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Autopsy report: Roy Halladay had drugs in system when plane crashed

An autopsy on former major-leaguer Roy Halladay showed that he had amphetamines, morphine and a sleep aid in his system when he died in a plane crash off the west coast of Florida, The Tampa Bay Times reported Friday.

>> Read more trending news

Halladay, 40, died Nov. 7 from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor, according to the Pinellas-Pasco Medical Examiner’s Office.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner was flying his personal plane -- an ICON A5, which is an amphibious two-seat plane with foldable wings -- when it crashed into the Gulf of Mexico near New Port Richey, the Times reported. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the case.

Dr. Bruce Goldberger, a pathologist and director of the University of Florida’s Health Forensic Medicine center, said the drugs found in Halladay’s system were a concern, the Times reported.

>> Former MLB pitcher Roy Halladay killed in plane crash

“The drugs are particularly important in the assessment of the impairment of Mr. Halladay while operating the plane,” Goldberger told the Times. “The NTSB will take this evidence under consideration during their investigation of this accident.”

The autopsy did not say whether Halladay had prescriptions for the medications found in his system, the Times reported.

Halladay, a father of two, was an All-Star during his 16-year major-league career with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. He had a 203-105 record and won the Cy Young Award in 2003 with Toronto and in 2010 with Philadelphia.

Astros’ World Series win created record loss for Las Vegas sportsbooks

When the Houston Astros won the World Series on Nov. 1, the Los Angeles Dodgers were not the only losers. The Las Vegas sportsbooks lost $11.4 million on baseball, ESPN reported.

>> Read more trending news

It was the largest baseball loss in a month for Nevada’s regulated books, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The previous largest loss on baseball came in November 1999, after the New York Yankees swept the Atlanta Braves, ESPN reported. The Vegas books lost $6.2 million that year.

After the Astros beat the Dodgers 5-1 in Game 7, to wrap up the 2017 World Series, bettors began to collect. In addition to any winning wagers on Game 7, futures bets on the Astros to win the World Series that were placed throughout the year and cashed in November added up to the record monthly baseball loss, ESPN reported.

Diamondbacks’ top draft pick pays off family’s mortgage as Christmas present

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ first-round draft pick gave his family an unforgettable Christmas gift, Sports Illustrated reported.

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Pavin Smith, the team’s No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft, received a signing bonus of more than $5 million. The former University of Virginia star used part of that money to pay off his family’s mortgage, and he revealed his plans to his family in an emotional letter on Christmas Day, the magazine reported.

Smith’s family, naturally, was floored by the gift, and broke down after reading his letter:

Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels, wife donate $9.4 million mansion to charity

Texas Rangers pitcher Cole Hamels and his wife, Heidi, have donated a mansion worth $9.4 million and 100 acres of land in southwest Missouri to a charity that hosts camps for children with special needs, ESPN reported.

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Hamels donated the 32,000-square-foot home to Camp Barnabas on Friday. The house had listed for $9,418,400, according to Realtor.com.

Hamels said in a news release that he and his wife wanted to help the charity make children's dreams come true.

“Seeing the faces, hearing the laughter, reading the stories of the kids they serve; there is truly nothing like it,” he said in the statement. “Barnabas makes dreams come true, and we felt called to help them in a big way.”

The mansion and land are near Table Rock Lake near Reeds Springs. Heidi Hamels grew up in Buffalo, Missouri, ESPN reported.

Hamels and his wife never lived in the mansion. When Hamels was traded from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Rangers, the couple moved to Texas, ESPN reported.

Source: Marlins, Yankees agree on deal for slugger Giancarlo Stanton

In a blockbuster deal, the New York Yankees and Miami Marlins have agreed to a trade that would send reigning National League MVP Giancarlo Stanton to New York, a source told The Associated Press on Saturday.

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The trade is not official yet, since Stanton must agree to the terms stipulated in his no-trade clause, ESPN reported.

Infielder Starlin Castro would go to Miami as part of the deal, a second source familiar with the negotiations told the AP.

