Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 5, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

I’m sure that you’ve heard Major League Baseball and other sports use the term growing the game. Now what I’ve always thought they’ve meant was to try to reach people who can’t see games or show teams that don’t get the exposure that some of the teams do.

Now you would think that the MLB Network would be a big part of baseball trying to grow their game, but honestly with the way they’ve shown games this season I don’t think they are.

I don’t have the exact number, but it sure seems as though the MLB Network shows quite a few New York Yankees games and it got to the point this past week where I think they televised every Yankees game. Do the Yankees really need that exposure?

Now I know what they’re going to say. They’ll tell you that these games were shown because they wanted to cover Aaron Judge’s 62nd home run, but this doesn’t really hold up. Earlier this season Miguel Cabrera got his 3000th hit and all MLB did was cut into the game; we didn’t get a week’s worth of Detroit Tigers game. Then just recently Albert Pujols just hit the 700th home run of his career and again all we got from the MLB Network was a cut in.

Now what Judge did was incredible, but it quite possible that we may never see a player get to 3000 hits or 700 home runs again, so why wasn’t the MLB Network more interested in these player accomplishments.

Sadly, there is one very simple answer to this: RATINGS!

No matter what they try to sell you about growing the game or any of those kinds of things when it’s on television it’s all about ratings and being able to charge for commercial time. Now with the playoffs about to start they’ll be able to charge even more for that commercial time.

It’s sad, but that’s how it is. There are teams that always draw a good television rating and the Yankees are one of them. You’d think that the Cardinals would draw and audience, but you have to remember that accord to Major League Baseball they’re considered a small market team. As for the Tigers, well they’re almost 30 games under .500 and even a player trying to get his 3000th hit isn’t really going to up that all important rating that they want.

Speaking of Judge and what he just accomplished. While getting to 62 home runs is a great achievement it seems as though some people think that he just set the record for most home runs in a season, and he didn’t. Judge’s 62 home runs actually put him in the 7th slot for most home runs in a season and all of those spots ahead of him were set by three players.

Now since the three players that have hit more home runs in a season than Judge are Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa it’s possible that there are people who don’t believe that their numbers should count because of the performance enhancing drug accusations they’ve all dealt with. While I understand people questioning the numbers those three players put up and I am one of them to be fair none of them every failed a drug test and in McGwire’s case when they reported he was using a performance enhancing drug there were no rules in baseball against it.

So, while what Judge did is fantastic, and he should be the unanimous choice for American League Most Valuable Player 62 home runs is still 11 home runs behind the number that Bonds put up in 2001.

As we move forward into the MLB playoffs the match ups are set. In the American League the Cleveland Guardians will host the Tampa Bay Rays while the Toronto Blue Jays will host the Seattle Mariners. In the National League the St. Louis Cardinals will host the Philadelphia Phillies while the New York Mets will host the San Diego Padres.

In case you don’t remember these are the best of three game series with all of the games being played in one ballpark. In this case it’s Cleveland, Toronto, St. Louis and New York that will be hosting these series.

Four teams get 1st round byes. In the American League it’s the New York Yankees and the Houston Astros while in the National League it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves getting the byes.

When we move into the division series. Over in the American League will see the Yankees take on the winner of the Cleveland/Tampa Bay series while the Astros will face off against the winner of the Blue Jays/Mariners series. Then in the National League the Dodgers will face the winner of the Padres/Mets series while the Braves face off against the winner of the Cardinals/Phillies series.

I’m not sure why MLB didn’t decide to reseed the playoffs after the wild card round, but they didn’t. That means the teams with the best records in their league the Dodgers and the Astros could face a division winner in the division series.

That doesn’t make a lot of sense to get what would appear to be the tougher match up when you had the best record, but without reseeding that’s how it’s set up.

Is there something that you’re looking forward to when the playoffs start on Friday?

Don’t forget to look for me on Twitter, I’m @Burketime.

How was your week

Posted: October 1, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

We’re down to the final few games in the major League baseball regular season and while the American League playoffs are set there’s still some things to figure out over in the National League.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and the St. Louis Cardinals are locked in as division winners, but we’re still waiting to see who wins the national League East. With their win last night, the Atlanta Braves moved into a tie for 1st place with the New York Mets. The teams have two more games left this weekend and will see who leaves that series as the division leader.

