Fernandez remembered in pregame
The atmosphere was funereal at Marlins Park three hours before the first pitch Monday, with players going through their pregame stretching in eerie silence, the customary hi jinks and laughter sadly missing.
And then the sound system was cranked up and bouncy reggaeton played throughout the ballpark. It was a nudge toward a return to normal as the Marlins and baseball began to move on without Jose Fernandez.
The animal race at the end of the fifth inning was canceled, along with other in-game enter- tainment, and most of the Marlins’ hitters decided to forgo walk-up music. But there was a game against the Mets, the first game for the Marlins since their ace died in a boating accident early Sunday.
“This is shallow, but the show goes on,” Marlins president David Samson said. “There has been a lot of talking, a lot of crying, a lot of praying and a lot of trying to make sense of something you can’t make sense of. There is no sense to a life ended like that, in a way that is so meaningless.
“It’s our job to make his life matter, so we’re going to do that forever, and forever starts today.”
Fernandez and two other men were killed when his 32-foot SeaVee slammed into a rock jetty that extends off the southern tip of Miami Beach at about 3:15 a.m. Sunday, a medical examiner said.
The pregame ceremony included a slow, solemn solo trumpet rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” Following the national anthem, Mets manager Terry Collins led his players across the field to share hugs with the Marlins, and fans briefly chanted “Jose, Jose.”
“Hearts are heavy,” Mets outfielder Jay Bruce said. “I can’t even imagine what it’s like in that other clubhouse.”