Miami Marlins rookie right-hander Jose Fernandez said he won't show up another team again like he did to the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday after hitting a home run. But he said he won't tone down his enthusiasm on the field, either.
"I'm going to keep being who I am," Fernandez said. "That's what got me here. It was a little mistake. I talked to some of the players I needed to apologize to. I think everything is good. I'm going to keep doing what I do, and hopefully, I get better."
The Braves thought Fernandez hot-dogged by admiring his home run. When Fernandez crossed home plate, he started talking to Braves catcher Brian McCann and both benches cleared.
Fernandez said he apologized to Braves players.
"For sure, I can promise 120 percent that will never ever happen again," he said. "No matter what happens in the game, I'll never show anybody up. To me that's embarrassing."
Manager Mike Redmond caught heat from analysts and internet critics for admonishing Fernandez for his antics, saying he "ruined the night" in his last start.
"Everybody has their opinion and if you're only watching two clips of that game than I can see how they can say whatever they want," Redmond said. "I think the important thing is we're a young team, 30 games under, we're teaching guys to respect the game and play the game the right way. That's a teaching moment, learning moment for Jose. I know he understands where I'm coming from and where his teammates are coming from and that's it."
Before Miami's 6-1 loss in the series finale Thursday, Redmond said he hoped the focus on Fernandez would now shift to the pitcher's bid to win the National League Rookie of the Year award.
"He's a young kid and he's going to be one of the top pitchers in this league for a long time. You want your pitchers and players to be judged for the way they pitch and the way they compete, not the theatrics," Redmond said. "Unfortunately for him, what gets overshadowed by last night is the year that he's had and how dominant he's really gone out there and pitched. We should be talking about him for rookie of the year. For me he is. We should be talking about how great a year he had as a pitcher and rookie of the year instead of what we are."