<![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 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:13:18 -0700 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:13:18 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[War of the Words: Battle Heats Up Between SF, KC Librarians]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 13:07:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Juan+Marichal+and+Dan+by+Jim+Hart.jpg

The war of words is heating up between two public libraries 1,500 miles apart, as dueling librarians do their part to boost their hometown baseball team's quest to win the World Series crown.

Sounding a bit Shakespearean, Liesl Christman, the Twitter czar for the Kansas City Public Library, tweeted on Wednesday morning, hours after the San Francisco Giants crushed the Royals in Game 1 on Tuesday, 7-1: "'Tis but a flesh wound - @Royals will rally! Tonight, #LetsThrowFire!"

If the Giants win it all, Christman promised Wednesday her library will buy and shelve San Rafael author Dan Fost's book, "The Giants Baseball Experience: A Year-by-Year Chronicle from New York to San Francisco."

If the Royals win, Christman hopes the San Francisco Public Library will be forced to stock George Brett's "From Here to Cooperstown," which is about the Royals, on its shelves.

Michelle Jeffers, the digital guru at the library in San Francisco, said she'd consider the request, but from what's she's heard, that book is out of print.

"Even better!" Jeffers joked, adding that under different circumstances she and Christman might be very good friends.

Then Jeffers tweeted: "Guess we'll see what happens tonight when the Giants shhhhhhh-ut you down in Game 2."

No one is happier about the librarian smack talk than Fost, a former San Francisco Chronicle reporter who is now a full-time author and freelance writer. Each time the Giants make it to the World Series – this is third time in five seasons – he is asked to write a new edition. "This is a mutually symbiotic relationship," he said on Wednesday.

As for the baseball book bet, Fost is also genuinely enthralled Kansas City readers may be flipping through pages he wrote.

"What a great idea to promote reading," he said. "I'm so moved."



Photo Credit: Jim Hart
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<![CDATA[Survey Asks LA Residents About NFL Stadium]]> Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:30:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/FARMERS+FIELD+-+INTERIOR+-+VIEW+OF+SEATING+BOWL.jpg

A survey sent to thousands of Los Angeles residents asks several questions designed to gauge interest in an NFL team and what kind of features recipients would like to see in a stadium if a team moves to the region.

An email titled "We Need Your Feedback: NFL Franchise in LA" includes a survey that is part of a market feasibility study as the league considers "the potential of an NFL team in the Los Angeles area."

The survey was conducted by a consulting firm on behalf of the NFL, according to the Los Angeles Times. Questions include how likely recipients are to buy luxury seats, clubs seats and season tickets, and what types of amenities potential customers would like to see in a stadium.

The survey was sent by the NFL to 2,000 potential customers, according to the Los Angeles Times, which cited an individual familiar with the survey but not authorized to discuss it publicly.

The market research might indicate heightened interest in a Los Angeles franchise, but the league has not announced plans to relocate a team or a timeline for such a move. Los Angeles has been without an NFL team since the Raiders and Rams left two decades ago.

Their departure has been followed by a 20 years of speculation that gained momentum with development plans around potential stadium sites. The survey sent Tuesday marks the first time the league has conducted a comprehensive survey of the market since the 1990s, the LA Times reported.

The more than 40-question survey includes the following questions:

  • Are you a fan of the National Football League?
  • Do you attend NFL games on an annual basis?
  • If a current NFL team relocated to the Los Angeles area, would the identity of the team change your attitude towards an NFL team in the Los Angeles area?
  • Would you be interested in attending other events at a new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area?
  • How would you describe your (or your company's) interest in purchasing a loge box at a new NFL stadium in the Los Angeles area?

The survey also asks recipients to pick a favorite NFL team and express their interest other types of tickets and pricing plans.

At NFL meetings earlier this month, the New York Giants co-owner said officials discussed "a little bit" potential stadium sites in the Los Angeles area. Teams on short-term stadium leases include the St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders.

Last week, the Los Angeles City Council extended for six months with AEG a deal proposed to bring an NFL team to a stadium that would be built in downtown Los Angeles. The sports-entertainment presenter agreed in 2012 to build the stadium and expand the nearby Convention Center, but that deal was scheduled to expire this month. As part of the extension agreement, AEG will pay for a study to expand the Convention Center with or without the stadium's construction.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said last week he "wouldn't bet the city on it," but expressed confidence that an NFL team will eventually move to Los Angeles.

Correction: An earlier verson of this article stated the LA City Council extended talks with AEG for six weeks, but the extension was for six months.



Photo Credit: AEG]]>
<![CDATA["Polite" Librarians Talk World Series Smack]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 14:59:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/lib-th.jpg

You know things are getting intense when public librarians start talking smack about the World Series.

In a series of back-and-forth tweets, the city librarians in San Francisco and Kansas City began taunting each other – with book titles, of course – over which team is going to win Game 1 of the World Series Tuesday, the Giants or the Royals.

"We're polite but fierce!" the San Francisco library tweeted. "Get ready to cry some blue tears for @Royals when @SFGiants take the win tonight."

Michelle Jeffers, the social media guru for the San Francisco library and the mastermind of the tweets, had an obvious answer for why she was dissing the Kansas City library 1,500 miles away.

"Well, they started it," she said with a laugh.

In fact, they did. At 11 a.m., the Kansas City Public Library, tweeted: "Hey @SFPublicLibrary we have a book for you!" The link showed this title: "So, You Think You Know Baseball? A Fan's Guide to the Offical Rules," by Peter E. Meltzer.

"What? They think we don't know the rules?" Jeffers joked.

Liesl Christman, the digital contest specialist at the Kansas City library, happily admitted to "starting it." And she said she chose the baseball rules book while flipping through the catalog, trying decide what bibliophile zinger to fling.

"Yeah, I was hoping to get a response," Christman said from Kansas City by phone. "I just didn't realize it was going to go on so long."

The Twitter tete-a-tete went on for so long, partly, because Jeffers wasn't going to take it lying down.

She shot back: "Thanks, but maybe you should read this." And she sent them a link to Dan Fost's book, "The Giants Baseball Experience: A Year-by-Year Chronicle from New York to San Francisco."

Kansas City took aim again, pointing out that the Giants haven't always been in San Francisco - the team was once a favorite in the Big Apple. Christman tweeted a stack of "fairy tale" books with the hashtag #TaketheCrown.

Jeffers fired off another dig, albeit a courteous one, simply stating that the Giants history has been amazing "coast to coast."

"I didn't want to diss them too bad," Jeffers said. "I was trying to be polite because we're librarians here."


