Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 5, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It’s the start of August and there are plenty of sports on television for fans to watch and while you’d think it’s a good thing I’m not totally sure it is. Now normally this is just baseball season with sports fans getting ready for football, but with the pandemic we also have the NHL and the NBA playing. This can make things difficult to not only watch, but to keep up with. Are you keeping up? I’m not.

As I’ve mentioned many times I don’t enjoy what the NBA has turned into and all I really do is flip on a game to get a score and then I move on. Watching professional basketball players stand around at the 3-point line and shoot doesn’t interest me. I’m also not interested in watching a guy dunk when he has to travel to do it. I thought that’s what the dunk contest was for. It’s just so boring for me to watch a player drive the lane and either dunk or throw the basketball out to the 3-point line so one of his teammates can launch a 3-pointer. I’m not even going to go into defense in the NBA mostly because it’s nonexistent and if a player seems to try to play defense he’ll be called for a foul. I know that the NBA has lots of fans, but I’m just not one of them.

As for the NHL I guess it’s just the fact that it’s August and they should be preparing for next season not just starting the playoffs. I’m sure the fact that it’s summer and not cold and snowy out like I picture the weather being outside when the NHL plays. I’ve tried multiple times to sit down and watch one of these NHL playoff games, but it just doesn’t hold my attention for more than a few minutes. Maybe I’ll find myself more interested as teams get eliminated, but I’m not actually sure if that will happen or not. at least I have a local team to root for in the NHL playoffs, but who knows if the Chicago Blackhawks will even get out of this play in round or whatever they’re calling it. I think if the Blackhawks could get on a run in these playoffs that might peak my interest, but it just seems weird to me to watch playoff hockey in August.

I don’t believe that either the NBA or the NHL has mentioned when they might try to get what would be their 2020-21 season started. There was some talk about the NBA waiting until Christmas day to open their season, but I haven’t heard any rumors about what the NHL might do.

When the next season finally does open for the NHL and the NBA will they allow the players to travel or will they attempt to do another “bubble” type set up. Would either league try to play a full schedule of games next season? There’s no doubt that both the NHL and the NBA seasons for what would’ve been 2020-21 is going to start late. Will either league try to pay a full 82 game schedule? I’m not sure if either league would be willing to try to do that, but if not what number of games would they come up with? Would they set it up along the lines that Major League Baseball did and have teams play mostly within their division. With the geography of the NHL and the NBA it might be best if they have team just play against conference opponents. Of course the NBA would have to figure out what to do with the Memphis Grizzlies since they are in the Western Conference. The Grizzlies ended up in the Western Conference because when they entered the NBA they played in Vancouver.

What do you think about next season. How many games do you think that the NHL or the NBA might try to play next season?

Obviously I’m not keeping up with the restarted NBA season, but I don’t believe that they’ve even started their playoffs yet. How long is this NBA season going to go? I get that they brought the league back because they wanted to get their hands on as much television and sponsorship money as they could, but it seems ridiculous that they’re still having what would be considered regular season games. At least the NHL is in some sort of playoff situation.

On the plus side when it comes to the NHL and the NBA it seems as though their “bubble” set up is working as I don’t believe either league has reported a positive Covid-19 test since they’ve been playing in the “bubble”. Let’s hope that continues and neither league has to deal with any kind of virus outbreak like MLB has had to. Don’t forget that the NHL has two “bubble” set ups with no positive Covid-19 tests.

MLB had to deal with another team dealing with a Covid-19 outbreak. This time it was the St. Louis Cardinals. I believe the Cardinals ended up with 13 total members of their traveling party testing positive for the Covid-19 virus.

Yesterday St. Louis placed Paul DeJong, Junior Fernandez, Kodi Whitley, Edmundo Sosa, Rangel Ravelo and Yader Molina on the IL. All players have tested positive for Covid-19. Carlos Martinez was also added to the IL yesterday, but his injury was listed as undisclosed.

Due to this outbreak the Cardinals have canceled a four game series in Milwaukee against the Brewers as well as a four game series in Detroit against the Tigers. Even though that series was in Detroit the Cardinals where scheduled to be the home team in two of those games. Major League Baseball also went ahead and canceled the Cardinals game against the Chicago White Sox on August 13th that was scheduled to be played at Field of Dreams in Iowa. As long as the Cardinals can clear Covid-19 testing they’ll restart their season this Friday as they host the Chicago Cubs for the start of a three game series.

The Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live edition of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you’d like.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: August 1, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Major League Baseball returned for a shortened 60-game season on July 23rd. Now with the season just 10 days old the question is; will they be able to get even a 60-game season in?

On Friday MLB commissioner told MLB Players Association executive director Tony Clark on Friday that if the sport doesn’t do a better job of managing the coronavirus the season could come to an abrupt end.

MLB’s concerned started with the Miami Marlins. After the Marlins took two of three from the Philadelphia Phillies in Philadelphia they where preparing to return to Miami for their home opener against the Baltimore Orioles.

Unfortunately for the Marlins they where unable to return home as they had multiple players and coaches test positive for the Covid-19 virus. As of now 21 members of the organization tested positive for COVID-19 and they haven’t played a game since July 26th and they’re not scheduled to even try to play again until this coming Tuesday August 4th. AS of now 7 Marlins games have been postponed; 4 against the Orioles and 3 against the Washington Nationals. No make up dates have been announced for these games and it hasn’t even been announced if the Marlins will be able to restart their season against the Phillies on Tuesday.

