<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Sports News]]>Copyright 2017http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.comen-usThu, 30 Mar 2017 06:25:04 -0700Thu, 30 Mar 2017 06:25:04 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Padres Roster Could Look Quite ... Interesting]]> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 22:42:06 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/183*120/Andy+Green+Outside+Dugout+2017.JPG

Want to know what the Padres roster is going to look like on Opening Day they play the Dodgers in Los Angeles?

Hang on. This will take a while.

As of Wednesday, March 29, 2017 the Padres are kicking around the idea of having what would be, hands down, the most unique roster in all of Major League Baseball.

“It’s an interesting roster composition that we’re flirting with at this point in time,” said Manager Andy Green. He is in no way exaggerating.

“The possibility still exists that technically in the world’s eyes you’re carrying possibly four catchers if you carry Christian Bethancourt, Hector Sanchez, Luis Torrens and Austin Hedges,” said Green.

That’s right, four catchers. However, as is the case with a lot of stuff these days where the Padres are concerned, that number comes with a caveat.

“Now Bethancourt, if we keep him in that scenario we’re looking at him more as an 8th reliever rather than a true catcher. His predominant role will be in the bullpen.”

I know you’ve all heard about the Bethancourt to the bullpen thing plenty of times already but as Spring Training has played out he truly has become the guy around which the Padres roster will be built.

“He changes the whole complexion of the roster,” said Green. “There’s a lot of intrigue in his arm. He’s been up to 97 MPH at times. There are times he’s flashed plus plus plus-stuff. We don’t have the opportunity to send him down to let him develop as a pitcher. We have to allow that to happen at the Major League level and we think there’s long-term value in him.”

If they do end up keeping Bethancourt as well as the other three catchers it minimizes what the Friars can do in the field because they’d have have 16 roster spots spoken for, leaving only nine more for the infield and outfield.

The likely breakdown there is five infielders and four outfielders, and if you think you know who those guys will be trust me, you don’t. The Padres might keep as many and three Rule 5 draftees on the roster this year.

“When you’re looking at Luis Torrens and Allen Cordoba, possibly keeping them on the Major League roster … everyone has a positive and everyone has a drawback,” said Green.

The positive is a crazy level of talent. The drawback is a serious lack of experience.

Torrens is a catcher. Cordoba is an infielder. The other guy is Miguel Diaz, a right-handed reliever. All have enough upside to keep them around for a while even though they are being asked to make a ridiculous leap in competition.

Cordoba was taken out of the Cardinals organization. He’s 21 years old and has never played a game above the Rookie Ball-level Appalachian League, where last year he hit .362 with more walks than strikeouts.

Torrens was one of the top prospects in the Yankees organization before shoulder issues set him back. But he’s still just 20 years old and got a clean bill of health after off-season surgery a year ago. He has only played 40 games of advanced A-ball.

Diaz is 21 years old and has never pitched above short-season A-ball with the Brewers organization but much like Luis Perdomo last year his stuff is too good to ignore. He’s only allowed three hits in 8.0 innings with the Padres during Cactus League games.

The Padres are seriously considering keeping all three guys.

“Those are real discussions going on right now and I think they’ll persist for the next couple of days because there’s a tradeoff with every one of them,” said Green.

If all three youngsters do stick they’ll have to stay on the big league roster for the duration of the season (like Perdomo) or offer them back to their original teams (like outfielder Jabari Blash, who ultimately ended up staying in the organization after a trade with the Mariners).

If that happens there are tough decisions to make. On the infield, who do you knock out to keep Cordoba? You know Wil Myers, Erick Aybar and Yangervis Solarte are on the team. That leaves Cory Spangenberg, Ryan Schimpf and Luis Sardinas and the Padres can only keep one.

Or maybe they can keep two if the team thinks Cordoba can handle the outfield, which he has done admirably during Spring Training. The outfield is going to have Hunter Renfroe, Travis Jankowski and Manuel Margot (as long as his knee is healthy) in it. Alex Dickerson won’t be ready for Opening Day. Might the Friars think Cordoba offers a better opportunity than Blash or Collin Cowgill?

That is a serious possibility and for a progressive-thinking manager like Green it offers a world of possibilities.

“We have the potential to use some of our pieces in unique fashions and up-down concepts that cover some of our inexperience on the bench. We’ve got a lot of things we like in a lot of guys.”

Yup. They definitely have some tough decisions to make.

]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Roster Taking Shape]]> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 19:07:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/181*120/Quackenbush+Finish.JPG

The Padres continued trimming their Spring Training roster on Wednesday, shipping out five more players.

Right-handed pitcher Kevin Quackenbush was optioned to the minor league side while right-hander Carlos Fisher, infielders Brett Wallace and Jamie Romak and catcher Tony Cruz were all reassigned to minor league camp.

That leaves 37 guys left in Major League camp. Well, really it only leaves 33 players in the mix for a spot on the 25-man Opening Day roster because four pitchers … Colin Rea, Erik Johnson, Christian Friedrich and Robbie Erlin … are still listed on the Spring roster even though they are not going to be available due to injury.

So that means only seven guys will have to get that call saying they’re not going to be members of the San Diego Padres big league club come April 3 at Dodger Stadium. Most of them will come from the pitching staff because there are currently 19 pitchers left in camp and only 12 or 13 of them will be around.

]]>
<![CDATA[San Diego’s Mashburn Nominated For Lucrative Surfing Award]]> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:23:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/ChristopherMashburnSURFWEB.jpg

A local surfer has a chance to cash in big time in the upcoming World Surfer League "Big Wave Awards."

The WSL honors the best wave performances every year, and San Diego native Christopher Mashburn is one of five nominees for the "Paddle Award," which goes to the surfer who rides the biggest wave.

There are seven different categories this time around.

You can basically call this the Surfing Oscars since the WSL honors the best wave performances from all over the world every year.

Entries include epic performances ranging from Hawaii and California to Portugal and even Fiji.

Mashburn grabbed his at Maverick's in San Mateo county. You can click here to watch the video. Mashburn's ride comes up around the 1:06 mark of the clip.

If he wins, he takes home $30,000.

The winners will be crowned at a gala invitation-only awards show at the Pasea Hotel in Huntington Beach, California on April 29, 2017.

Also, if Mashburn wins, the photojournalist who captured his ride will also get $5,000 for capturing the moment.



Photo Credit: Frank Quirarte]]>
<![CDATA['Soccer City SD' Gets Enough Signatures to Head to Council]]> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 20:02:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Soccer-SD-City-rendering-031716.jpg

Proponents of a new stadium in Mission Valley have collected 108,000 signatures in support of the proposal, they announced Wednesday. The number is more than enough to get the issue in front of the San Diego City Council.

The group behind the proposal, La Jolla-based FS Investors, said they plan to circulate petitions for a few more days before submitting them to the City of San Diego.

FS hopes to build a complex with commercial and office buildings, housing, a river park and a hybrid soccer-college football stadium on 166 acres where Qualcomm Stadium is located.

