<![CDATA[NBC Connecticut - Sports]]>Copyright 2018https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/sports http://media.nbcnewyork.com/designimages/NBC_Connecticut.png NBC Connecticut https://www.nbcconnecticut.comen-usTue, 22 May 2018 08:06:08 -0400Tue, 22 May 2018 08:06:08 -0400NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Why Do Indy 500 Winners Drink Milk?]]> Mon, 21 May 2018 23:00:38 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/milkdown.jpg

You've seen Indy 500 champions douse themselves in milk and take a swig from the glass jug, but why?

<![CDATA[What to Know About the Vegas Golden Knights]]> Mon, 21 May 2018 18:20:46 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/SAMPLE+TIMELINE.00_00_00_15.Still003.jpg

The Vegas Golden Knights made history after clinching their first Stanley Cup appearance.

<![CDATA[Report: Tom Brady Won't Be at Pats Voluntary Practice Monday]]> Mon, 21 May 2018 09:55:28 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_18036125384036.jpg

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady will reportedly not be at Monday's voluntary practices, according to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.

Earlier in the day, Rapoport tweeted that sources had told him Brady would not be present for OTAs (organized team activities). Brady has typically attended these voluntary sessions in past years.

According to ESPN, Brady has skipped all of the team's offseason practices so far this season.

At the Milken Global Conference in Los Angeles in April, Brady said he was committed to playing another season with the Patriots.

Rapoport said it's not clear yet if tight end Rob Gronkowski will be present for this week's optional practices. He remains locked in a contract dispute with the team but has said he intends to play this season.

Both Brady and Gronkowski are expected to be present for the team's mandatory minicamp next month.

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Hartford Yard Goats]]> Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:25:40 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Yard_Goats_Jingle_1200x675_615127107875.jpg ]]> <![CDATA[Justify Wins Preakness, Sets Sights on Triple Crown]]> Sun, 20 May 2018 00:58:16 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/horseracing.jpg

Justify won the Preakness Stakes and is now just one win away from becoming the 13th horse to win the Triple Crown.

<![CDATA[Preakness Stakes Best Moments]]> Sat, 19 May 2018 20:01:23 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/smith-gallery-win.jpg A soggy track, a muddy infield and another Justify win.

Photo Credit: Patrick Semansky/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Could Jim Calhoun Return to Coaching?]]> Thu, 17 May 2018 15:08:49 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Could_Jim_Calhoun_Return_to_Coaching_1200x675_1236182083527.jpg

Former UConn head men's basketball coach Jim Calhoun said Wednesday that he would like to eventually coach at St. Joseph's in West Hartford.

<![CDATA[ESPN, Netflix Team Up for 10-Part Series on Michael Jordan, Chicago Bulls]]> Thu, 17 May 2018 14:05:23 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/214*120/GettyImages-81931521.jpg

ESPN is teaming up with Netflix to produce a 10-part documentary series profiling Michael Jordan's rise with the NBA set to be released next year.

"The Last Dance" will chronicle "one of the greatest icons and most successful dynasties in sports history," the 1990s Chicago Bulls, the companies announced Tuesday in a joint press release.

The 10-hour documentary will include more than 500 hours of never-before-seen footage from the team’s last championship run in the 1997-98 season and feature dozens of interviews with teammates, key NBA figures and Jordan himself.

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Directed by Jason Hehir, who also directed ESPN’s "30 for 30" on the 1985 Chicago Bears and HBO's recent hit "Andre the Giant," the anthology will examine the "simultaneous rise of Jordan and the NBA during those years." 

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Photo Credit: NBAE/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[Meet the Horses That Posted the Fastest Preakness Times]]> Wed, 16 May 2018 20:22:27 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-244385.jpg Winning the Preakness Stakes is all about timing.

Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger /Allsport via Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Mexico Announces Preliminary 2018 World Cup Roster]]> Tue, 15 May 2018 12:55:46 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/202*120/Mexico-World-Cup-2018-squad.jpg

With the 2018 World Cup in Russia only 30 days away, Mexico and several other countries, including Brazil and Argentina, announced their preliminary World Cup rosters.

Of course, injuries and cuts are expected until each country reaches the final 23-man squad, but Mexico's initial roster caused a notable stir with the tournament only a one month away.

El Tri manager Juan Carlos Osorio included Rafa Marquez at age 39, which raised more than a couple eyebrows. (Marquez was also sanctioned last year for alleged connections to drug traffickers, which he denied.) However, the leadership and experience Marquez can provide on the bench and in the locker room makes him a uniquely justifiable choice, even if he's not expected to play any significant part on the pitch.