Then yesterday as the Milwaukee Brewers where getting ready to play their home opener against the St. Louis Cardinals the Cardinals had 2 players test positive for the Covid-19 virus and the game was immediately postponed. As for this game it was announced that it would be made up as part of a doubleheader on Sunday.

If another outbreak was to take place like the one that the Marlins are going through right now commissioner Manfred has the power to shutdown the season and it appears he’d move in that direction if another team suffered an outbreak. It’s possible that commissioner Manfred could shut the season down as early as Monday if the number of positive test continue to rise or if players don’t continue to follow the league protocols.

Not only has union head Clark been briefed, but multiple players have also been told about the situation. Keith Olbermann of ESPN is reporting that Major League Baseball has reached out the the networks that are televising their game and advised them to look at possible alternate programming after this weekend.

It’s difficult to know what players do where they’re away from the ballpark, but one high ranking official has said “There are some bad decisions being made.” Chicago Cubs outfielder Steven Souza took things a step further saying “Every player in this league better take a hard look at what you’re doing off the field, because what you do affects, more than just you and your team.” Souza added “Your decisions off the field will put all of our seasons in jeopardy this year.”

On Thursday Major League Baseball along with the players association announced the results from their Covid-19 testing. There have been 11,895 samples taken by MLB over the past week. 29 of the test came back with a positive result for the Covid-19 virus. 20 of those positive test belonged to players while the other 9 positive test where from team staff members.

When the outbreak happened with the Marlins the media jumped all over Major League Baseball and did everything they could to vilify them and accuse them of not handling the situation properly. In what has to be looked at as a strange turn of events Dr. Fauci who has become the go to guy when it comes to the Covid-19 virus whether he wanted to or not came out and said that Major League Baseball did a good job of handling the Marlins outbreak. Of course none of those media members that destroyed MLB when the outbreak happened haven’t mentioned anything that Dr. Fauci said; of course that’s no surprise.

Do you think that MLB will be able to finish this shortened season?

The National Football League finally announced Antonio Brown’s punishment. In case you don’t remember the NFL has been investigating Brown since he was accused of sexual assault by an artist who was working in his home in 2017. Brown also had an incident in June and ended up pleading no contest to a felony burglary with battery charge and two lesser misdemeanor charges related to a January incident with a moving truck company outside his home in Hollywood, Florida.

For these two incidents Brown was given and 8-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Brown has also been advised by the NFL to continue counseling and treatment.

Brown’s agent Ed Wasielewski said that Brown has no plans to appeal this 8-game suspension.

With this ruling teams now understand what they’re dealing with if they decide to sign Brown. Even with this 8-game suspension Brown would be able to participate in the team that signs him preseason activities. The suspension would take effect after the final roster reduction September 5th and he would be eligible to return after the team plays eight games.

While there have been a few teams that have expressed some interest in Brown there’s also a possibility that he could could be facing another suspension.

The NFL is still investigating Brown as another woman is alleging that she was sexually assaulted by Brown. A former trainer of Brown’s has filed a lawsuit against him over these sexual assault claims. Brown has stated that his sexual relationship with this trainer was consensual and Brown met with the NFL in November as part of this investigation.

Once the NFL concludes it’s investigation into this incident it’s possible that Brown could face another suspension or depending on when the ruling is made it could be another suspension.

Brown played one game for the New England Patriots in September of last season before being released as some of these allegations started to surface.

Brown has shown throughout his NFL career that he is talented, but you have to wonder if there’s a team out there that think he’s worth taking a chance on with all the baggage that comes along with him.

Would you like to see your favorite NFL team sign Brown?

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast. It airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live version of the podcast just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

Also feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 29, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Apparently this is going to be a different type of baseball season for me. When they first put in this 60 game season I had almost no desire to watch any of the games, but then they started. Opening day didn’t really interest me; so I only ended up watching an inning or two of those games, but then my local teams opened up. I don’t know why, but my interest really picked up for opening day of the two local Chicago teams. Now we’re six games into the season and I barely watch either of what turned out to be three games the Chicago games where involved in yesterday. I’m not sure what causing this, but all of a sudden I’m this bipolar baseball fan and I’m wondering if the entire season is going to be like this.

I’m looking for some kind of help here. If this is happened to you or if you have any idea why my interest in this baseball season waned so quickly.

I do know that one of the things that has bothered me the last couple of days is the way the mainstream media has reacted to the Miami Marlins situation.

I’m sure you know that they had multiple players and coaches test positive for the Covid-19 virus and their games have been suspended until at least Sunday.

I found it shocking that there where mainstream media members that where surprised this happened and they went on to call it a nightmare scenario for baseball and there where even some of these goofs calling for an immediate end to the baseball season. Did they honestly believe that we would get through the entire baseball season without one positive test for the Covid-19 virus?

I know that a lot of people and the media want to try and compare Major League Baseball to the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, but you can’t.

Both the NBA and the NHL have set up “bubble” situations for their players to pay under. If you’re a baseball player you’re more or less living your normal life. If you have a home game you sleep in your own bed and spend time with your family before going to the ballpark. In the case of the Marlins they where on the road; so they where staying in a hotel. Did someone pick up the virus there or did some of the players or coaches go out for dinner and possibly contracted it while they where out. Unfortunately there’s just no way to tell.

Now of course this was played up as a terrible story and everyone wanted to put baseball in a bad light over this. Oddly what very few reporters mentioned was that the Philadelphia Phillies who where the team that was hosting the Marlins had ZERO positive tests for the Covid-19 virus. Do you find it odd that a lot of reporters left this fact out of their story?

