By FRANCESCA CIUFFO
Miami Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez died in a fatal boating accident Sunday morning.
The 24-year-old and his friends Emilio Jesus Macias, 27, and Eduardo Rivero, 25, were killed when Fernandez’s 32-foot SeaVee boat that was going at high speed smashed into a jetty near Miami Beach. Authorities do not believe alcohol or drugs were involved, but are still investigating.
It was later determined that Fernandez was upset after getting in a fight with his girlfriend who is pregnant with his child. He then called some Marlins teammates to go on his boat with him to help calm him down, but they all declined, so he called other friends who accepted his offer.
Authorities are still investigating who was driving the boat and what exactly caused the crash.
Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna, a good friend of Fernandez, told The Miami Herald that he spoke to Fernandez, urging him not to go out that night.
“Everybody knew he was crazy about that boat and loved being out on the water. I told him I couldn’t go out that night because I had the kids and my wife waiting for me,” Ozuna said.
Ozuna continued, “He told me if I didn’t hear from him by 10 a.m. (Sunday) to call him and wake him up so he could get back to the ballpark on time for the game. I told him, ‘yeah no problem, I’ll call you.’”
Ozuna then woke up to some of the worst news of his life on Sunday, Fernandez’s death. He cried endlessly all day.
The loss of Fernandez was severe to not only the Miami Marlins franchise, but Major League Baseball. The news media reports on stories like this, because it is not only impactful due to the tragic death of an ace baseball player, has great significance because it affected the whole baseball world. The Marlins canceled their home game on Sunday against the Atlanta Braves to honor the loss of one of their iconic teammates. Major League Baseball also mandated a league-wide moment of silence before each of Sunday’s games.
The coverage about this death is newsworthy because it appeals to the emotions of the audience. Since baseball is in its final few days before the postseason starts, it is very relevant in coverage this week.
A tragic story about an accident that killed a very good baseball player would be considered very important for the news media to cover. It impacts not only the families of the deceased, but also baseball players around the country, and even fans of Major League Baseball.