The land is up for grabs after Dean Spanos moved his professional football team to Los Angeles.

"As many of you know, I did not support the Spanos Chargers measure for the downtown stadium because I didn't think it was a good deal, but I think this is a good deal for the City of San Diego and the people in it," said April Boling,former chairperson of the County Taxpayers Association and now treasurer of investor group Goal SD.

The so-called "Soccer City SD" project would include nearly 5,000 residential units, two hotels and a 55-acre river park along with the soccer stadium.

The City of San Diego requires signatures from at least 5 percent of registered voters before a referendary petition may be submitted. The registrar still needs to validate 71,646 of those signatures for it to get to the San Diego City Council for consideration.

Once submitted, the petition may be approved by councilmembers or be put up for a public vote.

The project is likely to face challenges from other developers and environmental groups.

Major League Soccer (MLS) will decide by the fall on whether San Diego will be  awarded a franchise.



Photo Credit: FS Investors]]>
<![CDATA[Oakland Leaders Consider Lawsuit Against Raiders]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 18:38:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/schaaf-davis-0328-2017.jpg

The next fight for the Raiders may be in a courtroom, as the city of Oakland is considering a lawsuit against the Silver and Black.

The issue: a $90 million stadium commitment by taxpayers.

The Oakland City Council was meeting in a private session Tuesday afternoon. It is looking at giving Raiders owner Mark Davis an ultimatum: Stay or pay back every dollar spent on a stadium deal in the fight to keep the team here.

NFL owners on Monday voted to approve the Raiders' move to Las Vegas, where a stadium plan and funding are in place.

But some aren't giving up on the Raiders staying in Oakland. Councilman Noel Gallo said even though the team got the necessary votes from NFL owners to move to Las Vegas, the Raiders don't have the legal right to leave.

"Everybody wants to leave town to make a dollar and leave the rest of us here in Oakland paying for their debt," Gallo said. "When the Raiders came here from LA, the voters voted for a $220 million bond to keep them here to build their stadium. We're still paying $90 million of that."

Gallo wants Davis to pay back every dollar the city invested to bring them back to Oakland from LA.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf agreed, insisting the city bent over backwards to keep the team.

"What bothered me the most is they just need to be honest," Schaaf said. "Oakland had a plan, Vegas had a plan. They choose Las Vegas."

Schaaf said the city feels betrayed.

"The Raiders are part of of our city's identity, our culture, our legacy; no other football team brings that," she said.

Some Raiders fans, however, say it's not the team but the city who dropped the ball.

"They should have had a stadium; then they would have been here for years," Patrick Secrease said.

The Raiders expect to play in their new Las Vegas stadium starting in 2020.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Announce Jhoulys Chacin as Opening Day Starter]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 20:34:00 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/167*120/GettyImages-654262154.jpg

Tuesday morning, the San Diego Padres announced Jhoulys Chacin will be their opening day starting pitcher against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The season opener will be on Monday, April 3 at Dodgers Stadium.

Chacin took the hill at Petco Park earlier this month for his native country of Venezuela during the World Baseball Classic. This isn't the first time the right hander gets the opening day nod.

In 2013 he opened the season for the Colorado Rockies and says he’s using that experience to his advantage.

“When I did it in 2013 I was younger. I was more kind of a prospect. Right now I’m older…a veteran guy,” said Chacin of how much he’s grown. “You know, I just want to take care of the day by day, just take it like a normal game, just don’t try to do too much and always try to give the team a chance to win the game.”

While the Venezuelan is drawing from his past experience, he’s also looking towards the future and setting goals for this season. “I also want to reach 200 innings. That’s my main goal,” says Chacin.

Health was an issue for the Friars in 2016.

Last year’s opening day starter, Tyson Ross missed all but the first game due to a shoulder injury.

Padres manager Andy Green thinks Chacin can go the distance saying, “He’s the type of guy that doesn’t rattle at all. I think his stuff can play effectively all through the season. Once you start the rotation and start turning it over, he’s one of five guys that are important to continued success for the team.”

In addition to Chacin, Green announced lefty Clayton Richard will start in Game 2 against the Dodgers and Jered Weaver gets the nod for Game 4 in the series. The last two spots in the starting rotation are still up for grabs. With spring training games coming to a close there are three pitchers fighting for those spots: San Diego product Trevor Cahill, Jarred Cosart and Luis Perdomo.

The Padres home opener at Petco Park will take place on Friday, April 7 at 3:40 p.m.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[San Diegan Gets Chance to Start With the Padres]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:17:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/183*120/Trevor+Cahill+Padres+Spring+2017.JPG

At the start of Padres Spring Training we asked Bob Scanlan, Padres broadcaster and long-time friend of NBC 7 SportsWrap, to name a couple of guys who might be surprisingly strong contributors in 2017. The first name out of his mouth was a pitcher with San Diego ties.

“I think Trevor Cahill might be one of those guys,” said Scan. “He’s looked great. I’ve been watching his bullpens and live pitching sessions. He looks really solid. He could be sort of the Drew Pomeranz of this year for the Padres. A guy who was struggling but came on and all of a sudden became a big factor in the starting rotation. I think Cahill can be that guy.”

Pomeranz was a starter who became a reliever who earned another starting job in San Diego, went to the All-Start Game … and was traded to Boston for Anderson Espinoza, one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball.

The comparison with Cahill is spot-on. Trevor was a starter who last year moved to the bullpen full-time with the World Series champion Chicago Cubs. Now the Vista native is trying to start again with his home town team, a possibility that was as important to him as coming back to San Diego.

“I heard nothing but good things about the staff and just thought it was a good opportunity,” said Cahill. “I get a chance to go back home and play in front of the family. I just want a chance to go out there and show what I can do.”

With a week left until Opening Day, Cahill has been even better than Pomeranz was last year. He leads the Padres in innings pitched and strikeouts and opponents are only hitting .155 against him in the notoriously offense-friendly Cactus League.

His last two starts have been fantastic. How about these combined numbers against the Giants and Cubs:

-    10.0 Innings pitched
-    3 Hits
-    1 Earned run
-    15 Strikeouts

Cahill was an All-Star with Oakland in 2010 but has never been able to replicate that success. Going to the bullpen with the Cubs changed his approach to pitching in general.

“It feels like as a starter you have to pace yourself. Out of the ‘pen you’re able to come in and throw everything as hard as you can and go straight to the breaking stuff and off-speed stuff,” said Cahill.

The tactic worked for him in later innings in Chicago so he plans on taking it to the mound in the first inning in San Diego instead of worrying about setting up hitters for later at-bats.

“Nowadays with the bullpens as good as they are there’s not as much emphasis on going deep. It’s like if you can put up five zeroes it’s better than seven innings with two runs almost. I’m going to go out there and get my, hopefully, 110 pitches and see how deep it takes me.”

If it works the new mindset has already put him back in the starting rotation and could even take him back to the All-Star Game.