Obviously it’s a big deal that these players and coaches got sick and hopefully they’ll all recover quickly and without any issues, but unfortunately this kind of thing can happen when you’re working in normal society. Remember these players are going to work like a lot of people still are; so they’re having interactions with people who aren’t involved with Major League Baseball and they can’t control how or what those people do in their lives. Of course this doesn’t mean that people are out there intentionally trying to infect a sports team all I’m saying is their daily interactions can’t be monitor by Major League Baseball, but a player may run into someone on a plane, in the hotel the team is staying at or quite a few places when a team is on the road.

I’m sure that most of the mainstream media just wants to point the finger at Major League Baseball and say it’s all their fault, but since all of the Phillies players and coaches tested negative you’d have to think that Citizens Bank Ballpark where the Philadelphia plays it’s home games is clean.

Now not only did Major League Baseball postpone all of the Marlins games until Sunday they also postponed the series between the Phillies and the New York Yankees that was scheduled to start last night in Philadelphia. As of now Miami has seven games postponed; four against the Baltimore Orioles and three against the Washington Nationals. The next scheduled game the Marlins might play might be at home oddly enough against the Phillies. Will have to wait and see if Major League Baseball allows the Marlins to play those games.

The one thing that I’m very interested in that Major League Baseball hasn’t announced yet is how are they going to make up these games. I’m sure most people don’t consider the Marlins a playoff contender, but in a shortened 60 game season you never know. Of course the Yankees and the Phillies where considered playoff contenders and they’ll have four games to make up against each other when this is all said and done. Those four games could have huge playoff ramifications; so they’re probably going to need to find a way to play them.

What do you think Major League Baseball should do with these postponed games? Should they make them up? Or just try to go with an unbalanced schedule?

Should anybody be really surprised that the Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers threw inside, over and behind some of the Houston Astros hitters last night?

As I’m sure you all remember that it was the dodgers that the Astros where caught cheating against in the 2018 World Series; so you had to expect that there where going to still be some hard feelings on the Dodgers side. What may be more surprising is the fact that there where no hit batsman in the game.

In the end the Dodgers used a 5-run 5th inning to put the game away winning 5-2. This is just a short two game series and you have to wonder if we’ll see some more inside pitches from the Dodgers staff tonight.

Have you been listening to the Sports Time Radio podcast? The live version airs on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss that edition you can head over to TuneIn.com and listen any time you want.

Also feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: July 25, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well after quite a delay the Major League Baseball season finally got underway Thursday evening with two games. The New York Yankees beat the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals 6-1 in a game that was shortened to 5 1/3rd innings due to rain. In the second game the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 8-1; that game went all 9 innings.

Now if you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast or just kept up with the blogs right here you know that I’ve been hot and cold or maybe you’d call it here or there on if I was going to watch baseball this season. Like a lot of fans I was very frustrated with the way the negotiations went, but in the end I was right there to watch Max Scherzer throw the first pitch of the season to Aaron Hicks.

What I didn’t expect to happen was how bored I was by the Yankees/Nationals game. Honestly I don’t know what my issue with the game was, but luckily when my two local Chicago teams started the season yesterday I found myself enjoying those games much, much more. Maybe the problem was I’m not really invested that much into this shortened baseball season; so seeing the Yankees and the Nationals start the season didn’t get me excited for baseball. I guess I’ll have to play it by ear and see how it goes today as there will be quite a few games for me to watch, but only two of them will feature the teams in my area.

I should have access to a minimum of five games today. At 12:05 p.m. Fox will be showing it’s first game of the season featuring the Milwaukee Brewers at the Chicago Cubs. At 1:10 p.m. the Chicago White Sox will be hosting the Minnesota Twins. At 1:15 p.m. the MLB Network will be showing the Pittsburgh Pirates at the St. Louis Cardinals. Then at 3:10 p.m. Fox will be showing the San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The final game that I’ll have a chance to watch will be on Fox Sports 1 at 8:10 p.m. as the San Diego Padres host the Arizona Diamondbacks.

All the listed start times are for the Central time zone; which of course is where I live.

The listed pitching match ups for these games are as follows. Corbin Burnes starts for Milwaukee, Yu Darvish starts for the Cubs. Randy Dobnak is starting for the Twins while Dallas Keuchel stats for the White Sox. Trevor Williams starts for the Pirates while Adam Wainwright starts for the Cardinals. San Francisco has yet to announce their starting pitcher for todays game, but the Dodgers listed start is Alex Wood. In the last televised game in my area the Diamondbacks are starting Robbie Ray while the Padres are going with Dinelson Lamet.

There are your games and your starting pitchers for the televised games; so what I want to know from you is; what are your viewing habits going to be today? The only game you won’t be getting would be the White Sox/Twins game unless you live in that viewing area and if not it would be replaced by your local teams broadcast. Are you planning on watching one game? Or will you watch two games? Is it possible that you’ll watch three or even four games? Or are you just planning on skipping all of the baseball games today?

What I’d also be interested in knowing from you is; what was your highlight from opening day?

As for me I’m not sure if you would call it a highlight, but the thing that I enjoyed the most was watch Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs pitch a complete game shutout against the Brewers. With all the talk coming into this season I wasn’t expecting to see a pitcher throw a complete game in all of the 60 games each team was playing and here Hendricks throws one in the Cub home opener.

Hendricks was allowed to go 9 innings because he kept his pitch count down. Hendricks threw just 103 pitches in his complete game shutout with 74 of them being for strikes. He struck out nine while giving up just three hits. Interestingly all three of Milwaukee’s hits where by Orlando Arcia who was hitting 9th for the Brewers. The 1 through 8 hitters in Milwaukee’s line up went 0 for 27 against Hendricks.

