<![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 Sat, 30 Aug 2014 07:19:56 -0700 Sat, 30 Aug 2014 07:19:56 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[49ers' Aldon Smith Out for 9 Games]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 18:24:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/aldon-smith-preason-2014.jpg

The San Francisco 49ers will play more than half the season without the team’s best defensive player.

The NFL has suspended outside linebacker Aldon Smith for the first nine games of the 2014 season for violating the league's policies on substance abuse and personal conduct.

Smith's suspension is without pay, the league announced Friday.

Smith will be eligible to return to the 49ers’ active roster on Monday, Nov. 10, following the team’s Nov. 9 game against the New Orleans Saints, the NFL announced. He'll likely be back on the field when the Niners play the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Nov. 16.

“Our organization has known this decision would come and we have prepared for it as a team," San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke said in a statement following the league's announcement. "Aldon has taken responsibility for his actions and has continued to show growth personally and professionally. We will continue to support him, but it is time to put this matter behind us and focus on the season ahead.”

Smith will not be able to appeal the suspension as the appeals process has already run its course, CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reported.

The 24-year-old Smith, one of the NFL's top pass rushers, missed five games last season to undergo treatment at an in-patient facility following his DUI arrest Sept. 20.

Just before training camp began last month, the 24-year-old Smith was sentenced to serve three years of probation and to spend 11 days with a work crew after he pleaded no contest to drunken driving and weapons charges.

He has repeatedly said he has been sober since his DUI arrest last September. Smith played in a 27-7 home loss to the Colts on Sept. 22, two days after he was arrested and jailed on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession. After the game, he publicly apologized for his behavior and later announced he would leave for treatment.

While the Niners went on a five-game winning streak without him, Smith's menacing presence was sorely missed. The team still picked up his 2015 contract option this spring.

In his latest run-in with the law, Smith was arrested April 13 at Los Angeles International Airport. Police said Smith was randomly selected for a secondary screening and became uncooperative with the process, telling a TSA agent that he had a bomb. No charges were filed.

In November, he pleaded not guilty to three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from a June 2012 party at his home. Investigators said several shots were fired, two partygoers were injured and Smith was stabbed. In the subsequent investigation, prosecutors say detectives found five unregistered, illegal weapons in Smith's house.

Last season, Smith finished with 8 1/2 sacks and 34 tackles in 11 games with eight starts. He was initially worked back in slowly, but demonstrated he had stayed in shape while away.

Selected seventh overall in the 2011 draft out of Missouri, Smith had a franchise-record 19 1/2 sacks during the 2012 season for the 49ers, who lost to Baltimore in the Super Bowl after that season.

Read more from CSN Bay Area.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers' Haren to Start Weekend Series Versus Padres ]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 11:07:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/162*120/dharen+.jpg

Dan Haren’s 11-10 record this season epitomizes the Jekyll and Hyde-type pitcher he’s been the last few years.

At times this season he’s been awful. In 23 ⅓ innings pitched from July 5 to August 1 Haren compiled a 10.13 ERA, batters hit .308 against him and he went 0-5.

Most recently, he’s looked like a frontline starter. In his last 23 ⅓ innings pitched, the 33-year-old has a 2.73 ERA, he’s held hitters to a .189 batting average and he’s 3-1.

The Dodgers are hoping the latter Haren shows up Friday night in the first of a three-game series against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park.

“I have to be able to step up,” Haren told MLB.com. “I’ve been one of the five guys all year and however many starts I have left, they need to be as good as they can be.”

With Josh Beckett on the disabled list, Hyun-Jin Ryu working to return from a bum buttocks muscle and Zack Greinke pitching with elbow issues, the Dodgers needs the wily veteran more than ever.

He’s 1-1 with a 4.14 ERA in three starts against the Padres this season, but his ERA at Petco Park is only 2.41.

Haren will square off against Andrew Cashner and his 2-6 record and 2.43 ERA.

In his only start against the Dodgers this season on March 30 Cashner went six innings, he only allowed one run on four hits in a 3-1 Padres win.

Greinke (13-8) and Ian Kennedy (10-11) are the scheduled starters for game two. Eric Stults (6-14) will go for the Padres in game three. It was thrown around that Ryu could make his first start Sunday in his return from the disabled list, but, as of now, Kevin Correia (7-14) is scheduled to start game three of the series for the Dodgers.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Beat D'Backs Behind Kershaw Performance]]> Fri, 29 Aug 2014 09:42:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/kenley+milestone.jpg

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: “Clayton Kershaw dominates in a Dodger win.”

Well, it happened again Wednesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Kershaw went eight innings, allowing six hits, one unearned run, he struck out 10 hitters and walked two, in a 3-1 victory at Chase Field.

He picked up his Major League-leading 16th win. The left-hander also lowered his Major League-leading ERA to 1.73 and, for the third straight start, he struck out at least 10 batters.

It wasn’t as smooth sailing as his pitching line suggests, which Kershaw even admitted.

"It was a bad start really. I felt like guys were on base the whole night," Kershaw said afterward.

"But, I was fortunate to get some outs when I needed them, and after about the fourth or fifth inning I settled in a little bit and I was able to make it through eight, which is good."

He was mostly right about the guys on base part. 

Arizona had runners in scoring position in the third, fourth and fifth innings, and they made the lefty face a bases-loaded situation for the first time all season.


Let’s pause...

Did you get that?

In his previous 153 ⅓ innings pitched this season going into Wednesday, no team had loaded the bases against Kershaw…not one.

That’s insane.

"I didn’t know that," a stunned Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said when he heard the stat from SportsNet LA reporter Alanna Rizzo.

"Does it surprise me? Yeah, that he never had the bases loaded all year but nothing too much surprises me with him anymore."

Arizona had the bases juiced in the third inning with one out, but Aaron Hill popped out to second and Mark Trumbo flied out to left to end the inning before a run crossed the plate.

The Diamondbacks got their only run in the fourth.

Alfredo Marte led off with a double to left. Jordan Pacheco followed with a single to center that kicked away from Yasiel Puig who failed in his dive attempt to try and catch it. Scott Van Slyke backed up the play, but twisted his ankle going for the ball and went down like a ton of bricks. His throw back to the infield allowed Marte to score making it, 3-1, Dodgers.

Van Slyke was charged with an error, thus the run was unearned.

The Diamondbacks only mustered two hits the rest of the game.

Van Slyke’s right ankle did a nasty roll, but Mattingly said the X-rays came back negative.



Before the injury, Van Slyke got the Dodgers an insurance run in the third with a home run to left off Arizona starter Wayne Smiley.

Four of Van Slyke’s 10 homers this season have come off Smiley, who took the loss to fall to 7-10.

