<![CDATA[NBC Bay Area - Bay Area Sports News, Sports Teams, and Scores for the Sharks, 49ers, Raiders,Giants, Bears and More]]> Copyright 2014 http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/sports http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/nbc_bayarea_blue.png NBC Bay Area http://www.nbcbayarea.com en-us Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:52:01 -0700 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 15:52:01 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Key Players Will Be Back for 49ers vs. Rams]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:24:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/177*120/willisbettah.jpg

When the 49ers last played a game on Oct. 19, they came off the field a beaten bunch, both on the scoreboard and physically.

The Broncos bashed the 49ers 42-17 that night, as Peyton Manning picked apart an injury-depleted San Francisco defense.

But what a difference a bye week can make.

As the 4-3 49ers prepare to host the 2-5 St. Louis Rams Sunday at Levi’s Stadium, many of the 49ers who couldn’t play in the Denver game – or were injured during the wipeout loss – are healthy and ready to play.

Inside linebacker Patrick Willis, rookie safety/nickel corner Jimmie Ward and cornerback Chris Culliver – who all missed the Denver game – are back practicing and expected to play Sunday. Also practicing this week is guard Mike Iupati (who missed the Broncos game with a concussion).

In fact, only three 49ers are listed on the team’s injury report this week: cornerback Tramaine Brock (toe), Ward (quadriceps) and Willis (toe). Each will play. Unfortunately, starting center Daniel Kilgore and cornerback Chris Cox were lost for the season. Kilgore will be replaced by rookie Marcus Martin.

This week, in a conference call with St. Louis media, Harbaugh, in his terse way, acknowledged that getting players such as Willis, Ward, Culliver and Iupati back is encouraging for his team.

“Yes,” he said. “Always strive to have all hands on deck.”

The 49ers defense had been very strong going into the Denver game, one of the biggest factors in San Francisco rolling off three straight victories. But against Manning and Co., San Francisco couldn’t stop the run or the pass. Not having Willis in the middle (after already missing NaVorro Bowman, still not due to come back for several games) and Ward and Culliver certainly made the defense even more vulnerable.

Now the 49ers face a Rams team they beat just two games ago, 31-17.

The Rams are now plagued by injuries, plus lost starting quarterback Sam Bradford early in the year and are struggling. But, they beat the Seahawks recently and Harbaugh says he’s not taking the Rams lightly.

“It’s a salty opponent,” he told reporters, noting the division history between the teams.

But, he’s more focused on his own team and believes it will rebound from the Denver loss.

“Tough game, yeah,” he said. “Fortunately we’re a tough team. You re-fit, you re-group, you re-tool. That’s been our approach.”

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Raiders Have Done Nice Job Protecting Carr]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:30:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/kahrsacked.jpg

There haven’t been many highlights this season for the Raiders, but one thing worth a thumbs up is Oakland's ability to protect rookie quarterback Derek Carr.

Rookie quarterbacks on bad teams often take a beating that can cause short- or long-term damage, both physically and mentally. Often, quarterbacks develop happy feet and never again seem confident in the pocket.

So far that hasn’t been the case with Carr.

Though Oakland is 0-7 as it gets ready to face the Super Bowl-champion Seahawks in Seattle Sunday, the Raiders’ offensive line has done an excellent job protecting Carr and allowing him to look downfield and make plays. The Raiders have allowed just eight sacks – and one of those was on backup quarterback Matt McGloin – the third-best total in the league, behind only Philadelphia and Baltimore. And that’s after allowing three by the Browns this past Sunday.

The Raiders are giving up just 1.1 sacks per game, way down from last year’s 2.8 average.

It’s no small factor in the fact Carr has set a franchise rookie record for TD passes in a season (nine) and is completing more than 60 percent of his throws.

A good part of it has been the blocking, and another key component has been Carr’s quick release and ability to move in the pocket and keep plays alive.

On his conference call with Bay Area reporters this week, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll talked about the good protection Carr has received and how solid he’s looked.

“He’s shown touch," said Carroll. "He’s shown a strong arm and he’s shown downfield stuff. He’s moving well and he looks very comfortable. He looks like a terrific prospect for the years to come and he’s on it right now. He’s got great numbers for the situation. I’m thinking he’s darn good.”

Carr’s older brother, David, didn’t have it nearly so good when he was a rookie quarterback for the Houston Texans, being sacked an NFL-record 76 times.

The Seahawks defense hasn’t performed as well as it did in 2013 – it's sacked opposing QBs just 10 times -- but it should be a formidable test for Oakland’s line to protect Carr on Sunday, especially considering the Seattle secondary can lock up receivers.

“This is the defending Super Bowl champs at their house with great players all over the field,” said Carr this week. “It will be a challenge.”

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[A Homecoming Fit for a King]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 10:52:02 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/457402746.jpg

Out in Cleveland they’re talking 70 wins and a championship for the Cavaliers.

Quick reminder I: Only one NBA team has ever won 70 games in a season, and the 1996-97 Chicago Bulls had a guy named Michael Jordan leading the way to a record 72 wins.

Quick reminder II: The Cavs are 0-for-44 in their all-time quest for an NBA championship.

But it’s easy to see why expectations are through the Quickens Loan Arena roof, just off the shores of Lake Erie: On Thursday night, LeBron James will put on a Cleveland uniform in a regular-season game for the first time since 2009-10. 

“This is my first home game,’’ he says in a new Sprite commercial, trumpeting his return to his hometown team.