To be fair Hendricks wasn’t the only opening day starter to register a complete game, but he was the only one that went 9 innings. In Thursday nights game Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole get credit for a complete games. Since the game was rained shorten and they where the only two pitcher to appear for their teams it goes down as a complete game for each pitcher and while Scherzer did strikeout 11 and Cole gave up just 1 hit neither outing was as impressive as Hendricks was.

I wanted to leave baseball for a story that’s been confusing me for the better part of a week now; Antonio Brown.

Brown had been working out with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and there was some talk that Seattle might be interested in signing him. Then kind of out of the blue Brown more or less said that he was retiring from football. Then just two days later Brown backtracked on his retirement and then went on to blame to NFL for holding up his career.

In case you don’t remember the NFL is investigating Brown for about sexual assault and rape allegations. That means Brown is head for a suspension or possible a spot on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. Of course Brown would have to be signed by a team before he could serve out any suspension. Even with this hanging over his head there are multiple teams that have shown some interest in possibly signing Brown.

Brown played in just 1 game last season with the New England Patriots even though he signed a big money deal with the Oakland raiders during the off season. I don’t think we need to rehash all the incidents he had with them before being released. He did catch 4 passes and score a touchdown in his one game with New England last season.

If your favorite NFL team was desperate for a wide receiver would you like to see them sign Brown? He is very talented, but he appears to bring a lot of baggage with him.

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 22, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well sports fans we’re right on the brink of getting all four major sports back. NFL training camps open tomorrow, the NBA and the NHL are just about a week and a half away from restarting their seasons, but most importantly starting tomorrow we’re going to get baseball games that count.

Baseball gets rolling with two showcase games tomorrow. Opening the season the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees. While the nightcap features old rivals as the Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants.

Both games will be shown on ESPN. The Nationals/Yankees games has a scheduled start time of 6:00p.m. While the Dodgers/Giants game has a scheduled start time of 9:00 p.m. Both start times are for the Central time zone; which is the time zone I live in.

Now there has been some questions about how much starting pitchers will impact these games right out of the gate and we should get an idea tomorrow how teams might handle their starters. Three of the games top four starter pitchers will take the rubber tomorrow. Max Scherzer makes the start for Washington The Yankees will counter with their big free agent signing Gerrit Cole. The Dodgers are going with Clayton Kershaw as their opening day starter and he’ll face off against Johnny Cueto; who’s getting the opening day start for San Francisco.

You have to wonder if these pitchers will be on a pitch count or if they’ll be allowed to work as long as they can. Out of the four opening day starters Cueto may be the one with the most questions since he’s returning from Tommy John surgery. Cueto did make 4 starts last season, but totaled just 16 innings and posted an E.R.A. of 5.06. My guess is that he’ll be on the shortest leash of the four opening day starters, but you never know what a team might have planned.

What would you consider to be a good start for these starters? Do you think it’s possible that we’ll get a “quality start” out of any of these opening day starters? The definition of a quality start is 6 innings pitched while permitting no more than 3 earned runs. Going 6 innings might be too much to ask out of even these big name pitchers to start this odd season.

After opening the season with two games on Thursday the rest of the league get started on Friday. The Dodgers and Giants will play their second game of the season on Friday, but the Yankees and the Nationals get Friday off.

With just the start of the baseball season a day away; how are you feeling about baseball?

I’ve been back and forth about this shortened 60 game season, but we had our fantasy drafts this past weekend and that helped me start to look forward to baseball coming back. When the first announced that this was the format they where gong with I was less than interested in baseballs return and was convinced that I wouldn’t watch an inning.

My stance has softened on that as the start of the season has gotten closer, but I do have some concerns. I think my biggest issue is; are we going to get spring training baseball to start off with? With expanded roster to start the season and the designated hitter being universal managers are going to have a lot of flexibility. Will we see a lot of situation substitutions? Also if starting pitchers aren’t going to be going deep into games to start the season; how many pitching changes will there be?

Now besides the DH becoming universal and the expanded rosters to start the season there are a few other new rules this season.

We have the three batters minimum for relievers. Instead of teams being able to match up pitchers to hitters this season when a pitcher comes out of the bullpen he’ll have to face three batters. The only way they won’t face three batters will be because the inning came to an end or that reliever became ill or got injured.

Placing a runner on 2nd base in extra innings. This is easily the new rule I dislike the most, but in a shortened season like this Major League Baseball is trying to avoid marathon games; so starting in the 11th inning A baserunner will magically appear on nd to start the inning.

I didn’t remember hearing about this one, but there’s a wet rag rule. Apparently pitchers will be allowed to bring a wet rag with them to the mound. The pitcher will be allowed to use this rag to moisten his fingers instead of licking them. I’m not sure if this rule is just for this year do to the pandemic or if it’s something that will stay on the books.

There is also a no brawl rule for this season. Since MLB is going to try and have players, managers and coaches maintain social distancing it’s understandable why they wouldn’t want teams fighting. MLB has mentioned that the possible penalty for breaking the no brawl rule could be immediate ejection and subsequent discipline, including a possible fine and suspension.

What do you think of these rules? As I’ve mentioned I don’t like the runner being placed on 2nd bae rule, but I’m okay with the other changes.

I’m not a big fan of the DH being universal a I liked the differences between the two leagues, but remember the collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season and there was a very good chance that the Major League Baseball Players Association was going to be asking for the DH to be added to the National League. Let’s face it with al of the complaining that the media does about pitchers hitting this was going to happen sooner or later. This way the media will have one less thing to cry about when it comes to baseball, but I’m sure they’ll still find plenty of other things to whine about.

