<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Sports]]>Copyright 2016http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSun, 25 Sep 2016 15:39:50 -0700Sun, 25 Sep 2016 15:39:50 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Dodgers Players React to Death of Jose Fernandez]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 15:30:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/Puig+and+Fernandez.jpg

So fast, so far. You were gone too soon.

News of the death of Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez spread like a wildfire on Sunday as it sent shockwaves up the spines of the small circle that is Major League baseball.

Players and coaches were emotional on Sunday morning when they work up to the news that Fernandez and two passengers had been killed in a boating accident in the early morning hours. 

The news hit the Dodgers here on the west coast as they awoke to play their final home game of the season against the Colorado Rockies.

For obvious reasons, Dodger players and former teammates of Fernandez were stunned and at a loss for words in the clubhouse before the game. 

None were more emotional than Yasiel Puig, who like Fernandez, was also Cuban-born, and lived in Miami. Puig said that he and Fernandez were close friends who hung out together in the offseason. Puig dedicated Sunday's game to Fernandez and as tears rolled down his face as he said:

"My friend, my brother. You know how much I loved you. I have no words."

Fernandez almost became a Dodger in the offseason as trade rumors flew like wild swans, last winter. The front office was actively trying to acquire Fernandez, even willing to part with top pitching prospect, Julio Urias, at one point.

However, after the rival Diamondbacks traded away No. 1 overall draft pick Dansby Swanson and two others for right-hander Shelby Miller, the price tag for Fernandez went up considerably.

According to sources, the Marlins asked for three players in exchange for a deal with Fernandez: Urias, Corey Seager and Joc Pederson. Naturally, the Dodgers said, "No Thanks."

A No. 16 Los Angeles Dodgers jersey with the name "Fernandez" written across the back hung in the Dodgers clubhouse throughout the game, and alone before the game as the Dodgers stood on the third baseline along with the 50,000 fans in attendance for a moment of silence in Hernandez's memory.

Flags at Dodger Stadium flew at half-mast and the Dodgers shared this picture of Fernandez watching fireworks on a Friday night from the field after a game between the Marlins and Dodgers earlier this season.

Here are the tweets and reactions from the Dodgers and players of the passing of their friend, Jose Fernandez:

Photo Credit: Los Angeles Dodgers]]>
<![CDATA[Sunday Night Football: Dallas Cowboys vs Chicago Bears]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 14:46:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/snf-static1.jpg

The 2016 NFL season continues on Sunday, Sept. 25, as the Chicago Bears travel to meet the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Sunday Night Football on NBC will kick off at 8:00 p.m. ET. A livestream is available on NBCSports.com. Pre-game show will be streamed beginning at 7 p.m. ET.

The Cowboys are 1-1, having beaten the Washington Redskins 27-23 last Sunday. The Bears are 0-2 after dropping a 29-14 decision to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

Quarterback Brian Hoyer is likely to start in place of Jay Cutler with Chicago trying to avoid a second straight 0-3 record.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Pitcher Jose Fernandez's Career in Photos]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 12:29:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/021714+jose+fernandez.jpg

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fans, Marlins Mourns Death of Pitcher Jose Fernandez]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 12:06:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-488189159.jpg

Baseball fans and players awoke Sunday morning to the tragic news of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez's untimely death.

The ace right-hander was one of three people killed in a boating accident in Miami Beach. The Cuban-born athlete was just 24 years old. 

Miami Marlins players gathered at the team's ballpark to grieve together following the death of their teammate.

"A lot of words were said, meaningful words and emotion and prayer," Marlins president David Samson said at a news conference, surrounded by more than two dozen players wearing black Marlins jerseys. "Jose is a member of this family for all time."

Manager Don Mattingly and president of baseball operations Michael Hill flanked Samson and fought back tears.

"When I think about Jose, it's going to be thinking about a little kid," Mattingly said. "I see such a little boy in him ... the way he played. ... Kids play Little League, that's the joy Jose played with."

The Marlins' game Sunday against Atlanta was canceled. Their home game Monday night against the New York Mets will be played as scheduled, the team said.

"Deep in our hearts there is a lot of pain," third baseman Martin Prado said. "Somehow we've got to overcome that."

Fans, athletes and sports teams took to social media Sunday to mourn Fernandez's death, tweeting condolences and prayers for his family and the Marlins organization.  

"Hands down one of my favorite guys to watch pitch! He brought nothing but intensity and passion," Boston Red Sox pitcher David Price said on Twitter early Sunday.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Dodgers Inch Closer After Kershaw Gem]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 22:36:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/206*120/Kershaw+leads+charge+over+Rockies.png

"The Rockies dugout looks like they're hypnotized watching Kershaw," – Vin Scully

Those immortal words were spoken by the great Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully on June 19, 2014, during Clayton Kershaw's no-hitter against the Rockies at Dodger Stadium.

The Rockies were once again hypnotized by Kershaw as the three-time Cy Young Award winner threw seven shutout innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated Colorado in a runaway, 14-1, on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw (12-3) was brilliant, forcing out hitters like a forked flash of lightning, as he regained his MVP form, earning his first victory since June 20th.

"Physically I feel really good," Kershaw said following the game. "I need to get more consistent with some things, but overall it was better tonight." 

In his last three starts since coming off the disabled list, Kershaw has allowed just one unearned in 18 innings, with an ERA of 0.86 to go with 23 strikeouts and just one walk.

The 2014 MVP said he's feeling close to 100 percent and it showed on the field as he struck out six and walked none in seven scoreless innings on Saturday.

"He's got stuff, deception, command and all of his pitches are plus pitches," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of Kershaw. "He's got the total package."

Among pitchers with 125 innings or more, Kershaw leads the Majors in ERA (1.65), WHIP (0.69) and strikeouts to walks (16.80). Kershaw has 168 strikeouts in just 20 starts this season. 

Josh Reddick hit a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Dodgers offense erupted against the Rox on Vin Scully Commemorative Coin night.

"I had a feeling I would get a first pitch fastball. The first two I swung at I was actually trying to hit a grand slam," Reddick said of the at-bat. "I slowed things down and then I saw it and put a good swing on it. I need to slow things down and let the hands work."

The grand salami (yes, that's what it's called), was the fourth of Reddick's career and the seventh for the Dodgers on the season. Reddick finished the night 3-for-4 with the slam, a double, five RBI and three runs scored. The right-fielder is on fire in September, batting .397 with five doubles, two homers and eight RBI this month.

"I've been a little more lucky this month," Reddick said of his September turnaround. "You just have to keep grinding. The baseball Gods always bring you back to reality at some point. That was one thing that got me through."

Joc Pederson, Justin Turner, and Adrian Gonzalez all knocked in two runs for the Dodgers as every player in the starting lineup but Corey Seager had a hit.

"Our offense has been doing a good job," Turner said. "When you're playing good in all three phases of the game, it makes it really fun to come to the ballpark."

Pederson scored three runs and also reached base three times as the center fielder is also batting .304 this season. 

Even Kershaw got it on the action with an RBI single in the fifth inning.

"We scored a bunch of runs early and just never stopped," Kershaw said. "It was a fun game to be a part of."

Chad Bettis (13-8) got beat around by the boys in blue, surrendering seven runs (five earned) on eight hits with four walks and just three strikeouts in 4 and 2/3 innings.

"It was a pretty embarrassing outing," Bettis said. "I have to do better than that. The pitches have to be better."

The catastrophe that is the Colorado bullpen didn't fair much better, as three relievers combined to allow seven earned runs in the final three innings.

"It wasn't pretty all the way around," Weiss said of his bullpen.

Newhall native and UCLA standout, Pat Valaika, was the lone bright spot for the Rockies, as he hit a home run in the first big league start of his career.

"I wanted to get Pat a start in front of his hometown and family," Weiss said of his rookie. "He came threw with his first MLB home run. There's some thunder in that bat."

Los Angeles continues to lead the NL West by seven games with seven to play after the San Francisco Giants rallied to beat the Padres 9-6, in San Diego in extra innings. The Dodgers Magic Number to clinch the division is down to one.

"It was 6-to-nothing at one point, so I figured our chances were slim," said Kershaw of the Giants-Padres score during the game. "They gave us a lot of hope there, but we'll save the celebration for tomorrow."

Players of the Game:

Clayton Kershaw: Seven shutout innings.
Justin Turner: 3-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored.
Josh Reddick: 3-for-4 with a grand slam, double, 5 RBI and 2 runs scored.

Three Takeaways: 

1. There's No Place Like Home: Clayton Kershaw lowered his ERA at Dodger Stadium this season to a measly 1.08, the third lowest ERA (tied with Hershiser -1985) in Dodger Stadium history.

2. Gotta' Catch Em' All: Japanese right-hander, Kenta Maeda, leads the Los Angeles Dodgers in strikeouts this season with 171 in 30 games. After Saturday, Kershaw has 168 in just 20 games. Both starters will take the mound one more time to decide who wears the team's strikeout crown.

3. Let Them Eat Cake: Los Angeles Dodgers Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully was honored with a cake before the game. Needless to say, it did not last long after it was cut into by the hungry LA media.

Up Next:

Rockies (73-82): Tyler Anderson will start the finale for Colorado on Sunday.

Dodgers (89-66): Brandon McCarthy will be activated from the disabled list and start on Sunday as LA goes for the sweep at 1:10 PM PST.

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats and player reactions…

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kaep Joins High School Protest]]> Sun, 25 Sep 2016 05:55:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Castlemont+Football.jpg

High school students in the East Bay are following Colin Kaepernick’s lead and helping to shine a light on issues of police brutality and racial inequality in the United States — this time by lying down during the national anthem.

Since August, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback has taken to kneeling before games – something he did alongside the Castlemont High School football team in Oakland on Friday.

When the first strains of the national anthem floated across the field and Kaepernick knelt, the Knights lay on the ground with their hands up in the air.

"It's basically showing our vulnerability ... them being the authority and the power, and us being the citizens," said protest organizer and senior player Jadan Starks.

Head coach Edward Washington supports his team's actions.

“Black men and brown men have been assassinated unarmed, hands on the ground,” he said. “We had to protest and stand against this because it's not right."

Friday’s protest came after nearly a week after the team knelt during the National Anthem before another game and tweeted a picture of it. Kaepernick retweeted the Twitter post and it went viral, sparking a conversation between him and the school.

“He had reached out through a fraternity brother and a mutual friend and he was like, ‘I want to come over and talk to the kids,’” Washington said.

