Friday, July 20, 2018
Tampa Bay Rays

Reaction from around baseball to Jose Fernandez's death

Reaction from around MLB to the death of 24-year-old Jose Fernandez, Marlins ace and product of Tampa's Alonso High:

Former Rays/current Cubs manager Joe Maddon:

It's just an awful moment, there's no way to really express how badly you feel for the entire family, the entire organization. … The first time I saw him was at Tropicana Field (in 2013), I was standing next to (Rays pitching coach Jim) Hickey and he throws the very first pitch … and I said, 'Who is that?' That is probably the best I've seen any youngster ever line up and deliver a baseball. I was that impressed. … I just loved the way he went about his business. … He kept everything in the proper perspective, where he had come from and how he approached the game and the day, and with apparent joy for the moment.

Rays manager Kevin Cash:

It's a tough day. Baseball lost one of its brightest stars and probably brightest personalities. It's going to affect the Tampa Bay community and also the Miami community, just because of the impact that he had. You watch him, how successful he was, but you watch how much passion he played the game with.

Marlins radio broadcaster Glenn Geffner, on Facebook:

We all need to find ways to carry on the spirit of Jose Fernandez in our own lives. In our hearts and in (our) actions. Smile. Laugh. Pump your fist. Swing for the fences. Heck, pimp the occasional home run. Life's too short. Jose may be gone. But please let his spirit live on in all of us.

ESPN analyst and former Ray Eduardo Perez, a fellow who broke down on the air talking about Fernandez's joy for the game:

He had no fear. No fear. Because he already did more than anybody else did in the major leagues. He sacrificed his life to leave an oppressed country. He had already done everything else. All he wanted to do then was just have fun and be on that mound and play the game. Not work the game. Play it. And he played it beautifully.

Former Rays / current Red Sox ace David Price, on Twitter:

hands down one of my favorite guys to watch pitch! He brought nothing but intensity and passion.

Rays pitcher Chris Archer:

We have to cherish every moment. No matter who you are, what your occupation is, just love life. That's what Jose did. His charisma and passion went beyond just baseball. That's how he attacked life as well. His life ended short and abruptly, but we're not going to forget him. He's going to have an impact on me for the rest of my career. Just watching him do what he does and accomplish things he accomplished, I'll strive to do the same.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria:

Sadly, the brightest lights are often the ones that extinguish the fastest. Jose left us far too soon, but his memory will endure in all of us.

Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman, a fellow Cuban, via interpreter:

He was a great person, he was a great teammate, a great player. Always happy. A very happy player. … He always gave 100 percent when he went on the field, he gave his heart out.

Red Sox slugger David Ortiz:

The most important thing about everything was his kindness. Such a talented young guy. Fun man, a fun kid to be around.

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard, via New York Post:

I feel like he could have had some serious Hall of Fame numbers, but unfortunately we're not going to be able to witness that.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred:

All of baseball is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez. He was one of our game's great young stars who made a dramatic impact on and off the field since his debut in 2013.

Players union chief Tony Clark:

We are devastated by the news that Jose Fernandez has tragically passed. Jose was a remarkable young man and a tremendously gifted athlete, who, at just 24, established himself as one of the game's biggest and brightest stars.

Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton:

I'm still waiting to wake up from this nightmare. I lost my brother today and can't quite comprehend it. The shock is overwhelming.

Compiled by Marc Topkin from staff reports.

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