<![CDATA[NBC 7 San Diego - San Diego Sports News, Photos, and Scores for the Padres, Chargers and More]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/KNSD+RSS+Feed+logo+blue.png NBC 7 San Diego http://www.nbcsandiego.com en-us Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:38:47 -0700 Thu, 02 Jul 2015 19:38:47 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Antonio Gates Suspended for 4 Games]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 13:47:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-459485329.jpg

A leader on the San Diego Chargers will miss four games of the 2015-2016 season for using performance enhancing substances.

Tight end Antonio Gates, considered to be one of the most respected and valuable members of the team, issued a statement via Twitter.

“In my 12 years in the NFL, I have taken tremendous pride in upholding the integrity of the NFL shield and all that it entails. I have taken extreme care of my body with a holistic approach and I have never knowingly ingested a substance that was banned by the NFL. In an effort to recover from this past season, I used supplements and holistic medicines, and unfortunately, I have now learned that those substances always present a risk because they may contain banned substances even if the ingredient list doesn’t reflect them. As an NFL veteran and team leader, I should have done my due diligence to ensure that what I was taking for recovery was within the NFL guidelines. I understand that I am responsible for what is in my body and I have always believed that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to these issues. I take full responsibility for my actions. I’d like to express my sincere apologies to the Chargers, my teammates, coaches, fans and the league who have always supported me and expected and gotten nothing but the highest level of integrity from me."

An NFL statement announced Gates would be suspended without pay for the first four games of the season.

“We are tremendously disappointed for our team and our fans as well as Antonio, but no more disappointed than Antonio is with himself,” the Chargers said in a written news release.

He will be eligible to return after the October 4 game against the Cleveland Browns.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Contador Eyes 3rd Tour de France Title]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 17:40:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Alberto-Contador-2-July-2015.jpg

Tour de France contender Alberto Contador's serious-looking face cracked into a beaming smile during a lighthearted moment at his pre-race news conference on Thursday, when he was joined by an unexpected guest.

It happened when two Dutch television journalists presented the Spanish rider with a canary in a cage, popping it down on the table right next to him.

Contador used to breed canaries when he was younger, something he says he no longer has time to do since becoming a professional rider, and he sat gazing curiously at the tiny yellow bird as it hopped around.

Yellow will be all Contador has on his mind from this Saturday onward as he tries to win back the famed jersey he won twice before, in 2007 and 2009.

The showcase race starts with an individual time trial around the Dutch city of Utrecht and ends July 26 in Paris.

Contador's 2010 Tour title was stripped from him after a failed doping test for the fat-burning, muscle-building drug clenbuterol, and his 2011 Giro d'Italia title subsequently also scrapped. Following a suspension, Contador looked well set for a podium finish at the 2013 Tour, only to slump late on in the race and finish fourth.

His frustration turned to agony when, on the 2014 Tour, he dropped out on stage 10 after a bone-breaking downhill crash during a mountain stage. Remarkably, he continued to ride for 20 minutes with a fractured left tibia — and with blood gushing from his right knee — before agony overwhelmed him.

Contador, dejected, ruled himself out of the Spanish Vuelta only to recover quicker than expected, change his mind and win the race for the third time.

Now, he has another objective: the Giro-Tour double.

"If I win just another Tour it's not going to change my career, but if I achieve the double this is something people are going to remember," Contador said Thursday. "I take a lot of motivation from this."

After winning his second Giro title in May, he now has the chance to become the first rider since Italian Marco Pantani in 1998 to complete that double the same year.

He has thought about nothing else since the Giro ended.

"I sacrificed everything. Every day, every minute I have been working toward this," he said, looking serious again with his canary friend now removed from the table. "There was no celebration. I put absolute focus on the bike. It's a new challenge for me."

A hugely ambitious one, given the strength of the opposition.

Barring his way are defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and 2013 winner Chris Froome, who also has a burning desire to win after crashing out on the cobblestones in last year's Tour. Colombian climbing specialist Nairo Quintana, runner-up to Froome in 2013, is also a threat.

"I have been training and resting. But I think I'm well recovered physically and also mentally, which is probably more important," Contador said. "There are four favorites everybody talks about but I think there are more riders ... (Romain) Bardet, (Alejandro) Valverde, (Thibault) Pinot."

While Nibali's Astana team and Froome's Team Sky have changed their Giro lineups, Contador's Tinkoff-Saxo team has retained five riders from that race.

"They're experienced and strong," Contador said. "I trust them."

Contador will be nervous, however.

This year's opening nine-day swing from the Low Countries across northern France again features the dreaded cobblestones. Rain and slippery stones are a nightmare for most riders, while some like Nibali glide over them with dismissive ease.

"The first objective is to try and avoid crashes. It's a very complicated start to the Tour," Contador said. "The first nine days there are at least six very intense stages, maybe more. It's going to be a Tour with no rest."

By his own admission, Contador felt in better condition heading into last year's Tour.