For the second night in a row Matt Kemp was the offensive hero. He doubled home Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig to get the Dodgers on the board, 2-0, in the third. Although, Kemp was thrown out at third on the play trying to stretch the hit into a triple.

Ender Inciarte went 2 for 3 with a triple and a stolen base for the Diamondbacks.

Kenley Jansen closed it out in the ninth to pick up his 100th career save, and after the game he got some hefty praise from his catcher A.J. Ellis.

“It’s another guy we take for granted, because when you see those bullpen gates open and you got a lead in the ninth you start packing things up because you feel like the game’s over,” Ellis told SportsNet LA.

The win gave the Dodgers their ninth consecutive road series win against teams in the National League West.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[USC Football Player Admits Rescue Story Was a Lie]]> Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:21:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/USC+Josh+Shaw.jpg

A USC football player and co-captain admitted on Wednesday that he lied when he said he hurt his ankles while jumping off a second-floor balcony to save his drowning nephew from a pool, the player said in a statement from his attorney.

Senior cornerback Josh Shaw first told USC's Ripsit Blog that he jumped off the balcony on Aug. 23, landed on the concrete and crawled into the pool to rescue the child, suffering the sprains as a result of the jump.

But on Wednesday, Shaw admitted that the story was "made up," and school officials called it "a complete fabrication."

"On Saturday August 23, 2014, I injured myself in a fall. I made up a story about this fall that was untrue. I was wrong not to tell the truth," Shaw said Wednesday in statement from his lawyer. "I apologize to USC for this action on my part."

"My USC coaches, the USC Athletic Department, and espcially coach Sarkisian have all been supportive of me during my college career and for that, I am very grateful," the statement continued.

The Ripsit blog has since deleted its initial story about the rescue. Shaw has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities, school officials said.

"We are extremely disappointed in Josh," USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian said in a school statement."He let us all down. As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story."Sarkisian said earlier Wednesday that the campus was looking into phone calls that disputed Shaw's account of what happened.

"I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized," Sarkisian said in the statement Wednesday. "Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him."

The football player's sister, Asia Shaw, shared her reaction with NBC4: "I support him with whatever he does 100 percent – 110 percent."

Carmen Trutanich, who represented USC football players before serving as Los Angeles city attorney, says Shaw may have felt pressured to lie.

"It was a kid afraid of telling the coach, 'Hey coach I got hurt doing something stupid,'" Trutanich said. Trutanich is not representing Shaw.

Students were surprised to hear their fellow Trojan lied.

"I'm shocked," one student said. "I didn't think he'd be capable of doing something like that."

"I think that's just really disappointing, because we all thought he was a hero," another student said.

On Tuesday, Sarkisian defended Shaw and said he had "no reason, no history to not believe Josh."

Los Angeles police told NBC4 on Tuesday they had not had any contact with Shaw, but they did take a burglary report Aug. 23, the same night of his fall, in which the victim named Shaw as her boyfriend.

"He is not listed as a suspect, and police had no contact with him," LAPD Officer Sara Faden told NBC4. "His name is just listed in the body of a police report."

Officers responded to the call about 11 p.m., Faden said. While officers were speaking with people outside, a resident returned and spoke to police.

They asked her about her roommates and "people in her life," and she mentioned Shaw as her boyfriend, Faden said.

Conan Nolan and Robert Kovacik contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: USC Athletics]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers' Ryu Could Return This Weekend ]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 10:49:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/163*120/ryu+healed.jpg

The strained right gluteus muscle that has kept left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu on the disabled list is healing well enough that he could be back on the mound for the Dodgers on Sunday against the San Diego Padres.

He’s eligible to come off the DL on Friday, but Mattingly already has Dan Haren slated to start that day and Zack Greinke on Saturday. Roberto Hernandez will get the start Sunday if Ryu is pushed back another day.

He was placed on the retroactive disabled list August 14th after injuring himself against the Atlanta Braves

Multiple reports say Ryu’s throwing session Tuesday went well in Arizona and he’s expected to throw a simulated game Wednesday.

Ryu talked with reporters following his bullpen.

“Mostly the rehab is just a lot of resting. The muscle just needed to heal. So, I kept doing upper body workouts and I just tried to do as much as I can in the lower body without giving the hip too much strain,” Ryu said through his interpreter.

As part of the Dodgers big three in the starting rotation along with Greinke and Clayton Kershaw, Ryu is 13-6 on the season with a 3.28 ERA and 1.19 WHIP.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Suspend Announcer For Thursday's Game]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 08:48:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/HankBauer.jpg

Chargers announcer Hank Bauer apologized Tuesday afternoon for an anti-Semitic joke he made Sunday during San Diego's game against the 49ers.

Bauer made a contrite statement on Twitter just after 1 p.m., following a slew of critical social media comments about his joke:

Also Tuesday afternoon, the Chargers issued an announcement that Bauer would not be broadcasting Thursday night's preseason game:

Although we know Hank had no ill-will behind his remarks, we agree the comments were inappropriate. Per Clear Channel’s decision, Hank will not be broadcasting Thursday night’s game.
Hank has been a strong radio voice for the Chargers for the past 16 years and a passionate supporter of the team since his playing days. We look forward to Chargers fans receiving the same high-quality broadcast from Josh (Lewin) and Hank when he returns to the booth for the regular season.

Bauer ruffled more than a few feathers at the tail end of Sunday's game.

In an exchange with on-air colleague Josh Lewin about people leaving the game early and abandoning their high-cost seats, Bauer said, according to a YouTube capture of the exchange: “But then again, you know how copper wire was invented? Somebody dropped a penny between Josh and his family member.”

He added: “I say that respectfully and endearingly, my partner.”

Bauer is of course referencing an anti-Semitic joke about the invention of copper wire coming after dropping a penny between two Jewish people.

Following Bauer’s comments, many, including journalists and sports fans, took to Twitter to voice their opinion on the announcer's joke:

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

<![CDATA[Raiders to Donate $50K to Napa Schools, Red Cross After Quake]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 18:30:12 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/raiders-AP275899804638.jpg

As most Napa Unified students return to school on Wednesday following a significant earthquake over the weekend, their district is getting some financial support from Oakland Raiders legend and NFL Hall of Famer Willie Brown.

Brown delivered a check for $50,000 on behalf of the team to School District Supt. Patrick Sweeney Wednesday afternoon in Napa - a fitting spot, since the football team holds training camp in the city, about 45 miles north of Oakland. A spokesman said $25,000 will go toward Red Cross efforts in Napa and $25,000 will go directly toward the schools.

"We're excited," said Jennifer Stewart, executive director of the Napa Valley Education Foundation, where the annual operating budget is about $500,000. "We're going to immediately see what the teachers need."

