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Dodgers Score 5 Runs in Seventh to Steal Second Game of Freeway Series
03/26/2019 7:52am

Kole Calhoun is ready for the season to start, as he showed on offense and defense in the second game of the Freeway Series.Calhoun hit a home run and a double, but the Los Angeles Dodgers scored five times in the seventh inning of an 8-7 victory over the Los Angeles Angels in their exhibition matchup Monday night. This Week: Cirque du Soleils Corteo The right fielder also threw out Joc Pederson trying for a double and said he is right where he wants to be with his preparation.Going into the season feeling good, Calhoun said. Its been a good spring. Spring, sometimes it can get kind of long out here, and were ready to play somebody for real. Angels, Dodgers Fans Will Get to Games Easier This Season Calhoun homered on the first pitch from Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda. The Angels went up 3-2 in the third inning when Mike Trout hit a bloop single to score Calhoun after his stand-up double.Calhoun has been attempting to use more of the field to get the most out of his bat. His second home run of the spring went over the wall in left-center, and his double was well struck to right. The Good, Bad and the Unknown of Apples New Services That approach could help boost Calhouns production. Despite hitting 19 home runs for the second straight season last year, his batting average dropped to .208 with 18 doubles -- his lowest output in both categories since becoming a regular in 2014.I think thats a goal in general, not just for me but for a lot of people, is be able to use the whole field, Calhoun said. Nice to be showing up with it right now.Maeda said through a translator he was 50 percent happy with his final tuneup after giving up three runs and five hits in three innings. The outing was as much about getting into the repetition that comes with the regular season as it was about being at his best, he explained.Its my first time pitching at a 7 p.m. game, so getting my routine back in, figuring out what to do when was one of my goals, Maeda said.Noe Ramirez started for the Angels, who used their bullpen to get through the game. Ramirez threw a hitless inning.The Dodgers were able to get their third win in the past 20 preseason games at Angel Stadium thanks to a scoring outburst in the seventh. Jeter Downs, Cody Bellinger and Matt Beaty all drew bases-loaded walks, and Connor Wong hit a two-run single.Jared Walsh had a bases-loaded triple in the ninth to shave the Angels deficit to 8-7, but Parker Curry struck out Matt Thaiss and got Tommy La Stella on a grounder to end the game.NOTES: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw shoulder threw two innings under simulated game conditions. Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said he was very encouraged by how Kershaw looked, but the next step in his progression wont be determined until after he throws a bullpen and four-inning simulated game during the upcoming week. ... Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler will start against Arizona on Sunday after throwing 60 pitches during a four-inning simulated start Monday. ... Angels LF Justin Upton will undergo an MRI on his sprained left big toe. Manager Brad Ausmus said Upton was feeling sore after sustaining the injury Sunday and did not know if he would be available for the season opener Thursday at Oakland. ... Angels LHP Andrew Heaney elbow threw 20 pitches off the mound. Ausmus said Heaney will throw off a mound again Wednesday, barring any setbacks.UP NEXTThe Freeway Series concludes Tuesday with the Dodgers putting LHP Julio Urias up against RHP Jaime Barria for the Angels.Photo Credit: AP

