Wakeup call: A turning point for the U.S.?; 'no deal' between Vilma, NFL

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Wakeup call: A turning point for the U.S.?; 'no deal' between Vilma, NFL

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, August 7:

BASEBALL
If he'd been this honest and approachable during his career, people might actually like Barry Bonds. (CSN Bay Area)

Just a little too much Justin Verlander for the Yankees last night. (AP)

The O'Malleys are back in baseball: Peter O'Malley and golfer Phil Mickelson head a group that's reached agreement to buy the Padres. (AP)

Long time no see, Evan Longoria. (AP)

COLLEGE BASKETBALL
A little thing like a hip fracture won't keep Jim Calhoun off UConn's bench. (AP)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Penn State has lost nine players since the NCAA announced its sanctions against the program, but Bill O'Brien thinks that'll be it. (AP)

Meanwhile, one of the school's trustees is appealing the penalty. (AP)

All those years that his father hung with Bill Belichick apparently rubbed off on Hud Mellancamp, who's trying to make the Duke team as a walk-on. (AP)

HOCKEY
Deadline? What deadline? Donald Fehr says there's plenty of time for the NHL and NHLPA to reach a labor agreement. (AP)

Looks like Manny Malhotra and Jason Garrison won't be spotted in any Vancouver Chick-Fil-A's anytime soon. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

OLYMPICS
The "Regime Team" found its stride in the second half against Argentina -- turning a 60-59 halftime lead into a 126-97 rout -- and Jack McCallum thinks we may look back on this as the turning point. (NBC)

Pro Soccer Talk's Jenna Pei explains why Alex Morgan's game-winning goal Monday, which lifted the U.S. women into the gold-medal game, was just another case of "Alex being Alex". (NBC's Pro Soccer Talk)

Mystery solved: We know, at last, the identity of Michael Phelps' girlfriend. (NBC's Off The Bench)

And because contrived controversies aren't limited to politics in Fox Land . . . (Off The Bench)

PRO BASKETBALL
Relax, Bulls fans. Luol Deng says he's fine. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
As everyone feared, the family confirmed Monday that the death of Garrett Reid, son of Eagles coach Andy Reid, was drug related. (CSN Philly)

Rumors are flying of a "settlement" between the NFL and Jonathan Vilma, in which the Saints' lineman will have his season-long suspension for his participation in Bountygate reduced in return for his dropping his lawsuit against commissioner Roger Goodell. The league, however, calls the reports "completely inaccurate". (AP)

The Ravens' Bryant McKinnie a) apparently borrowed 4.5 million from a lending agency during last year's lockout, and b) then didn't pay it back. So the Ravens will pay it for him by withholding half his salary and sending it to a company called Pro Player Funding. (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

Another thing you'd probably never have seen if the NFL hadn't locked out the officials: A woman will serve as line judge in Thursday's Packers-Chargers exhibition. (AP)

"Congratulations, Seahawks fans. Or, as the case may be, condolences." Mike Florio said it better than anything I might come up with. (Pro Football Talk)

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.