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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.


La Marlina2011


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

It is 2013!!!

It is 2013. A few months have passed since the shock.  If you are a Miami Marlins fan, or if you follow baseball you know what I am talking about…even if you are not…it was all over the news.  Mr. Loria, owner of the Miami Marlins traded some of the most valuable, arguably underachieving players of our team.

I can’t deny it. I am biased.  I like some players more than others. I like the ones that play hard and battle every game.  My favorites were Reyes, Bonifacio, Infante (who was traded before the last ones) and Buerhle.  The pain that you created, Mr. Loria, was hard to compare to any other sports-related pain I have experienced.  I am not from Baltimore, but those who are—the victims of one of the worst “hit and runs” in sports history when the Colts were stolen from the city in the middle of the night almost thirty years ago—they know this pain.  Those Colts’ fans know this pain.  It was a brutal move.

But this move, Mr. Loria, was also brutal.  Not because you traded five players at the end of a crazy and demoralizing season. But because you lifted our hopes up, so high and then let us fall.  How did you do that? Very well for sure: promises of a bright future; a new stadium—beautiful and comfortable; a new name; and a new uniform that I thought was awful at first.  But after a few weeks, to tell you the truth, then, it grew on me.  We all have a weak side, don’t we?

In 2012, you went out and got some of the best players in the league and put them together under the supervision and coaching of Mr.Guillen.  What happened:  We finished with one of the worse seasons, 93 losses, pretty sad.

But, it is 2013. The sun is shining outside in our beautiful South Florida.  The hope starts growing again in our hearts, and some of us are already talking about buying Spring Training Tickets and about attending our beautiful Marlins Park. There is nothing better than time to heal any wound. And some time has passed, not enough though.  I am still waiting to hear what the Fox Sports commentators Rich Waltz and Tommy Hutton have to say about your moves, but life goes on.

We still have one of the best players in the whole league–Stanton. We also have acquired, thanks to the trades, some promising new blood.  And we even have a few new more experienced players such as Polanco and Pierre.  But, that wonderful feeling that you pumped us up with in 2012 is definitely gone. You personally killed it. But, it is another year. It is a complete different game to play.

Expectations?  I am super careful now. You are still the Boss, Mr. Loria. But, I wish my Miami Marlins the best. I wish them as many wins as are mathematically, statistically and realistically possible. I wish that Marlins Park is full of fans chanting “LET’S GO FISH” over and over again. I wish Stanton hits a home run, high and away, almost every single at bat.   I wish Mr. Loria that you would learn from your mistakes. I really do.  And trading those players (most of them anyway) was plainly irrational, stupid and a mistake.

Now–wearing my Marlins Jersey and Cap—I stand up and declare 2013 as a Happy New Year for our Miami Marlins!



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