"Trust me it's not my time yet"- 1 of last texts Eddy Rivero sent before dying on boat w/Jose Fernandez. Story @ 11. pic.twitter.com/y6aTNZVTVs
— Erica Rakow (@EricaRakow) September 26, 2016
As the shocking death of Miami Marlins superstar Jose Fernandez continues to reverberate throughout the sports world, details are beginning to emerge about the boating trip that led to the death of the 24-year-old pitcher and two friends, Eddy Rivero and Emilio Macias.
Will Bernal, a friend of Rivero's, received a phone call on Saturday, just before midnight, that Rivero had accepted an offer to ride along on Fernandez's boat, according to Yahoo's Jeff Passan. Rivero claimed that Fernandez was feeling stressed and needed to blow off steam. Ever the stubborn competitor, Fernandez would not take no for an answer.
Bernal was uncomfortable with the idea of taking a boat out at night, and pleaded with Rivero to keep himself and Fernandez out of danger. "I told him it was a horrible idea," Bernal said. "Do everything you can to get him off the boat. Do whatever you can to get him on land."
The picture above is from Bernal's text message conversation with Rivero. Among Rivero's final messages: "Trust me it's not my time yet."
Bernal checked in one more time with Rivero around 3 AM. He and Fernandez were docking the boat, waiting for Macias, a friend of Rivero's who had never met the Marlins hurler. Rivero said everything was cool. That was the last anyone heard from them.
Fernandez had already asked several Marlins teammates to join him on the boat. Each one turned him down.
Rivero's relatives painted a portrait of a good man who was always willing to help out friends and family. "His friend needed him and he went to go support his friend, and he died being a friend," Rivero's cousin Aileen Victoria said in an interview with Miami Local 10 News. "He died being a really good friend."
One mile down the beach from where the three men were killed, a bag of baseballs washed ashore and was discovered Monday. The balls had all been autographed by Fernandez.