Don’t forget to listen to the live edition of the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want to.

You can also look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: July 18, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

While the National Football League will have it’s own set of circumstances to deal with as they try to open their season it does seem that they’ll be able to play that season continuously unlike Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association had to. Of course the NFL will have to figure out a couple of things.

First and foremost testing and player safety will be the most difficult thing to keep up with. The one thing that keeps popping up right now is the number of pre-season games teams will play. The NFL owners want to cut the number of pre-season games to 2 while the National Football League Players Association doesn’t want to play any pre-season games.

When it comes to sports it seems as when it comes to negotiating it’s either that specific league itself or it’s a players union that’s try to take advantage of the situation and get something out of this deal. That’s all this seems to be here. The NFL players union wants something in return for a certain number of pre-season games. In the end they’ll work this out somehow and will probably end up settling on just 1 pre-season game being played.

Now NFL teams don’t take pre-season all that seriously anymore and as for most teams the starters barely play if at all. As odd as it may sound I think it might be important to have the NFL play a couple of pre-season games.

Most importantly playing these pre-season games would give teams an idea of how they’re going to handle the current situation and it may give them an opportunity to see what a game would be like without fans and then what steps they might have to take if a limited number of fans are allowed to return to games later in the regular season.

Then from a pure fans point of view without some type of pre-season game or games being played how many weeks will it take for an NFL team to get up to speed and start playing decent football. It’s not like the starters would be playing ever minute of these two pre-season games, but no matter how much they played it would help improve the games when they get into the regular season. Last season the Chicago Bears hardly played their starters during the pre-season and they suffered for it at the start of the regular season. Everyone is waiting with anticipation for football to arrive, but the last thing any fan wants to see is bad football to start the season.

This of course leads us to the question of; what does the NFL players association want? While I’d like to think that it’s just players safety and how the NFL will handle testing for the Corona virus I know better than that. Unfortunately the NFL players association hasn’t mentioned anything; so we’re going to have to wait and see and just hope that this doesn’t up the season.

The NFL did released the process they’re going to try and follow if and when the season get started. Here’s what the NFL will be trying to do. The league will mandate that team buses cannot be more than 50% full and that there must be at least one open seat between passengers on team planes. Also everyone will get his or her own hotel room on the road and that all players and team personnel must wear face coverings while on the road. Players also are being told that they will not be allowed to leave their hotel rooms to eat in or otherwise use restaurants that are open to the public. Now players will be allowed to use contactless food delivery services and they’ll also be able to use rom service. Everyone has to travel on the team plane and/or bus. While at the hotel, players and team personnel may not be visited in their rooms by anyone who’s not in their traveling party, and no one in the traveling party may use shared hotel facilities such as pools or gyms unless they have been disinfected and are being used only by the traveling party.

The NFL release these guidelines on Friday, but it’s unclear if the NFL players association has agreed to these or if the two sides will have to sit down and come to an agreement on these. I’d like to think that since the NFL released these that they’ve worked this out with the NFL players association.

It doesn’t seem like the NFL is asking too much of it’s players while they’re on the road, but as we have seen with the NBA and it’s “bubble” set up; players are use to a certain lifestyle so there may be some push back, but hopefully the players will see this is for their own health and safety and follow the these guidelines.

NFL training camps will be opening very soon and the NFL will be welcome backed by sports fans with open arms. The NFL has always been the most popular of the big four sports here in America. Now the fans have to hope that there’s no interruption of the regular season or playoffs if they get that far. It would be a big plus even if the games had to be played with out fans to see a league be able to play their entire schedule without a stoppage due to the Corona virus.

We’re just a little under two months away from the start of the NFL regular season. Thursday night September 10th the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are scheduled to host the Houston Texans in the first NFL game this coming season.

Now we have baseball starting in five days. Then will have the hockey and Basketball starting at the end of the month. What I’d like to know is; are you looking forward t the start of one of those three season or are you holding out for the start of the NFL season?

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast. The podcast can be heard live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live version of the podcast all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 15, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Dak Prescott is represented by Todd France in his negotiations with the Dallas Cowboys. Yesterday there where reports that France has said their would be no new contract between the Cowboys and Prescott by next Wednesday and Prescott would be signing his franchise tender. Once Prescott officially signs that franchise tag contract he’ll make $31.4 million dollars next season.

There where some reports that Prescott and the Cowboys might be close to a deal, but that the contract was for too many years according to Prescott. Now you’d think if both sides had seem to have agreed on a dollar figure you think it wouldn’t of been to difficult to get the years worked out, but apparently they where unable to do so.

Now if you remember as Prescott was headed into free agency he said that he expected to be paid between $30 and $40 million dollars per season and while the franchise tag gets him into that salary area it is on the lower end of Prescott’s original number. There where some reports that France had approached the Cowboys with a deal that was around $34 million dollars a season, but it was never mentioned how long that deal would’ve been for.

Since the Cowboys used the “exclusive” franchise tag on Prescott he’s paid the average salary of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL as of April 2020. Otherwise the Cowboys could’ve paid Prescott 120 percent of his salary from last season. Prescott receives whatever number is greater for his salary.

To be fair Prescott has been a steal for the Cowboys while on his rookie contract, but that’s no fault of the Cowboys like some people have implied. Remember Prescott was a 4th round pick in the 2016 draft and he was paid according to his draft slot. Prescot clearly outplayed his contract, but there was a reason Prescott was selected in the 4th round when he was coming out of college.

