11/22/14

Last week we took a look at some fantasy player who have been disappointing so far this football season. So after 11 weeks let’s take a look at players who have been surprises or have out performed were they were ranked to start the season. I’m using the pre-seasons rankings from our Yahoo! fantasy football league entitled Next Year is Here 13. At quarterback Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers was ranked at 100 to start the season. Going into Week 12 Rivers is ranked in the 19th position among all NFL players. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was ranked at 94th to start the season and right now Roethlisberger is the 6th rated player in the NFL. As hard as it is to believe Andrew Luck of the Indianapolis Colts was rated as the 59th player coming into the season. Right now Luck is the #1 overall player in our league. Looking at running backs Justin Forsett of the Baltimore Raves was ranked as the 190th player coming into the season. If you took a chance on Forsett it’s paid off for you as he is right now the 32nd ranked player. Chris Ivory was ranked at 134th coming into the season, but has moved into 61st place right now. Denard Robinson wasn’t even the starter for the Jacksonville Jaguars to start the season. Since Robinson was just going to be the 3rd down change of pace back he was ranked at 212nd to start the season. If you drafted him or found him on your waiver wire Robinson has helped your team as going into Week 12 he’s ranked as the 93rd best player. Looking at the wide receivers. Jeremy Maclin was coming off of an injury and you had to wonder if he’d be the guy in the Philadelphia Eagles offense. With some questions coming into the 2014 season Macklin was rated at 68th overall. Macklin has stayed healthy and is rated in the 18th spot right now. Mohamed Sanu of the Cincinnati Bengals wouldn’t be considered the top wide receiver on his team; that would be A.J. Green, but Sanu is still a quality fantasy player. Sanu started the season ranked at 178th, but has moved himself into the 53rd overall spot. A lot of fantasy players stayed away from Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. thinking he might not have much left. Smith started the season ranked at 149th and even though he has cooled off a little bit the last couple weeks he’s still ranked at 62nd though Week 11. There are few elite tight ends in fantasy football and if you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that the league I’m using for rankings is also the league where we have to start 2 tight ends a week. While Rob Gronkowski of the New England Patriots is the highest ranked tight end at 20th you could’ve found some guys to help out your fantasy team. Larry Donnell of the New York Giants started the season being ranked in the 203rd position. Going into Week 12, Donnell has moved into the 75th spot for the season. Coby Fleener of the Indianapolis Colts started the season 2 spots behind Donnell in the 205th spot and Fleener is also in a 2 tight end system with Dwayne Allen. Fleener is now ranked 84th and with Allen out injured and possible missing some games Fleener’s ranking could continue to go up. It can be tough to invest in any Oakland Raiders when it comes to fantasy football but tight end Mychal Rivera has been solid. Rivera started the season with a ranking of 246th but he’s been coming on in the last few weeks and is now ranked at 144th. I don’t know if you can be surprised by a kicker n fantasy football but there are some guys who have moved up in the rankings from where they started. Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots started the season ranked 196th, but has moved up to 79th in the rankings. Adam Vinatieri of the Indianapolis Colts started the season ranked 202nd and is now ranked 91st. Shaun Suisham of the Pittsburgh Steelers started the season ranked 235th and is now ranked at 145th. When it comes to Defense?Special Teams there are a few that have moved up the rankings from where they started out. The Philadelphia Eagles started the season ranked at 191st overall, but have moved up to 54th overall with the season they’ve had. The Miami Dolphins where in the 194th position overall to start the season and right now the Dolphins are 81st overall. The Arizona Cardinals were ranked in the 200th spot to start off the season. Going into Week 12 Arizona is ranked at 109th. Hopefully you where able to draft these guys or trade for them or even find them on your waiver wire, but they’re some of the biggest movers up from where they started the season. We’ll see where they all end up by the end of the season.

Are you buying the Toronto Raptors? The Raptors are off to a 10-2 start to this NBA season after making the playoffs last season. DeMar DeRozan is averaging 20 points a game to lead the Raptors in scoring while Kyle Lowry is handing out 5.8 assists per game and adding 18.4 points per game. Jonas Valanciunas is the Raptors leading rebounder averaging 8.1 boards a game and is adding 11.4 points per game. Guard Lou Williams is also scoring 11.5 points per game for Toronto. The Raptors defeated the Milwaukee Bucks 124-83 on Friday night in the first game of back to back games for them, Tonight; Saturday they have a match up with the Cleveland Cavaliers (5-6); in Cleveland. Obviously 12 games into a season is too early to tell where a team will end up, but there are times where a hot start can carry a team through a season even an 82 game season like the NBA. With the NBA’s Eastern conference like it is would it be a big surprise if Toronto re[resents the Eastern conference in the NBA finals.

Is tonight the night for the Philadelphia 76ers to get their first win of the NBA season? The 76ers are 0-12 after losing 122-96 to the Phoenix Suns last night (Friday) at home. Tonight the 76ers go to New York to play the 3-10 and struggling Knicks. On Thursday’s podcast you might have heard Jerry Hoover mention how upset he’d be if the Knicks lose this game. Dan the Man also has a rooting interest in the Knicks but this could be the 76ers shot to get that 1st win. If the 76ers don’t get that win tonight then when. After tonight’s game against the Knicks the 76ers have the Portland Trails Blazers (9-3) on November 24th. The Brooklyn Nets (5-7) on November 26th. The Dallas Mavericks (10-3) on November 26th. The San Antonio Spurs (8-4) on December 1st and the Minnesota Timberwolves (3-8) on December 3rd. Even on the road the 76ers have a chance tonight against the Knicks and if you’re a 76ers fan you have to ask yourself; if not tonight then when?

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

So how was your week?

11/19/14

Week 11′s picks had Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I all going 8-6 for the week. For the season I’m in the lead with an overall record of 102-57-1. Schaumburg Stu is 2 games back at 100-59-1 while Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy are tied while an overall record of 99-60-1. Who knows what Week 12 will have in store for us.

In what I guess we’ll call the Fantasy Football Challenge pitting Mr. Fantasy vs. Greg, played out this way. At quarterback Mr. Fantasy went with Tom Brady of the New England Patriots while Greg picked Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins. Brady scored 13.44 points and finished 13th among quarterbacks while Griffin scored 8.74 points and finished 21st among quarterbacks for Week 11. At running back they both agreed that Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints was the right choice. Ingram finished 9th among running backs with 20.70 points. At wide receiver Mr. Fantasy went with DeSean Jackson of the Washington Redskins while Greg’s choice was Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers. Jackson finished 48th among wide receivers for Week 11 with 6.95 points while Cobb finished with 20.65 points which was good for 10th place among wide receivers. At tight end Mr. Fantasy picked Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers while Greg went with Julius Thomas of the Denver Broncos. Gates scored 5.45 points and finished 21st among tight ends while Thomas got hurt in Sunday’s game and scored 1.80 points which put him in 42nd place among tight ends. At kicker Mr. Fantasy picked Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots while Greg’s choice was Nick Novak of the San Diego Chargers. Gostkowski scored 6 points and finished tied for 11th place while Novak scored 10 points and finished tied for 6th place. Sleeper picks for Week 11. Mr. Fantasy went with Cleveland Browns wide receiver Taylor Gabriel while Greg’s choice was Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson. While Richardson might not be a sleeper in name value in production value he would be a sleeper if he had a good week. Gabriel coed 13.37 points and finished 23rd for Week 11. Richardson scored 4.60 points and finished 47th among running backs for Week 11. If you heard the show Sunday morning you have to hear Mr. Fantasy complain about picking the same players over and over. He suggested that they not be allowed to pick the Top 5 scores at each position. I ran the idea by Greg and he was good with it; so starting with Week 12 they will not be allowed to select any of the Top 5 scoring players at each position for the season. As always I use the scoring system from your Yahoo league titled Next Year is Here 13.

If you’ve listened to Sports Time Radio you know that we all live in the Chicago area. If you listen to sports talk radio in Chicago when they’re not firing Marc Trestman or trying to get Jay Cutler traded or released they’ll talk about who the Chicago Cubs will sign from the free agent market this off-season. The team itself had come out and said that Jon Lester was the first free agent that they where interested in, but they’d also like to sign Russell Martin. Now Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu are the resident Cubs fans on the show while Mr. Fantasy roots for the Chicago White Sox. Now we’ve heard this song and dance from the Cubs organization for the past couple of seasons. How they just missed out on this free agent or that free agent and it has started already this off-season. Russell Martin signed a 5 year $82 million dollar deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Cubs of course having to explain losing Martin to Toronto, went with it was too much money. I actually agree it was too much money for Martin, but he was the only top catcher on the free agent market and that’s what someone was going to have to pay to bring him in. There’s strike one on the Cubs. This morning the Cubs have been quoted as saying that they believe that Lester will sign with the Boston Red Sox. So the Cubs put two names up for their fans to look for and now it looks more and more that neither one of these players will be in a Cubs uniform come opening day. While Martin was far and away the best catcher on the free agent market there are still some top of the rotation starting pitchers still out there. Will the Cubs go after a James Shields or a Max Scherzer now that they’re saying Lester is headed to Boston. I doubt they will, but they’ll need to find some new names to put up for their fans to wish for.

If you’re playing fantasy hockey this season like Dan the Man and I are, I hope you had all of your Nashville Predators in your line up last night. The Predators went out and scored 9 goals last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Taylor Back scored 2 goals while Derek Roy, Eric Nystrom, Mike Ribeiro, Filip Forsberg, Calle Jarnkrok, Roman Josi and Colin Wilson each added a goal. Shea Weber tallied 3 assists while Ryan Ellis, and Paul Gaustad each had 2 assists in the game. Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer gave up 6 of the Predators goals while Jonathan Bernier gave up the other 3 goals and was tagged with the loss. The Montréal Canadiens led the NHL right now with 29 points and an 20-14-5 record. The Tampa Bay Lightning are just 1 point behind at 28 points and an 20-13-5 record. After that it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Anaheim Ducks tied at 27 points.

Kevin Harvick won his 1st Sprint Cup championship and a championship for Stewart-Haas Racing by winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 in Homestead Miami Florida on Sunday. Harvick went from 12th to first over the final 15 laps gave Harvick the championship over Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano. It was Harvick’s first Sprint Cup title in his 14th season of competition.

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

11/15/14

We’re heading into the home stretch for fantasy football as a lot of leagues wrap up a week or two before the regular season ends. I thought it would be a good time to look and see who’s been disappointing for fantasy owners. I’m going off of the ranking that were used in our longest running fantasy league called Next Year is Here 13. I know it’s 2014, but when I renewed the league I forgot to change the year. We’re going to try and stay away from players who missed multiple games because of injuries or suspension. At quarterback Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears was the 18th rated player at draft time. Cutler is the 63rd ranked player going into Week 11. Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was ranked 39th at the start of the season. Newton missed a lot of the pre-season injured and it seems to have carried over into the season as Newton is ranked as the 65th overall player right now. Colin Kaepernick the San Francisco 49ers quarterback was the 31st ranked player coming into the season. Through 11 weeks Kapernick is in the 89th position among all players. If you remember at the start of this fantasy football season all the talk was about the running backs being the guys you needed to have. In our league running backs where projected to be the top 5 scoring players in our league. Through 11 weeks there is only 1 running back (DeMarco Murray) in the top 5 total scores. LeShon McCoy of the Philadelphia Eagles was the #1 overall rated player in our league coming into the 2014 season. Right now McCoy is the 71st rated player in our league. Green Bay Packers running back Eddie Lacy was the 5th rated player in our league. As of right now Lacy is the 44th rated player. Zac Stacy of the St. Louis Rams came into the season as the 29th rated running back. Through 11 weeks Stacy is rated at 215th. There are probably quite a few more running backs that we could list here, but we’ll save that for the end of the season. A lot of the top wide receivers have been injured and missed multiple games; so they’ll get a pass right now. Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall was rated as the 13th overall player coming into 2014. Right now Marshall is rated as the 70th overall player. Keenan Allen if the San Diego Chargers was supposed to be the 27th overall player. Even with the solid year San Diego is having Allen is rated at 161st right now. Maybe Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Vincent Jackson was over rated at 36th to start the season. Even if Jackson was rated a little to high; he should be in a better position than 124th where he is right now.Injuries affect the tight end ratings as well and I actually had to search a little bit to find 3 tight ends. Playing in the up tempo Philadelphia Eagles offense Zac Ertz was in the 102nd position to start the season. Through 11 weeks Ertz is rated as the 137th overall player. Ladarius Green of the San Diego Chargers was supposed to take some catches away from Antonio Gates at tight end and that made Green the 137th rated player to start the season.Green was ranked 7 spots ahead of Gates. After 11 weeks Green is the 1782nd rated player overall while Gates is in the 37th spot. Since we need a third tight end let’s go with Tim Wright of the New England Patriots. Wright was traded to the Patriots at the start of the season and he was ranked as the 208th overall player. Right now Wright is ranked as the 208th overall player and while that not a huge drop I’m sure fantasy owners where looking at Rob Gronkowski’s injury history and thinking they might have a steal with Wright. I figured I’d looking and see if there where some kickers we could add as disappointing, but all 4 of them are rated higher now than where they started the season. The 4 kickers that are down from the start of the season are Josh Brown of the New York Giants. Brown started at 1814th and is now 2285th. Greg Zuerlein of the St. Louis Rams started the season at 1852nd and is now at 2301st. Ryan Succop of the Tennessee Titans started the season at 1857th and is now at 2309th. Oakland Raiders kicker Sebastian Janikowski started at 1968th and is now 2313rd. The team defense/special teams category had a few teams that dropped way down from where they started the season at. The Denver Broncos were rated 282nd to start and are now at 1755th. The Seattle Seahawks where rated at 133rd to start the season; the highest rated defense to start the season. Now the Seahawks defense is ranked at 177th. The St. Louis Rams defense came in at 177th to start the season. At the start of Week 11 the Rams defense is at 1785th. Come the end of the season we’ll have to see if these players turn it around of if 2014 is going to be disappointing for their fantasy owners.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) handed out their awards for the Major League Baseball regular season. Remember these awards cover just the regular season; no post season included. Overall I thought they did a good job of picking award winner for the American League and National League at 4 of the 4 categories. AL Manager of the Year was Buck Showalter of the Baltimore Orioles while the Washington Nationals Matt Williams won the NL award. On a side note Schaumburg Stu picked both of these guys to win this award at the start of the season. In the AL, Jose Abreu won the Rookie of the Year award while Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets was the winner in the NL . I actually picked Abreu to win at the start of the season. I thought they might miss the AL Cy Young award winner, but they got the right guy as Cory Klober of the Cleveland Indians won the award. I thought they might go with “The King” Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners, but Hernandez finished 2nd in the voting. On the NL side Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers won the award getting all of the 1st place votes. Of course Kershaw was Dan the Man’s pick at the start of the season. Mike Trout was the unanimous selection for AL MVP and while Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I all had Trout winning this award I don’t think any of us thought he get all of the 1st place votes like he did. Where I think the BBWAA missed was their choice for NL MVP Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw pitched in 27 games this season. 27 games is just under 17% of the season. Does he deserve this award based on the fact that he’s only involved in 17% of his teams games; the answer should be NO! While Keshaw was dominant when he pitched he didn’t show up in enough games to win the MVP award. The mainstream media push that Kershaw got probably put him over the top for this award, but it’s sad that voters pay more attention to what people say than players on the field. Looking at the NL voting San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey finished 6th and was actually left off of a ballot; really off a ballot. I thought Posey and Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates who finished 3rd where the players who would battle it out for this award. Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies got a 10th place vote from the voter who left Posey off his ballot. I would love to know how he thought that Tulowitski was a Top 10 MVP candidate, but Posey wasn’t. I know every year there are questions about how these awards are handed out, but like I said I think they got most of them correct this season. Well all, but one. Maybe next season they’ll get them all right.

