<![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-usWed, 23 Aug 2017 22:05:41 -0700Wed, 23 Aug 2017 22:05:41 -0700NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[President Trump Got His Own Super Bowl LI Ring]]> Tue, 22 Aug 2017 12:27:09 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT_NAT_PATS_RING_TRUMP_2_082217-150342869686900001.jpg

The New England Patriots gave President Donald Trump his own ring from Super Bowl LI, a gift from longtime friend, owner Robert Kraft.

<![CDATA[Aztecs Show Up in Preseason Top-25 Poll]]> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 15:29:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/Chapman+Aztecs.jpeg

San Diego State finished the 2016 season ranked 25th in the final Associated Press college football poll. They’ll have some work to do to get a number next to their name in 2017.

The Aztecs showed up in the “Others Receiving Votes” section of the AP poll with nine total votes, which would put them ranked 36th and tied with UCLA and their superstar quarterback Josh Rosen.

Alabama is the unsurprising #1 team in the nation, followed by Ohio State, Florida State, USC and Clemson. The best chance for the Aztecs to make the rest of the nation sit up and take notice comes in Week 3 when they host the 14th-ranked Stanford Cardinal.

Outside of that and a road game against Arizona State the week before the schedule is soft. If the Aztecs can beat their Pac-12 foes they have a very good chance to run the table, go 13-0, and earn a spot in a big-time bowl game.

The only team from a non-Power 5 conference to show up in the Top-25 is South Florida. The Bulls play in the American Athletic Conference. The full rankings look like this:

Preseason AP Top-25

1    Alabama
2    Ohio State
3    Florida State
4    USC
5    Clemson
6    Penn State
7    Oklahoma
8    Washington
9    Wisconsin
10    Oklahoma St.
11    Michigan
12    Auburn
13    LSU
14    Stanford
15    Georgia
16    Louisville
17    Florida
18    Miami (FL)
19    South Florida
20    Kansas St.
21    Virginia Tech
22    West Virginia
23    Texas
24    Washington St.
25    Tennessee

Others receiving votes: TCU 98, Utah 85, Notre Dame 65, Boise St. 37, NC State 26, Northwestern 25, Pittsburgh 23, Oregon 21, Houston 19, Colorado 18, UCLA 9, San Diego St. 9, BYU 5, Appalachian St. 4, Nebraska 4, Tulsa 4, Kentucky 3, Texas A&M 3, Michigan St. 1

<![CDATA[Opinion: A Tribute to Qualcomm Stadium]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 13:57:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/987318.jpg

It's only a matter of time before the wrecking ball removes Qualcomm Stadium from the face of the earth.

Whether it is two, four or 20 years from now, it seems inevitable that this will happen. When it does, a true San Diego landmark will be gone.

On August 20, it will be 50 years since the stadium hosted its first event: San Diego Chargers vs. Detroit Lions.

I was extremely fortunate to have spent 18 years of my life, from 1985-2003 at the stadium as the Assistant Stadium Manager.

Now is a good time to reflect back on what this concrete facility has meant to San Diego.

In its heyday (1980 - 2000), the stadium was the focal point of the city and the envy of other cities around the country.

During this period the stadium was among the busiest facilities in the country. 

The Padres, Chargers, Aztecs, Holiday Bowl, high school football, Monster Truck and AMA Supercross, major concerts, soccer, Billy Graham Crusade, conventions and numerous parking lot events were held there.

The Stadium hosted three Super Bowl games, two Major League Baseball All-Star games, and two World Series.

In 2003, it hosted both a Super Bowl and World Series in the same year. It’s the only stadium that has done this.

Two weeks after the 2003 Super Bowl, the Rolling Stones came to play in the rain, followed a few days later by the Supercross.

I think of all of the dedication and hard work of the people working at the stadium that made these events happen.

The crew that worked a Padres game in the afternoon moved the stands right after the game, held an Aztec football game that night, and then moved the stands back for a Padres game the next day. It was truly an amazing accomplishment.

The Stadium was a place where the city gathered during tragic events.

In 2001, thousands came to the parking lot to be a part of the largest human flag in support of the attack on 9/11.

In 2003, the stadium became an evacuation and support center for people impacted by the Cedar Fire.

It was truly extraordinary how people and businesses from all over the county came to the stadium with food, clothing, bedding, etc. to help their fellow citizens who were left homeless.

Where will people go when the next tragedy occurs?

No matter what the city decides to do with the site, let's hope that it will serve the people of San Diego as well as Qualcomm Stadium has done for the past 50 years.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Prospects Earn Awards]]> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 14:15:41 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Hudson+Potts+Tincaps.jpg

The Padres have a day off on Monday but one of their affiliates is in the news again. Low-A Fort Wayne players won a pair of awards.

TinCaps right-hander Lake Bachar was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week. All Bachar did was throw 7.0 perfect innings with seven strikeouts against South Bend in a game where Fort Wayne came within one out of a combined perfect game.

Bachar was a 5th-round selection in the 2016 MLB Draft out of Wisconsin-Whitewater, a Division III school. Since being promoted to Fort Wayne at the end of July he’s struck out 20 in 21.0 innings and opposing hitters are batting just .194 against him.

The TinCaps also have the Midwest League Player of the Week on the roster in the form of 3rd baseman Hudson Potts. One of the Padres’ top-30 prospects, Potts went 14-for-28 with a pair of home runs during the week.

If you don’t recognize the name, Potts is the slugger formerly known as Hudson Sanchez. He was taken 24th overall by the Padres in the 2016 Draft and changed his last name to Potts, the last name of his stepfather. The 18-year-old struggled a bit early in his first season of A-ball but in the month of August he’s hitting .380.

The TinCaps are currently 6.5 games up on South Bend for a Midwest League playoff spot.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Attendance Numbers Are Troubling]]> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 13:22:08 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/183*120/Saints+Beat+Chargers+Preseason.JPG

Over their first two preseason games at StubHub Center the Chargers have only played to 78% capacity, which would normally be pretty good for exhibition games.

But this is not a normal situation.

Look at it this way: 78% of a stadium that holds, say, 70,000 fans means 54,600 people are in attendance. That is almost exactly twice the capacity of the 27,000-seat soccer stadium in Carson the Bolts are calling home for three years.

If 62,888 people can trek to the Los Angeles Coliseum to see a really bad Rams team then you’d have to figure, in an area with more than 18 million people like Los Angeles, it would be possible to find 27,000 people who would want to see an NFL game with a really bad Chargers team, even if it is just the preseason. But instead they are staying away from the Chargers in droves.

And what’s kind of sad is the guys in the incredibly cramped Chargers locker room at StubHub Center are not really surprised about it.

“I wasn’t expecting a sellout or anything like that,” said Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn, “but I think they were loud and when you give them something to cheer for they cheer.”

The fans that are there to actually root for the “home” team (and it is probably a little more than 50% of the actual rumps in the seats) haven’t had much to cheer for. The Chargers offense has not scored a touchdown since the very first drive of the preseason (the only one Philip Rivers has been on the field for) and not mustered a single point in six consecutive quarters.

So aside from small bursts of excitement like Dexter McCoil’s 99-yard pick-6 the “crowd” in Carson has acted more like it’s at the symphony than a football game.

“I think it’ll pick up during the regular season,” said running back Melvin Gordon. “Everyone knows preseason is not as many fans come. The starters aren’t playing that long. But I’m expecting the regular season to be crazy.”

The $136 average ticket price, which is 5th-highest in the NFL, is a big reason the preseason games at StubHub have not sold out and the Chargers say all the regular season seats have been sold so perhaps Gordon is right.

