<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Sports]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:14:50 -0700 Fri, 18 Apr 2014 11:14:50 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Third Period Rally Gives Kings Blueprint to Beat Sharks]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:24:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/485420879.jpg

If there is one way that a team should try to avoid beginning a playoff series, then the Los Angeles Kings likely found it on Thursday night as they got off to a hideously sluggish start in a 6-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

The Kings ultimately gave up three goals in the first period and two more in the second before staging a rally in the late stages of the game, but it wasn’t enough as the Sharks drew first blood in a series between two of the game’s fiercest rivals.

In the first period of the game, the Kings started out poorly on offense and didn’t look much better on the defensive side of things either. On the first goal of the game, several Kings defenders ended up mesmerized by the puck as Brent Burns carried it along the end boards. Even Jonathan Quick was caught napping a bit, as Burns’ pass to Joe Pavelski in front of the net didn’t cause the Kings netminder to even turn his head. Pavelski’s slow shot ended up being deflected by Joe Thornton, and just three minutes into the game the Kings trailed.

The defense seemed to settle down a bit after that goal, but the offense was still slow to get going. Whether it was shots from the point or quick snap shots on the rush, the Kings couldn’t get any sustained pressure and looked very much like the team that finished 26th in the league in scoring this season. Meanwhile, the Sharks simply allowed the pressure to go up the sides of the ice, collapsing on the middle and preventing rebounds and cross-ice passes that would have opened up the game a bit more for the Kings.

Just before the end of the first period, the Kings ended up surrendering two more tallies. Tomas Hertl, who was making his postseason debut, ended up picking up the goal after a weird sequence. Both Kings defenders jumped over to cover James Sheppard on the rush, but his shot attempt skipped off his stick. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, Quick was sliding over to cover the shot, and when it veered off, he couldn’t adjust as Hertl popped the puck into the wide open net to make it a 2-0 game.

With only three seconds left in the period, the Sharks scored again. This time, they got a 2-on-1 rush following a Kings turnover, and Matt Nieto’s pass across to Patrick Marleau was perfectly timed as Quick had absolutely no chance to stop the shot that made the game 3-0.

As bad as that first period was, the third period gave Kings fans some reasons for optimism as the series moves forward. Early in the frame, Anze Kopitar made a nifty steal of the puck at the offensive blue line to keep possession going for the Kings, then fed a pass to Jake Muzzin. The defenseman’s shot found its way through traffic (helpfully provided by Justin Williams in front of the net), and was a good reward for a smart play by Kopitar and a quick shot by Muzzin.

A tremendous individual play by Slava Voynov cut the Sharks lead to three just five minutes later. Under heavy duress from Sheppard, Voynov deked around him and drove in towards the net. Jarret Stoll provided the netfront traffic in front of Niemi, and the goaltender couldn’t react as Voynov’s sharp wrister found the back of the net.

With about six minutes remaining in the game, the Kings used traffic in front of the net and patient skating by their forwards to score again. This time, it was Jeff Carter pulling a spin move after he entered the zone, and both Trevor Lewis and Dustin Brown got to the top of the crease. Brad Stuart helplessly tried to stop both players, but he couldn’t control either man as the shot from Carter deflected off Lewis’ skate and into the net to make it a 5-3 game.

No, the three goals the Kings scored in the third period didn’t ultimately help them to win the game, but they did show them the recipe that it’s going to take to compete with the free-wheeling Sharks. The Kings will not win if the series becomes one giant track meet, but if they can get traffic in front of Niemi and can establish some patient play with the puck, then they are going to get their fair share of scoring opportunities. For a team that averaged just 2.4 goals per game during the regular season, that is a big deal, and could ultimately prove to be one of the deciding factors in this series.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Golfer Flees Hornet Attack on Course]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 09:45:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Larrazabal.jpg

A Spanish golfer jumped into a nearby lake to escape a swarm of hornets then continued on despite his stinging injuries.

Pablo Larrazabal was in the fifth hole's fairway during the Maybank Malaysian Open when he swatted away a stray hornet, which then prompted a swarm to attack him. The golfer attempted to fight them off, but had to run to the lake to escape the angry wasps.

“They were huge and like 30 or 40 of them started to attack me big time,” Larrazabal said in a statement to ESPN. “I didn’t know what to do. My caddie told me to run, so I start running like a crazy guy, but the hornets were still there, so the other players told me to jump in the lake.”

The scene could have been reminiscent of Chris Farley's character fleeing a bee attack in the 1995 film "Tommy Boy."

Larrazabal suffered more than 20 stings and had to receive medical attention. He described the encounter as the “scariest moment" of his career.

However, he returned to play his last five holes in a borrowed shirt, reversing his luck by finishing the 14th hole – the same one where he was attacked – with a birdie putt and finishing overall with two under.

He later tweeted out thanks to supporters and joked that golf is a dangerous sport.
 



Photo Credit: Ian Walton/Getty Images)]]>
<![CDATA[Secret Service Threatened to Shoot Mr. Met: Book]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 06:11:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/mr-met-cohen.jpg

A Secret Service agent once threatened to shoot Mr. Met if he approached the president during a baseball game at Shea Stadium, according to a man who once worked as the baseball-headed mascot.

AJ Mass, who was the Mets’ mascot from 1994 to 1997, said a member of former President Bill Clinton’s security detail told him they’d “go for the kill shot” if he tried to pal around with the then-commander-in-chief at a Mets-Dodgers game on April 15, 1997. The account comes from an excerpt of Mass’ new book, “Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots,” published on Sports Illustrated’s website this week.

Mass wrote that he had planned to make his way to see Clinton, who was at the game commemorating the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first major-league appearance, calling the photo-op "the holy grail for all mascots."

Before he could make it to the president’s box, Mass wrote, he was stopped by an agent in a dark suit and a businesslike demeanor.

“We have snipers all around the stadium, just in case something were to happen,” the agent told Mass. “Like I said, do whatever it is you normally do. Nobody will bother you. But approach the president, and we go for the kill shot. Are we clear?”

Then the agent, who Mass wrote was staring into the mouth of Mr. Met’s head to make eye contact with the man inside, repeated himself.

“Approach the president, and we go for the kill shot,” the agent said to Mass. “ARE-WE-CLEAR?”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McNabb Spends Day in AZ Jail ]]> Fri, 18 Apr 2014 03:12:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/mcnabb+arrested+mugshot+background.jpg

Former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb has been released from an Arizona jail after serving a one-day sentence for a DUI arrest late last year.

Records released by Maricopa County Justice Court show that 37-year-old McNabb served his time Wednesday and was released Thursday morning.

Court administrator James Vance tells NBC10.com McNabb was stopped on Dec. 15, 2013 in his gray Land Rover LR4 along an Arizona freeway -- Route 101 near East McDowell Road -- on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. He was then arrested for driving under the influence and cited for speeding.

McNabb's blood alcohol content (BAC) was not available for release, but Vance said while the state's legal limit is 0.08, a person could be considered impaired with a BAC of 0.04 or higher.

The former Eagle pleaded guilty on March 27 and nine days of his sentence was suspended in exchange for undergoing alcohol screening and treatment. Vance says that is a pretty standard judgment.

McNabb then reported to the Maricopa County Jail on Wednesday, was booked and served the one day sentence.

Once the alcohol treatment is completed, the sentence will be suspended, Vance says.

NBC10.com reached out to McNabb's attorney, Stephen Benedetto, for comment. We have not heard back.

Our sister station, KPNX in Phoenix, Ariz., obtained a booking mugshot of McNabb from the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

McNabb, a six-time Pro Bowler, spent 10 years with the Eagles and took the franchise to five NFC Championship Games and one Super Bowl. He currently hosts a show on NBC Sports Radio.

