<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - Sports]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcmiami.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida https://www.nbcmiami.comen-usFri, 20 Apr 2018 12:47:26 -0400Fri, 20 Apr 2018 12:47:26 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Dolphins Release 2018 Regular Season Schedule]]> Fri, 20 Apr 2018 06:36:41 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-6214234742.jpg

The Miami Dolphins released their full 2018 regular season schedule on Thursday evening.

The season will begin on September 9th with a home game against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans reached the playoffs in 2017 and picked up a victory. Tennessee was eliminated by the New England Patriots in the divisional round.

The second week of the season will feature a game against the New York Jets. The contest is scheduled for September 16th and it will take place at MetLife Stadium. The Jets were 5-11 in 2017 and they may not be much better this time around. New York could draft a quarterback in next week's draft, but is expected to start Josh McCown regardless.

Miami's third game of the year will be against the Oakland Raiders and it will take place on September 23rd. Miami will return home for this game against a Raiders team that went 6-10 a year ago. The Raiders fired their head coach after the season and brought in Jon Gruden.

In the fourth week, the Dolphins will travel to New England. The game against the Patriots will be played on September 30th. With early road games against New York and New England, the Dolphins will likely avoid issues with poor weather conditions. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has not publicly committed to playing in 2018 as of yet, but it remains likely that he will back behind center.

The Dolphins will stay on the road in the fifth week of the season, when they travel to Cincinnati on October 7th. The Bengals went 7-9 in 2017 and can be a tough opponent in their home building. Cincinnati got off to a slow start last season, but finished the schedule off strong.

As the season rolls on, Miami will be back at Hard Rock Stadium on October 14th. The Chicago Bears will be in town for the match-up during the sixth week of the season. The Bears went 5-11 a season ago and they made a head coaching change after the year concluded.

On October 21st, the Dolphins will host the Detroit Lions during the seventh week of the season. The Lions went 9-7 a year ago, but did not qualify for the playoffs.

Miami will play on Thursday Night Football on October 25th against the Houston Texans. After seven straight Sunday games, this will mark Miami's first game of the year on a different day of the week. The Texans battled injuries in 2017 and ended up with a rough 4-12 record. The game will take place in Houston and it figures to be a test for Miami.

The ninth week of the season will feature another game against the Jets. New York will visit Miami on November 4th for the contest.

In the tenth week of the year, the Dolphins will make a rare trip to Green Bay to take on the Packers. The game is scheduled to take place on December 11th at Lambeau Field. The Packers went 7-9 last season, but they were without the services of Aaron Rodgers for most of those games. Green Bay was off to a 4-1 start prior to Rodgers' injury.

Week 11 will serve as Miami's bye week. After ten straight weeks of action, the Dolphins will certainly need the rest. The late-season bye will give the Dolphins an opportunity to take an extended look at the final stretch of games.

After the week off, the Dolphins will be back in action on November 25th against the Indianapolis Colts. The game will take place in Indianapolis against a team that went 4-12 a season ago. That record is deceiving however as the Colts lost starting quarterback Andrew Luck before the season.

The Buffalo Bills will be in town on December 2nd, for the first of two games between the teams. The Bills ended a long playoff drought last season, but were eliminated in the Wild Card round.

Miami will remain home for Week 14 when it hosts the Patriots. New England figures to be near or at the top of the division, while Miami could be battling for a playoff spot. The game will take on December 9th and there could be a playoff atmosphere at Hard Rock Stadium.

The Dolphins will travel to Minnesota in Week 15 for a game with the Vikings. In 2017, the Vikings went 13-3 and lost in the NFC championship game. Minnesota made a big splash in the off-season when it signed Kirk Cousins. It remains to be seen how quickly Cousins can find a rhythm with his new team.

In the penultimate game of the season, the Dolphins will host the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville was eliminated in the AFC championship game a year ago, following a 10-6 season. The Jaguars exceeded some expectations with their playoff run, but remain a credible threat.

The final game of the season will be a road game in Buffalo against the Bills. If Miami needs this game, it could be a very challenging contest. The game will take place on December 30th and there is a high likelihood of poor weather conditions. Snow is a regular sight in Buffalo during that time of the year.

Miami's preseason schedule can be found at Dolphins.com.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Miami Dolphins Unveil 'New' Uniforms For 2018 Season]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:27:47 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/miami+dolphins+2018+uniforms+6.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Series Preview: Marlins at Brewers]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 13:59:35 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-943436158.jpg

The Miami Marlins will open a four-game series with the Milwaukee Brewers on Thursday evening.

