<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Sports]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:06:52 -0700 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:06:52 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Garcetti Meets With U.S. Olympics Committee]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 12:32:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/0613-olympics.jpg

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Thursday traveled to Colorado Springs for a U.S. Olympics Committee briefing about the United States bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics and Paralympics.

Garcetti met with the USOC "o discuss how we can present the strongest possible bid for our nation," he said in a statement.

Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. are also in the running to be the U.S. bid. The four candidates were selected in June, the USOC said in a statement.

Sports executive Casey Wasserman and two LA officials accompanied Garcetti to represent the city.

The USOC will likely make a decision on whether or not to bid, and which city to select, in early 2015, the organization said.

A U.S. Olympics in 2024 would mark the first time the country has hosted the summer international competition since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

Los Angeles has hosted the Summer Olympics twice before, in 1984 and 1932.

Host cities are required to provide at least 45,000 hotel rooms, an Olympic Village with rooms for 16,500 people and a 5,000-person capacity dining area and space for 15,000 media and broadcast representatives. The city must also have an international airport able to handle thousands of international travelers per day, public transportation to venues and roadway closures. 

City News Service contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Lakers Offer Coaching Job to Byron Scott: Report]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 13:21:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/byronscott.jpg

The Los Angeles Lakers appear close to hiring a new head coach Friday, with reports that the team has offered the position to former Laker Byron Scott.

Scott won three titles as a Lakers player during the team's "Showtime" era with Magic Johnson. He played in the NBA for 14 seasons, most with the  Lakers.

ESPN reported that the Lakers verbally offered Scott the job Thursday, and that he and the team are in negotiations.

Scott was previously head coach of the New Jersey Nets, New Orleans  Hornets and Cleveland Cavaliers. He led the Nets to the NBA Finals in back-to- back seasons. He was named NBA coach of the year in 2008 with the Hornets.

Scott has the endorsement of Lakers star Kobe Bryant. The two were teammates in 1996 during Bryant's rookie season.

The Lakers have been searching for a coach since the April resignation  of Mike D'Antoni, who led the team to a 67-87 record in just under two seasons. D'Antoni resigned at the end of April.


 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[The Puig Experiment Could Work for the Dodgers ]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:39:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/179*120/yp+as+game.jpg

I was all set to write about Don Mattingly’s foolish move Wednesday against the Pirates putting Yasiel Puig in center field for an inning.

Why take the all-star right fielder out of his comfort zone and open the possibility that he’s the answer to the Dodgers center fielder problem.

It was Mattingly who told ESPN that Puig plays "out of control most of the time," and "scares the other outfielders," because he goes so hard (No ambulances were called Wednesday, so you’d have to consider it a success).

And, since I said Matt Kemp is the team’s best option at that spot, surely the skipper wouldn’t go completely the other direction and put the glove-totting battering ram in center, risking the lives of his other outfielders.

Then I remembered I could watch videos on the very medium this story is posted on.

I’ve seen Kemp and Puig play just about every game this season, but I also looked at last year’s games to do an eye test on the two.

Kemp is a great athlete. When healthy, he moves his 215 pound frame gracefully, like he did making a game-saving catch last season against the Giants. But, when Kemp sees he can’t get to a ball, he looks like he’s jogging on the sands of Hermosa Beach.

For Puig, not getting there is not an option.

Case in point, the catch at Citi Field in New York earlier this season. Puig had no business catching that ball. If anyone should’ve, it was the center fielder but Puig has shattered the logic of conventional baseball thinking.

Puig goes after balls like there’s a plane ticket back to Cuba waiting if he doesn’t make the catch. He’s just a better athlete than Kemp, Ethier and Van Slyke put together. I still don’t think he’s the Dodgers long-term solution but it’s July 25th. Their season ends in two months, the club has five outfielders but nobody to play center.

Maybe the Puig experiment could work.

I doubt Mattingly will send him back out there anytime soon with an actual game on the line, especially with a pivotal three-game series starting today against the San Francisco Giants.

But, the "wild horse" may be seen running around the middle of the outfield again before the season ends.  
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Bonds Supporters Launch Campaign to Build "Barry Bronze" Statue]]> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:39:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP954965539457.jpg

Barry Bonds fans are pushing for a "Barry Bronze," an eight-foot statue in honor of the controversial former slugger.

Supporters launched a Kickstarter campaign Thursday and need $60,000 for the project. Organizers said they have a sculptor lined up ready to create the proposed bronze statue. As of Thursday night, they have raised just about $5,400.

No word yet on where this possible statue would be placed.

Among the rewards offered to those who pledge: for $125, a chance to “vote on the pose we choose for Barry Bronze - Fingers to the sky? Home run swing? You make the call! (Plus t-shirt, sticker & pin)”

The organizer said he came up with the idea after the former San Francisco Giants left fielder was not inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Manchester United Beat Galaxy 7-0]]> Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:39:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Manchester-United-Galaxy-Wayne-Rooney-7-23-14.jpg

On Wednesday night at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, 86,432 fans witnessed Manchester United, one of the most storied soccer clubs in the world, destroy locals LA Galaxy 7-0.

Less than 15 minutes into the contest, Spanish midfielder Juan Mata made a pacey run and appeared to be fouled on the edge of the box. However, before the referee or any other players could react, forward Danny Welbeck pounced on the loose ball and converted the opportunity, which went in off the left post.

From that point forward, Manchester United had its way with the hometown LA Galaxy.