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<![CDATA[Cowboys Waive Michael Sam]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 13:37:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GERRY_MCCARTHY__1409761483_39578161-620x503.jpg

The Dallas Cowboys have waived defensive end Michael Sam, the NFL's first openly-gay player, from the team's practice squad.

Sam, 24, joined the Cowboys on Sept. 3 after being cut from the Rams. He was drafted by St. Louis in the 7th round and totaled nine tackles and three sacks in three preseason games before being cut by the Rams. 

He never played in a game for the Cowboys and the team has not released a statement on his departure.

After the announcement, Sam tweeted thanks to team owner Jerry Jones for the opportunity, as well as friends, family, teammates and fans.  He added he was disappointed, but looked forward to fight for an opportunity to play every Sunday in the NFL.

According to DallasCowboys.com, the release of Sam makes room for linebacker Troy Davis who worked out with the team Monday.

Sam is a Texas native who played high school football at Hitchcock High School before playing for Missouri.  While at Missouri, he was named SEC Co-Defensive Player of the Year and had 11 1/2 sacks in the 2013 season.

The 6-1 Cowboys are off to their best start since 2007 when then finished the regular season at 13-3.  Monday night they'll face an NFC East rival, the 2-5 Washington Redskins, in Arlington.



Photo Credit: Gerry McCarthy / Dallas Morning News Staff Photographer
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<![CDATA["Saved My Life": Trusty Lab Serves Diabetic Football Kicker]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:28:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-20-14_astro+service+dog+challenge+spotlight.jpg

Pacing the sidelines of Upland High School’s football field, Astro keeps a close eye on kicker Luke Van Ginkel.

The Labrador retriever raises some eyebrows from the stands since trained rescue dogs are often accompanied by a vision-impaired handler, which the talented kicker is not.

“They always come up to me and say, ‘excuse me, what’s your dog for? Are you training it, or something, for someone else?’ Van Ginkel said. “I said, ‘No he’s for me, it’s a new thing. It’s for diabetes. He can alert me when my blood sugar is off.’”

Astro underwent two years of specialized training to sense when Van Ginkel’s blood sugar is at a dangerous level.

“They have a very low-key alert that is easily recognizable to the handler but not something maybe other people would notice,” said Johanna Reynolds, a trainer at Canine Hope for Diabetics.

The alerts can be as subtle as Astro picking up a specific toy, but he doesn’t always have to be close to sense something is amiss.

“My mom will tell me, ‘Astro is acting funny, can you check for me?’” Van Ginkel said. “He’s been right every time so I think it’s … spiritual, or something like that.”

Luke’s father and coach, Pete Van Ginkel, said having Astro around puts him at ease.

“It is an advantage just having him there. It’s one less thing we have to worry about,” Pete said.

Most days if Luke is in sight, Astro isn't far behind. The yellow lab even has a school ID card.

“I awake the day with him next to me, he sleeps with me at night,” Luke said. “The rest of day at school he’s with me, then he’ll come back up to the field with me at practice.”

"He's saved my life a couple of times," Luke added.


 



Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[LA Kings' Slava Voynov Suspended by NHL]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 20:16:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/191*120/10-20-2014-kings-voynov.jpg

The National Hockey League took swift action Monday in response to the arrest of Los Angeles King Slava Voynov, suspending the 24-year-old defenseman indefinitely pending a domestic violence investigation.

Voynov was suspended "indefinitely from all club activities pending a formal investigation by the National Hockey League of an arrest this morning on charges of domestic violence," according to a statement from the NHL.

The league's collective bargaining agreement allows for the suspension of a player during a criminal investigation. Details regarding the arrest and investigation were not immediately available, but the league's action came just hours after Voynov's arrest, which occurred Monday at about 2 a.m. in Redondo Beach, Los Angeles County Jail records show.

Police told NBC4 they arrested Voynov at Little Company of St. Mary Hospital in Torrance after medical personnel contacted authorities regarding a victim who was the subject of a domestic violence call.

"The injury was severe enough that it did require treatment," said Lt Joe Hoffman, of the Redondo Beach Police Department.

Redondo Beach officers intially responded to the neighborhood where Voynov and his family live after a caller reported that a female "could be heard screaming for the past 20 minutes," according to a police department statement. The caller directed officers to the house from which the sounds were heard, but police received no response after attempting to contact the home's occupants.

Torrance police later contacted Redondo Beach police regarding the hospitalized woman.

Voynov posted $50,000 bail around 8 a.m. and his first court appearance is scheduled for Dec. 1 in Torrance.

"We're still investigating with the police," Voynov attorney Craig Renetzky told the Associated Press. "It's very early on in the proceedings. We're just asking everybody to be patient, because arrests don't always lead to charges and convictions."

Voynov, named to the 2014 Russian Olympic hockey team, was drafted by the Kings in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He is in the second of a six-year contract with the 2014 Stanley Cup champions and one of four Kings to play in all 82 games last season.

The team issued a statement Monday morning: "These developments are of great concern to our organization.  We support the NHL's decision to suspend Slava Voynov indefinitely during this process, and we will continue to take appropriate action as the legal proceedings and the investigation by the NHL take their course."

The case follows other recent domestic violence investigations that involved high-profile professional athletes, including NFL running back Ray Rice. The Rice case and video of the assault in a casino elevator led to a new NFL policy regarding domestic violence offenders.

Unlike the NFL and NBA, the NHL and Major League Baseball do not have policies specific to domestic violence. Penalties are usually handed out at the discretion of the commissioner on a case-by-case basis.

The NHL's immediate action in the Voynov case stands in contrast to its handling last season of a domestic violence investigation involving Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov, who was not suspended and continued playing with the team during the investigation.

Charges in that case were eventually dropped.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly addressed the two cases in an email Monday to The Hockey News.

"I think the landscape has changed for all of us over the past six months," Daly said in the email. "But that's not the only reason for the difference in treatment. Circumstances were different in Varlamov. I can’t get more specific than that."

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman was asked about the league's response to domestic violence issues in a USA Today article published at the start of this season.

"(Domestic violence prevention) is something we've been doing with the Players' Association for more than a decade," Bettman told USA Today in the Oct. 8 article. "As a league, we have more than enough mechanism and authority to punish if necessary in the appropriate case. We haven't seen too many though. We focus on counseling and education with the Players Association. The NHL’s Security Department does that each year in its meetings with each team."

Under Section 18-A.5 of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, the NHL can suspend a player "pending the League's formal review and disposition of the matter where the failure to suspend the Player during this period would create a substantial risk of material harm to the legitimate interests and/or reputation of the League."

