<![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 Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:28:37 -0700 Tue, 16 Sep 2014 10:28:37 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Radisson Suspends Minnesota Vikings Sponsorship]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 19:51:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/adrian-peterson-indicted_1200x675_328790083813.jpg

The Radisson hotel chain is suspending its sponsorship of the Minnesota Vikings after star running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse in Texas.

In a statement Monday, Minnetonka-based Radisson said it "takes this matter very seriously particularly in light of our long-standing commitment to the protection of children."

Radisson says it's suspending its limited sponsorship of the Vikings "while we evaluate the facts and circumstances."

Radisson's sponsorship includes a press banner that is behind those speaking at Vikings news conferences.

Peterson is accused of using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son. The running back says he was using a form of discipline his father used on him as a boy.

A Vikings spokesman says the team has "respectfully honored" Radisson's request.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

<![CDATA[Final 6 Dodgers Games to Appear on KDOC]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 10:38:44 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/140913-dodgers-giants-greinke.jpg

Time Warner Cable announced Monday that it will broadcast the final six games of the Los Angeles Dodgers' regular season on station KDOC.

A dispute involving Time Warner and its competitors regarding SportsNet LA has prevented other subscribers from watching this season's games. But KDOC is an independent station carried by all cable, satellite and telco providers in Southern California.

The final six games include a series against the rival San Francisco Giants during a heated pennant race. The Dodgers play the Giants Sept. 22, 23 and 24 before taking on the Colorado Rockies Sept. 26, 27 and 28.

Entering Monday, the Dodgers led the Giants in the National League West by three games.

Refresh this page for updates. 

Photo Credit: Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["Not a Child Abuser": Adrian Peterson Apologizes]]> Tue, 16 Sep 2014 04:44:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tlmd_adrian_peterson1.jpg

Adrian Peterson is coming back to the Minnesota Vikings two days after he was charged with child abuse for using a wooden switch to spank his 4-year-old son, and the star running back said Monday he is not a child abuser and wants "everyone to understand how sorry I feel about the hurt I have brought to my child."

Peterson, considered one of the best running backs in the NFL, was benched for Sunday's 30-7 home loss to the New England and he had not commented publicly since news broke on Friday that he had lashed the boy with the switch earlier this summer, causing an unspecified injuries.

"I am not a perfect son. I am not a perfect husband. I am not a perfect parent, but I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser," Peterson said in a nearly 500-word statement issued through his agency and posted to his Twitter feed. "I am someone that disciplined his child and did not intend to cause him any injury.

"No one can understand the hurt that I feel for my son and for the harm I caused him. My goal is always to teach my son right from wrong and that's what I tried to do that day."

Vikings owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said they had decided to bring back Peterson for practices and Sunday's game at New Orleans "after significant thought, discussion and consideration." The Wilfs said they want to let the legal process play out before making any more definitive decisions on Peterson's future with the only NFL team he has ever played for.

"To be clear, we take very seriously any matter that involves the welfare of a child," the Wilfs said. "At this time, however, we believe this is a matter of due process and we should allow the legal system to proceed so we can come to the most effective conclusions and then determine the appropriate course of action. This is a difficult path to navigate, and our focus is on doing the right thing."

Peterson faces an initial court appearance in Conroe, Texas, on Wednesday on a charge of reckless or negligent injury to a child, which carries penalties of up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine. His attorney, Rusty Hardin, said he will try to delay the arraignment until next week after Hardin returns from a vacation out of the country.

Corporal punishment is legal in Texas and non-deadly force against a child by a parent or guardian is permissible. But the punishment is abusive if it causes injury. A blow that leaves a bruise, welt or swelling, or requires medical attention, could be judged abusive. The guidelines also say use of an instrument "is cause for concern."

Hardin said Peterson used a switch because that was the way he was brought up by his parents in Palestine, Texas, and the NFL star agreed.

"I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen," Peterson said. "I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate."

The Vikings decided not to play Peterson against the Patriots, moving swiftly after a week in which the NFL came under heavy scrutiny for its handling of a domestic violence case involving former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice.

