<![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 Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:22:34 -0400 Fri, 03 Jul 2015 18:22:34 -0400 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Contador Eyes 3rd Tour de France Title]]> Thu, 02 Jul 2015 20:40:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/Alberto-Contador-2-July-2015.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He has thought about nothing else since the Giro ended.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contador will be nervous, however.

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Gronkowskis Play Ball With Military Kids at Andrews]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 20:51:44 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/gronkowski+at+joint+base+andrews.jpg Members of the football-playing Gronkowskis played with military children at a camp at Joint Base Andrews.

Photo Credit: NBCWashington]]>
<![CDATA[Racing Presidents Welcome Calvin]]> Wed, 01 Jul 2015 16:05:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2015-07-01_1402.jpg

When President William Howard Taft was added to an exclusive, Mount Rushmore-only lineup of Racing Presidents more than two years ago, it was big news. There was hype. There was anticipation.

Leave it to a president nicknamed "Silent Cal" to just kind of show up.

The Washington Nationals revealed with little fanfare on Twitter that Calvin Coolidge will be the latest to join their team of presidential mascots Wednesday, making the announcement with a photo showing the 30th president (in mascot form, that is) kicking back in a seat at Nats Park.

"Ladies & gents, please meet the newest #Nats Racing President: Calvin Coolidge!" read the accompanying text. "Welcome to The Show, Calvin."

The team of Racing Presidents was just four players strong when it debuted in 2006, comprised of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson ("Tom"), Abraham Lincoln ("Abe") and Theodore Roosevelt ("Teddy"), all four of whom are depicted on Mount Rushmore.

Taft, otherwise known as "Bill," was added to the lineup in the 2013-2014 season. The real (non-mascot) President Taft was the first president to throw out a pitch on Opening Day.

But why Calvin Coolidge?

According to the White House Historical Association, Coolidge was also a big supporter of baseball, calling it "our national game." He attended 10 games as president, including four World Series games -- still the most of any sitting president, says the historic association.

Coolidge threw out six first pitches for the Washington Senators, including pitches at the 1924 and 1925 World Series. And on Oct. 1, 1924, he addressed the Washington Senators on the White House lawn after they won their first American League pennant.

Some of "Calvin's" fellow teammates welcomed him via Twitter on Wednesday.

"Did you hear the news?! Calvin Coolidge has himself a pair of running shoes," Teddy tweeted. "See you on the track, Calvin!" 

"Hey, hey! No longer the new kid. Our newest competition, Calvin. Think he can keep up with us, @Teddy26Nats??" wrote Bill.

Photo Credit: Washington Nationals
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<![CDATA[Washington Spirits Star Bounces Back From World Cup Cut]]> Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:58:43 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000011007558_1200x675_473788995510.jpg Washington Spirits star Crystal Dunn was one of the last players cut from the. U.S. World Cup team, and she tells News4's Carol Maloney being left off that team hurt.]]> <![CDATA[Prince George's Co. High School Celebrates First-Ever NBA Draft Pick]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 19:22:52 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/062915+Marcus+Thornton.jpg Bishop McNamara High School in Prince George's County is celebrating after graduate Marcus Thornton was drafted 45th overall by the Boston Celtics. "Overnight success didn't come in one night," Thornton told News4's Carol Maloney. "It's a lot of long summers, long days putting the work in."