LAFC's Carlos Vela and LA Galaxy's Jonathan dos Santos both made Mexico's preliminary 28-man roster, which was expected, but the inclusion of LA Galaxy's Giovani dos Santos came as a surprise considering his lack of production at club level and a poor MLS season in 2017.

Notable omissions from the squad included Chivas midfielder Rodolfo Pizarro and Santos Laguna midfielder Jose Juan "Gallito" Vazquez.

Injuries and medical concerns will likely force changes before the start of the tournament, but here is El Tri's preliminary 28-man 2018 World Cup roster: 

Goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Standard Lieja-BEL), José de Jesús Corona (Cruz Azul) y Alfredo Talavera (Toluca).

Defenders: Carlos Salcedo (Eintracht Frankfurt-GER), Néstor Araujo (Santos Laguna-MEX), Diego Reyes (Oporto-POR), Héctor Moreno (Real Sociedad-ESP), Hugo Ayala (Tigres), Oswaldo Alanís (Getafe-ESP), Edson Álvarez (América), Jesús Gallardo (Pumas UNAM) y Miguel Layún (Sevilla-ESP).

Midfielders: Jesús Molina (Monterrey), Rafael Márquez (Atlas), Héctor Herrera (Oporto-POR), Jonathan Dos Santos (LA Galaxy-USA), Andrés Guardado (Real Betis-ESP), Erick Gutiérrez (Pachuca), Marco Fabián (Eintracht Frankfurt-GER) y Giovanni Dos Santos (LA Galaxy-USA).

Forwards: Javier Hernández (West Ham-GBR), Raúl Jiménez (Benfica-POR), Oribe Peralta (América), Jesús Manuel Corona (Oporto-POR), Carlos Vela (Los Ángeles FC-USA), Javier Aquino (Tigres UANL), Hirving Lozano (PSV Eindhoven-NED), Jurgen Damm (Tigres UANL).

Other World Cup Roster Notes: Brazil and Argentina
Argentina also announced its preliminary roster with 35 names listed. Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli called up Paolo Dybala and Mauro Icardi in the inital squad, with both players considered on the fringes of the manager's plans considering Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Sergio Aguero are all available and healthy.

For Brazil, a recent injury to Dani Alves created questions at the right back position, and Brazilian manager Tite included Fagner from Continthians in his preliminary 23-man squad to help cover for the injury. Manchester City's Danilo can also play on the right side and Atletico Madrid's Felipe Luis may be asked to switch sides with Real Madrid's Marcelo — considered a clear first-choice at left back.

Of course, Neymar is also included in the squad, and Brazil's no. 10 is expected to combine with Philippe Coutinho and Gabriel Jesus in a lethal attacking front-three ahead of Paulinho and Casemiro mixing with either Renato Augusto or Fernandinho in the midfield.

Here's a look at Brazil's 23-man World Cup roster:

Goalkeepers: Alisson (Roma), Ederson (Manchester City), Cassio (Corinthians)

Defenders: Miranda (Inter Milan), Marquinhos (Paris Saint-Germain), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Geromel (Gremio), Danilo (Manchester City), Filipe Luis (Atletico Madrid), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Fagner (Corinthians), 

Midfielders: Casemiro (Real Madrid), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Paulinho (Barcelona), Renato Augusto (Beijing Guoan), Philippe Coutinho (Barcelona), Willian (Chelsea), Fred (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Forwards: Neymar (Paris Saint-Germain), Gabriel Jesus (Manchester City), Douglas Costa (Juventus), Firmino (Liverpool), Taison (Shakhtar Donetsk)

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Jason Day to Play at 2018 Travelers Championship]]> Tue, 15 May 2018 12:05:29 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Jason+Day+Byron+Nelson.jpg

Jason Day on Tuesday committed to play at the 2018 Travelers Championship.

Day, the seventh-ranked player in the world, already has two wins on tour this year.

The 30-year-old Australian captured the trophy at the 2015 PGA Championship for his first major championship and is the former world number 1.

“Jason is one of the world’s best players, so having him return to TPC River Highlands reflects our mission of bringing the world’s greatest golfers to Connecticut every year,” said Travelers Championship Tournament Director Nathan Grube.

This will be Day's fourth appearance at the Travelers.

The addition of Day means six of the top 15 golfers in the world have committed to play at the Travelers Championship this year, including defending champion Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy, Paul Casey and Patrick Reed.

