Found July 18, 2013 on Fox Sports Florida:
MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez walked into the Citi Field clubhouse on Monday and saw his All-Star locker right next to one belonging to fellow Cuban defector Aroldis Chapman. Fernandez, 20, had not known the Cincinnati Reds closer, 25, when both were in their native land. Here was an opportunity for the two pitchers to get familiar with each other and exchange defection stories. Not quite. "The last thing we wanted to talk about was how we came here from Cuba," Fernandez said Thursday afternoon before Miami worked out at Marlins Park. "We wanted to enjoy the moment." That they did. Fernandez pitched a perfect sixth inning and Chapman threw a scoreless seventh in a losing effort as the American League defeated the National League 3-0 on Tuesday night. During what he called "an amazing experience," the Marlins ace learned he would start the sixth an inning earlier. He took the mound ready to face former MVP Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox), Triple Crown winner and former MVP Miguel Cabrera (Detroit Tigers) and current major league home run leader Chris Davis (Baltimore Orioles). "I know the names; I know they're good hitters," Fernandez said. Perhaps, but Fernandez retired all three, striking out Pedroia and Davis with a Cabrera foul out in between. The rookie threw 13 pitches (nine strikes), reaching 98 mph three times against ex-Marlin Cabrera. "I was paying attention the first three innings of the game, so I saw how they were pitched to, and I saw their approach," Fernandez said when asked about his game plan. "I think everybody's approach in an All-Star Game is the same approach -- the hitters want to go first pitch and if they see a fastball, they're going to hack at it. "I was trying to go with my best stuff and put it in a good location -- that as the most important part." Marlins manager Mike Redmond watched Fernandez's performance while enjoying the All-Star break with former teammate Mike Lowell and their families in Bimini. "I was excited for Jose to get in the game," Redmond said. "After that first pitch, he looked good, he looked comfortable. He looked the same. Emotion wise, you never know until you get him in that situation, but his stuff was just nasty. "I haven't gotten to watch him much on TV because I see him in person, but his stuff on TV was nasty." While others raved about him, Fernandez enjoyed discussing other All-Star highlights. "I got to watch (Philadelphia's) Cliff Lee warming up on the same team, and that was fun," Fernandez said. "A few innings later he said, 'Go do your thing.' That was pretty special." The Marlins right-hander also spoke with Orioles shortstop Manny Machado, who played against Fernandez in last year's Futures Game, and with fellow Cuban Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics. Before Monday's Home Run Derby, compatriots Fernandez, Chapman and Cespedes were seen speaking at length on the field. A week earlier, Fernandez said he looked forward to meeting New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and Boston designated hitter David Ortiz at the game. He did meet Cano, but not "Big Papi." "Papi didn't stretch with the team," said Fernandez, who left New York with a jersey and bat autographed bat by the entire NL team. There also were special moments away from Citi Field. "There was a room for my mom and a room for me, but we stayed in the same room," said Fernandez, who added he also went shopping with his mother. "We talked to 2 or 3 in the morning every day -- it was incredible." Fernandez said he had about 50 congratulatory post-game texts on his cell phone and he responded to every one. As of Thursday afternoon, he still hadn't spoken to his grandmother in Cuba. Among the memories he'll likely tell his grandma is the eighth-inning tribute to New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera. "It was incredible. I think he deserves that and more than that," Fernandez said. "Everybody respects him in the game. Everybody knows who he is, and he's consistent. That's what you want to be in this game -- you want to be respected and you want to go out there and do what you do. I really look up to him. "I was inside the clubhouse with some other plays, and everybody came out to see that. The fans were incredible. I think that really was one of the best things I think that was the best part of my experience at the All-Star Game." Charlie McCarthy can be reached at mac1763@bellsouth.net or on Twitter @mccarthy_chas.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Marlins to shut Jose Fernandez down at 170 innings

The Miami Marlins, a team no where near the playoff race, has decided to play it safe and shut their prized rookie Jose Fernandez down at about 170 innings pitched. The 20-year old has been very impressive, jumping from Single A ball to the majors and becoming an All-Star during that rookie season. So it’s no surprise the Marlins are trying to protect the kids arm. The Marlins...

Marlins planning 170-inning shut down for rookie Jose Fernandez

It's been a dreamy rookie season for 20-year old Marlins rookie Jose Fernandez, one made even sweeter by the All-Star experience he got to share with his mother Maritza in New York earlier this week. "We actually stayed in the same room, talking until two, three in the morning every night," said Fernandez, who jumped into the ocean five years ago to save his mother...

