How was your week

Posted: April 21, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I posed an interesting question to Dan the Man to start the Sports Time Radio podcast yesterday and I’d love to know what you think. Feel free to leave your answer in the comment section.

If Hank Aaron didn’t care about strikeouts and batting average was treated like it is in today’s game would he have hit 1000 or more career home runs?

I used Aaron for this example because there are quite a few people who still see him as the true home run king of baseball, but also because his career spanned 23 seasons. Giving him one more year than Barry Bonds.

Aaron’s career started in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves and it ended in 1976 with the Milwaukee Brewers. Aaron led the league in home runs four times and never hit less than 10 home runs in a season. His two lowest home run season totals came at the end of his career when he hit 12 in 1975 and then 10 in his final season. Over his 23 seasons Aaron struck out 1383 times in his career and he never struck out more than 97 times in a season.

Think about Aaron’s strikeout total in this context. Yoenis Cespedes of the New York Mets has played 19 games this season and has struck out 34 times already this season. Matt Olsen of the Oakland A’s has struck out 33 times in 20 games this season. In 1974 season at age 40 Aaron struck out 29 times in 112 games. Olsen is hitting .286 while Cespedes is struggling out of the gate this season hitting just .208. Aaron’s career batting average was .305.

If Aaron had been a believer in the launch angle theory that’s taught and used in today’s game and he adjusted his swing plane. Where would his home run total have ended up? Sadly there’s no way to actually judge this, but if you where luckily enough to see Aaron play try to think back and just picture where his career numbers would’ve ended up.

While we’re just 20 games or so into the season and the weather has played havoc with quite a few games nothing seems to be able to slow the Boston Red Sox down.

The Red Sox where expected to be one of the better teams in baseball and they haven’t disappointed at the start of the season getting off to a 17-2 with a 7-3 win last night over the Oakland A’s.

As odd as it may seem the Red Sox lost on the opening day of the season 6-4 to the Tampa Bay Rays before stringing together 9 wins in a row. Their second lost of the season was to the New York Yankees 10-7 on April 11th. The Red Sox are now on an 8 games winning streak with last nights win.

The Red Sox have two more games this weekend against the 9-11 A’s. Boston will get a day off before starting a three game series with the surprising Toronto Blue Jays. The Blue Jays are off to a 13- start to the season.

Can the A’s find a way to end the Red Sox winning streak this weekend? Or will Boston take what would be a 10 game winning streak into their division match up with Toronto.

Have the Red Sox established themselves as the best team in Major League Baseball this early in the season? Or is there anther team out there that you think deserves that to be called the best team?

The 1st round of the NBA playoffs are rolling along and as expected LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers are drawing a lot of attention in the Eastern Conference.

The Cavaliers ended up finishing 4th in the Eastern Conference and ended up with a match up against the 5th seeded Indiana Pacers in the 1st round.

The Pacers did what ever visiting team wants to do in Game  and that is steal a game on the road. Surprisingly Indiana actually won Game 1 relatively easily 98-80. Even with James scoring 46 points, grabbing 12 rebounds and handing out 5 assists in 40 minutes the Cavaliers still had to struggle to win Game 2 100-97.

With the series tied at 1-1 it was Indiana’s turn to be the home team, but going into halftime it didn’t look like the Pacers had any type of home court advantage as they found themselves down 17 points 57-40.

I’m sure most people thought that with a big lead heading into the second half James would close out the Pacers and get the Cavaliers that game back that they lost at home. Well not so fast.

After Victor Oladipo hit two free throws with 6:52 left in the 3rd quarter the Pacers where back to within 10 points at 61-51. After trading a three pointer for a two points the Cavaliers had an 11 point lead, but after that the Pacers double up the Cavaliers offensive output and ended the quarter down just 6 points at 69-63.

Now again I’m sure that most people where thinking that it’s a 6 point lead and Cleveland has the best player in the world on their team, they’ll win this game.

It didn’t go like that though. The Pacers started the 4th quarter doubling up the Cavaliers offensive output again 12 to 6 and the next thing you knew the game was tied at 75 all. A James lay up gave the Cavaliers the lead back, but Oladipo hit a jumper to tie the game back up at 77 all. The Pacers scored 7 points in a row and it looked as though they might pull away, but the Cavaliers fought right back this time with 7 points of their own and the game was again tied at 84 all. Indiana then went on another 7 point run. Cleveland did come right back again, but this time they scored 6 points in a row and found themselves down 91-90 with just 7.7 seconds left. With 5 seconds left Darren Collison was fouled. Collison hit his first free throw giving Indiana a 92-90 lead. Collison missed his second free throw and J.R. Smith ended up with the rebound. Smith did what he could to advance the basketball down the court for a final shot, but he ended up about 40 feet away. Smith’s last second shot fell short and the Pacers had a 92-90 win and a 2 games to 1 lead in the series.

With Game 4 being Sunday night in Indiana, do you think the Cavaliers are in trouble in this series? Could the Pacers actual pull off what would be considered a huge upset and win this series?

Don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalklRadio.com, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want over at TuneIn.com.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 18, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

When it’s baseball season the first thing I do when I get home from work is turn on the MLB Network and catch up on what happened the night before.

Going into last night all of the talk was about Shohei Otani pitching against the Boston Red Sox. Now humorously there where some stupid people out there who where ready to give Otani the AL CY Young along with the MVP and the Rookie of the Year. The frightening thing about this is the people who are saying he should be given those awards already are a lot of the people who vote for them at the end of the season. Now I was part of the group that wanted to wait and see.

Through 8 games Otani’s hitting has been solid. He’s hitting .367 with 3 home runs and 11 RBI’s There’s nothing wrong with those numbers and Otani himself has asked for more at bats and with the way he’s been hitting he should get them.