Prescott had solid number in college at Mississippi State, but he was spectacular by any means. In his Senior season he threw for 3793 yards with 29 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. In passing yards Prescott ranked 15th. He was also 15th in touchdowns as for interceptions there where only a handful of college quarterbacks that threw fewer than Prescott did.

Prescott didn’t receive a Heisman Trophy vote in his Senior year. Interestingly running back Derrick Henry of Alabama won the Heisman and is now in the same place as Prescott. Henry is currently a free agent and was franchised tagged by the Tennessee Titans after leading the NFL in rushing yards last season.

There where five other quarterbacks that received Heisman Trophy votes when Prescott was a Senior. Deshaun Watson finished 3rd in the voting, Baler Mayfield finished 4th, Keenan Reynolds finished 5th, Connor Cook finished 9th and Trevone Boykin finished 10th in the Heisman voting.

In the voting for the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Prescott’s future teammate Ezekiel Elliott finished 8th in the voting.

In the end the decision the Cowboys have to make before they sign Prescott to a long term deal is: Is he a franchise quarterback?

Prescott had his best statistical season in 2019. He threw for 4902 yards and 30 touchdowns which where both career highs. Unfortunately there was some bad with that good as the Cowboys had their worst record 8-8 with Prescott as their starting quarterback and they missed the playoffs.

Prescott also has the ability to run the football if needed. Last season he ran the least number of times in his four year career 52; he averaged 5.3 yards per carry and scored 3 rushing touchdowns. Prescott had run for 6 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons with Dallas.

Running less signals that Prescott is becoming more comfortable throwing the football and staying in the pocket and while his interception total did jump to 11 last season he had an interception percentage of 1.8%. There where 13 other starting quarterbacks that threw more interceptions than Prescott did last season.

Prescott has started all 64 games at quarterback for Dallas since they drafted him in 2016 and he has a record of 40-24.

We all know that in the NFL a quarterback gets way too much credit when his team wins and way too much blame when his team loses, but you know there are going to be people pointing out that Dallas hasn’t won a Super Bowl with Prescott as their starting quarterback, but he has taken the team to two playoff appearances in his four seasons. I’m sure there are a lot of teams out their that would like to go to the playoffs with what could be a franchise quarterback that often.

Prescott is always going to be compared to Jared Goff and Carson Wentz who went #1 and #2 in that 2016 draft, but Goff and Wentz where expected to be starting quarterbacks right out of the draft while no one was sure about Prescott.

Goff has been successful as the Los Angeles Rams starting quarterback and while he’s taken them to the playoffs the last two season with one of those playoff runs ending in a Super Bowl loss, but his numbers where down last season and there have been some questions that have come up about Goff’s ability to be a starting NFL quarterback.

Since the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Wentz they’ve been to the playoffs in the last three seasons and won the Super Bowl in 2017. The Eagles have played 6 playoffs games since drafting Wentz and have a 4-2 record, but Wentz has played in just one of those games and in that game only threw 4 passes before being injured.

Goff and Wentz have both been signed long term by their teams. Goff is signed through 2024 and has an average salary of $33.5 million dollars a season. Wentz is also signed through 2024 and has an average salary of $32 million dollars a season.

This is where it gets interesting. Do you feel that Prescott is a better NFL quarterback than Goff and Wentz? Or is he similar to them? Depending on where you sit on that might be how you feel about how much Prescott should be paid.

Prescott and the Cowboys have a little less than 7 hours to come to an agreement on a contract. Do you think they’ll work something out? If so; how much do you think Prescott will be paid? Please leave your answers in the comments.

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live edition of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you ‘d like.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: July 11, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re just under two weeks away from the return of one of America’s favorite past time. Major League Baseball is scheduled to return on July 25th and you have to wonder how many more players will decide to opt out before that date.

Just yesterday Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Michael Kopech of the Chicago Wed that they would be skipping the 2020 baseball season. That brings the number of player who have announced they’ll be opting out of the 2020 season to 11. Mike Leake of the Arizona Diamondbacks was the first player to announce he’d be skipping the 2020 season. Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross and Wellington Castillo all from last seasons World Series champions the Washington Nationals joined the opt out list. Tyson Ross who was a free agent and Joe’s brother is also skipping the 2020 season. The Atlanta Braves had two players Nick Markakis and Felix Hernandez who decided to opt out of this coming season. Add Ian Desmond of the Colorado Rockies and David Price of the Los Angeles Dodgers and there are your 11 players who have officially opted out this coming season.

Now I’m sure there are some names that you know on this list, but I’m not sure you’d put any of these players in the superstar category. Now at one time you might’ve considered Posey, Price or Hernandez as superstars, but they’ve had their struggles the last few seasons and while they’re still quality major league players I’m not sure if they would be considered superstars.

That kind of leads me to my question. Will we see a legitimate superstar from baseball announce that he’ll skip the 2020 season before July 25th?

There has been some Talk that Mike Trout could be the superstar who decide to opt out of the 2020 season. Trout’s wife is pregnant with their first child and is due in August I believe. It would make perfect sense for Trout to take the 2020 season of to be with his wife and newborn child and not risk bringing Covid-19 into his home.

Don’t forget that MLB is handling things a little differently than the National hockey League or the Nationals Basketball Association is. MLB players are going to be traveling to and from games while the NHL and the NBA will be living in a “bubble” set up. MLB players will also be going on road trips which adds a whole other level of concern for a player and his family to deal with.