After splitting a pair of games with Giancarlo Stanton's New York Yankees, Miami will visit another familiar face in Milwaukee. Christian Yelich is off to a hot start with the Brewers and figures to play a big role in this series. The Brewers are 10-9 so far on the season, while Miami sits at 5-12.

The Marlins were blown out in the first game against the Yankees, before returning the favor in the series finale. The series with Milwaukee figures to involve a couple of more high-scoring affairs. Despite having a winning record, the Brewers have surrendered more runs than they have scored thus far.

Dillon Peters will take the ball for Miami in the first game of the series. Peters is 2-1 with a 6.75 E.R.A in 2018. The lefty is coming off six strong innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates and has been inconsistent so far. The 25-year old has already allowed three home runs this season and has only tallied 14.2 innings pitched.

Trevor Richards put together the best start of his big-league career in his last time out. The 24-year old hurled seven shutout innings against the Pirates. Richards came away with a no-decision, after allowing only a pair of hits in the start. Through three appearances, Richards has a 4.70 E.R.A and an 0-1 record.

Jose Urena will bring his 0-3 record into Saturday's start against Milwaukee. Urena has a 5.57 E.R.A this season and has struggled to recapture his success from 2017. The right-hander has only lasted longer than five innings once and has a rough 1.43 WHIP on the year.

In the series finale, the Marlins will turn to Caleb Smith for the start. Smith was knocked around by the Yankees in his last appearance and only lasted 2.1 innings. The lefty has a 6.89 E.R.A and is 0-2 in 2018. Smith could be replaced in the rotation when Dan Straily is ready to return to the team.

J.T. Realmuto made his 2018 debut in New York and is expected to be back behind the plate for the series opener. Realmuto hit a home run in his first game back and helped Miami pick up the win. Bryan Holaday will serve as Realmuto's primary backup for the time being. Tomas Telis is also available on the bench to catch if needed.

After not seeing a single at-bat in New York, Lewis Brinson is expected to be back in the lineup on Thursday. Brinson has only one hit since April 2nd and has dropped in the lineup on multiple occasions. If the top prospect doesn't turn things around soon, Miami could look to option him to the minor leagues. The 23-year old has plenty of potential and is considered a big piece of Miami's future.

Thursday's first pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[James Defends Reporter Asking About Death of Erin Popovich]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 11:16:28 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/lebronpop.jpg

It was a raw moment caught on live television. Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James was asked his thoughts on the recently announced death of Erin Popovich, the wife of San Antonio Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich. In very un-LeBron James fashion, he halted, cursed and fought back tears in composing a response. 

James' stunned, emotional reaction had many on social media crying foul, believing TNT reporter Allie LaForce intentionally blindsided James with the question.

But James says that couldn't be further from the truth. James said he was told he'd be asked about Erin Popovich before they went on camera, and that his emotions simply got away from him.

"I'm not on social media right now, but I was made aware through some friends, through texts, that a question was asked to me postgame, and a lot of people feel like I was blindsided," James said on UNINTERRUPTED. "That is absolutely false. Allie LaForce told me that she was going to ask me the question and if it was OK."

"That was just my emotions coming straight from my heart about the late Erin Popovich," James continued in the video. "It's unfortunate, it's a tragic loss. My thoughts, my prayers once again go out to the Popovich family. To Gregg, to the Spurs family, to the whole Spurs fan base."

James also took a second to implore those on social media to lay off the reporter.

"Please get off Allie LaForce's back, because she followed the proper protocol and she warned me. Get off her back, man. She's very professional and she does a great job at her work."

The Spurs confirmed Erin Popovich's death Wednesday. The team didn't provide further details. The Popovichs have two children and two grandchildren. They met at the Air Force Academy in 1970s when he was an assistant coach for the Falcons. Erin's father, Jim Conboy, was Air Force's head athletic trainer.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA['We Have Your Back': Yankees Go To Bat for Bullied 10-Year-Old Girl]]> Fri, 20 Apr 2018 00:49:38 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/yanks+bullying.jpg

The New York Yankees are going to bat for a 10-year-old girl who shared a heartbreaking story on social media about years of bullying she’s endured at her Pennsylvania school.

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The New York Post reports 10-year-old Cassidy Warner posted a video on Facebook detailing the traumatizing stories of bullying she has gone through. In the video, the Scranton fourth-grader holds up sheets of paper with the harrowing messages of abuse written on them.

One sheet detailed how a group of kids came up to her at recess, hitting her, kicking her, pulling her hair, stepping on her and even spitting on her.

