Fernandez threw at Rays' mascot for being 'too close'

Rob Foldy / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Somebody doesn't love Raymond.

Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez took the "Citrus Series" rivalry to a new level Thursday by drilling Raymond, the Tampa Bay Rays mascot, while warming up for his start Thursday.

It wasn't a mistake, either.

The 23-year-old strikeout artist fessed up to the act, which was witnessed by a reporter, and said he did it because the furry creature was too close to him in the bullpen while he was trying to warm up.

"He was too close. I'd never even seen that,'' Fernandez told Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. "You're trying to warm up, this is a big game. Every game for us, the way we've been playing, is important. We're so close to the fight. I'm like, ‘Guy, I think you need to move.'"

His catcher, Jeff Mathis, also complained about Raymond's pregame antics.

"I thought it was (BS),'' Mathis said. "He was to my right to start with and then he made his way behind me and I thought that wasn't right."

Fernandez clearly took out his frustration on the Rays hitters, as he fanned 12 over seven innings in Miami's 9-1 win. He downplayed the incident afterwards, saying it was all in good fun.

"It was a little change-up that came out of my hand," Fernandez said. "Just part of the game, man. This is a game and I love to have fun.''

For those wondering, it appears that Raymond - already known to be a tough cookie - was no worse for wear after the incident. Still, given this was Fernandez's second mascot-related incident of the season, Raymond might want to warn his friends around the league to stay away from Jose.

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Fernandez threw at Rays' mascot for being 'too close'
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