<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Sports]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:15:06 -0400 Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:15:06 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Family Returns to Boston to Complete Marathon]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 21:08:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000006154426_1200x675_228779075545.jpg A local family is returning to Boston to complete the marathon they were unable to finish last year. John Walls shot cell phone video of the bombing while waiting for his wife and daughter to cross the finish line. As News4's Mark Segraves reports, the family says nothing will keep them from finishing the race this year.]]> <![CDATA[Handicapping Caps' Free Agents]]> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:09:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/199*120/478767165.jpg

Now that the Washington Capitals' offseason has begun, the time for armchair roster retooling draws nigh.

The Capitals have three pending unrestricted free agents to consider re-signing: forwards Mikhail Grabovski and Dustin Penner, and goaltender Jaroslav Halak.

Grabovski is the likeliest of the three to remain in Washington next season and the only member of the Capitals' opening night roster that is not signed through next season. Signed to a one-year, $3 million contract last summer after being bought out by the Toronto Maple Leafs, Grabovski scored 13 goals and earned 35 points in 58 games.

When not hampered by a sprained left ankle that cost him most of the season's second half, the 30-year-old was Washington's best forward at driving possession with a 51 percent Corsi percentage and his two-way presence fit seamlessly into the lineup.

Grabovski has expressed interest in remaining in Washington, but until the respective fates of general manager George McPhee and coach Adam Oates are determined, he is going to take a wait-and-see approach.

“Nobody knows what’s going to happen here, so it’s made me disappointed too,” Grabovski told reporters Tuesday. “I want to know, first before I sign, who’s going to be coach, who’s going to be general manager, because nobody knows and lots of stuff is being said.

“I just don’t want to have same experience I have before in Toronto when Ron Wilson is gone just after I sign and they bring in a coach who don’t really want me. For me it’s important that people believe in you and trust. Adam Oates, he bring me here with McPhee. They trust me as a player and I do my best in the half season I played. I can do better. People trust me, I feel this and I play better, good hockey.”

Grabovski is believed to be seeking a four- to five-year contract worth around $5 million. If he does not re-sign with the Capitals, they will once again be without a second-line center unless Oates (or his potential successor) believes forward Evgeny Kuznetsov could fill that role and mitigate the loss. 

>> The likelihood of Penner returning is slim. When McPhee acquired the 31-year-old from the Anaheim Ducks ahead of the trade deadline, he brought up the name of former Capitals forward Mike Knuble, who once thrived on the top line with Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin by complementing their finesse with his net-front presence.

Penner never received that same opportunity in Washington, playing primarily on the fourth line. This after spending the majority of his even-strength ice time skating alongside star forwards Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry on the Ducks' top line.

When asked about the possibility of returning to the Capitals, Penner answered bluntly.

"I need a job next year," he said. "I’ve played fourth line on other teams. I just play the position I’m given. I don’t worry about where I think I should be or where my dad thinks."

Asked where his father thinks he should play, Penner was once again straightforward.

"First-line left winger," he deadpanned.

>> Halak was recently at the center of a dust-up with Oates, who revealed that the goaltender was not "100 percent comfortable" facing his former team in St. Louis on April 8. Yet that awkward incident did not seem to phase Halak, who at least outwardly did not rule out potentially re-signing with the Capitals.

"We have a really good group of guys over here," Halak said. "I came here to make the playoffs and obviously we didn’t make it. I've got unfinished business here and I wouldn’t be against coming back so we’ll see what the future brings."

Even then, it seems doubtful that Halak will return. Arriving at the trade deadline, Halak was expected to bolster the Capitals' crease as they chased a playoff spot. The 28-year-old was far from a cure-all despite respectable numbers, sporting a 5-4-3 with a 2.31 goals against average and .930 save percentage. 

The Capitals rode Halak down the stretch, starting him in 11 of 13 games between March 8 and April 4, but he went winless in five straight during a time when Washington could ill afford to do so. Halak's .918 even-strength save percentage was also lower than those of Braden Holtby (.930) and Philipp Grubauer (.926).

Holtby, whose struggles with stylistic changes this season were well-documented, finished strong with a 3-0-1 record, 1.71 goals against average and .947 save percentage in April. Coupled with Grubauer, the Capitals could have a young, reliable and affordable tandem (a combined salary cap charge of roughly $2.4 million compared to Halak's $3.75 million) next season. 

>> The salary cap is expected to rise to somewhere between $68-$71 million next season. That leaves Washington with roughly $11-$14 million in space with which to work this summer. 

Washington could also make more space by using its second compliance buyout, available to them in June. The most logical candidate is forward Brooks Laich, who has been ineffective during two injury-plagued seasons. He has three years remaining on a six-year contract signed in 2011 that carries a $4.5 million salary cap charge.

Where things get complicated is that Laich, who recently underwent groin surgery, did not pass his exit physical, leaving his buyout status in question. 

"With my whole heart I believe that I'll be 100 percent ready to resume my career and excel at the game, not just participate, come training camp," Laich said. "I believe that with my whole heart."


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Caps Search for When Season Went Awry]]> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 10:55:46 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/188*120/479830615.jpg

As the Washington Capitals sifted through the ruins of their lost season, naturally they searched for the specific moment when it went awry.

There are several instances that can be pinpointed, but perhaps the freshest in the Capitals' minds was the stark juxtaposition between their successful California road trip last month and the ill-timed slide that immediately followed.

On March 18, Washington embarked on a grueling three-game road trip through California two points behind the New York Rangers, who at the time held the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Anaheim Ducks, Los Angeles Kings and San Jose Sharks were among the top eight teams in the NHL and had been unkind to visiting teams who faced them in succession. Of the 15 teams that did so before Washington, only four earned at least four of a possible six points.

The Capitals far exceeded expectations with a 2-0-1 record on the trip, leaving them lingering on the cusp of the playoff picture upon their return home.