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

So how was your week?

11-12-14

Schaumburg Stu and Dan the Man tied for the best record in Week 10 of our picks at 10-3. Mr. Fantasy was a game behind at 9-4 while I finished last for the week at 8-5. For the season I have the lead at 94-51-1, Schaumburg Stu is two games back at 92-53-1, Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy are four games off the lead at 90-55-1. We’ll see what Week 11 brings.

For Week 10 Mr. Fantasy and Greg both went with the same quarterback; Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers and it worked out for them as Rodgers was the highest scoring quarterback of the week. At running back Mr. Fantasy went with Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears while Greg chose Andre Ellington of the Arizona Cardinals. Forte finished 17th among running backs with 15.85 points while Ellington scored 18.45 points and finished 13th among running backs for the week. At wide receiver Mr. Fantasy picked Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown scored 10.79 points and was 33rd among wide receivers for the week. Greg;s wide receiver pick was Demaryius Thomas of the Denver Broncos. Thomas scored 19.30 points and finished 14th among receivers for the week. At tight end Mr. Fantasy took Julius Thomas pf the Denver Broncos while Greg went with Jimmy Graham of the New Orleans Saints. Thomas finished 2nd at 24.05 points while Graham finished 1st with 27.10 points for the week; so they nailed the top two tight ends for Week 10. For kickers this week Mr. Fantasy picked Cody Parkey of the Philadelphia eagles while Greg went with Justin Tucker of the Baltimore Ravens. Parkey scored 9.75 points and finished 9th among kickers while Tucker scored 3 points and finished tied for 21st for the week. I what I thought was a bit f a surprise both Mr. Fantasy and Greg picked tight ends for their sleeper picks. Mr. Fantasy went with Chicago Bears tight end Dante Rosario who had 1 catch for 3 yards and scored 1.05 points in Week 10. Greg picked Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Wilson. Wilson injured his ankle in the 2nd quarter of the Seahawks game Sunday. Wilson didn’t have any catches before he was hurt and scored 0 points for the week. It looks like it was another close week between these two, but I think Week 10 goes to Greg. I use the scoring system from our Yahoo league titled Next Year is Here 13.

On the Sports Time Radio podcast you might have heard us talk about our different fantasy football teams and leagues. We have the league above that I mentioned and then we have a Sports Time Radio named league that was done with an auction draft format. Mr. Fantasy and I have what we describe as a money league team with some of his friends. In this league the player who owns Adrian Peterson was looking to trade him. The deal that was kicked around was T.Y. Hilton the wide receiver from the Indianapolis Colts for Peterson straight up. The Peterson owner actually told us he could get a lot better player than Hilton for Peterson. As I look at the league scoring totals for the season Hilton sits 6th among wide receivers. Here are the players in front of him 1 through 5. Demaryius Thomas, Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, Calvin Johnson and Jordy Nelson. So he’s going to get a better wide receiver than Hilton; interesting. Would you give up any of these wide receivers for Peterson?

Sunday in Homestead Florida after the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway NASCAR will crown a 1st time champion. Kevin Harvick, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin and Ryan Newman will have a 400 mile shoot out for the Sprint Cup championship. Which ever driver has the best finish wins the title. I don’t know if there’s a favorite among these drivers. Newman hasn’t won a race all season, but with solid finishes and let’s call it moving Kyle Larson out of his way last weekend he finds himself with a chance to win it all. Harvick maybe the driver on the best roll going into this race, but Logano has been strong all season. Hamlin may be a bit of a wild card in the race. It will be interesting to see how aggressive these drivers will be early in the race and it would be great if they where all in the Top 10 with about 5 laps to go. Did you like the new format for The Chase this season?

It looks like Major League Baseball is going to investigate the Chicago Cubs hiring of Joe Maddon. There had been rumors and reports that the Tampa Bay Rays thought that the Cubs had spoken with Maddon and that’s why he opted out of his contract with the Rays. The Cubs insist everything was by the book — that they even checked with the Commissioner’s Office before contacting Maddon — but the Rays weren’t so sure, and MLB at the very least is giving the complaint due diligence. It’s hard to blame the Cubs for jumping at the chance to land Maddon — he’s the type of manager who could not only bring a new personality to a team, but energize a fan base too. The question is whether the Cubs were a little too eager to secure Maddon. We know, for example, they had no problem doing Rick Renteria dirty. If it is proven that the Cubs tampered with Maddon Tampa Bay could receive compensation. That compensation could come in the form of players, draft picks or money. Also if Cubs officials lied to MLB investigators there could be some type of suspensions involved. This will be a very difficult charge to prove; so don’t be surprised at all if nothing comes from this, but MLB has to look into it.

Did you have the New York Mets signing the first free agent? They agreed to a two-year contract with outfielder Michael Cuddyer. The 35-year-old is a two-time All-Star and was the NL batting champion in 2013 with the Colorado Rockies. Cuddyer hit .332 with 10 home runs and 31 RBIs (Runs Batted In) this year in a season interrupted by injuries. He was limited to 49 games and was on the disabled list three times because of a strained left shoulder and a strained left hamstring. Cuddyer signs a two-year, $21 million deal and with this signing the Mets lose their 1st round draft pick this June which was #15 overall.

