We woke up yesterday to the awful news that José Fernández and two of his friends died in a boating accident late Saturday night. Baseball is worse off today due to the loss, but we're all better off for having had the privilege of watching for even a few years. I'm not very good at writing about these types of things. In the article linked here though, Grant Brisbee captures why losing Fernández seems to be so hard for everyone. Fernández was one of the few athletes who didn't need humanization. His talent was as obvious as how much fun he had exhibiting it, and losing that is losing something special and rare.
Thomas Harding relays thoughts and remembrances from several members of the Rockies. The one that stands out is from Carlos González, probably because most of us remember it as well. At least, we remember part of the story. On Opening Day 2014, I recall Carlos González hitting a long home run off of Fernández. While CarGo was rounding the bases, Fernández wore a smirk that said, "you got me, and at least it was beautiful." Filling out the story, CarGo remembers that Fernández told him before the game that he was going to strike him out three times. They were playing a game within the game, and having fun while doing it.
Doug Thorburn has a mechanical review of Jon Gray. He notes that Gray's most notable improvement is in his repetition. He grades out at a B+ overall. Thorburn writes: "He is on the cusp of A-grade efficiency, with the biggest area of improvement—repetition—being the last element that typically comes around for a pitcher, and with Gray having the mechanical stability to dream on more improvements in the future."
Josh Levin has an excellent review of the past decade or so of sabermetrics, mostly through the lens of the blog Fire Joe Morgan. Levin writes that some of the things the blog mocked, such as the old-school idea that catchers could receive balls in such a way as to steal strikes, have become ingrained in sabermetric analysis. Additionally, he notes that most of the statistics the blog referred to have become outdated. But that's because the division was between "the curious" and "incurious." The curious will be open to have their orthodoxies challenged, whereas the incurious will not.