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Tino takes time to enjoy brief reunion with Yankees


TAMPA, Fla. -- Marlins hitting coach Tino Martinez had his share of distractions during batting practice before Friday's 7-3 loss to the Yankees.

Among those welcoming Martinez back to Tampa were former New York teammates Joe Girardi, the current manager, and Paul O'Neill.

"It's always great coming back here. I loved my time with the Yankees," Martinez said while carefully avoiding stepping on the famed team logo in the grass behind home plate.

As Martinez spoke a few feet from adoring fans lined up along the screen, an extended video tribute to the former first baseman played on the scoreboard.

"One of our coaches brought it to my attention that he got tired of watching it," Martinez said.

Marlins pitching coach Chuck Hernandez, who was with Martinez on the University of South Florida staff, was content to simply bask one more time in perfect baseball weather.

"Beautiful," Hernandez said. "That's why everybody wants to come here."

Bob Bellone is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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