In their first game back at Verizon Center, the Capitals led the Kings 3-1 entering the third period and seemed poised to vault themselves back into the mix. But they ultimately blew their 13th two-goal lead of the season (and sixth in the third period) before falling 5-4 in a shootout, the first loss in a debilitating five-game skid that proved fatal.

"I thought we lost that [swagger], that cockiness. I thought we just got too complacent," forward Joel Ward said. "We went in there in California and knew what was at stake and played desperate and cocky, but at the same time I thought we had a little bit of extra cockiness that we had a good feeling that we were going to win. We came back home, we might have thought we just expected to win all of a sudden. We lost that and we just got in a rut and we couldn't dig ourselves out of it. 

"I think the games that we've won in the course of the years I've been here, we've had a pretty good little cockiness, a little swagger and we lost it at times and gained it at times, but we couldn't put it together for the full time at the end."

The Capitals will spend the next several months processing what went wrong, an empty feeling that will surely linger knowing just how close they were standings-wise to potentially salvaging the season. 

“Yeah, I mean we came home, we had a 3-1 lead against [Los Angeles], we blew it. That hurt," coach Adam Oates said. "And then obviously [a 4-2 loss to the Boston Bruins on March 29] hurt and [a 5-0 loss to the Dallas Stars on April 1] hurt. Otherwise, for a 20-game window we played pretty good, but it was still collectively throughout the year, I think. Those games are magnified because the first 50 we didn’t do a good enough job.”


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[49ers' Aldon Smith Arrested For False Bomb Threat]]> Mon, 14 Apr 2014 14:59:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/10-9-2013-aldon-smith.jpg

San Francisco 49ers star linebacker Aldon Smith was taken into custody by police at Los Angeles International Airport on Sunday following an encounter with a TSA agent, police said.

According to the Los Angeles Police Department, 25-year-old Smith from San Jose, Calif., was arrested at LAX after making a bomb threat. He was released from custody after posting $20,000 bail Sunday evening and was not charged on Monday, as is standard for out-of-custody defendents, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney.

According to the police statement, Smith was going through Terminal 1 screening and was randomly selected for a secondary screening at about 2 p.m.. Smith "then became belligerent and uncooperative with the process and with the TSA agent, making a comment indicating that he was in possession of a bomb before proceeding towards the gate area."

Los Angeles Airport Police made contact with Smith at the gate, where he was identified as the person in question. Once again, Smith became uncooperative and was detained and taken into custody by Airport Police and transported to LAPD and booked for California Penal Code 148.1(a) - false report of a bomb threat.

Additional eyewitness accounts support the accusation.

An airport employee said that he witnessed the confrontation at the gate between Smith and police.

"I could hear him saying bomb, and then I looked and noticed who it was," an LAX employee who said his name was "Garet" told NBC Bay Area. "He was taking money out of his pocket and throwing it on the ground saying, ‘It’ll be all right. It’ll be all right.'"

The NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit has confirmed police at the airport said it appeared Smith may have been drunk earlier in the day. He was belligerent, but he was not charged with being drunk in public, police said.

The airport said it did not run or request any blood alcohol tests because alcohol was not a factor in the arrest.

TMZ Sports was first to post footage of police officers at LAX taking Smith into custody. Smith can can be heard in the video saying he did nothing wrong.

San Francisco 49ers General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement saying the team is "disappointed to learn of the incident today involving Aldon Smith." He declined to comment further, citing a "pending legal matter."

This is the fourth criminal case against Smith in the last two years.

Smith had hearings on two separate criminal cases last Friday, including three felony counts of possessing an illegal assault weapon and a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, according to Deputy District Attorney Brian Buckelew.

Smith wasn't present for the hearing.

The district attorney's office filed the three felony charges against Smith on Oct. 9, after the office's firearms unit examined five rifles recovered by sheriff's deputies from Smith's rented home outside San Jose in 2012. Deputies searched the home after a raucous late-night party where two people were shot and wounded and Smith was stabbed in the leg.

During the crowded party, which was attended by 49ers player Chris Culliver and former 49ers player Delanie Walker, Smith fired a .45 caliber handgun into the air to disburse partygoers before he was stabbed.

The man prosecutors alleged stabbed Smith, Steven Raymond Burba, a reputed gang member, was later arrested and charged with assault with a deadly weapon. Authorities have not arrested a suspect in the shootings of the two victims at the party.

When sheriff's deputies arrived at Smith's home to investigate, they found five rifles in his bedroom, including three assault weapons, an Armalite AR-10T and two Bushmaster brand rifles, which Smith bought legally in Arizona in 2011 but are illegal to possess in California, prosecutors said.

Smith's separate DUI case was on the court calendar for a pretrial conference. He was arrested on suspicion of DUI and marijuana possession on Sept. 20, after San Jose police said he crashed his car into a tree at about 7 a.m. on Bentley Ridge Drive in San Jose.

Some 49ers fans said they were not surprised Smith has had yet another brush with the law.

"You would think he’d get his act together after getting caught after having that DUI crash in San Jose but he’s young, he’s not learning," 49ers fan TJ Duran said.

"I would be shocked if he has a future with the team," football fan Sean Smith said.


Credit for cell phone video: Clayton Mullaly, USMC combat vet.

 

Information from Bay City News was used in this report.



Photo Credit: Jeff Gross/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Area Runners Get 2nd Chance fo Finish Boston Marathon]]> Sun, 13 Apr 2014 18:44:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000006112537_1200x675_225585731563.jpg News4's Darcy Spencer spoke to a running group that is heading to Boston this week. Some of them never got to finish last year's race because of the bombing.]]> <![CDATA[U.Md. Men's Lacrosse Chasing a Championship]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 18:48:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/University+of+Maryland+mens+lacrosse.jpg The University of Maryland men's lacrosse team is chasing its first national championship since 1975. News4's Jason Pugh spoke to the team.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[2 Hernandez Associates Indicted on Murder Charge]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 18:08:20 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/hernandezq.jpg

Two associates of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez were indicted Friday on murder charges, in connection with his alleged fatal shooting of a semi-professional football player last year.

