<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Sports]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.comen-usSun, 26 Feb 2017 23:30:00 -0500Sun, 26 Feb 2017 23:30:00 -0500NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Marlins Star Fernandez Was Married Before MLB Debut: Report]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:41:58 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-4824552761.jpg

Miami Marlins star Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident last year, was married before he ever made his debut with the team, according to a new report.

Fernandez was 20 years old when he married a woman named Alejandra Baleato Marichal on Dec. 2, 2012, in Tampa, according to a State of Florida Marriage Record obtained by the Miami Herald Friday.

Marichal, who was also 20 at the time of the coupling, confirmed to the newspaper that they were married until about 2014. Fernandez made his debut with the team in 2013.

"It was very short,” she told the paper, referring to the marriage. She said his death was difficult but she attended his memorial in Miami.

Fernandez, 24, was killed in September when his boat crashed into a jetty just off of Miami Beach. Eduardo Rivero, 25, and 27-year-old Emilio Macias were also on board and died.

Fernandez left behind a pregnant girlfriend.



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<![CDATA[Marlins' Conley Struggles in Loss to Cardinals]]> Sun, 26 Feb 2017 16:33:20 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-526232760.jpg

The Miami Marlins suffered their first defeat of the spring, with their 7-4 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday.

The two teams faced off on back-to-back days, and split the home team duties. In this loss, the Cardinals wore the home whites. The Marlins and Cardinals will have five more games this spring, at their shared complex in Jupiter.

Dan Straily started for the Marlins and did a decent job. The veteran allowed two hits and no runs in his lone inning of work. While Straily struggled a little with his command, that is to be expected early in the spring schedule. In his next outing, Straily will likely go 2-3 innings.

Adam Conley was the next man to take the mound for Miami, and it did not go so well. The lefty allowed four runs on five hits in his inning on the mound. Conley is locked into a rotation spot, and could have just been showing some signs of rust in this appearance. The 26-year old will regroup and look to last a little longer next time out.

With Miami down 5-0 in the fifth inning, Martin Prado began a comeback for the team. Prado's run-scoring double, was followed by similar doubles from Christian Yelich and Giancarlo Stanton. The three consecutive doubles made it a one-run game, before St. Louis added back a couple fot he runs.

Miami will hit the road for the first time this spring, when it visits the Minnesota Twins on Monday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Take Down Pacers for Third Straight Win]]> Sun, 26 Feb 2017 10:04:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-614064232.jpg

The Miami Heat made it three wins in a row with their 113-95 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Saturday.

The Heat have now won 16 of their last 18 games, and have improved their record to 27-32. Miami which began the season with poor play at home, is now 14-14 at American Airlines Arena. The Heat sit in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, and could find themselves in a playoff position in the coming days.

Miami was dealt a potential blow when Willie Reed was taken off the court on a stretcher. Reed had a non-contact leg injury, and those often end up being serious situations. If Reed is lost for any significant amount of time, the Heat may need to seek help elsewhere for depth. Okaro White could see an increase in minutes in the interim.

Hassan Whiteside returned to his usual form with a double-double in this one. In Friday's win, Whiteside only had two points. In this victory, the center posted 22 points to go along with 17 rebounds.

Dion Waiters showed why he was the Player of the Week earlier this season, with 22 points, two rebounds, three assists and two steals in the win. Waiters has been one of the biggest surprises for the Heat this season, and has consistently been one of the team's most productive players.

Goran Dragic remained steady with 21 points of his own. Dragic was involved in some trade rumors prior to the season, but has proven to be quite an asset for the Heat. Dragic not only ran Miami's offense efficiently, but he also again chipped in defensively with a pair of steals.

James Johnson was Miami's best reserve in this one with 15 points and eight assists. Johnson also added seven rebounds in his 29 minutes of action.

After a day off, the Heat will be in Dallas on Monday evening for a game with the Mavericks.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Top Cardinals in Exhibition Opener]]> Sat, 25 Feb 2017 16:19:22 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-604593690.jpg

The Miami Marlins got their exhibition schedule off to a winning start with a 8-7 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

The Marlins looked good offensively with a pair of home runs from the starting lineup. Christian Yelich blasted a two-run home run, and Justin Bour followed two batters later with a homer of his own. Yelich also walked in his other at-bat in the contest. Roster hopeful Tyler Moore hit a home run off the bench as well later in the game.

Things did not start out so well for Miami, as Edinson Volquez struggled with his command. The new Marlin ended up walking one and allowed a run in his only inning of work. Due to the high pitch count, Volquez was lifted after the first instead of going two frames.

