<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Sports]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.comen-usSat, 27 May 2017 12:30:05 -0700Sat, 27 May 2017 12:30:05 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Cubs Hit Road Decked Out in Finest 'Anchorman' Attire]]> Sat, 27 May 2017 06:56:39 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/CubsAnchormanThumb.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Utley and Gonzalez Homer Against Cubs]]> Sat, 27 May 2017 02:32:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/208*120/Gonzo+homers+against+Cubs.png

They did it for old times' sake.

No, it was not Old-Timers' Day at Dodger Stadium, but veterans Chase Utley and Adrian Gonzalez both homered as the Los Angeles Dodgers shutout the reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs, 4-0, on Friday night at the Ravine.

Utley (38), homered for the second straight night and Gonzalez (35) hit his first home run of the season as the Dodgers won the first of a three-game series in a rematch of the National League Championship Series from last fall. 

"They hit homers and we didn't. That was the difference," said Cubs' manager Joe Maddon after the game. "It was a good baseball game."

Alex Wood continues to pitch like the ace of the staff as the left-hander from North Carolina extended his scoreless innings streak to 25 and 1/3 innings, longest in the MLB this season, while lowering his ERA to a league-best 1.69 on the season.

"This is as healthy as he's been in recent memory," said Roberts of the reasons behind Wood's success. "That lends to his confidence, but right now, you can look at him as a 1A."

Wood has been absolutely lights out at Dodger Stadium over his career, improving to 10-2 with an ERA of 1.62 at the Ravine, the third lowest in franchise history behind Sandy Koufax and Bob Lee (1.37).

Wood (6-0) was masterful for once again, allowing just two hits with two walks and eight strikeouts in five shutout innings. Wood was named NL Pitcher of the Week last week, but is likely going to be the NL Pitcher of the Month if he continues his dominance on the mound.

"I definitely feel confident right now," said Wood of his pitching over the last few starts. "My confidence is coming from the consistency of my stuff every five days. I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and give us a chance to win."

Wood's six wins put him in elite company on the season as he joins teammate Clayton Kershaw (7), Colorado's Antonio Senzatela (7) and Arizona's Zack Greinke (6) with at least six wins this season. 

Jake Arrieta had a scoreless streak of his own, as he had not allowed a run against the Dodgers in 18 consecutive innings (regular season) before Utley sent him deep on a 1-1 slider in the bottom of the third inning.

It was the first time Utley had homered in back-to-back games since Sept. 27-28 in San Diego last season.

"To see Chase break out tonight was great," added Roberts. "Hopefully, there's more of that to come."

After a slow start to the season, Utley is heating up as the veteran second baseman is batting .326 with six runs, one double, two triples, two home runs and nine RBI since May 10th.

Yasmani Grandal added an RBI double the following inning before Gonzalez sent a sinker over the centerfield wall for his first home run of the season.

The homer was Gonzalez's first long ball during the regular season since he went deep at Petco Park in San Diego on Sept. 28th of 2016.

"I knew I was going to hit a home run before the season ended," joked Gonzalez of finally lifting the weight off his shoulders. "It was great. That's what makes it fun."

Arrieta (5-4) took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits, with one walk and nine strikeouts in six innings for the Cubs.

"For the most part it was really good," said Arrieta of his outing. "I made a couple mistakes again, and they came back to get me."

Chris Hatcher threw two innings of scoreless relief to close the door on Chicago, snapping their three-game winning streak as they embark on a six-game California road trip in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Up Next:

John Lackey heads to the mound tomorrow for the Cubs against Brandon McCarthy in a matchup of veteran right-handers. First pitch is scheduled for 4:15PM PST

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

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill]]>
<![CDATA[Maeda and Ryu Join Forces to Beat Cards]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 22:55:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Maeda+on+the+mound+and+at+the+plate.png

Why hello, Kitty. 

It wasn't Asian Heritage night at Dodger Stadium on Thursday, but it might as well have been as Kenta Maeda and Hyun-Jin Ryu joined forces to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 7-3, on Hello Kitty Night at the Ravine.

Maeda was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list before the game as center fielder Joc Pederson was placed on the seven-day concussion DL. 

The rust was evident for the Japanese right-hander from the jump as Maeda was knocked around in the first inning.

"It was a little hard getting into the game with the long layoff," Maeda said through a translator. "I was able to make adjustments and overall it was a good game for me."

All nine starters for St. Louis went to the plate, with six of them reaching base in a three-run first inning that left Maeda and the Dodgers rattled. 

Jedd Gyorko did most of the damage for the Redbirds with a two-run double and Yadier Molina followed with an RBI single to give the Cardinals a 3-0 lead. 

Maeda (4-2) recovered, allowing no runs over the next four frames and finishing the night with three runs scored on seven hits, with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings. 

"It took me some time to get my rhythm back," added Maeda. "My offspeed pitches were flat. I was able to find my rhythm in the later innings and bounce back."

Trailing 3-0 before they even got an at-bat, the Dodgers chipped away at the lead, starting with a solo shot from Chase Utley in the second inning.

Utley sent a changeup from Michael Wacha into the bleachers in right field to put the Dodgers on the scoreboard. The home run was Utley's first of the season as he became the fifth player over the age of 38 to homer this season.

Wacha took the loss, allowing a season-high six runs on seven hits in a season-low four innings.

The Dodgers found themselves in an interesting dilemma in the fourth inning. With runners on first and third and two outs, Yasiel Puig was at the plate. Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts sent Logan Forsythe into the on-deck circle, presumably in case Puig reached base.

Puig sent an RBI single to right field to cut the lead to 3-2, clearing the way for Forsythe at the plate, but at the last minutes, Roberts called him back and sent Maeda back into the batter's box.

"At that point, the way he was throwing the baseball, he was going to hit regardless," said Roberts of Maeda batting in that situation. "That was just a little gamesmanship on my part."

The head-scratching move paid off, making Roberts look like a genius as Maeda doubled down the left field line, plating two runs to give the Dodgers the lead.

Maeda exited stage left after the fifth inning for Korean left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who made his debut as a in the first appearance out of the bullpen for the 30-year-old in his big league career. 

The last time Ryu entered a game in relief, was in Korea when he was 19 years old. Ironically, he recorded the save in that situation as well. 

Ryu picked up where Maeda left off, firing four scoreless innings of relief and earning the first save of his MLB career as two Asian starters combined for a two-pitcher victory for the first time (that we know of) in Dodgers franchise history.

"I'm a starter at heart and I believe I'll get another opportunity to start," said Ryu also through a translator. "Today was just a one-time appearance. We will have to see what happens moving forward. I was happy I didn't give up any runs, that I was able to get the save, and that my team was able to get the win."

Chris Taylor continued to swing a hot bat for the Boys in Blue regardless of where he starts on the field. In just his second career start in center, Taylor went 3-for-4 with a double an RBI and a run scored.

Adrian Gonzalez hit an RBI double in the bottom of the fifth to extend the Dodgers lead.

The Dodgers win the three-game series from the Cardinals in their first rubber match win of the season (2-1).

Throw Back Thursday:

On this date in 2014, Dodgers' starter Josh Beckett threw the first no-hitter of his career, and the 21st in franchise history as he shut down the Philadelphia Phillies on 128 pitches.