Of course, how many of those seats will be filled with Bolts fans is a whole different conversation.

<![CDATA[Baseball Teams Schedule Games to Coincide With Solar Eclipse]]> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 08:55:40 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/minorleaguebase.jpg

Baseball fans in more than a half-dozen cities are heading to ballparks to watch the solar eclipse as teams look to cash in with game-day viewing parties.

Minor league teams from Oregon to South Carolina have scheduled games Monday to coincide with the total eclipse as it streaks across the United States.

In Nebraska, the Lincoln Saltdogs will wear special eclipse jerseys and stop their game to watch the full eclipse at 1:02 p.m. The team says it has sold tickets to buyers from as far away as the United Kingdom and Germany.

Other teams hosting events include the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, Idaho Falls Chukars, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Nashville Sounds, Greenville Drive, Columbia Fireflies and Charleston RiverDogs.

No big league games are scheduled to coincide with the eclipse.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Saints March in to Carson, Beat Chargers]]> Sun, 20 Aug 2017 19:58:14 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/165*120/Chargers+Saints+2017+Preseason.JPG

The crowd sure seemed smaller. The point total definitely was.

The Chargers lost exhibition game number two 13-7 to the New Orleans Saints in front of an announced 21,197 fans at the StubHub Center in Carson, although the stands definitely looked more barren than last week’s 21,054. What did not change is the fact many of them were wearing colors of the visiting team.

We pretty much knew how this game would go based on the first offensive play for both teams. The Chargers had the ball first and quarterback Kellen Clemens (Philip Rivers got the night off by design) handed it off to Melvin Gordon, who ran into a bevy of Saints defenders for a nine yard loss.

Two incomplete passes led to a punt and on the first Saints play of the evening running back Alvin Kamara took a handoff from Chase Daniel (Drew Brees also had the night off by design) and ran 50 yards for a touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

New Orleans got a 53-yard field goal from Wil Lutz on their next drive to make it 10-0 and then the Chargers offense proved it is utterly inept without Philip Rivers leading it.

Clemens was sacked four times in the first half as the Bolts offense only crossed midfield twice. After the break the offensive line was not a whole lot better.

Third string QB Cardale Jones was sacked four times and threw a pass that should have been intercepted by Saints linebacker Nate Stupar inside the 15 yard line. When the Bolts did get a drive going they ended up turning it over.

Jones found wideout Jamaal Jones on a slant inside the Red Zone but Jones coughed it up and former Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o made the recovery. The Chargers got their only points of the night when Saints backup to the backup Ryan Nassib made a terrible throw towards the goal line that landed in the gut of safety Dexter McCoil who made the pick and ran it back 99 yards for a score and the only points of the night for the Chargers, who have serious offensive issues.

Their only touchdown came on the first drive of the exhibition season, the only drive Rivers has played, and the Bolts have now gone six straight quarters without scoring an offensive point.

The Chargers are 0-2 and next week they get to truly fight for L.A. when they hit the road to play the Rams at the Los Angeles Coliseum on Saturday.

<![CDATA[Nationals Overcome Three Errors To Beat Padres]]> Sun, 20 Aug 2017 22:41:28 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/215*120/dinelson+lamet.png

In a span of four days, the Padres only victory over the Washington Nationals came against San Diego native Stephen Strasburg.

The leaders of the National League East division triumphed Sunday 4-1 at Petco Park, taking the third of four games with the Friars despite making three errors.

Those blunders wound up costing the Nats only one run in the series finale.

Jabari Blash was plated in the first inning after Wil Myers sent a grounder to shortstop and Washington’s Wilmer Difo sent a wayward throw toward first base. Other than that gift, San Diego was held off the scoreboard.

It was the third time in this series the Padres were held to a single run as they managed to produce only six total runs over the last four days.

Padres manager Andy Green is desperately trying to get his offense going. Blash was called up Saturday from Triple-A when Padres rookie right-fielder Hunter Renfroe was surprisingly demoted to El Paso.

Renfroe remains second on the team with 20 homers this year, but perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising he was sent down considering he’s batting a paltry .230 with a subpar .285 on-base percentage.

Renfroe and Ryan Schimpf clearly have proven they can slug homers at the major league level but they still need to prove they can hit on a consistent basis and that’s why they are both currently back in the minors.

Rookie starting pitcher Dinelson Lamet was searching for his fifth win in six starts, but ran into some trouble after allowing the lead to get away in the fifth inning.

Lamet struck out eight and only allowed three runs on three hits but was removed after 94 pitches in 4.2 innings. The righty was saddled with the loss and his record fell to 7-5.

Daniel Murphy helped the Nationals take a 2-1 lead on a RBI single in the fifth inning. Buddy Bauman made a cameo just in time to allow a RBI double to Adam Lind before Craig Stammen struck out Anthony Rendon to end the threat.

Nats lefty Gio Gonzalez went 6.2 innings and only allowed the one unearned run to improve to 12-5.

Zero Padres collected multiple hits against Washington Sunday but the Friars did strike out 12 times against Gonzalez and the Nationals bullpen.

After sweeping the lowly Phillies earlier in the week, San Diego finished its seven-game homestand 4-3.

The Friars travel to Saint Louis Monday and start their six-game road trip against the Cardinals Tuesday at 5:15 p.m.

Clayton Richard is scheduled to oppose Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn.

Photo Credit: Getty Images ]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Give Prospect A Big Promotion]]> Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:45:07 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Fernando+Tatis+Jr..jpg

When the Padres kept 22-year-old Manuel Margot, 22-year-old Miguel Diaz, 21-year-old Allen Cordoba and 20-year-old Luis Torrens on the Opening Day roster they showed they are not afraid to challenge young players early in their careers.

So the aggressiveness of this move is not terribly surprising.

On Monday the Padres will promote 18-year-old shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. from Low-A Fort Wayne up two levels to Double-A San Antonio to help the Missions on their Texas League playoff run.

With a monster 2017 season in the Midwest League, Tatis has turned in to one of the hottest prospects in all of baseball. He set a TinCaps franchise record with 21 home runs and is the first 18-year-old in league history to record a 20-20 season (he has 29 stolen bases). Tatis also sports a .910 OPS, a ridiculous number at any level for a teenager.

Tatis is bypassing High-A Lake Elsinore for the time-being to get him some playoff experience but it might not be permanent. The Padres did the same thing last year, sending catching prospect Austin Allen from Fort Wayne to San Antonio for the end of the season. Allen has spent the entire 2017 season in Lake Elsinore where he earned California League Player of the Month honors for July.

The Padres might take the same strategy with Tatis and send him to the Storm for 2018. Well, unless he mauls Texas League pitching the way he has in Fort Wayne and forces San Diego’s hand to move him to a higher level.

This year the Padres have promoted several of their top prospects to Double-A, including pitchers Cal Quantrill, Eric Lauer, Jacob Nix and Joey Lucchesi and infielders Josh Naylor and Javier Guerra.

<![CDATA[America Still in Turmoil a Year After Kaepernick's Protest]]> Sun, 20 Aug 2017 09:31:20 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/kaepernickfeuerherd.jpg

What started as a protest against police brutality has mushroomed a year later into a divisive debate over the future of a football player who refused to stand for the national anthem and now faces what his fans see as blackballing for speaking out in a country roiled by racial strife.

Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick demonstrated outside the Los Angeles Rams' Aug. 12 preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys, part of calls for boycotts of the upcoming NFL season. Film director Spike Lee is promoting a rally on his behalf.