For Manchester United, Wednesday night served as the first match of the preseason and a first look at legendary manager Louis van Gaal taking the reins at the storied club amid its identity shift. Although Dutch striker Robin van Persie was not with the squad due to a late run in the World Cup, Van Gaal featured both of the United’s new signings in Wednesday’s starting eleven.

Luke Shaw started at left back and Ander Herrera started in central midfield. With Van Persie not available, veteran midfielder Darren Fletcher was provided the captain’s armband for the Red Devils.

In his first match in charge, Van Gaal earned a victory, but, more importantly, he provided insight into squad tactics he intends to utilize in the upcoming season.

Defensively, United played the first half in a 4-2-3-1 formation with Herrera and Fletcher playing in the holding positions and Rooney responsible for defensive duties on the left wing. Mata continued to play centrally regardless of whether the Red Devils were on the ball or off it.

On the right side, Valencia was the player charged with playing as a traditional right midfielder and patrolling the length of the sideline. Welbeck, the opening goal scorer, led the line and did well to press the ball.

A couple minutes shy of halftime, Rooney scored from the penalty spot after a Galaxy defender handled the ball. Then, at the stroke of halftime, Rooney found the ball at his feet off a defensive error, and United's superstar sloppily found a way to extend the lead to 3-0.

After halftime, the game was academic.

Youngster Reece James would score twice in the second half to make it 5-0, as the gap between Major League Soccer and the English Premier League was apparent. Before the final whistle blew, Ashley Young added two late tallies to make it 7-0 and an utter embarrassment. Even with a second rate side playing the entire second half, the English giants dominated possession and left little doubt.

Only Fletcher and Herrera remained on the pitch in the second half for the visitors, and United’s captain shifted into the defense. For the Galaxy and MLS, Wednesday night was a humbling and embarrassing experience. For Van Gaal and the Red Devils, the preseason could not have gotten off to a better start.



Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers' Tough Guy Beckett Returns from DL]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:20:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/451779698.jpg

Josh Beckett's in the wrong sport.

He should be a football player. They're the only athletes I can think of who could suffer the same physical ailments Beckett has dealt with the past two years and still perform at a high level.

The right-hander's fortitude is unquestionable. He already proved his mettle by returning this year from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome.

Now, he's dealing with an injured left hip. And, it's not just the type of soreness that makes your face scrunch when getting out of bed. According to MLB.com, the hip has a torn labrum and two cysts. For most normal human beings that would require a cane just to get from the couch to the bathroom. For Beckett, one good Cortizone shot and he's ready to take the mound Tuesday against the Pirates and throw 90-plus MPH fastballs to guys who make a living swatting at them.

He'll return from the 15-day disabled list with a chance to give the Dodgers a series win against a potential playoff team. It's a series they need to win, for a number of reasons. Manager Don Mattingly will turn to Beckett to get it done.

But, here's the thing: He's not healed. The former World Series MVP has decided to pitch through the pain for the rest of the season.

"Hopefully, I can make it through. I think here in another month I can get another shot if I have to. I'm not really looking forward to that, but if that's what I have to do, that's what I have to do," Beckett told Dodgers beat writer Michael Lananna.

No big deal. He's already down a rib from his thoracic surgery.

Ok, so Beckett lost the rib, but he gained a no-hitter. He doesn't throw as hard, but he's fourth in the NL with a 2.26 ERA. He won't win a Cy Young, but he's won respect around the league.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers' Gordon Joins Hall-of-Fame Company]]> Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:58:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/182*120/dg+as+game.jpg

So, the video below is all about Hanley Ramirez and Yasiel Puig video bombing Dodgers reporter Alanna Rizzo.

I’m around the team a lot. That stuff happens all the time. Those two have yet to find a practical joke opportunity they don’t like.

What you’re really seeing, though, is how players can be like attention needy five year olds when they’re not in a game, always getting into things they’re not supposed to. In this case, it’s a national broadcast that affects Rizzo’s career, which you can clearly see they’re concerned about.

But, Dodgers fans don’t laugh. Puig and Han-Ram are only able to pull off their stunt because they’re both nursing left hand and left wrist injuries. Neither suffered broken bones but both have battled nagging injuries all season. That's a big concern, especially since they’re, arguably, the two most important position players in the team’s push for a repeat division crown.

Anyway, despite the clowning session at her expense Rizzo plows through her liveshot and 22 seconds into the video she presents this obscure, yet amazing, nugget about Dee Gordon. Check it out.

To put that in perspective, Rickey Henderson is a Hall-of-Famer, Raines and Lofton could one day land in Cooperstown, Coleman was, but the numbers, the best base stealer in baseball for six seasons and then there’s some guy named Gerald Young.

It’s still up in the air whether Gordon’s career will go the path of the former four, or the latter but it's pretty impressive any way you slice it.

Respect to Gordon for the accomplishment and to Rizzo for not throwing the microphone at Ramirez and Puig.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WNBA Coach Michael Cooper has Tongue Cancer]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 18:24:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP13030709140.jpg

Atlanta Dream coach Michael Cooper has early stage tongue cancer and has taken a leave from the WNBA team.

He will have surgery this week at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta and a full recovery is expected, the Dream said Monday.

The 58-year-old coach is expected to miss about two weeks, with assistant coach Karleen Thompson filling in. Atlanta plays at Minnesota on Tuesday.

"I'm fortunate that my condition was diagnosed early, and this episode illustrates the importance of screening and early detection," Cooper said. "I know the team will be in good hands with coach Thompson at the helm during my absence, and I look forward to returning to the court soon."

Cooper is in his first season with Atlanta. His team leads the Eastern Conference with a 15-6 record. He coached the East to a 125-124 overtime victory at the WNBA All-Star game Saturday.

