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NFL, NBA, MLB $12 MIL IN FAKE TEAM RINGS ... Seized In Customs Bust!

4/23/2019 1:19 PM PDT
Breaking News

Nearly $12 MILLION worth of fake championship and team rings are now OFF the market ... so say U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials -- who say they just seized 177 counterfeit pieces!

CBP officials announced Tuesday they found nearly 200 fake rings during an inspection of a March 11 shipment from China to the U.S.

The faux bling included Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots Super Bowl rings, New York Yankees World Series rings and much more.

And, we gotta say ... they do look pretty awesome.

But, officials say they caught the stuff before it could be sold to Americans -- claiming they saved U.S. consumers $11.7 MILLION with the seizure!!!

"This most recent interception of counterfeit sports rings demonstrates the ongoing vigilance and commitment to the mission by our CBP Officers and Import Specialists," officials said.

#JobWellDone

Esteban Loaiza Begins 3-Year Prison Sentence ... In Cocaine Case

4/19/2019 3:35 PM PDT
Breaking News

Wasn't a Good Friday for Esteban Loaiza ...

The ex-MLB star surrendered to authorities in San Diego on Friday to begin his 3-year prison sentence in his cocaine case -- and after his sentence, he's expected to be deported to Mexico. 

As we previously reported, Loaiza -- who made more than $40 MILLION during his 14-year MLB career -- was arrested last year after cops say he was trying to move 44 pounds of cocaine from a house located near a school.

Cops say the coke stash is worth more than $500,000!!! 

The 47-year-old was quiet and stone-faced as he walked into the federal courthouse on Friday -- not saying a word to the waiting media. 

The whole story is insane ... Loaiza was busted by the San Diego County Sheriff's Dept. back in Feb. 2018 during a routine traffic stop. 

Cops say a search of the baseball player's car led to the discovery of a "sophisticated aftermarket compartment used to conceal contraband."

Cops then got a warrant to search a home that Loaiza had been renting since early February -- located "steps away from an area preschool" -- and found roughly 20 kilograms of suspected cocaine.

Loaiza was initially booked into San Diego County Jail for 3 felonies -- Possession of cocaine over 20 kilograms, possession of cocaine for sale, and transportation of cocaine.

He later pled guilty to felony cocaine possession with intent to distribute.

Loaiza, the second-winningest pitcher from Mexico in MLB history, played for 8 different teams in his career -- earning over $43 million.

He last played for the White Sox in 2008 -- the same team he played for when he was an All-Star in 2003 and 2004.

Carlos Santana, Hanley Ramirez We're U.S. Citizens!!! ... Sworn in at Ceremony

4/19/2019 12:51 PM PDT
Breaking News

The Cleveland Indians game got rained out on Friday ... but there's still a lot to celebrate, 'cause Carlos Santana was officially sworn in as United States citizen!!

The Dominican slugger took his oath of citizenship in front of his family and friends in federal court in Cleveland early Friday ... after passing all the requirements to get dual citizenship.

Santana ain't the only Tribe player to earn his citizenship ... his teammate Hanley Ramirez -- who is also from the Dominican Republic -- was sworn in at a ceremony last week.

The best part?? Santana and Ramirez's teammates held a little party to congratulate them after passing their tests last week ... presenting the guys with their own patriotic cake!!

“I hope I can get a home run for this special day today,” Santana said on Friday (before the game got rained out) ... but now he'll have 2 chances in a doubleheader against the Braves.

Congratulations to both!! 

Rob Gronkowski Puts Massive Dent in Lombardi Trophy ... Using it as a Baseball Bat

4/17/2019 3:36 PM PDT
Breaking News

If this isn't the most Gronk story to date ...

Rob Gronkowski made sure to leave his mark on the Patriots before retiring from the NFL ... putting a HUGE dent in their 6th Lombardi trophy while trying to use it as a baseball bat.

