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It’s Masters weekend in Augusta Georgia. Tiger Woods is injured and not playing and yesterday Phil Mickelson missed the cut. The Masters rolls on without two of the biggest stars in golf. Ratings where down without Woods in the field and you have to wonder if Mickelson missing the cut will hurt the ratings even more. There still is some good golf being played and Bubba Watson has the lead after two rounds at -7. John Senden is three shots behind at -4. There are also four players at -3 going into this weekends rounds.

While the marquee game in the NBA last night (Friday) was the Miami Heat against the Indiana Pacers the real intrigue is in the Western conference. The race for the 8th and final playoff spot is getting interesting. The Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Phoenix Suns are fighting for the final two spots and are separated by 1/2 game. With the schedule the way it is these three teams are almost playing a round robin set up to decide these last two playoff spots. The Mavericks have two regular season games left. Tonight (Saturday) at home against Phoenix and then they go on the road to play Memphis April 16th. The Grizzlies have three regular season games left. Sunday night there on the road against the Los Angeles Lakers. They have to turn right around and play again Monday in Phoenix against the Suns and then they close the season with that April 16th game at home against Dallas. Phoenix has three regular season games left as well. They have tonight’s meeting against the Mavericks in Dallas. Then they have that home game April 16th against Memphis. Phoenix ends the regular season April 16th on the road against the Sacramento Kings. In the Friday night battle for the #1 seed in the Eastern conference LeBron James scored 36 points and the Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers 98 – 86. The Heat took a 1/2 game lead over the Pacers for that #1 seed, but with the way the Pacers have struggled down the stretch seeding might not be an issue.

Dan the Man and I where talking on either Wednesday or Thursday’s show about the Houston Astros television rating. It was being reported that the Astros got a 0.0 television rating for a recent game. This early in the season this is incredibly sad and if the rating is right there has to be a better home for the Astros than Houston. How about the Montreal Astros? There have been some rumors that major league baseball would like to get a team back in Montreal and if fans I Houston don’t want to watch baseball maybe the fans in Montreal would. While the Expos didn’t make it in Montreal that had a lot more to do with ownership and a terrible stadium than anything else. The Expos had some great players in the teams history, but ownership couldn’t afford to sign the players and had to trade them for prospects. The Astros have been rebuilding for a couple of seasons now and could grow with Montreal on their way to being a better team. It’s embarrassing to think that a baseball team got a 0.0 television ratings and if you live in Houston or the Houston area you should be ashamed of that television rating. How do you like the sound of the Montreal Astros?

I have to tell you I’m not a fan at all of inter – league play starting at the beginning of the season. At first inter – league play was interesting to watch, but now the bloom is off the rose; so to speak. When they could build it up and make it seem like a big deal it meant something. Now there are inter – league series all season long and there have been times already this season that I didn’t even realize in was watching an inter – league series. How do you feel about the way major league baseball is handling inter – league play?

So how was your week?

You can follow me on @Burketime
Sports Time Radio

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So the baseball season is underway and as I like to do I’ve been enjoying my free preview of the MLB Extra Innings package. I like being able to go from game to game and see how all the games are going. I just enjoy watching the teams from the different markets that I won’t see much of as the season moves on. I also enjoy listening to which ever teams announcers are doing the game. Dan the Man is so jealous that I was able to watch all of these games while he had to work.

Some of the surprises I caught while checking out all of these games. The Houston Astros winning their opening series against the New York Yankees. The Seattle Mariners sweeping the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I saw Aaron Harang and Matt Garza pitch against each other and have dueling no hitters for 6 2/3 innings. The Chicago Cubs Emilio Bonifacio tied a 100-year-old major league record by getting nine hits in the Cubs first two games this season. Bonifacio is 11 for 19 this season as is Miami Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. Bonifacio also has four stolen bases to start his season. Did you have Brandon Belt or Alejandro De Aza hitting three home runs this week? While You wouldn’t expect these players to end up at the top of these hitting categories by the end of the season I did have a good time watching Colorado Rockies center fielder Charlie Blackmon go 6 for 6 yesterday against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Blackmon had three doubles and a home run among his six hits in the Rockies 12 – 2 win.