And that's exactly what Kaepernick did, catching the players by surprise.

“This is your family, these are your brothers,” he told the team. “I look at all of you as brothers. I see your strength, I see your power, I see your courage, your confidence.”

Speaking to the athletes in their locker room before the game, Kaepernick said he attended their game to stand – or kneel as the case may be – in solidarity with them.

“The same way y'all took a stand and stood with me, I had to come out here and stand with you’ll,” he said.

Kaepernick also encouraged his rapt audience to “lift each other up” because “that’s what this is about.”

He assured the Castlemont students that their actions, thoughts and words have value – both on and off the football field.

“You are important. You make a difference. This matters. Everything you do matters,” Kaepernick stressed.

Earlier in the week, a school band of roughly 155 middle and high school students from the Oakland Unified School District knelt as they played "The Star Bangled Banner" before an Oakland A's game on Wednesday.

San Francisco’s Mission High School football team has also decided to take a knee at every game in the season when the national anthem is played. The Bears are slated to face Millbrae’s Mills High School Saturday.

According to Castlemont coach Bryan Parker, this is just the beginning of a movement among young students and athletes, and those who motivate them.

"We want to keep a dialogue going, getting rid of the dehumanization of black and brown people all around the country, but specifically in Oakland," he said.

School officials say they plan to continue working with community leaders, politicians and law enforcement, going forward.

Social unrest has rocked the U.S. this week. Police shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte have spawned massive demonstrations and even riots. Amid this social landscape, Kaepernick’s ongoing protest has ignited a maelstrom of conflicting reactions.

His face will grace the cover of Time magazine next month, but he has also received death threats and a recent poll reflects his unenviable achievement of being the most disliked player in the National Football League.

Closer to home, the NFLer has had not only the 49ers head coach Chip Kelly in his corner, but even a muralist, who created artwork on the side of an Oakland wall to remind Kaepernick, “We got your back.”

Photo Credit: Castlemont Football
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<![CDATA[Anthem Protests Spread to Colleges, WNBA Player Sits]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 19:19:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/colinkaepernick3.JPG

Liberty guard Brittany Boyd sat on the bench with her head bowed during the national anthem before a WNBA playoff game.

Hours earlier, college football players for Michigan and Michigan State, along with a group of students at North Carolina, raised their fists during the playing of the Star Spangled Banner on Saturday. 

Since 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the anthem before NFL preseason games, citing racial injustice and police brutality, his movement has slowly spread across fields and courts in the U.S. On Saturday, college athletes and professional athletes joined together to follow his lead after a week punctuated by riots in Charlotte, North Carolina , and the killing of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

Boyd had sat on the bench during the anthem at the team's last home game on Sept. 13, too. Her New York teammates stood, arms locked with their heads bowed before their WNBA playoff game with Phoenix. Mercury players Mistie Bass and Kelsey Bone kneeled, just as they had done during their first-round playoff game. Bass was inspired that younger athletes were joining an effort that until this weekend, had been mostly led by the pros. 

"I think it shows that the younger generations are about this and they did it together," she said. "They are understanding what is going on in our society. It's perfect because they are so caught up in their phones. To see them standing up for social injustices and wanting things to be right in their communities I think is awesome." 

Three Michigan State players — Delton Williams, Kenney Lyke and Gabe Sherrod — held their right fists in the air while standing on the sideline before the No. 8 Spartans hosted No. 11 Wisconsin.

"Whether somebody salutes, puts the hand over their heart or does something else, everybody has a choice to make," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio added after the Spartans' 30-6 loss. "Our young people are in college, and I can promise you one thing, that when the flag is presented in some respect, I guess it becomes much more important now. It's not just, oh by the way, we'll just stand for 'The Star-Spangled Banner.'

"All I can do is try and lead the best way I can, and be positive and accepting to our football team and our players," the coach added.

Several players for No. 4 Michigan also had their fists up before facing Penn State in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Among them were Khalid Hill, Mike McCray, Devin Bush, Elysee Mbem-Bosse and Jourdan Lewis.

Most college conferences play the anthem before the teams take the field. The Big Ten is among the exceptions.

The University of Michigan is 6 miles from Eastern Michigan University, where chanting students marched on the field Friday night after the school's 27-24 victory over Wyoming. The students were protesting racist graffiti on the campus earlier in the week.

"We have great respect for our students engaged in the constructive efforts underway to address the issues we face," Eastern Michigan President James Smith said in a statement Saturday.

Before North Carolina hosted Pittsburgh, students wearing black shirts remained seated with fists raised. Some 60 to 70 black and white students participated.

Nebraska players Michael Rose-Ivey, Daishon Neal and Mohamed Barry also kneeled before the No. 20 Cornhuskers' game at Northwestern.

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh was Kaepernick's coach for four seasons in San Francisco. Last month, Harbaugh said he supported Kaepernick's motivation to speak out but took exception to his method.

After Saturday's game, Harbaugh said he had been thinking a lot about the issue the past couple of weeks and that he supports his players. 

"This is something that's not going away. It's going to keep happening," Harbaugh said after the Wolverines' 49-10 victory. "It's not something that's going to keep them out of heaven. So I'm not going to worry about it. As long as it doesn't keep them out of heaven for supporting their minds, I support it."

Kaepernick was at a high school football game on Friday night. He spoke to players from Castlemont High School and joined them on the sideline before the game. A photo by former NFL linebacker Kirk Morrison on Twitter shows Kaepernick kneeling while the rest of the team laid on their backs with their hands up during the anthem.

Saturday's gestures came a day after it was announced that Tommie Smith and John Carlos will join the U.S. Olympic team at the White House for a meeting with President Barack Obama. The raised-fist salutes by the American sprinters on the medal stand at the 1968 Olympics became a political flash point.

Photo Credit: Pendarvis Harsha]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Injuries: Kazmir Reinjures Ribs and McCarthy Returns]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 17:48:05 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/203*120/Scott+Kazmir+Reinjures+Ribs.png

There's just eight games left in the season, so this should be our final Los Angeles Dodgers injury update of the year.

The team is closing in on clinching their fourth consecutive NL West Division title, despite the fact that they set the all-time MLB record for most players on a disabled list this season.

The Dodgers have sent 28 different players to the DL this season, and according to MLB Disabled List Tracker, those players have missed a total of 2,087 days because of injury. 

For the most part, there are no new injuries to report, but starting pitcher, Scott Kazmir was activated off the disabled list on Friday, and he re-aggravated a right intercostal injury during the game and was removed after the first inning.

He said he felt his right-side tighten up and thinks with treatment he'll be able to start one last time this season, but at this point, it's doubtful he pitches again in 2016.

Alex Wood and Brett Anderson came off this list, with Wood pitching a scoreless inning of relief on Wednesday, and Anderson starting on Thursday. Brandon McCarthy will be activated and start Sunday's home finale against the Colorado Rockies and has also been removed from this list.

Here's the latest injury updates:

Trayce Thompson (Lower back injury): Thompson has started doing baseball activities again and seems to be in good spirits. However, with the team's 40-man roster set, it's likely Thompson will not return again this season.

Chris Hatcher (strained left oblique): Hatcher was moved to the 60-day disabled list on July 20th and is not expected to pitch again this season.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (left elbow tendinitis): Ryu has built up to long toss, but with a week left in the season he needs to set his sights on 2017. Manager Dave Roberts said for Ryu, it's about building confidence for next seasion.

Scott Van Slyke (Right Wrist irritation): Van Slyke finally underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right wrist, effectively ending his season.

Carlos Frias (right oblique): Frias was recalled from OKC last Friday as a procedural move to make room on the 40-man roster. Frias has been on the disabled list for a while and was moved to the 60-day DL.

Photo Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Go Back to Back to beat Rockies]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 01:00:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/200*120/Dodgers+go+back-to-back+Etheir.png

"I have always felt that I needed you, more than you need me." – Vin Scully

The Dodgers need just two more wins to clinch their fourth consecutive NL West division title after they defeated the Colorado Rockies, 5-2, on Vin Scully Day at Dodger Stadium.

"It's getting smaller," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of the number of wins combined with Giants losses in order to clinch the division.

After an hour long pregame ceremony that paid tribute to the legendary broadcaster, Joc Pederson and Andre Ethier went back-to-back in the fourth inning to lead Los Angeles over Colorado.

"That was a neat ceremony to start the game," Ethier said. "You can see what he means to this organization and the fans. Being selfish, what he means to me, and all the games in my career he's called. He's probably called every at-bat I've ever had in this stadium. I've been extremely lucky and I was able to reflect on that."

The Dodgers choked back their emotions from saying goodbye to their broadcaster long enough to jump out to an early two-run lead.

Thursday night's hero, Yasmani Grandal, kick-started the action with a two-run broken-bat bloop single to right field that scored the first two runs of the game for the boys in blue. 

Grandal has now knocked in seven runs in the last two games, and 12 overall in 14 games against Colorado this season. 

Dodgers starter Scott Kazmir lasted just one inning after he left the game before the second frame with spasms in his right rib cage area. 

"It was the same thing I felt in OKC," Kazmir said of the intercostal injury. "Everything in my right side tightened up. It was tough for me to swallow to only go one inning. I'm thankful the bullpen picked me up."

Kazmir was activated off the 15-day disabled list before the game, and was making his first start since Aug. 22nd. It's doubtful he starts again this season.

Ross Stripling (5-8) entered the game in his familiar role as "emergency starter," and shutdown the Rockies for three consecutive innings.

"It's interesting every time," Stripling said of his emergency relief role. "We heard that Scott [Kazmir] wasn't feeling quite right, so I went down and got ready. Then I was told he wasn't coming back out for the second, so I was able to get ready ahead of time. Thankfully, I was able to give us three zeroes and keep the momentum on our side."

Pederson and Ethier went back-to-back off Colorado starter Jon Gray in the bottom of the fourth inning. It was the ninth time the Dodgers have gone back-to-back this season, and the first home run of the year for Ethier.

"They told me to 'stay ready' and so I was prepared for the at-bat," Ethier said of the pinch-hit. "I was able to watch Joc's at-bat and he threw him a lot of pitches. He threw me a breaking ball and I put a good swing on I and was able to double-up with Joc right there."

Pederson flexed his power on a towering fly ball to right-center on his 24th dinger of the year, and 50th of his career. Ethier followed with a first-pitch home run to right that wrapped just inside the foul pole. For Ethier, it was his fourth career pinch-hit home run, with his last one coming on Aug. 13, 2013. 