Next on the mound for Miami was Tom Koehler, and he looked good in his first appearance. Koehler went one perfect inning with a strikeout. St. Louis would plate two runs off Dustin McGowan, and also added a pair with Nick Wittgren on the mound. Neither of the runs scored off Wittgren were earned, due to an error by Brian Anderson at third.

The teams exchanged leads a couple of times, before Miami took the lead in the bottom of the seventh inning. The aforementioned home run from Moore ended up being the game-winner. Moore is trying to win a job on Miami's bench, but is considered a long-shot to do so.

Giancarlo Stanton went 0-2, while Dee Gordon missed the game with pink eye.

The Marlins and Cardinals will be right back at it on Sunday at 1:05 p.m.



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<![CDATA[Heat Start Second Half With Lopsided Win]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 22:51:32 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-626336598.jpg

The Miami Heat started the second half of the season with a 108-90 win over the Atlanta Hawks on Friday.

After more than a week away from the court, Miami looked well-rested and prepared for this one. The Heat were the hottest team in the NBA prior to the All-Star break, and have now picked up right where they left off. This win was Miami's second in a row, and it has picked up victories in 15 of the last 17 contests.

The Heat eclipsed 100 points for a 15th straight game, which is a new franchise record. Much like the other games during the hot stretch, several players had big days. Miami has succeeded due to contributions from the entire roster, and not from just one or two guys on the court.

Goran Dragic led Miami's starters with 17 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists. Dragic also blocked a pair of shots in an all-around strong effort for the guard.

The biggest scorer for Miami overall was Tyler Johnson off the bench. Johnson chipped in 23 large points and also added five rebounds and five assists. When Johnson was on the court, Miami was +16 which was by far the best number for the reserves.

Hassan Whiteside had a quiet night in terms of points, but still contributed in the win. Whiteside ended up with only two points, but had ten rebounds, two steals and a block in the win.

Miami will head home and play the second part of a back-to-back on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Flames Use Big First Period to Beat Panthers]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 22:19:51 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-637069428.jpg

The Florida Panthers fell behind early and never recovered in their 4-2 loss to the Calgary Flames on Friday.

Florida allowed three goals in the first period alone, and Calgary would go on to add another later in the game. The loss was the second in a row for the Panthers, who are now 28-22-10 this season. Florida had won five in a row prior to this poor start to a homestand.

The first goal of the game was actually scored by the Panthers, but the good times did not last long for the team. Nick Bjugstad gave Florida a 1-0 lead with his fifth goal of the season. The power play goal came with assists from Jussi Jokinen and Reilly Smith.

After Calgary posted three straight goals, Aleksander Barkov answered back with his 16th goal of the season. Smith helped on this goal as well, as did Jonathan Huberdeau.

Roberto Luongo ended up with 24 saves in his 28 opportunities, but played well after the early goals. Luongo was rock solid in the net for most of the second period, and the entire final 20 minutes. Unfortunately for Luongo and the Panthers, the team was unable to make up the difference in that time.

Florida ended up 1-3 on power play opportunities, while Calgary failed on the one advantage it had.

The homestand will continue on Sunday when Florida welcomes the Ottawa Senators to BB&T Center.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Miami Marlins Pitcher Takes Oath to Become US Citizen]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 18:06:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/anibal+sanchez+2.jpg

We've seen so much passion and anger in the past few months over issues surrounding immigration, but if there's one sure-fire way to make all sides feel good about immigration, it's by watching 123 immigrants become citizens of the United States of America.

They come from more than 20 countries, pledging loyalty to the United States, to the constitution, and among them, Anibal Sanchez from Venezuela. Some might remember him as a Miami Marlins pitcher, but on Friday he led the group in the pledge of allegiance at the ceremony in Oakland Park.

Sanchez said it's a huge honor to become a citizen.

"I feel great, I feel great, it's another goal in my life, it's another dream come true," Sanchez said.

But what about those struggling to get to America?

"Yeah, it's really rough, people trying to get legal status here in this country," said Libia Comas, a new citizen.

As for the celebrity in the room, Sanchez said he's looking forward to voting, and no matter what happens in Washington, America will always be a magnet.

"The people they want to come here and they want to make a great future and have the opportunity, the American dream so the people have to do it, no matter what," Sanchez said.

Unlike most immigrants, Sanchez is already a millionaire. His first priority at the moment is making the starting rotation of the Detroit Tigers!



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<![CDATA[Heat's Chris Bosh Joins TNT as Studio Analyst]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 16:21:23 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/3884398.jpg

Miami Heat star Chris Bosh will appear on TNT's new series Players Only as a studio analyst.

The series which will begin on February 27th, will give viewers a whole new perspective of the game. "Players Only" will only have former and/or current professional basketball players on it as commentators. The broadcast which will include two NBA games each night is scheduled to run for five straight weeks on TNT.

