Thursday April 12, 2012 | 03:45 PM

The Sea Dogs are about to take batting practice here at Hadlock Field, preparing for their home opener at 6 p.m.

Had a chance to talk to pitcher Chris Hernandez. He grew up in Miami and attended the University of Miami. And his mother came to this country from Cuba, as did his grandparents on his father's side. Naturally, he had an opinion on Florida Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen's comments about admiring Fidel Castro.

"He shouldn't have said it, plain and simple," Hernandez. "Knowing what Fidel is actually all about. And knowing all the troubles that people went through, who now live in south Florida ... it just should not have been said.

"It's a really touchy subject. I don't know if they'll forgive him."

"And politics should always stay out of the baseball world. If you're going to talk about anything, talk baseball."

Sea Dogs outfielder Juan Carlos Linares defected from Cuba just over two years ago. He did not want to comment about Guillan.

Linares is talking a lot with his bat, hitting .407, with three doubles and a home run.

"He's really been something," said Portland manager, who received Linares from Triple-A Pawtucket right before the season; a gift to the Sea Dogs because the PawSox roster is too crowded.

The Sea Dogs offense has been up and down, while the pitching is last in the Eastern League with a 6.34 ERA.

"The pitching is something we have to improve on. That's no secret," Boles said. "We have to get better pitching, especially out of our bullpen."

Here's the Dogs' lineup for tonight

Juan Carlos Linares, CF

Derrik Gibson, SS

Kolbrin Vitek, 3B

Bryce Brentz, RF

Reynaldo Rodriguez, 1B

Oscar Tejeda, LF

Dan Butler, C

Jeremy Hazelbaker, DH

Heiker Meneses, 2B

(Brock Huntzinger, P)



About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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