The ad shows him getting a hero’s welcome as he walks into Akron’s Patterson Park, where he played as a youth. It’s as if he never left Cleveland back in July, 2010, to take “my talents to South Beach.’’ That night he became Public Enemy No. 1, with his once-adoring fans burning his wine-and gold No. 23 jersey and the Cavs’ owner, Dan Gilbert, emasculating the franchise’s all-time greatest player in a venomous email seen ‘round the world.

Now he’s back and the NBA has never seen a homecoming like this one.

The Cavs open the season Thursday at the New York Knicks at 8 p.m. He returns with a new baby in tow, having welcomed daughter Zhuri Nova with his wife last week. James also has two sons.

“They all hated him for leaving, but now it’s a great story because he’s the hero again,’’ NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal said on Monday. “Villain one day, hero the next. Now all is forgiven. That just shows you how fickle fans can be.’’

O’Neal, who played two seasons in Cleveland with James, had an idea that James would be headed back home. It’s not just that LeBron always had it in the back of his mind to return to where he first became a legend, playing for St. Vincent-St. Mary High School. Shaq also saw some basketball logic in James’ decision to leave Miami Heat as a free agent, even after leading the Heat to two titles, in 2012 and 2013, and helping the Heat become only the third franchise in league history to go to four straight Finals.

“When a guy goes to four straight Finals, like LeBron did, you figure everything is good and he’ll be staying,’’ O’Neal said. “But what nobody is talking about is what happened to the Heat.’’

In last June’s Finals the Heat’s vaunted “Big Three’’ was reduced to James trying to go one-on-five and getting obliterated in five games by the San Antonio Spurs. With one-time Finals MVP Dwyane Wade looking calcified, and their top big man Chris Bosh largely ineffective, James found himself trying to outduel the Spurs by himself.

Turns out, he had every reason to head back to Northeast Ohio. But first, he had to hear a very big “I’m sorry’’ from Gilbert, the long-time meddling owner. The two met in secret in Florida before he decided to make the move. Gilbert apologized and James proved to be one forgiving soul.

“You hash it out and move on,’’ the four-time MVP said.

James signed a two-year deal for $42.1 million, with an option to rework his contract next summer. What he went back to was a far cry from what the Cavs have now, as they prepare to take the court for their season-opener against the New York Knicks.

“I didn't envision our team being like this right off the bat," James said during pre-season. “I felt like me coming, we could hopefully add some pieces. Obviously it happened quicker than I thought."

The Cavs have the makings of a championship contender. Kyrie Irving, who was once intent on returning home to the New York area to play for his beloved Knicks, opted to stay when the Cavs gave him the $90 million maximum salary, just before James announced his return. Then the Cavs used their third No. 1 overall pick in the draft in the last four years, Kansas prodigy Andrew Wiggins, and traded him to Minnesota for the Timberwolves' disgruntled All-Star power forward, Kevin Love.

Irving and Love have zero playoff appearances between them and have never had to perform under such lofty expectations, which is probably the reason James refuses to call his new set-up “the Big Three.’’ But they’re bound to benefit from playing with James, who will be seeking his sixth trip to the Finals since 2007 and his third ring. With the King back on his throne, the Cavs had an easy time adding the necessary fill-in pieces for a strong supporting cast. Players with championship pedigree like Shawn Marion, Mike Miller and James Jones ran to play with James. They might be shaky defensively, lacking a big man to protect the rim, but the Cavs should be an offensive juggernaut.

“I don’t see anybody in the East giving them problems,’’ O’Neal said. “Chicago needs to find another scorer to help Derrick Rose. He can’t do it by himself and he’s undersized. The only concern I have about Cleveland is their coach.’’

A veteran of coaching in Russia and Israel, David Blatt, a former Princeton player under legendary coach Pete Carril, has never coached a second in the NBA, not even as an assistant. But he now has the best player on the planet, who still doesn’t turn 30 until December, meaning this is a learning curve that should be relatively easy to negotiate.

Of course, there hasn’t been a champion in Cleveland since the Browns in 1964.

“For LeBron, winning one championship in Cleveland will be the equivalent of winning five titles in Miami,’’ said O’Neal’s TNT teammate, Charles Barkley. “Even if he doesn’t win it this season, you just have to love the fact that LeBron went back home. That’s what I was rooting for and what a lot of people were rooting for.’’

Nowhere more than out in LeBron’s old stomping grounds. He might not win 70 games this season, but no one will be surprised if sometime in June he’s out in front, leading a championship parade.

Longtime New York columnist Mitch Lawrence continues to write about pro basketball, as he’s done for the last 21 years. His columns for NBCNewYork.com on the Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and the NBA, along with other major sports, will appear twice weekly. Follow him on Twitter @Mitch _ Lawrence.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Fans Celebrate Win Aboard Virgin Flight ]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:22:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/giants-virgin.jpg

When Pablo Sandoval caught the last out to win the 2014 World Series for the San Francisco Giants, Virgin America Flight VX717 took notice.

The routine flight from Dallas Love Field to San Francisco International was 35,000 feet up in the air when the ninth inning ended.  

As you can see, the passengers were watching the game closely and were sure to celebrate appropriately.

No word as to whether Mumm Napa champagne was popped accordingly.

Virgin is, of course, the official airline of the San Francisco Giants, the San Francisco Business Times noted.


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<![CDATA[Crews Set Up for World Series Parade]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 08:28:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP227125776284.jpg Crews set up for the World Series Parade in San Francisco scheduled at noon on Friday. Nannette Miranda reports.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[No Time Off: SF Beefs Up Staff for Parade, Halloween]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:04:31 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/parade121.jpg

Hey, they pulled off turning San Francisco into Gotham City for Batkid.

