Orioles

Bulls vow to get by without Rose

Bulls vow to get by without Rose

CHICAGO (AP) Their superstar is injured, their so-called ``bench mob'' pretty much gone and despite all that, the Chicago Bulls insist one thing hasn't changed.

They're not rolling over. The obits are premature.

The Bulls believe they still have plenty left even though Derrick Rose is expected to miss a big chunk of the season recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and most of the reserves that gave Chicago one of the NBA's deepest benches are gone. They insist they will be factors in the Eastern Conference after capturing the top seed the past two years.

``I think we can be real good, knowing the character of this team,'' Rose said.

Of course, it won't be easy without their superstar.

The Bulls were widely viewed as the biggest threat to Miami in the East before Rose was injured late in a playoff-opening win over Philadelphia. With Joakim Noah (sprained ankle) also going down in the series, Chicago bowed out in the first round one year after losing to the Heat in the conference finals.

With their franchise player missing from the start this year, the Bulls have a huge void to fill.

``Trying to do too much would be the biggest mistake I could make,'' Deng said. ``I know how good I could be when I'm myself. For all of us as a team, no one individual is going to do what Derrick did. As a group, we all have to commit. I'm really looking forward to it.''

For the Bulls to hold their ground, a lot will depend on Deng's left wrist and Richard Hamilton's durability, not to mention how all the new pieces mesh.

With Rose out, the Bulls brought back veteran Kirk Hinrich for a second stint to run the point and ultimately move into a backup role. They also shook up their bench, trading away Kyle Korver and losing Omer Asik, C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer in free agency. In their place are veterans such as Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed, Vladimir Radmanovic and Marco Belinelli.

As for Deng, he insisted his wrist has improved dramatically after he tore a ligament in it last year. He opted against surgery, and he said it held up well playing for Great Britain in the Olympics, adding there's ``no reason for me not to have a great year.''

It would help, too, if Hamilton stayed healthy after injuries limited him to 28 games. In his first season with the Bulls, he posted his lowest scoring average since he was a rookie with Washington in 1999-2000 at 11.6 points per game.

They also need Carlos Boozer to step up, along with Noah and Taj Gibson.

``Obviously, missing Derrick, that's a huge blow,'' Hinrich said. ``I know every day we're going to be out there and compete, share the ball. I'm excited to be a part of something like that.''

Chicago did win 18 of the 27 games Rose missed during the regular season a year ago, but the supporting cast was different. Most of the bench players are gone, even if the rest of the starting lineup is back, and that feeling that the Bulls are in a holding pattern, that they're biding their time until he regains his dominant form, lingers.

All eyes are on Rose, even if he won't be seen until later. His recovery really is the story surrounding the Bulls, the lingering issue as the team tries to get by without him.

``I think even if you win a championship, you come back the next day and people will doubt you,'' Deng said. ``It's just the way it always is. I think as a team - we hear things all summer - you know what's being said. The best thing that we do as a team is we really focus on what we have to do day-in and day-out. We don't try to get caught up in what's going on outside these four walls.''

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For the third time this season, the Orioles have put a position player on the mound

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For the third time this season, the Orioles have put a position player on the mound

It is rarely a good situation when a team has a position player take the mound. Usually, it's because one team is losing by plenty of runs, and don't want to waste a bullpen arm on a game that has already been decided.

For the Orioles, a lot more has gone wrong than right thus far in 2019. They are 1-10 at home, and only two teams in all of baseball have a worse overall record.

On Monday, Baltimore was blown out by the Chicago White Sox, 12-2, behind three different four-run innings. With the game well in hand, the Orioles put catcher Jesus Sucre on the mound to pitch the ninth.

It's the third time Baltimore has used a position player to pitch this season. It's the second time in three days, as Chris Davis took the mound for the Orioles on Saturday. The 2019 season is just barely over three weeks old.

No matter how bad Baltimore was expected to be, this situation is never ideal.

Sucre did pitch a scoreless ninth, however. The next time the Orioles are in a lopsided game, don't be surprised if he takes the mound again.

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Brian Dozier's power on display once again with moonshot HR in Colorado

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Brian Dozier's power on display once again with moonshot HR in Colorado

After a very slow start to the season, Nationals' second baseman Brian Dozier has been seeing the ball a lot better over the past few games.

On Monday, Dozier took Rockies pitcher Tyler Anderson deep in the fourth inning to give the Nationals a three-run lead, his third home run in the last four games.

He went deep against Miami twice over the weekend, both solo shots. The first came during Friday's 3-2 loss and the latter in Sunday's 5-0 victory.

This one, though, was a no-doubter. Take a look.

After staring for a brief second, Dozier didn't need to look any longer; he knew the ball was several rows into the seats. That altitude in Colorado definitely helped, as the home run landed 435 feet away.

Dozier has struggled to hit for contact thus far in 2019, posting just a .177 average entering Monday. But when the ball has hit the bat, it's traveled a long way.

For the Nationals sake, hopefully Dozier's power continues. They're counting on better production from the seven-year veteran than they have received thus far in 2019.

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