Voynov had an assist in the Kings' win Sunday at Staples Center over the Minnesota Wild. The Kings' next game is Thursday at Staples Center against Buffalo.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Video: Kobe Bryant's Expletive Message to Rookie]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 04:54:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Kobe-Bryant-warns-Lakers-Rookie-Randle.jpg

Kobe Bryant understands what a basketball lifetime with the Los Angeles Lakers offers to those few who are blessed with the talent and put in the hard work required to become great wearing purple and gold at a young age.

Bryant is a five-time champion and a living legend in the NBA and far beyond.

So, after Sunday's preseason victory over the Utah Jazz, Bryant was asked about rookie Julius Randle, who is slowly being groomed as a future face of the franchise. The rookie possesses a plethora of talents that include dribbling the ball up the court as a power forward.

Feeling good about the victory, Bryant took the opportunity to cut loose, drop a few "f-bombs" and tell the Lakers' rookie he would be an "idiot" to blow his opportunity with the purple and gold in any way. However, Bryant managed to slip in a slight that drew laughter from the peanut gallery of reporters in the locker room.

Despite recently stating that he had enough self-motivation to not be bothered by ESPN ranking him the 40th best player in the NBA, the 36-year-old couldn't help but take a shot at the sports media giants.

"ESPN are idiots, but you're a really big idiot if you managed to [expletive] this up," Bryant told reporters asking about the opportunity Randle had with the Lakers.

For his part, Randle agreed with the Lakers' star.

"Kobe said, 'You can't mess it up, unless you want to,'" Randle smirked when asked about the cards he had been dealt. "I intentionally have to mess things up. Having a coach like Byron (Scott), learn from greats like Kobe, Booz (Carlos Boozer), (Steve) Nash, all those guys. And on top of that, playing for the Lakers' organization."

On the night, the rookie had the best outing of his young professional career. Although he has a long way to go to being mentioned in the same breath as any of the Lakers' greats, the 19-year-old was entirely aware of the unique opportunity presented before him.

"I'm in a perfect situation," Randle concluded. "I can't mess it up."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Play Defense, Comeback Against Jazz]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 04:56:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-rookie-julius-Randle.jpg

Down by 22 points in the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Utah Jazz, the Los Angeles Lakers appeared set on their way to the third straight blowout loss of their preseason.

Following strong debuts by Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash in the Lakers' preseason opener, the purple and gold proceeded to lose their next three games by a aggregated total of 89 points. In those demoralizing losses, the lack of energy, effort and emphasis on defense were easy to spot with the naked eye and even easier to track using the simplest of statistics.

In all three of their losses, the Lakers allowed 115 or more points. In their lone victory, the Lakers kept their opponent under 100 points.

Considering the lack of firepower with Nash, Jeremy Lin, Xavier Henry, Nick Young, Ryan Kelly and Jordan Clarkson all out injured, the Lakers currently have little to no chance of winning without putting forth a stellar defensive effort. The team simply does not have enough points on the available roster to compete in a high-scoring shootout.

On Sunday night at Staples Center, the Lakers stared up at the score board at halftime and it read 54-38. The Utah Jazz had a 16-point lead, and the Lakers were on pace to give up 108 points on the night. In the first half, the Lakers mirrored the team that had dropped three games in a row, and confidence and crowd noise was at an all-time low.

"When we came out, before the [2nd] half even started, I said, 'Listen, we're not even going to talk about offense. It's all about us getting more aggressive on the defensive end,'" Lakers coach Byron Scott said after the game.

For the final 24 minutes, the Lakers executed on the defensive side of the ball, and the Jazz failed to touch the 100-point mark. The Lakers held their opponents to only 37 points in the second half, and a great deal of that defensive energy came from the Lakers' big men.

Carlos Boozer had his best showing of the preseason with 19 points and nine rebounds, but his six steals raised eyebrows. Boozer's active hands created turnovers, and the Lakers began to create offense off their defense.

"That's normally how it goes," Scott laughed after the game. "For some reason, when you play good solid defense, everything seems to be falling for you on the offensive end."

One player who took that mantra to heart was Lakers' rookie Julius Randle. Randle had two block shots, which was a team-high, and showed strength and resilience that did not turn up in the box score. On the defensive end, the 19-year-old looked comfortable on the floor and was an intimidating figure in the lane.

On the offensive end, Randle displayed signs of the clutch gene. All four of Randle's field goals came in the fourth quarter of a close game. The first two of those shots broke a tie to give the Lakers a slender lead. The next one took the Lakers from down one point to up one point. His last made basket brought the Lakers level after they were trailing.

It may have only been preseason, but this rookie hit some big shots and began to find his footing.

"I think the biggest thing that clicked was me being active on the defensive end, carrying it over to my offense," Randle said after Sunday's victory.

Randle's coach expressed satisfaction with the rookie's progress and hoped for more of the same in the future.

"That's what we're hoping, that we get this type of energy and effort from him every single night," Scott said. "Obviously, he has it in him. He has a world of talent."

Bryant would finish with 26 points, four rebounds and five assists, earning player of the game honors, but by his unreasonably high standards, Sunday night was not a performance to remember. Instead, the excitement after the game revolved around the rookie and the Lakers' commitment to defense.

Quote of the night:

"ESPN are idiots, but you'd have to REALLY be an idiot to [expletive] this up," - Kobe Bryant taking a shot at his player ranking while telling reporters Randle would have to be an "idiot" to waste his golden opportunity with the Lakers.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Roggin's Heroes: Week 7]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 05:57:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ROGGINS_HEROES_10-19-2014_1200x675_345169987515.jpg They're the best of the best in Southern California high school football. Watch the Week 7 edition of Roggin's Heroes, broadcast Sunday Oct. 19, 2014 on NBC4.]]> <![CDATA[Football Player's Service Dog Ready for Big Catch]]> Mon, 20 Oct 2014 06:16:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/196*120/10-20-2014-dog-challenge-diabetes.jpg A high school football player's service dog is trained to sense dangerous blood-sugar levels. After two years of training, Astro was ready to alert his best friend. Mario Solis reports for NBC4 on Sunday Oct 19, 2014.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 7]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 20:38:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/457509990.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the seventh week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[MMA Fighter "War Machine" Attempts Suicide in Jail]]> Sat, 18 Oct 2014 10:54:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/War-Machine-vegas-MMA.jpg

A professional mixed martial arts fighter accused of beating his porn star ex-girlfriend and one of her male friends tried to commit suicide in a Las Vegas jail, authorities said.

Jonathan "War Machine" Koppenhaver, 32, was found Tuesday in a cell at the Clark County Detention Center sitting on the floor with his feet resting on the bunk, Las Vegas Metropolitan police said in a statement.

