<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Sports]]> Copyright 2015 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 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 02:18:45 -0500 Mon, 02 Mar 2015 02:18:45 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Former Marlins Outfielder Juan Pierre Retires]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 22:44:16 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_182310115.jpg

Juan Pierre who was part of the 2003 World Series champion Florida Marlins retired from Major League Baseball on Friday.

Pierre or "JP" as he is known around the game was known for his work ethic as much as his athletic ability. Pierre was often the first man at the ballpark and the last man to leave. Whether it was sprints around the field or bunting practice, the outfielder was always looking to stay busy and improve.

Accolades poured in from all around baseball on Friday after Pierre's announcement. Former teammates, coaches and even opposing players had only kind things to say about the outfielder.

Prior to the 2003 season, Pierre came to the Marlins in a blockbuster deal that sent the likes of Charles Johnson and Preston Wilson to Colorado. At the time, it was a move that was seen as a payroll-slashing one. Both Johnson and Wilson were earning more than Pierre at the time. It ended up being one of the most important moves in Marlins history.

Pierre sat atop the Marlins lineup and was a big reason for the championship run in 2003. The speedster swiped 65 bases and his over .300 while keeping the dugout energized on a daily basis. Pierre did not slow down when the regular season ended and remained a catalyst during October as well.

The next two years, Pierre remained in Florida and posted solid numbers as well on teams that missed the playoffs. After the 2005 campaign, the Marlins elected to move Pierre in a trade that brought back Ricky Nolasco in a package of arms.

Pierre would go on to remain the energetic force he was known to be for seven seasons outside of Florida. Despite never being named an All-Star, Pierre was consistently a player that opposing pitchers hated to see at the plate or on the bases.

At age 35, Pierre returned to the Marlins for a one-year stint in 2013 which made him one of the rare players to don both a Florida and Miami jersey. Pierre had a tough year and it ended up being his final season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[White Sox Legend Minnie Minoso Dies]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 19:17:07 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/minnie+minoso+sox.jpg

White Sox legend Minnie Minoso, affectionately known as the "Cuban Comet," died Saturday night at 90 years old.

Minoso died of natural causes related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.

The Cuban-born Minoso was the first black player for the South Side baseball team. He is a nine-time All-Star outfielder and Gold Glove winner.

Minoso made his debut at Comiskey Park in 1951, and his play time with the team spanned four decades. He was named as a candidate for induction into baseball's Hall of Fame in 2012 but was denied last year.

In tweet after his death, the White Sox said, "Minnie Minoso -- Mr. #WhiteSox -- has died. Tears of sadness are falling for a great man."

The Minoso family confirmed the death Sunday afternoon in a statement to the press.

"Minnie lived a full life of joy and happiness, surrounded always by friends and family," the family said. "It is during moments like these that love matters most. Minnie enjoyed nothing more than to be at the ballpark cheering on his White Sox. For Minnie, every day was a reason to smile."

Minoso appeared in a total of 1,835 career games over 17 major-league seasons with Cleveland, the White Sox, St. Louis and Washington.

Minoso's influence reached far beyond the baseball stadium. As the first black Major League player in Chicago, he served as an inspiration to countless young people, including President Barack Obama.

"Minnie may  have been passed over by the Baseball Hall of Fame during his lifetime, but for me and for generations of black and Latino young people, Minnie's quintessentially American story embodies far more than a plaque ever could," the president said in a statement.

Governor Bruce Rauner called Minoso "a trailblazer, a leader and an extraordinary baseball player."

In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Minoso's "infectious enthusiasm forever solidified his place as a Chicago icon for the ages."

The Chicago Cubs also released a statement expressing their condolences for the White Sox.

"Having recently lost one of our all-time greats Ernie Banks, we share the heartache with the White Sox organization and fans everywhere who were blessed to enjoy the talent, heart and passion of Mr. White Sox," the North Side team said. "He will be forever known as an electric offensive player and great ambassador for the game of baseball."

According to the Chicago White Sox, Minoso once talked about wearing his Sox uniform till the day he died -- and even afterward.

"When I die, I want to be playing baseball," Minoso said. "Truly. They don't bury me without my uniform. If I die, I die happy because I was wearing No. 9 for the White Sox."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Ace Jose Fernandez Throws Off Mound]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 11:14:45 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_486148117.jpg

Jose Fernandez completed a big step on Sunday when he threw off a mound at the Miami Marlins spring training complex.

Fernandez' 2014 season was cut short by an elbow injury that resulted in Tommy John surgery. It takes more than a year to return from the procedure and there are many steps along the way. Setbacks are a fear and the Marlins are sure to be cautious with Fernandez.

The bullpen session can be seen below in a video that was captured by the Sun-Sentinel.

The ace who is not expected to return until mid-June at the earliest had only thrown on flat ground prior to Sunday's session. Fernandez threw 15 pitches and that number should increase as time goes by and his arm strength improves. The 22-year old threw all fastballs which is normal for pitchers returning from the procedure.

As time goes by, Fernandez will begin working off-speed pitches into the routine. These types of pitches are more taxing to a pitcher returning from a long layoff. Fastballs allow Fernandez to work on his release point and strength while limiting the chances of a setback. It is also possible that eventually Fernandez could throw harder than he did prior to the surgery.

