Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Arizona Diamondbacks Earn First Home Win Over San Diego Padres This Season - Phoenix New Times (blog)

arizona diamondbacks san diego padres ian kennedy.jpg
Ian Kennedy pitched eight solid innings on Tuesday evening against San Diego. 
See also: Arizona Diamondbacks Win One of Three Against San Francisco Giants, Increase Odds of Making Playoffs to 3 Percent
Ian Kennedy and the rest of the Arizona Diamondbacks got a big monkey off their backs last night by beating the San Diego Padres 3-2 at Chase Field. Both the ginger-haired hurler and his team notched their first win over San Diego at home after the D-backs maintained control of the contest from the first inning onwards. Victories over the SoCal squad have been rare occurrence this season, period, as San Diego's thumped Arizona on 11 different occasions.

Arizona (73-74), however, secured a W and also kept its infinitesimally small postseason hopes afloat with the victory, but are still 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot in the National League playoff picture.

Kennedy (14-11, 4.08 ERA) nearly went the distance on Tuesday night, pitching eight innings versus the Padres, fanning six and enduring seven hits in the process. He got off to a rocky start in the first frame, however, loading the bases after allowing a single from Logan Forsythe walking Chase Headley, and permitting Yasmani Grandal to reach base.

After a sacrifice fly by Yonder Alonso gave Kennedy his only run of the game, the pitcher settled down and got two groundouts to escape the inning, albeit with a total of 30 pitches recorded.

Arizona got that run back in the bottom half of the first, however, thanks to the efforts of Adam Eaton. San Diego's Eric Stults (6-3, 2.69) walked the Diamondbacks rookie, who then proceeded to steal second, putting him in scoring position for Paul Goldschmidt's RBI single. Miguel Montero then followed with an RBI double to score Goldy.

Eaton negated his pimp play in the ninth inning when he pulled a major fielding boner. The rookie allowed a single by San Diego's Chris Denorfia to roll past his glove, turning the swat into a default triple. Will Venable's sacrifice fly then allowed a run, making the game 3-2. Thankfully, closer J.J. Putz forced two straight grounders to end the game.

Arizona will attempt to get another home win over the Padres tonight when Trevor Cahill (11-11, 3.92) takes the mound against San Diego's Edinson Volquez (10-10, 4.24). First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. TV: Fox Sports Arizona. Radio: KTAR 620-AM. More info:

Chase Field

401 E. Jefferson St., Phoenix, AZ

Category: General

Report: Long-term future of Arizona parks at risk - MyFox Phoenix

PHOENIX (AP) - State auditors say the long-term financial sustainability of Arizona's state parks system is at risk.

The Auditor General's Office reports that $72 million of funding was reduced or redirected away from the 30-park system since the 2007-2008 fiscal year.

The auditors cited those actions taken during the state's lengthy budget crisis during the Great Recession as well as other risk factors.

Those include low and declining visitation and insufficient park receipts that until recently haven't covered park operating costs. The receipts also are insufficient to cover other costs of the overall system.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Gaslight Anthem's Benny Horowitz on Handwritten and SB 1070 - Phoenix New Times (blog)

Danny Clinch
The Gaslight Anthem
It's a pretty good time to be The Gaslight Anthem. The band, which at times sounds like a nostalgic punk rock version of Bruce Springsteen, recently signed to a major label to release its forth full length album, Handwritten. After the band's frontman, Brian Fallon dedicated some time to bluesy side project, The Horrible Crowes, The Gaslight Anthem is back with a vengeance. The band is currently on tour with Rise Against and Hot Water Music, and will be performing at Mesa Amphitheater on Friday, September 28.

We recently caught up with drummer Benny Horowitz to discuss the recording process of Handwritten, his thoughts on SB 1070, and how hard work and luck factor into The Gaslight Anthem's success.

See also: The Gaslight Anthem @ Marquee Theatre (2010)
See also: Nothing Not New Reviews Gaslight Anthem: American Slang

Up on the Sun: What's it like touring with Rise Against and Hot Water Music?
Benny Horowitz: It's cool. Aside from them being great bands, they're both bands that we've toured with in certain capacities. We know all of the bands, we're friends with them, we know all of the crews, we're friends with those guys, so sometimes when you leave for a tour, there's kind of this getting to know you grace period with everyone to sort of get comfortable. With [this lineup], from the first day, it's just like seeing old friends and getting on the road again, so that's a real treat.

Just being able to tour with Hot Water Music is a trip within itself. That's a band that we all grew up listening to, a band I saw in a basement when I was 15 years old. To think that one day you can actually appear and play with them, it's a trip, it's definitely a surreal experience.

What inspired your most recent album, Handwritten?
A lot of things inspire a record. [There are] tons of things as far as music and life that all go into an album. Some of those major parts to this record were maybe a back to basics approach to songwriting and recording, doing everything in a room again and recording it as live as possible. With signing to a major and moving to a producer and stuff like that, there are some kinds of expectations and talk that surround moves like that. I know it was important for us to do what we do, and write songs that we like and kind of let everything else play itself out.

Do you feel like it lived up to those expectations?
Yeah, if I could tell you in 100% truthfulness, I couldn't give a fuck what other people's expectations are for our music. I believe in the guys I play with and I believe in the music we write. If I leave the rehearsal studio with a bunch of songs that we think are great and they're songs that we want to record and we stand behind, I kind of don't care what anyone else says.

Right on. So, why did you decide to record it in Nashville?
The actual city itself kind of panned out because that's where Brendan O'Brien works out of now. He works at Blackbird Studios on the outskirts of Nashville. It's a badass studio, I love all those guys.

As far as a specific city, it wasn't us sitting around going, 'We need to go to Nashville.' The motivation was we knew we really wanted to get out of town to record the record. We recorded the last record, American Slang in New York City, and when we record in New York City, everybody goes home every night. We're basically commuters where we just pop in the studio, and you work, and you go home at night.

On the record before that, we did The '59 Sound in Los Angeles. We did Senor and the Queen in Austin, Texas. I think we've found it really beneficial to be away to really release yourself in the record, so we tried to do that again. We just loaded up the van, we brought Alex [Rosamilia]'s dog and we rode a trip down to Nashville and rented a little house outside of town. We were really more interactive in the process. Instead of going home at night to your family or whatever people's situations are, we drive to the studio together, we sit there all day, we drive home together, we eat dinner, and then we sit around the house, we're still talking about the record, thinking about what we can do the next day and things like that. The motivation was really to get away, just so we could really put our heads into the record.

It's an awesome town, so that worked out.
Sadly, we were studio rats when we were there. We didn't get out and about too much, we saw some of the cool stuff, we hung out with some cool people we know down there, but pretty much six days a week, we were holed up in the studio doing our thing. We were being social with the guys working on the record, we weren't really men about town, so to speak.

Mesa Amphitheatre

263 N. Center St., Mesa, AZ

Category: Music

FOX 10 News - Phoenix, AZ | KSAZ-TVCourt to hear challenge to Calif. DNA ... - MyFox Phoenix

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A federal appeals court in San Francisco is preparing to hear arguments on whether requiring everyone arrested on felony charges to provide a DNA sample amounts to an unconstitutional search and seizure.

At issue in the case that the 9th U.S. District Court of Appeals will take up Wednesday is a 2004 California law authorizing police to collect genetic material from suspects when they are booked.

The ACLU is seeking to have the law overturned on behalf of three people who were arrested but later cleared, claiming it infringed on their right to be presumed innocent.

The DNA collection effort is meant to help solve so-called cold cases. The state's attorney general reports that California's database of close to 2 million samples produces more than 425 hits a month.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Arizona immigration law spurs education campaign - KPHO Phoenix

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File). FILE - In this July 29, 2010 file photo, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies, left, check the shoes of a suspect arrested during a crime suppression sweep in Phoenix.(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File). FILE - In this July 29, 2010 file photo, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies, left, check the shoes of a suspect arrested during a crime suppression sweep in Phoenix.

Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - An education campaign for illegal immigrants to remain largely silent when they're pulled over by police is being put into practice in Arizona after a federal judge ruled that the most contentious part of the state's immigration law can take effect.

Natally Cruz and Leticia Ramirez have been telling immigrants who are in the United States illegally, like themselves, that they should offer only their name and date of birth - and carry no documents that show where they were born.

U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton ruled Tuesday that police can immediately start enforcing the law's so-called "show me your papers" provision. It requires officers, while enforcing other laws, to question the immigration status of those suspected of being in the country illegally.

Ramirez and Cruz had remained hopeful the provision would be blocked, but they were preparing by sending a message to communities of illegal immigrants that they should respectfully stand their ground against police.

"We want to teach the community how to defend themselves, how to answer to police, how to be prepared, and to have confidence that they're going to have help," Ramirez said.

Bolton's decision is the latest milestone in a 2-year legal battle over the requirement.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the provision in June on the grounds that it doesn't conflict with federal law. Opponents responded by asking Bolton to block the requirement on different grounds, arguing its enforcement would lead to systematic racial profiling and unreasonably long detentions of Latinos. Bolton said early this month she wouldn't block the provision.

A coalition of civil rights groups is awaiting a ruling from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on their latest effort to prevent the questioning requirement from taking effect.

A hotline operated by civil rights advocates recently has been fielding calls from people wanting to know what their rights are if officers question their immigration status.

Lydia Guzman, leader of the civil rights group Respect-Respeto, said additional volunteers are being sought to answer calls and document reports of abuses. If a police agency plans a special immigration patrol, volunteers armed with video cameras will be sent there to capture footage of traffic stops, Guzman said.

Arizona lawmakers passed the law in 2010 amid voter frustration with the state's role as the busiest illegal entry point in the country. Five states - Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, South Carolina and Utah - have adopted variations on Arizona's law.

It's a tool for local police, but it won't cure the state's immigration woes, said Republican Gov. Jan Brewer, who signed the measure.

"Only the federal government has the resources and responsibility necessary to achieve that," Brewer said.

The law's opponents are spreading out across the state, asking police departments not to enforce the provision. The incentive they offer: better cooperation from immigrants who would be more likely to report crimes, said Carlos Garcia, an organizer with immigrant rights group the Puente Movement.

Not enforcing the provision could open up officers to lawsuits from people claiming the agencies aren't fully enforcing the law.

Some backers of the requirement, including Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, have questioned the level of cooperation they will get from federal immigration agents.

Federal officials say they will check people's immigration status when officers call. But they'll send an agent to arrest someone only when it fits with their priorities, such as catching repeat violators and those who are a threat to public safety and national security.

Cruz, originally from Guanajuato, Mexico, said she has never been pulled over in the United States but fears the law will lead to racial profiling and will separate families.

Bolton initially blocked the provision after the Obama administration challenged it on the grounds that federal immigration law trumps state law. She has said opponents are speculating on racial profiling claims.

Ramirez said she isn't willing to give up 18 years in the United States over a law she sees as a threat to her livelihood.

Her father brought their family to the U.S. from Torreon in the Mexican state of Coahuila because he couldn't find work there and wanted a better future for them.

She's been a visible part of the legal battle because she sees importance in her education mission, particularly for those who don't get involved in immigrant-rights groups or don't watch television to keep up-to-date on the law.

"That's what I'm afraid of - that a lot of the people don't know what to do," Ramirez said.

Fonseca reported from Flagstaff, Ariz.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Arizona Diamondbacks' Willie Bloomquist earns award nomination - Arizona Republic

by Scott Bordow - Sept. 18, 2012 10:09 PM
azcentral sports

It's been a rough five weeks for infielder Willie Bloomquist, who has been bothered by a back injury and has made just one appearance, as a pinch-hitter, since Aug. 8.

But on Tuesday, Bloomquist had a smile on his face as he talked about being named the Diamondbacks' 2012 nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, presented to a player who makes positive contributions to his team and his community.

"Obviously it's a huge honor. I'm really humbled by it," Bloomquist said. "For me to be the nominee for this organization is a pretty cool thing."

Since 2011, Bloomquist has hosted a Phoenix Children's Hospital patient and his/her family to a VIP day during one game of each home stand at Chase Field. Also, Bloomquist and his wife, Lisa, began the "The Abe and Max Fund," named after two patients who made a lasting impact on Bloomquist when they visited Chase Field.

The fund raises money to buy electronics and games for Phoenix Children's Hospital; it started with a $5,000 donation from the Bloomquist family.

As for his availability, Bloomquist said his back is feeling better but that he was still a few days away from baseball activities. Bloomquist conceded there's a possibility he might not play again this season.

"It's very tough for me to say I'm done for the year when we still have games left," Bloomquist said. "We'll see what the situation is at the point and time I'm able to play."

Return engagement

Trevor Bauer might be on his way back to Arizona.

The rookie right-hander, who pitched in the Triple-A championship game Tuesday, could be called up and get a major league start before the end of the season. General Manager Kevin Towers flew to Durham, N.C., to watch Bauer pitch, and a decision could come within the next couple of days, manager Kirk Gibson said.

"We think it would be beneficial for him to be back," Gibson said of Bauer, who was 1-2 with a 6.06 ERA earlier this year.

It's uncertain how Bauer would fit into the rotation. Barring injury, Ian Kennedy is scheduled to pitch the final game of the season, and Gibson said a starter's turn would have to be skipped to fit Bauer in.

"I don't know anybody that wants to miss a start but at the same time if we feel somebody should miss a start, he would be the likely choice," Gibson said.

One pitch

Chris Young, who has been bothered by a right quadriceps injury, made his first start since Sept. 3 but it didn't last long.