]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Finally Sell Out Season Tickets]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 12:51:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/212*120/01-29-2016-chargers-helmet-generic-nfl-1.jpg

Several weeks after they went on sale the Chargers have finally sold out their season tickets for the 2017 season at StubHub Center in Carson.

Of course like most everything with the Chargers these days that comes with a caveat.

“Consistent with the practice of other NFL teams that have achieved sellouts, the Chargers have placed a hold on several thousand additional tickets for players and their families, visiting team use, community relations, and promotional purposes,” said the team in a statement.

The facility where they will spend the next couple of seasons only holds from 27,000 to 30,000 so they have not in fact sold out every seat in the house. That did not stop them from doubling down on the rhetoric:

“Because of the high demand for Chargers tickets at StubHub Center, the franchise will look to free up additional seats from the team’s hold and from additional improvements at StubHub Center. This may satisfy a portion of the remaining high demand.”

It would appear that the team’s definition of “high demand” differs greatly from most other teams in the NFL. Season tickets were offered to current season ticket holders on February 22 and went out to the general public on March 9 … yet it took until March 26 for them all to be sold.

By contrast the Rams returned to Los Angeles and sold all 70,000 of the allotted season tickets at the Coliseum for the 2016 season in less than a day. The truly high demand will probably be single-game tickets, which are likely going to be purchased almost exclusively by fans of that week’s Chargers opponent.

Chargers season tickets ranged in price from $700 to $3,750 for the 10 home games. At an average of $192 per game the Chargers will likely have one of the top-3 most expensive tickets in the NFL in 2017. In 2016 their average ticket price was about $92 per game.

And in one more example of the franchise’s … let’s go with interesting sense of timing, the announcement came on the same day that the NFL owners approved the Raiders move from Oakland to Las Vegas. That would suggest that either the Chargers failed once again to read their terrain or they actively wanted this bit of news to be overlooked on purpose. Maybe both.



Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[2018 Olympics: Viewers Can Watch All NBC Coverage Live]]> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 03:41:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/PyeongChang_Sign_PC.jpg

Viewers across the country will be able to watch all 2018 Winter Games coverage live at the same time, NBC announced Tuesday.

The 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games are scheduled for Feb. 8-25, 2018, with the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 8. Between that and the Closing Ceremony Feb. 25, viewers from coast to coast will be able to watch all coverage, including prime-time, live for the first time. 

"Nothing brings America together for two weeks like the Olympics, and that communal experience will now be shared across the country at the same time both on television and streaming online," said Jim Bell, President of NBC Olympics Production & Programming in a statement. "That means social media won't be ahead of the action in any time zone, and as a result, none of our viewers will have to wait for anything. This is exciting news for the audience, the advertisers, and our affiliates alike."

The primetime Olympics broadcast will begin at 8 p.m. ET, 7 p.m. CT, 6 p.m. MT and 5 p.m. PT on most nights. That will be followed by local news, then Primetime Plus programming featuring more live coverage. 

Mike Tirico will host the primetime program, which had been hosted by Bob Costas since 1992.

The events will be broadcast across all NBC Universal networks and streamed live on NBCOlympics.com and the NBC Sports app on mobile devices.

Click here for more details on how to watch.



Photo Credit: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gulls Get Goalie Reinforcements]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 16:56:51 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Jhonas+Enroth+In+Net+Gulls.jpg

The Gulls are in the playoffs but their goalie situation is anything but solidified. They were going to have to go it by committee with head coach Dallas Eakins playing either Dustin Tokarski or Kevin Boyle, whichever one has the hot hand.

Both have been at times very good and not so great this year. On Monday the Gulls got a guy who might be the difference-maker.

The Anaheim Ducks reassigned Jhonas Enroth to San Diego. After joining the Gulls in January Enroth, a veteran of six NHL seasons, went 10-2-0 with two shutouts, a 1.42 goals against average and .944 save percentage in San Diego. If you’re unfamiliar with hockey statistics those numbers are otherworldly good.

The Ducks called him up when former Gulls goalie John Gibson suffered an injury. Gibson is ready to return so Enroth is heading back down from Orange County.

San Diego has eight games left in the regular season, five of them against the Ontario Reign. Interestingly it’s looking more and more likely the Gulls and Reign will face off in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs as well.

These teams do not like one another. Their parent clubs, the Ducks and Kings, do not like one another. The prospect of playing 10 games against one another in a three week span is not likely to dampen their rivalry.

]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Move to Las Vegas Approved by NFL Owners]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:27:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT_BAY_RAIDERS_032717-149064045515300001.jpg

The Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas.  NFL owners voted to approve the move on Monday. The team plans to continue to play in Oakland in 2017 and 2018 while a $1.9 billion stadium is built in Las Vegas.

]]>
<![CDATA[Ex-Padre Matt Kemp Auctioning San Diego Mansion]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 10:32:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/matt-kemp-poway-mansion.jpg MLB player Matt Kemp listed his mansion in San Diego for $11.5 million in December.

Photo Credit: Antis Real Estate Photography/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NFL Approves Raiders' Relocation to Las Vegas]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 06:36:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/las-vegas-raiders.jpg

NFL owners on Monday gave the Oakland Raiders the green light to move from their current home in the East Bay to Las Vegas.

The relocation move was approved by 31 of the league's 32 owners during meetings in Phoenix.

"My father used to say that the greatness of the Raiders is in its future, and the opportunity to build a world-class stadium in the entertainment capital of the world is one opportunity that will give us the ability to achieve that greatness," Mark Davis, the owner of the Raiders, said.

Davis added that he has "mixed feelings" about the relocation, and he understands the anger that some fans of the Raiders most likely feel.

"I just hope that in the future as we play in Oakland this year that (the fans) understand it wasn't the players, it wasn't the coaches that made this decision, but it was me that made it," Davis said. "If they have anyone to talk to about it, it should be me. I will, in the coming days, try to explain to them what went in to making this difficult decision."

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf called Monday's announcement "very disappointing news."

"I'm very sad today for the 'Raider Nation,'" she said. "These are the most dedicated, passionate, good-hearted fans that any city could be proud to call theirs. That is what makes my heart so heavy."

With no stadium in place to greet them, it is not exactly clear at this point when the Raiders will pack their bags for Las Vegas. The Raiders maintain one-year stadium lease options in Oakland for the next two seasons. Davis added that the team could even still play in the East Bay during the 2019 campaign as well if the Las Vegas stadium is still in the works.

"We're still the Oakland Raiders and we are the Raiders and we represent the 'Raider Nation,'" Davis said.

Oakland season-ticket holders disappointed about the owners' decision will be allowed to refund their tickets if they so choose, Davis added.

The Raiders' proposal to the NFL included a $1.9 billion stadium plan in "Sin City." A total of $750 million in public funds via a Las Vegas hotel tax along with $500 million from the team and the NFL will be used to fund the construction of the domed arena. Bank of America, the Raiders' new chief financial backer, will also contribute funds.

The fact that no physical stadium location in Las Vegas had been officially determined and no stadium lease had been put into writing could have derailed the relocation proposal, but owners did not appear to find issue with those potential roadblocks.