Up Next:

The Dodgers brace themselves for a cataclysmic confrontation with the reigning World Series Champion Chicago Cubs this weekend. RHP Jake Arrieta will start the first game of the series opposite LHP Alex Wood for the Dodgers in a rematch of the NLCS from last season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Donald Sterling Is OK With NBA Ban, But His Wife Disagrees]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 10:16:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_16324046866131-Donald-Sterling.jpg

The wife of disgraced former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling is looking for a way to lift his lifetime ban from the NBA and clear his name, NBC News reported.

Sterling was banned for life from the league, and even prohibited from attending games, after tapes of him making racist comments surfaced in 2014.

Sterling, who assailed the NBA after the ban, told NBC News he has moved on and no longer holds a grudge against the league or the Clippers.

"I am as happy as I have ever been. I am as comfortable as I have ever been," Sterling told NBC News. "And I don't want to do anything to disturb that.”

But his wife told NBC she is has taken steps to clear his name.

Shelly Sterling said she personally approached Silver and also had her attorney, Pierce O'Donnell, talk to the league office about lifting the lifetime ban, which prevents Donald Sterling from attending NBA games. Her intention is not to allow her husband to do business with the league, but to clear his record, in consideration of the 33 years he spent as an owner.

Photo Credit: Danny Moloshok, AP (File)]]>
<![CDATA[Race Car Costs: The High Price of Fielding a Racing Team]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 08:54:23 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/indy500.jpg

Gentlemen, start your engines — of your money-munching machines.

While waiting for the flag to drop at the Indianapolis 500 this Memorial Day weekend, are you fantasizing about becoming a race car driver? You may have the driving skills, but you also need sponsors, a support team, and most importantly, money. Lots and lots of money. Monster truckloads of money. 

Spending varies greatly by types of racing as well as with individual teams, as open-wheel racing (Formula 1 or IndyCar), NASCAR Sprint Cup, and lower levels all have their own peculiar economic structure. Racing teams do not often reveal their costs or open their books for competitive reasons, but a few reporters have taken a peek under the hood. 

Michael Ballaban of Jalopnik.com was allowed access to the finances of one racing team competing in the 2015 Tudor (now WeatherTech) SportsCar Championship, and concluded that an average race team probably costs around $1 million per year, "give or take a couple hundred thousand." Should a car be totaled during the season, add another $400,000 to that sum for a full replacement. It’s not easy for racing teams to get cheap auto insurance

Major components cost tens of thousands of dollars, including engines and gearboxes at around $43,000 each, and the chassis/brake assembly at $65,500. You may think fuel is a huge expense, and it is significant at around $40,000-$50,000 per year, but it pales in comparison to tire costs: a season of racing tires (around 90 full sets) run teams around $225,000 per year. That's nearly a quarter-mill on tires only. So the next time you get a flat, don't complain.

Another large cost that can be overlooked by outsiders is entry fees. Ballaban estimated a bit over $100,000 in entry fees for the year. Simple things jack up the costs as well. Items like plane tickets, hotel rooms, and food for your team plus shipping logistics for your car and accessories can approach $10,000 per race. 

Want to race in NASCAR? Get ready to pony up. A 2014 article from Street & Smith's SportsBusiness Journal covered the finances of the Stewart-Haas (Tony Stewart and Gene Haas) racing team and found competition costs for a race at more than $1.4 million. That included the costs of the cars, which should last for more than one competition, but sometimes don't. The vehicles totaled $980,000, given the need to maintain primary and backup cars for each race. Each primary car cost approximately $200,000, with engine costs at roughly half of that total, and a chassis at $25,000. 

The team budgets $400,000 for firesuits for the year, but that didn't include the cost of dry cleaning: $2,400 per race. Even the ice bill for the weekend totaled $900. Don't forget to add team expenses that topped $125,000: flights and 44 hotel rooms took up over $82,000; transport for the cars, rental cars for the crew and support team, and other auxiliary transportation costs surpassed $30,000. The haulers that transport the car cost approximately $400,000 each and are replaced every five years. 

The cost of a NASCAR team through the season appears to be in the eight-digit range. An older Florida Times-Union report suggested that the costs approach $400,000 per week — if true, for a 38-week season, that is over $15 million in annual expenses. 

If you think that is chicken feed, perhaps Formula 1 racing is more your speed. Last year, Gene Haas of Stewart-Haas joined Formula 1 with two cars and spent a total of €117 million ($128 million), according to The News Wheel. That's just a fraction of the €386 million ($422 million) rung up by the top-spending Ferrari team. Gas 2 estimated in 2016 that an IndyCar cost roughly $3 million, including its chassis, transmission, brakes, engine, and tires, which are usually all mass-produced; a Formula 1 car's custom-built components drive the car's cost over $200 million. ESPN supports that IndyCar price, estimating a range of $3 million to $8 million per car, depending on the team. 

You need pretty good credit to get an auto loan for $3 million.  

A well-heeled sponsor is necessary in the upper levels of racing not to thrive, but just to survive. Prize money alone can't possibly pay the bills, and aside from the lowest local levels of racing, it is virtually impossible to be independent and field a racing team. 

But sponsors don't always get their money's worth. Danica Patrick, the only woman ever to win an IndyCar Series race, recently agreed to compete in two NASCAR races in a car and racesuit promoting the movie "Wonder Woman." It was a marketing match made in heaven. But one horrific crash later, and the car was totaled in its debut. So, if the Indy 500 puts me in the mood to put the pedal to the metal, I'm going to grab a roll of quarters and head to Chuck E. Cheese. 

This article was provided by our partners at MoneyTips.com. Read more from MoneyTips: 
Auto Leasing 101
Was your Identity Stolen? Check your Credit Report for Free
What A Car Thief Can Teach You
Optimize Your Debt And Lower Your Interest Payments

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Amid Grief, Manchester Gets to Cheer Soccer Triumph]]> Thu, 25 May 2017 05:09:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/687806566-Manchester-United-Against-Terrorism.jpg

Sports may be trivial compared to the loss of 22 lives outside a concert Monday, but a triumph on the field for one of Manchester's most beloved sports teams gave the mourning city an emotional release, NBC News reported.

Manchester United beat Dutch soccer giants Ajax in the Europa League final in Stockholm Wednesday night, winning Europe's second most prestigious trophy.

"We won for Manchester, we worked for them, for the country," midfield star Paul Pogba said after the game. "We play for England, for Manchester and the people who died."

At a pub in the city's home, chants of "Manchester, Manchester, Manchester" rang out for the team and the wounded city.

Photo Credit: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Leake Drains Dodgers as Cardinals Cruise to Victory]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 22:54:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/GettyImages-688000614+%282%29.jpg

Los Angeles let this one leake away.

Mike Leake allowed four hits over eight innings and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-1, and even up the best of their three-game series on Wednesday night at Chavez Ravine.

Leake (5-2) lowered his ERA to a National League-leading 1.91, leapfrogging Clayton Kershaw who took over the crown the night prior against the Redbirds. 

"I did a good job of keeping the ball down tonight," said Leake. "I wanted to go back out there for the ninth, but we have no rest coming up, so it was wise to wait and go to the bullpen tonight."

The new NL ERA leader allowed just one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts in a season-high eight innings.

Entering the game, most thought that with Leake and Dodgers' starter Rich Hill on the mound, that the game would be similar to the pitcher's duel seen the night prior. 

