The end of 100 years

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The end of 100 years

Last night at Fenway, the Red Sox dropped a 4-2 decision to Tampa Bay, thus ending an unforgettable 100th season at Americas Most Beloved and Plaque-laden Ballpark.

And now that the ballyhooed centennial celebration is officially in the books, theres really only one question on the mind of Red Sox fans nationwide:

What do they have planned for 101?!

Perhaps a weeklong retrospective on Fenways urinal trough era? Or the 23rd anniversary of the Sox getting swept by Oakland in the 1990 ALCS? (Bring back Romine! Bring Quintana! Bring back Billy Jo Robidoux!) Or maybe the front office will honor one lifelong Sox fan every home game by inviting him or her out to the mound to get pantsed in front of the 25,000-person sellout?

Who knows? But I guess that's part of the wonder and excitement of being a Red Sox fan these days. Youre never quite sure what ownership has up its sleeve to divert your attention from the fact that theyve turned your favorite team into a joke.

To be honest, I was slightly disappointed in last nights end to the Sox season-long celebration. Through all the frustration and embarrassment that went along with the charade, I always held out hope that after the final out of the final game, Larry Lucchino would take the field with a special announcement for the fans:

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I want to thank you all for taking part in this historic time in Red Sox history. We accomplished so much this season. We had SO MUCH fun. And were all so sorry to see it come to an end. But such is life. You know, Ive spent a lot of time over these last few weeks thinking about all the great work I did this year. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized how impossible it will be to top this. So, its with a heavy heart that Id like to announce that Im stepping down as President and CEO of the Boston Red Sox.

That would be followed by Lucchino strapping on a jetpack and taking off into the night.

But I guess thats just my romanticized version.

In all seriousness, though. It's impossible to get too choked up over the end of the Sox centennial celebration. Mostly, because its over. We can all move on with our lives. And hopefully, the front office and ownership can finally stop obsessing over the last 100 years and devote more time to making the next 100 a little more tolerable.

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.