Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 21, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NBA draft is Thursday night and there’s been a lot of trade talk and even a couple of deals as we get close to draft night.

The dealing started officially on Monday when the trade between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers was finalized. Boston sent the #1 overall pick in the draft to Philadelphia for the #3 pick and a conditional 1st round pick in 2018 or 2019.

Then yesterday we had a couple of trades. The first one reported was the Los Angeles Lakers sending D’Angelo Russell and Timofey Mozgov to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and the #27 pick in Thursday’s draft. Then a little later in the day the Atlanta Hawks sent Dwight Howard and the 31st pick in the draft to the Charlotte Hornets for Miles Plumlee, Marco Belinelli and the 41st pick in the draft.

It will be interesting to see if we get anymore trades before the draft as there are a ton of rumors out there. There’s been a lot of talk about the Indiana Pacers trying to find a trading partner for Paul George. It would appear as though the best spot to deal George would be the Lakers since he’s said that he would like to sign there after his contract is up. George is signed through next season. Jimmy Butler’s name seems to have been in trade rumors since the trade deadline last season; so it’s no surprise at all that he’s still being talked about. Reports where that the Cleveland Cavaliers where very interested in acquiring Butler, but this morning he told the Cavaliers that he’d rather stay with the Chicago Bulls than play for Cleveland. I was a little bit surprised to find out that the Los Angeles Clippers have actually looked at the possibility of dealing All-Star center DeAndre Jordan. Now the Clippers are in an interesting spot since both Chris Paul and Blake Griffin are free agents. Now imagine if Paul and Griffin where to sign elsewhere it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for the Clippers to hang onto Jordan; so in a way I guess it makes sense for them to look at the trade value of Jordan. Don’t forget that the New York Knicks still have Carmelo Anthony on the roster, but the name of Kristaps Porzingis has come out in trade rumors as well. There was rumors of a swap between the Knicks and the Phoenix Suns where the Suns would get Porzingis for Devin Booker. There is also talk that the Celtics would like to make a deal for Porzingis, but it appears as though the Knicks would rather find another trade partner. Will any of these players actually get traded? Or was it just pre-draft talk by teams to draw some interest. I guess will find out soon.

Baseball is an ever changing game and you can never really tell what you’re going to get out of team almost from game to game. Now there where a lot of people on the New York Yankees bandwagon and where talking about them being front runners to win the World Series. Then they went on a 7-game west coast road trip. They dropped 2 of 3 games to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and where then swept on a 4 game series by the Oakland A’s. It was a 1-6 road trip for the Yankees and they lost the last 6 in a row. They returned home to face the Angels last night and their luck hadn’t changed yet as they where beaten 8-3 by Los Angeles. Of course there’s no reason to stop supporting the Yankees as they are still 8 games over .500 at 38-30 and even after dropping 7 games in a row they are jus 1/2 a game out of 1st place in the A.L. East. They’ll have a chance to end the losing streak tonight against the Angels. Jordan Montgomery makes the start for the Yankees tonight. Montgomery is 4-4 in 12 starts with an E.R.A. of 3.78. The Angels will send Ricky Nolasco to try to extend the Yankees losing streak. Nolasco is 2-8 in 14 starts with an E.R.A. of 5.01. Will see if the media can hold their horses a little bit the next time the Yankees go on a run, but I think we all know they won’t.

In sad news for the Chicago Blackhawks and the NHL in general this morning as it was announced that winger Marion Hossa is expected to miss the entire 2017-18 season as he receives treatment for a skin disorder. Hossa released a statement earlier saying “Over the course of the last few years, under the supervision of the Blackhawks medical staff, I have been privately undergoing treatment for a progressive skin disorder and the side effects of the medications involved to treat the disorder,” Hossa said Wednesday morning. “Due to the severe side effects associated with those medications, playing hockey is not possible for me during the upcoming 2017-18 season. While I am disappointed that I will not be able to play, I have to consider the severity of my condition and how the treatments have impacted my life both on and off the ice.” There was a report Tuesday that Hossa’s career could be over because of a severe allergic reaction caused by his hockey equipment.
Hossa scored 26 goals last season, his 19th in the league. He is due to be paid $1 million for each of the four years remaining on the 12-year, $63.3 million deal he signed in 2009. His deal carries a cap hit of $5.275 million, however. If Hossa were to retire, the Blackhawks would be hit with a cap recapture penalty. If Hossa goes on long-term injured reserve; even for the remainder of his contract the Blackhawks, who consistently have cap issues, would get some salary cap relief.

Hossa will almost certainly be elected to the Hall of Fame. He has 525 goals, is a five-time All-Star and helped lead the Blackhawks to three Stanley Cup titles. He’s known as one of the best two way forwards of his generation.

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

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

How was your week

Posted: June 17, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Hopefully your a fan of a major league baseball team that is hanging around in the pennant race can be a legitimate World Series contender. With the addition of the two wild card spots there are always more teams looking to get into the playoffs than there use to be. Now the question for your favorite team is will they go out and add what they need to contend and the one thing it seems every major league team needs is starting pitching. Major it’s a front of the rotation type of guy or just a guy who can keep you in games at the back of the rotation and eat up some innings every team seems to need some help with starting pitching. Of course there are some decisions a team has to make before they go out and acquire a starter.

There are a couple of guys who could be available that are #1 starters on their current team, but could fit nicely into the #2 role behind a contending teams ace. Of course these type of pitchers aren’t going to come cheap; so your favorite team will need a deep minor league system to supply the prospects it will take to secure a pitcher like that in a trade. I’m thinking that it could take three or maybe even four top prospects to land one of these pitchers and that of course is if their team is interested in moving them.

It appears as though there aren’t too many teams if any who can go three deep in their rotation with a lot of confidence; not that they’ll admit that. So maybe your favorite team can get by just adding a middle of the rotation guy. Obviously you wouldn’t have to give up as much in a trade for one of these pitchers as you would for that top of the rotation guy. It could take one top prospect or maybe two of three lower tier prospects to add a middle of the rotation starter.

And finally maybe your favorite team could just a veteran back of the rotation type of pitcher to get by with. Experience can pay big as a team tries to get into the playoffs and if you add a pitcher who knows how to keep a team in games and save the bullpen some innings down the stretch it can mean a lot. I most cases it doesn’t take too much to land one of these type of pitchers in a trade. Possibly a upper to middle of the road type of prospect or a couple of your lower minor league guys can land you one of these pitchers.

Then your team is going to have to look down the road and figure out if it’s better for them to add to add a young starter who they could have some control over for a few years. Or would they be willing to add a starting pitcher who has a few years left on his contract. Maybe they could get that pitchers former team to pick up a little of that contract, but they’ll have to make sure that adding that salary doesn’t affect them down the road. Then of course there’s the rent a player type of acquisition that many of the teams will be looking for. Finding that pitcher who is in the last year of his contract and can be allowed to go out on the free agent market after hopefully helping your team win a World Series.

