Yasiel Puig’s focus on field despite issues off it

Los Angeles Dodgers' Yasiel Puig runs to first base as he grounds out during the eighth inning of a baseball game on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, in San Francisco. San Francisco won 2-1. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SAN FRANCISCO — Yasiel Puig believes he has the support from his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates and the club to help him keep his focus on baseball despite challenges off the field. Puig returned to the starting lineup in right field for Thursday’s series finale against the Giants amid news reports that smugglers who helped … Continue reading →

NBA playoffs: Can Spurs get back at Heat?

Associated Press file photo by Eric GayMiami's LeBron James passes between San Antonio's Boris Diaw and Manu Ginobili during the NBA Finals last season.

To get another shot at LeBron James, the San Antonio Spurs may have to go through Dirk Nowitzki, then Dwight Howard and James Harden, and finally Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Survive all that, and maybe they can avenge that NBA Finals heartbreak. “There’s definitely that burning desire in the back of your mind that really … Continue reading →

Crescent City Classic boasts elite field

Photo courtesy Susan McManus -- Isiah Koech wins the men's elite portion of the Shamrockin’ Run on Sunday, March 16, 2014, in New Orleans.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic has a reputation for being one of the fastest road races in the world each year, thanks to a flat course and what is typically favorable weather on Holy Saturday. But the element that truly makes the Classic a world-class event is the stable of long-distance runners that participates each … Continue reading →

VooDoo looks to keep feeble Talons toothless

Advocate file photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- New Orleans VooDoo coach Pat O'Hara talks to quarterback Kurt Rocco during a game against the Orlando Predators last season. Rocco will start Friday's game against the winless San Antonio Talons.

The VooDoo enter Friday night’s Arena Football League game against the San Antonio Talons poised to follow receiver D.J. Stephens around the Smoothie King Center. Stephens has proved early this season to be the primary option in the Talons’ passing offense, perhaps one of its few consistent options. In five games, he has caught 39 passes (third in AFL) … Continue reading →

Vijay Singh, Lucas Glover, Geoff Ogilvy to play Zurich Classic

Associated Press file photo by CHARLES REX ABROGAST -- Vijay Singh looks at the scoreboard on the eighth fairway during the second round of the 2012 BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind. Singh has committed to play in the Zurich Classic April 24-27.

With one week to go before the Zurich Classic of New Orleans tees off, Fore!Kids Foundation officials have received commitments from three more major champions. Fore!Kids Foundation CEO Steve Worthy, whose group produces the Zurich Classic each spring, announced Wednesday that Vijay Singh, Lucas Glover and Geoff Ogilvy have committed to the April 24-27 … Continue reading →

Lindsey Scherf withdraws from Crescent City Classic

It’s been 20 years since an American woman has won the Crescent City Classic. And the best apparent shot America had to end the streak dropped out of the race earlier this week, further enhancing the chances of another foreign-born athlete claiming honors in the city’s premier race. Lindsey Scherf — a former All-American at Harvard … Continue reading →

Zephyrs lose in Des Moines

DES MOINES , Iowa — Iowa’s Arismendy Alcantara smacked a two-run triple in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie to help give the Cubs a 6-3 win over the New Orleans Zephyrs on Wednesday. Josh Rodriguez and Juan Diaz led the Zephyrs with two hits each. Justin Bour extended his hitting streak to 14 … Continue reading →

Panel of administrators: NCAA system must change

Associated Press photo by Mark Humphrey -- Panelists take part in a discussion on integrity in sports Tuesday at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. From left are Mitch Barnhard, athletic director at Kentucky; Beth DeBauche, commissioner of the Ohio Valley Conference; and Dan Beebe, former Ohio Valley Conference and Big 12 commissioner.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A panel of college administrators agree the NCAA business model has to change to survive. Three administrators participated in a discussion Tuesday on integrity and the commercialization of college athletics: Ohio Valley Conference Commissioner Beth DeBauche, Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart and former Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe. … Continue reading →

NCAA committee approves expanded meal allowance for all athletes

INDIANAPOLIS — The NCAA’s Legislative Council approved a proposal Tuesday to expand the meal allowance for all athletes. The move occurred eight days after Connecticut guard Shabazz Napier complained during the Final Four that he sometimes went to bed “starving” because he couldn’t afford food. The proposal would allow Division I schools to provide unlimited meals … Continue reading →

Report: Matt Flynn to rejoin Packers

Associated Press file photo by MIKE ROEMER -- After rejoining the team, Matt Flynn threw for 1,146 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions in five games with the Packers last season.

