Pedroia provides hope for the future

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Pedroia provides hope for the future

The Sox lost again on Tuesday night, and did so in the most Red Soxiest way possible.

By blowing a two-run lead in the ninth, fighting and scrapping for another hour and a half, and then falling on a walk off single in the 12th. (All that was missing was Tim Wakefield, Aaron Boone and my childhood innocence.)

Anyway, even with the frustrating defeat, don't expect this Dustin Pedroia story to fall through the cracks. Pedroia's decision to play last night despite a broken finger is one of the most uplifting Sox storylines in a while. It may be the highlight of the second half of the season.

And while I hate to take something positive and immediately take a negative turn, let me just say this one thing.

Pedroia's act of toughness, and the overwhelming supports its received in the media and with the fans, is another reason why it's so important for the Sox to get rid of John Lackey this winter. It's evidence that the Sox can get through this. That fans are ready and willing to give these guys (or some of them) a chance to win back their respect, and maybe, just maybe turn the page on these last two seasons.

But that won't happen with Lackey. The relationship is too strained; too much damage has been done. Regardless of how he performs (and there's no reason to believe it will go well), his presence is nothing but a reminder of a time were all so desperate to forget, and put a damper on all the good will being fostered by guys like Pedroia.

Honestly, I don't care what they get in return. Trade Lackey for a bag of Adrian Gonzalezs goatee shavings if the Dodgers will take him. All that matters is that he's gone; out of sight out of mind, while giving Pedey and friends a chance to shine.

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.