Less than a year after losing their ace to a tragic boating accident, the Marlins are planning on a statue of Jose Fernandez at Marlins Park.
The news came about in a long and wide-ranging interview with Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria on ESPN.com. Loria said he's working with the sculptor who did the Willie McCovey and Willie Mays statues at San Francisco's AT&T Park and going through pictures to try and make the Fernandez job as perfect as possible. It won't be life size, though.
Loria says he wants it nine or 10 feet tall.
Why? (Via ESPN.com):
Because Jose was larger than life.
Fernandez was one of the best and most electric pitchers in baseball. His personality appeared to be infectious. Just non-stop smiles and enthusiasm on the field.
As for the toxicology reports that showed Fernandez was under the influence of alcohol and cocaine on the night that his boat crashed, killing him and two others on board, Loria offered up the following (Via ESPN.com):
I know Jose to be a different kind of person. I know there were reports. I know a different person. I know a kid who was fun-loving. I didn't know a kid who was involved with anything bad. The only thing bad he was involved with was trying to beat your ass right off the plate. That's the only thing I ever saw.
Loria went on to say that he has accepted the reports and that he was only saying that isn't the person he knew.
The Marlins host the All-Star Game this July, but don't expect the Fernandez statue by then. Loria estimates it'll take six months.