"If I had to choose between last year and this year's feeling I'd take last year's," he said. "I come here with a clear objective. I know it's very difficult."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Padres Manager Says, "Enough of This!"]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 18:08:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/177*120/GettyImages-479159930.jpg

The Padres lost to the Mariners 7-0 on Wednesday afternoon at Petco Park. Starter James Shields only allowed two runs in 6.2 innings but the game got out of hand when Kevin Quackenbush gave up four runs (three earned) in 1.1 innings.

However, that didn't matter because once again the Padres showed an alarming allergy to wood. In their short, 2-game set against Seattle, here's how the San Diego offense performed:

18 innings
4 hits
0 runs
17 K
0-7 with runners in scoring position

Now, we could write it up to just one of those little stretches where the Friars ran in to a couple of good pitchers who are throwing well, which they did. But when you consider the Padres have now been shut out a league-high 13 times this season (in 80 games) this is not just a rough stretch.

It's become painfully obvious that this is who this team is. At least, for right now. However, if things are going to change, that change could be coming immediately.

Manager Pat Murphy said when he arrived in San Diego that he was going to take a couple of weeks and get a good feel for what was going on in the clubhouse without being too invasive. It's a good plan: diagnose the problem before deciding on a solution. After Wednesday's loss Murphy shared what he thinks is ailing his team in a refreshingly honest way.

(you can see it in the video below)

With 82 games left to play the Padres are six games under .500 and are staring down by far their toughest road trip of the season, a 10-game jaunt through St. Louis, Pittsburgh and Texas. This is one of those roadies that do one of two things to a season: kill it or resuscitate it.

If Murphy is going to institute his law, this is the time to do it.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Why The Chargers Are Staying In San Diego]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 18:02:52 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Dean+Spanos+Chargers+CEO.jpg

NBC 7’s Derek Togerson offers a reason the Chargers want to stay in San Diego in this commentary

Chargers CEO Dean Spanos has spent an awful lot of time in the Los Angeles area lately. He recently met with the L.A. mayor and has made several appearances on L.A. media outlets. Meanwhile … crickets in San Diego.

I believe this is what frustrates Chargers fans the most. I talk to the fan base. They talk to me. On social media, in person, on the phone, the one question that I hear the most from fans is not … Are the Chargers staying?

It’s … Why won’t Dean talk to us?

Bolts fans are scared. They don’t know what to believe. All they hear from the team they love comes from the mouth of Chargers Special Counsel Mark Fabiani (which, in the opinion of most Bolts fans, is like hiring a Press Secretary named Judas).

I don’t know exactly why Dean is letting his spokesperson do all the talking. But I can make a fairly educated guess.

One reason is sharing his thoughts with the fan base, or really anywhere in public, is a bad business decision. Spanos needs to keep everyone guessing because he needs leverage in multiple places. The more theories and opportunities and scenarios that are out there the better. It seeds uncertainty, which blossoms in to fear, and fear is one heck of a motivator. The second his true desire is revealed, the ability to play one city off the other disappears.

But even more than that is this: Dean Spanos does not like talking in public. He’ll do it, and do it well, when the occasion calls for it. Dean always makes himself available when there’s a coaching or front office change to answer questions about why the decision was made. In those situations he has time to prepare. He has talking points. He has the ability to, at least in some small way, control the narrative. Opening up to a flurry of random questions from fans is an unknown quantity he is simply not comfortable with.

Dean is not Jerry Jones. He’s not Robert Kraft. Those are guys who you can walk right up, say hi, turn on the camera and start rapping about this, that and whatnot. So, Chargers fans, I hate to break this to you, but if you’re waiting for Dean Spanos to take to the airwaves and let you in on his thought process or what he really wants for the future of his franchise, you’ll have coffee with Godot first.

But, if you look at the man’s history and habits, you can get a pretty good sense of what he’d like to do. I believe, in my heart of hearts, that Dean Spanos wants to stay. He wants to keep the Chargers in San Diego. He has it really, really good here, and he knows is.

From my observations we’re talking about a creature of habit. Dean Spanos likes to drive the same cars, frequent the same restaurants, dress the same way, for long periods of time. There is comfort in routine.

Can you imagine anything that would mess up your routine more than moving an NFL franchise to a different city?

Sure, the Spanos family would make a lot more money if the team moved to Los Angeles. But that would only be if they sold the franchise. The luxury boxes and PSL sales and all that fancy stuff will increase revenue, for sure. But the team still needs to build a practice facility in L.A. and those are not cheap. The Cowboys just built one for about $115 million and that’s in Texas, where everything is bigger (and cheaper). So the only real increase in wealth comes with the team’s increase in value, which is really only realized when a team is sold.

The Chargers ARE the Spanos family business. Forbes has their family’s net worth is listed at $1.26 billion. The Chargers are listed at $995 million, meaning 79% of the family’s worth is the team. The family does not want to sell the team. It’s part of their identity. Even the big bucks of L.A. can’t change that.

Plus, getting a new facility in San Diego will increase the team’s value anyway. Not as much as a move north but it’ll get them in to the NFL’s top 20. If they’re able to win a Super Bowl, we’re talking maybe even the top half. Driving to a new facility and walking past the Lombardi Trophy every day?