Now on the pitching side he had an average first start against the Oakland A’s, but did pick up a win. Otani’s second start was also against the A’s and he was fantastic. He went 7 innings gave up just 1 hit while walking 1 and striking out 12. This outing sent people into a tizzy and they started shooting off their mouths before thinking about what they where saying. Well Otani’s third start was scheduled for Sunday, but the game was postponed; so he made that third start last night. Now this time he wasn’t facing the sub .500 A’s. This outing was against the 13-2 Boston Red Sox.

Otani stepped up I competition and lasted just 2 innings. He threw 66 pitches gave up 3 runs on 4 hits while walking 2nd striking out just 1. Magically during an incredibly poor outing Otani developed a blister on his pitching hand and had to be removed from the game.  Otani also got tagged with his first loss.

Now I don’t believe that he’s as bad of a pitcher as he was last night, but I also don’t believe that he’s as good of a pitcher as he was in his second outing against the A’s. Of course I wasn’t stupid enough to go on television and say that Mike Trout was now the second best player on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I also wasn’t handing him the Cy Young after just two starts.

I’ll be interested to see if an outing like this shuts these morons up or if they’ll just jump on the blister excuse and ride that. Now I don’t expect any of them to recant or admit they where stupid by saying some of the things they said, but it would be a nice change of pace if they did.

Is it time for the New York Yankees to move Giancarlo Stanton down in their batting order? Stanton has been hitting 3rd for the Yankees in between Aaron Judge and either Didi Gregorius or Gary Sanchez.

Stanton has played in all 16 games for the Yankees this season and has 66 at bats. Stanton does have 3 home runs and 10 RBI’s through the first 16 games, but he’s hitting just .197 and has struck out 29 times.

The Yankees have the kind of line up where they could comfortably move Stanton down the 5th spot on the and take some of the pressure off of him. Of course with the contract he has there will always be a certain amount of pressure on him. A move down in the order might also help with the fans as they’ve taken to booing Stanton any time he doesn’t come through with a hit.

If the Yankees could find someone else to plug into the two hole Judge could easily slid into the three spot. Judge is off to a good start hitting .339 with 4 home runs and 11 RBI’s. Judge does seem very comfortable hitting second; so maybe the Yankees would be better off leaving him there and moving Gregorius into the three spot. Gregorius is also off to a good start hitting .333 with a team leading 5 home runs and 16 RBI’s. Sanchez is actually off to a worse start than Stanton, but without the strikeouts. In 14 games Sanchez is hitting just .190, but does have 3 home runs and 13 RBI’s. Of course there is a chance that plugging Sanchez in the third spot between Judge and Gregorius it might get him hitting.

This may be the first difficult call that rookie manager Aaron Boone might have to make with the everyday line up. Let me know if you think the Yankees should move Stanton down in the line up.

Last night the Las Vegas Golden Knights became the first expansion team in NHL history to sweep a playoff series.

Brayden McNabb scored the only goal in the game and Marc Andre-Fleury made it stand up making 31 saves as the Golden Knights won Game 4 1-0 over the Los Angeles Kings. This was Fleury’s second shutout in the series.

The Kings by no means where blown out in this series as every game was decided by one goal. Game 1 was a 1-0 game. Game 2 was a 2-1 overtime game. Game 3 was the highest scoring game in the series as it ended 3-2 and then of course Game 4 last night was another 1-0 game.

With last nights win Fleury passed Dominik Hasek for 11th place on the NHL’s all-time list with his 66th career playoff win. He tied Terry Sawchuk for ninth place with his 12th career playoff shutout.

The Golden Knights will face the winner of the Anaheim Ducks/San Jose Sharks series. San Jose is ahead in that series 3 games to none and have a chance to sweep the Ducks out of the playoff tonight.

San Jose is actually the only other team left that can sweep their 1st round series. Will see if they can get it done tonight at home in Game 4.

Are you surprised that the Golden Knights swept their opening round series? How do you think they’ll do in the next round? Let me know in the comments.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live at BlogTallkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available any time you want to listen to it at TuneIn.com.

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

How was your week

Posted: April 14, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

On Friday’s in have a routine that I more or less follow after I get off work and here’s what I do.

I get done working at 8:15 a.m. and I head to the grocery store to do my shopping. I shop at two different stores for my items to save myself some money.

The first store I go to is the place where I buy my fresh items. I get my fruits, my vegetables, my meats and cheeses. This grocery store is already open by the time I’m off work; so I like to get that done and over with. Then I hit a delay.

The second store I shop at is what you could describe as a discount grocery store. I’m sure you’d know the name of this store, but since they don’t sponsor this blog or the Sports Time Radio podcast we’ll leave the name out.

This discount store has all the items you’re use to seeing they just have names that you’re not use to and they’re cheaper price wise. They do have some brand named items, but they don’t carry them on a regular basis. The issue I have is that they don’t open early like most stores and I have to find a way to kill some time in between stores.

To fill the time in between my shopping trips I’ll stop and have breakfast at this little café that I like. Now this is what I did yesterday. I’m sure you’re wondering how this relates to sports since this is a sports blog; well here goes.

Since I’ve been to this café multiple times they sit me at the same table and I have the same waitress. As I took my seat I noticed that there was an older gentleman sitting in the booth across from me. He finished his breakfast a little before I did and as he got up to leave he noticed the t-shirt I was wearing.

I just happened to have on my Hunter Pence t-shirt which is styled like a San Francisco Giants jersey. Since it just says Giants on the front this gentleman asked me if it was a San Francisco jersey. When I told him that it was he started to tell me about the greatest baseball player he had ever seen play Willie Mays.

Now this gentleman was probably 10 or 15 years older than I am and he was talking to me about how he saw Mays play live. We went on to discuss different aspects of his game. We talked about this for about 15 minutes.

After talking about Mays the player this gentleman went on to tell me the story about the two times he met Mays. He said that he was surprised to learn that Mays was just as nice in person as he sounded in his interviews. I could see the admiration in this gentleman’s eyes as he talked about meeting Mays for about 10 minutes.