The deal — which will give the Yankees a potent power-hitting combination with slugger Aaron Judge — is awaiting physicals for the players involved, according to multiple reports. Stanton reportedly gave final stamp of approval to the trade on Saturday morning, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Stanton is owed $295 million over the next 10 years. ESPN previously reported Friday night that he was prepared to listen to a proposal involving the Yankees. Castro, 27, an American League All-Star for the Yankees, has two years and approximately $23.7 million remaining on his contract, MLB.com reported.

The Yankees bolstered their lineup and the Marlins will receive several prospects in addition to Stanton, but the deal stunned Miami fans, who are criticizing team CEO Derek Jeter -- a five-time World Series champion with the Yankees -- for the deal. Jeter has been ripped for already trading away an All-Star to cut payroll, as he sent second baseman Dee Gordon to the Mariners last month.

Stanton has spent  his entire eight-year career with the Marlins. In 2017, he hit 59 home runs, drove in 132 runs and batted .281 to win the NL’s MVP award.

Former pitcher Dwight Gooden plays Santa at NYC gentlemen’s club

Former New York Mets star Dwight Gooden was pitching a different kind of game Tuesday night.

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The former major-league pitcher played Santa Claus but was not handing out presents to children. The 1985 National League Cy Young Award winner, who was dressed up as St. Nick for the first time, instead posed with dancers at the Vivid Cabaret in New York City, a club The New York Times said “is politely described” as a gentlemen’s club.

“It’s Christmastime, and I got a lot of presents to buy,” said Gooden, who made more than $36 million during his 16-year career. “I got seven kids, four grandkids, with another on the way any minute now, and two ex-wives. So every dollar counts.”

While the amount Gooden was paid was not revealed, the Times, quoting an anonymous source, said the former right-handed pitcher was paid $500. Gooden is not the first former member of the New York Mets to play Santa at the club, the Times reported. Former teammate Len Dykstra -- who, like Gooden steered the Mets to a World Series title in 1986 -- donned a wig and a red suit to the club last year.

“Normally, guys pay to come here,” Gooden told  the Times. “I’m getting paid to come here.”

Gooden, who lives in Piscataway, New Jersey, in a rented apartment, said his life is in order now, a statement in stark contrast to the substance abuse problems he had during his playing career. Those addictions also followed him after he retired from the game in 2000.

But Gooden makes appearances at memorabilia shows to sign autographs and has just begun selling a line of T-shirts, caps and sweatshirts that carry a silhouette of the pitcher’s high leg kick on his website, Goodenbrand.com.

“My life is pretty good right now,” Gooden told the Times.

Gooden, 53, said he is receiving pension money from the players’ union. For a player with 10 years of major-league service time who waits until he is 62, that amounts to $210,000 a year. Gooden took the pension early and is receiving a reduced amount, the Times reported.

“I’m taking it not so much for me but for my kids,” he said. “I mean, I’m 53 now and you never know. If anything happens to me, my kids get it. And I wouldn’t have collected it, then the ex-wives would get it.”

J.J. Watt and Jose Altuve nab Sports Illustrated's Sportsperson of the Year

Two Houston sports icons are bringing home another colossal title: Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year.

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Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and the Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve nabbed the honors from the vaunted sports publication thanks to Watt’s massive collection efforts on the part of Hurricane Harvey relief, and Altuve’s ability to bring home a World Series title to a city still reeling in the aftermath of the storm.

Says S.I.:

By the third week of September, less than a month after Hurricane Harvey had devastated Houston and its surrounding region, Watt had raised more than $37 million in relief aid. The SOTY candidacy of the Texans’ defensive end was unaffected by the gruesome, season-ending leg injury he suffered in Week 5. The three-time Defensive Player of the Year—the best defensive player of his generation, really—could have had the best season of his career, or the worst. His place as a Sportsperson of the Year had already been engraved.

“Nothing J.J. Watt has achieved in his career, or might still achieve, will measure up to what he did for Houston,” Peter King, The MMQB’s editor-in-chief, said.

For Altuve’s part, the American League MVP was lauded for his inspirational impact on the city:

The 5′ 6″ Altuve had his own contribution to Houston’s post-storm recovery. The personal journey of the Astros second baseman is an inspirational one, a classic tale of an underestimated athlete overcoming the longest of odds. And this fall, Altuve was the joyous catalyst for one of the most unlikely World Series runs in recent memory. Championships don’t save communities, and we should be careful to assign too much weight to their powers of healing. But what other event can bring a million-plus people together and provide a platform, however ephemeral, to cast aside the differences that drive so many of us to sports in the first place?

