Tag: Jose Fernandez

Jose Fernandez, Friends Had Odor of Alcohol at Time of Fatal Boat Crash

Jose Fernandez and two of his friends smelled of alcohol after divers pulled them from the wreckage following their fatal boat crash in September, a search warrant affidavit revealed, according to Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald

Brown noted: “The toxicology tests for the young men are complete but have not been released by state investigators, citing an exemption in the public records law for open criminal investigations. Nor have the autopsies been released.”

The affidavit also indicated that the driver of the boat was going at a fast speed and operating the vessel with “recklessness” that was “exacerbated by the consumption of alcohol,” per Brown.

Per the affidavit, one of the men involved in the crash had a receipt from the American Social Bar & Kitchen, a waterfront bar in Brickell. Fernandez and the two friends arrived there at 12:55 a.m., according to Brown’s report.

Fernandez and his two friends, Emilio Jesus Macias and Eduardo Rivero, died in the early morning of Sept. 25 when the pitcher’s boat, “Kaught Looking,” ran into the rocks of the Government Cut north jetty. 

It is unknown whether Fernandez was the driver of the boat; however, according to Brown, most of Fernandez’s acquaintances believe he was driving “since he had just met Macias and Rivero’s friends say he had little boating experience.”

Fernandez spent the entirety of his MLB career with the Miami Marlins and was considered one of the best young pitchers in baseball.

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Jose Fernandez Celebrated at Funeral, Public Memorial in Miami

A public memorial service was held Wednesday for former Miami Marlins starting pitcher Jose Fernandez, and his family and friends held a private service Thursday.

The 24-year-old died Sunday morning in a boating accident.

WSVN 7 News shared Scott Boras‘ eulogy during Fernandez’s funeral Thursday. Boras was Fernandez’s agent:

The Sun Sentinel‘s Craig Davis posted a photo of fans honoring Fernandez on Wednesday at a memorial set up outside Marlins Park:

ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reported approximately 150 fans were on hand to pay tribute early in the day:

The Miami Herald‘s David Smiley reported an automobile procession began at Marlins Park on Wednesday and ended at Ermita de la Caridad (Shrine of Our Lady of Charity), and a public viewing was scheduled at St. Brendan Catholic Church.

The Miami Herald‘s Andre Fernandez showed the procession arriving at the church in the afternoon:

Upon its arrival, Jose Fernandez’s family draped his casket with his 2016 All-Star jersey, as Andre Fernandez shared:

Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald posted a photo of Jose Fernandez’s teammates surrounding his hearse at Marlins Park:

WSVN‘s Katrina Bush shared a clip of the players escorting the hearse down its route:

WPTV’s Jason Hackett showed fans lining the route outside the stadium:

Fernandez’s death sent shock waves throughout baseball. He was one of the brightest talents and best pitchers in MLB. He reached his second All-Star Game earlier in the year and was a strong contender for the National League Cy Young Award.

The Marlins canceled Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves after Fernandez’s death was confirmed. In Miami’s first game back Monday, second baseman Dee Gordon led off with a solo home run:

It was Gordon’s first homer of the season.

“I ain’t never hit a ball that far, even in [batting practice],” he said of the moment, per Walter Villa of USA Today. “I told the boys, ‘If you all don’t believe in God, you better start.’ For that to happen today, we had some help.”

Team owner Jeffrey Loria announced Monday that the team will retire Fernandez’s No. 16 jersey. Jackie Robinson, whose No. 42 jersey is honored leaguewide, is the only other player to have his number retired by the Marlins.

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Dee Gordon, Marlins’ Tearful Salute to Jose Fernandez Is Transcendent MLB Moment

Baseball, perhaps more than any other sport, is a game of moments. On Monday night in Miami, Dee Gordon and the Marlins gave us all an incredible one.

Playing for the first time since the death of franchise pitcher Jose Fernandez, every member of the Marlins wore Fernandez’s name and No. 16 on the back of his jersey. Before the game, the team paid touching tribute to its ace, who died Sunday in a boating accident:

Then, in the bottom of the first inning, Gordon did something that would have seemed too cliche for a melodramatic movie but was throat-clenchingly authentic in real life: He homered on the third pitch he saw from New York Mets right-hander Bartolo Colon.

It was Gordon’s first home run of the season. Tears welled in his eyes and spilled down his cheeks as he reached home plate and pointed to the sky.

Cynicism is easy. We media types fall into it all the time; it’s a crutch, a safety net, a convenient way to keep emotions at arm’s length.

Sometimes, though, the cynicism melts away. Sometimes, a thing moves you, and you let it move you, because we’re all human.

Forget the controversy and dysfunction that sometimes hovers around this Miami franchise. Not only did none of it matter on Monday—it didn’t even register.

The bittersweet memories of a rising star gone far too soon were the only thing in the air as Gordon rounded the bases.

Perhaps as Gordon touched first base, you were thinking about Fernandez’s incredible backstoryhow he was locked in a Cuban prison after an unsuccessful defection attempt at age 14, and later saved his mother from drowning when she fell off a boat en route from Cuba to Miami.

Maybe as Gordon rounded second, you were remembering Fernandez’s meteoric rise to MLB stardom, the devastating stuff that earned him a National League Rookie of the Year Award in 2013 and made him an All-Star again this year after Tommy John surgery.

By the time Gordon got to third, you might have been recalling the energy and joy Fernandez exuded on the mound, which MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince aptly termed “an unbridled earnestness impossible to replicate but easy to appreciate.”

As Gordon crossed home plate, you were possibly thinking about all these things and, quite likely, there was a stinging sensation at the back of your eyes too.

The Marlins won, by the way, 7-3, to get back to .500 at 78-78 and keep their flickering wild-card hopes alive.

However, to trot out the bromide, this was bigger than the game. 

Gordon, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro noted, was “visibly shaken” by the death of his friend Fernandez. Before hitting his home run, the slender second baseman took a pitch from the right side, Fernandez’s side, imitating the pitcher’s stance.

The home run came with long odds, as ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell noted:

Again, if it hadn’t happened, you wouldn’t believe it.

Gordon’s homer won’t erase the pain in the Marlins’ clubhouse and across baseball. Only time can do that, and not even time can do it completely.

But Fernandez, a fiery competitor, would surely have appreciated the effort his teammates put forth. Gordon finished with four hits and two RBI, and first baseman Justin Bour fell a home run shy of the cycle. 

“That guy would have been on the mound,” Gordon said in somber on-field postgame remarks to Fox Sports’ Craig Minervini immediately after the Marlins reverentially circled the hill and piled their hats next to the stenciled-on No. 16. “And if he wasn’t on the mound, he would have been on the top step screaming for us.”

The tragedy of Jose Fernandez is that he didn’t get enough moments to do all the things he was going to do. But on a night when his spirit was everywhere, a grieving Marlins team gave us plenty.

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Jose Fernandez’s No. 16 to Be Retired by Marlins

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died Sunday in a boating accident, will be forever remembered as part of the franchise. 

According to Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post, the organization announced Monday it will retire his No. 16.

Fernandez will become the first Marlin to have his jersey retired, per Kenny Ducey of Sports Illustrated. The only number Miami has ever retired was Jackie Robinson’s No. 42.  

The 24-year-old Fernandez was one of the brightest stars in the game. Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald noted every player on the Marlins will wear the No. 16 that is set to be retired during Monday’s game against the New York Mets.

Miami canceled its game Sunday against the Atlanta Braves after the news of Fernandez’s death emerged, and Habib said the team will not make it up unless it is necessary in the playoff race.

According to Habib, the Marlins will hold tributes to Fernandez between innings Monday, and they revamped the music as a way of honoring him. Habib shared an image of fans lining up to remember the pitcher:

The Marlins were not the only team to honor Fernandez. As Michael Edison Hayden of ABC News noted, Major League Baseball held a moment of silence before every game Sunday. The NFL’s Miami Dolphins did the same before their matchup with the Cleveland Browns.

Numbers are typically retired in baseball and many sports as a way of remembering some of the all-time greats on the field. While Fernandez was in just his fourth season at the MLB level, he was well on his way to becoming just that for the Marlins.

The two-time All-Star won the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year and never posted an ERA above 2.92 or a WHIP above 1.16. He also had 589 strikeouts in 471.1 career innings, emerging as one of the league’s most electrifying pitchers.

Fernandez was known for more than just his on-field prowess. The Cuban-born pitcher was a fan favorite in Miami, and Tyler Kepner of the New York Times described him as someone who “brought ebullience” to the game.

He was once jailed for attempting to defect from Cuba and even saved his mother from drowning during a defection attempt, per Kepner.

Though Fernandez was young, there was already so much to remember about him. The Marlins made sure their fans will do so for years to come by retiring his number.

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Sports World Reacts to Jose Fernandez’s Death in Boating Accident

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez was one of three people declared dead Sunday after a boating accident. 

He was 24.

