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This was Jose

This was Jose       

The awful news came early in the morning to my ears. My spouse woke me up to let me know before I would read it by myself in Twitter. Trying to make this unbelievable and painful news better to grasp and digest.

Still, even with that thoughtful thinking the pain was immense.

Then, the news on TV covering a major boat accident with fatalities. The news anchor visibly hurt but not mentioning his name yet. Twitter exploded. In disbelief and in pain.

Jose Fernandez, our Rookie of The Year, our Twice All Star Game, our Miami Marlins Pitcher died in a boat accident.

I have been a Miami Marlins for many years, right after they started as a Franchise. I was really hooked after the second World Series Championship. That is where I started feeling that connection beyond words and blood with some players, like Ivan “Pudge”  Rodriguez,  Juan Pierre or Mike Lowell.

But nothing like with this 2016 Miami Marlins Team. Too many favorites to count, besides Jose of course, Realmutto, Dee Gordon, Prado, Bour, Stanton, A.J. Ramos, Yelich, Dietrich, etc. You could see the electricity, the love, the camaraderie in the team. It was not a media o P.R. move. It was true.

On Wednesday morning I come out of the house to run some errands. I had to get out of the house after many tears and many hours reading the internet and watching the TV covering his death and the death of other two other young men that were tragically in the boat with him.

I go to a doctor’s appointment. After that, I decided to stop by a Sports Store. Dick’s Sport is on my way and my heart is telling me to look for something related to the Marlins. Maybe a Flag. Maybe another item. I looked all over and then I found a beautiful embroided flag with the big M in our team colors with a black background. This is the one I think. You are coming home with me. After snooping around for a while I go to the cashier. I forgot to mention that I was wearing a black T-shirt with Stanton 27 in the back  that belongs to my spouse because I didn’t have any other black shirt to use, so I took it. (Thanks Love). I also was wearing my Marlins cap, with white and black colors and our big M in the front.

At the cashier, this young woman looks at me and she says, in a normal customer service cashier voice, how are you doing? and I answered ok. She looks at me knowing that I am not ok, because I am not, I look sad obviously and then she starts talking and talking about Jose and Jose’s death. That it is unbelievable, that he was so young, and such a talented pitcher for the Miami Marlins. She even knew some of his stats, like that he was 29-2 at the Marlins Park. I was happily surprise and she even brought a smile to my face and I say to her : ” Wow. You know a lot about Jose and the Miami Marlins”. She responds with a smile, I am sorry, I am not a Marlins fan to tell you the truth but I follow sports and this is simply awful. I paid the flag, that by the way she gave me a discount on it. She wishes me to have a good day. I answered same to you. As I walk out of the store, I hear her voice saying, at least try a little to have a nice day.  She knew how I was feeling and how devastating the departure of an idol would be. I have never seen her before thou she cared for my sadness and for the departure of Jose.

My next stop is a drive thru visit to my pharmacy, CVS to pick up some medications, the line is long but I am in the car, so I don’t care too much and honestly I am a little numb for all this happening. Finally I get to the window, the lady taking care of it attends me cordially and leaves the window for a moment to get my meds after checking my name and date of birth. She comes back pretty soon and I started to pay and sign some receipt and I ask her if Daniel is in today? She looks inside and says yes. I tell her, say hi to him from me, thinking that he must be busy. Well, next thing I know he is next to her by the drive thru window extending his hand to shake mine. I am very sorry, I can’t believe it, Jose is gone he says to me. His face looks sad and still in shock. Daniel is one of the nicest people I have ever met in a pharmacy. He is a Miami Marlins fan. Hardcore like me. He talks and talks and repeats all the details that I already know of his accident. I think he knows I know but he needs to say it, I can see that it is therapeutic for him and also for me of course. Again after talking for few minutes, and with nobody behind me in the line, he comes again closer to the drive thru window and shakes my hand and says, he is irreplaceable. What are we going to do without him, he asks me ? it is so sad I say to him, take care he says to me and goes back to work, back to usual business. I drive away. Tears in my eyes again.

