Alright, let’s be honest, who among us hasn’t been in a situation where some guy was talking trash and you thought of how great it would feel if you could do something that would instantly shut him the hell up. If you have ever played sports, you’ve definitely lived this situation and even as a fan in the stands it must have occurred at least once. Most of the time these situations just end up as day dreams because the opportunity never arises for you to do whatever great thing you had thought of.
Last night Jose Fernandez found himself in this situation on a major league baseball diamond, but this time the opportunity to shut the trash talker up did arise and he seized the moment like a champ. That’s why you are my hero today Jose Fernandez. Sure, maybe he watched the home run a little too long and maybe his home run trot was slightly longer than it should have been and certainly spitting at the feet of your opponent is uncalled for, but damn he must have felt great in that moment!
As for Braves third baseman and designated trash talker, Chris Johnson, you could not have made yourself look worse if you tried. First of all, when you are 0-for-3 on the night against Fernandez and 0-for-6 lifetime there should be no words coming out of your mouth. Just take your seat quietly at the end of the bench and hope nobody notices your lackluster performance. You should be thoroughly embarrassed at being dominated by a kid who was pitching on his high school team two years ago. Then to top it off, you charge full speed into the scuffle that is developing, but decide to hide behind the umpire and point fingers instead of going after Fernandez. Come on man! That might be the most cowardly move ever on a baseball field.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond had this to say on the situation:
“Not happy with that whole inning. I think tonight showed some immaturity on Jose’s part, and his youth. Not to make excuses for him. Showing the other team up with a home run, that’s not what we’re trying to do here. I know that he got caught up in the emotions. But I’m not happy. It really ruined the night for me. I know that will never happen again.”
Are you kidding me Redmond? Not a single word of support for your player, no admonishment at all for the Braves part in this whole thing. As a leader and a mentor you need to have Jose’s back at least a little bit here.
Here’s Dodgers manager Don Mattingly’s quote after his player, Yasiel Puig, performed an exaggerated bat flip, stood at home plate with his arms raised and then slid into home on a walk-off home run:
“I didn’t look at it like he was styling. He kind of flipped it, does his thing and ran right away, so I didn’t look it as being that bad. The slide didn’t bother me, either. Guys do all kinds of different stuff at home plate on a walk off, so that didn’t bother me either.”
That’s how you back your player Redmond, even after he has made a complete fool of himself.
Finally, as the last straw, Jose Fernandez really showed up the Braves by sincerely apologizing for the entire incident. I don’t think apologies were necessary from either side and actually agree with Johnson who said, “It’s just guys being guys out there battling.” However, by apologizing, Fernandez showed he was the classiest, most humble and most mature person involved.
That’s right Jose, the fact that you apologized to the Braves for being better at baseball than they are also makes you my hero today.