“The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez,” a team statement said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”

Sunday’s game at Marlins Park against the Atlanta Braves has been canceled.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred also released a statement:

All of baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez. He was one of our game’s great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family, the Miami Marlins organization and all of the people he touched in his life.

The Miami sports community was quick to offer condolences. According to NFL.com, the Miami Dolphins will have a moment of silence in remembrance before their game Sunday and sent out a tweet:

The Miami Heat shared a similar message:

The news also created a ripple effect across baseball, with a number of former teammates, teams and other prominent figures reacting:

Adam Peterson of Purple Row reminisced about Fernandez’s talent and infectious joy:

ESPN.com reported on Tuesday that “a bag of baseballs autographed by [Fernandez] washed ashore on Miami Beach on Monday, according to law enforcement officials.”

A Cuban defector who made multiple life-threatening attempts to leave the country to pursue his baseball dream, Fernandez saved his mother from drowning during their successful trip to the United States.

In 2014, Fernandez’s grandmother saw him pitch for the first time since he left the country. Just last year, he became a United States citizen. 


Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

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ESPN’s Eduardo Perez Gives Emotional on-Air Tribute to Jose Fernandez

Sunday morning brought the news of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez‘s death in a boating accident.

While the news came as a shock to everyone, those who knew the 24-year-old were especially saddened. That held true for ESPN analyst Eduardo Perez, who has provided color commentary for the Marlins on Fox Sports Florida this season. 

Perez appeared on SportsCenter and gave a tribute to Fernandez:

Rest in peace, Jose.


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Miami Marlins SP Jose Fernandez Dies at Age 24 in Boating Accident

Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez died in a boating accident, the team announced Sunday morning, per Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.

Andy Slater of 940 AM WINZ reported the boat Fernandez was on hit rocks going full speed and flew about 30 feet in the air before landing upside down. He added that one victim was found in the water and two were found under the boat. Fernandez was 24.

On Monday, authorities, via Baseball Tonight, revealed the boat was registered to Fernandez and announced that the other victims were Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Jesus Macias. The investigation into the accident continues, via Baseball Tonight.

A public visitation for Fernandez will be held on Wednesday followed by a private funeral ceremony on Thursday, via a Tuesday report from ESPN.com news services.

“The Miami Marlins organization is devastated by the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez,” the team said in a statement on Sunday. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time.”

Marlins manager Don Mattingly also expressed his thoughts at a press conference, via SportsCenter:

Major League Baseball, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred and MLBPA executive director Tony Clark also released statements:

Sunday’s game between the Marlins and Atlanta Braves was canceled, but the team will play Monday against the New York Mets, team president David Samson told reporters.

The Miami Dolphins will hold a moment of silence in honor of Fernandez before Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.

Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan in Atlanta and Tim Healey of the Sun Sentinel passed along photos of the scene at Marlins Park, while Jon Weisman of the Dodgers showed Marlins shortstop Dee Gordon paying tribute to his teammate:

Teammate Giancarlo Stanton took to Instagram to express his thoughts:

Fernandez was one of the most dominant pitchers in the game and a bright young star.

“You recognize how precious life is,” Samson said, per MLB Network Radio. “And how taking things for granted is a fool man’s game.”

“When I think about Jose, I see such a little boy,” Mattingly told reporters. “The way he played, there was just joy with him.”

“We’re not robots,” Marlins infielder Martin Prado told reporters. “We’re humans. He made an impact on everyone. I understand we have to play games. But there’s a lot of pain.”

“Jose Fernandez is one of the most genuine guys I’ve ever played with,” former Marlins starter Dan Haren tweeted. “He loved life, he loved baseball…he will be missed dearly.”

Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer tweeted: “Absolutely crushed hearing the news about Jose. Brought so much energy and passion towards life! You will be missed Papo RIP.”

Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout also passed along his condolences:

Fernandez defected from Cuba at the age of 15. He had previously been caught trying to leave the country and spent time in a Cuban prison. From those humble origins, he became one of baseball’s most charismatic, talented and beloved players.

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Jose Fernandez’s 2016 Dominance Sets Stage for Wild Offseason Bidding War

Sometime soon, Jose Fernandez will be an ex-Miami Marlin.

At the latest, it’ll happen in the 2018-19 offseason, when Fernandez is set to hit the open market. The Marlins aren’t entirely averse to handing out mega contracts (see: Stanton, Giancarlo), but someone with deeper pockets will almost surely outbid them for Fernandez’s services.

Unless, that is, Miami unloads its young ace first.

