Miami Marlins manager Don Mattingly walked about midway down the dugout before settling into a spot on the bench and surveying the Miller Park field.
This was home, at least for the next three days, even if the Marlins were 1,500 miles from Miami.
The road-weary team arrived at Miller on Friday for the start of a three-game series that was initially supposed to be played at Marlins Park. Major League Baseball moved the series to the Midwest with South Florida still recovering from the aftereffects of Hurricane Irma.
“It’s not ideal, it’s not what we planned but at the same time, we’re talking about ramifications of a hurricane coming through our home city,” Marlins starter Adam Conley said.
What was supposed to be a seven-game road trip that began on Sept. 7 in Atlanta was extended by three games. The Marlins will officially be the home team, batting in the bottom halves of innings just like they were in Miami.
“I think after the first inning, the fact we’re going out in the field first will be the only difference,” Mattingly said.
But their worries have eased somewhat compared to the beginning of the trip, when what was then a powerful hurricane was chugging toward South Florida.
Some players, like Conley, brought their families on the trip. Second baseman Dee Gordon,…