The video, along with her Facebook page, was taken down by the social media company because she is not 13 and doesn't meet the site's age requirement, according to her mother, Jenn Slater, who reposted the video on her own page. Slater also alleged in her post that her daughter was initially threatened by the school's principal to remove the video before the school district contacted Facebook to report Cassidy's page.

Slater pleaded with the Facebook community to share her daughter's story and help her "put a smile back on her face." The video racked up thousands of views and caught the attention of the New York Yankees.

The team’s official Twitter account shared Cassidy's video Wednesday along with a video of their own, mimicking the style of hers. The two-and-a-half minute video features 23 Yankees players and manager Aaron Boone holding up written messages of support.

"Hey Cassidy - we saw the video you made and from all of us here at the New York Yankees, we want you to know that you are not alone. We have your back!" the team wrote.

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It begins with starting pitcher CC Sabathia holding up a sign reading "My teammates and I wanted you to know that we care about you."

About 45 seconds into the video, first baseman Greg Bird holds up a sign that reads, "We may be older than you. We may be taller than you.” Then relief pitcher Dellin Betances finishes the message saying, “But we want you to know that we look up to you."

The video ends with Boone inviting Cassidy to meet the team.

Slater thanked the Yankees in a Facebook post, writing that she has "much respect" for the team and their gesture made her cry. 

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Photo Credit: Jenn Slater / Yankees
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<![CDATA[NFL's Gronkowski Buys Stake in Horse Who Shares His Name]]> Thu, 19 Apr 2018 20:10:57 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/gronkhorse2.jpg

A horse named Gronkowski has been purchased, at least in part, by his namesake.

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski announced Wednesday that he had bought a substantial stake in Gronkowski, a 3-year-old colt that will be racing in the Kentucky Derby.

"This horse is a winner and I love a winner," Gronk said in a statement on his GronkNation blog. "When I heard about the racehorse being named after me, I started watching and got really stoked when he started winning. He's won his last three races and is now headed to the Derby. I'm all in: Welcome to the Gronk Family, Gronkowski the Horse!"

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Rob Gronkowski teamed with owner Phoenix Thoroughbreds Ltd. in a partnership arrangement for the horse ahead of the Kentucky Derby, which can be seen live on NBC on May 5.

"We are very excited to have this talented racehorse running in the Derby and to have Rob Gronkowski join our team,” said Phoenix's Tom Ludt. "His involvement only adds to our growing credentials worldwide and can help us introduce the best of horse racing to a whole new audience."

Gronkowski the horse comes from a line of racers. According to Phoenix Thoroughbreds, the horse's father, Lonhro, was named Australia's Racehorse of the Year for 2003-04, and his maternal grandfather, Lookin at Lucky, has twice been an American champion.

As Rob Gronkowski pointed out, even though it's the first derby for the racehorse, the tight end attended the Kentucky Derby in 2015 along with quarterback Tom Brady and other Patriots teammates.

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"I really can’t think of anything cooler than having a top-class Thoroughbred named after me," he said. "Except maybe having him win the Derby."

Photo Credit: Getty Images Equuis Photography, Handout
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<![CDATA[McKayla Maroney Says Nassar Abused Her 'Hundreds' of Times]]> Wed, 18 Apr 2018 09:58:30 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/maroney-today.jpg

Since Olympic gymnast McKayla Maroney accused former Dr. Larry Nassar of sexual abuse six months ago, the gold medalist is making her first public comments about the "hundreds" of times she says he abused her and the “big secret” she was forced to keep.

In an interview to be aired in full Sunday on “Dateline,” Maroney told NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that she was just 13 when she first visited the ex-USA Gymnastics doctor for an exam.

“He told me that he was gonna do a checkup on me. That was the first day that I was abused,” said Maroney, now 22.

Nassar worked for USA Gymnastics treating young athletes for nearly three decades. Though the organization said it fired him in 2015 and alerted law enforcement "after learning of athlete concerns," Nassar continued to work as a physician at Michigan State University through September 2016 and then shortly after was indicted on sexual assault charges and arrested for having thousands of images of child pornography. He pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, as well as seven counts of sexual abuse, and is now serving his first sentence in an Arizona prison.

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Maroney was a member of the “Fierce Five” of American gymnasts who won the team gold medal at the 2012 Olympics in London. She also won the silver medal in the vault event, and a photo showing her on the podium looking disappointed sparked a “not impressed” meme.

The athlete is one of more than 200 people who has accused Nassar of abuse. She told Guthrie that he molested her “every time I saw him,” which she said was “hundreds” of times.

“He said that nobody would understand this and the sacrifice that it takes to get to the Olympics, so you can’t tell people this,” Maroney recalled. “He didn’t say it in a way that was mean or anything like that. I was actually like, that makes sense. I don’t want to tell anyone about this.”