The officer noticed what appeared to be a torn piece of linen around his neck that was tied to the leg of his bunk, police said.

The officer called to Koppenhaver several times, but he did not respond, according to police. When the officer went inside the cell he noticed that Koppenhaver was struggling to breathe, police said.

The officer cut the ligature from Koppenhaver’s neck and his breathing became less strained and he started to speak, police said.

Koppenhaver was moved to a medical isolation cell, where he was placed on suicide watch.

Police said they found a suicide note inside Koppenhaver’s cell.

Koppenhaver, a former porn actor, was booked into Clark County jail in August.

He's accused of beating adult film actress Christy Mack and her male friend at a Las Vegas home on Aug. 8 before fleeing to the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley, where he was arrested a week later.

Koppenhaver faces charges including attempted murder and dozens of assault counts.

Koppenhaver made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut in 2007 and legally changed his name in 2008. He lost his only pay-per-view bout that same year.

He fought out of San Diego for a variety of promotions and had a 14-5 record as a welterweight. He lost his last fight, in Iowa, last October.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Simi Valley Police/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Lakers Blown Out, But Kobe Solid]]> Fri, 17 Oct 2014 10:03:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-Jazz-Kobe-Bryant-27-points.jpg

Kobe Bryant called Thursday night's his best game of the preseason. The other members of the Los Angeles Lakers, however, could not make the same claim.

"I told them I'm going to find seven or eight guys," Lakers coach Byron Scott started his post-game press conference on Thursday night. He sounded as upset as he has since taking the post.

"That's all I need to play the way we need to play, play hard every single night and compete," Scott relayed his expectations for his team.

Veteran point guard Ronnie Price, who started on Thursday night, understood the concern and did not take the tone lightly.

"Everyone should be upset," Price spoke at his locker. "Everyone should be a little bit frustrated. I understand (that) it's preseason. I understand that we do have injuries. I get it. But if we played a little harder and a little bit smarter by sticking to our principles, I don't think coach would be upset."

One of the most serious personalities in the Lakers' locker room, Price did not have one of his best games against his former team, the Utah Jazz. The final scoreboard read 119-86 with Price and the Lakers on the losing side, and Price finished with more turnovers, five, than assists, two.

Still, he wasn't making excuses.

"If we got beat and we were doing everything we were supposed to be doing with a sense of urgency, I don't think he would be upset," Price questioned his teammates. "I think he would be happy with our effort, and we would live with the consequences."

Trailing by as many as 36 points and losing by 33 points did not reflect a team that was taking the floor with urgency.

"It's tough to really assess and evaluate anything until we get the guys out on the floor and have the regular season rotation a little bit," Bryant said after the game.

Bryant poured in 27 points to go along with four assists and five rebounds in a performance he considered his best of the preseason. However, the Lakers' guard hoisted 23 shot attempts in 28 minutes, and that quick trigger had a great deal to do with the lack of available talent on the court.

Jeremy Lin, Nick Young, Jordan Clarkson, Ryan Kelly and Xavier Henry were all unavailable Thursday. Steve Nash attempted to go through his warm ups but ultimately thought better of it and sat out.

"I'm very concerned," Bryant said about Nash's inability to get healthy. "It just seems like he can't get going on a consistent basis. I know how frustrating that is."

Carlos Boozer, another veteran voice, said the injuries were a "huge" factor in the Lakers' three blowout losses in a row.

"You got to have all that talent out there, but if I had to pick a choice, I'd rather have our talent in the regular season," Boozer attempted to keep perspective.

Although the schedule may still read preseason, November is fast approaching, and the Lakers are running out of time to get bodies healthy. The Lakers' hope is to get Clarkson and Lin back on Sunday with Kelly and Henry not too far away either. The question mark over Nash's head, however, is more prominent than ever.

Even with all that, the Lakers' effort needs to greatly improve if this team wants any hope of competing for a playoff spot in the cutthroat Western Conference. If the lack of effort persists, however, even Bryant can't save the Lakers.

Quote of the Night:

"I've known for a long time that they're a bunch of idiots...honestly, all jokes aside, it really doesn't bother me too much. I'm going to do what I do regardless. God willing, I can stay healthy, and if I wind up proving a lot of people wrong in the process that will just wind up being collateral damage."
-Kobe Bryant on being ranked as the 40th best player in the NBA by ESPN



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Not All-In on Steve Nash]]> Wed, 15 Oct 2014 08:19:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/186973645.jpg

"Pressure? No, it's still preseason," Xavier Henry summed it up succinctly.

Henry's goal, like the Los Angeles Lakers' goal, is to be ready by the time the regular season rolls around. In less than two weeks, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers will face a stern test against Dwight Howard and the Houston Rockets on a nationally televised NBA Opening night game.

Bryant should be ready, but Steve Nash is a major doubt.

Two weeks into training camp, the Lakers have already experienced the best and worst of both worlds the 2014-15 season expects to offer. Nash and Bryant looked like a surprisingly spry offensive duo in their preseason opener against the Denver Nuggets. Two games later, the duo combined for a dismal display of shooting that ultimately resulted in a 41-point blowout loss to the Golden State Warriors.

Prior to training camp, Nash was never truly expected to be a reliable contributor, but the 40-year-old Canadian point guard turned heads with his early showings in practice scrimmages and preseason. Two games later, Nash's health is a major concern again, and Lakers coach Byron Scott admitted that he would mull over whether to pencil in Nash, even if he is healthy, as the first-choice starter at point guard.

"The advantage is that (Nash) is one the best point guards that ever played the game," Scott said about Nash after Tuesday's practice. "Obviously, if he's out there, he's healthy, he makes us a better basketball team."

Nash, sadly, has become reliable in being unreliable at this late stage of his career.

Luckily, the Lakers have covered themselves for the likelihood of Nash not being an everyday player. Jeremy Lin may be recovering from an ankle sprain that will likely hold him out of Thursday's preseason game against the Utah Jazz, but the 26-year-old is certainly capable of starting in the NBA.

Playing alongside Bryant, Lin can act as an on-ball creator or an off-ball shooter. In his two preseason appearances, the boy who was birthed in Torrance has already displayed his versatility. Against the Nuggets, Lin ran the second unit as the primary passer and collected 10 assists with only one turnover. Against the Warriors, Lin lined up alongside Bryant for the first time and served as a shooter, scoring 14 points without missing a single shot.

Along with Lin, the Lakers also have a proven commodity in Ronnie Price. Already one of the most respected guys in the locker room, the 31-year-old offers tenacious defense that occasionally includes tossing a shoe at the opposition. Price is not a flashy guard that will pour in 40 points, but he is an experienced and stable player that only turned the ball over three times in 60 minutes of preseason basketball.

