MIA@PHI: Stanton clobbers a two-run shot to tie game

WASHINGTON -- At some point, Marlins manager Mike Redmond hopes all the suffering is worth it.

As a player, Redmond experienced the lows of being on a Marlins team that lost 108 games, only to make steady strides until they won the World Series in 2003.

The 1998 Marlins finished 54-108, and that team featured players like Derrek Lee and Luis Castillo. A year later, in 1999, Mike Lowell joined a squad that went 64-98.

"There are a lot of guys who played a long time in the big leagues off that [1998] team," said Redmond, a backup catcher at the time. "All the guys who were on that team who I played with, they said they were better off because they went through that."

The Marlins are winding down the first of what they hope is a three-year swing back to contention.

The 2013 team needs to increase its offensive productivity, but it has a solid nucleus to build around -- including Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Fernandez, Adeiny Hechavarria, Christian Yelich and some solid pitching.

"Nobody likes to lose," Redmond said. "At the same time, you develop a pride within your organization and with your teammates -- when you struggle and then when you start to come out of it."

The Red Sox are seeing that this season. Few remember, but a year ago, the Marlins and Boston had identical 69-93 records. Boston, obviously, has more resources than the Marlins, but it dealt away high-salaried players like Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Josh Beckett. It redirected, and rose to the American League East title.

A year ago, the Indians were 68-94, and now they are positioned to win an AL Wild Card spot.

The 2011 A's finished 74-88, and they are headed for their second straight AL West title. Also that season, the Nationals finished 69-93.

The Marlins clearly need more pieces, and they aren't ready to spend top dollar for them. So they will have to be shrewd -- either on the International market or by adding modestly priced players though free agency or trades.

Redmond understands the reward takes time. But it can be done. Five years after the Marlins lost 108, they were celebrating the 2003 World Series championship.

"When you see guys who start as rookies together, and then you start to build something up, and you start to win ballgames and become more competitive, there is a lot of satisfaction," Redmond said. "Hopefully, that becomes a reality for us."

Morrison looking forward to normal offseason

MIA@NYM: LoMo's diving stop ends the third inning

WASHINGTON -- Enjoying a regular offseason will be a welcomed change for Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison.

In his previous two years, he dealt with a banged up right knee, which ended up requiring two surgeries and months of rehabilitation sessions. Morrison opened the season on the 60-day disabled list, as he recovered from patellar reconstructive surgery.

He played in his 80th game on Sunday, and the 26-year-old says his knee is holding up just fine.

"My knee feels great compared to how it used to," Morrison said. "I still get aches and stuff, but it's night and day. I'm happy with where my knee is and my body health. Now, I just have to work on being more consistent on the field."

It's going to be a busy offseason for Morrison, who is getting married in early November.

Morrison has also remained one of the Marlins' most active players in terms of community work. He is the organization's representative for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, which recognizes the community efforts of players.

On the field, missing major parts of 2012 and earlier this season put Morrison in a position of playing catchup. His numbers have been modest, as he's batting .243 with six home runs and 36 RBIs.

Still, he presents a power threat from the left side, an area of weakness for the Marlins.

After the season, Morrison looks forward to being able to do a normal offseason workout.

"It's going to be fun being able to actually strengthen instead of rehab," Morrison said. "I don't have to worry about how my knee feels, because I know it's healthy."