Reaction to the death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez in a boating accident Sunday:
“I saw a better talent than I was lose his life this tragic morning.” — Hall of Fame pitcher Pedro Martinez.
“Jose and I trained together since I was 15. … I talked to him probably about two weeks ago, actually. We were just talking about the offseason and, ironically enough, going fishing and stuff like that.” — Houston pitcher Lance McCullers.
“It’s so horribly sad on so many different levels that there’ll be no more of that, no more of him, there’ll be no more of that emotion on the mound, that skill set, that human being, that young man with such a gift, such a great smile.” — Pittsburgh manager Clint Hurdle.
“The baseball family has suffered a loss. It’s recognizable in the clubhouse today, very recognizable. It’s a sad day. The show goes on for us, but it’s a sad day. His persona and how he performed on the field, just how he was, just reminds you of the joy that this game can bring you.” — Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell.
“I don’t have the words to describe the pain I feel.” — retiring Boston star David Ortiz, who asked the Tampa Bay Rays to cancel a pregame tribute they planned in his honor before his final game at their park Sunday.
“I said, ‘You don’t throw me any fastballs.’ And he said, ‘Why would I throw you any fastballs?’ We just started laughing. That’s the kind of guy he was. He had an infectious smile and a love for the game I hope every ballplayer could have.” — White Sox slugger Todd Frazier, recalling a pregame conversation he once had in the outfield with Fernandez.
“One of those competitors you loved competing against because you know he was going to bring his best. He was one of the best pitchers in the game. What he did in a short amount of time was incredible. We just talked at the field.” — Yankees catcher Brian McCann, who got into a dustup at home plate after Fernandez hit his first big league home run in 2013.
“It was probably that year at the New York sports writers’ dinner, he won Rookie of the Year. And he did it in Spanish and I think at the end he said, ‘I’ll do this next year in English.’ And if I’m not correct, his English is flawless. I just remember watching that and thought it was pretty cool.” — Cleveland manager Terry Francona.
“When the first pitch left his hand, the first thought is, ‘Oh, wow, this is something special.’ … This was not only one of the greatest pitchers in the modern game, but one of the finest young men you’d ever meet, who played the game with passion and fun and enjoyed being out there.” — Mets manager Terry Collins. Fernandez was scheduled to start Monday night at home vs. the Mets.
“He had Hall of Fame-level talent. It felt like Jose could last a long time, be a part of that for a long time, be the face of the Marlins a long time.” — Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell.
“When I think about Josie, it’s going to be thinking about a little kid. … I see such a little boy in him … the way he played. … Kids play Little League, that’s the joy Jose played with.” — Miami manager Don Mattingly.