Another option, the Lakers also have an athletic kid named Jordan Clarkson, but rookies usually require time to acclimate to the pace of the NBA game. Clarkson’s promise is far from guaranteed to translate to production. Still, the kid can penetrate, is not afraid to shoot and possesses all the tools that can allow him to excel this season and beyond.

Pressure and the Lakers go hand-in-hand, but one would be wise to keep it mind, “it’s still preseason.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Need to Keep Don Mattingly]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 19:49:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/mattd+copy.jpg

With the Dodgers announcement Tuesday that they’ve hired former Tampa Bay Rays executive Andrew Friedman as their new president of baseball operations, it’s imperative that his first move be to affirm that Don Mattingly is, and will be, the Dodgers' manager next season.

From the moment the club got bounced out of the playoffs last week by the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Division Series, all the talk in Dodgerland has been whether Mattingly would be, or should be, brought back as the team’s skipper.

Part of that talk comes from being clobbered by the Cards in the playoffs for the second straight year, although St. Louis made it to the World Series last season and they’re well on their way back this year. Part of the talk comes because the Dodgers have entered the world of big money sports politics when not winning it all means heads have to roll. And, part of the talk comes from the not so subtle “World Series, or bust” line Clayton Kershaw dropped during an interview the morning of Aug. 12 on ESPN Radio’s “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” show. 

But here’s the thing. Winning ain’t easy, especially at the Major League level. Under Mattingly the Dodgers have won. Maybe not a World Series, but they’ve won.

In his four seasons as skipper, they’ve been over .500 each year, their win totals have increased each season and they’ve won the last two NL West Division titles. And, heck, if Matt Carpenter spent his last two Octobers fly fishing instead of bashing Dodger pitching, LA’s postseasons could’ve had better endings.

The previous six Dodger managers before Mattingly failed to make a Fall Classic, now all of a sudden his winning division championships in back-to-back years is not good enough.

With all the teams who would kill to win 94 games, there’s a chance that the guy who did it in the country's second largest market could get canned. Yeah, that makes sense.

Sure, you can question a lot of Mattingly’s in-game decisions. You can even argue that two big blunders in the NLDS 1) bringing in seldom-used Scott Elbert in the seventh inning of Game 3 (he gave up the game-winning two-run homer) and 2) allowing Kershaw to pitch the seventh inning in Game 4 of that series (he gave up the game-winning solo homer) cost the Dodgers the series. But, if you did you, clearly, didn’t watch all four games.

Let’s not forget that the same team he led to the postseason is the same team that was 10 games out of first place on June 7, and looked like a group of individuals who were more interested in collecting checks than collecting wins.

It takes the right personality to handle $240 million worth of egos and Mattingly managed to pull it off in the name of what’s best for the team.

In the second half this season he took Matt Kemp - his $160 million, Gold Glove center fielder - and moved him to right. Kemp didn’t like it. Mattingly didn’t care, saying it was best for the team. Kemp went on to win NL Player of the Month for September and played his best baseball since almost winning the Most Valuable Player Award in 2011.

He made cast away Dee Gordon the everyday second baseman and leadoff hitter over Justin Turner coming out of Spring Training. When the constant questions of “Really?” came Mattingly didn’t flinch, saying it was best for the team. Gordon made the All-Star team and led the majors in stolen bases. Turner provided Vinnie “The Microwave” Johnson-like instant offense coming off bench, hitting .340 in a utility role.

Mattingly’s signed through the 2016 season. And, while Friedman will have his hands full trying to revamp an aging Dodgers roster, the 53-year-old running the show on the field should be the least of his concerns.

It’s what’s best for the team.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Shake Up Front Office After Post-Season Exit]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 12:08:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/10-14-2014-andrew-friedman-rays-dodgers.jpg

The Dodgers have hired Andrew Friedman for the new position of president of baseball operations, while current general manger Ned Colletti will stay on as a senior adviser to team president and CEO Stan Kasten.

Friedman comes from the Tampa Bay Rays, where he was executive vice president of baseball operations for nine years after being hired at age 28.

Kasten on Tuesday called Friedman "one of the youngest and brightest minds in the game today." Now 37, Friedman guided the Rays to four postseason appearances, including two division titles in 2009 and 2010 while overseeing one of the major leagues' lowest payrolls.

In joining the Dodgers, Friedman will have baseball's highest payroll of $256 million at his disposal.

Colletti spent nine years as GM of the Dodgers. The team reached the postseason five times and won four division titles, but had early playoff exits the last two years.

"Ned Colletti has played a major role in the success of the Los Angeles Dodgers over the last nine years and I'm thrilled that we are able to retain him as a special advisor to me," said Kasten. "Ned's knowledge and experience in the game covering 33 years will be a great asset to the club as we continue to add and build our player development system."

Last week, the Cardinals bounced Los Angeles from the postseason in four games.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Randle Faces Shoplifting Charge]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:31:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/joseph-randle-mugshot-inset.jpg

Frisco police say they arrested Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle for allegedly shoplifting $123 in underwear and cologne Monday night at Stonebriar Centre Mall.

According to police, Randle, 22, was stopped by Dillards loss prevention employees and detained at about 8:15 p.m. after they saw him make a purchase at a counter and then walk to another part of the store where he allegedly put a tester bottle of Gucci Guilty Black cologne ($84) and a 2-pack of black Polo underwear ($39.50) into his Dillards bag.

When he left the store and into the parking lot, he was stopped by store employees.

After Frisco police compared the contents of Randle's Dillards bag with his receipt and watched surveillance footage of him in the store, he was placed under arrest on a Class B misdemeanor for theft between $50 and $500 and put into a Frisco police car.

While there, the officer said Randle said if he knew he was going to be arrested he would have just kept walking to his car.

According to the police report, Randle told officers that he didn't pay for the merchandise because he did not want to take the time to do it.

After being booked into jail, Randle posted $350 bond and was released at about 1:20 a.m. Tuesday.

Randle, a second-year player out of Oklahoma State who was drafted by the Cowboys in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, is a backup running back for the team. In six games this season, Randle has carried the ball 16 times for 113 yards. In 2013, the back carried the ball 54 times in 13 games for a total of 164 yards.

According to RotoWorld, in 2013 Randle signed a four-year $2.39 million contract that included a $188,820 signing bonus.  His base salary in 2014 is $495,000. He is set to make $585,000 in 2015, $675,000 in 2016 and is a free agent in 2017.

At this time, there has been no statement from the Dallas Cowboys.