Last stop on my morning errands is to stop to get few groceries at Publix. I park, walk to the store and grab my cart. Pick up few things, not many this time and I go to the cashier. I am already at the end ready to pay with the debit card and this lady next to me, asks me “Where you at the Marlins Park last night”?. I get a little surprise because people unless they have seen me before in a store, don’t address me for anything. Almost immediately I register, she has noticed my t-shirt and cap. I am a Marlins Fan. I said no, I wasn’t but I watched it on TV. Devastating I indicate to her.  She says that she hasn’t cry this much as well as her husband ever for somebody that it is not family. I tell her that I think that is the issue with Jose, he made himself part of our life, part of our not blood related family that we all carry and love.  Next I asked for change of a five dollar bill and the not so enthusiastic cashier tells me that he can’t change it, to go to Customer Service. From here I can see the three lines of the crowded customer service. and I said to myself and to him: “do not worry about it” and I leave with the bagger helping me with the cart. This threw me off and I left without saying bye to the lady that spoke to me about Jose. To that lady that looked sad. To that lady that connected to me because she was connected to him. Amazing.

I wanted and needed to share this with you today because this is what Jose was. I don’t live in Miami therefore you would think not many Marlins fans are here, or people following this news.

But, it is not true. Jose crossed many more frontiers than the ones that brought him to the U.S.A. He crossed counties frontiers, from Miami Dade County, to Broward, to Palm Beach and so on. He also crossed States frontiers when he played in other baseball parks. I don’t know if he ever crossed a frontier outside of the United States, if he visited ever Europe, or Canada or Argentina. Needless to say that I never met him in person, so truly don’t know if he crossed those frontiers or not.

But he needed to cross one more frontier in his short life. He needed to cross “The Last Frontier”. It was written in that book of life that we all have. And he did crossed  it on the early hours of Sunday September 25, 2016.

No more frontiers to cross Jose. No more pain and sorrow for you. My faith tells me that we will see you again one day. Then, I will tell you in person and in spirit this same story…who was Jose for us. And we will smile.

LET’S GO FISH!!!  LET’S GO JOSE!!!

La Marlina2011

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My Miami Marlins are giving me headaches

It is early in the season. But, it is important to be realistic and be aware that we have played 10 games of which we only have won 3 and lost 7. Not even one single win in our beautiful Marlins’ Park.

We have excellent new coaches and managers this season 2016. Many are the envy of other teams. Like having Barry Bonds as a hitting coach and Mattingly as The Big Chalupa of our team.

I do want to write about my team winning. There is nothing more uplifting than to see them win. The happiness showing in their faces. The hope of the fans to become part of a playoff team again.  But for you to win in this professional baseball league you have to think besides having skills and talent. My opinion today about my Fishes is that they are not thinking and here is a an example to support my theory

Ichiro Suzuki is a legend. We were given an extra favor from the Gods of Baseball when we got him for a second season with us.

It is the bottom of the ninth against the Atlanta Braves. (A bad team. Any way you see them. Unfortunately we were going to lose again against them). Ichiro at bat. He beautifully swings and hits for the second time in the same game. The ball goes flying strongly to the left and passes the third base player of the Braves which by the way flies to reach for the ball like a real superhero.

We tied. Bottom of the 9th. We will avoid the sweep. My heart beats faster. I have a smile on my face. The next batter Dee Gordon (one of my favorite players if not the favorite) swings to a first pitch and the inning is over. True story. The 9th Inning is over. Also it is over our chance to make more runs after Ichiro tied the game and obtained our 1st win at home.

Dee Gordon truly and solely killed the momentum. He didn’t think. He does have the skills and talent. Nobody can question that. But in that specific moment, a first pitch and his swing becomes the third out. We go to extra innings my friends. Not everything is lost

But who am I kidding. A Jackson, not related to the artistic family comes to pitch for The Miami Marlins for the 10th inning. Guess what is next? Something much more than a Thriller, no pun intended. He loses control of his pitching (if he ever had it to begin with). And the game is lost. Sweep. By the 0-9 Atlanta Braves before arriving to our Magic City.