Now I have a lot of sports t-shirts, most of them bought for me by Dan the Man, but that’s a different story. This however was the first time that anyone has ever stopped to talk to me about one of them and then shared their own sports stories with me.

Does this happen a lot? Or has this ever happened to you? I really enjoyed talking baseball with this gentleman and I’d be interested to know if you have a story similar to this. If you do feel free to leave it in the comments section.

In Wednesday’s blog I mentioned that the NHL playoffs where getting ready to start. Well today it’s the NBA’s turn to get their playoffs underway. There are four games today and four games tomorrow to tip-off the opening round.

At 2:00 p.m. my time the NBA playoffs start with a Western Conference match up as the San Antonio Spurs are at the Golden State Warriors. We Move into the Eastern Conference for the next two games starting with the Washington Wizards at the Toronto Raptors. The third game of the day has the Miami Heat at the Philadelphia 76ers. It’s back to the Western Conference for the final game of the day has the New Orleans Pelicans at the Portland Trailblazers.

If you’re looking for these games on television the first game is on ABC while the next three will all be on ESPN.

On Sunday the game start a little earlier with the first game tipping off at Noon. We have back to back Eastern Conference match ups today starting with the Milwaukee Bucks at the Boston Celtics. The second game of the day has the Indiana Pacers at the Cleveland Cavaliers. Then it’s over to the Western Conference for the final two games of the day starting with the Utah Jazz at the Oklahoma City Thunder. The final game one of the opening round has the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Houston Rockets.

As for the television schedule with these games the first one is on TNT. The second game will be shown on ABC, but then the final two games will be back on TNT.

Do you see any upsets in these first round match ups? The opening round of the NBA playoffs usually stay pretty true to form with the higher seeds advancing. Could this season possibly be different since there are teams that will be going into this opening round without their star players.

You have the Warriors playing without Steph Curry. While also in that series the Spurs will play without Kawhi Leonard. The Boston Celtics will be playing without Kyrie Irving and it appears that the 76ers will go into round one without Joel Embiid. While not considered a star player the Thunder will be without Andre Roberson. John Wall has also just returned from injury, but only played in consecutive games once since returning. Will Wall be at full strength for the Wizards?

Do you see any of these injuries having an affect on these first round playoffs series?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

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

 

Now I understand that it’s exciting for fans if your favorite team gets off to a hot start or if one of your favorite players comes out of the gate playing very well. Now I’ll always give fans a break when they get a little carried away about their favorite team or player, but when the people who are suppose to be experts on these things start doing they need to be call out.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Shohei Otani had a very good outing as a pitcher against the Oakland A’s on Sunday, but people got a little carried away by it. Otani pitched 7 innings threw 91 pitching and gave up just 1 hit. He also struck out 12 while walking just 1 and improved his record to 2-0. Both of Otani’s starts have come against the A’s. Now after this start people got a little bit crazy. They’ve already have pretty much handed him the AL Rookie of the Year award, but I also heard someone say he should be the AL Cy Young award winner. Now surprisingly that’s not all. I also heard that he should be the AL MVP and one person went so far as to say that Mike Trout is now the second best player on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Now all of this is happening after just 2 starts and 19 at bats. Am I the only one who thinks it might be a little too early to start handing him all of the awards. Don’t forget that these are the same people that wanted Otani to start the season in the minor leagues after the spring training he had.

The Angels plan is for Otani to pitch every Sunday. If he’s healthy and makes ever start he’ll end up with 27 starts. That will put him three to five starts behind guys he’ll be competing with for the Cy Young. Will voters take that into consideration when they’re casting their votes. Would he need to win 18 games to be a serious Cy Young contender?

You can look at the MVP race the same way. If Otani is going to be the Angels DH three times a week; will he get enough at bats to be a serious contender for the MVP? He’ll be in a race with guys who are hitting six or seven days at week and getting 600 plus at bats. Can you really look at him as an MVP when he’ll have a limited number of at bats compared to his competition.

Right now it’s a great baseball story, but the people who get paid to talk about baseball for a living have to learn to get themselves under control and stop handing out end of the season awards after 10 games.

Otani is going to be fun to watch, but now that he’s gotten some at bats under his belt in the regular season teams will start to adjust to him. How are these people going to react if he’s to go into a slump. How quickly will they jump off of the Otani bandwagon?

The NHL playoffs get started tonight with three game. There are two games dropping the puck at 6:00 p.m. in my time zone. One game has the Minnesota Wild at the Winnipeg Jets while the other game has the Philadelphia Flyers at the Pittsburgh Penguins. The late game tonight has the Los Angeles Kings at the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

The other five first round series get started on Thursday night. Again there are two games that will start at 6:00 p.m. in my area. The New Jersey Devils visit the Tampa Bay Lighting while the Toronto Maple Leafs are at the Boston Bruins. 30 minutes after that the next game starts. That game has the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Washington Capitals. The 8:30 p.m. game in my area has the Colorado Avalanche at the Nashville Predators. The night wraps up with the San Jose Sharks at the Anaheim Ducks.

I am playing the bracket challenge on NHL.com. I have the Predators facing the Capitals in the Stanley Cup Finals with the Capitals winning the Cup in six games.

Today is the last day of the NBA regular season and there are 12 games on the schedule and believe it or not there is still some drama in the Western Conference.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets are tied for the 8th and final Western Conference playoff spot. The Timberwolves hold the tiebreaker, but that’s not going to matter. These two teams face each other tonight in Minnesota. So quite simply the winner gets in and the loser goes home.

The Nuggets are coming in as the hotter team as they’ve won six in a row and are 8-2 over their last 10 games. Minnesota has won their last two games, but they are just 6-4 in their last 10 games.

Who do you have grabbing that last Western Conference playoff spot the Nuggets or the Timberwolves?