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Maroney and her fellow gymnasts have also taken USA Gymnastics, MSU and the U.S. Olympic Committee to task, claiming that they turned a blind eye to Nassar’s misconduct and share some of the blame for the abuse. Earlier this week, Maroney said that the organizations only care about “money and medals,” adding that it “didn’t seem they cared about anything else.”

All three groups have made changes to their top leadership positions in the wake of Nassar’s abuse scandal. And the Michigan attorney general launched an investigation into Nassar’s time at MSU.

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Maroney said at the time her abuse felt like a “big secret,” but she is ready to speak out about it now.

“Doing what’s right is not always what’s easy, but I need to speak up for the girls and for the future,” she said.

Maroney’s full interview, “Silent No More,” airs on “Dateline” Sunday at 7 p.m.

Photo Credit: NBC
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<![CDATA[Things You May Not Know About Chicharito]]> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:27:52 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/chicarito.jpg

Mexican soccer star Javier “Chicharito” Hernández has a family history of World Cup excellence. Learn some more about the striker that you may not know.

<![CDATA[Things You May Not Know About James Rodriguez]]> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:25:39 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/jamesrod.jpg

Colombia's star soccer player James Rodriguez is one of the best players in the world. But how much do you know about James off the pitch?

<![CDATA[Things You May Not Know About Lionel Messi]]> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:23:23 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/messi8.jpg

Argentina's Lionel Messi has been dazzling soccer fans for years. But there are a few things you may not know about the superstar.

<![CDATA[Things You May Not Know About Neymar]]> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:20:22 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/neymar1.jpg

You've seen him dominate on the pitch, now learn a little more about the Brazilian star.

<![CDATA[Things You May Not Know About Cristiano Ronaldo]]> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:17:44 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/ronaldop.jpg

Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the most electrifying soccer players in the world, but there may be a few things you don't know about the Portuguese star.

<![CDATA[Soccer Powers Returning to South Florida This July]]> Tue, 17 Apr 2018 14:27:48 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/187*120/GettyImages-824357502.jpg

Four of the world’s best and most famous soccer teams will be in South Florida this summer for two games inside Hard Rock Stadium.

As part of the International Champions Cup, an annual event bringing some of the top teams from across the globe to the United States, Manchester City will face Bayern Munich on July 28th while Manchester United will face Real Madrid on July 21st.

Both games are expected to fill the Miami Gardens stadium – just like last year’s battle between Real Madrid and rival Barcelona in El Classico. Other teams that have played in South Florida during the previous five events include Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, Liverpool, Chelsea, AC Milan and more – including the 2013 tournament holding their championship round in the stadium.

Tickets presales will start on April 24th while the general public can purchase them starting May 1st.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[2018 Boston Marathon Winners]]> Mon, 16 Apr 2018 13:23:17 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE+Copy+01.00_00_11_23.Still006.jpg

Des Linden won the 2018 Boston Marathon, becoming the first American woman to do so since 1985.

<![CDATA[Series Preview: Marlins at Yankees]]> Mon, 16 Apr 2018 11:32:19 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-939848986.jpg

The Miami Marlins will begin a two-game series with the New York Yankees beginning on Monday.

The series will take place in the Bronx and will be the first of two series between the teams in 2018. Later this season, the Yankees will be in Miami for a pair of games as well. While Miami is off to a 3-11 start, the Yankees have a 7-7 mark on the year.

Giancarlo Stanton will be taking on the Marlins in the regular season for the first time ever. Stanton is off to a sluggish start with the Yankees and has been booed in home park multiple times this season. Stanton has three home runs, but two of those came on Opening Day. The slugger has already struck out 25 times in 59 at bats in 2018.

The Yankees have a potent lineup around Stanton and they have shown the ability to score runs on a daily basis. With the likes of Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius in the lineup, New York can win games even with a slumping Stanton.

Caleb Smith will be on the mound for Miami in the series opener and he has a Yankee connection himself. Smith came to the Marlins in November along with Garrett Cooper in a trade with New York. Smith has a 4.73 E.R.A thus far in 2018, with 19 strikeouts in 13.1 innings pitched. The lefty has been relatively consistent thus far, but has not been efficient as of yet.

Jarlin Garcia will start the second game of the series and will bring a sparkling 1.13 E.R.A into the contest. Garcia has allowed only two runs in 16 innings pitched this season. The 25-year old started the year in Miami's bullpen, but joined the rotation for his last appearance. Against the New York Mets, Garcia gave the Marlins six hitless innings before exiting. Manager Don Mattingly lifted Garcia despite the no-hitter and the Marlins went on to lose the game.