Gray (10-9) was chased after the inning, allowing four runs on three hits with three walks and 10 strikeouts in four innings.

"I had no fastball command," Gray said in the clubhouse. "I was just trying to keep us in the game without it. I really didn't have a good feel. Without a fastball, it's incredibly tough to succeed."

The right-hander's double-digit strikeouts gave him 26 in his last two games, the most in a two-game span in Colorado Rockies history. It was the sixth time this season Gray has recorded 10 or more strikeouts in a start. 

Nolan Arenado hit his NL-leading 40th home run of the season as the Rockies scored their only two runs of the game in the top half of the sixth inning. 

"It's elite. He's doing big time stuff," Rockies manager Walt Weiss said of his third baseman. "To do that in his first few years in the league, he's a special player."

Arenado leads the Major Leagues in RBIs with 129, and became the third Colorado Rockie's hitter to belt 40 or more home runs in conseuctive seasons, joining Vinny Castilla and Andres Galarraga, immortal members of the "Blake Street Bombers" from the mid-nineties. 

Chase Utley scored on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh to give the Dodgers a much-needed insurance run.

Kenley Jansen once again pitched a perfect ninth inning for his career-best 47th save of the season. 

Los Angeles now leads the NL West by seven games over the San Francisco Giants who lost in San Diego earlier in the night. The Dodgers lowered their magic number to just two games, meaning they can clinch the division and a playoff spot as earlier as Saturday. 

Players of the Game:

Joc Pederson: Home run.
Andre Ethier: Home run.
Yasmani Grandal: Two-run single.

Three Takeaways:

1. Vin Scully Day: It was a sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium as 53,000 fans gave a standing ovation to the Hall-of-Fame broadcaster in an hour-long pregame celebration. Scully said that everyone wants to know what he's going to do after he retires. His answer? "I'm going to live!"

2. Win For Vin: Vin Scully announced that he would not do any radio or tv broadcasts for the Dodgers during the playoffs. Scully said he may attend a game if they reached the World Series, but primarily he'll watch on T.V. Did you know, that Scully is the youngest broadcaster to ever call a World Series game? He was just 25 in 1955 when the Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the New York Yankees in seven games.

3. Thank You, Vin: After he drops the mic in San Francisco for the final time, Vin Scully will have been the announcer for the Dodgers for 24,274 days, over half of the games in franchise history. We'll miss you, Vin.

Up Next:

Rockies (73-81): Colorado starts Chad Bettis on Saturday.

Dodgers (88-66): Los Angeles will throw Clayton Kershaw to the mound with a possible chance to clinch the division at 6:10 PM PST.

Photo Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top Moments From Dodgers' Vin Scully Pregame Celebration]]> Sat, 24 Sep 2016 15:59:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/202*120/Vin+Scully+Day.png

"In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened."

That's right folks, the impossible has happened. Vin Scully is calling it a career.

After 67 years behind the mic, Scully has called more than half of the games the Dodgers have ever played in a 100+ year history.

On Friday, before the team took on the Colorado Rockies, 67 years of gratitude, generosity and dedication poured over onto the field as the city of Los Angeles said goodbye to the greatest broadcaster in the history of sports.

The pregame tribute to Scully started promptly at 6:30PM as the Dodgers aired a video tribute on their two big screens honoring Scully. The short film was narrated by the great Bob Costas and featured congratulatory words from Kobe Bryant, Kirk Gibson, Magic Johnson, Al Michaels, and more.

Immediately following, Dodgers radio announcer Charley Steiner introduced the 42nd mayor of Los Angeles Eric Garcetti, the commissioner of MLB Rob Manfred, Dodgers chairman, Mark Walter, Sandy Koufax, Clayton Kershaw, Spanish Language broadcaster Jaime Jarrin, and Kevin Costner. Finally, Scully and his wife Sandi were introduced.

After a three-minute standing ovation for Scully, those aforementioned people who were present on the stage, delivered speeches for Scully.

Garcetti got the ceremony going by presenting his first key to the city during his tenure as Mayor to Scully.

Manfred presented Scully with a check for $50,000 from MLB in Vin Scully's name to the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

The Dodgers then played a clip of Scully's greatest call, as voted on by the fans, the walk-off home run by Kirk Gibson in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.

Steiner said it best about the call, "Nineteen words that will last as long as baseball has been played."

Dodgers chairman Mark Walter then stepped up to the microphone and announced that Scully would enter the Dodgers ring of honor located in the left field foul pole area next season.

Next was Koufax, who said he was more nervous than any time he played on the field, and told a story about Scully going to church to pray before every World Series game he ever called. Koufax mentioned that he didn't pray for the Dodgers to win, or for certain players to play well, but simply prayed for heroes, not goats on the field.

Kershaw then took the microphone on behalf of the Dodgers team and simply said, "Thank you."

Finally came Costner who brought everyone in attendance to tears, including the media in the press box and those watching at home.

Costner called Scully, "The Chosen One," and said that "The game will not lose its way, but it loses its perspective, a singular voice."

As the Field of Dreams soundtrack played in the background Costner continued with these gems:

"You tricked us into thinking you were a sports announcer. When really, you were a poet."

"When we were at a loss for words, you were the Norman Rockwell, painting us the clearest of pictures."

"Shame on us if you ever have to pay for another meal in public again."

"You're our George Bailey, and it has been a wonderful life."

Finally, Scully himself was introduced to the crowd who roared to life with excitement and gratitude.

"Oh, it's just me," said Scully smiling.

He started his speech by saying, "Welcome to my Thanksgiving."

He went on to thank everyone, from every player who ever put on a uniform, to the media and sportswriters, to his family and finally the fans.

"When you roar, when you cheer…for a brief moment, I am 8 years old again," he said.

He told the sold-out crowd that he's going to spend time with his wife, children and many grandchildren in retirement and said, "I am going to try and live."

After Scully sat back down, out of the dugout came the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra led by John Williams, one of the most storied film composers ever. He played a rousing rendition of the national anthem, and then Scully stepped back to the mic to unearth his historic words that will live on forever, "It's time for Dodger baseball."

After another standing ovation from the crowd, Scully left the field down a blue carpet, surrounded by the current Dodger players. Now that's a way to go out.

Thank you, Vin.

Photo Credit: Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LA Rams Wrap Up Practice Week, Take-off For Tampa]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 18:37:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Rams-vs-Buccaneers-practice-9-23-16.jpg

THOUSAND OAKS, CA – Following Friday's practice, Todd Gurley rolled his eyes and laughed, "I don't know. You tell me."

The question was about whether defenses had been setting up a little differently this season to limit the running back to 91 rushing yards in two games. In his rookie season, rushed for over 100 yards in five of the 13 games he played, so the answer is pretty apparent.

"It be crazy [sic]," Gurley said when asked about what he sees facing him when he's in the backfield. "I be like [sic], 'Man, there's 12 people on the field.' There's [sic] definitely a lot of people, but it is what it is. Sometimes, it's a good thing because if you get past that first level, then you're gone. But you go to get past that first level first."

Against Tampa Bay during the 2015 season, Gurley only averaged 2.3 yards per carry and finished with 48 yards, which is just about his season average thus far. In terms of giving up rushing yards, the Buccs rank in the top 10 in the NFL. As such, a breakout game may be a tough proposition for the 22-year-old.

Gurley added, "We know what they're going to do."

The Rams' defense is still the strong point on the team, and defensive coordination Gregg Williams did not shy away from showering Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston with praise.

"I have a lot of respect for Jameis, especially after we played him last year – we had a lot of contact on him last year," Williams said on Friday.

Williams continued, "He's a legitimate tough guy in our league. He took a lot of contact in our game (last year) and he kept on going. Even last week, (Buccaneers Head Coach) Dirk (Koetter) was answering a question about why he had him in in the end of a game–because Jameis wanted to play. The good players want to do that all the time, that's why Russell played last week. Good players want to play. I have a lot of respect for him. He's fearless on how he goes about the approach of playing that position."

The Rams managed to beat the Seattle Seahawks despite failing to score a touchdown, and seemingly, the offense appreciates the effort.

"It's always inspiring," Gurley said of his defense. "You kind of get out there, and you're just playing for them because they're always on the field, and you're just like, 'C'mon man, these guys are doing a great job for us, and we need to do a great job for them.' It's all about the team coming together."

Head Coach Jeff Fisher also appeared to be happy with the team's practices. After practicing on Tuesday and Wednesday, the team took Thursday off before wrapping up the practice week on Friday.

"We healed up," Fisher said on Friday. "It was good to see the guys on the field. Yesterday's day off was good, great. A lot of energy today. Now we're going to deal with the travel. They understand what it takes to get ready for Sunday – we're in a good place."

On Sunday, the Rams will face Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 1:05 p.m. Pacific Time.

Notes: Tampa Bay reportedly cut tight-end Austin Seferian-Jenkins following an arrest for a suspected DUI on Friday. Fisher commented on the incident and pointed out how it hurt Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers are down to two tight-ends on Sunday, so Fisher said the news did have an effect on the Rams from a defensive standpoint. Also, the Rams announced that the team had waived cornerback Steve Williams and promoted defensive back Isaiah Johnson from the practice squad.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2016 Lakers Training Camp Roster: World Peace Added]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 16:39:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Metta-World-Peace-signs-with-Lakers-.jpg

On Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers signed Metta World Peace to cap their 2016 Training Camp roster at 20. World Peace is a fan, media and locker room favorite, so his addition is a welcome sight for just about everyone looking forward to another season of purple and gold.

Most famously, World Peace won a title with the Lakers and hit the shot that won Game 7 over the Boston Celtics during the 2010 NBA Finals. After that moment, local fans seemingly universally show love to World Peace around Southern California. At Staples Center, World Peace regularly draws loud ovations when entering a game.

For the press, World Peace's name provides for wonderful headlines. For example, if one wanted to make a case for World Peace, the headline "All We Are Saying is Give Peace a Chance" would be tough to pass up. Even in the current instance, the thought of "World Peace Joins Lakers" can't help but draw a smirk.

NBCLA.com already made the case for World Peace to make the Lakers' final roster earlier in the week, when the news first broke, and it had a great deal to do with his locker room and end of the bench experience. Younger players swarmed around the 36-year-old veteran during games to better understanding the nuances of the game from the sidelines. World Peace also provides a wealth of knowledge on the practice court and serves as an example of the benefits of sustaining a healthy diet to maintain longevity.