Now that’s something Dean would not mind changing his routine for.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Supporters, Opponents Discuss Warriors' Move to SF]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 06:31:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/0630-2015-WarriorsArena.jpg

An overflow crowd packed a San Francisco City Hall hearing room Tuesday to voice their opinions on the Golden State Warriors proposed arena project.

The meeting was the first time residents were able to weigh in on the project before city commissioners.

Mission Bay residents who spoke out were largely pro arena, adding the project would be very positive for the neighborhood.

Detractors focused mostly on traffic and parking.

San Francisco-resident Blaise Gisslow said he did not have any confidence in the city to mitigate traffic jams the new arena would bring to the area.

The strongest opposition is coming from the Mission Bay Alliance, a group of bio-tech entrepreneurs and former UCSF officials who would prefer the land to be used for a bio-tech research facility.

UCSF has been meeting with the project developers for the past year. University officials said they have concerns that need to be addressed, but UCSF also said they are not part of the alliance.

The alliance said it has thousands of signatures on petitions opposing the arena. They are also asking the city for an additional 45 days to collect comment. The deadline as of now is July 20.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[LA Mayor Talks NFL Franchises With Chargers, Raiders]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 11:50:37 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/garcetti+getty.jpg

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti met with officials from the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders on Tuesday to discuss the possible return of one or more NFL franchises to the LA area.

Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos and Raiders owner Mark Davis requested the meeting with the mayor, Garcetti spokesman Jeff Millman told City News Service.

In a prepared statement, Millman said Garcetti "would welcome a team anywhere in the Los Angeles area."

He added that the mayor's office is "mindful that the Chargers, Raiders and (St. Louis) Rams are still actively discussing stadium deals in their current cities and the NFL has not yet approved a team moving to the Los Angeles area."

Millman said the meeting was not held to talk about a potential football site in downtown Los Angeles or within city limits. The city and AEG had an agreement for construction of a stadium adjacent to the Los Angeles Convention Center, but were unable to lure an NFL team to the site.

The Chargers and Raiders are working jointly on a possible stadium in Carson, if the teams can't reach stadium deals in their respective cities.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke is moving forward with a planned stadium on the site of the former Hollywood Park racetrack in Inglewood.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Get Just One Hit in Loss to Mariners ]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 22:52:47 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-479102158.jpg

The Padres managed just one hit in a listless 5-0 loss to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday night at Petco Park.

The lone base knock was a Yangervis Solarte ground-rule double to left in the seventh. Other than that, Mariners starter Mike Montgomery was spectacular, striking out seven while walking just four in the complete game shutout.

Mike Zunino got Seattle (35-42) on the board with a solo home run in the third. Austin Jackson drove in a run with a seeing-eye single in the fifth that just got under the glove of Clint Barmes. Instead of a potential double play, that led to a three-run inning after Brad Miller hit a two-run shot in the next at-bat.

Ian Kennedy gave up the four runs for the Padres (37-42) in just five innings of work. He allowed just five hits and struck out five in the outing.

The two teams finish their quick two-game series Wednesday afternoon.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres About To Enter "The Crucible"]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:49:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*126/GettyImages-478904310.jpg

With just two weeks remaining until the All-Star break, multiple questions surround the Padres. Some are good, others are scary.

After Sunday's 6-4 loss to the Diamondbacks, NBC 7's Derek Togerson found insights from Padres radio analyst Bob Scanlan. Among the topics they discussed:

Is Derek Norris going to be an All-Star?
How are the players responding to new manager Pat Murphy?
Is the change working?

And of course the most daunting of all questions ... Will their upcoming 10-game road trip kill their season and prompt a trade deadline fire sale or launch them back in to playoff contention?

As always, Scanlan pulls no punches and offers his insider knowledge.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Aztecs Add A Transfer From Indiana]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 15:35:45 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Hoetzel_IU.jpg

Under head coach Steve Fisher, San Diego State's basketball program has become a destination for players transferring from other programs. Xavier Thames, James Rahon, J.J. O'Brien and Dwayne Polee are just a few of the names who have come to SDSU after starting their collegiate careers elsewhere.

It's been expected for a while but on Monday it became official. The Aztecs' newest transfer is coming from Indiana.

Hoosiers forward Max Hoetzel is leaving Bloomington for Montezuma Mesa. The Calabasas, CA, native will redshirt for the 2015-16 season and be a sophomore for the 2016-17 season.

“Max is a young man that we know a great deal about,” said Fisher in a statement. “We recruited him out of high school. He wound up going from a high school to a prep school to Indiana, so we followed his progress. We’re getting a very cerebral, athletic wing, who is versatile. He’s a very good perimeter shooter and he will be a wonderful addition both for the basketball program and for the University academically.”

The 6'8", 220-pound forward scored 19 points in 19 minutes in his first college game against Mississippi Valley State, but only played double-digit minutes 10 times the rest of the season. For the year Hoetzel averaged 2.4 points and 1.3 rebounds in 7.7 minutes.

Hoetzel, who holds dual citizenship in the U.S. and Germany, made the German U-18 national team in the summer of 2013.

