« For Marlins pitcher Tom Koehler, September 11th "still hits home pretty good" a dozen years later | Main | Redmond says it's time to move on and focus should be on Jose Fernandez's bid for Rookie of the Year »

Jose Fernandez apologizes profusely for hot-dogging first career home run against Braves

Jose Fernandez saved his first home run for his final at-bat of his rookie season.

But in the end Wednesday, the hit was the last thing anybody was talking about. It was the first three steps he took out of the batter's box, the flip of his bat and the hot-dogging he did before rounding the bases, an immature, rookie mistake his manager said and one the Braves took exception to.

"I took the first two steps and right away my reaction was 'Man I got to run,'" Fernandez said. "It was just not good. I walked the first three steps and I said 'What I'm doing? I'm not in high school no more. Run.' I have to respect the game a lot more than I did there."

"I feel embarrassed. I feel like I don't deserve to be here. This isn't high school no more. This is a professional game and professional players doing what they're supposed to do. I don't think this was supposed to happen. And I'm embarrassed. Hopefully it won't happen again. I made a mistake and I'm going to learn from it."

The Braves obviously weren't happy. Benches and bullpens cleared as the teams came face-to-face at the plate. But no punches were ever thrown.

Fernandez said Braves catcher Brian McCann, an All-Star teammate, defused the situation.

"He and I are really close. Freddie Freeman too. He told me 'Buddy you can't do that.' [I said] 'I know man. The game got the best of me," Fernandez said. "If at any moment if there was going to be a fight, he was talking to me like a friend. I wouldn't say as a friend, I would say as a Dad teaching a kid. That's how it felt. I don't think it was a fight kind of stuff. It was a friend type of thing."

Fernandez came over to the Braves locker room and spoke to McCann and pitcher Mike Minor outside after the game, apologizing for his actions.

"He took exception to Gattis' home run [the half inning prior," McCann said. "You could tell that walking off the field. He happened to hit a home run and stood there. I just told him you can't do that. You're going to get someone hurt. It's just something that didn't need to happen. I think he realized that he messed up. I think the emotions got the best of him tonight."

That being said, Redmond wasn't happy. Neither were his teammates. Fernandez several teammates took him into the walkway near the clubhouse and talked to him about his mistake. A pitcher who has always used his emotions to fuel him, it's obvious they finally caught up to Fernandez Wednesday.

"When you watch him pitch, he's got a lot of things he does on the field you could do without," McCann said.

"It's one of those things, probably immaturity a little bit," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "He's a playful guy on the mound, and he likes to have fun, and we like to have fun too. If he's going to play that game, which is fine, he shouldn't get upset when we hit a home run and have fun ourselves. It was boys being boys after that. I'm going to chalk it up to a young kid that's really talented, and he's going to be around in the big leagues for a lot of years."

Redmond said the antics ruined the night for him. Fernandez gave up just five hits and one earned run over seven innings.

"I think tonight showed some immaturity on Jose's part and his youth -- not to make excuses for it," Redmond said. "Showing the other team up with a home run, that's not what we're doing here. That's not what we're trying to do. I know he got caught up in emotion, but I'm not happy. It really ruined the night for me. I know that will never happen again.

"In this game you have to control everything. Your emotions are just as big a part of the game as your physical skills. You have to be able to emotionally slow the game down and all the things tonight brough -- his last start, the Braves, big crowd -- sometimes that shows he's 21 and he's human. He's an emotional guy and that's the part of the game he's going to have to learn and get a hold of. You got to realize your going to give up a hit, you're going to give up a home run. But like I said those are those some of the aspects of the game he's going to have to continue to learn."

Redmond said the Marlins just aren't a team that deserves to hot dog it.

"We're 30 something games under .500. We don't have the right to be flashy or show anybody up," he said. "We haven't earned that. I think it's a learning experience for him. I think he understands that. I think he'll learn from it and like I said I don't think he'll ever make that mistake again."

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

good grief

all of these guys need to put their egos a bit lower, eat a box of prunes and drink some prune juice. two things I have never understood about baseball, the balk rule, and it is wrong to be happy about doing something right and letting others know you are happy.

Lou

Nobody really "deserves" to hotdog it but if anyone on this team has earned the right to strut his stuff, it is Fernandez. Just imagine you are a 20 year old, possible Rookie of the Year and you have had to watch the offensive machinations of one of the worst hitting clubs of last 50 years. Should he have done it? NO!!! Was he entitled to be happy with himself/ YES!!!! By the way, check out the circuitous route that tough guy, Johnson, took to get to the home plate area. If he would have swung any farther to the right to get behind the other Braves, he would have ended up in Little Havana.