However, Hill (1-2) did not hold up his end of the bargain. 

The L.A. left-hander allowed a season-high five runs on four hits in just four innings as he lost his second game of the season.

"It was a bad outing," said Hill. "I take responsibility for that. Mechanically I was a little off and the ball was jumping all over the place. I really need to work on some things this week to get ready for the next game."

Hill issued seven walks in the game, a career-high, and the most issued by any Dodgers' pitcher this season. 

Kolten Wong drove in the first two runs of the game for the Cardinals and Jedd Gyorko had three hits and drew a walk in the two-run second inning that gave the Cardinals the lead for good.

"We were behind the eight-ball tonight," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "Rich [Hill] just didn't really have any consistency tonight."

Yadier Molina hit a solo home run in the seventh inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games. Molina's streak ties Kolten Wong for the Cardinals' longest this season.

Chris Taylor made his first start in center field for the Dodgers, replacing Joc Pederson who was out with a stiff neck.

Corey Seager snapped his 0-for-10 hitless streak with a double in the seventh inning. 

Cody Bellinger drove in the only run of the game for the Boys in Blue, but comitted a costly error in the outfield when he let a ball go under his glove, allowing a run to score. 


Former roommate of Dodgers' pitcher Ross Stripling takes the mound for St. Louis tomorrow when RHP Michael Wacha gets the start. Japanese right-hander, Kenta Maeda is expected to come off the disabled list and start for the Dodgers.

Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[At Age 94, High School Baseball Coach Inspires Players]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 08:35:18 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/chatsworth-coach.PNG

Call him a motivator, a father figure or an inspiration -- or simply call Chuck Hatfield "coach."

The assistant varsity baseball coach has been with the Chatsworth High School Chancellors since 1994. Even at 94 years old, Coach Hatfield can't get enough of the game.

"He's an outstanding coach and an even better person," said Tom Meusborn, the team's head coach. "Just having him out here, having him around us day in and day out, what he brings as a coach and as a person can't be duplicated."

Over two decades ago, Meusborn needed someone to look out for the junior varsity team. Since then, Hatfield has developed into so much more.

He can no longer hit or throw, but he's become the team's calming psychologist. Hatfield also volunteers at the school's counseling office.

Hatfield has been part of seven out of the Chancellors' nine city championships, but he wants just one more to finish out on top.

"This may be my last year," he said. "Now that would come important to me, to get that extra ring."

The Chancellors face El Camino Wednesday in the CIF semi-finals at USC. Should they win, they'll play for another city title June 3 at Dodger Stadium.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>
<![CDATA[Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium Design Revealed]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 16:23:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_SPO_JAPAN_OLYMPIC_STADIUM_DESIGN_052417_1-149566413622400001.jpg

The latest design for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Stadium has been revealed. Architect Kengo Kuma emphasized harmony with nature in the centerpiece of the 2020 Summer Games.

<![CDATA[Kim Kardashian's Trainer Gunnar Peterson Joins Lakers]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 12:49:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-hire-Gunnar-Peterson-strength-director.jpg

The Los Angeles Lakers added a bit of star power to their training staff on Wednesday when the team announced the hiring of Gunnar Peterson as Director of Strength and Endurance Training.

Peterson is a world famous for training athletes and celebrities including a client list that includes Sylvester Stallone, Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian. On Peterson's website, the trainer displays an article that states he had been training Kardashian since she was only 19, along with gives him credit for Kourtney Kardashian's recent body transformation. In fact, Peterson has seemingly trained the entire Kardashian family.

Along with the celebrity clientel, Peterson also has experience working with Lakers president Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka.

"Gunnar is a true pioneer and visionary at his craft, and will bring a new mentality to our weight room which we are all very excited about," Pelinka said in an official team statement. "Since Magic and I have worked with Gunnar in the past, we have a strong relationship with him, which makes working together now feel seamless."

The Lakers also stated that Peterson is a certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist and that he has experience working with athletes from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, USTA, boxing and various NCAA sports. Of course, he's most famous for being a trainer to the stars.

Earlier in the summer, the team parted ways with former Strength and Conditioning coach Tim DiFrancesco, as the new regime of Johnson and Pelinka continued to shake up the organization since assuming control at the tail end of the 2016-17 season.

After taking the reins, Johnson previously publicly mentioned that he would like to see the players in better shape and specifically mentioned cutting down body fat levels. Seemingly, Peterson's hire is a means to that end.

Also, without a doubt, it adds to the star power in the room and makes a statement in LA, which is still an entertainment town, after all.

<![CDATA[NBA All-Star Game Will Head to Charlotte in 2019]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 11:39:43 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/DIT_SPO_NC_ALLSTAR_GAME_NBA2_052417-149564954829900001.jpg

The NBA announced the 2019 All-Star Game will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 2017 All-Star Game was relocated from Charlotte to New Orleans, Louisiana, because of North Carolina's controversial "Bathroom Bill."

<![CDATA[Dodgers Walk-Off in 13 Innings Over Cards]]> Wed, 24 May 2017 00:46:22 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*133/GettyImages-687531526.jpg

Pocket aces.

Logan Forsythe knocked in the game-winning RBI in his first game back from injury and the Los Angeles Dodgers walked off to defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 2-1, in extra innings on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

It was a good ol' fashioned pitcher's duel at the Ravine between two of the top ERA leaders in baseball. 

Clayton Kershaw and Lance Lynn each allowed just one run in their starts, but did not factor in the decision.

Kershaw cruised through the first eight innings, heading to the ninth with a chance at his 16th complete-game shutout of his career. 

"They didn't tell me anything," Kershaw said after he completed the eighth inning. "I was going to keep going until they tell me not to."

After a leadoff single to Randal Grichuk, Kershaw was just two outs away from what would have been his MLB-leading eighth win of the season, when everything suddenly changed on one pitch.

As he had done throughout the game, Kershaw threw a curveball in the dirt, but destiny was not on the Dodgers' side as the ball took an awkward bounce of catcher Yasmani Grandal's glove and rolled all the way to the backstop.

"It was unfortunate, there's no way else to put it," said Kershaw after the game. "The way it bounced, and where it ended up, a guy gets two bases on a wild pitch. That's no fun."

Ordinarily, the runner would simply advance to third on the wild pitch, but Grandal was unable to locate the ball and miraculously, Grichuk scored from second to tie the game, and end the complete-game shutout.

Kershaw finished the ninth, allowing just one run on three hits with no walks and 10 strikeouts.

"His curveball was as good as it's been all year," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "I felt he deserved a chance to finish the game. I felt that was his game to complete."

It was the 53rd time in Kershaw's illustrious career that he has struck out 10 or more batters in a game, but the three-time Cy Young Award winner was visibly upset after he left the mound in the ninth.

Kershaw left the game with a 2.02 ERA, and now is in sole possession of first place for the lowest ERA in the National League.

Lynn entered the game in 5th and finished the night with the third lowest ERA among N.L. starters at 2.53.

"You want to outduel whomever you're pitching against," said Lynn. "When you're facing someone of his [Kershaw] caliber you have to be on point and can't give up many runs or you're going to lose the game."

Lynn's only mistake of the game was a first inning slider to Grandal that the catcher crushed to dead-center for the only run of the game.

"When it was all said and done, I made one mistake, and it was a homer," said Lynn of his start. "It was quite the pitcher's duel tonight and it was fun."