Yes ... Gronk used a freakin' Super Bowl trophy to try to hit a baseball because ... we don't know why he would do this, actually.

It all went down when the Patriots were honored at Fenway Park before a Red Sox game earlier this month ... when players like Gronk and Julian Edelman were having some fun and *pretending* to hit baseballs while using the trophy as a bat.

Gronk must've missed the memo about PRETENDING ... 'cause the dude switched up his batting stance to bunt the ball ... and he made contact.

The bunt resulted in a massive dent in ol' Vinny ... and the Patriots hilariously released a mini-mockumentary to give the play-by-play of the whole thing. 

No word if the Patriots will repair the trophy -- though we hope they don't ... it's better this way!!!

Yasiel Puig Power Shopping In Bev Hills ... Before Late Dodgers Arrival

4/16/2019 6:36 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Yasiel Puig was more than AN HOUR late to Dodger Stadium on Monday -- missing a ring presentation from his former boss -- and it's all because he was out SHOPPING! 

TMZ Sports shot video of the Cincinnati Reds star lunching at Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills around noon -- and then going on a fancy shopping spree to some of the most expensive shops in L.A. ... James Perse, Saint Laurent and more. 

Our photog says Puig ventured out to Rodeo Drive and shopped until at least 3 PM -- the exact time Puig was scheduled to meet with media members at Dodger Stadium. 

The former Dodgers outfielder didn't get to the Stadium until 4:10 -- missing a planned media session. 

Also, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and owner Mark Walter tried to meet with all of the Dodgers who were traded to the Reds this off-season to present them with their 2018 NLCS rings ... but since Puig was tardy, he missed that moment too. 

Instead, Roberts and Walter met with Matt Kemp, Kyle Farmer and Alex Wood outside the Reds clubhouse ... while Puig was still M.I.A. 

The good news for Puig ... when he did finally show up, he showed out -- smacking a 2-run home run off Clayton Kershaw in the 1st inning. 

The Dodgers battled back and ended up winning the game on a Joc Pederson walk-off home run in the 9th inning ... a home run that sailed right over Puig's head in right field. 

MLB Fooodfest ... Bull Testicles And Fat Roosters!!!

4/14/2019 12:40 AM PDT
Breaking News

Peanuts ... cracker jacks ... and bull testes?!?!

Yeah, MLB ballparks are featuring ALL THAT these days ... and now the craziest stadium food from baseball diamonds all over the country are heading to L.A. for a giant food fare.

It's called MLB Foodfest ... and it kicks off later this month from April 26-28 in Downtown L.A. -- and it features one unique food item from every MLB team in the country.

Some of the highlights that'll be in attendance? Colorado Rockies' Rocky Mountain Oysters, Cleveland Indians' Fat Rooster sandwiches and Seattle Mariners' toasted grasshoppers.

Don't worry ... it's not all weird dishes -- the Chicago Cubs are bringing their classic Chicago Dogs and the Philadelphia Phillies are bringing cheesesteaks.

Tickets for the festival cost between $45-$90 -- pending on if ya wanna wash down your Elote Nuggets with beer or not.

... Bring napkins.

Barry Bonds HR Record Ball Hits Auction Block ... Could Fetch $750K!!!

4/13/2019 12:10 AM PDT
Exclusive Details

The baseball Barry Bonds smacked for his last-ever home run is hitting the auction block ... and it could fetch $750,000 (!!!!!!!!!) -- TMZ Sports has learned.

Baseball's home run king launched the final dinger of his career -- No. 762 -- on Sept. 5, 2007 ... when Bonds took Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez deep at Coors Field in Denver.

It was a mad scramble to catch the ball -- and turns out, for good reason ... 'cause the first time the ball went up for sale back in 2008 -- it sold for $376,612.

Now, we're told the ball is set to hit the auction block on Monday at Goldin Auctions -- and it could fetch three-quarters of a million dollars by the time bidding ends!!!