A Massachusetts grand jury charged both Carlos Ortiz and Ernest Wallace with murder in connection with the June 2013 shooting death of Odin Lloyd in North Attleboro, Mass., NECN reported.

Bristol County District Attorney's Office said Ortiz and Wallace, both of Bristol, Conn., will be arraigned on the new charge in Fall River on a date that has yet to be determined.

Ortiz and Wallace had both pleaded not guilty to their previous charge of accessory to murder after the fact.

Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to murdering 27-year-old Lloyd, who was dating the sister of Hernandez's fiancee.

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<![CDATA[Kaepernick Rips Report]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 16:11:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/461570031.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick slammed media reports that he is being investigated by Miami police for sexual assault.

In a series of three tweets first sent at 7:30 a.m. Friday morning, Kaepernick wrote:

"The charges made in the TMZ story and other stories I’ve seen are completely wrong," he tweeted.  "They make things up about me that never happened. I take great pride in who I am and what I do, but  I guess sometimes you have to deal with someone who makes things up. I want to thank all of the people who have shared their encouraging sentiments. I assure you that your faith is not misplaced."

TMZ on Thursday first broke the news about Kaepernick, saying in its headline that he was being investigated for a sexual assault.

Later in the day, the Miami police department released a report filed April 3 by a woman who said she is a former lover of Kaepernick's. In the report, the woman said that she partied with him and two other NFL players, passed out at the Miami Viceroy hotel on April 2, and wound up at a hospital later without having any idea how she got there.

The report alleges no specific crime.

According to the police report, the woman -- who, according to the police report, had a previous sexual relationship with Kaepernick -- said she went to visit Ricardo Lockette, 27, at his unit at the luxury residences of the Viceroy in downtown Miami on April 1 about 9 p.m. Kaepernick and 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, 23, were also there.

The woman said she mixed drinks for the men and gave them shots, according to the report. She said the men told her that if she wanted to drink she had to "hit the bong, which contained marijuana," the report states.

They chatted for a while and watched basketball.

Before midnight, she started to feel "light headed," she told police, and she went to lie down.

She said Kaepernick came behind her in the bedroom and started kissing her, the report states. He started to undress her, and she told police she got naked. They did not have sex at this time, the report states.

Kaepernick left, saying he'd be right back.The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014.

The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo: NBC 6 South Florida)

When the woman called out that she was in bed naked, Patton and Lockette opened the door and "peeked" inside, the report states. She remembers yelling, "What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!" the report states. They closed the door and left.

But the woman cannot remember anything after that.

She woke up in a hospital and can't remember arriving there.

Miami police said they are investigating the report, as is standard when someone files one.

Wisconsin-based XAM Sports, which represents Kaepernick, also issued a statement to CSN Bay Area in support of their client on Friday.

"We stand by Colin 100% and are fully confident that the truth will be evident once the facts come to light regarding this matter. Thank you for supporting Colin."

Agent Scott Smith represents Kaepernick, who is in line for a lucrative contract extension.

General manager Trent Baalke said recently at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., the 49ers hope to have a new deal in place before the opening of training camp. And 49ers CEO Jed York said Kaepernick deserves to be paid like a top quarterback.
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kaepernick Probed in Hotel Incident]]> Fri, 11 Apr 2014 06:57:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP8942224809.jpg

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is being investigated by police in Miami in connection to an incident that allegedly involves a woman who passed out inside a luxury hotel room.

The report released by the Miami Police Department on Thursday does not charge Kaepernick with any specific crime.

A woman told authorities she partied with Kaepernick -- and two other NFL players -- and ended up in a South Florida hospital room without any recollection of how she got there, according to the police report.

The alleged encounter happened at the Viceroy Hotel in downtown Miami the evening of April 1.

Along with 26-year-old Kaepernick, Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, 27, and 23-year-old 49ers wide receiver Quinton Patton, who is entering his second NFL season, are both mentioned in the incident report. CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco reports Kaepernick and Lockette forged a tight friendship during Lockette's time on the 49ers' practice squad in 2012.

Police in Miami are continuing to investigate whether Kaepernick and the two other NFL players mentioned are responsible for any wrongdoing.

“There is not much we can say about it, other than it is an open investigation for all three of these men,” Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.

The report was taken by Miami police on April 3, when the unnamed woman walked into the department's central station.

According to the police report, the woman said she went to visit Lockette at his unit at the luxury residences of the Viceroy on April 1 about 9 p.m. Patton and Kaepernick were also there.

The woman said she mixed drinks for the men and gave them shots, according to the report. She said the men told her that if she wanted to drink she had to "hit the bong, which contained marijuana," the report states.

They chatted for a while and watched basketball.

Before midnight, she started to feel "light headed," she told police, and she went to lie down.

She said Kaepernick came behind her in the bedroom and started kissing her, the report states. He started to undress her, and she told police she got naked. They did not have sex at this time, the report states.

Kaepernick left, saying he'd be right back.The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014.

The Viceroy Hotel & Spa is seen in this image captured Thursday, April 10, 2014. (Photo: NBC 6 South Florida)

When the woman called out that she was in bed naked, Patton and Lockette opened the door and "peeked" inside, the report states. She remembers yelling, "What are you doing? Where is Colin? Get out!" the report states. They closed the door and left.

But the woman cannot remember anything after that.

She woke up in a hospital and can't remember arriving there.

The woman told police that she and Kaepernick had a sexual relationship in the past.