The Vikings clearly see Peterson's case as different from the 2011 case involving former cornerback Chris Cook, who was accused of choking his girlfriend. Cook was initially suspended by the team before being reinstated with pay. But the Vikings barred him from all team activities, including games, while the legal process unfolded.

Cook wound up missing 10 games and was eventually acquitted. He never faced discipline from the NFL and played two more seasons with the Vikings before signing with the 49ers.

The NFL is looking into Peterson's case, and if convicted he could face a minimum six-game suspension under the league's new tougher domestic abuse policy that was implemented after Commissioner Roger Goodell admitted he botched Rice's initial punishment.

The Vikings' decision to reinstate Peterson comes on the same day the NFL announced that three experts in domestic violence will serve as senior advisers to the league. Goodell sent a memo to teams Monday announcing that Lisa Friel, Jane Randel and Rita Smith will "help lead and shape the NFL's policies and programs relating to domestic violence and sexual assault."

"I accept the fact that people feel very strongly about this issue and what they think about my conduct," Peterson said. "Regardless of what others think, however, I love my son very much and I will continue to try to become a better father and person."

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: EFE]]>
<![CDATA[Little Big Red]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 08:03:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/229*120/little+big+red+challenge.jpg In a sport as physical as football, size definitely matters -- unless you can compensate with speed. Such is the case of a little giant at LA Lincoln High School who keeps earning the admiration of teammates and opponents. Mario Solis reports for this week's edition of the Challenge Spotlight presented by Dodge RAM on Sunday Sept. 14, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Roggin's Heroes: Week 2]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 06:52:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/205*120/roggins+heroes+logo+challenge.jpg They're the best of the best. Time for the Week 2 edition of Roggin's Heroes. Sunday Sept. 14, 2014]]> <![CDATA[Golfer Wins Trip to Space After Hole-in-One]]> Mon, 15 Sep 2014 05:13:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/455429326.jpg

An English golfer scored a trip into space by sinking a rare hole-in-one at a tournament on Sunday.

Andy Sullivan made the shot at the 163-yard, 15th hole at the KLM Open in the Netherlands, The Associated Press reported.

XCOR Aerospace, an Amsterdam-based company that sponsored the tournament, offered a 100,000-euro ($129,238) seat aboard a commercial flight into space to the first player to make an ace on the 15th hole, according to Golf.com.

The reward was aimed at promoting the company's space trips, which are set to open to the public beginning in late 2015.

"I'm not sure yet,” Sullivan said when asked if he would take the trip, Golf.com reported. "I'll see what the missus says."

Sullivan finished third at the KLM Open, two shots behind winner Paul Casey.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["The Challenge" Hero of the Night: Capt. Wendell Eaton]]> Sat, 13 Sep 2014 23:50:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/140907-web-the-challenge-wendell_1200x675_328983107705.jpg Capt. Wendell Eaton of the Pasadena Fire Department is "The Challenge's" Hero of the Night.]]> <![CDATA[Dodgers' Ethier in 2014 ASU Hall of Fame Class]]> Sat, 13 Sep 2014 11:28:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/179*120/aeth.jpg

Arizona State University announced Friday that Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier is one of six athletes to be inducted into its sports Hall of Fame Saturday, October 18.

Ethier balled out his sophomore and junior year in 2002-2003 before being drafted in the second round by the Oakland A’s.

Instead of me wasting time going down the list, below is the bio ASU sent out on what he accomplished his two years in a Sun Devils uniform.

He did all right, though I wouldn't have pegged him for a Justice Studies major. 

Andre Ethier – Baseball / Outfield / 2002-2003

(Justice Studies)

A two-time first-team All-Pac-10 performer, Ethier finished his career hitting .371 with 113 runs, 27 doubles, seven triples, 14 home runs, and 118 RBIs. In 2003, Ethier earned All-American honorable mention honors, was named to the Tempe Regional All-Tournament team, and was honored as ASU’s Outstanding Defensive Player. Ethier ended his junior season and ASU career with a 23-game hitting streak, the eighth-longest in ASU history. Ethier was selected in the second round (62nd overall) by the Oakland A’s in the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft. In 2005, Ethier was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ethier set career-highs in 2009 and won the Silver Slugger Award with 160 games played, 162 hits, 31 home runs, 106 RBIs, 92 runs scored, 42 doubles, and 72 walks, while hitting .272 with a .508 slugging percentage and a .361 on-base percentage. In 2009, Ethier had six walk-off hits (including four walk-off home runs), which was the most by any player in the MLB since 1974. Ethier’s four walk-off homers tied the Major League record for most in a season. In 2010, Ethier was selected to start on the National League All-Star Team, and in 2011 he won a Gold Glove Award. He and his wife, Maggie (Germaine) Ethier, became the first married couple to enter the SDA Hall of Fame.

