Originally written on MarlinsBaseball.com  |  Last updated 3/26/12
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It’s that awkward moment when a catcher digs in to face a pitcher he used to catch.

Such was the case for Marlins catcher John Buck in the seventh inning of Sunday’s 5-1 win over the Rays when he found himself facing Burke Badenhop, who the Marlins traded for minor league catcher Jake Jeffries in the offseason.

Buck drew a one-out walk against the right-hander, who threw 63 2/3 innings in relief for the Marlins in 2011.

“He straight-faced me the whole at-bat, and then when I got on first, he kind of gave me a look,” Buck said.

Buck walked three times Sunday and hit a solo homer off Rays right-hander Wade Davis in the fourth inning to bring his spring average up to .281.

Facing former battery mates is something Buck has grown accustomed to during the course of his career.

“Some guys like to get that smile out of the way so they can concentrate on their at-bat,” Buck explained. “Pitchers like to say hi to me so they can get it over with. All pitchers are different, so when I come up to bat, I see if they’re going to acknowledge me. If not, I let him be a tough guy and pitch.”

Then comes the mind game of all mind games — guessing the pitch sequence. Buck admits to doing it a little bit, but only to an extent.

“I try not to do that that much because I feel like they’re doing that too,” Buck said. “They know what I call just as much. I try to be a dumb hitter, but sometimes I can’t help it because I know what (the pitcher) is going to do.”

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