Wakeup call: Replacement players?? Where will it all end, Bettman?

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Wakeup call: Replacement players?? Where will it all end, Bettman?

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Wednesday, October 3:
BASEBALL
The Red Sox ruined our summer, Orioles, so why shouldn't they ruin yours? (CSN Baltimore)
They're ruining Joan Jett's, too. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Wait. Did I hear it agan? Yes! "We're not supposed to be here"! Baseball's SeptemberOctober mantra. (AP)

Tell you what: Nobody, but nobody, is ruining the A's summer. (AP)

And they're confident they can complete the deal. (CSN Bay Area)

Art imitates life: If Oakland pulls off the miracle and goes all the way, Jonah Hill and Brad Pitt want rings. (Hardball Talk)

Those clinching parties can be dangerous, right, Max Scherzer? (AP)

Good thing for the Nationals, then, that being 19 sort of stifled Bryce Harper's ability to partywhen they won the East. (Hardball Talk)

The Nats, by the way, are one win (or one Reds loss) away from clinching the best record in the National League. (CSN Washington)

At the other end of the success spectrum, the Astros and Cubs met last night in the first battle of 100-loss teams since 1962. (Hardball Talk) Who won, you ask? Does it matter?

Makes you wonder if Theo knew exactly what he was walking into. (CSN Chicago)

The Cardinals lose but make the playoffs anyway . . . (AP)

. . . because the Dodgers eliminated themselves. (AP)

And now that the field is set in both leagues, here are the postseason scenarios for tonight. (nbcsports.com)

King Felix may be demoted to Prince Felix -- or Pauper Felix -- after the Mariners dramatically pull in the fencesat Safeco Field next year. (Hardball Talk)

Move over, Yaz. Here comes Miguel. (AP)

A nice moment, as former prospect Adam Greenberg finally gets to the plate again in a major-league game after suffering a career-altering concussion when he was hit in the head in his first at-bat in 2005. (AP)

Yes, that was ex-Red Sox (and ex-plenty of other teams) outfielder Joey Gathright getting a 50-game suspension for the use of amphetamines. (Hardball Talk)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
When these guys say "Roll Tide!" they mean it: Their small plane crashed on the way to Alabama's game at Ole Miss last week, but they got out, started hitchhiking, and arrived in time for the kickoff. (NBC's College Football Talk)

Mike McQueary files a defamation suit against Penn State. (AP)

Michigan State to Urban Meyer: Two can play at this game. (AP)

HOCKEY
The NHL cries thatits lost 100 million during the canceled preseason. (AP) But since you a) conceived, b) planned, and c) executed the lockout, we're supposed to feel sorry for you?

And the league's bad -- make that, suicidal -- ideas just keep on coming: Now there are whispers of replacement players. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk) Why not? It worked so well in the NFL's spat with its referees.

Think its time for a federal mediator to step in? (Pro Hockey Talk)

Looking for a little good news? ESPN3 may televise some KHL games. (AP) Hey, we said a little good news.

PRO BASKETBALL
Lamar Odom apologizes to Mark Cuban and the Mavs. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk) He's probably still not as sorry as they are for bringing him to Dallas.

Dwight Howard makes his Laker debut. (AP)

'Melo's talking the talk. Let's see if he walks the walk. (Pro Basketball Talk)

PRO FOOTBALL
Spat with Mike Tice? What spat with Mike Tice? Maybe you had a spat with Mike Tice, but I didn't have a spat with Mike Tice. (AP)

Looks like Santonio Holmes is out for the year. (AP)

Darrius Heyward-Bey is back, and he says he won't "miss a beat". (CSN Bay Area)

TENNIS
Rafael Nadal will start playing again in December. (AP)

Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

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Patriots-Steelers injury report: Seven Pats listed as questionable

FOXBORO -- The Patriots will head into Sunday's AFC title game with seven players listed as questionable, including three receivers. 

Danny Amendola, Malcolm Mitchell and Chris Hogan have all been limited in practices this week due to their injuries. Amendola has been dealing with an ankle issue since a Week 13 win over the Rams, while Mitchell has not played since injuring his knee in Week 16 against the Jets. Hogan suffered a thigh injury against the Texans and left the game in the third quarter.

Both Hogan and Mitchell indicated this week that they were moving in the right direction in terms of their recoveries. One would think that the Patriots would need at least one, if not both, to help stress the back end of the Steelers secondary this weekend.

Hogan has been the team's most consistent down-the-field threat this season, averaging a whopping 17.9 yards per catch during the regular season. Against the Texans, before his injury, he reeled in four passes for 95 yards. 

Mitchell, meanwhile, had a very productive second half of his rookie season before he was hurt. He compiled 25 catches for 306 yards between Weeks 11 and 16, establishing himself as one of Tom Brady's go-to targets. 

The overall health of the Patriots receiving corps -- which will also include Julian Edelman and Michael Floyd -- will bear watching when the Patriots and Steelers kick off in two days.

The injury report for Sunday's Patriots-Steelers game:

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QUESTIONABLE
WR Danny Amendola (ankle)
TE Martellus Bennett (knee)
RB Brandon Bolden (knee)
LB Dont'a Hightower (shoulder)
WR Chris Hogan (thigh)
WR Malcolm Mitchell (knee)
DL Jabaal Sheard (knee)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QUESTIONABLE
TE Ladarius Green (concussion/illness)
LB James Harrison (shoulder/triceps)
RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (concussion)

NOT LISTED
RB Le'Veon Bell (not injury related)
K Chris Boswell (illness)
LB Anthony Chickillo (ankle)
S Sean Davis (shoulder)
C B.J. Finney (illness)
WR Darrius Heyward-Bay (illness)
DE Ricardo Mathews (ankle)
QB Zach Mettenberger (illness)
S Michael Mitchell (not injury related)
QB Ben Roethlisberger (not injury related)
LB Vince Williams (shoulder)