Maybe he can take that to Don Mattingly as his case to get more playing time down the stretch of the Dodgers pennant run, especially given how Yasiel Puig has fallen off the planet.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL's vs. Other Pro Leagues' Policies on Domestic Violence]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:26:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/MIDW_VO_RAY_RICE_CONTRA_KNSD4RK2_1200x675_326883907819.jpg

In the wake of criticism over the two-game suspension for Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, the NFL instituted a new policy for domestic violence offenders – a six-game, unpaid suspension for first-time convictions and a one-year suspension (and possible lifetime ban) for a second conviction.

While there is debate over if the new NFL policy goes far enough, there hasn’t been a great deal of discussion about how other professional sports leagues handle domestic violence among their players.

Are things different for offenders in the NBA, NHL and MLB? The short answer is yes – the NBA is the only league that has clearly defined penalties for domestic violence offenders. The NHL and MLB handle domestic violence convictions on a case-by-case basis.

In the NBA, domestic violence convictions are handled under the league’s rules about "Unlawful Violence" – players are immediately suspended for a minimum of 10 games, must get a clinical evaluation and attend counseling sessions.

In contrast, the NHL and MLB don’t have clearly defined policies and penalties are handed out at the discretion of each league’s commissioner. This has led to instances where players have been convicted of domestic violence and not faced any game-related suspensions or punishments. It is important to note that this is exactly how the NFL handled domestic violence – on a case-by-case basis – prior to the public outcry that followed the initial two-game suspension of Rice.

NBC Bay Area spoke with Matthew Parlow, a sports law expert at Marquette University, to get more context about player misconduct in professional sports leagues.

Parlow noted that handling incidents of unlawful violence on a case-by-case basis hasn’t led to the best results, saying, "The leagues haven’t had a particularly good history in being consistent, and candidly, being tough on a lot of these domestic violence problems."

In discussing the current situation surrounding the NFL, Parlow said, "I think there are benefits to these issues coming to light because I think it’s really pushing the sports leagues that don’t have these kinds of policies to try to adopt ones that are similar to the NFL or the NBA."

As things stand, though, the NHL and MLB haven’t made any announcements about establishing formal penalties for domestic violence convictions. On Thursday, when the MLB’s Commissioner, Bud Selig, was asked about baseball’s policy, he noted that the league and players’ union have previously discussed the idea of a blanket policy but opted to handle domestic violence on a case-by-case basis.

Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

<![CDATA[MLB Releases Post-Season Schedule]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:42:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/laplayoffs+.jpg

The playoff seedings have yet to be decided but we now know when the post-season will begin.

Major League Baseball released the playoff schedule Thursday which has the AL Wild Card Game set for Tuesday, Sept. 30 on TBS. The NL Wild Card game will take place the next day on Wednesday, Oct. 1 on ESPN.

The regular season wraps up Sept. 28, and should there be a need for a tie-breaker game - which is possible with the close races in the AL Central, NL Central and NL West divisions - they would be played on Monday, Sept. 29 on ESPN.

On Thursday, Oct. 2, both AL Division Series will start, with all games airing on TBS. The NL Division series openers will take place Friday, Oct. 3. Those games will air on FOX Sports 1 and the MLB Network. The five-game series matchups in both leagues will all be wrapped up by Thursday, Oct. 9.

The next day the American League Championship Series will kick off on TBS. The National League Championship Series will get underway Saturday, October 11. Those matchups will be on FOX Sports and FOX Sports 1.

Should each series go to a Game Seven, the ALCS matchup will take place Saturday, Oct. 18, the NLCS game will be Sunday, Oct. 19.