A spokesman for the radio network said, "Donovan has no comment," on the matter.



Photo Credit: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Ducks Shoot Down Stars in Game 1]]> Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:14:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/485174327.jpg

The Anaheim Ducks began their run to the 2014 Stanley Cup by holding off the Dallas Stars 4 - 3 at Honda Center in Game 1 of their best-of-seven playoff series. 

Coming off a record-setting year in wins and points, the Ducks captured the Western Conference’s top spot and the right to face surprise entrant Dallas in the first round.
 
Despite the regular season accolades, much of the talk around the Ducks’ locker room prior to Wednesday centered around erasing the bitter memories of last season’s playoff exit to the lower-seeded Detroit Red Wings.
 
Nothing like a 3 - 0 lead by the end of the first period to trigger a little playoff amnesia.
 
Opening the scoring for the Ducks a minute and 53 seconds into the contest, forward Kyle Palmieri beat Stars’ goaltender Kari Lehtonen five hole after corralling a lead pass perfectly saucered over two defenders from center Nick Bonino.
 
 
Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf provided the second goal of the night tipping in a Matt Beleskey shot midway through the first. While Mathieu Perreault rounded out the period’s scoring with a power play goal from down low with just thirty seconds remaining in the frame.
 
Beleskey would make it four for the Ducks midway through the second period, after deflecting defenseman Francios Beauchemin’s slapshot from the point past Lehtonen on the power play.
 
But the Stars would not go quietly.
 
Back-to-back goals by Jamie Benn and Colton Sceviour halved the Ducks’ lead just before the end of the second period. Tyler Seguin’s goal with just over six minutes remaining in the third capped off three unanswered Stars’ goals and cut the lead to just one.
 
The Stars would get no closer though, as rookie goaltender Frederik Andersen stopped 32 of 35 shots in his playoff debut. 
 
Up 1 - 0 in the series, the Ducks had a scary moment with just 16 seconds remaining in the game when Getzlaf took a Seguin slapshot to the face and immediately skated to the locker room. 
 
The Ducks’ captain led the team in points during the regular season and the extent of the injury was initially unclear.
 
Game 2 of the series is Friday at Honda Center.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Chargers Linebacker Sues Nike]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:52:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/176605738.jpg

 Former San Diego Chargers player Shawne Merriman has filed a multi-million lawsuit against Nike for using his signature nickname.

The athletic equipment company has branded its new clothing line “Lights Out,” which the former linebacker alleges is a trademark infringement.

“I earned my ‘Lights Out’ nickname in high school when I knocked out four opposing players in one football game,” said Merriman in a release. “I made things official by securing the federal rights to my LIGHTS OUT trademark and have been using it ever since. I am suing Nike as a last resort, not only to protect my brand, but to protect other athletes who are trying to develop a brand.”

The lawsuit was filed by Merriman’s company, Lights Out Holdings, LLC, in California Federal Court.

It demands a preliminary and permanent injunction to stop Nike’s “Lights Out” products.

Also included are “statutory damages of up to $2 million per content mark per type of goods or services sold, offered for sale or distribution,” the complaint said.

According to the lawsuit, Nike started negotiating to use Merriman’s trademarked phrase in 2006, but the negotiations fell through. The complaint alleges that the company decided to use the brand anyway.

The damages may be determined at a trial if the suit moves forward.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[49ers' Aldon Smith Arrested For False Bomb Threat]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:59:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-9-2013-aldon-smith.jpg

San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Aldon Smith was taken into custody by police at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday following an encounter with a TSA agent, police said.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, 25-year-old Smith from San Jose, Calif., was arrested at LAX after making a bomb threat. He was released from custody after posting $20,000 bail Sunday evening and was not charged on Monday, as is standard for out-of-custody defendents, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

According to the police statement, Smith was going through Terminal 1 screening and was randomly selected for a secondary screening at about 2 p.m.. Smith "then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding towards the gate area."

Los Angeles Airport Police made contact with Smith at the gate, where he was identified as the person in question. Once again, Smith became uncooperative and was detained and taken into custody by Airport Police and transported to LAPD and booked for California Penal Code 148.1(a) - false report of a bomb threat.

Additional eyewitness accounts support the accusation.

An airport employee said that he witnessed the confrontation at the gate between Smith and police.

"I could hear him saying bomb, and then I looked and noticed who it was," an LAX employee who said his name was "Garet" told NBC Bay Area. "He was taking money out of his pocket and throwing it on the ground saying, ‘It’ll be all right. It’ll be all right.'"

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has confirmed police at the airport said it appeared Smith may have been drunk earlier in the day. He was belligerent, but he was not charged with being drunk in public, police said.

The airport said it did not run or request any blood alcohol tests because alcohol was not a factor in the arrest.

TMZ Sports was first to post footage of police officers at LAX taking Smith into custody. Smith can can be heard in the video saying he did nothing wrong.

San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement saying the team is "disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith." He declined to comment further, citing a "pending legal matter."

This is the fourth criminal case against Smith in the last two years.

Smith had hearings on two separate criminal cases last Friday, including three felony counts of possessing an illegal assault weapon and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Deputy District Attorney Brian Buckelew.

Smith wasn't present for the hearing.

The district attorney's office filed the three felony charges against Smith on Oct. 9, after the office's firearms unit examined five rifles recovered by sheriff's deputies from Smith's rented home outside San Jose in 2012. Deputies searched the home after a raucous late-night party where two people were shot and wounded and Smith was stabbed in the leg.

During the crowded party, which was attended by 49ers player Chris Culliver and former 49ers player Delanie Walker, Smith fired a .45 caliber handgun into the air to disburse partygoers before he was stabbed.

The man prosecutors alleged stabbed Smith, Steven Raymond Burba, a reputed gang member, was later arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities have not arrested a suspect in the shootings of the two victims at the party.

When sheriff's deputies arrived at Smith's home to investigate, they found five rifles in his bedroom, including three assault weapons, an Armalite AR-10T and two Bushmaster brand rifles, which Smith bought legally in Arizona in 2011 but are illegal to possess in California, prosecutors said.

Smith's separate DUI case was on the court calendar for a pretrial conference. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession on Sept. 20, after San Jose police said he crashed his car into a tree at about 7 a.m. on Bentley Ridge Drive in San Jose.

Some 49ers fans said they were not surprised Smith has had yet another brush with the law.

"You would think he’d get his act together after getting caught after having that DUI crash in San Jose but he’s young, he’s not learning," 49ers fan TJ Duran said.

"I would be shocked if he has a future with the team," football fan Sean Smith said.


Credit for cell phone video: Clayton Mullaly, USMC combat vet.

 

Information from Bay City News was used in this report.



Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Say Goodbye to Staples For Summer]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 03:57:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/470565333.jpg

On a sellout night at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Lakers collected their 55th loss of the season, which was a record for the team since moving to LA. The Lakers lost their final home game of the season on Sunday night, but that was hardly a surprise or the story of the night.

Without their best players available to play, the Lakers had not fared well of late. Sunday night was the Lakers’ seventh loss in a row. Facing a Memphis Grizzlies team on the outskirts of the playoff picture, one would find it hard to pick the nine-man Lakers without Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Chris Kaman, Kent Bazemore, Xavier Henry and Pau Gasol to win.

Of the five names mentioned, only Gasol appeared in public on Sunday evening. Sure, some may say Gasol was there to watch his brother, Marc Gasol, play for the Grizzlies, but the best Spanish speaker on the Lakers has consistently appeared on the sidelines to support his team since suffering vertigo.

