<![CDATA[NBC4 Washington - Sports]]> Copyright 2015 http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/WASH+NBC4+BLUE.png NBC4 Washington http://www.nbcwashington.com en-us Wed, 07 Oct 2015 00:19:02 -0400 Wed, 07 Oct 2015 00:19:02 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Giants Player Diagnosed With MRSA]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 17:58:40 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/mrsa+daniel+fells+ny.jpg

The Giants scrubbed down their locker room, meeting areas and training rooms out of an abundance of caution this week after tight end Daniel Fells was diagnosed with MRSA, a potentially deadly antibiotic-resistant staph infection that can be transmitted by skin-to-skin contact or sharing towels, the team confirmed Tuesday.

Fells, a 32-year-old tight end signed by the Giants last year after stints with half a dozen NFL teams, including the Patriots, was placed on injured reserve Monday with an ankle injury. Doctors treating him for that issue discovered the staph infection, which turned out to be MRSA.

MRSA, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, is notoriously difficult to treat because it has become resistant to many antibiotics traditionally used to treat staph infections.

While one type of MRSA occurs primarily in hospitalized populations, another form occurs in healthy people -- and can spread easily through cuts and abrasions, skin-to-skin contact and sharing facilities or certain equipment.

The infection may become life-threatening, causing complications in one's bloodstream, lungs, heart, bones and joints. It is diagnosed by checking a tissue sample or nasal secretions for signs of drug-resistant bacteria.

In a statement Tuesday, Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon said, "We are working with infectious disease specialists, and we have defined protocols that we are following in consultation with the Duke Infection Control Outreach Network and local infectious disease specialists. Those protocols are being followed carefully."

Fells caught just six balls for 60 yards in two active games for Big Blue this season. His condition Tuesday wasn't immediately known; he had been hospitalized Monday, though it wasn't clear if he had been discharged.

Though the Jets and Giants share a home stadium, they use different practice facilities and locker rooms so Gang Green wasn't expected to be affected by Fells' diagnosis.

Two years ago, three players with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers contracted MRSA during an outbreak at one of the team's training facilities. One of the players, Carl Nicks, a high-profile guard in the league, had to permanently step away from football because of the illness. The infection also ended the career of Lawrence Tynes, a former Giants kicker who was diagnosed with MRSA during his tenure with the Bucs. The third player affected recovered and remains with the team.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Course Changes at 2015 Marine Corps Marathon]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 11:37:24 -0400 For an interactive map, click here.]]> For an interactive map, click here.]]> http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20151006+Marine+Corps+Marathon+Map.jpg

Runners at the 40th Marine Corps Marathon will trek a slightly different path through Crystal City as they complete their race in 2015.

The course has changed from miles 22 to 24 of the 26.2 mile course.

After crossing the Rochambeau Bridge over the Potomac River, runners will go down Army-Navy Drive then turn left onto 12th Street South and follow the road as it becomes Crystal Drive. From there, marathoners will U-turn onto 23rd Street South before turning right and going back up Crystal Drive.

“It’s here that the MCM course will turn into Crystal Park Tower #2, located near South 23rd Street, and continue making a short loop through streets on and off Long Bridge Drive,” according to a press release.

The course will end on its familiar route along Route 110 into the Marine Corps War Memorial in Rosslyn.

<![CDATA[Fantasy Sports Companies Dispute Allegations of Unfair Betting]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 12:29:37 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/FanDuel.jpg

Two companies in the booming, unregulated world of online fantasy sports issued statements Monday after recent allegations that employees may have access to insider data that could allow unfair, highly profitable bets. 

In the statement posted on FanDuel's website, the company said that despite "recent attention on industry employees," FanDuel — as well as a second sports site, DraftKings — valued "the integrity of the games we offer to our customers."

"Both companies have strong policies in place to ensure that employees do not misuse any information at their disposal and strictly limit access to company data to only those employees who require it to do their jobs," the statement said.

Photo Credit: File--AP]]>
<![CDATA[40 Years of the Marine Corps Marathon]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 12:48:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20151006+Marine+Corps+Marathon1.jpg

Four decades of military pride -- and grit -- are on display at the 40th running of the Marine Corps Marathon Sunday, October 25, in Arlington.