After a winter stuffed with trade rumors, Fernandez has returned to the pinnacle of MLB excellence. He twirled eight shutout innings Tuesday in a 1-0 win over the Washington Nationals, fanning 12 and scattering three hits.

He now ranks second in the game in strikeouts (253) and owns a 2.86 ERA in 182.1 innings. Two years and a few months removed from Tommy John surgery, he’s put doubts about his health and durability to rest.

And at age 24, his prime is yet to come.

He is, in short, the type of franchise-altering talent prospect-rich contenders drool over. A prize among prizes. A whale-size hunk of trade bait.

The Marlins have their heads above water at 76-75 and are clinging to the fringes of the National League wild-card picture, so shipping a star player isn’t on their radar right now.

But Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe recently stoked the speculative coals:

There’s more buzz that the Marlins will listen to offers for Fernandez this offseason. Fernandez has long been the apple of the eye of a lot of big-market teams that wouldn’t mind writing that extension check. The Dodgers, Red Sox, Yankees and Cubs for sure would all be in line. Right now, it doesn’t appear there will be any extension talks early this offseason between Miami and Fernandez’s agent, Scott Boras, if at all.

The upcoming free-agent class is underwhelming, to put it diplomatically, particularly in the starting- pitching department. If Fernandez is shopped, an epic bidding war is inevitable.

The Yankees have ample pieces to dangle from their restocked farm system. The Marlins could ask for seemingly untouchable names such as catcher Gary Sanchez, but New York may have enough other chips (Aaron Judge, Jorge Mateo, Luis Severino) to get something done.

The other clubs Cafardo name-dropped are likewise flush with trade capital. The Dodgers could offer prize arm such as Jose De Leon or Julio Urias. The Red Sox aren’t going to move Yoan Moncada, but they have other high-upside bats, including Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers.

And they wouldn’t be the only ones to at least put loafer to Goodyear. Every executive worth his mahogany desk would have to pick up the phone.

Fernandez has a checkered relationship with Miami’s front office, as Bleacher Report’s Scott Miller detailed in December.

Around that time, when asked about reports that he’d rejected the Marlins’ attempts to lock him up long term, Fernandez only said, “I’m not allowed to comment on it,” per Walter Villa for the Miami Herald.

This season has been relatively dysfunction-free under new skipper Don Mattingly, even with problems like Dee Gordon’s performance-enhancing drugs suspension. Fernandez is back in peak form. And the Fish have life behind a solid, youthful core that includes the outfield trio of Stanton, Christian Yelich and All-Star Marcell Ozuna.

It’s possible to imagine them keeping Fernandez, adding a few reinforcements and going for it in 2017.

Last winter, their trade demands were reportedly ludicrous.

“If we gave them what they wanted, we wouldn’t have one young pitcher left in our organization,” an unnamed Dodgers official told Peter Gammons in December.

But the dearth of top-shelf free agents this winter, coupled with Fernandez’s 2016 performance and two remaining years of club control, means his stock may never be higher.

The Marlins can demand and land a king’s ransom. The allure will be strong. In other words: Enjoy him while you can, South Beach faithful.

Fernandez deserves many labels: All-Star, stud, rotation anchor. Soon, we may need to add ex-Marlin to the list.


All statistics accurate as of Tuesday and courtesy of MLB.com unless otherwise noted.

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Jose Fernandez Is the 1st Pitcher This Season to Have Multiple 14-K Games

Fact: Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez struck out 14 batters against the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday. He is the first pitcher this season to have multiple games with at least 14 strikeouts.

Bleacher Report will be bringing sports fans the most interesting and engaging Cold Hard Fact of the day, presented by Coors Light.

Source: B/R Insights

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Fastest Starter to 500, How Far Can Jose Fernandez Climb MLB’s All-Time K List?

Leave it to Jose Fernandez, whose fastball is barely contained by the fabric of reality, to get somewhere really fast.

But while that’s all well and good, just how far can he go?

Before we get to that, let’s break from cryptic speaking for the news. Fernandez is the man of the hour, because he made history Monday night. He was long gone by the time Martin Prado slugged a game-winning home run in the 11th inning of Miami’s 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park, but he got the Marlins started off right by striking out 14 in 6.1 innings.

The 10th of those was the 500th strikeout of Fernandez’s career, making him the fastest pitcher in history to get there. He also had a highlight that makes him look good and Cody Asche look like a dolt:

Fernandez isn’t the fastest pitcher to 500 strikeouts by every measure. As noted by the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN), he needed more starts (65) than Yu Darvish (62) and Dwight Gooden (61).