Earlier in the day, the Lakers announced that Gasol would not play in the final two games of the season, but the committed teammate would still travel with the team on its final road trip of the season. One criticism of Bryant this season has been his perceived detachment from the Lakers, and the Lakers superstar has rarely appeared on the sidelines since fracturing his knee in December.

Gasol, however, has been a compassionate teammate and has taken ownership over the worst season in LA Lakers history. Although fans may not be unified in bringing him back to the team next season, they appreciate Gasol’s role in Laker Land since his arrival on Feb. 1, 2008.

At one point late in the game, a well-dressed Gasol popped up on the big screen. The fans that were still in attendance, and there were plenty of them, showered the Spaniard with warm applause.

Sunday night may well be the last time Gasol appears at Staples Center as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, as the Barcelona-native is an unrestricted free agent in the summer. The fact that he may not be a welcome face at Staples Center was apparently not lost on Gasol, as the Spaniard spent extended time on the court signing autographs and posing for pictures after the game.

Sure, the Lakers lost 102-90 in their final home game of the worst season in LA Lakers history, but if Gasol leaves, Sunday Apr. 13 will always be remembered as the last night Gasol was a Laker at Staples Center.

Fitting, Gasol was a perfect example of class even after the buzzer sounded. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[49ers' Smith Out on Bail After Alleged Bomb Threat at LAX]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:51:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-9-2013-aldon-smith.jpg

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was out on bail Sunday night after being arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for allegedly making a bomb threat during a security screening, police said.

Smith, 24, was randomly selected for a secondary screening at Terminal 1 about 2 p.m.  and became "uncooperative" with the process, airport police Sgt. Karla Ortiz said. She said Smith "made a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb."

Police took Smith into custody and transported him to the Los Angeles Police Department’s Pacific Division, where he was booked for false report of a bomb threat, Ortiz said.

In video taken by witnesses at the scene, Smith can be heard telling officers he did nothing wrong as he was led away in handcuffs.

Smith was released on $20,000 bail before 8:30 p.m.

San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement to the press, without going into any specifics:

"We are disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith. As this is a pending legal matter and we are still gathering the pertinent facts, we will have no further comment."

Smith had hearings on two separate criminal cases last Friday, including three felony counts of possessing an illegal assault weapon and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Deputy District Attorney Brian Buckelew.

Smith wasn't present for the hearing.

The district attorney's office filed the three felony charges against Smith on Oct. 9, after the office's firearms unit examined five rifles recovered by sheriff's deputies from Smith's rented home outside San Jose in 2012. Deputies searched the home after a raucous late-night party where two people were shot and wounded and Smith was stabbed in the leg.

During the crowded party, which was attended by 49ers player Chris Culliver and former 49ers player Delanie Walker, Smith fired a .45 caliber handgun into the air to disburse partygoers before he was stabbed.

The man prosecutors alleged stabbed Smith, Steven Raymond Burba, a reputed gang member, was later arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities have not arrested a suspect in the shootings of the two victims at the party.

When sheriff's deputies arrived at Smith's home to investigate, they found five rifles in his bedroom, including three assault weapons, an Armalite AR-10T and two Bushmaster brand rifles, which Smith bought legally in Arizona in 2011 but are illegal to possess in California, prosecutors said.

Smith's separate DUI case was on the court calendar for a pretrial conference. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession on Sept. 20, after San Jose police said he crashed his car into a tree at about 7 a.m. on Bentley Ridge Drive in San Jose.

Credit for cell phone video: Clayton Mullaly, USMC combat vet.

Information from Bay City News was used in this report.



Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Keane Carries Galaxy Past Whitecaps]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 14:16:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/AP717402478479+%281%29.jpg

A word of warning to defenders around MLS: Robbie Keane is officially warmed up.

Saturday night at the Stub Hub Center, the Vancouver Whitecaps found out firsthand, as the Irishman’s goal in the 47th minute lifted the LA Galaxy over the visitors 1-0.

Fresh off a 3-0 demolition of rivals Chivas USA, in which Keane also scored, the Galaxy looked to string together back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Just eight minutes into the match, it was none other than Keane nearly getting the team off to a fantastic start.

Drifting wide left just outside the Vancouver area, Keane worked a near perfect one-two combination with midfielder Baggio Husidic leading to Keane’s blistering strike being narrowly saved by the feet of Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted.

Despite the good passage of play early, Keane and the Galaxy found much of the first half frustrating. The Whitecaps swarmed high up the pitch for the full 45 minutes of the half, forcing LA to get rid of the ball quickly at every turn.

And the night might have gone much different had Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo not made a miraculous save on Kekuta Manneh’s breakaway opportunity just shy of the stroke of halftime.

“That was a big save,” said Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena of Penedo after the match. “He wasn’t tested a whole lot tonight but that save in the first half was key.”

Having narrowly escaped to end the first half, LA put Vancouver back on its heels immediately to start the second.

Galaxy midfielder Juninho picked out Stefan Ishizaki to the right of the Whitecaps penalty area less than two minutes into the half.

Ishizaki’s smart touch around Whitecaps defender Jay DeMerit gave the midfielder the opportunity to sneak a peak towards the Vancouver goal. Spotting the raised arm of Keane, the Swede bent an inch perfect cross around the Whitecaps defense, keeping Ousted rooted to his line and allowing Keane to cushion home the game’s only goal into an open net.

“When you give him the ball there, he’s going to score,” said Ishizaki of Keane’s ability to make scoring goals look easy.

The goal was Keane’s third of the season.

Since missing a penalty shot late in the Galaxy’s opener against Real Salt Lake, a game hasn’t gone by where Keane’s not on the scoresheet.

“It’s just one of those things, you know. If anyone else could have found that ball, I’m not too sure,” said Keane of his goal. “Stefan’s was a tremendous ball and I just knew that with someone like him there’s a great chance he’s going to find me.”

Following the loss, Vancouver won’t have to wait long for a chance at redemption. The Galaxy travel north of the border to face the Whitecaps next week.

But the Whitecaps will have to find a way to slow down Keane, if they hope to have a chance.

So far this season, not many teams have.
 



Photo Credit: PR NEWSWIRE]]>
<![CDATA[Images: 2014 Long Beach Grand Prix]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 21:00:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/corvette-Long-Beach-prix-20141.jpg Images from the 2014 Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Photo Credit: Jonathan Lloyd]]>
<![CDATA[2 Hernandez Associates Indicted on Murder Charge]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 15:08:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hernandezq.jpg

Two associates of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez were indicted Friday on murder charges, in connection with his alleged fatal shooting of a semi-professional football player last year.

A Massachusetts grand jury charged both Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace with murder in connection with the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Mass., NECN reported.

Bristol County District Attorney's Office said Ortiz and Wallace, both of Bristol, Conn., will be arraigned on the new charge in Fall River on a date that has yet to be determined.

Ortiz and Wallace had both pleaded not guilty to their previous charge of accessory to murder after the fact.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murdering 27-year-old Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

]]>
<![CDATA[Kaepernick Rips Report]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 13:11:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/461570031.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick slammed media reports that he is being investigated by Miami police for sexual assault.

In a series of three tweets first sent at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, Kaepernick wrote:

"The charges made in the TMZ story and other stories I’ve seen are completely wrong," he tweeted.  "They make things up about me that never happened. I take great pride in who I am and what I do, but  I guess sometimes you have to deal with someone who makes things up. I want to thank all of the people who have shared their encouraging sentiments. I assure you that your faith is not misplaced."

TMZ on Thursday first broke the news about Kaepernick, saying in its headline that he was being investigated for a sexual assault.

