LAPD outlines security plans at Dodger Stadium

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LAPD outlines security plans at Dodger Stadium

April 9, 2011
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LOS ANGELES (AP) A vicious attack on a baseball fan is focusing attention on security problems at Dodger Stadium and drawing promises from the team and the city that more police will be on hand during games.They are hoping to avoid a repeat of the season's first game, when two men in Dodgers attire attacked a 42-year-old man wearing rival San Francisco Giants gear in the parking lot. A week later, he is still in critical condition. Police are still looking for the assailants, despite a 150,000 reward and sketches of the suspects."These two individuals are not true Dodger fans. They are common criminals," Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said at a news conference Friday, his first public comments on the beating.
COMMUNITY: How to help the Stow family
The attack, however, has focused attention on security problems at the ballpark, and the intense - sometimes bitter - rivalry among Dodgers and Giants fans.More officers will be dispatched as part of increased security announced Friday. City officials and the team said the additional officers will stand guard at the next home game on April 14.To fans concerned about their safety, McCourt said: "I hear you loudly and I hear you clearly."The team turned to Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck for help and hired former police Chief William Bratton and his New York security firm to plot a safe future for fans at one of the nation's most historic ballparks.McCourt, Beck and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa all promised changes that will ensure a safe, family-friendly, fan-friendly environment. Many of the changes will be in place before the April 14 game against the St. Louis Cardinals.Among the changes are LAPD officers in uniform who can eject or arrest troublemakers, including season ticket holders, and enforce the ban on tailgating or drinking in the parking lots. The team will pay for the additional police, although the price hasn't been set yet.Eventually, there will be license plate scanners, observation towers, increased lighting and undercover operations throughout the stadium.Team officials said they were reconsidering their plan to sell half-price alcohol at six games this season.They also promised to look at prices and serving sizes for alcoholic beverages, as well as when to stop serving alcohol, Dodger spokesman Josh Rawitch told the Los Angeles Times."There will be zero tolerance for misbehavior at Dodger games," Beck said.Some types of trash talk also will not be tolerated."If people are making comments that inherently incite violence, then you've got to go," he said.That will be good news for Erick Gustafson, 43. He said some fans were out of control. At a game last summer, he and his son were waiting in line for tickets when some fans shouted insults at his 10-year-old boy because he was wearing a St. Louis Cardinals shirt."He was all excited, he made some money and bought his own jersey," Gustafson said. He didn't want the boy to face similar taunts on the way out, so "in the sixth inning, I said let's go.' It was just for my son's safety."Radio talk show host Tom Leykis said he stopped going to Dodger games in October 2009 after two fans recognized and taunted him for eight innings with "nonstop vulgarities," then followed him up the stairs.He called security and two officers arrived and talked to the men, who he called "drunken stockbrockers," but did nothing more because they professed their innocence, Leykis told The Associated Press."We've got HDTV. I don't need this and I stopped going," said Leykis, who offered 50,000 to the reward fund to find the men who attacked Giants fan, Bryan Stow, last week.Stow was bludgeoned and kicked as he left the ballpark after the Dodgers defeated the Giants. He is still in a medically induced coma at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, and his family is accepting emailed well wishes from thousands of baseball fans.The rivalry is more than a century old, dating back to when they were both still in New York.The Dodgers moved into Chavez Ravine on April 10, 1962, four years after both the Dodgers and Giants moved to California from New York. Today Dodger Stadium is the third oldest park in the majors.In the win-loss column, the Dodgers and Giants are almost even. Each team has six World Series titles. Head-to-head, the Giants have won 1,172 games and the Dodgers have won 1,152.The Dodgers haven't won a World Series since 1988. The Giants are reigning world champs.On Opening Day, a plane flew over the stadium, trailing a banner that said: "Dodgers still suck ... from SF champs fans."While losing stings, the public feud between McCourt and his wife, Jamie, over ownership of the team hasn't helped the Dodgers or their fans' image of the team."The minute you start hearing news about your favorite team beyond the sports pages, you have a problem," said David Carter, executive director of the University of Southern California Sports Business Institute.Not everyone is afraid. Sergio Courtney, 38, of Los Angeles, said he's been going to Dodger games since he was 5. He never felt unsafe and he doesn't now, he said.Plans for massive police presence are overkill, he said, recommending observation towers."They don't need a whole police force, just a couple eyes in the sky," he said.The next game between the teams will be Monday night, when the Dodgers visit AT&T Park in San Francisco for a three-game series. The Giants said they always have increased security for the Dodgers series.On Friday, Stow's picture with his two kids was shown on the main centerfield scoreboard at the Giants-Cardinals afternoon game. The crowd began cheering: "Beat L.A.!"