But even though the world watched, mostly from afar, there weren't one million people crowded into the city all at once, which is the number expected to hit the streets on Friday.

Still, who says the City by the Bay can't pull off a Giants World Series Victory Parade followed by some rambunctious Halloween festivities?

That's what the mayor, the police department and the nearly 850,000 residents of San Francisco, plus their guests, are facing with at least two back-to-back major galas.

It means no officers get the day off. And that the Castro Street Halloween party is no longer an official party.

"Discretionary time off was already cancelled due to Halloween," Police Department Spokesman Gordon Shyy said. "Obviously that stays in effect as we will need to staff for a parade now."

Beginning at noon, the 2014 World Series champs will snake through San Francisco at noon starting at Market and Steuart Streets and continuing down Market Street to Civic Center Plaza. Two years ago, the parade went off with no problems. Fans peacefully lined the streets to see Sergio Romo grab headlines with his "I just look illegal T-shirt," and watch Giants' broadcasters Jon Miller and Dave Flemming whoop it up to "Gangam Style" on stage.

Hours later, the neighborhood Halloween trick-or-treating and parties begin.

But since 2007, the city has banned the open Castro Street affair, a tradition that began in the 1940s and  had blossomed into a sometimes raucous and violent affair, with stabbings and arrests.

People are still allowed to visit the mostly gay neighborhood to dress up and walk around. It's just that for the last seven years, there are no street closures and police strictly enforce no alcohol rules even though the bars and restaurants are still open.

Despite the crackdown, Mayor Ed Lee's spokeswoman Christine Falvey said people can have fun, and she encouraged people to stay in their own neighborhoods.


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<![CDATA[Want to Ride On Giants Parade Float? Place Your Bid]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:21:58 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/parade62.jpg

Win like a Giant, parade like a Giant.

You and a friend could find yourselves at the World Series parade on Friday – that is, in the parade, riding one of the floats – if you're the lucky winner of an MLB auction underway Thursday afternoon.

Major League Baseball is auctioning off two spots for two people each – four paraders total – to ride on the Giants Community Fund float in the parade that steps off at noon.

Bidding was at $5,200 as of noon on Thursday, with the auction set to close at 6 p.m.

The lucky winners will need to show up to AT&T Park at 8 a.m. Friday in order to join the parade.

Bring your own champagne (or sparkling wine). The city will provide the confetti.



Photo Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS
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<![CDATA["Euphoria": Giants Return Home After World Series Win]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:25:32 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/160*120/larrybaer2.jpg

Less than eight hours after they clinched their third World Series title in just five seasons, the San Francisco Giants returned Thursday to their hometown city before dawn to newspaper headlines screaming about the team's "Dynasty," and hard core fans mobbing pitching star "MadBum" at AT&T Park.

"MVP, MVP," the crowd screamed, waving San Francisco Chronicle newspapers with the word "Dynasty" in bold font stripped across the masthead.

The Giants beat the Kansas City Royals on Wednesday night in a nail-biting 3-2 game in the 9th inning. Much of that success is attributed to Madison Bumgarner, the humble 25-year-old pitcher who pitched five innings of near-perfect relief.

The welcome home capped a night of jubilation that drew throngs of Giants fans to the streets. While many revelers were peaceful, at least two people were shot and reports of bonfires in the streets and thrown bottles circulated.

The players didn't stop to talk to fans or the media. Hunter Pence just gave a quick peace sign before heading off. But Giants CEO Larry Baer did make a quick public appearance, carrying the team's World Series trophy lovingly in his arms. He said the plane ride home was "giddy."

"We're in an altered state of happiness and euphoria," he told the crowd. "They got it done."

When the team's charter plane touched down at San Francisco International Airport just before 4 a.m., buses took the players to their ballpark, AT&T Park, so they could pick up their cars, and head to the Hyatt in Burlingame for an after-after-party. Standing in the cold and dark, about 100 fans lined the sidewalk, trying to get close to Bumgarner who was named the World Series Most Valuable Player.

While most fans contained their excitement to a healthy roar, there were injuries and arrests following the World Series win on Wednesday night right after the game, where thousands had gathered in Civic Center Plaza to watch the game on a large Jumbotron.

San Francisco Police Officer Gordon Shyy said as of 8:45 p. on Wednesday, two people were shot in separate cases - neither were life threatening. One man was shot in the arm at 21st and Valencia streets in the Mission District. Another person was shot and walked into San Francisco General Hospital.

Police and witnesses also cited crowds setting off bonfires and firecrackers in the street. A couch was even set on fire. And some threw their celebratory champagne bottles and police. Shyy said that officers were "assaulted" with those bottles on Market Street in the Mission District, and were hit with firecrackers and M80s, as they tried to disperse the crowds. Multiple officers suffered minor injuries, Shyy said.

Police Chief Greg Suhr had to defuse a tense situation himself, the Chronicle reported. He confronted a dozen kids hanging onto a car on Market Street swearing at “pigs” and ordered them to shut off the music and leave or they would be arrested.

He did not know the number of arrests on Wednesday night, and said those numbers should be released on Thursday.

Last time the Giants won the World Series in 2012, about 35 were arrested on victory night, mostly for vandalism and people setting fires. Nine were charged with crimes the next day.