Grandal has reached base safely in 14 of the last 15 games and is batting .411 with seven runs scored, nine doubles, two home runs and 14 RBi since May 3rd.

Lynn allowed just the home run as he surrendered two hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts in eight innings.

Redbirds starter Mike Leake will have a chance to leapfrog Kersahw on Wednesday when he takes the mound for St. Louis.

After the game was tied in the ninth, the Dodgers' piggybacked off Kershaw's strong start to throw four scoreless innings of relief, allowing just one hit.

Forsythe, who was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list before the game, had four consecutive strikeouts before he drove in the game-winning run with a double into the right field corner. 

"You try not to focus on the negatives," said Forsythe of his early struggles in the game. "Something was just a tick off. Luckily, I made an adjustment and I was able to help the team."

It was Forsythe's second walk-off hit of his career, and first since June 5, 2012 when he was a member of the San Diego Padres.

Both times struck out 19 times each, a franchise record for the St. Louis Cardinals, and one shy of tying the franchise record for the Dodgers.

The loss snapped the Cardinals nine-game winning streak on the road.

The Dodgers have won five of six overall, but still remain 2.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies for first place in the National League west.

Scary Moment: 

Dodgers' outfielders Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig collided in the outfield in the top of the 10th inning and both players stayed on the ground for several minutes after the play. 

"It was like they got into a car accident," Roberts said of the play. "It was a scary moment."

Replay showed Puig's elbow hitting Pederson in the face as Joc's head collided with the wall. Puig appeared to have injured his ribs in the collision as well. 

Pederson left the game in what was diagnosed as a neck strain, Puig stayed in the game and will undergo x-rays on Wednesday. 

"I felt it in my ribs, but I remained in the game to try and help my team. Hopefully tomorrow there's no pain," said Puig of the collision. "He [Joc] feels great, but he can't look at me from the side."

Up Next:

Rich Hill returns to the mound on Wednesday for the Dodgers in what could turn out to be another pitcher's duel against Mike Leake. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10PM PST.

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

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LA's Super Bowl Pushed Back to 2022]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 18:47:19 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/01-12-2016-nfl-generic-field-football.jpg

Less than a week after it was announced that the opening of the football stadium in Inglewood would be delayed by a year, NFL owners voted Tuesday to relocate the 2021 Super Bowl from Los Angeles to Tampa, according to multiple reports.

Record rainfall has been cited for construction delays, and the league is relunctant to play a Super Bowl in the first year of a new stadium, NBC Sports reports.

NFL owners at the Spring League Meeting in Chicago unanimously voted to shift Super Bowl 55 to Tampa and Super Bowl 56 to Los Angeles, according to NFL.com.

The NFL would have needed to waive a rule that prohibits a Super Bowl being played at a stadium before it has hosted two full regular seasons. Instead, it chose to move the game to Tampa, runner-up to Los Angeles in the bidding.

Los Angeles has not hosted a Super Bowl in the area since 1993 in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. Five Super Bowls have been played at the Rose Bowl and two at the Los Angeles Coliseum, where the Rams will play until the new $2.6 billion stadium opens.

Next year's Super Bowl will be played in Minneapolis, followed by Atlanta in 2019 and Miami in 2020.

The NFL has been eager to return to Southern California since the Rams and Raiders moved out of the area after the 1994 season. League owners approved the Rams' return from St. Louis, with owner Stan Kroenke's promise of a stunning new stadium — one that will be the most expensive in the league.

The 70,000-seat Inglewood stadium is expected to be the centerpiece of an entertainment and commercial center spanning roughly 300 acres at the site of the former Hollywood Park racetrack. The district is envisioned to include a roughly 6,000-seat arena, more than 1.5 million square feet of retail and office space, 2,500 residential units and possibly a 300-room hotel, along with 25 acres of parks and open space.

The Associated Press and City News Service contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Aaron Rodgers Helps Students Get Out of Final Exam]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 12:08:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/arod_test.jpg

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers helped a group of students in Janesville, Iowa, get out of their sports literature final.

<![CDATA[Lakers Work Out Potential 2017 Draft Picks]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 10:14:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Lakers-NBA-draft-workouts-2017.jpg

Along with the no. 2 pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers also hold the no. 28 pick thanks to a trade deadline week switch with the Houston Rockets that sent Lou Williams to Texas for a first round selection and Corey Brewer.

LA no longer holds its second round pick, as the 2019 first round pick owed to Orlando as part of the Dwight Howard trade converted to two second round picks when LA held onto its 2017 NBA Draft pick. The Lakers' 2018 first round pick, regardless of where it lands, will go to Philadelphia, and their second round pick will go to Orlando in 2018, but the team will have Denver's second round pick in 2018.

Back to 2017, the Lakers are opening their doors and working out six players on Monday: Nigel Williams-Goss from Gonzaga, Dominique Hawkins from Kentucky; V.J. Beachem from Nortre Dame; Thomas Bryant from Indiana; Andrew White from Syracuse; Kyle Kuzma from Utah. These players could potentially be selections with the Lakers' no. 28 pick.

Unlike the no. 2 pick, which likely only involves working out three to five guys, the no. 28 pick could result in the Lakers working out 20, 30 of even 50 players. Back in 2015, LA held the no. 27 pick and the no. 34 pick and worked out scores of players ahead of the draft.

Based on recent history, Monday is likley closer to the beginning of the workouts than the end, as the team should try to get a look at as many players as possible. When the team held numerous workout sessions and invited in media afterwards in the summer of 2015, ultimately, Larry Nance Jr. stood out to the Lakers. A couple seasons later, the Lakers look like they made the right pick at no. 27 of the 2015 NBA Draft. At the time, Nance had been projected as a second round pick by most experts and outsiders. Although, the Lakers selected Anthony Brown at no. 34, and Brown is no longer with the team.

When picking second overall, the team only has to take into account one other team's pick before going and getting its top rated prospect. At no. 28, the variance makes it nearly impossible to figure out which players will be available. So, working out players that potentially drop on draft day allows the team to be more aware of a potential selection. In addition, the draft workouts may yield an overlooked diamond in the rough, as was the case with Nance in 2015 at no. 28 and with Ivica Zubac at no. 32 in 2016.

While the Lakers also expect to bring in the top prospects like Lonzo Ball, Markelle Fultz, Josh Jackson, De'Aaron Fox and Jayson Tatum for the no. 2 pick, the majority of the upcoming workouts should consist of lesser known prospects likely to be available for selection late in the first round.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[One-on-One: LaVar Ball vs. Magic Johnson]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 18:37:27 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LAVAR_VS_MAGIC_1200x675_950597699846.jpg

He already said he could beat Michael Jordan so we asked basketball's most famous father about a one-on-one matchup with Magic Johnson in their prime.

<![CDATA[Divine Intervention Brought Boston to LA]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 14:01:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/TRE_BOSTON_FOR_WEB_1200x675_950542915779.jpg

How did Tre Boston decide to sign with the Chargers over other teams this offseason? He asked a random guy at a gas station, of course. A random guy that had just asked him for money. Originally aired on Going Roggin, May 21, 2017.

<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Chris Taylor (Short)]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 08:57:52 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Chris_Taylor_Short_Interview_1200x675_950228035928.jpg

NBC LA Sports Reporter, Michael J. Duarte, sits down with Los Angeles Doddgers infielder Chris Taylor to discuss his new nickname, a few of his favorite things, and he shows off a secret talent nobody knows about.

