<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Sports]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:52:38 -0400 Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:52:38 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Heat to Take on Bobcats in First Round of Playoffs]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:34:55 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/463585371.jpg

The Miami Heat will begin their quest for a third straight title on Sunday at home against the Charlotte Bobcats when the NBA playoffs get underway.

The Heat entered the last day of the year secured as the two seed in the Eastern Conference and awaited news of which team would be the seven seed. The Washington Wizards could’ve easily been headed to Miami instead but it will be Charlotte after the results of Wednesday’s games. The Heat have defeated the Bobcats 16 straight times including four games during the 2013-14 season.
The first contest this season between the teams was on November 16th in Charlotte when the Heat came away 97-81 winners. In that game, LeBron James had 30 points and ran the show in a slow day for both Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. The next time the two teams saw one another was December 1st in Miami with the Heat narrowly winning 99-98. That game was highlighted by Chris Bosh draining a trifecta of three-pointers in a 79 second span to lead Miami to the victory.
On January 18th, a third meeting took place with the Heat winning in overtime 104-96 in Charlotte. With Wade missing the game, both James and Bosh had big games. James had 34 points, eight rebounds and six assists while Bosh tallied 25 points of his own to go along with seven boards. Ray Allen also contributed in a big way picking up 12 points and nine rebounds of his own. The last game on March 3rd featured James’ 61-point explosion in a lopsided 124-107 Heat victory. Wade missed that contest as well and James played with a protective mask due to a fractured nose.
A year ago, Charlotte finished 21-61 which was one of the worst records in the entire NBA. It was a different story however this season. The Bobcats had a decent year going 43-39 for their second playoff appearance ever and the first for Charlotte since the 2009-10 season. Led by Al Jefferson, the Bobcats finished strong with eight wins in their final nine games. Charlotte also features point guard Kemba Walker who is a potentially budding star in the NBA.
The first game of the series will take place at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday from the American Airlines Arena.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nationals Blast Away Marlins With Late Power Surge]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:57:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/485147187.jpg

The Miami Marlins had a 3-0 lead but it fell apart in a hurry as the Washington Nationals came away 6-3 winners on Wednesday.

Jose Fernandez was pitching brilliantly until a bad pitch to Jayson Werth in the sixth inning. In the blink of an eye, a 3-0 shutout turned into a 3-3 game. That would turn out to only be the beginning of the story. Fernandez wound up with ten strikeouts across seven innings of work with no earned runs. The Marlins' ace walked none and allowed four hits. The home run followed a pair of errors by Jarrod Saltalamacchia which extended the inning. With the no decision, Fernandez remains 2-1 on the year to go along with a 2.66 E.R.A.

Mike Dunn's tough season continued in the eighth when the left-hander allowed two runs on a hit and a walk without retiring a batter. One of those runs was a lead-off home run to quickly put Miami behind 4-3. Dunn now has a 9.53 E.R.A this season and has been ineffective in several outings. A.J. Ramos had a rare poor outing allowing a run on two hits in his inning following Dunn's effort.

Derek Dietrich provided all the runs for Miami in this one with a three-run home run which was his third blast of the young season. The home run was a laser off the facade of the upper deck in right field and gave the Marlins a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning. Marcell Ozuna stayed hot with a two-hit game including his third double of the season.

The Marlins are off on Thursday before they begin their first interleague series of the season on Friday. The Seattle Mariners are set to visit Miami and take on Nathan Eovaldi.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LeBron and Bosh To Sit in Finale For Heat]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 12:54:11 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/115950701.jpg

The Miami Heat announced that they will rest stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh on Wednesday in their regular season finale against the Philadelphia 76ers with their playoff position locked.

The Heat will be the number two seed in the Eastern Conference with a win or a loss on Wednesday; the only mystery remaining for the team is who they will face. That answer is out of their hands as well which leads to the finale being a meaningless game for Miami. With that in mind, finding an extra day off for two of their big stars was likely an easy decision. James and Bosh also sat out Miami's previous game on Monday against the Washington Wizards for rest.

The Heat may still have one star on the court with Dwyane Wade likely to play, albeit possibly in limited action. Wade missed several games due to various injuries and could benefit from keeping sharp more than he would from rest like his teammates. It's unlikely Wade will see his normal allotment of minutes as the team will try to limit potential injury risk in a meaningless game.

Another name to keep an eye on tonight is Greg Oden with the team listing him as a game-time decision in a tweet. Oden has not played since March 26th against the Indiana Pacers and is currently battling a stomach virus after a bout with back spasms. Oden still remains a possibility for playing time in the playoffs, but his extended absence likely altered plans to have him as a member of the starting five.

The Heat will begin the playoffs this weekend at home against either the Wizards or the Charlotte Bobcats. Their opponent will be determined on Wednesday.


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Koehler Dominates Nationals as Marlins End Eight-Game Skid]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:15:56 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/182047134.jpg

The Miami Marlins finally returned to the win column on Tuesday with a decisive 11-2 victory over the Washington Nationals to end an eight game losing streak.