Later in the day, the Miami police department released a report filed April 3 by a woman who said she is a former lover of Kaepernick's. In the report, the woman said that she partied with him and two other NFL players, passed out at the Miami Viceroy hotel on April 2, and wound up at a hospital later without having any idea how she got there.

The report alleges no specific crime.

According to the police report, the woman -- who, according to the police report, had a previous sexual relationship with Kaepernick -- said she went to visit Ricardo Lockette, 27, at his unit at the luxury residences of the Viceroy in downtown Miami on April 1 about 9 p.m. Kaepernick and 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, 23, were also there.

The woman said she mixed drinks for the men and gave them shots, according to the report. She said the men told her that if she wanted to drink she had to "hit the bong, which contained marijuana," the report states.

They chatted for a while and watched basketball.

Before midnight, she started to feel "light headed," she told police, and she went to lie down.

She said Kaepernick came behind her in the bedroom and started kissing her, the report states. He started to undress her, and she told police she got naked. They did not have sex at this time, the report states.

Kaepernick left, saying he'd be right back.The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014.

The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo: NBC 6 South Florida)

When the woman called out that she was in bed naked, Patton and Lockette opened the door and "peeked" inside, the report states. She remembers yelling, "What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!" the report states. They closed the door and left.

But the woman cannot remember anything after that.

She woke up in a hospital and can't remember arriving there.

Miami police said they are investigating the report, as is standard when someone files one.

Wisconsin-based XAM Sports, which represents Kaepernick, also issued a statement to CSN Bay Area in support of their client on Friday.

"We stand by Colin 100% and are fully confident that the truth will be evident once the facts come to light regarding this matter. Thank you for supporting Colin."

Agent Scott Smith represents Kaepernick, who is in line for a lucrative contract extension.

General manager Trent Baalke said recently at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., the 49ers hope to have a new deal in place before the opening of training camp. And 49ers CEO Jed York said Kaepernick deserves to be paid like a top quarterback.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kaepernick Probed in Hotel Incident]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 03:57:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP8942224809.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being investigated by police in Miami in connection to an incident that allegedly involves a woman who passed out inside a luxury hotel room.

The report released by the Miami Police Department on Thursday does not charge Kaepernick with any specific crime.

A woman told authorities she partied with Kaepernick -- and two other NFL players -- and ended up in a South Florida hospital room without any recollection of how she got there, according to the police report.

The alleged encounter happened at the Viceroy Hotel in downtown Miami the evening of April 1.

Along with 26-year-old Kaepernick, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, 27, and 23-year-old 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, who is entering his second NFL season, are both mentioned in the incident report. CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reports Kaepernick and Lockette forged a tight friendship during Lockette's time on the 49ers' practice squad in 2012.

Police in Miami are continuing to investigate whether Kaepernick and the two other NFL players mentioned are responsible for any wrongdoing.

“There is not much we can say about it, other than it is an open investigation for all three of these men,” Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.

The report was taken by Miami police on April 3, when the unnamed woman walked into the department's central station.

According to the police report, the woman said she went to visit Lockette at his unit at the luxury residences of the Viceroy on April 1 about 9 p.m. Patton and Kaepernick were also there.

The woman said she mixed drinks for the men and gave them shots, according to the report. She said the men told her that if she wanted to drink she had to "hit the bong, which contained marijuana," the report states.

They chatted for a while and watched basketball.

Before midnight, she started to feel "light headed," she told police, and she went to lie down.

She said Kaepernick came behind her in the bedroom and started kissing her, the report states. He started to undress her, and she told police she got naked. They did not have sex at this time, the report states.

Kaepernick left, saying he'd be right back.The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014.

The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo: NBC 6 South Florida)

When the woman called out that she was in bed naked, Patton and Lockette opened the door and "peeked" inside, the report states. She remembers yelling, "What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!" the report states. They closed the door and left.

But the woman cannot remember anything after that.

She woke up in a hospital and can't remember arriving there.

The woman told police that she and Kaepernick had a sexual relationship in the past.

San Francisco 49ers’ General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement to the media Thursday morning, which said:

“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent media report regarding Colin Kaepernick and is in the process of gathering the pertinent facts.”

TMZ first broke the news. TMZ's report says any investigation is in the "beginning stages," according to law enforcement sources.

Niners cornerback Tramaine Brock said he thinks the investigation "must be a hoax."

Kaepernick has apparently been training in South Florida during the offseason. Less than week ago, the 49ers QB posted to Instagram a photo of himself hashtagged "#Miami."

Attempts to reach the players named in the report or their attorneys have been unsuccessful.

It's been a rough year for 49ers players off the field.

Chris Culliver is facing one felony charge and two misdemeanor charges after a March 30 hit-and-run involving a bicyclist in San Jose. The 25-year-old cornerback was charged with felony possession of brass knuckles, which carries up to a three-year prison sentence. He also was charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run with injury as well as misdemeanor hit-and-run, which have one-year maximum sentences.

All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana in San Jose. In October, the 24-year-old was charged three felony weapons assault charges, stemming from a June 2012 house party he hosted. In September, he was charged with a DUI. In November, Smith pleaded not guilty.

Both Smith and Culliver, who are still under contract with the 49ers, are scheduled to make separate appearances in Santa Clara County court on Friday.
 

NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo and NBC 6 South Florida contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Franchitti to Join Long Beach Walk of Fame]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 07:49:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/145977223.jpg

Four-time IndyCar Series champ Dario Franchitti and two team owners will be inducted into the Long Beach Motorsports Walk of Fame Thursday as event get underway before this weekend's racing.

Franchitti, who won the GPLB in 2009, and team owners Gerald Forsythe and Kevin Kalkhoven will be inducted into the Walk of Fame at 11 a.m. on South Pine Avenue in front of the Convention Center.

The event is free.

Franchitti started 11 races in Long Beach. He is the seventh on the list of all-time Indy Car race winners with 31 victories.

Franchitti announced his retirement in November following a violent crash in an IndyCar race in Houston. The three-time Indianapolis 500 winner suffered a spine injury and suffered a concussion.

Doctors advised it would be too dangerous to continue racing after the injuries.

Forsythe owned the 2003 and 2004 teams that helped Paul Tracy to victory. His team also have won four Atlantic Championship races in Long Beach and the 2003 CART series title.

Kalkhoven was the winning owner at the 2008 GPLB with driver Will Power. His team also captured the 2005 Atlantic Championship.

Kalkhoven and Forsythe teamed with Paul Gentilozzi to create the Champ Car World Series after CART's demise in 2003. Kalkhoven and Forstyhe purchased the Grand Prix Association of Long Beach in 2005.



Photo Credit: Getty Images for TMS]]>
<![CDATA[Ducks Capture Pacific Division; Kings Get the Sharks]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 08:12:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/hockey2+copy.jpg

The Anaheim Ducks clinched their third Pacific Division title in team history Wednesday night by beating the San Jose Sharks 5-2 at Honda Center.

Anaheim will face one of the two Western Conference wild card teams in the opening round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs starting next week, while the Sharks will be matched up against the Los Angeles Kings in round one.

Having already set a franchise record for wins in a season with 51, the Ducks entered the night just three points in front of the Sharks with three games remaining in the regular season.

Sharks defenseman Jason Demers opened the night’s scoring late in the first period when his wrist shot from the right circle beat Ducks goalie John Gibson. The goal was the first Gibson had conceded in his NHL career after shutting out the Vancouver Canucks Monday in his league debut.