<![CDATA[Discover Your Dodgers: Chris Taylor (Long)]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 09:00:09 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Chris_Taylor_Long_Interview_1200x675_950292547821.jpg

NBC LA Sports Reporter, Michael J. Duarte, sits down with Los Angeles Doddgers infielder Chris Taylor to discuss his wrestling lineage, his trade from Seattle to LA, and how he changed his swing this offseason.

<![CDATA[The Vault: Seeing Double]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 13:53:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/VAULT_WEB_KOTENKO_BROS_1200x675_950548547642.jpg

Twin jockeys Bob and Jerry Kotenko are pretty similar, as Fred Roggin found out way back in 1981. Reaired on Going Roggin, May 21, 2017.

<![CDATA[Dodgers Finish Off The Fish]]> Sun, 21 May 2017 22:32:26 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/171*120/AP_17141753476694.jpg

The Big Butter and Egg Man delivers on Sunday.

Adrian Gonzalez knocked in three runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers took the four-game series from the Miami Marlins, 6-3, on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium. 

Gonzalez had his best game of the season at the plate, finishing 3-for-4 with two doubles and three RBI, as he recorded his first three-hit game since August 22, 2016.

"My body is definitely better," said Gonzalez of his day after going on the 10-day disabled list on May 5th. "First few games it was trying to get back into the rhythm and today I felt good."

His three runs driven in were also the most he's had since September 18, 2016 as he had a two-run double in the first inning and a RBI single in the fifth.

"I pride myself on driving in runs," added Gonzalez. "My whole career I've been good with runners in scoring position. I've never been very good when nobody is on, so when I get guys out there, I definitely want to make the most of those opportunities."

Brandon McCarthy got the Dodgers back on track on the mound, not allowing a hit through the first four innings. 

"Brandon was relentless today," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "He's all in for the ball club and he's been laser-focused lately."

McCarthy (4-1) surrendered just one run on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts in six strong innings for the Boys in Blue.

"It was two years of being up and down and all over the place," said McCarthy of his recent resurgence on the mound in 2017. "It was a healthy offseason where I focused on myself and pitching again and it brought back the me I would like to be."

The first Miami run was knocked in by former Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis, who laced an RBI single to right field that brought home Derek Dietrich in the fifth inning. It was the first time Ellis was in the lineup against his former team since he was traded to Philadelphia last August. 

"This is one of the most beautiful places to play in all of baseball," said Ellis of playing in Dodger Stadium again. "It's just a great place to play."

Joc Pederson broke out of a 32-game homerless slump with his second long ball of the season in the fourth inning.

Joc has struggled this season at the plate, batting .206 on the year. Prior to that at-bat, Pederson's last homer was a grand slam on Opening Day.

"It felt really good," said Pederson of his home run. "I've been struggling a little bit and I just wanted to get the ball in the air. I got the ball on the barrel and it went over the fence."

38-year-old Chase Utley turned back the clock with a diving stop in the third inning.

Later in the game, Utley conjured up the memory of Dick Dietz as he stood in the box like a post, taking a ball off the right knee from Brad Ziegler. Dietz famously tried to lean in to a Don Drysdale fastball at Dodger Stadium that would ended Drysdale's scoreless streak prematurely.

Vance Worley (0-1) made his Miami Marlins and 2017 season debut, allowing three runs on six hits, with one walk and two srikeouts in four innings.

Justin Bour homered for the third time in the series off Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen in the ninth inning. 

The Dodgers took three-of-four from the Marlins over the weekend and collected a season-high six doubles on Sunday.

Up Next:

The Dodgers will have on off day on Monday before hosting the St. Louis Cardinals for three at the Ravine on Tuesday. Clayton Kershaw will get the start in the first game of the series opposite Lance Lynn at 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: Mark J. Terrill/AP]]>
<![CDATA[The Los Angeles Dodgers 2017 Walk Up Songs]]> Tue, 23 May 2017 18:35:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/200*120/Flea+Dances.png

It's Time for Dodger Baseball.

A player's walk-up music is often one of the most underrated aspects of the game of baseball. In a sport clouded by how much time is wasted, the walk-up song offers an opportunity for a player to not only entertain fans, but also give them a brief glimpse into their personality. 

Every year, NBC LA brings you the walk-up songs for your Los Angeles Dodgers.

Early in the season, it's an afterthought for players, some prefer to keep the same music year-after-year for superstitious reasons—cough, Clayton Kershaw—others, will constantly change their music throughout the season as new music comes out, adjusting to their mood throughout the season.

One of the best examples of this, was Dodgers' outfielder Andrew Toles who started the season with "All There," by Young Jeezy, but within hours of the release of Kendrick Lamar's "DAMN" album on April 14th, immediately requested his walk-up music be changed to "DNA," by the artist out of Compton.

We are now a quarter of the way through the season and that's ample enough time for the players on the Dodgers to send in their song requests and see what's working at the plate and what's not.

Courtesy of the Dodgers in-game mix master, DJ Severe, here are the 2017 Los Angeles Dodgers walk-up songs:

Corey Seager: "Thunder in the Rain," by Kane Brown

Enrique Hernandez: "Despacito," by Luis Fonsi ft. Daddy Yankee

Kenta Maeda: "Flash" by Perfume

Justin Turner: "Shape of You," by Ed Sheeran

Chase Utley: "Kasmir," by Led Zeppelin

Trayce Thompson: "Call Casting," by Migos

Yasmani Grandal: "Bounce Back," by Big Sean

Yasiel Puig: "Papa Dios me Dijo," by Secreto El Famoso Biberon

Joc Pederson: "Thunder," by Imagine Dragons

Clayton Kershaw: "Let You Go," by Chainsmokers

Chris Hatcher: "Let Me Clear My Throat," by DJ Kool

Chris Taylor: "Copperhead Road," by Steve Earle

Austin Barnes: "Congratulations," by Post Malone

Andre Ethier: "Waves," by Kanye West

Hyun-Jin Ryu: "Gagnam Style," by Psy

Andrew Toles: "DNA," by Kendrick Lamar

Julio Urias: "El Sinaleonse," by Banda El Recodo

Rob Segedin: "Feeling Alright," by Rebelution 

Charlie Culberson: "Kings of Summer," by Ayokay

Sergio Romo: "El Mechon," by Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizarraga

Adrian Gonzalez: "El Mariachi Loco" 

Logan Forsythe: "Rocket," by Def Leppard

Cody Bellinger: "LAX Files," The Game

Kenley Jansen: "California Love," by 2Pac, Roger, and Dr. Dre

If you want to listen to any of these songs, we made a Spotify Playlist of them available here:

2017 Dodgers Walk-Up Songs


Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Take a Bite out of Dodgers]]> Sat, 20 May 2017 23:37:30 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/165*120/GettyImages-477927818.jpg

It was a ruff night for the Boys in Blue.

Julio Urias had the worst outing of his career as the Miami Marlins destroyed the Los Angeles Dodgers, 10-6, on Pups at the Park night at Dodger Stadium.

Urias (0-2) followed up a bad performance in Colorado last weekend with the worst start of his career on Saturday.