Now that we’ve checked in on some of the things teams have to think about when looking to make a trade let’s take a look at some of the pitchers that might be available at the trade deadline of before.

Now there aren’t very many true top of the rotation starters that could be dealt and that’s why their price tag will be so high if a deal is made.

The biggest name could be Johnny Cueto if the San Francisco Giants decide that they’re sellers. Injuries and some other issues have caused the Giants to fall 17 1/2 game out 1st place in the N.L. West and Cueto has had a bit of a down year. Cueto is 5-6 in 14 starts and has an E.R.A. of 4.57. Cueto has proven himself in World Series games, but is also carrying a big contract. Cueto is in the 2nd year of a 6 year $130 million dollar deal, but he does have an opt out after this season.

You’ll hear the name of Tampa Bay Rays starter Chris Archer mentioned quite a bit at the trade deadline. Archer’s name came up quite a bit this off season, but the Rays have held on to him. Archer is 28 years old and is 4-4 this season in 14 starts, but has a very good E.R.A. of 3.80. Archer is signed through 2021 with the last two years being option years, but it’s a very affordable contract for a team to add. Archer is making $2.75 million this season and the remainder of his contract totals $35 million dollars. You’ll have to pay a high price to get Archer, but is he worth it to a team?

Jose Quintana has had a down year for the White Sox, but at 28 years old he’ll be a popular pitcher at the trade deadline. Quintana is 3-8 in 14 starts with an E.R.A. of 5.07, but showed signs of being back in form in his last start. Quintana is another young pitcher on what has to be looked at as a low money deal. He’s owed $5.4 million this season and the rest of his contract totals $36.85 million until 2020 which is an option year on his deal. Quintana is another guy who’s going to cost you some top prospects to get and your team will have to decide if he’s the guy they need.

Now this might be a bit of a surprise name that might move, but don’t be shocked if the Pittsburgh Pirates decide to deal Gerrit Cole at the deadline. Cole has made 14 starts and is 4-6 with an E.R.A. of 4.54. Cole is making $3.75 million this season and has two more years of arbitration ahead of him, but that arbitration award could be too high a price tag for a small market team like the Pirates. Cole has had some injuries, but is just 26 years old and is looked at as a #1 starter. Pittsburgh would want quite a bit on return for Cole, but it could be worth it for two and half years him Cole at the top of your rotation.

Do to injuries Sonny Gray isn’t really looked at as a #1 starter anymore, but at 27 years old; is he’s healthy he could be a big add at the trade deadline. Gray has made 9 starts for the Oakland A’s in 2017 and is 2-2 with an E.R.A. of 4.44, but more importantly has looked healthy. Gray is making $3.575 million this season and is arbitration eligible for the nest two seasons; so he could be a cheap option with some control for a contender.

As we move away from guys at the top of the rotation and look for guys who can fill in the middle of the rotation we turn to the Kansas City Royals. Jason Vargas is 34 years old and in his 12th major league season. Vargas is having a good year; he’s 9-3 in 13 starts with an E.R.A. of 2.10. Vargas is also in the last year of his contract which he’s making $8 million this season. There are some other pitchers to look at on the Royals. Ian Kennedy would be a bit of an expensive option as he has 3 years and $49 million dollars left on his deal after this season. Kennedy is 1-6 in 12 starts with an E.R.A. of 5.03. Could Jason Hammel be an option? Hammel is 3-6 in 13 starts with an E.R.A. of 5.05, but is making just $5 million, but does have a second year on his contract which pays him $9 million in 2018.

The Philadelphia Phillies Jeremy Hellickson could be a rent a pitcher type for a team looking for help at the back of their rotation. Hellickson does have a bit of a high price tag as he’s making $17.2 million dollars this season, but it’s the only a one year deal. Hellickson is 5-5 in 14 starts with an E.R.A of 4.91 on a bad Phillies team.

We head back to San Francisco to look at two more guys teams could be interested in adding if the Giants decide to move players. Jeff Samardzija and Matt Moore may draw some interest. Samardzija is 2-9 in 14 starts with an E.R.A. of 4.81, but has been striking out hitters as he has a 10.21 K’s per 9 innings rate. Moore has also made 14 starts and is 2-7 with an E.R.A. of 6.00. Samardzija is signed through 2020 and has a modified no trade clause is his contract and he’s owed $59.4 million after this season. Moore on the other hand is in the final year of his deal, but it does have option years for 2018 and 2019. Moore is making $7 million this season.

I’m sure the Atlanta Braves would listen if any team had interest in R.A. Dickey or Bartolo Colon. Colon is currently injured, but for the most part these two guys make their starts and could eat up some innings for a team. Who knows they might even fair better on a contender. Dickey has made 13 starts and is 4-5 with an E.R.A. of 5.35 while Colon has made 12 starts and is 2-7 with an E.R.A. of 7.78. Dickey is signed for this season at $7.5 million and has an option for 2018 at $8 million if picked up. Colon is only signed for 2017 at $12.5 million dollars.

There’s a look at some of the pitchers who could be available. As we get closer to the trade deadline I’m sure will see more and more names rumored in deals. Do you like one of these pitchers as a fit for your favorite teams rotation? or is there someone else that you want to see them go get? Please let me know in the comments.

Don’t forget that you can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can listen any time you want at TuneIn.com

Please follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 14, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

On Monday night the Golden State Warriors won their second NBA title in three seasons when they beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 129-120. Golden State won the series four games to one and that was their only loss in the playoffs. Even though LeBron James averaged a triple-double in the series Kevin Durant was named M.V.P. of the finals series.

Now let’s face it the NBA playoffs where bad this season. There where no upsets in any of the series and don’t try and tell me that Cleveland as a #2 seed upset the #1 seeded Boston Celtics. The only other lower seeded team to win a series was when the 5th seeded Utah Jazz beat the 4th seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the 1st round, but those teams had the same regular season record coming into the playoffs; so that’s not an upset either. Now you have to wonder if anything will change or if we’ll just see the Warriors and the Cavaliers in the finals for the fourth season in a row.

What I really need to stop happening is for people to try and compare this Golden State team to other great NBA teams of the past. There’s no doubt that this Warriors team is very good, but they haven’t won back to back championships like most if not all great teams have. There’s also the issue of the NBA being a completely different league now than it ever has. Today’s game is a drive and kick the basketball out to the 3-point line type of game. There are times players will pass up a sure lay up to give the ball up to someone standing at the 3-point line. It’s just how the game is played now. Remember when teams use to pound the ball into their All-Star center and let him dominant in the paint. Well the center position has changed so much with this new style NBA that the position doesn’t even exist on the All-Star ballot. With the game being played a different way there’s just no way to compare this Golden State team to the Magic Johnson led show time Los Angeles Lakers or the Celtics team that where led by Bill Russell or those Michael Jordan Chicago Bulls teams.

