Review Category : National Sports

History-Making Baseball Analyst Jessica Mendoza: ‘I Don’t Take It for Granted’

ABC/Heidi Gutman(NEW YORK) — Jessica Mendoza made history last year by becoming the first female analyst in Major League Baseball post-season history but she says her favorite memory is made each time she gets into the announcer’s booth.

“Honestly, I get giddy,” she said of working alongside Aaron Boone and Dan Shulman on ESPN. “As much as you want that one moment, it’s every time I’m in the booth.”

“I don’t take it for granted,” Mendoza, 35, said Friday on ABC News’ Good Morning America.

One memory that stood out for Mendoza was calling a no-hitter during her first-ever Sunday night baseball game. This Sunday, she’ll call another history-making game on Sunday Night Baseball when the New York Mets face the Kansas City Royals.

“The first time in baseball history that we have the rematch of the World Series,” Mendoza said. “We have both starting pitchers from Game 5 so it’s really like a Game 6 for this game.”

“I think about these two teams, the emotion, how good they are and they’re going to kick off the season,” she said.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Terrance Knighton Agrees to One-Year Deal with Patriots

Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton is headed to Massachusetts.

Sources tell ESPN that Knighton agreed to a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the New England Patriots.

On Thursday, the 29-year-old tweeted, “Decision made! Turning focus to my brother having a baby girl any minute now….. Thank you to everyone for making this fun.”

He later tweeted a photo of himself in a Patriots helmet.

— Terrance Knighton (@MisterRoast98) March 31, 2016

Last year, Knighton was with the Washington Redskins and had 29 tackles and 1.5 sacks for the season. He sat down with the team earlier this week but did not sign a contract.

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The Final Four: Who’s Favored to Win?

Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — The NCAA men’s basketball tournament is now down to four teams, and Las Vegas oddsmakers are weighing-in on who will win it all.

So who’s the favorite to take home the title?

North Carolina at two-to-three, says Station Casinos’ Chuck Esposito. The Tar Heels are followed by Villanova at two-to-one and Oklahoma at five-to-two.

The long-shot, Esposito says, is Syracuse at eight-to-one. But, he notes, the team was a much longer shot when the tournament kicked off.

“When the 64 teams were announced, Syracuse was 200-to-one. So if you’re sitting with a ticket on the Orange at 200-to-one, I’m sure you have a big smile on your face right now,” he says.

The Final Four tips-off Saturday night in Houston with the Villanova Wildcats against the Oklahoma Sooners, followed by the Syracuse Orange against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

“Villanova’s a two-point favorite” in the earlier game, says Esposito. “And North Carolina’s a nine-and-a-half-point favorite” in the later game.

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Sprint Cup Series Visits Martinsville This Weekend

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images(RIDGEWAY, Va.) — After taking Easter weekend off, the Sprint Cup drivers are back in action this Sunday.

They’ll hit the track at Martinsville Speedway in Virginia for the STP 500. The race will air on FS1, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

Kevin Harvick enters the event as the Cup points leader. He has an 11-point edge over Jimmie Johnson.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 3/31/16

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


Cleveland 107, Brooklyn 87
Chicago 103, Houston 100
Orlando 114, Indiana 94
New Orleans 101, Denver 95
Oklahoma City 119, L-A Clippers 117
Portland 116, Boston 109


N-Y Islanders 4, Columbus 3
Pittsburgh 5, Nashville 2
Carolina 4, N-Y Rangers 3
Buffalo 4, Toronto 1
Montreal 3, Tampa Bay 0
Florida 3, New Jersey 2
Ottawa 3, Minnesota 2
Dallas 4, Arizona 1
Los Angeles 3, Calgary 0
Vancouver 4, San Jose 2

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City of Brotherly Love to Officially Apologize to Late Jackie Robinson for 1947 Racism

Hulton Archive/Getty Images(PHILADELPHIA) — Major Baseball League’s first black player is pitched to receive a posthumous apology for the bitter racism he endured 69 years ago during a visit to the City of Brotherly Love.

Philadelphia’s City Council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday to officially apologize to the late Jackie Robinson who made MBL history on April 15, 1947.

“Unfortunately in Philadelphia, Jackie Robinson experienced some of the most virulent racism and hate of his career,” Councilwoman Helen Gym, who introduced the resolution, told ABC News. “Our colleagues decided to introduce this resolution to celebrate Jackie Robinson.”

Robinson was refused service by a local hotel in the city and was taunted by Philadelphia Phillies manager Ben Chapman. Opposing players would hurl racial slurs every time Robinson went up to bat.

The city will honor Robinson’s achievements on April 15, 2016. His 93-year-old widow, Rachel, is expected to accept the apology.

“42,” a 2013 biographical film that details how Robinson was treated in Philadelphia, was a box office success.

Robinson died in 1972 at the age of 53.

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Man With Top March Madness Picks Forgot to Choose Champ

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Out of the thousands of people who have spent the last few weeks feverishly poring over their NCAA March Madness brackets, James Kiki was not one of them. Yet, Kiki is currently tied for first place out of over 500,000 brackets submitted to Yahoo.

