Review Category : National Sports

Adam LaRoche Says White Sox Manager Told Him Not to Bring Son to Ballpark ‘At All’

Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images(CHICAGO) — Baseball player Adam LaRoche has broken his silence about his decision to leave the White Sox after being told he couldn’t bring his son to practices as regularly as he had been.

In the wake of the news of LaRoche’s departure, the team’s general manager, Kenny Williams, asserted that he had asked LaRoche not to bring his 14-year-old son Drake to practice every day, but now LaRoche is disputing that account.

“The current situation which arose after White Sox VP Ken Williams recently advised me to significantly scale back the time that my son spent in the clubhouse. Later, I was told not to bring him to the ballpark at all,” LaRoche said in a statement released Friday.

“Upon doing so, I had to make a decision. Do I choose my teammates and my career? Or do I choose my family? The decision was easy, but in no way was it a reflection of how I feel about my teammates, manager, general manager or the club’s owner Jerry Reinsdorf,” LaRoche wrote.

In the lengthy statement, LaRoche said that he had been allowed to bring his son with him to work regularly when he played for both the Washington Nationals and the White Sox.

“It is a privilege I have greatly valued. I have never taken it for granted,” he wrote.

“Prior to signing with the White Sox, my first question to the club concerned my son’s ability to be a part of the team,” LaRoche said, claiming that the club agreed.

Williams said that the arrangement to bring Drake to practice regularly was not a formal part of the contract, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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

LaRoche said there were no problems with him bringing his son to the ballpark during the 2015 season, but that reportedly changed this year.

“My decision to walk away was simply the result of a fundamental disagreement between myself and Ken Williams,” LaRoche said.

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Meet Syrian Swimmer Who Hopes to Represent Refugees at Rio Olympics

iStock/Thinkstock(BERLIN) — Months after fleeing to Europe from war-torn Syria, Yusra Mardini is hoping to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Mardini, 18, is an asylum seeker who lives in a refugee reception center in Berlin, Germany. She’s also a professional swimmer and was identified by the International Olympic Committee as one of 43 potential candidates for a refugee Olympic team.

When she arrived in Berlin with her sister Sarah, the young woman was introduced to a swimming club in Berlin, Wasserfreunde Spandau 04, where a coach agreed to take her on.

“I want to show everybody that it’s hard to arrive at your dreams but it’s not impossible,” Mardini said at a press conference Friday together with her coach, Sven Spannekrebs, and representatives of the German Olympic Sports Confederation.

“Everyone can do it if I can do it; any athlete can do it,” she added.

Mardini said she was hoping to qualify in the 200-meter freestyle. Developing her talent as a swimmer was challenging in Syria, Mardini told the U.N. Refugee Council.

“… Sometimes we couldn’t train because of the war. Or sometimes you had training but there was a bomb in the swimming pool,” she said.

“Many athletes can take her as a role model because she’s so focused on her goals and organizes her life around them,” added Spannekrebs.

Also at the press conference, Michael Schirp, deputy head of media relations and public affairs at the German Olympic Sports Confederation, said there were many high-level elite athletes moving through refugee camps.

“I’m going to make them proud,” Mardini said. “I want to represent all the refugees because I want to show everyone that, after the pain, after the storm, comes calm days. I want to inspire them to do something good in their lives.”

Between five and 10 refugees will be selected for the Olympic team based on specific sporting standards and whether they have official refugee status.

“This will be a symbol of hope for all the refugees in our world, and will make the world better aware of the magnitude of this crisis,” said President of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach told the U.N. General Assembly last October.

The final team is expected to be announced in June.

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Ravens’ Tray Walker in Critical Condition After Motorcycle Crash

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images(BALTIMORE) — Baltimore Ravens cornerback Tray Walker remains hospitalized in critical condition following a motorcycle accident in Florida Thursday night, according to the team.

Walker, 23, was riding a dirt bike around 7:50 p.m. when he collided with a Ford Escape in Miami-Dade County, police said. The cornerback didn’t have his headlights on and was wearing dark clothes.

Police said the driver of the vehicle remained on scene and cooperated with authorities. Walker, meanwhile, was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

“This is devastating news,” Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said Thursday. “Our prayers and hopes are with Tray and his family tonight.”

Walker was drafted by Baltimore last year in the fourth round.

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March Madness: Only 0.1% of Brackets Remain Perfect

Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images(NEW YORK) — Only 0.1 percent of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament brackets remain perfect after the first day of game play.

According to ESPN, just 14,525 out of approximately 13 million brackets went 16 for 16 on Thursday.