Justin Bour has hit four home runs in his last five games played and could see time as the designated hitter in this series. Bour had no homers prior to the recent run and has compiled a .226 batting average so far. With Yankee Stadium's short right field wall, Bour could add another home run or two to his totals in the series.

Starlin Castro came to Miami in the Stanton trade and will be making his return to Yankee Stadium for the series. Castro had some success with the Yankees and was relatively popular with the fans. The second baseman has been decent with Miami in 2018, but has run into some trouble with double plays. Castro has already grounded into seven double plays in 2018.

Marlins CEO Derek Jeter will not be attending the series in the Bronx. The former Yankee captain cited potential awkwardness as the reason for skipping the trip.

The series will get underway on Monday at 6:35 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marathon a 'Come-Together Moment,' 5 Years After Bombings]]> Sun, 15 Apr 2018 18:20:21 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/marathon-set-up.jpg

Five years after the Tsarnaev brothers' bombs killed three people and wounded hundreds of others at the Boston Marathon, the finish line on Boylston Street is up, yellow daffodils line the sidewalk, an unofficial memorial to the lives lost is in place, and spectators have flooded the city for its rite of spring.

"I've grown up around here and it's just like Christmas Day," said 30-year-old Stephanie Carpenter, who with colleagues from New Balance, the maker of running shoes and athletic gear, was carrying pots of the daffodils to place along the storefronts and on the tables of outdoor cafes on Friday. "It's such a come-together moment for the city."

For Bostonians, there was little doubt that the race would continue after Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev left two backpacks filled with explosives near the finish line in 2013, killing 8-year-old Martin Richard, Krystle Campbell, 29, and Lu Lingzi, 23. The world's oldest marathon, and one of the most prestigious, it dates to 1897, when 15 runners entered the race and 10 completed it. The city reacted to the attack with the slogan, "Boston Strong" and a determination to be undeterred.

Thomas Grilk, the CEO of the race's organizer, the Boston Athletic Association, said he was not sure that passion for the race ran more deeply since the bombings because it had been there for such a very long time. Spectators haul out hoses when the temperature hits 100 degrees, hold out slices of oranges and ice cubes, even bring runners into their homes when necessary, he said. Then there's the 'Scream Tunnel" just outside Wellesley College on Route 135 where the students have been cheering on runners from the first race and especially after the first women were officially admitted to the race in 1972.

"When you have a race that's been run over the same course since 1897, you have families that generation by generation have been going," Grilk said.

Today, Tamerlan Tsarnaev is dead, killed in a shoot-out with police, and his brother, Dzhokhar, was sentenced to death. On Monday, Patriots Day, 30,000 runners will start the course from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to Boston's Back Bay, with some half a million people expected to be lining the course.

Sandy Carey, a 46-year-old fifth-grade teacher from Syracuse, New York, will be running for the "261 Fearless: charity, started by the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, albeit unofficially. Kathrine Switzer managed to enter in 1967 with her initials, K.V., and finished, although a race official famously but unsuccessfully tried to wrest her number from her. 

The bombings made Carey want to run Boston, for the first time, even more than ever.

"I've always watched the Boston Marathon but after that it felt like something you had to do," she said.

She has competed in New York City's marathon three times, but "it's just a different vibe here," she said. "This is the granddaddy of them all."

Thirty-two-year-old Matt Newman, an academic researcher and soon to be admissions consultant, hopes to be at the starting line. He has injured himself, likely piriformis syndrome or spasms in his piriformis muscle in his buttocks.

"We're still holding out hope that my butt will cooperate," said Newman, who lives in Orange County, California, but is about to move to Boston.

He has run Boston twice before, finishing in 2 hours and 36 minutes in 2015 but dropping out halfway the next year because it was too hot. The year he did finish, he began to cry as neared the end of the race.

"And I wasn't crying because I was in pain but I was crying because it's incredible to be buoyed by all of these people screaming for you," he said.

Alison Batchelder, a 54-year-old stay-at-home mother of four who will be watching, said she had noticed differences since the bombing. People are more mindful and alert, as would be expected, she said.

"But it's still got that great energy," she said. "The city never lost its spark as a result. If anything they're more enthusiastic. It's sort of a 'They're not going to knock us down.'"

As this year's marathon weekend began, Tereska James was posing with her mother in front a Boston Marathon mural around the corner from the finish line. She will take a break from her job as a marketing executive to watch on Monday. Boston's determination to continue despite the attacks shows the hope that people have for the city and its unity in coming together for something that is wonderful, she said.

