I think that's how the game should be. I think the fans would prefer it. I think players perform better when they relax and enjoy it. Every pitch is a challenge, not a threat to your well-being. Fernandez was the greatest example of that perspective on the game. His death is a huge loss for many reasons. But it's particularly sad to think that a generation of kids won't see a shining star like Jose openly enjoying the game like he did.
Too many young players carry the weight of their world on their shoulders when they play. It's all or nothing. They succeed and everything is great. They fail and it's all over - tears, anger, tension. I'm sick of it. We've created a culture in youth baseball filled with pressure - as if what happens in a 12-year-old game really matters. Guys like Fernandez showed that it's okay to relax and have fun, and take it for what it is - a game.
So I hope we never forget Jose Fernandez. He was a big kid with amazing talent who competed fiercely - but enjoyed competing fiercely. And he wasn't afraid to show it. What a sad day. But when the sadness eases, let's remember that smile.
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