Since the American League won this year’s All-Star game, the AL team will host Game One of the World Series when it starts on Tuesday, Oct. 21. The Fall Classic will move to the NL city for Game Three on Friday, Oct. 24. If that series goes to a Game Seven, it’ll take place Wednesday, Oct. 29.

The Dodgers are eyeing one of the slots in the Division Series but with a slim two-game lead over the Giants in the NL West, and six more games against their rivals, things will be interesting as they head toward the finish line.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Best of NFL: Week 2]]> Sun, 14 Sep 2014 20:47:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/455466872.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the second week of the 2014 NFL season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Slugger Hit in Face by Ball]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 10:48:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP517762681764.jpg

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton was taken to a Milwaukee hospital after being hit in the face with an 88 miles per hour fastball Thursday night.

Stanton, who is a top candidate for the National League MVP award, was batting in the top of the fifth inning when a pitch from Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers came up high and hit Stanton just below his left eye.

The Marlins slugger collapsed in the batter’s box and emergency workers carted him off the field. Stanton appeared to be bleeding from the face as he was taken away from the field.

Stanton's father was at the game and came on the field while his son was treated, and left with him in the ambulance.

The Marlins said Stanton had x-rays and a CT scan at a Milwaukee hospital. He suffered facial lacerations requiring stitches, multiple facial fractures and dental damage, the team said. He returned to Miami Friday for further evaluation.

"We’re trying to win games here, we’re not trying to hurt anybody, we’re not going after anybody, you know one pitch got away and ended up hitting him in the face, and I feel terrible," Fiers said after the game.

The player who replaced Stanton, Reed Johnson, came to the plate after a lengthy stoppage of play for Stanton to be cared for and was hit in the hand as he turned to avoid the first pitch thrown at him, which was high and tight.

The benches cleared and the Marlins’ Casey McGehee was visibly angry and had to be restrained on the field. McGehee was ejected and Marlins manager Mike Redmond was also ejected from the game as both teams were on the field.

"I just, for them to think that it was intentional, it’s beyond me and something I would never do," Fiers said.

Stanton tweeted on Friday that he was appreciative of the support he had received from his fans.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA["Mighty Arab" to Replace Controversial HS Mascot]]> Thu, 11 Sep 2014 17:37:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/arab+mascot+new+old+logo.jpg

The Southern California high school that had come under fire for its "Arab" mascot and logo, widely denounced as racist, now has a new mascot: the "Mighty Arab." 

"The new mascot is a distinguished-looking Arab gentleman in historical dress," Superintendent Darryl Adams Coachella of the Valley Unified School District told KPCC. "It's a stoic figure but a very classy figure."

The school district approved Coachella Valley High School's new logo and nickname after an anti-discrimination group objected to the old one, which depicted a scowling man with a scraggly beard, hooked nose and headscarf.

The new "Mighty Arab" mascot and logo will represent the school in Riverside County with a trimmed beard and kaffiyeh featuring the initials "CV."

The new mascot was approved at the district's Board of Trustees meeting earlier this week, about a year after the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee voiced objections to the old mascot. Mascot discussion occurred in a closed-door meeting Tuesday before the unanimous vote in favor of the new logo and nickname.

The old nickname was just "the Arabs," minus the "Mighty."

District officials said last week that the old mascot costume, which included the scowling face on an enlarged head, will no longer appear at events. The costumed mascot appeared at events such as football games, alongside a costumed belly dancing genie character.

The new logo will be featured on uniforms and physical education shirts. The old logo will be removed from murals on several school buildings and signs on the campus, school officials told KPCC.

Abed Ayoub  of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee said the group fully supports the new mascot and image.

"We're very happy with this," Ayoub told KPCC. "It's something that could be on the murals and on the gym floor without offending anybody. It's not a caricature based on stereotypical, Orientalist views of who Arabs are."

Ayoub  is planning to attend a joint news conference Friday with school officials, KPCC reported.

The Arab mascot has existed since the 1920s to recognize the desert region's reliance on date farming, a traditionally Middle Eastern crop. Opposition to the change had come mostly from the school's alumni, but the president of the alumni association Rich Ramirez welcomed the move.

"All the alumni want to keep it as it was," Ramirez told The Desert Sun. "But I've written a lot of retorts saying, 'It's not up to us any longer in today's society. If you offend one of 10, you've got to do something about that one."