Photo Credit: Stephen Wheelock
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<![CDATA[Giants Players Celebrate World Series Victory]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 23:32:45 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/458075252_8.jpg Giants capture third World Series title in five years. Geraud Moncure and Amy Gutierrez report.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Players and Fans Celebrate Giants' World Series Win]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:42:05 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/AP283856501206.jpg Giants fans and players celebrated their team's eighth World Series win, only two years after they last claimed the title.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[From Wild Card to World Champs: SF Celebrates the Giants]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:40:11 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/octciviccenter2.JPG From Wild Card to World Champs: SF Celebrates the Giants]]> <![CDATA[Giants Fans Celebrate World Series Win at Civic Center]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:24:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000008770910_1200x675_349770819503.jpg Watch raw video of Giants fans at the Civic Center watching the final out and celebrating the World Series victory.]]> <![CDATA[Fans Flock to Stores for Giants World Series Merchandise]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 23:33:46 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/KNTV_000000008771392_1200x675_349781571685.jpg Fans flocked to stores to purchase Giants shirts and other merchandise after the team captured the 2014 World Series title.]]> <![CDATA[San Francisco Giants Fans Celebrate in Kansas City]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 23:48:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/458072286_8.jpg San Francisco Giants fans celebrate after their team defeated the Kansas City Royals to win the World Series. Janelle Wang reports live from Kansas City.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[With World Series Win, Giants Enter Dynasty Territory]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 13:24:38 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/bumgarner-game-7.jpg

It's time to talk dynasty.

And it's time to talk as if Bruce Bochy and Brian Sabean are in the same class as Bill Walsh.

Because, by all measures, that's where they're at.

With a 3-2 win over the Kansas City Royals in Game 7, the San Francisco Giants have wrapped up the franchise's third World Series title in five seasons. That means a run of postseason dominance that's more title than torture, and a run of success that's second to only one other team in baseball history.

And, in the pantheon of Bay Area sports, it's a run that's rivaled only by Joe Montana, Bill Walsh and the glory years of the 1980s 49ers.

The Giants franchise has now appeared in 20 World Series matchups, counting the days when the Giants played at New York's Polo Grounds. That's second all-time, behind the New York Yankees and their 40 appearances in the biggest series (and 27 titles).

The Giants' eighth championship is also good for fourth all-time, behind regular October foils St. Louis, the Philadelphia-Kansas City-Oakland A's, and those same Yankees.

With three titles won on the West Coast, any and all talk from A's fans about the better club is also silenced.

1989 was a long time ago, and Tony LaRussa is not walking through that door with Rickey Henderson and the Bash Brothers in tow anytime soon.

Coincidentally, a run of three titles in five years is also the best showing by a Major League Baseball team since the Yankees' bout of success in the late 1990s, when they won three in a row and four out of five World Series titles.

Nobody has since come close to that. Nobody has won consecutive titles, and only one team, the 2008-2009 Phillies, have won consecutive pennants. The Giants, in their own way, have come closest.

Though when sports dynasties are discussed, another Bay Area team may still be on top of the mountain, never to be dislodged: the Giants' old co-tenants at Candlestick Park, the 49ers.

For now.

The 49ers won five straight division titles in the 1980s, and seven out of the 10 titles in that decade, en route to their four Super Bowl titles of the 1980s.

That's the gold standard. But the Giants are on pace to exceed that.

And consider how the Giants have done it: with no Matt Cain this season, with Barry Zito pitching the game of his career in 2012, with Edgar Renteria winning the MVP in 2010. Hard to imagine a 49ers title with Roger Craig missing a year in the prime of his career, or the likes of John Taylor winning an MVP away from Jerry Rice.

Then consider that the Giants are, for now, the lone pro sports team to play in San Francisco.

Only one team is bringing San Francisco the kind of glory that other cities dream of, and they wear orange and black.

One of these days, we could be enjoying another victory parade down Bruce Bochy Street, and get showered with confetti at the corner of Brian Sabean Avenue.



Photo Credit: Getty]]>
<![CDATA[Twittersphere: Tracking Game 7 of the World Series]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:32:27 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1028-2014-GiantsFans.jpg

It all comes down to this. After 162 regular season games and 16 post-season games, the fate of the 2014 San Francisco Giants comes down to Game 7 of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

Follow along below as we track the tweets about tonight's big game in the Storify below!

REFRESH THIS PAGE FOR UPDATES



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Fan After Loss: "Baseball Torture"]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:30:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/458011788_8.jpg Giants fans were disappointed at the World Series Game 6 loss, but many remain hopeful and confident for Game 7. One fan, Pete Pennington of San Francisco, called it " Giants baseball torture." Janelle Wang reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Michael Jordan Tweets "I'm Back!"]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 08:50:14 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/tlmd_michael_jordan_apuesta.JPG

Michael Jordan is trying his hand at social media, and he went all out for his first tweet Tuesday.

In the tweet, which was posted to the Charlotte Hornets official Twitter account, Jordan revived his legendary “I’m back!” announcement, which signaled he was coming out of retirement roughly 19 years ago.

“I’M BACK!” the tweet read, followed by Jordan clarifying that he's "just kidding" then “laughing out loud.”

The tweet comes on the opening day of the NBA season.

As the owner of the Hornets, Jordan, 51, posted a series of tweets with the hashtag #MJTakeover as part of a social media promotion.

A day earlier, Jordan, who faced criticism when the Hornets played one of the worst seasons in NBA history, told ESPN that being an owner is very different than playing.

