Cherington: 'We've earned the criticism'

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Cherington: 'We've earned the criticism'

NEW YORK -- The Red Sox can't escape their recent past. Every day, it seems, comes an anecdote or a news report surrounding the team's clubhouse dynamic.

The most recent came Sunday when the New York Daily News reported that former Red Sox catcher Kelly Shoppach -- and not Adrian Gonzalez -- was the person behind contacting ownership to request a late-July meeting about manager Bobby Valentine.

General manager Ben Cherington wouldn't comment on the report, though a source with direct knowledge of the case labeled it "not true."

But Cherington did say the Sox can't complain about the feeding frenzy that exists.

"Normally when you're being scrutinized, there's a reason for it," said Cherington. "When things aren't going the way you want them to, normally you're scrutinized more. We sort of made that bed ourselves and it's up to us to make it better.

"When we make it better, there'll be less scrutiny and with less scrutiny, probably fewer distractions. I'm focused on trying to find ways to make our current situation better. I know that's what the players are doing, the coaches, certainly Bobby (Valentine) is doing. While we're in this, we've got to deal with the questions because we're not performing up the standard we expect and until we do, that scrutiny is going to be there."

Cherington said he finds no fault with the team's effort on the field and believes the players are prepared.

"That's all I can ask for," he said. "But we've had a good effort all year. We just haven't gotten it done on the field enough. When things aren't going well in a place like Boston, there's going to be attention to that and everyone in Baseball Ops is responsible for making it better.

"Until we do, we've earned the criticism, we've earned the scrutiny. It's part of being in the game in Boston. There's great upside to being in this game in Boston when things are going well. When things aren't going well, you've got to deal with a lot of questions. It's our job to not deal with as many questions."

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.