Fer­nan­dez re­mem­bered in pregame

Baltimore Sun - - BASEBALL -

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.”

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