Jose Fernandez 1992 – 2016

There are no words.

Nothing written here, none of the love pouring from the cracks in baseball’s broken heart, can match even a fraction of the joy which has been stolen away.

Jose Fernandez, All-Star pitcher for the Miami Marlins, died in a boating accident early Sunday.

I read the news through a half smile. “What a tasteless joke.” But scrolling through my feed, the joke repeated again and again and again. The smile faded.

It’s just not fair.

Jose Fernandez had to fight harder than most of us can even dream to achieve his goals. Gifted with supreme ability, he had to defect from Cuba for any hope of making a life. Tommy John surgery threw his career into doubt. Against the odds, Jose achieved. He stood on the cusp of true greatness.

It’s just not fair.

Pick any metric you’d like. Put against any measuring stick, Jose Fernandez was among the best in baseball. He may have been among the best of all time. Sadly, we’ll never get the chance to see. Nor will his child. If the tragedy wasn’t enough, Jose had recently announced he and his girlfriend are expecting.

Sunday’s Marlins/Braves game was rightly cancelled. Even those games which were played on Sunday were played through tears, Jose’s number 16 at every turn. These moments put into stark relief just how silly a pursuit baseball is. For all our passion, for our sweat and tears, baseball is just a game.

Take some time today with your family, your friends. Take in a game. Root for the home team. These events reminded us how cruel time and fate can sometimes be. For now, we’re all Marlins.

Rest in peace, Jose.

To the Virgins, to Make Much of Time
Robert Herrick, 1591 – 1674

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

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