Heading into the playoffs how big of a winning streak do you want to be on? There is always talk that a team can peak to early and that may be the question right now with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Philadelphia won it’s 15th game in a row last night and they are currently a game ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia will try to make it 16 in a row tonight as they host the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks aren’t playing for anything tonight as they are locked into the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. Now if the 76ers do win this game and claim the #3 spot this will be the first round playoff match up.

Now if the 76ers winning streak ends tonight and the Cavaliers get a win over the New York Knicks it will be Cleveland that is the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference and they would face Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs.

While the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference will face the Bucks whoever ends up as the 4th seed will face the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs.

The question ight be here would it be better for the 76ers to drop this final game heading into the playoffs just to possible remind them of what it’s like to lose. Or do you think it’s better for them to keep rolling and head into the playoffs on a 16 game winning streak?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalklRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: April 7, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the spring training he had how many of you are surprised by the start Shohei Ohtani has gotten off to? Ohtani hit his 3rd home run in 3 games last night as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim beat the Oakland A’s 13-9 last night.

Ohtani is hitting .389 on the season with those 3 home runs and 7 RBI’s, he has also scored 4 runs. In 18 official at bats Ohtani had struck out 4 times while drawing 1 walk. Remember at the end of spring training there where people who thought it would be best for Ohtani to start the season in Triple-A. Ohtani was just 4 for 32 in spring training which is a .125 batting average. He also had 10 strikeouts in spring training. It appears that the adjustments he made from the end of spring training to the start of the season have been effective, but we’re still just 8 games into the Angels season; so there’s a long way to go.

Ohtani has only made 1 start as a pitcher as the plan is for him to start every Sunday. His first start was just average in today’s game. He pitched 6 innings and recorded the win in his start. He gave up 3 runs on 3 hits while walking 1 batter and striking out 6. After 1 start his ERA is 4.50. Starting on a certain day is the way that the Japanese League handles it’s pitchers and it appears as though the Angels are going to try and keep Ohtani on that schedule.

I’m sure I’m not the only one who did this, but I actively stayed away from Ohtani in my fantasy drafts after the spring he had. Right now it looks like I may have made a mistake, but like I mentioned there’s a long way to go in the season and will see if Ohtani can continue to make adjustments as the league adjust to him.

On Thursday night the Chicago Cubs cruised to an 8-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in the first game of their four game weekend series. It was just one of those nights for the Brewers and in the 9th inning they decided to give their closer Corey Knebel an inning of work. Now teams do this quite a bit in blowouts if there closer hasn’t thrown in a few days, but sadly for the Brewers this time it didn’t go their way.

Knebel struck out Addison Russell to start the inning. He then proceeded to hit Javier Baez before Jason Heyward hit his first home run of the season off of Knebel. This seems to be another thing that happens to closers when they come into games in non-save situations or games that aren’t close; they give up runs. Knebel then struck out Ian Happ for the second out of the inning. Tommy LaStella was announced as a pinch hitter and while Knebel was facing him he went down to the ground after throwing a pitch and grabbed his hamstring. Knebel had to be removed from the game and is expected to miss 6 weeks with that hamstring injury. The Brewers placed Knebel on the Disabled List after the game while utility man Hernan Perez ended up coming in to pitch.

Knebel appeared in 76 games for the Brewers last season and recorded 39 saves. in the 76 innings Knebel pitched last season he struck out 126 batters giving him one of the higher strikeouts per 9 innings ratios at 14.9. Knebel made 3 appearances for the Brewers this season and had 1 save.

It’s unclear who the Brewers will plug into the closers role while Knebel is out, but they have some options. Jeremy Jeffress has some closing experience while veteran Dan Jennings could be used against as a closing option against left handers. Jacob Barnes has a save this season; so maybe he’ll get a shot, but there’s a chance that Josh Hader could also get a chance as closer.

Fantasy players will have to keep their eyes on the Brewers bullpen to see who’s getting the closing opportunities and see if that guy could be worth a waiver claim.

Are the Philadelphia 76ers a threat to win the Eastern Conference?

Ben Simmons had a triple-double with 27 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists as the 76ers held on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 132-129 last night.

At halftime the 76ers actually had a 23 points lead 78-55, but the Cavaliers came back and actually had a chance to tie the game, but Lebron James missed the second of three free throws forcing him to intentionally miss the third. On the intentional miss Larry Nance Jr. had a shot at a tip in, but it didn’t go in and the 76ers held on.

It was the 76ers 5th straight win without Joel Embiid. Embiid is out with a fractured orbital bone and is dealing with concussion issues. It’s been reported that Embiid will miss 2 to 4 weeks.

Even in the loss James had a huge night. He had his own triple-double with 44 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists.

With the win last night Philadelphia and Cleveland have flipped flopped spot in the Eastern Conference standings. The 76ers have taken over 3rd place while the Cavaliers have fallen to 4th. If it stays this way the 76ers will meet the Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs while the Cavaliers will face off against the Indiana Pacers.

Philadelphia has three games left in the regular season. They host the Dallas Mavericks tomorrow night. The travel to Atlanta to take on the Hawks on Tuesday night (April 10th) and then their season wraps up on April 11th at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Cleveland has two games left to move back into 3rd place. Interestingly the Cavaliers final two games are against the same team; the New York Knicks. On Monday April 9th Cleveland travels to New York to face the Knicks and then on Wednesday April 11th the Knicks will visit the Cavaliers in Cleveland.

Both Philadelphia and Cleveland have clinched playoff spots; so all they have left is to play for seeding. Depending on how important it is to a team you might see them try to rest some of their players in these last few games.

Don’t forget that the Sports Time radio podcast airs live six days a week on BlogTalkRadio.com. We’re on Monday thru Friday from 5:30 p.m. til 6:30 p.m. and then we’re on Sunday morning from 10:00 a.m. til 12:00 p.m.

You can also listen to the podcast any time you want over at TuneIn.com.

