Wakeup call: 'Little tear' for Ben; 'Farewell, my dear badminton'

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Wakeup call: 'Little tear' for Ben; 'Farewell, my dear badminton'

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

BASEBALL
Shane Victorino says "Mahalo Philadelphia" with a full-page ad in both the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. (CSN Philly)

The trade deadline has come and gone and Matt Garza is still in Chicago. So what now? (CSN Chicago)

Ryan Dempster's catching some heat from Cubs Nation for refusing what seemed like a good deal (for the Cubs) to Atlanta, but Theo Epstein tells the critics to back off. (CSN Chicago)

Bryce Harper has lost that sweet spot at the plate, hitting just .214 in his last 40 games (and .171 since the All-Star break). So now he's just "trying to find some mellowness". (NBC's Hardball Talk)

Now that's how you win a game against your biggest division rival. (AP)

Josh Hamilton is not only slumping offensively, but he's making some cryptic, and disconcerting, comments. (Hardball Talk)

Temper, temper! (NBC's Off The Bench)

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
Jerry Sandusky, while continuing to maintain his innocence, says through his lawyer that the NCAA sanctions on Penn State are "unjust" and that it's "ridiculous" to think school officials would engage in a cover up. (AP)

Wisconsin running back Montee Ball is hospitalized after being attacked by five men near campus early Wednesday morning. (AP)

A veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars has made the Clemson football team as a walk-on. (NBC's College Football Talk)

OLYMPICS
"Farewell my dear badminton." And with those words -- on Twitter, of course -- Yu Yang, one of the Chinese stars disqualified for throwing a match in an attempt to get an easier opponent later in the tournament, announces her retirement. (NBC)

Boxing referees are under fire in London. (NBC)

PRO FOOTBALL
Uh, Ben? Having "a little torn rotator cuff" is kind of like being "a little pregnant". (NBC's Pro Football Talk)

That didn't take long: Discord resurfaces in Jets camp. (AP)

Ed Reed says he wants to stay with the Ravens. (CSN Baltimore)

The Giants aren't nibbling at Jerry Jones' bait. (AP) Well, maybe they're nibbling a little.

Damn media. A guy can't even say no one trusts the NFL commissioner without it being blown all out proportion these days. Isn't that right, Drew Brees? (Pro Football Talk)

Speaking of the commissioner, he's fine with the replacement refs. (AP)

Look out, Eagles: Asante Samuel will show you. (CSN Philly)

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.