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Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez death: 5 things to know

The death of Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez has rocked the world of Major League Baseball. The 24-year-old died in a boating accident off the coast of Miami Beach, Florida, early Sunday.

>> Read more trending stories

Here are 5 things to know about the death of Jose Fernandez:

Speed may have been a factor in the accident

"It does appear that speed was involved due to the impact and the severity of it," Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission spokesman Lorenzo Veloz said in a press conference Sunday morning, The Palm Beach Post reported. The boat was travelling at a high rate of speed when it hit the jetty.

Veloz said the jetty was not visible.

The time the crash occurred is not clear

Officials said the boat, a 32-foot Sea Vee Center Console, was seen overturned on a rock jetty off the coast of Miami Beach. It was found by a Coast Guard crew.

Video surfaced Sunday on social media showing the aftermath of the fatal crash.

JUST FOUND OUT THIS WAS A FATAL ACCIDENT LAST NIGHT THAT KILLED MARLINS PITCHER JOSE FERNANDEZ AND 2 OTHERS ! RIP AND CONDOLENCES TO THEIR FAMILIES! A video posted by THE SHARK HUNTER (@marktheshark) on Sep 25, 2016 at 5:39am PDT <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script>

"At 3:40, 3:50, approximately, a.m. this morning, the Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue fire boat received a call about a capsized vessel in the vicinity of government cut," said Capt. Leonel Reyes, of the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue's Marine Services Bureau.

"The vessel has traveled several times in this area, so that person was obviously very aware of where they were," Veloz said, adding that there are no lights in the area.

"I have stopped that boat before for safety inspections with other Marlins players on board, so we know that this boat knows this area," Veloz said. "We just can't answer why this happened."

Related: Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez has died

Fernandez was not driving the boat

Fernandez was a passenger on the boat. He never drove it, Veloz said. The person who drove the boat was a friend of Fernandez, whom Veloz said is "very well connected with several Marlins players." Reyes said two bodies were found underneath the vessel and another was found in the water on the southside of the jettys.

Family members identified the two other people killed as Eduardo Rivero and Emilio Macias, WSVN reported. Macias' father works for the Miami-Dade Police Department, according to the news station. Both Rivero and Macias graduated in 2009 from G. Holmes Braddock Senior High School in Miami.

Fernandez was not wearing a life jacket

Veloz said none of the three men on the boat were wearing life jackets, including Fernandez, The Palm Beach Post reported. The other two men on the boat, whose ages ranged from 24 to 27, were "personal friends" of the pitcher.

Alcohol and drugs do not appear to have been involved

"Alcohol, as of right now, was not involved, or no other illicit drugs were found on the vessel," Veloz said. An autopsy will determine if any drugs or alcohol were involved in the accident.

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez has died

Mariners suspend catcher Steve Clevenger for rest of season over BLM tweets

The controversial tweets of Mariners’ reserve catcher Steve Clevenger have led to his suspension.

Clevenger was suspended for the rest of the season without pay Friday for tweets made this week regarding a recent police shooting in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Black Lives Matter movement which many found to be offensive.

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Clevenger’s Twitter account is currently private. Screen shots of the tweets showed Clevenger made disparaging comments about protesters, tweeting, “Keep kneeling for the Anthem” and “BLM is pathetic once again! Obama you are pathetic once again! Everyone involved should be locked behind bars like animals!”

Clevenger was informed of the suspension on Friday. He will lose 10 days' pay from his $516,500 salary in the major leagues, which comes to $28,224, according to The Associated Press.

The Major League Baseball Players Association could challenge the suspension, but has not yet commented on the case.

Mariners Executive Vice President and General Manager Jerry Dipoto released a statement Thursday afternoon:

“The Seattle Mariners are very disappointed at the tweets posted on Steve Clevenger’s account. While he is certainly free to express himself, his tweets do not in any way represent the opinions of the Seattle Mariners. We strongly disagree with the language and tone of his comments. We are currently examining all internal options that are available to us as we determine appropriate next steps. We will have no further comment at this time.”