Down one, the Ducks wasted little time leveling up the score. Streaking down the left boards, Ducks right winger Corey Perry sped his way past Sharks defenseman Justin Braun and slid a backhander under the pads of goalie Antti Niemi with just seconds remaining in the first period.

In the second, the Ducks and Sharks traded goals from Ducks left winger Patrick Maroon and San Jose center Logan Couture to knot the score once again, this time at two.

But Maroon found the net a second time midway through the period before left winger Matt Beleskey’s toe drag and shot all in one motion put the Ducks up 4-2.

Right winger Jakob Silvferbeg put the game out of reach late in the third period with an empty net goal to make it 5-2, as the Honda Center crowd recognized their 2014 Pacific Division Champion Ducks with a standing ovation as the game’s final minute ticked down.

As the division champs, Anaheim now waits to see which of the three teams vying for the two Western Conference wild card spots they’ll play in the first round of the playoffs.

Playing over 1,500 miles away in Calgary, the Kings’ playoff picture became much clearer following the Ducks’ win.

Despite losing 4-3 in a shootout to the Calgary Flames, the Kings, locked into the division’s third spot, now know they’ll travel to San Jose to face the Sharks in their first game of the playoffs.

The Ducks and Kings will face off for the final time in the regular season on Saturday at Staples Center in the penultimate game of the season for both teams.

Anaheim leads the season series with the Kings three games to one including a  3-0 win outdoors at Dodgers Stadium on Jan. 25.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[UMass Basketball Player Announces He's Gay]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 09:30:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ncaa_h3.jpg

UMass guard Derrick Gordon has become the first openly gay player in Division I men's basketball.

Gordon made the announcement in interviews with ESPN and Outsports on Wednesday. Gordon said he gained confidence by seeing an NBA team sign Jason Collins, who became the league's first openly gay player when he joined the Brooklyn Nets this season.

"I want to be myself," Gordon said in the interview televised on ESPN. "I don't want to hide and be someone I'm not."

The sophomore was the Minutemen's fourth-leading scorer with 9.4 points per game last season, when UMass reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. A transfer from Western Kentucky, Gordon played at high school powerhouse St. Patrick in New Jersey.

In the Outsports interview, Gordon said he considered quitting basketball last fall and isolated himself from teammates because of teasing. Over the summer, he had "liked" a photo on Instagram of him and his then-boyfriend in front of gay bar.

"I just wanted to run and hide somewhere," he said. "I used to go back to my room and I'd just cry."

Gordon was also inspired by spending time with several gay people in the world of sports in March, according to the Outsports article, and decided to come out to his family and then the Minutemen.

Once he opened up to his teammates, they were encouraging. In the ESPN interview, he recalled that they told him: "We're going to support you no matter what."

Coach Derek Kellogg told ESPN that he could already see a newfound happiness in Gordon.

"I haven't felt like this. Ever," Gordon said in the Outsports interview. "It's a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. I can finally breathe now and live life happily."

On Twitter on Wednesday, he expressed similar levels of relief at his decision, saying he is "the happiest I have ever been in my 22 Years of living."

Collins made a trailblazing announcement last April when he came out in an interview with Sports Illustrated. In February, he became the first openly gay male athlete in the four major North American pro sports leagues.

Michael Sam, an All-American defensive end at Missouri, came out in interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports in February after his college career ended. He is projected as a middle-round prospect in next month's NFL draft.

Sam tweeted congratulations to Gordon after the announcement: "You have so many in your corner and we're all proud and rooting for you."

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Batkid Throws 1st Pitch, Draws Praise, Criticism ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:41:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/batkid6.jpg

He won the hearts of San Francisco five months ago, when the city morphed into Gotham City to lift the spirits of a 5-year-old battling leukemia.

And Batkid still evoked strong emotions when he took the mound at the Giants home opener at AT&T Park on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The tiny superhero, aka Miles Scott of Siskyou County, threw the first pitch at the game, where the Giants were victorious, 7-3. An especially poignant image was when the little boy dressed all in black held hands with pitcher Matt Cain on the field.

Some took to social media to criticize all the attention Miles - who is remission from his cancer - is still getting. The city of San Francisco and 12,000 volunteers pitched in on Nov. 15 to make the boy's dream come true: Allowing him to be his favorite superhero for the day. But some believe that the boy's 15 minutes is up.

On NBC Bay Area's Facebook page, some posters were critical of all the attention he was getting. "There are plenty of other kids out there that could use support or even a couple hours of fun," one person wrote.

But it's also safe to say that Miles has become a symbol of hope for many, especially those in the cancer community, who see that the boy battled his disease.

"Omg!," a poster named Dana Hernandez wrote. "This was so cool! It gave me the chills."

And in a Wednesday morning interview on NBC Bay Area, Giants commentator Mike Krukow called the "blanket of love that everyone" threw Batkid's way, was just "amazing."

"It was the start of a perfect day,"Krukow said during his weekly segment "Kruk on Skype." "And Batkid had a lot to do with it."


Miles Scott, left, dressed as Batkid, throws the ceremonial first pitch next to Batman before an opening day baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, Pool).



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Storms to 9th Title, Routing Notre Dame 79-58]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 20:59:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP576312210999.jpg

Geno Auriemma and Connecticut stand alone in women's college basketball, and they reached the top in unprecedented fashion.

The Huskies routed Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in the first championship game featuring undefeated teams, winning their record ninth national title. Auriemma broke a tie with Pat Summitt and Tennessee for most all-time, doing it in her backyard.

Breanna Stewart, who was the AP's player of the year, scored 21 points to lead the Huskies (40-0) while Stefanie Dolson added 17 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Auriemma took out his senior center with a minute left, and the pair embraced in a long hug.

The victory also means that UConn is now the center of the college basketball world with both the men's and women's teams winning the championship in the same year again. The men's team beat Kentucky in the title game Monday night. This pair of victories come a decade after the Huskies became the only school to accomplish the feat.

While the names change at UConn, from Rebecca Lobo to Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and now Stewart, Auriemma has been the constant, winning nine titles in only 20 seasons — including the last two. He's never lost in a national championship game.

"Congratulations to the UConn Huskies for winning the 2014 NCAA National Championship!," Summitt said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. "My compliments also to coach Geno Auriemma for winning his ninth national title. He has accomplished this feat in record time."

It was the fifth unbeaten season for Auriemma and UConn and the first time the Huskies went 40-0 — matching Baylor as the only schools to accomplish that feat. The victory was also Connecticut's 46th straight dating back to last season's NCAA tournament title run. It's the third longest streak in school history — well short of the NCAA record 90 straight they won.

The loss was Notre Dame's third in the title game in the past four years. Kayla McBride finished off her stellar career with 21 points to lead the Irish, who were looking for their first championship since 2001.

After proving to be no challenge for the Huskies during the first 15 years of the rivalry which began in 1995, Notre Dame had owned the series lately, winning seven of the previous nine meetings. UConn though has won the last two, eliminating Notre Dame in the Final Four last season before topping them in the championship game this year.

The two former Big East rivals, who have no love lost for each other, put on a show in a game that women's basketball hoped could transcend the sport. The coaches added to the drama of the game with their verbal sparring on Monday. But it was Auriemma who got the last word again.

Even with the loss, it was a record-setting season for the Irish.

Notre Dame lost Skylar Diggins to graduation and changed conferences to the ACC. Neither mattered as they ran through their opponents, winning by an average of 25.6 points while taking both the conference regular season and tournament championships.

The Irish lost senior Natalie Achonwa to a torn ACL in the regional final win over Baylor. Notre Dame wore warmup shirts with Achonwa's nickname "Ace" below her No. 11.