ESPN reported Tuesday that former LSU quarterback Matt Flynn will return to the Green Bay Packers. Flynn started his NFL career in Green Bay and was Aaron Rodgers’ backup from 2008-11. He came back to the team last season and played in five games with four starts, throwing for 1,146 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. … Continue reading →

Wednesday’s broadcast highlights

TODAY’S BROADCAST HIGHLIGHTS TV COLLEGE BASEBALL 5 p.m., Inside LSU-Paul Mainieri, CST 5:30 p.m., Louisiana Baseball, CST 9:30 p.m., Roger Cador Show, CST MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 6 p.m., Cubs at Yankees, WGN 7 p.m., Mariners at Rangers, FSSLA2 NBA 7 p.m., Rockets at Pelicans, FSNO 7 p.m., Mavericks at Grizzlies, ESPN 9:30 p.m., Clippers at Trail Blazers, ESPN … Continue reading →

VooDoo’s Cameron McGlenn is the pick of the litter

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA -- The Cleveland Gladiators' Marrio Norman, left, and the VooDoo's LJ Castile fight for a ball at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on March 29, 2014. Castile caught the ball for a touchdown.

VooDoo defensive back Cameron McGlenn’s knack for finding the football has continued. McGlenn is tied for fourth in the Arena Football League with four interceptions, helping the VooDoo defense rank second in the category. Only the Pittsburgh Power have more interceptions with 13; VooDoo quarterbacks Kurt Rocco and Ryan Perrilloux threw a combined five interceptions during last … Continue reading →

Zephyrs beat Cubs for back-to-back wins

DES MOINES, Iowa — Five runs in the second inning, including a three-run double by Brian Bogusevic, led the Zephyrs to an 8-4 victory over the Iowa Cubs on Tuesday night, their second win in a row. Justin Bour, who extended his hitting streak to 13 games, had a solo homer to spark the … Continue reading →

Rabalais: Notes, quotes from around the Masters

Bubba Watson carries is son Caleb after winning the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Notes on a golf scorecard I, shall we say, borrowed from the Augusta National pro shop as we take one last look at the 2014 Masters … Bubba Watson made winning his second Masters, this one by three strokes, look fairly easy after he went birdie-birdie to Jordan Spieth’s bogey-bogey … Continue reading →

Saints host slew of defensive back draft prospects

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Aaron Colvin signals 'no good' after Alabama kicker Cade Foster missed a field goal in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Colvin was among several defensive back draft prospects who visited the Saints on Tuesday.

Though they were No. 2 against the pass last season, the New Orleans Saints packed their headquarters Tuesday with draft prospects who could further boost their secondary. Cornerbacks Justin Gilbert (Oklahoma State), Bradley Roby (Ohio State), Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Nebraska), Pierre Desir (Lindenwood), Aaron Colvin (Oklahoma) and Demetri Goodson (Baylor) all visited the Saints, a … Continue reading →

Michael Phelps comes out of retirement

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2012, file photo, United States' Michael Phelps displays his gold medal for the men's 100-meter butterfly swimming final at the Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Phelps is coming out of retirement, the first step toward possibly swimming at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Bob Bowman, the swimmer's longtime coach, told The Associated Press on Monday, April 14, 2014, that Phelps is entered in three events  the 50- and 100-meter freestyles and the 100 butterfly at his first meet since the 2012 London Games at a meet in Mesa, Ariz., on April 24-26. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)

Michael Phelps is coming out of retirement, lured back into the pool by the fun of it and the possibility of swimming at a fifth Olympics in Rio in 2016. The 22-time Olympic medalist will compete for the first time since the 2012 London Games at a meet in Mesa, Ariz., on April 24-26. Bob Bowman, … Continue reading →

49ers linebacker Smith arrested at LA airport

Associated Press file photo by Marcio Jose SanchezSan Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was  arrested at Los Angeles International Airport after authorities said he became belligerent during a security screening and threatened that he had a bomb.

LOS ANGELES — San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith was arrested Sunday at Los Angeles International Airport after authorities said he became belligerent during a security screening and threatened that he had a bomb. The 24-year-old player was randomly selected for a secondary screening at Terminal 1 and became uncooperative with the process, airport police Sgt. Karla … Continue reading →

Sun take Chiney Ogwumike with top pick in WNBA draft

Associated Press photo by Jessica HillStanfords Chiney Ogwumike holds up a Connecticut Sun jersey with WNBA president Laurel J. Richie after Connecticut picked Ogwumike No. 1 in the WNBA draft Monday.

UNCASVILLE, Conn. — It was a busy draft night for the Connecticut Sun. Minutes after taking Chiney Ogwumike with the top pick in the WNBA draft Monday night, the Sun made a blockbuster deal to trade 2012 MVP Tina Charles to the New York Liberty. The Sun acquired the Liberty’s fourth pick this year … Continue reading →

Tuesday's sports on the air

Today’s Broadcast Highlights TV COLLEGE BASEBALL 7 p.m., LSU vs. Southern Miss, CST MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 7 p.m., Mariners at Rangers, FSNO NBA 7 p.m., Knicks at Nets, TNT 9:30 p.m., Nuggets at Clippers, TNT NHL 7 p.m., Draft lottery, NBCSP SOCCER 1:40 p.m., Arsenal vs. … Continue reading →

