Miami Marlins Morning Catch: Jose Fernandez Becomes U.S. Citizen Today


Good morning, Marlin Maniac readers and welcome to Miami Marlins Morning Catch, the daily morning news and notes column from

A huge congratulations to Miami Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez, who will become an American citizen today, per the Palm Beach Post. Fernandez will be a keynote speaker during  a ceremony in Kendall, Florida today. The event will also naturalize another 140 South Florida residents.

Fernandez, 22-years old, defected from Cuba back in 2008, got drafted in 2010, and made his major league début in 2012. His story to get to America and then adjust to American life is an extraordinary one.

Jose Fernandez is currently on the 60-day disabled list, still recovering from his Tommy John surgery last May. The Miami Marlins hope to have Fernandez back in their rotation some time in mid-June to July, around the all-star break.

Marlins News from Around the Web:

Marlins ace Jose Fernandez to become U.S. citizen Friday

Mark Bradley, Palm Beach Post

Jose Fernandez has lived the American dream of becoming a Major League Baseball star. Now he will become an American citizen.

Fernandez, who defected from Cuba in 2008, will take part in a naturalization ceremony Friday.

Fernandez, who won National League Rookie of the Year honors in 2013 but this season is recovering from Tommy John elbow surgery, will take part in a ceremony in Kendall, according a press release from the USCIS Kendall Field Office: (Read More Here)

Wally Backman‘s passion and intensity could make him strong candidate

Michael Jong, Fishstripes

On September 22nd 1959 Wally Backman was born in his hometown of Hillsboro Oregon. Since that day, Backman has been a fixture in baseball. Backman was a key member of the 1986 Mets team, a team as notorious for its trouble off the field as its excellence on the diamond. And with Mike Redmond currently on the hot seat, Backman has been linked to the Marlins. One thing is for sure, Backman brings great knowledge of the game and intensity.

Backman was first-round pick of the New York Mets in the 1977 MLB Draft. He breezed through the minors and eventually earned the Mets starting second base job in 1984. Wally Backman quickly became a fan favorite with his gritty play, but, also became known due to his brushes with the law. Wally was a firecracker, he would ignite any time. But when it came to his on the field performance, Wally was a gem. He batted over .300 in the 1986 World Series season, for instance.

Life after baseball is sometimes complicated, Backman decided to go into managing. In 2002, Backman led the Birmingham Barons (White Sox Double-A) to a 79 win season followed by a stint with the Lancaster Jethawks of the Arizona Diamondback organization in 2004, where he curated an 86 win season. After his quality managing job with the Jethawks, Backman was named “Minor League Manager Of The Year.” (Read More Here)

Hechavarria heats up on torrid trip

Craig Davis, Sun-Sentinel

Adeiny Hechavarria conducts most interviews in Spanish with the aid of a translator. But he had no trouble articulating his feelings in clear English about the windy, 49-degree weather Thursday at Citizens Bank Park.

“For me, very, very, very cold. I do not like cold,” he said after the Marlins’ 9-1 win over the Phillies.

Perhaps he was just trying to keep warm by staying in motion, but the Cuba native played like a day at the beach while going 4-for-4, driving in three runs and scoring twice. He also made two sparking plays at shortstop in the seventh inning, fielding one ball behind second and making a spin and throw for the out. (Read More Here)

Marlins Ownership Right to be Unhappy with Redmond

Gary Philips, Today’s Knuckleball

Mike Redmond’s job status appears to be in imminent danger.

With the Miami Marlins off to a terrible start, the organization’s front office is reportedly considering a change in management. Talks of such consideration began after the Marlins were swept in a four-game series by the New York Mets this past weekend. According to ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick, Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria would not give his third-year skipper a vote of confidence after a series that saw everything go wrong for the Marlins. Instead, he dismissed the speculation.

“I’ve got one thing to say: I’m not interested in palace intrigue,” Loria said. “We’ve got games to win – period. (The speculation) doesn’t have anything to do with anything.” (Read More Here)

Next: Marlins win Series over Phillies

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