The ball is a pretty remarkable piece of history ... it has dirt smudges all over it and comes with three separate affidavits that prove its authenticity -- and it could be all yours if ya got the cash.

Bonds -- in addition to being MLB's all-time home run leader -- was a 7-time MVP, 14-time All-Star and 8-time Gold Glove winner.

He finished his 22-year career with a .298 batting average.

HQ Trivia Host Scott Rogowsky Leaving Game Show In The Dust ... After Negotiations Unravel

4/12/2019 12:30 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

HQ Trivia host Scott Rogowsky is leaving the company for his new gig as a baseball host ... because HQ wouldn't play ball and give him the green light to work 2 jobs.

For weeks, people have been wondering why Scott hasn't been popping up on their smartphones to host the daily trivia show ... and we've learned it's because the "Quiz Daddy" left HQ in the dust after striking out in his quest to add a new nightly MLB show and keep his HQ gig.

Scott's last appearance on HQ Trivia was March 24 ... right before he announced he was accepting a second hosting gig with DAZN's new show called, "ChangeUp." 

Sources at HQ Trivia tell us, Scott was trying to work out an arrangement to stay on as the weekend host for HQ, but CEO Rus Yusupov wouldn't budge. 

For his part, Scott tells us there is anything but hard feelings. He tells TMZ, "Nothing in my decade-plus entertainment career has meant more to me personally and professionally than my involvement with HQ." He couldn't be more grateful for all the people who grew the co., and for the "HQties" who kept it thriving.

He states, "While the decision to leave HQ was a difficult one, I am delighted to begin this next chapter in my career with the amazing people at MLB and DAZN. If you miss me on HQ, you can now get three hours of me every weeknight watching ChangeUp on DAZN."

Batter up!!!

Jennifer Lopez Fires Back at Jose Canseco Over A-Rod Cheating Allegations

4/10/2019 6:40 AM PDT
Breaking News

Jennifer Lopez is clapping back at Jose Canseco -- shutting down his public accusations that Alex Rodriguez cheated on her with Canseco's ex-wife, Jessica

J Lo appeared on "The Breakfast Club" on Wednesday where Charlamagne Tha God asked about Canseco's tweets where he called out A-Rod and then challenged him to a fight. 

"I mean, it doesn't matter," Lopez said ... "I know what the truth is. I know who [Alex] is. He knows who I am. We're just happy."

She added, "We're not gonna let other people come out and tell us what our relationship is. I know what our relationship is."

For her part, Jessica Canseco put out a statement last month also denying hooking up with A-Rod ... saying, "Those false accusations Jose is making are not true!"

"I have known Alex for many years and haven’t even seen him for over 5. I certainly did not sleep with him."

"I am friendly with both him and Jennifer. As for Jose he can keep playing with his Alien friends.”

Jennifer and Alex got engaged last month -- but so far, no word on when the two will officially tie the knot. 

Houston Astros Fan Gnarly Finger Injury Pics In T-Shirt Cannon Incident

4/9/2019 1:56 PM PDT
Exclusive Details

TMZ Sports has obtained pictures of the injury a Houston Astros fan allegedly suffered when the team's mascot "shattered" her finger with a t-shirt cannon last summer ... and they're gnarly.

A woman claims she was at a 'Stros game last July 8 when Orbit -- Houston's furry mascot -- fired t-shirts at her and her family at a rapid pace from his "bazooka style T-shirt cannon."

The woman -- who filed a lawsuit against the team for the incident this week -- says one of the t-shirts caught her square in the hand ... and mangled her left index finger.

You can see in the photos, her digit was severely swollen and bruised ... and needed TWO screws to help stabilize it.

In her lawsuit, the woman says she had to have multiple surgeries to fix the issue ... and claims she still has little range of motion in the finger.

Now, she's suing the team for $1 million ... saying the team failed miserably to protect its fans.

We've reached out to the Astros for comment ... but so far, no word back yet.