On the opposing end of a wide range of opinions, some fans say Kaepernick shouldn't have sat or kneeled during the national anthem, while others argue the quarterback's lack of a job is more about his talent.

The once-rising star and Super Bowl quarterback has been unemployed since March, when he opted out of his contract and became a free agent who could sign with any team. At least three NFL clubs have openly discussed the idea of signing him, but the embattled quarterback has yet to sign a contract with training camps well underway.

Just weeks away from the regular season, he has become a symbol of the clash of celebrity, sports and social issues as more people —including players, fans, politicians, team owners and pundits — invoke his name to debate thorny issues of patriotism and race. Other prominent NFL players have sat out or demonstrated during anthems this preseason, one saying his decision was bolstered by a recent white supremacists' rally in Virginia that turned deadly.

"There's a lot going on inside people's hearts right now," said Dan Rascher, a sports business professor at the University of San Francisco. "This may have been a catalyst for that even though it's not about Colin Kaepernick, but about our country and who we are."

Other players who joined Kaepernick in protest are still employed. Philadelphia Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins pledged to continue his protests this season, tight end Martellus Bennett signed a free agent contract with the Green Bay Packers and linebacker Brandon Marshall stayed with the Denver Broncos even as he lost two endorsements for kneeling during the anthem.

Still, some fans say they believe Kaepernick has been passed up as punishment for his actions, which initially went unnoticed until the third preseason game last year.

The chorus gets louder every time a quarterback vacancy is filled on an NFL team, such as when the Miami Dolphins brought 34-year-old quarterback Jay Cutler out of a short-lived retirement to lead its franchise. Cutler was out of work — like Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III, and others — and planned to work as a television analyst before the Dolphins reunited him with coach Adam Gase.

"Either some owners and/or the NFL are punishing him for speaking out, or they've decided that it's best for business to sweep these valid issues under the rug in order not to upset fans who, in our opinion, don't have a valid reason to be upset about Colin Kaepernick being on their team," said Tim Clark, who is organizing boycotts of all 32 teams for the NFL's regular season opener.

Color of Change, an online civil rights organization, flooded Baltimore Ravens headquarters with telephone calls when the team didn't quickly sign him as it openly considered options to react to an injury. The Los Angeles chapter of the National Action Network, which demonstrated over the weekend, says it will boycott the Rams and Chargers games at Memorial Coliseum. A change.org petition calling for a season-long boycott of the NFL has collected more than 170,000 signatures.

"We understand the NFL is very important to you. We also understand the purpose of Colin Kaepernick's protest is FAR more important than any games you will ever watch," the petition said.

Elie Mystal, an editor at the "Above the Law" legal commentary website, agreed with the proposed boycotts.

"Kaepernick doesn't have a job because he spoke out about race," Mystal said. "That's the thing you're not allowed to do in our sporting culture and most of our popular culture, unless you're so over-the-top talented that they need you for winning."

Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch sat during the anthem while Rams defensive end Robert Quinn raised his right fist during Saturday's game between the two teams.

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, Martellus Bennett's brother, sat during the singing of "The Star-Spangled Banner" for the second straight week on Friday. He was joined by two teammates standing by him. Bennett said the death of a young woman protesting white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, underscored his decision.

"First of all, I want people to understand I love the military. My father was in the military. I love hot dogs like any other American. I love football like any other American, but I don't love segregation," he said. "I don't love riots. I don't love oppression. I don't love gender slander."

Some fans say Kaepernick has not been signed because he's had an inconsistent career. He played in the 2013 Super Bowl but faded in the seasons leading up to the protests, winning just three games in his last 19 starts.

He had two seasons where he was the starting quarterback for all 16 of his team's games, including the 2014 season that ended with San Francisco missing the playoffs. He suffered from a shoulder injury for half of 2015 and began the 2016 season as a backup, then started 11 games. The 49ers finished in last place for the second season in a row.

"Do these people (complaining) about Kaepernick going unsigned not understand that he sucks, and he's a liability/distraction?" tweeted Joe Patterson, a business management major at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.

Henry Schafer, executive vice president of Q Scores Marketing Evaluations, said Kaepernick's popularity has plummeted.

"He's very polarizing and much more in the consciences of the general population as well as sports fans and, creating, I would think, a pretty big dilemma for the NFL teams as to where he's going to go," Schafer said.

The fallout wasn't all negative: Kaepernick inspired a movement as high school athletes across the country kneeled during the anthem. Kaepernick had the 17th highest jersey sale in May and came in 39th in all merchandise from May through July 31. He's the only player in the top 50 in sales without a job.

Kaepernick, who is white and African-American, took a stand that was unpopular among many whites, which is what boxing great Muhammad Ali did when he refused to be drafted into military during the Vietnam war.

Ali was convicted of draft evasion, which was later overturned, banned from boxing and stripped of his heavyweight title.

It's uncertain how history will treat Kaepernick. But just as Ali was linked to the "black power" movement, Kaepernick has become linked with the Black Lives Matter movement, says Soyica Diggs Colbert, a Georgetown University professor who is writing a book on black movements.

"When we think about how Black Lives Matter as a political movement gets woven into sports," Kaepernick's certainly the key figure in that conversation, she said.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Butch Dill]]>
<![CDATA[Weekly San Diego Sports Preview]]> Sat, 19 Aug 2017 22:51:42 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/190*120/832877056.jpg

Here’s a look at what is going on in San Diego for the week of August 21st-27th.

PADRES: The Friars are back on the road this week. They’re off Monday as they head to the Midwest to face the Cardinals in St. Louis Tuesday-Thursday. Friday-Sunday the Padres head to Miami to play the Marlins.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cardinals, St. Louis Group in Spat Over 'Rally Cat' Custody]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 15:52:53 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/AP_17222136197280.jpg

A custody battle is brewing in St. Louis over the now-famous cat that darted across the field during a Cardinals game against Kansas City. 

The feral feline who interrupted the Aug. 9 game while the bases were loaded, won the hearts of Cardinal fans when catcher Yadier Molina hit a home run on the next pitch after the delay, helping St. Louis win 8-5. The cat was credited with inspiring the grand slam, and dubbed "Rally Cat."

A grounds crew worker eventually caught the feisty feline, then lost it when he put the cat down to get treatment for bites.

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The Cardinals released a statement hoping that the cat would be found so the team could “properly care for it.” A day later, the cat was found by the St. Louis Feral Cat Outreach (STLFCO), the animal organization that is currently caring for the feline.

Now, the ownership of the animal is in dispute, with the shelter and Watermon exchanging catty comments on social media. 

In a Facebook post Wednesday updating fans on Rally Cat's health status, the STLFCO said it had received "thousands of inquiries" about adopting the cat. The next day, Cardinals spokesman Ron Watermon told the St. Louis Post Dispatch that the center promised to give the cat to the team after a 10-day quarantine ends Monday.

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The STLFCO fired back hours later, writing in a Facebook post that they made no such promise to Watermon and noting that making false statements goes against "The Cardinal Way."

"We have neither the PR staff nor the skilled volunteers to engage in a media dialog with Mr Watermon's old-school PR tactics, so this note will be all we have to say on his position," the statement read.

It goes on to say that the group contacted Watermon earlier in the week and "just now got a voicemail reply from him. Our Board Member team consists of non-paid volunteers who have full time jobs outside of STLFCO. Due to our many commitments and complex schedules, we told the Cardinals we'd be delighted to meet later this month, the first time the entire group can meet with them to discuss the situation."

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Watermon responded to the STLFCO in an email to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, saying, "It is personally hurtful to me, irresponsible and, frankly, childish," Watermon wrote. "There is no need for the organization to personally attack me for doing my job."