San Francisco 49ers’ General Manager Trent Baalke released a statement to the media Thursday morning, which said:

“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent media report regarding Colin Kaepernick and is in the process of gathering the pertinent facts.”

TMZ first broke the news. TMZ's report says any investigation is in the "beginning stages," according to law enforcement sources.

Niners cornerback Tramaine Brock said he thinks the investigation "must be a hoax."

Kaepernick has apparently been training in South Florida during the offseason. Less than week ago, the 49ers QB posted to Instagram a photo of himself hashtagged "#Miami."

Attempts to reach the players named in the report or their attorneys have been unsuccessful.

It's been a rough year for 49ers players off the field.

Chris Culliver is facing one felony charge and two misdemeanor charges after a March 30 hit-and-run involving a bicyclist in San Jose. The 25-year-old cornerback was charged with felony possession of brass knuckles, which carries up to a three-year prison sentence. He also was charged with misdemeanor hit-and-run with injury as well as misdemeanor hit-and-run, which have one-year maximum sentences.

All-Pro linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and possession of marijuana in San Jose. In October, the 24-year-old was charged three felony weapons assault charges, stemming from a June 2012 house party he hosted. In September, he was charged with a DUI. In November, Smith pleaded not guilty.

Both Smith and Culliver, who are still under contract with the 49ers, are scheduled to make separate appearances in Santa Clara County court on Friday.
 

NBC Bay Area's Damian Trujillo and NBC 6 South Florida contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Wizards Lose OT Scoring Touch Again]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 10:35:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/172*120/454029493.jpg

The Washington Wizards overcame a 20-point first-half deficit against the Charlotte Bobcats to force overtime Wednesday, but once they got there, their offense dried up in a 94-88 loss.

Washington missed all eight of their field-goal attempts in overtime, marking the third time they have missed all of their field-goal attempts in an overtime period this season, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

  1. Dec. 6, 2013 v. Milwaukee: 0-for-6
  2. Feb. 5 v. San Antonio: 0-for-11 in second overtime
  3. April 9 v. Charlotte: 0-for-8

Only one other team in the NBA has gone "0-fer" in overtime this season; the Phoenix Suns shot 0-for-7 from the field on Jan. 13 against the New York Knicks.

It was a disheartening loss for the Wizards, who allowed the Bobcats to overtake them for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Both teams have identical 40-38 records, but the Bobcats won the season series and therefore own the tiebreaker.

Finishing seventh or eighth will likely mean an early exit at the hands of the Indiana Pacers or Miami Heat, but the Wizards are apparently not playing well enough to even beat the worst teams in the Association.

"The way we play right now," center Marcin Gortat said, "we ain't going to beat anybody, including [NBA worst] Milwaukee."


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Caps Sit at Crossroads Following Elimination]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 15:30:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/168*120/450965945.jpg

The Washington Capitals were mathematically eliminated from postseason contention Wednesday, guaranteeing their exclusion from the Stanley Cup playoffs for the first time since 2007 and solidifying a discouraging though not entirely unexpected fall from grace.

This season has completed the Capitals' steady devolution from a viable Stanley Cup contender into a fringe playoff team.

Washington was simply a team that could not get out of its own way. From routinely failing to break out of their own zone cleanly (which was largely a product of a makeshift and overmatched defensive corps) to countless blown two-goal leads and quick-response goals against, the Capitals' nightly mistakes developed into bad habits.

The Capitals became a one-dimensional team with a potent power play. Even-strength play was a glaring weakness. Most damning of all, Washington's years-long identity crisis manifested itself once again as what kind of team it wanted to be was interchangeable on any given night.

After each of the Capitals' recent early-round flameouts, members of the front office wrapped the franchise's postseason appearance streak -- six straight years, the fourth-longest streak in the NHL entering this season -- around themselves like some sort of security blanket.

That shield no longer exists, and the time has come for a significant overhaul.

General manager George McPhee, widely believed to have an expiring contract, deserves credit for once restoring the Capitals back to respectability, but a fresh perspective is sorely needed.

Coach Adam Oates was lauded for his integral role in revitalizing forward Alex Ovechkin last season, but his questionable personnel decisions, stubborn and seemingly defiant demeanor and recent candidness this season have undone any goodwill.

The players believe that the talent to change the team's downward trajectory resides within the locker room, but that is obviously not the case. The roster that has remained largely unchanged must be reconstructed, which will prove easier said than done considering only one player that was on Washington's opening night roster -- forward Mikhail Grabovski -- is an unrestricted free agent.

It was in the best interest of the organization to miss the postseason. There are no excuses to bandy about, and bit by bit the Capitals can restart.

For the past few years, the Capitals have implored their fan base to do its part in "building America's Hockey Capital." Yet before construction can begin in earnest, serious remodeling is necessary because the cracks in the facade are simply too large to gloss over.


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Dianna Russini Joins the Globetrotters]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 21:29:25 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Dianna+Russini+with+the+Globetrotters.jpg The Harlem Globetrotters spent some time in the DMV recently. News4 Sports anchor Dianna Russini was invited to be a part of the team -- and she wasn’t very good.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington.com]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins Announce Preseason Schedule]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 21:00:49 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/212*120/1104-redskins-generic.jpg

The Washington Redskins released their 2014 preseason schedule Monday.

Dates and times are still tentative, but are games expected to kick off in August. As usual, catch all the game-day action on NBC4.

