The Top 10 Sports Stories of 2013

6. Aaron Hernandez Charged With Murder

Ex-New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez traded a life of fame and fortune for shackles and an orange jumpsuit. On June 18, the 24-year-old was investigated in connection to the shooting death of semi-pro football player Odin Lloyd, whose body was discovered in an industrial park roughly a mile from Hernandez’s home.

On June 26, Hernandez was arrested and charged with murder. On August 22, he was indicted by a grand jury on first-degree murder and weapons charges, to which he later pleaded not guilty.

Watch Hernandez’s arraignment below:

Hernandez is currently being held without bail at the Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth, Massachusetts, while awaiting trial. If convicted of first-degree murder, he faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

7. Alex Rodriguez Among 13 Suspended in Biogenesis Scandal

Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez was one of several Major League Baseball players linked by a Miami New Times report to Biogenesis — a clandestine anti-aging clinic in Coral Gables, Florida, accused of illegally distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

Biogenesis whistleblower Porter Fischer leaked the documents that led to the MLB investigation into the scandalous wellness clinic. He discusses his decision and its fallout in the interview below:

Many speculated that commissioner Bud Selig would levy a lifetime ban on A-Rod — a multiple offender under baseball’s anti-drug policy — for his role in the Biogenesis scandal.

On August 5, MLB suspended the disgraced Rodriguez, along with 12 other players, for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drugs policy. All received 50-game suspensions except Rodriguez, who was banned from August 8 through the end of the 2014 season — a total of 211 games.

While the other 12 players accepted their suspensions, A-Rod opted to appeal the ruling. With his baseball future hanging in the balance, the 38-year-old is currently entangled in a lengthy legal battle with MLB.

If upheld, the suspension would be the longest non-lifetime ban in the history of the sport.

Rodriguez is a 14-time All-Star, three-time American League MVP and currently ranks fifth all-time with 654 career home runs.

8. NFL Concussion Settlement

On August 29, the NFL reached a settlement with the 4,500 former players who sued the league over concussion-related brain injuries suffered on the field.

The settlement has drawn mixed opinions from pundits and former players. Watch the discussion on ESPN’s Outside the Lines below:

Under the agreement, the league will contribute $765 million to provide medical benefits and injury compensation for 18,000 retired NFL players, underwrite medical and safety research and cover legal fees. Although the NFL has maintained that safety has always been a paramount concern, commissioner Roger Goodell told pro football’s lawyers to “do the right thing for the game and the men who played it.”

Check out the press release below:

NFL Concussion Lawsuit Press Release

9. Mariano Rivera Calls it a Career

After nearly two decades as one of the most dominant players in Major League Baseball, New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera called it a career after the 2013 season.

Check out the video below to watch Rivera make his final trip to the mound at Yankee Stadium:

In his 19 seasons with the Yankees, Rivera made 13 All-Star teams, won five World Series championships and became the MLB’s all-time leader in saves (652). All the more amazing, he was able to pitch at such an elite level for so long throwing just one pitch — the cutter.

The Yankees retired his number 42 during a 50-minute ceremony on September 22, which New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg decreed “Mariano Rivera Day.”

Here’s what he had to say to the fans:

10. Richie Incognito & Jonathan Martin Bullying Controversy

The issue of bullying entered the national spotlight when it allegedly occurred in one of the most unlikely places on the planet — an NFL locker room.

On October 30, Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin left the team to receive professional help for emotional issues. According to FOX News, the second-year player from Stanford stormed out of the facility after Dolphins players pulled a prank on him in the cafeteria.

Details began to surface about a bullying situation involving Martin and fellow Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito. Soon thereafter, vulgar, profanity-laced text messages, tweets and voicemails purportedly sent by Incognito to Martin were made public. The following is a transcription of an alleged voicemail Incognito left for Martin in April 2013, as reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins wasted no time in suspending Incognito for conduct detrimental to the team as more details and reports revealed a pattern of abusive behavior.

Incognito sat down for an exclusive interview with FOX Sports’ Jay Glazer following the incident. Watch it here:

Reactions from fans, pundits and players have been mixed. Several Dolphins players, including quarterback Ryan Tannehill, came to Incognito’s defense.

Neither Martin nor Incognito will return to the team this season.

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