“The city of Houston has treated me really good,” Altuve told S.I.’s Tom Verducci. “I felt at that time that I owed them something. So when they were having a hard time, I wanted to give something back to them.”

Astros fans win again: Furniture company refunds $10 million 

Because the Houston Astros won the World Series this season, patrons of a Houston furniture store are sleeping easier.

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Gallery Furniture is paying off on a wager it made with customers, KTRK reported. This year, the company bet that if the Astros won the World Series, customers who spent at least $3,000 on mattresses would receive a full refund.

The losing bet cost Gallery Furniture owner Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale $10 million in refunds, but he said the promotion was worth it, KTRK reported

had to refund $10 million, he said the promotion was worth it.

Gallery Furniture began issuing refund checks Sunday night, and the line wrapped around the store, KTRK reported.

The refunds will go a long way toward helping some Astros fans who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey in August.

“I'm going to buy new furniture, a new couch because we had to throw everything out,” Thelma Rosenberg told KTRK.

During the hurricane and its aftermath, McIngvale opened his stores to flood evacuees, who slept in the warehouses until the waters receded.

McIngvale was not sure if he’d have an encore wager next season as the Astros defend their World Series crown.

“You have to ask my wife about that one,” he told KTRK.

Bobby Doerr, Red Sox Hall of Famer, dead at 99

The Boston Red Sox announced Tuesday the death of Hall of Famer Bobby Doerr.

Doerr, who is regarded as the greatest second baseman in Boston Red Sox history, died in Junction City, Oregon, at 99.

>> PHOTOS: Notable deaths 2017

Born in Los Angeles on April 7, 1918, Doerr was the oldest living Major League Baseball League player prior to his death.

He's also the only member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame to live to be 99 years old.

“Bobby Doerr was part of an era of baseball giants and still stood out as one himself,” Red Sox principal owner John Henry said Tuesday. “And even with his Hall of Fame achievements at second base, his character and personality outshined it all. He will be missed.”

>> Read more trending news

Red Sox President and CEO Sam Kennedy said the entire Sox family is mourning his passing.

“There is something fitting about Bobby Doerr becoming the patriarch of baseball, outliving all of those he played with and against,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Bobby was a special player, to be sure, a Hall of Famer, but he also commanded universal respect from all those fortunate enough to have crossed his path. We celebrated his return every time he came back to us here at Fenway Park, and we now mourn his passing, grateful for the wonderful memories he left.”>> Visit Boston25News.com for complete coverage

Kate Upton weds Astros' Justin Verlander days after celebrating his World Series win

Model Kate Upton is officially off the market.

Just a few days after celebrating fiancé Justin Verlander’s World Series win, the couple exchanged “I do’s” in front of family and friends in Italy, according to People.

>> See the photo here

The bride wore a long-sleeved lace gown while her groom donned a classic black tux. E! News reports that the nuptials took place at the Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco resort, and the ceremony was in a medieval church on top of a hill overlooking the Montalcino Valley and vineyards.

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Following the 30-minute ceremony, the couple and their guests retreated to the restaurant on the property for dinner and dancing.

The couple began dating in 2014 and were engaged two years later. They kept their engagement private for a few weeks before going public at last year’s Met Gala.

>> On Rare.us: 18 months after the devastating loss of his wife, Patton Oswalt marries again

“I’m really excited. He asked me right before season started so we’ve been keeping it on the down low for quite a while,” she told E! at the time. “So, I’m excited to finally be able to share it with the world!”

Upton has always been supportive of her baseball beau and took to Instagram on Saturday to celebrate his World Series win with the Houston Astros.

>> See the post here

Ahead of the wedding, Upton celebrated with a few gal pals at a lavish bachelorette party at The Plaza Hotel in New York City.

>> See the photo here

At the end of 2016, Upton and Verlander reportedly purchased a Beverly Hills home for $5.25 million. The home is complete with five bedrooms, six bathrooms, a tennis court and a pool.

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