“We’re thrilled to have Chris make appearances with our 'Players Only' studio team and we look forward to incorporating his fresh take and informed perspective into this new TNT series,” said Craig Barry, the Executive Vice President and Chief Content Officer for Turner Sports

Bosh has not played since last February, and is not expected to suit up for a Heat game again. While the veteran still remains a member of the roster, it is mostly a procedural thing at this point. Miami is fully expected to part ways with Bosh in the future, and will re-capture a great deal of cap room.

The former All-Star has been unable to play due to blood clot issues. Bosh has seemed medical clearance in the past, but has not been cleared for action. It is possible that Bosh could end up cleared in the future, but he would likely play for another NBA team at that time. It is also not known if Bosh is still interested in continuing his playing career.

While the Heat will not play any games during Bosh's time on TNT, his former teammate LeBron James will be featured twice. The Cleveland Cavaliers will play on two of the five nights that Bosh's series will air.

In addition to the Cavaliers, Bosh will be a part of the broadcast team for a highly anticipated match-up between the Golden State Warriors and Oklahoma City Thunder.



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<![CDATA[Marlins Set to Begin Grapefruit League Play]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 15:39:47 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5165904601.jpg

The Miami Marlins will begin their Grapefruit League schedule with a game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

The Marlins and Cardinals share the field at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, and will face off several times during their exhibition schedules. In this game, Miami will serve as the home team. On Sunday, the teams will switch roles when the Cardinals wear the home whites.

Miami will use a batting lineup that closely resembles the one it plans to trot out for Opening Day. The only regular who will sit on Saturday is Marcell Ozuna, as the outfielder is battling some minor shoulder discomfort. Ozuna's place in the outfield and in the lineup will go to roster hopeful Destin Hood.

The full lineup will feature Dee Gordon at second base, followed by Martin Prado at third. Christian Yelich (CF), Giancarlo Stanton (RF) and Justin Bour (1B) will be in their normal 3-4-5 slots of the lineup. At the bottom of the order, manager Don Mattingly has penciled in J.T. Realmuto (C), Hood (LF), Adeiny Hechavarria (SS) and A.J. Ellis (DH).

On the mound for the beginning of the action will be Edinson Volquez, and he just may be Miami's Opening Day starter as well. Volquez will likely only work one or two innings, before handing the ball over to Tom Koehler. The Marlins also plan to use several other arms for an inning or so each.

Mattingly will be cautious with all his players, and will likely swap out all the regulars after just two at-bats. This not only will keep his players healthy, but it will give Mattingly a chance to see some of the roster hopefuls in camp. While not many jobs are up for grabs, there will still be opportunities to catch the eyes of the coaching staff.

After the pair of games with the Cardinals this weekend, Miami will take on the Minnesota Twins, New York Mets Houston Astros and Washington Nationals next week. The exhibition schedule is a busy one and Miami won't have a day off until March 8th. The World Baseball Classic will also get underway in early March, and several Marlins will head out of Jupiter for that event.

Miami's full Grapefruit League schedule can be found on Marlins.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jameis Winston Speech Angers Parents]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 14:27:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/JameisWinston0224_MP4-148796316337200001.jpg

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston is being criticized after comments he made to students at Melrose Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Florida on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

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<![CDATA[Dolphins Sign Former Legends For Special 'Retirement' Event]]> Thu, 23 Feb 2017 09:28:11 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/195*120/022217+miami+dolphins+resign+former+players.jpg

The Miami Dolphins honored six of the team’s all-time greats this week by allowing them to officially retire as members of the team.

All six players – including three Hall of Fame members in quarterbacks Dan Marino and Bob Griese along with offensive guard Larry Little – signed one day contracts Wednesday to “complete” their careers with the team they identify with.

Other alumni who signed the contracts include former wide receiver Nat Moore, defensive back Sam Madison and defensive end/linebacker Kim Bokamper. While all the members aside from Madison finished their career with the team, each technically retired as free agents.

“In this day and age, we try to get players to retire as Dolphins,” Executive Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum said during the signing ceremony. “This means a lot to us, our legacy.”

For the players – a group with a combined two NFL MVP award, 14 All-Pro Selections and 25 Pro Bowl appearances – the day was truly special and one they will remember.

“This organization, the team, this city, football, it all means so much to me. It’s been my whole life besides family,” Marino said. “To sign a contract for a day, I’m very proud of it. I’ve been very proud my whole career to be a Dolphin and only a Dolphin and never play anywhere else.”

“The Miami Dolphins alumni are probably at the forefront of the league with the interaction between organization and the former players and this is just another step in that direction,” said Moore, who currently serves as a vice president for the team and oversees the Alumni Association.