If you where to bring those teams into this era of the NBA the Warriors would probably win those games, but if the Warriors where sent back to play those three teams in their era the Warriors lose. You have to remember those Celtics teams that won all those championships with Russell didn’t have a 3-point line; so their offense was completely different than any team plays in this NBA. Even for the Lakers and the Bulls the 3-point line is still kind of a novelty, but they had players who could shot it. It’s just tiresome listening to the people on television try to compare the Warriors to the great teams of the past and I don’t think they realize how stupid they come off sounding. On Tuesday I actually saw some goof argue with former Lakers player James Worthy about this. Every point the television host made Worthy had a counter for and was able to point out something in his Lakers favor. I get that it’s a talking point and they’re desperate for things to talk about, but there’s just no way possible to actually get an answer to this; so please let it go.

Now that the NBA season is wrapped up all of the teams can start to focus on the draft which is just 8 days away. The Boston Celtics have the 1st pick and all signs seem to them taking Markelle Fultz the point guard from the University of Washington, but after that it could get interesting. The Lakers have the #2 pick and there are some mock drafts out there that have them passing on Lonzo Ball the UCLA point guard. Now Ball’s father LaVar made it very clear that he only wants his son to play for the Lakers and they where the only team Lonzo was willing to workout for. Now if the Lakers do pass on Ball most of the mock drafts have him going to the Phoenix Suns at #4, but how will his father react to that. The other teams with Top 10 picks are the Philadelphia 76ers at #3, the Sacramento Kings at #5, the Orlando Magic at #6, the Minnesota Timberwolves at #7, the New York Knicks pick 8th with the Dallas Mavericks 9th and the Kings pick again at $10. You can plug which ever college player in with which ever team you’d like, but we won’t know until June 22nd and then if there’s a trade made we have to wait and see who sent who to who. Of course the drama could start right away if the Lakers pass on Ball.

Francisco Rodriquez (K-Rod) struggled so badly this season for the Detroit Tigers took him out of the closers role. Now there are only three men on baseball history that have more saves than Rodriguez, but in 24 games this season he is 2-5 with a 6.23 E.R.A. with 7 saves. Rodriguez is less than happy with the role he now has in the Tigers bullpen and let his feelings be known. Rodriguez mentioned that he didn’t understand what Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was doing with him after Justin Wilson was elevated to the closers role last month. Rodriguez went on to say “Am I being judged on 10 outings? What about the 400 plus saves? What about the 1000 appearances? ” Rodriguez went on to say “I made my loving tough pressure situations, I have not made my living being a mop up guy”. The Tigers took Rodriguez out of the closers spot on May 9th after he had blown saves and picked up losses in his two previous appearances. Rodriguez’s E.R.A. at the time of the move was 8.49 and he had blown 4 of his 11 save chances. Rodriguez also mentioned that neither Ausmus or Tigers pitching coach Rich Dubee spoke to him about his demotion, but that’s been disputed by Ausmus.

If you’re the Tigers; what do you do with Rodriguez?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

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

How was your week

Posted: June 10, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I’m not sure if anyone is buying the Minnesota Twins as a contender, but they’ve found a way to hang into 1st place in the A.L. Central through about 60 games. Minnesota has a 1 1/2 game lead over the Cleveland Indians going into today’s action. How are the Twins doing it?

It seems as though the Twins get a win every time Ervin Santana pitches. Santana is 8-3 through 13 starts with 10 of those starts being quality starts. Santana has pitched 90 innings with an E.R.A. of 2.20 and already has 3 complete game shutouts this season. Santana is coming off of a 4 hit complete game shutout of the San Francisco Giants last night.

The rest of the Twins rotation has struggled this season with the exception of Jose Berrios, but he’s only made 5 starts. You have to wonder if Santana can continue to pitch at this level all season long and it looks as though the Twins will need him to if they want to stay at the top or close to the top of the A.L. Central.

Now Santana was expected to be a top of the rotation starter when he came up with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; so maybe he’s just reaching the potential everyone thought he would.

Another Twins player who appears to be establishing himself as a top player in the A.L. is Miguel Sano. Sani is Minnesota’s top offensive threat hitting .301 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI’s. Sano is the Twins leader in those three offensive categories. Sano is also the team leader in runs scored with 38 and has 9 doubles and 2 triples this season. Sano has struck out 84 times in the 54 games he’s played in, but no one cares how many times a player strikes out.

One of the bigger knocks on Sano was his defense and what position he’d end up playing. He spent some time in the outfield last season, but has moved back to 3rd base for this season. Sano has made 4 errors this season and has a fielding percentage of .963. That puts him 12th among all 3rd baseman and it’s good for 6th in the American League.

Sano is going to need some help on offense. Joe Mauer is hitting a solid .284, but has just 4 home runs. Brian Dozier is providing some power with 9 home runs, but is hitting .242 and it seems as thought top prospect Byron Buxton just can’t hit major league pitching. Buxton is a gold glove caliber defender in centerfield, but he’s hitting just .199 in the 54 games he’s played.

I don’t think anyone expects the Twins to stay in contention for the division title or even a wild card spot, but it’s fun to see the teams you don’t expect to do well play above their expectations.

On the Thursday edition of Sports Time Radio Dan the Man and I where discussing what the problems where with the St. Luis Cardinals. Apparently the Cardinals thought they had some issues as well as they made quite a few changes before Fridays game against the Philadelphia Phillies. A game they did win 3-2 to break their 7 game losing streak.

St. Louis designated 3rd baseman/Shortstop Jhonny Peralta for assignment. Which means they now have 10 days to trade or release Peralta. There where also quite a few coaching changes for St. Louis. 3rd base coach Chris Maloney has been reassigned within the organization. Mike Shildt will take over for Maloney. In addition, assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller will take a leave of absence, and Ron “Pop” Warner and Mark Budaska have been reassigned from the minor leagues to the coaching staff.

The Cardinals activated 2nd baseman Kolten Wong from the disabled list before Friday nights game. Wong started against the Phillies last night going 1 for 2 with a walk after missing 13 games with a left elbow strain.

Peralta was in the final year of his contract with St. Louis. Peralta signed a 4 year $53 million dollar deal with the Cardinals back in 2014. Injuries limited Peralta to 82 games last season and he has only appeared in 21 games for the Cardinals this season. Peralta was hitting .204.

The Cardinals are 27-32 after last nights win and find themselves 4 1/2 games behind the N.L. Central leading Milwaukee Brewers coming into Saturday’s games. Do you think these changes will help the Cardinals?

Before yesterday’s Cleveland Indians/Chicago White Sox game the Indians had scheduled former Ohio State football player and Bedford Ohio native safety Tyvis Powell to throw out the first pitch. Powell was with the Seattle Seahawks during the 2016 season and appeared in 8 games for them before the Browns claimed him off of waivers.

In am odd turn of events the Browns ended up waving Powell just hours before he was schedule to throw out the first pitch at the Indians game. The Browns say they were not aware that Powell was scheduled to throw out the first pitch until after the roster move was made.