The money is a donation and a sign of good will to students who haven't been to school since Sunday's 6.0 earthquake, which damaged more than 100 buildings. All but one of the Napa public schools are expected to re-open to students on Wednesday. Stonebridge Charter School will remain closed as engineers still need more time to investigate possible structural cracks.

According to the district, none of the schools suffered structural damage, though some need to have broken windows and cabinets replaced for fixed.

The former cornerback was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984, for his years when he played on the team between 1967 to 1978.

In a promotional video on the Raiders site, the team touts a beautiful train ride into wine country, saying the city is not "only optimal for grapes, but it's optimal for football."

In July, the Raiders completed the team's 19th training camp in Napa, using the Napa Valley Marriott and the adjacent Redwood Middle School as the team's summer base.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Timely Reviews Help Dodgers beat D'Backs]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 05:29:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/176*120/cc+scores+.jpg

Don Mattingly made the replay staff in New York earn their money Tuesday night.

The Dodger manager's decision to challenge two plays in the fourth inning, that were overturned in his favor, allowed his team to blow the game open en route to a 9-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The first came when A.J. Ellis singled to center with two runners on and one out. Carl Crawford ran through a stop sign at third on the hit and was called out at home on catcher Miguel Montero's tag. But, on replay, it was clear that although Montero tagged Crawford with his glove the ball was in his hand, which didn't touch Crawford until he touched the plate.

Mattingly shrewdly called for a challenge to Montero blocking the plate. The umpire review crew in New York overturned the play based on the missed tag. Either way, Crawford was ruled safe and the Dodgers took a 5-2 lead.

"He wasn't 100 percent if the guy was set up properly. So, to me, if I can get him to look at the play at the plate than they end up looking at everything and that's what ended up happening there," Mattingly told reporters after the game.

The second pivotal challenge came the very next batter. Robert Hernandez's sacrifice bunt ended up as a bang-bang play at first. Hernandez was called out. Mattingly quickly came out of the dugout to challenge that call. After a short review, Hernandez was ruled safe. The reversal also meant that Justin Turner's run counted, which put the Dodgers up, 6-2.

If those two plays stand as outs, at best the Dodgers only score two runs and the Diamondbacks escape the inning down a manageable margin at, 4-2.

Instead, the Dodgers ended up sending 11 men to the plate and scored six runs on five hits.

Hernandez (8-9) went six innings to pick up the win.

Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill (3-9) only lasted 3 1/3 innings and took the loss. He allowed six earned runs on six hits, including Matt Kemp's two-run home run in the first inning.

The Dodgers improved their road record to a Major League best 41-26.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hernandez Evidence to Be Tossed]]> Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:41:16 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP296842589971.jpg

A Massachusetts judge has allowed some evidence to be suppressed in the murder trial of Aaron Hernandez, court documents show.

The former star Patriots tight end had asked the court to suppress the evidence — an iPhone, a Blackberry, an iPad and two iPad minis — which was obtained when his home was searched last June after the killing of Odin Lloyd.

Defense lawyers argued that that evidence was not part of the original search warrant and that a state trooper did not have the proper paperwork when he entered Hernandez's home.

Tuesday, the Bristol County Superior Court granted that motion, allowing that evidence to be thrown out.

Earlier this month, the court denied Hernandez's motion to exclude a digital video recorder, a hard drive and Hernandez's cell phone.

The hard drive allegedly contains files showing Hernandez holding the murder weapon and his movements around the time of the murder. The phone, according to prosecutors, had text messages Hernandez sent to Lloyd, as well as the former NFL star's alleged right hand man, Ernest Wallace, on the night of the killing.

Hernandez is charged with first-degree murder in the 2013 death of Lloyd. He is also charged with the murders of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston in 2012.

The Bristol County District Attorney's Office told NECN Tuesday afternoon that it cannot comment on the case, due to an ongoing gag order.

NECN will have more as this story develops.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Coach: "Conflicting Stories" Around USC Player's Injuries]]> Wed, 27 Aug 2014 13:23:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/USC+Josh+Shaw.jpg

USC's football coach said there are "quite a few conflicting stories out there" Wednesday when he addressed questions about a senior cornerback who is sidelined indefinitely after suffering ankle sprains that the player says occurred when he jumped from a second-floor balcony to rescue his nephew from a swimming pool.

Senior cornerback Josh Shaw told USC's Ripsit Blog that he was on the second-floor balcony of his cousin’s Palmdale apartment on Aug. 23 when he saw his 7-year-old nephew struggling in the pool. Shaw told the blog, which is run by USC's athletics department, that he jumped off the balcony, landed on the concrete and crawled into the pool to rescue the child, suffering the sprains as a result of the jump.

But in a press availability before practice Tuesday, coach Steve Sarkisian said he received "a few phone calls contradicting" Shaw's account.

"Josh is adamant with what occurred," Sarkisian said. "We'll continue to vet some of the other stories that have come across our desk and our phones and see where we can go from there."

Sarkisian declined to elaborate on the details of the contradictory accounts during a Wedenesday media avialability. He said the team will let the investigation by campus officials "play out."

"We're in somewhat of a holding pattern," Sarkisian said. "My main focus is on going out and playing a great football game Saturday. As much as we have the situation with Josh, I've got another 104 players in that locker room that I'm getting prepared to play.

"We've put in too much work over the last nine months to let an hour or two of social media and internet reports from us being a great football team."

A Los Angeles County fire official said the agency had no record of a call for service for a drowning either Saturday or Sunday in the Palmdale area. There was also no record of any call for service regarding a bilateral leg injury, the fire official said.

It is possible that both Shaw and the nephew were driven to the hospital, in which case there would be no 911 record, a fire official said.

The nephew was physically ok, but reportedly "traumatized," the blog reported.

"I would do it again for whatever kid it was, it did not have to be my nephew," Shaw told the blog Monday. "My ankles really hurt, but I am lucky to be surrounded by the best trainers and doctors in the world. I am taking my rehab one day at a time, and I hope to be back on the field as soon as possible."

Shaw was named a team captain Saturday evening, just hours before he was hurt, the blog reported.

Sarkisian told reporters he believes his player.

"Josh Shaw, first and foremost, is a good person, he's a good kid," Sarkisian said. "He came to us with what had occurred Saturday night, and I have no reason, no history to not believe Josh and his story of what has occurred."

Sarkisian said they would look into the calls about what happened.

Los Angeles police said Tuesday they had not had any contact with Shaw, but they did take a burglary report Aug. 23 in which the victim named Shaw as her boyfriend.

"He is not listed as a suspect, and police had no contact with him," LAPD Officer Sara Faden told NBC4. "His name is just listed in the body of a police report."