<![CDATA[WATCH: San Diego BMX Rider's Insane Stunts]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:10:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Fernengel+Jump.jpg

Tyler Fernengel is one of the top young BMX Park, Street and Dirt riders on earth. He now calls San Diego home, but Tyler is originally from Michigan.

The old Silverdome in Pontiac was once one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the U.S.A. The Super Bowl was played there. The Who and Elvis played there. But when the Lions moved to Ford Field in 2002, the old place had no anchor tenant.

In recent years the dome has fallen apart. But, now it's come back to the national spotlight ... thanks to Tyler Fernengel.

He took his BMX bike in to the tattered remains and was given a chance to go crazy, performing any trick he wanted. In this video (shot by Red Bull) Fernengel shows off skills and creativity that make him one of today's top extreme sports athletes.

<![CDATA[San Diego Angler Makes Trophy Catch on Kayak]]> Sun, 28 Jun 2015 14:38:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Chuck+Levine+Bluefin+Kayak.JPG

San Diego’s sport fishing industry has been predicting 2015 will be a fantastic year. We’re looking at an El Nino, which means warmer waters for longer periods. Warmer water means more sport fish.

Local angler Chuck Levine is proving that prediction might just be true.

Levine took off from Mission Beach early Saturday morning. The idea was to head slightly northwest to the 9-mile Bank, which is fittingly nine miles off the San Diego coast.

“I didn’t make it as far as I wanted because of the headwinds,” said Levine on Sunday afternoon. “So I decided, as I was working my way out, I’d drag a couple of sardines out there.”

About 9:30 in the morning, just seven miles off shore, Chuck heard that wonderful sound of Spectra line screaming off a reel. After a nice fight, Levine had himself a 30-pound Bluefin tuna.

“I knew they were close,” said Levine. “I knew if I was ever going to get (a Bluefin) on a kayak this would be the time.”

Getting a Bluefin that close to shore is a rare thing. Getting one this time of year, when the water is typically too cold for the species to be up this high, makes it even more amazing (and thrills the sport boats).

Levine grew up in Colorado fishing trout and has been kayak fishing in the Pacific Ocean since 2002. This was the trip of a lifetime.

“No question” said Levine. “One, it was my birthday, so that’s crazy as it is. But two, I’ve caught some really big fish out of La Jolla here. I’ve got a 52-pound yellow(tail), I’ve caught a 68-pound white sea bass, but by far I think everybody’s bucket list is that Bluefin. That is the apex fish of the sea, right?”

The now-46-year-old actually had a chance at a couple more Bluefin but made the fatal error of many anglers; he got greedy. With one already on the line, it was decision time.

“That was my thought; I have one on the boat, I’ve got one I’m getting ready to gaff and then the reel went off with one I thought was bigger so I went with the bigger one and lost them both.”

And what does he plan to do with his prized catch? Break out the cookbooks.

 “We’re going to do a little of everything. We’ve already done some of the sashimi, of course, and we’ll fire up the grill again tonight.”

Levine has also caught a couple of thresher sharks on his kayak, but if there’s anything that might be a bigger thrill than landing the Bluefin it might be bagging a marlin, and that is certainly on Levine’s radar.

“Well, of course! The marlin haven’t showed up yet but where there’s Bluefin the water’s right for sails. Whatever I hear is around and available I’m going to target it.”

And he’ll probably land it.

<![CDATA[Norris Has A Big Day But Padres Lose]]> Sun, 28 Jun 2015 16:57:50 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/186*120/GettyImages-478900380.jpg

The Padres and Diamondbacks each hit three home runs on Sunday afternoon at Petco Park. The difference is; Arizona hit theirs with more runners on base.

The D-Backs beat the Padres 6-4 to avoid getting swept over the weekend. All 10 runs were scored via the long ball.

Matt Kemp led off the game for the Padres with a dinger. Since moving the leadoff spot on Wednesday in San Francisco, Kemp is 7-20 (.350 average) with a pair of home runs. Padres catcher Derek Norris hit a pair of big flies, the second multi-homer game of his career. Norris smacked a 2-run shot in the 4th inning and a solo job in the 6th. All three of the Padres home runs came off Diamondbacks starter Chase Anderson, but the Friars only had two other hits in the game.

Norris continued his push to be on the National League All-Star team. Giants catcher Buster Posey leads in fan balloting but Norris has certainly caught the eye of San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, who will have a hand in selecting the reserves.

Arizona’s long balls did a little more damage. Wellington Castillo hit a 3-run blast off Padres starter Odrisamer Despaigne to put the Diamondbacks up 3-1. Despaigne also surrendered a solo shot to David Peralta.

In the 6th inning Padres manager Pat Murphy pulled Odrisamer to put in left-hander Frank Garces against the left-hand hitting Jake Lamb. Lamb ripped a 2-run blast to right field, giving Arizona the cushion they needed for the win.

The Padres have Monday off before playing two games against the Mariners at Petco. Then they hit the road for 10 games (four in St. Louis, three in Pittsburgh, three in Texas) leading in to the All-Star break.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins' Stanton Out With Fracture in Hand]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 23:59:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-478685206.jpg

The Miami Marlins will be without the services of Giancarlo Stanton for the foreseeable future due to a fracture in his left hand.