 

Powell still supported a Buckeyes group event and threw out the first pitch at Friday night’s game once a rain delay was lifted. The Indians went on to beat the White Sox 7-3 in the game.

We’re just a win away from possibly crowning champions in both the NHL and the NBA; so I guess that means it’s time to look forward to the NFL. Now the Golden Nugget Casino really jumped into this as they listed the odds for all 256 potential Super Bowl match ups.

The best odds right now have the New England Patriots facing the Dallas Cowboys at 7 to 1. At 8 to 1 you can get the Patriots against the Green Bay Packers. If you’re interested in seeing a Super Bowl rematch you can bet the Patriots against the Atlanta Falcons at 10 to 1. Now maybe you like the long shot and if you do you can bet that the New York Jets will face off against the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl at 5000 to 1. That is roughly equivalent to what some sportsbooks set the odds that Leicester City would win the Champions League in 2015-2016.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 7, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Did you start Scooter Gennett of the Cincinnati Reds in your daily fantasy league last night? Better yet did you start Gennett in any of your fantasy leagues? I’ll be honest; I saw Gennett for $2000 on FanDuel last night, but didn’t use him. If I would’ve used him or if you had him in your line up you would’ve gotten points for a player going 5 for 5 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI’s. It’s the first time since 2012 that a player has had a 4 homer game and the 17th player to do it in baseball history. Gennett had just 3 home runs coming into last nights game. He had 38 career home runs and one 2 home run game in his career.

Now Gennett doesn’t even play on a regular basis for Cincinnati. Just last week when the Atlanta Braves came into town former Reds player Brandon Phillips was unhappy that Cincinnati had issued Gennett his old #4. I believe Phillips used the term “slap in the face” to describe the way he felt about Gennett getting issued #4.

Gennett’s night started off without a lot of fanfare as in his first at bat he hit a bloop single to leftfield off St. Louis cardinals starter Adam Wainwright to drive in Billy Hamilton. Gennett came up against Wainwright again in the 3rd inning this time with the bases loaded. With a 3 & 2 count Gennett hit a grand slam to left center for his first home run of the night. Gennett came back up to the plate in the 4th inning again with the bases loaded, but this time against Cardinals reliever John Gant. The count again went to 3 & 2 before Gennett hit his second home run and grand slam of the night to centerfield. Gennett came up against Gant again in the 6th inning and this time he hit a 3 & 1 pitch the opposite way into the leftfield seats for his third home run of the night. Gennett final at bat came in the bottom of the 8th inning against Cardinals reliever John Brebbia. Down in the count 0 & 2 Gennett hit a line drive into the rightfield bleachers for his fourth home run of the night.

The Reds picked up Gennett in spring training after the Milwaukee Brewers surprisingly cut him. Gennett was the Brewers starting 2nd baseman in 2016 playing in 137 games for them.

The Reds face the Cardinals again tonight with Lance Lynn starting. Do you think Gennett will be in the Cincinnati starting line up tonight?

The Washington Nationals picked up a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, but after the Nationals ended up having another heated exchange with an N.L. West team.

With runners on 1st and 2nd Washington;s closer Koda Glover struck out Yasiel Puig to end the game. After getting the strikeout Glover shouted in the direction of home plate which Puig took exception to. Puig attempted to towards the mound and it appeared as though he was trying to ask Glover what he said.

In response Glover took off his cap and tossed aside his glove as players from both teams quickly intervened to keep the two separated. Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman pulled Glover away, and nothing escalated before the squads headed off the field.

“Tempers flared a little bit,” Glover said. “It is what it is. I don’t have any hard feelings toward him. He was staring at me, and I didn’t like it.” While Puig did not speak to reporters after the game.

Remember just last season the Dodgers took a tense divisional round playoff series between the teams last year. The series went five games before the Dodgers advanced.

The Nationals have won both games between the teams so far this season, with the finale of their current series set for Wednesday afternoon. Steven Strasburg is scheduled to make the start for the Nationals while it will be Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers.

Washington is still holding a huge lead (12 1/2 games) in the N.L. East while the Dodgers have dropped 2 games back of the Colorado Rockies in the N.L. West.

It’s time for organized team activities or OTA’s in the NFL. While I’ll never understand why these just aren’t called practices the bigger stories from these are the players who don’t show up for them. While they are voluntary NFL teams like to have all of their players attend.

Now the big player missing at New York Giants OTA’s was wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) who is looking for a new contract. Beckham has no financial bonuses in his contract tying him to any OTA appearances.

Now back in May Beckham did say that he would attend mini camp with the Giants when the time comes. Beckham was actually quoted as saying “for sure” when asked about being at mandatory minicamp; which starts next Tuesday.

Beckham has clearly out played his contract as he is scheduled to make $1.8 million this season under the terms of his rookie contract. The Giants recently picked up his fifth-year option for 2018 at what is likely to be around $8 million.

Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowler who had 101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Don’t forget he also was fined at least six times for a variety of infractions. Through three NFL seasons Beckham has caught 288 passes for 4122 yards; averaging 14.3 yards per catch with 35 touchdowns.

Beckham pretty much re-wrote the Giants record book as a rookie, but has now went on to be the first Giants receiver to have 75+ receptions, 1200+ yards and 10 or more touchdowns in three straight seasons.

While Beckham gets a lot of negative attention for some of his antics it’s clear that he is one of the top receivers in the NFL. When Beckham’s $8 million dollar contract kicks in that would make him tied for 20th among wide receivers in pay. He’d be tied with Kenny Stills of the Miami Dolphins and Marvin Jones of the Detroit Lions. Out of those three receivers; which one do you want your quarterback throwing to? At $17 million a season Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the highest paid wide receiver coming into the 2017 season.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, but you can also find the podcast on TuneIn.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 3, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re into June and a little over 50 games into the Major League Baseball season. Is it time for a contender to make a trade and fill a need? It might depend on who you think the contenders are; so let’s take a look.

The Washington Nationals are cruising in the N.L. East, but there are some questions with the team. I think if you ask most people they’d say that they need a closer. The Nationals have five different pitchers with at least one save led by Koda Glover with 7. Glover has taken over the closers role and has converted his last five saves chances, Glover is and in his first full major league season, but he has around 110 games to fit into that role and if he can the Nationals could look somewhere else for help. Where else could the Nationals look for help; how about centerfield. They acquired Adam Eaton inn the off season., but he’s out for the season with an injury. Michael Taylor has been a top prospects in the Nationals organization for a while now and he’s been playing the majority of the time in center. Taylor is hitting .271, but still has some issues with strikeouts. He’s fanned 47 times in 42 games or once every 2.8 at bats. Would the Nationals make a move for a rent a player type since Eaton will return next season. How about a deal where the Nationals pick up someone like Lorenzo Cain from the Kansas City Royals. If they went after a deal like that could it be expanded to include Royals closer Kelvin Herrera.