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

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 4, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It seems like the weather is having some fun with the Major League Baseball schedule. I think we’ve had a game cancelled due to one weather related issue or another since the season opened. We’ve had games rained out. We’ve had games snowed out and we’ve had games cancelled because it was too cold out.

Now just about everyone has an idea on how to fix the schedule; so let’s take a look at some of them and see if any of them could actually work.

The obvious one you hear all the time is just have the teams that play in warm weather cities or have domes as the home team at the start of the schedule.

Now of all intensive purposes this idea should work, but is it fair to those teams that would be forced to start the season at home. How many games would they have to play at home to start the season? Would 5 games be enough or would it have to be 10 games or maybe even 20. You’d think that players and their families might like the idea of opening the season at home, but if you eat up those home games early it may result in longer road trips through the summer months. Attendance would also play a factor in this plan. While opening day is a big deal and will sell out for most if not all teams after that attendances drops off. Remember kids are still in school when the baseball season starts and not all parents are willing to take their kid out of school for an afternoon game or allow them to stay out as late as it might take for a game to end. This may be the most interesting of all the ideas purposed, but would they ever be able to even out the schedule for those teams that would have to start the season with long home stands.

Another one of the obvious suggestions is to just shorten the regular season schedule. Right now teams play 162 regular season games. What would be a good number of games to shorten the season to that would make this idea work. Also which games do you eliminate from the schedule. Do you reduce the number of games you play against the teams in your own division? Could they possible eliminate inter-league play to reduce the number of games? Of course there would have to be concessions from not only the owners, but the players. By reducing the numbers of games you cut into an owners revenue. Would the players union be willing to decrease the salaries of players if the number of games was reduced. You also have to wonder how many owners would be willing to give up the revenue from the games that would be removed from the schedule. It’s an interesting idea, but good luck getting everyone to agree to it.

One of the other suggestions out there is to just push the start of the regular season back. Of course this idea would work, but with 162 games on the schedule you’d also be pushing back the day that the season ends. The regular season is scheduled to end on September 30th, do we really want to push games back into early October and then have the possibility of the playoffs running into November; which may happen anyway. While it’s great that your favorite team makes the playoffs or hopefully the World Series the weather can turn ugly in some East coast and Midwest cities that time of the year. There is a way that this idea would work, but I’m not sure it’s something the players union would go for.

Here’s how this idea could work. You push the start of the baseball season back until some time in early to mid-April. Now you’ve still got to squeeze 162 games in by the end of September. If you added split or day/night doubleheaders to the schedule on Saturdays you’d be able to move the start of the season back. You wouldn’t even have to make that many adjustments to the schedule, you’d just be adding that second Saturday game.

Let’s take this seasons schedule to use as a guideline. If the season was pushed back and opening on Friday April 13th that would give baseball 24 Saturdays to figure out ho to make up the changes in the schedule. The season would start 14 days later than it did this season. I’m sure there would still be some weather issues here and there, but you’re going to get that every year.

Of course these would have to be split doubleheaders because just like in shorten the schedule there are owners that aren’t going to be willing to give up that game revenue. The biggest hurdle to over come in this would be working it out with the players union. Major League Baseball is already allowing teams to call up an extra player when they have a rescheduled game that becomes part of a doubleheader. Is it possible that there might have to be an extra roster spot added if say teams are going to play 10 split doubleheaders during the season.

Now I’m sure that each of these ideas would work in one way or another, but working out the logistics will be the biggest issues.

Do you like one of these ideas or do you have one of your own that you’d like to see Major League Baseball try. Maybe you actually like things as they are and you don’t want to see any changes to the game. Please fell free to leave a comment and let me know your idea.

Remember that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime, but the podcast also has a Twitter account as well @SportsTimeRadio.

The Sports Time Radio podcast airs live Monday thru Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on BlogTalkRadio.com. On Sunday the podcast expands to two hours and airs live from 10:00 a.m. til Noon. Now if you miss the podcast live it’s also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com

How was your week

Posted: March 31, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re two days into the Major League Baseball season and there have already been six extra inning games. There where three extra inning games on opening day. The Baltimore Orioles beat the Minnesota Twins 3-2 in 11 innings. Also in 11 innings the Oakland A’s beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6-5. While the Milwaukee Brewers beat the San Diego Padres 2-1 in 12 innings. Yesterday there where also three extra inning games starting with the Pittsburgh Pirates beating the Detroit Tigers 13-10 in 13 innings. The Philadelphia Phillies picked up and 11 inning win 5-4 over the Atlanta Braves last night and then in the longest game of these first two days the Miami Marlins beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 in 17 innings.

Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t mind watching an extra inning game, but of course the problem everyone seems to have is the time it takes to play these games. Two of these extra inning games took over five hours to play with the longest of them clocking in at just under 5 hours and 30 minutes. Of course this has brought out ideas of how to get extra inning games to end quicker, but let’s face it they’re not that great.

At some of the lower minor league levels they’re actually trying the idea of starting an inning with a runner on 2nd base in extra inning games. I believe that this would actually start in the 11th inning of an extra inning game. Every since I heard this idea I thought it was the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard until last night.

Since I live in the Chicago area I was watching the Cubs/Marlins game and during commercial breaks or pitching changes things like that I turn on the MLB Network to see if I can catch highlights from the other games going on. While the game was headed to commercial during extra innings I flipped over to see if the MLB Network was taking a look at another game. They just happened to be looking at the Cubs/Marlins game and they where coming back to the studio as I was flipping over to their program.

I’m not sure, but I think it was MLB Tonight that was on. Greg Amsinger was the studio host of the show and had two former major leaguers with him; I think Harold Reynolds was one of them while I think that Dan Plesac might’ve been the other. Anyway as they get back to the studio shot Amsinger is the first ne to talk on camera and he happens to mention that the game is coming up on the five and a half hour mark and makes a comment to the effect that no wants to watch a game like this. Now I kind of stopped in my tracks after he said this because I kind of thought his job depends on these games, but of course he had an idea that would revolutionize extra innings.