Stanton suffered the injury during Friday's loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The slugger grimaced following a strikeout in the ninth inning, and trainers checked his hand in the dugout afterwards.

Stanton is expected to miss four to six weeks with surgery pending. Miami has brought up Cole Gillespie to take Stanton's place on the roster. Ichiro Suzuki figures to be the main beneficiary in terms of playing time.

Stanton currently paces Major League Baseball in home runs and figured to be a lock for participation in the Home Run Derby. The outfielder was also one of the leading vote-getters for starting gig in the All-Star Game itself. But both of those events would now seem to be out of reach for the injured star.

The Marlins gave Stanton a 13-year $325 million contract in the off-season, which represented a major commitment and risk by the team. Stanton is one of the best players in the game, but has struggled to play a full season in his MLB career.

Miami now may turn into sellers and move pieces such as Dan Haren and Mat Latos. Both pitchers are set to be free agents, and the team is 15 games under .500. A playoff appearance is unlikely without Stanton's bat to help an already quiet offense.

The Marlins will take on the Dodgers again on Saturday as they look to end a five-game losing streak.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Show Signs of Life]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 23:10:38 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/174*120/GettyImages-478828602.jpg

In baseball you really aren’t sure if a team is on a roll until it’s well in to a winning streak. Given what the Padres have done this season it would be borderline irresponsible to say they’re rolling right now.

But they sure are doing things better than they’ve done them recently.

The Padres beat the Diamondbacks 7-2 on Friday night at Petco Park. It’s their second straight win and their first series win under interim manager Pat Murphy. In fact, it’s the first time the Padres have won a series against a National League West opponent since they swept the Rockies at home from May 1-3 (they lost six straight NL West series in between).

Starting pitcher Andrew Cashner finally got his first win of the season at home with his 7.0 innings of work. Cash allowed two runs and struck out six. He was finally helped out by some run support, too.

Matt Kemp continued to thrive in the leadoff spot and Justin Upton found his home run swing. Those two hitting at the same time is a very good thing for the Padres, who are now 9-2 when both Kemp and Upton drive in a run. Both guys had a pair of hits. In all, six different Padres had at least two knocks in the game.

The one negative from the game is the health of second baseman Cory Spangenberg, who was hit hard on a slide as turned a double play in the first inning. Spangenberg stayed in the game but was visibly hurting as he ran out a double in the fourth inning. Murphy took the rookie out of the game and revealed Cory will have an MRI to determine how bad the injury is.

<![CDATA[San Diego Native Leads Team USA To 2016 Olympics]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 21:19:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/186*120/GettyImages-151106566.jpg

The U.S. Women’s World Cup team may be making all the headlines, but another team from the United States has had a successful week across the pond.

The U.S. Paralympic Soccer team beat Argentina 4-1 in their final match of the 2015 Cerebral Palsy World Championships in England to clinch a berth to the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.

Team captain and Chula Vista native David Navarro Garza lead the way with two goals for the U.S. The 22-year old put his team on the board with a penalty kick in the 30th minute after  Argentine goalkeeper Gustavo Nahuelquin got a red card for kicking U.S. player Adam Ballou.

Garza, who is an Army Senior Cadet and will graduate from California State University Dominguez Hills next May, scored again on a free kick in the 59th minute. Seth David Jahn and Adam Kyle Ballou also scored for the U.S.

The 2016 Summer Paralympic games kick off September 7, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. You can follow the U.S. Paralympic Soccer Team on their website.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Radio Replacement Imminent]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 19:19:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/GettyImages-1653963.jpg

The Chargers and Clear Channel radio are close to naming their new radio broadcast team for the 2015 season. Long time analyst Hank Bauer will reportedly be replaced by another former Chargers player.

According to foxsports.com, the Bolts are close to signing up Curtis Conway for the job. Conway spent 12 years in the NFL as a wide receiver, including three seasons in San Diego (2000-2002). He's currently an analyst for NFL Network and Pac-12 Network.

Conway, a former first round pick out of USC, is based out of Los Angeles (you can read in to that however you see fit). He would join established play-by-play announcer Josh Lewin for Chargers game broadcasts on Sunday.

By the way, the 44-year-old Conway is married to Laila Ali, former boxing champion and daughter of the legendary Muhammad Ali.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Start Homestand on Right Track]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 23:59:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/167*120/GettyImages-478686360.jpg

This is the way the Padres imagined things would go when they started the season. Get a good start, have the bullpen bridge the gap to a dominant closer, while the offense does enough damage to get a win. Rinse and repeat.

Tyson Ross locked up the Arizona Diamondbacks for the second straight start, three relievers threw hitless innings and Cory Spangenberg sparked the offense in a 4-2 Padres win on Friday night at Petco Park.

Over his last two starts, both against the D-Backs, Ross has gone 15.0 innings and allowed a total of three runs. That's not too shabby.

Spangenberg went 3-3 with three singles, scored a pair of runs and stole two bases. In the third inning it was Spangenberg's hustle that tied the game at two. He stole third and came home on a bad throw by Arizona catcher Wellington Castillo.