Tom Koehler pitched more like an ace than the fifth starter he is listed as by holding Washington to only one hit across seven innings of work. Koehler struck out three and allowed five hits while holding the Nationals scoreless. Koehler is now 2-1 with a 1.89 E.R.A on the season and thoroughly outpitched Stephen Strasburg in this win. Dan Jennings allowed a run in the eighth though the run was un-earned as it was due in part to a Marcell Ozuna throwing error. Jennings would go on to allow one more run in the ninth on a solo home run.

The Marlins tallied their 11 runs on 14 hits in an explosive display against Strasburg and the Washington bullpen. The scoring started early with Giancarlo Stanton blasting a three-run home run in the first inning. The Marlins’ slugger now has five home runs on the year and also leads Major League Baseball with 21 runs batted in. Stanton added his fifth double later in the game as well in what was 5 RBI day for him. Ozuna had a huge day himself going 4-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. 

Adeiny Hechavarria who was celebrating his birthday on Tuesday added a triple which was his second of the year to go along with two runs scored. Casey McGehee who had a tough road trip went 3-5 with two RBI to lift his average back over .300 on the season.  Every starter in the lineup outside of Koehler had at least one hit in this game, with four of the hitters having multi-hit games.

The Marlins will look to make it two wins in a row on Wednesday when Jose Fernandez takes the mound, trying to rebound from a loss in Washington last week.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Three Losses Away From Franchise Record ]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 09:01:19 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/482071493.jpg

The Miami Marlins opened the year with a 5-1 record but they have not won since, and have now lost eight times in a row to inch them close to franchise history.

The Marlins in their history have lost 11 times on three separate occasions. Those previous times were April 1-12, and May 26 - June 7 of 1998 along with June 11-20 in 2011, per the team's media guide. 1998 was famously the worst season in Marlins' history and came off their first World Championship when the team lost 104 games overall. During the 2011 streak, manager Edwin Rodriguez even stepped down from his position, which opened the door for the return of Jack McKeon who quickly oversaw a win.

There is no reason to think that current skipper Mike Redmond is looking to go the Rodriguez route but the frustration can be seen in his face following each mounting loss. The Marlins' showed a lot of promise in the first week and have been having difficulty in multiple facets of the game ever since. Pitching has faltered, defense has been abysmal at times, and situational hitting has taken a step back. The Marlins as a team are finding ways to lose and are making it difficult for Redmond to get them back in a winning groove.

There are some positive signs still even in the midst of this streak that can give the team a little confidence. Despite the skid, the Marlins overall are still near the top in several offensive categories of the National League. Coming into the year, their biggest question mark was expected to be offense so that is a welcome sign for the team. The power is there as Miami is seemingly sending at least one ball over the wall in each game. That is something the team simply didn't come close to seeing in 2013. 

It may only take one win for the Marlins to turn things back around, and that could come as soon as Tuesday against the Washington Nationals. It won't be easy though with Stephen Strasburg on the mound, who struck out 12 Miami hitters last week. Ace Jose Fernandez is set to get the ball on Wednesday and he could be looked at as the streak stopper after having a rare poor effort in his previous start.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[White Hot Heat Week Kicks Off With Car Decal Event]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 10:28:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/heat+mascot.jpg

The Miami Heat are getting fans pumped for the playoffs with the 2014 White Hot Heat Week kicking off Monday with their car decal event.

Fans who stop by the American Airline Arena between 6 and 10 a.m. can get a free Heat window decal.

Heat mascot Burnie and the Heat dancers will be on hand to help and give away free Heat fan kits.

The Heat have just two games remaining in the regular season before their begin their begin their run for a Three-peat in the NBA playoffs.

<![CDATA[49ers' Aldon Smith Arrested For False Bomb Threat]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:59:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/10-9-2013-aldon-smith.jpg

San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Aldon Smith was taken into custody by police at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday following an encounter with a TSA agent, police said.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, 25-year-old Smith from San Jose, Calif., was arrested at LAX after making a bomb threat. He was released from custody after posting $20,000 bail Sunday evening and was not charged on Monday, as is standard for out-of-custody defendents, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

According to the police statement, Smith was going through Terminal 1 screening and was randomly selected for a secondary screening at about 2 p.m.. Smith "then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding towards the gate area."

Los Angeles Airport Police made contact with Smith at the gate, where he was identified as the person in question. Once again, Smith became uncooperative and was detained and taken into custody by Airport Police and transported to LAPD and booked for California Penal Code 148.1(a) - false report of a bomb threat.

Additional eyewitness accounts support the accusation.

An airport employee said that he witnessed the confrontation at the gate between Smith and police.

"I could hear him saying bomb, and then I looked and noticed who it was," an LAX employee who said his name was "Garet" told NBC Bay Area. "He was taking money out of his pocket and throwing it on the ground saying, ‘It’ll be all right. It’ll be all right.'"

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has confirmed police at the airport said it appeared Smith may have been drunk earlier in the day. He was belligerent, but he was not charged with being drunk in public, police said.

The airport said it did not run or request any blood alcohol tests because alcohol was not a factor in the arrest.

TMZ Sports was first to post footage of police officers at LAX taking Smith into custody. Smith can can be heard in the video saying he did nothing wrong.

San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement saying the team is "disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith." He declined to comment further, citing a "pending legal matter."

This is the fourth criminal case against Smith in the last two years.

Smith had hearings on two separate criminal cases last Friday, including three felony counts of possessing an illegal assault weapon and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Deputy District Attorney Brian Buckelew.