With Fernandez unavailable at the start of the year, the Opening Day assignment will likely go to Henderson Alvarez. He will be followed by Mat Latos, Jarred Cosart and Dan Haren in a yet to be determined order. The fifth spot is up for competition in Jupiter but Tom Koehler may have a leg up after a strong 2014 season.

The Marlins will play their first exhibition game of 2015 on Monday when the Florida International University Panthers visit Roger Dean Stadium.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sloppy Heat Fall to Hawks]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 09:36:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_464814712.jpg

The Miami Heat gave the ball away often on Saturday and it cost them in a 93-91 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.

In a game that Atlanta led from start to finish, Miami had more turnovers in the first half than they did baskets made. While Miami played better in the second half, it wasn't good enough to finish a comeback attempt. Mario Chalmers drained a three-pointer at the buzzer to make it a two-point loss.

The Hawks are the top seed in the Eastern Conference but the team on the court in this one was mostly comprised of bench players. Atlanta opted to rest the majority of its starting lineup and still came away victorious. This is a strategy that the Hawks have used multiple times this year as they try to stay fresh for the playoffs.

In all, Miami turned the ball over 23 times and shot under 40% from the field. Those turnovers came back to haunt Miami as Atlanta scored 31 of its point off of those lost possessions.

As is the norm, Hassan Whiteside was a bright spot for Miami. the young center had 14 points and 24 rebounds in 34 minutes. Whiteside blocked two shots and kept the ball alive with eight offensive rebounds. The crowd at American Airlines Arena could be heard giving its loudest cheers to Whiteside throughout the game.

The story wasn't as good for Goran Dragic who had a tough game. Dragic had six points and six assists while only shooting 2-7 from the field. 

The Heat will welcome Dragic's old team to Miami on Monday when they take on the Phoenix Suns at 7:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chris Bosh Released From Hospital]]> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 09:36:02 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_450621820.jpg

Chris Bosh's recovery has taken another step forward as the Miami Heat star was released from a local hospital, according to a report by the Sun-Sentinel..

Bosh will still miss the rest of Miami's season due to blood clots that were discovered in his lungs. There is a possibility that Bosh will not attend any of Miami's remaining games even as a spectator as he recovers at home and takes it easy. 

"He's at home. He's starting to feel a little better," Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said on Saturday.

Since Bosh was lost for the year, Miami has scrambled to try and replace the star as best as it could. Goran Dragic joined the team in a trade shortly before Bosh's status was confirmed. The point guard was set to solidify the starting five for Miami as one of the best in the league. Instead, Dragic has made up some of the offense that was lost with Bosh.

Miami also signed Michael Beasley recently to give the team depth at the forward spot. While Beasley will not likely play big minutes, he gives Spoelstra another option in the rotation. Beasley is on a ten-day contract but could end up sticking with the team.

Henry Walker who is also on a ten-day deal has done a great job off the bench for Miami. Of late, Walker has been playing starter-type minutes and will likely remain with the team after his ten-day deal expires.

Josh McRoberts remains likely out for the year with the door slightly open to a return. McRoberts could be a tremendous asset to the Heat should he be able to return this year. The Heat can simply not count on that happening however at this juncture.

Miami enters play on Saturday sitting in the seventh slot of he Eastern Conference.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pirri Scores Twice As Panthers End Slide]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 17:49:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_462815884.jpg

The Florida Panthers beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 on Saturday to end a four-game skid thanks in part to two goals from Brandon Pirri.

Florida outscored Buffalo 3-0 in the second period which is where Pirri scored both of his goals. This was the first victory for the Panthers since February 19th and only their third win in the last ten tries. With the win, the Panthers now have 67 points and are only two points back of eighth place Boston in the Eastern Conference.

With his team on a power play, Pirri got Florida on the board at the 12:01 mark of the second period. The tenth goal of the year for Pirri made it a 2-1 game at the time. Brian Campbell and Jussi Jokinen picked up assists on the goal.

Only a little more than a minute later, Pirri added another goal to tie things up. Campbell once again assisted on what was Pirri's 11th score of the season. Brad Boyes also notched an assist.

Five minutes went by before Florida added yet another goal to take the lead. This time, it was Nick Bjugstad with his 22nd of the season. Jokinen and Boyes both picked up another assist on the goal.

At the 14:02 mark of the third period, the game was once again tied. Scottie Upshall changed that with his seventh goal of the year. Upshall got a helping hand from Derek MacKenzie and Shawn Thornton on the score.

Wit only 17 seconds to go and an empty net, Derek MacKenzie's fourth goal of the season sealed things for Florida. Once again, assists went to Boyes and Jokinen on the final score of the game.

Roberto Luongo had a relatively quiet day in terms of chances. It was not the best game for Luongo but it was enough in the win. Only 14 shots were sent Luongo's way and the goalie stopped 11 of them.

Jaromir Jagr made his debut for Florida and wound up with 17:45 of ice time. During that time, Jagr had three shots on goal.

