October 20, 2013 |
BOSTON - Ryan Dempster spent nine seasons riding the Chicago Cubs' roller coaster, experiencing just about everything one could imagine in a baseball life. During his time in a Cubs uniform, Dempster played for four managers, from Dusty Baker to Dale Sveum, and once broke his right big toe while jumping over the home dugout railing celebrating a win. He returned from Tommy John surgery in time for the final two months of the 2004 collapse, and endured a 96-loss season in 2006 that led to the departure of president Andy MacPhail and Baker.
October 13, 2013 |
As it turns out, former college assistants can coach high school football. Chuck Petersen (Air Force) has Orange Lutheran at 6-0. Jeff Woodruff (Texas El Paso) has Westlake Village Oaks Christian at 6-1. And Marvin Sanders (USC) orchestrated the biggest upset of Friday night, guiding Los Angeles Loyola to a 31-20 victory over Mission Hills Alemany. "I've been having fun since I took over," said Sanders, who was fired by Lane Kiffin as defensive backs coach last season at USC, then was the surprise hire at Loyola to replace Mike Christensen . A season-opening loss to Studio City Harvard-Westlake by the Cubs (4-3)
September 30, 2013 |
Dale Sveum went 127-197 in his two years as Chicago Cubs manager -- with more losses than in any other two-year period in the team's history -- but that's not why he lost his job Monday, according to President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein. “Today's decision to pursue a new manager was not made because of wins and losses,” Epstein said. “Our record is a function of our long-term building plan and the moves we have made -- some good, a few we would like back -- to further this strategy.” He added: “I believe a dynamic new voice -- and the energy, creativity and freshness that comes with this type of change -- provides us with the best opportunity to achieve the major league environment we seek.” Other than a stint as the Brewers' interim manager in 2008, Sveum had little experience as a manager when he was signed to a three-year contract after the 2011 season.
September 24, 2013 |
What's cuter than a panda cub? Fourteen cubs sharing an oversized crib at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding in China. Researchers wearing blue surgical gowns, hairnets and face masks presented the furry cubs to the world Tuesday as they gave an update on the recent panda baby boom. A total of 20 cubs were born to pandas from the research base between July 10 and Aug. 30, according to Huang Xiangming, chief of the animal management division there. Seventeen of those cubs are still alive, Huang told the China Daily newspaper.
August 28, 2013 |
The Dodgers have an ace in Clayton Kershaw and another ace in Zack Greinke. And Ricky Nolasco? What's he exactly? Nolasco is giving the Dodgers pitching that's at least equal to the aces, and currently maybe even better. Crazy but true. One turn after shutting down the Boston Red Sox, Nolasco was back at it Wednesday afternoon, blanking the Chicago Cubs in his dominating eight innings to lead the Dodgers to a 4-0 victory at Dodger Stadium. Nolasco held the Cubs to three hits, and has now not given up a run in his last two starts (16 innings)
August 28, 2013 |
Ricky Nolasco is accustomed by now to being overlooked. For seven-plus seasons, he pitched for the non-contending Marlins, meaning no matter what he did, he did so in relative obscurity. That experience probably served Nolasco well Wednesday, when shortly after one of his best performances of the season, he was asked multiple questions at a news conference about Manager Don Mattingly's decision to bench Yasiel Puig midway through the Dodgers' 4-0 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Dodger Stadium.
August 27, 2013 |
Former USC and Nebraska assistant coach Marvin Sanders begins his first year as head coach at Los Angeles Loyola on Friday against Harvard-Westlake, and expect the Cubs to send running back Nico Evans again and again behind linemen John Turner and Chris Brown. It's going to be let's see if you can stop the Cubs running the ball. "We're going to try to establish the run first, absolutely," Sanders said. Sophomore Tre Polamalu, the son of former USC assistant Kennedy Polamalu, a Loyola assistant, will start at quarterback.
August 26, 2013 |
The defeats over the previous two days felt like something from the distant past. Zack Greinke was pitching, which these days equates to an automatic victory for the Dodgers. With Greinke taking a shutout into the ninth inning, the Dodgers won their sixth consecutive game started by their $147-million co-ace, a 6-2 victory over the inexperienced and overmatched Chicago Cubs on Monday at Dodger Stadium. This almost looked unfair, as one of baseball's best pitchers did more or less whatever he wanted to one of the National League's sorriest teams.
August 14, 2013 |
The San Diego Zoo helped giant panda Xiau Liwu celebrate his first birthday late last month with a 200-pound, three-tier ice cake featuring bamboo, mashed carrots, sweet potatoes and apples. Xiao Liwu, aka “Mr. Wu,” is the sixth panda cub born at the San Diego Zoo . His mother, Bai Yun, has given birth to all six, three girls and three boys. Giant pandas are an endangered species native to bamboo forests in the mountains of western China. According to the 1999-2003 census, only 1,596 pandas remained in the wild.
August 13, 2013 |
Yuan Yuan the giant panda and her new baby had a heart-melting reunion at Taipei Zoo that began with the cub swinging gently from her jaws and ended with the pair asleep in a heap on the floor. The female giant panda cub was born July 6, bright pink and tiny at about 6 1/2 ounces, according to the Taiwanese zoo. The cub, called Yuan Zai, is the first offspring of giant pandas Tuan Tuan and Yuan Yuan, who were given as a diplomatic gift to Taiwan by the Chinese mainland. The cub was "slightly injured" by her mother in the first days after her birth, reported the AFP, so zookeepers separated the infant and placed her in an incubator.