Who are the contenders in the N.L. Central? The Milwaukee Brewers are currently leading the division, but are you believing in them? Milwaukee is in the second year of a rebuild and I’d be surprised to see them throw that all away to try to bring in the pieces they’d need. The Brewers would probably need to find multiple starting pitchers to contend and they’d have to move quite a bit of the young talent they recently acquired to get that. Do you see them making those type of moves? While they’ve been a fun story I don’t think they’ll be there in the end.

The St. Louis Cardinals are in 2nd place in the Central, but they just .500 at 26-26. St. Louis hasn’t plated well to start the season and they’re not normally the type of team to make a big in season trade. The everyday line up looks solid as does the starting rotation; so if the Cardinals make a move it could be for a bench piece or for some bullpen help.

The Chicago Cubs are easily the biggest disappointment of the 2017 season. They’re 26-27, but still appear to have the best everyday line up in the division. The Cubs might have too may guys that could be considered everyday players. The starting rotations numbers are way off from last season; so maybe they’d be looking to add some help there. Wade Davis was added to handle the closing duties and he done his job, but they’ve had trouble getting him the ball with a lead. Maybe a bullpen piece could be added. The question might be how long before the line up starts to hit?

The Los Angeles Dodgers have taken over 1st place in the N.L. West this week. Now the Dodgers have done this with their starting 3rd baseman and centerfielder on the disabled list as well as losing one of their platoon leftfielders for the season. They’ve used their minor league system to fill the holes and those players have some through for them. Any rotation with Clayton Kershaw in it is going to be good, but this might be the area where the Dodgers make a move. Alex Wood was h pitching well, but is currently on the disabled list. Rich Hill, Brandon McCarthy and Hyun Jim-Ryu have a history of injuries and prospect Julio Urias was sent back to the minors after 5 starts. The Dodgers have the prospects to go and get a top line starting pitcher if they feel they need one, but will they.

The Colorado Rockies and the Arizona Diamondbacks are both just a 1.2 game behind the Dodgers in the N.L. West. Offense has never been an issue for a team that plays 81 games in Coors Field and Charlie Blackmon is shown that he should be mentioned as one of the top players in baseball. If pitching is the question it would have to be in the staring rotation as the Rockies bullpen has been if not the best than one of the best in baseball. Antonio Senzatela and Kyle Freeland have been nice surprises while Jon Gray has made just three starts di to injury. Could a starter be something the Rockies look to add. Arizona I think is more of a surprise to be here even this early. Robbie Ray has really established himself in the starting rotation along with Zack Greinke, but after those two it’s unclear what the Diamondbacks will get. Tajuan Walker looked like he could be a valuable starter, but he’s landed on the disabled list. The bullpen is also interesting as Fernando Rodney was brought in to handle the closing duties last off season and has had some trouble. Rodney does have 14 saves, but is 1-2 with an E.R.A. of 6.10. If Arizona does make a move it could be for some type of pitching help.

Right now you could say that everyone in the A.L. East is still in contention. The New York Yankees are a nice surprise at the top of the division, but there are some questions. Chase Headley got off to a hot start, but is currently hitting .232; so could an upgrade at 3rd base be something the Yankees would look at? While the bullpen has been good even with Aroldis Chapman been hurt; the starting rotation has some questions. Which Masahiro Tanaka will be pitching. Tanaka has lost his last four starts and only one of them has been a good start. The Yankees are another team that has the prospects to acquire a top of the rotation type of starter, but they have been saying that they want to stay with their young core, but if there in it you’d think they would make a move.

The Baltimore Orioles at in 2nd place and a trade might not be the biggest question with this team, but more like when will Manny Machado start to hit? The Orioles are hanging around the top of the division with Machado hitting just .221. Baltimore isn’t the type of team that makes big trades; so you have to think they just go with the players they have on the roster. Once Machado starts to hit they’ll be better off and of course the return of closer Zach Britton will help the bullpen even though they’ve held their own with him out.

The Boston Red Sox where the top pick to win this division in pre-season, but they currently find themselves in 3rd place. The Red Sox have had some injuries to players who needed to be key contributors to their success. Pablo Sandoval just returned and the offense is waiting for Dustin Pedroia and utilityman Brock Holt to get healthy. Tyler Thornberg was brought in this off season to be the top set up guy, but hasn’t pitched all season due to injury. The starting rotation just got a big lift with the return of David Price. Do the Red Sox need to make a trade or just get healthy?

I’d like to know if you buy the Tampa Bay Rays or the Toronto Blue Jays as contenders in this division? Let me know in the comment section and if you do will take a more in depth loo at them.

Even 50 or so games into the season; did you have the Minnesota twins leading the A.L. Central? The Twins have been a nice story even though I don’t think anyone believes they’ll be in 1st place much longer. Miguel Sano has shown that he’s a top player though. Sano is right at .300 with 13 home runs and 41 RBI’s. Ervin Santana has also been a big surprise. Santana is 7-2 with an E.R.A. of 1.75 in 11 starts covering 77 innings and has to be mentioned in any early season Cy Young talk.

Even with their top two starting pitchers out the Cleveland Indians hung around in 2nd place. While Carlos Carrasco missed just a start or two Corey Kluber was out longer. Kluber returned this week to pitch 6 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts in Thursday’s 8-0 win. Now Danny Salazar struggled again as a starter and has been moved to the bullpen. Trevor Bauer did just have a 14 strikeout performance in his last start, but for the season his E.R.A. is 6.00. Josh Tomlin has also had some trouble posting an E.R.A. of 5.54; so maybe a starting pitcher is something the Indians are looking to acquire. The everyday line up looks to be set especially if Bradley Zimmer can be the full time centerfielder.

The Detroit Tigers find themselves just 3 1/2 games out of 1st place and their bullpen has been terrible. While the offense is still potent even though it’s getting older. Detroit put up 15 runs in Friday nights win, but the bullpen has hurt them. Francisco Rodriquez has been bad; he’s 2-5 with 7 saves an and E.R.A. of 7.79. Rodriquez was moved out of the closers role and has only pitched 2 innings in the last 13 days. Right now the closers job looks to be a combination of Justin Wilson and Alex Wilson unless a deal is made for someone.

The A.L. West is turning into a one team race as the Houston Astros have pulled out to a 12 1/2 game lead in the division. The Astros spent quite some time rebuilding the franchise, but this off season they added the veteran pieces they thought they needed. The question the Astros might have is do they need a back of the rotation starter. Charlie Morton, Joe Musgrove and Mike Fiers all have E.R.A.;s over 4.00; so there could be an upgrade there if that’s a move they want to make. Houston is another team with a top rated minor league system and they could easily make a move for a back of the rotation type of starter.

There’s a little bit of a look at where we are right now in the baseball season. Who do you think will be the first contender to make a trade?

Listen to Sports Time Radio on BloTalkRadio.com or listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 31, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Stanley Cup finals started on Monday as the Pittsburgh Penguins hosted the Nashville Predators in game 1. This was the first time in team history that Nashville has been to a Stanley Cup finals and you have to wonder if maybe there was some nerves early on. Pittsburgh jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the 1st period. Evgeni Malkin got the first goal for the Penguins. Connor Sheary scored Pittsburgh’s second goal while Nick Bonino added the third goal. Sidney Crosby assisted on two of the three goals.