The race will start at 7:20 a.m. in Arlington, Virginia on Route 110 between Arlington National Cemetery and the Pentagon. It will end at the Marine Corps War Memorial near the back entrance to Arlington National Cemetery.

And for the tenth consecutive year, the Marine Corps Marathon 10K will coincide with the marathon, starting on the National Mall but finishing with the marathon at the Marine Corps War Memorial.

The marathon, which will start in Crystal City, draws thousands of runners and spectators to the area every year to support the troops. Runners can expect a new course this year, which follows a slightly different track to the finish line.

Event organizers recommend using Metro to access the starting point via the L’Enfant Plaza and Archives stations along the Yellow and Green lines.

The marathon recommends five locations for spectators to watch the race: the MCM Start Line on Route 110 in Arlington; the Lincoln Memorial; the National Mall; the area surrounding the Crystal City Metro station; and the Finish Line at the Marine Corps War Memorial.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Departing Nats, Zimmermann Sends Heartfelt Message]]> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 14:35:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20151005+Jordan+Zimmermann.jpg

Jordan Zimmermann, the Washington Nationals' All-Star pitcher who is entering free agency, says he won't be back to the Nats -- but he had a heartfelt message to fans as he left.

"It's difficult putting into words the feelings of appreciation I have for the love and support I've felt over the past seven years," Zimmermann said in a message tweeted by his agent, Mark Pieper.

"The same level of commitment and passion that you fans showed me every game I took the ball is what I placed in every pitch I tossed wearing a Nationals uniform," he said. "My only regret is that we were not able to bring a championship to the fans of this great city this season."

The news of Zimmermann's departure was expected, but bittersweet to fans who had high expectations for the Nats this season. The team barely finished above .500 and failed to make the playoffs.

On Monday, the Nationals fired manager Matt Williams and his staff.

Shortstop Ian Desmond also is becoming a free agent and is expected to leave the team. Sunday, Desmond grew emotional as he told reporters, “I’m extremely proud to say that I was a Washington National," according to the Washington Post.

Pitcher Doug Fister and center fielder Denard Span also are entering free agency -- making for an interesting off-season for a team, once picked to win the World Series, with nothing to do but personnel moves in October. 

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Last-Minute TD Gives Redskins Win vs. Eagles]]> Sun, 04 Oct 2015 16:19:23 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/redskins+win1.jpg

Dominating the time of possession, the Washington Redskins drove down the field in the fourth quarter before Pierre Garcon caught a 4 yard touchdown pass with 26 seconds left, giving the Redskins a 23-20 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Kirk Cousins finished with 289 yards on 31 of 46 passing and that last minute touchdown. He also ran in from 1 yard out for a rushing score.

Alfred Morris rushed for 62 yards, Chris Thompson had 52 yards, and the team had 125 yard total. They also possessed the ball for more than 41 minutes in the game.

The Redskins started off slow on their opening drive, plagued by penalties. However, a 42 yard run by Chris Thompson moved the team down the field. The drive stalled as they near the goal line, setting up a short field goal by kicker Dustin Hopkins and an early 3-0 lead.

Three and out for the Eagles after a sack of quarterback Sam Bradford. The Redskins offense moved down the field again but, once again, had to settle for another Hopkins field goal extended the lead to 6-0 in the first quarter.

The Eagles offense sputtered again to start the second half but a great punt pinned the Redskins back at the 2 yard line. This time, the Eagles defense held strong, forcing Washington to punt from their end zone.

The Redskins defense held strong again with a sack against Bradford, forcing yet another punt. Quarterback Kirk Cousins moved the team down the field. Aided by a pass interference call in the end zone, Cousins was able to score after picking up a fumbled snap, giving Washington a 13-0 lead.

The Eagles looked to have some life after a long Bradford to Nelson Agholor, but a fumble on an end around gave the ball back to the Redskins.

The Redskins couldn’t move the ball, punting to returner Darren Sproles, who took it 45 yards and gave the Eagles good field position before the half. A 33 yard field goal as time expired missed.

The Eagles took the second half kickoff down the field and got a touchdown as Bradford threw it over the top to wide receiver Riley Cooper. However, the extra point was missed so the Redskins still led 13 – 6.

Three straight runs by the Redskins resulted in a punt and personal foul. A questionable personal foul on the defense gave the Eagles field position inside the 20. A broken play gave Bradford the chance to find tight end Brent Celek for a TD and tied the game up in the third quarter.