Cooper won five NBA titles as a shooting guard with the Los Angeles Lakers during the "Showtime" era from 1978-90. As a coach, he won two WNBA titles with the Los Angeles Sparks and one NBA Development League championships with Albuquerque.

After his second run with the Sparks, Cooper was hired as the women's coach at Southern California. He resigned in March following an 11-20 season, his first losing mark in four seasons.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Pau, Redskins, and Sponsor Logos in NBA]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:56:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_Rapid_Fire_07202014_1200x675_310326339583.jpg What is Pau Gasol’s legacy in LA? Will Sponsor logos go on NBA Jerseys? Will the Redskins name be changed? Brian Kamenetzky from Landolakers.com and Daily News Columnist Jill Painter sit down with Fred Roggin to discuss that and more on this week’s edition of Rapid Fire. Originally aired on Going Roggin July 20, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Mascot Madness]]> Mon, 21 Jul 2014 11:58:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_MascotMadness_1200x675_310326339787.jpg Are mascots enjoyable or are they just getting in the way? Fred Roggin welcomes Brian Kamenetzky from Landolakers.com and Daily News Columnist Jill Painter to weigh in on whether mascots are a positive or negative in sports. Originally aired on Going Roggin July 20, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Dodgers' Crawford Selected to AFL Hall-of-Fame]]> Sun, 20 Jul 2014 21:18:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/166*120/cc+dugout.jpg

Carl Crawford’s a long shot to make the big league Hall of Fame but he can now count himself among the best to ever play in the Arizona Fall League.

Crawford and St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday were selected Sunday as the 35th and 36th members of the AFL Hall of Fame, as reported by MLB.com.

They’ll be inducted in November.

In 2001, the current Dodgers left fielder was a young, up-and-coming speedster playing for the Maryvale Saguaros in a league known as the stomping ground for future major league stars.

Crawford balled out. He hit .386 with nine stolen bases in 17 games before joining Team USA in the World Cup in Chinese Taipai.

He’s done pretty well since making his Major League debut in 2002. in 12-plus seasons, the four-time All-Star is a .291 career hitter with over 1,800 hits and his 118 triples lead all active players.

He also holds company with Ty Cobb as the only players to hit over 100 triples and steal 400 bases before their 30th birthdays.

Holliday went through the league in 2002 and 2003 and killed it both times.

In 35 AFL games he hit .316 with four homers 21 RBIs and 20 runs scored. In the majors Holliday’s has made six All-Star teams. He’s also hit 258 career home runs and holds a .309 career average. Holliday won a World Championship with the Cardinals in 2011.  



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Gear Up for Pennant Push]]> Fri, 18 Jul 2014 15:24:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/201*120/452084572.jpg

The All-Star break is done.

Vacations, for those who didn’t make the team, are over. The chase for a playoff spot is on.

The Dodgers start the second half riding a two-game winning streak and a one game lead over the Giants in the National League West.

It's fitting that their first post-break opponent is the Cardinals, the same team that gave LA a 9-0 spanking in Game 6 of the NLCS last year to end their season.

A rematch would be great for baseball and both teams are expected to provide it.

But, if the Dodgers plan on making it back, their general Ned Colleti and manager Don Mattingly will need to get under the hood and do some tinkering to get their blue hot-rod of a team running smoothly.

There are some areas in the motor they should pay special attention to.

Center field: The Dodgers need a center fielder. Badly! Andre Ethier and Scott Van Slyke are fine athletes and certified big leaguers. But, running down balls in the gaps is not their strong suits. Yasiel Puig is a ball hog in the greatest sense but watching him track a fly is similar to Google maps being confronted with road closures. It’s all over the place. The good news for the Dodgers: they already have a center fielder in Matt Kemp. The bad news: most defensive stats show he’s been awful this year. According to FanGraphs advanced metrics, Kemp’s last in range runs (-14.5) and ultimate zone rating (-16.4). Basically, both stats say his defensive woes have led to approximately 14 to 16 more runs being scored by Dodger opponents than if he wasn’t out there. Still, Kemp’s their best option. He’s a two-time Gold Glove winner for a reason. He may have lost a step but he’s looked healthy and more confident with more playing time. If the Dodgers don’t trade his $160 million contract to another team, then the move should be to put their best center fielder back in center field.

Left field: If Kemp moves then Mattingly’s back to his juggling act with what to do there. Carl Crawford is back, so it adds to the suspense of who will win the job. It was essentially Crawford's until an ankle injury knocked him out for awhile. He'll get another shot at it but don't be surprised if Mattingly settles on a Crawford-Ethier-Van Slyke combo.

Starting Pitching: We already know how ridiculously good the front three of the rotation are. Josh Beckett and Dan Haren are the wildcards. If Becket can return from the disabled list and be his first half self, and Haren can keep the homers he likes to give up to solo shots, the back half of the Dodgers staff will keep them sailing even with an inconsistent offense.

Bullpen: Kenley Jansen is still the man at the end of games. What the Dodgers need is a setup man who can hand a game over to their closer. Chris Perez and Brian Wilson have both been given chances, but they’ve both blown them. Brandon League, on the other hand, may be the guy. He’s only given up one earned run since June 16. He has a 2.09 ERA in 38 appearances and Mattingly's confidence in him is at an all-time high.

The Dodgers are also in the market for another left-handed reliever, although J.P. Howell has been dynamite. In 34 innings he’s only given up 17 hits and five earned runs. Paul Maholm has stepped up to provide long relief when called upon. The addition of another lefty will give the skipper options in the seventh or eighth inning of a one-run game in September.