However, the bigger meaning behind World Peace is that the Lakers' training camp roster is full. Yes, Nick Young is still with the team. One would imagine, it's his spot to lose, so if everything works out in camp and he fits in with Luke Walton's vision, Young will make 2016/17 roster.

The Lakers will hold Media Day on Monday, Sept. 26 in El Segundo before opening camp in Santa Barbara the following day. The Lakers will have double practice sessions Wednesday through Saturday and finish camp with a single practice on Sunday Oct. 2.

The Lakers open preseason on Oct. 4 against Sacramento at the Honda Center in Anaheim, before playing at Staples Center on Oct. 7 against the Denver Nuggets. LA opens its regular season on Oct. 26 against Mike D'Antoni's Houston Rockets in Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Smart Football Helmets]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 13:14:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Smart+Helmet.jpg The Friday night lights will illuminate high school football stadiums across the country this evening -- while new helmet technology is shedding light on one of football's long-time concerns: Concussions.

Photo Credit: CNBC]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron James Executive Produces New Sitcom for NBC]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 10:45:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/178*120/GettyImages-588692562-LebronJames.jpg

Gentrification is a phenomenon affecting nearly every major U.S. city, and apparently NBA champ LeBron James sees it material ready made for television.

Alongside "Scrubs" creator Bill Lawrence, James is co-producing a new sitcom about a white family moving into a predominately black neighborhood in Cleveland. NBC has picked up "There Goes the Neighborhood" through a script contract with penalty, penned by "Community" veterans Neil Goldman and Garrett Donovan and "Powerless" star Ron Funches. 

"There Goes the Neighborhood" must hold a special place in James' heart, as it’s set in his team's city. With its community-centric bent, the sitcom may even prove that "Cleveland is great for the whole family," as James humorously insists in the 2015 film "Trainwreck."

James appears to be on a roll both on and off the court.  Springhill Entertainment, James' company co-led by partner Maverick Carter, also sold a sports medical drama to NBC last week. "There Goes the Neighborhood" will be James’ fifth turn as an executive producer.

Photo Credit: Mike Lawrie/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Utley Makes Ridiculous No Look Play For Dodgers]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 05:20:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/Utley+ridiculous+play.png

In case you haven't seen every defensive play in the book from Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley, here's another one for the future Hall of Famer's collection.

The Dodgers were hosting the Colorado Rockies at the Ravine on Thursday night in the opening game of a four-game series, the final homestand at Dodger Stadium.

There were two outs in the top of the fourth inning and the Rockies were threatening to add to their 3-1 lead. Rockies starter Tyler Chatwood was at the plate, and he hit what appeared to be a routine ground ball to Utley at second base.

Only Utley bobbled the ball, but he somehow stayed with the play and tossed the ball behind his back without looking to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for the final out of the inning.

Check out the videos of the play below, the first, complete with the legendary Vin Scully on the call, and the second, a zoomed in replay. Enjoy.

As he came into the dugout, Utley told his manager Dave Roberts that he was sorry for bobbling the ball, and that he should have made the play more cleanly.

Roberts was stunned, but expected nothing less from his veteran second baseman.

"First thing he said was 'I can't believe I missed the ball,'" Roberts said. "He makes this crazy no look pass to first base, and instead of acknowledging the greatness of that play he says he should have made it a lot cleaner."

Utley himself didn't have any answers either.

"It was maybe a little instinctual and maybe a little lucky," he said smiling.

Part of me wants to believe that the 37-year-old bobbled the ball on purpose in order to wow us with his jaw-dropping no-look out, but knowing Utley, he really was more frustrated he had to do what he did.

Utley was also named the Los Angeles Dodgers recipient of the annual Roy Campanella Award on Thursday. The 11-year honor is given to the Dodger player that best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Fame catcher who played for the Dodgers.

No play exemplifies that spirit and leadership than the remarkable one he made in the game on Thursday night. Utley will be presented the award by members of Campanella's family on Saturday night before the game.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ain't It Grand? Grandal Rescues Dodgers Over Rockies]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 23:23:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/186*120/Screen+Shot+2016-09-22+at+10.06.06+PM.png

In the grand scheme of things, maybe the Dodgers don't need the Padres help.

Yasmnai Grandal hit two home runs, including a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat the Colorado Rockies 7-4, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium. 

The Dodgers are just five wins away from clinching their fourth consecutive NL West division title, and that victory total could get even lower if the Padres beat the Giants in any of their four games this weekend.

So Grandal decided the Dodgers didn't need to wait around for the Padres to provide some assistance as he took matters into his own hands at the plate.

"We have to turn it up. We have nine games left. Let's get this thing over with and win the division," Grandal said. "Let's get some rest keep on playing and let's do this."

The Dodgers catcher provided most of the offense on Thursday as he drove in five runs thanks to a solo shot in the second inning and a grand slam in the bottom of the seventh. 

"I wasn't trying to hit a home run, I was just trying to get something up in the air," Grandal said of the game-winning at-bat. "I was able to get a good swing on it."

The long balls were Grandal's 26th and 27th home runs of the season, most among MLB catchers, and marked the sixth multi-homer game of his career.

Brett Anderson was activated off the 15-day disabled list before the game and made his third start of the season for the Dodgers. 

"This was my first actual start with being healthy and feeling good," Anderson said. "My exeuction still wasn't there but it was closer. I was able to navigate through the heart of the lineup a couple times other than that second inning."

After a clean first inning for the left-hander, Anderson ran into trouble in the second. He surrendered three straight hits followed by a walk to load the bases for Daniel Descalso. After a sac fly and an RBI single from Charlie Blackmon, the Rockies had an early 3-0 lead.

Anderson did not factor in the decision, allowing four runs on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk in five innings of work. 

"The only two pitches I would really like back is the hanging curveball to LeMahieu and the fastball to Hundley," Anderson said of his start overall. "They have a good lineup and a good mix of veterans and tough guys moving forward."

Grandal's first home run cut the lead to 3-1, but D.J. LeMahieu homered for Colorado in the top of the fifth to extend the lead back to three.

Tyler Chatwood left the game leading in the seventh inning, and had a strong start, allowing just two runs on five hits with five strikeouts and four walks in six solid innings.

"Chatwood was real good again. Good fastball with good movement," said Chatwood's coach. "I thought he did a great job tonight."

The Colorado bullpen got off to a rocky start in the bottom of the seventh as Jordan Lyles allowed a leadoff double to pinch-hitter Andre Ethier. 

"That leadoff double for Dre [Ethier], that was a big hit for him," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "All the at-bats that inning were great. Logan is one of the best lefties in the league."

Manager Walt Weiss then went to the left-hander, Boone Logan, who promptly walked three of the next four batters he faced, loading up the bases for Grandal.

"Boone just didn't have the command of his slider tonight," Weiss said after the game. "He's been great all year, we had the exact matchups we wanted. We haven't seen him like that in a long time."

Grandal fell behind 0-2 to start the count, but Logan served up a fastball that the switch-hitter sent over the centerfield wall to give LA a 7-4 lead.

"I was just trying to stay alive there," he said of the at-bat. "You don't want to strikeout there. A walk is as good as a single. A sac fly ties the game. The fact that I was able to battle back and put us ahead was huge."

It was Grandal's fourth home run from the right side of the plate this season, and the second time in his career he's homered from both sides of the plate in the same game. He last accomplished the feat on June 30, 2012 with the Padres, also against the Rockies.

"That was the first game I ever started in the big leagues and were my first two hits," recalled Grandal of the first time he homered from both sides of the plate. "Was I trying to do that again tonight? Not really, I was just trying to get the bat on the ball, but it was pretty special."

The Rockies never recovered from the big blast off the bat of Grandal as they hit into an unassisted double play in the top of the eighth inning. Shortly thereafter, Colorado third baseman Nolan Arenado and Weiss were both ejected from the game by home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez.

"I was frustrated," a dissapointed Arenado said after the game. "We're both human. I probably shouldn't have done that, but it was frustrating. I was 0-2, I battled back in that at-bat and I thought I had a walk there. I let my emotions get the best of me."

Kenley Jansen extended his career mark for saves when he recorded his 46th rescue of the season with a perfect ninth inning.

Los Angeles still leads the NL West by six games over the Giants who defeated the Padres, 2-1 in San Diego. However, the Dodgers Magic Number to clinch the division was dropped to four.  

Players of the Game:

Yasmani Grandal: 4-4 with a double, two home runs and five RBI.
D.J. LeMahieu: Solo home run 

Three Takeaways:

1. Bait and Switch: Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal hit two home runs in the game, his sixth multi-homer game of his career, and the second time he's homered from both sides of the plate in the same. Ironically, he first accomplished the feat on June 30, 2012 with the Padres in a game against the Colorado Rockies.

2. Go Home, You're Drunk: Colorado Rockies third baseman, Nolan Arenado and manager Walt Weiss were both ejected in the 8th inning by home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez for arguing balls and strikes.

3. It's Your Duty, Judy: The Dodgers celebrated the 89th birthday of Tommy Lasorda on Thursday as the legendary manager received a birthday cake and fans in attendance sang "Happy Birthday" to the man who coined the phrase, "Blue Heaven on Earth." Lasorda is also the only manager in Dodger history to win the division in his first season, but could have some company soon.

Up Next:

Rockies (73-80): Colorado counters with Jon Gray on Friday night.

Dodgers (87-66): Scott Kazmir returns from the disabled list on Friday at 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[How to Watch and Listen to Vin Scully's Final Game]]> Fri, 23 Sep 2016 12:36:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/191*120/3-25-16+Vin+PC+03.jpg

Saying goodbye is the hardest part.

The final four broadcasts of Vin Scully's career commence on Thursday night as the Dodgers finish up their homestand at Chavez Ravine with four games against the Colorado Rockies.

The Dodgers plan to honor the Hall of Fame broadcaster for all four games so if you're coming out to the ballpark, here's what you need to know: 

7:10 PM PST

Fans in attendance will receive a Tommy Lasorda pin in honor of the manager's 89th birthday. Lasorda and Scully are the best of friends and have each been around the Dodgers for nearly six decades. They also were born just two months apart.

7:10 PM PST 

Vin Scully Appreciation Day. Fans are invited to arrive to the game early as the Dodgers will put on a pregame ceremony honoring the legendary broadcaster starting promptly at 6:30 PM. All fans in attendance will receive a letter written by Scully to the fans. There will also be a postgame fireworks celebration featuring the voice of Scully and his best calls. 