Smith wasn't present for the hearing.

The district attorney's office filed the three felony charges against Smith on Oct. 9, after the office's firearms unit examined five rifles recovered by sheriff's deputies from Smith's rented home outside San Jose in 2012. Deputies searched the home after a raucous late-night party where two people were shot and wounded and Smith was stabbed in the leg.

During the crowded party, which was attended by 49ers player Chris Culliver and former 49ers player Delanie Walker, Smith fired a .45 caliber handgun into the air to disburse partygoers before he was stabbed.

The man prosecutors alleged stabbed Smith, Steven Raymond Burba, a reputed gang member, was later arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities have not arrested a suspect in the shootings of the two victims at the party.

When sheriff's deputies arrived at Smith's home to investigate, they found five rifles in his bedroom, including three assault weapons, an Armalite AR-10T and two Bushmaster brand rifles, which Smith bought legally in Arizona in 2011 but are illegal to possess in California, prosecutors said.

Smith's separate DUI case was on the court calendar for a pretrial conference. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession on Sept. 20, after San Jose police said he crashed his car into a tree at about 7 a.m. on Bentley Ridge Drive in San Jose.

Some 49ers fans said they were not surprised Smith has had yet another brush with the law.

"You would think he’d get his act together after getting caught after having that DUI crash in San Jose but he’s young, he’s not learning," 49ers fan TJ Duran said.

"I would be shocked if he has a future with the team," football fan Sean Smith said.

Credit for cell phone video: Clayton Mullaly, USMC combat vet.


Information from Bay City News was used in this report.

Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hurricanes Show Off New Look Prior to Spring Game]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 10:34:27 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/new+hurricanes+uniforms.jpg

The Miami Hurricanes played their spring game on Saturday, but there was even bigger news prior to it when the school unveiled a new look for the football team.

Before the defense took the spring game 61-60, the Hurricanes stood on the field at Sun-Life Stadium and gave the world a view of how they will take the field going forward. In all, there are four overall uniforms and they are named "Juice," "Storm Trooper," "Surge" and "Smoke". 

"Juice" is an all-orange home look on the torso and legs along with green sleeves. Present on the sleeves is the beak of the Ibis mascot. Incorporating the Ibis into the new look appears to have been a priority. "Storm Trooper" as can be expected is an all-white look for away games. The Ibis logo can be found on the sleeves here as well. "Surge" and "Smoke" are two alternate uniforms for the school. The former is all-green while the latter is an all-gray look. Once again the Ibis logo can prominently be seen on the sleeves.

It was announced back in February that the Hurricanes would be donning new threads, but details were kept secret until the unveiling. The change is major and noticeable, but it also pays tribute to the previous look. The new uniforms were designed by Nike with input from Hurricanes' coach Al Golden, equipment manager David Case, and athletic director Blake James, according to The Miami Herald.

“The uniform comes at the right time for the right team,” Golden told the Herald. “These young men, who unselfishly guided us through some very dark days, now display a renewed attitude and spirit! These new uniforms capture that outlook."

The new look will be available to purchase by the public in early July.

Watch the players' reactions to the new uniforms in this video below:


Photo Credit: Courtesy hurricanesports.com]]>
<![CDATA[2 Hernandez Associates Indicted on Murder Charge]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 18:08:20 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/hernandezq.jpg

Two associates of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez were indicted Friday on murder charges, in connection with his alleged fatal shooting of a semi-professional football player last year.

A Massachusetts grand jury charged both Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace with murder in connection with the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Mass., NECN reported.

Bristol County District Attorney's Office said Ortiz and Wallace, both of Bristol, Conn., will be arraigned on the new charge in Fall River on a date that has yet to be determined.

Ortiz and Wallace had both pleaded not guilty to their previous charge of accessory to murder after the fact.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murdering 27-year-old Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

<![CDATA[Kaepernick Rips Report]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:11:43 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/461570031.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick slammed media reports that he is being investigated by Miami police for sexual assault.

In a series of three tweets first sent at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, Kaepernick wrote:

"The charges made in the TMZ story and other stories I’ve seen are completely wrong," he tweeted.  "They make things up about me that never happened. I take great pride in who I am and what I do, but  I guess sometimes you have to deal with someone who makes things up. I want to thank all of the people who have shared their encouraging sentiments. I assure you that your faith is not misplaced."

TMZ on Thursday first broke the news about Kaepernick, saying in its headline that he was being investigated for a sexual assault.

Later in the day, the Miami police department released a report filed April 3 by a woman who said she is a former lover of Kaepernick's. In the report, the woman said that she partied with him and two other NFL players, passed out at the Miami Viceroy hotel on April 2, and wound up at a hospital later without having any idea how she got there.

The report alleges no specific crime.

According to the police report, the woman -- who, according to the police report, had a previous sexual relationship with Kaepernick -- said she went to visit Ricardo Lockette, 27, at his unit at the luxury residences of the Viceroy in downtown Miami on April 1 about 9 p.m. Kaepernick and 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, 23, were also there.

The woman said she mixed drinks for the men and gave them shots, according to the report. She said the men told her that if she wanted to drink she had to "hit the bong, which contained marijuana," the report states.

They chatted for a while and watched basketball.