The Bench: Like every team, the Dodgers have dealt with injuries and disabled list casualties. But, their bench has helped keep the team afloat. The part-timers have been led by Justin Turner. He’s been a Godsend for the club this year. Turner stepped in at third when Juan Uribe went down for an extended time, and he’s done duty at shortstop and second base. At the plate is where Turner has really come through hitting .302 (48 for 159), with three home runs and 21 RBIs. He’s been dealing with some napping leg injuries, but they shouldn’t be enough to keep him from answering the bell when his number is called.

The bright spot nobody saw coming has been Miguel Rojas. Forget the .208 batting average. The 25-year-old has dazzled with the glove. The unbelievable defensive play he made to save Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter is just one in a growing highlight reel. Rojas and Dee Gordon have become one of the most exciting double-play combinations in baseball. Even as regulars have returned from injuries Rojas hasn’t gone anywhere. He'll have to get better at the plate. At times he looks lost. If he can get that together, Rojas could turn out to be an unsung hero when the season is all said and done.

Health is the variable factor every team deals with, so no need to go there.

Watching how the season plays out should be fun, that is, if you have Time Warner Cable. But, that's whole other story in itself.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[McEnroe's Son Arrested for Drugs]]> Thu, 17 Jul 2014 10:11:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/kevin+mcenroe.jpg

Kevin McEnroe, the 27-year-old son of tennis champion John McEnroe and actress Tatum O'Neal, was arrested in New York City after he was allegedly caught with dozens of oxycodone and morphine pills, authorities say.

McEnroe was arrested late Tuesday after an alleged drug exchange with another suspect on East Fourth Street between First Avenue and Avenue A in the East Village, the district attorney's office said.

Police found 20 oxycodone pills and 10 morphine pills in an inner pocket in his jacket, according to the criminal complaint. 

McEnroe was arraigned on two counts of criminal possession of a controlled substance Tuesday and released on $5,000 bail. He's next scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 16. 

His attorney declined to comment.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Mostly Positive Showing by Dodgers All-Stars ]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 05:30:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/all+star.jpg

The Dodgers quartet of Clayton Kershaw, Dee Gordon, Zack Greinke and Yasiel Puig all played in the 5-3 win by the American League in the All-Star Game Tuesday night in Minneapolis, but not all of them showed up. 

Kershaw was in the running to start the game but NL manager Mike Matheny instead went with his guy Adam Wainwright. How you felt about the decision depends on whether you bleed Cardinal red or Dodger blue. But, Wainwright balled out the first half of the season, so it wasn’t exactly a Charlie Sheen-like situation.

Matheny might be reconsidering the pick after witnessing Wainwright’s one inning of work. It went like this: double, triple, strikeout, home run, strikeout, ground out -- 3-0 deficit. He didn't help himself by telling reporters he served one up to Derek Jeter:  

It was Kershaw's turn in the second inning. His appearance went like this: foul out, strikeout, ground out.

So, basically, the lefty made it clear that in next year's game, he's taking the mound first.

Even AL manager John Farrell was impressed.

"I think anytime you can see Clayton Kershaw pitch it's certainly a treat," he said during the FOX telecast.

One of the good moves by Matheny came in the fourth when he sent Dee Gordon in to pinch run for Chase Utley.

Jonathan Lucroy hit a double off the right field wall that bounced cleanly to Jose Bautista but it's not like it mattered. Flash scored and there wasn't really a legitimate play on him at the plate.

Gordon followed that up in the sixth with a nice defensive play robbing Michael Brantley of a hit. It's a play that only two or three other second basemen make, and they've been retired for 10 years.

Zack Greinke was so efficient that you almost forgot he pitched. He only needed 12 tosses to get a ground out and two strikeouts. It was so quick that Greinke might have even landed at LAX before the game ended.

When it comes to Puig I'm kind of glad he doesn't have a full grasp of the English language yet, so he doesn't have to answer the question: "Where is Yasiel Puig and what did you do with him?"

He had a horrble two days.

After his power outage in Monday's Home Run Derby you thought the Cuban Comet would come out and do some damage. But, he struck out three times and looked completely out of his depth at the plate.

The good news for Puig is that if he stays healthy he'll have many more chances to erase the memories of this one. And, he did get a picture with Jeter.

Puig should be cut a little slack considering in all the previous all-star games he played in before coming to the states, Puig played with half his focus on the field and the other half trying to escape a Socialist regime.

 


 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Derek Jeter's All-Star Goodbye]]> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 05:12:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Jeter-ASG-Goodbye-0715.jpg

The All-Star Game telecast opened Tuesday night with Fox’s Joe Buck surveying the impressive talent in the American League locker room as he made his way to the undisputed star among all stars: Derek Jeter. But the Yankees’ captain waved off the announcer, telling him, “We’ve got a game to play, bro.” 

His words, even if possibly scripted, offered a vintage Jeter moment: It’s never about him, it’s all about the game.
Jeter played his 14th and final All-Star contest Tuesday night, in what could be his farewell appearance before a major league-sized national TV audience, barring a Yankees playoff run. The bittersweet milestone marked the latest leg in a victory lap for the future Hall of Famer – and for baseball.
 
Like his longtime team mate Mariano Rivera, who earned a similar sendoff last year, Jeter emerged as a standout in the 1990s as the game rebounded from labor strife on the bulging backs of sluggers with a seemingly endless capacity to belt the long ball. But the home run heroics turned out to be an illusion fueled by witches’ brews, injected by cheaters who, hopefully, will never see Cooperstown.
 