But that’s not the best way to measure it. Per Evan Webeck of MLB.com, Fernandez’s 400 innings are the fewest any starting pitcher has ever needed to get to 500 strikeouts. Furthermore, Ryan M. Spaeder reveals Fernandez faced fewer batters than Darvish and Gooden:

It’s only fitting that Fernandez would make strikeout history in 2016. After striking out 10.5 batters per nine innings in his first three seasons, he now has a rate of 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings that places him far ahead of the rest of the field. To boot, the only qualified pitcher to ever do better in a single season was Randy Johnson at 13.4 per nine innings in 2001.

So, what we’re seeing is a case of a great strikeout pitcher getting even better. And since Fernandez is still only 23, you can’t help but wonder how many strikeouts he’ll put in the book in the end.

It could be a lot. Even if Fernandez never has a season as prolific as this one ever again, his career strikeout rate is still 11.3 per nine innings. That’s the highest ever for a pitcher through his age-23 season. Average that out, and he could join the coveted 4,000-strikeout club (only four members!) in just 3,200 innings.

Could…but won’t.

Look beneath Fernandez’s name on that list of the highest strikeout rates through the age of 23, and you’ll see the names Kerry Wood and Mark Prior. That comes off like a warning, and one that’s relevant in Fernandez’s case.

The two ingredients needed to climb MLB’s all-time strikeout list are talent and durability. Fernandez definitely has talent, but he’s still working on durability. He’s already had Tommy John surgery, and that’s never guaranteed to be a permanent fix.

“I can’t make them bulletproof,” Dr. Neal ElAttrache, who performed Fernandez’s surgery in 2014, told Jonah Keri for Grantland last year. “As hard as they throw, [after surgery] you’re going to be on the edge with every pitch.”

If Fernandez’s elbow doesn’t get him again, something else could. Efficient mechanics are arguably the best thing for warding off injuries, and there’s skepticism about Fernandez’s. Mechanics expert Chris O’Leary, for example, wrote at his website that Fernandez’s mechanics are “the embodiment of everything that’s wrong with the current state of pitching mechanics instruction and the modern power pitcher.”

It’s not fun to think about, but it’s thus not hard to picture Fernandez walking the same kind of career path as Prior and Wood: great at the beginning, but ultimately tragically short or injury-interrupted.

Even if Fernandez does stay healthy, he’s not going to rock an 11.3 K/9 for his entire career. Not even the Big Unit could do that, and he and Pedro Martinez are the only pitchers with more than 2,000 innings to strike out more than 10 batters per nine innings for their whole careers.

Injuries can take a chisel to a pitcher’s strikeout rate, but so can the usual aging curves. Per research by Bill Petti at FanGraphs, starting pitchers start leaking velocity in their mid-20s, and their strikeout rates begin to drop just a few years later.

If the same aging curves ultimately apply to Fernandez, he’s not going to get to 4,000 strikeouts in 3,200 innings. With a career K/9 in the neighborhood of 10, it would take more like 3,600 innings. That’s not an impossible total, but it’s a lot to ask of a guy without a track record of durability who exists at a time of pitch counts and innings limits.

As such, it’s best if nobody expects the quickest starter ever to 500 strikeouts to make it all the way to 4,000. Further injury trouble could derail things entirely. And even if Fernandez avoids that fate, he’ll probably still finish well short.

However, it’s not as hard to imagine Fernandez in the less rarefied, but still impressive air of the 3,000-strikeout club.

The trick will be making the most of his prime, which should have six or seven good years left in it if he stays healthy. With his current stuff, there’s a good chance he’ll get to 1,000 strikeouts by his age-25 season in 2018. At that rate, he could hit 2,000 in his age-29 season.

That would put Fernandez on roughly the same trajectory as Martinez, who was knocking on the door of 2,000 strikeouts as he entered his 30s. He no longer had his best stuff by then, but he got by on command and smarts long enough to cross the threshold of 3,000.

Fernandez could get there the same way. In the first couple years of his career, his M.O. was to simply challenge hitters with his mid-to-high 90s fastball and then finish them off with his cartoon curveball. But as we discussed recently, Fernandez’s fastball-curveball combination has turned into a fastball-curveball combination that’s bolstered by beautiful location patterns. He could always throw. Now he can pitch.

If Fernandez can’t stay healthy, all of this is obviously academic. But if he does stay healthy, it won’t be at all surprising to watch him continue making strikeout history.


Stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs unless otherwise noted/linked.

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