The Panthers will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday at 5:00 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Acquire Heatley for Fleischmann ]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 14:34:26 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_456420718.jpg

The Florida Panthers added another big name veteran to the organization on Saturday when they acquired Dany Heatley from the Anaheim Ducks.

Heatley's acquisition follows only days after the Panthers added Jaromir Jagr in a trade. Along with Heatley, Florida acquired Anaheim's third-round pick in the upcoming 2015 draft. Headed to Anaheim will be Tomas Fleischmann.

Heatley has been playing in the AHL and is expected to remain there. The veteran will report to the San Antonio Rampage after playing previously with the Norfolk Admirals. Heatley could end up being promoted to the Panthers down the stretch.

Earlier in the year, Heatley was a member of the Ducks roster but his stay was short. In only six games, Heatley registered no points and a +/- of -3. The Ducks ended up waiving the 34-year old.

Fleischmann took part in 52 games this year for Florida and had seven goals to go along with 14 assists. The 30-year old will be a free-agent after the season and had been with Florida since the 2011-12 season.

Heatley's career started way back in the 2001-02 season with the Atlanta Thrashers. Heatley would play for three years in Atlanta and picked up the Calder Memorial Trophy in his rookie season.

From 2005-07, Heatley put together two spectacular seasons while with the Ottawa Senators. Heatley had back-to-back 50 goal seasons and exceeded 100 points overall in each of those years.

Heatley also played with the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild during a career that has seen him score 362 points.

The Panthers will take on the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins Play Pair of Sim Games]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:40:42 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_494751609.jpg

The Miami Marlins played against themselves on Saturday in a pair of simulated games on the back fields of their spring training complex.

These type of games are played with loose rules and are not monitored by umpires. The main purpose of these contests is for players to get work in and face live opposition. Pitchers get to throw with a batter at the plate instead of simply playing catch. Likewise, hitters are able to see live pitching without a cage surrounding them.

In simulated games, players will often get up to the plate more than they normally would.  This is in an effort to get the most at-bats possible in the day rather than simply playing three outs per inning. Pitchers will throw a set number of pitches in sim games as they build up arm strength ahead of the exhibition schedule.

One critical moment for Miami on Saturday was the first at-bat for Giancarlo Stanton with his new protective helmet. That AB went without incident, but his third time up was a different story. Teammate Henderson Alvarez nailed Stanton in the hip with a pitch but the slugger appeared to be fine. Stanton is coming back from a season-ending hit-by-pitch in 2014.

The sim games were open to the public as well as the media. A photo of the moment that Stanton was hit was captured by the Sun-Sentinel.

Miami will play Florida International University on Monday when the Panthers visit Roger Dean Stadium. The Marlins will also play UM before beginning the Grapefruit League schedule.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Heat All-Star Anthony Mason Dies at 48]]> Sat, 28 Feb 2015 15:35:42 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_655893.jpg

Anthony Mason who was a member of the Miami Heat for one season in 2000-01 has died at the age of 48.

Mason's death appears to be related to a coronary issue. The forward who was born in Miami had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure earlier in February. Mason underwent multiple surgical procedures as of late for the condition as well.

Mason was best known for his long successful run with the New York Knicks from 1991-96 but his lone All-Star appearance actually came while he was with Miami. During that year, Mason found himself with more playing time due to Alonzo Mourning's well documented kidney ailment. Mason went from a role player to a major asset that season.

With Mason playing a key role, the Heat went on a surprising run in 2000-01 and finished with 50 wins which was good for third best in the Eastern Conference. Mason would not play a major role however in the postseason and Miami had a quick exit.

Mason's career began with the New Jersey Nets in 1989 and his tour of the NBA continued with the Denver Nuggets before landing in New York. Following his five-year run with the Knicks, Mason played with the Charlotte Hornets for three seasons. Mason missed the 1998-99 season with an injury to his biceps.

When Mason left Charlotte, he began his short career with Miami. After that season, Mason headed to his final NBA destination when he had a two-year stint with the Milwaukee Bucks. His final game took place on May 1, 2003.

Mason had two coaching experiences with current Heat team president Pat Riley. While Mason was with New York, Riley was his head coach. Riley was also the head coach of the Heat in Mason's lone season with the team.

Mason's son Anthony Mason, Jr. signed with the Heat in 2010 but ended up being waived. The younger Mason never made it into an NBA game. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Fourth Quarter Dooms Heat in New Orleans]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 23:10:56 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_170716359.jpg

The Miami Heat led by nine points going into the fourth quarter before the New Orleans Pelicans stormed back for a 104-102 win on Friday.

The game was tied at the half and after three quarters of play, it appeared that Miami could have a third win in a row on the way. Things changed in the final quarter however and the winning basket was made with 25 seconds left.

The loss drops the Heat to 25-32 on the season and it kept them from going over .500 on the road. Playing away from Miami, the Heat are now 15-16 which is still far better than their 10-16 mark at American Airlines Arena.

Dwyane Wade had a rough time shooting the ball in this one. The All-Star was only 4-16 on his attempts and also turned the ball over four times. Wade did move the ball around though with his eight assists.