The Dolphins have previously honored two other legends with the honor – linebacker Zach Thomas and offensive tackle Richmond Webb. Both those players finished their careers with others teams.



Photo Credit: MiamiDolphins.com]]>
<![CDATA[Jameis Winston in Hot Water Over Comments to School Kids]]> Fri, 24 Feb 2017 14:44:48 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/174*120/GettyImages-630219098.jpg

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston says he "used a poor word choice" when he told female students at a Florida elementary school that ladies are "suppose to be silent."

While speaking to third- through fifth-graders at Melrose Elementary School in St. Petersburg, Winston intended to inspire the students with his three rules of life: God, school and the idea that "I can do anything I put my mind to," according to the Tampa Bay Times.

But when some of the male students appeared to be bored by the speech, Winston's attempt to energize them seemed to disparage the females in the room, the Times reported.

"But all my boys, stand up. We strong, right? We strong! We strong, right? All my boys, tell me one time: I can do anything I put my mind to," Winston said. "Now a lot of boys aren't supposed to be soft-spoken. You know what I'm saying? One day y'all are going to have a very deep voice like this. One day, you'll have a very, very deep voice."

He continued: "But the ladies, they're supposed to be silent, polite, gentle. My men, my men (are) supposed to be strong."

Winston later told the paper that he misspoke and his comments have overshadowed a larger message.

"I was making an effort to interact with a young male in the audience who didn't seem to be paying attention, and I didn't want to single him out so I asked all the boys to stand up," Winston said. "During my talk, I used a poor word choice that may have overshadowed that positive message for some."

The NFL quarterback has spent much of his pro career trying to rehabilitate his public image after a career at Florida State that was marred by several off-field controversies.

Winston was accused of sexual assault by a fellow student in 2012, but was never charged with the crime. He settled a civil lawsuit in Decemeber  filed by the woman.

He led the Seminoles to a national title and won the Heisman Trophy in 2013. 



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<![CDATA[Panthers' Win Streak Ends in Loss to Oilers]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 23:04:37 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-637947020.jpg

The Florida Panthers' winning streak came to an end with a 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday.

Florida entered the contest with a five-game winning streak, and fresh off franchise history. The Panthers went 5-0 on the recent road trip, which was the first time Florida had accomplished that feat ever. With this loss, the Panthers fell to 28-21-10 on the season.

With his team down one, Aleksander Barkov tied things up at the 21-second mark of the second period. The goal was the 15th of the season for Barkov and it came during a Florida power play. Assisting on the game-tying score were Aaron Ekblad and Jussi Jokinen.

Edmonton would take the lead again later in the period, before the Panthers tied it right back up. Colton Sceviour's eighth goal of the season had assists on it from Jokinen and Keith Yandle.

The Oilers answered back fast to take the lead, before Florida closed out the period with yet another goal. With only four ticks left on the clock, Jonathan Marchessault tied the game at three with his 18th goal of the season. The power play goal came with an assist from Yandle.

Edmonton scored the game-winner at the 12:02 mark of the third period. James Reimer ended up with 30 saves in his 34 chances.

The homestand will continue on Friday when Florida hosts the Calgary Flames at 7:30 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Tom Brady Compiles Hilarious 'Suspect Board' of Possible Jersey Thieves]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 14:50:14 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/brady-jersey-GettyImages-485055278.jpg

Tom Brady has remained fairly quiet about the investigation into his missing Super Bowl jersey that was reportedly stolen from his locker.

The jersey — valued at $500,000, according to a Houston Police Department report — was worn by the star quarterback during the New England Patriots’ 34-28 comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Feb. 5.

Brady noticed his No. 12 jersey was missing from his bag in the team's designated locker room inside NRG Stadium after the game. He told a team equipment manager he remembered putting it in his locker and that "someone stole it."

And while the Texas Rangers are on the case to find the jersey caper, Brady has compiled his own list of possible suspects.

In a Facebook post Wednesday, Brady posted a photo of a “suspect board” of possible culprits. The prime suspect: Julian Edelman, who Brady calls a “sneaky lil squirrel.”

The hilarious board also lists Gollum from J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit,” the "guy who stole Khaleesi's egg" on the HBO series "Game of Thrones,” Lady Gaga, Steve Carrell's character from "The Office,” Michael Scott, Brady's dog Scooby ("always steals Fluffy's food), film shark “Jaws” ("takes things without asking," "violent history”), the Pokemon character Gary Oak ("bad kid!”), the O'Doyle brothers from the Adam Sandler film "Billy Madison,” the clown who stole "Air Bud" ("who steals a dog from a kid?") and even Brady himself. The quarterback pinned his infamous "deflategate" courtroom sketch photo on the board, with the caption "Creepy Me.”