Amsinger’s proposal was that when a game goes into extra innings teams would only be allow to have two players with their feet in the outfield grass. Now I thought putting a runner on 2nd base was a stupid idea, but this is easily the dumbest idea I’ve heard to speed up a baseball game. Amsinger went on to say that it would help bring athleticism back to baseball and would make like Jarrod Dyson more important. He mentioned another players name, but I forgot who he said.

Could you just see a game going into extra innings in San Francisco and you only get to send two outfields out for an inning in AT&T Park. That sounds like it would be an exciting time for those two guys.

Then I started thinking that maybe Amsinger had a long career in baseball and maybe it’s an idea that should be looked into. I couldn’t find any information on Amsinger ever playing an inning of baseball at the professional level or even working for a baseball team, but he has been working at the MLB Network since 2009; so I guess he thinks that entitles him to his opinion on baseball. Now f course this doesn’t, but he had no issue at all throwing this incredibly stupid idea out there. I was actually quite surprised that the two former professional baseball players sitting at the desk with Amsinger didn’t say anything about his idea. To be honest I didn’t stick around for more than another minute or so after that dumb idea came out of Amsinger’s mouth as I wanted to get back to the Cubs/Marlins game; so maybe one of them spoke up and told him what a moron he was.

I’m hoping that there is someone at the MLB Network that was able to inform Amsinger what a stupid idea he had was and that maybe he should just concentrate on doing his job.

Now one of the other problems Major League Baseball seems to have is getting young people to watch an entire game. Last night I think I cam e across something that might be an issue with that.

As the Cubs/Marlins game was headed into the Top of the 11th inning Cubs Broadcaster Len Kasper went with a joke that has been made millions upon millions of times. He used a line from the movie This is Spinal Tap. In the movie they’re talking about an amplifier because “it goes to 11”. Being an older guy I got the joke right away and knew where he was going with it. This is Spinal Tap was released in 1984. How many young viewers watching the Cubs/Marlins game at that time had any idea what he was talking about. Then just to make sure we got what he was trying to do when the game came back from commercial Kasper threw out another joke from that movie which is 34 years old.

Now I have to put up with Kasper and his broadcast partner good ole JD, former major league pitcher Jim Deshaies. Now a lot of times I’ll actually mute the sound on the television and listen to the Cubs radio broadcast because of these guys antics. They actually spend as much time talking about food and music as they do baseball and I’m just not sure if they can relate to a young audience that Major League Baseball is trying to attract.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have any issues with the way baseball is played today with the exception of replay taking so long, but I’m an older viewer and I’m not the target audience that they’re trying to attract. Of course being an older viewer I don’t really have any way for baseball to try and relate to a younger audience, but I’d be very interested in listening to your ideas. Do you have a way for baseball to get younger viewers to watch their game? If so feel free to leave it in the comment section and will discuss it on the Sports Time Radio podcast.

Speaking of the podcast it airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but it’s also available for you to listen to anytime you want on TuneIn.com.

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: March 28, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I always have to laugh when a team says that they’ll listen to offers on a player and then the media jumps all over it and they have that player out of town before the day is over. This is the case with the New York Giants and Odell Beckham Jr. Let’s see if we can review.

There was the video that came out of Beckham Jr. and a model that had some suspicious behavior in it. When Giants co-owner John Mara was asked about it he mentioned that the team was coming off a – season and that he didn’t believe any player was considered untouchable. Of course everyone in the media took that to mean that the Giants would be trading Beckham Jr. Mara has now said of Beckham Jr. that “he’s not on the (trading) block”. Mara also said “we’re not looking to get rid of him” and added “I’d like him to be a Giant”. Now obviously the Giants aren’t actively shopping Beckham Jr, but any team in their right mind is going to call and see if they can get a deal done.

Will the Giants trade Beckham Jr? They might if the offer is right. While Beckham Jr. is one of the best receiver in the NFL there’s a lot o baggage that comes with him. There’s the video I mentioned earlier that the NFL hasn’t commented on. Beckham Jr. has said that he won’t play this coming season unless he’s given a new contract. He is currently in the final year of his rookie deal, but he wants a new contract and to be the highest paid player in the NFL. So while you get a top player there are also some headaches in dealing with him and if a team came with an offer that just blew the Giants away shouldn’t they take it. Now there are very few teams that have the ammunition the Giants would be looking for in Return for Beckham Jr. You’d have to think that a deal would include multiple 1st round draft picks plus. Is there a team willing to give that up?

The Los Angeles Rams where the first team that appeared to reach out to the Giants about a trade for Beckham Jr. The Rams have the 23rd pick in this draft, but they don’t have a 2nd round pick. It doesn’t appear that the Rams don’t have what it takes to make this type of deal. You can’t blame the Rams for checking in on Beckham Jr. as he would be a huge addition to an off season that’s already been very good.

Where do you have Beckham Jr. playing next season? Will he still be with the Giants? or do you see him wearing another uniform?

We’re just a day away from the opening of the 2018 baseball season. I will be letting you know what are pre-season predictions are for this season on Saturday. All I’m waiting for is for Mr. Fantasy to send me his picks and then will be all set for 2018.

We had our fantasy drafts over the weekend for our auction league and our snake league style draft. Now our leagues are both 20 team leagues; so it’s very difficult not to mention time consuming.

When your leagues are as big as ours it’s very difficult to find anyone willing to go out on a limb and give you sleeper picks. Now you’ll see articles about “Deep Sleeper”, but in a 20 team league these guys aren’t sleepers at all let alone deep sleepers.