Nilknarf

This is the only questionable thing that José did in the entire season, and my impression is that the Atlanta player try to intimidate him the whole game. Good for him to apology, but for mi is compressible and did not diminish an apices of my admiration for the kid

Snyder Vega

I wonder if Brian McCann spoke with Gattis or Johnson about their stupid tactics? Probably not.

Johnson was running his mouth the whole game. Why? Cause Jose is smiling too much? Oh yeah, I forgot this isn't a game that most have been playing since they were kids. No fun allowed. If you don't want him to smile get some runs on him.

The best part of the screaming match was watching Johnson run from third to stand behind an ump an yell at Jose. "Hey, Jose there's no fun to be had in baseball man" ( That's what Johnson said in my head)

Stan M

The team stinks up the joint for two consecutive years. Nothing goes right. Attendance is close to non existent without giveaways and exaggerations. But wait...there is one bright star among these dullards who makes fans actually want to watch or attend an occasional game. Should that be allowed? Why this magnificent ballplayer's antics in pitching a winning game and hitting better than all but one of his teammates actually ruined the manager's day. What a damn shame. It didn't seem to ruin the game for the fans in attendance though. Something must be done because his fellow players either didn't like the way he acted, or realized that they could never act like he did because they simply aren't good enough. A pox upon them. I loved every minute of it. Loria's sycophantic toady, often incorrectly referred to as the team's manager, should have kept his mealy mouth shut and enjoyed the show against that group of arrogant snobs.

Maggie

He deserved his enjoyment. The Braves were just upset because Jose is great and they are a bunch of arrogant players. They just wanted to ruin his big night, but Jose is a happy, happy guy. It is a lesson for him for the future. He is a great pitcher already and will become one of the best ever. The most important thing is that he enjoys his profession to the max and this bothers those who don't. Congratulations Jose, I enjoyed every second of it!!!

Stan M

I can't address the reported jawing between Jose and the Atlanta bench because I didn't see it. I was blacked out of the Marlin telecast and had to watch the Braves feed. How did Rich and Tommy see it? The guys at MLB were completely in Jose's corner and roundly criticized the Brave's display of petulance.

I have an entirely different opinion of why he hesitated after hitting the HR. In my opinion, he wasn't trying to show anyone up right then. Rather, judging buy the expression of awe on his face, I think he simply stared in disbelief at how hard he hit the ball. Did anyone else see it that way?
I hope they leave the kid alone. He is so much fun just as he is. What do they want? Another Kevin Brown scowling at everyone and everything?

Tony

I am a Braves fan and I think he was fine. Hell, I would have watched my first home run like he did - especially if I am a pitcher. Also, why the big fuss with Jose - look at the guy on the Dodgers (Puig) - if anyone is too arrogant, it is him. I think Puig goes over the top more than anyone, but that is just my opinion. It seems that baseball praises him because of the team he plays on and how "he" turned the team around. Anyway, congrats to Jose, he pitched another great game and put a good show on for the fans at the ballpark and also for taking the high road and speaking with the Braves. To me, that is something to be praise.

bob

The Braves are in 1st place, guaranteed playoff run. Jose is a young kid enjoying his first MLB season. There's no reason why the Braves should make such a big deal about it. McCann telling him at the plate to chill out, fine. The benches clearing? I thought the Braves were better than that.

Lou

Dear Stan, GREAT!!!!!!!!!!! comments. I only saw the replay on MLB and therefoire missed the inane comments of Little Chippy Caray who only has a job broadcasting MLB games because of his old man and grandfather. i always watch Braves-Marlins games with the sound muted once I realized that "punk" is way too expressive to describe Chippy. He deserves something far less because he isn't tough enough to deserve "punk", how about "Innocuous Cipher." Those Choke Artists have STILL won only 1 World Series in the last 55 years which is one less than the Marlins have won in the last 17. You do Pplay the game to win" as a former football coach once commented. winning ultimately means having Selig hand you a big old trophy. I will be a Dodger fan this postseason and I won't even need to hold my nose while pulling for Hanley to screw with Fredo once again.

W.C. Berry

I am a Braves fan but all I saw was a Kid enjoying playing a game he loves. The smile on his face when he got a base hit and talking to Freddie Freeman. The look on his face when Gattis hit the home run and his "wow" comment. I think the Braves over reacted. Then that young man goes to their locker room to apologize showed a lot of class. Best of luck to this kid. He has a heck of a future in MLB.