Officers responded to the call about 11 p.m., Faden said. While officers were speaking with people outside, a resident returned and spoke to police.

They asked her about her roommates and "people in her life," and she mentioned Shaw as her boyfriend, Faden said.

Andrew Blankstein and Jonathan Lloyd contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: USC Athletics]]>
<![CDATA[VIDEO: Mets Turn Triple Play Against Dodgers]]> Mon, 25 Aug 2014 09:04:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*201/mets+copy.jpg

In the sixth inning of Sunday’s game against the Mets, Matt Kemp hit a routine double-play grounder to the shortstop with runners on first and second and no outs.

The play should’ve ended once Kemp was thrown out at first, with the Dodgers having a runner on third with two out. 

That’s the outcome 99.9 percent of the time.

However, the 0.1 percent variable in this scenario is Yasiel Puig.

He was the runner on second base when Kemp hit the grounder and because he’s not normal, Puig thought he could score from second base.

He didn’t. He wasn’t even close.

So, a benign 5-4-3 double-play turned into a 5-4-3-2 triple-play, and another "what-in-the-world-was-Puig-thinking" moment. 

Lorenzo Bundy’s only in the video for a couple of seconds but the reaction from the Dodgers third-base coach is classic. It's the type a dad gives when his kid misspells a word during their fifth-grade spelling bee.

Next time instead of giving the stop sign to Puig, Bundy might just put up a brick wall to stop him. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Super Bowl: Pay to Play?]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 23:24:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_RAPID_FIRE_1200x675_321698371686.jpg The NFL wants the Super Bowl's halftime act to pay for the spotlight. Plus, Johnny Manziel flips the bird and what do you want to tell Shelly Sterling? Fred Roggin has plenty of questions. ESPN LA's J. Woodfin and KLAA's Travis Rodgers have the answers in this edition of Rapid Fire. Originally aired on Going Roggin, August 23, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Steve Ballmer: BOOM!]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 23:12:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_BALLMER_DISCUSSION_1200x675_321696835852.jpg The Clippers new owner burst into Staples Center with an unmatched energy. But what kind of impact will he have on the team? Fred Roggin welcomes ESPN 710's J. Woodfin and KLAA radio host Travis Rodgers to break it down. Originally aired on Going Roggin, August 23, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Steve Ballmer: Motivational Master]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 23:02:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_BALLMER_MOTIVATIONAL_1200x675_321697347625.jpg Fred Roggin introduces you to the world's next great motivational speaker. Time to sign up for Steve Ballmer's Motivational Madness! Originally aired on Going Roggin, August 23, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Ledecky Sets World Record in 1,500 Freestyle]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 02:48:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP973055938873%281%29.jpg

U.S. teenager Katie Ledecky sliced almost six seconds off her own world mark in the women's 1,500-meter freestyle on Sunday, winning in 15 minutes, 28.36 seconds to post her second world record in as many nights at the Pan Pacific championships.

The 17-year-old Ledecky improved her record in the 400 freestyle on Saturday. She collected her fifth gold medal of the meet in convincing fashion in cool but clear conditions on the last night of competition.

It was the third time in 13 months she's set the mark in the 1,500, and the second in three months since her 15:34.23 at Shenandoah on June 19.

Ledecky holds world records in the 400, 800 and 1,500-meter freestyle events.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dan Marino Returning to Dolphins]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 15:26:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DanMarino14.jpg

Dan Marino is coming back to the Miami Dolphins. The Hall of Fame quarterback has agreed to accept a position with the team.

The Dolphins released a statement Sunday from team owner Stephen Ross and Marino confirming the story, which NBC 6 broke Saturday night.

“Dan is and will always be an important part of the Miami Dolphins and we are excited to get him involved in a more formal way,” Ross said. “Dan is unquestionably one of the greatest players in NFL history and his enthusiasm and passion for the Dolphins is inspiring to everyone here."

"I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve in this role. I have always considered myself a Dolphin for life and I look forward to supporting the organization anyway I can,” Marino added. “Stephen Ross is a passionate guy who is committed to building a first-class, winning organization. I'm excited about the future of the team and where the organization is headed.”

Marino will serve as a special advisor to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and C.E.O. Tom Garfinkel. The team says Marino will work with the organization in a variety of different capacities. Marino has been more visible at Dolphins camp lately, watching practice Thursday as well as being in Davie for the ALS ice bucket challenge the week before. For 17 years, Marino was the face of the franchise and both the team and the 52-year-old have had mutual interest in finding a role for him within the organization.

In his career with the Dolphins, Marino played in 242 games (240 starts) and was 4,967-8,358 (59.4 percent) for 61,361 yards, 420 touchdowns and 252 interceptions for an 86.4 passing efficiency rating. Marino holds 31 Dolphins regular season team records (43 overall, including playoffs) and is tied for three others (seven, including playoffs). Marino also holds five NFL regular season records and is tied for six others. He was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on February 5, 2005 and enshrined on August 7, 2005. Marino’s No. 13 jersey became the second Dolphins uniform number to be retired, on Sunday, September 17, 2000, at halftime of the Dolphins-Baltimore Ravens game at Sun Life Stadium, where he was inducted into the Dolphins Honor Roll. He was also a charter inductee in the Dolphins Walk of Fame on December 4, 2011.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chicago Beats Las Vegas in LLWS]]> Sun, 24 Aug 2014 07:56:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/245*120/jrw+win+us+title.jpg

Chicago's Jackie Robinson West All-Stars took the U.S. title in the Little League World Series with a 7-5 win over Las Vegas' Mountain Ridge Saturday.

The team started off strong, matching Nevada's three-run start and taking the lead in the second inning. The team maintained their one-point lead, keeping Nevada from scoring in the second, third, and fourth innings.

Nevada regained their lead following a home run in the fifth inning, but Jackie Robinson West tied the score with a hit from Joshua Houston. Chicago then scored again later in the fifth inning, bringing the score to 7-5, which ultimately brought them to victory.

“Throughout the Little League World Series, Jackie Robinson West has played with enthusiasm, energy and a whole lot of heart," Gov. Pat Quinn said in a statement. "While they have already won the hearts of fans across the country now they are officially the U.S. Champions."

Mayor Rahm Emanuel applauded the players for becoming only the third team ever from Illinois to reach the championship game of the Little League World Series.

"The City of Chicago could not be prouder of them," Emanuel said in a statement. "Their positive attitude and success on the field has rallied people from every neighborhood to support these kids and they continue to demonstrate why they are the pride of Chicago. What a comeback. What a win!"

Supporters, including Emanuel and Quinn, gathered Saturday at an official watch party for the team, held at the Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, located at 1250 W. 119th St.