Now I can’t be the only guy out there looking for a little fantasy help in a big league. I found an article that tried to sell me on Mike Clevinger of the Cleveland Indians being a sleeper. Now it appears as though Clevinger is going to get a shot at being a regular starter; so that improves his draft position. The fact that he’s on a team that should win 90 plus games is also a positive. Is he really a sleeper though? I’ve been hearing about the Indians giving him a chance to make the starting rotation since questions about Danny Salazar came up early in the off season. Anyone in a big league knew who Clevinger was and what was going on with him in Cleveland. This article was no help at all to anyone who is in a league bigger than say 14 teams. Now I don’t want anyone to think that I’m singling out Clevenger. He was just the top name in the article that I found when I was looking for some fantasy help.

Maybe once your league gets to a certain size the term sleeper should no longer exist. Late in a 20 team draft you’re really taking a chance in a guy. If he works out you look like the smartest guy in the room. If it doesn’t work out, oh well you weren’t really expecting much from that player. Feel free to help me out and find a name for players picked late in larger leagues. Put your ideas in the comments section and we’ll see what we can come up with.

If you’ve been following Shohei Ohtani through spring training and where wondering when you’d get to see him pitch in a regular season game; the Los Angeles Angel of Anaheim answered that for you yesterday. Ohtani will make his first career start on Sunday against the Oakland A’s.

Ohtani threw just 2 2/3rd innings in spring training and he had some issues. Ohtani gave up 9 runs, 8 of which where earned on 9 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5. Ohtani’s spring training ERA was 27.00. With throwing such a small number of innings I spring training you have to wonder if Ohtani will go more than 5 innings on Sunday.

Now the Angels haven’t made it clear when will see Ohtani as a DH in their line up. Ohtani had his struggles at the plate in the spring as well. Ohtani  hit .107 going 3 for 28 with 1 RBI while walking 3 times and striking out 9 times.

Do you have Ohtani being a better pitcher or a better hitter this season?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to whenever you want at TuneIn.com.

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

How was your week

Posted: March 24, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I was one of the people who thought that the San Francisco Giants would bounce back from a horrendous 2017 season. Now to be fair they still might bounce back, but it’s going to be difficult to get off to a good start with 2 out of the 5 pitchers projected to be in your rotation at the start of the season on the disabled list. Not only is it two starters for the Giants, but it’s their #1 starter and their #3 starter.

Jeff Samardzija had to come out of his last spring training start with an injury. That injury turned out to be a pectoral strain and will have to miss 3 to 4 weeks. An MRI done yesterday revealed Samardzija’s injury.

I’m not sure how many people look at Samardzija as a top starting pitcher, but he was the National League leader in innings pitched last season with 207 2/3rd. Samardzija made 32 starts last season and was 9-15 with an ERA of 4.42 while striking out 205 batters. Samardzija has made 30 plus starts in each of the last five seasons, but it looks as though that streak may come to and end as he’ll start the 2018 season on the disabled list.

Then yesterday the Giants starting rotation took another hit as Madison Bumgarner was hit by a line drive. Originally it was thought that Bumgarner had broken his hand, but it was later reported that he has a displaced fracture in his fifth metacarpal. In other words he has a broken pinky. Bumgarner will have surgery on the finger today. They’ll place pins into his pinky that will stay in for four to six weeks. Once the pins come out Bumgarner will have to build himself up into a starters role.

San Francisco is hopefully that Bumgarner will be back on the mound before the All-Star break. In 2013 former Giants right hander Ryan Volgelsong had a similar injury and missed 11 weeks.

Bumgarner was looking to comeback from a 2017 season where he was limited to just 17 starts because of injury. Bumgarner’s injury was actually self inflicted as he was injured while driving an ATV at his home. Bumgarner still did end up pitching 111 innings last season and posted a 3.32 ERA, but had a 4-9 record.

It appeared as though Bumgarner was going to have a big 2018 season. In 19 spring training innings Bumgarner had an ERA of 2.84 while striking out 27 hitters while walking just 3.

So how will the Giants filled these two big holes in their rotation to start the season? Johnny Cueto will be expected to lead the rotation, but he had his issues last season. Injuries limited Cueto to 25 starts last season and he hasn’t had the best spring training. In 9 1/3rd spring training innings Cueto has an ERA of 5.79. Now that is a small sample size and Cueto doesn’t have a quality pitching resume behind him; so he’ll be the Giants #1 starter coming into 2018.

So Cueto is at the top of the San Francisco rotation, but who next? The Giants where counting on Chris Stratton and Ty Blach to handle the back of their rotation. Stratton has 20 career starts while Blach has made 26 career starts with 24 of those coming last season. Stratton and Blach are both 27 years old and with Bumgarner and Samardzija in the starting rotation carrying two young starters wouldn’t be a big deal. Now with those two starting the season on the disabled list Stratton and Blach are going to be expected to fill a bigger role than originally planned.

So Cueto, Stratton and Blach will fill three of the five rotation spots for the Giants, but what about the other two spots?

Derek Holland was signed to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training this past off season and it’s looking like he’ll be filling one of those open rotation spots. Holland made 26 starts and pitched in 29 games for the Chicago White Sox last season. Holland pitched 135 innings going 7-14, but had a ERA of 6.20. This spring Holland has thrown  15 innings and his ERA is 4.20. Holland has spent his entire 9 years career pitching in the American League; so it’s not a surprise that his career ERA is 4.57. He’s a solid veteran starter who should be able to hold down a spot in the rotation until Bumgarner and Samardzija return.

That looks like it wraps up four of the five spots in the Giants starting rotation, but who’s the 5th starter?

The Giants top pitching prospect is Tyler Beede who was their 1st round pick #14 in the 2014 draft. Beede turns 25 in May and made 19 starts in Triple-A last season. While he has only thrown 8 1/3rd innings this spring his ERA is at 10.80. Will Beede be the Giants 5th starter come opening day?

