I woke up to that this morning, and thought it was a joke or some show or something.
I think I'm still processing, but right now I'm just mad. So much youth and talent. The Miami press conference this morning was gut wrenching.
You know, when Jose first came on the scene he took a lot of flack for the way he carried himself. The laughing, smiling, talking to players, and all that. I get, as a ball player, how it can be off putting. It looks like he's trying to show someone up. Admittedly, I think my knee jerk reaction was that he was showing everybody up. It's a thing that a lot of Latin players face. Interestingly though....you got to see something unique with Jose. He wouldn't just do it after striking a guy out, he'd do it when someone struck him out. He'd do it when a guy hit a home run off him. You realized he was just having fun.
A lot of talk get's thrown around about the unwritten rules, playing the game the right way, and playing the way it was meant to be played. As guys like Puig, Cespides, and other Latin players took center stage....and the conversation on 'Latin Flare' became front and center.....something amazing began to happen with attention drawn to Jose. Attitudes changed. People started talking about making baseball fun again.
The thing that makes the game of baseball so great, is that it is a game. It's a children's game played by grown men. And when we teach kids the game we tell them above all else, to have fun. Baseball, for too long, has gotten old and bitter and crotchety. I don't think there is a guy in the league who embodies that spirit more than Jose Fernandez. It's almost unbelievable to think that a guy being paid so much money could be having that much fun doing his job, but he really was. He was a man who came from nothing, making a living for his entire family......by playing a children's game, and he never forgot it.
Obviously we lost a great pitcher, a great ball player, but as it goes for people....I think we really lost a good one.