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    <![CDATA[Magic Johnson Takes Lakers Reins Amid Front Office Shakeup]]> Wed, 22 Feb 2017 12:53:55 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/lakers-shakeup.jpg

    Lakers legend and NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson has been named president of basketball operations in a major front office restructuring for the storied franchise.

    General manager Mitch Kupchak and executive vice president of basketball operations Jim Buss, team president Jeannie Buss' brother, have been relieved of their duties, the Lakers announced Tuesday. The restructuring comes during the worst four-year stretch in franchise history.

    "Today I took a series of actions I believe will return the Lakers to the heights Dr. Jerry Buss demanded and our fans rightly expect," Jeanie Buss said. "Effective immediately, Earvin Johnson will be in charge of all basketball operations and will report directly to me."

    Kupchak had been the 16-time NBA champion franchise's GM since 2000, when Jerry West left the club. He had been in the front office for three decades, including the last 17 as general manager -- the league's longest current stretch as front office chief. 

    Jim Buss had been in the team's front office for 19 years. 

    The team has already started a search for a new general manager, the result of which will be announced in "short order," Jeanie Buss added.

    Johnson, a beloved fan-favorite who guided the team to five league titles during his 13 NBA seasons, said he hopes to restore the franchise's mystique fter four straight losing seasons.

    "It's a dream come true to return to the Lakers as President of Basketball Operations working closely with Jeanie Buss and the Buss family," said Johnson. "Since 1979, I've been a part of the Laker Nation and I'm passionate about this organization. I will do everything I can to build a winning culture on and off the court. We have a great coach in Luke Walton and good young players. We will work tirelessly to return our Los Angeles Lakers to NBA champions." 

    The Lakers are 19-39 this season after an encouraging start under first-year head coach Walton. They finished 17-65 last season, a franchise low in the last year of Kobe Bryant's two decades with the team.

    The Lakers clinched back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010, but then descended to the depths of the NBA -- a dramatic reversal of fortunes for one of the NBA most popular and successful franchises. After an extraordinary trade for Pau Gasol propelled the Lakers to three straight NBA Finals appearances, Kupchak and Jim Buss made a series of high-profile personnel moves that did not pan out. 

    They made a pricey trade for Dwight Howard, who fled the franchise after one year, and another deal for Steve Nash, who barely played thanks to back woes. The Lakers are still feeling the effects of that deal, which will cost them their first-round pick this summer if it isn't in the top three.

    The front officer moves come two days before the league's trade deadline. 

    This will be Johnson's first foray into a decision-making NBA executive role, but he has been a successful businessman and investor since his playing career ended. He also briefly coached the Lakers, but dropped his ceremonial title as a team vice president last June after his frequent criticisms of Jim Buss and former coaches.

    He sold his ownership stake in 2010.

    The Lakers' recent ineptitude didn't hurt their place as Los Angeles' most beloved sports franchise and a worldwide brand, but Jeanie Buss finally tired of the apparent lack of progress. The Lakers have a talented young core with D'Angelo Russell, Julius Randle, Brandon Ingram and Jordan Clarkson, but haven't been able to translate that potential into wins despite playing an exciting style under Walton.

    The team also parted ways with Vice President of Public Relations John Black.

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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    <![CDATA[Marlins' Ichiro Injures Knee in Outfield Collision]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 12:50:20 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-611849744.jpg

    Miami Marlins outfielder Ichiro Suzuki could miss a few days of practice after an outfield collision on Tuesday.

    Suzuki collided with Brandon Barnes on the practice field and headed into the clubhouse. After spending time with the trainer, Suzuki said he had a bruised knee and a stiff back. While the veteran may miss Miami's first exhibition game, he should not miss much time overall.

    Barnes is a non-roster invitee, looking to make the team. Barnes' teammates had some fun at his expense, after learning that Suzuki's injury was not serious.

    Suzuki has had many accomplishments in his career, but there are still some things he has never experienced in the big leagues. Prior to Tuesday, Suzuki had never needed treatment in a MLB training room. The veteran has been durable and healthy throughout his storied career, but he needed a trainer's assistance this time around.

    While Suzuki sits out, it could be Barnes that sees a little extra time on the practice field and in games. The 30-year old had some success in the big leagues before, but has struggled in recent seasons.

    Miami will open the Grapefruit League season on Friday against the St. Louis Cardinals.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Police Value Tom Brady's Stolen Super Bowl Jersey at $500K]]> Tue, 21 Feb 2017 13:16:30 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-634604296.jpg

    Houston police have released an official report for the theft of the jersey New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady wore during Super Bowl LI.

