Jose Fernandez

When the Miami Marlins take the field tonight against the New York Mets, they will do so with heavy hearts a day after the tragic death of ace pitcher Jose Fernandez. Every player on the Marlins will be wearing Fernandez’s No. 16 instead of their regular jersey number as a tribute to their lost teammate.

The Marlins are playing at home tonight with the Mets in town. The Marlins called off Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Braves to allow for time to grieve. In addition to the No. 16 uniforms, the Marlins will hold a moment of silence prior to the start of the game.

Fernandez would have been scheduled to start tonight’s game for the Marlins. Adam Conley will get the start for the home team, a day after his scheduled start was postponed for obvious reasons.

While the night will largely be about remembering Fernandez, one of the great young pitchers in the game, the Mets are also tasked with keeping their own focus on making a push into the postseason. A day after blasting the Phillies, 17-0, the Mets’ manager knows that could prove difficult tonight as his team joins the Marlins in their mourning.

“We’ll keep things in perspective,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “It’s going to be, really, a tough night for a lot of people. Certainly we lost a great player, but the respect for the game itself — and he had it — it’s got to be played, and it’s going to be played right. Because I know that’s how Jose would want to do it. That’s how he would want it played. And so we’ve got to keep that in our minds, also.”

Mets’ outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, also from Fernandez’s home nation of Cuba, taped a Fernandez jersey to the Mets’ clubhouse wall on Sunday in New York.

[MLB]

About Kevin McGuire

Contributor to Athlon Sports and The Comeback. Previously contributed to NBCSports.com. Host of the Locked On Nittany Lions Podcast. FWAA member and Philadelphia-area resident.