Oscar Taveras dies after car accident in the Dominican Republic

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Some sad news on on this Sunday night: Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras and his girlfriend were killed in a car accident Sunday afternoon in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. The report is confirmed by Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes and Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports. Taveras was 22.

Per MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch, the Cardinals are waiting for more details before confirming the news.

Taveras made his major league debut on May 31. He entered the season rated as one of baseball’s top-three prospects and appeared to have a bright future with the Cardinals. The highlight of his career came in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants when he hit a pinch-hit solo home run off of Jean Machi.

We send our deepest condolences to the families of Taveras and his girlfriend, the Cardinals organization, and Cardinals fans.

Jim Crane thought the heat over sign-stealing would blow over by spring training

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The Astros’ sign-stealing story broke in November, a steady drumbeat of coverage of it lasted through December and into January, when Rob Manfred’s report came out about it. The report was damning and, in its wake, Houston’s manager and general manger were both suspended and then fired.

After that a steady stream of media reports came out which not only made the whole affair seem even worse than Manfred’s report suggested, but which also suggested that, on some level, Major League Baseball had bungled it all and it was even worse than it had first seemed.

Rather than Manfred and the Astros putting this all behind them, the story grew. As it grew, both the Red Sox and Mets fired their managers and, in a few isolated media appearances, Astros’ players seemed ill-prepared for questions on it all. Once spring training began the Astros made even worse public appearances and, for the past week and change, each day has given us a new player or three angrily speaking out about how mad they are at the Astros and how poorly they’ve handled all of this.

Why have they handled it so poorly? As always, look to poor leadership:

Guess not.

In other news, Crane was — and I am not making this up — recently named the Houston Sports Executive of the Year. An award he has totally, totally earned, right?