On Saturday the Padres can do something they have not done since Pat Murphy took over as manager ... win a series. Andrew Cashner gets the start against Jeremy Hellickson.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gulls Name New Head Coach]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 19:27:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/200*120/GettyImages-183676819.jpg

The San Diego Gulls have a new head coach. Dallas Eakins was officially handed the job on Friday.

Eakins was most recently the head coach of the NHL’s Edmonton Oilers from 2013-14. He has extensive experience in the American Hockey League. As a head coach of the Toronto Marlies, Eakins had a 157-114-41 record. The Marlies won their division during Eakins’ final two seasons and won four of their six playoff series.

Eakins was on the short list for the Philadelphia Flyers head coaching job (Philly decided to go with Dave Hekstol). His professional playing career was quite interesting. He was a 10th-round draft pick by the Washington Capitals in 1985. Over the next 20 years, he played for 18 different professional teams.

Eakins bounced up and down, spending 120 games in the National Hockey League. Those games were with the Florida Panthers (41 games), Winnipeg Jets/Phoenix Coyotes (20 games), Calgary Flames (20 games), Toronto Maple Leafs (18 games), St. Louis Blues (16 games), New York Rangers (three games) and New York Islanders (two games).

The rest of the defenseman’s career was spent in outposts like Peterborough, Moncton and Manitoba.  His minor league playing career was successful, though. Eakins won both the Calder Cup (2002) and Turner Cup (2000).

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Brews at the Ballpark: 2015 Padres BeerFest]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:24:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/padres+beerfest+2.JPG

Brews and baseball is the name of the game Friday as Petco Park hosts its summer BeerFest ahead of the Padres vs. Diamondbacks match-up in downtown San Diego.

The San Diego Padres BeerFest begins with the first pour at 5 p.m. The crisp, sudsy lineup includes two samples from nearly 20 local and national breweries including Ballast Point Brewing Co. (pouring Calm Before the Storm and Grapfruit Sculpin), Pizza Port (tapping Chronic and Swamis IPA) and Heml’s Brewing Co. (pouring Batten Down Brown and OG Wheat), among many others.

All beers are $5 and must be purchased with “Friar Funds” included in BeerFest ticket packages. A $60 Field Box package includes one Field Box ticket to the ball game and four Friar Funds good for four beers at the fest. A $40 Right Field Lower Reserved package includes one Right Field Lower Reserved ticket to the game and four Friar Funds good for four brews.

If you can’t make it to Friday’s Padres BeerFest, it’s not a complete strike out.

Petco Park will host two more BeerFests in the coming months: one on July 24 and another on Sept. 4. Ticket packages to those events will also include entry into the ballgame and Friar Funds good for four brews at the BeerFest. Score.

<![CDATA[Future NBA Stars' Fashion Sense Shines at Draft]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 09:47:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/NBA+suit+3.jpg

One of the NBA's biggest nights provides the stars of the show a chance to display their best (and sometimes wildest) suits.

Each year, it seems, draft picks step up their fashion game, and the 2015 NBA Draft, held Thursday night at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, was no exception. 

Take Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, from the University of Arizona Wildcats. While he was selected 23rd overall by the Portland Trail Blazers, the attention might have been focused on his red and black checkered pants.  The color scheme was a perfect fit for the Blazers, but the match was short-lived. He was traded soon after to the Brooklyn Nets.

Devin Booker wore a bright blue suit as his name was called by the Phoenix Suns, who took him with the 13th overall pick. His orange tie matched the Suns hat he donned on stage for the photo opportunities.

Perhaps one of the most animated players, Ohio State point guard D'Angelo Russell, pointed above as he wore a red and white suit with a checkered shirt (although Buckeye fans would call the suit "scarlet"). He was selected second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers, so he didn't quite match his new team's color scheme. 

Breaking away from bright colors and going toward patterns, Karl-Anthony Towns wore a gray, black, and white chevron-patterned suit jacket. The former University of Kentucky Wildcat, who was selected first overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves, broke from tradition by showing up without a tie.

Now that the draft is out of the way, the players can focus on basketball.  The 2015-16 season will start on October 27.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[The 2015 NBA Draft First Round Picks]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:37:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-478518558.jpg The first round of the 2015 NBA Draft at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York, has concluded. Click through to see who will be making their professional debut in the 2016-2017 season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Taste 4 Sports Gala 2015]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 13:05:33 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Taste-4-Sports-0625.jpg The “Taste 4 Sports” gala is happening on June 25, 2015, at the San Diego Hall of Champions. The event, which benefits S4EA.org, will include lots of good food, fun and sports memorabilia up for auction. NBC 7’s Whitney Southwick talks about the event with Jerry Harry and Mad Mike,

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego]]>
<![CDATA[Changes Coming to 49ers' Offensive Line]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 10:26:49 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/171*120/stayyyliey.jpg

Under Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers built a reputation as a power-running, power-blocking football team.

Behind a physical offensive line, the Niners were a bit of a throwback in the era of the pass-happy NFL, running Frank Gore and Co. behind a blocking unit that tried to overpower defenses at the point of attack.