Goran Dragic had a strong game with 20 points and five assists. Thus far Dragic has improved Miami's offense which had seen struggles from multiple point guards this year. Dragic also was efficient making nine of his 13 tries from the field.

Henry Walker who is still on a 10-day contract contributed a lot of minutes off the bench once again. Walker played 31 minutes and tallied 16 points and three rebounds along the way. It is likely that Walker will remain with the team going forward.

Making his return to the Heat, Michael Beasley came off the bench for seven points in ten minutes. Beasley could see a bump in those minutes if his play warrants it. The veteran is also on a 10-day deal himself.

Miami will look to get back into the win column on Saturday back home against the Atlanta Hawks at 7:30 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Late Magical Three Forces OT in Heat Victory]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 22:46:16 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_464282606.jpg

Henry Walker was a hero for the Miami Heat on Wednesday in their 93-90 overtime win over the Orlando Magic.

Walker, who is currently on a ten-day contract, sank a game-tying three-pointer with only two seconds left in regulation. Overall, Walker had ten points and six boards in his 33 minutes of play off the bench.

The win was Miami's second in a row and gave it a bit of breathing room in the Eastern Conference standings. The Heat are now 1.5 games ahead of eighth place Brooklyn and they also remain 6.5 back of Milwaukee for the sixth slot.

The Heat trailed by four points at the half but tied the game up heading into the fourth quarter. The three from Walker was a rare make from downtown on the day. As a team, Miami was a paltry 6-31 on trey attempts.

Luol Deng contributed 21 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal in 40 minutes. The Heat were +9 with Deng on the court and needed every minute from the veteran. Deng has not played 40 minutes much this season but showed no signs of fatigue down the stretch.

In his third game with Miami, Goran Dragic did not light up the stat sheet but played a pivotal role. In fact, the Heat were +11 with Dragic on the court which was the best +/- on the roster. Dragic had eight points and five assists while running the offense for 41 minutes.

The Heat will travel to New Orleans on Friday for a game against the Pelicans at 8:00 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dolphins Release Hartline and Gibson]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 18:24:39 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_154213670.jpg

The Miami Dolphins released wide receivers Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson on Friday.

Hartline who played for six years with Miami signed a five-year contract prior to the 2013 season worth $30 million. In 2015, Hartline was set to earn $5.9 million and the salary cap will take a hit of $4.2 million.

In recent days, there have been reports that the Dolphins would consider trading Mike Wallace. With Hartline and Gibson now out of the picture, it is possible this will pave the way for Wallace remaining with the team. If Miami was to move Wallace as well, there would be multiple holes to fill on offense.

Gibson was about to enter the final year of a three-year deal he signed in 2013. There wasn't much action for the  27-year old in 2014 as he tallied a total of 29 catches and one touchdown reception. Prior to his two-year run with the Dolphins, Gibson spent time with the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles.

When Miami when made Hartline its fourth round pick in 2009, there was speculation of him possibly being a steal at that spot. After his rookie campaign, that thought only became stronger as Hartline led the team in receiving touchdowns.

The 2010 season continued the trend for Hartline. Despite only starting 12 of Miami's 16 games, Hartline put together fine numbers that were arguably better than even his rookie campaign.

In 2011, Hartline once again became a regular starter and did a fine job. 2012-2013 featured various illnesses and injuries for Hartline that put a dent in his playing time and by association, his production.

While his time in Miami is over, Hartline does leave behind one bit of legacy. The WR holds the franchise record for most receiving yards in a single game. Hartline accomplished that feat in 2012 against the Arizona Cardinals.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Earl Lloyd, First Black NBA Player, Dies at 86]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 09:14:52 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP861620179640.jpg

Earl Lloyd, the first black player in NBA history, died Thursday. He was 86.

Lloyd's alma mater, West Virginia State, confirmed the death. It did not provide details.

Lloyd made his NBA debut in 1950 for the Washington Capitals, just before fellow black players Sweetwater Clifton and Chuck Cooper played their first games.

"The State family mourns the loss of a fellow Yellow Jacket and trailblazer who was a true champion both on and off of the basketball court," West Virginia State President Brian Hemphill said in a statement. "When Earl stepped out on the court on that fateful date in 1950, this remarkable man rightfully earned his place in the historic civil rights movement and, more important, he opened the door to equality in America."

Lloyd helped the Syracuse Nationals win the 1955 NBA title, joining teammate Jim Tucker as the first black players to play on a championship team.

The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds in 560 regular-season games in nine seasons with Washington, Syracuse and Detroit. He missed the 1951-52 season while serving in the U.S. Army.

Inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2003 as a contributor, Lloyd was 22-55 as Detroit's coach in 1971-72 and the first nine games in the 1972-73 season.

Lloyd, a native of Alexandria, Virginia, lived in Crossville, Tennessee. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Stanton Faces Live Pitching for First Time]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:48:53 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/494192351.jpg

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton took batting practice against live pitching on Thursday for the first time since his 2014 season ended early.

The last time Stanton stepped up the plate against live pitching was in Milwaukee last September when a fastball hit him in the face. That pitch from Michael Fiers ended the year for Stanton and left a bloody scene at Miller Park. 

While there is no concern about Stanton's physical condition, there are questions remaining in terms of any mental hold-ups related to the scary incident.

