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Yankees' Girardi on death of Marlins P Jose Fernandez: 'I don't know how you ever get over it'

TORONTO -- Baseball will forge on today even as players and coaches around the game mourn the sudden and shocking death of Miami Marlins star pitcher Jose Fernandez in a boating accident overnight off Miami Beach.

"I think we're all shocked. It's sad, a very sad day," Girardi said in Rogers Centre prior to the Yankees' game against the Toronto Blue Jays. "You think about all the people's lives that this effects and how difficult it must be down there right now. I don't know how you ever get over it."

For star power, this is probably the biggest in-career death of an MLB player since Yankees catcher Thurman Munson died in a plane crash in 1979. In terms of a standout veteran, it's the first since St. Louis pitcher Darryl Kile was found dead in his hotel room in Chicago in 2002. Girardi was a player for the Cubs that day and had to announce to the crowd at Wrigley Field the game that afternoon was going to be canceled.

"It affects a whole community, families," Girardi said. "It's going to affect people who didn't even know him just because of his ability to pull people together and what he had been through in his life, how important he was down there. It's just really sad."

Girardi said he particularly feels for Marlins manager and longtime former Yankee Don Mattingly.

"Being a leader in the clubhouse, he's got a lot of responsibility to these guys with what they're going through," Girardi said. "I can't imagine what he's going through. My heart goes out to him and everyone involved down there. It's got to be really sad.

"We're people first. We're a family first. We all have siblings and moms and grandmas and wives and kids. Jose had a girlfriend and I just found out she was pregnant. You think about everything going on in this country and we need each other."

Suddenly, playing another baseball game after being shut out three straight times for the first time since 1975 isn't all that significant. Still, the Yankees are pushing forward today.

"It's going to be difficult around baseball," Girardi said. "Your thoughts are going to go back to Jose, to the Marlins and to their community. It's difficult."

The reaction across  social media has been enormous and swift. Here's a sampling:

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