The Braves wrap up their season with a three-game series in Miami against the Marlins while the Mets head home to wrap up the season with a three-game series against the Washington Nationals. If the Mets and the Braves end up tied for the division Atlanta holds the tiebreaker and would win the division. Under the new MLB playoff format there is no more game 163 if needed.

So, with either the Braves or the Mets taking one of the National League wild card spots that leaves just two spots left with three teams in the running for them.

The San Diego Padres currently hold the second wild card spot as they have a 1 1/2 game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies. Philadelphia is currently in the third and final National League wild card spot, but they have just a 1/2 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers.

San Diego lost their game last night to the Chicago White Sox, but the Phillies and the Brewers both won. Philadelphia was scheduled to play a doubleheader, but the second game was rained out.

Philadelphia will try to get a doubleheader in today against the Nationals while the Brewers face the Marlins, and the Padres square off with the White Sox.

Right now, the Phillies have that wild card spot, but they may have the toughest road because after their series with the Nationals they finish out the season on the road against the Houston Astros. The Brewers and the Padres wrap up their regular seasons at home. Milwaukee hosts the Arizona Diamondbacks while the San Francisco Giants visit the Padres to end their regular season.

It will be interesting to see how the Astros handle that series against the Phillies. Houston is going to end up being the #1 seed in the American League and won’t have much to play for against Philadelphia except to keep the Phillies out of the playoffs.

The Astros will get a bye, so you’d have to think that they would want to play their regulars and try to keep them shape since they’ll be getting time off, but you never know how a team is going to handle this since it’s the first time the playoffs have been done this way.

Last night the Seattle Mariners beat the Oakland A’s to lock up the final American League wild card spot. It’s the first time in 20 years that the Mariners have made the playoffs.

Seattle will face the Cleveland Guardians in a three-game series for the first round of the playoffs. All games will be played in Cleveland.

The Toronto Blue Jays will host the other American League wild card series and they’ll face the Tampa Bay Rays with all of these games being played in Toronto.

Fortunately for Tampa Bay there are no longer any vaccination restrictions on players, so they’ll all be allowed to make the trip to Canada for the wild card series.

So, with the American League Playoffs set let’s shake out what you think is going to happen in the National League.

Who do you have winning the National League East, the Mets or the Braves?

Out of the Phillies, Padres and Brewers which two teams do you have getting those two remaining wild card spots?

Don’t forget that I am on Twitter @Burketime.

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 28, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

On Monday the National Football League announced that they would no longer be playing the Pro Bowl. Now even though the game drew very good television ratings for some reason it wasn’t much of an actual football game.

Now the NFL is still going to hold an event and it will be called The Pro Bowl Games. These games will feature players from the AFC and the NFC showcasing their football and non-football skills in a variety of competitive events over several days.

The Pro Bowl Games will be held in Las Vegas and one of the events we know is going to take place is a flag football game. That game will be played on Sunday February 5th a week before the Super Bowl at Allegiant Stadium.

Peyton Manning and his Omaha Productions company will help shape programming and promote the event’s content throughout the week. Manning, a 14-time Pro Bowl pick during his Hall of Fame career, will provide his perspective and will also be a part of the coaching staff for flag game.

The Pro Bowl debuted in January 1951 in Los Angeles and stayed there for 21 seasons before the game moved to different cities from 1972-80. Hawaii hosted from 1980-2009, and the game has had several homes in the years since, including Miami, Phoenix, Orlando and Las Vegas.

Quality of play in the Pro Bowl has often been criticized. Players, understandably concerned about getting hurt, treat it as an exhibition more than competition. A flag football game could increase competition while avoiding potential injuries resulting from tackling, blocking and hitting.

The NFL has a major interest in flag football. The league partnered with the International Federation of American Football to bring flag football to The World Games in July with an eye on the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

As we look at the NFL one of the words, we always hear the league mention is parity. According to Merriam-Webster the definition of parity is the quality or state of being equal or equivalent and the NFL has managed to be pretty close to that through three weeks.

