Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clubhouse Goes Quiet as Jays Mourn Death of Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Clubhouse Goes Quiet as Jays Mourn Death of Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez

Article excerpt

Jays mourn death of Marlins pitcher

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TORONTO - The Blue Jays clubhouse was hushed Sunday, with all eight TVs tuned to a news conference detailing the boating accident that killed Miami Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez and two others off Miami Beach.

While there are no ex-Marlins in the Toronto lineup, the players knew him "as an opponent and fraternity brother across the way," said veteran reliever Jason Grilli.

"It's a shame that such a talent is gone. I can't imagine having a teammate not show up," he added. "We're family."

His fellow players clearly shared that pain. Fernandez was just 24.

"Sick to my stomach. Can't believe this. #RIPJoseFernandez," tweeted pitcher Marcus Stroman.

The Marlins cancelled their home game Sunday against the Atlanta Braves. The Jays added a moment of silence to honour Fernandez before their game against the Yankees.

"Baseball means nothing in light of that," said Grilli. "I can understand why the (Marlins) game is cancelled, for very good reason. We get to play a game. But we're not invincible, like anybody else. I tell people all the time we like beer and pizza too and we're subject to the same things that everyone else is.

"We lost a very good one today."

Toronto president Mark Shapiro said the tragedy showed the human side of baseball.

"We've got a veteran team ... but you tend to forget, particularly people kind of watching from a distance, that these guys who do super-human things for three hours a day are just human beings and are just people. I think it reminds all of us what's most important. Everybody probably goes home and pays a little more attention to their loved ones."

But they also have to go back to work, he said. "It's hard to do."

Shapiro knows of what he speaks. His father Ron, a player agent, represented Indians pitcher Bobby Ojeda, who survived a Florida boating accident in March 1993. …

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