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

11/2/14

A couple of week into the NBA season there are three teams still unbeaten and two teams looking for their first win. The Houston Rockets at 6-0, the Memphis Grizzlies at 6-0 and the Golden State Warriors 4-0, while the Philadelphia 76ers 0-6 and the Los Angeles Lakers 0-5 are still trying to get that first win. One of the unbeaten teams will lose tonight (Saturday) as Golden State travels to Houston to play the Rockets. Memphis will also put its undefeated season on the line tonight against the 2-4 Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee. Of course the big story these first few weeks of the NBA season is the 2-3 start by the Cleveland Cavaliers. With LeBron James returning to Cleveland and the trade for Kevin Love you had to think it might take a little time for this team to gel, but I don’t believe people thought it would start like this season has. Cleveland did get a 110-101 victory over the Denver Nuggets Friday night with James leading the team in scoring with 22 points as well as leading the team in assists with 11. Love had 19 points and a team high 8 rebounds. Kyrie Irving (12 points) and Dion Waiters (17 points) took a combined 25 shots after possible taking a few too many shots in the Cleveland losses. Early in the season James seems content to let the younger players try to take over games and use these moments to teach. Love is still looking for the place where he fits with this team and Irving and Waiters have to learn when to give way to their superstar. It’s very early in the NBA season and there’s a lot of time for this Cleveland team to come together. If you thought they where going to come out of the gates firing on all cylinders you where fooling yourself. If they’re still having these issues or other after the All-Star break then you can worry about the Cavaliers.

It was the battle of Ohio on Thursday Night Football this week as the Cleveland Browns went into Cincinnati and beat the Bengals pretty easily 24-3. Andy Dalton 10 of 33 for 86 yards while throwing 3 interceptions and ending up with a quarterback rating (RTG) of 2.0 had a lot of issues with the wind. Brian Hoyer 15 of 23 for 198 yards and a RTG of 92.3, was able to beat the weather and lead the Browns to the win. The Cleveland running backs took turns putting the football in the end zone. Ben Tate started the Browns scoring with a 4 yard touchdown run in the 1st quarter giving Cleveland a 7-0 lead. Cincinnati answered with a 43 yard Mike Nugent field goal to make the score 7-3, but who knew those would be the only points for the Bengals. Isaiah Crowell got the Browns next rushing touchdown; a 2 yard run in the 2nd quarter making the score 14-3 Cleveland. A Billy Cundiff field goal put Cleveland up 17-3 going into halftime. Terrance West got the final touchdown of the night for Cleveland. A 1 yard run in the 3rd quarter to make it 24-3 in favor of Cleveland. West got 26 carries and 94 yards along with his touchdown to lead the Browns rushing attack, Crowell had 12 carries for 41 yards and his touchdown while Tate had 10 carries for 34 yards and his touchdown. Jeremy Hill was averaging 4.6 yards per carry for Cincinnati, but with his team down only got 12 carries for 55 yards. Miles Austin had 5 catches for 48 yards for Cleveland to lead all receivers while it was Jermaine Gresham with 3 catches for 29 yards that led the Bengals. Fantasy wise if you started a Cleveland running back you at least got a touchdown out of him, but receiving wise there wasn’t a lot of help for you. A.J. Green had 3 catches for 23 yards while Mohamed Sanu caught 2 passes for 20 yards; ouch. With Browns tight end Jordan Cameron out dealing with a concussion Gary Barnidge filled in at tight end picked up a few fantasy points for you catching 2 passes for 46 yards. If you have a league where defensive players count the Bengals had three players get some good tackle numbers. Linebacker Emmanuel Lamur led Cincinnati with 11 tackles while two other linebackers Nico Johnson and Vincent Rey getting 10 tackles each. Buster Skrine picked off 2 Dalton passes and Craig Robertson got the other Cleveland interception.

It looks like it’s Jon Lester, James Shields and Max Scherzer who are at the top of everyone’s fee agent lists this off-season. You can never have enough starting pitching and there’s been a lot of predictions on where these three pitchers will end up. Most people see Lester ending up with the Chicago Cubs, but I have a feeling he’ll end up back with the Boston Red Sox. Shields has been predicted to stay with the Kansas City Royals and there’s a very good chance that will happen unless a team throws a lot of money at him. Scherzer is a tough call. He’s a Scott Boras client; so that means he’ll be one of the last players to sign with a team. Scherzer turned down a 7 year $144 million dollar deal before the 2013 season from the Detroit Tigers. This sounds like a signing for the New York Yankees, but would a team like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim jump in and sign Scherzer. If your team doesn’t land one of the top three pitchers the next level of pitchers features Ervin Santana, Brandon McCarthy, Francisco Liriano and Kenta Maeda the 27-year-old Japanese pitcher who the Hiroshima Carp are expected to post. How would you feel if your team signed a Justin Masterson, Jason Hammel or Jake Peavy. This seasons playoffs and World Series proved that you need good arms in your bullpen and in this years free agent crop it looks like closer David Robertson is the best reliever on the free agent market. Andrew Miller the left-handed set up specialist is also available along with another set up guy Luke Gregerson. The closers who are free agents after Robertson look like Rafael Soriano, Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) and Sergio Rome. Is your favorite team looking for pitching? Are these some of the names you’re looking for your team to sign?

As the baseball off-season gets started will try to look at the free agents out there and see where they might end up or if they’re a good fit for your favorite team.

We featured some good interviews this week on Sports Time Radio this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday Mark O’Neil from Around the Foghorn joined us to talk San Francisco Giants baseball. On Thursday we had Al Yellen from Bleed Cubbie Blue with us to talk Joe Maddon and possible Cubs free agent targets as well as which young prospects should be on the team in 2015. You can go into the archives at Sports Time Radio and listen to these podcasts.

So how was your week?

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

11/5/14

Are you watching the NASCAR Chase for the Sprint Cup? They started with 16 drivers in the Challenger round. After 3 races they cut 4 drivers and entered the Contender round. 3 more races and 4 more drivers eliminated to get to the Eliminator round which comes to an end this Sunday in at Phoenix International Raceway. Then 4 drivers will advance to the final race and the Championship round of the Chase on November 16th at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin are tied at the top of the Chase standings going into Phoenix while Ryan Newman sits in 3rd. Right now Jeff Gordon has the 4th spot in the Chase, but he holds just a 1 point lead over Matt Kenseth and Carl Edwards a 5 point lead over Brad Keslowski and a 6 point lead over Kevin Harvick. None of these 8 drivers have gotten a win in the Eliminator round that would automatically advance them to the Championship. This new Chase set up seems to have made winning more important, but it also seems to have brought out a lot of anger in these drivers. Keslowski seems to be the guy that has taken that bad boy role as he’s had issues with Kenseth earlier in the Chase and then just last week after the race Keslowski and his crew had a large brawl with Gordon and his crew. Late in the race after a caution Gordon was starting on the front row with teammate Jimmy Johnson to his inside while Keslowski was lined up right behind Johnson. In the 1st turn after the restart Gordon’s car went up the track a little and Keslowski was able to move into that opening. As Gordon went back down to block Keslowski and get his car back in line, Keslowski had his car to far in the opening and the touched. The incident caused Gordon to have a tire go down and end up finishing 29th and dropping 3 spots in the Chase standings. This is what got the altercation started on pit road after the race. While the drivers avoided penalties from NASCAR their crew chiefs and crew members weren’t. Here’s the penalties from NASCAR. Three Hendrick crew members for six races for being “involved in a post-race physical altercation” and fined them each $25,000. A fourth Hendrick crew member was fined $10,000 and suspended for three races for the same offense. Gordon’s crew chief Alan Gustafson and Kasey Kahne crew chief Kenny Francis were each fined $50,000 and placed on probation for six races because “the crew chief assumes responsibility for the actions of his team members.” according to NASCAR. Also suspended for six races and fined $25,000 were: Jeremy Fuller, the Kahne crew member who came from behind the scrum and threw several punches toward Keselowski, as well as Gordon crew members Dwayne Doucette and Jason Ingle; Dean Mozingo, another Gordon crew member, was fined $10,000 and suspended three races. Hendrick Motorsports said it would not appeal, and the punished team members would not face further sanctions from the organization. There’s still a couple of races left in the NASCAR season; so maybe you should start watching.