Tournament week is June 18-24.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Cape Cod Baseball League Coming to Hartford in July]]> Tue, 15 May 2018 11:38:31 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_17103848218373.jpg

The Hartford Yard Goats announced Tuesday that the Cape Cod Baseball League is coming to Connecticut for a game in July.

The Wareham Gatemen and Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox will play in a League game in Hartford on Tues., July 24 at 12:30 p.m.  

“The wholesome family nature, rich history, and unprecedented level of play is a perfect match for the atmosphere at Dunkin’ Donuts Park” Yard Goats President Tim Restall said in a press release. “This will be a wonderful opportunity for fans to see some of the greatest amateur players in baseball right here in downtown Hartford.”

The Cape Cod League is a popular collegiate summer baseball league based on Cape Cod.  The league is made up of 10 franchises.

This game will mark the first time a Cape Cod League Game will be played in Connecticut.

“We are absolutely delighted and privileged to be coming to Hartford and Dunkin’ Donuts Park for one of our regular season games on July 24th. We believe this experience will be a wonderful experience for our players and really look forward to it. We are most grateful to the Hartford Yard Goats and President Tim Restall for this opportunity, and are sure the loyal Yard Goat fans will be pleased and excited to see the Cape Cod League caliber of play”, Paul Galop, Commissioner of the Cape Cod Baseball League, said.

Tickets for the Cape Cod League Baseball game will start at $10.  They will be available by calling the Yard Goats at 860-246-4628, by visiting the box office at the ballpark, or by going to the team's website.

Notable alumni from the Wareham Gatemen:

  • George Springer (2008) – Houston Astros
  • Willie Calhoun (2014) – Texas Rangers
  • Dallas Keuchel (2007, 2008) – Houston Astros
  • Kyle Schwarber (2012,2013) – Chicago Cubs

Notable Alumni from the Y-D Red Sox:

  • Chris Sale (2009) – Boston Red Sox
  • Joe Kelly (2008) – Boston Red Sox
  • Joe Panik (2010) – San Francisco Giants
  • Buster Posey (2006, 2007) – San Francisco Giants

Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Some Sports Leagues Want Congress to Protect Game Integrity]]> Tue, 15 May 2018 10:42:07 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_18134799526009-Sports-Betting.jpg

Many of the major U.S. sports leagues indicated Monday, after the Supreme Court struck down a law banning gambling on individual sporting events, that they would be willing to work on a legal framework, NBC News reported.

But some called on Congress to create a uniform set of rules, as did Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, who said Monday he would propose a bill to "protect honesty and principle in the athletic arena."

Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the court that Congress may choose to regulate sports gambling but states are free to do so if it doesn't. As many as 32 states have already prepared or are preparing legislation regulating sports gambling.

"Leagues want sports betting operators to be required to use league-approved sources of data for setting lines and bets," said Chris Grove, a gaming sector researcher. "And they want the power to be able to stop betting on minor leagues, where players are earning less money and are more vulnerable to bribes."

Photo Credit: John Locher/AP]]>
<![CDATA[Yard Goats Back Home to Take on the Fisher Cats]]> Mon, 14 May 2018 17:26:53 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/fisher+cats+New+Hampshire+Opening+Day.JPG

The Hartford Yard Goats are back home at Dunkin' Donuts Park on Monday night as they begin a seven-game homestand.

The team will be playing against their division rival, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays.  Monday night's game starts at 7:05 p.m.

The Goats are going for their third straight win.  The team has won 13 of their last 14 games and currently sit in third place in the division, just one and a half games out of first place.

LHP Jack Wynkoop will take to the mound tonight looking for his third straight win.

NBC CT is the proud media partner of the Hartford Yard Goats.

Photo Credit: NBC CT]]>
<![CDATA[Derby Winner Often a Solid Bet in the Preakness]]> Wed, 16 May 2018 08:37:07 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-955110148.jpg

The causal horse racing fan might be tempted to bet the favorite at the Preakness on Saturday, which is all but guaranteed to be Kentucky Derby winner Justify.

Horse wagering experts say that's what casual fans usually do.

"The general public, people who are just out for those four or five days a year … most of them want to say, 'Yeah, I bet on the Triple Crown horse," said Mike Ferrozzo, 2017 winner of the National Thoroughbread Racing Association's National Horseplayers Championship Tour.

They also say it's not a bad bet, even if the history of the sport suggests the winner of the Derby isn't a lock to win the Preakness. Only 35 horses have managed that feat, starting with the first Triple Crown winner, Sir Barton, in 1919.

Recent history actually makes it a better bet, notes Ellis Starr, national racing analyst for horseracing industry recordkeeper Equibase. In the last 20 years, 9 horses have secured the first two jewels of the Triple Crown (though only one of them has gone on to win the Belmont Stakes to complete the crown) and six other horses have come in second or third place. Another one, Barbaro, was injured in the Preakness and couldn't finish the race.

There may be a good reason for the Derby winners' recent dominance at Pimlico, said Starr and Ferrozzo: some trainers will choose not to let their horse face two grueling races in a row when the odds don't look very good, instead saving their strength for other races.

It's "the double whammy of coming back in two weeks and trying to beat the horse that just beat you" that convinces some trainers not to enter the Preakness, Starr said. Trainers know there are plenty of other chances for their horse to claim a big win.

"Prestige is important but you think about the horse's career," Starr said.

That leads to fewer competitors for the race at Pimlico. Where about 20 horses usually run in the Derby, the size of the field in the Preakness often drops to around 10, and that in turn raises the Derby winner's odds of winning the Preakness, Starr said. A horse that was believed to have had a 25 percent chance of winning the Derby automatically has a 50 percent chance in a field at the Preakness that's half the size.

Lately, it's the Belmont that's done more to dash the dreams of racing fans hoping to see a Triple Crown awarded. Only American Pharoah, in 2015, has managed it in the last four decades.

That's because other big competitors may have been rested for the Preakness while the Derby winner had just two weeks' rest after winning at Churchill Downs, followed by three weeks off before Belmont.

"It's ran two pretty hard races in a row," Ferrozzo said.

But at the Preakness, at least, Starr noted that betting on the favorite usually offers a chance for a profit in a couple of minutes' time — in recent years, a $2 bet returned $3 on Derby-winner California Chrome and $8.40 on winner I'll Have Another.

Starr said that other trainers will also be hoping for Justify to get its second win on the trot if they can't pull off the victory themselves.

"Even trainers of horses that would like to beat the Derby winner would feel bad for beating him or her as well, because everybody wants it for the good of the sport," he said noting that TV ratings and live attendence go up for the Belmont Stakes when a Triple Crown is on the line.

He and Ferrozzo had different suggestions for how to keep the wagering interesting if betting on Justify seems too simple.

Starr suggested the exotic bets, like exactas and superfectas — more how that works here.

As a handicapper, Ferrozzo breaks down races into different parts to see where it might be won or lost. If Justify gets out front early, he'll win, Ferrozzo said, but if it's close, two early leaders might tire each other out, leaving space for a closer to sneak up and win.

His advice for betting the Preakness: "Look for a horse who hasn't already gotten beaten by Justify, unless you can find some excuse" for why Justify caught a lucky break at the muddy, sloppy track at the Derby this year.

Photo Credit: Eclipse Sportswire/Getty Images, File]]>
<![CDATA[Philadelphia Eagle Malcolm Jenkins Jumping Into DA's Races Across US]]> Fri, 11 May 2018 16:11:25 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_18082650315094.jpg

Malcolm Jenkins, inspired by Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner's election victory last year, is expanding his activism to district attorney races in California.

The star safety on the Super Bowl-champion Eagles told NBC10 in an interview that his appearance moderating public discussions in Sacramento Thursday and in Oakland Friday are the initial stops of what will become a prolonged effort to highlight how important district attorneys are to criminal justice reform.

"Everyone in this reform battle is realizing this is a place where we can quickly see change," Jenkins said by phone from Oakland. "In California, DAs are being elected in Oakland, San Diego and Sacramento. This is an opportunity to start here and push that reform across the country. We’ve seen the fruits of that in Philadelphia.”

Jenkins has long been one of the most socially-minded players in the NFL. He became part of the protests across the league last year that involved many players kneeling during the national anthem. He did not kneel, but he and a few other Eagles raised clenched fists while the anthem played before games.

He then took a leading role in forming The Players Coalition, which is working with NFL team owners to push — and fund —social justice reform. One of their main efforts includes combating police brutality against minorities.

The Players Coalition is the organizing group behind the candidates' events in Sacramento and Oakland, he said. Jenkins is vice president of the coalition. Former Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Anquan Boldin is president.

"When Larry Krasner was up for election, one of the things we did was around raising awareness about what your DA does and how much the public knows that," Jenkins said. "What Krasner has done is encouraging and can be repeated in other areas."

"It's important that the public knows about these races and what matters to them," he said.

Krasner is arguably the most progressive top prosecutor in Philadelphia's history. During the election campaign in 2017, he promised to reduce incarceration levels, to fight corruption by bringing transparency to his office and to battle injustice by ending cash bail for low-level offenders. His first few months in office have been highlighted by bail reform and the high-profile decision to side with Meek Mill's release on a probation violation.

Only one of the two candidates in the Sacramento race showed up Thursday. Noah Phillips, who is challenging current District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert in the June 5 election, talked for 90 minutes with Jenkins and the public in the city's Oak Park neighborhood.

Schubert, according to reports, was in Southern California on official business, a spokesman said.

Phillips has something in common with Krasner. He recently received a large influx of cash from billionaire George Soros, who has been injecting funding in support of progressive candidates across the country. Krasner was one of the biggest benefactors.

The California Justice & Public Safety PAC, which began spending heavily on DA's races throughout the state, has spent $278,000 on Phillips, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle this week.

Much of that money has come in the last several days, the Chronicle reported. The Soros-funded PAC has spent some $500,000 across California, buying airtime and mailers in contested DA races, according to the news site.

Phillips is viewed as the progressive challenger to Schubert, mimicking the outsider reformist rise of Krasner last year.

Krasner gained the momentum needed to separate himself from a crowded field of candidates in large part due to some $1.5 million in support from the Soros-backed Philadelphia Justice & Public Safety PAC.

Jenkins said he has never met Soros.

But the football star's interests certainly align with the billionaire liberal's activism.

Like Soros, Jenkins has his sights set on district attorney races across the country.

"Sacramento is the very first one," Jenkins said. "We will track these races throughout the year and hold some other events in other places too."

Photo Credit: Josh Reynolds/AP]]>
<![CDATA[2018 FIFA World Cup Explained]]> Fri, 11 May 2018 14:42:14 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/WORLD_CUP_English-_SOUND-4-152606228686400002.jpg

Here's how the 2018 FIFA World Cup works.

<![CDATA[Victims Question When Karolyis Learned of Nassar Sex Abuse]]> Thu, 10 May 2018 10:20:27 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/AP_16301859690207-Gymnastics-Doctor-Karolyis.jpg

Gymnasts who say they were molested by doctor Larry Nassar are calling for an investigation from Texas' attorney general into legendary Olympic coaches Martha and Bela Karolyi, NBC News reported.

The Karolyis have denied knowing about Nassar's conduct — he penetrated young patients with ungloved hands during supposed medical treatments — before the 2016 Summer Olympics.

But gymnasts who plan to hold a news conference outside Attorney General Ken Paxton's office Thursday point to a videotaped deposition of Martha Karolyi as an indication she may have known about the abuse earlier, before he was revealed as a predator.

"I don't understand why the Texas attorney general wouldn't do a thorough investigation," 2000 Olympian Jamie Dantzcher said. "Is this not a serious issue?"

Photo Credit: Gregory Bull/AP, File
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<![CDATA[Breeding Is a Billion-Dollar Business]]> Wed, 09 May 2018 22:28:11 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/stud-tapit.jpg

It's Triple Crown season, and all eyes are on horse racing's most athletic 3-year-old thoroughbreds as they compete for the sport's most lucrative prizes.

But the serious money doesn't come from winning races — it comes years later, after a champion horse is "retired to stud." A superstar stallion can command lofty fees for getting "intimate" with mares in hopes of producing a top-tier foal.

Today, horse breeding is a huge business — $39 billion and growing, CNBC reports.

Top stud Tapit earned $557,300 over the course of his racing career. But as of 2018, he will have generated about $167.8 million during his breeding career.

Breeding horses can be expensive and risky, but if all goes well, the breeder can be rolling in the dough.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[After Losing Legs, Sled Hockey Helped This Soldier Recover]]> Tue, 08 May 2018 21:08:17 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/213*120/Sled-Hockey2.jpg

Sgt. Josh Hargis first made headlines in 2013 when, seemingly unconscious in a military hospital, he lifted his hand to salute the American flag as a Purple Heart was pinned to his chest. His wife Taylor posted a photo on Facebook, and it went viral.

The Army Ranger lost both of his legs to explosions in Afghanistan. Although he would go on to make a full recovery, adjusting to life as an amputee was not easy — at first. 

Things changed when a physical therapist suggested Hargis try playing sled hockey, as NBC News reports.

Five years later, Hargis, 28, is the father of two young boys, and his newest goal is to train for the Paralympics and bring home a gold medal for Team USA.

Photo Credit: Sarah Ford/NBC News]]>
<![CDATA[Tebowmania Arrives in Hartford]]> Tue, 08 May 2018 12:20:41 -0400 https://media.nbcconnecticut.com/images/160*120/Tebow+presser+1.jpg

Photo Credit: NBC CT]]>