To Bobby, Thanks for everything. Love, Larry

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To Bobby, Thanks for everything. Love, Larry

In case you missed it, Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino was back at the keyboard this morning. But this time, instead of addressing the season ticket holders, Lucchino had a message for manager Bobby Valentine. Here's a copy of Larry's recently leaked letter.

Dear Bobby:

As our 2012 campaign reaches its conclusion, I want to thank you for your loyal support, as well as your role in this landmark season in Red Sox history.

You were there when we opened our new home in Fort Myers. You were there as we rang in Fenways 100th Anniversary. You were there for every plaque unveiling and the sale of every brick. Through it all, we gave our fans so much to be proud of, we touched them inside and out, and we could not have done that without you. Once again, a hearty thanks from everyone here on Yawkey Way.

They said I was a genius for hiring you, Bobby. Damn it, Lucchino, you sly fox. Youve done it again! was the commonly used expression. And judging by our attendance numbers, its hard to disagree. You know, I cant help but chuckle when I think back to the day Benny told me we should hire Dale Sveum. As if Red Sox Nation would give a heck about a team managed by Dale Sveum. Ha! You cant blame Benny, I guess. A man can only spend so many years around Epstein without some of that new fangled stupidity rubbing off. But I digress.

Not only did you help us sell tickets and stay in the headlines, but Bobby, I cant say enough about the work you did for NESN. The postgame interviews with the cheerful Jenny Dell, the banter with Tom Caron the friendliest studio host in the business and of course, The Bobby Valentine Show. By seasons end, TBVS was viewed weekly in more than 350 households, making it the highest rated original program in our networks history. We did it, Bobby. Or should I say, YOU did it. (Just kidding, I did it.)

However, while there's no doubt that you should be undyingly proud of everything you accomplished this season, at this juncture, I believe it's also an important time for self-reflection. For you to take a good look in the mirror, and ask the tough question:

How does is it get any better? How can I possibly top this season? How can I make ol Larry look any smarter than he does right now?

And once you given it some thought. Im sure youll come to the same conclusion that I have. Which is, that its impossible. It doesn't get any better than this. At least not here. And that's why I've decided that it's time for you to move on from the Red Sox. I'd be doing you a disservice by keeping you around. There are too many other avenues for you to conquer, so many new life experiences to be gained.

You can do anything you want, Bobby. And I know you will.

However, as you move on to bigger and better things, it's important to realize what you're up against. Thanks to your legendary season here in Boston, you will be under a microscope, the magnitude of which you've never imagined. When people grow as tall as you have, others can't help but try to bring them down. You'll have many enemies out there, Bobby. If there are any skeletons in your closest, they will be exposed, and you must be prepared to deal with the aftermath.

On that note, just so there are no surprises, I've taken the liberty of running a background check and reading through a year's worth of e-mails sent from the computer in your office. I also hired a private investigator, who's had you on 24-hour surveillance for the last six weeks. Over this time, we've compiled a pamphlet of information that could downright destroy you. (Truth be told, you might not even remember doing many of things that we know you've done. But that's understandable. After all, it was a stressful year).

Bobby, I've decided that the best way to handle this is for us to leak some of the information to the media. (It's not a big deal. We do it all the time; no one ever suspects a thing). Not the big stuff, per say. But a few of the much smaller hiccups. This will divert their attention from the serious issues, and in the long run make your life much easier. I know, I know. We didn't have to go to these lengths to ensure your safety. But what can I say? Call it another Red Sox Act of Kindness.

And I think that just about wraps it up. I really am so excited for this next chapter of your life, and I don't think you should waste any time in getting started. Please have your office cleaned out today, and please leave nothing behind. I'm not sure how the players would be able to cope with any lingering signs of your time with this team.

Also, we're doing some e-mail maintenance over these next few months, so if you'd like to respond, please don't write to me here. Send any reactions, suggestions, or ideas to fanfeedback@redsox.com, and I'll get back you as soon as possible. Granted, I can't promise I'll get back to very quickly, as I'll be very wrapped in our aforementioned media smoke screen. I know you'll understand.

Lastly, I know it's early, but we hope youll consider joining us for the sixth anniversary of the 100th anniversary celebration, tentatively scheduled for September, 2018. It won't feel right without you. We'd love to have you back.

Good Luck and Keep the Faith,

Larry Lucchino

Princeton '67
Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.