The team played inspired basketball in the Final Four win over Maryland, outrebounding the Terps by a record margin. The Irish couldn't muster a similar effort against UConn and it's gigantic front line. Stewart, Stefanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes dominated the interior. The Huskies outrebounded the Irish 54-31 and held them to a season-low in points.

After the teams traded shots early on, Stewart fueled a 16-0 run as the Huskies, who have played stellar defense all season, held the Irish without a point for nearly five minutes. Stewart's lay-in with 11:02 left made it 22-8.

A minute later, Dolson had an acrobatic tip to Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis for another layup.

The Irish stayed in the first half by hot 3-point shooting by Michaela Mabrey and Jewell Loyd. Trailing 37-25 with 4:09 left in the first half, the pair sparked a 13-6 run, hitting three 3-pointers which brought the Irish faithful to their feet.

UConn led 45-38 at the half, shooting 57 percent from the field and having 16 assists on their 21 baskets.

The Huskies closed the door on any Irish comeback scoring 18 of the first 22 points in the second half to put the game away. Stewart and Dolson had 10 points during the burst.

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Wins NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 22:35:12 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP399579783850.jpg The NCAA tournament is arguably the best stretch of weeks on the sports calendar, filled with great teams, exciting games, star players and, usually, plenty of upsets. Mixed in with all the action are some dramatic photos. Take a look at the best of the NCAA tournament in photos.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers' Bazemore Out for Season]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 19:12:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/481643101.jpg

Officially, the Los Angeles Lakers injury bug is not restricted to players who started the season on the roster. On Monday, Kent Bazemore underwent an MRI that revealed he had a torn peroneus longus tendon in his right foot. Joining the likes of Kobe Bryant and Xavier Henry, Bazemore’s season is officially over.

Bazemore suffered the injury during the Lakers’ historic loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. After the game, the shooting guard said he heard a “pop,” which is never a good sound.

X-rays taken at the arena came back negative, so the MRI was scheduled for Monday, and the results were not good.

Acquired from the Golden State Warriors via a trade involving Steve Blake, Bazemore played 23 games and started 15 of them. He was an athletic wing player who possessed enough ball control to serve as a backup point guard. He averaged 13.1 points, 3.1 assists and 3.3 rebounds in 28 minutes per game with the Lakers.

Upon arrival, Bazemore was a bit trigger happy while integrating into the new team. However, he embraced the team role recently and had four or more assists in six of the last nine games -- including the loss to the Clippers.

At the time of Bazemore's injury, the Lakers were involved in a one-possession game.

Based on his production, Bazemore looked like the type of young talent that was worth developing and bringing back to the team. Depending on the surgery and his timeline for recovery, the Lakers should still be interested in Bazemore’s services next season. If anything, the injury likely scares off potential suitors for the 24-year-old out of Old Dominion University.

In only his second season as a professional, Bazemore displayed the ability to shoot from distance and also get to the rim with ease. A hard worker on defense, the undrafted second-year player possesses several key characteristics scouts look for in young players that can develop into good players.

Per Lakers PR, a timetable for his recovery will not be made available until after the conclusion of the surgery.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Parakeet Cheers on UConn ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 08:41:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/UConnParakeetRazz1200.jpg Talk about a UConn fan! Households across Connecticut are cheering on UConn, but at the DelGrego home in Cheshire, that includes Razz, the parakeet.]]> <![CDATA[Golf Digest's May Cover Angers LPGA Pros]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 06:55:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP960458089875.jpg

Golf Digest’s May issue has stirred up controversy because of who landed on the cover.

The magazine features 25-year-old Paulina Gretzky, fiancée of PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson and daughter of renowned hockey player Wayne Gretzky. Several LPGA stars are not pleased with the decision to use Gretzky, who's not a professional golfer, and said women pro golfers are getting overlooked.

“It’s frustrating for female golfers," Stacy Lewis, who is ranked No. 3 in the world, said when asked by The New York Times. "It’s kind of the state of where we’ve always been,” “We don’t get respect for being the golfers that we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines, but at the same time you would like to see a little respect for the women’s game.”

In the Golf Digest article, Gretzky demonstrates six golf-improvement exercises and talks about her involvement in the sport. The photos used to promote the issue, which hits newsstands April 15, show her wearing fitted white pants and a white sports bra.

“It’s Golf Digest, it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue,” Juli Inkster, LPGA star and a former cover girl of Golf Digest, told the Times of the spread. “I think they should maybe recognize some of the great women golfers that we have. It’s like, what do you have to do to get a little respect?”

Apart from Gretzky, the last two women featured on the cover have also not been players. Golf Channel anchor Holly Sonders graced the cover last May, and supermodel Kate Upton appeared alongside Arnold Palmer last December.

LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan condemned the move on Friday.

"If a magazine called Golf Digest is interested in showcasing females in the game, yet consistently steers away from the true superstars who've made history over the last few years, something is clearly wrong," he said in a statement.

Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, Jerry Tarde, defended the choice to feature Gretzky.

"Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine's beginning," Tarde said in a statement. "Paulina ranks at the high end of the golf celebrity scene today, and she has a compelling story to tell. She also might get some new people interested in the game."

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Radio Host Apologizes for "Insensitive" C-Section Comments ]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 12:42:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/181759138.jpg

A morning radio host issued a public apology Friday for suggesting a New York Mets player should have asked his wife to get a C-section before the baseball season started so he wouldn't miss games while on paternity leave, saying he regrets making the "flippant" and "insensitive" remarks.

“I can only hope that people understand that my comment — my flippant comment — wasn’t made in any way, shape or form to insult anybody," Boomer Esiason, co-host of WFAN's "Boomer & Carton," said on the show Friday. "But obviously it did. And for that I am truly sorry.”

The former NFL quarterback came under fire after he and co-host Craig Carton skewered second baseman Daniel Murphy's decision to miss the first games of the season to be with his wife and newborn son.

Esiason said Murphy, who took three days of paternity leave after his wife went into labor as the baseball season kicked off Monday, should have told his wife to get a C-section so he could make opening day. His comment, which was made during Wednesday's show, came after Carton said that assuming there are no complications, Murphy should have gotten his "ass back to your team" a day after the birth.

The comments drew backlash from some medical experts, who cautioned against scheduling a surgical birth for timing or convenience when the procedure isn't medically necessary. Esiason acknowledged Friday that he was wrong to suggest such an approach.

"In no way, shape or form was I advocating anything for anybody to do," he said. "I was not telling women what to do with their bodies. I would never do that," he said. "That’s their decision, that’s their life and they know their bodies better than I do."

He said he feels bad that the Murphy family was "dragged into a conversation and their whole life was exposed," saying "what should be the greatest time in their life turned out to be somewhat of a firestorm that I personally put them into."

"All I can say is that I truly, truly, feel terrible about what I put them through. So for that I certainly apologize," he said.

Murphy, whose child was delivered via C-section, said Thursday that he and his wife "felt the best thing for our family was for stay for an extra day... just to have that support system." He called the choice to take paternity leave an "awesome part about being blessed, about being a parent."

"I can only speak from experience, from my experience, but a father seeing their wife, she was completely finished, she was done," he said. "She had had surgery and she was wiped. So having me there helped a lot."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[What's New for 2014 at Dodger Stadium]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:13:01 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/201*120/183603158.jpg

The Los Angeles Dodgers will play their home opener Friday against the San Francisco Giants, providing fans with their first look this season inside the team's 52-year-old stadium after another round of renovations.

Dodger Stadium is the third oldest ballpark in Major League Baseball behind Boston's Fenway Park and Chicago's Wrigley Field, but the team invested in several upgrades over the past two seasons.

