Jose Fernandez saved his first home run for his final at-bat of his rookie season. But in the end Wednesday the hit was the last thing anybody was talking about. It was the first three steps he took out of the batter's box the flip of his bat and the hot-dogging he did before rounding the bases an immature rookie mistake his manager said and one the Braves took exception to. "I took the first two steps and right away my reaction was 'Man I got to run'" Fernandez said. "It was just not good. I walked the first three steps and I said 'What I'm doing? I'm not in high school no more. Run.' I have to respect the game a lot more than I did there." "I feel embarrassed. I feel like I don't deserve to be here. This isn't high school no more. This is a professional game and professional players doing what they're supposed to do. I don't think this was supposed to happen. And I'm embarrassed. Hopefully it won't happen again. I made a mistake and I'm going to learn from it." The Braves obviously weren't happy. Benches and bullpens cleared as the teams came face-to-face at the plate. But no punches were ever thrown. Fernandez said Braves catcher Brian McCann an All-Star teammate defused the situation. "He and I are really close. Freddie Freeman too. He told me 'Buddy you can't do that.' [I said] 'I know man. The game got the best of me" Fernandez said. "If at any moment if there was going to be a fight he was talking to me like a friend. I wouldn't say as a friend I would say as a Dad teaching a kid. That's how it felt. I don't think it was a fight kind of stuff. It was a friend type of thing." Fernandez came over to the Braves locker room and spoke to McCann and pitcher Mike Minor outside after the game apologizing for his actions. "He took exception to Gattis' home run [the half inning prior" McCann said. "You could tell that walking off the field. He happened to hit a home run and stood there. I just told him you can't do that. You're going to get someone hurt. It's just something that didn't need to happen. I think he realized that he messed up. I think the emotions got the best of him tonight."
Fernandez apologizes profusely for hot-dogging 1st career HR vs. Braves
Miami Herald | Sep 12