There’s a good story over at Philly.com — pointed out to me by Jonny 5 — talking to the Lee family about what went into the decision to go back to the Phillies. Kristen Lee plays down the anti-New York stuff that popped up a couple of months ago. The image of a couple of Arkansas kids who just wanted to be near home is put to rest as well. Like a lot of people, the Lees seem to like experiencing different things. Six months back home in Arkansas is great, but six months in a city with the kinds of cultural opportunities Philadelphia offers is great too. How novel.
The thing that sticks out to me. Kristen Lee’s comments about how “we were traded to Philadelphia” in 2009. Almost every time you read a story in which a player’s wife is quoted, they talk about when “we” were traded or when “we signed” with such and such a team. It’s easy to forget the family aspects of player moves — and easy to mock them when they become a big story — but the “we” thing is very real.
The entire Marlins roster will wear the number 16 on the backs of their uniforms in remembrance of pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. After that? “No one will wear No. 16 for the Marlins again,” team owner Jeffrey Loria said on Monday evening, as Tyler Kepner of the New York Times reports.
Though Fernandez only pitched parts of four seasons for the Marlins, he already ranks fifth in career WAR in club history, according to Baseball Reference. He also owns the best career winning percentage as well as the second-lowest single-season ERA (2.19 in 2013) and the second-lowest single-season WHIP (0.979 in 2013). Fernandez was already one of the best pitchers in Marlins history and was on his way to becoming a perennial All-Star, if not a Hall of Famer.
Then add to that his outstanding personality and what he meant both to the Marlins organization and to the city of Miami. Loria has gotten a lot of criticism over the years, but he nailed it with this decision.
As Craig mentioned earlier, the Marlins will all wear No. 16 jerseys to honor pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died in a boating accident on Sunday morning. It’s a fitting tribute as the Marlins return to the playing field after Sunday’s game was cancelled.
We don’t often hear about the behind-the-scenes stuff that goes on during these special circumstances. As Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports, workers at the Majestic manufacturing facility in Easton, PA — about two hours north of Philadelphia — stayed up all night Sunday night into Monday morning in order to make those custom No. 16 jerseys for the Marlins. They were shipped via air so they would arrive in time for the game tonight.
FanGraphs writer Eric Longenhagen notes how hard those Majestic employees work — often for low pay :
Kudos to Majestic for making a concerted effort to help the Marlins out in their time of need.