In our picks for Week 9 in the NFL I was able to come out on top with a 10-3 record. Mr. Fantasy finished 2nd with a record of 8-5 while Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu both ended the week at 7-6. For the season I am hanging onto the lead with a record of 86-46-1. Schaumburg Stu is 4 games behind with a record of 82-50-1. Mr. Fantasy is in 3rd with a record of 81-51-1 while Dan the Man is a game behind him with an overall record of 80-52-1. You can hear our picks on the Sunday morning podcast of Sports Time Radio from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. .

We’re in the 3rd week of our players challenge with Mr. Fantasy and Greg. The first two weeks where pretty even; so let’s see how the 3rd week went. At quarterback Mr. Fantasy went with Seattle Seahawk Russell Wilson while Greg went with Denver Bronco Peyton Manning. Wilson was 22nd among quarterbacks with 8.18 points while Manning was 7th with 18.06 points. Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was the high point scorer for Week 9 with 39.90 points. At running back both guys went with Arian Foster of the Houston Texans. Foster finished with 23.15 points and 8th place among running backs. Marshawn Lynch of the Seattle Seahawks was the highest scoring running back for Week 9 with 35.30 points. At wide receiver Mr. Fantasy took Jeremy Maclin of the Philadelphia Eagles while Greg selected Emmanuel Sanders of the Denver Broncos. Maclin finished as the #1 scoring wide receiver of Week 9 with 32.55. Sanders scored 24.36 points and was in 7th place among wide receiver’s. At tight end Mr. Fantasy went with Rob Gronkowski (again) of the New England Patriots while Greg choose Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers. Gronkowski was the #1 scoring tight end for Week 9 with 23.50 points. Gates scored 5.05 points and finished in 20th place among tight ends for Week 9. At kicker Mr. Fantasy picked Chandler Catanzaro of the Arizona Cardinals while Greg went with Phil Dawson of the San Francisco 49ers. Both kickers scored 4 points and finished tied for 11th place for Week 9 among kickers. For their Week 9 sleeper picks Mr. Fantasy went with running back Charles Sims of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers while Greg selected Oakland raiders wide receiver Brice Butler. Sims scored 0 points in Week 9 and for the season as well while Butler scored 9.50 points for the Raiders in Week 9. This match up may be to close to call. Who do you think got the players challenge win this week?

Major League Baseball handed out it’s Gold Gloves for the 2014 baseball season. Here are the winners. Catcher: AL, Salvador Perez, Royals; NL, Yadier Molina, Cardinals. First base: AL, Eric Hosmer, Royals; NL, Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers. Second base: AL, Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox; NL, DJ LeMahieu, Rockies. Third base: AL, Kyle Seager, Mariners; NL, Nolan Arenado, Rockies. Shortstop: AL, J.J. Hardy, Orioles; NL, Andrelton Simmons, Braves. Left field: AL, Alex Gordon, Royals; NL, Christian Yelich, Marlins. Center field: AL, Adam Jones, Orioles; NL, Juan Lagares, Mets. Right field: AL, Nick Markakis, Orioles; NL, Jason Heyward, Braves. Pitcher: AL, Dallas Keuchel, Astros; NL, Zack Greinke, Dodgers. 3 Royals, 3 Orioles, 2 Dodgers and 2 Rockies claimed awards. Did they get it right? How did your favorite team do?

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

The San Francisco Giants won their 3rd World Series title in 5 tears with a 3-2 Game 7 victory over the Kansas City Royals. Jeremy Affeldt came out of the Giants bullpen first and had the longest outing of the season pitching 2 1/3rd innings before turning it over to Madison Bumgarner who pitched the final 5 innings of the game. Affeldt was credited with the win while Bumgarner picked up a save. Bumgarner threw 21 innings in 2 starts and 1 relief appearance with an Earned Run Average (E.R.A.) of 0.43. He allowed 9 hits and 1 walk while striking out 17. While Bumgarner dominated on the mound and was awarded the World Series Most Valuable Player (M.V.P.) Hunter Pence and Pablo Sandoval led the Giants hitting attack. Pence hit .444 getting 12 hits with 1 home run and 5 Runs Batted In (R.B.I.) adding 3 doubles. Sandoval also had 12 hits in the World Series batting .429 with 3 doubles and 4 R.B.I.’s. As the question start for the Giants on if the can repeat on the Royals side the questions become can they get back. The Royals had a big playoff run; not losing a game until the World Series and while the Royals may not be here next season their future is bright. Under the bright World Series lights rookie pitcher Yordano Ventura came through and looks like he’ll turn into a quality starting pitcher. Ventura threw 12 innings in the World Series in his 2 starts. While he did give up 11 hits and walked 5 matters in those 12 innings his E.R.A. was just 1.46; so he was able to get himself out of trouble. Ventura added 6 strikeouts as well. At the plate Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez led the team with a .333 batting average. Perez totaled 8 hits with a double and a home run for the Royals.

With the World Series over the baseball off-season begins and the Chicago Cubs didn’t waste any time getting their off-season started. The Cubs fired manager Rich Rentaria after just one season and on Monday will officially announce Joe Maddon formerly of the Tampa Bay Rays as their new manager. While there haven’t been any terms to Maddon’s deal released yet there is a report that the Rays are either going to or have asked Major League Baseball (MLB) to investigate the Cubs for tampering with Maddon. There was a report out that the reason Maddon opted out of his Rays contract was because he had contact with the Cubs and he knew he had a job waiting. The report is also saying that the Rays would look for player compensation in the form of Addison Russell or Javier Baez.

If you’re a fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder or just a fantasy basketball player you have to start thinking this team is cursed. They start the season with their best player Kevin Durant out with a foot injury and then in the 2nd game of the season their other star player Russell Westbrook goes out with what turns out to be a broken hand. Westbrook should miss about 4-6 weeks for the Thunder. Westbrook did out up 38 points in the Thunder’s opening game 106-89 loss to the Portland Trailblazers. On Thursday night the Thunder dropped their 2nd game of the season to the Los Angeles Clippers 93-90. It looks like Serge Ibaka will have to try to keep the Thunder hanging around in the Western conference until Durant and Westbrook can return. Another National Basketball Association injury that happened last night was Derrick Rose spraining his ankle and having to leave the Chicago Bulls 114-108 overtime loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday night. Rose finished with 20 points, four rebounds and four assists in 25 minutes of action and the injury is being reported as minor.