The Redskins responded with a 9 play, 65 yard drive, and Hopkins booted a 33 yard field goal to give Washington the lead again with about 4 minutes to go in the third quarter.

Another three and out for the Eagles gave the ball back to the Redskins. However, a fumble by Jordan Reed gave the ball back to the Eagles just as the third quarter ended.

The Eagles wasted no time, scoring on a 39 yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin after another questionable personal foul call against the Redskins. This time, the extra point was good and Philadelphia led 20-16 with 14:40 to go in the game.

Both defenses tightened up in the fourth quarter and the teams traded punts a couple of times. The Redskins got the ball deep in their own territory with about five minutes to go in the game.

Cousins drove the team down the field, using up as much clock as possible, and got inside the 20 yard line. A quick strike to Pierre Garcon got the team to the 4 yard line.


Garcon then made a sensational grab with 26 seconds to go to give the Redskins the lead, 23-20.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[What (Else) To Do During Marine Corps Marathon]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 11:52:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20151006+Marine+Corps+Marathon.jpg

The 40th Marine Corps Marathon will commence on Sunday, Oct. 25, but the festivities begin days before runners make their first strides on the course.

Here’s a look at some of the events -- including those open to spectators and runners alike -- during Marine Corps Marathon weekend:

MCM Pep Rally

Marathon weekend kicks off with a pep rally at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. The pep rally is open to all runners and guests, and registration is available on the Marine Corps Marathon website. Music, cheerleaders, and a marathon expert panel Q&A will be at the pep rally.

Runners bRUNch

Starting at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Rosslyn, a catered brunch will be served to runners and families that registered. A commemorative bib and limited edition Marine Corps Marathon coin will be given to all attendees before the Netherlands Carillon plays each of the military service songs.

Runners Conference

The Runners Conference at the Carnegie Library is free to anyone who pre-registers for each session they would like to attend. Over the course of two days, a variety of speakers will share their marathon experience and give advice to runners. Speakers include legendary Olympian Jeff Galloway, Marine Corps Marathon director Rick Nealis, and a panel of Runners World experts who will offer tips on how to run your best throughout the marathon.

<![CDATA[Yankees' CC Sabathia Checking Into Alcohol Rehab ]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 04:52:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/sabathia+rehab+center.jpg

Yankees' CC Sabathia is checking into an alcohol rehabilitation center and will miss the postseason, the pitcher said Monday in a statement released by the team.

In the statement, the 35-year-old Sabathia said he was seeking "the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease."

He said he wanted to thank the Yankees organization for "their encouragement and understanding."

Sabathia's move comes the day before the Yankees take on the Houston Astros in a critical one-and-done AL Wild Card game. It's the team's first postseason appearance since 2012.

“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series," the 2007 AL Young Award winner said. "It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player."

Sabathia said it was difficult to publicly share his decision, but he didn't want to "run and hide." He also asked for privacy for him and his family.

“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you," Sabathia added. I want my kids -- and others who may have become fans of mine over the years -- to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do."

Sabathia was 6-10 with a 4.73 ERA this year, slowed by his surgically repaired right knee. After returning from the disabled list and using a tighter brace, the portly left-hander was 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in five starts and got the win against Boston that week that clinched the Yankees' return to the postseason following a rare two-year absence.

Sabathia, who helped New York win the 2009 World Series during his first season in the Bronx, is signed through next season. His deal includes a 2017 club option that would become guaranteed if his left shoulder doesn't get hurt.

"I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness," Sabathia said. 

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Top NFL Photos: Week 4]]> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 00:19:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-491476626.jpg See the top photos from week 4 of the NFL.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins Preparing for Hurricane Joaquin: Report]]> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 16:56:59 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-453831984.jpg

The NFL is monitoring whether Hurricane Joaquin will delay the Washington Redskins game this weekend, The Washington Post reports.

“We are monitoring the forecast and having dialogue with both teams,” NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told the Post about the Redskins and the Eagles.

The teams are scheduled to play at 1 p.m. Sunday at FedEx Field.

The National Hurricane Center upgraded Tropical Storm Joaquin to a Category 1 hurricane on Wednesday morning. Some forecast models predict the storm will come inland and close to the D.C. area. Other models keep Joaquin off the Atlantic Seaboard.