With a 3-0 lead heading into the 2nd period it looked as though the Penguins would cruise to an easy victory. The Predators and the game really settled down in the 2nd period. Ryan Ellis scored the only goal of the period for Nashville to make it a 3-1 game. P.K. Subban and Mike Fischer assisted on the goal.

Nashville had been playing as good if not better than every other team in this years playoffs, but you have to wonder if they had out themselves in to big of a whole against a top offensive team like Pittsburgh.

The Predators made it a one goal game when Colton Sissons scored on the power play. Then Nashville evened things up at 3-3 when Fredrick Gaudreau scored. It was a tie game for a little over three minutes before Jake Guentzel score for the Penguins to make it 4-3. Nick Bonino scored his second goal of the game into an empty net to  seal a Game 1 5-3 win for the Penguins.

A game that started off looking like a blow out turn out to be a very close contest. The offensive minded Penguins managed just 12 shots on Pekka Rinne in the game. Even though they picked up the win you have to think that the Penguins will have to find a way to generate more scoring chances as the series moves forward. Now Nashville did get 26 shots on Matt Murray; so they have to be happy with the shot total they had. You look back at the game and you have to wonder if the Predators had just gotten off to a better start things may have been different.

Game 2 is tonight in Pittsburgh. I don’t think you can say this is any type of must win for Nashville. I’m sure they’d love to get a win on the road, but even if they go down 2 games they’re headed back home for Game 3 on Saturday night and then Game 4 on Monday night. To win the Stanley Cup Nashville will have to win a game in Pittsburgh; so maybe Game 2 could be that game. Will find out tonight.

Now the Washington Capitals where the best team during the NHL regular season, but where eliminated from the playoffs by the Penguins in the 2nd round. That of course has brought up some questions about a team that has won the President’s trophy in back to back seasons.

Would the Capitals make changes? Washington’s General Manager Brian MacLellan address what the team would be looking to do this off season on Tuesday. MacLellan explained that he’d look to “tweak and retool on the fly rather than overhauling the roster”.

There have been some rumors that the Capitals may look to trade Alexander Ovechkin or All-Star center Nicholas Backstrom. Neither of those deals look to be happening. The Capitals aren’t even looking to make a coaching change. Barry Trotz will be back behind the Washington bench at the start of next season. 2017-18 is the last year of Trotz’s contract; so maybe we’ll see a coaching change after that.

Now there are some big decisions that Washington will have to make this off season. Wingers T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams along with defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk and Karl Alzner are unrestricted free agents. The Capitals also have four of their young players Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov, Andre Burakovsky and Nate Schmidt as restricted free agents. The restricted free agents usually take priority and all four of those will be looking for raises. Since the NHL’s salary ca[ isn’t expected to move much from the $73 million dollar figure that it’s at Washington might be making some changes by default. The Capitals will have to figure out who stays and who goes as well as the possibility of losing a player to the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the expansion draft.

Will the Capitals bring enough players back to win the President’s trophy for a third season in a row? Or better yet will they find some success in the playoffs for the first time with Alex Ovechkin.

Albert Pujols should make the baseball Hall of Fame the first year his name is on the ballot. Pujols was the best player in baseball when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals and while he hasn’t quite been the same player since signing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Pujols is on the brink of hitting his 600th career home run. Pujols hit home run #599 in the Angels 9-3 win over the Atlanta Braves last night. You have to figure #600 won’t be far behind. Remember just three year ago to get to the 500 home run mark Pujols hit #499 and #500 in the same game in Washington. While that didn’t happen last night; he does just need one more home run to get to that 600 total. When Pujols hits that 600th home run he’ll be the 9th player in baseball history to reach that total. Now remember Pujols is signed through the year 2022 with the Angels; so there’s a chance if he stays healthy that he’ll actually get to the 700 home run plateau. If he did get tp that 700 number Pujols would be just one of four players to reach that number.

While Pujols might not be the player he use to be he still has a resume that should get him easily into Cooperstown. Pujols was Rookie of the Year in 2001. He’s won three M.V.P. awards 2005, 2008 and 2009. He’s also finished 2nd in the M.V.P. voting four times and 3rd once. Pujols is a 10-time All-Star, has won 2 Gold Gloves and 6 Silver Slugger awards. He’s also a .308 career hitter who won the N.L. batting title in 2003.

Do that look Hall of Fame worthy to you?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

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

 

How was your week

Posted: May 27, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the Major League Baseball season not even 50 games old can you really look at the National League East and wonder if there’s another team in the division that’s going to challenge the Washington Nationals for the division title. The Nationals are the only team over .500 in the N.L. East at 29-18 and have a 7 1/2 game lead over the 2nd place Atlanta Braves. Now if I had to guess I’d say that most people picked the Nationals to win the division before the season started, but did anyone think they’d make it look this easy.

Now there where people who liked the New York Mets to challenge the Nationals at the top of the division and even contend for a wild card spot. Well the Mets have had more injuries to their top players than any other team in baseball. They’re without starting pitchers Steven Matz and Noah Syndergaard. Add pitchers Seth Lugo, Tommy Milone and closer Jeurys Familia to the injury list. Don’t forget that Yoenis Cespedes hasn’t played since April 27th. Brandon Nimmo is also part of the injury list and David Wright hasn’t played a game this season and may not play one in 2017. Not to mention the Matt Harvey drama a few weeks back where he ended up getting suspended for three games. The Mets are currently 20-26 and in 3rd place in the division, but it doesn’t look like their year.

Now the Braves are in 2nd place at 21-25, but I don’t think anyone sees them as a contender just yet. The plan all along for the Braves was to be ready to contend by the time their new ballpark opened. Atlanta isn’t quite there yet, but they added some veterans in the off season to help them out. Sean Rodriguez was signed as a free agent, but was injured in and automobile accident before the season started and may miss all of 2017. The Braves ended up making a trade for Brandon Phillips to play 2nd base. The Braves also have some young pitching prospects who aren’t quite ready for the majors. So instead for forcing these young pitchers into the majors they signed Bartolo Colon and R.A. Dickey as free agent s and the traded for Jaime Garcia to hold down the rotation until their young pitchers are ready. Now while the Braves maybe improved from last season I don’t think they’ll be challenging the Nationals for 1st place.

The Miami Marlins are currently in 4th place in the N.L. East with a record of 17-29, but are 11 1/2 games out of 1st place. I don’t think anyone believed that Miami would contend this season as they had to find a way to replace staff ace Jose Fernandez. The Marlins brought in veteran starters Dan Straily and Edison Volquez to help out. Straily has been solid in his 10 starts so far going 3-3 with an E.R.A. of 3.83. Volquez however has really struggled going 0-7 in his 9 starts with an E.R.A. of 4.85. Wei-Yin Chen who was brought in a couple of seasons ago as a free agent to help the rotation has battled injuries all season and has made just 5 starts. Chen is 2-1 with a 4.33 E.R.A over 27 innings in 2017. I don’t think the Marlins will be making a run at the Nationals.