“You can’t impact the game. You cannot impact the game,” he said. “I played this game for a long time and I always took criticism in a way that’s going to make me better as a basketball player and I could affect the game per se. Here, I can’t do that other than talking to my other employees or coaches or players.”
 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Fans Invade SF Civic Center]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:42:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1029-2014-SFGCivicCenter.jpg Giants fans gather once again on Wednesday morning to watch the determining Game 7 of the World Series on a jumbotron at the San Francisco Civic Center. Mark Matthews reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Canseco Accidentally Shoots Own Finger Cleaning Gun]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 14:13:55 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/jose-canseco-getty.jpg

Former baseball star Jose Canseco accidentally shot himself in the finger while cleaning what authorities say is a large-caliber handgun in his Las Vegas home Monday afternoon, police told NBC News.

Canseco shot a finger on his left hand, apparently unaware that a bullet was in the chamber, Las Vegas Metro Lt. Mark Reddon said.

"It was a serious hand injury," but not a serious medical injury, Reddon told NBC News. "There was nothing suspicious. There was no alcohol involved, just a misstep with a handgun."

Canseco began his long major league career in the 1980s playing for the Oakland Athletics, before going on to play for the Rangers, Red Sox, Yankees, White Sox and other teams.

He has admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during his MLB career and after retiring also competed in mixed martial arts and boxing.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Twittersphere: Tracking Game 6 of the World Series]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:00:47 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/458009680.jpg

Game 6 of the World Series is here! And we're tracking reaction to the San Francisco Giants' performance from around the Twittersphere in the Storify below.

REFRESH THIS PAGE FOR UPDATES!



Photo Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Redskins PR Pulls QB From Interview]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 16:29:30 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/165*120/457968826.jpg

Amid the euphoria of the Redskins' 20-17 overtime victory against the Cowboys on Monday, no one can blame quarterback Colt McCoy's exuberance following his exceptional performance

But when ESPN Deportes reporter John Sutcliffe attempted to interview McCoy, Washington senior vice president of communications Tony Wyllie forcibly pulled the quarterback away.

From Dan Steinberg

"No no no, we gotta go guys, we gotta go," Wyllie said, hands on his quarterback, attempting to physically move McCoy toward his destination. But there was resistance from Sutcliffe.

"No means NO!" Wyllie finally shouted, which became the seminal moment for people attempting to make late-night jokes on the internet.

The interview eventually took place.

Wyllie explained the now-infamous moment to ProFootballTalk Tuesday morning. According to Wyllie, McCoy was needed in the locker room for a postgame speech from coach Jay Gruden. Sutcliffe had not set up an on-field interview with McCoy, but still attempted to speak to him. 

Wyllie told News4 he had nothing more to add Tuesday afternoon. "We were just trying to get the player into the locker room so he could hear the post-game speech," he said.

"The guy refused to listen about getting the player in."


Follow Adam on Twitter @AdamVingan and e-mail your story ideas to adamvingan (at) gmail.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lattimore Ready for Long-Awaited Opportunity]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 09:00:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/176*120/scaralatymohr.jpg

Before the last game he ever played at South Carolina, running back Marcus Lattimore spoke to his teammates, urging them to take nothing for granted in life.

Then, his 13th-ranked Gamecocks went out to beat Tennessee, 38-35, on Oct. 27, 2012.

But while South Carolina won the game, it lost Lattimore.  After breaking loose for a 28-yard touchdown run, Lattimore later was hit by a pair of Tennessee tacklers on a short run, causing a gruesome injury to his right leg.

His season was done, and possibly his football career.

“He’s going to do wonderful things,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier told reporters after the game. He then added: “I don’t know what field of life.”

Now, almost two years to the day from that injury, Lattimore’s NFL career is set to resume in earnest.

The 49ers running back, taken in the fourth round of the 2013 draft, is set to be activated in time to practice Wednesday.

Because the 49ers have been using just two running backs, Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde, the addition of a healthy Lattimore would be a boost.

For two years, Lattimore – who has been on the non-football injury list since being drafted -- has mostly just continued to rehabilitate his knee and right leg, regaining strength and motion. He was cleared for practice for three weeks last season, but never was activated for a game.

Once Lattimore begins practice Wednesday, the 49ers will have 21 days to either activate him for game action, or sideline him for the rest of the season.

Niners head coach Jim Harbaugh believes the time is now right for Lattimore’s return to football.

“I’ve been watching off to the side, and I’m excited to watch him play football again,” Harbaugh told reporters this week. “You saw some of it in the offseason, but I think he’s further ahead from where he was, three, four months ago, and (I’m) excited to see that progress on the field. I’m looking forward to it.”

Before his final injury at South Carolina – he also had to rehabilitate a knee injury earlier in his career with the Gamecocks – Lattimore was certainly on his way to being a first-round draft pick. He ranked as one of the best running backs in the country.

The 5-foot-11, 221-pounder ran for 38 TDs over parts of three seasons, and 2,677 yards. He also was a fine receiver, with 74 receptions.

If Lattimore is fully healthy, he could provide the 49ers a big help offensively this year and in seasons to come.

Certainly, he is taking nothing for granted. It's been a long road back from Oct. 27, 2012.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Giants Fans Invade KC for World Series]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 19:10:57 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/1028-2014-GiantsFans.jpg Many San Francisco Giants fans made the trip to Kansas City to root on the Orange and Black. Janelle Wang reports.

Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[Carr, Mack and Rookie Class Provide Some Hope]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 09:01:06 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Carrhalfway.jpg

By now, Derek Carr has opened plenty of eyes around the NFL.

The rookie quarterback’s stock continues to rise.

In a loss to the Browns this past Sunday, Carr threw for more than 300 yards for the first time and set career highs for completions and attempts, finishing 34-of-54 for 328 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions.

