Marlins' Fernandez takes aim at Rays' mascot — maybe literally
Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez has no issues taking aim at any target - and that includes the Rays furry blue mascot Raymond.
Fernandez, a product of Tampa's Alonso High, plunked Raymond with a pitch when he ventured too close to the visitors bullpen during warmups for Thursday's game.
"He was all over my business,'' Fernandez said. "I'm trying to concentrate. It was a little change-up that came out of my hand. Just part of the game, man. This is a game and I love to have fun.''
Times sports columnist Martin Fennelly saw the incident and said Fernandez was smiling when asked about it after the Marlins 9-1 victory that was his first win in three tries at the Trop, claiming the ball was a little slippery at the moment.
"He was too close. I'd never even seen that,'' Fernandez said. "You're trying to warm up, this is a big game. Every game for us, the way we've been playing, is important. We're so close to the fight. I'm like, ‘Guy, I think you need to move.'"
Marlins catcher Jeff Mathis also had an issue with Raymond, who typically wanders among the visiting players as they warm up in the leftfield area.
"I thought it was (bs),'' Mathis said. "He was to my right to start with and then he made his way behind me and I thought that wasn't right.
"You don't see that a lot. ... You don't see a (freaking) mascot dancing around you when you're trying to get ready."