6:10PM PST

Vin Scully will hold a press conference for the Los Angeles media market starting at 3:00PM. Fans in attendance for the game will receive a commemorative bronze coin featuring the profile of the immortal play-by-play voice of the Dodgers. 

1:10PM PST

Fan Appreciation Day coincides with the final broadcast for Scully at Dodger Stadium. There will be giveaways, pregame festivities in the parking lot, and we're sure many standing ovations for Scully.

If you happen to not be able to make it out to the ballpark, fear not, there are still many ways you can watch and listen to the iconic voice of Vin Scully.

The final call at Dodger Stadium of Scully's 67-year storied career will air on television on Sports Net LA and KTLA Channel 5. Time Warner Cable and Charter customers receive SportsNetLA, and every other cable provider but Dish Network has KTLA Channel 5.

MLB.com will also provide a live stream of the game, with Vin Scully's call for free on Sunday on their website. 

You can also listen to Scully call the first three innings of the game on radio on KLAC-AM 570.

Photo Credit: Ron Cervenka]]>
<![CDATA[Kaepernick Graces Time Magazine]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:31:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/kap-kneel.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick graces the cover of Time magazine next month, at the same time a new poll shows he’s the most disliked player in the National Football League.

This dichotomy of pride and disdain mirrors the country's reaction to Kaepernick’s controversial decision to not stand during the National Anthem at football games this summer.

Some support his stance, which he said is meant to highlight the issues of police brutality and unfair treatment of people of color in the United States.

"He's shedding light on a situation that is heinous, it shouldn't happen in this country," 49ers head coach Chip Kelly said. 

In his most detailed comments on the issue to date, Kelly on Thursday said he stands behind Kaepernick's ongoing protest.

"You look at what's going on in Tulsa and Charlotte in the last two nights — it's an issue that's in the forefront of our country," Kelly said. "It needs to be addressed. It needs to be taken care of because it's not right."

Oakland City Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan is also following the quarterback's lead. When her colleagues stood for the Pledge of Allegiance at Tuesday's council meeting, she sat down.

"Part of my motivation for sitting in solidarity with him is to say, 'What you're doing is good. Don't worry about the haters because we need to stand up for justice,'" Kaplan said.

A kneeling Kaepernick is the featured Oct. 26 cover of the prestigious magazine. And the piece gives the quarterback credit for inspiring a national conversation “beyond the world of sports.”

However, Kaepernick has faced plenty of criticism with some even making death threats in response to a civil protest they deem unpatriotic.

A poll last week of Americans by E-Poll Marketing Research revealed that Kaepernick was "disliked a lot" by 29 percent of the 1,110 people polled, more than any of the more than 350 players asked about in the survey.

In the dislike category, Kaepernick finished ahead of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (22 percent), Miami Dolphins defensive end Ndamukong Suh (21 percent), New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (13 percent) and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (10 percent). In August 2014, the last time the poll was taken, Kaepernick was only "disliked a lot" by 6 percent of the population.

However, among African-Americans, Kaepernick has never been more popular.

The poll shows 42 percent of African-Americans now say they like the 49ers quarterback "a lot," while only 2 percent dislike him "a lot." Two years ago, only 16 percent of African-Americans said they liked Kaepernick "a lot," while 3 percent disliked him "a lot."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[VINtage: Vin Scully's Memorable Calls]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 06:55:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/Vin+Scully+Out+for+Postseason.png

Vin Scully will retire after the Los Angeles Dodgers final regular season game, but he leaves behind a treasure trove of memorable calls that take the listener back in time.

In 1953, at age 25, Scully became the youngest person to broadcast a World Series game, a mark that still stands. The Hall of Fame announcer is a witness to baseball history, calling no-hitters, perfect games, bench clearing brawls, World Series walk-offs, Hank Aaron's historic 715th home run and Kirk Gibson's 1988 World Series home run.

His voice provided the soundtrack to some of summer's greatest hits. Below, some of the beloved announcer's most memorable calls collected by Major League Baseball.

App Users: Click here to view video

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Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Lakers Fill Training Camp Roster, Add World Peace]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 02:06:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-training-camp-roster-2016.jpg

Less than a week away from going up to Santa Barbara for their 2016 training camp, the Los Angeles Lakers completed filling out their camp roster with a couple of interesting names: Thomas Robinson, officially, and Metta World Peace, per The Vertical at Yahoo! Sports.

We'll get to World Peace in a moment, but Robinson is an interesting addition in that he was the no. 5 overall pick from the 2012 NBA Draft, meaning he was drafted ahead of Damian Lillard (no. 6), Harrison Barnes (no. 7), Andre Drummond (no. 9), Maurice Harkless (no. 15) and Draymond Green (no. 35). The fact that Robinson is on a non-guaranteed training camp contract is best understood by pointing out he's only started 11 games in four seasons.

Aged 25, Robinson could be one of the most intriguing camp invites and surely a player the Lakers will look to add to the LA D-Fenders, if nothing else. The Lakers are Robinson's sixth team in four years, as the former Kansas Jayhawk was traded three times in his first three NBA seasons. With the Brooklyn Nets for the duration of the 2015-16 season, Robinson appeared in 71 games, started seven contests and averaged 4.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 12.9 minutes.

While Robinson is an intriguing, unknown entity, World Peace, obviously, is a familiar face.

The 36-year-old forward won an NBA Championship playing alongside 36-year-old Lakers coach Luke Walton back in 2010. World Peace is actually seven months older than Walton, which is somehow less awkward than it is interesting.

As was the case a year ago, World Peace is on a non-guaranteed training camp contract, so the likelihood of the veteran making the roster is not high. With a backlog at small forward with Luol Deng, Brandon Ingram (who threw the first pitch at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night) and Anthony Brown, World Peace doesn't exactly fit the team's needs on the court. Similarly, the Lakers have the power forward slot stacked with Larry Nance Jr. and Julius Randle splitting minutes, and Yi Jianlian and Tarik Black could potentially also play minutes at the position if needed.

As it stands, the Lakers have a full roster ready for the regular season, so Robinson and World Peace face long odds to get into the team. Nick Young, however, is a wild card in that his involvement with the team has consistently come into question ever since a leaked video secretly taken by teammate D'Angelo Russell surfaced during the 2015-16 season. The issue caused friction in the locker room and the two players were not on speaking terms to end the season.

Even if that issue has been resolved and every other off-court issue is ignored, Young is on the fringes of the squad. He is currently penciled in as the third-string shooting guard for a team that is carrying five true guards: Russell, Marcelo Huertas, Jose Calderon, Jordan Clarkson and Lou Williams. More than likely, even if the Lakers opt to keep Young on the roster, the not-so-young 31-year-old is not expected to play significant minutes.

As such, Walton's headache at the end of camp may well be deciding which player best serves as a positive presence in a young locker room and at the end of the bench during games, because time on the court will be sparse at the spot that currently belongs to Young but could be assumed by World Peace, Robinson or any of the other training camp invitees: NBA Summer League standout Zach Auguste, former USC guard Julian Jacobs and former UCLA forward Travis Wear.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[No Moore! Giants Surrender to Dodgers ]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:24:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/215*120/Moore+dominated+by+Dodgers.png

Surrender is a powerful force.

San Francisco waved the proverbial white flag as the Los Angeles Dodgers dominated the rival Giants, 9-3, on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.

The Giants were looking for lightning to strike twice at the Ravine as left-hander Matt Moore got the start for San Francisco.

Three weeks prior, Moore had a no-hitter after 26 outs against the Dodgers before Corey Seager hit a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning to bust up Moore's date with history.

"That last outing here, he added a cut-fastball that we didn't know he had in his repertoire," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Today we were prepared for it."

Moore (11-12) entered the game with a streak of 15 straight innings at Dodger Stadium without allowing an earned run, but was beat up early and often by the boys in blue on Wednesday. 

The Dodgers scored five runs in the first inning off Moore, punctuated by a three-run home run by Yasiel Puig who promptly made sure not to look at Madison Bumgarner as he ran around the bases.

"Last time we faced Moore he almost no-hit us," said Puig. "Today we were able to get him out of the game early and face their bullpen that has been struggling."

Puig has stayed hot since he was recalled on Sept 2nd. The Cuban slugger is batting .333 with a double, three homers and eight RBI over the span of seven games. 

"I really appreciate the way the team has welcomed me since my return," Puig said of the difference in his play since he was recalled. "I'm trying to show that I'm grateful for the opportunity."

Moore hasn't looked the same since he threw 133 pitches in his no-hit bid on Aug. 25th. Since that start, the left-hander has allowed 17 runs over five starts, posting an ERA of 7.29 over that span.

"Sometimes when guys get stretched out that long they have a hard time bouncing back," Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner said of how Moore looked this time. "We were all interested to see what would happen in his next couple starts. I was in New York when Johan [Santana] got stretched out in his no-hitter and unfortunately he was never the same after that."

Moore couldn't make it out of the second inning as he allowed six runs on seven hits, recording just three outs, matching the shortest outing of his career. 

"It's a bad day to have a bad day," Moore said after the game. "I can't do anything about it now. I just have to move on to my next start." 

San Francisco scored first to start the game. After a leadoff walk to Denard Span to start the game, the speedster reached second on a passed ball and scored one-pitch later on a single to right field by Angel Pagan.

Puig thought he had thrown out Span at the plate on the play, but Carlos Ruiz dropped the Cuban missile from right field and the run scored.

After the Dodgers responded with five runs in the bottom half of the first, Ehire Adrianza hit his second home run of the season—both against the Dodgers—in the second inning. Adrianza's only other home run this season was off Clayton Kershaw on April 9.

Howie Kendrick and Andrew Toles each added a pair of RBI doubles in the third and fifth innings as the Dodgers lead 9-2 heading into the sixth inning. 

"He has an ability to impact the game in a lot of different ways," Roberts said of Toles. "He never ceases to amaze. That was a big hit and Andrew has opened all of our eyes."

Brandon Belt doubled in a run in the top of the sixth for SF, but Bruce Bochy signed an unconditional surrender immediately after, as the Giants made wholesale changes across the board. 

"There was a little confusion with all the changes and the lineup card," Roberts said of all the San Francisco substiutions. "I wanted to make sure I had everything right."

The Giants now set their sights on a four-game series in San Diego this weekend. SF is currently deadlocked in a three-team race for the Wild Card, but have lost their last six straight games to the Padres since the All-Star Break. 