"It's amazing, just the amount of energy and excitement around the marathon and everything that goes with it," she said. "The ceremony. It's just infectious, so you want to be part of everything that's involved in it."

Thirty-five-year old Yilak Kebede, who was checking out the finish line, wondered if one of his countrymen from Ethiopia might win. The research fellow at Harvard University said he was struck by "the way the Bostonians respect the marathon."

"It's really nice, new to me," he said.

David O'Donnell, the senior manager of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau, said he remembered the confusion immediately after the bombings as he and others struggled to understand what had happened and then the sounds of sirens.

"Police sirens, ambulance sirens, fire truck sirens, anywhere you were in the city, the background was just sirens," O'Donnell said.

He and his colleagues kept the Boston Common visitors center open as long as they could to help the 100,000 people in the city for the weekend. He said he felt numb, fearful that there would be other attacks, but also aware that he was an ambassador for the city. The city's endurance and resiliency was hardly a surprise given those are the very qualities that a marathon demands, he said. This year, Boston expects the race to bring in $200 million.

On Monday, O'Donnell will be at work about 200 yards from the end of the race, and at some point will stroll over to try to catch the first finishers coming through.

"We never worried that it would stop an annual world class event," he said.

Photo Credit: Noreen O'Donnell
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<![CDATA[Series Preview: Pirates at Marlins]]> Fri, 13 Apr 2018 16:57:51 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-939820396.jpg

The Miami Marlins will look to halt a skid when they open a series with the Pittsburgh Pirates beginning on Friday.

Following a sweep by the New York Mets earlier this week, Miami has a 3-9 record this season. The Marlins have been losing in a variety of ways in 2018, but the bullpen has been a noticeable problem as of late for the team. Even when the Marlins have found themselves ahead, the other team has rallied late to steal the win.

Dillon Peters was roughed up by the Philadelphia Phillies in his last start and will try and rebound this time around. Peters served up two grand slams in Philadelphia and was on the losing end of a 20-1 final. The lefty has a 9.35 E.R.A in his two starts and he could be in danger of losing his rotation spot. The Marlins do have other options to turn to if necessary, at both the big-league level and AAA.

Trevor Richards will look for his first win in Major League Baseball once again, in the middle game of the series. Richards is 0-1 so far, with a rough 8.64 E.R.A. The 24-year old undrafted rookie has yet to throw five innings and has forced Miami's bullpen into extra action. If Richards doesn't show some better efficiency, he also could be replaced in the rotation at some point.

The series finale will feature ace Jose Urena on the mound for the Marlins. Urena is 0-2 this season, but his 5.06 E.R.A is respectable in comparison to Miami's other starters. Urena took a loss in the New York series, but pitched well against Boston earlier this season. The right-hander has shown good control as well, with only two walks in his last two starts combined.

Justin Bour hit his first home run of the season on Tuesday and then promptly hit another. Bour's bat had been quiet before that big day and Miami will need his production all season long. With J.T. Realmuto on the disabled list and newcomer Lewis Brinson struggling at the plate, Bour's offense has become an even bigger necessity.

With Garrett Cooper landing on the 60-day DL, the Marlins have promoted J.B. Shuck from AAA. Shuck did not play in MLB in 2017, but spent a good portion of the 2016 season with the Chicago White Sox. The 30-year old will be a fourth outfielder for the Marlins and could become the team's primary pinch-hitter.

Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Playoff Preview: Heat vs. 76ers]]> Fri, 13 Apr 2018 15:40:30 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-861062138.jpg

The Miami Heat will begin a first round series with the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday evening.

After missing the playoffs last year, Miami is back for the NBA's second season this time around. As the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, Miami will have to begin the series in Philadelphia. A possibly deciding game seven would also take place in the 76ers' home building.

During the regular season, Miami and Philadelphia faced off four times. Each squad took a pair of games and every contest was close. 18 points separated the two teams in the four games combined. The largest margin of victory came in the fourth and final game, with Miami winning by nine points.

The Heat have some reasons for optimism, but they also have to be cautious. The 76ers won 52 games this season and it wasn't a fluke. With one of the better young rosters in the league, some analysts have picked Philadelphia to go deep into the playoffs.

One factor working in Miami's favor however is playoff experience. The Heat have plenty, while the 76ers do not. Besides having a veteran in Dwyane Wade back in the mix, the Heat will have an experienced head coach in Erik Spoelstra court side. While 76ers head coach Brett Brown has seen playoff action before, this is his first taste of it as the man in charge.