UCLA Gymnastics Ohashi Takes Michael Jackson Out of Routine
03/25/2019 9:17pm

UCLA senior and gymnastics viral sensation Katelyn Ohashi changed her floor routine for the Pac-12 Championships.She removed music from Michael Jackson following the release of Leaving Neverland, the documentary in which two men claimed Jackson sexually abused them as children, Ohashi told ESPNWin an interview. UCLA Gymnastics Coach Leaves Behind Legacy, Life Lessons With her new routine, Ohashi scored a perfect 10 again.Ohashis perfect 10 floor routine during a Pac-12 meet in January earned more than 43 million views on UCLA Gymnastics Twitter account, 36 million views on UCLA Athletics YouTube and more than 117 million views across various platforms,according to thePac-12. UCLA Gymnast Scores Perfect 10, Goes Viral During that lauded viral routine, Ohashi performed complex choreography to various Michael Jackson songs including Remember the Time and The Way You Make Me Feel.The goal of my routine is pure joy, and after the documentary, not everyone was feeling that way, and you can never discredit someones feelings, Ohashi said. Watch UCLAs Katelyn Ohashi Land Her Second Perfect 10 of the Season on Floor Ohashi added music from Janet Jackson, Tina Turner and Beyonc instead in her final Pac-12 event, in a nod to female vocalists.I think a different style of dancing, Ohashi said about the routine. I had done Michael Jackson the last two years, so this showcases a different style of dancing for me. Its a more pop style of dancing.Ohashi added, I hope that by changing my routine, I can be remembered for being more than a gymnast. Its about understanding issues and having a bigger platform than just the sport.Ohashi scored a perfect 10 Saturday when she debutedher new routine in her final Pac-12 appearance, tying fellow Bruin Kyla Ross for first place at the Pac-12 Championships. UCLA Gymnastics claimed back-to-back Pac-12 championships over the weekend, and Ohashi was also named the conferences Specialist of the Year.With the win, Ohashi and the Bruins qualified for the NCAA Gymnastics Championships, where she expects to perform her new routine again. The full competition schedule can be foundhere.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Big Names Deliver in Angels' Exhibition Win Over Dodgers
03/25/2019 10:08am

Mike Trout enjoyed a little pregame celebration and then went right back to work.Trout had an RBI double in his first home game since signing a record contract and agreeing to spend 12 more years with the Los Angeles Angels, who beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 8-4 in an exhibition game Sunday night. This Week: Cirque du Soleils Corteo Albert Pujols hit a two-run homer in the first game of the annual preseason Freeway Series between the teams separated by 35 miles on the I-5.Trout got several large ovations from the Angel Stadium crowd after an energized pregame rally outside the stadium to herald his $426.5 million commitment to stick with the Angels for what he says will be the rest of his career. Angels, Dodgers Fans Will Get to Games Easier This Season The seven-time All-Star then doubled to left field off Ross Stripling in the third inning, driving in Jonathan Lucroy with the Angels first run.Pujols cracked his third homer of the spring in the fourth inning off Dylan Floro. The three-time NL MVP begins his 19th big league season next week with 633 homers, sixth-most in baseball history. The Good, Bad and the Unknown of Apples New Services Stripling yielded one run in three innings of three-hit ball for the Dodgers, who will have the versatile right-hander in their rotation to start the season. With Clayton Kershaw and Rich Hill unable to pitch next week due to injuries, Stripling will get the Dodgers second start of the year against Arizona on Friday night.Its nice to have some definitive answers, said Stripling, who made 21 starts and 12 relief appearances last season. Its pretty crazy. The first thing that comes to mind is Im proud of being the first guy they call on when stuff hits the fan. Its important, and something I dont take lightly.Felix Pena started for the Angels and racked up nine strikeouts in 3 1/3 innings of three-hit ball.Max Muncy shook off a quiet spring with early back-to-back doubles, driving in Corey Seager in the first inning for the Dodgers.The Dodgers tied it with three runs in the seventh, including Cody Bellingers two-run single.Trout agreed to stay with the Angels in part because of his respect for the talent rising through their farm system. Angels fans got a good look at one of those elite prospects when Brandon Marsh made a diving catch in center field and smacked a two-run single in the eighth.NOTES: Angels LF Justin Upton exited with a sprained left big toe in the first inning after running into the wall while chasing Muncys first double. Upton barely played in spring training due to knee tendinitis. ... The Dodgers signed RHP Justin Grimm to a minor league deal before the game. The former Cubs reliever spent spring training with Cleveland. ... Hill is wearing a brace to stabilize his strained left knee, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. Hill is expected to be out one more week.UP NEXTThe Freeway Series continues Monday in Anaheim with RHP Kenta Maeda taking the mound for the Dodgers and right-handed reliever Ty Buttrey starting out for the Angels.Photo Credit: AP