Stay with News4 for more details on this developing story.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Deflategate' Appeal Date Set]]> Wed, 30 Sep 2015 11:28:10 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-486084636.jpg

The "Deflategate" appeal could be heard as early as Super Bowl week, according to an expedited appeal process that was approved this week.

The NFL had asked the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for an expedited hearing in its appeal of a federal judge's decision to nix New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady's "Deflategate" suspension. Brady and the union agreed with the proposed schedule.

The appeals court approved the expedited schedule on Tuesday. The schedule calls for the NFL's opening brief to be filed by Oct. 26, 2015, and Brady and the union's answer to be filed by Dec. 7. The NFL's reply brief is then due by Dec. 21.

The appeal could be heard as early as the week of Feb. 1, 2016. Super Bowl 50 is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 7.

U.S. District Judge Richard Berman lifted Brady's 4-game suspension earlier this month, saying NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell dispensed "his own brand of industrial justice" when Brady was punished for using underinflated footballs in a game during last season's playoffs.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Red Sox Manager Meets Obama at Hotel Gym]]> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 20:49:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/165*120/obama+red+sox+mannager.jpg

Just like any other morning on a Boston Red Sox road trip, interim manager Torey Lovullo woke up and headed for the gym at the team hotel.

Only this time, he met a new exercise partner during an unforgettable workout that was anything but routine.

When Lovullo arrived to lift weights, there was President Barack Obama pumping iron in a long-sleeve T-shirt and sweats. Lovullo introduced himself and talked baseball with Obama, who was in New York this week for his annual trip to the United Nations.

Lovullo says they had a great conversation and he asked Obama when he would be leaving town, because all the security in place was making it awfully inconvenient to come and go and even grab a cup of coffee.

After their chat, Lovullo took a photo with the president. 

Photo Credit: Mike Hazen/Boston Red Sox via AP]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins' D Looking for More Pressure, Turnovers]]> Tue, 29 Sep 2015 18:38:31 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Redskins+Giants+092415+GettyImages-489881684.jpg

The Redskins' defense has struggled to force pressure or turnovers, something that needs to change when the Eagles visit on Sunday.

“We're stopping the run fairly well,” head coach Jay Gruden said Monday. “We've just got to figure out ways to get the ball out, get them into some third-and-long and then bring some pressure.”

Washington's 832 yards allowed is fourth best in the NFL. However, its one takeaway is tied for last with Jacksonville, and its minus-5 turnover margin is second worst to Indianapolis.

The Redskins' four sacks are better than only four other defenses. In Thursday's 32-21 loss at the Giants, Washington failed to sack Eli Manning and hit him only twice.

“We've got to force the issue a little bit more,” said linebacker Ryan Kerrigan, who has a half-sack in three games after leading the team with 13 1/2 last season.

The Redskins (1-2) have outgained all three opponents. Against the Eagles (1-2), they'll face an offense that has had its own struggles with new quarterback Sam Bradford.

Philadelphia defeated the Jets 24-17 on Sunday despite gaining only 231 yards, with Bradford passing for 108 and completing 14 of 28 passes. Still, a high-tempo, unorthodox offensive style provides an extra wrinkle for a Washington defense feeling pressure to make a play.

“The zone reads and different things that they do, you have to keep your eyes on your keys and play technique, sound ball,” said cornerback Bashaud Breeland.

Breeland felt he missed two opportunities to make interceptions against the Giants, including in the fourth quarter when Rueben Randle leaped over him to snag a 41-yard touchdown pass. Thursday was Breeland's second game after he missed the opener while serving a suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

That was just one of multiple secondary absences this season for Washington, which is expected to lose DeAngelo Hall for at least three or four weeks with a sprained toe suffered Thursday.

“It's hard to get that going when you've got guys coming in and out,” Breeland said of forcing turnovers. “But at the same time, it's like next man up. You've got to make those plays.”