Kenta Maeda (16-9) earned his sixteenth victory of the season and second in a row as he allowed two runs on just three hits with six strikeouts in five easy innings of work.

"It was big for me personally to have a comfortable lead going into the second inning," Maeda said through a translator after the game. "My command was off, but my teammates picked me up. It was a good day."

Los Angeles now leads the National League West by a whopping six games with just ten left to play in the season. Their Magic Number to clinch the division was lowered to five.

Players of the Game:

Yasiel Puig: Three-run homer.
Howie Kendrick: Two-run double.
Carlos Ruiz: 2-for-4 with two runs scored. 

Three Takeaways:

1. Pay the Man: The third inning of the game on Wednesday which aired on ESPN, allowed Vin Scully to do the play-by-play rather than the normal ESPN broadcasts, so the nation could hear Scully's call.. After the inning ended, Scully motioned to the ESPN booth to pay the man.

2. Don't Look At Me: Yasiel Puig hit a three-run homer off San Francisco starter Matt Moore in the first inning and a lot of Dodger fans had something to say to Madison Bumgarner about it. Including the legendary, Vin Scully, himself.

3. Say No Moore: Since he left the game after throwing 133 pitches on August 25th, following a single by Corey Seager that broke up his no-hitter with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, San Francisco starting pitcher, Matt Moore, has an ERA of 7.29, allowing 17 runs over his last five games.

Up Next:

Giants (80-72): San Francisco heads down south to San Diego for a four-game series with the Padres.

Dodgers (86-66): Los Angeles opens up the final four games of the season at Dodger Stadium on Thursday when Brett Anderson starts at 7:10 PM PST.

Photo Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Giovani dos Santos & Julio Cesar Chavez in Commercial]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 20:58:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/Giovani+Dos+Santos+ESPN+commercial.png

You've seen them on television and deep down you know enjoy them.

They're the "This is SportsCenter" commercials that feature your favorite sports athletes in an office setting interacting with ESPN anchors.

Manny Ramirez, Arnold Palmer, Alex Ovechkin, LeBron James, Usain Bolt, The Manning Brothers, Adrian Peterson and Kobe Bryant have all done it and now it's one of Major League Soccer's biggest stars turn.

The LA Galaxy announced on Wednesday that star forward Giovani dos Santos will appear in an upcoming "This is SportsCenter" commercial alongside Mexican boxing legend Julio Cesar Chavez.

The ad targets Latino audiences and will also feature ESPN hosts Tony Cherchi, Alvaro Morales and Mauricio Pedroza. It will start airing on ESPN in Mexico and Central America today and should appear in the U.S. market soon.

Check out the commercial in the link below and some of the best of the best of the marketing campaign in the video at the bottom of the page.

You can watch the new commercial here.


Photo Credit: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[VIDEO: Lakers Rookie Brandon Ingram's First Pitch]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 19:42:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*160/BrandonIngramPitch.JPG

Slowly but surely, Los Angeles Lakers rookie Brandon Ingram is getting more comfortable with his new home.

On Wednesday, the No. 2 overall draft pick in the 2016 NBA Draft was at Dodger Stadium, getting ready to throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

"They told me not to aim it at all," Ingram said his Laker teammates told him earlier in the day. "Just throw the ball."

Ingram was the second consecutive top 3 draft pick selected by the Lakers and the Duke forward is expected to join the Lakers young nucleus of DeAngelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson, and Julius Randle.

Ingram received a loud ovation by Dodger fans, a far cry from the reception LA Clippers point guard, Austin Rivers received when the threw out the first pitch the prior night. Rivers was booed by Dodger fans, whereas, Ingram was revered.

"We don't have all this in Carolina," Ingram said of the atmosphere and adjusting to life in Los Angeles. "It's definitely different, but I like it."

Ingram also revealed a personal secret that surprised many when he was asked by a Dodgers in-stadium host where he was going to live.

"I'm going to live in the Marina," said Ingram. Referring to the beach community known as Marina Del Rey.

Athletes certainly like to live on the coast, but with adjacent cities like Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Venice. The Marina was a bit of a surprise to many.

Ingram threw a slow strike that just caught the outside corner of the plate in his first-ever ceremonial first pitch. Check out the video of the toss and Ingram's selfie interview below. 

Photo Credit: Michael Duarte]]>
<![CDATA[Fans Will Receive Letter from Vin Scully on Friday]]> Thu, 22 Sep 2016 00:57:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/161*120/GettyImages-609381508.jpg

This letter you'll want to keep forever.

Vin Scully, a man who's dedicated his life to words, has announced that he will write a letter, dedicated to the fans and the Los Angeles Dodgers will distribute it on Friday night when they take on the Colorado Rockies at Chavez Ravine.

À la Kobe Bryant, Scully hand crafted a letter thanking both Dodger and baseball fans alike for all their love and support over the Hall of Fame broadcaster's 67-year career. 

The team announced on Wednesday that the first 50,000 fans will receive a copy of the letter before Friday's game which will also include a pregame ceremony honoring Scully.

Fans are encouraged to arrive early as the ceremony begins at 6:30PM. Gates to Dodger Stadium will open to the public at 4:10PM for parking and 4:40PM inside the venue itself. After the game, fans will receive a free fireworks show as part of the team's "Friday Night Fireworks" promotion, presented by Denny's. The fireworks show will feature the top calls of Scully's legendary career played by DJ Severe.

“No tribute we could conjure could do justice to the gifts Vin has presented the Dodgers during the course of his unmatched career,” said Dodgers Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Lon Rosen. “However, we believe we have created a weekend that will wholeheartedly honor Vin and enable fans to demonstrate their appreciation for a man who has meant so much to baseball and to all of us. Vin’s putting poetry to baseball has connected him to our fans for nearly seven decades, his legacy will carry on for decades longer and will make him part of Dodger baseball forever.”  

The pregame ceremony on Friday will feature a video tribute by Scully's broadcasting partner at NBC, Bob Costas and an on-the-field celebration with Sandy Koufax, Mark Walter, Kevin Costner, Jamie Jarrin, Eric Garcetti, and Charley Steiner.

Scully is set to retire at the end of the season (Oct. 2 in San Francisco) after a legendary 67-year career behind the microphone. He is the longest tenured sports broadcaster in Dodger franchise history and the voice behind many of the best moments in sports including; Hank Aaron's record-breaking home run in Atlanta surpassing Babe Ruth, Joe Montana's pass to Dwight Clark in SF known as "The Catch," and the famous ground ball that went through the legs of Bill Buckner in the 1986 World Series.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Harry How]]>
<![CDATA[Cueto Outduels Hill on Vin Scully Bobblehead Night]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 23:39:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/Cueto+outduels+Hill.png

This time they sealed the deal.

Eduardo Nunez and Brandon Belt both hit homers as the San Francisco Giants held on to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 2-0, on Vin Scully Bobblehead night at Chavez Ravine.

The low-scoring affair featured a pitching duel between Johnny Cueto and Rich Hill. Cueto, a reigning World Series Champion with the Royals, outdueled his counterpart as the Giants evened the three-game series at Chavez Ravine.

"Obviously you want to win them all," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "This was just a well pitched ballgame and unfortunately we came up short."

Cueto (17-5) won his third consecutive start, throwing 5 and 1/3 shutout innings before he left the game with a strained groin with one out in the sixth. The Cy Young Award candidate scattered eight hits to go with two walks and six strikeouts on the night.

"Johnny is going to get an MRI in the morning and we'll have to see what happens," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of Cueto's injury after the game. "We're hoping for the best, it's really day-to-day. We'll see."

Hill (12-5), was equally efficient, making just one mistake (the home run to Nunez), in an otherwise stellar outing for the southpaw. Hill allowed just six hits and fanned seven batters in five solid innings, his shortest start as a Dodger.

"It's disappointing. I made one mistake to Nunez and he did what he should have done with the pitch," a visbily dejected Hill said after the game. "I take 100 percent responsibility for this. You can't miss like that at this level."

Nunez scored the Giants first run of the game when he hit a fly ball to deep left field with one out in the top of the fifth that upon first glance appeared to hit the top of the wall and bounce back into the field of play.

Originally, the officiating crew ruled it a triple, but after a San Francisco challenge, replay showed the ball hit a camera on top of the wall and it was ruled a home run.

"I felt that it had gotten over the fence," Hill said of his initial thoughts on the home run. 

The dubious dinger appeared to be the only run of the game until Belt turned on a fastball from relief pitcher Grant Dayton in the top of the ninth to give the Giants a two-run lead. 

There was no carry over on the field from Monday night's benches clearing brawl between the two teams that was set off by San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner and Dodgers' outfielder Yasiel Puig.

Los Angeles wore pregame shirts with the hashtag, #DontLookAtMe, mocking Bumgarner, but San Francisco seemed more set on winning and less on retaliation.

Corey Seager provided most of the Dodgers offense, finishing 3-for-4 with a double, his 40th of the season, extending his rookie record. 

Josh Reddick went 2-for-3 and is now batting .413 with four four doubles and a home run in his last 15 games.

The Dodgers left ten men on base and were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position as they were unable to get the big hit off Cueto and the San Francisco bullpen. 

"There was a lot of traffic tonight," added Roberts. "We had guys on base all night long, but we just couldn't push any across."

Steven Okert, Will Smith, and Sergio Romo combined to pitch 3 and 2/3 scoreless innings of relief as the Giants overcame the demons that saw them blow saves in five of their last ten games.

Romo's save was his first of the season, his first since July 27, 2015 and the sixth different Giants reliever to record a save this season.

The Giants snapped a three-game skid with the win and now trail the Dodgers by five games in the National League West Division. 

The Dodgers Magic Number to clinch their fourth consecutive NL West title remains at seven.

Players of the Game:

Giants Bullpen: 3.2 innings of scoreless relief.
Eduardo Nunez: Solo home run.
Johnny Cueto: 5.1 shutout innings. 

Three Takeaways:

1. Just Hand Him The Trophy: Los Angeles Dodgers rookie Corey Seager recorded his 40th double of the season on Tuesday. He extended his LA Dodger lead with the two-bagger and is just the eighth rookie in MLB history to have 40 doubles and 25 home runs. He also surpassed Mike Piazza's rookie record of 307 total bases in a season.

2. Pay The Toles: Los Angeles Dodgers left fielder Andrew Toles unleashed a 98 MPH rocket to third base to throw out Brandon Crawford in the first inning. The 97.6 MPH outfield assist was the third hardest throw by a Dodger outfielder this season.

