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MLB's Luis Valbuena & Jose Castillo Killed in Car Accident ... in Venezuela

12/7/2018 12:40 PM PST
Breaking News

12:40 PM PT -- Venezuelan authorities believe Valbuena and Castillo may have been victims of robbers who throw rocks onto roads to cause cars to crash and then steal from people inside the vehicle.

Yaracuy governor Julio León Heredia announced 4 suspects have been arrested after they were found with the players' belongings.

MLB infielders Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car crash in Venezuela on Thursday ... after a car they were riding in veered off the road.

According to local reports ... 33-year-old Valbuena and Castillo, 37, were leaving their Venezuelan league game with Cardenales de Lara in Yaracuy when their driver either hit or swerved to avoid a rock ... and drove off the road.

The man driving the car was the chauffeur of their teammate, Carlos Rivero -- who survived the crash.

Photos of the accident have surfaced ... showing the van totally damaged and flipped on its side.

Valbuena -- who most recently played for the Angels this past season -- has been in the majors since 2008 ... and has also played for the Astros, Cubs, Indians and Mariners.

Valbuena hit 25 home runs with Houston in 2015.

Castillo played 5 seasons in the MLB with the Pirates, Giants and Astros.

The MLB released a statement Friday morning, saying, "We are saddened by the tragic news that Luis Valbuena and former major leaguer José Castillo have died in a car accident."

#RIP

Originally Published 6:23 AM PT

Lance Armstrong Shades Alex Rodriguez I'm a Better Person Than You!

12/6/2018 6:37 AM PST
Breaking News

Lance Armstrong is still pissed that fellow admitted cheater Alex Rodriguez has essentially been forgiven by society while he's still considered a villain -- since Lance says he's done WAY more to help people.

"A-Rod didn't raise half a BILLION dollars and try to save people's lives," Armstrong said on the "Today" show ... obviously referring to the work he did with the Livestrong foundation. 

Armstrong then threw even more shade at the baseball player ... sarcastically saying, "Look, it's great when somebody hits home runs and maybe does an event here and there for the Boys & Girls Club."

Armstrong has previously griped about A-Rod ... telling "Freakonomics Radio" back in July, "The one key thing is that Alex Rodriguez was allowed to come back and play. And, Alex Rodriguez was part of a team sport. And thirdly, Alex Rodriguez never stood for anything else other than baseball."

"So, I was never allowed to come back to my sport at any level, and most people viewed it as an individual sport. And, I stood for much more than just cycling."

Bernie Williams Losers Of Robinson Cano Trade? ... Yankees Fans!

12/3/2018 2:58 PM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Bernie Williams tells TMZ Sports the Mets trade for Robinson Cano is great for the 2nd baseman ... but not so much for his ex-team -- 'cause Bernie says Yankees fans are gonna hate it!!

Remember, Cano used to be a beast for the Yanks ... but took a big-money deal back in 2014 to play for the Mariners.

But, Robinson was just dealt from Seattle back to NY in a trade with the Mets -- and Bernie says while the move is huge for the 8-time All-Star -- it's bad for pinstripe faithful!!

"I think it's going to be good for him to be back in New York. But, I don't know if Yankees fans are gonna like that, though!!"

As for Cano's game ... Bernie says he's got no doubt the dude will be able to re-energize his career after a season marred by an 80-game PED suspension.

"Oh, yeah, he's got plenty in the tank, man," Bernie says ... "No doubt."

Nelly Begs Bryce Harper To Sign With Cards ... At Florida Georgia Line Show

12/3/2018 6:49 AM PST
Breaking News

Good news, Cardinals fans ... Nelly's gonna get Bryce Harper to join the squad!!!

At least, that's what the rapper says -- 'cause when he grabbed baseball's top free agent backstage at the Florida Georgia Line concert Saturday ... he gave his best St. Louis pitch.

"Listen, Bill, Mr. DeWitt, call me! I got this. Alright? I'm doing all the negotiations. He just need a little convincing, man! That's all!"

Bryce's response -- he didn't say no!!

Of course ... Bryce has a TON of suitors these days -- even ones just as famous as Nelly ... 'cause when he hit the FGL concert with his old pal, Kris Bryant -- you know Cubs talk went down there too.

Bryce is playing his free agency card close to the vest -- with the Nationals, Phillies, Cubs, Cardinals, Yankees and more all being rumored to be his next spot.

We spotted Harper in L.A. a few weeks ago and he hinted that the Cubs and White Sox could have an edge because Chicago is his favorite city ... when it comes to restaurants! 

So, who's actually the favorite in the race? Not sure at this point ... but we know the dude is about to get PAID -- reports say his next deal could be worth $400 MILLION!!

