Wakeup call: Cubs beat the buzzer with Dempster deal; is Sept. 15 magic?

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Wakeup call: Cubs beat the buzzer with Dempster deal; is Sept. 15 magic?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, August 1:

BASEBALL
The Cubs were finally able to trade Ryan Dempster, and without much time to spare. (CSN Chicago)

When the dust settled, the Cubs emerged from the deadline with five prospects for two rotation starters, a former Rookie of the Year and a valuable bench player. A little different than feeding the monster, eh, Theo? (CSN Chicago)

They're not feeding the monster any more in Philadelphia, either, though they hope to start doing it again next year . . . and feel that the moves they made at the deadline will help. (CSN Philly)

Psst: That's 9 losses in 12 games for the Yankees. (AP)

And adding insult to injury: A.J. Burnett, once the bane of Yankee fans' existence, nearly pitched a no-hitter last night and is now 13-3 with a 3.27 ERA. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

At least the Yanks have Joba back. (Hardball Talk)

Which is more than the Rays can say about Evan Longoria. (Hardball Talk)

It may only be August 1, but the season's over for John Danks. (CSN Chicago)

BASKETBALL
Retiring? Who's retiring? Certainly not Brandon Roy. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Say what you will about Notre Dame, but it punishes behavior that wouldn't raise an eyebrow elsewhere. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Penn State's loss is USC's gain. (AP) And it could be a big one.

Now that the Penn State case is closed, the NCAA turned its attention to Central Florida. (AP)

HOCKEY
Worried about an NHL lockout? Well, Donald Fehr says there's no reason negotiations can't continue past the Sept. 15 deadline with the players still at work "unless someone wants to make" Sept. 15 "a magic date". (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk) If I know the NHL owners and commissioner Gary Bettman -- men who traditionally never use a feather when a sledgehammer's available -- I think it's magic to them.

Meanwhile, labor negotiations continue. (AP) Click the link if you're interested in expansion of revenue sharing, team financial reports, proposed limitations on contract lengths, and . . . yawn . . . sorry, what was I saying?

If they ever settle this, the Senators' Daniel Alfredsson will be back on the ice. (AP)

Patrick Kaleta is staying in Buffalo. (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
Nice to see Jerry Jones has made up with Dez Bryant . . . sort of. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

The Bengals have given Marvin Lewis a two-year extension. (AP)

Braylon Edwards has landed in Seattle, the latest stop in his troubled career. (AP)

The NFL suspends the Giants' Tyler Sash. (AP)

And the Packers' Erik Walden. (AP)

You won't be seeing Jeff Otah on the Jets this year. (AP)

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.