Thinking is not optional. Especially not in baseball that is 90% mind control and 10% muscles. Emotions can make us stop thinking. But our competitive soul (that competitive entity that all of us in love with baseball carry inside of us) must control our emotions. And ultimately it should let our minds do what they do best: To think

Love you My Miami Marlins. Good luck tonight

Sincerely

LaMarlina2011miami

 

 

 

 

I am a Marlin

I AM A MARLIN

The Spring Training season is over. The regular season of the MLB 2013 has started and I am already tired. Yes. I am not tired because the lack performance of my team. No. I have high hopes about each and every single player in the roaster. What kills me, it really does, and exhausts me to almost become nauseated is to read tweets, articles, and radio rants against the Miami Marlins and Loria.

It is like those movies that they keep playing over and over again, either late at night or during the weekend, that we all have seen them before, but the networks and other channels keep pushing them down our throats.  Those articles, those rants, those old and pessimistic opinions keep playing on and on, over and over.  I truly don’t see the point and here is why…

  • The owner of the Miami Marlins is Mr. Loria. That is not going to change until Mr. Loria wants it to change. Check
  • We traded good, mediocre and bad players. They are not coming back. Check
  • We have young exciting players in our roaster like Brantley, Stanton, and Hechavarria, promising to say the least.  We have older and more experienced players like JP and Polanco. Check.
  • We have a new coach, who has MLB playing experience and experience as a Marlin. He knows the organization probably more than any other coach has. Check.

Then, when somebody says on the radio, on television (even our local broadcasters) or on the web that they will never support the team, that they will never give “their money” to Mr. Loria because his business modus operantis is pro-himself and against the fans… I think to myself… Are you for real? Are you really fans?  Are you really professional broadcasters with the vision of a 3 months old baby? This is not about Mr. Loria and when he feels like trading stars or not. It is not about allegedly getting our tax money and building a baseball stadium for his own benefit and profit… No, this is not about this…it is about baseball…

Baseball is a passion. It is a sport where young and old get together to watch their team beat the other team.  Baseball and being a Miami Marlin’s fan has a good history compared to other teams in the league. Two World Series in 20 years of the franchise is very darn good. This is about how we feel when we walk in the park. When we wear our Marlins Jerseys and when we see a ball hit by Stanton going up, up and away, even hitting and breaking the score board.  This is not about Mr. Loria and having supposedly AA players playing in the major league, this is about us, about how we feel, how much we love and enjoy getting together with friends and family and having an afternoon at the park with air conditioning and delicious food. It is about sitting in front of my TV any other day and watching my team trying to win every game either if they play the overrated Nationals or the obnoxious Phillies. It is not about Mr. Loria people, it is about how happy we get if we win and how sad we feel all day long if we lose a game because the double play was not done on time, or because the umpire is blind as a bat and his plate area is bigger than the dome from a novel of Stephen King. The bottom line of all these unnecessary hateful rants from the media is that it does more harm than good. These behaviors will not motivate or promote our young players. It will just depress them. It will not hurt Mr. Loria. It  never has and never will.

We follow baseball and especially the Miami Marlins for ourselves.  Because we like it, we want it, and we enjoy it. I don’t care if for every dollar that I spend Mr. Loria and Company multiplies into 6 dollars. I don’t care…and you know why? Because this is about me, not about them.

I learned and decided early in my life, that I should do what I like and want, as long as it was not illegal, or unethical.  We can’t boycott the world. If we start researching every single company, we will not consume anything. ANYTHING. Not a piece of fruit, not a computer, not an I-phone for sure… We may not like Mr. Loria’s actions towards our beloved team. I got that. But, we shouldn’t let that influence how much we love our team, how much we love the sport that puts our community together under a roof, and how much we believe in the greatest American sport.

We love you Miami Marlins. And I am Marlin. Without a doubt.

La Marlina2011

What is your favorite ice cream flavor or way to win, Marlins?

There are different ways to do anything, especially, winning a baseball game. At the end though, the last inning will drag in your memory—for some only for a while and for others only until the next game.  In the last few games, we have seen different “flavors” of our beloved team the Miami Marlins. They have ended each game in a very different manner, like the different flavors of ice cream.