Stanton did not swing on Thursday but stood in the box and tracked each pitch as it went by. Teammate Henderson Alvarez was on the mound for the first BP session. Later in the morning, Stanton also faced teammate Brad Hand but only tracked the pitches once again.

During the season, Stanton will wear a custom helmet that has an extra piece to protect his face when he turns into pitches. On Monday, Stanton flew out to try out the helmet and he should be using it in Jupiter soon. Until then, it is likely that Stanton will not take swings and will instead simply work on pitch recognition and timing.

The Marlins are confident that Stanton will be fine and comfortable at the plate. They showed that confidence with a 13-year, $325 million contract earlier this off-season. All of that money is guaranteed and would be paid to Stanton even if he was to not be the caliber of player he once was.

Miami will begin its exhibition season on March 2nd, and in all likelihood Stanton will be swinging by that point.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Eagles Acho Taking Va. Teen to Prom]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 16:45:32 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/228*120/2015-02-26_1345.png

A Loudoun County, Virginia, teen got the surprise of a lifetime Friday when Philadelphia Eagles linebacker Emmanuel Acho agreed to take her to prom.

Back in January, Hannah Delmonte reached out to Acho on Instagram and asked if he would take her to prom if she got 2,000 retweets on Twitter, Comcast SportsNet Philly reports. But Acho upped the ante -- Delmonte had to reach 10,000 retweets.

And she did.

Delmonte's post received over 17,000 retweets, far surpassing her goal.

Acho dropped by Woodgrove High School in Purcellville on Friday and surprised Delmonte with a customized Eagles jersey with the number 15 and the word "prom" written across the back.

Acho also plans to play piano and sing Delmonte a song on the night of the prom, according to Comcast SportsNet Philly. Prom is scheduled for May 9, according to the school's calendar.

Check out her priceless reaction in the video above.

Photo Credit: Comcast SportsNet Philly
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<![CDATA[Panthers Send Bergenheim to Wild]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 22:28:54 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_462773756.jpg

The Florida Panthers dealt disgruntled winger Sean Bergenheim to the Minnesota Wild along with a seventh round pick on Tuesday.

In return, the Panthers received Minnesota's third round pick. Both picks will be part of the 2016 NHL draft. With Bergenheim requesting a trade, the Panthers held very little leverage and the Wild took advantage of that with the unbalanced trade.

Bergenheim had not played since February 12th and had been a scratch for Florida as of late despite being healthy. The lack of playing time led to Bergenheim's agent to asking Florida to move his client elsewhere.

Before landing on the bench, Bergenheim compiled 18 points on the year. The 31-year old had eight goals and ten assists. The last of those goals came back on January 29th against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

This was Bergenheim's third season with Florida where he put together a total of 41 goals. His production in 2014-15 had taken a step back however. Due to this, Bergenheim had less ice-time this season than he did in his first two years with Florida.

Prior to signing a four-year deal with Florida in 2011, Bergenheim spent time with the New York Islanders and Tampa Bay Lightning.

In terms of the playoffs, the Panthers are currently on the outside looking in but remain in contention. Florida entered play on Tuesday only three points back of the eighth and final slot in the Eastern Conference.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2-Year-Old Son of NFL Long Snapper Sings National Anthem]]> Thu, 26 Feb 2015 05:48:08 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/AP828165311104.jpg

Forget football! The 2-year-old son of Cincinnati Bengals' long snapper showed he is ready for the stage when he belted out the National Anthem at a high school basketball game.

The NFL player, Clark Harris, held son Trent's hand as he led him to the court for the tot's performance.

Decked out in a blazer and with hair reminiscent of his father's mane, Trent sang in front of a packed gym ahead of a matchup between the Southern Regional High School and Pinelands Regional High School boys' basketball teams.

Clark's wife and proud mom, Jessica, posted Trent's rendition to YouTube, captioning the video: "My sons first performance!! ... I'm so proud!!!" 

Watch the full video below.

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<![CDATA[NFL Stadium Proposals ]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 14:41:02 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/carson-stadium.gif

Ever since the Rams and the Raiders left Los Angeles in the mid-1990s, there have been attempts to bring an NFL team back to the city.

The football league approved an expansion franchise for Los Angeles as early as 1999, but no agreement was reached and a team went to Houston. The NFL requires a three-quarters vote of the 32 teams for any team to move.

There are now four proposals on the table. Here they are:

Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers to Share a Stadium

The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers have announced that they will together pursue a new home at a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, in Los Angeles County,  but only if both teams cannot find alternatives in their home markets. The stadium, which would require voter approval, would have more than 72,000 seats and with 18,000 parking spots, room for tailgating. It would be built on the site of an old municipal landfill at the intersection of the 405 Freeway and Del Amo Boulevard. Right now, the Jets and the Giants are the only NFL teams to share a stadium.

Meanwhile negotiations over a new stadium for the Raiders in the Bay area could be facing a 30-day deadline, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle. Oakland Mayor Libby Scaaf has said she would be wiling to spend taxpayer money to help pay for a new stadium, which could total up to $300 million, according to columnists Phil Matier and Andy Ross. But issues over using public money could be insurmountable, they report.