On the game's first pitch, Young chased down a ball hit by San Diego shortstop Everth Cabrera near the right-center field wall and immediately motioned to the Diamondbacks' bench that he needed to come out.

The short appearance continued a frustrating season for the D-Backs' center fielder. Young was hitting .410 when he went on the disabled list April 18 for a month, and after playing in 156 games each of the past two years, he won't top 110 this season.

"It sucks a little bit to get hurt a couple of times during the season," Young said. "It's my first time missing this much playing time."

Short hops

Suns' point guard Goran Dragic will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before Wednesday's game against the Padres. ... Gibson won his 200th game Sunday as Diamondbacks manager. Bob Melvin has the most victories of any Arizona manager (337), followed by Bob Brenly (303) and Buck Showalter (250). ... The Reno Aces won the Triple-A national championship game Tuesday, beating Pawtucket, 10-3. Reno becomes the third D-Backs' minor-league affiliate to win a title this year.

Los Angeles Sparks surge past Phoenix Mercury 101-76 - (KNXV-TV) (blog)

LOS ANGELES, CA - Candace Parker had 26 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, and the Los Angeles Sparks earned a 101-76 victory against the Phoenix Mercury on Tuesday night to clinch the home-court advantage for the first round of the playoffs.

The Sparks (23-10), who secured second place in the Western Conference, have won nine straight at home and are 15-1 on their court this season.

"Home court is huge," Alana Beard said. "We're 15-1 at home and 8-9 on the road. You can do the calculations and understand that this is where we want to be. I'm excited about this (first-round) series. I think it's going to be a competitive series, and having home-court advantage is huge for us.

"I think there's great energy in here. We have a great pregame routine here. We have to figure out a way to translate that to the road. But I think we're in our comfort zone here."

L.A. concludes the regular season Thursday against first-place Minnesota.

Parker had a double-double by the third quarter and had four blocks. Beard scored 22 points, one point shy of her season high, with six steals and Kristi Toliver added 17.

The Sparks led wire to wire and by double digits over the final 15 minutes.

The Mercury (7-25) dropped their fifth consecutive game despite getting two starters back. DeWanna Bonner, second in the WNBA with 20.9 points per game, returned from a sore back that kept her out for two games and led Phoenix with 23 points and six rebounds.

Candice Dupree made her first appearance since she had left knee surgery on July 24. Dupree, whose 14.8 points per game is second on the Mercury, started and had six points on 3-for-4 shooting in almost 15 minutes.

Phoenixcoach Corey Gaines said Dupree is limited to three minutes per quarter. Gaines also said that Olympic guard Diana Taurasi has been shut down for the season after Taurasi sat out her fourth straight game as Gaines opts to play his younger players. Backcourt mate Samantha Prahalis missed her sixth straight game because of a shoulder injury.

The Mercury went on a 7-0 run early in the third quarter and pulled to 60-53 on Dupree's 10-foot jumper. The Sparks came right back with a 16-2 run, completed by two free throws and a 3-pointer by Beard.

Parker and Toliver helped lead a 13-6 run to start the fourth. Parker swished a straightaway 3-pointer and Toliver sank a pair of 3s for a 94-70 lead. All five starters finished in double-digit scoring for the Sparks, who have lost only to San Antonio at home.

"Great crowd, great team," Bonner said of the Sparks. "They have a lot of confidence. Anybody can score on any given night, so it's tough to guard a team like that. You can't just stop one person."

Parker was glad to secure home court but didn't put much into it.

"I don't think you can ever breathe easy in the playoffs," said Parker, whose 17th double-double tied Tina Charles of Connecticut for the most in the league. "I think it's like a win-or-go home, especially with the playoff format. You can't have any real time to stumble. So it just puts the pressure on us to win that first game at home.

"We have a lot of confidence going forward, but we still have a lot of work to do for the playoffs."

Parker had 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists at halftime. She had an impressive sequence late in the second quarter when she made a turnaround jumper after Marissa Coleman rebounded her missed free throw, got a block on the ensuing trip down the floor, and scored on another turnaround in the paint for an 18-point lead.

Parker then hit a 3-pointer as L.A. took a 54-40 lead into halftime. Phoenix committed 10 turnovers in the first quarter and 13 in the first half.

Bonner scored 19 points in the first half, but the Sparks led by double digits from 26-14 to halftime.

"They got a lot of fast-break points on us," Bonner said. "You can't come back on a team like that. It was a tough shooting night for us. Good luck to them in the playoffs."

Los Angeles swept Phoenix for the first time in nine years.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.