Miami • Now a full-time spectator for the rest of the season, Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez sat quietly behind the dugout railing Thursday as his team lost 6-1 to the Atlanta Braves.
He didn’t lead cheers, help the bat boy or lobby to pinch-run. He merely sat and watched.
The new Jose? Maybe. Manager Mike Redmond wants the rookie right-hander to tone down his exuberant behavior, and says the Atlanta Braves had a legitimate grievance with the rookie’s behavior, which led to a bench-clearing confrontation during his final start of the season Wednesday.
The Braves were unhappy Fernandez stood at home plate admiring his home run, then spat toward the Braves’ Chris Johnson while rounding third base. The Braves also were annoyed Fernandez reacted with a cocky grin when he gave up a homer to Evan Gattis, then stared toward the Braves bench at the end of the inning.
Redmond sided with the Braves.
"Jose is an emotional guy," Redmond said Thursday. "That’s part of his game that is going to improve. We don’t want to take the ‘having fun’ aspect away from him. That’s what makes him him. But at the same time, I think maybe he can center that a little bit. ... That might be a part of his game he needs to look at, and maybe try to do something different."
After the game, Fernandez apologized for his behavior. Lost in the furor was another fine outing by the All-Star right-hander in his final start of the year.
He allowed one run in seven innings Wednesday to help Miami win 5-2. The 21-year-old Fernandez finished the year 12-6 with a 2.19 ERA, the second-lowest in the majors behind only the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.
He struck out 187 in 172 2-3 innings, and won’t pitch again because the Marlins set a 170-inning limit for him this year.
"He’s going to be one of the top pitchers in this league for a long time," Redmond said. "But you want your players to be judged for the way they compete, not for the theatrics."Next Page >
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