Before Bryce Harper went on his crusade to Make Baseball Fun Again, there was José Fernández, the right handed ace for the Miami Marlins who had no issue with guys pimping home runs against him as long as he could celebrate after he struck them out. To Fernández, baseball is the most fun thing on Earth, and watching him enjoy the game with an unmatched and genuine enthusiasm is a breath of fresh air for fans. He’s also capable of throwing pitches that mortify opposing batters and hitting home runs, but that’s for another time.
Fernández doesn’t just have fun on the mound, as he has a reputation for being silly whenever he has the opportunity. For example, the Marlins were in Philadelphia to take on the Phillies on Wednesday, and at one point before the game, Fernández decided he wanted to have some fun with the team’s mischievous mascot, the Phillie Phanatic.
First, Fernández went up to the Phanatic while he was on an ATV and prevented baseball’s most famous mascot from driving around. The Phanatic then pretended that Fernández knocked him off of his ATV, so he demanded that a police officer near the Marlins’ dugout arrest the 2013 National League Rookie of the Year.
The cop refused, but he did level with the Phanatic by giving him handcuffs. Fernández played along by putting his hands behind his back, and the Phanatic cuffed him while Fernández had a gigantic smile on his face, because Fernández was having fun and understood how silly this impromptu feud with a mascot was. There may be an unwritten rule for having this kind of back-and-forth with an opposing mascot, and if there is, Fernández just wrote it onto a sheet of paper that he promptly lit on fire.
We have to wait until July for the next time the Marlins are in Philly and these two can continue their feud. Until then, the Phanatic will still be the Phanatic, while Fernández will still be the most fun dude in all of baseball.