    The jersey — valued at $500,000, according to the report — was reportedly stolen after the Patriots' 34-28 comeback victory over the Atlanta Falcons in overtime on Feb. 5.

    Brady, who was named the game's MVP, noticed his No. 12 jersey was missing from his bag in the team’s designated locker room inside NRG Stadium after the game. He told a team equipment manager he remembered putting it in his locker and that "someone stole it."

    After searching, Brady told the team's owner Robert Kraft that the jersey had been stolen. Kraft replied, "You'd better look online."

    While Brady walked to the team bus, a reporter asked the quarterback if he had recovered the jersey. Brady later joked with a reporter that it would "be on eBay at some point."

    Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick asked the Texas Rangers to help the Houston Police Department locate the jersey.

    "Tom Brady's jersey has great historical value," Patrick said in a statement. "It will likely go into the Hall of Fame one day. It is important that history does not record that it was stolen in Texas."



    Photo Credit: Getty Images
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    <![CDATA[Trocheck's Late Goal Lifts Panthers to Fifth Straight Win]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 22:49:20 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631363560.jpg

    The Florida Panthers extended their winning streak to five games with a 2-1 win over the St. Louis Blues on Monday.

    With only five seconds remaining in regulation, Vincent Trocheck found the back of the net for the game-winner. The goal was the 21st of the season for Trocheck and it came with an assist from Mark Pysyk. Before Trocheck's heroics, the game seemed destined for overtime due to a goal from St. Louis early in the final period.

    With the victory, the Panthers completed their road trip with a perfect 5-0 record. This is the first time Florida has accomplished this feat in franchise history. Florida has now won eight of nine overall and is currently clutching to a playoff spot. The Panthers have been one of the NHL's best teams this month, and have made up for much of the team's mediocrity from the first half.

    The first goal of the game came courtesy of Jonathan Marchessault at the 10:40 mark of the first period. Assisting on Marchessault's 17th goal of the season was Nick Bjugstad.

    James Reimer was solid in the net for Florida with 26 saves in his 27 opportunities. With a busy schedule as of late, Reimer has seen plenty of ice time and has taken advantage of the opportunities.

    With the road trip behind them, the Panthers will begin a homestand on Wednesday against the Edmonton Oilers.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Dolphins to Acquire Julius Thomas for Draft Pick: Report]]> Mon, 20 Feb 2017 18:52:26 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-624663620.jpg

    The Miami Dolphins will acquire Julius Thomas from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a draft pick, according to a report from the Miami Herald.

    Assuming Thomas passes his physical, the trade can become official on March 9th. Going to the Jaguars will be a late-round 2017 pick. This move represents a low risk and potentially high reward scenario for the Dolphins.

    Thomas caught four touchdown passes while serving as a tight end in Jacksonville this past season. In his career which dates back to 2011, Thomas has compiled 33 touchdowns overall. Thomas' 2016 season was cut short due to a back injury, but he should be ready to go when the 2017 campaign gets underway.

    The tight end is in the middle of a five-year deal that he signed with Jacksonville in 2015. Miami will now be on the hook for that contract, but the potential production from Thomas could make it a fair deal. When Thomas was in Denver with the Broncos, he was a prolific receiver and earned his big-money deal. His work with the Jaguars however was a letdown in comparison.

    One of the reasons Miami likely targeted Thomas, was his familiarity with head coach Adam Gase. While with Denver, Thomas played under Gase who was the offensive coordinator at the time. Now in Miami, Gase will be Thomas' head coach. It remains to be seen if Ryan Tannehill can get the most out of Thomas, like Peyton Manning was able to do while he was with the Broncos.

    Miami and Jacksonville are also working on another trade involving Branden Albert. In that deal, Miami is expected to receive a late-round pick for Albert.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Don Mattingly Urges Marlins to Play Like Jose Fernandez]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 21:12:48 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-5431705301.jpg

    Marlins manager Don Mattingly told his team to play with the spirit of the late Jose Fernandez during a meeting on Friday.

    The closed-door meeting is an annual tradition on the first day of full-squad workouts. Mattingly used the meeting to give a speech on what he expects from his players, and how they can best honor Fernandez. While no actual quotes from Mattingly are available, some of the players paraphrased what their skipper told them.

    “He talked about keeping the passion and energy in the backs of our minds as we go out and play. That’s the one thing we appreciated and loved most about him, was how hard he played and the energy and passion he brought every single day. It was unmatched,” Derek Dietrich said.

    Fernandez was known for his in-game energy on days he started and also on days he was a spectator. The pitcher kept the dugout loose and could always be found chatting with a teammate or coach. Fernandez would react to big moments like a fan in the stands, and would bring that same passion to the mound when it was his day to pitch.

    “Every time you step between those lines, play with his spirit,” Martin Prado added.

    Perhaps the biggest moment of the 2016 baseball season came when Dee Gordon homered in Miami's first game after Fernandez's death. Gordon led off for the Marlins and hit a ball high and far into the outfield seats. It was a rare moment for Gordon and an emotional time for the team. The team played for their fallen teammate that night, and that is now also the mantra for the 2017 season.

    “We’re going to go to battle for Jose,” said Gordon.

    Miami's first game of the Grapefruit League season will be on February 25th.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Panthers Move Into Playoff Position With Fourth Straight Win]]> Sun, 19 Feb 2017 10:52:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-631502686.jpg

    The Florida Panthers moved into a playoff position with their 3-2 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday.

    The victory was Florida's fourth straight, and all four wins have come on the road. Including this win, the Panthers won three in a row against teams based in California. The trip is often seen as a challenging and taxing one for teams, but Florida looked energized and determined.

    The Panthers would be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a second straight season, if the campaign ended today. While Florida just would sneak in at this stage, it is still a very positive sign for a club that struggled in the early going. The Panthers were one of the league's most inconsistent teams for much of the first half, and even changed coaches along the way.

    Jonathan Huberdeau's goal late in the first period gave Florida a 1-0 lead. Assisting on Huberdeau's fourth goal of the season were Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck. This would turn out to just be the first highlight of Barkov's evening.

    Early in the second period, Jussi Jokinen made it a 2-0 game with his ninth goal of the season. Reilly Smith and Alex Petrovic were both credited with assists on the score.

    Los Angeles would score the next two goals, but Florida took the lead back right after the third period got underway. Barkov found the back of the net at the 15-second mark of the period. It was the 14th goal of the year for Barkov and it came with assists from Jaromir Jagr and Aaron Ekblad.

    After sitting out the first game of a back-to-back, Roberto Luongo was back in the net for this one. Luongo ended up with 33 saves in his 35 opportunities.

    Florida's road trip will conclude on Monday when it travels to St. Louis to take on the Blues.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Panthers Win Third Straight in Anaheim]]> Sat, 18 Feb 2017 11:00:45 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-634458988.jpg

    The Florida Panthers scored four unanswered goals to beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 on Friday.

    The victory was Florida's third in a row and continued the team's hot start to the second half of the season. With the win, the Panthers now sit at 26-20-10 on the season. Florida would miss the playoffs if the season ended today, but it remains within striking distance of landing a spot. The Panthers currently trail the eight-seeded Toronto Maple Leafs by a point.

    After Anaheim took a 1-0 lead in the second period, Colton Sceviour answered back for Florida with his seventh goal of the season. The game-tying score came with assists from Derek MacKenzie and Shawn Thornton.

    A little while later, Jaromir Jagr gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead with his 11th score of the season. The goal for the veteran was unassisted and it put Florida on top for the remainder of the way.

    The offensive second period continued when Aaron Ekblad found the back of the net for the eighth time this season. Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Marchessault assisted Ekblad on the power play goal.

    Late in the third period, Derek MacKenzie padded Florida's lead once more, with an unassisted score. The Panthers were shorthanded when MacKenzie scored his fifth goal of the season.

    James Reimer was in the net for Florida and did a fantastic job with 35 saves in 36 chances.

    The Panthers will play the second half of a back-to-back on Saturday when they take on the Los Angeles Kings.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Michael Jordan's Top Sports Moments]]> Sat, 18 Feb 2017 09:11:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/TITLEMJ.jpg Air Jordan turns 54 today. From the unforgettable "double nickel" game at Madison Square Garden to the iconic "Flu Game" against the Utah Jazz, take a look back at some of Michael Jordan's greatest moments on the NBA hardwood.

    Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
    <![CDATA[Gymnastics Doc Used Hide-and-Seek Games to Molest: Accuser]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 13:11:04 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/gymnasticsdoctormolestor.jpg

    A woman who says the disgraced team doctor for USA Gymnastics molested her as a child testified Friday that he turned games of hide-and-seek in the basement of his home into abuse sessions, NBC News reported.

    "Almost every time I was there for a couple of years, something occurred," the woman, a former family friend, said during a preliminary hearing before a judge ordered disgraced doctor Larry Nassar to stand trial on state sex-abuse charges.

    Nassar, 53, is also charged in federal court with possession of child pornography — more than 37,000 images, including Go Pro video he allegedly made himself.



    Photo Credit: AP]]>
    <![CDATA[Dan Marino Specialty License Plate Being Considered]]> Fri, 17 Feb 2017 10:42:12 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DanMarino14.jpg

    Fans of Miami Dolphins great Dan Marino may get a chance to honor their hero as they drive down the road – while benefiting the fight against autism.