Replacing Hollywood Park Racetrack

Stan Kroenke, the owner of the St. Louis Rams, wants to build a new $2 billion stadium on the site of the now closed Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood, California. The proposal is for an 80,000-seat stadium, 6,000-seat performance venue, 300-room hotel, and 1.5 million square feet of retail, office and residential space.

The developer, not the public, would pay for the cost of building the stadium, according to a consultants' report.

The Inglewood City Council unanimously approved the plan on Feb. 24.

Kroenke has partnered with Stockbridge Capital Group and is the first NFL team owner to control a site large enough for a new stadium. The Rams are playing at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, but are unhappy with the conditions. The Inglewood proposal will put pressure on St Louis to reach a deal for a new stadium or watch the team return to Southern California, where it played from 1946 to 1994.

Farmers Field

The Anschutz Entertainment Group or AEG agreed in 2012 to build a football stadium at the L.A. LIVE complex downtown and renovate the Los Angeles Convention Center. In October, the city granted AEG a six-month extension. AEG plans to commit $600,000 to development, but it is also offering alternatives to a stadium, meaning a large hotel might be built in its place.
Grand Crossing

Developer Ed Roski Jr., the president of Majestic Realty Co., in 2008 announced plans to build an $800 million stadium in the city of Industry near the interchange of the 60 and 57 freeways. The project is being called Grand Crossing.

<![CDATA[WATCH: Giancarlo Stanton Body-Painted for SI Cover]]> Wed, 25 Feb 2015 15:07:11 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/stantonSI.jpg

Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton has made national headlines this off-season and will now add the Sports Illustrated cover to his resume.

Stanton can be seen on this week's cover decked out in body paint. The hulking outfielder dons a painted version of Miami's home uniform for the photograph. The process took 15 hours to complete and was done by artist Joanne Gair.

Body painting has been popular in recent years but typically would be found in a swimsuit issue, more so than on an athlete. This new idea was a welcome one for Stanton who signed up fast for the venture.

Stanton is the first male athlete to ever be body-painted and the inaugural athlete overall to grace in the SI cover in nothing but body paint.

The off-season began for Stanton with a series of nominations and awards before he signed a record 13-year contract with Miami. That deal calls for a total payment of $325 million and all but assured that Stanton will play his entire career with the Marlins.

In addition to the record deal, Stanton was a judge for the Miss Universe Pageant that took place in South Florida. This allowed Stanton to be seen and heard by a national audience making him even more of a household name.

While the publicity tour has increased Stanton's marketability, his biggest contribution to the Marlins is still yet to come. The team has high hopes in 2015 and they will need their star to be at the top of his game. Should Stanto produce anywhere close to as much in 2015 as he did last season, Miami could find itself in the playoffs.

A video that shows the body-painting process can be found below and may also be viewed on SI's website.

Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated]]>
<![CDATA[Panthers Fight Back But Drop Third Straight]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 23:38:00 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_462721254.jpg

The Florida Panthers lost a third straight game on Tuesday when the Chicago Blackhawks came away 3-2 winners in a shootout.

With the point gained, the Panthers are now only two points back of the Boston Bruins for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins also lost on Tuesday which means the Panthers wasted an opportunity to gain more ground with a win.

The Panthers who now have 65 points are only two points ahead of the Philadelphia Flyers and are in danger of falling back quickly in a tight conference. Florida needs a sustained run of winning but has dropped five of its last seven games.

It took until the 12:23 mark of the third period for the Panthers to get on the board. Jussi Jokinen was player to get that done when he put his sixth goal of the year into the back of the net. Brad Boyes and Aleksander Barkov assisted on the goal that made it a 2-1 game at the time.

A little more than four minutes later, Vincent Trocheck tied the game up with an unassisted goal. That would prove to be the last score for the Panthers as the team was shutout in overtime and in the shootout as well.

Roberto Luongo stopped 36 of the 38 attempts sent his way but it wasn't enough. In the shootout, Chicago scored on both of its attempts while Florida missed both of its opportunities.

Chicago and Florida will wrap up the home-and-home series on Thursday when the Blackhawks travel to take on the Panthers at BB&T Center.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[K-Rod Remains An Option for Marlins: Report]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 23:20:05 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_453232026.jpg

The Miami Marlins are discussing a contract with veteran reliever Francisco Rodriguez, according to a report from MLB.com.

Rodriguez who is better known as K-Rod most recently pitched with the Milwaukee Brewers and he could still return to Wisconsin. While Rodriguez may close in Milwaukee, he'd be nothing more than a setup man in Miami.

Part of the draw for Rodriguez to join the Marlins could lie in his playoff aspirations. The Marlins are widely considered to be a playoff contender after a busy off-season. The story is not as bright in Milwaukee where the St. Louis Cardinals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Chicago Cubs may all be a step ahead.

Rodriguez could end up with a handful of save chances in Miami on days that Steve Cishek needs off but for the most part, he would pitch in the 7th and 8th innings. With a combination of Rodriguez, A.J. Ramos, and Cishek, the Marlins would have one of the more formidable bullpens in Major League Baseball.