Dan the Man and I have gotten off to good starts in the Sports Time Radio fantasy hockey league. It’s early in the season, but Dan;s team is the #1 rated team in our league which is 18 teams. Dan’s team has four 4 goal scorers leading his team; Tyler Bozak of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Nick Bonino of the Vancouver Canucks, Damon Severson of the New Jersey Devils and Brent Burns of the San Jose Sharks. Tyler Johnson of the Tampa Bay Lighting has 11 assists to lead Dan’s team. Besides Goals and assists we have some interesting categories for our league. Plus/minus, penalty minutes, power play points, short-handed points, game winning goals, shots on goal, faceoffs won, hits and blocks. Of course you must have goaltenders on out team and Dan has a good one in Frederik Andersen of the Anaheim Ducks who is off to a 7-1 start and a Goals Against Average (G.A.A) of 1.60. Besides wins, losses and goals against the other two goalie categories are save percentage and shutouts. There are times a hot start can propel a team through the season, but since I’m in this league against Dan I’m hoping his team comes back to the pack.

I mentioned Anaheim earlier and behind Andersen play they have the best record in the National Hockey League (NHL) at 9-3 and 18 points. The Montreal Canadiens are right behind then at 8-2-1 with 17 points. On the other end of the standings the Carolina Hurricanes are still looking for their first win of the season. Through 8 games the Hurricanes are 0-6-2 with just 2 points so far this season. Anaheim’s Corey Perry leads the NHL with 10 goals while the New York Rangers Rick Nash is one goal behind at 9. Jakub Voracek of the Philadelphia Flyers leads the league in assists with 12 while Henrik Zetterberg of the Detroit Red Wings, Tyler Johnson of the Tampa bay Lighting and Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers all have 11 assists. Voracek is tied for the league lead in points with Tyler Seguin of the Dallas Stars and Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins. Each guy has 15 points for the season.

I know, I know there was a Thursday night football game. Schaumburg Stu was the only one of us smart enough to pick the New Orleans Saints to beat the Carolina Panthers. The Saints (4-4) piled up 375 yards to snap a seven-game losing streak on the road that dated back to last November. Brees finished 24 of 34 for 297 yards and Mark Ingram turned in another solid performance with 100 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Brees threw an interception and fumbled in the first quarter before settling down late in the second quarter and leading touchdown drives on four out of five possessions. The Saints’ defense sacked Cam Newton four times and forced two turnovers. Newton, who spent much of the night under heavy duress playing behind an offensive line without three of its regular starters, was limited to 151 yards passing. The Saints won 28-10 to take the lead in the NFC South division.

So how was your week?

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

We’re going to have a World Series Game 7 in Kansas City tonight and the Royals made sure of that last night with a 10-0 victory over the San Francisco Giants last night (Tuesday) in Game 6. Kansas City jumped on Giants starter Jake Peavey early last night and never looked back. Peavey lasted just 1 1/3rd innings last night. Peavey was charged with giving up 5 earned runs on 6 hits while walking 1 and striking out 2. Yusmeiro Petit came in to finish the 2nd inning and gave up 2 runs on 4 hits as the Royals put up a 7 run 2nd inning. Yordano Ventura gave the Royals the strong starting pitching performance they needed. Ventura did walk 5 in his 7 innings, but didn’t give up any runs while striking out 4 and only allowing San Francisco 2 hits. Like you’d expect the Royals bullpen came in the final 2 innings to wrap up the game, but this time it was Jason Frasor in the 8th and Tim Collins in the 9th. Kansas City got 15 hits on the game with Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Mike Moustakas and Omar Infante all had 2 hits apiece. Both of Moustakas went for extra bases; a double off of Peavey in the big 2nd inning and then a 7th inning home run off of Giants reliever Hunter Strickland. Cain also drove in 3 runs. The starting pitcher are Tim Hudson for the Giants and Jeremy Guthrie for the Royals. Of course being that it’s a Game 7 you’d have to think that everyone pitcher from both teams would be available except for maybe Ventura. The first pitching questions that comes up is will we see Madison Bumgarner out of the San Francisco bullpen. You have to wonder what kind of game it will be tonight as only one of these World Series games have been close. Game 3 was decided by was a 3-2 Royals victory. Will we get a classic tight Game 7? or will we get a game like we’ve been getting in this World Series; an easy victory for one of these teams. Who are you picking to win tonight?

After a couple of rough weeks making NFL picks Dan the Man bounced back to take Week 8 with a 11-3 record. Schaumburg Stu and I tied a game behind Dan at 10-4 while Mr. Fantasy struggled through an 8-6 week. For the season I still hold a one game lead on Schaumburg Stu. I am 76-43-1 with Schaumburg Stu at 75-44-1. Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy are tied after Week 8 with an overall record of 73-46-1. There are 6 teams on bye during Week 9; so will see if this helps us make better picks.

Mr. Fantasy either figured out or found out that I had put him into a challenge with my friend Greg. Greg got the better of Mr. Fantasy last week; so let’s look and see how their picks for highest scoring players at each position did. They did pick the same player at running back, wide receiver and tight end, but will get to those picks in a minute. Will start at quarterback. Mr. Fantasy picked Aaron Rodgers of the Green Bay Packers while Greg’s pick was Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints. Brees was the 5th highest scoring quarterback of Week 8 with 24.07 points. Rodgers picked up an injury in his game, but still finished 11th among quarterbacks for the week with 18,46 points. Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger at 47.59 points was the highest scoring quarterback of the week. At running back they both went with Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears. Forte was the 2nd highest scoring running back of the week scoring 34.05 points. Houston Texans running back Arian Foster and his 43.30 points was the only player who stood in between Forte and the top scoring running back spot. At the wide receiver position Jordy Nelson of the Green Bay Packers was Mr. Fantasy and Greg’s choice. Nelson had 3 catches for 25 yards and a total of 4.75 fantasy points and 74th place among wide receivers. Ouch! Jeremy Maclin of the Philadelphia Eagles led all wide receivers with 42.95 points. They both liked New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Gronkowski was a very good pick as “Gronk” was the highest scoring tight end of the week with 39.90 points. Mr. Fantasy dislikes having to pick a kicker, but he went with Mason Crosby of the Green Bay Packers. I don’t know how Greg feels about picking a kicker each week, but he went with Dan Bailey of the Dallas Cowboys. With 12 points Crosby finished 8th among kickers in Week 8. Bailey had 5 points and tied for 24th place among kickers. For sleeper picks Mr. Fantasy chose Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Donte Moncrief. Moncrief had 7 catches for 113 yards and a touchdown while scoring 22.80 points for the week. Greg went with Tennessee Titans rookie quarterback Zach Mettenberger who was making his first NFL start. Mettenberger threw for 299 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. Mettenberger also had a rushing attempt for -1 yards was sacked twice and lost a fumble. Mettenberger totaled 13.13 fantasy points for Week 8. This looks like it’s close to call, but it might be Mr. Fantasy by a nose here.