"It wasn't a good night," admitted Urias through a translator after the game. "I'm not throwing first-pitch strikes and I need to focus more on that moving forward. I feel fine, it was just a bad night."

The 20-year-old Mexican-American struggled with his command as he allowed seven runs (six earned), on seven hits, with three walks, and zero strikeouts in just 2 and 1/3 innings, the shortest start of his career.

"He wasn't sharp," added manager Dave Roberts. "He hasn't been consistent. I'm not sure what it is, but we have to figure it out."

Perhaps motived by the late-inning kerfuffle on Friday night, the Marlins scored in each of the first five innings, leading by a tally of 10-0 entering the bottom of the fifth.

"We needed it," Mattingly said of the offensive output. "I don't know if last night had anything to do with that. You've heard that in the past, but I don't know if you can put any stock in it."

Fur-tunately, the Dodgers didn't stop retrieven' as they pawed their way back into the game thanks to home runs by Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger, who went back-to-back in the bottom of the seventh.

Bellinger became the fastest player in Dodgers franchise history to hit the first nine home runs of his career as he accomplished the feat in just 24 games, beating Yasiel Puig's previous mark of 44 games in 2013.

"I didn't know that," Bellinger said when told he now held the franchise record. "It's pretty cool, but every day I'm trying to put my foot on the gas pedal and keep going."

Puig was not in the game because of a lower back injury suffered the night prior, but his right field replacement hit a solo shot to break up Dan Straily's no-hitter in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Straily (2-3), was paws-itively lights for the first four innings, allowing three runs on four hits with three walks and eight strikeouts in the victory.

"I was really happy with the first five innings," said Straily. "I was frustrated with myself in the sixth inning. I gave them back the momentum as I exited, but overall I felt pretty good about it."

Former Dodger, Dee Gordon, went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored, and shortstop J.T. Riddle had a career night, finishing a triple shy of the cycle going 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBI.

One night after he was thrown at by reliever Ross Stripling, Giancarlo Stanton had a career-high three doubles and three RBI for the Fish.

"We woke up with some drive and some fight. Last night was a wake up," admitted Stanton following the game. "This was the place that made me love baseball. I grew up here. I like to perform here. I was able to stay in and stay down tonight."

The victory snapped the Marlins five-game losing streak and tied them with the San Diego Padres for the worst record in MLB.

Not fur-gotten, the health of Hall-of-Fame Dodgers' manager Tommy Lasorda was on a lot of fans minds as Lasorda is recovering in the hospital after suffering an infection. Get well soon, Tommy.

The sold out Dodger Stadium crowd, including 558 canines, went "mutts" when Lasorda's retired No. 2 was shown on the videoboard during the game.

Up Next:

Vance Worley will start for Miami on Sunday afternoon as the Dodgers send Brandon McCarthy to the mound looking to win the series. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10PM PST. 

Photo Credit: tephen Dunn/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Great Tommy Lasorda Hospitalized]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 12:37:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/171*120/tom+copy.jpg

Dodgers great Tommy Lasorda has been hospitalized, a team spokesman confirmed to NBC4 Saturday.

"Hall of Fame Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda has been hospitalized. Lasorda is resting comfortably and appreciates all of the support," the team said in a statement. 

Lasorda is reportedly in the hospital for an infection, something that he has been hospitalized for in the past. According to a source close to the situation, Lasorda is resting and is expected to be realeased sometime next week. 

No other details about the team’s former manager’s illness or condition were immediately available.

Lasorda, 89, has a history of heart problems, and suffered a heart attack in 2012.

Currently, Lasorda serves as a special adviser to the chairman for the Dodgers. He is in his 68th season with the team, having previously been a player and a scout before becoming both a minor and major league manager.

He managed the team for two decades from 1976 to 1996 and led them to four National League pennants and two World Series wins. He was briefly the Dodgers’ general manager in 1998 after the midseason firing of Fred Claire.

He was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1997.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tommy Lasorda: A Dodgers Legend in Photos]]> Mon, 22 May 2017 13:49:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/knbc-tommy-lasorda.jpg Take a look at the legendary Tommy Lasorda's career through the years.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2017 Preakness Stakes: How to Watch ]]> Sat, 20 May 2017 08:58:37 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/AP_17137818364144.jpg

The 142nd running of the Preakness Stakes is on Saturday, beginning at 6:48 p.m. ET on NBC4.

Coverage of the race kicks off at 5 p.m. ET and you can watch it all live at home or on the go via NBC Live. Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is the favorite to win the second leg of the Triple Crown.

You can live stream the Preakness on NBCLosAngeles.com on your desktop or laptop computer or your mobile device by clicking on this link. You can also watch the coverage on our app. All you need is your TV service provider’s username and password.

What is a TV service provider?
A TV service provider is a company you pay to get your television service, such as a cable, satellite or a telecommunications company.

Why am I being asked to sign in?

TV service providers play a key role in delivering our content through emerging technology platforms, like the web and mobile devices. It's through the support of pay TV service providers that we're able to bring live as well as on demand entertainment and news shows to subscribers at no additional cost.

Do I have to create a new account?

If you already have a username and password from your TV service provider, you do not need to create a new account — just verify your account information. If you have not previously set up an account with your provider, you'll need to create a new account. Please contact your TV service provider to learn more. If you're not currently a customer with a TV service provider, you'll need to become one to access the full range of NBC programming.

How do I verify my TV service provider account? 
Select your TV service provider from the list. When asked, enter your account username and password; it's most likely the same information you use to log on to your account to pay your bill online. Don't forget to check "remember me" to avoid having to sign in each time you come back. 

What if I've forgotten my username or password?

Most TV service providers offer a simple way to retrieve or reset your password online. Please contact your provider to learn more.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Benches Clear as Dodgers Beat Marlins, 7-2]]> Sat, 20 May 2017 01:10:55 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/194*120/AP_17140188129142.jpg

The Dodgers won the trade.

Chris Taylor and Brett Eibner both hit homers and Alex Wood threw eight shutout innings as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Miami Marlins, 7-2, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

Ironically, all three stars of the night for the Dodgers were acquired via trade.

Wood, the reigning National League Pitcher of the Week, delivered his third straight shutout as he has cemented himself in the Dodgers rotation for the foreseeable future.

"My consistency is there when I pitch every fifth day," said Wood. "Overall my fastball command was good tonight and I made some pitches when we needed to."

Wood (5-0), scattered just six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in 7 and 1/3 shutout innings as he remained perfect on the season, lowering his ERA to an astonishing 1.88 on the season.

"No question," said Wood when asked by NBC LA, if this is the best he's pitched since he was traded to the Dodgers. "I felt like I was hitting my stride a little last year, but the consistency of my stuff, this is the best I've felt since 2014."

Wood was acquired from the Atlanta Braves as the 2015 MLB trade deadline. 

Chris Taylor went 3-for-4 with a double, and solo home run as he finished a triple shy of the cycle. The man known affectionately as "CT3," also flashed some leather in the game as the Dodgers turned a season-high four double plays on the night. 

"I feel like I'm seeing the ball well right now," said Taylor of his hot streak. "It's a combination of my swing mechancis and my confidence. When you get in a groove like that, the game slows down, and that's how its felt recently."

Taylor was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a straight-up trade for RHP Zach Lee last June.

Eibner was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City before the game after the team announced that third baseman Justin Turner would be moved to the 10-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring.

