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Bucs, Rays & Lightning: We'll Pay to Take Down Confederate Statue ... In Tampa Bay

8/17/2017 11:43 AM PDT
Breaking News

Three major Tampa sports teams are pitching in to remove a Confederate monument from the city's courthouse in the wake of the backlash against similar statues in Virginia. 

The statue in the middle of the controversy is the infamous Memoria en Aeterna -- a 106-year-old monument honoring the Confederate soldiers who fought in the Civil War. 

Officials recently voted to remove the statue -- but only if removal costs were raised from private donors. The cost was estimated at roughly $150,000

Enter the NFL's Tampa Bay Bucs, the MLB's Rays and the NHL's Lightning ... which just stepped up. 

"Recognizing that this monument does not reflect the values of our community, in collaboration with the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, our organizations have dedicated funds to assist in moving the statue from the public space in front of the courthouse."

"Now more than ever before, we must stand united and committed to diversity and inclusion as we all attempt to heal from the tragedy in Charlottesville."

No word on when the statue will come down.

Red Sox Photographer Balls Beaned ... on Ceremonial 1st Pitch

8/17/2017 7:37 AM PDT
Breaking News

NUTS!

A Boston Red Sox photographer took a baseball square in the balls on the ceremonial first pitch Wednesday night ... and it looked BAD.

It was just another night at Fenway with the Sox taking on the Cards ... until the PA announcer told the kid throwing the first pitch to "fire it in there!"

Young Jordan must have took "it" to mean a random guy's balls ... and the unlucky photog wide right of home plate paid the price -- taking it right in his manhood before limping away. 

The dude who took the beanball seems alright, though ... using his own photo to joke about the nut-shot after the game:

Curt Schilling 'Absolutely' Supporting Trump ... He's No Racist!

8/17/2017 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Curt Schilling is standing by his President -- telling TMZ Sports Donald Trump is NOT a white supremacist and will continue to have his support. 

Trump's been taking heat for his comments about the violence in Charlottesville -- with some claiming he was defending neo-Nazis, the KKK and other alt-right groups.

But not Schilling ... the ex-MLB star says he's seen videos of Trump denouncing hate groups like the KKK going back to the early '90s -- and he truly believes Trump is no white supremacist.

"He's been asked to [denounce hate groups] over and over again, and it doesn't matter what he says or how he says it. The left, it's not gonna matter. They're going to use that as a talking point for as long as they ... until the next Russian conspiracy shows up."

Schilling does say he feels for the family of Heather Heyer -- the woman who was killed when she was struck by a car driven by some scumbag in Charlottesville.

"Biggest problem for me right now is that a young lady died this last weekend and 2 officers died over violence that shouldn't have happened."

That said, Schilling says he's sick and tired of what he considers biased news reporters -- including CNN's Jim Acosta, who's been verbally sparring with Trump for months.

"If I have to hear Jim Acosta be an asshole one more time, I'm done."

Tim Tebow Makes Best Grandma Video Ever

8/15/2017 8:13 AM PDT
Breaking News

Fact: Grandma Margaret is a HUGE Tim Tebow fan. 

Fact: Miss Margaret's grandson wanted to surprise her with a video shout-out from Tim Tebow.

Fact: What ensues ... is definitely gonna give you the feels. 

The grandson of the year, Danny Terp, found Tebow in Tampa where the superstar was playing in a minor league baseball game with the St. Lucie Mets. 

He asked Tim to give a message to his grandmother -- who's recovering from a stroke -- and without hesitation, Tebow delivered. 

Danny brought the video to Miss Margaret and played it for her ... and it's a pretty amazing moment. 

Terp tweeted about it ... writing, "Shoutout to Tim for the shoutout to his biggest fan. Definitely made my Grandma's day. Biggest smile she's had since her stroke."

Giancarlo Stanton Showered in Beer!! After Breaking Marlins HR Record

8/15/2017 6:58 AM PDT
Breaking News

Giancarlo Stanton has been on such a hot streak lately his teammates had to cool him down a bit ... with an ice-cold beer shower!!

The Miami Marlins star broke the team's homer record with his 43rd dinger of the season Monday ... and his teammates celebrated the feat with brews and shaving cream!!

Stanton got drenched. His boys went crazy. It's freakin' awesome.

G.S. is crushing the league in homers this season -- he has 7 more than Aaron Judge (who's in 2nd place).

Gotta love team bonding.

Johnny Bench Pete Rose Ain't Making Hall of Fame ... Period

8/12/2017 12:35 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Pete Rose can uncross his fingers and stop holding his breath -- he ain't ever going to Cooperstown, so says his former teammate Johnny Bench

The Cincinnati Reds legend -- who played with Rose for 12 seasons -- says "Charlie Hustle" broke the rules by betting on baseball back in the day and will have to live with the consequences. 

Bench says he wishes Rose would make the Hall ... but he knows it ain't ever gonna happen, despite Pete having the most hits in the history of the sport. 

Bench also talks about the L.A. Dodgers -- and says he absolutely loves this year's team. He does point out the squad's history of blowing it in the playoffs ... but explains why this team can break the trend. 

But could the '17 Dodgers beat the Big Red Machine? Check out Bench's answer. 