Exhaustion and Elation: The 2019 LA Marathon in Photos
03/25/2019 9:38am

In the closest mens race in the events history, Elisha Barno passed fellow Kenyan John Korir in the final 200 yards to win the 34th annual Los Angeles Marathon. It was just one of many memorable moments for participants, who took on the stadium-to-the-sea challenge.Photo Credit: Getty

Philly Looks to Capitalize on Esports With New Arena
03/25/2019 5:57pm

In many ways, hes a lot like other professional athletes. He spends countless hours honing his craft, jet-setting to far-flung venues to play in front of large, boisterous crowds. He signs autographs and takes selfies with admiring fans.But this is no conventional sportsman playing a conventional sport. This is Cormac Doolsta Dooley. Only 18 and not even out of high school yet, hes part of a growing industry once derided by some parents as a mindless waste of time that has quickly exploded into a global, lucrative profession: esports. Pot Will Get Passed, NJ Dems Say After Calling Off Vote Even if you win one $50,000 tournament, thats pretty much some peoples wages for a year. So there definitely is a lot of money to be made, Dooley said.A Spectator Spectacle Brew Wave Cinema: New Beer Can Also Develop Movie Film Competitive gaming has become so profitable in recent years that large media companies are getting in on the act. Comcast Spectacor announced Monday that it will build a dedicated esport stadium in the heart of the South Philadelphia Sports Complex.The 3,500-seat, $50 million Fusion Arena will play host to local professional team Philadelphia Fusion already owned by Comcast Spectacor. Powerball Jackpot Now $750M After No Winning Ticket Drawn This will be the first ground-up esports facility in the western hemisphere, Spectacor Chief Business Officer Joe Marsh said.The 60,000 square-foot arena, slated to open in 2021, alsowill feature a training facility and represents another revenue stream in the ever-expanding competitive gaming ecosystem.For a city like Philadelphia, an arena will likely mean added revenue, said Robert Johnson, the chief marketing officer for N3rd Street Gamers, a Philadelphia-based company thats taking advantage of a hole in the still-developing esports market.Just for the amateur tournaments that N3rd Street hosts, both players and spectators travel from around the country, thereby boosting local economies, Johnson said.Last year, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn sold out more than 20,000 tickets for the grand finals of the Overwatch League, in which gamers compete in the popular Blizzard Entertainment game Overwatch.A professional venue in Philadelphia, according to Johnson, could attract a global audience.The exposure is to Philadelphia. They need to stay somewhere in hotels. They need to eat somewhere. So the economic impact is very, very high, I would believe, he said.A Billion-Dollar BetI made the switch over to N3rd Street Gamers a couple months ago knowing that the over double-digit growth year after year of competitive gaming, its not slowing down, Johnson said.Johnson spent years doing marketing for the NFL and NHL before making the switch to the competitive gaming world. He said the days of video games being perceived and derided as a hobby reserved for recluses playing alone in their basements are gone, replaced instead by an ecosystem thats churning out cash for those who know how to capitalize on it.Professional-level esports are predicted to generate $1.1 billion in 2019 through a combination of sponsorship and media rights deals, game publisher fees and advertising, merchandise and ticket sales, according to gaming research agency Newzoo. Thirty-seven percent or $409 million will be generated in North America alone, Newzoo predicts.Newzoos figures dont take into account the money that could be made outside of professional-level competitions. Other avenues also exist, including the monetization of non-competitive gaming through services like YouTube and Twitch, the latter of which was bought by Amazon for $970 million in 2014.Still, Newzoo notes, live streaming around non-organized competitive gaming is an exciting industry in itself, full of its own developments.Even Google has gotten in on the action. The company recently announced its intention to launch Google Stadia, a streaming service akin to Netflix but which would instead allow people to play games without needing a traditional console.The rise in competitive gaming has been spurred largely by changing, nonlinear media consumption habits from younger generations, Johnson said. The eyeballs are shifting to a different medium, and a lot of that is becoming video games.Newzoo predicts that this year, 453.8 million people will watch professional esports globally. By 2022, it expects that audience to balloon even further, to 645 million people. This has prompted traditional companies to shift their own eyeballs in the direction of esports.Fusion Arena is only the latest in a series of moves by Comcast