Eibner promptly made the most of his MLB action by sending a four-seam fastball from Justin Nicolino over the fence in left-center for his second home run of the season.

Eibner was acquired from the Oakland Athletics in January for Double-A infidler, Jordan Tarsovich.

Nicolino (0-1), took the loss, allowing five runs on seven hits with two walks and three strikeouts in just four short innings.

Cody Bellinger became the fastest Dodger in history to hit the first eight home runs of his career when he went deep for in the bottom of the eighth to tie Yasiel Puig for the team lead. 

Despite the Bellinger bomb, it was the fireworks immediately afterward that had everyone talking.

After Bellinger belted a fastball from A.J. Ramos over the wall, Ramos hit Eibner with the very next pitch, a 97MPH fastball near the chest.

With the Dodgers leading 7-0 in the top of the ninth, L.A. retaliated as reliever Ross Stripling threw behind Giancarlo Stanton to start off the inning.

Stripling was immediately ejected, and both benches cleared as Marlins' manager Don Mattingly went after Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts and bench coach Bob Geren in the melee. Both Mattingly and Geren were ejected.

"They were exchanging some pleasantries," joked Roberts. "I think it was taken care of on the field and we're both looking forward to winning a game tomorrow."

"When Geren is out there yelling at my guy, he's going to have to go through me," added Mattingly. "If the players are yelling at each other, that's one thing, but when he's going to start yelling at guys, that's a whole other thing."

After the ejections, Justin Bour homered for the second straight game to end the shutout and put the Fish on the board.

Puig left the game in the fourth inning with low/mid back tightness, but says he still plans to play in the remaining two games of the series.

"I’m not going on the D.L. I need to be back on the field, to keep hitting, and go to Miami for the All-Star Game," Puig said after the game. 

Los Angeles has won three straight, and the Miami Marlins have the worst record in baseball. Things will certainly get interesting as these teams still have two games left to play this weekend.

Up Next:

Dodgers send Julio Urias to the mound on Saturday opposite Dan Straily as L.A. celebrates "Pups at the Park," night at Dodger Stadium. First pitch is 7:10PM PST.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson]]>
<![CDATA[Is the Preakness' Trophy the Most Expensive in US Sports?]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 11:50:53 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/preakness-trophy.jpg

The owner of the horse that wins this weekend’s Preakness Stakes will get an oversized floral garland, 15 minutes of fame and a copy of a storied trophy that's said to be the most valuable in American sports.

The Woodlawn Vase, an ornate, Tiffany-designed solid sterling silver piece dating back to 1860 is touted as “the most expensive trophy in American sports” by Preakness officials. A 1983 insurance appraisal valued the vase, which stands 34 inches tall and weighs 29 pounds, at $1 million. Today it is estimated to be worth $4 million.

What makes the vase so valuable?

It was designed by luxury jeweler Tiffany & Co., but so were many major American sports trophies: the Vince Lombardi Super Bowl trophy, the World Series trophy, the U.S. Open trophy.

But the Woodlawn Vase was the first sports trophy designed by Tiffany. 

It’s also arguably the most ornate of the major American sports trophies. The vase is covered in inscriptions and emblems and topped with four winged victories and, finally, with a jockey mounted on a stallion.

The vase "may be the most spectacular example in sports for its great craftsmanship by Tiffany. It also may have the best back story," said longtime sports memorabilia appraiser Leila Dunbar in an email.

The Woodlawn Vase carries a great deal of history. During the Civil War, when competitive racing was put on hold, the Woodlawn Vase was buried to keep it from being discovered and melted into shot. It was disinterred when the race resumed in 1866.

Four million dollars is a lot of money — you could buy four million-dollar yachts with that. But is the Woodlawn Vase really the most expensive trophy in American sports?

The FIFA World Cup Trophy, created in 1974, is said to be worth as much as $20 million — its outer layer is 18-carat gold and it weighs 13 pounds. But Dunbar is skeptical of the $20 million estimate.

"While it weighs more than 13 pounds of 18K gold, which today is about $270,000, it is difficult, given the market and past sale of the FA Cup, to see it valued more than several million dollars."

Regardless, FIFA isn’t strictly an American sport, so its golden trophy can’t steal the Woodlawn’s thunder anyway.

Other American sports trophies have rough estimated values hovering in the tens of thousands, but none are reported to be worth as much as a million dollars.

"The folks at Wimbledon Lawn and Tennis Club, the USGA (U.S. Golf Association) and the R&A (The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews) might also claim that their trophies, for the tournaments that they represent, are in that range," Dunbar says. "However, the Preakness trophy does have greater artistic value and therefore may win by a nose."

Maj. Michael Singletary, the vice president of security operations for the Maryland Jockey Club at Pimlico Park, confirmed that the vase is insured for $4 million. Singletary is in charge of overseeing the careful transport of the vase five miles from its permanent home, the Baltimore Museum of Art, to the racetrack on the week of the Preakness.

Two armed police officers pick up the vase, he said. “They have to wear white gloves to handle it — no one is allowed to touch the vase.”

As the vase is moved around the park for various pre-race events throughout the week, the two armed and gloved officers carry it and stand guard over it.

Even the owners of the winning horses aren’t allowed to touch it. Because the vase is so valuable, winners have not been able to take the prize home since 1953. They each receive replicas, which stand 14 inches tall and are worth around $30,000. Jockeys and trainers get replicas as well — though theirs stand 12 inches tall. 

While Singletary did concede that the vase is insured for $4 million, his initial and persistent response regarding the value of the Woodlawn Vase was that it’s “priceless.”

Photo Credit: The Baltimore Museum of Art/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Breakdown: Paul George to the Lakers?]]> Fri, 19 May 2017 05:42:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/Paul-George-Lakers-Pacers.jpg

Talk of Paul George coming to the Los Angeles Lakers is nothing new, but with the NBA announcing its first, second and third team All-NBA and George missing the cut, those rumors kicked up a gear.

The reason for the uptick in talk is that in the latest collective bargaining agreement, the NBA has created incentives for star players to stick around with their home teams. In the previous agreement, players were incentivized to stay with their team by being able to sign for five-year contracts with their current team versus four-year contracts elsewhere, and while that incentive continues in the new agreement, the league has added further financial incentives to go along with the added year.

In the past, a player signing a maximum-level contract with a new team left an extra year of guaranteed money on the table, along with taking a slight hit on an annual basis. This financial impact did not seemingly add up to being enough of a factor to keep an All-NBA caliber player with their current teams, so the NBA added an extra clause.

So, to allow for even more of a hometown edge, the NBA added an extra rule. If the player is of the elite quality, meaning he's on the first, second or third team All-NBA, the home team can offer a "Super Max" contract, more accurately identified as the "Designated-Player Exception."

How does a player qualify for this special exception, which can be offered as a contract extension or as a free agency deal? First of all, the player must be with the team that drafted him or on a team that traded for him while he was on his rookie contract.

Further, the player must meet one of the follow two criteria: 1. the player must either make an All-NBA team or be named MVP or Defensive Player of the Year in the previous season 2. the must be on an All-NBA Team in two of the previous three seasons or the league's MVP in one of the previous three seasons.

So, with George missing out on the All-NBA teams, he is no longer able to sign the Designated Player Exception, which could have been signed as an extension. This new addition makes most people think that Russell Westbrook, who qualifies for the new Super Max contract will stick around in Oklahoma City.