Now if you’re wondering what I mean by parity, well there are just two teams that are still unbeaten and one team that hasn’t managed to get a win this season.

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Miami Dolphins are the two teams that are still perfect at 3-0 while the Las Vegas Raiders are the lone team looking for their first win of the season.

Now Miami will try to get off to a 4-0 start tomorrow as they are on the road against the Cincinnati Bengals. Now the Dolphins might have to face the Bengals without their starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa as he’s deal with back and ankle injuries. It appears as though Tagovailoa will be a game time decision for tomorrow’s game.

The Eagles are at home, and they’ll host the 2-1 Jacksonville Jaquars who are coming off an upset win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 3. Jacksonville has been a bit of a surprise through three weeks, so it might be easy for Philadelphia to get to 4-0.

As for the Raiders. Las Vegas will be at home as the 2-1 Denver Broncos come for a visit. Even though Denver is 2-1 they haven’t played as well as most people expected them to. The Broncos are coming off of an 11-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers, so it’s possible that the Raiders will pick up their first win of the season this Sunday.

So, what do you think happens this week. Will the Dolphins and the Eagles get to 4-0? And will the Raiders finally get that elusive first win?

I’d also be interested to know what you think of the NFL getting rid of the Pro Bowl and what you think of the replacement idea they have.

Don’t forget that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

How was your Week

Posted: September 24, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees has dominated the baseball headlines and with the season he’s having and the fact that he plays for a New York team that’s understandable. Judge should be the runaway winner of the American League Most Valuable Player award even though there are still people trying to sell Shohei Otani for that award. Now I’ve been through this a time or two before on here, so I’d like to go a different route and discuss an actual team that no one thought they’d be where they are right now.

I’d like to give some props to the Cleveland Guardians. I don’t think I saw a prediction at the start of the baseball season that had the Guardians higher than 3rd place, but yet here they are with 11 games left in their regular season in 1st place with an 8-game lead in the American League Central. There were a few people who had the Minnesota Twins winning this division, but I believe the majority of people had the Chicago White Sox as the division winner, but it’s been all Cleveland lately.

The Guardians just faced off against the Twins and the White Sox in 9 games and they went 7-2 against them. In a five-game series against Minnesota the Guardians lost just one game and then just this week Cleveland came into Chicago and swept a three-game series with the White Sox. Both these series were the last time that either the Twins or the White Sox would face Cleveland this season, so if they were going to make up any ground that was the time to do it and neither team could.

The Guardians are currently in a three-game series against the Texas Rangers, they won Game 1 of that series last night 6-3. After this series against the Rangers the Guardians return home to wrap up their season. Cleveland will host the Tampa Bay Rays for three games before the Kansas City Royals come into Cleveland for a 6-game series to end the regular season.

What’s made the Guardians season interesting is that they don’t have pone player putting up gaudy numbers to draw your attention to them, but instead they have multiple players having quality seasons and, in some cases, you had never heard of these guys coming into this season.

It clear that Jose Ramirez is still the best player on the Guardians roster, but players like Amed Rosario and Andre Gimenez have both played well.

Rosario and Gimenez were acquired by Cleveland in the trade that sent Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets and there were questions if Cleveland got enough in return for Lindor, but it’s paid off for them this season.

Josh Naylor has also produced for Cleveland this season and while Miles Straw isn’t hitting for a high average is he one of the top defensive centerfielders in baseball and should get some Gold Glove consideration.

Both Naylor and Straw were looked at as failed prospects when the Guardians acquired them. Naylor is on his third team after being drafted in the 1st round by the Miami Marlins in 2015 while Straw is on his second team after being dealt by the Houston Astros to the Guardians July 30th, 2021, in return for Phil Maton and Yainer Diaz.

You also can’t look past the season Steven Kwan has had. Kwan is hitting .296 through 137 games this season, but Kwan is doing something that most major league players no longer do. Kwan has struck out 54 times this season, but he’s walked 59 times. There are very few players in baseball today that walk more than they strikeout, but Kwan is one of them. Since Kwan hasn’t put up huge power numbers but has done well throughout the season it will be interesting to see how he fairs in the Rookie of the Year voting.