<![CDATA[Haren Keeps Hot Streak Going in Dodgers Win ]]> Fri, 12 Sep 2014 09:41:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/175*120/14+copy.jpg

If Dan Haren is pitching for a post-season rotation spot, he made a great case for himself Wednesday night in a 4-0 win over the Padres at Dodger Stadium.

The right-hander pitched seven innings of shutout ball allowing four hits while striking out five to pick up his fifth win in his last seven starts.

“I didn’t have the greatest stuff today,” Haren said afterward, adding, “I was locating good and I was keeping them off balance. They’re a young aggressive team, so sometimes softer stuff is a little better.”

Haren (13-10) has flat out dealt over the past month. In his last 42 1/3 innings the 33-year-old has a 1.71 ERA, he’s held opposing hitters to a .197 AVG and he's posted 29 strikeouts.

“This really has been more of the season [he’s had] than that little stretch during the season where he had three or four games where he struggled,” Mattingly said after the game.

Haren's toughest inning came in the fourth when Justin Turner’s error allowed Seth Smith to reach base to start the inning. Jedd Gyorko followed with a double. But, Haren bared down and got three straight outs. Yasmani Grandal popped out to second, Rene Rivera struck out and Will Venable grounded out to second.

Venable left the game later with a back strain.

Carl Crawford continues to swing the hottest bat in the National League. The left fielder went 4 for 4 with a franchise-tying three doubles, he also had two RBIs and a run scored. Crawford had his third straight multi-hit game, and he now has a league-leading .434 batting average since August 10th.

“You want to get in a groove and stay in it. This is the time of year where you want to have your swing right. It seems to be coming together for me right now,” Crawford said.

Matt Kemp’s single to right in the second extended his hitting streak to 16 games. He finished 1 for 4.

Padres starter Ian Kennedy (10-13) took the loss. He went six innings, allowed three runs on 10 hits, he walked one and struck out five.

The Dodgers finished their nine-game homestand 6-3. The club heads to San Francisco for a three-game series starting Friday. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Defensive Woes Lead to Dodgers Loss to Padres]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 05:33:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/189*120/hern+copy.jpg

A costly error by Hanley Ramirez and a two-run home run from Jedd Gyorko paced the San Diego Padres to a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

With two out in the second inning Ramirez didn't get his glove down low enough to corral a routine grounder hit by Rymer Liriano. The ball scooted under him allowing Liriano to reach base. Alexi Amarista followed with a single and the pitcher, Andrew Cashner, followed that with a two-run double to left-center to give the Padres a 2-0 lead.

On that play, Ramirez committed his second miscue of the inning, which got Cashner to third.

A single to left by Cory Spangenberg scored Cashner to put the Padres up, 3-0, before Roberto Hernandez struck out Seth Smith to end the inning.

All three runs were unearned.

The two errors give Ramirez 16 on the year.

After the game, manager Don Mattingly seemed peeved at the suggestion that Ramirez's defense could pose a problem if the Dodgers make the post-season.

"He made an error. It was a costly one tonight, but it's not something that we change what we've done all year long," Mattingly said. "We've been trying to get offense from that spot, he's a guy that can do it. He gets four hits last night, he drives in a couple runs. [His error], it just happens to be a costly one tonight so it looks bad."

The Padres blew the game open in the third.

Yasmani Grandal led off with a walk. Gyorko then hit the first pitch in the center-field seats to give the Padres a 5-0 lead.

Hernandez got out of the inning without any more damage being done but his night was over.

He took the loss and saw his record fall to 8-11 overall and 2-3 as a Dodger. Hernandez has lost his last two starts and says he's struggling with his consistency as of late.

"I really try to do the exact same thing. I've, obviously, tried to stay ahead of the hitters, stay in the count. I'm not sure exactly what's going on, but I've tried the same approach," Hernandez said after the game through SportsNet LA reporter Alanna Rizzo, who translated for him.

His counterpart, Cashner, went seven innings allowing two runs for the win. He's now 3-7 on the season.

It was his first win against the Dodgers in six career starts, but it wasn't from a lack of domination. Cashner's only given up four earned runs in 41 career innings pitched versus LA, while striking out 31 and walking seven.