NBC 5's Catherine Ross contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC 5 News
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<![CDATA[Report Links GoPro to Brain Injury]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:12:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP886669197394.jpg

The French commentator whose reported remarks had sparked reports that a GoPro camera may have played a role in Formula 1 racing legend Michael Schumacher's brain injury is now urging everyone to "stop all speculation."

Schumacher, 45, has been immobile and unable to speak after he fell and hit a rock in a skiing accident last year while he was wearing a GoPro camera mounted on his helmet.

European news outlets had reported that racing commentator Jean-Louis Moncet told Europe 1 radio that Schumacher's son Mick told him the placement of the camera contributed to the brain injury — but Moncet denied that Tuesday on Twitter.

"The problem for Michael was not the hit, but the mounting of the GoPro camera that he had on his helmet that injured his brain," Eurosport had earlier quoted Moncet as having said.

But Moncet appeared to contradict that suggestion in a tweet Tuesday.
"STOP ALL SPÉCULATION," he tweeted. "Mick could not say something about camera or injury of Michael because we did not speak together."
Following the initial report linking the GoPro to Schumacher's injury, shares of the Bay Area-based company plummeted, losing as much as 10 percent in trading Monday, Business Insider reported.

A GoPro spokesman declined to comment on the report linking the camera to Schumacher's injury but said the company was monitoring the situation closely.

Schumacher emerged from a medically-induced coma in June but remains in serious condition.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Air Force Captain Proposes to Cheerleader During Game]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 10:05:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/457130192.jpg

The Arizona Cardinals may have defeated the Washington Redskins on Sunday, but Cardinals cheerleader Claire Thorton, 23, was the big winner when her Air Force Captain boyfriend got down on one knee during a break in the game and proposed.

Eric Straub, 26, dressed in his flight suit, completed a successful mission when Thorton said “Yes!” in front of thousands of screaming NFL fans who watched the proposal on the stadium’s Jumbotron.


"It was pretty amazing,'' Thornton told TODAY.com. "I was shaking really bad. He's like 'Put the ring on!' And I'm like, you put it on me!'

Thorton thought that Straub, an F-15 pilot in the Air Force, was getting a special welcome home from the Cardinals during the game since he had just returned from a deployment in the Middle East the night before.

Meanwhile, the airman had already organized with Cardinals officials that he would propose to his cheerleader girlfriend when he came out on the field.


“It was so loud you couldn't hear anything. I had all these things I wanted to say, but once I got down on my knee, I had no idea what to say. I think all I said was, 'I love you marry me!' It was funny.''



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Roggin's Heroes: Week 6]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:56:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/205*120/roggins+heroes+logo+challenge.jpg They're the best of the best in Southern California high school football. Watch the Week 6 edition of Roggin's Heroes, broadcast Sunday Oct. 12, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Never Count Stafon Johnson Out]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:56:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/10-12-2014-stafon-johnson.jpg If things had gone as planned, Stafon Johnson would now be flourishing in the NFL. Unfortunately, a series of injuries cut his career short and while many in his position would have become bitter and resentful, not Stafon. Mario Solis reports for The Challenge Spotlight presented by Dodge Sunday Oct. 12, 2014.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Cardinals Edge Giants to Tie NLCS ]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 06:08:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/457139424.jpg

The St. Louis Cardinals have evened the National League Championship Series 1-1 after three late homers fueled St. Louis to a 5-4 walk-off win over the San Francisco Giants.

Cardinals outfielder Kolten Wong delivered a walk-off home run off Sergio Romo in the bottom of the ninth inning to end the night.

With the Giants ahead 3-2 in the seventh inning, Cardinals pinch-hitter Oscar Taveras tied the game with a home run off reliever Jean Machi. Matt Adams followed with another home run off Hunter Strickland in the eighth inning that put the Cardinals ahead 4-3.

The Giants tied the game in top of the ninth after a wild pitch from Trevor Rosenthal scored pinch-runner Matt Duffy, who was running on the pitch, from second base.

The Cardinals won after losing All-Star catcher Yadier Molina to a strained oblique muscle in the sixth. Molina was getting further tests and manager Mike Matheny said it ``didn't look real good.''

"We just knew we had to keep grinding,'' Wong said. "When you lose someone like Yadi, it's definitely tough for us, but we told ourselves we've been going through this all year. Grinding up and down, not getting any easy pass, so we're all so confident.''

It was a rare postseason failure for the reliable San Francisco bullpen, which allowed a home run in each of the final three innings.

"They are the reason we're in this situation, and you give (the Cardinals) credit,'' manager Bruce Bochy said. "They threw out some good at-bats and we made a couple of mistakes and they took advantage of them.''

The best-of-seven series resumes Tuesday night with Game 3 in San Francisco with John Lackey going for St. Louis and Tim Hudson starting for the Giants.

Wong hit an 0-1 pitch from Sergio Romo for his second big home run this postseason. The rookie's seventh-inning drive was the decisive blow in Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

St. Louis, last in the NL with 105 home runs during the regular season, has hit 11 homers in six playoff games, seven in the seventh inning or later. Earlier, Matt Carpenter connected for the fourth time this postseason.

Seth Maness retired Pablo Sandoval on a comebacker with the bases loaded to end the top of the ninth, and got the win.

Maness came on after closer Trevor Rosenthal couldn't hold a one-run lead. Rosenthal's pitch bounced off the glove off backup catcher Tony Cruz and Duffy, running on a full count, never broke stride and slid home with the tying run.

Molina bent over in pain after a swing and didn't make it out of the batter's box on a double-play ball in the sixth. Wincing, he gingerly walked off the field.

Adams, whose three-run shot off Clayton Kershaw put St. Louis in front for good in their clinching playoff win over Dodgers, homered off Giants reliever Hunter Strickland.

Gregor Blanco's fourth postseason hit in 31 at-bats put the Giants up 3-2 in the seventh, but Taveras re-tied it in the bottom half with a homer off Jean Machi just inside the right-field foul pole.

Carpenter hit a solo home run off Jake Peavy in the third. Randal Grichuk singled with the bases loaded in the fourth to make it 2-0.

The Giants came back against Lance Lynn.

UP NEXT

Giants: Hudson pitched well vs. Washington in Game 2 of the Division Series, allowing a run in 7 1-3 innings.

Cardinals: Lackey has a win each of the last three postseason series and is the active leader with 111 postseason innings.

Click here for full Giants coverage.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Raiders Fans Egg San Diego Chargers Bus]]> Mon, 13 Oct 2014 08:39:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/raiders_bus_image.jpg

It was a rude welcome Sunday by Oakland Raiders fans when the San Diego Chargers' team bus showed up at the Coliseum.

