Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 5, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

We’re getting close to the end of the NBA regular season and just like last season there will be a play-in tournament for the teams that finish in the 7th through 10th positions in the standings. Now it is a little oddly set up as the 7th place team will face the 8th place team while the 9th place team plays the 10th place team. You’d think that 7 would face 10 and 8 would face 9, but that’s not what the NBA has scheduled right now. These are one game play-ins; so if you just happen to have a down night in that game you’ll be out of the playoffs before they even start.

So as of right now in the Eastern conference the Boston Celtics would face the Charlotte Hornets. While over in the Western conference the Portland Trail Blazers would face the Golden State Warriors. While the Memphis Grizzlies would take on the San Antonio Spurs.

Now these final four teams could change as there aren’t too many games between a team moving into 5th or 6th place and this is what brought my attention to this little play-in tournament.

Now if you’ve read the blog before or have ever listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that I don’t care much for the NBA and I don’t spend much time actually watching the games. The NBA game has become very boring to me as it’s guys standing around the 3-point line shooting the basketball. There’s also zero defense played as the league believes that fans want to see scoring; so if you actually try to play defense you’d probably foul out of the game before halftime.

What really drew me to this point was after I heard a post game interview with LeBron James. Now the Los Angeles Lakers are currently tied for 5th place in the Western Conference, but are just one game ahead of the 7th place Trail Blazers. Now during this interview James was asked about the play-in tournament and how he’d feel if the Lakers ended up in it. I believe he said that the NBA should fire the person who came up with that idea. Now I actually got a chuckle out of that because if you can remember back to last season James thought that the play-in tournament was a great idea. What changed? I guess the fact that the Lakers could end up with it really swung James opinion the other way.

The one thing that James either forgot or I really should say would never want to admit is that the NBA will make sure if the Lakers end up in that play-in game that they advance. The NBA wants James in the playoffs because they think he equals ratings. Even though last season when most people where stuck at home because of the Covid-19 pandemic the NBA finals with James and the Lakers in it drew the all-time lowest ratings in league history. Unfortunately the NBA hasn’t been smart enough to realize that there’s something wrong with their current game and they are going to continue to jam James down our throats until he retires.

Let’s face it does anyone really not expect to see James and the Lakers in the NBA finals against whoever ends up coming out of the Eastern conference?

I won’t be surprised at all when the Lakers enter the playoffs as whatever type of lower seed they get and then go all the way to the NBA finals. Then will get to listen to the media talk about what a great run this team made from the underdog seed. Really the Lakers with James and Anthony Davis an underdog, but that’s how they’ll try to sell it. I just hope they’re are people who aren’t dumb enough to buy that. This Lakers team was picked to go to the NBA finals by just about everyone. Now injuries to Davis and James have slowed them down and that’s why they’re currently tied for 5th in the Western conference, but like James himself has mentioned before; the regular season doesn’t matter.

So what do you think. Are the Lakers the team that will represent the Western conference in the NBA finals? Or is it possible that a team like the Utah Jazz or the Phoenix Suns ; who are tied for the best record in the Western conference make it to the NBA finals? How the teams right behind them like the Los Angeles Clippers or the Denver Nuggets. Let me know who you’ve got coming out of the Western conference?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live edition of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

/

How was your week

Posted: May 1, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

There are times I see a sports story that is either reported on television or I read about online and it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. This Aaron Rodgers story is one of them; I just don’t get it.

In case you haven’t heard on Thursday Rodgers apparently told his current team the Green Bay Packers that he no longer wants to play for them and I just can’t seem to figure out why. Well to be honest I might’ve figured out why, but will get to that later.

Now there was talk about this exact same thing earlier this off season and a lot seemed to center on the fact that the Packers drafted quarterback Jordan Love in the 1st round and didn’t pick a wide receiver like Rodgers wanted them to. Now let’s face it every quarterback wants his team to add another offensive weapon for him to throw to even if the pick doesn’t make sense for that said team to make. Okay; so Rodgers is upset about that, but that’s not really something to leave a team for; is it?

