McDougall Is Currently A Road Warrior

       The state of Florida is well stuffed with good athletes and for the folks in the northern portion of the state following college sports is a religion. The shrines they worship at the most are those of the University of Florida and Florida State. Which is why when Marshall McDougall was assigned to Jacksonville,  he had a built-in fan club.

       McDougall, you see, played for Florida State in his collegiate days. Played very well, too, hitting .356 in his senior year to make All-Atlantic Coast Conference. What's more, he was born in Jacksonville, even if he makes his home in Tampa these days. So, you gotta love a Seminole like that.

      That's why it's ironic that when McDougall plays his best, he does it on the road. Put the Suns in another town and he's on fire, hitting .338 thus far. At home, though, those cheers often turn to groans because he's managing only a mere .215 in front of the people that love him the most.

    Ask him why and he has no answers. "I wish I knew," he admits. Maybe he presses too much to reward his faithful followers but whatever the case, it's been happening with regularity.

    Overall, he's doing just fine. He has a .277 average and is showing some pop with six home runs and nine doubles. He's stationed at third on a nightly basis for John Shoemaker's club.

   Is he a prospect? Well, at age 28, it would be difficult to assign that label to him. He got out of Florida State in 2000 and has been hanging around the minors ever since with his only major league duty occurring in 2005 when he got into 18 games for the Rangers but managed only a .167 mark.

   Texas had picked him up from the Indians in the Rule 5 draft but let him go last June. The Dodgers signed him in January, giving him his chance to play before fans that knew him when and remember him fondly.

  Now, if he could just reward their devotion but duplicating his road work when the team comes home, he'll evoke memories of his finest moments when he was a Seminole. And the way the Gators have dominated the collegiate scene these days, those people need some cheering-up.

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