Signs point to Sveum as Red Sox front-runner

589514.jpg

Signs point to Sveum as Red Sox front-runner

MILWAUKEE -- The more Ben Cherington speaks, the more it appears Dale Sveum is the favorite to become the next manager of the Red Sox.

Sveum will meet with Cherington, owners Tom Werner and John Henry, and CEO Larry Lucchino Wednesday afternoon as part of his second interview with the organization.

Cherington said the Sox "expect there will be" a second interview for another candidate, but revealed the Sox have yet to settle on who that will be.

"We're still narrowing in on another finalist," said Cherington. "At least one another finalist. It's a combination of (identifying the second candidate) and the logistics (of setting up a meeting)."

The very fact that Sveum is being introduced to the owners before the team can settle on another finalist marks him as the front-runner for the position.

One complication could be a similar feeling by the Chicago Cubs toward Sveum. Sveum interviewed last week with Chicago. It's not known if he'll have a formal second interview with the Cubs when he's in town Wednesday, but it is known that Sveum is still in the running with the Cubs.

"It is a factor," acknowledged Cherington of the Cubs' parallel search, "because a lot of the candidates are similar. As I've said before, we're going to have a manager; the Cubs are going to have a manager. I'm not sure the same person is the right person for both jobs.

"We don't have the field to ourselves, so that's a factor and it effects timing more than anything. But I do think the jobs are different."

Henry, who arrived Tuesday night for the start of owners' meetings Wednesday, said he was eager to get to know Sveum better.

"I never really spent a lot of time with Dale (when he was the Red Sox' third-base coach in 2004-05)," said Henry, "so I'm looking forward to it."

Asked about a timetable for hiring a manager and the possibility of wrangling with the Cubs for their first choice, Henry said: "It's not so much about the timing. It's about getting the right man."

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

cleveland-indians-andy-marte-killed-12217.jpg

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

kansas-city-royals-yordano-ventura-killed-12217.jpg

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.