Week One- Redskins vs. New England Patriots

Week Two (Monday, Aug. 18) - Redskins vs. Cleveland Browns

Week Three- Redskins vs. Baltimore Ravens

Week Four (Thursday, Aug. 28)- Redskins vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers


 

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<![CDATA[Cricket Gains Young Fans in Bowie]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 20:59:32 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/193*120/pugh0409.jpg A group of youngsters in Bowie, Md. is learning how to play cricket -- they told News4's Jason Pugh they were pleasantly surprised by the amount of fun they had playing the new sport!]]> <![CDATA[Halak's Agent "Bewildered" By Comments]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 19:24:48 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/172*120/482915265.jpg

The Washington Capitals found themselves in a peculiar situation Tuesday in St. Louis when coach Adam Oates revealed that goaltender Jaroslav Halak would not start against his former team because he "wasn't 100 percent comfortable" doing so.

In Halak's place, Braden Holtby made 28 saves in the Capitals' 4-1 victory against the Blues, who traded Halak in late February after three-plus seasons, to keep their faint playoff hopes intact for at least one more day.

Washington's impressive performance in the face of mathematical elimination, however, became secondary to the ongoing melodrama. Halak claimed that he never told Oates he would not play, an assertion understandably defended by his agent, Allan Walsh. 

"Jaro never said at any time he didn't want to start against St. Louis," Walsh said in a statement. "A private conversation between a player and coach should stay private and not be discussed with the media. I am bewildered that a coach would break that trust, especially when those comments the coach publicly attributed to Jaro are not accurate. It's the coach who makes the decision on who plays in the games, not the players."

The entire story is not known and will likely never be known. Regardless, it is yet another controversy stemming from Oates' candidness.

Last week, Oates shared his belief that right wing Alex Ovechkin "quit" on the fourth of the Dallas Stars' five goals during Washington's 5-0 loss before discussing the play in question privately with his superstar captain.

When reached Wednesday, the Capitals declined to comment on the situation. The team received a day off Wednesday and will reconvene Thursday for a morning skate prior to its game against the Carolina Hurricanes. 

Upon his hiring in June 2012, Oates emphasized the importance of communication in building a foundation of trust with his players, and recent developments seem to fly in the face of that ideal. 

Speculation has already begun to swirl that Oates may not be retained after two seasons in Washington.

Judging by the events of the past week (and more importantly the overall uninspired play that will likely guarantee the Capitals' exclusion from the postseason for the first time since 2007), such speculation is not completely unjustified. 


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Batkid Throws 1st Pitch, Draws Praise, Criticism ]]> Thu, 10 Apr 2014 13:41:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/batkid6.jpg

He won the hearts of San Francisco five months ago, when the city morphed into Gotham City to lift the spirits of a 5-year-old battling leukemia.

And Batkid still evoked strong emotions when he took the mound at the Giants home opener at AT&T Park on Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The tiny superhero, aka Miles Scott of Siskyou County, threw the first pitch at the game, where the Giants were victorious, 7-3. An especially poignant image was when the little boy dressed all in black held hands with pitcher Matt Cain on the field.

Some took to social media to criticize all the attention Miles - who is remission from his cancer - is still getting. The city of San Francisco and 12,000 volunteers pitched in on Nov. 15 to make the boy's dream come true: Allowing him to be his favorite superhero for the day. But some believe that the boy's 15 minutes is up.

On NBC Bay Area's Facebook page, some posters were critical of all the attention he was getting. "There are plenty of other kids out there that could use support or even a couple hours of fun," one person wrote.

But it's also safe to say that Miles has become a symbol of hope for many, especially those in the cancer community, who see that the boy battled his disease.

"Omg!," a poster named Dana Hernandez wrote. "This was so cool! It gave me the chills."

And in a Wednesday morning interview on NBC Bay Area, Giants commentator Mike Krukow called the "blanket of love that everyone" threw Batkid's way, was just "amazing."

"It was the start of a perfect day,"Krukow said during his weekly segment "Kruk on Skype." "And Batkid had a lot to do with it."


Miles Scott, left, dressed as Batkid, throws the ceremonial first pitch next to Batman before an opening day baseball game between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks in San Francisco, Tuesday, April 8, 2014.  (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, Pool).



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS]]>
<![CDATA[UMass Basketball Player Announces He's Gay]]> Wed, 09 Apr 2014 12:30:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/ncaa_h3.jpg

UMass guard Derrick Gordon has become the first openly gay player in Division I men's basketball.

Gordon made the announcement in interviews with ESPN and Outsports on Wednesday. Gordon said he gained confidence by seeing an NBA team sign Jason Collins, who became the league's first openly gay player when he joined the Brooklyn Nets this season.

"I want to be myself," Gordon said in the interview televised on ESPN. "I don't want to hide and be someone I'm not."

The sophomore was the Minutemen's fourth-leading scorer with 9.4 points per game last season, when UMass reached the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1998. A transfer from Western Kentucky, Gordon played at high school powerhouse St. Patrick in New Jersey.

In the Outsports interview, Gordon said he considered quitting basketball last fall and isolated himself from teammates because of teasing. Over the summer, he had "liked" a photo on Instagram of him and his then-boyfriend in front of gay bar.

"I just wanted to run and hide somewhere," he said. "I used to go back to my room and I'd just cry."

Gordon was also inspired by spending time with several gay people in the world of sports in March, according to the Outsports article, and decided to come out to his family and then the Minutemen.

Once he opened up to his teammates, they were encouraging. In the ESPN interview, he recalled that they told him: "We're going to support you no matter what."

Coach Derek Kellogg told ESPN that he could already see a newfound happiness in Gordon.

"I haven't felt like this. Ever," Gordon said in the Outsports interview. "It's a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. I can finally breathe now and live life happily."

On Twitter on Wednesday, he expressed similar levels of relief at his decision, saying he is "the happiest I have ever been in my 22 Years of living."

Collins made a trailblazing announcement last April when he came out in an interview with Sports Illustrated. In February, he became the first openly gay male athlete in the four major North American pro sports leagues.

Michael Sam, an All-American defensive end at Missouri, came out in interviews with ESPN, The New York Times and Outsports in February after his college career ended. He is projected as a middle-round prospect in next month's NFL draft.