The Guardians have had some struggles at the back of their starting rotation like a lot of teams do, but there top three starting pitchers Shane Bieber, Tristan McKenzie and Cal Quantrill have been solid, but it’s clear that Cleveland’s saving grace has been the back end of their bullpen.

There are a lot of people who haven’t noticed yet, but Emmanuel Clause is one of if not the best closer in Major League Baseball. Clause has an ERA of 1.35 to go along with 38 saves and 68 strikeouts in 66 2/3rd innings. Clause has given up 2 runs in his last nine outings and both of those were in the same game. With as hard as he throws and with having good control, only 10 walks this season he’s the definite of lock down closer.

Now obviously there are pitchers who have to get the game to Clause and the Guardians have found a good mix in their bullpen to do that this season.

Trevor Stephan and San Hentges both have ERAs under 3.00 and James Karinchak has an ERA of 1.57. Stephan has appeared in 61 games while Hentges has pitched in 53 games this season. Karinchak missed some time earlier this season with injury and that has limited him to 33 appearances this season. All three have closed games when Clause needed a day off. Karinchak has 3 saves while Stephan has 2 saves and Hentges has notched 1 save this season.

Now it’s unclear how Cleveland will do come playoff time, but they’ll get to host the lowest seeded wild card team in a best of three game series with all of the games being played in Cleveland.

Under MLB’s new playoff format there is no travel in the opening round of the playoffs and as of right now it would be the Seattle Mariners who would be facing the Guardians in the wild card round.

Honestly, I’m not expecting the Guardians to win the World Series and I’m not even sure if they’ll get out of the wild card round of the playoffs, but they’ve definitely been the biggest surprise team for me this season.

How about you, what your biggest surprise from this baseball season?

Don’t forget that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 21, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Now there are always certain teams that are always going to be talked about by the media no matter if they’re good or bad. We always hear about the New York Yankees in baseball, the Los Angeles Lakers especially with Lebron James on the team in basketball and in football it’s the Dallas Cowboys. Now New York and Los Angeles are major coastal cities and I think that attributes to the discussions about those teams, but Dallas doesn’t fit that category, but they’re always the football team that people seem to want to talk about even though they haven’t been a Super Bowl contender for quite some time.

Now interestingly the Cowboys were the talk of the weekend after they picked up their first win of the young NFL season 20-17 over the Cincinnati Bengals.

This was the first game that the Cowboys played without quarterback Dak Prescott who is out with a broken thumb. Depending on who you listen to Prescott will either be back in six to eight weeks or four weeks like Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has said.

Cooper Rush made the start at quarterback for the Cowboys. Rush went 19 for 31 for 239 yards and threw one touchdown. What is probably the most important stat that Rush posted was he didn’t turn the football over.

After the win I found it quite interesting that there were people in the media who suggested that the Cowboys would be better off with Rush as the starting quarterback instead of Prescott. Now unsurprisingly they didn’t really give a reason for this, but I guess just getting a win was enough for them to make them feel this way.

Now Rush did look better in his start against Cincinnati than Prescott did in his start Week #1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but Tampa Bay does appear to have a better defense than Cincinnati does.

Now I understand that there are a lot of fair-weather fans out there and I wonder if they actually think that the Cowboys should stay with Rush as the starting quarterback over Prescott.

Rush and the Cowboys have a couple of winnable games the next two weeks. In Week 3 Dallas plays the Monday night game in New York against the Giants, who are 2-0. In Week 4 Dallas is at home as they host the Washington Commanders. I’m not sure if either of these games will tests Rush’s ability at the quarterback position but come Week 5, we should get a chance to see where he is at.

Week 5 has the Cowboys on the road to face the defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams and then in Week 6 the Cowboys face what is likely their toughest division opponent as they’re on the road to play the Philadelphia Eagles. These two games should give us a better idea of what kind of a quarterback Rush is.

So let me know what you think about this situation. When Prescott comes back healthy does he go right back in as starting quarterback? Or do you think that the Cowboys should stay with Rush as their starting quarterback?