In the days leading up to Monday's vote, Oakland went "all in" in hopes of enticing the franchise to stick with its original home.

Mayor Schaaf over the weekend backed a plan to construct a new $1.3 billion home for the Raiders on 55 acres of immediately available land just south of the Coliseum.

The East Bay city was slated to chip in $200 million to build the public infrastructure and pay for the preparation of the stadium site, according to Schaaf. Oakland's general fund would not have been tapped into to pay for the build. Rather, construction would have been paid off using revenue generated at the venue. Schaaf reiterated that $600 million in private funds would have come from the Fortress Investment Group and NFL Hall of Hamer and 49ers legend Ronnie Lott.

Mayor Schaaf on Monday once again stated that Oakland's stadium plan was a "fully financed, shovel-ready project."

The last-minute proposal was submitted to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week, but it appears the effort was not enough to turn heads.

Over the weekend, Goodell wrote a letter, which was obtained by Bay Area News Group, to Schaaf indicating that the plan "does not present a proposal that is clear and specific, actionable in a reasonable timeframe, and free of major contingencies."

He backed that sentiment up Monday afternoon by claiming that the NFL worked "tirelessly" to resolve stadium issues in Oakland for roughly 10 years, but a substantial and well-rounded solution never materialized.

"The points that we always put back to Oakland were we need certainty on a viable plan that will work for the community and the team long term," he said. "It had to be actionable. We understand that contingencies sometimes occur, but major contingencies that put the entire project into doubt are just unreasonable in a case like this."

Davis added that Oakland did not do nearly enough to express its long-term commitment to the Raiders, especially after the Raiders were prevented from returning to Los Angeles last year.

"Oakland had the opportunity to come in and make a presentation to the league and they came in with a five-page piece of paper that had nothing to do with anything," he said. "They claimed that they would wait for us to lose the vote and come back and then they'd have all the leverage."

The Raiders came up short in that vote. The organization's leaders returned to Oakland and managed to negotiate a one-year lease at the Coliseum with two years of options, according to Davis. Both sides then planned to discuss long-term stadium ideas in the near future, but that never happened.

"A week later I got a call from one of the county board of supervisors telling me, 'Mark, I'm sorry, but the lease that we just negotiated, the three years of leases, are not going to be valid. We're going to raise the rent three times on you,'" Davis said. "At that point, we ended up signing that lease anyway, but then we decided we have to start looking elsewhere to see if we could find a long-term solution."

At that point, the Raiders and the city of Oakland halted communication with the exception of one meeting, according to Schaaf. She did admit that she understands Davis' frustrations with being unable to negotiate a long-term deal with Oakland for the past decade, but she also made sure to criticize him for not taking Oakland's latest stadium plan into consideration.

"I do think that the manly thing for him to do is at least admit that (Oakland) had a viable plan and that he made a choice," she said.



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Weekly San Diego Sports Preview]]> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 16:44:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/185*120/Wil+Myers+Swing+Finish.JPG

Here’s a preview of what is coming in San Diego sports for the week of March 27th-April 2nd.

PADRES: Opening Day is almost here! The Padres wrap up Cactus League play this week against the Mariners Monday, Dodgers Tuesday, White Sox Wednesday and Rockies Thursday. Friday they head to Lake Elsinore for an exhibition against their Class-A affiliate the Storm.

GULLS: The Gulls are away from the nest this week. They’re in Tucson Friday and Saturday to face the Roadrunners.

UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO TOREROS:

-MEN’S GOLF: Monday and Tuesday at the Duck Invitational in Eugene, Oregon.

-BASEBALL: Tuesday vs. UC Riverside 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday vs. San Francisco 6 p.m. and Sunday vs. San Francisco 1 p.m.

-SOFTBALL: Wednesday vs. UC Riverside 2 p.m.

-WOMEN’S TENNIS: Thursday vs. Gonzaga 1:30 p.m. and Sunday vs. Portland 11 a.m.

-MEN’S TENNIS: Friday at Gonzaga 12 p.m.

-WOMEN’S ROWING: Saturday at the San Diego Crew Classic in Mission Bay.

-MEN’S ROWING: Saturday and Sunday at the San Diego Crew Classic in Mission Bay.

-WOMEN’S TRACK: Saturday and Sunday at the California Collegiate Invite in San Diego.

UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SAN DIEGO TRITONS:

-MEN’S TENNIS: Monday at Barry in Boca Raton, Florida Wednesday at West Florida, Thursday at Valdosta both in Pensacola and Sunday vs. Hawaii Hilo 1 p.m.

-MEN’S GOLF: Monday and Tuesday at the SoCal Intercollegiate in Santee.

-SOFTBALL: Monday at Sonoma State 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Friday vs. Montana State Billings 9 a.m. and Western Oregon 11:30 a.m. in Turlock, Saturday vs. Northwestern Nazarene 9 a.m. and Western Washington 11:30 a.m. in Turlock and Sunday vs. Concordia 9 a.m. and Simon Fraser 11:30 a.m. in Turlock.

-WOMEN’S WATER POLO: Monday at Cal State East Bay 2 p.m., Friday vs. Hartwick 6 p.m. at UCSD and Sunday vs. UC Irvine 12 p.m. also at UCSD.

-WOMEN’S TENNIS: Tuesday at Columbus State 2 p.m., Thursday at Valdosta State 11 a.m. and Friday at West Florida 6 a.m.

-MEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Thursday at Pepperdine 7 p.m. and Saturday at Stanford 6 p.m.

-MEN’S AND WOMEN’S ROWING: Saturday and Sunday at the San Diego Crew Classic in Mission Bay.

-TRACK & FIELD: Saturday at the California Collegiate Invitational at UCSD.

-BASEBALL: Saturday vs. Stanislaus State 2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. and Sunday vs. Stanislaus State 12 p.m. in Turlock.

SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY AZTECS:

-MEN’S GOLF: Monday and Tuesday at the Oregon Duck Invitational.

-BASEBALL: Tuesday at USC 6 p.m., Friday vs. San Jose State 6 p.m., Saturday vs. San Jose State 2 p.m. and Sunday vs. San Jose State 1 p.m.

-MEN’S TENNIS: Wednesday vs. Stanford 1 p.m.

-WOMEN’S WATER POLO: Thursday vs. UCLA, Friday vs. UC Santa Barbara and Saturday vs. Hawaii all in Honolulu, Hawaii.

-SOFTBALL: Friday vs. San Jose State 6 p.m., Saturday vs. San Jose State 6 p.m. and Sunday vs. San Jose State 12 p.m. all at SDSU Softball Stadium.

-WOMEN’S TENNIS: Friday vs. UNLV 10 a.m.

-WOMEN’S LACROSSE: Friday vs. Brown 5 p.m.

-WOMEN’S ROWING: Saturday and Sunday at the San Diego Crew Classic in Mission Bay 7:30 a.m.

-WOMEN’S TRACK: Saturday at the California Collegiate Invitational in La Jolla.