Before midnight, she started to feel "light headed," she told police, and she went to lie down.

She said Kaepernick came behind her in the bedroom and started kissing her, the report states. He started to undress her, and she told police she got naked. They did not have sex at this time, the report states.

Kaepernick left, saying he'd be right back.The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014.

The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo: NBC 6 South Florida)

When the woman called out that she was in bed naked, Patton and Lockette opened the door and "peeked" inside, the report states. She remembers yelling, "What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!" the report states. They closed the door and left.

But the woman cannot remember anything after that.

She woke up in a hospital and can't remember arriving there.

Miami police said they are investigating the report, as is standard when someone files one.

Wisconsin-based XAM Sports, which represents Kaepernick, also issued a statement to CSN Bay Area in support of their client on Friday.

"We stand by Colin 100% and are fully confident that the truth will be evident once the facts come to light regarding this matter. Thank you for supporting Colin."

Agent Scott Smith represents Kaepernick, who is in line for a lucrative contract extension.

General manager Trent Baalke said recently at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., the 49ers hope to have a new deal in place before the opening of training camp. And 49ers CEO Jed York said Kaepernick deserves to be paid like a top quarterback.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Heat Fan Wins $1,000 Shopping Spree With Birdman ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 20:08:07 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/176*120/170992000.jpg

A Miami Heat fan took a trip to the store she won't soon forget, leaving an area Winn-Dixie with a cart of free groceries and memories of a shopping spree with Chris "Birdman" Andersen.

"This is the best experience I've ever had," Daisy Moore said. "I will never forget it."

The single mother won $1,000 in free groceries as part of the first Dr. Pepper Mountain Dew Shop with the Player Program. She snagged the prize by proving she is a big Miami Heat fan.

"I work overnight so I always DVR the games," said Moore, adding that it can be hard to make ends meet.

Moore was able to shop for family favoites like yogurt and Cheez-Its with the cash. Andersen even flew out to the parking lot to lend an assist with all the bags.

"Being a single mom it's hard at times, but this will save me a lot," Moore said. "I'm very grateful."

Andersen said the experience meant a lot to him, too.

"Giving back to the community is very special for us," he said.




Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kaepernick Probed in Hotel Incident]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 06:57:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP8942224809.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being investigated by police in Miami in connection to an incident that allegedly involves a woman who passed out inside a luxury hotel room.

The report released by the Miami Police Department on Thursday does not charge Kaepernick with any specific crime.

A woman told authorities she partied with Kaepernick -- and two other NFL players -- and ended up in a South Florida hospital room without any recollection of how she got there, according to the police report.

The alleged encounter happened at the Viceroy Hotel in downtown Miami the evening of April 1.

Along with 26-year-old Kaepernick, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, 27, and 23-year-old 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, who is entering his second NFL season, are both mentioned in the incident report. CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reports Kaepernick and Lockette forged a tight friendship during Lockette's time on the 49ers' practice squad in 2012.

Police in Miami are continuing to investigate whether Kaepernick and the two other NFL players mentioned are responsible for any wrongdoing.

“There is not much we can say about it, other than it is an open investigation for all three of these men,” Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.

The report was taken by Miami police on April 3, when the unnamed woman walked into the department's central station.

According to the police report, the woman said she went to visit Lockette at his unit at the luxury residences of the Viceroy on April 1 about 9 p.m. Patton and Kaepernick were also there.

The woman said she mixed drinks for the men and gave them shots, according to the report. She said the men told her that if she wanted to drink she had to "hit the bong, which contained marijuana," the report states.

They chatted for a while and watched basketball.

Before midnight, she started to feel "light headed," she told police, and she went to lie down.

She said Kaepernick came behind her in the bedroom and started kissing her, the report states. He started to undress her, and she told police she got naked. They did not have sex at this time, the report states.

Kaepernick left, saying he'd be right back.The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014.

The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo: NBC 6 South Florida)

When the woman called out that she was in bed naked, Patton and Lockette opened the door and "peeked" inside, the report states. She remembers yelling, "What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!" the report states. They closed the door and left.

But the woman cannot remember anything after that.

She woke up in a hospital and can't remember arriving there.

The woman told police that she and Kaepernick had a sexual relationship in the past.

San Francisco 49ers’ General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement to the media Thursday morning, which said:

“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent media report regarding Colin Kaepernick and is in the process of gathering the pertinent facts.”

TMZ first broke the news. TMZ's report says any investigation is in the "beginning stages," according to law enforcement sources.

Niners cornerback Tramaine Brock said he thinks the investigation "must be a hoax."

Kaepernick has apparently been training in South Florida during the offseason. Less than week ago, the 49ers QB posted to Instagram a photo of himself hashtagged "#Miami."

Attempts to reach the players named in the report or their attorneys have been unsuccessful.

It's been a rough year for 49ers players off the field.

Chris Culliver is facing one felony charge and two misdemeanor charges after a March 30 hit-and-run involving a bicyclist in San Jose. The 25-year-old cornerback was charged with felony possession of brass knuckles, which carries up to a three-year prison sentence. He also was charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run with injury as well as misdemeanor hit-and-run, which have one-year maximum sentences.

