Welcome toFirst Pitch, aquick spin around the world of Major League Baseball . . . or at leastthe corner of it that most concerns the Red Sox.
MOVING CLOSER: John Tomase of the Boston Herald says "signs out of Fenway Park on Thursday indicate that all sides are working cooperatively and without rancor toward a solution" to the Theo Epstein-to-Chicago? saga . . . though whether "that meant granting Epstein permission to talk to the Cubs orpromoting himsigning him to an extension to stay in Boston remains tobe seen".
As for official word . . . well, don't hold your breath.
Given the chance to clarify the situation this morning on WEEI Radio's 'The Dennis and Callahan Morning Show', Red Sox owner John Henry and CEO Larry Lucchino refused to even acknowledge that the Cubs have asked permission to speak to Epstein, let alone whether or not they've granted that permission.
"We don't mean to sound evasive on this, but this is one subject in which we don't think there should be full disclosure," said Lucchino.
All righty, then.
But lack of word doesn't mean lack of news . . .
Sean McAdam reports a new name -- Brewers coach Dale Sveum, who served as third-base coach in Boston from 2003-05 -- has emerged in the Red Sox managerial search. (csnne.com)
Did you watch Doug Fister beat the Yankees last night? The Red Sox tried to acquire him in July (ESPN Boston), but the asking price -- Kyle Weiland, Ryan Kalish and two lesser prospects -- was too rich for the Sox' tastes.
If you're thinking about Padres manager Bud Black -- who interviewed with the Sox in the 2003-04 offseason -- about coming here, don't. (Sign On San Diego)
AND FINALLY . . . Lack of news leads to things like Starlin Castro-for-Theo Epstein trade rumors. (csnne.com)
Art Martone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.