Review Category : National Sports

Michael Strahan Joins “Good Morning America” Full-Time, Leaving “Live”

ABC/Rick Rowell(NEW YORK) — New York Giants great Michael Strahan will be leaving his co-hosting role on Live with Kelly and Michael to join ABC News’ Good Morning America full-time, according to ABC News President James Goldston.

The Hall of Famer had been doing guest spots on GMA for the past couple years, but the move will pave the way for a permanent position. The shift will happen in September.

“Over the past two years on GMA, Michael’s proven to be a tireless and versatile broadcaster with an incredible ability to connect with people, from veterans and all kinds of newsmakers to a host of modern American cultural icons,” Goldston said in a statement Tuesday.

Strahan, 44, joined Live in 2012 after making numerous guest spots, where he was a fan favorite, alongside co-host Kelly Ripa, who has been with the morning show since the early 2000s.

LIVE will kick off the search for a new co-host when the new season begins in the fall,” Goldston added.

Strahan, who will also continue as co-host on NFL on Fox, said he looks “forward to continuing to work with the incredible team at GMA. It is an exciting opportunity to be able to bring unique stories and voices to the audience.”

“My time with LIVE with Kelly and Michael has been transformative, and my departure will be bittersweet. Kelly has been an unbelievable partner, and I am so thankful to her and the entire team. I am extremely grateful for the amazing support I’ve received from all of the fans,” he added.

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Exclusive: Why Adam LaRoche Has ‘Zero Regrets’ Walking Away from Chicago White Sox

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Adam LaRoche said he decided to resign from the Chicago White Sox about 20 minutes after “a short, heated conversation” in which he was told he could no longer bring his 14-year-old son to the team clubhouse, telling ABC News in an exclusive interview that he didn’t hold any grudges and wouldn’t rule out returning to baseball.

The first baseman had played 12 seasons for seven different teams and his son, Drake, has been with him practically all the time. Drake even had a locker right next to his dad’s in the White Sox’s clubhouse.

LaRoche, 36, acknowledged that exceptions had probably been made to allow Drake’s presence and that he knew it could come to an end at any time. Nevertheless, he said he was “mad at the time” when Ken Williams, the team’s vice president, made the decision.

“I don’t hold a grudge. I don’t hate anybody over there. You know, it just made my decision easy,” LaRoche, alongside his son, told ABC News’ T.J. Holmes, adding, “Honestly, it’s not the end of the world to me. And I thank my parents for that. The way I was raised. Because baseball — and I’ve said it before, I don’t want to be defined by this game. I know there’s a lot more to life.”

Williams had previously addressed Drake’s presence with LaRoche, the player said, adding that he assumed Williams was referring to his son’s presence during the regular season, so he kept bringing Drake with him for spring training. In his next conversation with Williams, LaRoche said the team’s vice president told him, “’Enough’s enough.’”

LaRoche acknowledged that he had been playing poorly, and said he understood if Williams had wanted his full focus to be on the game. “He may have thought [Drake’s presence] was a distraction. It’s absolutely reasonable. That’s why I say I really can’t, you know, looking back now, I can’t blame him,” he said.

At the time, though, LaRoche took exception to Williams’ directive, saying, “All I could hear was … ‘I don’t want your son around.'”

Drake, 14, said he felt it was “normal” to be at the ballpark with his father every day. While his father trained, Drake would clean the other players’ cleats and run other errands, including washing cars and retrieving items from players’ lockers.

“I vacuumed sometimes,” Drake said, adding that he misses his father’s former teammates, whom he viewed as his own friends. “They’re awesome.”

LaRoche’s exit from the team meant he gave up the $13 million left on his contract for this season. LaRoche has already earned an estimated $70 million in his career, according to ESPN.

In an interview with Fox Sports after LaRoche’s resignation, Williams said he asked the player to “dial it back” when it came to bringing Drake to White Sox practices and the team’s clubhouse.

“All I’m asking you to do with regard to bringing your kid to the ballpark is dial it back,” Williams said he told LaRoche. “I don’t think he should be here 100 percent of the time – and he has been here 100 percent, every day, in the clubhouse.”

LaRoche said his teammates have been supportive of his decision, adding that some of them were closer to Drake than they were to him.

Being available for Drake during his formative years was essential, LaRoche said.

“Our kids are going to follow in our footsteps, good or bad. And you know, we got a small window here, a very small window here, to turn them into the men that they’re going to be. And I don’t want to miss six months of that window, even for $13 million.”

LaRoche said he didn’t tell Drake that he was at the center of his retirement decision. He simply told him there had been “’a change in policy. They’re cracking down on kids coming — not just you.’”

LaRoche and his family — Drake, daughter Montana and wife Jennifer – are now on a road trip across the country.

“This has been nice — just the four of us, cooped up in an R.V. We’re going to find how much we love each other, or hate each other; one way or the other. So we’re having a blast,” he said.

After they’re done, they’ll return to their ranch in Kansas and see what happens next.

“One of the things I probably thought the longest on was making sure that, if I did this, that he would never feel like this was on his shoulders,” LaRoche said of Drake. “I think he knows, deep down, that baseball was never, like, my life or my world or everything to me.”

In addition to devoting time to his community and his businesses, LaRoche also plans to continue his work fighting child trafficking in Asia. He spent 10 days undercover in the red light districts of southeast Asia, working with a non-profit organization to help victims of sex trafficking.

“I think having my own kid, having two kids of my own, especially a 12-year-old daughter, it’s impossible not to picture, you know, ‘What if this was my daughter?,'” LaRoche said.

When asked if baseball wasn’t as important to him after the trip, LaRoche replied, “It wasn’t at all.”

LaRoche, a devout Christian, stands by his decision to resign, saying he believes his action was directed by “our creator.”

Asked about a possible return to baseball, LaRoche replied: “I’m going to leave that up to the Lord. And if, for some reason, he wants me to go play again, then I won’t be able to turn that down.”

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Scoreboard Roundup — 4/18/16

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Here are the latest scores and winners:

INTERLEAGUE

Minnesota 7, Milwaukee 4 (5 1/2 innings, called for rain)

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Toronto 4, Boston 3
L.A. Angels 7, Chi White Sox 0

NATIONAL LEAGUE

N-Y Mets 5, Philadelphia 2
Colorado 5, Cincinnati 1
Miami 6, Washington 1
Chi Cubs 5, St. Louis 0
Arizona 9, San Francisco 7

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION PLAYOFFS

Toronto 98, Indiana 87
Dallas 85, Oklahoma City 84
Golden State 115, Houston 106

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE PLAYOFFS

Washington 6, Philadelphia 1
Minnesota 5, Dallas 3
Los Angeles 2, San Jose 1

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Warriors’ Stephen Curry Out for Game 2 Against Rockets

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images(OAKLAND, Calif.) — Stephen Curry was out with a right ankle injury for Game 2 of the playoff series against the Rockets Monday night.

The Golden State Warriors guard first injured his ankle during Saturday’s 105-78 victory against Houston when he landed awkwardly in the first half.

Curry, who has a history of ankle problems, tried to return later in that game only to be taken out by coach Steve Kerr.

After Saturday’s game, he said he would be able to play Monday: “Right now, don’t see a scenario where I’ll be out.”

Curry leads the NBA with 30.1 points per game.

The Warriors previously defeated Houston 114-110 in December when they were without Curry and with Klay Thompson, who scored 38 points in that game.

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Buffalo Bills Coach Rex Ryan Introduces Donald Trump at NY Rally

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images(BUFFALO, N.Y.) — Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan introduced Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump at a rally on Monday night.

“What I admire about him is, you know what, he’ll say what’s on his mind,” he said at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. “And so many times, you’ll see people, a lot of people, want to say the same things, but there’s a big difference. They don’t have the courage to say it.”

Earlier in the day, Ryan said his speech was not an endorsement.

“I’m gonna introduce him, that’s a true statement,” he said at a press conference according to ESPN. “But I’m not gonna say who my endorsement is and all that stuff.”

The Bills said in a statement that they do not endorse political candidates.

“It is a personal decision by Rex to introduce Donald Trump at this evening’s rally. The Bills organization does not endorse political candidates, and so he is not representing the organization at tonight’s event,” the statement said according to ESPN.