But during organized team activities and the recent minicamp, the 49ers spent a lot of time getting the offense and linemen accustomed to some new wrinkles. According to  Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee, the 49ers are instituting some zone-blocking to mix in with some of the power-blocking plays still in the playbook.

Left offensive tackle Joe Staley told Barrows that the offensive line under new line coach Chris Foerster spent much of its time this spring working on zone-blocking plays.

But he said the team doesn’t want to get away from its successful physical approach of the past few seasons.

“We’re still going to do what we’ve done here,” Staley told Barrows. “What’s worked for us has been power running. It’s what we know. We’ll definitely implement all styles.”

As Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com noted, the 49ers personnel “is more suited for the power-running game.”

But Foerster – who also coached the 49ers offensive line in 2008 and 2009 -- was a zone-blocking proponent at his previous stop with Washington and in his other previous stops.

With the addition of more zone blocking into the playbook, there are indications the 49ers are asking their offensive linemen to have a higher level of fitness coming into next month’s training camp. A zone system requires more movement and quickness than a power-blocking scheme. Plus, the 49ers want to play at a faster pace than in recent seasons – so the linemen will have to keep up.

As second-year lineman Marcus Martin told the San Francisco Chronicle this offseason, new head coach Jim Tomsula and Foerster have asked the linemen to lose a little weight and be more fit.

“Oh man, it’s a whole different mentality, a whole different level of fitness,” Martin told the Chronicle’s Eric Branch.

Martin, expected to compete at both center and guard, is making the effort to increase his stamina and quickness.

“You have a coach (Foerster) that emphasizes being in shape, being able to run and being physical at the same time,” Martin said. “And being able to replicate that every single time. You’ve got to be in shape or you won’t have a job.”



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA["They Don't Own Everything": Yankees Fan Takes on MLB]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 09:36:26 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/yankees+shirts+mlb.jpg

The man behind the iconic Yankee Stadium "roll call" is preparing for a legal fight against the union representing the players he cheers.

"Bald Vinny" Milano, the leader of the stadium's "Bleacher Creatures," makes his living designing and selling baseball t-shirts. But this week the MLB Players Association demanded that he "cease and desist" from selling certain shirts on his website, including one commemorating Alex Rodriguez's 3,000th hit.

"I think they have really overstepped their bounds," the father of two from Bellmore, Long Island, said.

The union has taken issue with shirts relating to current Yankees players, claiming the designs infringe on MLB copyrights.

Among the shirts the union wants Milano to stop selling is the one with the word "McCannimal" for catcher Brian McCann and another that reads "Teixecutioner" for Mark Teixeira.

In a statement, MLBPA spokesman Greg Bouris said "the Players Association has the responsibility to protect the rights of its licensees and the players."

According to Milano, the players nicknames and shirt designs are all his own and do not infringe on any copyright.

"They don't own everything," Milano said from his sales table outside Yankee Stadium. "I'm creating my own stuff and they can't claim ownership on things that I create." 

Milano has yet to respond to the MLBPA, but for now, continues to sell the t-shirts he says are most popular with his customers. He's been selling shirts like them for more than a decade.

"I will fight because that's who I am," he said.

Milano received support as he hawked his shirts before and after Wednesday's game.

"I think they should give these little guys a chance," fan Leo Clark said.

"How can MLB shut everybody down and makes money for themselves?" asked fan Jim Mooney. "I have no problem with what this guy is doing."

<![CDATA[Padres Make Roster Moves]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:47:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/Brandon+Morrow+Padres.jpg

The Padres made a slew of roster moves before Wednesday night's game against the Giants in San Francisco, all of them involving pitchers.

Perhaps the most discouraging information comes on starting pitcher Brandon Morrow. He was moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list due to inflammation in his right shoulder. Morrow was tremendous out of the gate. The Padres won all five of his starts before the shoulder problem showed up.

Reliever Dale Thayer was also placed on the 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder (retroactive to June 17). Thayer's spot in the bullpen will be filled by right-hander Marcos Mateo, who is up from Triple-A El Paso. Mateo has not appeared in a Major League game since 2011 with the Chicago Cubs.

The Padres also recalled reliever Kevin Quackenbush and optioned reliever and Ramona native Nick Vincent to El Paso.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Arizona Claims Massive Super Bowl Economic Impact]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 16:22:27 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/170*120/GettyImages-463265300.jpg

As San Diego looks at building a new football stadium, one of the biggest arguments for building a big, shiny new facility is the now notorious … “Economic Impact.”

That’s the amount of money event organizers say is generated for a region by an event. The Super Bowl is one of the biggest single annual events on the planet, and the cities who host the game like to cite it as a windfall for the region.

The economic impact report for Super Bowl XLIX in Arizona is out. According to a study completed by the Seidman Research Institute, W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, Super Bowl XLIX, the 2015 Pro Bowl and related events produced a gross economic impact of $719.4 million in the region.

Arizona Governor Doug Duce revealed the numbers Wednesday at a conference on Tourism in Scottsdale. He claims this is the largest economic impact of any special event ever held in the state of Arizona, as well as the highest for any Super Bowl for which publicly released figures are available.

