Aside from highlights here and there and a couple of All Star Game appearances, I never really had the luxury of witnessing the complete beauty of Jose Fernandez’s talent. In spite of this, however, I saw enough in those brief outings to know that he was a special pitcher. As a Yankees fan, given all the moves we made at the deadline in attempt to get younger and free cap space, I have focused more on the free agent class of 2018 than any other. Signing members of a group that promises to include Bryce Harper, Andrew McCutchen, Manny Machado, and Josh Donaldson is an exciting thought for any fan. Although, even with all this talent, there was one that I hoped the Yankees would sign before all others: Jose Fernandez.
But enough about his talent. Enough about what could have been; what he could have meant to the sport of baseball in the long-run. Enough even about how great of a personality he had; how his excitement and love for the game was contagious to those around him, or how his teammates and opponents alike are devastated by his loss.
A mother started today without a son, a grandmother without a grandson, a girlfriend without a boyfriend, and a yet-to-be-born child without a father. While those of us who watched him play certainly send our prayers and thoughts to his family at such a heartbreaking, sorrowful time, we mourn along with them.
Although most of us (myself included) who find themselves saddened at such horrific news did not know Fernandez personally, we grieve because the real world has come crashing down on the sports world. One of the main reasons that sports captivate our minds and our hearts so deeply is because they provide an escape from the struggle and the hardship of everyday life. Baseball, as it is in this case, can take people’s minds off of the stress of work, of unpaid bills, and even of family tragedy. The death of Jose Fernandez, however, provides a merciless reminder that athletes are humans, too, and that they are subject to the same dangers of life as everyone else.
So as we the fans grieve the loss of such a talented, unrelenting spirit, we need to remember to take a minute to enjoy the sports that we watch and play. One day, we will not be able to relish their benefits or witness their beauty anymore. Unfortunately for Jose Fernandez, a young pitcher taken from us before his time, and all those who knew him, that day was today.
RIP Jose Fernandez