Nationals

Stern has no problem with teams miking players

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Stern has no problem with teams miking players

LONDON (AP) NBA Commissioner David Stern has no problem with teams aiming microphones at their own players during games. If anything, he wants more mikes on the court.

Talking ahead of the New York Knicks' game in London against Detroit on Thursday, Stern shrugged off a report that MSG chairman James Dolan used listening devices at Madison Square Garden to record everything said to and by Carmelo Anthony.

With the league and media already recording most things that are said during games, Stern said that adding more microphones can only be a good thing.

``Anything that is said on the court is really subject to being picked up,'' Stern said. ``For my money, I'd like to see the audio track of our games be a little bit more robust, anyway. ... If anything, there are going to be more mikes around the game rather than fewer.''

The Newark Star-Ledger reported Monday that Dolan had two MSG Network audio technicians record Anthony's interactions following his suspension after exchanging words with Boston forward Kevin Garnett. Stern pointed out that the Knicks have not confirmed the report, but that no league rules were broken in any case.

``And we encourage all of our teams to mike the court as best they can,'' Stern said. ``If a team does something to eavesdrop on other players, they would be sanctioned because it would be against our rules. But there's a difference between eavesdropping - such as putting a microphone in the locker room or the huddle other than the one that the league does - and putting a microphone around the court to pick up the sounds of the game.''

Anthony said Wednesday he was just happy to have an owner that ``looks out'' for him.

On other issues, Stern said the NBA is continuing to look at options for how to increase its international presence, but that any decision on placing a team in Europe is still years away. Stern, who is stepping down next year, said his successor, Adam Silver, will have to find a way to ``deal with success'' when it comes to satisfying the international interest in the game.

``The international horizon is huge,'' Stern said. ``The only question is, does it have to be a team (in Europe) or not? There are so many ways to capture the success that that's just something that is going to be left to Adam and his group to decide.''

This is the second time the NBA has staged a regular-season game in London, and Silver said the potential for global growth is still ``huge.''

``I know it's increasingly something that our owners are very focused on,'' Silver said. ``It's a complex issue as to whether the NBA should expand, whether we should relocate franchises, ultimately how much fan support there is.''

Stern said the NBA will have more preseason games abroad than ever before this year, but that the locations for those games have to be decided.

Silver said there's ``a good chance'' that there will be a regular-season game in Europe next year as well.

``It's difficult the way our schedule is currently configured,'' Silver said. ``But I think over time it's something we'd like to do more of.''

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Sean Doolittle on recent pitching woes: 'It was kind of of a helpless feeling'

Sean Doolittle on recent pitching woes: 'It was kind of of a helpless feeling'

When Sean Doolittle pitched Friday evening against the Milwaukee Brewers, he thought he'd made huge progress on his mechanics and felt good heading into Saturday's game.

But when things fell apart after Christian Yelich helped the Brewers rally to a 15-14 win in extra innings, Doolittle knew something was wrong.

"I thought I was every bit good enough to grind this out," Doolittle explained on Grant & Danny on 106.7 The Fan Tuesday morning.  "It was kind of a helpless feeling coming off the mound."

That helplessness led to him being placed on the injured list with a knee injury.

"I kinda battle a little bit of knee tendonitis regularly. It's something I've managed throughout my career," Doolittle said.

He thinks he tweaked it playing in San Diego early June. Since then, he believes his mechanics have suffered trying to alleviate the pain.

"Trying to compensate for it maybe favoring it a little bit subconsciously, my mechanics eroded," Doolittle noted. "It's just this beautiful chaotic circle we have to just pause, get the knee right."

Doolittle says he's going to take the time off to re-work his mechanics. Specifically, he wants to work on a toe-tap and slight hitch he has in his throwing motion, which he described as a subtler version of Clayton Kershaw's famous leg kick.

"I think there's some things I can do mechanically to get my body in a better position," Doolittle said. "This is an opportunity to get it right."