Sam tweeted congratulations to Gordon after the announcement: "You have so many in your corner and we're all proud and rooting for you."

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Storms to 9th Title, Routing Notre Dame 79-58]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 23:59:18 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP576312210999.jpg

Geno Auriemma and Connecticut stand alone in women's college basketball, and they reached the top in unprecedented fashion.

The Huskies routed Notre Dame 79-58 Tuesday night in the first championship game featuring undefeated teams, winning their record ninth national title. Auriemma broke a tie with Pat Summitt and Tennessee for most all-time, doing it in her backyard.

Breanna Stewart, who was the AP's player of the year, scored 21 points to lead the Huskies (40-0) while Stefanie Dolson added 17 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. Auriemma took out his senior center with a minute left, and the pair embraced in a long hug.

The victory also means that UConn is now the center of the college basketball world with both the men's and women's teams winning the championship in the same year again. The men's team beat Kentucky in the title game Monday night. This pair of victories come a decade after the Huskies became the only school to accomplish the feat.

While the names change at UConn, from Rebecca Lobo to Diana Taurasi, Maya Moore and now Stewart, Auriemma has been the constant, winning nine titles in only 20 seasons — including the last two. He's never lost in a national championship game.

"Congratulations to the UConn Huskies for winning the 2014 NCAA National Championship!," Summitt said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. "My compliments also to coach Geno Auriemma for winning his ninth national title. He has accomplished this feat in record time."

It was the fifth unbeaten season for Auriemma and UConn and the first time the Huskies went 40-0 — matching Baylor as the only schools to accomplish that feat. The victory was also Connecticut's 46th straight dating back to last season's NCAA tournament title run. It's the third longest streak in school history — well short of the NCAA record 90 straight they won.

The loss was Notre Dame's third in the title game in the past four years. Kayla McBride finished off her stellar career with 21 points to lead the Irish, who were looking for their first championship since 2001.

After proving to be no challenge for the Huskies during the first 15 years of the rivalry which began in 1995, Notre Dame had owned the series lately, winning seven of the previous nine meetings. UConn though has won the last two, eliminating Notre Dame in the Final Four last season before topping them in the championship game this year.

The two former Big East rivals, who have no love lost for each other, put on a show in a game that women's basketball hoped could transcend the sport. The coaches added to the drama of the game with their verbal sparring on Monday. But it was Auriemma who got the last word again.

Even with the loss, it was a record-setting season for the Irish.

Notre Dame lost Skylar Diggins to graduation and changed conferences to the ACC. Neither mattered as they ran through their opponents, winning by an average of 25.6 points while taking both the conference regular season and tournament championships.

The Irish lost senior Natalie Achonwa to a torn ACL in the regional final win over Baylor. Notre Dame wore warmup shirts with Achonwa's nickname "Ace" below her No. 11.

The team played inspired basketball in the Final Four win over Maryland, outrebounding the Terps by a record margin. The Irish couldn't muster a similar effort against UConn and it's gigantic front line. Stewart, Stefanie Dolson and Kiah Stokes dominated the interior. The Huskies outrebounded the Irish 54-31 and held them to a season-low in points.

After the teams traded shots early on, Stewart fueled a 16-0 run as the Huskies, who have played stellar defense all season, held the Irish without a point for nearly five minutes. Stewart's lay-in with 11:02 left made it 22-8.

A minute later, Dolson had an acrobatic tip to Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis for another layup.

The Irish stayed in the first half by hot 3-point shooting by Michaela Mabrey and Jewell Loyd. Trailing 37-25 with 4:09 left in the first half, the pair sparked a 13-6 run, hitting three 3-pointers which brought the Irish faithful to their feet.

UConn led 45-38 at the half, shooting 57 percent from the field and having 16 assists on their 21 baskets.

The Huskies closed the door on any Irish comeback scoring 18 of the first 22 points in the second half to put the game away. Stewart and Dolson had 10 points during the burst.

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[New Capitals Goalie Uncomfortable About Facing Former Team]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 21:05:42 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000006058427_1200x675_220669507929.jpg New Washington Capitals goalie Jaroslav Halak was allowed to sit out Tuesday night’s game because he felt uncomfortable facing his former team, the St. Louis Blues. News4's Dianna Russini reports.]]> <![CDATA[RGIII Takes Apparent Shot At Shanahan]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 20:17:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/175*120/459727729.jpg

Robert Griffin III recently made off-the-field headlines when he unveiled a new personal logo on Instagram in between shilling Subway on Twitter.

Of course, new coach Jay Gruden was asked about RGIII's preparation during an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio.

“He works out more than anybody I’ve ever seen,” Gruden said. “If I ever felt like that was an issue, or if he was spending more time trying to create logos than he was working out and getting himself ready to play, then there’d be an issue. But there’s no issue in my mind."

Griffin threw his support behind Gruden by retweeting ProFootballTalk's promotion of the story, and in doing so took a thinly veiled jab at the Redskins' previous regime.

It would be difficult to believe that Griffin was not needling former coach Mike Shanahan, whose relationship with the star quarterback fractured during a tumultuous 3-13 season. 

Who knows. I'm going to get a Flatizza.


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[UConn Wins NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship]]> Tue, 08 Apr 2014 01:35:12 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP399579783850.jpg The NCAA tournament is arguably the best stretch of weeks on the sports calendar, filled with great teams, exciting games, star players and, usually, plenty of upsets. Mixed in with all the action are some dramatic photos. Take a look at the best of the NCAA tournament in photos.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[WATCH: Parakeet Cheers on UConn ]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 11:41:29 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/219*120/UConnParakeetRazz1200.jpg Talk about a UConn fan! Households across Connecticut are cheering on UConn, but at the DelGrego home in Cheshire, that includes Razz, the parakeet.]]> <![CDATA[Golf Digest's May Cover Angers LPGA Pros]]> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 09:55:38 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP960458089875.jpg

Golf Digest’s May issue has stirred up controversy because of who landed on the cover.