Chicago's Chance the Rapper also came to cheer on the team.

Despite rain, fans also gathered on State Street, in front of the Chicago Theater, between Randolph and Lake Streets, to watch the game live on a big screen.

Two more watch parties are scheduled for 2 p.m. at both locations for Sunday's game.

The little league team from the South Side faced off against Philadelphia Thursday, winning 6-5 against the team that made national headlines for their star female pitcher Mo'ne Davis.

The team continued its historic run with Saturday's rematch against Las Vegas. The West champions beat JRW in four innings in a mercy-rule game last Sunday behind five homers.

Chicago now moves on to the World Series Championship game against South Korea Sunday. Saturday's losing teams will play in a consolation game Sunday morning.

The success of Jackie Robinson West, comprised of all black players, marks the team's first appearance in the Little League World Series in 31 years.

Their popularity has continued to grow throughout their journey, sparking support from Major League Baseball players and even Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler.

After Thursday's game, Emanuel said win or lose, the city will hold a parade for the team.

"No matter what happens these kids are champs," Emanuel said. "We will have a parade respectful of them because they are winners whatever the score is."

<![CDATA[Boy With 1 Arm Is Golf Prodigy]]> Sat, 23 Aug 2014 14:48:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/one+arm+3+year+old+tommy+morrisey.jpg

Summertime for 3-year-old golf prodigy Tommy Morrissey means days spent hitting 100-yard drives over lakes at an Atlantic County country club. He steps up to the tee, lines up his driver, hesitates for just a moment, and cracks the golf ball over the water…all with one arm.

Tommy was born missing his right hand and part of his right arm below the elbow.

As he grew up in his hometown of Juniper, Fla., Tommy would watch golf on television with his father Joe and mother Marcia Lee. When he was about 18 months old, Tommy’s parents noticed that he was very interested in the sport, standing in front of the television and mimicking the golfer’s swings.

They gave him a set of plastic golf clubs, brought him out on the range, and saw he was a natural from his first perfect contact.

“His true ability is to look and learn,” Joe said. “I have given him very little instruction.”

When he was a little over 2-years-old, Tommy began using an iPad to look up golf tutorial videos on his own.

“I walked in, I asked what he’s doing, and he said, ‘Daddy, I’m taking a golf lesson’,” Joe said.

At night, teddy bears would not accompany Tommy to bed. Instead, he was tucked in with an array of at least 7 clubs.

“One time he refused to go to bed, and [I] finally got him to go to sleep and he insisted on this club or that club,” Joe said. “I put him down, and my wife and I heard him yelling, ‘Mommy, Daddy, you forgot my putter!’”

Tommy has since switched to real clubs, having torn apart multiple sets of his old plastic ones. The weight of the clubs is a challenge for him, but Jeff LeFevre, Golf Director for the Linwood Country Club where Tommy and his father play during their summers at the Jersey Shore, says that difficulty does not hold the prodigy back.

“It’s such a difficult game with two hands, two arms,” LeFevre said. “And here we are, a 3-year-old with one arm with absolutely great rhythym, great set-up…truly, truly a golf prodigy.”

Tommy doesn't see himself as different than other children his age. He simply calls his shorter arm “Nemo” after the fish with one small fin in Finding Nemo.

In addition to his love of golf, Tommy plays many other sports, punting a football or hitting a baseball out of the park.

Joe and his wife say that while having one arm has been a challenge for Tommy, in the end it is also a gift.

“He has been able to bring grown men to tears on the driving range. . .In his short life, he has been able to inspire many, make people second guess their own capabilities,” Joe said. “…He is doing it with probably one of the most powerful tools, and that is the innocence of a child.”

In the end, Tommy is just a kid wanting to have fun playing the sport that he loves.

“He does like to hit the ball in the water, but that’s ‘cause he’s 3,” Joe said. “He doesn’t understand that’s bad yet.”

<![CDATA[Dodgers' Puig to Play on MLB All-Star Team in Japan]]> Fri, 22 Aug 2014 10:30:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/173*120/yp+face.jpg

Yasiel Puig might be brushing up on how to use chopsticks.

The Dodgers outfielder is among the first group of Major League all-stars named to the team that will travel to Japan for a five-game series against Japan’s National Team - "Samurai Japan" - in November.

He’ll be joined by Robinson Cano of the Seattle Mariners, Adam Jones from the Baltimore Orioles, and Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Others will be named later, and I suspect a certain shaggy-haired, Cy-Young winning, Dodgers left-hander will be added to the squad. But, we'll have to wait and see. 

The team will be led by Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington.

The series started in 1908, and this year will mark the 36th time that big leaguers have traveled to Japan for exhibition games.

The last time MLB sent a team of all-stars was in 2006, which was also the first time the five-game format was used. The U.S. went 5-0. Shocker.

MLB also announced the schedule:

Tuesday, Nov. 11:       Exhibition Game vs. Hanshin Tigers/Yomiuri Giants at Koshien
Wednesday, Nov. 12:  Game #1 at Kyocera Dome, Osaka
Thursday, Nov. 13:      Travel Day
Friday, Nov. 14:          Game #2 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
Saturday, Nov. 15:      Game #3 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
Sunday, Nov. 16:        Game #4 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
Monday, Nov. 17:        Travel Day
Tuesday, Nov. 18:       Game #5 at Sapporo Dome, Sapporo
Wednesday, Nov. 19:  Travel Day
Thursday, Nov. 20:      Exhibition Game vs Team Japan, Okinawa

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Steve Sarkisian to Al Davis: No Thanks]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 23:42:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_SARK_RAIDERS_1200x675_320804931907.jpg Not many people do it, but new USC football Coach Steve Sarkisian talked with Fred Roggin about turning down Al Davis when offered the Raiders head coaching job a few years back. Web exclusive from an interview that originally aired on Going Roggin, August 24, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Nationals' Harper Uses Puig's Bat During Game]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:29:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_STEINER_DODGER_CALL_1200x675_318356035603.jpg

It doesn't get much better than when two of the best athletes in any sport come together.

Bryce Harper brought us such a moment in Thursday's game against the Diamondbacks.

The Nationals slugger would agree that he's had a pretty rough year. Injuries, swirling rumors he may be shipped out to Triple-A and and horrid hitting slumps.

So, where did he turn to to help get himself in gear? Yasiel Puig's bat.

MASN's cameras used the extra zoom to get a great shot of Harper using one of Puig's sticks Thursday.



How many times he used the "Pro Maple YP 66" model? We don't know, but Harper surely doesn't have it for safe keeping while his season spins out of control.

It seemed to work. Harper went 2 for 4 in the game and the Nats won their 10th game in row, in a 1-0 walk-off.