NOTES: Backup QB Colt McCoy missed Monday's practice with an undisclosed injury. Gruden said he would not provide updates for McCoy or other players until Wednesday … Gruden said Hall had seen a foot specialist as scheduled but did not elaborate … Either Spencer Long or Arie Kouandjio could replace LG Shawn Lauvao if Lauvao does not recover from a sprained left ankle in time for Sunday's game, Gruden said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Nationals Suspend Papelbon After Scuffle With Harper]]> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 14:27:13 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20150927+Papelbon+Harper.jpg

The Washington Nationals suspended relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon for four games without pay for his dugout fight with outfielder Bryce Harper during Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Papelbon also accepted a three-game suspension from Major League Baseball for appearing to intentionally throw at the Baltimore Orioles' Manny Machado Wednesday.

"The behavior exhibited by Papelbon yesterday is not acceptable," Nationals General Manager Mike Rizzo said in a statement. "That is not at all in line with the way our players are expected to conduct themselves, and the Nationals organization will not tolerate it in any way."

Harper will not be in the lineup for Monday's game against the Cincinnati Reds, manager Matt Williams said.

Harper was returning to the dugout after flying out to right field in the eighth inning when Papelbon began yelling at the right fielder. The two exchanged words before Papelbon pushed Harper against the dugout wall and had to be separated by teammates.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Papelbon gave up a two-run home run to give the Phillies the lead.

Williams said he did not see the extent of the fight until after the game. Had he known what had happened, Williams said he would not have sent Papelbon back out to pitch the ninth.

Papelbon was ejected from Wednesday's game after hitting Machado's arm. He initially appealed that suspension.

The suspensions from the league and the team mean Papelbon will not be available to pitch in the seven remaining games of the season. He will not join the team on the road trip starting Tuesday, Williams said.

The Nationals were eliminated from playoff contention in Saturday’s game.

Papelbon joined the Nationals via a trade from the Phillies in the middle of the season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Top NFL Photos: Week 3]]> Mon, 28 Sep 2015 11:17:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-490376700.jpg See the best photos from professional football during Week 3 of the NFL.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Harper, Papelbon Scuffle in Nationals Dugout]]> Sun, 27 Sep 2015 20:46:57 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20150927+Papelbon+Harper.jpg

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and relief pitcher Jonathan Papelbon fought in the dugout during Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Harper was returning to the dugout after flying out to right field in the 8th inning when Papelbon began yelling at the right fielder. The two exchanged words before Papelbon pushed Harper against the dugout wall and had to be separated by teammates.

In the bottom of the 9th, Papelbon gave up a two-run home run to give the Phillies the lead.

The Nationals were eliminated from playoff contention in Saturday’s game.

Papelbon joined the Nationals via a trade from the Phillies in the middle of the season.

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Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[St. Louis Rams' Pyrotechnics Show Sets Field on Fire]]> Sun, 27 Sep 2015 14:03:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/AP_155791848584.jpg

The matchup between the Pittsburg Steelers and St. Louis Rams was briefly delayed Sunday after a corner of the field caught fire during the pre-game festivities.

A pyrotechnics show to introduce the starters got a little out of hand and caused the turf near the end zone inside the Edward Jones Dome to briefly catch fire.

The fire was quickly put out, but both teams were forced to leave the field as crews cleaned fire extinguisher chemicals from the turf. 

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Photo Credit: AP
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<![CDATA[ESPN Reportedly Re-Evaluating 'SportsCenter']]> Fri, 25 Sep 2015 17:04:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/sportscenter_crop.jpg

ESPN's signature 'SportsCenter' news program is reportedly undergoing changes to keep up with the 24 hour pace of online news.

According to The Big Lead, ESPN will cut the show's airtime in half and drop its afternoon live show.

The company is expected to lay off up to 300 people over the next few months, according to The Big Lead's sources. The changes are attributed to parent company Disney requesting ESPN to cut its budget by $100 million in 2016 and $250 million in 2017.

The network issued a statement on the matter to CNBC, saying: "ESPN has historically embraced evolving technology to smartly navigate our business. Any organizational changes will be announced directly to our employees if and when appropriate."

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Female Football Player Makes a Point]]> Fri, 25 Sep 2015 07:42:53 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/erin+bellucci.jpg Senior Erin Bellucci, niece of former NFL head coach Eric Mangini, made the Hall High School football team in West Hartford as a kicker. She describes her experiences of being the only female on the team.]]> <![CDATA[Baby Born During Third Inning]]> Fri, 25 Sep 2015 18:54:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Petco-Park-Generic-Garske.jpg

Now this is a true love of the game.

