NEW YORK -- Jose Fernandez spent most of his free time during his rookie season last year hanging out in his hotel room and relaxing.
This year, though, the 21-year old All-Star and Marlins ace said he wants to start to get to know America's history a little better. Thursday, Fernandez spent the Marlins' day off visiting the World Trade Center Memorial in Manhattan.
"I really wanted to go and pay my respects," Fernandez said. "This country has been amazing to me. So I'm here learning about it, being right there.
"When I was in school, history was my favorite subject. I want to learn a little more. When I go to Washington [next month] I want to see some things."
Although he was only nine years old when the terrorist attacks took place on Sept. 11, 2001, Fernandez said the images he saw on TV back home in his native Cuba stuck with him.
"We didn't see much [in Cuba], and we didn't get a lot of information, but we saw what happened," Fernandez said. "So when I got here obviously I looked into it. It was pretty special to be there [Thursday].
"Being there you imagine how it happened and the people that were in there, the people who ran out. You see the names, other people walking around and looking. It's just a weird feeling. You're not happy. You're just thinking about what people did, throwing themselves down 50-something floors. It's desperate moments. It's tough."
Fernandez said he was in school when the attacks took place that morning, but didn't learn of them until he got home from classes. Even afterward, he said, "they really didn't let us talk about it much in Cuba because it was America."
"We saw what happened, but we couldn't figure it out. Over there there's no internet, no information," Fernandez said.
"It was just a feeling of shock [in Cuba]. Nobody could believe it or that somebody would do that."
> Reliever Carlos Marmol, who pulled his right hamstring in Wednesday's 3-1 loss in Atlanta, said he felt better Friday, but still didn't know if he would be able to pitch in the series opener against the Mets. He's battled pulled hamstrings before and gone to the disabled list with them in the past.
"I feel a lot better," Marmol said. "I'm going to go outside, play catch on the mound, see how I feel. It felt worse a couple days ago."
> Marlins (10-12): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Marcell Ozuna CF, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Jarrod Saltalamacchia C, 6. Garrett Jones 1B, 7. Derek Dietrich 2B, 8. Adeiny Hechavarri SS, 9. Henderson Alvarez RHP.
> Mets (12-10): 1. Eric Young Jr. LF, 2. Curtis Granderson RF, 3. David Wright 3B, 4. Daniel Murphy 2B, 5. Chris Young CF, 6. Lucas Duda 1B, 7. Travis D'Arnaud C, 8. Ruben Tejada SS, 9. Zach Wheeler RHP.