While I was watching baseball game after baseball game Kevin Durant was tying Michael Jordan’s record by scoring 25 points in a game for the 40th straight time. Durant’s team the Oklahoma City Thunder ended the San Antonio Spurs 19 game winning streak during the week. Even with the win the Thunder are still 3 1/2 games behind the Spurs for the #1 playoff spot in the Western conference. The battle in the West will be for the 6th, 7th and 8th spots. Right now the Golden State Warriors are in 6th; the Dallas Mavericks are in 7th and the Memphis Grizzlies are holding the 8th spot. The Phoenix Suns are the odd team out right now, but have the same record (45 – 31) as Memphis. Dallas is only one game ahead of them in 7th; while Golden State is two games ahead of them in 6th. Even a 5th seed isn’t out of these teams reach as the Portland Trailblazers are just four games ahead of the 8th seed. While a team with a winning record will miss the playoff in the Western conference a couple of teams at or below .500 will make the playoffs in the Eastern conference. The Charlotte Bobcats hold the 7th Eastern conference playoff spot and are 38 – 38. The Atlanta Hawks are in the last playoff spot right now, but the New York Knicks are just a game behind the Hawks and the Cleveland Cavaliers hanging around just three games back of the 8th playoff spot. With only a couple of weeks left in the regular season the race for these last couple of playoff spots will make things interesting.

The NHL regular season is coming to a close as well and they have a couple of good playoff battles going on. In the Eastern conference it looks like 5 teams are going to battle it out for just 2 wild card playoff spots. The Detroit Red Wings (88 points) and the Columbus Blue Jackets (85) hold those wild card spots, but the Toronto Maple Leafs (84) are just one point out of a wild card spot. The New Jersey Devils (82) and the Washington Capitals (81) are still trying to grab a wild card spot. In the Western conference 6 of the 8 playoff spots have been locked up; it’s just the two wild card spots that are up for grabs. It looks like the Minnesota Wild are going to take one (1) of those wild card spots with 90 points this season and a four (4) point lead in the wild card standings. Right now the Phoenix Coyotes (86) hold the other wild card spot, but have just a one point lead over the Dallas Stars (85).

You can follow me on Twitter @ BurkeTime. You can find the show archives for Sports Time Radio at http://www.blogtalkradio.com

So how was your week?

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After floating his name in the trade market the Philadelphia Eagles just decided to release wide receiver DeSean Jackson. The Eagles sited Jackson’s work ethic and attitude along with rumors that he is affiliated to some gang members that have been connected to two homicides since 2010. Jackson released a statement denying he is a gang member and calling the reports “misleading and unfounded.” Jackson had 82 catches, 1332 yards and 9 touchdowns last season for the Eagles. With the re-signing of Jeremy Macklin and Riley Cooper this off-season and the trade for Darren Sproles, you wonder if the Eagles felt Jackson was expendable. There have been some rumors that the Eagles like the crop of wide receivers in this coming May’s draft. A report came out yesterday saying six teams had contacted Jackson 30 minutes after he was released. In March of 2012 the Eagles signed Jackson to a five tear $48 million dollar deal. With the release of Jackson the Eagles will take a $6 million dollar salary cap hit this coming season.

Is it just me or out of the four major sports does it seem like the NFL has more arrests than any other sport. In another example San Francisco 49ers cornerback Chris Culliver was arrested Friday morning in San Jose California for felony hit and run and weapons possession. According to police reports Culliver hit a person on a bicycle and then fled the scene. As a witness attempted to stop Culliver from leaving the scene he got out of his car with a pair of brass knuckles. Then to add to the matter Culliver hit the witness’s car as he was fleeing the scene of the accident. The 49ers where aware of the situation and released a statement saying “We will remain in contact with Chris and the local authorities as we continue to gather the facts regarding this situation. As this is an ongoing legal matter, we will reserve further comment at this time.” If you’re having trouble remembering who Culliver is; he was the player who made headlines two years ago during Super Bowl week with his anti-gay comments.

Five teams have clinched Stanley Cup playoffs spots so far. The Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern conference and the St. Louis Blues, Anaheim Ducks and San Jose Sharks in the Western conference. only one point separates the Ducks (102) and the Sharks (103) for 1st place in the Pacific division. The Chicago Blackhawks (99), Colorado Avalanche (98) and Los Angeles Kings (92) should lock up playoff spots in the Western conference soon, but the other two spots will be up for grabs. The Eastern conference is much less clear. The Montreal Canadians (91) should clinch a playoff spot, but after that their are seven different teams in the 80 point range. With five playoff spots for these seven teams the race in the Eastern conference will heat up as the regular season gets closer to the end.