Now I completely understand if a player decides it’s in his best interest to skip the 2020 season. I was sick for about five weeks with what is described as an undiagnosed case of the Corona virus. Unfortunately when was sick I was unable to get tested because I didn’t fit into the proper category. By the time I was able to get tested I was feeling better and tested negative. Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I would get tested when I was feeling better; well I needed a negative test to return to work.

This situation can out some players in a difficult spot especially if they have young children at home or in a case like Trout’s have a child on the way. They’re going to have to try to find the proper balance between their job (baseball) and their families.

You also have to realize that if a player like Mookie Betts who was traded to the Dodgers this past off season is just one year away from free agency. If he decides to skip the 2020 season he doesn’t become a free agent. Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs lost an arbitration hearing over his years of service last season; so he’s still two seasons away from being a free agent. Would he consider sitting out the 2020 season and then have to wait to reach free agency until 2023?

Also the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after the 2021 season and there have been quite a few rumors that we’ll see a players strike or the owners lock out. Depending on how much time might be missed as the two sides work out a new agreement that might push these arbitration players free agency even farther back.

This is just one more thing for a player to add in t his decision on if he’ll be playing starting on July 25th.

In some on the field baseball news the Toronto Blue Jays announced that Vlad Guerrero Jr. will be switching positions. Guerrero spent last season as the Blue Jays 3rd baseman, but Toronto’s manager Charlie Montoyo announced that Guerrero will be playing 1st base and spending time as the Blue Jays DH this season.

Guerrero played in 123 games last season 96 at 3rd base, 24 as a DH and 3 as a pinch hitter. Guerrero hit .272 with 15 home runs last season. He also finished 6th in Rookie of the Year voting.

Guerrero was a solid defensive 3rd baseman last season. In 824 1/3rd innings at 3rd base Guerrero made 17 errors posting a fielding percentage of .936%. Guerrero does come up negative in some of the analytic and sabermetric stats. He was -16 in Total Zone Total Fielding and he was -9 in BIS Defensive Runs Saved. Those numbers may have factored in to Guerrero’s move across the diamond.

Guerrero is 21 years old and he stands 6’2 and his weight is listed at 250 pounds. Guerrero’s size may have also factored in his move to 1st base. While 1st base isn’t an easy position to play it might be a little less stressful on Guerrero’s joints which would help extend his career.

Guerrero’s move to 1st base opens up a spot for Travis Shaw to take over as Toronto’s everyday 3rd baseman.

Shaw is looking to have a bounce back season after hitting just .157 in 86 games for the Milwaukee Brewers. Shaw also spent part of the season in Triple-A. Shaw did put up back to back 30 plus home runs seasons in 2017 & 2018. Shaw also brings a left handed bat to the Blue Jays line up, but will have to wait and see how Shaw plays for Toronto.

Remember that the Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com Monday thru Friday, but if you miss the live edition of the podcast all you have to do is head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 8, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, fantasy, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well since it looks like we’re going to have some sort of a baseball season as of right now it’s probably time to take a look at how your fantasy season is going to go.

There was actually some talk about not playing this year and one of my leagues actually voted not to have a season, but then they changed their minds and are working on a different format. How about you; is your league playing this year?

Now normally at the top of the draft we see a lot of starting pitchers go. I’m talking about pitchers like Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGroom, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander if he’s healthy. It makes sense if you’re in the right position in your draft to grab one of these starters and build your rotation around them. Depending on how your league is set up you’ll get the stats you’re looking for out of these types of starting pitchers, but will it be that way this season?

Now one of the categories in the two Yahoo leagues I’m in are innings pitched. We have to get over innings out of our pitching staffs for the week and that might be much, much tougher to do this year than normal.

Think about the five pitchers I listed above and ever other team #1 starter who will be starting opening day. How many innings do you think that starting pitcher is going to give you in that first start? I honestly think if you’re very lucky you might get a starting pitcher to go  innings at the most. Dave Roberts the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers mentioned that he thought starting pitchers would only go 3 or 4 innings at the start of this season.

Now with there only being 60 games in this abbreviated season if a team uses a five-man starting rotation then you’re looking at 12 starts or maybe 13 if they find a way to skip the 5th starter and give their #1 starter an extra start. How many starts will it take for a pitcher to build up his endurance to go more than the 3 or 4 innings Roberts predicted? Is it possibly that we could see the best starting pitcher on a team only give them 60 to 65 innings at the most.

So when it comes to fantasy; is it going to be worth taking one of these starting pitchers even if it’s a big name starting pitcher in the 1st round? I don’t think it will be, but I’m sure there will be some fantasy players who think they’ll be good options.

So you’ve joined me and you’ve decided to downgrade starting pitching for this season. How do you build you’re pithing staff? Obviously you’ll be looking to take closer much earlier in the draft than you normally would. Since you’re going to be going after these closers early than you normally would target the ones that you think are going to be on playoff contending teams. In a short season like this teams are going to want to use these guys quite a bit even if it’s just for an inning and if you get those closers from winning teams that will equal saves. This is where your baseball acumen is going to have to come into play because you’re going to have to figure out who those playoff contending teams are and that might not be easy with just 60 games this season.

The two teams everyone seems to agree on being in the hunt this season are the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. That would mean you’d be looking at Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen at the top of your closer list. With this shortened season there are going to be quite a few teams that look like they might contend, but the Houston Astros seem to have the third best odds to win the World Series. If you’re buying the Astros then Roberto Osuna is your pitcher.

Now if someone notices that you’re trying to draft multiple closers you may start a run and not end up with as many as you originally planned you’ll need to fill out your pitching staff another way.