POINT LOMA NAZARENE UNIVERSITY SEA LIONS:

-WOMEN’S TENNIS: Thursday vs. San Diego Christian 2 p.m. and Saturday at Azusa Pacific 11 a.m.

-MEN’S TENNIS: Thursday vs. San Diego Christian 4 p.m. and Saturday at Azusa Pacific 11 a.m.

-BASEBALL: Thursday and Friday vs. California Baptist 3 p.m. and Saturday vs. California Baptist 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

-TRACK: Saturday at the California Collegiate Invitational at UCSD 11 a.m.

-MEN’S SOCCER: Saturday vs. Cal State San Marcos TBD.

]]>
<![CDATA[A Conversation With Padres Hitting Coach Alan Zinter]]> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 14:08:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/183*120/Alan+Zinter+Padres.JPG

Have a talented young hitter that needs a little instruction to reach his potential? There’s a guy you might want to talk to.

Padres hitting coach Alan Zinter is one of those people who just kind of have a knack for teaching kids how to hit. What is interesting about that is he’s not a guy who had a whole lot of success as a hitter himself.

“I’ve been fortunate to play a long time; to toil in the minor leagues a long time and go through a lot of frustrations as a hitter,” said Zinter. “That’s prepared me for what I do now. I love teaching. I love to break it down and walk through the fire with a player throughout his career.”

In 19 seasons of professional baseball Zinter played 67 games in the Major Leagues and 1,882 games in the minor leagues and Japan. His professional playing career ended after one last hurrah with the Somerset Patriots of the in the Independent Atlantic League in 2007. He immediately got a job as a minor league hitting coach in the Diamondbacks organization where he started to show an innate ability to show other guys how to put the bat on the ball.

In the Arizona system he developed All-Star 1st baseman Paul Goldschmidt. The Indians caught wind of Zinter so they made him their minor league hitting coordinator and he started molding All-Star 2nd baseman Francisco Lindor in to an offensive threat. Then the Astros brought Zinter back to The Show as an assistant hitting instructor where he helped SS Carlos Correa become an MVP candidate.

When the Padres hired Andy Green to be their manager before the 2016 season they knew they were soon going to dive headfirst in to a rebuild. That means lots of young players that need instruction. And that means they needed a guy with a track record of helping talented players realize their potential.

So they brought Zinter over from Houston. In his first season he drew rave reviews from established stars like 1st baseman Wil Myers, who went to his first All-Star Game, and young players like catcher Austin Hedges, who had the best offensive season of his life working with Zinter, who does not take a “one size fits all” approach to instructing his players.

“I’m not a cookie cutter coach,” said Zinter. “What do they do best? I want to get them to understand that and get them to understand their mechanics and how to get them to repeat those mechanics. That’s where consistency lies. Obviously there are some points in hitting you want to get to. We stress those and teach those but everybody gets to those points differently and it’s OK. If you stand on your head and can get to the launch position on time I’m fine with that.”

Now he gets to try and mold top prospects like Manuel Margot, Hunter Renfroe and Jorge Ona; guys with huge ceilings because of their natural ability. With the inexperienced Padres, Zinter has a whole lot of work to do … and he likes it like that.

“It’s not normal to be able to get such young players at this (MLB) level,” said Zinter. “So much talent and they bring a lot to the table so I’m just looking to learn them and watch what they do; make sure they’re doing good routines. It’s very important to have an open mind and a growth mind set.”

Growth is a good word for the Padres, who believe they’ve planted the seeds of a winning franchise. It’s up to guys like Zinter to nurture them.

]]>
<![CDATA[Gulls Already in Playoff Prep Mode]]> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 13:29:46 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Nate+Guenin+Gulls.jpg

On Saturday night the Gulls lost to the Bakersfield Condors 3-1 but since the Stockton Heat also lost it means San Diego secured its 2nd straight playoff berth. So despite the result, the post-season must have been a great thing to talk to the team about right?

“No,” said head coach Dallas Eakins. “We’re not really worried about that. We’re worried about our game.”

Not even a little bit of excitement? Maybe one bottle popped?

“I mean that’s not the way we wanted to clinch a playoff spot,” said forward Nick Kerdiles, who scored the lone Gulls goal in Saturday’s setback. “But we’re happy. We worked hard to get a playoff spot so to finally get it is good news.”

For the Gulls reaching the post-season is just another step in the process. This team has plenty of talent and an NHL-caliber coach in Eakins. Now they find themselves in a bit of an interesting position.

There are still eight games left so they have the option of resting guys and setting themselves up to peak as the playoffs begin. But they also have a shot at earning the top seed in the Western Conference, which would mean home ice throughout.

So Eakins has to walk that exceedingly delicate line between preserving players and trying to win as much as possible.

“We’ve already been trying to do that we’ve had guys in and out of the lineup,” said Eakins. “Some of it is competition. Some of it’s not great play and some of it has been we’re just giving guys a rest. We’ll keep an eye on the guys’ recovery as we move forward for sure.”

If players do break down it won’t be because they’re worn out after the grind of the season. It’ll be because on an injury. From the day training camp started the Gulls have closely monitored their players’ fitness levels to avoid burning out. It seems to be working.

“We’re in extremely good shape,” said Kerdiles. “We don’t go the longest in practice but we work the hardest, we know that. I know our guys are fresh and we’ve got those legs so I think we’re just ready to keep rolling.”

Eakins has his players wear heart rate monitors during practice to make sure they’re going hard enough … but not too hard. He also makes sure to track their hydration and sleep levels to make sure they are operating at optimal capacity. Eakins says being dehydrated by just 3%-5% can be the difference in a 1-goal game.

“Everything they do is for a reason,” said veteran defenseman Nate Guenin. “They give us days off so we’re well-rested so we can practice hard and be ready for games. I think the group trusts the staff 100%.”

The regular season ends on Saturday, April 15 at home against Ontario. After that the sprint to the Calder Cup begins.

]]>
<![CDATA[Gulls Clinch Playoff Berth]]> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 23:44:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/198*120/Gulls+-+Condors.jpg

Sometimes you can do everything right in a hockey game and still come up short because you come across a hot goalie.

That's what happened to the San Diego Gulls in their home-and-home series against Bakersfield.

Needing just one point to reach the American Hockey League playoffs for the second straight year they ran in to a brick wall named Jonas Gustavsson. The Condors netminder stopped 30 shots on Friday night and stoned the Gulls another 44 times in front of 12,449 fans on Saturday night at Valley View Casino Center in a 3-1 Bakersfield win.

The Gulls finally broke through in the 3rd period when Nick Kerdiles redirected a shot to beat Gustavsson. Despite the two straight setbacks the Gulls punched their playoff ticket anyway because Stockton lost in Texas.

So fellas, you are in the post-season! How does that feel?

“Good,” said Gulls Defenseman Nate Guenin. “I mean that was one of our goals all year. I think it was expected of this group to make the playoffs. So now it’s about getting ready for them and hopefully we’ll be peaking at the right time.”