Dodger Stadium Upgrades:

  • Expansion of the entries at the field level, enabling all fans with  pavilion, dugout, field, loge and club tickets to enter at entrances in the  north side of the stadium.
  • Two 25,000-square foot plazas in right and left field. A fenced  walkway will enable fans to move between the right and left field plazas.
  • Seating and lounging areas at bars and drink rails overlooking the  bullpens in the outfield.
  • A dedicated pedestrian entrance at the stadium's main entrance at  Sunset Boulevard, with new lighting, designed to encourage fans to use parking  lots 13 and 14 along Stadium Way and the route 2 and 4 buses along Sunset  Boulevard.
  • A team store in the left field plaza; a New Era cap store in the  right field plaza; areas to buy Hello Kitty merchandise in both outfield  plazas; a Nike store on the loge level; Majestic jersey stores in the left  field reserve level and the Lexus Dugout Club lobby.
  • What the team describes as a "state of the art" wireless system.
  • Additional parking spaces.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New Season Brings New Menu at Dodger Stadium]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:12:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/food-dodger-stadium-2014.gif

The new season brings new food options for Dodgers fans who have several choices beyond the traditional ballpark Dodger Dog, including the Italian-inspired fare at Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria.

The stand named after the former Dodgers manager is located in the right field plaza inside the league's third-oldest ballpark. Fans will find pizza by the slice made with fresh dough and Italian sausage with peppers and onions.

Other new food stands include the Think Blue BBQ in the left field plaza, which will serve with barbecue beef  brisket sandwiches and grilled turkey legs. The LA extreme bacon wrapped dog will be available at the extreme loaded  hot dog stands. The major league nachos helmet with 64 ounces of crispy  tortilla chips will be available on the field, loge and reserve levels.

Dodgers Concessions Guide:

Left Field Plaza:
BBQ Beef Brisket
Roasted Corn
Cocktails

Right Field Plaza:
Chicken Parmigiana Sandwich
Cocktails
Tommy Lasorda's Pizza
Gelato, Tiramisu & Cannoli
Italian Sausage
Italian Meatball Sandwich

Field Level:
Baseline Prime Ticket Club Restaurant - Sections 51 & 52
Dodger Dogs - Sections 9, 10, 22, 23, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47 & 48
Super Dodger Dogs - Sections 9, 22, 23, 41, 42, 45, 46, 47, 48
Brooklyn Dodger Dogs - Sections 47, 48
LA's Extreme Bacon Dog - Section 8
Veggie Dog - Sections 22, 23
Hebrew National Kosher Dogs - Sections 47, 48
Sausages - Section 46
Soft-Serve Ice Cream - Sections 22, 23, 41, 42, 47 & 48
Frozen Yogurt - Section 9
Garlic Fries - Sections 10, 22, 23, 45 and 48
Nachos Helmet - Sections 22, 23,46, 47
Chicken Tenders - Sections 10, 45
Salads - Section 7
Sushi - Section 7
Wetzel's Pretzel - Section 7
Burgers - Sections 22, 23
Hot Sandwiches - Section 47
Cheese Steak Sandwich - Sections 41, 42, 48
Cocktails - Section 2
Frozen Cocktails - Sections 204, 245
Craft Beer - Section 4
Kirin Frozen Draft Beer - Section 7

Loge Level:
Dodger Dogs - Sections 104, 131, 136, 139, 140, 141, 154, 157, 163,165, 166
Super Dodger Dogs - Sections 104, 136, 141, 154, 157
Brooklyn Dodger Dogs - Sections 139, 163, 165
Veggie Dog - Sections 104, 154, 157
Hebrew National Kosher Dogs - Sections 154, 157
Sausages - Section 139
LA's Extreme Bacon Dog - Section 135
Soft-Serve Ice Cream - Sections 132, 163, 165
Frozen Yogurt - Section 131
Garlic Fries - Sections 140, 141
Nachos Helmet - Section 109
Burgers - Section 140
Salads - Section 102
Cocktails - Section 140, 166
Frozen Cocktails - Sections 163, 165, 166
Craft Beer - Section 163, 165
Kirin Frozen Draft Beer - Section 163, 165
Sushi - Section 102
Wetzel's Pretzel - Section 141
Brooklyn Dodgers Pizza - Section 132
Cheese Steak Sandwich - Section 136

Club Level:
Club Marketplace - Top of Escalators

Reserve Level:
Dodger Dogs - Sections 3, 4, 6, 7, 23, 24, 31, 32, 35, 36, 42, 43, 55
Super Dodger Dogs - Sections 4, 7, 16, 23, 24, 35, 36, 42, 43, 55
Brooklyn Dodger Dogs - Sections 23, 24, 35, 36
Veggie Dog - Section 4
Hebrew National Kosher Dogs Sections 35, 36
Sausages - Section 16
LA's Extreme Bacon Dog - Section 2
Soft-Serve Ice Cream - Sections 2, 19, 31, 32
Garlic Fries - Sections 6, 7, 16, 31, 32
Nachos Helmet - Section 19, 42, 43
Chicken Tenders - Section 6
Salads - Section 16
Frozen Cocktails - Section 5
Sushi - Section 16
Wetzel's Pretzel - Section 4
Brooklyn Dodgers Pizza - Section 3
Chicken Taquitos - Section 19
Root Beer Float - Section 31, 32
Burgers - Section 31, 32
Tacos - Section 19

Top Deck:
Dodger Dogs - Sections 4, 5
Super Dodger Dogs - Section 5
Brooklyn Dodger Dogs - Section 5
Veggie Dog - Section 5
Corn Dog - Section 5
Chili Cheese Fries - Section 4
Garlic Fries - Sections 4, 5
Elysian Park Grill / Burgers - Section 4
Turkey Burger - Section 4
Veggie Burger - Section 4
Root Beer Float - Section 4
Soft-Serve Ice Cream - Sections 4, 5
Craft Beer - Section 4

Time Warner Left Field Pavilion:
Dodger Dog - Sections 301, 309
Super Dodger Dogs - Sections 301, 309
Brooklyn Dodger Dogs - Sections 301, 309
Veggie Dog - Section 301
Kosher Dog - Section 309
Nachos Cheese Helmet - Sections 301, 309

Coca Cola All-You-Can-Eat Right Field Pavilion:
Farmer John Dodger Dogs, Nachos, Peanuts, Popcorn, Water, Soft Drinks

]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Lose To Kings, Loss No. 50]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 05:41:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/167148830.jpg

Wednesday night was not a dull affair or a blowout, but it was a typical loss in a season full of failure.

The Los Angeles Lakers lost their 50th game of the season, but this loss did not hurt as much as others. The half-century mark was commemorated in fitting fashion. This season has been hampered by injuries, and Wednesday was simply another bizarre day in this odd season.

From the team that lost to the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday night, four rotation players were unable to play on Wednesday night in Sacramento: Steve Nash was too old to play on back-to-backs; Pau Gasol was unable to leave his hotel room with vertigo; Chris Kaman’s calf was acting up and Xavier Henry’s knee was not good enough to go.

“We had a tough trip. Over the flight up, we lost four guys.” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni attempted to once again make light of the lingering injury motif that has cursed the season. “That was a tough flight. I mean, a little turbulence, but I didn’t know it was that much.”

Already facing long odds, the Lakers battled until the final 30 seconds. Down by three points, Kent Bazemore flipped up an open layup with 30 seconds to play. The shot fell off the rim and into the hands of DeMarcus Cousins of the Kings.

Instead of playing defense for the next 24 seconds and attempting to tie the game with a three-point shot, Bazemore took out his frustrations and intentionally fouled. The game immediately jumped to a two-possession contest, and the Lakers went on to lose by a five-point margin, 107-102.