With the Miami Heat and the Indiana Pacers both struggling a little in there last ten games do you give any other team in the Eastern conference a chance to beat either team in a seven game series. The Pacers are 6 – 4 in their last 10 games while the Heat are 5 – 5. The Pacers have a three game lead over the Heat for home court advantage in the East. It’s going to be difficult to get by either of these teams in a seven game series, but would you give the Brooklyn Nets or the Chicago Bulls a chance. How about the Toronto Raptors who look like they’re going to win the Eastern conferences Atlantic division and get the 3rd seed in the playoffs. In the Western conference the San Antonio Spurs are on a 16 game winning streak and our looking like they’ll get the #1 playoff seed in the West. It’s going to be the 8th spot in the Western conference that’s going to be interesting. The Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks and Memphis Grizzlies are all separated by two games. Plus the Portland Trailblazers are just a couple of games ahead of this group. One of these teams with a record above .500 will miss the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres open the baseball season Sunday night. Yeah I know there where two games played between the Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks in Australia, but that was a stupid idea by major league baseball and I’m not counting that as the start of the season. Clayton Kershaw will miss this start for the Dodgers with back inflammation, but it’s not something that should hold him back from making his next start. Andrew Cashner will be the opening day starter for the Padres. Let’s play ball.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

So how was your week?

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There’s a special edition of Sports Time Radio today (Saturday) at 11:00 a.m. on www.blogtalkradio.com Mr. Fantasy and I have our first fantasy draft of the upcoming baseball season tomorrow (Sunday) so will discuss our strategy and what we might do with the 14th and 15th picks. Will work our way deeper into the draft and find some sleepers for you to use to win our own fantasy league as well. This is an interesting league for whatever reason outfielders seem to hold less value. I’d have to guess it’s because it’s not position specific or maybe the fact that there are so many more outfielders than other positions. It’s always fun to do and depending on how your season goes sometimes the draft is the most fun. Hopefully you’ll be able to listen live, but if not you can always find the show in the Blog Talk Radio archives or look for the show at www.ultimatesportstalk.com.

How’s your NCAA tournament bracket going? It looks like no one is perfect as I saw a blurb that nobody will win the Warren Buffet billion dollar bracket challenge. I was a respectable 25 of 32 correct so far. Luckily I got some upsets right and of course lost some games because of upsets. While we don’t talk much college basketball on the show it’s always fun to put a bracket together and who doesn’t want to win a billion dollars. I was unhappy to see the way the tournament committee treated Wichita State. The bracket they made them the #1 seed in was so stacked against them winning it that it makes you want to root for them. I get it they don’t want the smaller schools to advance to far in the tournament. If they go to far it’s bad for television ratings and of course that means less money. Just to put it out there; so no one can say I lied about it; here’s my final four. I have Louisville, Virginia, Creighton and Florida. I have Florida and Louisville in the championship game with Florida winning the tournament. I showed you mine; what does your bracket look like?

Patrice Bergeron and Carl Soderberg each had a goal, Chad Johnson stopped 31 shots for his third career shutout, and the Boston Bruins beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-0 on Friday night for their 11th win in a row. The Bruins became the 1st team to clinch a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Boston has 101 points and is the leader in the Atlantic division of the Eastern conference. I saw some talks about who is going to win the Hart (MVP) trophy; there seems to be three top candidates. It’s looking more and more that Sidney Crosby is going to win this award, but there are a couple of other players who will get some votes. How about Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks. Getzlaf has put up career highs in points per game at 1.15 and goals with 29. Then there’s Phil Kessel, Toronto Maple Leafs. Kessel has 35 goals and 39 assists and Toronto is in 4th place with 80 points in the Atlantic division. It will be difficult to give this award to anyone else but Crosby, but Getzlaf and Kessel should get special mention for the seasons they’re having.

Did you get up at 3:00 a.m. central standard time to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1st game of the baseball season in Australia? The Dodgers won the game 3 – 1; Clayton Kershaw pitched 6 2/3 innings striking out 7 and giving up 5 hits. Scott Van Slyke doubled and homer while driving in two runs for the Dodgers. Wade Miley took the loss for the Diamondbacks while Paul Goldschmidt had two hits. Kenley Jansen did save the game for the Dodgers. The two teams play again tonight.