Cameras captured fans pelting the Chargers' bus with eggs. Of course, the Chargers and Raiders have a deep and heated rivalry.

In the past, the fans have too.

No response yet from the Raiders on what happened, but the Chargers did get the last laugh by coming back late to win the game 31-28.



Photo Credit: Jordan Beane]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 6]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 08:36:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP583404611673.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the sixth week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Win Game 1 of NLCS]]> Sat, 11 Oct 2014 21:48:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/457083614.jpg

Madison Bumgarner pitched shutout ball into the eighth inning and the San Francisco Giants combined just enough hitting with a couple of defensive flubs by St. Louis to beat the Cardinals 3-0 Saturday night in the NL Championship Series opener.

Bumgarner set a major league postseason record with 26 2-3 consecutive scoreless innings on the road.

The Giants lefty was in complete command while 20-game winner Adam Wainwright failed to last even five innings for the Cardinals.

San Francisco has won 12 of its last 13 in the postseason, including three straight to erase a 3-1 deficit in the 2012 NLCS against St. Louis.

Jake Peavy gets the Game 2 start for the Giants on Sunday night against Lance Lynn.

Bumgarner, who began the playoffs by throwing a shutout at Pittsburgh in the wild-card game, gave up four hits in 7 2-3 innings.

Bumgarner bested the mark of 23 straight postseason scoreless innings on the road set by Art Nehf of the New York Giants from 1921-24.

The Cardinals' threatened against him only in the seventh on consecutive one-out singles by Yadier Molina and Jon Jay, but Kolten Wong tapped out and pinch-hitter Tony Cruz fanned.

The Giants' bullpen finished with hitless relief as Sergio Romo got the last out in the eighth and Santiago Casilla closed for a save.

Wainwright failed for the second straight postseason start. And this time, there was no late comeback against a lefty for the Cardinals _ they twice did it against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in the NL Division Series.

Wainwright was 20-9 during the regular season, including 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA in September with two complete games and a shutout. He's piled up a major league-high 512 2-3 innings the last two years, and perhaps the workload is finally getting to him.

The right-hander admitted before this series that his pitching elbow had bothered him during a start in the division series, but insisted he was fine.

In two October starts this year, Wainwright has permitted eight earned runs in nine innings. He's 0-4 with a 5.14 ERA in his last five postseason appearances _ he lasted 4 2-3 innings against the Giants after going just 4 1-3 innings in the NLDS opener vs. the Dodgers.

Bumgarner and the Giants silenced a sellout crowd of 47,201 in a game that began in 55-degree chill.

The Cardinals twice failed to seal the deal defensively in the Giants' two-run second.

Third baseman Matt Carpenter's fielding error with the bases loaded on Gregor Blanco's soft one-hop liner at his feet was their first error of the postseason.

Pablo Sandoval doubled to start the inning when rookie right fielder Randal Grichuk gloved the ball but couldn't hang on as he ran into the wall. Travis Ishikawa, 0 for 5 with five strikeouts and a walk against Wainwright, had an RBI single on a jam-shot bloop just over Carpenter's head in shallow left.

Wong misplayed a double-play ball at second base in the third, and Brandon Belt's sacrifice fly made it 3-0.

NEXT UP

Giants: Getting reunited with Bruce Bochy helped the 40-year-old Peavy turn back the clock. He worked 5 2-3 scoreless innings and won the division opener against Washington, a continuation on a strong finish _ 6-4 with a 2.17 ERA _ after Boston dealt him to the Giants at the July trading deadline.

Cardinals: Lynn has been a solid No. 2 behind Wainwright, an innings-eater who has better learned to take setbacks in stride. He's won at least 15 games all three years in the rotation, and this year worked three or fewer runs in all but four of his 33 starts, and he's 27-12 career at home. "I'll still say he's probably one of the most underrated pitchers in the game,'' manager Mike Matheny said.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Michael Morse was added to the Giants' roster in place of rookie outfielder Gary Brown, but did not play. Morse had been limited to two at-bats since Aug. 31 with a strained oblique muscle. Brown was on the division roster, but was not used.

 For full Giants coverage, click here.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hernandez's Phone Won't Be Tossed]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 12:15:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/b5be81e2cbc24dfe9245749f34341294.jpg

Aaron Hernandez's personal cell phone will not be thrown out as evidence in his Bristol County, Massachusetts, murder trial, ruled Judge Susan Garsh on Friday.

The defense had argued that they were misled by the prosecution into believing the search warrant for the phone required that they surrender it. It was ultimately taken by state police at their Boston law office.

The prosecution argued that police had the proper search warrant for it, and that it was seized lawfully from Hernandez's attorneys.

Judge Susan Garsh found that Hernandez's lawyers voluntarily surrendered the phone and weren't duped by the police.

Garsh also ruled today that a rifle found in Hernandez's Toyota, at his North Attleboro home, will not be thrown out.

She however, ruled that a white towel, taken from Hernandez's home, won't be allowed into trial.

Prosecutors argued the towel was important to the case, because a similar towel was found at the Oden Lloyd murder scene.

Garsh further ruled that marijuana, and a bottle of Vitamin Water that was found in Hernandez's home, was properly seized by police and will be admissible into trial.

Prosecutors have alleged that a cigar with marijuana was found at the murder scene.

Prosecutors have also said the Vitamin Water was the same flavor and brand that was allegedly found in the vehicle reportedly rented by Hernandez and used in the murder.

Previously, in another big win for the prosecution, the Judge ruled that Hernandez's own home video surveillance system will be allowed into trial.

Prosecutors say video shows Hernandez allegedly holding a gun both before and after Lloyd's murder.

In a prior win for the defense, Judge Garsh threw out .45 caliber bullet casings seized from Hernandez's Franklin "flop house," along with a .45 caliber magazine found in his Hummer.

Prosecutors have said they never found the murder weapon that killed Llloyd, but that it was a .45 caliber Glock.

Garsh also threw out iPads and cell phones seized from Hernandez's North Attleboro home. It's unclear of the significance of those items to the case.

Hernandez is behind bars, awaiting a January trial in the Lloyd case. He's pleaded not guilty.

He's also pleaded not guilty to two more murders out of Boston.

His fiance, Shayanna Jenkins, will not have her perjury case thrown out either.

According to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, there is direct evidence linking Jenkins to 14 separate perjurious statements.

]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Chicago Marathon]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 07:59:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/maraton+picture+for+website.jpg

Keep it right here to watch all of the action in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

The 26.2-mile course snakes through 29 neighborhoods as diverse as Lincoln Park and Pilsen, and participants will represent all 50 states and more than 100 countries.