Boston Red Sox Support Trump & Visit White House ... Says Ex-MLB Star

12/3/2018 12:35 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

The Red Sox should ABSOLUTELY take their championship trip to the White House ... so says ex-MLB star Brad Penny, who says the team needs to support Donald Trump regardless of their opinions of him.

It's up in the air whether Boston will make its post-World Series visit to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave ... especially after manager Alex Cora publicly criticized the President in September.

But, Penny says it would be a huge mistake to not go ... telling TMZ Sports the team should be there.

"You gotta go," the ex-star pitcher says ... "You support the President whether you voted for him or not ... I think they just gotta go."

Penny knows a thing or two about those trips ... the 2-time All-Star went to George W. Bush's White House after his Marlins won it all back in 2003.

He says the trip was unforgettable ... and Red Sox players would regret not making it.

In fact -- Brad tells us he thinks Boston can send a strong message to those protesting Trump by going.

"All those protests and stuff, to me, we want everybody who's in office to do good ... I feel like a lot of people want Trump to fail and it's unfortunate."

Unclear whether Red Sox players will listen to Brad ... but we know at least one of their pitchers is on board.

Sammy Sosa Still A Cubs Fan ... Despite Beef With Team

12/2/2018 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Sammy Sosa clearly ain't bitter at his broken relationship with the Cubbies ... 'cause the Chicago legend tells TMZ Sports he's still rootin' for the team to make the World Series!!

Sosa's been blackballed from the Cubs organization since he retired -- with owner Tom Ricketts saying Sammy's gotta come clean regarding his alleged PED use before they welcome him back.

But, Sammy clearly ain't offended by all that ... 'cause he tells us he's not only keeping up with the team -- he's hoping they get a chance to win another ring!!

"Chicago, they've been playing for the last few years very, very nice, so I have to give that to Chicago, and I hope they continue to play like that and I hope next year they can go to the World Series!"

As for the Cubs' recent controversial move to trade Tommy La Stella ... Sosa weighed in on that for us.

And -- BONUS -- he even wished Blac Chyna well with her new skin-lightening product!!

Donald Trump Personal Check Hits Auction Block ... Was For Baseball Pics!!

12/1/2018 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Donald Trump's personal check that bought POTUS rare baseball photos is hitting the auction block ... and TMZ Sports has learned it could go for over $15,000!!!!

Sources tell us a $909.99 check made payable to Steiner Sports Memorabilia back in 2011 bought D.T. a signed Hank Aaron pic and two photos of Yankees teams from the '50s.

We're told POTUS used to buy memorabilia like that all the time as gifts for clients ... and now, the check he personally signed could be the perfect present for you -- if ya got the cash.

According to RR Auction ... the check is ultra rare -- the first known Trump one to hit the auction block -- and could go for more than what similar modern president checks have sold for recently.

The minimum bid was $500 ... but it's already up over $3,000 -- and still has a nearly a week left on the block.

Bidding officially ends Dec. 5 ... good luck!!

Bryce Harper Mega-Deal Will Get Us All Paid ... Says Nats Teammate

12/1/2018 12:05 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

MLB players everywhere are rootin' like hell for Bryce Harper to ink the richest free-agent deal of all-time ... 'cause it means they'll get PAID eventually too -- so says Anthony Rendon.

Harper's (ex?) Nationals teammate tells TMZ Sports if Bryce signs the rumored $400 MIL deal he's expected to be offered -- players will have HUGE bargaining power over teams.

"Obviously if he drives up the free agency market, then I think it's going to help a lot of the players that are going to become free agents later on down the road. So, he's going to help other guys."

Of course ... that means Rendon is about to be the BIGGEST Harper cheerleader -- 'cause the 3rd baseman is set to be a free agent next offseason ... and could be the biggest fish available.

BTW ... both Rendon and Harper are repped by Scott Boras -- so, yeah ... Rendon's REALLY backing his boy this free agency period!!

Dave Winfield Kyler Murray Smart To Quit Football ... I Would Know!

11/29/2018 7:24 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Kyler Murray's making the right call picking baseball over football ... so says Dave Winfield, who made the same choice more than 40 years ago and had things work out PRETTY well.

Of course ... D.W. is one of only six dudes to ever be drafted by THREE different pro sports -- but he chose the diamond over them all -- and says he's glad Kyler's doing the same.

"It's pretty intelligent to play baseball," the MLB Hall of Famer tells us ... "You don't get hurt as much."

Murray's a superstar QB at Oklahoma who some think could be the NFL's next Lamar Jackson ... but the kid was also drafted in the first round by the Oakland A's last summer.

Kyler says his plan -- as of now -- is to hang up the football cleats for the baseball diamond ... and Dave says that's a great call.

"Any football players you know play 22 years!?"