The Giants did sign Chris Heston to a minor league deal the off season. Heston’s name should sound familiar to Giants fans as he made 31 starts for them in 2015 going 12-11 with an ERA of 3.95. Heston also threw a no-hitter against the New York Mets that season. Heston pitch in just 4 games for the Giants in 2016 before being traded to the Seattle Mariners in December of 2016. Heston pitched in just two games for the Mariners before being waived. He also made one appearance for the Minnesota Twins last season.

Those look like the top two choices that are currently on the Giants roster. Is it possible that the Giants might try to bring in a veteran pitcher? While all of the top free agent pitcher have been signed there still are some recognizable names out there. Could the Giants turn to a veteran like John Lackey or Scott Feldman? Jeff Locke is just 30 years old and is still unsigned, could he fill that spot? Will have to see if this is an avenue the Giants explore.

Oddly for me I had just put in my 2018 season predictions, but I haven’t posted them yet. I had the Giants taking one of the two National League wild card spots. While not wanting to give too much away I also had a couple of their players winning some awards. I’m not sure if I should or can change this now. Would it be considered cheating if I make changes?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Alex Cobb waited and waited and while he was the last bigger named free agent to get signed he finally did get a deal. Cobb signed a four year $57 million dollar deal with the Baltimore Orioles; pending a physical of course.

There was talk through the off season that the Orioles would be looking at add starting pitching. Cobb will join the returning Chris Tillman, free agent signing Andrew Cashner as well as Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in Baltimore’s rotation. Of course what order these pitcher will start in is yet to be determined, but it won’t be long before we know that as well.

The question now is how long will it take Cobb to be ready to make his first start. The Orioles open the season with a three game series against the Minnesota Twins starting next Thursday March 29th. My guess is Gausman, Bundy and Cashner get those starts with Tillman probably getting the start at the home opener April 2nd against the Houston Astros. Is there any chance at all that Cobb would be ready to start the second game of the Astros series? If Cob doesn’t start against the Astros the New York Yankees are the next team that comes to Baltimore. Maybe that’s the series Cobb gets his first start in.

Now Cobb has never been a pitcher who goes deep into games. He has three career complete games in 115 career starts. You have to wonder if he’ll even be able to get through five innings in his first couple of starts. Now you’ll heard that he’s been working out and that he’s in great shape, but he hasn’t faced a live hitter yet and that’s a big deal.

Cobb didn’t quite get the $20 million dollars a season like he demanded when free agency started, but he will get $14.25 million dollars a season.

While the addition of Cobb improves the Orioles starting rotation is it enough to make them a playoff contender? The American League East looks top heavy with the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox expected to compete for 1st place. It’s also expected that the team that doesn’t finish in 1st place will end up with one of the American League wild card spots. If that ends up being the case the Orioles will have just one wild card spot to play for against the rest of the American League. Do you see the Orioles grabbing that other wild card spot?

With the retirement of Danica Patrick there are currently no female drivers in either of the top two NASCAR series. Jennifer Jo Cobb has competed in some Camping World Truck Series events, but her team is underfunded and they don’t run a full time schedule. I’m not sure if Cobb has shown enough behind the wheel of a truck to move up to the Xfinity series which would be the next step before reaching the top level Monster Energy Series.

Now it’s unclear how long it will be before we she another full time driver in one of NASCAR’s top two series, but when the time comes that driver might be Hailie Deegan. Deegan is just 16 years old and has been racing in the K&N Pro Series. In the K&N Pro Series West opener last Thursday at Kern County Raceway in California Deegan came home in 7th place just three spots behind Kevin Harvick, yes that Kevin Harvick.

If her last name sounds a little familiar to you it’s possible you know her father, X-Games Motorcyclist Brian Deegan. Deegan has a list of career achievements including and X-Games gold medal. When asked about his daughter making it into NASCAR he used the terms “time” and “hard work” in his answer.

Hailie is currently driving the #19 car a Toyota Camry for Bill McAnally Racing. How will Hailie do in the next K&N Pro Series West event in Tucson Arizona on May 5th? Then down the road will she be the next full time woman behind the wheel in one of the top two NASCAR series?

Led By James Harden’s 42 points the Houston Rockets ended the Portland Trailblazers 13 game winning streak last night with a 115-111 victory. The win was also the Rockets 6th in a row and that is currently the longest winning streak in the NBA. Chris Paul was the only other Rockets starter to score in double figures with 22 points. Eric Gordon added 18 points off the bench while Luc Mbah a Moute also reached double figures coming off the bench with 13 points.

The Trailblazers winning streak cane at a good time as it pushed them into 3rd place in the Western Conference. The playoffs race in the Western Conference is really bunched up with the exception of the top two spots.

With just 11 games left on their schedule the 4 games ahead of a banged up Golden State Warriors team it appears as though the Rockets will ne the #1 seed in the Western Conference. Even though their dealing with quite a few injuries right now the Warriors are still 9 games ahead of the Trailblazers in the standings and should stay in the #2 spot. Now from 3rd on down it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out. Portland is currently holding that #3 spot, but the Oklahoma City Thunder are just 2 games behind them with the New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs just 3 games out of 3rd place. The Minnesota Timberwolves are in 7th place, but they’re just 3 1/2 games out of 3rd place while it’s the Utah Jazz who have that 8th and final playoff spot right now. The Jazz are 4 games out of that 3rd place spot, but they are also just 2 games ahead of the Denver Nuggets who are the first team out of the playoffs right now. Even the Los Angeles Clippers have to be considering a playoff contender as they’re in 10th place, but are just 2 1/2 games out of that final playoff spot.

With the way the Western Conference standings are right now it’s going to make these final 10 plus games interesting for these teams.

Quickly over in the Eastern Conference it looks as though there eight playoff teams have been decided. The Milwaukee Bucks currently sit in 8th place, but they have a 6 1/2 game lead over the 9th place Detroit Pistons. While mathematically the Pistons still have a chance to get into the playoffs they’re going to need Milwaukee to go on a losing streak down the stretch.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

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