Amid the cloud that hung over the game, Jeter shined, not as a slugger, but as player whose dirt-caked uniform testified to an all-out style that sent him flying into the stands after balls. His stats, especially in the post-season (a record 200 hits on the way to five World Series victories), speak to his clutch hitting. With Derek Jeter, there’s no room for illusion: What you see is what you get.
 
He gave us plenty to watch Tuesday. In the first play of the game, Jeter, at age 40 and in his 20th season, dove for a ball with the verve of a rookie. He later ran full steam as he laced a double in his first at bat and scored the game’s first run. Jeter added to his stature as one of the greatest to grace the diamond – among them his fellow shortstops Ernie Banks and Cal Ripken, Jr., who also embodied a love for the game with their ceaseless hard play and leadership, on and off the field.
 
Even amid the World Cup afterglow and the return of LeBron James to Cleveland, Jeter’s last All-Star berth on his way to his final Major League at bat provided a potent reminder of why baseball remains out National Pastime, a game equally capable of breaking hearts and sending them soaring. He transcends his storied franchise and the game, with a quiet class to which other players – and other sports – aspire.
 
Jeter is the kind of player who commands the respect of all who love baseball – even those of us who hate the Yankees. Cheers, from fans and rivals alike, filled Minnesota’s Target Field Tuesday as Jeter left the game at the top of the fourth inning.
 
Even the commercials packed an emotional punch: A spot for Jordan Brand featured everyone from Michael Jordan to Red Sox fans to Mr. Met tipping their hats to a player who helped mend his sport and will leave it stronger when he caps his career at the season’s end. Check out the clip below as baseball tips its cap to a player who wears No. 2, but ranks higher in the estimation of many who share his love – and respect – for the game.

 

Jere Hester is founding director of the award-winning, multi-media NYCity News Service at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism. He is also the author of "Raising a Beatle Baby: How John, Paul, George and Ringo Helped us Come Together as a Family." Follow him on Twitter.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sterling Circus Continues]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 17:04:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_Sterling_1200x675_305474627833.jpg Fred Roggin welcomes AM 570’s Tim Cates and KPCC’s A Martinez to discuss the ongoing Sterling trial to decide ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. Donald Sterling may be drawing this out, but do the Clippers have time to wait? Originally aired on Going Roggin July 12, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[Naked Prince, Puig and Pete Carroll]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 16:46:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_Rapid_Fire_0710_1200x675_305471555804.jpg Was it right for Pete Carroll to be inducted into the USC Hall of Fame? Do you want to see Prince Fielder posing naked for ESPN? Is Yasiel Puig the wrong guy for the Home Run Derby? That and more in this edition of Rapid Fire as Fred Roggin welcomes AM570’s Tim Cates and KPCC’s A Martinez. Originally aired on Going Roggin July 12, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[How To Catch a Home Run Ball]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 13:02:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GR_DodgerFilms_1200x675_305336387684.jpg Do you want to catch a home run ball the next time you are at a baseball game? Bobby Crosby is a home run catching specialist at Dodger Stadium. He sits down with Fred Roggin to talk about his skills and give some advice to fans looking to snag a souvenir of their own. Originally aired on Going Roggin July 12, 2014.]]> <![CDATA[WATCH: Derek Jeter Ad Creates A Buzz]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 12:32:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DerekJeter21.jpg
Fans, celebrities, and rivals alike, are tipping their hats to departing New York Yankee Derek Jeter in a new star-studded ad creating a buzz online.
 
The commerical honoring the all-star shortstop, who will take his final walk off the field this year after 20 seasons with MLB, debuted online Monday, part of Nike's Jordan Brand. The two minute clip has racked up more than 2 million views ahead of its scheduled on-air debut during tonight's All-Star Game in Minneapolis. 
 
The Jordan Brand ad features Jeter’s wide fan base from sports stars like Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan, to entertainers including Jay-Z and Billy Crystal - all paying homage to the award-winning captain. Even Boston Red Sox die-hards and New York Mets’ fanatics cannot deny their admiration for him. 
 
 
Jeter is respected not only for his talent, but also his character. “You try to carry yourself the right way. I’ve always tried to do that,” Jeter told NBC 4 New York. “I am who I am. I don’t try to be any different.”
 
The 40-year-old signed with the company in 1999, and became the first Jordan Brand-endorsed baseball player. He is one of Nike’s longest sponsored athletes, according to the Bleacher Report. The world famous brand also awarded Jeter his own RE2SPECT collection.  
 
The RE2PECT ad will debut tonight on TV during Jeter’s 14th and final All-Star game. 
 


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Jose Sharks Fans Protest Sexy "Ice Girl" Uniforms]]> Tue, 15 Jul 2014 10:36:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ice+girls.jpg

The San Jose Sharks are taking a hit on social media over their decision to recruit midriff-baring "ice girls" to sweep away the ice, which some fans say is exploitative of women's bodies.

Online petitions, tweets, and a Facebook page called "Say NO to Sharks Ice Girls," have already begun to circulate, calling for the team's management to reconsider the design of the ice girls uniforms, the San Jose Mercury News reported Monday.

The ice team, which is "devoted to maintaining excellent ice conditions and energizing the crowd," according to the team's audition page, will include both men and women. But while the men's uniform would include a zip-up jacket, the women would wear cropped long-sleeve shirts, exposing their midriffs.