On Thursday night, MLB on FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal shared a statement from Clevenger, who apologized for "the distraction my tweets on my personal Twitter page caused when they went public.”

"I am sickened by the idea that anyone would think of me in racist terms," continued Clevenger's statement. "My tweets were reactionary to the events I saw on the news and were worded beyond poorly at best and I can see how and why someone could read into my tweets far more deeply than how I actually feel."

Statement from Steve Clevenger    "First and foremost I would like to apologize to the Seattle Mariners, my teammates,...Posted by Ken Rosenthal on Thursday, September 22, 2016

Clevenger appeared in 22 games for the Mariners this season. He has been on disabled list with a fractured hand since June 30. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Dodgers pay tribute to longtime broadcaster Vin Scully

The Dodgers paid tribute to Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully on Friday, and a crowd of 52,320 roared its approval during an hourlong ceremony on his appreciation night before Los Angeles’ 5-2 victory against Colorado.

Scully, holding hands with his wife, Sandi, walked from the dugout to home plate for a ceremony honoring his 67 years in the Dodgers’ broadcast booth. The 88-year-old Scully is retiring next weekend after Los Angeles concludes its regular season in San Francisco.

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"Hi everybody and a very pleasant good evening to you," Scully said in his signature greeting. "I thought I'd get that out of the way right away."

Scully thanked Dodger fans for making him feel like a child again.

"When you roar, when you cheer, when you are thrilled for a brief moment I'm 8 years old again," he said. "You have allowed me to be young at heart. I owe you everything."

The first 50,000 fans in attendance received a typed letter signed by Scully containing recollections from his career, which began in Brooklyn with the Dodgers and continued when the team moved west to California for the 1958 season.

"You were simply always there for me," Scully wrote. "I have always felt that I needed you more than you needed me and that holds true to this very day. I have been privileged to share in your passion and love for this great game."

Actor Kevin Costner, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw were among the speakers paying tribute to Scully.

Scully joked that he is often asked about his future. He turns 89 in November.

"I'm going to try to live," he said. "I'm looking for a much smaller house and a much larger medicine cabinet."

Dodgers chairman Mark Walter, former owner Peter O'Malley and former managers Tom Lasorda and Joe Torre, now an MLB executive, were among those on hand. O'Malley's father, Walter, first owned the team and was instrumental in bringing the Bronx-born Scully west when the Dodgers relocated to the vast Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Walter said the team would add Scully’s name to the stadium “ring of honor,” next to the retired numbers. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti gave Scully a key to the city. Manfred said the league would donate $50,000 to the Jackie Robinson Foundation in honor of Scully.

Costner starred in the 1999 baseball movie "For Love of the Game," in which Scully narrated the play-by-play of his character's perfect game.

"We're all taking deep breaths, Vin," Costner said. "We're all struggling with our own emotions as we admit we're down to our last three outs with you. You're our George Bailey and it has been a wonderful life. You can't blame us for trying to hold on to you for as long as we can. And shame on us if you ever have to pay for another meal in public."

At the end of the tributes, Scully returned to the microphone.

"It's time for Dodger baseball," he said.

Yankees fans orchestrating 'Moon Big Papi Night' for Ortiz’s New York finale

David Ortiz is down to the final weeks of his major-league career and a group of New York Yankees fans are planning a less-than-cordial sendoff.

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A group has founded a website called Moon Big Papi and they want fans to moon the Boston Red Sox star when he plays his final game at Yankee Stadium next week. Ortiz owns a career .315 average against the Yankees, with six homers and 13 RBI.

>>RELATED: Company honors Ortiz's career walk-off with special edition shoes

The site says “if 10 people moon Big Papi, they'll be arrested, but if 10,000 do it it will be a story for the grandkids.”

Braves blow early 4-1 lead, lose to Marlins as tempers flare

After the Braves scored got a four runs in the second inning against Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, and after Julio Teheran blew a 4-1 lead by giving up four runs in the sixth, there were fireworks of a different kind on the field Wednesday night at Turner Field. The testosterone-fueled confrontational kind.