BR’s prep female bowlers get redemption in singles

Maybe the word “redemption” is kicked around too much on the sports pages, but when Jacob Garretson of Central won the boys singles title in the LHSAA prep bowling playoffs this past Saturday at All-Star Lanes, the word might be one you can use. It also seemed fitting that two of Baton Rouge’s top female bowlers — … Continue reading →

Fun & Fitness Calendar

BASEBALL LPR/USSSA MAY MAYHEM: May 3-4, Livingston Parks & Rec, Livingston. 6-under through 14-under age divisions. Fee $275. 3-game minimum. Call Deonna Israel (225) 270-0240. Online registration: www.LivingstonParks.com. LPR/USSSA MOTHER’S DAY CLASSIC: May 10-11, Livingston Parks & Rec, Livingston. 6-under through 14-under age divisions. Fee $275. 3-game minimum. Call Deonna Israel (225) 270-0240. Online … Continue reading →

Patin wins Woody Dumas Championship

Blaine Patin fired a 73-68 — 141 to win the championship flight of the Woody Dumas Memorial Championship over the weekend at Dumas Golf Course in Baker. Garrett Westbrook (72-70 — 142) finished second in the championship flight, followed by Scott Wilfong (72-71 — 143) and Mike Drury (74-69 — 143). Luke Gower (76-70 — … Continue reading →

Caddie Ted Scott savors Bubba Watson’s title

Bubba Watson walks across the Hogan Bridge with his caddie Ted Scott during the fourth round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — The first time they won the Masters together, Bubba Watson and caddie Ted Scott had to grind through a sudden-death playoff to beat Louis Oosthuizen with one of the most remarkable recovery shots in the history of green jacketed golfers. This time, no such drama, no such tension. As they walked up … Continue reading →

Masters runner-up Jordan Spieth finally shows his age

Jordan Spieth clutches his club after his approach shot on the eighth hole during the fourth round of the Masters golf tournament Sunday, April 13, 2014, in Augusta, Ga. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

AUGUSTA, Ga. — As the errant shots began to pile up, Jordan Spieth swung his club angrily and spewed his frustration for everyone to hear. “Dang it, Jordan!” he muttered while strolling down a fairway at Augusta National. Finally, after three brilliant days, the kid showed his age. A major championship will have … Continue reading →

Poor putting costly for Billy Horschel

Associated Press photo by Chris CarlsonBilly Horschel hits off the second fairway during the first round of the Masters on Thursday.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Billy Horschel wouldn’t say who told him, but he knew exactly what his balky putting cost him in his first Masters tournament. The former Florida Gator shot a final-round 73 Sunday to tie for 37th at 7-over par 295. But he figured he could have been on the leaderboard if … Continue reading →

Pacquiao back on top after win over Bradley

Manny Pacquiao, right, of the Philippines, throws a right at the head of Timothy Bradley during the WBO welterweight title boxing fight Saturday, April 12, 2014, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

LAS VEGAS — The old Manny Pacquiao returned for thrilling bursts, hounding Timothy Bradley onto the ropes and battering the welterweight champion with whip-quick combinations that recalled the Pacman’s magical prime. The older Pacquiao couldn’t finish the trick, however. Although he tried mightily, Pacquiao didn’t stop or even really hurt Bradley during 12 mostly … Continue reading →

Monday's sports on the air

Today’s Broadcast Highlights TV MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 6 p.m., Braves at Phillies, ESPN 9 p.m., A’s at Angels, ESPN NBA 7 p.m., Thunder at Pelicans, FSNO WNBA 7 p.m., Draft, ESPN2 BOXING 8 p.m., Cancio vs. Rios, FS1 … Continue reading →

Bubba Watson goes green again

Associated Press photo by Darron Cummings -- Bubba Watson reacts after winning the Masters golf tournament Sunday in Augusta, Ga.

AUGUSTA, Ga. — Bubba Watson’s second Masters title was nothing like the green jacket he won two years ago. The only daring shot Watson hit was one he really didn’t need. The wild swing in momentum came on the front nine, not the back nine of Augusta National. And the sweetest difference of all Sunday … Continue reading →

Zephyrs on Sunday: RedHawks 4, Zephyrs 3

Oklahoma City — RedHawks outfielder Domingo Santana had two hits Sunday afternoon: the game-tying home run in the ninth inning and the game-winning single in the 10th as the RedHawks defeated the Zephyrs 4-3 in front of 4,508 fans at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark. … Continue reading →

Broadcast highlights for Sunday, April 13

TV COLLEGE BASEBALL 1 p.m., Arkansas at LSU, CST 2:30 p.m., Texas at Oklahoma, ESPNU MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL 1:10 p.m., Cubs at Cardinals, WGN 2 p.m., Astros at Rangers, FSNO 7 p.m., Red Sox at Yankees, ESPN NBA Noon, Thunder at Pacers, ABC GOLF 8:30 a.m., Live from The Masters, Golf 1 p.m., Masters, final round, CBS 6 p.m., … Continue reading →