Now there where some people who thought that the Philadelphia Phillies could be the surprise team of the N.L. East, but they’re off to a 16-30 start and our in last place 12 1/2 games out of 1st place. Now the Phillies are still in rebuild mode, but the fact that Odubel Herrera and Maikel Franco are off to terrible starts. Herrera is hitting .227 while Franco is hitting .215.Jeremy Hellickson was brought back to help anchor a young staff and while he has a good record at 5-2 his E.R.A. is high at 4.28. Hellickson actually has the lowest E.R.A. of all the Phillies starters; so giving up runs is an issue for this young staff. While some people thought that Philadelphia could play .500 baseball this season, they’re going to have their work cut out for them to get back to that point and they won’t be pushing Washington at the top of the division.

Now the Houston Astros actually have a bigger division lead in the American League West at 9 games than the Nationals do, but it looks as though there are teams in the A.L. West that could get back into the division race and even though they might not end up challenging the Astros for 1st place they’ll at least have a winning record. After looking at the teams in the N.L. East do one of them look like they’ll get on a run and get themselves back into the pennant race?

The Stanley Cup finals starts on Monday as the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Nashville Predators in Game 1. While Nashville was the 2nd wild card in the Western Conference and the last team to qualify for the playoffs they’ve been playing better than any other team in the playoffs. The Penguins scored 111 regular season points; second only to the Washington Capitals who the Penguins beat in the 2nd round of the playoffs. Now Nashville is looking to win the Stanley Cup for the first time in the teams history. The Penguins are looking to be the first team since the Detroit Red Wings in 1997 and 1998 to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

These two teams split their two games against each other this season, with each one winning game. The Predators beat the Penguins 5-1 on October 22nd and the Penguins evened things up with a 4-2 victory on January 31st.

Now both teams are battling injuries coming into this series. Nashville is hoping that center Mike Fischer will be able to be ready for the start of the Cup finals. Fischer has been out since Game 4 of the Western Conference finals when he went took a knee to the head from Anaheim’s Josh Manson. The Predators will also be without forward Kevin Fiala who broke his femur in the 2nd round and is done for the playoffs. It appears as though the Penguins will have to play another series without their best defenseman Kris Letang. Letang has a neck injury and hasn’t played a playoff series for Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh defenseman Justin Schultz is playing through an upper-body injury and should be good to go for Game 1, but it’s uncertain if defenseman Chad Ruhwedel who is recovering from a concussion will be available.

Heading into the finals you have to think that the Predators hold the advantage in goal even against a strong Pittsburgh offense. Pekka Rinne has played all 16 games and is leading all goalies who have started more than five games this postseason with a .941 save percentage. The Penguins have used a combination of Marc-Andre Fleury and Matt Murray in goal. Fleury stepped in for Murray after the latter was injured in warm ups before the first game of the playoffs and carried the Penguins at times; especially against the Capitals in the conference semifinals. Since regaining his starting job in Game 4 of the conference finals, Murray has been outstanding for the Penguins, posting a .946 save percentage in four starts.

On the Friday edition of Sports Time Radio Dan the Man picked the Predators to win this series. Now him and I have a bet; so I have the Penguins to win. The loser of the bet has to buy the winner a t-shirt with the players names listed on the back if there team wins. Dan went with the Penguins last season and as you know won that bet. Can Dan go back to back?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 24, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Matt Harvey of the New York Mets made his first start at home since his suspension last night. Harvey worked a clean 1st inning getting a strikeout, a pop to shortstop and a fly out to leftfield. Then Harvey’s Mets teammates went out and put up seven runs in the bottom of the 1st inning which hopefully helped him relax. Harvey pitched 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 3 hits while walking 4 and striking out 6. Harvey did pick up the win to even his 2017 record at 3-3. Harvey threw 103 pitches in this his 9th start of the season. The win was Harvey’s first since April 11th, but he hasn’t pitched more than 5 1/3rd innings in his last 5 starts.

Now this is Harvey’s 5th major league season. He’s made 91 career starts and has a record of 32-31 with an E.R.A. of 3.16. Now remember just a couple of seasons ago Harvey was going to lead the Mets pitching staff to regular playoff appearance. The Mets did make it to the World Series losing to the Kansas City Royals in 2015. Now the talk has turned to is it time for the Mets to try and trade Harvey.

Harvey is just 28 years old and you have to wonder what the market would be for a pitcher who has been injured and struggled like Harvey has the last two seasons. Harvey made just 17 starts in 2016 and was 4-10 with an E.R.A. of 4.86. Would a contender be interested in maybe adding a pitcher like Harvey to the back of their rotation? and would a change of scenery do him good? It’s still a little too early for teams to jump into the trade market; so the Mets should have some more starts to evaluate Harvey and decide if he could be a trade candidate. Of course with the injuries the Mets are dealing with in their starting rotation they might need to hang on to Harvey just for the innings.

Jacob DeGrom and Harvey have made 9 starts for the Mets while Zack Wheeler who missed two seasons recovering from Tommy John surgery has made 8 starts. Robert Gsellman has made 7 starts, Noah Syndergaard has made 5 starts while Tommy Milone has made 3 starts. The Mets also got single starts from Adam Wilk and Rafael Montero. Steven Matz has not made a start this season for the Mets do to injury. Matz was schedule to make a rehab start yesterday and if all things went well could be activated from the disabled list to make a start this weekend. Syndergaard is on the 60-day disabled list and isn’t expected to return until after the All-Star break.

Could these injuries to the starting staff lessen the chance that the Mets would trade Harvey or do you think there’s a chance that Harvey is wearing a different uniform this season?

Now everyone likes to talk about prospects in baseball and it can be integral to your fantasy baseball success. So in case you didn’t hear the Boston Red Sox are calling up their top prospects 1st baseman Sam Travis. Travis is 23 years old, but was having a great start to his Triple-A season at Pawtucket. Travis is coming back from a knee injury that limited him to just 47 games in 2016. In 33 games at Pawtucket Travis is hitting. 286 with 4 home runs and 14 RBI’s Travis’ OPS is .805 and he has 9 doubles. Travis recently was rated as the Red Sox’s 4th best prospect and the #98 prospect in baseball by ESPN’s Keith Law.

It will be interesting to see how the Red Sox handle Travis’ playing time. Travis has been exclusively a first baseman throughout his minor league career, but the Red Sox have gotten good production out of their current 1st baseman Mitch Moreland. Moreland is leading the American League in doubles with 16 and has hit 5 home runs while driving in 23 runs. Moreland was signed to a 1 year $5 million dollar deal this past off season. Now the original plan for Moreland was for him to play 1st base against right handed pitching and then move Hanley Ramirez to 1st base against left handed pitching, but Ramirez has played only three innings at first base because of soreness in his right shoulder.

