Excited to be in the Miami Marlins' new ballpark, All-Star closer Heath Bell trotted happily across the outfield grass, the entire team from Florida International University following close behind.
Bell had invited the Panthers to join the Marlins during pregame warmups.
He was less hospitable once the game began, pitching a perfect fourth inning in his Marlins debut to help their split squad win 5-1.
Even so, Bell made some new friends with his pregame gesture to the Panthers.
''It was just spur of the moment,'' said Bell, whose reputation for zany behavior preceded him in Miami. ''I was really excited we were in a major league stadium, a beautiful ballpark. I ran over there and said, `Hey guys, what are you doing? What don't you come stretch with us?' Spring training is always a grind, so if we can bring some fun and laughter, great.
''If any of my teammates thought that was crazy and they weren't too sure about it,'' he added with a smile, ''get used to it.''
Bell, a three-...