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)

Ex-Patriots DE Chris Long signs two-year deal with Eagles

Ex-Patriots DE Chris Long signs two-year deal with Eagles

After eight playoff-less seasons with the Rams, Chris Long came to his father's hometown town -- the Patriots -- in 2016 with one goal: To win a championship. And he did, even though he wasn't an every-down player for the first time in his career.

Now his goal is to play regularly again. So he's headed to the city where his father played collegiately -- Philadelphia -- to try and make that happen.

Long, 32, the son of Pro Football Hall of Famer Howie Long (a Charlestown native and Villanova product), signed a two-year contract with the Eagles Tuesday:


CSN Philly reports that Long isn't guaranteed a starting job on the Eagles' defensive line, but will be a valuable addition in any case:

The Eagles had a definite need -- and likely still do -- at defense end following the departure of Connor Barwin. . . . This signing doesn't mean Long will come in and start. The Eagles still have Brandon Graham and Vinny Curry under contract. But, at the very least, this is a depth signing to bring in a veteran locker room presence, like the one they lost when Barwin left.

Long had four sacks and 10 quarterback hits in 16 games for New England and was an integral part of a defense that allowed an NFL-low 250 points.

Report: Patriots won't draft controversial running back Mixon

Report: Patriots won't draft controversial running back Mixon

The New England Patriots first took a stand against domestic violence in 1996, when Myra Kraft, wife of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, convinced the team to release recent draftee Christian Peter, who had four convictions for assaulting women while playing at the University of Nebraska.

That stand continues to this day.

Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald reported Wednesday that Robert Kraft said the team will not draft Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon, who was seen on video punching a woman in the face in 2014. He was suspended by the Sooners for a season because of the incident.

The Herald quoted Kraft as saying: “While I believe in second chances and giving players an opportunity for redemption, I also believe that playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right. For me, personally, I believe that privilege is lost for men who have a history of abusing women.”

The Dolphins have also said they won't draft Mixon, who is the most talented running back availabile in the draft. The Pats could soon be looking for help at the position, as James White and Dion Lewis are both in the final years of their contracts and they signed Rex Burkhead to just a one-year deal.

But Mixon won't be the answer to those problems.