Benches and bullpens cleared and both faced off near home plate and did plenty of jawing, but no punching, after Braves reliever Jose Ramirez threw a 94-mph fastball near Fernandez’s head in the seventh inning of a 7-5 Marlins win that clinched the series for the team that’s still has wild-card hopes, however faint.

Fernandez wasn’t hit, but was furious. He stepped toward the mound before he was held back by catcher Tyler Flowers, and within seconds both teams converged around home plate, barking at each other as Fernandez shouted and gestured.

“I find that a little over the line when you’re throwing at somebody’s head,” he said. “That’s not how we play the game but it’s not my call. Everybody does what they like when they’ve got the ball.”

Braves manager Brian Snitker said, “It just, I guess, got away from him.”

Ramirez was ejected from the game, though there had not been a warning issued by the home-plate umpire after Teheran hit Martin Prado with a pitch in the sixth inning and Fernandez hit Nick Markakis — who homered in the second inning and nearly homered in the third — with what appeared to be a retaliatory pitch with two out and none on in the sixth.

Braves trade for Collmenter, who becomes a candidate to start Saturday

Ramirez and Markakis had already left the clubhouse before reporters were let in for interviews following the game.

Snitker was asked if he thought the incidents were a carry-over from a four-game July series between the teams when Flowers was hit by pitches three times, one on the left hand that was diagnosed as fractured a week later. The Marlins’ A.J. Ramos was also hit in the hand by a pitch in the second game of that series.

“I don’t know,” said Snitker, who seemed to dismiss the suggestion. “To me, Nick hits a ball out, almost another one, and gets squared up (by a Fernandez pitch). I don’t think that was an accident.”

Flowers said, “Hey, part of the game. It is what it is. I think (Fernandez) will realize it more after the game, as he cools down. But I understand the reaction. Can’t say I would react any differently.”

Flowers had a conversation with Fernandez near the plate as Brandon Cunniff warmed up to finish pitching to Fernandez after Ramirez was ejected. “He was just worried that he thought the pitch was a little high,” Flowers said. “Again, I understand, I would have the same reaction. It’s baseball.”

Markakis also had a brief conversation with Fernandez while both teams were gathered near home plate, the right fielder circling the group and making his way to Fernandez.

“You know, I play with a lot of emotions and I play with a lot of energy,” Fernandez said. “That’s the way that I am. I told him, I throw you one of the best breaking balls that I have and you hit it ouit. I throw another one and you hit the crap out of it.”

After play resumed, Cunniff finished off the strikeout of Fernandez, to the delight of a small but vocal crowd of 21,498.

Markakis’ two-run homer in the second inning — his 12th, making it nine of 11 seasons that he’s hit at least a dozen homer — drove in the Braves’ first two runs and they batted around that inning against Fernandez, who gave up a career-high nine runs the last time he pitched at Turner Field.

Teheran allowed a run in the first inning on two singles and two Dee Gordon stolen bases, then recorded 14 outs in a span of 15 batters through the fifth inning. He was cruising. Then he was not.

Gordon led off the sixth inning with a triple, Derek Dietrich singled him in, and Teheran hit his friend and former teammate Prado with a pitch. One out later, Marcell Ozuna crushed a three-run homer for a 5-4 lead, giving him a .417 average and three homers in 36 career at-bats against Teheran, who struck him out in two previous at-bats Wednesday.

“I made one mistake that inning with two men on base and they got the lead right there,” Teheran said. “I think that’s when we lost the game, in that situation when I couldn’t make my pitch. I left it over the middle of the plate.”

That was all for Teheran (5-10), who gave up six hits and five runs in 5 1/3 innings and fell to 0-3 with a 5.79 ERA in his past four starts against the Marlins, after going 5-1 with a 2.69 ERA in 11 previous starts against them.

Freddie Freeman’s third-inning single extended his hitting streak to 20 games, matching the career best from his 2011 rookie season, and pushed his career-best on-base streak to 36 games. He left the game after the seventh inning and rushed to the hospital after his wife went into labor; Freeman had been ready all week to leave on a moment’s notice.