San Diego still has eight games left in the regular season and a chance to take over San Jose for the best record in the Western Conference, which would give them home-ice advantage up to the finals of the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs.

]]>
<![CDATA[Is Bill Murray a Good Luck Charm? Xavier Fans Hope So]]> Mon, 27 Mar 2017 08:07:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-657091926.png

Bill Murray is having quite the year. It's always a good time to be the iconic 66-year-old 'Ghostbusters' actor, but it turns out that this is a pretty good time to be a fan of his favorite sports teams, too.

The Chicago-area native was front and center for his beloved Cubs’ first World Series victory in 108 years – singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game;" appearing on 'Saturday Night Live' with team members; calling for Mayor Emanuel to cancel school; and even making one fan’s dream come true

He crashed postgame interviews, victory celebrations and even a White House press briefing, all for the love of his Cubbies. Now Murray has his sights set on March Madness, and his support of bracket-busting Xavier University has led some to speculate that perhaps there’s a little something more to his diehard fandom.

The Musketeers came into the NCAA tournament as the 11 seed in the West Region, but those long odds didn’t stop them from winning three major upsets in a row. After taking out six-seed Maryland and three-seed Florida State in the first two rounds, Xavier toppled two-seed Arizona on Friday to head to the Elite Eight for the first time since 2008.

In the stands to see it happen was, of course, Bill Murray, whose son is an assistant coach of the Xavier men's basketball team. While the proud father's reaction to Xavier's shocking exit from the 2016 NCAA tournament quickly went viral, this year has so far been a very different story.

A notoriously raucous sports fan, Murray's hair-tousling joy could put a smile on just about anyone's face – and it did not go unnoticed.

"Entourage" actor Jerry Ferrara even tweeted that "tons of credit" goes to Murray, while sidelined Bulls star Dwyane Wade himself was in awe of Murray’s "power."

That power even led some fans to change their allegiance—or hope that Murray could lend them a helping hand.

Whether there’s some sort of magic to Murray's support remains to be seen, as Xavier is set to face their toughest test yet. The Musketeers take on one-seed Gonzaga Saturday evening, with both teams looking to secure a trip to their first-ever Final Four.



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[Gulls Come up Short in Bakersfield]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:56:03 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Gulls+Bench.jpg

The Gulls needed one point to secure their spot in the post-season for the second straight season but instead of a celebration they had one of THOSE nights in Bakersfield.

The Condors won 5-1 on an evening when even the Bakersfield goalie scored a goal. The Condors scored on the first shot they took to take a 1-0 lead and that … shot efficiency … was a theme. Bakersfield scored their five goals on just 17 shots.

The Gulls squeezed off 31 shots but only one of them found the net. In the 2nd period forward Ondrej Kase scored the equalizer for San Diego’s only goal.

If you want to know about this game in a nutshell then that shell cracked in the 3rd period. Bakersfield was leading 4-1 with less than five minutes to play when they were hit with a pair of penalties. The Gulls pulled goaltender Dustin Tokarski to they could have a 6-on-3 power play.

Condors goalie Jonas Gustavsson made a save and the Gulls could not corral the puck so it slid all the way down the ice and in to their net. Since no other Bakersfield player touched it Gustavsson became the 12th goaltender in the history of the American Hockey League (founded in 1936) to score a goal.

The Gulls will have a chance to earn that post-season spot in front of their home crowd on Saturday night when they host the Condors. Another near-sellout crowd is expected at Valley View Casino Center for the 7:00 start.

]]>
<![CDATA[Soccer City SD and ... Footy McFooty Face]]> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 16:06:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/new+MLS+stadium+3.jpg

“And now … your San Diegooooooooo Footy McFooty Face!!!!”

If San Diego does end up getting a MLS expansion team that might be what you hear over the public address system at home games.

Soccer City SD, the development where a new Major League Soccer team would play if the FS Investors group plan to redevelop the Mission Valley land where Qualcomm Stadium sits is approved, is allowing fans to choose the name of the franchise.

Voting will go on for several days but they might as well shut it down now. It looks like we have a winner:

Footy McFooty Face is going to run away and hide with this thing. Soccer City SD says in a Facebook post that “Soccer Club or Football Club can be added to names, and similarly, a nickname or mascot can be added to traditional names. You, the fans, will help us decide on that later!”

So it could be Footy McFooty Face SC or FC Footy McFooty Face. There are plenty of possibilities. Or more likely there are not.

This current vote will determine the final 10 possibilities which will be sent to Major League Soccer for approval before a final decision is made. So even if Footy McFooty Face wins the popular vote the odds of MLS letting it become the name of one of its expansion teams are probably not all that great.

Or are they?

A year ago folks in Great Britain allowed people to vote on the name of a new research vessel and the clear-cut winner was Boaty McBoatface (very likely the inspiration for the soccer team name). The U.K.’s Natural Environment Research Council said thanks but no thanks, instead naming it after Sir David Attenborough.

But to have a little fun with the winner the Council did name a robotic submarine Boaty McBoatface and yes … the submarine is in fact yellow (gotta love that British sense of humor). Just this month Boaty McBoatface was taken to Antarctica to explore the waters under the ice.

So even if the major professional soccer team in San Diego is not named Footy McFooty Face, perhaps the mascot will don the name. Then we can have a whole new round of fun letting people online come up with the design of the costume.


This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[SDSU's Pumphrey May Not Be The First Aztec Drafted]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 18:32:29 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/174*120/Donnel+Pumphrey+Vegas+Bowl.JPG ]]> <![CDATA[NFL to Develop 'Educational Training Video' for Touchdown Celebrations]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 14:11:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-619305294_master.jpg

The National Football League wants to show players how they should celebrate touchdowns during a game.

The league is preparing a training video to show players which types of celebrations are allowed.

Troy Vincent, the NFL executive vice president of football operations, said on Twitter Wednesday that the league is developing an educational training video, with the goal of giving the players “clear examples of appropriate and inappropriate celebrations.”

[[416952903,C]]

Vincent, a former player, clarifies that the videos are not new celebrations rules but they are for "clarity and consistency for both the official and the player."

But not everyone is happy about the idea.

Former Cowboys player Martellus Bennett ripped NFL in a Twitter rant on Thursday.

He said the NFL wants the players to be robots and not individuals and compared the way NFL promotes logos to the way NBA promotes players.

[[416953133,C]]

Along with the training videos, the committee is also exploring ways to take dangerous hits out of the games.

"We'll communicate this to our coaches and players with video examples of flagrant hits that may result in ejection or suspension," Vincent announced in a series of tweets.



Photo Credit: Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>
<![CDATA[White House Announces New England Patriots' Visit]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:11:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/what-ap.jpg

It's official: the White House has announced when the New England Patriots are visiting after the team's historic comeback Super Bowl win.

The Patriots will meet President Donald Trump on April 19, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer announced Thursday.

A number of star players have already stated they won't be visiting 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., including Martellus Bennett, Devin McCourty, LaGarrette Blount and Dont'a Hightower.

