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Fernandez admits mistake, but vows not to change

MLB.com

MIAMI -- The Marlins are not asking Jose Fernandez to change his emotional nature, they'd just like to see him tone it down a bit.

The morning after the 21-year-old was at the center of some bench-clearing controversy with the Braves on Wednesday night, Fernandez said what he did was wrong and he hopes to learn from it.

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MIAMI -- The Marlins are not asking Jose Fernandez to change his emotional nature, they'd just like to see him tone it down a bit.

The morning after the 21-year-old was at the center of some bench-clearing controversy with the Braves on Wednesday night, Fernandez said what he did was wrong and he hopes to learn from it.

Full Game Coverage

"I like the emotion. The energy and all the stuff he brings to the ballpark, I think it's great," manager Mike Redmond said. "But it's a fine line, too, how you show that emotion. I think his excitement, and the way he is as a teammate and the way he competes, that's great. It's just a fine line in the big leagues in how you show your emotion, and how you act and conduct yourself on the mound."

Fernandez allowed one run in seven innings of the Marlins' 5-2 win Wednesday night and added his first big league home run.

The Braves took exception to the way Fernandez admired his homer, and catcher Brian McCann spoke with him about it at home plate, prompting the benches and bullpens to clear.

After the game, Fernandez met in the hallway with McCann and pitcher Mike Minor.

While Fernandez expressed his regret, the rookie noted Thursday morning he is going to continue to be himself.

"I'm going to keep being who I am," Fernandez said. "That's what got me here. It was a little mistake yesterday. I talked to some of the players I needed to apologize to, McCann and Minor.

"I think everything is good. I'm going to keep doing what I do, and hopefully, I get better."

Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison acknowledged Fernandez crossed the line on his home run, but noted the Braves did some things to provoke the rookie. Chris Johnson had words with Fernandez.

When Evan Gattis homered in the sixth inning, he stared at Fernandez, which built up tensions.

"I didn't realize the full effect of what happened last night," Morrison said. "Jose needs to calm it down still, but I don't feel he is fully in the wrong with what he did. I feel like they did some things to him that went unnoticed that need to be addressed and will be addressed. I don't think Jose should have been sold out the way he was sold out."

Morrison added that he's hit home runs and never stared at the pitcher.

"I don't stare at them when I hit a home run," Morrison said. "I've hit it way further than Gattis hit it last night, and I put my head down and ran around the bases. I didn't pimp it. I tried to get around the bases as fast I can and get the game going."

Fernandez's personality and performance have been the biggest bright spots in a rough season for the Marlins.

Before games, the pitcher commonly interacts with the opposition, and he will exchange playful words while on the mound. Perhaps it will be suggested that Fernandez does less.

"I haven't seen anybody quite like that," Redmond said. "He likes to have fun with guys on the other team, but he's a fierce competitor. That might be a part of his game that maybe he needs to look at, and maybe try to do differently. That's part of his youth."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Miami Marlins, Jose Fernandez