The Braves, after knocking Fernandez around for eight hits and nine runs (six earned) in 5 2/3 innings on July 2, this time had five hits and three runs before he recorded a fourth out in the game.

The last of those second-inning hits was a bunt by Teheran, a sacrifice attempt that became a single when nobody covered first base. Fernandez fielded it and turned to throw to first, then had to hold the ball with nobody covering. At that point, the Braves had 13 hits and 12 runs (nine earned) in a span of 6 2/3 innings vs. Fernandez over two starts.

Ender Inciarte followed Teheran’s bunt by grounding into a bases-loaded double play, a run scoring to make the lead 4-1. After Teheran’s bunt single, the Braves got just one more hit against Fernandez (15-8), who lasted seven innings and gave up six hits, four runs and two walks with three strikeouts.

Braves also traded for right-hander Wieland

Report: Tim Tebow to sign with N.Y. Mets

ESPN is reporting the New York Mets will sign Tim Tebow to a minor league contract.

The Heisman-winning quarterback will be sent to the Arizona Fall League or the Instructional League to begin his professional baseball career.

The Atlanta Braves were among the teams that had expressed an interest in signing Tebow.

>> Read more trending stories  

Tebow, 29, hasn’t played baseball since his junior year in high school 11 years ago, but the former Florida Gators star is attempting to forge a pro career as an outfielder. He held an individual workout last week in Los Angeles that was attended by representatives of 28 of 30 major league teams.

The muscular, 255-pound former NFL quarterback impressed with his raw power – he hit one long home run during the workout — and above-average speed, though his swing and defensive skills would presumably need work.

Tebow won two national championships with the Florida Gators. He was drafted by the Denver Broncos in 2010, but has not played in the NFL since 2012 with the New York Jets. He went to training camp with the New England Patriots in 2013 and the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 but did not claim a roster spot either time.

He has been a college-football analyst at ESPN since December 2013.

Tim Tebow's baseball tryout Tuesday

Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow is switching sports Tuesday.

Tuesday marks the workout, or audition of sorts, for Tebow as he holds a workout for Major League Baseball teams to take a look at his skills.

He's no stranger to the diamond, but it has been awhile since he played organized baseball in high school, The Associated Press reported.

More than 20 teams have confirmed that a representative will attend the workout in Los Angeles, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending stories 

At least 13 teams, including the Braves, Marlins, Red Sox and Rays, will be attending the workout, which is not open to the public, Sporting News reported.

Tebow has been training, splitting his time between Arizona and Los Angeles, for the past year. He had a tryout with the Dodgers before the current season. He didn't make the team but a scout was there, and the team was interested in the quarterback, ESPN reported.

"I spent time with Tim Tebow is the cages," former All-Star slugger Gary Sheffield told the AP. "He's a natural. Tim has it."

Tebow also worked out with former MLB pitcher David Aardsma, who posted to Twitter.

Tebow was an all-state baseball player in high school. He hit .494 his junior year for Nease High School. His team made the final four of the Florida state playoffs, ESPN reported.

On the gridiron, Tebow won the Heisman Trophy and two national championships with the University of Florida. He was a first-round draft pick for the Denver Broncos in 2010. He played his last season in 2012 for the New York Jets. He went to camp with the New England Patriots in 2013 and Philadelphia Eagles in 2015, but was cut before each season, ESPN reported.

Tebow is not the first pro to try to change sports. Michael Jordan played one season in the Chicago White Sox minor league system, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Bo Jackson also switched from football to baseball after being drafted by the Kansas City Royals in 1986. His last game was in 1994, according to his MLB stats page. He was an all-star in 1989 and participated in that year's Home Run Derby.

Royals player makes wacky tribute to 'Rally Mantis'

The Kansas City Royals adopted an unusual mascot last week, which they credit for helping them win five of six games.

The mascot was a praying mantis. Crediting it for the team’s winning streak, the insect was nicknamed, “Rally Mantis.”

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Alas, Rally Mantis is no more. According to The Kansas City Star, the mantis died Friday night.

Royals pitcher Danny Duffy created a wacky tribute video as the team mourns the loss of their lucky bug.

 

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