Jose Fernandez: If I Face David Ortiz in the All-Star Game, I’ll Let Him Hit a Home Run


(Photo: Getty)

Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez wants to send off retiring Boston Red Sox great David Ortiz with a bang at his last All-Star Game on Tuesday night.

Literally—he said he wants to feed the slugger gopher balls if the two square off in the midsummer classic all in the name of surrendering a home run to the 10-time All-Star.

"I would love to face David," Fernandez said on Monday, according to ESPN's Marly Rivera. "It would be a dream come true for me.

"I told him yesterday that I am going to throw him three fastballs down the middle. I want to watch him hit a home run."

There's some precedence for such a move.

Back in 2001, at the final All-Star Game for then future Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Tony Gwynn, Chan Ho Park opened the the third inning by tossing a 92 mph meatball straight down the middle for Ripken, who deposited the pitch over the left field fence to much fanfare.

Fernandez's situation (and that of Adam Wainwright, who in 2014 joked he did the same for Derek Jeter before backing off the comments a day later) is slightly different—because after an embarrassing 2002 All-Star Game that ended in a tie after both teams ran out of players, an effort to make the game count led to the winner claiming homefield advantage in the World Series.

This could directly affect Fernandez, whose Marlins are currently tied for the NL's second wild card slot with the division rival New York Mets (if the season were to end with the teams tied, they'd play a one-game playoff), if Ortiz's hypothetical homer were to help the AL win the All-Star Game.

In that case, if the Marlins beat the odds, make it to the World Series, and it goes the distance, Fernandez—and Miami—had better hope he's pitching in Game 7.