Philadelphia will be without star Joel Embiid for the first game of the series, but he could return in time for the second contest. Embiid and Hassan Whiteside have exchanged words and bodily contact over the past year. In the final game of the season between the teams, Embiid and Whiteside picked up double fouls at one point. Their rivalry figures to remain a big storyline during this entire series.

Miami will likely look to slow the game down and keep Philadelphia from getting into any kind of rhythm. The Heat also arguably have a deeper bench than the 76ers, which could end up being a deciding factor in the series. It could take all seven games to decide the winner of this matchup and every contest figures to be a close one.

Games one and two will take place in Philadelphia and will be broken up by a single day off. Following Monday's game, the teams will head to Miami for a pair of games. Should a fifth game be needed, the series will switch back to Philadelphia. Each game that continues to be needed will alternate cities at that point. The 76ers went 30-11 at home this season, while Miami was 26-15 at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Game one will get underway from Philadelphia on Saturday at 8:00 p.m.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dez Bryant Released by Cowboys]]> Fri, 13 Apr 2018 14:18:08 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/dezcut.jpg

Wide receiver Dez Bryant was released by the Dallas Cowboys. Bryant caught a franchise-record 73 touchdown passes in his eight seasons with the team.

<![CDATA[What Is the Triple Crown of Horse Racing?]]> Fri, 13 Apr 2018 13:44:12 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/triple+crown+pic.jpg

With everyone buzzing about the Triple Crown of Horse Racing, learn what it is and get to know the very few who have accomplished the feat.

<![CDATA[Kids Skipping School at Cubs Game Caught by Principal]]> Sat, 14 Apr 2018 22:38:04 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/NC_kidsskipschool_1500x845.jpg
Illinois brothers Tucker and Gunner Speckman celebrated their good grades with a family trip to Wrigley Field. The family made a special sign as a joke that said, "Skipping School, shh, don't tell Principal Verluis!"
Turns out, Principal Verluis was also there with his son. 
<![CDATA[Kid Skips School for Cubs Home Opener, Where He Runs Into Principal]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 16:55:19 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-942767288.png

“Skipping school…Shh! Don’t tell Principal Versluis,” read a not-so-inconspicuous sign at the Cubs’ home opener Tuesday.

And sure enough, Principal Versluis saw the sign that Tucker Steckman, a fourth-grader at Wells Elementary School in East Moline, brought to the game, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

That’s because Wells Elementary's principal, Pat Versluis, was at the game, too.

“I didn’t want him to see me either,” Versluis told the Sun-Times, adding that he had called in sick to work to bring his own son to the game.

The run-in occurred after the MLB tweeted a photo of Steckman holding the sign—with his face covered by a black line—outside Wrigley Field just before 1 p.m. Tuesday.

Everything ended up OK. Versluis told the Sun-Times Steckman's absence is fine because he is “a great kid. He was student leader of the year. I thought the sign was hilarious.”

Steckman and Versluis were not the only novel opener attendees. Loyola's Sister Jean made an appearance and got her own honorary Cubs jersey after the Ramblers' historic March Madness run rocketed her into international stardom. 

Unfortunately, the Pirates spoiled the day for Cubs fans with an 8-5 victory.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Miami Dolphins 2018 Preseason Schedule Released]]> Thu, 12 Apr 2018 06:44:44 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-894357740.jpg

Are you ready for some (preseason) football, Miami Dolphins fans?

The NFL announced the scheduled of games for each team on Wednesday, and the Fins will not have to travel far for their four exhibition games in 2018 – all against teams they played during the 2017 regular season.

Miami will open their preseason slate by hosting the cross-state rival Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Hard Rock Stadium during week one, between August 9th and 13th. The teams have been traditional foes in the preseason, playing 16 straight games between 2000 and 2015 but haven’t met since.

The Dolphins lost their 2017 meeting with the Bucs 30-20 in a game that was moved from the opening weekend of the season to November 19th due to Hurricane Irma’s impact on Florida.

One week later, between August 16th and 20th, Miami will travel to take on the Carolina Panthers for the sixth time in preseason history. The Dolphins were blown out last season by the Panthers in their regular season game, losing 45-21 in a nationally televised game.

The following week, Miami will host the Baltimore Ravens for the second straight year sometime between August 23rd and 26th. The teams met twice last season with the Ravens winning both the preseason and regular season games by a combined score of 71-7, including a 40-0 shutout victory on national television in late October.

The Dolphins will close out the preseason slate against the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday, August 30th. Miami swept both games last season against the Falcons, winning both games in comeback fashion in the preseason at home and during the regular season in Atlanta.