So how was your week?

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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NFL free agency kicked off this week. Did your team sign a player you wanted them to? I woke up this morning (Saturday) to find out the Julius Peppers signed with the Green Bay Packers. When it comes to the years on these deals they don’t really matter; it’s the guaranteed money that’s important. The Denver Broncos signed the most well-known names this week. They added safety T.J. Ward, cornerback Aqib Talib and linebacker DeMarcus Ware. As Denver tries to build a defense to go with that #1 offense that went to the Super Bowl last season. Cleveland filled Ward’s spot by signing hard-hitting safety Donte Whitner and also added linebacker Karlos Dansby. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers and new head coach Lovie Smith made a big splash in free agency this week. The Buccaneers added quarterback Josh McCown, defensive end Michael Johnson, cornerback Alterraun Verner, defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, center Evan Dietrich-Smith, plus tackle Anthony Collins. While Tampa Bay was bringing in all these new free agents they released cornerback Darrelle Revis after one season with the team. Revis went on to sign with the New England Patriots. Don’t panic if your favorite team hasn’t signed a free agent yet; their are still plenty of players on the open market. Does your team need a pass rusher? How about Brian Orakpo. Does your team need some help in the defensive backfield? How about two guys with the same last name. Antonio Cromartie and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie are available. Michael Vick is still a free agent if your team needs a quarterback with a bit of an injury history. Ben Tate is probably the #1 running back on the free agent market, but he comes with an injury history as well. If your team can’t find the player they want in free agency maybe they could make a trade. There where three made this week and the San Francisco 49ers were involved in two of them. The 49ers sent a 6th round draft pick to the Jacksonville Jaguars for quarterback Blaine Gabbert and then the 49ers sent a 2015 conditional 7th round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for Jonathan Martin. Yes that Jonathan Martin; he’s going to play for his old college football coach Jim Harbaugh. Martin won’t be asked to start for the 49ers and Harbaugh should be able to give him some protection from any bullying or any type of locker room hazing that might go on. Martin can play both tackle spots and should be a solid back up for the 49ers. In the other trade this week the Philadelphia Eagles sent a 5th round draft pick to the New Orleans Saints for running back Darren Sproles; who seems to be tailor-made for a Chip Kelly offense. Sproles is a good back up for LeShon McCoy and I’m sure jumped way up all the fantasy boards looking at next season all ready.

It’s getting close to playoff time in the NBA and the Miami Heat seems to be in a bit of a funk. The Heat lost last night (Friday) to the Denver Nuggets and the Heat have dropped five of their last six games. I don’t think Miami cares if they end up with the #1 seed in the Eastern conference. One expert mentioned that the Heat are on “cruise” control. Miami has dropped a couple of games to conference opponents Brooklyn and Chicago. A lot of talk seems to think that Brooklyn is the team if there is one that could get by the Heat in the playoffs. The Nets do have Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, but how much do the veteran players have left fun a playoff run. Garnett has played limited minutes this season and has taken games off just to be ready for the playoffs. Some where lost in all of this are the Indiana Pacers who right now are the #1 seed in the Eastern conference. You’d think the Pacers would be the team to knock off the Heat this season, but they’ve seem to have gone unnoticed these last few weeks. The Pacers where in a bit of a slump, but have seemed to came out of it with victories over Boston and Philadelphia. While the Celtics and the 76ers aren’t playoff teams they’re still on your schedule and you need to win those games. In the end will anyone be surprised if it comes down to the Heat against the Pacers in the Eastern conference finals. In other big NBA news Phil Jackson has agreed to a five year contract to become President of the New York Knicks. Jackson won 2 championships as a player with the Knicks. Jackson was also the head coach for 11 championship teams with the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Lakers. Jackson has no front office experience; so you have to wonder if he’s the guy to turn the Knicks around. Jackson is scheduled to be introduced by the Knicks on Tuesday and you have to wonder if Mike Woodson’s job is in trouble. Jackson is an advocate of the triangle offense and no one knows if that will suit Carmelo Anthony’s game. Of course even more of a question is will Anthony still be with the Knicks next season. Jackson has his hands full with fixing the Knicks. The Knicks don’t have a 1st round draft pick and they don’t have any money to bring in a top-notch free agent. This will be a monstrous test for Phil Jackson and if he can find a way to turn this Knicks team around or at this point just become a contender he’ll ensure his legacy in New York forever.