A woman gave birth at Petco Park in downtown San Diego Thursday night around the third inning of the Padres vs. San Francisco Giants game.

The baby boy, named Levi, is the first to be born at the stadium, Petco Park officials confirmed via social media.

The very pregnant fan, who apparently did not have time to reach a hospital, had her son on a bench in the park's Palm Court Plaza. Some fans reported an off-duty nurse who happened to be at the ballpark helped deliver the baby.

The Padres rallied for the little guy, pulling off a 5-4 win in the 9th over the Giants -- an extra treat, provided his parents are San Diego fans.

The birth was announced over the loudspeaker at the ballpark to a roar of cheers from fans.

The newborn news surprised and entertained those in the stands and outside of the stadium. Many took to Twitter to talk about the ballpark birth.

“It was amazing, so amazing. It was beautiful. Go Padres!” an excited fan told NBC 7 after the game.

"He's a future Padre!" another man said.

“We were just sitting in our seats and one of our friends came back and said, ‘A baby is being born,’ and that it happened very fast and people were holding tarps around [the mother],” another Padres fan in attendance explained.

A trio of young Padres fans said the news of the baby boy being born at the ballpark was very cool.

“I’ve heard about babies being born on airplanes, but never at a ballpark,” one of the boys told NBC 7. “You’re legendary if you’re born at a ballpark.”

The enthusiastic young fans said they have big expectations for the little slugger.

“He’s legendary! He’s going to be a ball player,” said another boy.

Padres outfielder Travis Jankowski – who scored the game winning run Thursday night – was also happy to hear about the baby’s birth at Petco Park.

“Two pretty cool things that happened in one night,” Jankowski told NBC 7. “That guy might be our good luck charm. We gotta get him season tickets.”

The player said the baby is an honorary, mini member of the team now.

“That’s awesome. He’s a Padre!” Jankoswki added.

A security guard at the ballpark told NBC 7 the baby was due Friday, so the mother nearly hit a home run with the accuracy of her due date.

The San Diego Padres gave a shoutout to the newborn on the team's Twitter feed after the game, posting: "Great crowd of 31,137 were here tonight -- of course that doesn't include the baby boy that was born @PetcoPark around the third inning."

Photo Credit: Monica Garske
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<![CDATA[Nats Game Could Hit Prime Pope Traffic]]> Thu, 24 Sep 2015 13:56:50 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/20150922+Nationals.jpg

The Nats took a rain check -- and that could mean major gridlock for fans.

Rain showers on Monday night resulted in the postponement of the series opener between the Nationals and the Orioles. The game has been rescheduled for Thursday at 4:05 p.m.; the game is the last in this three-game set and has playoff implications for both fading teams.

The new game time coincides directly with Pope Francis' plans to depart from Joint Base Andrews in Prince George's County. Fans should be wary of several road detours and closures as well as crowded Metro trains as they make their way to Nationals Park.

Driving is expected to be tough, with backups stretching beyond the District’s borders. If driving, plan on leaving early, and continue to check in with News4 to determine where and when roads will be closed.

For those planning on taking the Metro on Thursday, expect big crowds and potential waits at fare machines. Try to avoid the east side of the Red Line, and if possible, avoid transferring. (Read more pro tips for commuters here.)

The Green Line will be accessible in order to reach Navy Yard-Ballpark, and more cars have been added to trains both Wednesday and Thursday. Still, expect jam-packed cars.

Check in with News4 to learn the latest traffic updates and transit delays.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Pittsburgh Pilgrims to Wave "Faithful Towel" at Papal Mass]]> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 12:12:04 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/pitt+pope+gear.png

You're in Pennsylvania. It's a Sunday in late September. A sea of black-and-gold-clad people waves towels in your general direction. But you're not at a Pittsburgh Steelers game — you're at Sunday Mass on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

Over 1,000 people will travel to Philadelphia from the Steel City for the World Meeting of Families and Papal Visit. 

Helene Paharik, Associate General Secretary at the Diocese of Pittsburgh, re-imagined a Pittsburgh classic, the Terrible Towel, which gained fame from its use at Steelers games, as the Faithful Towel. 

"I wanted our pilgrims to be able to spot one another in the crowd. And just as importantly, for all the folks watching the Papal Mass on TV, I wanted them to be able to spot Pittsburgh in the crowd," Paharik said.