Exact dates for the first three preseason games will be released by the league at a later time, while the regular season schedule is expected to be released by the end of April.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Ellington Sets Heat Record, Miami Tops Toronto 116-109]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 23:13:20 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/ap-miami-heat-win-talking.jpg

Wayne Ellington scored a career-high 32 points and set Miami's single-season record for 3-pointers, helping the Heat wrap up the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs by beating the Toronto Raptors 116-109 in overtime Wednesday night.

Ellington finished with eight 3-pointers, giving him 227 for the season. He topped the mark set by Damon Jones, who made 225 in 2004-05.

Kelly Olynyk, Dwyane Wade, Justise Winslow, James Johnson and Tyler Johnson each scored 11 points for the Heat, who open the playoffs at No. 3 Philadelphia this weekend.

Hassan Whiteside and Bam Adebayo each scored 10 for Miami, which rallied from an 11-point deficit in the second half.

Kyle Lowry scored 28 points for Toronto, which already had the top seed in the East wrapped up. The Raptors will meet No. 8 Washington in the first round.

DeMar DeRozan had 19 points, Jakob Poeltl had 16 and Jonas Valanciunas scored 12 for the Raptors, who were outscored 11-4 in overtime.

Ellington's 3-pointer with 18.8 seconds left in regulation put Miami up two, and Poeltl tied it with a tip-in. But Miami scored the first five points of the extra session and didn't look back.

Raptors reserve Fred VanVleet left with 1:32 remaining in regulation after apparently getting hurt while trying to fight through a screen. He stayed down for several seconds near the Toronto bench before getting helped off the floor.

Even with nothing standings-wise to play for, the Raptors had no qualms about using their starters. Lowry, DeRozan, Valanciunas and Serge Ibaka combined to play more than 120 minutes.

The Raptors were 22-60 in 2010-11, the season before Dwane Casey came to Toronto. They ended this season 59-23.

"It's taken us a while to build our program, to get it where it is," said Casey, a coach of the year candidate this season. "This (Heat) program has multiple championships and we're trying to get to that level organically. And it takes time. You're just not going to wave a magic wand and turn a player into Magic Johnson or Larry Bird or anybody like that. It's part of the process, and that's something I know our organization is proud of."

There was a bit of back-and-forth at times, with six ties and 16 lead changes through the first three quarters.

Yet after each of those periods, the Raptors had the lead: 29-27 after one, 53-47 at the half and 78-71 after three. But Miami won the fourth 34-27, led by Ellington connecting six times from 3-point range in the period.


Raptors: Toronto went 25-16 on the road, and 40-12 against East opponents. ... DeRozan took a scary-looking tumble over some photographers as he scored to end the first half but bounced up quickly.

Heat: All-Star point guard Goran Dragic missed the game with soreness in his right knee. The Heat are not concerned about his availability for Game 1 of the playoffs. ... Miami finished 26-15 at home.


Tony Fiorentino, one of the Heat original employees who started as an assistant coach in the team's inaugural season 30 years ago before transitioning to broadcasting, was honored in a halftime ceremony. Fiorentino has spent the last 15 season as the Heat television analyst and will assume a team-ambassador position when Miami's playoff run ends.


To say Poeltl is going into the postseason on a hot streak is an understatement. Poeltl ended the regular season having made 34 of his last 39 shots in the final eight games. Poeltl is also the only Raptors player who appeared in all 82 regular-season contests.


Raptors: Face Washington in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

Heat: Face Philadelphia in Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

<![CDATA[Philly Dedicates 'Smokin' Joe' Frazier Boulevard]]> Wed, 11 Apr 2018 21:16:43 -0400 https://media.nbcmiami.com/images/192*120/Smokin+Joe+Frazier+Boulevard.JPG

It’s been 46 years since Philadelphia boxer 'Smokin’ Joe' Frazier defeated Muhammad Ali in Madison Square Garden during the “Fight of the Century.”

The city honored its favorite non-fictional boxing son with his own street Wednesday.

Just days after Sylvester Stallone returned to the famous Rocky Balboa statue, the city of Philadelphia is memorializing Frazier by renaming the street where his old training gym can be found. Frazier already has a statue in South Philly.

Glenwood Avenue at Broad Street was rechristened as Smokin' Joe Frazier Boulevard at noon. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and other city dignitaries were joined by boxing legends Larry Holmes and Bernard Hopkins at the event.

Frazier was the undisputed heavyweight champion from 1970 to 1973. He won a gold medal at the 1964 Olympics. He was 32-4-1 over his professional career with his only losses coming to Ali, in two rematches, and George Foreman twice.

Frazier died in Philadelphia at age 67 in 2011.

Photo Credit: NBC10]]>