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Boston Marathon Survivor Ran 2016 Race as ‘Giant Thank You’

iStock/Thinkstock(BOSTON) — Three years ago, when terrorist bombs rained down on the Boston Marathon, Adrianne Haslet-Davis and her husband were injured while on the sidelines.

Haslet-Davis had to have her lower left leg amputated. She had been a professional ballroom dancer at the time of the 2013 blast.

Monday, she returned to the 26.2 mile race — this time as a competitor.

“I wanted to say a giant thank you to anyone who’s ever reached out, given a hug or a letter or kind words to myself and all the other survivors,” she told ABC affiliate WCVB-TV in Boston.

Haslet-Davis, who is running to raise funds for the Limbs for Life Foundation, has received tons of support. Even New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady sent words of encouragement her way.

“Two years ago I was lucky enough to meet Adrianne Haslet, a survivor of the 2013 Marathon bombings,” he wrote Monday on Facebook. “She’s on the course now, running the race for the first time — with a prosthetic leg. Adrianne thank you for being my inspiration!! #?BostonStrong?.”

Haslet-Davis is slated to cross the finish line Monday evening and expects it will be an emotional experience.

“I just hope I have enough hydration to cry and run at the same time,” she said.

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Appeals Court Upholds Concussion Settlement

Lorenzo Bevilaqua / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — A federal appeals court has upheld the NFL concussion settlement that covers more than 20,000 retired ex-football players.

This means those players will potentially be paid millions of dollars for neuro-cognitive illnesses.

The retirees who appealed are worried about a future diagnosis of the degenerative brain disease CTE that wouldn’t be covered.

The appellate judges said “though not perfect,” the settlement “is fair.”

The judges called the settlement a “testament to the players, researchers and advocates who have worked to expose the true humam costs of a sport so many love.”

The decision could cost the NFL hundreds of millions of dollars. However, at the same time, it would prevent embarrassing lawsuits that lay bare the human toll of playing professional football.

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Minnesota Timberwolves Eye Jeff Van Gundy and Tom Thibodeau

Scott Clarke / ESPN(NEW YORK) — The Minnesota Timberwolves have their eyes on former New York Knicks and Houston Rockets coach Jeff Van Gundy, according to ESPN.

ESPN reports the Timberwolves will interview Van Gundy as part of their rapid search for a new coach, according to league sources.

Sources told ESPN that the team conducted a similar interview with former Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who made his NBA coaching debut as a Timberwolves assistant in the 1989-1990 season.

Thibodeau and Van Gundy emerged as the top candidates for the job in Minnesota.

The search comes after the Timberwolves fired interim coach Sam Mitchel in April.

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Fan Hit by Foul Ball at Tampa Bay Rays Game

iStock/Thinkstock(TAMPA, Fla.) — Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Steven Souza Jr. is calling the odds of what happened during Friday’s night game against the Chicago White Sox “astronomical.”

Souza’s foul ball sailed into the stands through a tiny gap between the stadium’s protective netting, hitting a 63-year-old woman in the left eye. The game at Tropicana Field stopped as the woman, who the Tampa Bay Times reported suffered facial fractures, was taken out on a stretcher.

Souza was visibly distraught, even walking into the stands to check on her.

“That woman’s health is more important than my results in the game,” he told reporters after the game.

This is not the first time a spectator has been struck in the seats. Last year, one Detroit fan left the field in a neck brace after a foul ball hit her in the head. At Fenway Park last June, one woman was severely injured after a broken bat flew into the stands. Then just one month later at the same stadium, Stephanie Wapenski was struck square in the face by a foul ball.

Major League Baseball made a recommendation following last year’s rash of injuries, suggesting that stadiums install protective netting between the dugouts for any field-level seats within 70 feet of home plate to increase fan safety, something the Rays did do at the beginning of the season.

But in pictures taken by a Tampa Bay Times reporter, you can see the gap in the netting. By Saturday night, however, an extra piece of protective netting was installed to close the space.

“Even netting is not a cure-all in all cases,” said USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan.

Tampa Bay Rays released a statement saying, “Our thoughts are with the injured fan and her family and steps have been taken to ensure this unfortunate incident will not be repeated.”

Souza said he plans to visit the woman in the hospital.

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