Under the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Shark's ice team auditions web page, the guidelines state that there is no height or weight requirement for auditions, but "please be aware that uniforms may be form fitting with some skin exposure," and the list of requirements calls for a "physically fit/athletic appearance."

The "Say NO to Sharks Ice Girls" Facebook page calls the outfits sexist and objectifying, stating, "Their decision to change the women's uniform, but not the men's, is inherently sexist and only reinforces a negative double-standard where men are taken seriously but women are sexualized and objectified." 

As of Monday morning, the Facebook page has 705 "likes" since it was created on July 2.

"If the guys are not going to be wearing tightfitting clothing, then why are the girls wearing tightfitting clothing? I don't know where the trade-off is," Jarrod Hicks of San Jose told NBC Bay Area. "And also, it won't make us win a cup, and that's what San Jose wants."

Another Sharks fan tweeted at the San Jose Sharks, "My 6 year daughter plays hockey and Ice Girls is not how I want her envisioning herself. #saynotoIceGirls #SJSharks," Tania Chadwick tweeted.

Other Sharks fans find the ice girls to be a positive addition to hockey.

Michael Alameda, 25, of San Jose told the Mercury News he likes the idea.

"Every sport has cheerleaders, and it's kind of like a cheerleader," he said

In the National Hockey League, 21 other teams have ice girls, many of which have female uniforms that are more revealing than the Sharks', according to the Mercury News.

Sharks management says the current design for the uniforms is not set in stone.

"Once all of the final details are in place, we're confident the final version of the ice team will be very tasteful and appropriate for the city of San Jose and the Sharks," John Tortora, the team's chief operating officer, said in a statement.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Lin Joins Lakers, Randle Signs, Gasol Gone]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 08:08:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-acquire-jeremy-lin-7-2014.jpg

Over the weekend, the Los Angeles Lakers provided a bit more clarity into the upcoming season.

On Sunday, the Lakers officially announced the arrival of Jeremy Lin along with a future first round draft pick and a second round draft pick in 2015 via a trade with the Houston Rockets for the rights to Sergei Lishchuk.

"This trade allows us to acquire a solid player who will make us a better team, as well as draft picks to improve our team in the future, while at the same time allowing us to maintain financial flexibility," Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said in a statement. "In addition to what he'll bring us on the court, we think Jeremy will be warmly embraced by our fans and our community."

Although the trade was reported on Friday, the Lakers waited until Lin was able to complete a medical examination before announcing the deal on Sunday. Due to prior commitments, the newest Lakers' point guard flew in from China for the physical examinations before taking a flight back to Asia to complete his prior commitments.

Also over the weekend, two-time champion Pau Gasol announced that he would be signing with the Chicago Bulls via his Twitter account and personal website. Gasol, who spent seven years in Los Angeles, appeared to have made the decision with a heavy heart.

"Although the future is bright for me in Chicago, deciding not to return to Los Angeles was an extremely difficult decision," Gasol wrote on his website. "It is also difficult to leave Los Angeles, a city that I have come to love and a place where I was able to develop many close friendships and relationships. Despite the move, I intend to maintain close ties with the Los Angeles community, which will always feel like home to me."

With Gasol officially leaving, the Lakers did not need to wait any longer to sign rookie Julius Randle. On Sunday, the team announced the signing of the No. 7 overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, and the rookie immediately took the floor for the Lakers' NBA Summer League game against the New Orleans Pelicans.

In 21 minutes, Randle scored 10 points and pulled down two rebounds. The former Kentucky Wildcat revealed that he signed the contract 20 minutes before tipoff and had not taken part in five-on-five basketball since the NCAA Championship game.

With Gasol gone, Lin’s trade official and Randle signed, the Lakers’ roster is beginning to fill out, but that should not slow down the Lakers’ front office activity.

After all, the team still needs to name a head coach.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Reggie Bush Married at Grand Del Mar]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 09:27:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/reggie-bush-gallery-1.jpg

NFL star and former USC running back Reggie Bush is now a married man.

The Detroit Lions running back, 29, tied the knot with Lilit Avagyan, 26, in a posh ceremony at the Grand Del Mar Saturday. The couple has a 14-month-old daughter together.

Pictures posted to Instagram and Twitter show the star-studded wedding, which included Brody Jenner – step-brother of Bush’s ex Kim Kardashian – and fellow NFL players Donté Stallworth and Sam Martin.

 

Before finding fame with the NFL, Bush started his football career at Helix High School in La Mesa.

Just last year, the Grand Del Mar Hotel hosted another high-profile sports wedding for someone by the name of LeBron James



Photo Credit: Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron Captures World Cup Streaker in Instagram Video]]> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 08:56:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Streaker-LeBron.jpg

Basketball star LeBron James posted an Instagram video of a streaker who ran onto the field during the World Cup final showdown between Germany and Argentina.

The game was briefly delayed in the second half when a fan ran onto the field with the words “Natural Born Prankster” written on his chest, according to USA Today Sports.

The incident did not make it on air, as broadcasters cut away to a shot of Christ the Redeemer. James, however, managed to capture the moment and post it on Instagram, which you can see below.

The NBA star captioned the video: “Hahaha!! We're going streaking! Everyone's doing it. Man that was hilarious. #WorldCupFinal #Brazil”

Germany beat Argentina 1-0 to win the World Cup.

Recently, James announced he will be leaving the Miami Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

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<![CDATA[The Best of The World Cup in Pictures]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 15:48:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP448499730854_0.jpg Don't miss the most dramatic images from the games.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Padres' Intriguing G.M. Candidate]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 05:42:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/248*120/Kim+Ng.JPG

As of this writing, the Padres have interviewed eight candidates for their open General Manager job. On Friday, they talked with the most intriguing candidate, who also might be the best fit.