His big goal is to get his body in "better position over the rubber before the kick."

That way, he can have more momentum over the baseball, especially with a powerful four-seam fastball. "You're basically falling down the mound rather than driving and getting behind the ball." 

Throughout the season, he noted he's had good communication with manager Davey Martinez, and that blaming anybody would be a waste of time.

Since being placed on the IL, he's had a few days to rest before he started some light pitching activities Tuesday.

"It'll be a good break to get my body ready for September and October," he noted. "I'm throwing myself into this process and I'm not hanging my head."

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Former Penn State stars Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders catch up after joint practice

Former Penn State stars Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders catch up after joint practice

Things this time last year were a lot different for Ravens quarterback Trace McSorley and Eagles running back Miles Sanders.

McSorley was entering his final year at Penn State, and not highly sought after as an NFL QB prospect. Many draft 'experts' predicted McSorley would have to change positions in order to play at the highest level of the game.

But McSorley, was profiled in NBC Sports Washingtons' I Am The Prospect' series, stuck with quarterback, and early on, it's paid off. The Ravens selected Penn State's all-time passing yards and touchdown passes leader in the sixth-round, and thus far, McSorley has shown promise. 

Sanders, a rising junior at the time, had just 56 career carries and less than 400 rushing yards in his first two seasons with Penn State. While that was not a reflection on Sanders (after all, he was the backup to some guy named Saquon Barkley), the junior had little film to indicate to pro scouts that he would be ready for the jump just a year later.

But after being the Nittany Lions workhorse in 2018, where he rushed for just under 1,300 yards and nine touchdowns, Sanders immediately became on the league's radar. The 22-year-old earned his way to All-Big 10 second-team honors and showed enough at the combine for the Eagles to invest their second-round pick in him.

The Ravens are set to face the Eagles in their third preseason game on Thursday, but Baltimore has been in the City of Brotherly Love for the past two days, competing in joint practices with the Eagles. These practices have given the former Penn State teammates time to catch up before they play each other in a couple of days.

"I think it's cool, just thinking that we were at Penn State a year ago," Sanders said. "Now we're all living our dream, just on different teams. When we get together for times like this, it's pretty cool."

"It's really cool. Spending years together in college, now we're all on separate teams now, but it's cool," McSorley said, echoing his former running back. "We're rooting for these guys. Turning on one of [Miles] games and watch him run, rooting him on. it's cool to come out and be on the practice field with him again. Haven't seen him in a while, being able to say 'what's up,' it's pretty cool."

Very few people know each other's skillsets the way McSorley and Sanders do of one another. So who better to ask than each of them as to what their respective team can expect out of each?

"They're getting a dawg, man, " McSorley said on his former teammate. "They're starting to figure that out now. He's a special player and Philly is going to love him."

"Same with Baltimore. They got a dawg," Sanders said on McSorley. "He's been showing it in the preseason games. They said he's not a quarterback, but he's proving everybody wrong. That's just how Trace is."

Besides checking in regularly to see how Sanders is doing, McSorley has found another way to follow his former running back's rookie season.

"[I'm going to] try and get him on my fantasy team," McSorley said, getting quite the chuckle out of Sanders.

Besides the loyalty aspect, McSorley could end up getting significant production from Sanders on his fantasy squad. After an impressive performance in the Eagles second preseason game, NJ.com reported that "it is increasingly hard to project him as anything less than this team’s No. 1 running back." 

Sanders may be a more than viable fantasy option as a rookie, but he doesn't play the popular game himself. But if he did, he knows one player he would snag.

"I don't do the fantasy stuff, but if I did, I would definitely put my boy on there," Sanders said on McSorley. "Watching everyone I played with in college, looking at their stats each week and seeing them. Just grow and be better players each week. The way we do it here, it's the same mentality because we all went to the same school."

The two will get to see each other in person for the first time at the NFL level on Thursday. 

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