Miami Marlins rookie ace Jose Fernandez had a great first season in the big leagues. He spent most the summer giving his team a chance to win, encouraging fans about the future of the organization through his play, and making veteran hitters look stupid.
Last night was his final game of the season since he would reach his innings limit. The game was going well as he hit his first career homerun. It was going well—until this happened.
Now, the game of baseball is nothing like the other two major sports. In basketball and football you’re encourage to show people up. Fans love when a guard posterizes a big man and then stares his down. Or when a defensive end puts a quarterback on his rear end and then does an elaborate celebration.
However, in baseball when you show someone up, players get thrown at and fights ensue.
I understand that this is a part of baseball. Our national pastime is a much humbler and noble sport than the other two. Therefore, the Braves reaction does not come as a shock. However, just because the Braves reaction wasn’t shocking and was understandable—doesn’t mean they—and by they, I mean Chris Johnson—didn’t act like bullies.
The Atlanta Braves currently have an 88-58 record and sit comfortably in first place in the National League East. The Marlins have a 54-91 record and sit comfortably in last place in the National League East. That’s a difference of over 30 games.
Would it have been too much to ask to let Fernandez enjoy his first homerun in his last game? He’s 21-years old and had a marvelous season.
Now, I agree that there was a way to handle the situation. Brian McCann simply attempted to school the young kid on the better etiquette of baseball, which is commedable. However, Johnson’s sprint in from third base was unneeded.
Nevertheless it seems Fernandez knew the right thing to do when the dust had settled.
"I'm going to keep being who I am," Fernandez said according to the Marlins website. "That's what got me here. It was a little mistake yesterday. I talked to some of the players I needed to apologize to, McCann and Minor.
"I think everything is good. I'm going to keep doing what I do, and hopefully, I get better."