With Travis being called up you’d have to think that the Red Sox would want him to get regular at bats, but who loses the at bats Moreland or Ramirez? Moreland can play the corner outfield spots; so he might be able to get some at bats there, but Ramirez is limited to just 1st base or DH. If Ramirez’s shoulder is still an issue maybe he’s headed for the disabled list, but will have to wait and see how the Red Sox handle who gets the at bats.

The Ottawa Senators picked up a 2-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals to force a Game 7 on Thursday night.

After a scoreless 1st period the Penguins got the first goal of the game at 4:51 of the 2nd period when Ian Cole and Scott Wilson assisted on Evgeni Malkin’s goal. At 13:15 of the 2nd period the Senators got even on a 5 on 3 power play as Bobby Ryan scored to tie the game at 1-1. Ryan was assisted by Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris. The Senators went to the lead early in the 3rd period when Mike Hoffman scored at 1:34 of the period to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. Fredrik Claesson and Clarke MacArthur assisted on what turned out to be Hoffman’s game winning goal.

Craig Anderson had struggled in goal the last couple of games for the Senators including being pulled from the net after giving up 4 1st period goals in Game 5. Anderson looked like a completely different goaltender in Game 6 as he stopped 45 of the 46 Pittsburgh shots he faced. Matt Murray got the start in goal for the Penguins again and played well. Murray stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced.

Pittsburgh will host Game 7 tomorrow night as the Nashville Predators sit and wait for the winner of this series. The Predators eliminated the Anaheim Ducks in six games in the Western Conference finals. Nashville won Game 6 by a 6-3 score and took the series four games to two.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget I’m on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: May 20, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, horse racing, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

While the NBA Conference finals are turning into a complete joke over in the NHL the two Conference finals series they have going on are turning into very good series. Both series are tied at 2-2 with a Game 5 between the Anaheim Ducks and the Nashville Predators tonight and Game 5 of the Pittsburgh Penguins/Ottawa Senators series tomorrow there’s still time for you to jump in and watch some good hockey.

Now both the Penguins and the Senators where down a game coming into their Game 4 match ups and they both picked up big wins to avoid being in an elimination scenario for now. On Thursday night Ottawa picked up a big 3-2 win in overtime to even their series at 2-2. Corey Perry scored the game winner for the Ducks 10:25 into overtime to give Anaheim the win. The Penguins also picked up a 3-2 win in Game 4 of there series, but they got their win in regulation. After a terrible start in Game 3 Marc-Andre Fleury was replaced in the Pittsburgh goal by Matt Murray. Murray stopped 24 of the 26 shots he saw in the game. Pittsburgh actually jumped out to a 3-0 lead in Game 4 and had to hold on as Ottawa scored late in both the 2nd and 3rd period to make it a one goal game. A penalty on Ottawa for too many men on the ice 19:23 into the 3rd period killed any man advantage the Senators would have the Penguins took a 3-2 win and the series was tied.

Tonight the Western Conference finals has moved back to Anaheim for the Game 5 match up between the Ducks and the Predators. Then on Sunday the Eastern Conference finals are back in Pittsburgh for their Game 5 match up as the Penguins will host the Senators. Each team has won on the others ice; so I’m not sure if there’s a home ice advantage for either team hosting Game 5. Of course the winner of these Game 5 match ups sets up a chance at eliminating their opponent in Game 6 and moving on to the Stanley Cup finals.

The NBA announced the finalist for there 2017 season awards. There are six awards with three finalist for each award. Here are the nominees.

Most Improved Player: Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

Sixth Man of the Year: Andre Iguodala of the Golden State Warriors. Lou Williams of the Houston Rockets. Eric Gordon of the Houston Rockets.

Defensive Player of the Year: Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors. Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs. Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

Rookie of the Year: Malcolm Brogdon of the Milwaukee Bucks. Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers. Dario Saric of the Philadelphia 76ers.

Coach of the Year: Mike D’Antoni of the Houston Rockets. Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs. Erik Spoelstra of the Miami Heat.

Most Valuable Player: Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder. James Harden of the Houston Rockets. Kawhi Leonard of the San Antonio Spurs.

You’ll find out the winners of these awards on June 26th when the NBA has it’s first ever awards show hosted by Drake.

I’m going with Antetokounmpo as most improved, Gordon as sixth man, Leonard as defensive player, Embiid to win best rookie, D’Antoni as best coach and Westbrook as M.V.P. Feel free to leave your picks in the comment section and we’ll see how we do at the end of next month.

Of course as soon as the final three for M.V.P. where announced the media went nuts that LeBron James wasn’t one of the final three. If you where to out James into the final three; who would you take out? Westbrook and Harden where locks as M.V.P. finalist; so it would have to be Leonard. Now you have to remember that this is a regular season award; so the playoffs have nothing to do with who wins this. Let’s take a look at the stats and then you can decide.

Both James and Leonard played in 74 games during the 2016-17 regular season. James averaged 26.4 points per game while Leonard was at 25.5. James grabbed 8.6 rebounds per game while Leonard was at 5.8. James handed out 8.7 assists per game while Leonard handed out 3.5 per game. James averaged 1.2 steals per game while Leonard had 1.8 per game. James blocked 0.59 shots per game while Leonard blocked 0.7. James shot 54.8% from the field, 36.3% from behind the 3-point line and 67% from the free throw line. Leonard shot 48.5% from the field, 38.1% from behind the 3-point line and 88% from the free throw line. So looking at the stats it appears that James was a little better offensive player, but Leonard may be the better shooter. Leonard looks to be the better defender and is considered one of the top defensive players in the NBA. Now the James led Cavaliers where 51-31 during the regular season while Leonard’s San Antonio team went 61-21 for the regular season. So the decision might come down to how the team did during the regular season. Leonard’s team was 10 wins better than James team was and they play in the much tougher Western Conference. While it’s a difficult call to make and I could’ve seen the NBA just going with four players I think if you look at the stats and how the teams performed led by these two players they made the right choice. You have to understand that Leonard doesn’t carry the name value that James does and this is where the controversy will come from.

The second leg of the Triple Crown of horse racing, the Preakness Stakes, will be run on Saturday at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore.

Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming is the Preakness favorite at 4 to 5. Classic Empire is at 3 to 1 odds while Lookin at Lee is 10 to 1. There are only 10 horses scheduled to run in the Preakness and I’m sure the odds will change quite a bit before the horse run out of the starting gate. Here are the rest of the horses. Cloud Computing 12 to 1, Gunnevera 15 to 1, Conquest Mo Money 15 to 1, Hence 20 to 1, Multiplier 30 to 1, Term of Art 30 to 1 and Senior Investment 30 to 1.

Now I didn’t do so well with my Kentucky Derby pick, but I’ll give it another shot for the Preakness. I’m going to go with Hence to win the Preakness Stakes.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com or you can find the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

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