FORT MYERS, Fla. John Farrell was not with the Red Sox for their horrendous 2012 or their disastrous final month of the 2011 season. But as the teams new manager it now falls to him to address how he hopes to improve the team's culture for 2013.
I think theres a balance to how much thats to be talked about, Farrell said Tuesday afternoon sitting outside the Sox clubhouse at the teams spring training facility. Certainly we cant wipe away whats taken place. Its important that we acknowledge it. But as Ive talked to guys throughout the offseason what we do going forward is where the focus has to be. Just by virtue of nine new players on a 25-man roster is going to have some natural tendency to change that.
"But the most important thing is that we earn the trust of one another inside the clubhouse first. And going from there is the style of play that people can identify with this group as a team and confident that the makeup of the group initially will put ourselves in a position to do that.
The new players the Sox brought in have reputations for being high-character people. Which should help to make Farrells job easier.
I think its very important because in addition to the talent that was needed and brought in, general manager Ben Cherington and his staff combined the makeup of the individual to bring into a team environment some of the culture that is in the process of changing, said Farrell. So when we sought the person inside the player these were clear targets of ours.
Its a point he hopes fan will recognize, and he can reinforce. But he also knows actions speak louder than words.
We cant just talk about it. Weve got to go out and do it, Farrell said. And part of that regaining the trust or the faith of the fans, Im confident that the talent thats here plus the people that they are thisll be a team that I really believe that people will identify with, the effort, the energy that they bring every night, and the respect for the game that they have.
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.
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.