Photo Credit: NBC Washington]]>
<![CDATA[David Aldridge Talks NBA Draft Free Agency With Carol Maloney]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 22:12:00 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000010997469_1200x675_473238083546.jpg TNT NBA analyst David Aldridge spoke with News4's Carol Maloney about free agency and his predictions for the Washington Wizards.]]> <![CDATA[NBA Dream Comes True for U.Va.'s Justin Anderson]]> Mon, 29 Jun 2015 12:18:34 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/draftpick21.jpg Former Virginia Cavalier and Montrose Christian star Justin Anderson is heading to the NBA. News4’s Carol Maloney was with the Anderson family as Anderson was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, with the 21st pick in the NBA Draft. "I'm just ecstatic right now. So many tears of joy," he said.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Marlins' Stanton Out With Fracture in Hand]]> Sun, 28 Jun 2015 02:59:21 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-478685206.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Kyle Arrington Football Camp For Kids]]> Sat, 27 Jun 2015 20:54:41 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000010978696_1200x675_472446019819.jpg Ravens Defensiveback Kyle Arrington holds football camp in Brandywine, Maryland. News4's Jason Pugh Reports.]]> <![CDATA[World Police and Fire Games Kick Off]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 20:14:54 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000010973907_1200x675_472084547955.jpg The World Police and Fire Games is beginning in our backyard. The games are the second-largest global multi-sport event. News4's Derrick Ward talked to some of the participants.]]> <![CDATA[Future NBA Stars' Fashion Sense Shines at Draft]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 12:47:09 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/NBA+suit+3.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: Getty Images
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<![CDATA[The 2015 NBA Draft First Round Picks]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 14:37:08 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-478518558.jpg The first round of the 2015 NBA Draft at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, New York, has concluded. Click through to see who will be making their professional debut in the 2016-2017 season.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[NBA Dream Comes True for Va.'s Justin Anderson]]> Fri, 26 Jun 2015 00:04:19 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000010960715_1200x675_471564867798.jpg Former Virginia Cavalier and Montrose Christian star Justin Anderson is heading to the NBA. News4’s Carol Maloney was with the Anderson family as Anderson was drafted by the Dallas Mavericks, with the 21st pick in the NBA Draft. "I'm just ecstatic right now. So many tears of joy," he said. ]]> <![CDATA[Mont. County Firefighter Heads to World Police and Fire Games ]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:57:02 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2015-06-25_1153.jpg Montgomery County Firefighter David Lee is trading his fire helmet for a motocross helmet at the World Police and Fire Games, which start Friday.]]> <![CDATA[Pr. George's Corporal Will Bike Into World Police & Fire Games]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 19:58:55 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/2015-06-25_1911.jpg

A corporal and his bike headed into the World Police and Fire Games, which kick off Friday in Fairfax County.

Prince George's County Corporal James Fournier developed his passion for mountain biking after having to fight some weight and high blood pressure issues eight years ago.

"I got into some biking," he said. "I took the police mountain bike course which was about a week long. So after a week of riding, I really developed some skills."

After more than 20 years of military and police service, Fournier will participate in the road race and mountain bike events at the games this year.

Fournier hits the trails on an eight- to 10-mile loop twice a week and says his training and passion fuel his fire to compete.

"My goal is to just give it the best. If i can get something on the top end of it, then that's great. If not, I did my best," he said.

Even Fournier’s son competes nationally, after he introduced his son to the sport.

"I used to ride with him, telling him to pick up his pace and he'd say, 'Aw, Dad.' And now, he's yelling at me, 'Come on, Dad, pick up your pace,'" he said.

The World Police and Fire Games will bring 12,000 competitors from 70 different countries.

<![CDATA["They Don't Own Everything": Yankees Fan Takes on MLB]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 12:36:26 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/yankees+shirts+mlb.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

<![CDATA[Little League World Series Champs Sue League Over Stripped Title ]]> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 00:44:15 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/214*120/tlmd_jrw_stage_igram.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: distractyourface/Instagram]]>
<![CDATA[Another SI cover for Warriors MVP Stephen Curry]]> Wed, 24 Jun 2015 10:09:56 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/208*120/stephhalf.PNG

Warriors MVP Stephen Curry will be featured on the regional cover of Sports Illustrated, the magazine announced on Tuesday.

The Warriors have now been featured on a Sports Illustrated cover five times this season and seven times since 2013.

Curry has now been featured on the cover five times, including three during the Warriors championship season. He was featured on back-to-back regional covers during the playoffs, once after the Western Conference Semifinals against the Grizzlies and then before the NBA Finals against the Cavaliers.

Subscribers and newsstands in Oregon, California, Hawaii, Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Utah and Arizona will receive the Curry cover, which is available starting Tuesday.

The other regional cover features fellow Under Armor rep Jordan Spieth, who won the US Open on Sunday.

<![CDATA[Justin Anderson Talks NBA]]> Tue, 23 Jun 2015 01:04:19 -0400 http://media.nbcwashington.com/images/213*120/WRC_0000000010918493_1200x675_469729859773.jpg Justin Anderson is a projected first round pick in this year’s NBA Draft. The former Montrose Christian and UVA star stops by to chat with News4’s Jason Pugh about his NBA prospects.]]>