In 13 years as a big leaguer, Rodriguez has compiled 348 saves and was once considered one of the best in the game. Rodriguez is a five-time All-Star and made it to the Midsummer Classic last season.

At only 33-years old, Rodriguez likely still has more in the tank. His 2014 season was solid with 44 saves and a 3.04 E.R.A. Rodriguez also posted a sparkling 0.985 WHIP which was the best of his career discounting his short cup of coffee in 2002.

The Marlins are currently training in Jupiter and will begin exhibition play on March 2nd.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Look Inside the Sun Life Stadium Renovations]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:10:56 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000017039031_1200x675_403841091813.jpg Miami Dolphins officials give an inside look at renovations at Sun Life Stadium.]]> <![CDATA[Full Squad Reports to Marlins Camp]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 18:34:46 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages_476066711.jpg

The Miami Marlins hit the field as a complete unit for the first time on Tuesday when the remaining position players reported for Spring Training.

Last Friday, pitchers and catchers reported to Jupiter along with a handful of position players. Tuesday marked the first required report day for the rest of the team. Roger Dean Stadium was the site of bullpen sessions and batting practice along with infield practice on Tuesday.

There are jobs to be battled for, albeit mostly on the bench and in the bullpen. There are question marks at the back of the starting rotation as well and these next few weeks could lead to several decisions for the Miami front office.

The rotation barring injuries will likely feature Henderson Alvarez, Mat Latos, Dan Haren, Jarred Cosart in the top four slots. The fifth spot would appear to be Tom Koehler's to lose but he faces some competition. Brad Hand is out of minor-league options which means he has to make Miami's roster or face exposure to waivers.

David Phelps and Aaron Crow could be given looks as well as starters though both still remain more likely to land in the pen. A name for the rotation to keep an eye on is Justin Nicolino. The prized prospect will be given a chance to win a job but odds are in favor of him beginning the year with AAA New Orleans.

As for the bench, Miami is looking to improve what was a weak spot in 2014. Justin Bour is an intriguing name for the bench but the big first baseman will need to show improvement in a pinch-hitting role. Perhaps new assistant hitting coach Lenny Harris can help him in that department. Bour struggled mightily when he did not start last year but would offer a powerful bat off the bench.

In the pen, Andrew McKirahan is a possibility to make the roster as a Rule 5 pick. This means that if McKirahan is unable to make the team, Miami would be forced to offer him back to the Chicago Cubs. McKirahan is a lefty reliever and that is something that the Marlins could use. Miami also has a number of non-roster invitees vying for bullpen roles.

There are also several veteran players trying to make the team in reserve roles such as Scott Sizemore, Reid Brignac, Don Kelly, Tyler Colvin and Reed Johnson. Some of these players could end up in AAA as depth if they fail to make the Opening Day roster.

Miami will play its first exhibition game of the year on March 2nd against Florida International University.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Boston Olympics Criticism OK: Mayor]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 17:02:07 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/Walsh+Olympics.jpg

It's now OK for city workers to criticize Boston's bid for the 2024 Olympics, thanks to a change to the city's deal with the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Mayor Marty Walsh announced the change Tuesday, saying that the agreement with the USOC had been revised to remove any language discouraging city employees from criticizing the Olympic bid. Walsh had earlier defended the stipulation, which civil liberties advocates had criticized.

The Boston Globe reported last month that the "joinder agreement" between the city and the USOC banned city employees from badmouthing the 2024 Olympic bid. The American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts said the agreement was a violation of the First Amendment right to free speech.

"This revised agreement is the result of positive negotiations with the United States Olympic Committee to reach a consensus that accurately represents how Boston is moving forward with our Olympic bid," Walsh said in a statement.

"I want to thank those who have already offered their thoughts on Boston's bid and I continue to encourage all residents, including city employees, to share their opinions over the coming months. My top priority is to ensure an open and transparent process, and it is important that any proposal is shaped by the input and ideas of people from every neighborhood in order to offer the greatest benefit to our city," Walsh continued.

Walsh's statement characterized the original ban on employee criticism of the Olympic bid as "boilerplate language that all cities have historically signed regarding city employees and their participation in the Olympic process."

Rich Davey, Boston 2024's CEO, said the new agreement "will strengthen Boston's efforts to work with communities to build a stronger Olympic bid."

The next citywide Olympic discussion is scheduled for Tuesday night at 6:30 at the Condon School Cafeteria in South Boston. 

Additional citywide meetings are scheduled for March 31, April 28, May 19, June 30, July 28, Aug. 25 and Sept. 29.

Photo Credit: FILE - NECN]]>
<![CDATA[Top Sports Photos 2015]]> Fri, 27 Feb 2015 11:30:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/AP504914195557.jpg Click to see dramatic sports photos from the NFL, to basketball, baseball and more.]]> <![CDATA[Wash. NFL Football Team: Canceling Trademark Violates Free-Speech]]> Tue, 24 Feb 2015 12:54:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/212*120/1104-redskins-generic.jpg

Lawyers for the Washington NFL football team are telling a judge that the team's free-speech rights will be infringed upon if a federal panel's decision to cancel the team's trademarks is allowed to stand.