Jodie Meeks, as he has been all season long, was the most consistent player for the purple and gold. Meeks finished with a team-high 21 points. Jordan Hill only shot 5-15 from the field, but he finished with 18 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.

Only one night earlier, Hill was unable to get off the bench against the Blazers.

The 50th loss was typical of the season. Injuries and inexperience accounted for the defeat, and the undeveloped talent was forced into the spotlight. Rookie Ryan Kelly had an impressive two-hand jam at one point, but that was only one of two baskets the 22-year-old converted on the night.

Undersized, undermanned and 25 games under .500, the Los Angeles Lakers have seven games left in a season that should be stripped of its clothes and burnt from memory.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Woman Looks to Break All-Male Barrier in Lacrosse]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 08:13:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/161153179.jpg

Goalie Devon Wills might soon be in a league of her own.

To those in the know, Wills is a brick wall. A former All-Ivy League lacrosse player at Dartmouth, the current assistant coach of the University of Southern California women’s lacrosse team is a two-time Lacrosse World Cup champion and widely regarded as the best female lacrosse goalie in the world.

Come next week, you might know her as one of the few female athletes to break sport’s gender barrier.

Ranked second in career saves at Dartmouth, Wills was claimed by the New York Lizards of the Major Lacrosse League in December 2013 and invited to the team’s 2014 training camp.

If all goes well, the Team USA goalie would become the first female professional lacrosse player in the all-male MLL.

“The media attention about the gender issues of it was more than I thought was going to happen,” said Wills in an interview with NBC4’s Mario Solis. “And maybe that was me being a little naïve but at the same time, I just want to play lacrosse.”

Originally slated to attend Lizards’ training camp over three weekends in April, Wills was thought to have ample time to impress her prospective new coaches. However, Wills’ responsibilities as a defensive coordinator at USC will cut her professional tryout to just one day.

Despite the shortened opportunity, Wills seems unfazed.

“They’ll make their decision from there if I can hang; if I can’t. And then I’ll be right back here with my girls,” said Wills.

Wills  wouldn’t be the first female to play in a professional men’s league. In fact, she wouldn’t be the first female goalie to do so, either.

Manon Rheaume played for the Tampa Bay Lightning of the NHL in an exhibition game prior to the 1992 season.

Lightning general manager at the time, Phil Esposito, would later comment that Rheaume’s signing was a publicity stunt to garner attention for his fledgling franchise in a non-hockey market. Rheaume would not take the ice a second time for the Lightning.

“For me, it’s definitely not a stunt,” said Wills. “For me, it’s getting out there trying to be better than I am right now and trying something new.”



Photo Credit: DP]]>
<![CDATA[Was Ortiz Selfie With Obama Staged?]]> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 16:15:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/David+Ortiz+selfie+with+President+Obama+crop.jpg

That selfie that Red Sox slugger David Ortiz took with President Barack Obama on Tuesday may have been part of a marketing stunt.

Now, Ortiz is taking some heat, NECN reports, after it emerged that Samsung coached him on how to snap his widely-tweeted White House photo.

Samsung acknowledged Wednesday that it had a relationship with Ortiz and the Red Sox and that it had helped him take his photo, and Sports Business Journal reported Monday that Ortiz just signed a new endorsement deal with the mobile provider.

"It was an honor to help him capture such an incredible and genuine moment of joy and excitement," Samsung said, comparing his selfie to the star-studded one that Ellen DeGeneres took at the Oscars.

The White House said Wednesday that Obama wasn't aware of the marketing stunt.

Ortiz snapped the photo with the president Tuesday as his team, last year's World Series champs, was being honored at the White House. Ortiz presented Obama with a personalized Red Sox jersey, which they're holding in the photo. 

Within moments, the photo was retweeted thousands of times.

Obama, a Chicago White Sox fan, told the team that several members of his administration are Red Sox fans and praised the team for its win and for bringing the city of Boston together in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.

"Obviously, all the wins were sweet for Red Sox fans, but I think for the nation as a whole, there was something particular about this squad that was special and will go down in history," the president said.

He said the team represented the grit and resilience of one of America's iconic cities during one of its most difficult moments.



Photo Credit: @davidortiz]]>
<![CDATA[Reporter Challenges NCAA Policy, Gets His Cat Mug Confiscated]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 03:33:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/185740987.jpg

A reporter covering the Elite Eight showdown on Sunday found that even his cute cat mug would not escape NCAA's strict branding rules.

Wall Street Journal reporter Jason Gay brought a mug featuring illustrations of cats in various poses to Sunday's game between Connecticut and Michigan State at Madison Square Garden in New York City, violating NCAA's ban on all unofficial cups at tournament games.

"I was not innocently wandering into the Garden with a cat mug," Gay wrote in an article documenting the absurd incident. "I felt the NCAA cup rule was pretty funny, and a bit ridiculous, so I wanted to wage a tiny protest against the NCAA by bringing my kitty cat beverage holder to the game.”

Gay knew the mug, although adorable, violated NCAA regulations and that his credentials to cover the tournament required him to obey those rules. Powerade is the exclusive and official beverage of the NCAA, and blue and black paper Powerade cups are the only ones permitted at facilities during the games.

Gay was upfront with his 31,000 Twitter followers about his plans to sneak the cat mug into MSG. He first tweeted a photo of the mug in front of a sign at MSG that read “Only NCAA Cups Allowed Beyond This Point.” Another shot showed the mug on a table next to the official NCAA paper cup.

 

With only a few minutes left to go in the UConn-Michigan State game, a staffer approached Gay at courtside and asked for the mug.

“I was asked if the Journal intended to cover the Final Four next weekend, and I said that, yes, I believed the Journal intended to cover the Final Four,” Gay wrote. “I still was hanging onto the idea that this whole thing was a joke. Then the cat mug was requested. As in, they wanted the cat mug.”

Gay considered putting up a fight "because this cat mug is a protest of what I see as the hypocrisy of big-time college athletics in this country, where an urge to reap every possible dollar has undermined a beautiful endeavor." He surrendered it instead.

The mug was returned after the game.

The NCAA, which makes billions of dollars from corporate deals and from using players' names and likenesses on merchandise, has come under fire for their refusal to pay college athletes.

A recent lawsuit by Northwestern University football players has challenged the NCAA's rules, and the National Labor Relations Board ruled last week that college athletes must be considered employees, in a decision that moves Northwestern players a step closer to organizing the nation's first college athletes' union.

The NCAA has not yet responded to a request for comment. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images/DeAgostini]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Announce Plans For New Facility]]> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 19:44:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/135510486.jpg

Less than an hour before the Los Angeles Lakers tipped off against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Lakers announced that they had agreed to purchase a five-acre undeveloped property in El Segundo, Ca. The proposed site will feature a brand new training facility for the Lakers and its NBA Development League associate the Los Angeles D-Fenders.

Currently, the Lakers and D-Fenders both practice at the Toyota Sports Center, also in El Segundo. That location also serves as the Los Angeles Kings practice facility.

The new location is on the northwest corner of Mariposa Avenue and Douglas Street, which is less than half a mile away from the Toyota Sports Center. Along with a brand new training facility, the Lakers and D-Fenders will move their respective business operations offices in the new facility.

The Lakers were quick to point out that the purchase will not be finalized until various conditions, including the approval by the City of El Segundo, are met.

However, the Lakers must be confident of the sale going through at this point considering they opted to send out a press release on a game night with all media covering the team present.

It may only be down the street, but the Lakers are moving. No immediate timeline was available for when construction would begin on the proposed site.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>