The Atlanta Braves weren't happy about the antics of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez on Wednesday, and it turns out that his own team is none too thrilled about his behavior either. Miami manager Mike Redmond publicly told the 21-year-old rookie to lighten up on his exuberant ways on Thursday, according to ESPN.
Fernandez stood admiring his first major league home run during Wednesday's game and then spat toward Atlanta third baseman Chris Johnson on his way around the bases, prompting both benches to clear. Johnson and left fielder Evan Gattis had been squabbling with Fernandez earlier in the game, and the pitcher's showboating on his long ball was the final straw for the Braves. Fernandez apologized for his behavior after the game, stating that he had "made a mistake," felt "embarrassed," and that it "will never happen again." The start was his last of 2013, as he reached the 170-inning limit that Miami placed on him for his rookie season.
Redmond didn't mince words in his review of Fernandez's animated ways:
"Jose is an emotional guy," (Redmond) said. "That's part of his game that is going to improve. We don't want to take the 'having fun' aspect away from him. That's what makes him him. But at the same time, I think maybe he can center that a little bit. ... That might be a part of his game he needs to look at, and maybe try to do something different."
Redmond went on to call the episode a "learning experience" for Fernandez, but was also quick to point out that the rookie's amazing season is being lost in the hoopla. The right-hander made 28 starts this year, posting a 12-6 record and a 2.19 ERA which ranks second only to Clayton Kershaw among all qualified major league starters. He also struck out 187 batters in 172⅔ innings, and his 9.75 strikeout-per-nine-innings rate is tops in the National League. The NL Rookie of the Year voting will undoubtedly be a two-man race between Fernandez and Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers.