<![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-usMon, 24 Apr 2017 17:19:30 -0400Mon, 24 Apr 2017 17:19:30 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Aaron Hernandez Suicide Letters Released to Family]]> Mon, 24 Apr 2017 17:15:44 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/aaronhernandezfeuerherdIB.jpg

Three suicide notes that former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez allegedly left in his cell before killing himself last week were handed over to his family Monday, the Worcester County District Attorney's office confirmed.

A lawyer for Hernandez's fiancée filed a motion earlier Monday in Bristol County Superior Court seeking the release of the letters, which the district attorney had previously refused to release to the family.

"The family has the right, during this grieving process, to know their loved one's final thoughts," George Leontire, Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez's lawyer said.

Paul Jarvey, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said the letters were emailed to Leontire on Monday after Judge Thomas McGuire ordered their release. Jarvey confirmed one of the letters was addressed to Jenkins-Hernandez and another to the couple's daughter.

The third letter was left for Kyle Kennedy, Hernandez's friend and fellow inmate, Kennedy's lawyer said Monday.

Attorney Lawrence F. Army Jr. said his client has not yet seen the letter, but will request that it be turned over to Kennedy as soon as possible. 

“My client is obviously saddened by the loss of his friend, Aaron Hernandez,” Army said. He said the two were not cellmates.

Army said he met with Kennedy briefly on Monday, and his client is “no longer on suicide watch,” though he was moved to a protective unit after Hernandez’s death “as a standard precaution.” He said he will be meeting more with his client in the coming days, and will provide updates as the case develops. “For now, we will have no further comment.”

Kennedy’s family also issued a statement Monday, saying their thoughts are with Hernandez’s family and their son, and asking for privacy.

Hernandez, 27, was serving a life sentence for murder and was acquitted in two other killings just days before he hanged himself with a bed sheet attached to his cell window at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, in the early morning hours of April 19.

Investigators said Hernandez blocked access to his cell from the inside by jamming cardboard into the door tracks. They said there were no signs of a struggle and Hernandez was alone at the time of the hanging.

Authorities said investigators found three handwritten notes next to a Bible in Hernandez's cell.

Additonally, law enforcement sources tell NBC Boston that Hernandez was found with the words "John 3:16" written on his forehead. The Bible passage reads "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life."

Jenkins-Hernandez's lawyer are seeking to preserve records related to Hernandez's death, including Hernandez's prison cell video recordings and all of his property, medical and mental health records.

Jenkins-Hernandez has also filed court papers indicating that she may sue over the supervision Hernandez received while in prison. The filing argues that authorities had a legal duty to provide safety and protection from personal injury to inmates in state custody.

Hernandez was locked in his cell around 8 p.m. on March 18 and no one entered until a correction officer observed him around 3 a.m. the following day and forced his way in, according to investigators.

SUICIDE PREVENTION HELP: The National Suicide Prevention Hotline (1-800-273-8255) is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Text HOME to 741741 for a Crisis Text Line.



Photo Credit: Boston Globe via Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Marlins Winning With Defense]]> Sun, 23 Apr 2017 14:51:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-669625910.jpg

The Miami Marlins are using their gloves to pick up wins often thus far this season.

Miami has committed a total of five errors this season, which is the second-best total in the National League. Only the Cincinnati Reds with four miscues sit atop Miami in the league. Due to these strong defensive efforts, the Marlins have been in nearly every game this year.

Two of Miami's five errors have been charged to members of the pitching staff, while the other three have gone to players in the starting lineup. Having a sure-handed defense behind them has been a welcome sign for Miami's pitching staff.

New Marlins reliever Brad Ziegler took to Twitter on Sunday, following a highlight reel full of gems in Saturday's win.

With the game on the line in the tenth inning, Martin Prado made two clutch plays at third base. The second play ended the inning and saved what appeared to be a game-ending hit. Due to Prado's glove, Miami went on to win the game the following inning.

Before Prado's heroics on Saturday, Adeiny Hechavarria and Miguel Rojas also flashed some leather in the win. Both Rojas and Hechavarria have had other memorable moments in the field as well this year.

The Marlins have also had contributions from behind the plate defensively. While J.T. Realmuto's hitting has taken over the headlines this season, the catcher has also shined with his gear on. Realmuto has already caught three runners on the base paths. That total is good for sixth-best in the National League.

Longtime infield instructor and first base coach Perry Hill is credited with the glove work from the infielders. Hill's pupils often post outstanding fielding percentages and get to balls that other players may miss. Gold gloves have been won under Hill's tutelage as well. Up until an error by Prado recently, Miami's infield had gone the entire season without committing a single error.

After wrapping up a trip to San Diego, the Marlins will travel to Philadelphia on Tuesday for a series with the Phillies.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ 8 Most Famous Winners of the Kentucky Derby]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:34:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Scretariat.jpg For just two minutes of the year, a one and one-quarter mile track becomes the center of high-stakes American horse racing in Louisville, Kentucky.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Father and Son Set Atlantic Crossing Record]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 16:00:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DIT_INT_ATLANTIC_CROSS_RECORD_042117-149280286850000001.jpg

Nico and Vittorio Malingri arrived in the Guadeloupe port town of Pointe-a-Pitre on April 20. The journey took 11 days, one hour and nine minutes after leaving Dakar, Senegal, in their sailboat, setting an Atlantic crossing record between those two ports.

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<![CDATA[Olympic Medalist Will Claye Embarks on Music Career]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:13:59 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/IMG_66532.JPG

Will Claye has earned three medals as a track and field athlete for Team USA. His most recent success came at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio when he brought home a silver medal in the triple jump. 

Since returning from the Summer Games, Claye has continued to compete at the highest level on the track but wanted to make sure all his time wasn't consumed by training and competition.

He has been working on something he has been passionate about since he was a child, music. When he was young, it was singing in the church choir or making a mixtape on a boom box.

Now, as an Olympic medalist, new opportunities have presented themselves for Claye, including a chance to record his own album.  

The result is "Look What You Created," a hip-hop album with 12 tracks of music Claye says "will put you in a good mood."


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<![CDATA[The Top Horses Contending to Race the 2017 Kentucky Derby]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 12:15:53 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-648033112_master.jpg As the official start of the Triple Crown nears, here's a look at the top 10 highest ranked horses.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins Announce 2017 Regular Season Schedule]]> Fri, 21 Apr 2017 06:32:31 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-621434742.jpg

The Miami Dolphins released their 2017 regular season schedule on Thursday.

Miami's season will begin on September 10th with a home game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That contest will be Miami's only action at Hard Rock Stadium in the first month.

After the home opener, the Dolphins will hit the road for three straight weeks. Miami will visit the Los Angeles Chargers and New York Jets in back-to-back weeks, leading up to a trip overseas.

In the fourth week of the season, the Dolphins will be considered the home team in a contest against the New Orleans Saints in London. Unlike previous trips to London, Miami will not be off the following week. The Dolphins will instead have their bye week during the 11th week of the season.

This will give the team a good way to rest the roster ahead of the final stretch of the season. It does mean however, that the Dolphins will need to rest up quickly from the overseas experience.

The Dolphins will then travel to Atlanta to take on the defending NFC champion Atlanta Falcons in the sixth week. The Jets will make their much anticipated annual trip to Miami Gardens on October 22nd.

In the second half the season, the Dolphins will play the defending champion New England Patriots twice in a span of three weeks. Miami will also have tough contests against the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers as the schedule winds down. Miami's season will come to an end on December 31st with a home game against the Buffalo Bills.

The Dolphins also have four primetime games - the most in 13 seasons - that includes a stretch of three straight games in the middle of the season. One of those is a showdown with the Oakland Raiders you can see right here on NBC 6 as part of the network's Sunday Night Football package.

The complete schedule is listed below:

Sunday, Sept. 10 - TAMPA BAY (1 p.m.)

Sunday, Sept. 17 - at L.A. Chargers (4:05 p.m.)

Sunday, Sept. 24 - at N.Y. Jets (1 p.m.)

Sunday, Oct. 1 - New Orleans (at London, England) (9:30 a.m.)

Sunday, Oct. 8 - TENNESSEE (1 p.m.)

Sunday, Oct. 15 - at Atlanta (1 p.m.)

Sunday, Oct. 22 - N.Y. JETS (1 p.m.)

Thursday, Oct. 26 - at Baltimore (8:25 p.m.)

Sunday, Nov. 5 - OAKLAND (8:30 p.m. on NBC 6)

Monday, Nov. 13 - at Carolina (8:30 p.m.)

Sunday, Nov. 19 - Bye

Sunday, Nov. 26 - at New England (1 p.m.)

Sunday, Dec. 3 - DENVER (1 p.m.)

Monday, Dec. 11 - NEW ENGLAND (8:30 p.m.)

Sunday, Dec. 17 - at Buffalo (1 p.m.)

Sunday, Dec. 24 - at Kansas City (1 p.m.)

Sunday, Dec. 31 - BUFFALO (1 p.m.)

Miami also announced the dates of their four preseason games. The team will host the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, August 10th and the Baltimore Ravens on August 17th before traveling to the Philadelphia Eagles on August 24th and the Minnesota Vikings on August 31st.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[ME to Release Hernandez's Brain After Lawyer's Accusation]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 23:58:58 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/baez1.jpg

The stunning suicide of Aaron Hernandez led to another surprising turn -- a fight over his brain.

Hernandez's family wants his brain to be studied by the Boston University CTE Center for a brain disease found in some football players. While state officials have now said they would release the brain to the family, that announcement wasn't made until after accusations from the former New England Patriots tight end's lawyer.

"It is our position that they are holding Aaron Hernandez's brain illegally," attorney Jose Baez said.

Baez added that BU's CTE Center is "the finest lab in the country," and said medical examiner's office does not have the same level of expertise.

BU's CTE Center refused to comment on the matter Thursday.

"If it's not preserved properly, they won't be able to take proper specimens and we won't be able to get the information and the knowledge we want," said Baez. "It is literally a destruction of evidence issue."

The Medical Examiner's office released a statement saying the brain was being kept because it was part of the investigation into Hernandez's death and could require further analysis. But just hours later, just as quickly as the tension escalated, it seemed to come to an end.

When the Worcester County District Attorney's Office announced that Hernandez's death had officially been ruled a suicide, it added that the state would do as the family asked.

"Now that the cause and manner of death have been determined, the brain will be released to Boston University’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center as Mr. Hernandez’s family wishes," DA Joseph Early Jr. said in a statement.

Baez says the family hopes the brain can be examined to help future athletes, and to shed any more light on his client's death.

"We need to specifically do everything possible to find out what happened," Baez said. "Why not? Doesn't everyone want to know?"

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<![CDATA[Marlins to Honor Ichiro With Pregame Ceremony]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 22:18:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-669622260.jpg

The Miami Marlins have scheduled a pregame ceremony to honor Ichiro Suzuki on April 30th.

Miami originally had planned a ceremony for Ichiro last September, but it was canceled due to the tragic passing of Jose Fernandez. Ichiro eclipsed the 3,000-hit mark during the 2016 season and this ceremony will recognize that accomplishment.

The Seattle Mariners held their own pregame ceremony for Ichiro, while the Marlins were in town this week. Ichiro also received multiple standing ovations, including before and after his memorable home run in Wednesday's game. The legendary outfielder may have played his last game in Seattle, where he spent the majority of his Major League Baseball career.

Ichiro is off to a slow start in 2017, but his home run on Wednesday could maybe turn things around. The Marlins will need Ichiro's bat off the bench this season and also his glove at times in the outfield. The veteran was one of Miami's best players at times in 2016, despite his advanced age.

At 43, Ichiro now holds the record for the oldest player to hit a HR while wearing a Marlins jersey. With the outfielder hoping to play until 50, that is a record Ichiro may improve upon.

The Marlins have not laid out detailed plans for the Ichiro ceremony, but it figures to include some type of gift to recognize his 3,000th hit. The Mariners presented Ichiro with a gift and also showed a video tribute.

Miami will host the Pittsburgh Pirates following the Ichiro ceremony on that Sunday.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gronk Crashes Spicer's White House Press Briefing]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 13:02:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/BOST_000000005668542_1200x675_924518979806.jpg
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski takes time out from the team's visit to the White House to interrupt White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's press briefing.
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<![CDATA[Derek Jeter, Jeb Bush Team Up to Bid for Miami Marlins: Report]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 16:26:10 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Derek+Jeter-523131404.jpg

He's a New York icon, but Derek Jeter has apparently set his sights on a baseball future in Florida.

The Yankees great and former presidential candidate Jeb Bush have teamed up to bid for the Miami Marlins, the Miami Herald reported Wednesday.

Citing people familiar with the sale, the paper reported that the future Hall of Famer and the former Florida governor had combined their once-competing bids for the club. There are a number of other potential bidders and no guarantee the team will be sold.

Jeter has made no secret of his desire to own a baseball team, telling CNBC in 2016 that it is his "ultimate goal." And Bush comes from a baseball-loving family; his brother George owned the Texas Rangers before becoming president. 

A deal could also potentially reunite Jeter with another Yankee icon, Marlins manager Don Mattingly. 

The Yankees are due to retire Jeter's number and unveil a plaque in his honor in Monument Park next month.



Photo Credit: Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Man Giving Thousands to FHP Trooper Struck By Car]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 18:26:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/041917+marlins+man+laurence+leavy+ana+rosario.jpg

A Florida Highway Patrol trooper who was struck by a car on the Dolphin Expressway is still recovering but is getting a helping hand from the South Florida attorney known as Marlins Man.

Marlins Man, whose real name is Laurence Leavy, announced Wednesday that he's giving $12,000 to the family of Trooper Carlos Rosario.

"It's really important to me that we take bad things that happen and make them positive in this community," Leavy said at a press conference Wednesday with Rosario's family.

Rosario, a 12-year veteran and father of two, was standing on the side of the highway running radar checks when a driver lost control and struck him on March 17.

He was left critically injured and has been in the hospital ever since, with medical bills mounting.

"God has been good, I'm just really happy that he's alive, he's here, I just can't wait to take him home with me," wife Ana Rosario said. "He's working really hard to get on his feet."

When Rosario does get to go home, Leavy has promised to fly in his relatives and take the whole family to a Marlins game.

"I really feel that we can use this as an example of how we can make this a better place and pay it forward to each other," Leavy said.



Photo Credit: NBC 6]]>
<![CDATA[Patriots' Gronkowski Crashes White House Press Briefing]]> Thu, 20 Apr 2017 08:08:16 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/wh9.jpg

Rob Gronkowski crashed the White House press briefing on Wednesday, drawing laughs from the surprised press corps.

Press secretary Sean Spicer's briefing had been going on for about 20 minutes when the tight end opened a door and poked his head around the corner of the dais.

“Sean, you need some help?” Gronkowski said. 

“I think I got this, but thank you,” Spicer responded.

“You sure?” Gronk persisted.

Gronkowski's surprise appearance got a loud laugh out of the assembled media. Spicer kept his composure, though, quickly returning to the subject at hand.

"That was cool," Spicer, who is a big Pats fan, said with a laugh. "How do you follow that?"

Gronkowski's New England Patriots were at the White House to accept congratulations from President Donald Trump for their Super Bowl victory.



Photo Credit: NECN]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Players React to Death of Aaron Hernandez]]> Wed, 19 Apr 2017 08:58:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/218*120/aaron-hernandez-juicio-4.jpg

Current and former NFL players were shocked by the death of former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez on Wednesday morning.

Some of them took to Twitter to post about Hernandez's death.

Claude Pleon, a player for the New York Jets tweeted, "R.I.P Aaron Hernandez."

Former San Diego charger Antonio Cromartie tweeted, "I thought he was about to appeal his case. Wow."

Isaiah "Ike" Reese, a former player for the Philadelphia Eagles tweeted, "Aaron Hernandez, #HeGone!!!!" but later deleted the tweet and added, "Tweet has been deleted, completely insensitive on my behalf. Was caught up in my emotions for a moment there, no excuse, I apologize to ALL."

Former Pittsburgh Steeler player Ike Taylor tweeted, "#RIP Aaron Hernandez...something doesn't feel right about him committing suicide... #prayingfor ... GOOD MORNING TO ALL..."

Hernandez was found hanging from his cell at the Souza Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, Massachusetts, on Wednesday morning.

He was later pronounced dead at UMass Leominster Hospital.



Photo Credit: WBTS]]>
<![CDATA[MLB Teams Are Trying to Be More Green]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 16:59:39 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_GREEN_MLB_TEAMS_1-149254839123400001.jpg

Major League Baseball teams are finding ways to save energy and reuse materials. See what your team is doing to help the environment.

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<![CDATA[The Reasons Boston Marathon Runners Finish]]> Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:11:21 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Boston+marathon+finishers.JPG

The Boston Marathon is grueling for every runner. For some, it's not about speed, it's about the accomplishment.

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<![CDATA[Marlins' Ozuna Named National League Player of the Week]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 20:10:35 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-667423144.jpg

Miami Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna was named the National League Player of the Week on Monday.

Miami players have now won the prestigious weekly honor in back-to-back weeks. In the first week of the season, catcher J.T. Realmuto was named Player of the Week as well. The contributions from both players has been a big reason for Miami's early success this year.

Ozuna clubbed four home runs in the six games played last week. In addition to that power, Ozuna hit a robust .435 with a .481 on-base percentage. The left fielder knocked in 12 runs and posted an even 1.000 slugging percentage.

With Giancarlo Stanton off to a sluggish start, Ozuna has been Miami's main source of power thus far. The outfielder is building on a solid 2016 season and is off to a career-high pace. Ozuna is hitting .404 with five home runs and 18 runs batted in overall in 2017.

After shifting over from center field, Ozuna has continued to supply dependable defense this season. The outfielder has not committed an error and has 29 putouts to go with one outfield assist. Ozuna has one of the strongest arms in the game and could make strides if he cuts down on his miscues. Ozuna had five fielding errors last season, which tied a career-high.

In Saturday's win over the New York Mets, Ozuna went back-to-back with Justin Bour at one point. Bour has found little success this season, but the duo could be prolific over the course of the year. Both men possess immense power and can be streaky at times.

The Marlins will open a long road trip on Monday evening against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat's Spoelstra Says Team Can Compete For Championship]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 20:05:01 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/Erik+Spo+Heat+Exit+Interviews.jpg

The Miami Heat’s 2016-2017 came to a heartbreaking end by falling just short of a trip to the playoffs. In Head coach Erik Spoelstra’s mind, it was a season that could’ve been penned by Shakespeare himself: a great tragedy.

"They imprint some kind of emotion out of you, a ton of adversity against all odds, and then ending not the way you wanted it to," Spoelstra said Monday as the team held their exit interviews. 

The Heat didn’t make the playoffs, so they have a head start preparing for next season this summer, according to Heat’s shooting guard Dion Waiters.

Waiters and James Johnson will become free agents and test the market, but both players have made it clear that they want to remain in Miami.

Johnson says he has a loyalty to the organization that outweighs a lot of things, including money.

"It’s not always greener on the other side," Johnson said. "I might not have the same opportunities that I have this year, you know, to get out the box and to play the way that I feel I can contribute to winning, who knows if I can get that on another team."

Spoelstra said the organization is not going to change and that the team is hard-wired to play for championships.

“Hopefully, this is dot, dot, dot continued and we can build on this,” Spoelstra said as the Heat head into next season.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[US Finishes Strong, But Kenyans Sweep Boston Marathon]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 18:25:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/DIT_SPO_BOSTON_MARATHON_041717-149246526888300001.jpg

Americans made a strong showing Monday in the 121st Boston Marathon, but Kenyan runners won both the men’s and women’s races.

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<![CDATA[See Inside: Bob Simpson Selling Texas Castle-Style Home]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 10:51:02 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Bella+Terra+Simpsin+House.jpg Bob Simpson, the co-founder of XTO Energy, and co-owner of the Texas Rangers has listed his home with his wife Janice for $7 million.]]> <![CDATA[Panthers: Shawn Thornton's Final Skates Up for Auction]]> Mon, 17 Apr 2017 10:50:30 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-666308034.jpg

Retired Florida Panthers star Shawn Thornton's last game-used skates are up for auction on eBay.

Thornton took his skates off for the last time at the end of Florida's season, but elected to not keep them as a memento. Instead, the veteran winger tossed the skates into a nearby trash bin. Rather than let a piece of history go to waste, arena staff saved the skates and listed them on the auction website.

All proceeds from the sale of the skates will go to Thronton's foundation and bidding has already hit $910. With a day to go, it is likely that the skates will fetch a total north of $1,000. While Thornton may not have been a household name in some areas, he still had memorable moments during his long career.

"The Shawn Thornton Foundation is dedicated to helping find cures for diseases close to Shawn's heart, specifically, Parkinson's and cancer. The Foundation will work towards this mission by raising awareness, funding innovative research and helping to relieve the burden and improve the quality of life for patients and their families," a note explains on ThorntonFoundation.org.

When he announced his intentions to retire, Thornton also stated that he would take a job in Florida's front office. That role has not been officially announced yet, but should be at some point in the off-season. While some former players go into coaching or roster management, Thornton is expected to serve in a business capacity.

In his three seasons with Florida, Thornton amassed four of his 42 career NHL goals. Scoring was not in Thornton's job description however, as he served as an enforcer for the Panthers. In a lot of ways, Thornton brought back memories of the old look of hockey. The 39-year old found himself in the penalty box after fights often and his leadership may be missed on a young Florida squad next season.

The auction is scheduled to end on Tuesday evening.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Unveil 'Powerful and Inspirational' Jackie Robinson Statue]]> Sun, 16 Apr 2017 02:38:05 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/185*120/Jackie_Robinson_Statue.png

After 55 years, Dodger Stadium has a statue. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers unveiled the first statue in Stadium history on the 70th anniversary of the day that Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball's color barrier on April 15, 1947. 

The Dodgers honored Robinson and his family with a pregame ceremony that featured speakers, Stan Kasten, Frank Robinson, Vin Scully, and Dodgers' owner Earvin "Magic" Johnson. 

"I'm humbled to participate in the unveiling of the Jackie Robinson statue on the 70th anniversary of his Major League debut," said Magic in a statement. "His impact exceeded beyond baseball, paving a way for me and African-American athletes across all sports. Beyond being an extraordinary athlete, Robinson was an extraordinary individual. The statue is a tribute to not only the rich history and success Robinson brought to the Dodgers organization, but the social impact he made on this country."

Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, as well as his two children, Sharon and David Robinson were also in attendance, and together, the threesome counted down the moment where the blue curtain was dropped at the statue was unveiled to adoring fans and guests. 

"We had seen pictures of it, but to see it in person, it was everything we hoped it would be," said Sharon Robinson. "It was as powerful and inspirational as we'd hoped, and it was really wonderful to share that with Mom."

For fans coming out to Dodger Stadium this season who want to see the statue, it's located on the Left Field Reserve Plaza of the stadium and depicts Jackie Robinson stealing home plate, a feat he did 19 times in his Hall of Fame career. 

The bronze statue was designed by sculptor Branly Cadet and took 18 months to complete. It sits atop a large granite base, complete with a biography and quotes from Robinson. All told, the statue stands over nine feet tall. 

"I analyzed the sculptures that already existed of him, and used the context of Los Angeles. This is a megalopolis. It's a big over the top city, so it was important the sculpture was as dynamic as the city and as Jackie was," Cadet said. "I also wanted to capture his historical significance. Stealing home is one of the hardest things to do in baseball, so the act of stealing home, I thought was a good metaphor."

All players across Major League Baseball wore No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson on Saturday and the first 40,000 fans in attendance at Dodger Stadium received a replica of the statue, courtesy of Bank of America. 



Photo Credit: Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[MLS All-Star to Face Real Madrid This Summer in Chicago]]> Sat, 15 Apr 2017 15:32:08 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Scheinsteiger.png

The MLS All-Star Game will make its way to Soldier Field this summer, and on Saturday the league announced which world powerhouse team will come to America to take on the best players that the league has to offer.

When the two sides square off on August 2 at the venerable stadium, the MLS All-Stars will take on Real Madrid, a La Liga squad that has won a total of 32 titles in that league: 

They’ve also won 11 UEFA Champions League titles, a record, and are widely considered to be one of the best European teams in the history of soccer.

Real Madrid will be the first team from La Liga to ever take part in the MLS All-Star Game. A slew of English teams, including Chelsea (who played in Chicago for the 2006 All-Star Game) and Arsenal have played in the game, and the Serie-A league in Italy and the Bundesliga in Germany have also sent representatives to compete.

"It's good for the league," Toronto forward Jozy Altidore said. "If we're going to have this event, you want to make it worthwhile for everybody. To play the biggest club in world football, it's exciting for a lot of reasons."

New York City forward David Villa added: "To play against a team like Real Madrid, it's so very good," said NYCFC.

In the last MLS All-Star Game played in Chicago, the All-Stars took down Chelsea in a 1-0 triumph at Toyota Park, as Houston Dynamo star Dwyane De Rosario scoring the lone goal in the 70th minute of the contest.

Tickets for the game are on sale through the Chicago Fire website.



Photo Credit: Dylan Buell/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[NBA Star Isaiah Thomas' Sister Killed in Car Crash]]> Sat, 15 Apr 2017 20:57:46 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*120/GettyImages-626345146.jpg

The sister of Boston Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas has died in a car accident Saturday morning in Washington.

Chyna J. Thomas was involved in a single car crash on Interstate 5 in Federal Way, Washington, according to Washington State Patrol. Thomas was traveling south when police say her car started to drift off the roadway. The car struck a side barrier then slammed into a pole. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Washington State Patrol released this photo from the scene.

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Isaiah Thomas and the Celtics are scheduled to play the Chicago Bulls in the first round of playoffs on Sunday.

After learning of the accident the Celtics tweeted, “We are terribly saddened by the tragic loss of Chyna Thomas. The thoughts and prayers of the entire organization are with Isaiah and his family.”

Chyna Thomas was just 22-years-old.



Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Tony Gwynn Memorial Statue to Be Unveiled on His Birthday]]> Sun, 16 Apr 2017 07:27:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/gwynn.jpg

The City of Poway will soon be unveiling a statue of their most famous citizen --baseball legend Tony Gwynn, also known as Mr. Padre.

A bronze statue, designed by Texas artist Seth Vandable, will be unveiled on May 9, which was Gwynn's birthday.

Poway broke ground on the Tony Gwynn Memorial in July, 2016.

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The city hosted a benefit concert last year to kick off a fundraiser for the project. 

A donor wall will accompany the statue with recognizing those who donated at least $250. 

The unveiling and dedication will start at 10:30 a.m. on May 9 in Poway, San Diego County.

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Photo Credit: Sporting News via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins to Build Large Statue of Jose Fernandez at Ballpark]]> Thu, 13 Apr 2017 17:02:24 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/thumbanail+video+jose+fernandez.jpg

The Miami Marlins are building a large statue to honor late pitcher Jose Fernandez.

The commissioning of the 9-10 foot statue was confirmed by team owner Jeffrey Loria, during an interview with ESPN.com.

"We're having a big sculpture of Jose made for the plaza or maybe in front of the stadium. William Behrends is doing it. He did the Willie McCovey and Willie Mays sculptures out in San Francisco," said Loria.

The Marlins currently have a large poster with personal messages dedicated to Fernandez outside the ballpark. Both the players and the fans have added their words to the tribute. The team has not stated if this will remain a permanent memorial or not. The statue could end up residing close to that current memorial area.

"We're going to cast it in bronze and paint the glove the red-orange that Jose would like, and that will be the only color on it. I don't want to make it kitschy, but that was his favorite thing," Loria added.

Fernandez used a glove that stood out on the mound and now the statue will be a permanent reminder of that. It is not known what type of pose will be used for the sculpture, but Loria has been heavily involved in the process.

"I went through hundreds and hundreds of photographs with the sculptor and gestures of Jose's face to try and make it perfect. No one else is going to get involved in a piece of sculpture other than me, right? I've spent 50 years in that world," Loria said about the development process.

Due to the height of the statue, the process is expected to take at least six more months. When Loria was asked why he made the statue several feet taller than Fernandez's actual height, he answered quickly.

"Because Jose was larger than life," Loria stated.

The Marlins are honoring Fernandez in multiple ways this season and have not announced all their plans. In addition to wearing a #16 patch on their jerseys, Miami could retire Fernandez's number during the season. The team's public address announcer also mentioned the late pitcher on Opening Night.

Miami is 4-4 so far this season and will host the New York Mets on Thursday evening at Marlins Park.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>