Kim Ng is the Sr. Vice President for Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball. She (yes, she) has also worked as the assistant G.M. for the Yankees and Dodgers. Ng has previously interviewed for the G.M. position with Los Angeles (they went with Ned Colletti, who kept her on his staff), Seattle (who chose Jack Zduriencik), and the Padres (who at the time hired Jed Hoyer).

This time around, the Padres would be wise to take a long look at Ng. Her baseball experience speaks for itself. When she joined the Yankees she became the youngest assistant G.M. is baseball history. She did not get that job because of a publicity stunt.

What sets Ng apart from the other candidates the Friars have talked to are two very important selling points most other candidates cannot offer.

One is her ability to win salary disputes. When Ng was with the White Sox in the mid-90's she became the first woman to argue a salary arbitration case, winning the decision for the team against pitcher Alex Fernandez. A money-conscious team like the Padres needs all the help it can get in trimming payroll.

The other is her schooling. Ng earned her B.A. from the University of Chicago in Public Policy (she also played four years of softball there). That means she is keenly aware of the relationship between the people and professional organizations.

The Padres have had more than a few issues with how they've handled public relations in 2014, from the P.A. Announcer situation to the price and size of beer at Petco Park to the interestingly timed firing of previous G.M. Josh Byrnes.

Ng would be a great sounding board in future situations. She has the ability to be a conduit between the fans and the front office.

Now, no woman has ever been the General Manager of a major professional American sport. But, the Padres have come awfully close.

Former owner Joan Kroc was intimately involved in decisions regarding her team (just ask Jack McKeon what happens when you made a move without consulting Joan).

San Diego is one of the few professional sports towns that will not care about the gender of a General Manager. If Kim Ng can help the Padres win, and all indications are she absolutely can, they would be foolish not to give her a chance.

 

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<![CDATA[Dwayne Wade Speaks on LeBron Choice]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 08:00:57 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/leBron-chanpion+2012.jpg

Dwyane Wade released a statement Saturday to address LeBron James leaving the Miami Heat for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

James announced his decision in a Sports Illustrated essay on Friday.

Wade has not yet announced where he will be playing next season, although he is expected to sign an extension with the Heat.

“As a friend and a teammate, I am sad to see my brother LeBron leave to begin a new journey," Wade said in his statement. "In 2010, we decided to come together all for one goal – to win championships and we succeeded. We were friends when we first joined the league and created an unbreakable bond the past four years. Our collaboration will always be very special to me both personally and professionally. We shared something unique and he will always be part of my family. LeBron made the right decision for himself and his family because home is where your heart is. I know this was not an easy decision to make and I support him in returning to his roots. As an organization, a community, and as individuals, we achieved the goals we set when we first signed on together. We are champions.”



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[Brewers' Segura Leaves After 9-Month-Old Son Died]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 22:36:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/451784002.jpg

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright knew how tough it was for the Milwaukee Brewers to play Saturday after finding out that shortstop Jean Segura's 9-month-old son had died.

But Wainwright had to push those thoughts aside as he pitched seven strong innings to lead the Cardinals to a 10-2 win over Milwaukee for a tie atop the NL Central.

The Brewers lost their seventh in a row.

Segura left the team and traveled home to the Dominican Republic, a day after his 9-month-old son died. The Brewers observed a moment of silence for Janniel Segura, and the clubhouse was closed before the game.

The 24-year-old shortstop was put on the bereavement list when he learned after the Brewers' 7-6 loss to St. Louis on Friday night that his son had died. Manager Ron Roenicke said the boy had been ill.

"When something like that happens, you become a family," Wainwright said. "Baseball as a whole becomes a family. There's bigger things than baseball. I understand that he's going through something that I hope I never, never have to go through. So our hearts and prayers go out to him."

Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was catcher for the Cardinals when St. Louis pitcher Darryl Kile died of a heart problem on June 22, 2002.

"The extended family in (Milwaukee's) clubhouse is hurting right along with him," he said. "You can't help but take a step back and just prioritize life. Prioritize just how fragile it is. It gives us perspective."

"When that happened (Kile's death), we had a lot of guys having a bunch of conversations you typically wouldn't have inside a clubhouse," Matheny said.

Wainwright (12-4) gave up two runs and five hits. He has allowed just four earned runs in his last six starts.

Wainwright helped himself with an RBI single and tied Cincinnati's Alfredo Simon and the Yankees' Masahiro Tanaka for the most wins in the majors.

St. Louis trailed Milwaukee by 6 1/2 games on July 1, but Wainwright knows how quickly a team's fortune can change in a week. In fact, he said that a week ago.

"My quote was 'In a week from now, we could be doing a completely different kind of interview,'" he said. "It could be what has turned the season around for. And, that's what's happened. This game is a funny game of ups and downs. The teams that have the most ups and the least amount of downs end up winning the whole thing."

Tony Cruz drove in a career-high three runs and Kolten Wong homered for the Cardinals.

"It's nice to be able to make a little ground," Matheny said. "It just comes back to playing each game the right way."

For the Brewers, it was a most difficult day.

"I think everybody in the clubhouse was affected quite a bit," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I don't want to make excuses. We knew that we still have a game to play and a job to do, but we did not play well today."

The Brewers have lost 11 of 12. They had held sole possession of first place since April 9.

Frustrated Brewers star Carlos Gomez struck out swinging in the fifth inning and tried three times without success to break the bat over his leg. He slammed his helmet and tore up his batting gloves.