Now in my leagues we have Holds as a category; so someone like Jake Diekman of the Oakland A’s might be a good option. Diekman tied for the lead in Holds last season at 31 with Ryan Pressly of the Astros and Craig Stammen of the San Diego Padres. What separates Diekman for me from Pressly and Stammen is his 12.19 strikeouts per 9 innings. It’s always nice to get a bonus out of reliever who’s not getting you saves. Now Stammen did have 13 save opportunities in San Diego last season, but barring an Injury to Kirby Yates it’s doubtful Stammen sees too many closing chances in a shortened season.

In all honesty if you think the Yankees are the team that’s going to win it all it wouldn’t hurt to load up n their bullpen pitchers. If you did manage to land Chapman it might not hurt to have Zack Britton or Adam Ottavino. It might not be a terrible idea to try and land all three as the Yankees can really shorten a game. If you’re in a deep league you could probably add Tommy Kahnle as another Yankees reliever you could justify drafting. There aren’t too many teams where you can go four deep in their bullpen, but the Yankees could be one.

Now this is just one of many strategies that fantasy baseball players are thinking about using for the upcoming season. Do you have a plan heading into your baseball fantasy draft? If you’ve got what you think is a good plan feel free to share it in the comments. Don’t worry I’m the only one who can see them; so no one in your league will find out what you’re planning.

Don’t forget to checkout the live broadcast of Sports Time Radio. You can find the podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com. Now if you do miss the live version of the podcast you can head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Earlier this week the National Football League announced that they would be cutting their pre-season schedule to 2 games. With everything going on in the world today that seemed like a good idea and let’s face it all the NFL pre-season isn’t any fun to watch. After this announcement the National Football League Players Association held a vote and what should come as no surprise to anyone they want something different than what the NFL just announced. The NFLPA wants no pre-season this year. Now of course getting the NFL owners and the NFLPA to agree on something is incredibly difficult. I’m sure they’d argue over what color the grass was if you asked them. This shouldn’t be too big of a stumbling point as their has to be some sort of pre-season and I’m sure the NFLPA is just using this as a negotiating tactic.

The one thing that we have to remember is even though these are the sports we love to a lot of owners and players it’s just a business and they’re going to try and use everything and anything they can as leverage. Don’t forget that when baseball was going through their negotiations the Major League Baseball owners tried to use these negotiations to recoup some of the things they gave up in the last collective bargaining agreement. To be fair the Major League Baseball Players Association was any better as they wouldn’t budge off of the players getting 100% of there prorated money.

Unfortunately for fans they’re the ones that pay the price. Baseball could’ve easily given us more than this 60 game embarrassment of a season if the owners would’ve started with a decent opening proposal and the players association had negotiated in good faith on their side. Of course neither side could do that as one of them had to feel like they where getting the upper hand in the negotiations and neither side wanted to look weak with the actual collective bargaining expiring after the 2021 season.

In the end who suffers; the fans. I haven’t seen any team announce that they’ll  lowering ticket prices to help out their fans that may have gotten laid off or completely lost their jobs during the pandemic. It was also made very clear that the one thing the players wanted to make sure of in those negotiations was that they got all of their money. Maybe it’s a good thing that they’ll have to start playing these games without fans.

The toughest part about this entire thing is that no matter what these leagues do to their fans they’re always going to come back. I’m not sure why that is though. Maybe it’s just a pure love for a sport or sports in general, but they’ll come back. Or will they?

I’ve mentioned over and over on the Sports Time Radio podcast that I was done with baseball for the 2020 season and I would see them for spring training in 2021. Well it didn’t take long for me to soften on that stance and say that I might watch some games this year. I can pretty much tell myself anything I want, but once the games return I’ll be in front of the television watching whatever game I can get. How about you?

just last ight I had a good friend of mine explain to me how he was so upset with the NFL that he was done being a fan and he didn’t care about how many pre-season games they played or if they played at all. Now he’s a life long fan and I’m not sure what actually set him off, but he had a list of complaints and had some very good points. Of course in the end when the kickoff the football he’ll be there watching in some form.

I’m sure there are fans of the NBA and the NHL that have said they won’t be watching the restart of those leagues once they get up and running, but we know that’s not going to be the case. I’m thinking that maybe one or two out of every ten fans that say they’re not going to watch might actually stick to that statement.

So fill me in on where you stand. Are you like me and you have or had a strong stance at one point, but it’s beginning to weaken? Or are you staying strong and you’re going to hold the line and not watch whatever sport it is you’re upset with when they start play? If you are thinking that you won’t be watching when your favorite sport gets up and running will it be for the entire season or just a short break from the game? Also if you’re going to stay away from the game will you be strong enough to do it for the entire season? Then what do you do if your favorite team makes a run for the championship; do you get back onboard? or do you still manage to stay away? Would you actually miss out on your favorite team winning a championship? Even though it might be a little impure do to the Covid-19 situation.

Who knew that there was so much to think about and try to process when you’re a true fan of a team or a sport.

I understand that there where a lot of people up in arms yesterday when MLB announced that they had 31 people test positive for Covid-19. There was even quite a bit of talk about not restarting the season, but I think we know that’s not going to happen even if it is just 60 games.

Now I can completely understand that a positive test is something that people should have concerns about, but there are a couple of things you have to think about. Did you honestly think there would be no positive tests and while the mainstream media just threw the number 31 out there the other way you can look at it is that 1.2% of the people MLB tested came back positive. Wouldn’t that have sounded like a much better number if it had just been reported that way.

Don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live version of the podcast just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

Also feel free to look me up on Twitter I’m @Burketime