Matt Kemp went 1 for 4 with a double to extend his hitting streak to 15 games. During the streak the right fielder is hitting .339 with four homers and 13 RBIs.

Carl Crawford went 2 for 4 to continue his hot hitting. Since Aug. 10, the 33-year-old is batting .405, good for second-best in the National League behind the Cardinals Jon Jay, who's hitting at a .414 clip during the same time span.

Dee Gordon and Juan Uribe also had two hits each.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Obama Rejected From Top NY Golf Courses: Sources]]> Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:24:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Obama-Golfing_edited-1.jpg

President Obama was turned down at several top golf courses in Westchester while he was visiting the area over Labor Day weekend, sources tell NBC 4 New York.

The Trump National Golf Club, the Winged Foot and Willow Ridge were among some of the elite courses that rebuffed the president's request to tee off there, according to several sources who were told about the president's advance team's calls to the club managers.

Club managers apparently did not want to inconvenience their high-powered and high-paying members over Labor Day weekend by shutting down their courses to accommodate the president.

The president was in town Aug. 29, a Friday, for fundraising events in New York and Rhode Island. He had been scheduled to stay overnight in Westchester County in order to attend the Saturday evening wedding of MSNBC host Alex Wagner and White House chef Sam Kass at Blue Hill Farm.

The sources said the White House advance team was giving the clubs just a day or two notice to fill the president’s open Saturday morning in New York. Of several courses contacted in New York and Connecticut, a spokesman for Fairview Country Club in Greenwich said it would have accommodated the president if he had asked. That was the only club that said it would.

Labor Day weekend is one of the busiest times of year for golf courses, and with membership at some area clubs exceeding $100,000, many courses may not have wanted to displace its members on a weekend when they would have wanted to play.

Spokesmen and managers at Trump National in Briarcliff Manor, Willow Ridge in Harrison and Winged Foot in Mamaroneck declined to comment.

Representatives at other leading Westchester and Fairfield County golf courses denied having any information about the president wanting a tee time during his Labor Day visit. 

On Aug. 28, White House officials announced the president was changing his plans and that he would return to Washington Friday night instead of staying over in New York.

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest explained the change that Friday as a last-minute decision by Obama to "make the late evening flight back here home to the White House."

"He can sleep in his own bed, do a little work tomorrow, spend some time with his family and then travel back to New York tomorrow evening to attend a private event," he said, 

Changes to the schedule resulted in the cancellation of some hotel rooms and a re-routing of police security details. The President returned to Westchester Saturday afternoon with a round-trip flight on Air Force One from Washington to New York, the second in as many days.

The White House declined to comment Tuesday. 

Political analyst Dan Gerstein said there was a time Obama would never have been turned down.

"I think he has lost that star quality he had in his first two years in office and in that 2008 campaign," he said.

Some club officials said Obama is not the first head of state who has been rejected: sources said representatives of the King of Morocco also tried and failed to secure a tee time at some of the same courses that Labor Day weekend. 

Donald Trump, an outspoken critic of the president, responded to NBC 4 New York's report by tweeting Wednesday: "If Obama resigns from office NOW... I will give him free lifetime golf at any one of my courses!"

-- Bruce Beck contributed to this report

Follow Jonathan Dienst on Twitter. @jonathan4NY Follow Bruce Beck on Twitter. @BruceBeck4NY

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers' Puig Showing Signs of Progress]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 18:52:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/166*120/yp+pic.jpg

I probably shouldn’t write about Yasiel Puig anymore, considering what happened last time.

On Aug. 5 I had the bright idea of declaring him the frontrunner in the NL MVP race

Maybe I got a little over excited, but the kid was on fire.

He had just won NL Player of the Month for July, he was doing Yasiel Puig things and Mike Trout was coming to town, so that only added to my giddiness.

At the time, Puig was hitting .313 with 13 home runs and 55 RBIs.

He hasn’t been the same since.

In his last 26 games, Puig is hitting .194, he hasn’t hit a single homer and he’s driven in five runs. Five!

I feel a little responsible.

I wouldn’t take it personal if Don Mattingly banned me from the locker room. If I were him, I’d sure consider it.

But, Puig may be turning a corner.