Now I don’t honestly watch a lot of tennis, but I know who the players are, so this week when Roger Federer announced his retirement it caught my attention.

Federer is 41 years old and is a 20-time Grand Slam champion as he walks away from tennis hoping to play one more match at the Laver Cup.

Federer is interested in playing one doubles match and has a partner in mind, Rafael Nadel his longtime friend and rival.

The Laver Cup is a team competition between Europe and the rest of the world in which players usually have to play at least one singles and doubles, so they’d be tweaking the rules a little by allowing Federer to play in just one doubles match. Of course, if there’s a player that they should adjust this rule for its Federer.

The Laver Cup is this weekend if you’re interested in catching Federer’s last match, you’ll have to check your local listing and see which network will be showing it.

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter, I’m @Burketime.

How was your week

Posted: September 17, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Thursday night the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Los Angeles Chargers 27-24. Kansas City improved to 2-0 while the Chargers dropped to 1-1. This early in the season the outcome of the game isn’t too important, but what might factor into the Chargers season is that their franchise quarterback Justin Herbert was injured in the game.

Herbert was injured in the 4th quarter of Thursday night’s game, but only missed one play. It was originally thought the Herbert had broken his ribs, but further medical evaluation discovered that he suffered a fracture in his rib cartilage. While no injury is good it appears as though Herbert suffered the lesser of two evils. If he had broken a rib he might’ve miss some time, but since he’s dealing with a rib cartilage fracture, he is considered day to day and with the extra time it looks as though he’ll play in the Chargers Week 3 game against the Jacksonville Jaquars.

Even while dealing with an injury Herbert still threw for 334 yards and 3 touchdowns. He did however throw 1 interception that was returned 99 yards by Jaylen Watson for a Kansas City touchdown.

On the other side Patrick Mahomes had a very solid game. Mahomes completed 24 of his 35 pass attempts for 235 yards and 2 touchdowns. Not the gaudy numbers that Mahomes sometimes puts up, but he didn’t turn the football over,

Kansas City will take their 2-0 record on the road for a Week 3 match up in Indianapolis against the Colts. The Colts are coming off of a 20-20 tie in Week 1 against the Houston Texans. Indianapolis will look for its first win as they play on the road against the 0-1 Jacksonville Jaquars.

Interestingly in the Week 2 schedule there are two Monday Night football games. ESPN will show the Tennessee Titans at the Buffalo Bills while ABC is showing the Minnesota Vikings at the Philadelphia Eagles. The Tennessee/Buffalo game starts at 7:15 p.m. while the Vikings/Eagles game has a start time of 8:15 p.m.

Now I remember the networks showing two Monday Night football games to start the season, but I don’t remember them doing it in the second week of the season. I guess it’s possible that they’re doing it this way because there was just one Monday Night football game in Week 1.

The Sunday night football game has the Green Bay Packers hosting the Chicago Bears. Green Bay is coming off of a very poor performance in Week 1 that has a lot of people questioning how Aaron Rodgers will handle any struggles with his new young group of wide receivers. The Bears are coming off of a Week 1 upset of the San Francisco 49ers and I guess will see how much the bad weather the Bears played in last Sunday had to do with them winning that game.

I would fully expect the Packers to play better than they did in Week 1 as the more familiar Rodgers and his wide receivers become the better the Green Bay offense should look. You do have to wonder if things would’ve been different for the Packers last week had rookie wide receiver Christian Watson not dropped what would’ve been a sure touchdown pass on their first offensive play of the game.

What is going to become annoying very quickly when it comes to Packers games is if they continue to compare Davante Adams statistics to the Green Bay wide receivers. None of these guys are going to be able to replace Adams and while I’m sure they’ll have their good games this season they’ll never be on the same level as Adams, so there’s really no comparison.

Adams is a true #1 wide receiver who was targeted 17 times in the Las Vegas Raiders Week 1 loss to the Chargers. In total Packers wide receivers where targeted 16 times in their Week 1 game.

Sadly, I think we’re going to have to deal with whatever network is showing the Packers game making these comparisons all season long.

Let me know if there’s anything you’re looking forward to in Week 2 of the NFL season.

Don’t forget to look for me on Twitter, I’m @Burketime.