Baseball season is getting close. Mr. Fantasy and I have our first fantasy in eight days, but I know there are some people who have already had there drafts. I hope in one of these drafts you didn’t end up with Atlanta Braves pitcher Kris Medlen. Medlen left his spring training start last week with elbow pain and during his examination they found a torn ligament in his pitching elbow. Medlen will under go a 2nd “Tommy John” surgery and be out for the entire 2014 season. That’s one of the reasons I’ve never been a big fan of those early fantasy drafts. Drafting can sometimes be the best part of a fantasy season, but when you do them that early you can lose guys like Medlen before the season even starts. Hopefully soon will get a Mr. Fantasy draft list for you to follow.

So how was your week?

You can listen to Dan the Man, Mr. Fantasy and I on http://www.blogtalkradio.com and http://www.ultimatesportstalk.com

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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So if your Mike Woodson how do you feel that the New York Knicks offered their head coaching job to Phil Jackson. Jackson turned the job down, but the Knicks turned right around and offered him a position in the front office. Of course with the situation the Knicks are currently in I don’t know if the Zen Master himself can help them out. Carmelo Anthony is free agent after the season and while I fully expect him to resign with the Knicks, but by bringing Anthony back, will they have any money left to sign any other free agents. I know the Miami Heat have been able to bring players in with Pat Riley in the front office, but they had a better product on the floor then the Knicks have right now. Now Jackson hasn’t accepted any position with the Knicks right now, but the offer is out there.

It’s Mr. Fantasy’s favorite time of year; free agency in the NFL. Teams will start releasing players to get themselves under or close to the salary cap; so they can try to sign free agents. In the last two days the New Orleans Saints have released a couple of veterans. On Thursday it was being reported that after eight seasons with the Saints wide receiver Lance Moore was going to be released and then news broke yesterday that the Saints would also be releasing running back Darren Sproles. If your team is in need of a defensive back there are a few out there to choose from. T.J. Ward of the Cleveland Browns, Alterraun Verner of the Tennessee Titans and Aqib Talib of the New England Patriots are a few of the top defensive backs on the open market. Eric Decker appears to be the top wide receiver in free agency, but maybe your team could use a Hakeen Nicks or a Julian Edelman at receiver. Players can start negotiations with teams on Tuesday.

Spring training is fully up and running for all major league baseball teams. The Kansas City Royals announced that starting pitcher Luke Hochevar will miss the entire 2014 season because he needs to have Tommy John surgery on his pitching arm. In 1974 Dr. Frank Jobe came up with the surgery that took a tendon from pitcher Tommy John’s right forearm and replaced the damaged medial collateral ligament in John’s throwing arm. John went on to pitch 14 more seasons after this surgery. On Thursday Dr. Jobe passed away at 88 years old. They did a study in 2013 that 124 active pitchers have had “Tommy John” surgery. Before Dr. Jobe came up with this surgical procedure this injury was considered career ending. Pitchers like Stephen Strasburg, John Smoltz and now Hochevar will be able to come back and continue their careers because of the procedure Dr. Jobe invented. The baseball Hall of Fame has a wing for people who have contributed to the game. I’d like to see baseball put Dr. Frank Jobe in Hall of Fame for coming up with this surgery and saving countless pitching careers.

You can find Sports Time Radio on http://www.blogtalkradio.com and the show is also available at http://www.ultimatesportstalk.com

So how was your week?

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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We didn’t talk a lot of Olympics on the show but yesterday (Friday) I made Mr. Fantasy play NHL owner while discussing the Olympics. If you’re the New York Islanders owner or a fan of the team; how are you feeling about NHL player going to play in the Olympics now? The Islanders are 23 -30 – 8 and in last place in the Metropolitan division of the Eastern conference. If you’re an Islanders fan you realize that they’re not going to make the playoffs this season, but you had a reason to go to the games and see one of the top players in the NHL John Taveras. While playing in Sochi for Team Canada in the Olympics Taveras tore the MCL and meniscus in his left knee and will miss the rest of the Islanders season. The 23-year-old Taveras was leading the Islanders with 66 points this season; he has 24 goals and 42 assists. Henrik Zetterberg (Detroit Red Wings), Mats Zuccarello (New York Rangers), Paul Martin (Pittsburgh Penguins) and Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers) where all also injured playing for their countries in the Olympics. Zetterberg has back issues and most report are saying he’ll miss the rest of the season like Taveras. Zuccarello has a hand issue and is scheduled to miss 3 – 4 weeks. Martin had surgery on his broken right hand and will be out 4 – 6 weeks. These are just some of the injuries that players suffered while playing in the Olympics. Will have to see how this affects the rest of the NHL regular season and if it will cause any of these teams trouble in the playoffs.