Jimmy Nelson (1-1) went 4 1/3 innings, giving up eight runs and eight hits. He was recalled from Triple-A Nashville on Thursday to make his first start since replacing ineffective Marco Estrada in the rotation.

St. Louis took a 3-0 lead in the first inning. A two-out error by second baseman Scooter Gennett on a grounder set up Cruz's two-run single.

Wong hit a two-run homer in the second. It was his fifth home run in the last six games since coming back from the disabled list.

Cruz doubled home a run in the third.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pau Gasol Will Play for Chicago]]> Sun, 13 Jul 2014 03:56:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/475702777.jpg

Hours after several reports surfaced that Carmelo Anthony will be re-signing with the New York Knicks, Pau Gasol announced on Twitter that he has chosen to play for the Chicago Bulls.

"It hasn't been easy," Gasol said in the tweet, which he first posted in Spanish. "After meditating it a lot I've chosen to play with the Chicago Bulls. Looking forward to this new chapter of my career."

The Bulls have been looking to add more scoring weapons to their roster and have had several players in the running after a possible deal with their top free agency target Carmelo Anthony was reported to be off the table.

While the Chicago Bulls have not made an announcement about Gasol, several reports indicated they were finalizing a deal Saturday.

Anthony's representatives have not officially announced that he will be returning to the New York Knicks, but a deal with Gasol would likely take the Bulls out of the running for the All-Star forward.

Chicago was among several teams vying for Gasol-- including the Lakers, San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[I Know Why LeBron Is Going Back to Cleveland]]> Sat, 12 Jul 2014 08:13:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Miami-Heat-November-25-2013.jpg

Today I woke up to a text from my aunt: “Lebron is back!!!”

As a native Clevelander, I can’t help but rejoice in today’s announcement that LeBron James, one of the best players in the NBA, is returning home. I’m not the biggest sports fan in the world — especially compared to some hardcore Cleveland fans out there — but I’ve been to plenty of Cavs, Indians and Browns games in my day, and the spirit is in me. LeBron’s decision is huge for the city, and I’m sure most Clevelanders will welcome him home with open arms.

LeBron’s leaving a beautiful place. I’ve been to Miami, and there’s no doubt it has great food, awesome beaches, fantastic culture and cool people. But Cleveland has all those things too, and much more.

Here’s what LeBron will be returning to when he heads back to the Big Plum (yes, that’s one of Cleveland’s nicknames).

1. Realness. Cleveland is not Miami. It never was and never will be. It is what it is. Obviously Miami has plenty of real people living real lives, but in terms of its image, Cleveland is just a humbler, down-to-earth place. It’s been kicked down plenty of times and is well aware of this. LeBron will be returning to a city that is easy to dismiss on the surface but impossible not to love when you get to know it.

When you leave downtown Cleveland — the Rock Hall, the stadiums, the theaters — you find the real place. It’s not about sports, although with three national sports teams, it is indeed a sports city, and the fans here are passionate. It’s not about rock ’n’ roll, even though people here do love good tunes, and the number of music venues proves it. As a city, it’s about the people. They’re hardened but easygoing, eccentric but unassuming.

2. Cleveland Metroparks. It can’t be said enough: Cleveland’s park system is an overlooked gem. It’s what outsiders ignore when they take jabs at the city. Clevelanders love the Metroparks, once dubbed the Emerald Necklace, and see it as a source of pride. Its deep forests, crooked rivers and steep ravines are the perfect places for LeBron to take his family — not to mention that Cuyahoga Valley National Park sits just south of the city, near Akron, Ohio, where LeBron was born.

3. Lake Erie and its seasons. Miami and Cleveland share one thing in common: beaches. And even if Cleveland’s lake is frozen over half the year, that only adds to its charm. You can watch the lake change with the seasons. The trees along it become vibrant and orange in fall. In the winter, strong winds and snow blow off the lake, yielding every kid’s dream, a snow day… maybe two, three or four. 

4. Food, beer and the West Side Market. Cleveland has become a destination food city. Period. From cutting-edge, nationally acclaimed restaurants to hole-in-the-wall spots that have been around for years, the city is host to a vast selection of old-fashioned and ground-breaking cuisine. And it’s being discovered by more and more food lovers every year.

The classic cuisine has its roots in German, Polish and Eastern European countries, but don’t be fooled. You can find food here from all over the world. Middle Eastern food is particularly popular, given the city’s proximity to heavily-Arab south Michigan. Cleveland also has a Little Italy, a Chinatown and a hippie enclave with plenty of vegan fare, not to mention a slew of breweries and the West Side Market, a massive century-old indoor farmers' market.

5. Harvey Pekar and all that he represents. Harvey Pekar, a comic book writer who died back in 2010, is the quintessential Clevelander. If you want to know what Cleveland is at its heart, read his comics and see American Splendor, a 2003 film about his life starring Paul Giamatti. He perfected the comedy about nothing long before "Seinfeld" came along. What he wrote was about everyday life — insights on the ups and downs of working, playing and living. He’s the perfect ambassador for the city. 

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I could talk about Cleveland all day: The views of industry gone to naught. The beauty of Lake View Cemetery and its cavernous hills of headstones. Big Fun, a curiosity shop that is weird, wonderful and a staple of my childhood. All the art, history and science museums that you never hear mentioned when people talk about the Mistake on the Lake.

But I think Pekar sums up Cleveland and what LeBron will be coming back to in two lines: “I try and write the way things happen. I don’t try and fulfill people’s wishes.”

That is the Cleveland LeBron will find.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>