3. Blown Out: Entering the game, the San Francisco Giants bullpen had blown an MLB-best 29 blown saves this season. That mark, which was reached in Monday's walk-off victory for the Dodgers, is also a franchise worst for San Francisco. For comparison's sake, the Mets are in second with 13 blown saves and the Indians have 11.

Up Next:

Giants (80-71): Matt More heads to the mound in the series finale on Wednesday.

Dodgers (85-66): Kenta Maeda takes the ball for the rubber match as Los Angeles looks to win the series on Wednesday at 7:10PM PST.

Please refresh this page for more updates, stats and player reactions…

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Troll Madison Bumgarner with T-Shirts]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 18:56:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/192*120/09-22-2016-puig-bumgarner-giants-dodgers.jpg

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers just threw kerosene on the fire.

Less than 24 hours after Yasiel Puig and Giants starter Madison Bumgarner made headlines after they instigated a benches clearing brouhaha, Puig's teammates threw some salt on the wound by wearing some not-so-subtle t-shirts.

Before Tuesday's game between the bitter rivals, multiple teammates including Puig posted photos of themselves on social media wearing Dodger blue t-shirts with the hashtag "#DONTLOOKATME" on it.

The message was a clear shot at Bumgarner who was seen on video yelling, "Don't look at me! Don’t [expletive] look at me!" toward Puig as he walked off the field after the seventh inning. Puig responded by saying, "What are you gonna do about it?" and the rest will go down in "fake fight" history.

Teammates Adrian Gonzalez, Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, Jose De Leon and Puig were all sporting the shirts, which were allegedly distributed by the red-headed third baseman when players arrived at Dodger Stadium.

Turner said he isn't concerned about any repercussions from the t-shirts spilling over into the game and even joked that he thought Bumgarner and Puig enjoy breakfast together every time the two teams play each other.

Bumgarner spoke with the media before the game and said, "If it were turned around, I'm sure we would do the same."

First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST and it shouldn't take long to find out if San Francisco starter Johnny Cueto throws at Puig. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[US Gymnasts' Doctor, Accused of Abuse, Fired From Univ.]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 18:36:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/Gymnastics-Beam.jpg

A doctor who for 20 years treated some of America's Olympic gymnasts has been terminated from his post at Michigan State University amid an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations, NBC News reported.

Dr. Larry Nassar was terminated Tuesday after the school said it learned he was violating "certain employment requirements" brought about after a recent graduate in 2014 lodged a misconduct complaint, which did not result in any charges.

Two more gymnasts, one of them an Olympic medalist who has not been named, recently accused Nassar of having molested them, prompting an undisclosed number of other women to make complaints against Nassar, prosecutors said.

Nassar, the team doctor for USA Gymnastics from 1996 to 2015, has denied any abuse through his legal team and has not been charged with a crime. His new attorney, Matt Newburg, had no comment on his firing.

Photo Credit: Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Kaepernick Reports Death Threats]]> Wed, 21 Sep 2016 03:47:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/kap-kneel.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick says he has received death threats amid his growing protest movement against racial injustices and police brutality.

Kaepernick has refused to stand for the national anthem at 49ers games. Since he started the demonstration last month, the protest became a national story, and other NFL players, along with U.S. women's soccer star Megan Rapinoe, have joined in.

“One of the things I’ve noticed throughout this is there’s a lot of racism in this country disguised as patriotism,” Kaepernick said Tuesday. “And people want to take everything back to the flag, but that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking racial discrimination, inequalities and injustices that are happening across the nation.”

The quarterback has slowly amassed support from colleagues, veterans and President Barack Obama, who said Kaepernick has a right to protest.

Kaepernick, who spoke to reporters Tuesday from the 49ers' locker room, referred to the shooting of Terence Crutcher, 40, an unarmed black man killed Friday by police in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The U.S. Department of Justice has opened an investigation into whether a civil rights violation occurred during the fatal shooting.

“You have a situation like Terence Crutcher, where his car was broken down and he was looking for help and got murdered,” Kaepernick said. “That’s a perfect example of what this is about. I think it’ll be very telling what happens with the officer that killed him."

Kaepernick on Tuesday also said he will donate $100,000 in each of the next 10 months to organizations that work toward goals consistent with his message of fighting racial inequaly. He said a website will also be set up to track where the money is donated, and how it is being spent.

Kaepernick has already promised to donate the first $1 million he earns this season to charity. Kaepernick is slated to make at least $12.3 million this season.

Support for Kaepernick's movement has been challenged by critics who believe the protest is unpatriotic and disrespectful to law enforcement officials.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[VINtage: Vin Scully with the President]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 15:46:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_SCULLY_REAGAN_1200x675_769690179592.jpg Vin Scully was inducted into the Hall of Fame after winning the Ford C. Frick Award in 1982. Upon learning of the impending enshrinement, Vin got a call from President Ronald Reagan, who promptly did his best Scully impersonation. Originally aired on KNBC in January 1982.]]> <![CDATA[VINtage: The Fabric of our Lives]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 15:38:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_SCULLY_FABRIC_1200x675_769691715871.jpg Vin Scully has magically weaved his stories in Dodger broadcasts, and our lives, for decades. Doesn't that make him part of the fabric of Los Angeles? Hear his answer to Fred Roggin from their conversation back in 2013.]]> <![CDATA[VINtage: Perfect Timing]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 15:36:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_SCULLY_TRANSISTOR_1200x675_769696835909.jpg Vin Scully has always had perfect timing. Back in 2008, he told KNBC that the transistor radio played a huge part in his career longevity.]]> <![CDATA[VINtage: Vin Scully Shares his Fondest Memories]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 15:29:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_SCULLY_FONDEST_MEMORIES_1200x675_769693251647.jpg Back in 2008, Vin Scully revealed some of his favorite moments since becoming the Dodgers' play-by-play man back in 1950.]]> <![CDATA[VINtage: Why doesn't Vin Scully have a Broadcast Partner?]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 15:22:38 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_SCULLY_ONE_MAN_BOOTH_1200x675_769691203636.jpg Dodgers Hall of Famer Vin Scully explains why he's always called the games on his own. Part of an interview with Fred Roggin in 2013.]]> <![CDATA[VINtage: Scully Signs for the Kids]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 18:37:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/WEB_SCULLY_KID_AUTOGRAPHS_1200x675_769659971803.jpg When Vin Scully signs autographs for young children, he does so with a dose of humility and humor. Part of an interview Vin did with KNBC in December 2008.]]> <![CDATA[Eric Dickerson: "I Want the Old Jerseys Back!"]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 13:42:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/180*120/Rams-fans-vs-Seahawks-9-18-16-7.JPG

How about let's meet half way?

The road games can feature the duller, darker blue, but the Los Angeles Rams should only wear their iconic bright blue and yellow throwbacks at home. How does that sound? If the Rams are at the Los Angeles Coliseum, they should be wearing their Los Angeles colors. With complete respect to the franchise's often glorious years in St. Louis, the colors and jerseys for the old Los Angeles Rams simply look better.

"Of course I want the old jerseys back," former Los Angeles Rams running back Eric Dickerson tells NBCLA.com in the dripping heat of downtown Los Angeles. "I want that color back."

Few people have been as popular with the Rams returning to LA than Dickerson, and if anyone has his finger on the pulse of the flock of Rams, it would be the first-ballot Class of 1999 Hall of Fame running back.

Dickerson adds, "That color is synonymous with LA. The one they wore in St. Louis, that's St. Louis. They took that color back for a while, but they changed the color. So come back and bring our color back that we played under in LA."

The Rams wore their retro jerseys for the first home game of the season to great fanfare, and the 53-year-old seemed to welcome that initial concession. But would he welcome throwback jerseys more often this season?

"Most definitely, every week!" Dickerson says emphatically. "I think all the fans would. When you go on social media, that's the main thing the people ask about: 'Are they going to go back to their old colors?'"

When NBC LA caught up with Dickerson, he had been signing autographs and posing for pictures at the Bud Light Fan Zone in promotion of a special edition Rams brew due out in November. Judging by his popularity ahead of Sunday's kickoff, yes, Dickerson has his ear on the heart of the "Mob Squad," which is the name adopted by the Rams' faithful.

"I love the throwbacks, I really do," Rams quarterback Case Keenum said following the team's 9-3 victory over Seattle. "Everybody in the locker rooms loves the throwbacks. Something about that blue and yellow that go together and it was cool."

Earlier in the week, Rams coach Jeff Fisher had echoed the same sentiment, so the players and coaches appear to appreciate the Los Angeles colors for the team.

If the former players and the current players seem to support the return to the bright blue and yellow, how about the fans?

In one of the most non-scientific polls of all time, I used my own eyes on Sunday and looked around a Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum that supposedly packed in 91,046 people—or pretty close to it. The vast majority of fans had already adopted the throwback uniforms—even the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed wearing the throwback uniforms. More often than not, when I thought I caught a St. Louis jersey, it turned out to be a Seahawks jersey.

LA Rams fans stand side-by-side in a jersey featuring the St. Louis colors and the Los Angeles colors

Seemingly, the fans have already decided. Visually, too, the throwback jersey versus the St. Louis jersey in a side-by-side comparison simply wasn't a contest. The LA colors put the St. Louis colors to shame. The fans had spoken.

Now, the team needs to follow suit. Work it out with the NFL or take the fine, but either way, this should be an easy fix to give the players and, most imporantly, the fans what they want. In LA, the Rams should wear their Los Angeles colors.

"Being a fan is a great thing," Dickerson says. "That's what makes this sport, any sport, is the fans."

So, Rams, how about we meet half way?

Photo Credit: Shahan Ahmed]]>
<![CDATA[Vin Scully: Photos of a Broadcast Legend]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 07:19:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/edt-147115509_10.jpg Vin Scully has been the Dodgers' broadcaster since their days in Brooklyn. He will step away from the mic for the final time this October, bidding farewell to the team and a career filled with calls that will echo in the fond memories of fans.

Photo Credit: CBS via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Fight Back Against Giants]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 03:14:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/199*120/Puig-Bumgarner-Brawl.png

Giants vs. Dodgers. Bumgarner vs. Kershaw. Enough said.

Adrian Gonzalez knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the hated San Francisco Giants, 2-1, in dramatic walk-off fashion on Monday night at Dodger Stadium. 

Los Angeles stroked four consecutive singles to start the bottom of the ninth as the Dodgers stole the opening game of the pivotal pennant race.

