Valentine, Ross, Matsuzaka contemplate future

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Valentine, Ross, Matsuzaka contemplate future

NEW YORK -- In the wake of yet another one-sided loss, their eighth in a row, ending the season on a perfectly awful and fitting note, some Red Sox contemplated the potential end of their time in a Red Sox uniform.
Embattled manager Bobby Valentine, who will almost certainly be fired within 48 hours of the team's 14-2 season-ending loss to the New York Yankees, was asked what his plans were for Thursday.
"My plans right now are to wake up and have a long bike ride, Valentine said.
Season-ending meetings with general manager Ben Cherington and ownership are expected to be held Thursday at Fenway, at which time Valentine should officially learn his fate.
Asked about his uncertain job status for next year -- he has a year remaining at approximately 2.5 million -- Valentine responded: "My life will be fine.''
Valentine seemed to sense that the end was near. He took the lineup card out to home plate before the game -- a task usually given to a coach -- and as the players filed off the field at the end of the game, Valentine stood on the steps in the visitor's dugout, as if taking in the scene one last time.
Outfielder Cody Ross, who is eligible for free agency, would very much like to return to the Sox. Before Wednesday's game, Cherington said getting an extension done with Ross will be one of his off-season priorities.
"Were trying to get on the same page, Ross said of the preliminary contract negotiations. I love Boston. I love playing here. I love the park. I love the fans. I love the city. Its a perfect place for me.
Indeed, the right-handed hitting Ross hit particularly well at Fenway Park, which seems tailored for his flyball, pull swing. Ross finished with 22 homers, third-best on the team, and 81 RBI, second in that category.
Finally, there was Daisuke Matsuzaka, who made what was probably his final appearance for the Sox. Six years after signing a six-year 52 million dollar deal -- to say nothing of another 51 million the Sox shelled out in a posting fee -- Matsuzaka was battered in 2 13 innings, allowing five runs on six hits.
He finished this season -- shortened as he recovered from last summer's Tommy John surgery -- at 1-7.
Matsuzaka expressed regret that he wasn't at full strength in coming back from surgery.
"I wasn't able to perform to my expectations after the first two years,'' said Matsuzaka, "and I'm really disappointed and very apologetic that I wasn't able to perform to my expectations.''

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.