In the book of unwritten rules of Major League Baseball, there is a special section set aside for showing up one’s opponent. In the game between the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins on Wednesday night that rule was broken by one man only. Jose Fernandez for understandable reasons was ultra-excited about his last start and it got the best of him. Even he said those words. It led to a game where he showed up the Braves on several occasions. This sometimes results in baseball’s version of retaliation but the Braves should not do it on Thursday.
Fernandez’s main wrong was that he was smiling and acting like the Braves were all easy outs. The fact was that he was getting a few ropes hit off of him and was getting great defense behind him. That isn’t a situation where the pitcher should smile at the batter walking back to the dugout. If he does he better hope he throws a shutout and of course Fernandez didn’t. That led to the problem. Evan Gattis didn’t show up Fernandez, he showed Fernandez what he had been doing wrong. Gattis may be a rookie at the MLB level but he has plenty of baseball experience to know what and what not to do.
We all saw what Fernandez did when he hit his first career home run. That is plain and simply wrong. I think all people involved handled it the best they could. Chris Johnson should be fighting mad at the kid for spitting at him, otherwise he won’t learn not to do that. Brian McCann clearly took a mentor – student approach to speaking to him at the plate before the benches cleared as they must do in such a situation.
That’s it though. Fernandez is young and has almost zero baseball experience before this awesome rookie season. He isn’t like Mike Trout last year because Trout is a position player and only reacts and acts to things hit or thrown in his direction. Fernandez is a 21 year old stud on the mound. He is in control of the game. The Braves need to understand that situation the way McCann did and not take out retaliation on him today.
Mike Redmond, manager of the Marlins is the real hero of this situation. He handled it absolutely flawlessly and even had Fernandez apologize in the tunnel to McCann and pitcher Mike Minor. That’s the end of it. If the Braves go out today and plunk a Marlins player after Redmond went to those lengths and McCann had already set the kid straight, they will be the ones doing wrong.