The first day of the tournament brought several upsets, including 12-seeds Yale and Arkansas-Little Rock beating 5-seeds Baylor and Purdue, respectively; and 11-seeds Gonzaga and Wichita State besting 6-seeds Seton Hall and Arizona, respectively.

Overall, the better seeded teams only took nine out of the 16 contests.

The first round of the tournament continues on Friday.

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Tony Bennett Says He’s OK After Coach with Same Name Collapses

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Tony Bennett the singer was doing better than Tony Bennett the basketball coach on Thursday.

University of Virginia Cavaliers men’s basketball coach Tony Bennett collapsed from dehydration during his team’s NCAA Tournament game Thursday afternoon against Hampton. Apparently, this resulted in confusion on social media, with some people wondering whether the other Tony Bennett was feeling ill.

The singer quickly reassured fans on Twitter, writing, “I wanted to let all my fans know that Im ok. Glad to hear UVA coach Tony Bennett is fine after his fall. Congrats @UVAMensHoops on the win!”

Indeed, the Cavaliers won their game, 81-45.

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Sprint Cup Series in California This Weekend

Jared C. Tilton(FONTANA, Calif.) — The Sprint Cup Series is on the West Coast this weekend.

The drivers will be at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California, this Sunday for the Auto Club 400. Fox’s coverage of the race will begin at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time.

Kevin Harvick and Kyle Busch are tied atop the point standings entering the race. They each have 154 points.

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Scoreboard Roundup — 3/17/16

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

NATIONAL BASKETBALL ASSOCIATION

OT Toronto 101, Indiana 94
Washington 99, Philadelphia 94
Charlotte 109, Miami 106
Chicago 118, Brooklyn 102
Atlanta 116, Denver 98
Milwaukee 96, Memphis 86
San Antonio 118, Portland 110
Utah 103, Phoenix 69

NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE

Pittsburgh 4, Carolina 2
Detroit 3, Columbus 1
New Jersey 7, Minnesota 4
Florida 4, Toronto 1
Nashville 4, N-Y Islanders 2
Dallas 4, Tampa Bay 3
Arizona 3, San Jose 1
N-Y Rangers 1, Los Angeles 1

TOP-25 COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYOFFS

(1) Kansas 105, Austin Peay 79
(3) North Carolina 83, Florida Gulf Coast 67
(4) Virginia 81, Hampton 45
(10) Miami 79 Buffalo, 72
(10) Kentucky 85, Stony Brook 57
2OT UALR 85, (12) Purdue 83
(13) Utah 80, Fresno St. 69
(14) Indiana 99, Chattanooga 74
Wichita St. 65, (17) Arizona 55
(19) Duke 93, UNC Wilmington 85
Gonzaga 68, (20) Seton Hall 52
Yale 79, (21) Baylor 75
(22) Iowa St. 94, Iona 81

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Kobe Bryant’s 2016 All-Star Jersey Draws $100,000 at Auction

Travis Bell/ESPN Images(LOS ANGELES) — Kobe Bryant’s 2016 All-Star jersey that he wore for only 25 minutes of play of the NBA All-Star Game sold Thursday night for $100,040.

The jersey now holds the record for a peice of memorabilia sold on NBA’s auction website.

The previos record was held by LeBron James wore in his first game back to Cleveland at the start of the 2014-15 season, which sold for $50,040, according to ESPN.

Bryant was the leading vote getter and playing in his 18th and final All-Star Game.

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NFL Moving Forward with Ejection Rule Idea

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — The National Football Legaue is going ahead with a plan to create a rule that would require an automatic ejection for players charged with two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in a game, ESPN reports.

The proposal will be discussed next week at an annual meeting of NFL owners. It was originally a form of suggestion made by league commissioner Roger Goodell in February, according to ESPN.

The list of penalties was narrowed from all personal fouls to a handful of violations. If the proposal was in place for this past season, only two players would have been ejected, according to ESPN.

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Running Back Chris Johnson Resigns with Arizona Cardinals

Scott Clarke/ESPN Images(TEMPE, Ariz.) — The Arizona Cardinals have agreed to a deal that will keep their Johnson & Johnson backfield intact, ESPN reports.

The team has agreed to one-year deal with running back Chris Johnson.

Johnson was visiting with other teams including the Miami Dolphins, but took to Twitter to announce his deal to stay with the Cardinals.

I like to thx all the teams that was involved but I we have unfinished business in AZ let’s get that ring

— Chris Johnson (@ChrisJohnson28) March 17, 2016

Johnson had expressed his desire to stay with the team, according to ESPN. The running back told SiriusXM NFL Radio in late February that he wasn’t chasing a big contract but wanted to play for a team that had a chance to win a Super Bowl.

“I feel like Arizona is the best place for me right now,” Johnson said last month.

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