I'm just sayin'.

We'll check to see if Puig returns the favor tonight and breaks out a Harper special against the Padres.

<![CDATA[Dodgers' Greinke Pushed Back with Sore Elbow]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:09:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/zgreinke+toss.jpg

The Dodgers have elected to hold Zack Greinke out of his scheduled start Thursday to allow the ailing elbow on his throwing arm to rest.

Clayton Kershaw will take the mound against the San Diego Padres in Greinke’s place. The day off Monday means Kershaw will throw on his normal rest schedule.

Greinke’s dealt with the elbow issue for the last few weeks, but has optioned to pitch through it.

“It’s nothing wrong with the ligament. It’s just something that comes and goes,” he told reporters following a bullpen session Wednesday.

The team doesn’t expect the injury to land Greinke on the disabled list. He has compared his discomfort to that of a runner racing with a sore foot - it’s pain he can manage.

“I can pitch at 100 percent level but I don’t expect to feel 100 percent while doing it,” Greinke says.

The right-hander wouldn’t blame the injury on his recent struggles, where he’s lost four of his last seven starts. And, while he hasn’t pitched as well in the second half of the season as he did in the first, Greinke still have a very good 2.75 ERA and 170 strikeouts in 157 ⅓ innings.

He expects to start Saturday, and says he won’t treat it any differently than his previous starts this season.

“I can’t guarantee it’ll be good for here on out, but I don’t plan on having an issue with it,” says Greinke.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Charges Filed Against Teens Who Entered Ray Allen's Home]]> Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:16:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/081414+ray+allen.jpg

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office filed trespassing charges against the seven people who walked into former Miami Heat star Ray Allen’s home last week.

Coral Gables Police originally said they were not filing charges against the teenagers. The teens were identified by police as: Ernesto Romero, 18; Jonathan Ramirez, 19; Kevin Ramos, 18; Alana Garcia, 18; Christian Lobo, 18; Angel Sanchez, 18; and Jorge Guerrero, 18.

Coral Gables Police said the group of seven teens was at a party next door when they decided to enter Allen’s home through an unlocked back door in the early morning hours of August 14. Allen wasn’t home, but his wife and children were sleeping inside and were awoken by the commotion.

The teens ran from the home after Shannon Allen, Ray’s wife, yelled at them, according to Coral Gables Police. In a 911 call made by Shannon Allen, she described the teens’ actions as if they were on a tour of the home.

“They were like, if they were on a tour, pointing out stuff,” Allen told the 911 dispatcher. “Like, ‘Oh, wow, look at this picture. Oh my God, look, he’s got a flat screen TV.’”

The Allens met with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office this week to give statements on the incident and to push for charges to be brought against the teens.

The Allen's attorney, Gregory Victor, gave a statement Wendesday afternoon that read:

"Ray and Shannon have been advised that the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office has filed Trespass charges against the 7 intruders to their home. The determination as to what specific charges to file was entirely within the discretion of the State Attorney's Office and the Allen's are satisfied with both the decision to prosecute and the charges being pursued. The Allen's are thankful that no one was hurt and they are appreciative for all the support they have received from their community."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Twitter Cheers Mo'ne Davis at LLWS]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 21:36:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP35427040879.jpg

Some hard-hitting Las Vegas batters may have gotten the better of Philadelphia's Taney Dragons at the Little League World Series on Wednesday, but Taney fans' confidence in their team, led by pitching phenom Mo'ne Davis, didn't flag on Twitter.

Taney lost to their Nevadan rivals 8-1, despite plenty of impressive plays — including a hit from Mo'ne in the fourth inning that helped give the Dragons their first run of the game, and an impressive sliding catch by Zion Spearman. Fortunately Taney isn't out yet. They play Chicago Thursday night for a shot at the U.S. Final.

Wednesday night, supporters from their hometown and far beyond took to Twitter to cheer on Taney with the hashtag #BelieveInDragons.

Before the game, Philly's big-league, grown-up teams had offered their support, too:

 So did state-wide leaders:

 One fan had a helpful reminder to over-eager fans, though, that they're just kids, after all:

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[How Star Little League Team Taney Dragons Got Their Start]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 08:56:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP35427040879.jpg

Twenty years ago, the league behind the Taney Dragons started with three parents, a coach and a permit to play on a Philadelphia field.

Now, the youth baseball team is the subject of national media frenzy thanks to its remarkable Little League World Series run and star pitcher Mo'ne Davis' 70 mph fastball.

“The kind of attention we’ve had has absolutely been mind-boggling," co-founder Ellen Siegel said.

Siegel is one of the five original founders of the Taney Youth Baseball Organization, which was formed back in 1994 by a group of locals who wanted to create a different kind of team for the city's children.

“We wanted to be inclusive and allow girls to play,” Siegel said. “We also wanted players who weren’t as skilled to be allowed to play with the very skilled players. We wanted to be instructional which was our biggest point. Game, scores and winning weren’t as important as teaching all the kids proper mechanics, good sportsmanship, teamwork, camaraderie and knowing the game.”

The decision to create a co-ed squad paved the way for the team's roster to incude 13-year-old Davis, whose series shutout and spunk have landed her national headlines and a spot on the cover of Sports Illustrated. She's set to pitch again tonight, when the team goes up against Las Vegas.

Siegel, a clinical psychologist who serves on the league’s board of directors and helps administer the league’s registrar, website and Facebook page, still remembers the league’s humble beginnings at the Markward Recreation Center on 400 South Taney Street in Philly.

“We practiced there and we’d have scrimmage games there and it was so wonderful to have something in our neighborhood with our kids,” Siegel said. “Then we thought it would be wonderful if we started a league of our own.”

While the Markward Rec Center served as the home field, neighborhood parents and kids had a different name for it that ended up sticking.

“All the neighbors called it Taney Field because it’s on Taney Street,” Siegel said. “I don’t think anyone really knows the real name. If you ask anyone where Markward is they’ll say, ‘what?’ If you ask them where Taney is they all know. That’s where we got our name.”

The league remained a local attraction for nearly two decades until last year, when they officially joined the Little League.

“We’ve always had the same kind of rule as Little League which is you need to play on your intramural team during the season,” Siegel said. “Then after that there are tryouts for the select tournament teams. The select, more competitive team will play after our regular season is over.”

With the tremendous success of the Dragons and the national attention they’ve gained, Siegel says the league's popularity may become a problem.

“We’re already getting so many requests to join us next year and we don’t have open registration until January,” Siegel said. “We’re worried about the influx of how many people would want to play because we can’t accommodate. We already had 73 teams this year from ages 3 to 16. We don’t have places for them.”

Siegel hopes the league will receive offers for more fields for the teams to play on.

