Orioles

Knicks in London: Light load with 1 game this week

201301131235453157965-p2.jpeg

Knicks in London: Light load with 1 game this week

NEW YORK (AP) The injury-plagued New York Knicks welcome a week with just one game. The only catch is they had to travel to London for it.

That's fine with the Knicks, who were focused more on the time off than the time change before going overseas for their game against the Detroit Pistons.

The Knicks left Monday night and the game isn't until Thursday. They return home Friday and don't play again until Monday, getting some coveted recovery time near the midpoint of their season.

``I think the NBA did a great job with the way they scheduled it, getting us over there three days early, give us a chance to get acclimated to London, and then coming back having some days off as well,'' Knicks All-Star Carmelo Anthony said. ``So this is a big week for us as far as getting our bodies right and taking care of the things we've got to take care of.''

Anthony and Knicks center Tyson Chandler will be back on the O2 Arena floor, where they celebrated after winning a gold medal with the U.S. men's Olympic basketball team. The memories won't be quite as fond for guard Pablo Prigioni, last seen kicking a clock off the scorer's table in anger after Argentina lost to Russia in the bronze-medal game.

The NBA wanted to quickly get back to London to build on the success of the Olympics, especially after having to cancel all its international plans last season following the lockout.

Though the sport lags well behind soccer and perhaps a few others in popularity in Britain, the NBA is serious about its overseas plans and the O2 is one of the world's finest arenas.

``We understand, I think just if you're going to pick little things that David Stern has said about the future of the NBA and the future of basketball, it'd be hard to think that the NBA at some point won't expand overseas,'' Knicks forward Steve Novak said. ``Wherever that might be, I don't know, but obviously there's a ton of NBA fans in London, and pretty much everywhere now, so for us to go over there and play in front of people who are cheering for us that we don't really get to see, I think is very cool for us and hopefully cool for them.''

The game sold out in just a few hours, the quickest for a basketball game at the O2, showing there's passion for the NBA, if not necessarily in basketball. Basic rules of the sport were explained to crowds during the Olympics, and there wasn't much boost for basketball after the poor performance by the host country.

None of that has hurt the NBA, which has five live games a week televised in Britain and is playing its fifth game in Europe this season, counting preseason.

The Toronto Raptors and Nets played the first two regular-season games in London two years ago, and Novak acknowledged it was a little ``weird'' to go so far to play only once. But the Knicks certainly weren't complaining, with Anthony saying there was ``no better time than right now'' for the light workload.

``With our team, we could use some of these days because it's been every other day, or you might have a day, and then you've got another game, so I mean we've been kind of going at it a little bit,'' coach Mike Woodson said.

Starting point guard Raymond Felton is in the midst of an expected four-to-six week loss with a broken finger. Veterans Rasheed Wallace and Marcus Camby are battling foot injuries that have weakened the frontcourt, and 39-year-old Jason Kidd has shown the strain of playing heavier minutes in Felton's absence.

All of them can take it easy with just game and at most two practices, and help could be on the way if guard Iman Shumpert does make his season debut after being out since tearing a knee ligament in last year's playoffs.

Woodson said the players might have a bit of time off to enjoy the sights, but NBA activities would mostly keep them busy. The Knicks wanted to make sure they stayed sharp with the next game back home Monday against Brooklyn, their city rival who is charging up behind them in the standings.

``I've been there for almost a month, two and a half weeks, this past summer, so to go back, just playing one game, definitely going to bring a lot of memories,'' Anthony said. ``But this is still regular season for us, so that's how we've got to approach it.''

Quick Links

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

jesus-sucre-warmup-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

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.

MORE ORIOLES NEWS:

Quick Links

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

brian-dozier-high-five-usat.jpg
USA TODAY Sports

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.

MORE NATIONALS NEWS: