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1 posts from April 1, 2014

April 01, 2014

Jose Fernandez had no problem with Carlos Gonzalez admiring his home run on Opening Night

Jose Fernandez had no problem with the way the way the Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez stood and admired his 430-foot solo home run off him in the sixth inning Monday night.

In fact, the only thing exchanged afterward were smiles and good-natured trash talking between two guys who became friends after playing together in last year's All-Star Game.

"We were just joking around," Fernandez explained Tuesday of the stare down he gave Gonzalez as he rounded first and the subsequent good-natured barbs they yelled at each other from the dugout. "I told him, 'I don't know what I'm going to throw you next time.' He's like 'Don't even talk about it you struck out everybody.' We talked after the game. No big deal."

According to baseball's unwritten rules, standing at the plate to admire a home run is a big no-no. It usually leads to somebody getting plunked. Sometimes it can result an all-out brawl like in the case of the Brewers' Carlos Gomez and the Braves last season.

Last year the Braves took exception to the way Fernandez stood and admired his first career home run at Marlins Park. Catcher Brian McCann met Fernandez at the plate and words were exchanged. Fernandez apologized for his actions after the game.

But there was no reason for those antics Monday.

Fernandez said he and Gonzalez talk and text each other all the time. Gonzalez called Fernandez a good kid and said he admires the passion Fernandez plays with and the way he shows it.

"It was fun. It was nothing like he was mad at me. We have a really good relationship," Gonzalez told Rockies reporters. "When he gets you out, he lets you know. So why not do the same thing when you get him?"

> With the win Monday night, Fernandez became only the second pitcher to earn a win on Opening Day after being voted the Rookie of the Year the previous season joining the Giants' John Montefusco.

The more impressive list Fernandez joined was becoming only the 10th pitcher in MLB history to record nine strikeouts and no walks on Opening Day. The other guys on the list: Cy Young (1900), Walter Johnson (1916), Bob Gibson (1967, 1969), Chris Short (1968), Ferguson Jenkins (1969), JR Richard (1980), Steve Carlton (1983), Mike Mussina (1998) and Jered Weaver (2012).

"This kid is going to end up on a lot of lists with a lot of great pitchers the way he's going," manager Mike Redmond said. "Him winning the Rookie of the Year was just the start for this kid. He's just hungry. That's the beauty of Jose. He wants it every single time he gets the ball."

> Fernandez said there was no post-game celebration with his mother and grandma after Monday's win.

"We went home. We were dead [tired]," Fernandez said. "Remember she's getting used to things here now. In Cuba, [my grandmother] used to go to sleep at 8, 830. She eats at 430 or 5."

Fernandez said he recently took his grandmother Olga out to eat at Texas de Brazil, a Brazilian steakhouse. "She couldn't believe it," he said. "So much food."

He said she still hasn't had the chance to cook him a home-cooked Cuban meal. But the opportunity figures to come soon. He said his grandmother and mother are living with him this season and will probably spend most of the year with him except for a few occasional trips back to Tampa, where Fernandez' and his mom both have homes.

Fernandez said Olga is on a five-year visa, but can't stay longer than 364 consecutive days. So she'll return home to Cuba and then back to Miami. 

Fernandez said his grandmother plans to attend as many Marlins games as she can. She's still very much interested, too, in the family's hometown baseball team back in Cuba and follows the scores online.

"She'll never get tired of watching baseball," Fernandez said. "She said she used to play baseball and do all that stuff when she was little. One time I was playing in Cuba with a tennis ball, a game. You had to hit it with your hand and run. One time they hit a line drive and when I went to catch it it passed by me and she caught it. I was like 'Woah'"

> Utility infielder Ed Lucas said he'll have a pin placed in his fractured left hand on Wednesday and expects to miss four weeks. Lucas' hand was broken by a Scott McGregor pitch on Thursday, only hours after learning he had won the battle for a spot on the Marlins' Opening Day roster.

"I'm not a big cursor," Lucas said of his immediate reaction upon being hit. "But, I let out a few expletives I probably shouldn't have."

> The Marlins have released pitcher Chad James, their first-round pick in 2009. James, the 18th overall pick that year, never panned out, going 18-41 with a 4.67 ERA in four minor league seasons. He never advanced past High A Jupiter.

> Outfielder Brent Keys, who was the Marlins' minor league player of the year last season but has dealt with numerous leg injuries, had an epidural within the past week to pinpoint whether a bulging disc in his back is the cause. "They really think the whole time that he suffered from these leg injuries, it was a direct result of the back," said Marty Scott, the Marlins' vice president of player development.


> Rockies (0-1): 1. Drew Stubbs CF, 2. Michael Cuddyer RF, 3. Carlos Gonzalez LF, 4. Troy Tulowitzki SS, 5. Justin Morneau 1B, 6. Wilin Rosario C, 7. Nolan Arenado 3B, 8. DJ LeMahieu 2B, 9. Brett Anderson LHP.

> Marlins (1-0): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Jeff Baker 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 7. Marcell Ozuna CF, 8. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 9. Nathan Eovaldi RHP.