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 14, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Well, Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books and it’s time for the media to start overreacting to how things played out.

Teams like the Los Angeles Rams, Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys and others didn’t look like a lot of people thought they would be coming out of pre-season, but it’s just one game. If we get three or four weeks into the season and these teams still look like they did in Week 1 then it’s a cause for concern.

It’s very possible that the Cowboys could start off the season 0 and whatever with their starting quarterback Dak Prescott on the shelf with a broken thumb. Prescott had surgery yesterday and original reports expected him to be out six to eight weeks, but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he thinks Prescott will return in just four weeks. Now it’s very possible that the Cowboys could be 0-5 if Prescott returns under Jones’ timeline, but they could also be 0-9 if Prescott ends up out for eight weeks.

The media was also very quick to jump all over the New England Patriots since they lost to the Miami Dolphins 20-7, but this is nothing new. Any time the Patriots seem to have an issue the media is all over it, but again it’s just one week.

Now there is also the reaction in the other directions when it comes to teams that won and might not have been expected to win.

I’ve mentioned before that I live in the Chicagoland area and when I got to work on Monday morning everyone, I ran into had some type of Chicago Bears gear on since they picked up an upset win over the San Francisco 49ers 19-10 in a rain-soaked game.

Obviously, you’d rather have the team that you root for get a win in Week 1 than a loss, but you can’t get too carried away because like I’ve mentioned a couple of times it’s just Week 1.

This week the Bears who were a surprise winner in Week 1 will travel to Green Bay to take on the Packers who were one of the teams that didn’t perform well in Week 1. You’d think after the way both teams played in Week 1 that the betting odds on this game might be close, but they’re really not. Yesterday I saw two betting lines on the game, one had the Packers as a 10-point favorite and the other one had them as a 9 1/2-point favorite. Interesting since the Bears come into the game 1-0 while the Packers come into the game 0-1.

The other game like that is the Seattle Seahawks vs. The San Francisco 49ers. Seattle picked up a Week 1 upset win over the Denver Broncos 17-16 while the 49ers were on the losing end of their game to the Bears.

San Francisco’s young quarterback Trey Lance didn’t look very good against the Bears, but maybe the rain had something to do with that, but you’d think that the betting line on this game wouldn’t be too big after the way they both played in Week 1. Well, the latest line has San Francisco as a 10-point favorite.

All this pretty much tells me is that the people who set the betting lines aren’t overreacting to the losses that Green Bay and San Francisco suffered in Week 1.

So, let me know what you think about Week 1 of the NFL season? Are you all in on the way your favorite team played? Or are you concerned with the way your favorite team played?

Now Week 1 was pretty exciting as there were seven games that were decided by a field goal or less and one of those games ended in a tie. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s more enjoyable to watch a close game than nit is to watch a blowout, well unless the team winning the blowout is the team you root for.

Will see what Week 2 holds for football fans starting tomorrow. Two teams that each won their first games of the season face off as the Kansas City Chiefs host the Los Angeles Chargers. Not only is this a matchup of two teams that most people expect to make the playoffs, but it two teams that are in the same division the AFC West.

Jumping back into those betting lines, Kansas City is currently a 4-point favorite which isn’t a huge surprise especially since they’re at home for this game.

I expect the Chiefs to the win tomorrow night, but let me know who you’ve got winning this game.

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime.

How was your week

Posted: September 10, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Yesterday Major League Baseball announced multiple rule changes that they’ll be making for the 2023 season. Let’s take a look at what they decided.

Pitch Timer: A Pitch Timer will improve pace of play and reduce dead time.  The Pitch Timer Regulations include the following provisions:

  • A pitcher must begin his motion before the expiration of the timer.  Pitchers will have up to 15 seconds between pitches when the bases are empty and up to 20 seconds between pitches with at least one runner on base.  Testing in the Minor Leagues involved 14 seconds with the bases empty and 18 seconds (19 seconds in Triple-A) with at least one runner on base.
  • A pitcher may disengage the rubber (timer resets) twice per plate appearance without penalty.
    • Subsequent disengagements result in a balk, unless an out is recorded on a runner.
    • The disengagement count resets if the runner advances; testing in the Minors had no reset until the following plate appearance. 
  • A hitter must be in the batter’s box and alert to the pitcher with at least eight seconds remaining.  Testing in the Minor Leagues included nine seconds remaining.
  • A hitter receives one timeout per plate appearance.
  • Umpires will have authority to provide additional time if warranted by special circumstances (e.g., the catcher makes the last out of the inning and needs additional time to get into defensive position).