With regards to George, the Indiana Pacers could have offered George roughly $207 million over five years had he made either first, second or third team All-NBA according to Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Technically, George could still make that list in the 2017-18 season, but Indiana is now sitting in a position where it could lose its most valuable asset and get nothing in return.

With George not making the All-NBA teams, the Pacers can still offer him an extra year guaranteed, so the Palmdale native is looking at a five-year contract worth about $177 million to stay at Indiana if he does not make an All-NBA team in 2017-18. Other teams can only offer George a maximum of four years at roughly $130 million.

So, in effect, the Pacers lost a great deal of their leverage over George by the Indiana star missing out on the All-NBA teams. Had he made the list, the Pacers would have been able to offer George the extension immediately, and if the forward passed on the bloated contract, one would imagine Indiana would have no reason to wait on a trade.

The same reports that linked George to LA in the first place, namely Sam Amick of USA Today, seem to suggest that the Super Max was never a factor in George's willingness to come to LA. Obviously, though, a $200+ million guaranteed contract extension offer would have tested George's conviction.

As a reminder, George has a player option on his contract at the end of the 2017-18 season, so more than likely, the Southern California native will be a free agent in 2018 anyhow.

As such, the Pacers will likely shop around and see what the 27-year-old is worth this summer while keeping in mind that he could effectively be a rent a player for the Pacers or most every other team in the NBA. And this is where the situation could get complicated for the Lakers.

If George is truly dead set on coming to LA, then Indiana would be wise to engage the Lakers and see what it can get back in return as other teams would be hesitant to fork over anything significant if they believe the player plans to walk to LA in one year's time anyhow.

However, the Lakers may be wise simply waiting an extra year and getting George on the free agent market in the summer of 2018, when the team will have contracts for Corey Brewer ($7.6 million) and Tarik Black ($6.7 million) expiring.  Also, Nick Young is due to make $5.7 million in the final year of his contract in 2017-18, but Young can opt out ahead of the current season and joked that he would be a visiting player during his exit interview.

Of course, all that still doesn't take into account the Lakers' salary cap troubles with the big contracts for Timofey Mozgov and Luol Deng, who are making on average $16 million and $18 million per year, respectively, for another three years. Also, Jordan Clarkson is only through one year of his four-year $50 million contract, and LA is on the hook for paying the new no. 2 pick, should they decide not to trade the pick. Add in the lottery contracts of D'Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram, and new Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has his work cut out for him.

Ultimately, LA could use Indiana's expected desperation to move George and give the Pacers a contract or two that would make space that could allow the Lakers to potentially attract another marquee free agent to play alongside the four-time All-Star.

Or, the plan could be simply to create enough cap space independent of the Pacers to sign George in the summer of 2018 with the hopes that the young core of lottery picks develop into the star players that the Lakers seemingly have struggled to attract in free agency.

Either way, George missing on the 2018 All-NBA teams created a situation where he is far more likely to be traded and has far less incentive to stay in Indiana. With George rumored to be heading to LA in a year's time anyhow, LA now has even more leverage in any potential trade talks with Indiana.

The Lakers' path to landing George just became signicantly clearer.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Puig Homers as Dodgers Defeat Marlins]]> Thu, 18 May 2017 23:33:36 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/puig.jpg

Welcome to the fish fry. 

Yasiel Puig hit his team-leading eighth home run of the season and the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Miami Marlins, 7-2, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium. 

Puig broke a tie game with a two-run homer off Edinson Volquez in the bottom of the second and the Dodgers never looked back.

Justin Bour and Christian Yelich both hit solo shots for the Marlins as Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was able to contain the damage while earning his second win of the season.

Ryu surrendered two runs while scattering seven hits, with one walk and three strikeouts before leaving the game with one out in the sixth inning with an a left knee injury.

"I think I could have stayed in the game, but it turned out to be the right decision," said Ryu. "But if I needed to, I could have stayed in the game."

Los Angeles started the game with three straight singles and scored the first run of the game on a ground out by rookie Cody Bellinger. The fielder's choice RBI was Bellinger's 19th in the month of May, the most in the Majors.

Bour tied the game with a home run in the top of the second, but the Dodgers were lucky to escape the inning allowing just one run.

"JB's been swinging the bat good," said Miami manager Don Mattingly after the game. "He's been swinging the bat good and will get three lefties in a row here so we'll see how he handles it."

Giancarlo Stanton started off the inning with a double off the left field wall, but was thrown out trying to steal third on a ball that got away from Yasmani Grandal. One pitch alter, Bour homered.

Puig put the Dodgers back in the lead in the bottom half of the inning as he passed Bellinger for the team lead in home runs with eight.

Yelich homered off Ryu in the top of the third, but the Dodgers got the run back in the bottom half of the inning on an RBI single by Adrian Gonzalez.

Gonzalez was activated off the 10-day disabled list before the game and Scott Van Slyke was sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room on the roster.

"My timing felt good and my swings felt good," said Gonzalez of his first big leage action in 10 days. "When you have herniated discs, you just have to try and keep the inflamation down. Overall, my body felt good."

Chase Utley reached base safely in all three plate appearances and since struggling to start the season, is batting .478 with a .536 OBP since May 9th. 

Volquez (0-6) remains winless on the season after allowing five runs on eight hits with three walks and four strikeouts in six innings.

Dodgers' closer Kenley Jansen entered the game with two outs in the eighth for his fourth four-out save of the season and eighth overall.

He struck out all four batters he faced, including the side in the ninth on just nine pitches, known in baseball as an "immaculate inning." Jansen is just the 79th pitcher in MLB history to record an immaculate inning, and the first in franchise history since Todd Worrell did it on Aug. 13, 1995.

"I've been pitching for 7-8 years and didn't know what that was," said Jansen of the milestone. "They explained it to me and that was awesome. That's a blessing."

Jansen also recorded his first hit of the season at the plate, with an infield single off the glove of Bour in the bottom of the eighth. It was Jansen's first single since August 31, 2010.

"It was fun to just go out there and swing the bat," said Jansen of just the second hit in his career. "I definitely loved that hit."

Overall, the Dodgers bullpen threw 3 and 2/3 innings of no-hit relief with 10 strikeouts, just the third time in the last 100 years a pen has accomplished that feat.

Los Angeles added two runs in the bottom of the eighth off Miami reliever Odrisamer Despaigne.

Ryu was hit by a pitch on the right bicep in the fourth inning and then took a groundball off the left knee in the sixth inning. He left the game and is expected to be placed on the 10-day DL on Friday.

Ryu's injury was not even the worst of the night as third baseman Justin Turner appeared to injury his hamstring while rounding third in the bottom of the seventh inning.

"We're going to get some tests and scans done tomorrow morning," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts of Turner's injury. "It didn't look good from my vantage point. It was right behind the knee, but a little bit above the knee, but not the belly of the hamstring."

Turner would have easily scored on a single by Grandal but immediately grabbed his right hamstring after rounding third and limped towards the plate where he was tagged out. He will be reevaluated on Friday, but is expected to miss time, opening the door for the return of Logan Forsythe.

Up Next:

Los Angeles faces another LHP in Justin Nicolino on Friday as reigning National League Pitcher of the Week, Alex Wood, looks to stay perfect on the season. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST.  

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Chris Carlson]]>