The New Orleans Saints put the franchise tag on Jimmy Graham yesterday as a tight end. I’m sure no one was surprised at all that the Saints used their franchise tag on Graham. The question all along would be if he would be tagged as a tight end or a wide receiver. Again it wasn’t a surprise that the Saints tagged Graham as a tight end. He’s been listed as a tight end ever since he’s been on the Saints roster. Of course this is a money issue as the value of the one-year franchise tender for wide receivers is $11.6 million, about $5 million more than the tag value for tight ends. Graham’s agent has already said that they’ll file a grievance on this position issue. Graham is a great player at tight end while being covered by linebackers, but when matched up against defensive backs he doesn’t fair as well. Graham doesn’t line up like a traditional tight end would, but the Saints are careful in getting the match ups they need to make him successful. This will be one of the bigger off-season NFL stories to follow.

Spring training has started for baseball and it’s time to look forward to the start of the regular season. You can never put a lot of stock into your teams won, loss record during the spring. You just have to hope that the players get there work in and that no one suffers any kind of injury. I’d have to think the biggest story starting off spring training was the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim giving Mike Trout a one (1) year deal for $1 million dollars with the hope of signing Trout to a long-term contract. This has brought out some big, big numbers on what a Mike Trout contract might be. I’ve heard numbers between $40 and $50 million dollars a season. WOW! It’s always difficult for me to discuss money when it comes to contracts. I fit in the category of these guys make way, way too much money as it is, but you can never fault someone for getting paid the most they can get. Trout is the best player in the game right now and I’ve said on the show a few times already that I believe that he’ll win the M.V.P. award for the upcoming season. They’ve been trying to give Trout the M.V.P. award for two (2) seasons now and I think this is the year that he’ll win it. I have no idea what Trout will end up getting contract wise or dollar wise, but it will far and away big the biggest deal in major league baseball history. What do you think Trout’s contract will end up being?

Not only can you still find Sports Time Radio on http://www.blogtalkradio.com the show is also available on http://www.ultimatesprotstalk.com

So how was your week?

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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On Thursday the Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 103 – 81. I think you could call it a statement game for the Heat but the main stream media got way, way to carried away with just this one game. I think they had to fight each other to get off the Oklahoma City bandwagon and give the MVP award back to LeBron James and crown the Heat as NBA champions. Now in the reality of the NBA both of those things could easily happen. James is the best player in the NBA and scored 33 points in the Heat victory. Miami is considered by many the best team in the NBA and hopefully they’ll get to prove it against the Indiana Pacers in the Eastern conference playoffs. I think James is a great player but I’m baffled how one game made everyone either realize this or change their mind this season. There are 82 regular season games in the NBA and Miami winning 1 game against Oklahoma City doesn’t make that big of an impact. It was Russell Westbrook’s first game back from injury. Westbrook played close to 24 minutes and scored 16 points. He was 4 – 12 from the field and handed out 2 assists. Do you think it was a good idea for Westbrook”s first game back from injury to be against the Heat?

The NFL combined started this weekend. The big story to start out with was that Johnny Manziel wasn’t measured at 6′ feet tall. What they forgot the mention when they led with this story was that he was just 1/4 of an inch below 6′ feet tall. With the way the different media outlets led with this story you would’ve thought they measured him at 5′ feet 5 inches tall or something like that. It was 1/4 of an inch people. Drew Brees won a Super Bowl and he was under 6′ feet tall. Russell Wilson just won a Super Bowl and he’s under 6′ feet tall. If you’d like to go back in time Fran Tarkenton took the Minnesota Vikings to three Super Bowls and while the Vikings didn’t win any of them Tarkenton still got them their. By the way Tarkenton is also in the pro football Hall of Fame. Does it matter that Manziel is under 6′ feet tall; no it doesn’t. There’s no height requirement to play quarterback in the NFL; at least not that I know of. Will Manziel take a team to the Super Bowl and win it? who knows. Will Manziel have a Hall of Fame career? who knows. Maybe we should let his NFL career play out before we decide that he’s to short to be an NFL quarterback.

