Like the rest of the baseball world, the Red Sox expressed shock and sadness over the tragic death of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident in Miami.
David Ortiz tweeted his thoughts before the game Sunday in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox played the Tampa Bay Rays.
I dont have the words to describe the pain feel for the loss of my friend Jose. Goodbye, my friend. pic.twitter.com/xvaa5z62RW— David Ortiz (@davidortiz) September 25, 2016
There was a moment of silence for Fernandez - who attended high school in the Tampa area after defecting from Cuba at 15 - before the game at Tropicana Field, and before all major league games on Sunday.
There was to be on-field ceremony for Ortiz before his last game at the Trop, part of his retirement farewell tour, but it was canceled at Ortiz's request. A video tribute to Ortiz was shown during the game and the Rays gave Ortiz his retirement gifts privately.
Ortiz wiped away tears during the moment of silence. He wrote Fernandez's intitals and his uniform number 16 on his cap.
Fernandez had joked about how he wanted to give up a home run to Ortiz when he faced him as an N.L. pitcher in the All-Star Game this past July.
"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," Fernandez had said.
Ortiz ended up walking against Fernandez, prompting this response from Big Papi:
First baseman Hanley Ramirez, who played for the Marlins, as well as other Red Sox players, also tweeted their reactions after hearing the news of Fernandez's death Sunday morning.
My heart is with Jose's and the other victims' families, and my cherished Marlins family. My deepest condolences. This is heartbreaking— Hanley Ramirez ⚾️ (@HanleyRamirez) September 25, 2016
wow very sad new this morning...hands down one of my favorite guys to watch pitch! He brought nothing but intensity and passion #ripjose— David Price (@DAVIDprice24) September 25, 2016
Woke up to terrible news! Our baseball community has been hit hard from the loss of Jose. May God bless his family 🙏🏾#LongLiveJose— Mookie Betts (@mookiebetts) September 25, 2016
Heartbroken, speechless. #RIPJoseFernandez— Pedro Martinez (@45PedroMartinez) September 25, 2016
May God strengthen the Fernandez Family
Increíble. Indescriptible. Dios fortalezca la Flia Fdez