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Jose Fernandez should not be honored with a statue

04.14.17 at 10:06 am ET
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ESPNThe mixed legacy of Jose Fernandez will include a bronze statue on the plaza at Marlins Park.

The Marlins are planning a memorial to their late ace that will stand at least 9 feet high, team president David Samson said Thursday.

Fernandez and two others died in a boat crash last September. The Marlins decided to go ahead with the statue even after a state investigation determined Fernandez was the probable operator of the boat, and had he survived the crash he could have been charged with multiple crimes, including boating under the influence manslaughter.

In an unfiltered discussion, the Marlins owner goes deep on the pain of losing Jose Fernandez, selling his franchise and the idea of promoting baseball in France as a potential U.S. ambassador.

“It doesn’t change the legacy of Jose in our view,” Samson said. “It is very disappointing. It’s a tragedy. But it doesn’t change our love for him or the fact we want him to be memorialized here at Marlins Park, because he is forever a Marlin.”

The statue will be sculpted by William Behrends, who was responsible for the Willie McCovey and Willie Mays statues in San Francisco, and won’t be finished for at least six months, Samson said.

Miami owner Jeffrey Loria chose the image for the statue, which wasn’t disclosed, and hired Behrends.

“It’s something Jeffrey wanted to do personally for Jose and his family and his fans — to have something that would permanently represent what Jose was,” Samson said.

Jose Fernandez does not deserve this statue.

This article pretty much explains why: If he had survived the boat crash, he would have been charged with manslaughter. But because he could throw a baseball pretty well and now never will again because of terrible decision he made, he gets a statue.

Even knowing his girlfriend was pregnant with his child and he had a whole promising baseball career ahead of him, he chose to drink and use cocaine and drive a boat. Fernandez was a charitable person who did some good, but he was also incredibly irresponsible. It was his fault two people died and he gets a statue because he also died.

It’s fine if the Marlins want to consider him a Marlin forever but they should not be giving him a statue.

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