Awkward reunion brewing in Chicago

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Awkward reunion brewing in Chicago

You may have noticed that this past offseason for the Red Sox was a little... we'll call it uncomfortable. In fact, it resembled a painful reality show or daytime soap opera - Young and the Gutless; Real Housewives of Fenway Park; Survivor - Boston... take your pick.

Fingers pointed. Names called. Jobs lost. Accusations made. Trust broken.

Kind of makes you wish you could've been a fly on the wall, huh?

Now imagine all the key players in that drama getting back together for one happy reunion. It's happening this weekend in Chicago.

Role call:

Terry Francona - "Resignedcontract-not-renewed" - Took the job of the man who replaced him. He'll be at Wrigley on Sunday for the nationally televised series finale.

Bobby Valentine - "The personality who can manage the player egos" - His team has spent the majority of the season looking up at .500 and has made his share of eyebrow raising actionscomments.

Theo Epstein - "GM wunderkind" - left the Red Sox to join the Cubs front office. His new team is now fully transitioned from "loveable losers" to "bad news bears."

Ben Cherington - "The guy after Theo" - Filling the shoes of the GM who constructed two World Series teams is no easy task. Earlier this week we profiled how he's done so far. It's too early to judge most of his transactions, but his first year at the helm has seen the Sox struggle.

Dale Svuem - "Almost the Red Sox manager, then he wasn't, then he ended up managing the Cubs" - In an offseason that saw a collection of former Red Sox become current Cubs, Sveum was the only one who looked like he was coming to Boston, only to end up with the rest of the former employees in Chicago.

Larry Lucchino, Tom Werner, John Henry - "The puppet-masters" - The ownership group that allowed Francona to walk out the door, that allowed Epstein to leave as well, that may or may not have muscled new GM Cherington into hiring the manager they wanted - Valentine, that ignored calls to trade the problem makers in the clubhouse...

Yes, the cast of this winter's best drama will all be back together this weekend in Chicago. What are the chances the weekend passes without a single backhanded compliment, verbal swipe, or dirty detail leaked from an "unnamed source"?

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.