“This is tremendous news for our economy and a strong testament to the exceptional work of everyone involved,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “The eyes of the world were on Arizona, and we delivered in a big way. I look forward to our state hosting many more successful championship games and major events in the future.”

WOW! If that’s the case why doesn’t EVERYBODY try to host the game every year? Heck, just two of those games would pay off a new stadium in San Diego, no problem. Well, small problem; it’s not exactly that easy.

The study was commissioned by the Arizona Commerce Authority in partnership with the Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee. It focused on the nine-day period from January 24th through February 1, 2015 coinciding with the Pro Bowl and Super Bowl which were played at University of Phoenix Stadium.

The gross economic impact (that $719.4 million number) is defined as the direct amount of spending by visitors and organizations arriving from outside the state to participate in or create events directly related to the Super Bowl, as well as the indirect and induced impacts of those expenditures. Resident and local business spending was not included.

Trained individuals from the W. P. Carey School of Business did on-site surveys with visitors, asking why they were in Arizona and how much money they were spending. That data was fed in to a mathematical model developed by the University of Minnesota and, whammy, Arizona is $719.4 million richer.

Expect it’s not. Several factors are not included in the economic impact report. Things like how much money regular visitors to the region would have spent (and Arizona has plenty of them in late January anyway); how much local residents would have been spending in the same area during that time had Downtown Phoenix and Scottsdale not been over-run by tourists; and how much the area is spending to hold the event. Overtime for police and traffic workers is not cheap. In fact, the city of Santa Clara is expecting to spend upwards of $50 million to host Super Bowl 50.

So the actual cash infusion to an economy is likely nowhere near what the good folks in Arizona are claiming it is. Now, all this is in in no way saying hosting a Super Bowl is a bad idea for a community. There is a definite economic benefit to putting on a major event like that, and San Diego would certainly be in line to host several Super Bowls in coming years.

But is it going to bring in close to three-quarters of a billion dollars? Well, since this was the game where the Patriots beat the Seahawks, I suppose we should say that number needs to be deflated.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Open Training Camp to Public ]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 18:06:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/chargers+cardinals+1.jpg

Get your first look at the 2015 Chargers team when training camp opens late next month.

Fans will flock to Chargers Park starting July 30 to see Philip Rivers, Eric Weddle, Danny Woodhead and others.

The following 10 training practices will be open to the public.

  • Thursday, July 30: Practice 9:20-11:15 a.m.
  • Friday, July 31: Practice 2:50-4:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 1: Practice 9:20-11:15 a.m.
  • Sunday, Aug. 2: Practice 2:50-4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 5: Practice 2:50-4:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 8: FanFest 2015 (10:30-12:30 p.m.) at Qualcomm Stadium
  • Monday, Aug. 10: Practice 2:50-4:45 p.m.
  • Saturday, Aug. 15: Practice 9:20-11:15 a.m.
  • Monday, Aug. 17: Practice 2:50-4:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Aug. 18: Practice 9:20-11:15 a.m.

Parking and admission to all the practices and FanFest are free. Gates at Chargers Park open an hour before practice starts, and officials recommend you park on Murphy Canyon Road on weekdays and the Kearny Mesa Business Center on weekends.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Little League World Series Champs Sue League Over Stripped Title ]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 21:44:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/tlmd_jrw_stage_igram.jpg

Chicago's Jackie Robinson West Little League team on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against Little League International seeking answers after the league stripped the team of its championship title earlier this year.

The lawsuit, filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, aims to force Little League to “provide the information it would not voluntarily disclose” to JRW.

According to an investigative report from Henderson Adam LLC, the group representing JRW, the law firm sent Little League a series of letters asking for “all relevant information” surrounding the league’s decision, but Little League “refused to be transparent.”

“Given the refusal by Little League to meet with JRW, its failure to provide notice and the opportunity to be heard, and its refusal to be transparent and provide material information regarding its decision to strip JRW of the title, JRW was compelled to file suit,” the report states.

Little League in February stripped the young team of its Little League World Series national championship title after officials determined the South Side team added top suburban players in violation of residency rules.

"This is a heartbreaking decision," Little League International President and CEO Stephen D. Keener said in a statement. "What these players accomplished on the field and the memories and lessons they have learned during the Little League World Series tournament is something the kids can be proud of, but it is unfortunate that the actions of adults have led to this outcome."

In addition, team manager Darold Butler was suspended from Little League activity and Illinois District 4 Administrator Michael Kelly was removed from his position, Little League International spokesman Brian McClintock said in a statement.

McClintock said an investigation revealed that Butler and Kelly knowingly violated rules by using a falsified boundary map for their 2014 tournament and used players who didn't qualify because they lived outside the team's actual boundaries.

Jackie Robinson West officials have previously denied the team violated any residency rules or recruited outside players.

Jackie Robinson West has set up a fundraising page to raise money for the team.

In a statement, Little League International said it hadn't had the opportunity to review the petition and said it would be inappropriate to comment. Still, the League said its rules and regulations allow it to impose any penalties it deems appropriate.

Photo Credit: distractyourface/Instagram]]>