May 15—Marlins Beat Pittsburgh Pirates!
Working as a closer, Randy Choate seals the game giving Josh Johnson a deserved and extremely due “W.”  There was nothing crazy about the end of this game.  And, for the first time in a while, the Marlins looked matured and settled.  No late inning heroics were necessary.  The settled ending may even allow some fans to forget Stanton’s great catch which made #2 on ESPN Sport Center’s greatest plays of the game, or the fact that our sometimes lifeless batters were unable to knock in Bonifacio to score a run after his triple.

*Flavor of the day* Chocolate

May 13—Mother’s Day—Marlins Beat NY Mets!
It’s the bottom of the ninth, and the bases are loaded with two outs.  Stanton comes to the plate, and next, a grand slam!  It’s the first slam at our new Marlins Park, and the first homerun for Giancarlo at Marlins Park—that controversial too big for hitters, pitcher’s park.  To be honest with you, I didn’t see it coming. I had a little tiny hope in the back of my mind though.  What I really was thinking at that moment was that Giancarlo owed it to himself to hit it out of the park.  I wasn’t sure it could happen, but Giancarlo made me a believer one more time.

*Flavor of the day* Strawberry

May 11—Marlins Beat NY Mets!
A struggling Heath Bell once again comes into the game, this time though he gets three quick outs!  The bottom of the ninth comes and we are still down one run.  Will there be any more walk-off heroics before the crowd of 31,000 plus fans at the ballpark?  Yes, there is!  Dobbs singles; the fans cheer their hearts out, and the Fish win again! Do I need to say more?

*Flavor of the day* Vanilla/Chocolate Swirl

The one thing that is certain that most fans and media specialists will agree with me is that the Miami Marlins are not for the weak of heart. All of our players are excellent professionals but baseball is a very psychological game and the mind can take you high or can take you low. These highs and lows often show up in our wins and losses.

So the question is which end of a game is more fulfilling?  Probably the majority of readers will say it was the Mothers day grand slam—the strawberry ice cream.  It is true that that play is going to be one of the most memorable of the new Miami Marlins team for a long time. But in my opinion the best end of the last few games was last night—the chocolate flavored ice cream.  With JJ pitching an excellent seven innings, with Hanley and Bonifacio making contact with the ball earlier in the game, and with Choate quietly closing the game and walking off the mound chatting with Buck—a big, content smile on his face, the Miami Marlins looked focus and were all business. That is the team that I would like to see over and over again until the sweet day when we make the playoffs.

Sorry Stanton, your grand slam will always bring a smile to my face when I remember it or watch it on replayed on television, but last night’s game was a concentrated effort from all parts of our team, and that is what we all want and need. Even though strawberry is one of my favorite fruits and flavors, for now Chocolate is the winner.

GO FISH GO MARLINS
La Marlina 2011

Marlins…Home is where the heart is—

I must be one more of the many Marlins’s fans that are full of enthusiasm and somehow in disbelief that we have won the last six games played away from the Miami Marlins Park—our new home.

But I also believe that I must be one of the fans that have little concern about this trend of playing better away from home.  The trend that some of the players:  Nolasco, Hayes and Stanton, feel “better” playing in the West Coast, especially in California.

I do understand what is to be close to the family, that cozy feeling of memories when we were little, of the love of our families that can’t be compared to any other love. I do understand that you feel comfortable with it. But guess what?

Home is where your team is located. Home is where your stadium is. Home is where the organization that you played for and whoever signs your check is. Home ultimately is where your fans, thousands of us are living. And that is inMiamiand all the other cities in South Florida, like in my case.

Home is where the heart is. And it is time for the Miami Marlins players, fans and media finally to understand and feel that we are a major pro baseball team, competing for a spot in the playoffs and hopefully also in the World Series; that we mean serious business; and that we are the Miami Marlins and that we are here to stay. We are not a temporary trend on twitter or in the news.

To achieve that level, we ALL must feel it. We ALL should feel the Miami Marlins Park home. I am talking to you Nolasco, Hayes and Stanton and to anybody else that could relate to this issue.

What do I supposed to expect when you guys come back “Home” to the series against the New York Mets? Are you going to forget to pitch with location? Are you going to miss the West Coast and stop hitting home runs for many games down the road because your mom, aunt or cousin is not looking from the stands? Is that what is going on with Heath Bell? Is he missing his family so bad that he has created a complete chaos all over the team?  Remember we had to bring players from the minors and send players back to accommodate forBell’s mishaps?  Remember Cishek having to come to the rescue and playing and performing like a gold glove veteran?  Thank God for that by the way.

