Wakeup call: Smack talk in Philly about LeBron

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Wakeup call: Smack talk in Philly about LeBron

Here's your wakeup call -- a combination of newsworthy andor interesting tidbits -- for Tuesday, October 2:

BASEBALL
It was a lost night all around for the Orioles, who ceded ground in both the division and wild-card races. (CSN Baltimore)

Could be worse, though. They could be the Rays. (AP) Or the Angels. (AP)

The headed-to-the-playoffs A's are full of "Nobody thought we'd be here!" blather. (CSN Bay Area)

The headed-home White Sox are consoling themselves with that very same thought. (CSN Chicago)

And why are the White Sox headed home? Because the Tigers won the A.L. Central. (AP)

The Nationals are kings of the N.L. East -- even though they lost to Philadelphia -- and they celebrated appropriately. (CSN Washington)

The Phillies, dethroned after a five-year reign atop the division, knew the moment was coming for a long time. . . . but it still made them mad. (CSN Philly)

Almost there, Cardinals. (AP)

More homophobia from an MLB player . . . or is it? Derek Holland says his Twitter account -- where the message appeared during the second game of the Rangers' Sunday doubleheader against the Angels -- was hacked. (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Well, it's not like they didn't expect to lose 100. (CSN Chicago) Right, Theo?

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Not everything's coming up roses in Tuscaloosa. Top-rated Alabama has lost wide receiver DeAndrew White and running back Dee Hart for the season. (AP)

Um, Michigan State? Urban Meyer's tellin'. (AP)

GOLF
They're already calling it 'The Miracle of Medinah' across the pond. (AP)

Golfchannel.com grades the U.S. team for its performance last weekend. (golfchannel.com)

And does the same for the Europeans . . . though, strangely, their marks seem worse than the Americans'. (golfchannel.com)

HOCKEY
Who says Congress doesn't do anything? Two New Jersey Senators are calling for the end to the lockout. (NBC's Pro Hockey Talk)

Coming up next: The cancellation of some regular-season games. (CSN Chicago)

No matter when they come back, Ryan Kesler will probably still be on the sidelines. (Pro Hockey Talk)

PRO BASKETBALL
Kobe Bryant thinks this is the most talented Lakers team he's ever been on. (NBC's Pro Basketball Talk)

Maybe so, Kobe, but Ty Lawson says the Nuggets are the best of the West. (AP)

I'm old enough to remember when Billy Idol bragged to David Letterman that dealers in Greenwich Village had named their drugs after his songs, to which Letterman responded: "Your mother must be so proud." Well, LeBron James' mother now can take similar pride, thanks to a certain heroin peddler in Philadelphia. (Pro Basketball Talk)

We'll have to wait three weeks for the Andrew Bynum Era to begin. (CSN Philly)

But the Brooklyn Nets Era has started. (AP)

Utah's Enes Kanter says it's easy to lose 51 pounds. All you have to do is stop eating everything in sight. (Pro Basketball Talk)

Jeremy who? (AP)

PRO FOOTBALL
The Colts were hit hard by the news that coach Chuck Pagano has leukemia. (AP)

As was Pagano's former team, the Ravens. (CSN Baltimore)

Tony Romo was the game MVP Monday night . . . for the Bears. (AP)

Their record may be perfect, but Gary Kubiak says the Texans aren't. (CSN Houston)

Matt Cassel got the dreaded vote of confidence from Romeo Crennel. (AP)

The same-sex marriage debate -- of all things -- has made its way into the Ravens' locker room. (CSN Baltimore)

Even the pregame is dangerous in the NFL, eh, Brandon Meriweather? (CSN Washington)

The X-rays were negative, but Santonio Holmes could still be out for a while. (AP)

The Steelers are back from their bye week, and so are James Harrison and Troy Polamaulu. (AP)

Billy Cundiff's still got a job. For another seven days, anyway. (CSN Washington)

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.