He went 1 for 4 with an RBI in a win Monday night against the Padres and Mattingly says his center fielder is making progress.

"[He] gets on base, [he] drives in a run…you just start to see a different look to a guy when they start to gain confidence from seeing the ball better," Mattingly said. "It’s a start but sometime that’s the start of a little streak, so we’ll see."

Mattingly says Puig’s power shortage has nothing to do with his Home Run Derby appearance during All-Star weekend. Then again, Puig didn’t hit any balls out so it’s not like he had to put away the home-run swing.

He did have a child recently, so we could attribute the downslide to the fact that Puig probably hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in awhile. 

The Dodgers are winning so it’s not a big deal, at least for now. But, with phenom Joc Pederson now on the roster, Mattingly has options should Puig’s slide continue.

But, as the skipper said, "We’ll see."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers 2015 Schedule Released]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 11:35:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/166*120/carl+crosing.jpg

No, the Los Angeles Dodgers won't be starting next season in Australia, Japan, Siberia or any other random country Major League Baseball thinks is a good idea to include in the most important day of "America's Pastime."

Major League Baseball has unveiled the 2015 schedule, and on Opening Day April 6 the club will be where they should be: Dodger Stadium, a.k.a. Lasorda's lair, a.k.a. hardball's historic home on the hill.

As a matter of fact, here's my suggestion to new commissioner Rob Manfred: Institute a new mandate that the Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and Dodgers open each season at home. They play in the three oldest, most storied stadiums in the game. Baseball loves historic context. It's why rebels like me still think of it as "America's Pastime." The grandfathers of the game, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium, should get their day of reverence not only so fans can marvel at how they've aged gracefully, but for their stories to be preserved long after they're gone.

But, I digress.

The Dodgers will open and close the 2015 season with a three-game home series against the San Diego Padres. They'll take on the rival San Francisco Giants for the first time AT&T Park on April 21 for a three-game series.

It's all AL West interleague home schedule for the Dodgers. Seattle goes to LA from April 13-15, the Texas Rangers from June 17-18 Oakland from July 28-29.

The, now relevant, Freeway Series with the Angels will have two installments next year. The Angels go to Dodger Stadium from July 31-Aug. 2. The Dodgers then take the ride down I-5 for a three-game set Sept. 7-9 at Angels Stadium.

The regular season wraps up Oct. 4 at Dodger Stadium against the Padres.

Other notes: the 86th All-Star Game will take place July 14th at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati. And, baseball will stay with tradition and honor Jackie Robinson Day on Wednesday, April 15th.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Roggin's Heroes: Week 1]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 05:58:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/205*120/roggins+heroes+logo+challenge.jpg They're the best of the best. Time for the season-opening edition of Roggin's Heroes. Sunday Sept. 7, 2014]]> <![CDATA[Hernandez Wants Evidence Tossed]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 21:30:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP296842589971.jpg

Aaron Hernandez is looking to have his personal cell phone, and all text messages and evidence found on it, thrown out of the Odin Lloyd murder trial.

Attorneys for the former Patriots tight end says that police did not have the proper authority or search warrant to take his cell phone from their law office, only from Hernandez's North Attleboro, Massachusetts, home.

The defense team says that Massachusetts State Police should have returned to the clerk's office to get a new search warrant before seizing the phone.

"The defense in this case is trying to exclude the cell phone of Aaron Hernandez by alleging that the government mislead Aaron Hernandez's lawyer Michael Fee into giving them the cell phone even though they didn't have the authority to seize it," NECN legal analyst Randy Chapman said. "This motion as compared to any other motion goes to the heart of the government’s case. If the defense is successful in excluding evidence, it will have a very devastating effect on the government's case." 

Bristol County Prosecutors had no comment citing the ongoing gag order, but will file a written response sometime soon.

Just recently, the judge threw out cell phones and iPads from the same trial.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to Lloyd's 2013 murder.

He has also pleaded not guilty to the 2012 double murder of Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado in Boston.