The NBA opened their season last night with 3 games on the schedule; 2 early starts and 1 late start time. The San Antonio Spurs got their ring hung their banner and then got a 1 point win, 101-100 over the Dallas Mavericks. The other early game had the New Orleans Pelicans beating the Orlando Magic 101-84. The night-cap had the Houston Rockets getting a win over the Los Angeles Lakers 108-90. James harden of the Houston Rockets was the high scorer of the night with 32 points. Nikola Vucevic the center for the Magic grabbed 23 rebounds to led all players last night. Magic rookie point guard Elfrid Payton had 7 assists to led all players in last nights games. There was also a Dwight Howard elbow to Kobe Bryant that Howard was accessed a flagrant foul on. Injury wise Lakers rookie forward Julius Randle, the team’s top draft choice in June, broke his right leg midway through the fourth quarter. The stat line of the night has to go to Pelicans power forward Anthony Davis. Davis had 26 points, 17 rebounds, 9 blocked shots just missing a triple double. Davis also added 3 steals and 2 assists on the night.

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

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It has been a long time since I did one of these, you remember, This Old Stub. Obviously, I took that from good ole Bob Villa, i’m sure I just dated myself with that reference. Either way like all great tales, it starts with a reflection…Christmas 2013. The months preceding, my wife would periodically text me questions about sports but the one that stood out was when she asked me, what my favorite teams were and players on that team. So, in true Fanatic tradition, I threw out there: Carmelo Anthony, Joakim Noah, Brandon Marshall, Adrian Peterson, Adrian Gonzalez, Buster Posey, Patrick Kane and even Jonathan Quick. Christmas Eve comes and she decided to let me open my gift…I tear through the jingle bell paper and rip the top off the box, through the white tissue paper I see black and what looks to be red and orange? Confused I pull out a Dwayne Wade T-shirt and a snapback. If you read my previous blog from a couple years ago, Fitted Hats are bettter than Snapbacks, you’d know, I do not wear snapbacks at all, ever. She then looks at me, “There’s more.” I pull out an envelope with a homemade ticket that says Heat vs Pistons but we live in Chicago. That is when I discover that my gift is seeing the Miami Heat live and in color in Miami! To top it off it’s a work trip for her so am I going solo? Nope her 19 year old nephew is meeting us in Miami and going with me. Flash forward, we arrive in Miami and are put up in a plush resort with two pools and a private beach. Oh yeah, and golfing. Apparently, Dan Marino was at this resort once for a golf outing. It is Super Bowl Sunday and her company threw a Super Bowl Party! Yeah!!! Yea I wasnt all that excited about it because you know how those things go. Nobody is there to watch the game…Theyre just their for the food and social aspect. Me, I’m there to watch Peyton Manning win a Super Bowl. Not only that, here at Sports Time Radio, we make predictions each year on who will the Super Bowl. I chose Denver to go all the way, while Big Jack picked Seattle. I really wanted to see Denver win so that the Big Jack would have to buy me a Tshirt. Mind you, my wife made me buy her a Seahawks T because she likes their colors better. Once the game was over and the party wound down, I snatched up as many of the pennants I could off the tables to take as “souvenirs.”

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Monday morning, my wife is gone for work and my nephew, Justin and I go to the mall for lunch and hit the beach. Which if I had known, we’d be by a mall I would have waited to get my New Era 5950 Miami Heat Fitted Cap size 7 & 5/8 (In case you want to send me one). She returned the snapback because I would not ever ever ever wear it. Back to the hotel to shower and change, the concierge clapped for a taxi and $50 later we were in Miami, for $150 i could have had a car pick us up and wait for us but I saved the $50 for Heat merchandise. As we walk up to the American Airlines Arena, we see a bus pull into the garage, from what Justin could make out it was the Pistons but we were too late plus security wouldnt let us approach the bus. So, we take our pics in front of the stadium and wait out front for the doors to open. As we people watch, all walks of life are here to see the Heat and some of these people are very interesting like the 2 grown men in matching Addias polyester jump suits. We even met a die hard Seahawks fan from Canada, Eh. He really said Eh.

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Finally, the doors are open, as we get passed security, we are handed little mini poms, which Justin turned down…never turn down a free gift with no catch! Plus I love free gifts. Our tickets were up top, where the real fans sit. I say that because before attending this game, I did not know that it is Miami tradition to show up late and leave early. I can’t imagine what season tickets cost but I would want to get my money’s worth. When I got home, the first thing Big Jack asked me was, “Did the Heat fans show up late and leave early?” Hence, when I learned of this “tradition.” From where we sat, you could see all the action and as a plus we were on the stationery camera for TV, so the introductions were done facing us. Even though we were all the up top, you could still feel the Heat from the fire they used during the Heat’s introductions. Entertaining as it was designed to be as well as the whole experience surrounding the game. They had a DJ, which I thought was unique. He played music through the breaks which included a dance by the Heat Girls. This is where I discovered the “referee’s timeout.” But hey if a referee’s timeout is just going to bring out the Heat dancers, I’m not objecting. My favorite part was towards the end of the game, the hype crew came up to our section. These are generally the same guys that were warming up with the Heat before the game. They brought up the Big LeBron head and the letters H E A T. I was write by the T. They are the ones that get the crowd chanting “Let’s Go Heat!” & “Defense!” I have to be honest I turned into a little kid. If I was on TV or not, I don’t know but It was for lack of a better word, AWESOME! As I write this, LeBron has left for Cleveland, seemingly taking the Heat out the finals, I still recommend going to see the Heat at the American Airlines Arena. If you’re in Miami, just go there for any event. That place is amazing. Miami is truly an international city and it showed from the food they served. Now I am not sure if your ticket restricts you to your level but I saw everything from hot dogs to a Hibachi Grill. We ended up with the cheapest thing we could find $15 Sirloin Burgers, We spent so much time looking at everything, we ended up there. There were tons of different souvenirs, I settled on a Back to Back Championship T-shirt. How can you go wrong with Championship anything. If I lived in Miami, I may have wasted my money on the giant heads of the different players.

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Basketball is such a fast paced game, it’s difficult to break it down like you can with the MLB. The game went as any game does and being in Miami, there were some calls that went the Heat’s way. Big Jack and I have discussed how NBA refs can determine the outcome of the game with there calls by their mood. It’s not right but it happens and to be fair, Ive seen calls against the Heat on the road because it was the Heat. It was a great time, the Heat won, I was given a free pom pom from the Heat, got a championship Tshirt. It was a great time, I would definitely go back, and with Pat Riley I don’t think the Heat are out of the West just yet. Now, I’d really like to see them win, with out James. If you’re in Miami, Go! but for the next time I’m there it will be at Marlins game. I have to see that crazy bright green stadium.