All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana in San Jose. In October, the 24-year-old was charged three felony weapons assault charges, stemming from a June 2012 house party he hosted. In September, he was charged with a DUI. In November, Smith pleaded not guilty.

Both Smith and Culliver, who are still under contract with the 49ers, are scheduled to make separate appearances in Santa Clara County court on Friday.

NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo and NBC 6 South Florida contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Blow Five Run Lead, Fall For Third Straight Time]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 23:09:37 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/483642345.jpg

The Miami Marlins dropped a third straight game on Wednesday with a long wild 10-7 loss to the Washington Nationals.

The game took nearly four hours and saw the Marlins let an early five run lead slip away. A second lead was lost in the eighth inning as well. Errors have been a problem for Miami this year as the lead Major League Baseball with eleven miscues. Three of those came in this game including one in the eighth inning that led to the eventual game winning runs for Washington. That error was committed by Derek Dietrich who was playing third base at the time. It was the fifth error of the year for Dietrich and it was followed by an intentional walk and then a grand slam off the bat of Jayson Werth. 
Derek Dietrich and Jarrod Saltalamacchia both went deep for the first time this season. Dietrich hit his in the second inning as part of Miami’s route to the early 5-0 lead. The home run was originally ruled a triple but was overturned to a home run upon review. Saltalamacchia added his in the seventh inning to tie the game after the Nationals had taken the lead in the sixth. Christian Yelich stayed hot with a three-hit game including his second double of the season. Yelich also walked twice to reach in five of six plate appearances. Adeiny Hechavarria also kept his bat going with a two-hit day that featured his first triple of the year.
Garrett Jones picked up what looked like it’d be his biggest hit as a Marlin thus far with a run scoring double in the eighth inning to put Miami ahead at the time. Giancarlo Stanton tried to score as well on the play but was ruled out and confirmed as such on a review of a possible block of home plate. That review was the third of the game after two home runs were replayed earlier in the contest. 
Brad Hand made his first start of the year as he took the place of Jacob Turner who was placed on the disabled list earlier in the day. Hand threw 85 pitches in only 3.1 innings of work and was battling with rallies by Washington at nearly every turn. Hand escaped most but he couldn’t avoid a three-run home run by Bryce Harper. Hand allowed three runs on four hits while walking two. The left-hander also struck out four along the way. It is likely that Hand will remain in the rotation while Turner is out but the Marlins have yet to confirm that. 
After Hand’s day came to an end, Kevin Slowey stepped in and worked 1.2 innings in which he allowed three runs on three hits. Miami was likely looking for more innings from Slowey in order to save the rest of the bullpen but the veteran did not have his best stuff in this game. Dan Jennings who took over next did not fare much better giving up two hits while only retiring one hitter. Jennings also misplayed a ball back to the mound leading to a run. With the bases loaded and one out, manager Mike Redmond brought in Arquimedes Caminero who had been recalled earlier in the day to take Turner’s roster spot. Caminero promptly retired the two batters he faced to end the inning and then stayed in to pitch a scoreless seventh inning as well. In the eighth, Carlos Marmol entered and had a tough outing giving up four runs on two hits in the inning due to the aforementioned Werth slam.
On Thursday, the Marlins will send Tom Koehler to the mound as they try to salvage one game in the series.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Batkid Throws 1st Pitch, Draws Praise, Criticism ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:41:23 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/batkid6.jpg

He won the hearts of San Francisco five months ago, when the city morphed into Gotham City to lift the spirits of a 5-year-old battling leukemia.

And Batkid still evoked strong emotions when he took the mound at the Giants home opener at AT&T Park on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The tiny superhero, aka Miles Scott of Siskyou County, threw the first pitch at the game, where the Giants were victorious, 7-3. An especially poignant image was when the little boy dressed all in black held hands with pitcher Matt Cain on the field.

Some took to social media to criticize all the attention Miles - who is remission from his cancer - is still getting. The city of San Francisco and 12,000 volunteers pitched in on Nov. 15 to make the boy's dream come true: Allowing him to be his favorite superhero for the day. But some believe that the boy's 15 minutes is up.

On NBC Bay Area's Facebook page, some posters were critical of all the attention he was getting. "There are plenty of other kids out there that could use support or even a couple hours of fun," one person wrote.

But it's also safe to say that Miles has become a symbol of hope for many, especially those in the cancer community, who see that the boy battled his disease.

"Omg!," a poster named Dana Hernandez wrote. "This was so cool! It gave me the chills."

And in a Wednesday morning interview on NBC Bay Area, Giants commentator Mike Krukow called the "blanket of love that everyone" threw Batkid's way, was just "amazing."

"It was the start of a perfect day,"Krukow said during his weekly segment "Kruk on Skype." "And Batkid had a lot to do with it."

Miles Scott, left, dressed as Batkid, throws the ceremonial first pitch next to Batman before an opening day baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, Pool).

<![CDATA[Marlins Place Turner on Disabled List ]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 13:38:57 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/482316057.jpg

The Miami Marlins placed starting pitcher Jacob Turner on the 15-day disabled list with a right shoulder strain according to MLB.com.

The move is retroactive to April 4th and reliever Arquimedes Caminero was recalled from AAA New Orleans to take the roster spot. Following Tuesday's game, the Marlins scratched Turner from his scheduled start on Wednesday but waited a day to make the disabled list transaction. Brad Hand is set to take the ball in Washington D.C. and will in all likelihood keep the rotation spot until Turner's return. In Turner's one start this year he struggled, but the team eventually picked up a comeback win.

