MLB Mourns Again

Ventura, Marte perish in weekend crashes

Frank Wilton, Editor-in-Chief

Major League Baseball stars are dying at an alarming rate.

In the past two years, the game has lost Marlins’ ace Jose Fernandez, Cardinals’ top prospect Oscar Taveras, and former Braves’ Rookie of the Year contender Tommy Hanson. This past weekend, we lost Royals’ pitching sensation Yordano Ventura and former Indians’ third baseman Andy Marte in separate car wrecks in the Dominican Republic.

The baseball world mourns once again at the loss of two young men tragically taken from this earth at far too young an age.   The family, teammates, and fans of these fallen will not soon forget their hard work and genuine personalities.

These deceased young men, Fernandez, in particular, grew up with very little and become millionaires the second they put their pens to paper and become pro baseball players. That newfound wealth oft leads to their demise.

Be it reckless driving, substance abuse, or some combination of the two, the young multi-millionaires MLB is producing are getting themselves wrapped up in dangerous situations. Far too often, they are not escaping them.

Taveras’s blood alcohol content was six times the legal limit when he was killed in a car crash. Fernandez had cocaine and alcohol in his system when he was killed in a boating accident; as did Hanson when he suffered organ failure and lost his life. It remains to be seen whether Ventura and or Marte were under the influence during their accidents, but preliminary photos of Ventura’s accident, as well as reports from the Domincan, indicate he flew off the road at a high speed. He also failed to wear a seatbelt, according to SB Nation.

With a rash of players being killed, I am beginning to think MLB may have to take action. The only question is…well, what can be done?

Drug testing is already in place and results in a suspension and docked pay for players. Though one would think this would be a powerful enough deterrent, clearly it didn’t have enough of an affect on Fernandez. Unfortunately, with a new CBA just enacted, it seems like it may be a while before a new drug policy is created.

In the case of Ventura and Marte, we pray that these were nothing more than accidents. But is it Major League Baseball’s job to tell players how and when to drive? Something tells me the Player’s Association may not be too keen to that idea.

For now, one can only hope fellow MLBers are learning from the mistakes of their peers. Enough tears have been shed, enough teams have donned black, and enough funerals have been held.