Mike Redmond said his experience as a rookie player on a stripped-down Marlins team in 1998 will help him next year in his first year as Miami's manager.
The 2013 Marlins will be largely young and inexperienced -- the same kind of team Redmond played for in '98 after the front office dismantled the '97 championship roster.
"I remember coming up in 1998 with 19 rookies," he recalled. "We went in there and cut our teeth in the big leagues."
That team lost 108 games. Five years later, Redmond and many of his teammates from that '98 team celebrated a World Series championship.
"We were there in the darkest days, and then when we won it, we were there at the end," he said, "and it was so satisfying, not just to win a World Series but because of what we went through and all the things that we overcame."
Redmond will relate that story to players in February when the Marlins report to spring training. The team will build around slugger Giancarlo Stanton and starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco.
"We have a lot of talented players and great opportunities for guys to go out there and establish themselves as major league players, and that's what we're going to do," Redmond said. "We are going to get in there, we're going to teach, we are going to change the culture, and we're starting off fresh. You know, I'm excited for it."
Redmond was hired to replace Ozzie Guillen in October after the Marlins finished a 93-loss season with a $111 million payroll. A month later, the team traded shortstop Jose Reyes, pitchers Josh Johnson and Mark Buerhle, utility man Emilio Bonifacio and catcher John Buck to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Redmond wouldn't elaborate on exactly how much he knew about the team's roster plans when he was hired. However, he does not feel misled in the way Joe Girardi did six years ago when the front office traded away Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell and other key players after hiring Girardi at the end of the 2005 season.
"Obviously, I knew that the organization was not happy with the 93 losses, and I knew there was going to be some changes," Redmond said.