Lenny Dykstra Sues Ron Darling Over Racist Allegations In New Book

4/9/2019 12:32 PM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

Lenny Dykstra has taken his war with ex-Mets teammate, Ron Darling, to court -- suing the former pitcher for painting him as a foul-mouthed racist in his new book. 

Darling recently published "108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns and the Darndest Characters from My Time in the Game" ... which features stories from his playing days. 

But, Dykstra says a story about him mercilessly taunting Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd -- a black pitcher -- during the 1986 World Series is pure BS. 

In the book, Darling says Dykstra got in the on-deck circle and unleashed a racist tirade at Boyd in an effort to rattle him. 

Darling describes the incident as "the worst collection of taunts and insults I'd ever head -- worse, I'm betting, than anything Jackie Robinson might have heard his first couple times around the league."

Dykstra claims the story is not true -- and says several black teammates including Darryl Strawberry, Dwight Gooden and Kevin Mitchell have all vouched for him. 

Also, Dykstra says Boyd himself has publicly denied knowing anything about Dykstra shouting racial taunts at him. 

In his suit, filed in New York state court by attorney Matthew Blit, Dykstra is demanding damages for defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. 

Dykstra says the false allegations in the book "forever diminish Mr. Dykstra, stalk him, and preclude him from unknowable professional and personal relationships and benefits."

Dykstra is also asking the judge to issue an injunction -- which would in essence block sales of the book. 

Yasiel Puig Suspended 2 Games For Bench-Clearing Brawl

4/9/2019 9:42 AM PDT
Breaking News

Cincinnati Reds star Yasiel Puig and Pittsburgh Pirates star pitcher Chris Archer have both been hit with suspensions for their roles in a crazy bench-clearing brawl ... MLB announced. 

Archer intentionally threw at Reds infielder Derek Dietrich after he had previously homered off him earlier in the game. The pitch went behind Dietrich, pissing off Reds players who stormed the field. 

The angriest Reds player was Puig -- who jogged right over to Archer and got in his face. Several players restrained Puig as things escalated.  He continued to run after Pirates players like a wild man until he was eventually pulled back into the Reds dugout.

Now, Joe Torre, Chief Baseball Officer for Major League Baseball, says Puig will be suspended for 2 games starting Tuesday night. He will also be fined an undisclosed amount. 

Archer was hit with a 5-game suspension. He was also fined. Archer will be allowed to appeal his suspension. 

Reds manager David Bell was also suspended 1 game for running on the field after the wild pitch. His suspension will also begin Tuesday night. 

Story developing ... 

Joe Torre Pulls Charity Dinner from Hotel Bel-Air ... Won't Support Brunei!!!

4/9/2019 8:33 AM PDT
EXCLUSIVE

MLB legend Joe Torre is joining the protest against the Sultan of Brunei -- yanking his big charity dinner from the Sultan's Hotel Bel-Air over disgusting anti-gay laws in the tiny Asian country. 

Brunei has enacted horrific new laws in which gay sex is punishable by stoning to death. Several huge stars and companies are now boycotting businesses owned by the Sultan of Brunei, which include the Hotel Bel-Air. 

Torre's annual Safe at Home Foundation L.A. Dinner event had been scheduled to take place on April 25 at the Hotel Bel-Air, which has hosted the event for years. 

But, that streak is over ... TMZ Sports has learned Torre's foundation has already moved the event to the Sunset Tower Hotel because they do not want to do business with Hotel Bel-Air until the laws in Brunei change. 

The move comes after 2 other big foundations -- The Special Needs Network and The John Wayne Cancer Institute -- moved previously scheduled galas out of the Beverly Hills Hotel, which is also owned by Brunei's ruler, Hassanal Bolkiah

As for Torre's dinner -- the event raises money for Joe's charity which supports children who have witnessed or experienced violence in their homes. It's a good cause. 

A bunch of huge stars are scheduled to attend ... including Bob Costas, Mariano Rivera and more. 

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