Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Posts Tagged ‘Miami Marlins

Death and the Miami Marlins

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Folks, before I begin this post, I figured I’d explain where I’ve been the past four-five days. (No, I didn’t fall off the face of the Earth, nor did my in-progress novel CHANGING FACES swallow me up.) It’s a simple explanation — my computer adapter fried — but it’s the third or possibly the fourth time in the past year my adapter has done this. I have a new adapter now, thankfully, and am back online…and will be looking for a way to purchase a backup adapter soon. (Can’t yet, but it’s at the very top of my priority list.)

Now, to the blog.

When the news broke on Sunday that Miami Marlins pitcher José Fernandez had died in a boating accident, I was stunned. Fernandez was only twenty-four years old, and was having an outstanding year…his personal story of escaping from Cuba (he had to try multiple times before he successfully got out), his infectious joy, and his youth all touched my heart.

For several hours on Sunday, I had a hard time thinking about much else, other than Fernandez’s early death. Bad enough to die at twenty-four, but worse yet when your girlfriend was pregnant with your child.

It was a devastating loss on every level, that Fernandez was gone, suddenly and without warning. And the Marlins clearly felt it, postponing Sunday’s game.

After that, on Monday evening, the entire team wore Fernandez’s jersey number (16) as a tribute. Leadoff hitter Dee Gordon stepped into the opposite side of the batter’s box to honor Fernandez, and took a ball. (Opposing team New York must’ve known something like that was likely, I’m guessing.) Then, after stepping into the batter’s box  the usual way, Gordon did something he hadn’t done all year long.

He hit a home run.

The Marlins romped to a win, but that wasn’t why Gordon’s HR was so meaningful. It was the way he did it. He made it clear from the get-go that Fernandez was on his mind, and so did the rest of the Marlins, including all the coaches (manager Don Mattingly was particularly teary-eyed) and front office personnel.

And the classiness didn’t end there.  Even the Mets’ players cried after Gordon hit the homer, and during the seventh-inning stretch (where a trumpet played a solitary version of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in a muted, moody tone). And they, along with many other teams around major league baseball, hung Fernandez’s jersey up as a show of support.

The Marlins win on Monday night was cathartic for fans, players, the management, and around baseball. It helped ease the pain a little, and helped honor Fernandez the best way the Marlins had to offer — by winning, and talking about their lost teammate, and wishing he were back with them.

All that said, I want to say a few words about the two others who died during that tragic accident, Emilio Macias and Eddy Rivero (both twenty-five). They had gone to Fernandez’s boat late at night because according to this article from Fox News Latino, Fernandez and his girlfriend had argued that evening. No one’s talking much about Macias and Rivero, but they were doing what good friends are supposed to do during a time of crisis — they were supporting their buddy, and they were trying to calm him down.

Their friendship mattered, and I honor them.

I do not understand why these three young men died that evening. I wish I could do something, anything, to bring them back. But it’s good that people are remembering Fernandez’s life and career.

Now, my hope is that people will also remember Macias and Rivero.They both have GoFundMe pages (go here for Macias and here for Rivero), as their families need help with burial expenses. If you can help them, please do it — and if you can’t, say a prayer for them, and for the loved ones they left behind.

Because that helps, too. Even if it’s not nearly enough.

Vinny Rottino Signs with the Miami Marlins, and Other Stuff

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Happy New Year, everyone!

I figured I’d write a quick blog tonight and mention a few things, mostly in passing, that may be of interest only to me.

First, as the title says, Vinny Rottino has been signed by the Miami Marlins to a minor league deal. This means he’ll have a job in baseball as a player during 2015, which is definitely worth celebrating. Rottino made the AAA All-Star team for the Marlins franchise back in 2011, and got a call-up from them in September as his reward. (I wrote about that here.)

I’m glad that the Marlins front office remembered Rottino, and is giving him another shot to play despite his advanced age (in baseball years only). He’s a smart player, he’s always maximized his ability, and while it’s unlikely now that he’ll be able to make a serious run at a major-league job as a player, it’s far from unlikely that he’ll be able to make the majors in some other capacity later. So it’s very good that the Marlins signed him; my guess is that Rottino’s going to end up mentoring other players in the minors, and probably playing every second or third day. And that may lead him to a managerial or coaching job down the line…which I’m sure he doesn’t want quite yet, but is something to consider for future reference. (Thank goodness it’s still “for future reference,” as I was really worried after he became a free agent again.)

Aside from that, I finished a new short story and sent it to the Writers of the Future Contest on 12/31/14 as I remain eligible. (Not enough book sales as of yet.) I’m glad I was able to do that, as with all of the editing I do — and the holidays, and the family appearances that are well worth going to but normally take away from any available writing time — I don’t get anywhere near as much time to write as I’d like.

And I’m working on two different editorial projects right now, so my blogs may be sporadic for a few weeks until/unless something really grabs my attention…but I do hope to have at least a few book reviews in January 2015 over at Shiny Book Review that may interest you. (Namely the three I didn’t get to at the end of 2014 like I’d planned.)

May your 2015 be all that you want it to be, folks. And may it be a better year for us all.

Written by Barb Caffrey

January 3, 2015 at 2:10 am