For the season, he’s completed 61 percent of his throws for 1,517 yards and nine TDs vs. just five interceptions and a quarterback rating of 82.0. Those numbers don’t put him anywhere near the elite QBs in the league, but for a rookie on an 0-7 team, they’re solid. The nine TD passes is a record for a Raiders rookie.

And each week he seems to be getting better.

“The great thing about Derek Carr is he doesn’t settle,” Raiders head coach Tony Sparano said after the loss to the Browns. “He’ll go out there and learn from the film tomorrow. I thought the guy fought his tail off right to the very end of the ballgame.”

But Carr is just the tip of the iceberg on the Raiders’ rookie class.

Though Oakland remains the only winless team in the NFL and has a 13-game game losing streak dating to 2013, the draft class of 2014 could well be the foundation for a better future.

In assessing the draft class of every NFL team at the halfway point of the season, Nate Davis of USA Today ranked the Raiders No. 2 in the league, behind only the Bills.

Wrote Davis: “OLB Khalil Mack (the fifth overall pick) and Round 2 QB Derek Carr aren’t surrounded by much talent, but they’ve shown enough promise and production to justify hopes that they’re cornerstones for the future. Third-round G Gabe Jackson and fourth-round NT Justin Ellis are already serviceable starters. CB T.J. Carrie has claimed the nickel job and returns kicks.”

And, now that offensive tackle Menelik Watson has won a starting job and cornerback D.J. Hayden is activated, back from a lengthy injury layoff, the class of 2013 – which already boasts strong outside linebacker Sio Moore – is also looking better.

None of that, of course, will mean much Sunday against the Seahawks in Seattle. The defending Super Bowl champions, 4-3, are almost unbeatable at home and have been made anywhere from 14- to 16-point favorites.

But the second half of this season will at least give this 2014 rookie class an opportunity to grow and learn.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[City Braces for World Series Chaos]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 07:17:23 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/GIANTS-JUMBOTRON-SET-UP-NORBERT-RAW---10571027.jpg

Civic Center Plaza is likely going to be a party Tuesday night if the expected thousands of Giants fans show up to watch Game 6 of the World Series on a giant Jumbotron.

In fact, Yvette Bautista showed up at 5 a.m. to get a front row seat as the Jumbotron was being set up - 12 hours before the game.

"Worth it," was all she said.

She was joined early in the day by Barbara Grauke, who set up a chair right up close to the big screen.

"Since I didn't  have anything else I really had to do today," Grauke said, "I decided I'll set up for my family."

She said shed' spend the time reading. "It's nice to sit and do nothing for a while."

But it's not just baseball that will be taking over San Francisco.

There are hundreds of concert goers attending the Phish concert inside the Bill Graham Civic auditorium next door.

City officials are advising anyone visiting San Francisco to come early in order to get a viewing spot for the game on the plaza, and take BART or public transportation if you can.

Police also say leave the booze at home. There will be "zero tolerance" for alcohol at the event. And officers are on standby in case the Giants win the World Series against the Kansas City Royals and fans decide to cause problems.

Remember the Novato man in 2012 who smashed windows and a Muni bus in 2012? Police do and want to avoid that sort of thing. Officers are bracing for possible chaos, and want to especially prevent fires, which also erupted after the Giants won the World Series two years ago. That's why city crews are cleaning the street of debris so happy fans won't set things ablaze.

"We plan like crazy for the worst and we  hope for the best," Police Chief Greg Suhr said.
 



Photo Credit: NBC Bay Area]]>
<![CDATA[No Guarantees: Sportscaster Jon Miller on Whether Giants Will Win World Series]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:52:29 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/169*120/155065853_8.jpg Giants sportscaster Jon Miller says there are no guarantees on whether the San Francisco Giants will beat the Kansas City Royals during Game 6 of the World Series. Janelle Wang reports.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Niners' Offensive Line Needs to Lead the Way]]> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:32:49 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/191*120/anndddavsss.jpg

On paper, the statistics don’t look so bad.

The 4-3 49ers, coming out of their bye week, rank 10th in the NFL in rushing yards per game at 125.1 and 11th in total yards per game in total offense at 357.4.

But this season doesn’t have the same feel of recent seasons.

In 2011, 2012 and 2013, the Niners often pushed people around with their offensive line and took over games by running the ball.

The offensive line last season of Joe Staley at left tackle, Mike Iupati at left guard, Jonathan Goodwin at center, Alex Boone at right guard and Anthony Davis at right tackle was not only good, but durable.

This season, however, it’s been a different story.

Goodwin is gone, replaced by Kilgore. Now Kilgore is gone, likely to be replaced by rookie Marcus Martin this Sunday against the Rams at Levi’s Stadium.

Staley has been the steady presence he’s always been, but Iupati and Davis have missed multiple games between them with injuries, and Boone had a long holdout that set him back.

Now, heading into the Rams game, Staley, Iupati, Boone and Davis are back. As the final nine games of the season unfold, how they come together – along with Martin – may be one of the biggest keys to how San Francisco fares on its run to make the postseason for the fourth straight season under head coach Jim Harbaugh.

As Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group noted recently, the offense is in flux – flopping back and forth between running and passing personalities – possibly in large part because of problems along the offensive front.

Wrote Inman: “The line has lost its consistency.”

When healthy, players such as Davis, Boone and Iupati have been road graders in the running attack, opening holes even against the NFL’s best defenses. But this season, their in-and-out status in the lineup means they just haven’t yet gotten in sync.

With extra time to prepare following the loss to Denver on Oct. 19, it’s possible that the Niners offensive line can find its rhythm and start leading the charge.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[LA Soccer Team Ceases Operations]]> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 19:03:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/lafile-chivas-usa-fans.jpg

Major League Soccer announced Monday that Chivas USA ceased operations and that a new franchise planned for Los Angeles would begin play in a new soccer-specific stadium in 2017.

The league’s Board of Governors unanimously decided to disband Chivas USA as part of a change in strategy for the Los Angeles market, MLS said in an announcement on its site.

“As part of our new strategy for Southern California -- a major hotbed of soccer participation and fan support -- we believe that engaging with a new ownership group which has the resources and local community ties, and a plan for a dedicated soccer-specific stadium, provides us with the best chance for success,” said MLS Commissioner Don Garber in the statement.

The ownership group for the new team will be announced Thursday.

The league will play with 20 clubs in the 2015 season.

MLS said it will conduct a dispersal draft of the Chivas USA roster in the near future.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Quietly, Raiders' Mack is Becoming a Difference-Maker]]> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 10:33:04 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/Mackkvrsrruunn.jpg

Seven games into his rookie season, Raiders linebacker Khalil Mack is still looking for his first sack.

But that doesn’t mean Mack is a flop. Far from it.

In Sunday’s 23-13 loss to the Browns in Cleveland, the fifth overall pick of the 2014 draft was outstanding. The outside linebacker had six tackles, including two for loss, and several times put pressure on Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer. He also had a quarterback hit.

The play of Mack and second-year outside linebacker Sio Moore were major reasons why the Oakland defense shut down the Browns’ solid rushing attack. Cleveland ran the ball 25 times Sunday, yet gained just 25 yards – a 1.9 yards per carry average.

“He gained the respect of everybody on our team,” Hoyer told reporters after the game. “That guy is one of the best players we’ve gone against this year, and that’s unanimous in our locker room.”

Going into Sunday’s game, in fact, the Browns already were quite impressed by the rookie from Buffalo.

After watching him on film in preparation for Oakland, Browns coach Mike Pettine said Mack’s game has translated very well from Buffalo to the NFL.

“It’s translated and then some,” he told the Akron Beacon Journal. “I think we all knew that he would be a handful as a pass rusher, but where he’s been impressive is his physicality on the line of scrimmage against tight ends.”

And, though he didn’t have a sack against Hoyer or any in his first six games, he’s been close a number of times. Raiders head coach Tony Sparano says the sacks will come, because he’s already shown he’s capable. According to Pro Football Focus, Mack had 16 quarterback hurries and hits combined before the Browns game.

The main thing, says Sparano, is Mack is an intelligent and hard-working player who’s constantly making progress.

“This guy’s motor goes all the time,” Sparano said.

But the biggest impact he’s made is against the run. Mack plays his responsibilities and makes the right reads. Pro Football Focus ranks him the top run-stopping linebacker in the league.

Against the Browns, Mack and defensive end Benson Mayowa were strong against the running game up front, allowing the Oakland defense to perform much better on third downs. Cleveland converted just 2-of-12.

Said Raiders veteran defensive end Justin Tuck, to the San Francisco Chronicle: “We did a great job of limiting their run game. Benson and Khalil, up front, and it created some favorable third-down situations.”

Now at 0-7, Mack and the Raiders will face one of their toughest tests of the year this coming Sunday, taking on the Super Bowl-champion Seahawks in Seattle.

 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Report: Big Clippers Tax Write-Off]]> Sun, 26 Oct 2014 23:50:26 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/213*120/tlmd_steve_ballmer_clippers_microsoft.jpg

Billionaire Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers in August for $2 billion, but he could write off as much as half of that amount in taxes by 2030, according to an analysis by the Financial Times.

A tax break for owners of sports franchises would let the ex-Microsoft CEO claim about $1 billion of the team's purchase price from the taxable income he makes over the next 15 years, said the report, published Sunday in the London newspaper (paywall, registration required).

Ballmer paid the Sterling family almost four times as much for the Clippers as the previous record NBA franchise purchase, $550 million for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Ballmer bought the Clippers at a tough time for fans, many of whom were distraught at apparently racist comments made by previous owner Donald Sterling on a tape recording. Those comments kicked off a long battle with the NBA that eventually led to a bidding war, which Ballmer won.

The difference between the value of the company's assets and what the purchaser paid for it is the key to the tax breaks Ballmer may be able to take, according to the Financial Times article:

"Under an exception in US law, buyers of sports franchises can use an accounting treatment known as goodwill against their other taxable income. This feature is commonly used by tax specialists to structure deals for sports teams. Goodwill is the difference between the purchase price of an asset and the actual cash and other fixed assets belonging to the team."

Most corporations can't charge for goodwill, but sports franchises are an exception, according to the Financial Times.

Representatives of the Clippers and of Ballmer didn't comment for the Financial Times report. Ballmer didn't immediately reply to an e-mail from NBC4 Sunday afternoon.

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<![CDATA[Bumgarner Dazzles, Giants Lead World Series 3-2]]> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:06:43 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/457922234.jpg

With every pitch, Madison Bumgarner etched his place among the World Series greats.

San Francisco Giants ace Bumgarner stole the show in Game 5 of the World Series, throwing a complete-game, 5-0 shutout against the Kansas City Royals Sunday night.

Hardly menacing on the mound, Bumgarner was simply untouchable--again. As "MVP! MVP!'' chants broke out from each packed corner of AT&T Park, Bumgarner finished off the first World Series shutout in 11 years.

