two separate stints with Florida (1993-1997 and 2003-2005), Conine slashed .290/.358/.455 (115 wRC+). He ranks second in franchise history with 1,014 games played and third with 1,005 hits and 553 runs batted in.
Born during that first stint, Jeff’s son Griffin is now a prospect in the Marlins organization (acquired from the Blue Jays via trade). The lefty-swinging corner outfielder easily tops all Marlins prospects with 55 homers since 2021, though he’s also striking out in more than a third of his plate appearances. Griffin has spent this season with Double-A Pensacola and isn’t yet on Miami’s 40-man roster.
“Being a dad that’s gone through it all and been through the minor leagues, I know how hard it is. It’s tough sometimes to watch because when he struggles, I struggle. I know know what he’s going through. I know exactly how he’s feeling. But I try to be as positive as possible all the time. I just try to pick his brain and let him tell me how he’s feeling and we can try to tweak stuff from there. I’ll send him stuff that I might see here or there mechanically, but more often than not, mechanics are messed up by a flawed thought process. That’s where I’ve always concentrated.
“He’s done a fantastic job. He’s very analytical about the game and his swing and mechanics. I try to get him more thinking on the mental side rather than the mechanical side. I couldn’t be more proud of what he’s become.”
Despite that family connection, Conine admits to having had minimal interaction with general manager Kim Ng and other members of the current Marlins front office. Fans who have advocated for the Fish to do more to honor his contributions—such as retiring his original uniform number, No. 19—shouldn’t get their hopes up. He is unclear what role (if any) he’ll be asked to play in the franchise’s upcoming 30th anniversary celebration.
Conine’s coaching tenure with Florida International University ended following their 2022 season. As his Twitter bio bluntly states, 56-year-old is now seeking another opportunity to work in the baseball industry.
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