Defensive Shift Restrictions:A set of restrictions will return the game to a more traditional aesthetic by governing defensive shifts, with the goals of encouraging more balls in play, giving players more opportunities to showcase their athleticism, and offsetting the growing trend of alignments that feature four outfielders:

  • Lateral Positioning: Two infielders must be positioned on each side of second base when the pitch is released.
  • Depth: All four infielders must have both feet within the outer boundary of the infield when the pitcher is on the rubber.
  • No Switching Sides: Infielders may not switch sides unless there is a substitution.

Bigger Bases:With the goal of improving player safety, the size of first, second, and third base will increase from the standard 15” square to 18” square. 

  • Bigger bases are expected to have a positive impact on player health and keeping Major Leaguers on the field.

The Pitch Timer has shown success in the minor leagues.

  • Compared to last season, the Pitch Timer has reduced the average nine-inning game time by 26 minutes (from 3:04 in 2021 to 2:38 in 2022) while increasing action on the field.
  • Stolen base attempts per game have increased from 2.23 in 2019, at a 68% success rate, to 2.83 in 2022, at a 77% success rate.
  • In its most recent week of play, Minor League Baseball has averaged just 0.45 Pitch Timer violations per game.

As for the Shift rule, defensive alignments that feature four players in the outfield increased nearly 6x across MLB since the start of the 2018 season.

Hopefully larger bases will continue the trend that it showed in the minor leagues.

  •  Base-related injuries decreased by 13.5% in the Minor Leagues this season, including declines at every level of the Minors. 

Bigger bases will reduce the distance between first and second and between second and third base by 4.5”, thereby encouraging offensive Clubs to attempt to steal bases more frequently and generally to be more aggressive on the basepaths.

It will be interesting to see what kind of affect this has on an actual Major League game. I’m not sure if you remember this or not, but a few years ago MLB asked the umpires to enforce keeping hitters in the batter’s box to help speed up the game. Unfortunately, the umpires didn’t do a very good job of enforcing this rule and it didn’t do anything to help speed up the game. If the umpires decide to not truly enforce these new rule changes, then they won’t have any affect at all.

Let me know what you think of these rules’ changes. Do you like them? And do you think that they’ll actually speed up the games?

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 7, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

We’re just one day away from the start of the National Football League season starting. That means most of the fantasy drafts are done and hopefully you were able to land the majority of the players you had targeted. Now I’m sure there are a few leagues out there that haven’t drafted as they’re waiting to the last minute to get as much information as they can, but those drafts will probably happen tonight.

As for me we’ve had two long time leagues that we do. Now they’re just a couple of free leagues that we’ve run through Yahoo for quite a few years. Well until this year.

These leagues are 20 team leagues with one being a traditional snake style draft and the other league being an auction style league. On Friday we had our snake style draft and there were no issues whatsoever. On Saturday just kind of out of the blue the e-mails started coming in. All of a sudden there were multiple players who had joined the auction league that started complaining about it being an auction league and that they either didn’t want to play or wouldn’t draft and manage their team if they weren’t removed from the league. Now the league had been set up for over a month by this time and these people had been signed up for quite some time, but the day of the draft they decided to start complaining about it. Now I don’t know about you, but before I sign up for any fantasy league I go through and read the set-up of the league, but I guess a month wasn’t enough time for these people to take the time to do that.

Now I had to work Saturday morning, so I didn’t see these e-mails until a few hours before the draft was going to start. There was no way that I could replace all of the people that wanted out of the league, so after all of these years I ended up deleting the league and it’s doubtful I’ll reinstate it next year.

