Epstein: Welcome back, Bartman?

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Epstein: Welcome back, Bartman?

Um, Theo Epstein?

Dan Patrick gives you a big thumb's up on your new job. Especially if you reach out to Steve Bartman.

"It's a great job to have," Patrick said Wednesday on 'The Dan Patrick Show of Epstein's appointment as director of Baseball Operations for the Cubs. "Great city. And there's no downside. All your predecessors, they didn't do it.

"So you go in there, your expectations are, what? 'Let's make the playoffs.' 'Get into the playoffs, maybe win a series.' 'Maybe you happen to get to the NLCS again.'

"And maybe you welcome Bartman back."

Steve Bartman? The guy labeled as the goat for maybe -- or maybe not -- interfering with Moises Alou on a foul ball during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, after which the Cubs collapsed against the Marlins?

Theo sounds willing.

"I haven't talked to anyone here at the Cubs about that, but from afar it seems like it would be an important step," Epstein said on Tuesday's 'Pardon The Interruption'. "Maybe a cathartic moment that would allow people to move forward together. I'm all about having an open mind, an open heart, and forgiveness. I think those are good characteristics for an organization to have, as well.

"Look, he's a Cubs fan. That's the most important thing. We need to come together as an organization: The fans, the ownership, the front office, the players, everybody, if we're going to get this thing done.

"So I'm sure it's something that will come up at the right time."

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.