Marcos Rodriguez

I was watching the Braves feed and I think everyone missed one important thing: Gattis hits a home run off Fernandez and stood at the plate...Gattis is also a rookie but has hit 19 or 20 home runs so he knows better. Fernandez got upset at that....right or wrong....then Jhonson hits the long drive to left center...and starts chirping at Fernandez....then Fernandez hits his home run and does the same thing Gattis did...but Fernandez is the one who gets all the bad pubulicity...Guys, Fernandez should not have done it but it started with Gattis.

Ken

I'm also a Braves fan and did not see a problem with Fernandez excited to cap off his "rookie of the year" season after the home run. The problem I saw was when rounding the bases he appeared to spit on third base as a payback to Chris Johnson for chirping at him during the game.

 Brandon

you guys are idiots , Chris Johnson ran behind the umpire because he never wanted to start a brawl he only wanted to have some words with the kid

and the benches never needed to clear McCann was just explaining to him what he did wrong , both benches overreacted

UMoney

Baseball players and the whole "disrespecting the game" thing and "don't show up the other team" attitude sounds like something from little league. It is the most tired, ancient viewpoint in sports. These are grown men, not kids trying not to hurt other people's feelings.

If they don't like it, don't let him hit a home run. Or don't let him strike you out.

The Braves are in first place. Why would they care that a rookie pitcher from a last place team hit a home run off them?

And Redmond looks like a fool for not backing his player up. Also, dumbest quote of the year: "I mean, this is Miami. You can't just stand around in Miami to check out something because it looks good." Last time I checked, this is a pretty Miami thing to do.

Judith

I watched the game, and what I saw was a bunch of Testosterone and most of it aimed at each other instead of at the GAME where it belongs. Nothing done that other players haven't seen or done themselves before. Congrats to Jose for humbling himself. Granted, a few of the Braves have some lessons to learn too, but I still fail to see that Gattis did anything wrong as someone has accused him of. He just hit a homer and took his bases. He's one of the most humble players we have! GO BRAVES.

Stan M

Two more comments about last night's game. First, Jose wasn't nearly as effective with his pitches. It was his poorest showing in several weeks, and look how good it still was anyhow. The umpire simply wouldn't give him the right side of the plate either. Second, if our esteemed manager has something to say to Jose, it should not have been said in public. His public pronouncements should have concerned Gattis and the third baseman with the big mouth. Incidentally, he lost several points in the batting race to Cudder who hit 2 HRs last night. Good.

marriedtoapatsfan

I watched the game and saw a Braves team that needs to lighten up!! Jose is everything that is great about baseball. He is humble and confident. Redmond needs to stop kissing butt! Who the heck is Chris Johnson? He is a guy who has had a good season but will be out of baseball in about 2 seasons. Quit chirping and hiding behind the ump! He didn't want any part of 6'4 230!!!!!!! The Braves are always a good team. But they will fade and end up losing to Pirates or Cards in the playoffs. How is that 60 mil you paid Uggla working out for you?

Loafer

I'm a huge Braves fan. We were wrong. Gattis did far worse by standing and watching his HR the inning before Fernandez did his. Fernandez was the bigger man by apologizing and actually going over the Braves clubhouse to do it face to face. CJ needed to shut up himself and focus on hitting. Oh, BTW, we lost the game. That's the thing I'd be pissed about if I was CJ and not some 20 year old having a bit of fun with 30 relatives in the crowd. Shut up and play.

Mary Martin

Was at "the" game, watch EVERY game, and listen on radio to those not televised. Went to the game particularly to root Jose on. I have to say that this was by far the most exciting game of their lowly season. Let's put it into prospective. It's the kids first HR in his last start. He didn't do anything that the braves hadn't already done and he is a kid with a lot to learn. Braves are sore losers, sorry, they will not make it to the series.


Emerio

Fire Redmond. Even if your player is in the wrong, you do go out in public and chastise him. This is something that should've happened in a closed door meeting. Fernandez is the best thing to happen to the Marlins since 2003 and this is the way he's going to be treated. I'd start packing my bags and request a trade to an organization with loyalty to its players. But hey, Red is just following in Loria's footsteps.

JUAN YANES

Marlins yesterday game, top of inning # 8 LOOSING 4-3
with Coghland in first base (tie run) and Echeverria at bat off a righty pitcher (what did Redmon ?) NOTHING, in the bench was Morrison, Doggs and Pierre, anyone better than Echeverria to get a rally; as this, Redmond had a lot of previous games with similar situations in late innings, and neither make appropriates changes. He lacks of aggresivity to win a game

The comments to this entry are closed.