I was a little surprised with the affect that this has had on me. I normally very excited for the start of every fantasy season no matter what sport it is, but sadly that feeling seems to be gone. Now I do still have the team that I drafted on Friday, and I made sure to check the lineup to make sure if I have anyone playing tomorrow that they’d either be in or out of my lineup depending on who it is, but I’m just really not interested in playing fantasy football this season.

Now I’m not sure why this is bothering me so much, but I’m having a real problem just dealing with the fact that all these people waited until the actual day of the draft to decide they wanted out of this league. I almost feel like they sabotaged the league even though I doubts that’s true and believe it or not we’ve had people sabotage leagues on us before.

Now the humorous thing about the entire situation is that these leagues are free. We don’t charge people to play, and we used to use the league as a segment on the podcast when we used to do that. Now the league is just for bragging rights. So, I had multiple people complaining about a league that didn’t cost them anything to join or play in. Now I’m also in a “money” where we pay an entry fee to play in and try to win money and if there was something I didn’t like in that league I’d bring it up, but I’m paying to play in that league this one is free.

So, for the first time in I can’t even remember when I don’t care about the fantasy football season starting and I think that’s kind of sad since I was looking forward to it until all of this came up. Oh well!

I’m on Twitter @Burketime.

How was your week

Posted: September 3, 2022 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Well, unfortunately I think I may have jinxed myself. Remember a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about Aaron Judge getting all of the hype and not having to listen to any Shohei Ohtani Most Valuable Player talk. Sadly, now there seems to be a lot of media members talking about Ohtani winning the MVP award and I heard one media person say he should win it every year because he’ll be hitting and pitching every year.

Now oddly if they wanted to try and make a case for Ohtani to win the Cy Young award I might’ve bought it, but he’s not having a great season swinging the bat. Ohtani is hitting .268 with 30 home runs and 82 RBI’s and while I know this no longer matters to anybody, but he’s struck out 133 times in 128 games. Last season he had a decent number of stolen bases (26), but this season Ohtani only has 11 stolen bases and he’s been caught stealing 9 times. These aren’t exactly what you’d look for offensively from an MVP, but somehow his name surfaced quite a bit these past couple of weeks.

Now as a starting pitcher Ohtani is 11-8 with a 2.67 ERA in 22 starts. He’s pitched 128 innings and has stuck out 176 batters, so these numbers could put him in the running for the Cy Young award.

Now I think you also have to factor in how a player’s team is doing unless that players numbers are just so out of this world that his team won-loss record doesn’t matter. Now since Ohtani’s numbers aren’t off the charts let’s look at where his team the Los Angeles Angels are in the standings. Well, the Angels are currently 57-75 and don’t forget that early in the season the Angels were actually in 1st place and people where excited to see not only Ohtani, but Mike Trout in the playoffs.

Now an MVP doesn’t have to lead his team into the playoffs, but it would be nice if that player could keep his team in the playoff race while he’s racking up some MVP type numbers.

Now Judge should be the clear frontrunner for MVP and should win the award going away deservedly so, but there are some other players that should be on the ballot ahead of Ohtani.

Even though Yordan Alvarez missed some time with injuries he’s still hit 31 home runs and has a batting average of .294 on the team with the best record in the American League the Houston Astros. Alvarez’s teammate Jose Altuve is also having a very good season even though he’s been kind of under the radar. Altuve is hitting .296 with 22 home runs and he has 13 stolen bases while only being caught stealing 1 time. Of course, the fact that Altuve only has 48 RBI’s will more or less kill any kind of MVP candidacy.

The Cleveland Guardians have been a big surprise this season and are in position to win the American League Central, but would they be they’re without Jose Ramirez? The answer of course is no. Ramirez should get some MVP consideration as he’s hitting .286 with 26 home runs and has 106 RBI’s as well as 14 stolen bases.

Now Judge should get all of the 1st place votes for MVP, but players like Ramirez and Alvarez should end up on the ballot ahead of Ohtani, but it’s very, very doubtful that will happen because of the way the media is enthralled with him.

It’s time for me to turn it over to you. I’m giving you the opportunity to put together your MVP ballot. Give me three or four names in the order you have them for American League MVP. Mine would be Judge, Ramirez, Alvarez, Ohtani. How do you have it?

Remember that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.