Before the team's Super Bowl win against the Atlanta Falcons, Bennett announced that he wouldn't go to the White House if the Patriots won.

"America was built on inclusiveness not exclusiveness," he tweeted.

Blount's announcement was made on "The Rich Eisen Show" after the Pats' win.

"I don't feel welcome in that house. I'll leave it at that," Blount said.

Running back James White said he was considering skipping the event, but would make a decision after the team was invited.

Star quarterback Tom Brady previously said his teammates are allowed to skip their trip to the White House, but added that they're missing "a great experience."

Brady missed his team's 2015 White House trip during the Obama administration, but said his absence "never was a political thing."

Trump has frequently mentioned his friendships with Brady, Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Patriots owner Robert Kraft, including on the eve of Election Night during a visit to New Hampshire.



Photo Credit: CSN Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Gulls Pummel Barracuda]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:55:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GullsPummelBarracudaWEB.jpg

The Gulls made a statement with their offense, their defense, and their fists Wednesday night.

San Diego notched a 5-1 victory over the first-place San Jose Barracuda thanks in part to a couple of goals by Shea Theodore and some stellar goaltending by Dustin Tokarski.

Tokarski stopped 37 of 38 shots and the Gulls took a 3-0 lead into the third period before Kyle MacKinnon tallied an insurance goal and Kalle Kossila added an empty netter.

Tempers flared in the final two minutes and four fights broke out simultaneously during one stoppage. 

After the puck dropped to resume play, both teams started going at it again, with Stu Bickel providing an exclamation point by motioning to the San Jose bench after getting the best of his dance partner.

The two teams combined for 119 penalty minutes and a number of ejections from both sides before the final horn sounded. 

One can only hope we see these two franchises in an AHL playoff series. 

In ten regular season meetings, the Barracuda won all five games in San Jose, while the Gulls won all five games played in front of their home fans.

The Gulls have been downright dominant at the Valley View Casino Center this year in general and Wednesday’s dominant performance marked a franchise-record seventh straight win for San Diego on home ice.

The win moved the Gulls to the doorstep of the AHL playoffs. 

San Diego needs just one more point to clinch a playoff berth for the second straight season.

The Gulls can also reserve that spot in the postseason if Stockton loses on Friday.

San Diego travels to Bakersfield for a Friday night affair against the Condors. 

The Gulls will then host Bakersfield Saturday evening back at the Valley View Casino Center at 7 p.m.



Photo Credit: Ben Rosehart / NBC7]]>
<![CDATA[Team USA Wins Its First World Baseball Classic Championship]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 00:57:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-656691506.jpg

Team USA battled Puerto Rico for the 2017 World Baseball Classic title Wednesday night. A crowd of over 50,000 fans packed Dodgers Stadium to see who would leave with the trophy and the glory.

The U.S. got a jolt from Ian Kinsler who blasted a two run homer to center field to give the Americans the 2-0 lead in the third inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, Team USA was up by three when Andrew McCutchen singled to score Christian Yelich and gave his team a healthy 4-0 lead.

Later in the seventh inning with the bases loaded, Brandon Crawford singled to drive in two more runs and that put the United States ahead with a 6-0 advantage over Puerto Rico. The U.S. would tack on another run in that inning to showcase the power of their offense.

The starting lineup was on fire, but the pitching was out of this world. Marcus Stroman put on a show for Team USA and stymied Puerto Rico's batters. The right hander for the Toronto Blue Jays carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning. With hopes of taking it through his 95 pitch maximum, it was broken up on a leadoff double by Puerto Rico's Angel Pagan. Stroman walked off the diamond to a standing ovation after throwing 73 pitches.

Even with Stroman off the mound, the damage was done. Team USA won its first World Baseball Classic title with an 8-0 victory over Puerto Rico! Stroman was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

With the start of the Major League Baseball season right around the corner, surely the social media hashtag “For the Glory,” which rallied American fans, will carry over straight into opening night.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[USA Dominates Puerto Rico to Win First WBC Title]]> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 03:38:16 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*127/AP_17082181722984.jpg

America's pastime is back in the hands of the United States.

Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer and Marcus Stroman threw six shutout innings as the United States dominated Puerto Rico, 8-0, to win their first ever World Baseball Classic Title.

It was a patriotic night at Dodger Stadium as the Americans outplayed the undefeated Puerto Ricans in every facet of the game, avenging a 6-5 loss in the quarterfinals last Friday in San Diego.

"We were prepared since we've already played them once," said Pittsburgh Pirates' outfielder Andrew McCutchen. "They got us the last time, we made mistakes in that game, but today, no mistakes were made. That's something we keyed on and we were able to do it. We made history today."

Kinsler got the scoring started for the United States when the Detroit Tigers second baseman teed off on a four-seam fastball from Seth Lugo in the third inning to give the Stars and Stripes and early 2-0 lead.

Earlier in the day, Kinsler sounded off on how Puerto Rico and other Latin American countries play the game, telling The New York Times, "I hope kids watching the World Baseball Classic can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico or the Dominican plays. That's not taking anything away from them. That just wasn't the way we were raised."

The United States didn't give Puerto Rico a chance to celebrate on Wednesday night as Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marcus Stroman had a no-hitter through six innings.

"I love pitching in these moments," said Stroman. "I love the atmosphere. I feel like the bigger the game, the more I'm able to get up, the more effective I am. I truly try to pride myself on being a big-game pitcher. This was probably one of the biggest if not the biggest game I've ever pitched in."

Stroman is of Puerto Rican descent, but ironically, opted to play for the United States over Puerto Rico in the WBC tournament. His mother, who is Puerto Rican, was harassed on social media earlier in the week for her son's decision to pitch for Team USA. 

"It definitely added a little fuel to the fire," said Stroman, who was named MVP of the tournament. "This is our first win. We've had a few early exits in the past. So each and every guy came into this with one goal, and that was to win it. I love these guys. It was an unbelievable experience, and I'll be back in four years to defend the title." 

Angel Pagan broke up the no-hitter with a double down the left field line to leadoff the top of the seventh. It was one of only three hits Puerto Rico would have on the night.

Andrew McCutcheon was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Brandon Crawford had a pair of RBI of his own as the U.S. hoisted the WBC trophy for the first time in it's fourth installment.

"It was a fun and great experience," said Crawford after the game. "Just to be on this team and around all these guys. They're All-Stars, Gold Glovers, Silver Sluggers, all that on this team. It was a lot of fun for me just to be a part of it, but the winning makes it even better."

The Americans relished their victory underneath a downpour of confetti on the field. Kansas City Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer carried a bald eagle statue on the stage for the trophy celebration and acknowledged the team had their sights set on winning it all before the tournament began.

"We wanted to get the U.S. back on top of the baseball world," he said. "We did that."

Lugo, a New York Mets minor league pitcher, took the loss for Puerto Rico, allowing four runs on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts in four innings. Entering the game, Lugo was 2-0 in the tournament, but Puerto Rico lost for the first time in eight games.

Before the game, Puerto Rico had printed up t-shirts that read "WBC Champions," and reportedly had plans for a return flight to San Juan and a parade pre-scheduled.