“We’re in a situation where we don’t own our own fields, like a suburban league,” Siegel said. “We use Philadelphia Parks and Recreation fields.”

Regardless of what happens with the increased interest or with Thursday’s game, Siegel is confident the spirit of the league, defined by unity rather than winning, will remain high for years to come.

“We care about each other,” Siegel said. “Taney families, even on regular teams bond together and help each other out. To me that’s the essence of what we’re all about. The sense of community.”

To donate to the league, visit the Taney Youth Baseball Association website.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Bank Forecloses on Dwyane Wade's Suburban Chicago Home]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:01:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DWade+Tie+Bar.jpg

Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade makes millions of dollars a year playing basketball, but it appears that money hasn't been going toward his home in Chicago's south suburbs.

According to documents obtained by NBC Chicago, The PrivateBank and Trust Company is attempting to foreclose on Wade's $1.2 million home in the 1600 block of E. 158th Street in South Holland.

Wade is listed as the owner of the home, along with his ex-wife Siohvaughn Wade. The former couple engaged in a bitter, public divorce in the which the basketball star was granted custody of their children.

According to court documents, the former couple owes almost $541,000 on the home, including close to $1,500 in late charges, and monthly mortgage payments had not been made on the home from November 2013 to July 2014.

Wade's attorney's sent a statement Wednesday. 

"Dwyane Wade and his ex-wife Siohvaughn Funches reached a financial settlement in July 2013, which included Ms. Funches being awarded the Chicago home in which she resides.  Mr. Wade had provided a very generous settlement to Ms. Funches to continue to live a wonderful lifestyle and maintain the home mortgage payments he previously paid before the settlement was reached. As the sole homeowner, Ms. Funches defaulted on the mortgage and the home is now under foreclosure with the bank. We will take the necessary measures to affirm Mr. Wade is not responsible for the home’s foreclosure since he was absolved of all financial responsibility when Ms. Funches was awarded the house.”

The 7,847 square foot home has six bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a theater and exercise room, a guest house, in-ground pool and of course, a basketball court.

Siohvaughn Wade is believed to be the occupant of the home.

Wade is now engaged to actress Gabrielle Union.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Clippers Owner Ballmer Steps Down From Microsoft]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 19:58:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/216*120/Steve+Ballmer+Clips+1.JPG

Steve Ballmer on Tuesday left Microsoft's Board of Directors, citing new commitments as owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, a day after publicly stepping into his role with the team.

"The fall will be hectic between teaching a new class and the start of the NBA season so my departure from the board is effective immediately," Ballmer wrote in his resignation letter to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. "I see a combination of the Clippers, civic contribution, teaching and study taking a lot of time."

Ballmer, who handed off the reins as CEO to Nadella in February, expressed confidence in the company’s future and said he is proud that "Microsoft has been my life's work."

"I bleed Microsoft -- have for 34 years and I always will," he wrote.

Ballmer bought the Clippers from Shelly Sterling, wife of former owner Donald Sterling, for $2 billion in May.

The deal was approved by the NBA and finalized Aug. 12 after a tumultuous court battle between the Sterlings.

Shelly Sterling said last week she is "thrilled that the Clippers now have such a wonderful new owner."

Ballmer introduced himself to thousands of Clippers fans on Monday during an energetic rally at the Staples Center that also featured several players and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. Ballmer promised to keep the team in LA and to usher in an era of many victories.

"This is an amazing new day in Clippers history," Coach Doc Rivers said at the rally. "I couldn't be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization."

In a response to Ballmer's resignation letter Tuesday, Nadella thanked Ballmer for his time at the company and wished him success.

"I am sure that you will bring the same boldness, passion and impact to your new endeavors that you brought to Microsoft," Nadella wrote.

Ballmer remains a shareholder at Microsoft.

<![CDATA[Dodgers Recall Arruebarrena, Option Triunfel]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 16:38:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*240/arru.jpg

The Dodgers' injuries have forced them to push prospects to the big leagues faster than they'd like.

With Juan Uribe on the disabled list, the Dodgers recalled infield prospect Erisbel Arruebarrena from Triple-A Albuquerque to not only add another solid defensive glove, but strong bat off the bench.

Infielder Carlos Triunfel was sent back down to Albuquerque to make room on the roster.

Arruebarrena joins the big league club from the Rookie-level Arizona League Dodgers where he was rehabbing a sore right shoulder.

In two previous stints with the Dodgers, the 24-year-old is hitting .313 (5 for 16) in eight games with two RBIs.

Arruebarrena made the most noise this season as the key cog in a bench-clearing brawl while playing with Albuquerque earlier in the season. 

The Dodgers signed him to a five-year, $25 million contract in February.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Little League Star Mo'ne Davis on Sports Illustrated]]> Wed, 20 Aug 2014 06:17:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/monedavisap.jpg

Mo'ne Davis, the 13-year-old girl who's become baseball's breakout star, has become the first Little League player ever to make the national cover of Sports Illustrated.

Not that the Philadelphia eighth-grader needs any more firsts under her belt — not with her blinding 70 mph fastball, and certainly not with the Series shutout she threw last week, making her the first girl ever to throw a shutout in Little League World Series history.

Mo'ne, an honor roll student at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, has helped make her team the Taney Dragons the first Little League team from Philadelphia ever to advance to the Series in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania. 

But Mo'ne's sports goals extend far beyond baseball.

"To be honest, I never thought I'd be famous for baseball," she told Sports Illustrated. "I want to play basketball, and I could also do both basketball and baseball — but I really want to play basketball."

She one day hopes to play basketball for the University of Connecticut on a full scholarship, preferably as the point guard for the Huskies. Her mother Lakeisha McLean says she's confident her daughter can do it.

"When Mo’ne says she's gonna do it, she's gonna do it," McLean said.

Mo'ne will take the mound Wednesday in Las Vegas when the Taney Dragons take on the only other undefeated team in the Series, the Mountain Ridge team from Las Vegas.

--David Chang contributed additional reporting.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Charley Steiner: The Voice]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:24:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_CHARLEY_STEINER_1200x675_319625795706.jpg Charley Steiner, play by play announcer for the Dodgers, is living out his childhood dream. The National Radio Hall of Famer provides an inside look into his daily routine at Dodger Stadium on this edition of The Voice. Originally aired on Going Roggin August 16, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Dodgers’ Mattingly, Colletti Accept ALS Ice-Bucket Challenge ]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 11:33:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*123/matt+ned+talk.jpg

Everybody and their mom is taking on the Ice-Bucket Challenge.

But, ALS is a disease I wouldn’t put on my worst enemy, so if taking buckets of water to the head leads to a cure, how can you say no? 