NECN will have more as this story develops.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Suspends Ray Rice Over Assault]]> Tue, 09 Sep 2014 04:15:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tlmd_ray_rice_baltimore_ravens.jpg

The NFL suspended former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice Monday after newly released surveillance video appeared to show him assaulting his then-fiancee in an elevator at an Atlantic City hotel.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced Rice's indefinite suspension Monday afternoon, just after the Ravens tweeted that they had terminated his contract. Ravens head coach John Harbaugh didn't get in to details but said he spoke to Rice after the decision to cut him was made.

“When someone that you care about does wrong and is faced with the consequences of doing wrong, and rightfully so, it’s tough, it is hurtful," Harbaugh said Monday evening. "My pain is for both of them as a couple."

Originally Rice had been given only a two-game suspension — a punishment that was widely criticized and led to a national debate over how the NFL handles cases of domestic violence.

Goodell later increased the penalties on players for cases of domestic violence, saying in a letter and memo sent to all 32 team owners that, in the Rice case, he "didn't get it right."

The security video, which was obtained by TMZ Sports, shows Rice and his then-fiancee, Janay Palmer, entering an elevator at the now-shuttered Revel Casino on Feb. 15. 

Once the elevator doors close, Palmer appears to lunge at Rice before he punches her in the face twice. The second blow causes Palmer to hit her head on the handrail of the elevator, sending her crumpling to the floor.

As she lies motionless, Rice is then seen dragging her limp body along the floor as he leaves the elevator, a scene that has been shown repeatedly since news broke of the running back's arrest.

"Something we saw for the first time today, all of us," Harbaugh said. "It changed things, of course."

On Monday, President Barack Obama commented on Rice’s suspension from the league.

"The president is the father of two daughters, and like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said after speaking with Obama. "Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that's true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors. Stopping domestic violence is something that's bigger than football, and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it."

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley called the video "horrible, shocking and reprehensible" in a statement released Monday afternoon. He asked for support for House of Ruth in preventing domestic violence.

House of Ruth released a statement supporting the decisions by the Ravens and NFL.

"The video from the Ray Rice elevator incident simply confirms what we already knew occurred that night. It’s difficult to watch intimate partner violence as it happens. It must have been even more difficult for Janay Rice to have experienced it. One in four women will be in a physically violent intimate relationship at some point in her life, and as a community we must all have zero tolerance for it wherever it exists."

The video from inside the elevator "was not made available" during their investigation, a spokesperson for the NFL said, adding that no one from their office had seen it before it was released by TMZ.

Originally, Rice and Palmer were each charged with simple assault, but the Atlantic County prosecutor's office reviewed the case and dropped the charge against Palmer.

A grand jury lodged the more serious charge of aggravated assault against Rice in March. He has since received initial approval to enter a pretrial intervention program that could result in dismissal of the assault charge against him.

The couple married a day after Rice was indicted.

In July, the NFL announced that Rice would be subject to a two-game suspension in connection with the elevator assault, a punishment that was met with outrage given the nature of the incident. Rice was also fined more than $500,000, ESPN.com reported.

Last month, Goodell announced players will now be subject to a six-week suspension for a first domestic violence offense and banishment from the league for a second.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2015 Boston Marathon Registration Opening]]> Mon, 08 Sep 2014 06:22:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Boston+Marathon+Runners.jpg

Registration for the 2015 Boston Marathon is opening Monday morning.

The Boston Athletic Association says that the online-only registration will open at 10 a.m.

It will use the same process to register qualified runners at used in the 2012-2014 Boston Marathon, allowing the fastest qualifiers to register first.

Organizers plan to accept 30,000 entrants for the 2015 run, the third largest field in the race's 119-year history. The marathon saw 36,000 runners this spring, which marked the first race since three people were killed and more than 260 people were injured when two pressure cooker bombs exploded by the finish line in 2013.

The Boston Athletic Association will not provide an anticipated date for when the race caps out at the maximum amount of runners, but their Facebook page and Twitter account will indicate is registration is open or closed.

The registration fee for qualifies is $175 of U.S. residents and $225 for international residents.


Copyright Associated Press / NBC Southern California

Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[The Brothers Tavai]]> Sun, 07 Sep 2014 22:38:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_TAVAI_SPOTLIGHT_1200x675_326320195576.jpg Five and counting... The Tavai brothers have built quite the legacy at Mira Costa, and it won't be ending anytime soon.]]>