Meanwhile, the team is planning a Rally Cat Appreciation Night at Busch Stadium on Sept. 10. Feral Cat Outreach said it hoped the cat will be well enough to attend the ceremony. But as the spat plays out, it remains to be seen whether the guest of honor will make an appearance.

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The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[Nationals Edge Padres]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 23:05:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/171*120/Zimmerman+Petco+Park+HR.JPG

The Washington Nationals are one of the very few teams in baseball that can lose a player as good as Bryce Harper and still be a World Series contender.

The Nats started a 4-game set at Petco Park with a 2-1 win over the Padres on Thursday night. Former Padres starter Edwin Jackson (OK, he only made 13 starts in San Diego but he’s a cool guy) liked pitching in the East Village when he was here and that hasn’t worn off.

Jackson tossed 7.0 innings of one-run ball to get the first win of his 15-year career against the Friars. The only run he allowed came on a 3rd inning single by Jose Pirela that brought in Manuel Margot and tied the game 1-1.

San Diego starter Jhoulys Chacin was as effective if not as efficient. Chacin only allowed one run in 5.0 innings but worked too many deep counts and left after 104 pitches.

In the 8th inning it was still tied 1-1. Reliever Kirby Yates struck out the side but with two outs allowed a solo home run to All-Star Ryan Zimmerman that turned out to be the game-winner. Things don’t exactly get easier for the Padres on Friday night because they have to deal with Washington ace Max Scherzer. Padres righty Luis Perdomo is tasked with trying to keep the Friars in the game against one of the best in the National League.

<![CDATA[Oakland Raiders' Sean Smith Charged With Assault: DA]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 18:35:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/sean-smith-us.jpg

Oakland Raiders cornerback Sean Smith has been charged with assault, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced Thursday.

Smith allegedly beat his sister's boyfriend in Old Town Pasadena on July 4, prosecutors said. He's also accused of stomping on the victim's head in the alleged attack.

Smith faces one felony count each of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury, the District Attorney's Office said. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Sept. 29.

If convicted, Smith faces up to seven years in state prison, prosecutors said.

Smith was booked on Thursday and released after posting bail, according to the District Attorney's Office.

The case remains under investigation.

The Oakland Raiders have yet to return calls seeking comment. The team is scheduled to play a preseason game against the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday at the Oakland Coliseum.

No other information was immediately available.

Photo Credit: NBC Sports Bay Area staff]]>
<![CDATA[Olympians Share Their Most Embarrassing School Memories]]> Fri, 18 Aug 2017 05:23:23 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/DIT+EMBARRASSING+SCHOOL+THUMB2.jpg

From bad school pictures to awkward first day wardrobes, Team USA members can now look back on some of their most embarrassing school moments and laugh.

<![CDATA[Watch: Photographer Hit in Groin After Ceremonial 1st Pitch]]> Thu, 17 Aug 2017 19:06:30 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-520535618.jpg

The ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Park missed its target Wednesday night and gave a nearby photographer something to remember.

Red Sox fan Jordan Leandre’s pitch went off course and struck photographer Tony Capobianco in the groin.

The photographer took the hit in stride and had a laugh about it on Twitter that night.

Leandre was also in good humor after the humiliating pitch seen all over the world.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Richard Tosses Complete Game Shutout]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 20:32:18 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/RichardShutoutWEB.jpg

Left-hander Clayton Richard had never beaten the Philadelphia Phillies before Wednesday’s matinee.

He hadn’t pitched a shutout since 2012.

But Richard accomplished both of those goals this time as he pitched San Diego’s first complete game shutout of the season and helped the Padres finish off a sweep of the hapless Phillies, 3-0.

Richard allowed only three hits and one walk.

He struck out six batters and executed extremely well by keeping the ball down the majority of the afternoon.

But it was not a one-man-show by any means.

Richard credited Austin Hedges for calling a good game behind the plate and the duo induced 17 groundouts by the visitors.

The Phils lost for the fourth straight outing and managed only a pair of doubles and an infield single against the southpaw.

Wil Myers made history in the fourth inning thanks to some smart base-running.

After he knocked in Carlos Asuaje with a RBI single, the 2016 All-Star swiped three bags to set a new Padres record for most steals in a single inning.

After the game, Myers said he noticed Phillies starter Nick Pivetta had a rather deliberate delivery to the plate, so he tried to take advantage. It worked and the Phillies had no answer.

Myers actually stole second right away on the very first pitch to Hedges after his base hit.

Myers then took off for third when Pivetta didn’t pay much attention to him during a full count offering in the same at-bat.

Ball four wound up putting runners on the corners for Hunter Renfroe.

The Phillies reminded us again that they are not a very good defensive team when they allowed Hedges and Myers to bait them with the classic Little League 1st and 3rd double steal.

Hedges hesitated long enough to coerce the catcher’s throw towards first base and that gave Myers just enough to time to scoot home before the relay.

The Friars led 2-0 after that frame and later extended their advantage to 3-0 thanks to a Renfroe RBI double in the 6th.

Pivetta struck out nine of the first ten batters he faced before allowing the Padres to claim the lead.

He finished with 11 punchouts but also the loss.

San Diego continues its seven-game homestand Thursday against the Washington Nationals starting at 7:10 p.m.

Jhoulys Chacin opposes former Padre Edwin Jackson in the series opener.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[SDSU Lands Late Basketball Recruit]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 19:07:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/MattMitchellSDSUweb.jpg

Brian Dutcher and the San Diego State Aztecs locked down a key recruit just a few days before the start of the fall semester.

Better late than never.

6-foot-6, 225-pound small forward Matt Mitchell had originally committed to Cal State Fullerton, but this week he announced that he changed his mind and will instead attend SDSU.

After tweeting out his decision on Monday, SDSU announced Mitchell had officially signed and joined the program on Wednesday.

Mitchell averaged 25.5 points and 9.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.2 steals during his senior season at Roosevelt High.

The newest Aztec also made 41 percent of his 3-point attempts and was an exceptional free throw shooter (89 percent).

Those gaudy numbers helped Mitchell lead his Mustangs to a state Division I title.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise also named Mitchell the Inland Empire Player of the Year.

His performance as a senior attracted more college programs to take notice of his skills – as coaches try to project the player he could become in the near future.

Mitchell was also considering Oregon, USC, Utah, and North Carolina State among other schools.

Mitchell helped the Mustangs to a 71-22 overall record and a 27-3 league record during his three seasons at Roosevelt.

He spent his freshman year at King High School, where he led his team to a Southern Section Division 1A championship.

If you are into ranking projections, Rivals.com and Scout.com each listed Mitchell as a three-star player.

Photo Credit: goaztecs.com]]>
<![CDATA['It Was a Great Ride!": Jered Weaver Retires]]> Wed, 16 Aug 2017 10:49:05 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/JeredWeaverGettyImages-669590474.jpg

Jered Weaver retired Wednesday from Major League Baseball, saying his body will not allow him to compete as he would like. 

"I’m excited for the next chapter in life and making up for lost time with my family," Weaver wrote in a prepared statement. "Thank you to everyone who has supported me over the years. It was a great ride!” 

Weaver, 34, had a professional baseball career that spanned 12 seasons.

The three-time All-Star (2010-12) spent 11 seasons with the Angels and his .617 winning percentage ranks second in Angels franchise history," according to a San Diego Padres news release.

Executive Vice President, General Manager A.J. Preller described Weaver as a "consummate teammate and professional."

