As more information continues to come out about Saturday night and the fatal boat ride that ultimately took José Fernàndez’s life, we have learned that as hideous as Sunday’s tragedy was, it had the potential to be even worse.
Fernandez had asked Marcell Ozuna to call him Sunday morning to make sure he'd get to the ballpark in time: https://t.co/4aszdPtzr0— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) September 27, 2016
According to the Miami Herald, Fernàndez had asked several of his teammates, including Marcell Ozuna, to join him on the boat that evening, and almost all of them had told him it was a bad idea.
Fernàndez had told Ozuna to text him if he wasn’t at the ballpark by 10:00 am because he was concerned he wouldn’t make it to Marlins Park in time for the game. Fernàndez was seen at the American Social Bar and Kitchen prior to embarking on the fateful journey with his two friends, Emilio Macias and Eduardo Rivero.
Rivero’s friend, Will Bernal, had also cautioned against the trip.
Our last phone conversation and text messages last night. I feel sick to my stomach. Everyone is talking about Jose Fernandez but you died trying to be there for him and be a good friend. This doesn't sit with me well. I write this with the heaviest heart I've ever had. I just lost Tony and now I lost another best friend. I can't get over this nightmare. I already miss you and our daily conversations. You died being a great friend. You went to be with Jose and help him when he called you. I tried so hard to tell you not to go out on that boat. It didn't feel right and we both knew it. I'm choking on tears writing this, you don't deserve this. We were just talking about life at the Marlins game and how precious it is. I can't believe you are gone. The pain I have is unexplainable. I feel guilty that I didn't do a better job of trying to convince you not get on that boat. You told me just so I know in case something happens. You had a gut feeling and that is killing me. I love you bro, you'll always be the little brother I never had. I'm in shock, I'm still waiting for you to call me or txt me. We were so excited to celebrate your birthday in Vegas. You were loved by many and I'll do my best to stay involved with them. Lauren and I will keep you in our prayers. Rest In Peace brother. Love you little bro Eddy Rivero @e_greeneyes #rip #mybrotherfromanothermother
It’s important to make clear that at this point, while we know that it was José’s boat, the Kaught Looking, we do not know who was driving nor do we know for certain that alcohol played a factor, so I would caution anyone from speculation in that regard until further details emerge.
Had teammates acquiesced to Fernàndez’s requests that they join him on the boat, we could’ve been looking at a disaster of unfathomable proportion.
As hard as it is to imagine today, things could’ve absolutely been worse for the Marlins organization, Miami fans abroad and uncounted friends and loved ones.