We are your home now. I am sorry that you left family away. I know the feeling too. Most of us in Miami and in South Florida know what is to leave family behind. But we moved on. And we play here hard and successfully. We need you to feel that the East Coast is your home as well as the West Coast. We need you to play in ballparks against very competitive teams and not only focusing on cities that remind you of your family or friends. We need you grounded and mature.

We will be walking into our ballpark this coming weekend, sitting in the stands, and we will be looking at you.  I hope that when you look back at the crowds you see in each one of us… your family too.

GO FISH GO MARLINS

LaMarlina 2011

Chocolate and The Miami Marlins

What is in chocolate that I love so much? I did my research and considering that I recently finished a class in Nutrition,  I came out with different answers to my question as everything in science… But I truly believe that it is the same ingredient that works in all of us Miami Marlins fans and players when we win… when MARLINS WIN!

Eating chocolate increases the levels of endorphins released into the brain. The endorphins work to lessen pain and decrease stress. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers of the brain. They work by transporting electrical signals between nerve cells. These signals cause changes in the sensations and emotions that we experience. Chocolate (one of my favorite things in the whole world) contains Tryptophan which is  a chemical that the brain uses to make a neurotransmitter called serotonin. When our Marlins are focused, when no errors are done, when the defence is alert… The Miami Marlins become like chocolate.

Our Boys of Summer are in the west coast. Far from our new Ballpark. Far from the last few games and far from that awful month of April 2012.  That automatically seems to have released the stress that they had previously. I see Jose smiling again, I see Stanton hitting Home Runs like if somebody is breathing air in…so, like in and with  chocolate, some chemistry is working in each of them. At different levels of course.

Our standings as of today is pretty sad. Should I stop writing now and go for a chocolate? Hehe, no, I will wait a bit.

Of the 30 teams in the MLB we are number 27. Ouch! Of the 25 games played we have hit 830 times but only 81 runs, we reached second base on 39 times, third base 6 times and hold on, this one is discouraging: we are second in the season with batters grounding to a double play with 27 times. We are second only to the Toronto Blue Jays which are 1st with 30 double plays OUCH!~~~.

But not everything is gloom people. We are #1, YES,  #1 in stolen bases. That is admirable. I wish I could provide more #1 stats, but I can’t.  At least not yet. I am pretty sure that those days will come. As I hope also the days will come when the MLB.com will post more Miami Marlins news ( a big sweep to the Giants in their house could be one)  in the top ten headlines…wishful thinking…just saying.

Many movies, books, recipes have been created related to chocolate. All have been famous or at least popular enough to still be around. The Miami Marlins have the chemistry, the talent, the youth and professionalism to give us sensations, emotions and wins. I will go now and eat a piece of chocolate. I will watch you win later Fishes…

GO MARLINS GO FISH

LaMarlina 2011

Even if you “Bunt”and don’t hit a “Home Run” … you still can score a run

Even if you “Bunt”and don’t hit a “Home Run” … you still can score a run.

Miami Marlins Chemistry

I have been a fan of baseball for many years. I started following it or not playing video games. I had no idea what baseball was, the rules, the complex dynamic of one of the most wonderful sports ever. Neither to say I got hooked. Then, I visited for the first time a baseball game. Florida Marlins against Colorado Rookies. The score 7-2. My life will never be the same. Baseball was in my DNA and it will be forever. The chemistry of the 2003 team was unique. The hugs, the smiles, the camaraderie. Then, you know what happened next…many years of drought , or pretty much not major performances by our players. Then, 2012. Marlins Park. Miami Marlins. New Uniform, new Ballpark, or better to say our first Ballpark. The Home Run sculpture. The “Lo Viste sign. The “Shhh” sign. New coach, new and older players. Miami Marlins Chemistry to the greatest expression.

We don’t know how far the Miami Marlins will go in this 2012 season…but the chemistry…will reach World Series levels.

GO FISH! GO MARLINS!

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