Saltalamacchia doesn't mind the crowd at catcher

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Saltalamacchia doesn't mind the crowd at catcher

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Red Sox currently have five catchers on their 40-man roster, and that doesnt even include Mike Napoli, who joined the team as a free agent to play first base, but who has spent that vast majority of his big league career behind the plate.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia is not worried about the crowd, which also includes David Ross, Ryan Lavarnway, Dan Butler, and Christian Vazquez. And, hes looking forward to working with Ross, who is entering his 12th big league season.

Its a huge help any time you get an older guy around to help you out, to be with you, Saltalamacchia said. The guys has been through so much. Hes not an ego guy. Hes a real nice, bright person. To be able to work with him, Im excited. Im trying to get to know. Keep my mouth shut and learn as much as I can. Its still a learning process regardless, no matter what year youre in. Just like hes going to talk to me about some of these pitchers hes never caught. Its a good atmosphere you can have when you have two guys like that who can help each other out.

Its one thing I wish I had when I was younger coming up. I wish I had a veteran guy around to help me out. Because when you got two younger guys youre trying to compete all the time and it becomes a competition rather than trying to actually help each other out and get better. So its always a great situation.

Saltalamacchia will also have his third manager in as many seasons. Saltalamacchia joined the Sox at the trading deadline in 2010, Farrells fourth and final season as pitching coach before leaving to manage the Blue Jays for two seasons. The right manager can make a big impact on a team, he said.

A big difference, Saltalamacchia explained. When you got personality like we got and the guys on this team, you got to have a leader that you can kind of trust and lean on. Terry Francona did a great job of that and I think Farrell, he was obviously with him, so theyre in the same cut. So its going to be a good thing.

Asked how much different it will be from Bobby Valentines one season with the Sox last year, Saltalamacchia replied:

Its tough. we havent gotten into it. I just know Farrell from being the pitching coach. I know him decently well. Hes a great guy. He made phone calls in the offseason, we talked. Bobby came to my house. The effort was there. Just, it was a bad situation. We had just got off a terrible September in 2011 and next year all eyes were on us. So it was kind of a bad situation. But I think were ready to move on and look forward.

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.