Dan Haren ‘happy to be here’

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Miami Marlins pitchers and catchers reported to Spring Training on Friday. That means all is right with the world once again, even for Dan Haren, who faced ridicule during the offseason for reportedly demanding a trade to a West Coast team and refusing to pitch for the Marlins.

Well, those reports might not have been too accurate after all. Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel provides us with some interesting quotes from Haren on the first day of camp:

"I think a lot of things were probably overblown, one, because I never really said anything directly to any media at all. I’m here. I’m happy to be here. I had a good talk with [manager] Mike Redmond. I’m ready to get going."

"[W]ho am I to say where I play? I’m not Clayton Kershaw. I respect the game. It’s given me a lot more than I could have every imagined. I’m excited to be here."

The article also notes that Haren did not request a trade to a West Coast team after coming to Miami in the Dee Gordon/Andrew Heaney deal with the Dodgers.

We have given Haren enough flack for what we thought was an overly dramatic handling of a business situation. Sorry about that, Dan Haren. Now, a happy Haren in camp is a great sign and bodes well for the morale of a promising, intriguing, young Marlins club that hopes to contend for the postseason this year. Veteran leadership in the clubhouse can’t be overstated and will help keep the kids on the team in check and their heads level.

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The alternative of drama, stemming from an unhappy player right from the onset of camp, would’ve set an ominous tone for the 2015 season. Instead, Marlins fans can rest assured that Dan Haren is happy to be in South Florida and is ready to contribute to a winning cause. He’s right in saying that he isn’t Kershaw, and he isn’t the same pitcher he was a few years ago. But with the Marlins missing their ace Jose Fernandez until mid-season, the team will need its other starters to pick up some slack. Haren has started at least 30 games each of the last ten seasons, and the Marlins will rely on their new acquisition to log innings and keep ballgames close.

He’s also a great Twitter follow:

It’s hard not to be a Dan Haren fan now.

Follow Marlin Maniac on Twitter @MarlinManiac for all your Miami Marlins news, opinion and analysis!

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