Marlins' Jose Fernandez throws perfect All-Star inning

Jose Fernandez hardly looked like a rookie in his All-Star debut. But that's little surprise to Miami Marlins fans. Fernandez entered Tuesday night's All-Star game to start the sixth inning with the National League trailing the American League 2-0 at New York's Citi Field. The 20-year-old Cuban defector exited after retiring the NL in order, including two strikeouts....

Marlins will wear 1956 unis on Negro Leagues Tribute night

The Miami Marlins will wear reproductions of uniforms from the 1956 Miami Marlins for Saturday's game at Miller Park against the Milwaukee Brewers, who are hosting a Negro Leagues Tribute. The 1956 Miami Marlins, who played their home games at Miami Stadium, werea Triple-A team in the International League. The Marlins' uniforms on Saturday will feature a patch with the No...

Miami Marlins reportedly will hold a ‘Legends of Wrestling Night’

The Miami Marlins, despite a brand new ballpark, have failed to overcome fan apathy in South Beach and convince folks it is worth their time and hard-earned money to place their butts in the seats at Marlins Park. Losing can have that adverse effect. And that’s despite the fact that the ballpark features the most [...]The post Miami Marlins reportedly will hold a ‘Legends of...

Lottery gives Marlins extra early pick in 2014 draft

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Marlins, Rockies, Orioles, Indians, Royals and Brewers won picks after the first round of next year's draft in Major League Baseball's second annual competitive balance lottery. The lottery involved the 10 teams with the lowest revenue and 10 in the smallest markets and was six picks after the first round. A club's odds of winning the lottery were...

Miami Marlins to Host "Legends of Wrestling Night" in August

It’s something that Bill Veeck knew and it’s a staple of the Minors: when all else fails, make sure you do creative promotions. The Miami Marlins have certainly taken this to heart for a date in late August. Yes, the club that can boast the worst attendance in Major League Baseball in just the second season in a brand new ballpark is pulling out the stops on Aug 24 when they...

Marlins set to play host to 'Legends of Wrestling Night'

Honestly, there isn't much intrigue in watching the Miami Marlins play baseball this season. The Fish own the National League's worst record and appear to be heading for a third consecutive last place finish in the division.However, there might just be one game fans will want to pencil into their schedule, and that game will be played on Aug. 24, as the Marlins play host...

Marlins to Bring Ring to Diamond With ‘Legends of Wrestling Night’ (Photo)

With the Miami Marlins’ woeful attendance numbers this season, no promotion is too absurd if it gets fans to come to the ballpark. That includes what the team has in store for August 24′s matchup with the Colorado Rockies, when Marlins Park will host Legends of Wrestling Night. According to The Biz of Baseball, more than a dozen current and former professional wrestlers will...

Marlins not likely to sign Alfredo Gonzalez

Cuban pitcher Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball earlier this week and many teams are lining up for his services. One would think the Miami Marlins would be one of them but a report from the Fish Pond says otherwise and I’m actually not surprised. Gonzalez is already 26-years old and it looks like he’ll cost a decent amount of money,...

Marlins Open Second Half in Milwaukee

After four days off, the Miami Marlins and Milwaukee Brewers will open the second half against one another in Milwaukee. Miami finished the first half by knocking off the Washington Nationals in two of three games and by winning 22 of 39 games overall. Milwaukee won on Sunday to avoid being swept by the Arizona [...]

Team USA beats Cuba 2-1 in exhibition

Matt Chapman's teammates streamed out of the dugout to celebrate his hit as though the Cal State-Fullerton star had won the College World Series. Simply an exhibition? Not when it's against Cuba. Chapman had an RBI single in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Team USA a 2-1 victory over Cuba on Thursday night in an international exhibition. The matchup was the opener...

RVD Works on Popular Video Game, Goldberg and Others at Marlins Game, The Bella Twins

- Below is video of The Bella Twins on the red carpet at the ESPY awards this week:- The Miami Marlins will host Legends of Wrestling night on August 24th as they host the Colorado Rockies. Bill Goldberg will be throwing out the first pitch that night. Other stars appearing include Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Jimmy Hart, Koko B. Ware, Brutus Beefcake...

RVD Works on Game, Goldberg and Others at Marlins Game, Bellas

- Below is video of The Bella Twins on the red carpet at the ESPY awards this week: - The Miami Marlins will host Legends of Wrestling night on August 24th as they host the Colorado Rockies. Bill Goldberg will be throwing out the first pitch that night. Other stars appearing include Bret Hart, Jim Neidhart, Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Jimmy Hart, Koko B. Ware, Brutus Beefcake...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.