Welcome to Monday’s Morning Mashup. For the latest news, start at our WEEI.com home page or click here for the top stories from our news wire.

MONDAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS:
NFL: Cowboys at Washington, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN; WEEI-FM)
Soccer: Premier League, Aston Villa at Queens Park, 4 p.m. (NBCSN)

AROUND THE WEB:

Major League Baseball players and executives expressed their shock and sadness upon learning of the death of 22-year-old Cardinals outfielder Oscar Taveras in a car accident Sunday.

Taveras, considered one of the game’s top prospects, was driving on a highway in his native Dominican Republic when he apparently lost control of his car and drove off the road. An 18-year-old passenger also was killed.

“I simply can’t believe it,” Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said in a release. “I first met Oscar when he was 16 years old and will forever remember him as a wonderful young man who was a gifted athlete with an infectious love for life who lived every day to the fullest.”

Said Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr.: “Oscar was an amazing talent with a bright future who was taken from us well before his time. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.”

Taveras began the 2014 season ranked as the No. 3 prospect in the majors by MLB.com and Baseball America after compiling a .321 average in six minor league seasons. He homered in his first game and went on to hit .239 in 80 games this season. He hit a game-tying home run in the seventh inning of Game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants, a game St. Louis went on to win, 5-4.

The news of Taveras’ death broke during Sunday night’s Game 5 of the World Series. Giants outfielder Juan Perez hit a two-run double in the eighth inning of a 5-0 win and dedicated the hit to his fellow Dominican.

“He’s a really close friend of mine,” Perez said. “I know his family pretty good. I know his mom, his dad, his brothers, we were really close. It’s a huge loss for all his family, his teammates and the people that care about him.”

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson did not hide from last week’s controversy after leading his team to a 13-9 victory over the Panthers on Sunday.

A Bleacher Report story indicated some teammates feel that Wilson “isn’t black enough” and there is an apparent rift on the team.

“About me not being black enough, I don’t even know what that means,” Wilson said Sunday. “People were trying to find ways to knock us down and distract us, but there’s no doubt we’re more together than ever before.

“We’re probably the closest we’ve ever been. We keep swinging and we keep believing in each other and our coaching staff.”

Wilson also refused to apologize for his success on and off the field.

“I believe I’m an educated young male that’s not perfect but tries to do things right,” he said. “I try to lead by example and help others. That’s all I focus on and that’s all I know.”

Outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman didn’t put much stock in the story about an alleged divide.

“Until someone in this locker actually says something negative [about Wilson], we just take that with a grain of salt.” he said. “Anyone can make up anything and say a source said it. I don’t think anybody on this team feels that way. We support our quarterback. He fights for us every game.”

– Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger was so excited to be making his first NFL start that he posted selflies in the days leading up to Sunday’s game against the Texans, including one a couple of hours before kickoff. That didn’t sit well with Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

Watt sacked Mettenberger twice, batted away a pass and forced a fumble in Houston’s 30-16 victory, and he celebrated one of his sacks by pretending to take a selfie of his own, sending a message in the process.

“I take my job very seriously, and if I was a rookie quarterback and a starter for the first time in the league I’d be a little bit more focused that that,” Watt said. “Maybe he’ll learn from it, maybe not, but we won the game and that’s all that matters.

Mettenberger finished the day 27-of-41 for 299 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.

ON THIS DAY TRIVIA (answer below): On Oct. 27, 2004, the Red Sox beat the Cardinals, 3-0, to complete a sweep of the World Series. Whose first-inning home run was the only run the Red Sox would need?

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I love coaching Tom. I’ve been fortunate to have him the whole career since he’s been here. He does a great job of executing the team game plan.” – Patriots coach Bill Belichick, after Sunday’s 51-23 rout of the Bears in which Brady completed 30-of-35 passes for 354 yards and five touchdowns

STAT OF THE DAY: 522 – Yards passing for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in Sunday’s 51-34 victory over the Colts, a team record and the fourth-highest total in NFL history

‘NET RESULTS (mobile users, check the website to see the videos): During a timeout Sunday, Buccaneers cheerleaders set up right in front of Vikings players on the field and perform a routine.

Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo dresses up as a member of KISS for the team’s midnight madness practice, then plays accordion with a KISS cover band.

TRIVIA ANSWER: Johnny Damon, batting leadoff

SOOTHING SOUNDS: Lee Greenwood was born on this day in 1942.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar

Join Kirk Minihane of the Dennis & Callahan Show for a live chat Monday morning, starting at 11:30. Get your questions in now …

Live Blog Kirk Minihane live chat
 

Blog Author: 
WEEI
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