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02/22/09 10:30 AM EST

Big Tuna drops in on Marlins

Camp gets surprise visit from Dolphins VP Parcells

JUPITER, Fla. -- A football legend paid a visit to Marlins camp on Sunday morning.

Bill Parcells, the former Super Bowl-winning NFL coach and executive vice president of football operations for the Miami Dolphins, spent some time with the Marlins before workouts got under way.

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As several Marlins players were getting some early work done in the batting cages at Roger Dean Stadium, Parcells talked at length with Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez, along with a number of coaches on the team.

Parcells has a home in Jupiter, and he is close friends with Cardinals manager Tony La Russa. Florida and St. Louis share Roger Dean Stadium during Spring Training.

After talking with members of the Marlins, Parcells headed to Cardinals camp.

Parcells is a baseball fan, and he regularly attends Spring Training games.

"It's fun to watch. I like it. But I'm just a fan," Parcells said, taking a few minutes to talk briefly with a couple of reporters.

Asked if managing baseball has similarities to coaching football, Parcells said: "I would think so. Just the guys that I know, philosophically, they do a lot of the same things. Most of them center around dealing with players, dealing with situations. That kind of thing.

"I wouldn't profess to know anything about baseball, other than a fan perspective. But I do like to hear how they do things. And how their organization does things."

Parcells is a close friend of former Cardinals general manager Walt Jocketty, who is now in the same capacity with the Reds.

"Being a general manager of a baseball team and being a general manager, so to speak, of a football team, there are some things similar," Parcells said.

One common bond between baseball and football, Parcells maintains, is team chemistry.

"Baseball is more of a one-on-one game than football is," Parcells said. "Football is more like a symphony orchestra. I don't think, and that's just my opinion, that you're going to be too successful in a team game without some kind of or amount of chemistry.

"Now that's an ambiguous term, and it manifests itself in a lot of different ways. But, they've got to fit. And players have got to be able to rely on one another, and they've got to be able to count on one another. And they've got to show up when the time is important."

The Marlins have a number of big players. Asked if any of them could play for the Dolphins, Parcells said: "They're in shape, but they're not quite big enough."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.