Evelyn Lozada Splits with Carl Crawford 'We're Still Friends'

8/10/2017 11:20 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

It's all over for Evelyn Lozada and ex-MLB star Carl Crawford -- the two have broken up and called off their engagement, Lozada's rep confirms ... but we're told they're still friends. 

The "Basketball Wives" star got engaged to Crawford back in 2013 after he proposed with a 14.5 carat ring reportedly valued around $1.4 million. They have a 3-year-old son together. 

But a rep for Lozada tells us the two split back in February after Evelyn became suspicious of Carl's fidelity. We tried to contact Crawford for comment. So far, no luck.  

Still, Evelyn's rep says the two are focusing on being co-parents and remain on good terms. Carl is currently living in Houston while Evelyn is living in Arizona. 

Mike Trout Doused With Blue Icee, Raw Eggs ... In Bday Ritual

8/8/2017 7:40 AM PDT
Breaking News

Wanna know what Mike Trout got for his birthday?

Blue Icee, raw eggs, coffee creamer, baby powder, dish soap and Frosted Flakes -- and he got it all over his face.

Trout's L.A. Angels' teammates sat the guy down in the locker room and doused the guy in everything they could find while singing "Happy Birthday."

It was disgusting. Trout loved it. 

As for the Angels, they got beat by the Orioles earlier that day -- but Trout killed it, smacking his 1,000th hit and a HR. 

Happy birthday. 

Ex-MLB Star Don Baylor Dead At 68 After Cancer Battle

8/7/2017 7:19 AM PDT
Breaking News

Former MLB star Don Baylor -- the 1979 AL MVP -- has died at the age of 68 after a long battle with cancer.

Baylor played 19 seasons in the majors for the Yankees, Red Sox, Twins, Orioles, Athletics, and Angels ... winning a World Series with Minnesota in 1987. He hit 338 home runs, and knocked in 1,276 runs in his career.

The former MVP hung up his cleats in 1988, but was still involved in baseball ... managing the Rockies and Cubs.

D.B.'s family says the slugger was diagnosed with multiple myeloma -- a form of cancer -- 14 years ago.

Baylor's wife, Rebecca, released a statement, saying, "Don passed from this earth with the same fierce dignity with which he played the game and lived his life." 

Mets' Noah Syndergaard Slays Dothraki ... in Epic 'GOT' Cameo

8/7/2017 6:38 AM PDT
Breaking News

Team Lannister had a ringer in their battle against the Dothraki Sunday night ... as flamethrowin' Mets superstar Noah Syndergaard came outta nowhere with an EPIC spear throw. 

Noah, AKA Thor, lived up to his nickname in his few seconds on screen -- launching a fastball to take out a Dothraki soldier.

It was kinda hard to tell if that was actually Thor ... but the ace confirmed his cameo right after the episode, saying “Take that you mean Dothraki." 

Spoiler alert: Syndergaard also defended his squad basically takin' an L -- “To my side's defense . . . they had a FRICKIN DRAGON!!!” 

It's all good, Noah -- you did your part. 

Ex-Phillies Catcher Darren Daulton Dead at 55 After Brain Cancer Battle

8/6/2017 8:01 PM PDT
Breaking News

Darren Daulton -- a former all-star catcher for the Philadelphia Phillies -- has died after a long battle with brain cancer.  

The Phillies released a statement Sunday night saying Daulton had passed away ... no other details immediately available. Daulton was diagnosed with glioblastoma in 2013 after having 2 tumors removed. He announced he was cancer free in 2015, but the disease returned.

Daulton played professional baseball since 1980, and played almost his entire career with the Phillies before retiring in 1997. He was a key part of the Phillies winning the National League Championship in 1993 ... during which he had 24 home runs and 105 RBIs. He also went on to win a World Series with the Marlins in his final year. 

Daulton was inducted into the Phillies' Wall of Fame in 2010.

He was 55. 

Cubs vs. Diamondbacks Epic Bullpen Dance-Off!! ... Animal Masks, Human Bowling!!

8/4/2017 6:15 AM PDT

How did the Chicago Cubs and Arizona D-Backs kill time during 2 1/2 hours of rain delays??

EPIC BULLPEN DANCE-OFF!!

Both teams took the competition from the diamond to the bullpen while waiting out the weather at Wrigley Field Thursday night ... and the results are absolutely hilarious.

Human Bowling? Check. Human Fishing? Yup. Upside down dancing man? Better believe it.

The Cubs even brought out animal masks for their act ... so you know there was some planning involved.

Once they finally got back to baseball, the D-Backs topped the Cubbies 10-8.

Yasiel Puig Crashes TMZ Tour ... Meets MLB Legend Onboard!

8/1/2017 12:35 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Think L.A. Dodgers superstar Yasiel Puig could pick World Series hero Luis Gonzalez out of a crowd?

You're about to find out ... courtesy of the TMZ Celebrity Tour!!!

Puig flagged down the bus (super comfy seats, btw) while eating at Villa Blanca in Bev Hills on Friday -- and got onboard to take pics and shake hands with the guests ... one of whom happened to be Gonzo!

Everyone had a blast and Puig was super cool -- but do ya think he knew he just shook hands with a 5-time MLB All Star (and former Dodger)???

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