After the loss of Jose Fernandez, an inconceivable tragedy that paralyzed the baseball world this weekend, the Miami Marlins resumed played without their fallen comrade. With heavy hearts, they took the field, somehow expected to play a game with the seriousness and intensity you expect of professional ballplayers. They wanted to honor him, to do him justice, if such a thing can be done.
In the bottom of the first inning, leadoff man Dee Gordon got a 2-0 breaking ball and pulled his first home run into the right field stands.
Jose Fernandez played baseball with the kind of exuberance that you are more apt to see in the Little League World Series than on a team that hasn’t made the playoffs in over a decade. His passing rocked baseball fans of all ages, as when they watched him pitch, they got to remember how fun it was when they were kids on a ball field. He loved baseball, and you have to imagine he would have been all smiles after Gordon’s leadoff round-tripper.
Upon reaching home, Gordon can be seen sobbing. Not fighting back tears, sobbing. Sobbing in a way that you rarely see grown men do. To watch that kind of unbridled, unadulterated humanity is rare. It’s disarming effect is almost as much of a surprise as the tragedy itself. It’s pure pain.
The Marlins have 7 games left on their schedule this season. They’re likely to be the longest 7 games in their collective careers.