The injury occurred during batting practice prior to Tuesday's tilt against the Nationals per a report by the Sun-Sentinel. It is commonplace for the next day's starter to take part in batting practice as to not overwork himself on the actual day of his start. With a young pitcher such as Turner, Miami is always going to lean on the side of caution. A shoulder strain far too often becomes a much bigger injury if not rested properly.

As for Caminero, he had an excellent spring but lost out on making the team due to roster rules. The team can only carry 25 players with 12-13 being pitchers normally. Caminero also had a minor league option remaining which allowed him to be demoted without being exposed to other teams. Even at the time of the demotion, it was apparent that his time in the minors could be short and that he would likely be given the first big league chance amongst the minor league options. That day has now arrived and it's plausible that Caminero remains on the roster the rest of the way if he is successful. In AAA this year, the 26-year old has had success in limited action.

Hand and the Marlins will take on the Nationals at 7:05 p.m on Wednesday night looking to end a two-game skid.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UMass Basketball Player Announces He's Gay]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:30:41 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/ncaa_h3.jpg

UMass guard Derrick Gordon has become the first openly gay player in Division I men's basketball.

Gordon made the announcement in interviews with ESPN and Outsports on Wednesday. Gordon said he gained confidence by seeing an NBA team sign Jason Collins, who became the league's first openly gay player when he joined the Brooklyn Nets this season.

"I want to be myself," Gordon said in the interview televised on ESPN. "I don't want to hide and be someone I'm not."

The sophomore was the Minutemen's fourth-leading scorer with 9.4 points per game last season, when UMass reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. A transfer from Western Kentucky, Gordon played at high school powerhouse St. Patrick in New Jersey.

In the Outsports interview, Gordon said he considered quitting basketball last fall and isolated himself from teammates because of teasing. Over the summer, he had "liked" a photo on Instagram of him and his then-boyfriend in front of gay bar.

"I just wanted to run and hide somewhere," he said. "I used to go back to my room and I'd just cry."

Gordon was also inspired by spending time with several gay people in the world of sports in March, according to the Outsports article, and decided to come out to his family and then the Minutemen.

Once he opened up to his teammates, they were encouraging. In the ESPN interview, he recalled that they told him: "We're going to support you no matter what."

Coach Derek Kellogg told ESPN that he could already see a newfound happiness in Gordon.

"I haven't felt like this. Ever," Gordon said in the Outsports interview. "It's a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. I can finally breathe now and live life happily."

On Twitter on Wednesday, he expressed similar levels of relief at his decision, saying he is "the happiest I have ever been in my 22 Years of living."

Collins made a trailblazing announcement last April when he came out in an interview with Sports Illustrated. In February, he became the first openly gay male athlete in the four major North American pro sports leagues.

Michael Sam, an All-American defensive end at Missouri, came out in interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports in February after his college career ended. He is projected as a middle-round prospect in next month's NFL draft.

Sam tweeted congratulations to Gordon after the announcement: "You have so many in your corner and we're all proud and rooting for you."


Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Storms to 9th Title, Routing Notre Dame 79-58]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 23:59:18 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP576312210999.jpg

Geno Auriemma and Connecticut stand alone in women's college basketball, and they reached the top in unprecedented fashion.

The Huskies routed Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in the first championship game featuring undefeated teams, winning their record ninth national title. Auriemma broke a tie with Pat Summitt and Tennessee for most all-time, doing it in her backyard.

Breanna Stewart, who was the AP's player of the year, scored 21 points to lead the Huskies (40-0) while Stefanie Dolson added 17 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Auriemma took out his senior center with a minute left, and the pair embraced in a long hug.

The victory also means that UConn is now the center of the college basketball world with both the men's and women's teams winning the championship in the same year again. The men's team beat Kentucky in the title game Monday night. This pair of victories come a decade after the Huskies became the only school to accomplish the feat.

While the names change at UConn, from Rebecca Lobo to Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and now Stewart, Auriemma has been the constant, winning nine titles in only 20 seasons — including the last two. He's never lost in a national championship game.

"Congratulations to the UConn Huskies for winning the 2014 NCAA National Championship!," Summitt said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. "My compliments also to coach Geno Auriemma for winning his ninth national title. He has accomplished this feat in record time."

It was the fifth unbeaten season for Auriemma and UConn and the first time the Huskies went 40-0 — matching Baylor as the only schools to accomplish that feat. The victory was also Connecticut's 46th straight dating back to last season's NCAA tournament title run. It's the third longest streak in school history — well short of the NCAA record 90 straight they won.

The loss was Notre Dame's third in the title game in the past four years. Kayla McBride finished off her stellar career with 21 points to lead the Irish, who were looking for their first championship since 2001.

After proving to be no challenge for the Huskies during the first 15 years of the rivalry which began in 1995, Notre Dame had owned the series lately, winning seven of the previous nine meetings. UConn though has won the last two, eliminating Notre Dame in the Final Four last season before topping them in the championship game this year.

