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)

Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

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Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

When Tom Brady returns to the Patriots following his four-game suspension, his team will be in sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

That became the reality as soon as the Jets fell to the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday, 24-3. The Jets committed eight turnovers in the loss to fall to 1-2. 

The Bills and Dolphins each won their first games of the season on Sunday, taking down the Cardinals and Browns, respectively. 

With the Patriots record at 3-0 following their win over the Texans on Thursday night, and with all three of their AFC East rivals sitting on just one win thus far, even if Bill Belichick's club was to fall to Rex Ryan and the Bills in Week 4, it would still be alone atop the division.

MORE PATRIOTS

Surely the Patriots would like to have a zero in the loss column when Brady returns. Regardless, to be in first place when Brady's Deflategate punishment is finished -- and having achieved that mark with two different starting quarterbacks -- has to be a point of pride for the organization . . . and a source of agita for those who doled out the punishment.

Rex Ryan: 'If Belichick's playing quarterback, we're coming after him'

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Rex Ryan: 'If Belichick's playing quarterback, we're coming after him'

Must be Bills week. 

After Rex Ryan's club put together an impressive win at home over the Cardinals, 33-18, it wasn't long before the Bills coach was yapping about the Patriots and their coach Bill Belichick.

Ryan was asked about the quarterback situation in New England since both Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett are dealing with injuries at the moment. Who might the Bills see when they visit Gillette Stadium?

"Look, I can sit back and say I don’t care who plays quarterback, cuz I know (Tom) Brady ain’t," he said. "I don’t care who plays quarterback; Steve Grogan can play quarterback. If Belichick’s playing quarterback, we’re coming after him. I promise you that."

There's no indication yet as to whether or not Garoppolo or Brissett will be unavailable for Week 4. When asked about his level of concern when it came to his quarterbacks, Belichick didn't say much during a conference call on Sunday

Ryan, like the rest of us, will probably have to wait for the Patriots to release an injury report before he learns about the status of either young passer. And until then, he'll have to prepare for both.