The magazine features 25-year-old Paulina Gretzky, fiancée of PGA Tour star Dustin Johnson and daughter of renowned hockey player Wayne Gretzky. Several LPGA stars are not pleased with the decision to use Gretzky, who's not a professional golfer, and said women pro golfers are getting overlooked.

“It’s frustrating for female golfers," Stacy Lewis, who is ranked No. 3 in the world, said when asked by The New York Times. "It’s kind of the state of where we’ve always been,” “We don’t get respect for being the golfers that we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines, but at the same time you would like to see a little respect for the women’s game.”

In the Golf Digest article, Gretzky demonstrates six golf-improvement exercises and talks about her involvement in the sport. The photos used to promote the issue, which hits newsstands April 15, show her wearing fitted white pants and a white sports bra.

“It’s Golf Digest, it’s not Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue,” Juli Inkster, LPGA star and a former cover girl of Golf Digest, told the Times of the spread. “I think they should maybe recognize some of the great women golfers that we have. It’s like, what do you have to do to get a little respect?”

Apart from Gretzky, the last two women featured on the cover have also not been players. Golf Channel anchor Holly Sonders graced the cover last May, and supermodel Kate Upton appeared alongside Arnold Palmer last December.

LPGA Tour Commissioner Mike Whan condemned the move on Friday.

"If a magazine called Golf Digest is interested in showcasing females in the game, yet consistently steers away from the true superstars who've made history over the last few years, something is clearly wrong," he said in a statement.

Editor-in-Chief of the magazine, Jerry Tarde, defended the choice to feature Gretzky.

"Sports figures, celebrities and models have appeared on Golf Digest covers since the magazine's beginning," Tarde said in a statement. "Paulina ranks at the high end of the golf celebrity scene today, and she has a compelling story to tell. She also might get some new people interested in the game."

 



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Radio Host Apologizes for "Insensitive" C-Section Comments ]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 15:42:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/181759138.jpg

A morning radio host issued a public apology Friday for suggesting a New York Mets player should have asked his wife to get a C-section before the baseball season started so he wouldn't miss games while on paternity leave, saying he regrets making the "flippant" and "insensitive" remarks.

“I can only hope that people understand that my comment — my flippant comment — wasn’t made in any way, shape or form to insult anybody," Boomer Esiason, co-host of WFAN's "Boomer & Carton," said on the show Friday. "But obviously it did. And for that I am truly sorry.”

The former NFL quarterback came under fire after he and co-host Craig Carton skewered second baseman Daniel Murphy's decision to miss the first games of the season to be with his wife and newborn son.

Esiason said Murphy, who took three days of paternity leave after his wife went into labor as the baseball season kicked off Monday, should have told his wife to get a C-section so he could make opening day. His comment, which was made during Wednesday's show, came after Carton said that assuming there are no complications, Murphy should have gotten his "ass back to your team" a day after the birth.

The comments drew backlash from some medical experts, who cautioned against scheduling a surgical birth for timing or convenience when the procedure isn't medically necessary. Esiason acknowledged Friday that he was wrong to suggest such an approach.

"In no way, shape or form was I advocating anything for anybody to do," he said. "I was not telling women what to do with their bodies. I would never do that," he said. "That’s their decision, that’s their life and they know their bodies better than I do."

He said he feels bad that the Murphy family was "dragged into a conversation and their whole life was exposed," saying "what should be the greatest time in their life turned out to be somewhat of a firestorm that I personally put them into."

"All I can say is that I truly, truly, feel terrible about what I put them through. So for that I certainly apologize," he said.

Murphy, whose child was delivered via C-section, said Thursday that he and his wife "felt the best thing for our family was for stay for an extra day... just to have that support system." He called the choice to take paternity leave an "awesome part about being blessed, about being a parent."

"I can only speak from experience, from my experience, but a father seeing their wife, she was completely finished, she was done," he said. "She had had surgery and she was wiped. So having me there helped a lot."



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[In Slight Defense of Ovechkin's Defense]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 10:44:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/481894191.jpg

Throughout his career, Alex Ovechkin's once-in-a-generation offensive ability has mitigated his defensive shortcomings. A historical anomaly, however, has recently brought the latter to the forefront.

Ovechkin currently leads the NHL with 48 goals and has the worst plus-minus among 864 players at minus-36. He would become the first player since the league began tracking plus-minus in 1967-1968 to earn that dubious distinction.

Among NHL statistics, plus-minus is certainly the most polarizing. It measures a player's individual goal differential during even-strength and shorthanded play, but does not take into account other factors such as the play of teammates both offensively and defensively.

To be fair, Ovechkin, who has not scored at even strength in a career-high 16 straight games, is receiving little scoring help from his teammates. The on-ice shooting percentage of Ovechkin's linemates this season was a miniscule 3.3 percent as of Tuesday, the lowest percentage in the NHL over the past seven years. 

Yet a lackadaisical and indefensible defensive effort such as Ovechkin's on the Dallas Stars' fourth goal Tuesday cannot simply be ignored. And coach Adam Oates did not, saying Wednesday that his superstar captain "quit on the play coming back."

Ovechkin was not made available for comment Thursday.

As of Thursday morning, Oates had not met with Ovechkin to discuss the play in question (despite addressing the media on the topic multiple times), but when he does, he plans to reinforce the need for Ovechkin to stay involved in the play regardless of what zone it is in.

“The message is the same message I tell him all the time,” Oates said. “It’s a shame because he actually pushed hard up the ice and I’m sure when he turned around he saw that we had three guys back and figured they were going to get the job done and they didn’t.

