The Miami Marlins will end their season Wednesday with speculation swirling over the future of manager Ozzie Guillen and his coaches. But on Tuesday, the focus was on Adam Greenberg.
Greenberg, pinch-hitting for left fielder Bryan Petersen, stuck out on three pitches from Mets right-hander R.A. Dickey in the sixth inning before Miami beat the Mets, 4-3, in 11 innings.
"The fact that it was Dickey just solidified the challenge and the journey. And I hope he wins the Cy Young (award)," Greenberg said.
"He's an artist. He has perfected his art. So it was an honor to stand in the batter's box against him. Having it be seven years after the fact and have him be the guy? I'm pretty happy I got that chance."
It marked an emotional return for a player whose previous major league experience was limited to one at-bat: He was hit in the head by a pitch in 2005 and never made it back to majors until the Marlins signed him to a one-day contract.
"Right now, hopefully this is the start of my career in this game that I wanted as a kid," said Greenberg, who got a hug from Marlins catcher John Buck after Greenberg homered on his last swing of pregame batting practice.
"I feel like I'm going to show it, not in one at-bat, but this is the start of hopefully Part 2 of my career, and that's what I'm most grateful for."
But it's doubtful Greenberg will get another chance with the Marlins. The team is not expected to offer him an invitation to spring training.
Still, he received major league treatment Tuesday, including his temporary teammates subjecting him to a pregame rookie hazing ritual: They made him sing and dance in the clubhouse in front of the team.
Greenberg will be long gone by Wednesday when the attention shifts back to Guillen, who said he expects to return as manager next year.
"I don't expect them to do anything, but you never know in life," said Guillen, who has three more years left on the four-year, $10 million contract he signed Sept. 28, 2011.
Guillen is leaving Thursday for a month-long vacation in Spain. He said he has spoken over the last few days with owner Jeffrey Loria, but only about baseball and not about Guillen's future.
"We've talked about how to get better. About me (getting) fired or not? Not yet, not yet," said Guillen.