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[5 Drugs Found in Tiger Woods' System After Fla. Arrest]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 10:14:11 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Tiger_Woods_to_Enter_DUI_Offender_Program.jpg

Golf legend Tiger Woods had five different drugs in his system — including painkillers, a sleeping aid and the active ingredient in marijuana — during his Memorial Day arrest on suspicion of drunken driving near his south Florida home, a newly released toxicology report shows.

Woods had the active incredients of opioids Vicodin and Dilaudid in his system. He also tested positive for the chemicals active in Xanax and Ambien and marijuana, according to the report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, first reported by ESPN.

Police did not say whether Woods had a prescription for the medication, including medical marijuana, which is legal in the state of Florida.

Woods was arrested May 29 after police in Jupiter found him asleep at the wheel of his car at an intersection near his home. He failed a field sobriety test and was unable to tell officers where he was at the time, but blew a 0.00 on a breathalyzer after being arrested.

One of the best golfers to ever play the sport, Woods told police he was taking several drugs after his fourth back surgery earlier this year. He later entered a clinic to deal with prescription drug dependency.

"As I previously said, I received professional help to manage my medications. Recently, I had been trying on my own to treat my back pain and a sleep disorder, including insomnia, but I realize now it was a mistake to do this without medical assistance," Woods said in a statement obtained by NBC News.

“I am continuing to work with my doctors, and they feel I've made significant progress. I remain grateful for the amazing support that I continue to receive and for the family and friends that are assisting me."

Last week, Woods entered a guilty plea to a charge of reckless driving and will enter a first-time DUI offender program that could result in the case being wiped off his record if he completes all requirements.

Photo Credit: Jupiter Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[SDSU Football Practice Canceled Due to Chickenpox]]> Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:18:36 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/SDSU-Generic-night-campus-03281.jpg

Football practice was canceled Monday night at San Diego State University after five players contracted the chickenpox virus.

Members of the team were told to clear out their lockers at the Fowler Athletics Center on campus. 

Clean up crews are scrubbing down the weight room and the football team locker room as a precautionary measure, an SDSU spokesperson said.

Three players reported symptoms of the chickenpox virus on Friday. That number rose to five by practice time Monday.

The virus can be deadly. Symptoms appear one to two days before the telltale rash. They include a fever, loss of appetite, headache, and fatigue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Tara Robinson, the parent of a member of the football team, told NBC 7, her child was vaccinated as a child.

"These things are set in place to protect children from exposure," Robinson said.

The 105 players on campus for fall camp share long hours on the field and in the locker rooms.

Athletics and Student Health Services officers are working together to monitor student-athletes and identify any possible additional cases. They're also going over vaccination records.

"I’m surprised that some of the players didn't know whether they had it or had been vaccinated," said SDSU alum Vance Mills.

"Most folks are protected at this stage or this juncture in their life," Robinson said.

Of the five players infected, Mike May with the SDSU Athletic Department told NBC 7, one is a senior. All are experienced players and important to the team, he said.

Mills said he is concerned for the team.

"It's going to take away from some of the practice. That's my fear," Mills said.

The season opener is on Sept. 2.

SDSU is working with County Public Health Services.

The university also says the cases are still contained to just the football team and not the general student population.

Classes begin on Aug. 28 for the 2017-2018 school year.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Andy Green Talks Contract Extension]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:04:48 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/182*120/Andy+Green+Brown+Uniform.JPG

The San Diego Padres have signed Manager Andy Green to a contract extension that will keep him with the Major League Baseball team through the 2021 season.

The contract extension was formally announced Sunday while the Padres were playing in Los Angeles.  Monday afternoon, Green was all smiles in the Padres dugout at Petco Park when asked about the contract extension.

 “I’m excited about it for sure, why wouldn’t you want to be here in San Diego! My mindset has always been long term here in San Diego. It’s always been to build something special, so having something formal on paper, that feels good, it feels good to have a show of faith from A.J. (A.J. Preller, Padres General Manger) and ownership.”

Padres catcher Austin Hedges said Green’s contract extension was pleasing news to players in the Padres clubhouse.

“Green does a good job of uniting everybody. I think he’s got a good relationship on an individual basis with everybody.  He’s approachable, if you have a question or concern, you can go to him easily. I think he manages the game great on the field and I love playing for him.”

Green is in his second season as Padres manager.  San Diego is currently in 4th place in the National League West with a record of 51-66.  In Green’s first season as manager the Padres finished with a record of 68-94.

Green’s contract extension is in line with the Padres overall organizational plan, build with young players, build for the future, so the team is ready to win in 3 or 4 years.

“It definitely adds some clarity of direction for everybody in the outside world and for the guys in clubhouse, this is who we’re building with, this is where we’re headed  and this is what we intend to do,” said Green.

Both the manager and players said clubhouse consistency and familiarity are important elements  needed for the Padres long term plan to pan out

Hedges was effusive in his praise that Green is the right man to lead the Padres into this next era, “I think we have a bright future here with a lot of room to grow, and with Green at the lead, I think no one would rather have anybody else.”

Green said, “I think there’s nothing more gratifying than the belief that you are going to build something very special for fans that are starved for something very special and to get to play a part in that is where all the excitement comes from.”

The San Diego Padres have not made the playoffs since the 2006 season and have never won a World Series. Will Andy Green be the manager to end the Padres post season drought? Only time will tell, but history has not been kind to Padre Managers.

<![CDATA[Chargers Have a Big Problem]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 14:49:35 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Chargers+Seahawks+50+Yard+Line.JPG

Against an obviously basic Seahawks defense, the Chargers first team offense looked like one of the greatest units in football history.

Philip Rivers led a 75-yard touchdown drive in his only action of the preseason opener. The starting defense played pretty well, too, with Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram getting pressure on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.

“I thought our starters played pretty good,” said Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn. “But I need to see what’s behind those guys. I need to see what we’re taking to Denver on September 11.”

Therein lies the biggest problem for the 2017 Chargers that was under a magnifying glass in their 48-17 loss to Seattle: they have absolutely zero depth.

Aside from the opening drive and the one-play, 74-yard touchdown toss from Kellen Clemens to a criminally wide open Travis Benjamin, the Chargers reserves on offense turned the ball over four times and averaged 15 yards per possession. That’s just not good enough, and at least a few guys in the locker room are not sugar coating it.

“You can’t really judge how we’re going to do this coming year based on what you just saw,” said offensive lineman Matt Slauson. “It’s obvious we have a lot of work still to do. We have to find our depth, find who those guys are going to be because the reality of the league is those guys are going to have to play a lot.”

This is especially true for the Chargers, who have a recent history of injury issues. The problem resurfaced in the first exhibition game when linebacker Denzel Perryman injured an ankle. He is expected to miss four to six weeks.

Speaking of the defense, those reserves were not any better than the offensive guys. Pro Bowl cornerback Casey Hayward was stellar in his limited time. The guy listed on the depth chart behind him, rookie Michael Davis, was constantly picked on and looked at times like he was allergic to pigskin.

But the Chargers are choosing to chalk it up to the old cliché and asking everybody to relax, these games don’t count.

“It’s still the preseason. It’s still something that you learn from,” said tight end Antonio Gates, who was on the receiving end of the Rivers touchdown toss (again). “You get an opportunity to put your team in certain situations where you see who you can depend on, who you can count on.”

If the first outing of 2017 is any indication the Chargers can’t count on very many guys, most notably the ones who put this roster together in the first place.

<![CDATA[Bocce Ball Tournament at Qualcomm Stadium]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 14:21:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Bocce_Ball_Tournament_at_Qualcomm_Stadium.jpg

A look at the event by NBC 7 photojournalist Dave Smith.

<![CDATA[Local Tournament Has Something For Everyone]]> Sun, 13 Aug 2017 21:37:34 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/160*120/SITTINGVBALL.JPG

The second annual Sitting Volleyball Tournament at the Genuine Volleyball Club in Vista brought athletes from across California together this weekend.

Eight teams competed this year including three from the USA Volleyball Developmental Program, one from the Challenged Athletes Foundation, two from Northern California and San Diego State University’s Aztec Adaptive Sports. The event is supported by the Challenged Athletes Foundation, San Diego ACES Sitting Volleyball Program and the Genuine Volleyball Club.

Patrick Lawrence of the Challenged Athletes Foundation helped put the event together and said the tournament is for everyone.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to come learn about sitting volleyball with both able-bodied and disabled players coming together. It’s an equal opportunity sport and something that USA Volleyball is interested in elevating to a similar level as the indoor game and the beach game.”

Katie Holloway, who is one of the athletes that traveled from Northern California, brought a certain mystic with her. Last summer Holloway was a key part of the United States Sitting Volleyball team that upset China to win gold at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Paralympics.

Holloway said that representing the United States was humbling and winning gold was a great experience for her that didn’t end when she returned stateside.

“Getting to represent the U.S.A. across the world but also in your community, it means so much more to you. And then to be able to come home and come to these events in the community and be able to spend time with people and give back to the sport that has given you that opportunity is just so special” said Holloway.

Aztec Adaptive Sports is also active in their community. President Nidhi Desai and her organization are trying to help athletes at the collegiate level get involved.

“There are no collegiate adaptive programs in California and so we’re trying to start that at SDSU.”

Desai went on to add that Aztec Adaptive Sports doesn’t just have a sitting volleyball team but have branched out to other sports like wheelchair basketball and are looking to add more in the near future. They’re always welcoming new members and you can get more information on their social media pages or email the club at SDSUAdaptiveSports@Gmail.com.

The Challenged Athletes Foundation is also located right here in San Diego. You can go to ChallengedAthletes.Org or their Facebook page for more information on upcoming events or how to get involved.

<![CDATA[Padres Drop Final Game in Dodgers Series]]> Sun, 13 Aug 2017 21:26:58 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/172*120/GettyImages-831137286.jpg

Before the final game of the series against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday afternoon, the Padres announced they have extended manager Andy Green’s contract for another three years through the 2021 season. That was the good news of the day as the Friars dropped the game and the series with 6-4 loss against the Dodgers.

The team may have lost but infielder Cory Spangenberg had a solid day at the plate. In the first inning, Spangenberg sent his ninth homer of the year to right center field and gave the Padres an early 1-0 lead.

The Dodgers responded in the fourth inning with a pair of home runs. The first came off the bat of Justin Turner. His three run blast gave Los Angeles their first lead of the game and they never looked back. Yasmani Grandal made sure of it with a two run homer to center field in the same inning which put the Dodgers at a healthy 5-2 lead.

Let’s go back to Spangenberg. In the sixth inning Spangy sent his second home run of the game and tenth of the season to left field which brought the Padres within one run of catching up. However, Turner had another home run up his sleeve as well. Turner’s solo shot in the eighth inning secured the game and the series for the Dodgers.

The Padres are back at Petco Park on Monday August 14 for the first of three games against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Chargers Crushed in Return to L.A.]]> Sun, 13 Aug 2017 20:08:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/186*120/Seahawks+TD+in+Carson.JPG

The stands were nowhere near packed. The crowd was loud for both teams. The atmosphere was just kind of … blah.

In a soccer stadium that holds 27,000 fans the Chargers only mustered to fill 21,054 of them. Interestingly on Saturday night the same building had 25,667 fans for the MLS game between the Galaxy and NYCFC. On Sunday for the NFL a large percentage of the crowd was made up of Seattle fans. The visitors got to do the vast majority of the cheering.

The Seahawks swooped in to the StubHub Center in Carson and demolished the Bolts 48-17 in the first game for the Los Angeles Chargers since 1960. It was not exactly the return the guys in uniform were hoping for.

The Chargers fans in attendance got very few things to cheer about but one was to be expected. Philip Rivers and the starting offense put together a very good opening drive. Against a Seattle defense that was not dipping too far in to its playbook Rivers five of six passes for 56 yards, finishing the drive with a 5-yard TD pass to Antonio Gates that put the Bolts on top 7-0.

The other thing that got the Chargers faithful excited was a long touchdown pass from Kellen Clemens to a wide open Travis Benjamin, who ran right by the Seahawks defense for a 74-yard score.

Pretty much the rest of the game belonged to Seattle.

Just before the Benjamin touchdown, Clemens threw an errant pass trying to find running back Branden Oliver. The ball was deflected and tipped to linebacker Terence Garvin, who took it back 37 yards for a score. That was the first of three turnovers Clemens would commit in less than a half of football.

The other two also led to scores. Another batted ball was picked off by Tylor Harris to set up a short Blair Walsh field goal. On the very next play Clemens could not complete a handoff; the ball fell on the ground and was picked up by David Bass, who was tackled at the Chargers 1-yard line. The aptly-named Chris Carson scored on the next snap to put the Seahawks on top 27-14.

Seattle added another touchdown on a 4-yard scramble by quarterback Trevone Boykin to build a 34-14 lead in the first half.

The Chargers lone highlight after the break came when rookie safety Desmond King camped under a bad throw by Boykin to make his first interception. Their next exhibition game is Sunday, August 20 when Drew Brees and the Saints come to StubHub Center for another 5:00 p.m. start.

<![CDATA[Chargers Ticket Prices Among NFL's Most Expensive]]> Sun, 13 Aug 2017 14:10:59 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/StubHub+Chargers.jpg

When the Chargers start the preseason against the Seahawks on Sunday night the fans who attend the first Los Angeles Chargers game since 1960 will be paying a pretty penny to participate.

According to research from TickPick, a resale ticket entity much like StubHub (the company that has its name on the facility the Chargers are calling home for the next three years), the Bolts have the 5th-most expensive preseason ticket in the NFL in 2017.

The two exhibition games in Carson will run fans an average of $135.99 per seat, a hefty price for an exhibition outing that will not feature a whole lot of star power. Chargers Head Coach Anthony Lynn has already said starting quarterback Philip Rivers will only play a single series against Seattle then let the backups take over.

Apparently playing in a venue that is less than half the size of their old haunt has the Chargers hiking up prices even if they admit they’re not really trying to win the game.

“When you’re shrinking the size of the venue that much you’re going to need to increase the pricing regardless of the product on the field,” said Jack Slingland from TickPick.

The only four teams with higher exhibition game prices all have legitimate playoff aspirations and a recent history of playing into January. The most expensive preseason tickets belong to the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots ($207), followed by the Broncos ($201), Seahawks ($174) and Texans ($142).

The cheapest preseason tickets can be found in Buffalo, where the Bills are only asking an average of $16 to watch backups play.

In 2016 the average Chargers preseason ticket was going for $52, meaning we’re looking at about a 260% markup in their first season in a smaller venue. One of the things the Bolts have been touting is the “intimate setting” of the StubHub Center and its attendance cap of 30,000. Put another way, the team is saying that unlike cavernous Qualcomm Stadium there really is not a bad seat in the house. Still, the worst seat in 2017 is going to be expensive.

“The get-in price (lowest price for any available seat) for either of the Chargers preseason games, so that’s the Seahawks and the Saints, are at $60 for the Seahawks and $46 for the Saints,” said Slingland.

That means the cheapest seat for the exhibition opener is $8 more expensive than the AVERAGE price of 2016’s preseason home games against the Cardinals and 49ers.

Here is a look at all 32 NFL teams and their preseason ticket prices according to TickPick:

32) Buffalo Bills $16.37
31) Indianapolis Colts $30.68
30) Tampa Bay Buccaneers $33.02
29) Miami Dolphins $34.80
28) New York Jets $34.96
27) Cincinnati Bengals $36.33
26) Cleveland Browns $36.94
25) New Orleans Saints $43.26
24) San Francisco 49ers $52.60
23) Kansas City Chiefs $55.84
22) Minnesota Vikings $56.24
21) Jacksonville Jaguars $56.89
20) Pittsburgh Steelers $61.95
19) Dallas Cowboys $75.35
18) Oakland Raiders $77.05
17) Washington Redskins $80.84
16) Arizona Cardinals $81.70
15) Baltimore Ravens $83.50
14) Chicago Bears $84.74
13) Green Bay Packers $89.39
12) Philadelphia Eagles $91.76
11) Tennessee Titans $94.02
10) Carolina Panthers $107.90
9) Atlanta Falcons $110.24
8) Los Angeles Rams $110.42
7) New York Giants $112.68
6) Detroit Lions $117.38
5) Los Angeles Chargers $135.99
4) Houston Texans $142.67
3) Seattle Seahawks $174.14
2) Denver Broncos $201.44
1) New England Patriots $207.48

<![CDATA[Padres Extend Manager Andy Green]]> Sun, 13 Aug 2017 11:05:25 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Padres_Andy_Green_GettyImages-643230148.jpg

The San Diego Padres hired Andy Green to be the manager of their rebuild before the 2016 season and, despite a 119-159 record, the club thinks they found the right man.

San Diego gave Green a three-year contract extension that will keep the skipper in place through the 2021 season.

One of the biggest jobs for Green was not so much winning ball games (although he maintains he manages to win every night) as it was developing young players into legitimate big leaguers.

Performances from guys like 22-year-old Manuel Margot and 21-year-old Allen Córdoba, a Rule 5 draftee, have convinced the Padres brass that Green has the franchise on the right track.

“Throughout the past two seasons, Andy has consistently proven to us his leadership abilities and strong character,” said General Manager A.J. Preller. “Andy’s knowledge of the game and passion for his players has earned him respect in the clubhouse and throughout the organization. As we continue to build a system that produces winning baseball from top to bottom, I am confident that Andy provides the leadership and stability needed to deliver a championship to San Diego.”

The ownership group footing the bill for the risky reconstruction also sees Green as an asset.

“We remain committed to our plan to build a championship team with homegrown talent, and we are confident in the direction we are moving as an organization,” said Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler and Managing Partner Peter Seidler. “Andy is invested in the development of our players at all levels, both as athletes and as people. His managerial style is characterized by intelligence, preparation and integrity, and he has continually proven himself to be the right person to lead this young team.”

Green just turned 40 a month ago and seemed to have the ability to connect with the younger roster the Friars have committed to.

“I’m both excited and motivated by the opportunity to continue to lead our players as we build a championship-caliber club for the fans of San Diego,” said Green. “I’m appreciative for the expression of faith this extension represents. I’m confident we’re in the process of building something very special for our fans, and I’m thrilled to continue that work with our players, coaches and everyone else who works relentlessly to make the Padres great."

The majority of successful franchises have a GM and a Manager/Head Coach who are on the same page and the Padres believe they have found that dynamic in their duo.

"He makes me better. He challenges me and hopefully I challenge him," said Preller. "We're not trying to sugarcoat things. I respect him, I think he's a good baseball person. I really enjoy (our relationship), honestly."

As for the timing of the deal -- in the middle of August -- Preller said the organization has been discussing the idea for months because they did not want to let Green enter the final year of his deal, which would have been 2018, without extending him. It is a symbol and message of stability to the franchise, the fans and the baseball world that they are staying the course on their commitment to developing young players.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dodgers Come From Behind to Beat Padres]]> Sat, 12 Aug 2017 22:51:15 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/184*120/Dodgers+Win+6-3.JPG

The Dodgers are the best team in baseball because they can beat you just about any way on any given night. Pitcher's duel, slugfest, it doesn't matter.

But their biggest strength is probably the fact they are never … ever … out of a game.

Los Angeles came from behind again to beat the Padres 6-3 at Chavez Ravine. San Diego built a 3-1 lead on the strength of a Hunter Renfroe RBI double, a Jhoulys Chacin RBI single and the 24th home run of the season from Wil Myers.

Chacin was also effective if not efficient on the mound. The right-hander allowed one run in 5.0 innings of work but walked four and threw 93 pitches so he was lifted for a pinch-hitter in the 6th inning. Immediately the Dodgers offense went to work on the Padres bullpen.

Jose Torres gave up a walk and a double to start the 6th and was lifted for Craig Stammen, who walked Yasiel Puig to load the bases with nobody out. Amazingly it looked like Stammen would wiggle off the hook. He got Austin Barnes to fly out to shallow right field then struck out Chris Taylor and got two strikes on Corey Seager.

Problem is Seager is an All-Star for good reason. The young shortstop lined a single to right field that brought in two runs and then got caught in a rundown between first and second. When the ball found its way to Myers at first base, Puig broke for home and Myers made an awful throw up the 1st base line that allowed the Dodgers outfielder to dive in with the go-ahead run.

After that the Dodgers distanced themselves with a pair of solo home runs. Cody Bellinger hit his 34th of the year in the 7th inning, putting him just one shy of the L.A. rookie record held by Mike Piazza. Chris Taylor hit his 17th dinger of the season an inning later.

That was plenty for the Dodgers bullpen, who had four relievers throw a scoreless inning each. The Padres can still win the series on Sunday afternoon when Luis Perdomo takes the mound against Kenta Maeda. The Dodgers have not lost a series since dropping two of three against the Nationals in the first week of June.

<![CDATA[Weekly San Diego Sports Preview]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 23:18:21 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-827903486.jpg

Here’s a look at what is going on in San Diego for the week of August 14th-20th.

PADRES: Want to catch a ball game downtown? You’ve got seven chances this week. Monday-to-Wednesday the Philadelphia Phillies come to town. The series features RBI Recognition Night Monday, Italian Heritage Night Tuesday and Way Back Wednesday. After that it’s the Washington Nationals turn at Petco Park. Thursday is College Night, Friday is Party in the Park, Saturday you can make a difference in the community at the Mystery Ball Fundraiser and Sunday they have a Salute to the Military Family.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Centenarian: 'I'd Love to Meet Tom Brady' for 106th Birthday]]> Sat, 12 Aug 2017 00:56:04 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Elinor+Downs.JPG

A soon-to-be-106-year-old Boston woman has made a homemade video with one special birthday wish -- a visit from Patriots quarterback Tom Brady.

"As a surprise for my birthday, I'd love to meet Tom Brady, Patriots star," Elinor Downs said.

NBC Boston caught up with Downs, otherwise known as "Fuzzy" at the Springhouse Senior Living Community.

She says she knows Brady and his family live right down the street.

"After all, they're just neighbors of ours, live just a mile away. I've never seen him," said Downs.

Downs, who got her lifelong nickname "Fuzzy" for her fuzzy hair at birth, calls herself a Patriots super fan. She says she's watched all the games that Brady's played in, and would just like to meet him and his family in person.

Her family member even believes watching a Patriots game last November may have precipitated one of Downs' strokes.

NBC Boston asked her what she likes most about Brady.

"So vigorous and so strong and I like the way handles adversity," she said.

NBC Boston reached out to the Patriots. They say they've seen Downs' video. They also say this week alone, they got four requests from people aged 100 or older, all asking for Brady to come to their birthday parties.

Still, Downs remains hopeful for her special birthday surprise.

Photo Credit: Elinor Downs]]>
<![CDATA[Padres Hand Dodgers Rare Loss]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 23:01:17 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/179*120/Margot+HR+Dodger+Stadium.JPG

The most Padres thing ever would be to lose a series to the Reds, who are 18 games under .500 then win a series against the Dodgers, who are on a pace to become the 7th team in Major League history to win 110 games in a season.

But lo and behold, that's an actual possibility now.

The Friars used three solo home runs and some timely pitches from Clayton Richard to beat L.A. 4-3 at Dodger Stadium on Friday night. It’s just the 5th time the Dodgers have lost since the All-Star break.

Rookie centerfielder Manuel Margot hit a pair of game-tying dingers, the first coming in the 3rd inning when he launched a solo shot off Dodgers starter Rich Hill to even the score 1-1. The Padres had a chance to make it a big inning but when Cory Spangenberg singled to right field to score Carlos Asuaje, the Friars tried to test Yasiel Puig’s arm.

That typically does not work out too well and Hunter Renfroe was thrown out at the plate but San Diego had a 2-1 lead that didn’t even last one inning.

In the bottom half L.A. loaded the bases on a double, single and hit batter then tied it up when Cody Bellinger singled to right field. It was shaping up to be a monster inning when Richard came up huge. The veteran lefty got Logan Forsythe to hit a comebacker that turned in to a 1-2-3 double play. Richard wiggled completely off the hook when Austin Barnes grounded in to a fielder’s choice to end the threat.

Barnes doubled in Bellinger in the 5th inning to put the Dodgers back on top 3-2 but in the 7th Margot hit his 2nd solo home run of the night, his 12th of the year. Over his last two full minor league seasons combined Margot hit a total of 12 home runs.

In the 8th inning Jose Pirela got in on the home run fun with another solo blast to put the Padres up 4-3. All-Star Brad Hand got the final four outs, needing just 16 pitches, to get his 9th save of the season.

Against all odds the Padres can win the series with a win Saturday at Chavez Ravine when Jhoulys Chacin takes the mound against Hyun-Jin Ryu.

<![CDATA[5 SDSU Football Players Have Chickenpox]]> Mon, 14 Aug 2017 18:51:01 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/Rocky-Long-SDSU-Football-20.jpg

Five members of the San Diego State University (SDSU) football team have contracted the chickenpox virus, a university spokesperson confirmed Monday.

As a precautionary measure, the university canceled practice to scrub down and disinfect the locker room, training room and other shared spaces, Mike May with the SDSU Athletic Department said.

There have been no other cases reported, May said. SDSU Spokeswoman Gina Jacobs said the cases are contained to just the team and not the general school population. 

May would not release names of the individuals affected. The student-run newspaper on campus identified three of the players as an offensive lineman and two linebackers. 

Athletics and Student Health Services officers are working together to monitor student-athletes and identify any possible additional cases.

"We are in communication with County Public Health Services and will be working with them as needed going forward," Jacobs said in a statement.

The virus can be deadly. Symptoms appear one to two days before the telltale rash. They include a fever, loss of appetite, headache, and fatigue, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

The San Diego County Department of Public Health recommends all children get two doses of the chickenpox vaccine and adults over 60 get the shingles vaccine.

The vaccine is also among the list of recommended immunizations on the university's Student Health Services website. 

For information on chickenpox, shingles, and immunizations, you can call the San Diego Health and Human Services Agency at 866-358-2966 or go here.

Photo Credit: NBC 7]]>
<![CDATA[City Is Losing Millions on Aging Qualcomm Stadium]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 15:03:54 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/City_Council_to_Decide_on_SoccerCity_Vote.jpg

The San Diego City Council discussed Friday how the city is losing millions of dollars each year by operating events out of the aging Qualcomm Stadium in Mission Valley.

According to the report from the mayor’s office, events at Qualcomm Stadium are lined up for the next two years.

Concerts, lot sales, and other events are scheduled for the site where the San Diego Chargers played every fall for decades.

The events for this fiscal year are estimated to bring in $3.5 million. However, operational costs alone are estimated to be $10.7 million.

“We’ve been losing between $10 and $15 million a year on that stadium as it’s been sitting there now,” Council member Scott Sherman said.

San Diego State University has asked to use the site for its football program beyond that.

Sherman asks, “Who pays for it? There’s a lot of money needed to keep that thing operational to 2020. With the amount of money we make on SDSU games, it doesn’t even come close.”

Council member David Alvarez asked for a breakdown of how much money each event brings in versus the cost spent to run the event.

Council member Georgette Gomez said she would have liked to see the proposed soccer stadium in the presentation offered to the council on Friday.

SoccerCity is the most significant proposal for the land used by the football stadium.

San Diego City Council members voted unanimously to put an initiative on the November 2018 ballot, instead of approving funds for a special election.

SoccerCity supporters have said it's unlikely investors will wait around until 2018, with their plan calling for housing, hotels, a river park and a soccer stadium.

Major League Soccer officials are deciding on a city in December and won't pick San Diego if there's no soccer stadium.

The City Attorney’s Office said the proposed development was not included because voters have not yet decided on the issue.

The future of the stadium land will be discussed Saturday at an open house concerning zoning, design, and land use standards. The open house is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Westfield Mission Valley.

<![CDATA[Loria to Sell Marlins to Jeter's Group for $1.2B: Report]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 20:25:13 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-683312888.jpg

Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has agreed to sell the team to a group that includes Derek Jeter, according to a report from the Miami Herald.

Jeter would run both the baseball and business sides of the team, despite investing a small amount of his own money. Bruce Sherman, who is a New York businessman, is expected to invest the majority of the money involved in the bid. The price of the team is a reported $1.2 billion.

Major League Baseball is currently awaiting the final paperwork of the sale and that could happen later on Friday. If this deal is concluded, it will put an end to months of speculation and rampant reports. Jeter has been involved from the start, but his chances of winning the team seemed to dip at times.

Local billionaire Jorge Mas had been involved in the bidding process up until Friday's agreement, but was not considered the favorite to win the club. All along it appeared Loria possibly favored Jeter in the process. That thought reportedly led to the exit earlier this week of another group that included former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Should the deal get finalized, Jeter, Sherman and any other investors would need to be approved by Major League Baseball. All 29 other owners will get a vote, but this is considered a mere formality. Jeter is a beloved member of the baseball community and it should end in a unanimous vote.

MLB will hold a meeting with owners next week, but will not take a vote as of yet. These transactions can take some time to complete, especially with the amount of money involved in the sale. However, it is likely that Jeter will be running the team before next season begins.

With a new ownership group on-board, Miami could begin to re-think plans for the organization. After making a series of trades in July, the Marlins still have their core pieces in place. Jeter will need to decide if he wants to try and add to that roster or build something from scratch.

The Marlins have thus far declined to comment on the latest news in regards to the sale.

Photo Credit: Getty Images for TechCrunch, File]]>
<![CDATA[What's Next for Ezekiel Elliott?]]> Fri, 11 Aug 2017 13:17:39 -0700 http://media.nbcsandiego.com/images/214*120/Screen+Shot+2017-08-11+at+11.51.29+AM.png

Pat Doney discusses running back Ezekiel Elliott's next moves after the NFL suspended the Cowboys star for six games.