The two former Big East rivals, who have no love lost for each other, put on a show in a game that women's basketball hoped could transcend the sport. The coaches added to the drama of the game with their verbal sparring on Monday. But it was Auriemma who got the last word again.

Even with the loss, it was a record-setting season for the Irish.

Notre Dame lost Skylar Diggins to graduation and changed conferences to the ACC. Neither mattered as they ran through their opponents, winning by an average of 25.6 points while taking both the conference regular season and tournament championships.

The Irish lost senior Natalie Achonwa to a torn ACL in the regional final win over Baylor. Notre Dame wore warmup shirts with Achonwa's nickname "Ace" below her No. 11.

The team played inspired basketball in the Final Four win over Maryland, outrebounding the Terps by a record margin. The Irish couldn't muster a similar effort against UConn and it's gigantic front line. Stewart, Stefanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes dominated the interior. The Huskies outrebounded the Irish 54-31 and held them to a season-low in points.

After the teams traded shots early on, Stewart fueled a 16-0 run as the Huskies, who have played stellar defense all season, held the Irish without a point for nearly five minutes. Stewart's lay-in with 11:02 left made it 22-8.

A minute later, Dolson had an acrobatic tip to Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis for another layup.

The Irish stayed in the first half by hot 3-point shooting by Michaela Mabrey and Jewell Loyd. Trailing 37-25 with 4:09 left in the first half, the pair sparked a 13-6 run, hitting three 3-pointers which brought the Irish faithful to their feet.

UConn led 45-38 at the half, shooting 57 percent from the field and having 16 assists on their 21 baskets.

The Huskies closed the door on any Irish comeback scoring 18 of the first 22 points in the second half to put the game away. Stewart and Dolson had 10 points during the burst.


Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Drop Second Straight With Shutout Loss to Nats]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 22:27:01 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/483432927.jpg

The Miami Marlins dropped a second straight game on Tuesday with a 5-0 loss to the Washington Nationals. 

Henderson Alvarez fell to 0-2 on the year but looked better than he did in his first start of the year. Alvarez allowed three runs in his 5.2 innings of work on six hits and two walks. The right-hander also struck out four hitters along the way falling one out short of a quality start. Dan Jennings entered in the sixth to pick up the final out of the inning on a strikeout. A.J. Ramos worked the seventh inning perfectly with two strikeouts included. Mike Dunn had a tough outing in the eighth when he allowed two runs on a walk and a pair of hits. The reliever now has a 10.13 E.R.A this season and has allowed runs in two of his three appearances.
Offensively, the Marlins were shut down by the Nationals’ pitching staff in this one. As a team, Miami had four hits and all were singles. The Marlins were 0-4 with runners in scoring position combined and left a total of six men on base. The singles came from Giancarlo Stanton, Adeiny Hechavarria, Marcell Ozuna, and Garrett Jones. The latter was an interesting one as Jones laid down a bunt to the right side to counteract a defensive shift that was set by Washington.
The Marlins will try and get back in the win column on Wednesday with Brad Hand scheduled to start. Jacob Turner was the original starter set but has been scratched with a strained right shoulder per a release from the Marlins.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Wins NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 01:35:12 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP399579783850.jpg The NCAA tournament is arguably the best stretch of weeks on the sports calendar, filled with great teams, exciting games, star players and, usually, plenty of upsets. Mixed in with all the action are some dramatic photos. Take a look at the best of the NCAA tournament in photos.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Jose Fernandez Named Co-NL Player of the Week]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 16:13:13 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/482997181.jpg

Miami Marlins' ace Jose Fernandez added another achievement to his growing list when he was named co-NL Player of the Week on Monday, the team announced on Twitter.

In his first week of 2014, Fernandez made two starts and looked like a Cy Young contender in the early going. In his first start on Opening Night, the right-hander struck out nine across six innings of stellar work. The Rockies managed to score a run against the 21-year old but it was not of significance as the Marlins came away victorious. Despite not having his best stuff in his second start, Fernandez still turned in 6.2 shutout innings featuring eight more strikeouts. In all, Fernandez has struck out 17 in 17.2 innings pitched this year to go along with only two walks and one earned run. 

This is the third time that Fernandez has been named a co-NL Player of the Week in his career after sharing the honor first with teammate Steve Cishek in July 2013. The Rookie of the Year also shared the award with Jeff Samardzija of the Chicago Cubs in August 2013. In addition to those honors, Fernandez was named NL Rookie of the Month in both of those same months last season.

Fernandez is sharing the honor with Charlie Blackmon of the Colorado Rockies who was hitless against him a week ago. Blackmon went on to a phenomenal week after that game to earn the tie for the award. The Rockies' outfielder had one game where he went 6-6 and had nine hits in two games combined per Baseball-Reference.com.

Fernandez will make his next start on Friday against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Parakeet Cheers on UConn ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:41:29 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/219*120/UConnParakeetRazz1200.jpg Talk about a UConn fan! Households across Connecticut are cheering on UConn, but at the DelGrego home in Cheshire, that includes Razz, the parakeet.]]> <![CDATA[Marlins Unable To Complete Sweep Of San Diego]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 17:52:28 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/483086867.jpg

The Miami Marlins lost on Sunday to the San Diego Padres by a final score of 4-2. The loss ended a three game win streak for Miami.

Nathan Eovaldi was cruising until the seventh inning when he allowed all three runs he'd surrender on the day. Eovaldi gave up a three run pinch-hit home run to Alexi Amarista that changed a 1-0 lead into an immediate 3-1 deficit. Eovaldi struck out eight and walked none on the day while scattering six hits. The right-hander now has a 3.46 E.R.A on the year to go along with his 1-1 record. Dan Jennings and Carlos Marmol each worked an inning after Eovaldi was lifted with Jennings surrendering a run.

Giancarlo Stanton picked up his team leading 12th run batted in to give the Marlins an early 1-0 lead in the fourth. Stanton would then go on to swipe his second base of the year but was doubled off the bases a batter later. In the bottom half of the seventh after Miami's lead had vanished, Jeff Baker was called upon to pinch-hit for Derek Dietrich. Baker who has a tremendous track record against lefties doubled home a run to cut the deficit to one. That would turn out to be the last run scored by Miami in this one. Earlier in the game, Christian Yelich who is off to a slow start on the season tripled. The left-fielder is now hitting .222 in the early going.

Despite the loss on Sunday, the Marlins remain in first place in the National League East with their 5-2 record. Miami is off on Monday before starting a series in Washington D.C. on Tuesday. The scheduled starter for the Marlins is Henderson Alvarez.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Team 6 Dominates Miami Heat Media Challenge]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 14:21:36 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/heat+media+12.jpg Team 6 dominated at the Miami Heat Media Challenge for the third time Saturday, winning with a last minute 10-point shot against Channel 7's team. Check out photos from the tournament here.]]> <![CDATA[3rd Straight Win for Marlins]]> Sun, 06 Apr 2014 11:47:58 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/482978193.jpg

The Miami Marlins kept rolling along on Saturday as they improved to 5-1 on the season with a 5-0 victory over the San Diego Padres

Jose Fernandez was masterfully brilliant again going 6.2 innings and punching out eight hitters along the way. The win was credited to Fernandez who is now 2-0 after two starts made. Things started slow for Fernandez as he battled with his control and threw nearly 60 pitches in the first three innings. After that, the Marlins’ ace settled in and was able to work the next 3.2 innings on only 48 pitches finishing the night with 108 thrown total. That pitch count was one shy of Fernandez’s career high per MLB.com. The reigning Rookie of the Year allowed only three hits and no runs to reduce his E.R.A to 0.71.
The last batter faced by Fernandez reached first on a strikeout that got away from Jarrod Saltalamacchia. With Fernandez’s pitch count on the rise, manager Mike Redmond turned to A.J. Ramos who promptly struck out the only hitter he opposed. The pitchers spot was due up first in the seventh for Miami which ended Ramos’ night quickly. Mike Dunn took over in the eighth and turned in a scoreless inning of his own. In the ninth, Carlos Marmol entered in what was a non-save situation and worked a scoreless inning to preserve the shutout.
Giancarlo Stanton’s big start to 2014 continued with a two-hit night which included an RBI double in the seventh inning to pad Miami’s lead. Stanton also knocked in a run earlier in the game to give him 11 RBI on the season. Not to be outdone, Casey McGehee also added two more hits including his fourth double of the year. McGehee is now hitting .450 which includes a triple and 9 RBI making him one of the best comeback stories in Major League Baseball thus far. As a team, Miami had ten hits which gave them four games with at least ten hits on the season thus far.
The Marlins will try and complete the sweep and win a fourth straight game on Sunday when they send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Golf Digest's May Cover Angers LPGA Pros]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 09:55:38 -0400 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP960458089875.jpg

Golf Digest’s May issue has stirred up controversy because of who landed on the cover.

The magazine features 25-year-old Paulina Gretzky, fiancée of PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson and daughter of renowned hockey player Wayne Gretzky. Several LPGA stars are not pleased with the decision to use Gretzky, who's not a professional golfer, and said women pro golfers are getting overlooked.

“It’s frustrating for female golfers," Stacy Lewis, who is ranked No. 3 in the world, said when asked by The New York Times. "It’s kind of the state of where we’ve always been,” “We don’t get respect for being the golfers that we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines, but at the same time you would like to see a little respect for the women’s game.”

In the Golf Digest article, Gretzky demonstrates six golf-improvement exercises and talks about her involvement in the sport. The photos used to promote the issue, which hits newsstands April 15, show her wearing fitted white pants and a white sports bra.

“It’s Golf Digest, it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue,” Juli Inkster, LPGA star and a former cover girl of Golf Digest, told the Times of the spread. “I think they should maybe recognize some of the great women golfers that we have. It’s like, what do you have to do to get a little respect?”

Apart from Gretzky, the last two women featured on the cover have also not been players. Golf Channel anchor Holly Sonders graced the cover last May, and supermodel Kate Upton appeared alongside Arnold Palmer last December.

LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan condemned the move on Friday.

"If a magazine called Golf Digest is interested in showcasing females in the game, yet consistently steers away from the true superstars who've made history over the last few years, something is clearly wrong," he said in a statement.

Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, Jerry Tarde, defended the choice to feature Gretzky.

"Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine's beginning," Tarde said in a statement. "Paulina ranks at the high end of the golf celebrity scene today, and she has a compelling story to tell. She also might get some new people interested in the game."


Photo Credit: AP]]>