Sox need a break and so do we

690832.jpg

Sox need a break and so do we

The All-Star Break is upon us, and the Red Sox are at .500.

Isn't that just perfect? That after 86 games and three long, conflicted months, the Sox finished the first "half" in the same place they were before this insanity started. No better. No worse. All the more frustrating.

Of course, that's just on paper. In reality, the Sox are much worse off today than they were on April 5. Since Opening Day, Carl Crawford has picked up two new injuries without setting foot on Fenway's field. Jacoby Ellsbury messed up his shoulder and we still don't know if he'll make anything of this season. On top of that, there are no guarantees that Dustin Pedroia's thumb or Josh Beckett's shoulder will make it through the year. Youk's gone, and his replacement's already hurt. David Ortiz gets pissier by the day and Jon Lester isn't far behind. Meanwhile, these days Adrian Gonzalez is a singles hitter who's at risk to miss Yankees games with a head cold.

Every fear we had about this team before the season has come to fruition, and then some. Of course, the year hasn't been without a few high points the general success of the bullpen, Jarrod Saltalamacchia's emergence, the guy with the paper bag over his head but for the most part it's been a miserable experience. Everyone from the owners to the front office to the manager to the players to the media to the fans just seems so fed up with everything having to do with this team.

And really, this whole business of constantly lingering around .500 makes it worse. At this point, I think we're ready for this team to just turn the corner or keel over and die. If they're good, fine they're good! If they suck, fine they suck! Figure out a way to make it better.

Instead, they're just inconsistent. They have stretches where you truly believe that the best case-scenario is possible . . . followed by weeks of the most disgusting brand of baseball you've seen since last September. Rinse and repeat. Then wash your eyes out with acid.

It's enough already. At least for now. I don't know about you, but I could use a break. Maybe more than the players could. So with that, enjoy your few days off from the maddening Sox soap opera.

I know I will.

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

cleveland-indians-andy-marte-killed-12217.jpg

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

kansas-city-royals-yordano-ventura-killed-12217.jpg

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.