Game 3 of the World Series went to the Kansas City Royals 3-2 giving them a 2 games to 1 lead in the series with Game 4 tonight in San Francisco. After games that were won by 5 runs and 6 runs Game 3 was more of the style the Royals have played through the playoffs. Alcides Escobar doubled to left field to lead off the game against Giants starter Tim Hudson. A ground out by Alex Gordon moved Escobar to 3rd and another ground out by Lorenzo Cain gave the Royals a 1-0 lead. With 1 out in the top of the 6th inning Escobar singled, Gordon followed that with a double and Escobar scored for a 2-0 Royals lead. Cain ground to 3rd for the 2nd out of the inning and that was it for Hudson. Giants left hander Javier Lopez was brought into the game to face Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer. Hosmer singled to center off of Lopez scoring Gordon as the Royals took a 3-0 lead. The Giants cam back in the bottom of the 6th inning off of Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie. Brandon Crawford singled, Mike Morse pinch hit for Lopez and doubled Crawford home for the Giants 1st run. Morse’s double ended Guthrie’s night as the Royals went to their bullpen for Kelvin Herrera. Herrera walked Gregor Blanco to put Giants on 1st and 2nd. Joe Panik grounded out moving the runners to 2nd and 3rd then a ground out by Buster Posey scored Morse as Blanco went to 3rd. Pablo Sandoval ground out to end the Giants half of the 6th and the scoring for the night at 3-2. Guthrie got the win for Kansas City pitching 5 innings giving up 4 hits and 2 runs. Out of the Royals bullpen Herrera pitched 1 1/3rd innings, Brandon Finnegan pitched 2/3rd of an inning, Wade Davis pitched and inning and Greg Holland pitched the 9th inning for the save. In their 4 innings the Kansas City bullpen didn’t give up a hit and struck out 4 batters. Hudson took the loss for San Francisco pitching 5 2/3rd innings giving up 3 runs and 4 hits while walking 1 and striking out 2. Lopez pitched a 1/3rd of an inning out of the San Francisco bullpen followed by Sergio Romo for an 1 1/3rd innings, Jeremy Affeldt for 1 1/3rd innings and Santiago Casilla for a 1/3rd of an inning. The San Francisco bullpen didn’t give up any runs just 2 hits while striking out 5 Royals. Game 4 is tonight at 7:00 p.m. weather permitting. There is some rain forecast for the San Francisco area tonight. Jason Vargas is the scheduled starter for Kansas City While Ryan Vogelsong is listed as the San Francisco starter.

Thursday night football had an AFC West battle as the Denver Broncos beat the San Diego Chargers 35-21. Denver improved to 6-1 while San Diego fell to 5-3. At halftime Denver was up 14-7, but out up 2 touchdowns in the 3rd quarter to take a 28-7 lead before San Diego got on the board in the 3rd to make it 28-14 going into the 4th quarter. Denver scored first in the 4th quarter to go ahead 35-14 before San Diego got the final touchdown making the score 35-21. Luckily for us we had all picked Denver to win the game.

Fantasy wise it’s always a good play to have your Broncos in your line up. Peyton Manning was 25 for 35 for 286 yards and 3 touchdowns. All 3 of Manning passing touchdowns went to Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders also had 9 catches for 120 yards to go with those 3 touchdowns. Demaryius Thomas also had 8 catches going for 105 yards. Ronnie Hillman put up 109 yards on the ground carrying the football 20 times and adding 3 catches for 29 yards. Juwan Thompson only had 7 carries for 29 yards, but 2 of those carries went for touchdowns. For San Diego Phillip Rivers was 30 of 41 for 252 yards with 3 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Keenan Allen had 9 catches for 73 yards and a touchdown while Antonio gates had 5 catches for 54 yards and 2 touchdowns. Malcolm Floyd also added 4 catches for 58 yards. The San Diego ground game didn’t get much going Thursday night. Branden Oliver led the Chargers in rushing with 13 carries for 36 yards, but Oliver did add 7 receptions for 27 yards. If you’re in a PPR (Point Per Reception) league those catches Oliver got will help a lot. If you’re in a league that scores defensive players Brandon Marshall got in on 10 tackles for the Broncos with 2 going for losses while Chris Harris and Rahim Moore had the Broncos interceptions. For the Chargers Eric Weddle totaled 11 tackles with 9 of them being solo tackles.

Tonight (Saturday) is our Sports Time Radio fantasy league NBA draft. There are some injured players that will have to figure out how we’re going to handle. Steve Nash of the Los Angeles Lakers is out for the season; so of course you don’t want him on your team, but here are some more players will have to think about. While Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder is out of his cast and in a walking boot he’s still a long way away from returning to the court. The earliest Durant might return is the end of November, but it will probably be later than that. It looked like the Thunder’s free agent signing Anthony Morrow would get more minutes in Durant’s absence, but Morrow is also injured and will be out until November as well. The Thunder also lost 1st round draft pick Mitch McGary in pre-season to a foot injury and he’s doubtful for the start of the season. For the Orlando Magic guard Victor Oladipo out indefinitely with facial fracture. Also for the Magic 3 point shooting big man Channing Frye is expected to be out for the start of the season with a knee injury. Philadelphia 76ers star point guard Michael Carter-Williams will be out until November with a shoulder injury. The 76ers also maybe without their 1st round draft pick Joel Embiid who may miss the start of the season with back problems. Kawhi Leonard made a name for himself in the NBA finals, but the San Antonio Spurs guard is having some eye issues and may miss the start of the season. I was looking for a big season out of Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beals, but he’s out until November with a wrist injury. New Orleans Pelicans point guard Tyreke Evans may miss the start of the season with a knee injury. While the Milwaukee Bucks may not win a lot of games this season their center Larry Sanders is a valuable fantasy player if he can stay on the court. Sanders has had personal and injury issues and may not start the 2014-15 season because of t=what the Bucks are calling an undisclosed injury. Like I mentioned we know the Steve Nash is done for the Lakers, but Nick Young (Swaggy P.) is doubtful for the start of the season with a thumb injury. We all saw the horrible injury Indiana Pacers forward Paul George sustained playing for Team USA this summer. George has said he may be back for the end of the season and the playoffs and while it would be great for him to make it back he won’t be much help to fantasy players. Pacers power forward David West is also dealing with an ankle injury and may miss the start of the season. Shaun Livingston who is now playing for the Golden State warriors looks like he’ll miss the start of the season because of a toe injury. The Denver Nuggets look like they might be missing three players to start the season. Point guard Nate Robinson (knee) and Forward/center JaVale McGee (leg) might miss the start of the season and J.J. Hickson has a banged up knee as well as having to serve a 5 game suspension to start the season. Jimmy Butler of the Chicago Bulls has a thumb injury and may miss the start of the season. Kemba Walker of the Charlotte Hornets is having a foot issue and may miss the start of the season. Kevin Garnett, Brook Lopez and Deron Williams of the Brooklyn Nets are all dealing with injury issues and may miss the start of the season. Rajon Rondo the Boston Celtics point guard may miss the start of the season with a hand injury. These are just some of the players will have to decide what to do with tonight. While I’m sure some of them will play opening night for their teams some of w=them will miss games and playing time. making the right choice in a draft can make or break your fantasy basketball season from the opening tip.

So how was your week?

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.