BONUS: Ya gotta see Dave's reaction when we ask if Bryce Harper should be the newest New York Yankee.

Dodgers' Kenley Jansen Undergoes Heart Surgery ... 'Guys, I'm Fine!'

11/27/2018 6:00 AM PST
Breaking News

L.A. Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen says he's "fine" after undergoing heart surgery on Monday -- and even posted woozy post-procedure video from the hospital to prove it! 

"Guys, I'm fine," Jansen said from his hospital bed alongside his wife, Gianni ... "The anesthesia is finally out of my system. I'm doing good. Enjoying the Christmas spirit. We'll see you guys soon in 2019, stronger than ever."

The 31-year-old was previously diagnosed with a condition that essentially put him at a higher risk for an irregular heartbeat at high altitudes ... not ideal when you fly all the time and play the Rockies in Colorado several times a year. 

In fact, Jansen suffered an atrial fibrillation back in Denver in August after he was told he was at "high risk" for another medical incident. 

So, on Monday he went under the knife for an "ablation procedure" to correct the condition -- and the surgery was a success. He should be ready to pitch again by Spring Training. 

It's not the first time Jansen has undergone heart surgery -- back in 2012 he had a procedure to fix an issue in his left atrium which prevented his heart from generating abnormal electrical signals. 

Red Sox Players Get World Series Bonus Checks ... 2nd Largest Ever!

11/26/2018 10:01 AM PST
Breaking News

The Red Sox players are STILL winning ... 'cause the bonus checks for their World Series "W" were just announced -- and Boston got paid!!!

Major League Baseball just announced the postseason bonus pool totaled $88 MILLION to be divided by all of the teams that made the 2018 playoffs. 

The total pool number -- essentially made up of playoff stadium ticket sales -- is the largest pot in MLB history. It's divided by the 10 playoff teams based on how far they got. 

The biggest payout was obviously Boston -- the champs split $31.7 million between 66 players, which came out to $416k each! 

Not too shabby, but slightly LESS than the $438k each Houston Astros player got last year for winning the 2017 World Series. 

Don't feel too bad for the 2018 losers ... Los Angeles will get a cut of the bonus money too -- with their checks coming in at $267,027.49 per player.

Here's how the rest of the playoff bonus money was distributed ... 

Houston Astros -- $154,656.05 per player. 

Milwaukee Brewers -- $122,957.13

Atlanta Braves -- $40,375.74

Cleveland Indians -- $37,040.29

Colorado Rockies -- $40,335.96

New York Yankees -- $43,081.55

Chicago Cubs -- $16,155.34

Oakland Athletics -- $19,760.35

Yeah, it still pays to be good.

Joc Pederson Personal Bird Scooter Stolen ... Cops Investigating

11/22/2018 12:30 AM PST
EXCLUSIVE

Joc Pederson is gonna have to rent scooters by the minute like the rest of us normies now ... 'cause the Dodgers star had his personal Bird jacked -- TMZ Sports has learned.

Sources tell us the outfielder had his electric wheels stolen outta his car recently near his San Fernando Valley home.

We're told Joc woke up and saw his car's window smashed out and his scooter taken ... and he reported the crime to the LAPD.

Sources say no arrests have been made ... but cops are investigating the whole thing.

The Bird is only valued at around $500 -- and Joc just made $2.6 MILLION this year -- but we're told the wheels were a gift from the company, so there's some sentimental value there.

We reached out to Joc for comment -- but no word back yet. 

Roy Halladay Makes Hall of Fame Ballot ... 1 Year After Death

11/19/2018 9:53 AM PST
Breaking News

No surprise here ... but Roy Halladay has officially been placed on the ballot for the Baseball Hall of Fame ... 1 year after his tragic death in a plane crash off the Gulf of Mexico. 

Halladay's nomination was NOT advanced due to his death -- he last pitched in 2013, satisfying the usual 5-year waiting period. 

Most experts agree Halladay is a 1st ballot lock -- since he was an 8-time All-Star and won 2 Cy Young Awards during his 15-year MLB career.  

In 2010, Halladay famously threw the 2nd no-hitter in MLB postseason history -- when the Philadelphia Phillies blanked the Cincinnati Reds in Game 1 of the NLDS. 

Halladay died on Nov. 7, 2017 while piloting a new ICON A5 single passenger amphibious plane over the Gulf of Mexico. 

Witnesses had said Halladay was flying dangerously and lost control of the plane -- which eventually plunged into the water. 

Halladay was 40-years-old. 

Other big names on the 2019 Hall of Fame ballot include Mariano Rivera, Todd Helton and Andy Pettitte

Pettitte could be an interesting one to watch considering he admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs during his MLB career. 

The results of the HOF voting will be announced in January. 

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