"You know what? For some reason, I keep getting really lucky this time of year, so I'll take it,'' Bumgarner said.

It must be more than luck.

Because by the time the 25-year-old from Hickory, North Carolina, outdid his own winning performance in Game 1, he had evoked memories of Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Curt Schilling and the top October aces of all-time.

"Very humbling,'' Bumgarner said.

He certainly joined those names, and maybe even exceeded them.

Who else has gone 4-0 in four World Series starts with an 0.29 ERA? Throw in only 12 hits in 31 innings, along with 27 strikeouts, and that math makes him the very definition of Big Game Pitcher.

"He's special, isn't he?'' manager Bruce Bochy said during a quiet moment in his office eating dinner. ``What a stud.''

Giants Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal mingled in the clubhouse, too, waiting his turn to congratulate the guy with the curly, stringy hair.

"He's so smooth. I say that he's cold-blooded. When he's on the mound, he dominates everybody. Everybody,'' Marichal said.

There hadn't been a shutout in the Series since Josh Beckett's clinching gem for the Florida Marlins in 2003 at Yankee Stadium.

The scoring started in the second inning when Hunter Pence once again was in the middle of things for the Giants. He singled off James Shields and scored on a groundout by Brandon Crawford, who had three RBIs.

As it turned out, that is all the Giants would need as Bumgarner went the distance, allowing just four hits and amassing eight strikeouts while walking none.

Later, the enigmatic Pence accidentally threw his bat past the mound while striking out, and appeared to apologize to Shields. Pence added another hit in a three-run eighth, making him 9 for 19 in the five games.

Postseason star Pablo Sandoval also singled twice.

Juan Perez blew the game open in the eighth inning with a two-run double off Royals reliever Wade Davis. That made the score 4-0 at the time, before Brandon Crawford followed with an RBI-single.

Since trailing 4-1 in Game 4, the Giants have responded with 15 straight runs. San Francisco won that game, putting aside concern that Bumgarner should've been moved up to pitch on short rest.

Bumgarner won for the fourth time against one loss in this postseason, and this blanking bookended the four-hit shutout he threw at Pittsburgh in the NL wild-card game. Durable, he's thrown 47 2-3 innings this October, trailing just Schilling's 48 1-3 in 2001 for the most in a single postseason, with a 1.13 ERA.

As Bumgarner wrapped up the win, his name echoed around the ballpark.

"That was pretty cool, actually. It was really neat to hear,'' he said.

Toward the late innings, it appeared that only a lightning strike could rescue the Royals, perhaps a home run out of nowhere. Not happening, this was the third straight game without either team hitting a homer, the longest streak in the World Series since 1948 when the Boston Braves and Cleveland began with a three-game drought, STATS said.

Exactly why the man nicknamed MadBum is so dominant isn't easily apparent. Royals cleanup hitter Eric Hosmer said before the game that Bumgarner's "cross-body'' delivery is tough to pick up.

The 6-foot-5 Bumgarner definitely has an impressive whip, along with an imposing WHIP in the World Series. His walks-plus-hits ratio per inning is incredible.

About the only thing Bumgarner didn't do well was get a hit. He takes pride in his plate prowess and launched four home runs this season, including two grand slams. Bumgarner went 0 for 4, leaving him hitless in 22 postseason at-bats.

Yep, he's still got some work to do.

And the Giants' work isn't done. To add to the crowns Bumgarner helped them take in 2010 and 2012, they'll need to win in Kansas City.

"We're looking forward to getting back to our home crowd, where it's going to be absolutely wild and crazy,'' Royals manager Ned Yost said.

Jake Peavy gets the first chance to seal it for San Francisco when he starts Game 6 at Kauffman Stadium on Tuesday night against rookie Yordano Ventura.

If the Giants don't win then, there is always this possibility: Bumgarner said he's ready to come out of the bullpen in Game 7.

UP NEXT

Royals: Ventura will become the fourth rookie to start twice in a Series since 2000, joining John Lackey, Justin Verlander and Michael Wacha.

Giants: Peavy started in the World Series last year for the champion Boston Red Sox. He took the loss last week in Game 2, and is 1-4 with a 7.05 ERA in eight career postseason starts.

STATS

Of the 41 previous instances the World Series was tied at 2 in the best-of-seven format, the Game 5 winner won the title 27 times. ... Bumgarner's ERA is the lowest in World Series history for pitchers with at least 25 innings. Jack Billingham is next at 0.36. Among the leaders are Babe Ruth (0.87) and Mariano Rivera (0.99). ... Since 1982, teams down 3-2 going home for Games 6 and 7 have won eight of 10 World Series, including the Royals in 1985.

For more Giants coverage, click here.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Robin Williams' Son Pitches to Billy Crystal]]> Mon, 27 Oct 2014 12:27:51 -0700 http://media.nbcbayarea.com/images/180*120/457911144.jpg

In a tribute to late actor and San Francisco Giants fan Robin Williams, his children, Zak, Zelda, and Cody Williams, threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 5 of the World Series at AT&T Park.

Williams's longtime friend, Billy Crystal, caught the first pitch. Crystal also introduced a pregame video tribute to Williams on the video board.

Here's a statement from Williams' children.

"We are honored to be here in support of the tribute to our father, someone who loved his hometown and especially the Giants. For all of us, it is a tremendous delight and a little surreal to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of a World Series game for our team to our dad’s best friend. We could not think of a better way to celebrate his memory. Let’s go Giants!”

Williams committed suidice in August, investigators said.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>