1-2-3 Inning: Alfredo Aceves

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1-2-3 Inning: Alfredo Aceves

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
Welcome to the debut of 1-2-3 Inning, a step inside the Boston Red Sox bullpen and a look at the individuals who make up this cohesive unit. First up, Alfredo Aceves.

The 29-year-old right-handed pitcher joined the Red Sox this season after playing the previous three seasons for the New York Yankees. Aceves has embraced his role in the Red Sox pitching staff, whether in the starting rotation or the bullpen (8-1, 2 SV, 3.02 ERA). In this edition of 1-2-3 Inning, he talked to CSNNE.com about family values, the development of his fastball, and a career aspiration you may not have expected.

1. Aceves grew up in a baseball family his father, Alfredo, was a first baseman in the Mexican League and his brother, Jonathan, played in the Chicago White Sox and Florida Marlins systems. But it was just that family that was the foundation of his childhood. When asked what his life was like growing up in Sonora, Mexico, Aceves, one of his most vivid memories had nothing to do with sports.

It was great. I grew up in the middle class. My house was a small house, and I grew up with my brother and sister, doing whatever my father said. I went to school, did my homework in the afternoon, and then I waited for my father to see whats happening and whats going on. On Fridays, I waited until he came with the food, so we helped him to put the bags from the truck in the house. He crossed the border to work all the time in the United States, so he went to Walmart or whatever and he drove back. When he got home, me and my brother went out and said, Father, did you bring food today? He said, Yeah yeah, so we grabbed the boxes and put them inside to help him. He was a carpenter, he was a baseball player, and he also worked in the field for a couple of years. With my father, I had to be a good son and honor him and my mother.

2. There was a period of time growing up when Aceves lost interest in baseball and turned to basketball, soccer, and volleyball instead. When he got asked to join a new baseball team in school, though, he began playing again and moved to the mound. After overcoming his frustrations, Aceves found his speed.

They said they were going to start a baseball team and asked if I wanted to play. I was playing outfield and then the coach said, Jump on the mound. I didnt like to throw hard, like a fastball, and give up a hit. I was like, Why? Im throwing as hard as I can and I couldnt get outs. I didnt know why. So I started to work. I had to wait every Sunday to play again. Work hard Monday to Friday and let it go on Sundays. One time I was throwing 76 MPH fastballs, that was my highest. Then I started to work out. 15 days later, I was 79. 15 more days, 81. 15 more days, 84. 15 more days, I think 86. In a month, 91. So in a period of three months, I went from 76 to 91. I got stuck on 91 for five years. Now, Im 29 and Im throwing 96.

3. As a student at CBTIS 33 (Centro de Bachillerato Tecnolgico Industrial y de Servicios), Aceves had career aspirations outside of baseball. What he wanted to pursue, however, may surprise you.

I studied laboratorio (science). I liked things having to do with the hospital. I wanted to be a dentist. I think its good to repair teeth for people. I think I could be a good dentist.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA.

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.