That preemptive arrogance irked Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones.

"Do you want the truth? Before the game, we got a note that there were championship shirts made, a flight, and a parade, and it wasn't for us," said Jones. "That didn't sit well with us."

Most of the 51,565 fans in attendance chanted "USA! USA! USA!" as they draped themselves in American Flags. After the game, United States' manager Jim Leyland said this would be the last time he would put on a baseball uniform and dedicated the game to our country's military

"This is for the men and women who serve our country."



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Release FanFest Details]]> Tue, 28 Mar 2017 07:29:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/183*120/Padres+Fans+Enter+Petco+Park.JPG

Details for 2017 Padres FanFest are out. This year the annual event takes place on Saturday, April 1 at Petco Park.

The traditional treats like autograph sessions with Padres players, coaches, broadcasters and alumni will be available again this year. So will the annual Garage Sale where fans can buy hard-to-find Padres items like game-used jerseys, batting helmets and 2016 All-Star Game memorabilia. Proceeds go to the Padres Foundation.

There will also be a Q&A session with Padres players, coaches, executives and broadcasters beginning at 11:00 a.m. on the Park at the Park stage and fans will also be able to tour the recently opened Padres Hall of Fame located on K Street behind the left field seating area.

The Park at the Park will have a series of KidsFest activities and Padres players will hold a special clinic at the whiffle ball field. Starting at 1:00 p.m. fans can watch the team take batting practice with a twist. Some BP balls will have unique marks on them and can be turned in for a special prize. The outfield grandstand seats will be open for the BP session, after which kids will have the opportunity to run the bases on the field.

As always admission to the event is free but THIS IS IMPORTANT!!! You have to pre-register. So if you want to attend you have to visit www.padres.com/fanfest, where you can secure up to eight tickets.

Gates open at 10:00 a.m. for the general public with entrance points through the Home Plate, East Village and Gaslamp gates. Free parking is available in Padres-owned lots around the ballpark on a first-come, first served basis. Padres Members (who can enter the event at an hour earlier at 9:00 a.m.) will be able to pre-register for a complimentary parking pass through their online account.

Standard Petco Park security and screening procedures will be in place for Padres FanFest. Re-entry will be permitted for FanFest events, but fans who exit will be screened again upon re-entry into the ballpark.

]]>
<![CDATA[Globetrotter Guests on Class' Famed Handshake Line]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 12:18:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+Harlem+Globetrotter+Handshake+THUMB.jpg

North Carolina grade school teacher Barry White Jr. greets each member of his 5th grade class with a personalized handshake every morning. Video of White delivering these handshakes went viral earlier this year. Today, the teacher had another surprise for his students when Harlem Globetrotter Zeus McClurkin showed up to deliver the handshakes. McClurkin has played with the Harlem Globetrotters for six seasons, and in addition to delivering the famous handshakes, he also offered the students some sage advice: listen to your teachers.

]]>
<![CDATA[Blond Ambition: Puerto Rico Baseball Team, Fans Dye Hair]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 10:22:43 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/173*120/GettyImages-655812566.jpg The Puerto Rican national baseball team is showing their unity at the World Baseball Classic through blond bonding. Players are sporting bleach-blond locks, inspiring fans to dye their own hair. What began as a joke among team members has turned in to a phenomenon that is causing a shortage of hair dye at beauty supply stores and pharmacies across the island.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Team USA Defeats Japan, Moves On to Their First World Baseball Classic Final ]]> Tue, 21 Mar 2017 22:56:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/177*120/GettyImages-656299588.jpg

Not even the rain could stop history. Under the veil of a persistent mist at Dodger Stadium, Team USA faced Japan in the last game of the semifinal round of the 2017 World Baseball Classic Tuesday night. A tough match up for any team as Japan went into the semis undefeated. But much like the rain, the Americans were persistent as well.

It was a scoreless game through nearly fourth innings in Los Angeles until Andrew McCutchen stepped up to the plate. McCutchen hit an RBI single and gave Team USA the 1-0 lead.

Japan needed a jolt and Ryosuke Kikuchi gave it to them with a solo homerun in the sixth inning to tie the game at one apiece.

USA fans once again looked to the man now being called “Captain America,” Adam Jones. The San Diego product broke the tie in the eighth inning with a groundout to third base which allowed Brandon Crawford to score. That wound up being the deciding run in the Americans’ 2-1 victory over Japan.

This is the first time the United States will play in the World Baseball Classic final. Team USA faces Puerto Rico in the title game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m. PST.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Former Chicago Bulls GM Jerry Krause Dead at 77: Report]]> Wed, 22 Mar 2017 03:52:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-369988.jpg

Jerry Krause, known as the architect of the Chicago Bulls' dynasty in the 1990s, has passed away at the age of 77, the Chicago Bulls confirmed Tuesday. 

Krause, who won six championships during his successful tenure with the Bulls, was a member of the Bulls' front office for 18 seasons.

“The entire Bulls organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Jerry Krause,” Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf said in a statement. “Jerry was one of the hardest working guys I have ever been around, and he was one of the best talent evaluators ever. Jerry played an integral role in our run of six championships in eight years. He truly was the architect of all our great teams in the ’90s. I would not have been elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame if it were not for Jerry. We will miss him tremendously, and we send our thoughts and prayers to his wife Thelma and the Krause family.”

A Chicago-native, Krause was hired by Reinsdorf to oversee the construction of the team's roster before the 1985-86 season. In his tenure, he drafted players like Horace Grant, traded for players like Scottie Pippen, Bill Cartwright and Dennis Rodman, and ultimately helped the team to one of the most successful runs in sports history as they won six championships in eight seasons.

“I owe a lot to Jerry. If it weren’t for him bringing me to Chicago in 1985, I probably never would have been a Bull,” Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations John Paxson said in a statement. “He had a great eye for talent, and his ability to build a team is unrivaled. He’s one of the best the league has ever seen."

Even with all that success, there were always tensions between Krause and the two biggest stars in Chicago, as Michael Jordan and Phil Jackson frequently butted heads with the G.M. Krause did not attend Jordan's Hall of Fame induction in 2009, and he frequently chastised Jackson in the press during their rocky relationship.

Jordan released a statement to CNBC Tuesday saying, "Jerry was a key figure in the Chicago Bulls’ dynasty of the 1990s and meant so much to the Bulls, the White Sox and the entire city of Chicago. My heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Thelma, his family and friends.”

Jackson echoed Jordan's statement, saying Krause's death is "sad day for the Chicago Bulls and the entire NBA community."

"He was a man determined to create a winning team in Chicago - his hometown," Jackson said. "Jerry was known as 'The Sleuth' for his secrecy, but it was no secret that he built the dynasty in Chicago. We, who were part of his vision in that run, remember him today."

*In the original version of this story, it was incorrectly stated that Scottie Pippen was drafted by the Bulls, when in fact he was acquired in a draft-day trade in 1987*



Photo Credit: Getty Images
This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.]]>