But he won’t be claiming the $50,000 final prize because he made one fatal mistake: he forgot to choose the national champion.

The South Sudanese native has lived in Syracuse for the last 15 years and filled out his first bracket ever on a whim in pursuit of Yahoo’s $50,000 grand prize.

Kiki told ABC News that he filled out his bracket on March 17 and had been keeping up with the NCAA Tournament, but forgot about the picks he’d made until last Monday while he was at work.

“I checked on it and I had gotten all these messages saying I messed up,” he said.

Kiki correctly predicted seven out of the Elite 8 teams and he correctly chose all four of the Final Four teams. He chose North Carolina and Villanova to face off in the title game and even made a guess at the final score.

But the option to choose an NCAA champion was towards the top of the bracket and Kiki says nothing on the webpage prompted him to choose a winner or indicated that he hadn’t. “It’s funny how they let me submit it.”

Through all of the teasing he’s endured at the hands of his friends, Kiki said that he finds a little bit of comfort in his slight bragging rights. He might not be able to claim the grand prize, “but at least my bracket made it somewhere,” he said.

So who did Kiki think would be crowned champs? “I was gonna have Villanova beating North Carolina,” he said, “but now I’m rooting for Syracuse to win anyways.”

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Lamar Odom Returns to Basketball Court as a Fan

Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — Lamar Odom stepped back into Staples Center for the first time since he was hospitalized last October — this time to cheer on his former team, the Los Angeles Lakers.

The 36-year-old former NBA star sat courtside to watch the Lakers’ 102-100 overtime win over the Miami Heat Wednesday night.

Courtside tickets came courtesy of his good friend and former teammate Kobe Bryant.

After the game, Odom hung out with Bryant and caught up with another former teammate, Dwyane Wade of the Heat.

Later, Wade tweeted, “Made losing this game not matter ‘as much’ after getting a chance to spend time with my guy LO.”

Odom has been in recovery since he was found unconscious at a legal Nevada brothel last October, after reportedly suffering several strokes and kidney failure. He was released from the hospital in January.

“In Vegas, he was [on death’s doorstep],” Bryant later told an ESPN reporter. “To see him walking around now, like nothing happened. It’s really a miracle. It’s beyond good to see him.”

Odom’s only other public appearance was in February at Kanye West’s fashion show in New York.

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Lakers Rookie D’Angelo Russell Apologizes over Video

Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(LOS ANGELES) — Los Angeles Lakers rookie point guard D’Angelo Russell apologized Wednesday after reportedly creating tension in the locker room over a video that surfaced showing a private conversation between him and one of his teammates.

“I feel as sick as possible,” Russell told reporters Wednesday before the team’s 102-100 victory over the Miami Heat. “Been asked 110 times, and my answer and feeling stay same.”

The video shows Russell asking Lakers small forward Nick Young questions about Young being with other women. Young, who appears to not know he is being recorded in the video, got engaged to Australian rapper Iggy Azalea last June.

Sources told ESPN the video has affected the team’s dynamic and could be the reason behind the Lakers’ 123-75 loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday.

Ahead of Wednesday’s tip-off, Russell received boos from the crowd when the starting lineup was announced.

“I can’t really show my face anywhere without people hating me right now,” Russell said after the win. “I don’t know. I try to handle it the right way and remember why I’m here, which is to play basketball.”

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US Women’s Team Files Complaint Against US Soccer over Wages

Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Carli Lloyd’s hat trick led the U.S. women’s national soccer team to a World Cup championship in 2015. Now, she — along with four of her teammates — is shooting for equal pay.

“I think we’ve proven our worth over the years,” Lloyd said on NBC’s Today show Thursday. “Just coming off a World Cup win, the pay disparity between the men and women is just too large. We want to continue to fight. The generation of players before us fought. And now it’s our job to keep on fighting.”

Co-captains Lloyd and Becky Sauerbrunn, goalkeeper Hope Solo, forward Alex Morgan and midfielder Megan Rapinoe have filed a complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They say that despite the women’s team having generated millions more in revenue last year compared to the men’s team, they are getting paid 40 percent less.

“Every single day we sacrifice just as much as the men,” Morgan told Today. “We work just as much. We endure just as much physically and emotionally. Our fans really do appreciate us every day for that. We saw that with the high of last summer. We’re really asking, and demanding now, that our federation, and our employer really, step up and appreciate us as well.”

The women’s team has also won more than the men.

“We are the best in the world, have three World Cup Championships, four Olympic Championships, and the (men) get paid more to just show up than we get paid to win major championships,” Solo said on Today.

The U.S. Soccer Federation responded to the complaint Thursday, saying in a statement it was “disappointed about this action.”

“We understand the Women’s National Team Players Association is filing a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against U.S. Soccer,” the statement read. “While we have not seen this complaint and can’t comment on the specifics of it, we are disappointed about this action. We have been a world leader in women’s soccer and are proud of the commitment we have made to building the women’s game in the United States over the past 30 years.”

Morgan also noted on the Today show that she and her teammates are seeking equality across the board.

“We want to play in top-notch, grass-only facilities like the US Men’s National Team,” she said. “We want to have equitable and comfortable travel accommodations and we simply want equal treatment.”

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