from way back in 2001, at a time when the world was in mourning, I know it on a personal level from last year, and of course the Marlins players and fans experienced it last night.
I've made plenty of bones about my feelings on the Marlins as a franchise, but for one night it takes a back seat. For one night, even I would have rather seen Jose Fernandez strike out Yoenis Cespedes in a key moment and rip his jersey off in exuberance. I'd then grouse about it afterward in yet another tongue-in-cheek rant. Instead, I watched his teammates, his fans, and even the Mets have to play out this game on the verge of tears the entire night, mourning the man and the talent and joy he brought to the game on a daily basis. I would have rather the Mets had the opportunity to go out and beat him, so I could crow about how the Mets went out and beat their best. I'd rather have to write about so many other things than this.
But that's how the world works. A really unique and talented ballplayer is gone far too soon. And even in the midst of a Pennant Race, if the Mets had to be the foil, that's just the way it had to be. Baseball was Jose Fernandez's muse, his Art. But for the Marlins, it now has to be their escape from the sadness and the beginning of their healing process. We move forward from here and slowly try to get back to normal.