"It happens to everybody at times. No question. Every player has their momentary lapses. It’s just a reminder to him that you can’t. You’re in the spotlight. You can’t."

Ovechkin will never be confused with a defensive stalwart. His defensive acumen has definitely not improved, but it also has not necessarily regressed. 

His lack of even-strength production, his linemates' lack of even-strength production and the Capitals' inability to defend as a whole at even strength -- not to mention a .903 save percentage when he is on the ice during five-on-five play, lowest among Capitals skaters with at least 57 games played -- have all accentuated his defensive flaws. 

That is not to say Ovechkin does not deserve criticism for efforts such as the one shown above, because he does. To call Ovechkin defensively deficient may be generous. 

Ovechkin's ghastly plus-minus, however, is a symptom of a larger, team-wide issue at even strength. 

“I’m trying to get him to play better and better five-on-five hockey no question," Oates said prior to the Dallas game Tuesday. "But I’m also trying to do the same thing with all of us.”


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Penner's Skills Tested With Operation, Ping Pong]]> Thu, 03 Apr 2014 17:24:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000005919654_1200x675_215533123591.jpg One month ago, 31-year-old winger Dustin Penner joined the Washington Capitals after being traded by the Anaheim Ducks, hoping to make an immediate impact. The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Canadian claims he’s ready to handle the pressure of playing in the Nation’s Capital. News4 Sports anchor Dianna Russini tests his skills. News4's Dianna Russini tested Washington Capitals forward Dustin Penner's composure, coordination and more with a series of challenges from childhood.]]> <![CDATA[Play Ball! A Guide to the New Season at Nats Park]]> Fri, 04 Apr 2014 13:58:30 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/nat+home+opener.jpg

The #NatsAreBack! After a long, long winter, the Washington Nationals' home opener against the Atlanta Braves finally arrived Friday. The first pitch was scheduled for 1:05 p.m., and if you skipped out on work to attend, we won't tell.

The Nats will battle the Braves twice more over the weekend, Saturday at 7:05 p.m. and Sunday at 1:35 p.m. Tickets are still available for both games.

If you're looking for team news, go here. But if you're just wondering about new food, alternate transportation options and whether there's a free bobblehead in your future, read on.

Are there any freebies or special events?

Why, yes, yes there are. They have to start the season right, after all. On Friday, the first 30,000 fans received an opening day cap. On Saturday, the first 20,000 fans will score a T-shirt. Saturday is also Miller Lite Party Night, with a special ticket deal and happy hour at the Miller Lite Scoreboard Walk bar.

Sunday is Kids Opening Day, featuring Screech's birthday and the chance for kids ages 4-12 to run the bases after the game. It's also a Signature Sunday, when two players will sign autographs from the top of the dugout starting 70 minutes before the game. Fans must get a free voucher to participate; they're available when the gates open at Sections 109 and 140.

And both Saturday and Sunday, Harris Teeter Family Fun Packs are available, offering a ticket and meal deal.

When does the park open?

Center Field Gate opens two and a half hours before first pitch for each game, providing access to the Center Field stands and Center Field concourse area. All other gates open 90 minutes before the start of the games, providing access to the entire ballpark.

What's new at the park since last year?

There's a lot new at the park, including improved Wifi, a bevy of new menu items and food stands, more fan spaces and a new merch store for women. The D.C. Sports Bog breaks it down with photos, food-wise. Highlights: the Chesapeake Crab Co., Intentional Wok and South Capitol Sushi, and Mike Isabella's G Sandwich shop.

Old faves Shake Shack and Ben's Chili Bowl (of course) are still around, and don't count out Daq's and Rita's for all your frozen drink needs, as well as those Curly W pretzels (think of the Instagram pics!).

What about the rest of the neighborhood?

Capitol Riverfront has been seeing a healthy amount of development; more than 1,200 new residential units were under construction in the area as of 2013's end, reported JDland.com. A Hampton Inn is going up to the east, apartment buildings to the north, and the Lumber Shed at Yards Park was transformed last season, now offering several new dining options, including Osteria Morini.

You know we deserve some good weather, right?

Yes, yes we do. And that good weather should be ours to enjoy all weekend... mostly. Friday morning was cloudy, and some scattered drizzle is possible in the afternoon, but it shouldn't be heavy enough to affect the game. During the game, temps should be around 60-63, said Storm Team 4 Meteorologist Tom Kierein.

For Saturday evening, the weather should be dry and mild, with sunset at 7:25 p.m. For Sunday afternoon, expect sun, and temps in the low 60s.

What's the best way to get there?

Metro:
Of course, you can always take the Metro (Green Line to the Navy Yard station), but you knew that already. During play-off games, officials were recommending that Metro riders use alternate stations, but the Navy Yard station can accommodate 24,000 passengers an hour, which should be fine this early in the season. (By the way, because it's also cherry blossom season, there is no scheduled track work this weekend.)

Circulator: If Metro's not your top pick, consider the D.C. Circulator, which is often less crowded than the Metro. A route runs every 10 minutes to and from the tour bus level of the garage at Union Station (Red Line). It stops at the Eastern Market Metro (Blue and Orange lines) on the way; see a map of the complete route here. Extended service will run during all Nationals home games.

Bicycle: If you'd prefer to ride your bike, you can use the free bike valet service in Garage C at the corner of N & 1st Street SE. The valet is on N Street just left of the entrance. You'll also find 250 bike racks around the exterior of the park.

Water taxi: Two water taxi companies can bring you to Diamond Teague Park, located behind Nats Park. American River Taxi travels between Georgetown, the Southwest Waterfront and the park; Potomac Riverboat Company travels between National Harbor and Alexandria. 

Parking: Driving to Nats Park is a bold (and expensive) move, but if you have the patience, and the cash, here's a guide to parking lots around the stadium.

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