All indications are that it's going to be a fast race. 

The elite competition will feature five men with personal records of 2:05 or faster, and four women with the potential to break 2:20, marathon officials have announced. Ethiopia's Kenenisa Bekele (2:05:04) and Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge (2:04:05) will resume their historic rivalry in the race.

The two have raced more than a dozen times since squaring off for the first time at the 2003 IAAF World Championships in the 5,000m. Also in the mix will be Kenya's Sammy Kitwara (2:05:16), Bernard Koech (2:04:53) and Dickson Chumba (2:05:42).

With all this elite talent, last year's course record of 2:03:45, set by Kenya's Dennis Kimetto, could be in jeopardy. Only five men in history have broken 2:04 on record-eligible courses. The top women include 2013 champion Rita Jeptoo (2:18:57), Kenya's Florence Kiplagat (2:19:44), Jemima Sumgong (2:20:48) and Ethiopia's Birhane Dibaba (2:22:30).

Jeptoo ran her first career sub 2:20 in last year's race, the fifth fastest time in Chicago Marathon history, and she returns this fall after smashing the Boston Marathon course record in April, a blazing 2:18:57.

She could become the third woman in history to run three career sub 2:20s. Jeptoo's training partner, Jemima Sumgong, returns to Chicago in October. The 2013 Rotterdam Marathon champion placed second in Chicago last year with a personal best of 2:20:48.

"This year's field is built for speed and record-breaking performances," said Bank of America Chicago Marathon Executive Race Director Carey Pinkowski. "We have big expectations due to this group of men and women who know how to race, dig deep and win."


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<![CDATA[SWAT Standoff Ends With Arrest of MMA Fighter]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 21:46:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/10-9-14_Jason+Miller+Mugshot+MMA+Standoff.jpg

A three-hour SWAT standoff ended Thursday at the Mission Viejo home of Mixed Martial Arts fighter Jason "Mayhem" Miller when police stormed in and took him into custody.

Thursday's incident was unusual as Miller tweeted about the standoff and even encouraged people to go to his address to watch "the absolute waste of resources going on outside of my house right now."

Mike Tierney took him up on the offer.

"It's very voyeuristic," Tierney said. "It's just something to do. I'm off today and I live two miles from here."

It started at 10:30 a.m. when Orange County sheriff's deputies tried to take Miller into custody on
an arrest warrant in a domestic violence and stalking case, but he ran back into his home and refused to come out, Orange County sheriff's Lt. Jeff Hallock said.

It ended about 2:15 p.m., when SWAT officers placed a device on his door that blew off the locks, prompting Miller to surrender, Hallock said.

Miller defended himself in a tweet, saying "I have not committed any crime, but yet i am forced HERE."

Miller's attorney, Joseph H. Low IV, told City News Service the raid was unnecessary.

"Jason had been under the care of a doctor for an illness," Low said. "He has been waiting for me to come back to town so that we could go back to court to continue to prove his innocence. I wish the police had informed me of their raid. We could have saved the taxpayers a lot of money. There was no
reason at all for them to get all dressed up in their SWAT costumes."

Twitter user @pjuric, who claimed to be a neighbor of Miller, begged him to give himself up, writing, "If not to save himself, please think of your neighbors and our kids!"

Some of his Tweets include:
"I WISH YOU NO HARM. I respect the Police, but this is overkill, for something that would be settled with one piece of paperwork from OCBAIL;

ALL THIS because I wanted to help raise a young boy into a man, and his mama wenr off her meds, and an ambitious DA thinks mayhem is BAD.

i woke up late, and couldn't leave because there is a highly equipment regiment of wanna be soldiers outside my house reminding me that, 'WE WON'T GO AWAY!'

i have the proper paper work, at my office in  HYPERLINK 'https://twitter.com/VaporLabsIrvine/'@VaporLabsIrvine, i was due to go to court this morning, but the LFPD chase me all last night.

if you would like to see this drama unfold, please, come to 26262 Avenida Calidad, Mission Viejo, CA 92691;

Mental health services for one single mother immigrant from the Philipines, who I know was well intentioned, but has a mental condition... now i have to pay a debt for her mistakes.

Just before he surrendered, Miller Tweeted, "They are gearing up like the Bin Laden raid, and I just want to be heard in court, to dispel all of the lies."

He also Tweeted to sheriff's deputies, "They threw a phone box threw a plate glass window. Disrespect. I would like to give up, but not with 50 RAMBOS out there. Not cool."

He also vowed to have the sheriff pay for the damage to his home in one of his Tweets.

Miller is facing two counts of corporal injury on a spouse or cohabitant and stalking, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of violating a protective order, according to court records. He was last due in court Sept. 8 for a pretrial hearing, but he was declared a fugitive and a warrant for his arrest
was issued.

Court records show a $200,000 bond was forfeited on Sept. 8.

This wasn't the first brush with the law for Miller, 33, who had vandalism charges against him dismissed in 2012, but found himself in trouble with the law again for the domestic violence case in August of last year.

A misdemeanor vandalism charge against Miller was dismissed Nov. 21, 2012, after he was accused in August of 2012 of breaking at least one picture frame and damaging a propane tank and other items while spray-painting inside Mission Hills Church, causing at least $400 in damage.

Miller was arrested in August of 2012 when the church's pastor called sheriff's deputies to report he found books and CDs scattered throughout the Alicia Parkway church, along with broken picture frames and fire extinguisher dust on the first and second floors.

Miller, who was an Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor, was found on the second floor nude, although he did have some sort of cloth wrapped around him.

City News Service contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Orange County Sheriff's Department]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Eliminated From Playoffs]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 19:13:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dodgers-cardinals-game-4-nlds-kershaw-october-7-2014.jpg

Clayton Kershaw was working a shut out before giving up a three-run home run in the seventh inning, and it would be all the St. Louis Cardinals needed to knock the Los Angeles Dodgers out of the playoffs.

The Dodgers fell to the Cardinals 3-2 in Game 4 of their best-of-five National League Division Series on Tuesday.

Kershaw was the starter on three days rest in place of Dan Haren. He pitched a one-hitter and had a 2-0 lead in the seventh until the Cardinals strung together three straight hits, capped by Matt Adams's three-run shot.

The Dodgers did their scoring in the sixth inning on a double-play grounder and an RBI single by Juan Uribe.

The Dodgers tried to send the series back to LA without starting their slumping All-Star, Yasiel Puig. He was benched by manager Don Mattingly, who said Andre Ethier was a better option. Eithier often has been the odd-man out in a crowded outfield.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Jeff Roberson - Pool/Getty Image]]>