Box Score Bank: Glavine vs. Avery

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Box Score Bank: Glavine vs. Avery

As you know by now, its been 15 years since the Red Sox finished a season below .500. And from time to time this year, to commemorate the return to despair, Ive checked back in with that 97 team to see how things were going the last time things were this bad.

Today seems like a good day to revisit.

So with that, lets set the Box Score Bank for 15 years ago today . . . August 31, 1997

Men in Black narrowly edged out The Lost World: Jurassic Park for No. 1 at the box office. (Sly Stallones Cop Land dominated the No. 32 spot.) "Mo Money, Mo Problems" was in its first of two weeks atop the Billboard charts. Earlier that month, Steve Jobs returned to Apple after a 12-year absence. Earlier that morning, Princess Diana was killed in a Paris car accident.

And over at Fenway Park, two former teammates were duking it out with absolutely nothing on the line.

Final score: Braves 7, Red Sox 3

This was the first season of interleague play, as evident by the fact that the schedule was a mess: Interleague games in late-August and early-September? That's ridiculous. Not that it mattered for the Sox, who stood at 67-69, 20 games back in the AL East.

Anyway, the former teammates dueling on this night (it was Sunday Night Baseball) were local boy Tom Glavine and his former rotation-mate Steve Avery, who was in the first of his two forgettable seasons with the Sox. And I'll give you one guess as to who got the better of the match-up . . .

You got it . . .

Charlie Liebrandt.

No, it was Glavine, who shut down the Sox to the tune of six hits and only three runs over eight innings. As for Avery, he walked six and gave up five runs (including homers to Andruw Jones and Keith Lockhart yes, that Keith Lockhart) over 3.1 innings.

The only real bright spot for the Sox was Mo Vaughn, who hit two home runs (his 29th and 30th) of the season, and really, there weren't many other bright spots for the rest of the season. The Sox went 11-14 in September and finished 78-84. (Although, Nomar won Rookie of the Year, so there was that).

As for the Braves, go figure, they finished with the best record in baseball and choked against the Marlins in the NLCS.

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.