Dodgers skipper Don Mattingly and General Manager Ned Colletti joined Adrian Gonzalez, Yasiel Puig and Dee Gordon as the latest members of the Blue Crew to take an ice waterfall for the cause.

Maybe, it’s to shed the embarrassment of being swept by the Brewers over the weekend. Either way, they’re doing their part.

Colletti went first and dropped the challenge on radio personalities Petros and Money, Dodgers legend Orel Hershiser and Mattingly, who must not have seen it coming, given the “What?!” he shouted off camera when Colletti called him out.

But, payback is sweet. Just watch Mattingly as he’s about to drop the bucket. His look says, “This is for not getting my a number-four starter before the trade deadline.”

Then it was the skipper’s turn. He called out Dodgers Video Coordinator John Pratt, Dodgers radio reporter David Vassegh and UCLA basketball coach Steve Alford.

What’s great in the video is how Mattingly braced himself to be doused, but gave the most disgusted look when the vertically-challenged Colletti only reached his shoulders.

“My shoulders are freezing,” Mattingly says.

I probably shouldn’t be getting such a kick at how awful that pour was, but it’s LA. They should know that in this town you’ve got to have some style with the substance.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins name offensive or not?]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:20:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_Thomahawk_Chop_08172014_1200x675_319347267565.jpg The Washington Redskins are receiving pressure to change their name. Fred Roggin wants to know why the Atlanta Braves Tomahawk Chop isn’t receiving the same pressure. He discusses this issue with Jackie Mesa Pepper from pepperonsports.com and Tim Cates from AM 570 KLAC. Originally aired on Going Roggin August 16, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Could LA get the World Series and the NFL?]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 19:18:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_Rapid_Fire_08172014_1200x675_319345731985.jpg World Series or bust for Dodgers? Most anticipated game for the upcoming NBA season? NFL in LA within next 2 years? Jackie Mesa Pepper from pepperonsports.com and Tim Cates from AM 570 KLAC sit down with Fred Roggin to answer these questions and more on this week’s edition of Rapid Fire. Originally aired on Going Roggin August 16, 2014.]]> <![CDATA["Clippers Will Win": Steve Ballmer Arrives As Clippers Owner]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 14:11:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Fan+Fest+Gallery+9.JPG

"This is a new day, so thank you to Steve Ballmer and his family. Go Clippers!" Los Angeles Clippers captain Chris Paul exclaimed on Monday at Staples Center.

Early Monday afternoon, the LA Clippers and their fans congregated in downtown Los Angeles to express support, gratitude and relief at having Steve Ballmer standing at the head of the LA Clippers.

After a tumultuous few months that saw Donald Sterling removed as owner of the Clippers, the players, fans and everyone in between finally gained legal clarity over the ownership situation. With billionaire Ballmer publicly taking the reins on Monday, the team paraded out the most recognizable and respected faces associated with the franchise.

"When I say that we are Clippers, now, it means something," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said when he took the microphone.

Former Laker Jordan Farmar, who recently signed on with the Clippers, sat on stage along with other new faces. Also present were Clippers' veterans DeAndre Jordan, Blake Griffin and Paul. Longtime announcer Ralph Lawler acted as the master of ceremonies When the time came to announce the man of the hour, Rivers pumped out the crowd and did the honors.

Ballmer came out wearing a blue Clippers hat and proceeded to live up to the hype he has created in the viral internet videos. After mixing with the crowd in an aggressive manner, Ballmer took the microphone and spoke with unique emotion.

"I love basketball," Ballmer screamed into a microphone with a prominent "LAC" logo on the handle.

He went on about how he was never much of a player, but he was a heck of a statistician. Likely, Ballmer will leave that job to someone lower down the totem pole. On the microphone, Ballmer exuded confidence and energy that was refreshing to the fans in attendance. Ballmer is not orthodox, but the players and coaches appeared to respect his genuine willingness to bring his own flavor to the event.

"I love Los Angeles," Ballmer continued. "We’re not moving the Clippers to Seattle."

Seattle has not had a team since the Super Sonics left and became the Oklahoma City Thunder. Since Ballmer lives in Seattle, a grander worry was that the Clippers would be moving to Seattle. However, Ballmer reiterated that he did not pay Los Angeles prices for a Seattle property.

Beyond Ballmer’s energy and the joy of the fans in attendance, the motif of the rally was championships and the Larry O' Brian trophy. Both Rivers and Ballmer had the fans at the rally chanting for the "Larry." When Rivers got serious for a moment, he said that the previous year was a "good" year, not a "great" year. Ultimately, the only way it could have been a great year was if the Clippers had won the title. For a team that has never even made the NBA Finals, expectations have changed suddenly and significantly.

During Ballmer’s speech, he pulled out a fan letter. That letter concluded, as did nearly every bit during the rally, calling for an NBA championship.

"The Clippers will win many, many, many, many more ‘Larry’s’ in the next 26 (years) than the past 26 (years)," Ballmer wrapped up the fan rally.

For anyone who wants to contact Ballmer directly, the new Clippers' owner also publicly shared his e-mail address: SBallmer@Clippers.com

<![CDATA[New Clippers Owner Says Hello: Fans Rally at Festival]]> Mon, 18 Aug 2014 20:18:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ballmer+clap+team.JPG

How do team supporters mark that major and fairly rare moment, the entry of a new owner?

By taking to social media with thoughts and opinions, yes. By reading up on the team sale, for sure, and studying what's ahead for the season and how the announcement impacts the overview.

And by gathering together at a free fan rally Monday to both meet the new honcho and get fully stoked. Clipper fans are in get-pepped mode following the news that former Microsoft owner Steve Ballmer is the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers "following the entry by a California court confirming the authority of Shelly Sterling, on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust, to sell the team."

The announcement comes on the heels of former owner Donald Sterling's moves to put the brakes on the $2 billion sale of the team.

The Clippers Fan Festival featured a few words from an excited and rowdy Ballmer, as well as appearances by coach Doc Rivers and players Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, Matt Barnes and more.

"This is an amazing new day in Clippers history," Coach Rivers said. "I couldn't be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization."

There's more to discuss among the fans at the fest, too; the team's 2014-2015 regular season schedule was released last week, with the NBA.com noting the Clippers will play "seven of their first nine at home."

Late October isn't too far off, Clipper Nation.  Let the anticipation kick into high gear, starting with the Staples fest. Feeling stoked yet?

<![CDATA[Notable Little League Graduates]]> Tue, 19 Aug 2014 09:29:41 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/edt-tom-selleck-486432585.jpg From Vice President Joe Biden to Hollywood stars Adam Sandler and Danny DeVito, a look at some of the most famous Little League graduates.

Photo Credit: WireImage]]>