Fellow Marlins remember Jose Fernandez: ‘This would be his stage’

11:55 AM ET

MIAMI — Nearly 10 months after a genocide of Jose Fernandez during age 24, a Miami Marlins pitcher stays a enthralling and polarizing figure. An review dynamic that Fernandez had heroin and ethanol in his complement when his vessel wrecked off a South Florida seashore in late September, and he was reserved a censure for a pile-up that killed him and dual passengers. Those heavy sum are a plea for even his many fervent fans to ignore.

Fernandez’s former teammates select to remember him in a opposite light. They skip him deeply during a 88th All-Star Game given they’re certain he would be a member if he were still alive.For South Florida Cubans, examination Jose Fernandez representation felt like freedom

He was on his approach to a $200 million contract, though a Marlins ace was about so most some-more than baseball. Jose Fernandez’s outcast story was a story. And his fun for personification a diversion was unmatched.

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  • Marlins outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna began deliberating this year’s All-Star Game in aspiring with Fernandez after a 2016 Midsummer Classic in San Diego. During those conversations, Fernandez done it transparent that Jul 11, 2017, in Miami was of peerless significance on his schedule.

    “We talked with Jose about this day and this week,” Stanton pronounced during Monday’s All-Star Game media session. “The No. 1 thing for him to that indicate besides winning a Cy Young was to start this game, so we talked about it a lot.”

    Fernandez fell brief of winning a Cy Young Award over 4 seasons with a Marlins, though his luminosity was undeniable. He logged a 38-17 record with a 2.58 ERA, prisoner a Rookie of a Year Award and finished third behind Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright in a 2013 Cy Young competition during age 20. Any design list of a chosen starters in ball ranked him among a tip 5 or six.

    Beyond his mid-90s fastball and harmful curve, Fernandez approached a diversion with a singular appetite that he found formidable to strap between starts. He flitted around a clubhouse, constantly chatting, and his teammates always knew where he was. The unrestrained that resonated with associate Marlins also done him extravagantly renouned with émigrés from his local Cuba and a fan bottom in Miami.

    “Every time before we faced him, he would curtsy his shawl during me and we would do a same behind during him given we knew a fight was about to happen. It was 98 miles an hour entrance during we like a train.”

    Yonder Alonso on Jose Fernandez

    “Honestly, we consider about Jose a lot,” pronounced Marlins manager Don Mattingly, a member of Joe Maddon’s NL All-Star coaching staff. “All a time. This would be his stage. He would be carrying so most fun here, he would be fundamentally out of control.

    “Jose was infectious. It was tough not to like Jose. You had a rival side and a fun side. He was good with a fans and good with kids. He had a large heart. And this marketplace was ideal for him, with so many Cuban and Latino fans. It’s tough to reinstate that. There are usually a few pitchers like him, though there also are usually a few people like that. It’s really been a blank for us.”

    The Marlins are wearing a uniform patch in respect of Fernandez this season, and they’ve kept his nameplate and recorded his rigging behind a mirror of potion in a locker stall in a home hall during Marlins Park. Fans can still pass by a confluence and see Fernandez’s No. 16 on an orange reverence wall adorning a post outward a stadium.

    In April, Marlins owners Jeffrey Loria told ESPN.com that a group designed to build a statue in Fernandez’s respect outward Marlins Park. Loria has given refrained from criticism on a subject as he negotiates to sell a franchise, and Major League Baseball has no Fernandez ceremonies designed for a All-Star Game festivities in Miami.

    Oakland Athletics initial baseman Yonder Alonso, a associate local of Cuba, came to know Fernandez during a gift softball diversion organised by Washington Nationals pitcher Gio Gonzalez. Alonso was now pulled into Fernandez’s orbit. He customarily common pregame hugs with Fernandez during a batting cage, though he knew he was in for a plea when they were competitors.

    “Every time before we faced him, he would curtsy his shawl during me and we would do a same behind during him given we knew a fight was about to happen,” Alonso said. “It was 98 miles an hour entrance during we like a train.

    “It’s sad, given he’s not here, and we all know he would have been here. But during a same time, there’s a clarity of appetite that he’s here. This place was flattering most built with Jose. we know he’s around here somewhere.”

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