As for what those pilgrims will wear while they are in the City of Brotherly Love? The choice is obvious. Expect to see lots of Pittsburgh's famous colors.

"Hundreds of Pittsburghers in black and gold, waving their Faithful Towels just might be visible in the crowd of over one million," Paharik said. "On game days, everyone in Pittsburgh is decked out in black and yellow. Office workers, cashiers at the grocery stores, nurses, you name it. Nothing says Pittsburgh better than black and gold."

The Diocese is also making T-shirt jerseys featuring an image of the Pope on the front and "Francis" and the number 1 on the back (because he is the first Pope to take that name).

Pilgrims from Pittsburgh will do more than just see the Pope during their stay — they will also help out around the community. 

"It’s not just about seeing Pope Francis for our group. It's about listening to what he is telling us," Paharik said.

The Pittsburghers will fund a meal for and donate winter clothes to the homeless of Philadelphia. They will also work with other Catholics to prepare 200,000 emergency meals to send to families in need in West Africa through Catholic Relief Services.

Photo Credit: Helene Paharik/Diocese of Pittsburgh]]>
<![CDATA[Stock Car Driver Dies After 'Medical Event' During Victory Lap]]> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 04:42:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-51262465.jpg

A veteran stock car driver died after suffering a medical emergency during a victory lap at Devil's Bowl Speedway in West Haven, Vermont, track officials said.

Leon Gonyo, 63, of Chazy, New York, won the speedway's final asphalt NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Modified race of the season on Saturday night — but never got to collect the checkered flag, NBC News reported.

Gonyo was unresponsive as he was taken by ambulance to Rutland Regional Medical Center and never regained consciousness, Justin St. Louis, a spokesman for Devil's Bowl Speedway, told NBC News on Monday.

The cause of death has not been determined. St. Louis said most of Gonyo's symptoms suggested that he suffered a stroke.

<![CDATA[Jones Scores Twice, Redskins Beat Rams, 24-10]]> Mon, 21 Sep 2015 11:23:16 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/180*120/4893254541.jpg


A fast start by the Washington Redskins, a third quarter rally by the St. Louis Rams set up a long drive in the fourth quarter by Washington to seal the deal and the win, 24-10.


Rooking running back Matt Jones ran for 123 yards and two touchdowns, the last one coming late in the fourth quarter to give the Redskins a 14 point lead. Quarterback Kirk Cousins was 23 or 27 for 203 yards and a touchdown. Running back Alfred Morris also ran for 61 yards.

After exchanging defensive stops in the first quarter, Jones broke free for 39 yards and a touchdown to give the Redskins an early 7-0 lead. Jones was set up after Morris ran 35 yards on the previous rush to give the team a shot at the end zone.

The Rams couldn’t generate anything on offense, and the Redskins were able to drive down before stalling after a penalty. New kicker Dustin Hopkins drilled a 46 yard field goal to make it 10-0 as the first quarter ended.

The Rams managed 29 yards passing and 7 yards rushing in the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Redskins defense remained stout and the offense unleashed the running combo of Morris and Jones. An up tempo attack took the Redskins into scoring range late in the quarter, capped off by a 4 yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Pierre Garcon. The drive lasted 7:44 and 82 yards to extend the lead to 17 points, 17-0.

The Rams were 1-7 on 3rd down conversions in the first half and only managed 72 yards. The last time the Redskins shut out an opponent in the first half was four years ago.

Cousins had 115 yards and a touchdown, while Jones rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown and Morris ran for 52 in the first half.

The Rams were able to take their first possession of the second half and get three points from a Greg Zuerlein 52 yard field goal. A defensive stop and a bit of trickery later and Rams quarterback Nick Foles connected with wide receiver Kenny Britt to trim the lead to seven points.

In contrast, the Redskins offense fumbled away the football on their opening possession of the half and then went 3-and-out on their next series. They closed the third quarter with a series of rushes and pass catches by Jones. The quarter ended with the Redskins leading, 17-10.

The fourth quarter saw an exchange of punts between the two teams. The Redskins were able to chew up a long drive in the middle of the quarter, using up more than seven minutes and sealing the deal with another touchdown run by Jones.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Top NFL Photos: Week 2]]> Tue, 22 Sep 2015 04:44:39 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-489500840.jpg See the top photos from Week 2 NFL games.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>