After going back and looking over what I’m writing today I realized that I’ve been tough on the mainstream media but sadly they deserve it. After the U.S. woman’s hockey team lost a heartbreaking gold medal game in overtime to Canada there was actual a story written about how sad the woman looked while they where receiving there silver medals. They lost a 2 goal lead with a little over 3 minutes to play. They had a tough penalty called against them in the overtime period. They gave up the gold medal winning goal on that very power play. How where they suppose to look? Do you believe that they wanted to be on the ice watching Canada celebrate a gold medal that Team U.S.A. should’ve won.

Spring training has opened and there are still a couple of free agents out on the market. While Ubaldo Jimenez got a contract with the Baltimore Orioles, but outfielder Nelson Cruz and pitcher Ervin Santana are still unsigned. Cruz has had talks with quite a few teams and I think will end up with a team before to long. Santana on the other hand has actually said he’s willing to wait for the contract he wants. At the beginning of free agency Santana said he wanted a $100 million dollar deal. You have to wonder how long Santana is willing to sit out. Would it help his career if he sat out the entire 2014 season? If he was out all season why would a team by interested in paying him big money in 2015. I guess when you’re a free agent you have to make sure you don’t over play your hand. Maybe Santana should talk to Kendry Morales about that.

So how was your week?

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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I’m not a New York Yankees fan; I’m not a Derek Jeter fan, but I have respect for him. Jeter announced his retirement earlier in the week by posting it on his Facebook page. After a 2013 season where Jeter played in just 17 games do to injuries and also the fact that he’ll turn 40 years old during the coming season Jeter’s career is coming to an end. Right now Jeter is 10th all time in career hits with 3316. If Jeter can get 121 hits in the 2014 season he’ll move into 6th all hit on the hits list. The question that has come up through out the week is where does Jeter as a shortstop all time. I’ve heard experts who have him as high as 3rd all time and other who have him just outside of the top 10 all time. Those are all debatable issues and it’s up to you where you where you’d rank Jeter. You can say without a doubt that he’s a 1st ballot Hall of Fame selection and one of the greatest player in the modern era of baseball. We haven’t even brought up his legendary love life, but those are stories of a different blog. While the 2014 baseball season hasn’t even started yet and it’s way, way to early to even discuss this I brought up who would replace Jeter at shortstop for the Yankees. On a special Thursday edition of Sports Time Radio this week I mentioned that the starting shortstop for the Yankees in 2015 will be Starling Castro. The Cubs have Castro under a very good contract making him attractive to other teams. They also have top prospect Javier Baez very close to being ready for the majors. Now the Yankees don’t have the top prospects that Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer would want in this deal; so a third team would probably have to be involved. There’s no one in the Yankees minor league system ready to come up and take Jeter’s spot. They do have Brendon Ryan on the roster, but he’s proven though his major league career that while he’s a great fielder his hitting just isn’t what teams look for in a starting shortstop. It’s an interesting topic to discuss and I’m sure it will come up through out the season as Derek Jeter takes a well deserved 2014 victory tour.

Michael Sam is gay. The University of Missouri defensive lineman is looking to be the first openly gay man to play in the National Football League (NFL). Sam was named SEC Co – Defensive player of the year last season. He has been projected as a 3rd to a 5th round pick in the upcoming draft. Another topic that has come up on out=r show with this is if Sam’s draft stock falls how many writers will come out and say it’s because he’s a gay man. Sam may be a little under-sized to play on the defensive line in the NFL. He’s listed at 6 feet 2 inches tall and weighs in at 255 pounds. He did record 11 1/2 sacks last season for Missouri and if he can rush the passer might end up being a specialist along the defensive line. As you can guess there have been both positive and negative reaction to this. What I’m hoping happens is teams judge Sam on his football ability and not on his sexual orientation. For me I don’t care if he’s gay, straight or bi; if he can help an NFL team he should be on an NFL team. The NFL has the combines coming up this month and then the draft in May. I haven’t heard if Sam plans on attending the combines, but he should to try to improve his draft stock. Then will see where Sam is picked in the draft. I just hope the writers are smart enough to make this a football thing and not a gay issue. Sadly I think we all know they’re not.