A board of the U.S. Patent And Trademark Office ruled last year that the trademark of the "Redskins" should be canceled because the name is disparaging to Native Americans.

The team is suing in federal court in Alexandria to have the board's decision overturned. In court papers filed Monday, the team says the law barring registration of disparaging trademarks is unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

The government has intervened in the civil lawsuit to defend the law's constitutionality. Government lawyers say the law doesn't ban disparaging speech; it just denies the protection of a federal trademark.

<![CDATA[Dragic Comes Up Big in Heat Win]]> Mon, 23 Feb 2015 22:10:03 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/464282604.jpg

The Miami Heat beat the Philadelphia 76ers 119-108 on Monday thanks in part to a big game from newly acquired Goran Dragic.

With 23 points and ten assists, Dragic posted the first double-double of his Heat career. This effort came after a lackluster debut with the team on Saturday. Dragic also had a pair of steals and did a fantastic job of running the offense for Miami.

The win was the 24th of the year for the Heat and it keeps them in seventh place in the Eastern Conference. Catching sixth seeded Milwaukee will be a tall task but there are plenty of games to go. Miami also needs to look out for teams behind it as the team holds a very slim advantage.

Hassan Whiteside contributed a double-double of his own with 12 points and 14 rebounds. The young center has three double-doubles in his last four games and continues to be a bright spot for the Heat.

Luol Deng had a big day as well with 29 points, two assists and three boards. Deng was extremely efficient as he sank 11 of his 14 attempts. The veteran was also exceptional from downtown as he nailed three of four trey attempts.

As a team, Miami shot 55.4% and did a good job of keeping the ball alive. The Heat had 11 offensive rebounds as part of a 45 rebound day overall.

Miami will head to Orlando on Wednesday for a tilt with the Magic at 7:00 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Social Reaction to Chargers-Raiders Stadium News]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 16:33:25 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/chargers+raiders+stadium+rendering+13.jpg

News that rival professional football teams the San Diego Chargers and the Oakland Raiders are joining forces on a proposal that could have them share a Southern California stadium surprised many when it broke late Thursday.

By Friday, some players and officials had taken to Twitter to share their thoughts on the plan to build a $1.7 billion stadium in Carson, California, if the teams' efforts to construct their own new venues in their respective hometowns fall through.

Here's a look at some of the reaction seen so far:  

Shareece Wright, starting cornerback for the Chargers tweeted: 

Kevin Faulconer, mayor of San Diego had a four part message to share: 

Shawne Merriman, former Chargers linebacker said: 

Corey Liuget, the defensive end of the Chargers said: 

Photo Credit: MANICA Architecture
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<![CDATA[SoCal City Wants Joint NFL Stadium]]> Fri, 20 Feb 2015 21:08:46 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/carson-stadium.gif

A $1.7 billion NFL stadium next to one of the busiest highways in America could draw two California football teams to Los Angeles, if their cities don't provide them better facilities at home.

The San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders support the proposal, revealed Thursday, to build a 72,000-seat arena next to the 405 Freeway in Carson that would host both teams. Each has been in protracted negotiations with their respective cities to build more modern accommodations than the 1960s-era stadiums they play in now.

On Friday, elected officials from Carson, a city between Los Angeles and Long Beach, announced wide community support to build the huge stadium complex on an empty, 168-acre lot in the city. A local coalition, Carson2gether, backs this latest proposal to bring a team to Los Angeles.

"If you can't work it out with your cities, we welcome you with open arms here in Carson," Congresswoman Janice Hahn said at what amounted to a pep rally to show community support.

"We will give you a beautiful new stadium, we will give you fans like you've never had before," Hahn continued.

Representatives from the Chargers and Raiders didn't appear at the rally in Carson. For the most part, the local politicians and community leaders who spoke focused on the Carson community, which must approve the stadium through a ballot measure.

The teams, which have both played full seasons in LA before, stressed in a joint statement released Thursday that they were working with their current cities to "find permanent stadium solutions that are publicly acceptable."

"If we cannot find a permanent solution in our home markets, we have no alternative but to preserve other options to guarantee the future economic viability of our franchises," the teams said.

Oakland reaction: "It would be a great blow"

San Diego reaction: "That’s not how you do business

After years without an NFL team, Los Angeles suddenly has an abundant set of options with a range of backers, from a major sports development group to a current NFL owner, making a Los Angeles NFL team a likelier prospect that it's been in decades -- though certainly not a guarantee.

The National Football League has long wanted a football team in Los Angeles, a huge market for television viewers, where it hasn't had one since 1994, when the Raiders returned to Oakland. The league set up a committe on Los Angeles, according to the Chargers-Raiders statement.

The Chargers and the Raiders have both been publicly courting moves because both play in outdated stadiums -- Qualcomm Stadium and O.co Coliseum, respectively. Meanwhile, the Oakland situation is even more complicated because there have been talks about the Raiders sharing a venue with the Oakland A's baseball team at new stadiums on the same site.

Any team that relocates to LA would need its proposal approved by three-fourths of the NFL's owners, according to the Chargers-Raiders statement.

NBC Bay Area's Lisa Fernandez contributed to this report.

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