to capitalize on competitive video gaming. In 2017, the media giant announced the creation of the Fusion, which competes in the Overwatch League.Last year, Disney announced a multiyear deal with Activision Blizzard to air the Overwatch League playoffs and finals on ABC, ESPN, ESPN 2 and Disney XD, bringing competitive video games to television screens.But though traditional media conglomerates are pouring big money into the industry, theres still a lot of room for others to take advantage of the changing landscape.N3rd Street Gamers niche, for example, is largely in player development.Unlike traditional sports, which began at the amateur level and gained popularity before players ever considered themselves professional, modern esports took the opposite route, Johnson said.With esports, it seems that it just went pro and then the infrastructure wasnt built to get people there, he said.N3rd Streets goal is to bridge that amateur-to-pro pipeline by eliminating barriers to entry for causal gamers.Gaming can be expensive. A lot of the high-end PCs, theyre thousands of dollars each, Johnson said.To help ease the financial burden, N3rd Street allows people to play at its Localhost Arena in Northern Liberties. Here, players not only have access to modern gaming equipment that they might not otherwise be able to afford, but theyre also provided with opportunities for training bootcamps.Last year, the company also announced the creation of the National Championship Series, a series of amateur tournaments throughout the country that provides cash prizes and tracks player development through a points system.From Good to ProDooley was himself one of the beneficiaries of N3rd Streets work.Last year, he was a 17-year-old fan of the popular EA Sports franchise FIFA. The West Chester East High School student was good. He often beat his friends, but he wasnt a pro. Then came the Union Esports Open, in which Major League Soccer team Philadelphia Union worked with N3rd Street and Independence Blue Cross to host a tournament that would determine which player would represent the team at the eMLS Cup.I didnt really realize I was a top-level player until I won the Union tournament, where I beat a pro in the final who was one of the best in America, Dooley said.Following that win, he not only got signed by the Union, but managed to sway his previously unconvinced parents. Like many older non-gamers, they didnt quite understand what all the hype was about.They didnt like me playing that much. Even when Id be sick from school or something, sometimes my dad would just think I was faking and take the controllers because he didnt want me playing, Dooley recalled with a laugh.But then they saw the crowds and the prize money. Dooley was now able to come to his parents and say he wanted to quit his job as a bus boy making $5 an hour plus tips in order to play FIFA.Its been a whirlwind since.Now he gets flown to Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Paris and Bucharest. Hes pretty certain hell qualify for a tournament that takes him to Berlin. Today, hes competing for a triple-figure pot in London. Last week, a tournament win scored him $10,000.Not bad for a high schooler.It is completely surreal, Dooley said. When I look back at this time last year, I was working hard like most high school students, just at a restaurant or something, and now flip the scripts onto a year and Im making a good bit more money than what I was making there doing that.All that was born from one video game tournament.Niche Goes MainstreamEven excluding the win bonuses, players at these tournaments even at the amateur or semi-pro level can still benefit from the exposure to sponsors and even college scouts who might be watching in the crowd.This embrace of esports by institutions of higher learning to date, 135 accredited U.S. colleges are listed as being a part of the National Association of Collegiate Esports underscores another indication of esports staying power: it has permeated into everyday life, with no sign of stopping any time soon.Soccer superstar and French World Cup winner Antoine Greizmann has embraced the take the L celebration found in Fortnite. Lakers player Josh Hart has taken to the court in his own custom Fortnite shoes. Former UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson has his own channel on Twitch.Some gamers have become transcendent millionaires. Last year, Tyler Ninja Blevins became the first professional esports player to grace the cover of ESPN Magazine.Its becoming mass-audience, its becoming more pop culture, Johnson said.These days, its no longer a question of whether or not competitive gaming can catch on in the mainstream. Increasingly, it is the mainstream.Disclosure:Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal, which owns this TV station.Photo Credit: Comcast Spectacor This story uses functionality that may not work in our app. Click here to open the story in your web browser.

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