On Friday’s show Mr. Fantasy and I talked about the release of Ted Wells report on the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying claims. Wells pointed out that it wasn’t just Incognito bullying Martin but two other offensive lineman John Jerry and Mike Pouncey where also involved. This is a tough situation because even with the Wells report out it still more or less one man’s word against another. If you’ve played football at any level you know this kind of behavior right or wrong goes on all the time. I don’t know how far the three Miami Dolphins took this with Martin, but it was enough to make him leave the team. While I’ve never believed that bullying was the right way to describe what happened to Martin that’s the word they chose to use. I still find it hard to believe that a man of Martin’s size could be bullied; maybe harassed is a better term to use. I’m interested to see if and where Martin and Incognito end up playing in the NFL next season, but I’m pretty sure neither will be with the Dolphins. If you’re interested in hearing more of my opinion on this you can go into the archives of http://www.blogtalkradio.com to listen to them. The show title for Friday 2/14/2014 is “I got a new shirt”. If you’re having troubles find the show there you can go to http://www.ultimatesportstalk.com scroll down the right hand side and you can find Sports Time Radio listed with the other shows on the website.

So how was your week?

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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Did the Super Bowl go the way you thought it would go? While I actually had the winner way back before the season started I had no clue the game would go the way it did. Most if not all of the experts I heard and even Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy where picking Denver. Schaumburg Stu finally sided with me and we had the Seahawks against the world. As we all know by now it was a blowout in the Seahawks favorite and no one had that. By now you’ve heard the Super Bowl analyzed every possible way; so I’m not going to do a breakdown for you. Right now I’m just a happy fan who’s team won.

Football wise I will address this video that is trying to prove that the NFC championship game between the Seahawks and the 49ers was fixed. The easiest way to explain this is the video was made by a 49ers fan. I don’t know if you’ve seen this video but I was dumb enough to waste my time and watch the entire thing. Plain and simple it’s a video that any fan with a lot more computer skills than I, could have put together after any NFL game. I actually understand where this guy is coming from. His team lost and he’s upset and he had to find a way to explain why his team lost. I would’ve been just as upset as this fan was if the Seahawks had lost the game but I wouldn’t have made a video claiming the game was fixed. The 49ers are a young team just like the Seahawks are and they are in the toughest division in the NFL. Seattle won the division this season. San Francisco won the division last season. The Arizona Cardinals had a better record than some NFC teams that made the playoffs and the St. Louis Rams are a young up and coming team. If these teams can keep their players and this is a big if this division will be a battle for the next few seasons.

With football over the NHL on it’s Olympic break and the NBA in what some players have described as the “dog days” of the season it’s time for pitchers and catchers to report. The Chicago White Sox are the first team to report in our area (next Saturday) while the Cubs report later next week. Now we all can sit back and wait for Mr. Fantasy’s first mock draft for fantasy baseball.

We talked some baseball on the show this week and the two free agent pitchers I mentioned here a couple of weeks ago are still on the open market. Ervin Santana and Ubaldo Jimenez haven’t been signed and I have to wonder if Santana especially priced himself out of the market when he made salary demands when he entered free agency. Both guys also have draft pick compensation attached to them if a team signs them. After the last time I mentioned these two pitchers someone asked me where I thought these pitchers would end up. I really think it’s in Jimenez best interest to return to the Cleveland Indians. He had good success their last season and it would be a good fit for him. Santana on the other hand could end up almost any where at this point. I think at this point Santana will end up with the Texas Rangers or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

In more baseball news. Yesterday Alex Rodriguez dropped his lawsuit against Major League baseball and the players union (MLBPA) and will sit out the 2014 season on suspension. I don’t think this was a case A-Rod could win and he just saved himself quite a bit of money by not following through with this lawsuit. A-Rod could refile the lawsuit at any time, but right now it looks like he has “exhaust(ed) all options” like he had said he would do. The Yankees will save $25 million if A-Rod doesn’t play in 2014 but he is owed a total of $61 million though the 2017 season. The question now becomes with the dropping of the lawsuit is A-Rod admitting some guilt and would this give the Yankees enough to void the remainder of his contract. I guess will have to wait and see where A-Rod goes next.

So; how was your week?

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime