(CNN)The "old-timers" were the ones Major League Baseball's players and fans expected to be saying goodbye to in this, the 2016 schedule's final week before the playoffs — David Ortiz, the 40-year-old slugger of the Boston Red Sox; and 88-year-old Vin Scully, the voice of the Los Angeles Dodgers; and oh, how wonderful both are still with us to do what they do, and oh, how much we wish neither needed to leave. Instead, it is one of the sport's youngest, brightest, happiest, heartiest stars everybody is saying goodbye to — Jose Fernandez, just 24, a phenomenally good pitcher for the Miami Marlins with a sky's-the-limit future, found dead from a boating accident Sunday morning in South Florida, a short boat ride from his native Cuba.
Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cuban-born outfielder, wept Sunday while talking about his relationship with fellow Cuban Jose Fernandez. Puig said he was among the first to learn about the death of Fernandez, the Marlins’ pitcher who died in a boating accident early Sunday. “He was a very good guy and I also liked the way he played baseball, the way he treated his mom and his grandma, his teammates and other ballplayers like myself,’’ said Puig, standing in front of his Dodger Stadium locker about two hours before a game against the Colorado Rockies. Fernandez's passion, verve and charisma were evident in his absence Sunday, as Major League Baseball paused before its slate of games to honor him with moments of silence.
BOX SCORE | MLB STANDINGS Postgame analysis of the Nats' 6-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday night at PNC Park. How it happened: No more magic numbers. No more scoreboard watching. The Nationals can finally pop champagne. With a win over the Pirates and a New York Mets’ loss to the Phillies, Washington claimed its third National League East championship in the last five seasons. Though the accomplishment seemed inevitable over the last few weeks, Dusty Baker and company will undoubtedly savor the moment before they rev up for October. As for the game itself, the Nats didn’t waste much time jumping out in front. They took a 3-0 lead in the first inning thanks to a Bryce Harper sac