    First reported by NBC affiliate WPTV, a bill proposed by Democratic State Rep. Joseph Abruzzo of Boynton Beach would create a new specialty license plate in the state, possibly with an image right on it.

    All proceeds from sales of the plate would go to the Dan Marino Foundation, which raises money and provides services for people with autism and other developmental disabilities.

    Already, the subcommittee that handles new tags has backed two new plates: one for the American Eagle Foundation and one that would honor former President Ronald Reagan. Two more proposals will go before the subcommittee, with the full legislature voting on any new plates once the session starts March 7th.

    Currently, there are 125 specialty plates offered to drivers in Florida.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Heat Hire Shane Battier to Lead Analytics Department]]> Thu, 16 Feb 2017 20:12:58 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-538849990.jpg

    The Miami Heat hired two-time NBA champion Shane Battier as the head of their analytics department on Thursday.

    Battier was a member of Miami's title teams in 2012 and 2013 and was on the Heat for three seasons overall. After the 2013-14 season, Battier retired from the game and went on to work in television. Battier's last game came during the NBA finals when the Heat lost to the San Antonio Spurs.

    "My goal, as is the entire organization's, is to bring another championship back to Miami," said Battier.

    During his career, Battier was known as a student of the game. His work ethic and interest in analytics should make him a perfect fit for this new role. Battier's job will involve evaluating talent from the college ranks and all the way up to the NBA level. Battier's input will be used when it comes to the draft, free agency and internal roster decisions.

    "I am thrilled to be joining the front office of the Miami Heat," Battier said. "I look forward to working with the Arison family, learning from a Hall of Fame executive in Pat Riley, general manager Andy Elisburg and of course my old coach, Erik Spoelstra."

    Battier was a hit with his teammates and with the Heat fans during his time in Miami. The forward also hosted events where his teammates would perform karaoke for charity. The aptly named "Battioke" remains an annual event to this day.

    During his storied career, Battier was known as a winner. While he never made it to an All-Star Game, Battier was a key reason for many wins by his teams over the years. Battier made those around him better with his play and with his leadership. This strong work ethic dated back to his college years, and his #31 jersey hangs from the rafters at Duke University.

    The Heat finished the first half of the season on Wednesday with a victory, and have a chance at reaching the playoffs this season. Miami's second half will get underway on February 24th.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Heat End First Half With Win in Houston]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 22:24:53 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-4989692421.jpg

    The Miami Heat ended their first half of the season with a 117-109 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

    The win came after two consecutive losses for the Heat, and gave the team a 25-32 record on the season. The Heat put together an NBA-high 13 wins in a row before the pair of losses, and will have plenty to play for during the second half of the season.

    Hassan Whiteside may not play in the upcoming All-Star Game, but he showed once again why he easily could have. Whiteside averaged a double-double this season, and had another one in this win. The center ended up with 23 points and 14 rebounds, while also contributing five blocks.

    Dion Waiters ended his first half on a high note as well with 23 points, seven assists and nine rebounds. Waiters was a key reason for Miami's winning streak, and has returned in solid form following an ankle injury. The guard has become a regular starter for the Heat, and that should continue in the second half of the season.

    Goran Dragic's night was solid as well with 21 points and five assists. Dragic enjoyed a relatively consistent first half this season, and will need to remain that way if Miami hopes to reach the postseason.

    Tyler Johnson led Miami's reserves with 16 points, and he also contributed four assists and seven rebounds along the way.

    The second half of the season will begin on February 24th when the Heat visit Atlanta to take on the Hawks.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
    <![CDATA[Marlins Owner Loria Could Become Ambassador to France]]> Wed, 15 Feb 2017 23:31:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-166177852.jpg

    Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria could be the next ambassador to France, according to a report by the New York Post.

    White House chief of staff Reince Priebus has been the person who has pushed for Loria to get the assignment. The report goes on to say that the administration has even signed off on the idea. It is not yet known if Loria has been formally offered the position however.

    If Loria was to become an ambassador, he would have to give up his day-to-day control of the Marlins. This may not be an issue however, as there have been numerous recent reports of a pending sale of the team as well. The timing of a sale could work well for Loria and Major League Baseball if this new job comes to fruition.

    Florida Panthers owner Vincent Viola was also nearly a member of the Trump Administration. Viola had been nominated for the role of Secretary of the Army by President Trump, but withdrew his name from consideration. If Viola had ended up with the prestigious gig, he too would have had to given up control of the team.

    During President Trump's campaign, Loria made a donation to the cause. The two men also exchanged at least one phone call. During that call, President Trump expressed his condolences on the recent passing of Jose Fernandez.

    The Marlins have not commented on this report as of yet.



    Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>