Andrew Toles led off the Dodgers' ninth-inning with a single off Derek Law. After a pitching change, Corey Seager followed with a single off Javier Lopez.

Following another pitching change, Justin Turner tied the game with a single to right field off San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland. 

"I snuck one past Belt to tie it up and set the table for Gonzo to have some fun," Turner said smiling. "We always knew if we had outs left, we'd have a chance to win."

Strickland stayed in the game to face Gonzalez, who promptly hit it off the wall in right-center and the Dodgers secured their sixth walk-off victory of the season and Gonzalez's 10th of his career.

"He's a power pitcher," Gonzalez said of Strickland. "He threw me two fastballs down so I think he was trying to get a ground ball out of me. At that point I wanted something up in the zone to elevate it. I was able to get a slider and connect on it."

Fittingly, Gonzalez's last three walk-off hits have all come against the rival Giants at the end of the season (Aug. 31, 2015 and Sept. 12, 2013).

"The fact that this is a big series and that they need to come in and win two of three if not sweep us, means we put ourselves in a good position," Gonzalez said of the sensational finish. "We just have to continue to put together good at-bats."

It was another rough night for the San Francisco bullpen who has struggled in the second half of the season and have now blown saves in two consecutive opportunities.

"Obviously Madison threw a really good game against us and we weren't able to score runs," finished Gonzalez. "You definitely want to get the starter out of the way."

Tonight was the Giants ninth loss of the season when leading after eight innings, that's the highest total of blown leads by a bullpen in a single season in franchise history. 

"We had the lead going into the ninth and we couldn't hold onto it," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said after the game. "No matter what, I will never lose confidence in these guys."

On the flip side, the Dodgers bullpen was lights out as Pedro Baez, Grant Dayton and Joe Blanton pitched three perfect innings of relief. 

"They've had a tough go of it in their pen the second half of the season," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "But I like to focus on our guys and what we're doing and our bullpen has been terrific."

Overshadowed in the climatic conclusion to the game, was the pitcher's duel on the mound between familiar foes, Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner. 

The two southpaws each threw gems as they matched up for the tenth time, surrendering a combined four hits in 13 innings between them. Not surprisingly, the Dodgers and Giants have an even record of 5-5 when the two aces go head-to-head.

"That was such a fun game to be a part of," Kershaw said after the the walk-off victory. "Madison was really really good tonight. He dominated us for seven innings, but at the same time it was fun to watch us compete."

Kershaw allowed an unearned run on three hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in six innings. It was just his third start since he injured his back on June 26 in Pittsburgh.

"I've been feeling good," Kershaw added. "In New York I felt really good. Today, it wasn't like that, but physically I feel good. Arm feels good and my back is good."

As great as Kershaw was, Bumgarner was better. The 2014 World Series MVP was brilliant throwing an unhittable combination of blistering fastballs to go with his ballooning breaking ball.

Bumgarner did not factor in the decision, and left with the lead after allowing just one hit to go with with his 10 strikeouts and no walks in seven dazzling innings.

"Bumgarner had our number through seven innings," added Roberts. "But we would not be denied. We continued to compete and found a way to win. This is the biggest win of the year."

The greatest rivalry in baseball boiled over as Bumgarner left the field after recording his final out.

Yasiel Puig hit a groundball down the first base line that Bumgarner fielded cleanly and threw to first in a bang-bang play. Bumgarner was pumped at getting the final out of the inning and glared at Puig as he walked to the dugout.

"I got him out and he tried to stare me down," Bumgarner said later. "That's what it looked like to me."

After a few seconds, the 6-foot-5-inch Southerner said, "Don't [expletive] look at me." To which Puig replied, "What are you going to do about it?"

"Maybe because I had the only hit against him he got angry," Puig said in the locker room after the game. "Every time I face him we have those problems, but it seems to work out because we win."

Bumgarner charged at Puig like a bull going after a matador, and the two nearly came to blows before they were separated by teammates in a benches clearing incident.

"That wasn't Puig's fault," Kershaw said of the incident. "We all know Bum's pretty intense, but he definitely stirred the fire on that one."

The Giants only run of the game came in the top of the third inning when Eduardo Nunez reached base on a squib single with two outs.

A couple pitches later, Nunez stole second, but Yasmani Grandal's throw sailed into centerfield, allowing Nunez to advance to third. Two pitches later, Kershaw's slider slipped past Grandal to the backstop and Nunez scored.

Other than the error and the wild pitch, Kershaw was magnificent and appears to be close to regaining his Cy Young Award winning form after returning from the disabled list last week. 

Thanks to the dramatic ninth-inning comeback, Kershaw remains undefeated in his last six starts against the rival Giants. 

The Giants and Dodgers have played to an identical 7-7 record against each other this season with eight of the 14 games decided by one-run.

Los Angeles steals the opener, and inches closer to clinching their fourth consecutive NL West Division title. Their lead extends to six games over San Francisco and the Magic Number to clinch the division drops to seven games. 

Players of the Game:

Adrian Gonzalez: Game-winning RBI.
Madison Bumganer: One hit over seven shutout innings.
Clayton Kershw: Three hits over six innings. 

Three Takeaways:

1. Can You Read Lips? The benches cleared in the bottom of the seventh inning after Madison Bumgarner and Yasiel Puig nearly came to blows in front of the Giants dugout. The best part of the brawl? Vin Scully's call as he tried to read both players lips.

2. He Did What? Clayton Kershaw walked just his 10th batter of the season when he issued a free pass to Gorkys Hernandez in the fourth inning. Despite the base on balls, Kershaw still has an MLB record 162 strikeouts to 10 talks ratio on the season.

3. Left Hand. Right Brain: The Los Angeles Dodgers season-long struggle with left-handed pitching was under a spotlight on Monday night. The Dodgers offense mustered just one hit against southpaw Madison Bumgarner as the Giants threw lefty-after-lefty at them out of the bullpen. The Dodgers are batting .213 against left-handers on the year, dead last in baseball.

Up Next:

Giants (79-71): Johnny Cueto gets the call in the middle game on Tuesday.

Dodgers (85-65): Lefty Rich Hill looks to lower the magic number for LA on Tuesday night at 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LA Fans Provide Home Field Advantage For Rams]]> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 03:06:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/179*120/Rams-Fans-Flag.JPG

"Patience is bitter, but it's fruit is sweet." – Aristotle

It took 22 years of waiting, but football has finally returned to Los Angeles.

91,000 fans packed themselves into the rusted seats of the concrete Mecca known as the LA Coliseum on Sunday to witness the rebirth of the Rams.

For the most part, it was a rousing success: the crowded concession stands sang, the beer floweth over and the Rams were victorious, 9-3, in the first regular season NFL game held within this sports cathedral in over two decades.

"Great crowd. A lot of people. It was cool to play here," said opposing quarterback, Russell Wilson. "It's exciting for them and exciting for the NFL in general."

They all came to see the return of the NFL to the City of Angels, and although they did not witness a touchdown, they roared like lions all game, staying til the clock reached zero and the final whistle blew. 

They absorbed the excruciating heat and summoned the strength of the generation of sports fans who came before them to create a home field advantage previously known only in history books and archive footage of NFL Films. 

"They were great, it was great the whole game! They were just outstanding. It has an impact, it really does," said LA Rams head coach Jeff Fisher of the home field advantage. "But it's nice to have that on our side now so that we can take advantage of our pass rush and all those things associated with the noise."

In the final drive of the game, 22 years of football frustration burst forth like a pent-up flood as fans rose to their feet, waved their hands, and screamed til their voices went dry. They forced the Seahawks into a backbreaking false start penalty and conjured a forced fumble by Alec Ogletree to seal Seattle's fate.

"We got them to go for a couple of false starts, it was loud in there, hard for them to hear," Ogletree said of the final drive. "As long as I've been a Ram, we've never had the crowd be like that. It was amazing."

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who also coached the USC Trojans inside the Coliseum, had only seen the historic stadium like that during the program's national championship runs in 2003 and 2004, but on Sunday, he knew the crowd affected his team.

"The noise was a factor," he said succinctly.

The Rams returned to LA like rock stars and it all began with a show befitting of the Hollywood backdrop. The Red Hot Chili Peppers kicked things off with a pregame concert donned in Rams jerseys that brought the house down.

CeeLo Green sang the national anthem draped in what certainly seemed to be a red mumu, and late night talk show host, James Corden, dressed in drag as he performed in the endzone with the Rams cheerleaders.

Magic Johnson and rapper Ice Cube supported from the stands as they watched NBA superstar LeBron James take in the game from the sidelines.

"I thought the production and everything associated with the game was incredible," Fisher said. "The anthem, I didn't get to enjoy the concert like you guys did, but there was some good stuff going on today"

It may have seemed over the top, even hinging on cliché, but it was us, it was Los Angeles, and sorry St. Louis, but this is our team now. It's our team again.

"I haven't ever experienced anything like that before," said defensive end William Hayes when asked about the difference between St. Louis and Sunday. "I can't sit up here and lie to you and say I thought it would be like that."

Neither could we.

Honestly, we fully expected the often-spoiled Southern California sports fans to spend half their time on their smartphones, and the other half watching the game.

Sure, we expected to see celebrities, but never did we think they'd stay for the entirety of the game.

Instead, celebrities and fans alike bucked the stereotype of leaving early to beat traffic. For the most part, the phones were put in pockets and the crowd understood what unfolded. There may have not been any touchdowns, but they knew the importance of crucial 3rd downs, they knew when to get loud, and when to settle down.

"The crowd was good. It was loud. I loved it," quarterback Case Keenum said after the game. "It was really, really cool. I made sure as I ran out of the tunnel to look around and savor that moment. I'm going to write it down because I want to remember it forever."

One fan in attendance who will remember that day forever is 93-year-old Jim Hardy, who was the Los Angeles Rams quarterback in 1946, the year they first moved from Cleveland to LA. He said back then, the city was a "football town" and that they always supported the Rams.

It's 70 years later and nothing has changed. I guess good things really do come to those that wait.

Photo Credit: Michael Duarte]]>
<![CDATA[Photos: On-Field View of Rams' Return to LA]]> Mon, 19 Sep 2016 16:19:10 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/179*120/Rams-Tunnel.JPG On the field images you didn't see of the Los Angeles Rams triumphant return to Los Angeles as they defeated the Seattle Seahawks, 9-3, at the LA Coliseum in their NFL Home Opener on September, 18, 2016.

Photo Credit: Michael Duarte]]>