NFL owners mull cutting regular-season OT to 10 minutes

NFL owners mull cutting regular-season OT to 10 minutes

NEW YORK -- NFL owners will consider proposals next week to cut regular-season overtime from 15 minutes to 10; eliminate players leaping over the line on kick plays; and expansion of coaches' challenges and what can be reviewed by officials.

In what promises to be a busy annual meeting next week in Phoenix that will include discussing the Raiders' potential relocation from Oakland to Las Vegas, the 32 owners also will vote on changing the mechanics on replay reviews and other items intended to reduce downtime during games.

The Eagles proposed four rules changes, including abolishing the leaping techniques that league football operations director Troy Vincent said Thursday "don't belong in the game."

Seattle and Buffalo co-authored a proposal allowing a coach to challenge any officiating decision, whether a foul is called or not.

"That is a significant change to our current replay rule and it is something that will be on the floor and will be debated next week," NFL officiating chief Dean Blandino said.

Another major change would be the reduction of overtime in-season; the extra period in the playoffs would remain at 15 minutes. The powerful competition committee, of which Vincent and Blandino are members, believed it's a player safety issue, noting that number of snaps for games going to OT - especially deep into the overtime - is excessive. Especially if a team has a quick turnaround.

"We don't know where a team is going to be playing the next week, it could be four days later," said committee chairman Rich McKay, president of the Atlanta Falcons. "We felt we should put an end to it. We don't think it will lead to more ties. Could it? It could, but we are not concerned with that."

As for changing the format of overtime to ensure both teams always get a possession - a popular topic after how the Super Bowl ended - Blandino said the league's wants to keep the element of sudden death in the extra period.

The "leaper rule" has taken some priority among competition committee members, the players' union and coaches. Vincent said coaches have begun scheming how to defense it, which can "create a real safety issue."

"It is really in the best interest of the game" to outlaw leaping on kicks," Vincent added.

McKay noted that the NCAA is in the process of passing a similar ban on the technique.

During the meetings that run from Sunday to Wednesday, the teams will be shown plays the competition committee believes should result in suspensions or ejections. Game officials already have had the leeway to eject players, but it rarely has happened; there were three in 2016.

"They don't happen very often, let's give the players credit," McKay said. "We have 40,000 plays in a year. We'll show a tape that will have four or five plays that would warrant suspension. This is not a widespread situation."

Added Vincent, a former NFL defensive back: "When you see the plays, they are catastrophic. We had two players who did not return for the season. They are high-impact plays that belong out of the game. It will be a real point of emphasis this season."

Warriors guard Livingston begins turnaround after shooting dry spell

Warriors guard Livingston begins turnaround after shooting dry spell

OAKLAND -- Amid the recovery mission that followed the absence of Kevin Durant, as every Warrior eventually pitched in, Shaun Livingston stood virtually alone as someone who wasn’t doing his part.

The Warriors, and Livingston, would like to believe that is about to change.

When Livingston made 3-of-4 shots in a 112-87 rout of the Mavericks on Tuesday night, it was the first time he shot higher than 50 percent on multiple shots since Feb. 28, the day Durant went down with a knee injury.

“You go through slumps,” Livingston said after practice Thursday. “Fortunately for me, I’ve played long enough to know. You keep shooting. Keep pushing forward, good things will happen.”

As the Warriors lost that game at Washington, and four of the next six, Livingston’s usually reliable midrange game disappeared. In the first 10 full games since Durant was sidelined, Livingston shot 18.8 percent (6-of-32).

So his teammates did the heavy lifting. Andre Iguodala excelled as the steady vet. Klay Thompson and Draymond Green dipped and then came hard. Stephen Curry climbed out of his rut and started dancing again. The big men -- Zaza Pachulia, JaVale McGee and David West -- were titanic. Pat McCaw, Ian Clark, Matt Barnes and James Michael McAdoo filled in the gaps.

They had to, because Livingston the most reliable shooter on the team was nowhere to be found.

“We all want to play the best that we can,” Livingston said. “But the reality is it doesn’t work that way all the time.”

On Tuesday, for the first time this month, Livingston looked like himself. He was the guy who shot 55.6 percent in October, 54.4 percent in November, 57.6 percent in December, 58.9 percent in January and 54.1 percent in February.

“It was good for Shaun to see the ball go in the rim,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He’s had such a great year shooting the ball, and then the last couple weeks he hit a dry spell. Which is going to happen to everybody.”

The “dry spell” was shocking, because it was Livingston. He’s in the final weeks of his third season with the Warriors, and throughout that time there was only one month in which he shot less that 49 percent (47.5 in March 2015). Signed in July 2014 to be the team’s No. 3 guard and primary backup to Curry, Livingston is shooting 51.9 percent in his Warriors career.

The Warriors would like to think he’s ready, once again, to do his part.

“Last game was good for him, just to make a few and see the ball go in,” Kerr said. “I’m confident he’ll get it going.”