If you go back to when the Packers made the change at head coach and brought in Matt LaFleur there was some tension right away and it showed in the first year that Rodgers was in LaFleur’s offense in his first season. In 2019 Rodgers completed 62% of his passes which was he second lowest completion percentage since taking over as the Packers full time starter. Rodgers also posted his second lowest total in passing touchdowns with 26. Oddly even through all of this the Packers still went 13-3 and won the NFC Central and a playoff game.

Then we move to this past season and there wasn’t any new animosity that seemed to come up between Rodgers and the Packers, but ho knows what goes on behind the scenes. On the field it appeared that Rodgers was in better spirts as he had what some might say the best year of his career. Rodgers posted career highs in Touchdown passes with 48 and completion percentage with 70.7% while winning his 3rd career MVP award. The team again went 13-3 winning the NFC Central again, but running into some trouble in the NFC Championship game losing to the eventual Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Right after that NFC Championship game is where this controversy started after some comments Rodgers made about his future. Now you have to wonder if those comments came out because Rodgers had just missed out on a chance to go to the Super Bowl or if he was upset about the Packers going for a field goal instead of allowing him to try and win the game for them, but I doubt will ever really know.

Now the media did everything in their power to give this story legs, but even with the media behind this story it died out fairly quickly and it looked like things where okay between Rodgers and the Packers until Thursday when this story came out.

As I’m trying to figure out why Rodgers would want out of Green Bay I’m wondering if he doesn’t like winning. It’s clear that the Packers are head and shoulders above any other team in the NFC Central and that gives them an easy path into the playoffs; so that gives Rodgers a shot to go to the Super Bowl in just about every season he’s in Green Bay.

Now don’t forget that the Packers where interested in renegotiating Rodgers deal so they could try and add players in the free agent market, but I believe Rodgers never really engaged in talks with Green Bay about renegotiating his deal. Now this wouldn’t of cost him any total money and would’ve given him team a chance to add a player that he complains about not having. In the end a renegotiation might’ve given Rodgers a little more money on the back end of his contract. You have to wonder why Rodgers wouldn’t of been interested in at least sitting down with the Packers and talking about moving some of his money around to try and help them land a big free agent.

This is what brought me to what I think might be the just position of this issue; money. Rodgers is due to make $33.5 million dollars this coming season. That ranks Rodgers as the 5th highest paid quarterback for the 2021 season. Obvious Patrick Mahomes is the highest paid quarterback in the NFL for good reason, but the 2nd and 3rd highest paid quarterbacks aren’t really in Rodgers league. Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys turned his franchise tag in a payday of $40 million dollars for next season while DeShaun Watson of the Houston Texans is do to make $39 million dollars next season. Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks is the 4th highest paid quarterback next season at $35 million dollars. Is it at all possible that Rodgers is using this tactic as a ploy to get a new contract from the Packers that pays him more than Prescott and Watson who even at age 37 Rodgers is clearly better than.

Now will have to wait and see how this situation plays out, but the Packers have already come out and said that they have no plans to trade Rodgers as they should. If the Packers do refuse to make any kind of deal with Rodgers that leaves him with what appears to be two choices. Rodgers can either play for the Packers where he has I believe three more years on his contract or he can retire and walk away from the NFL.

I fully expect Rodgers to be the Packers quarterback Week 1 of the 2021, but what do you think? How do you see this playing out and where do you think Rodgers will be playing next season? Or if you think he’ll be playing at all.

Now I enjoy the NFL draft as much as any other fan does and while you’re going to hear if your favorite won or lost the draft, but let’s face it no one really knows. I can actually give you one winner right now and that’s Cleveland. No not the Browns, but the draft process where the NFL is bringing a fan on stage to sit in Roger Goodall’s chair while their teams pick is announced. Last night when the Browns where making their 2nd round pick the fan they brought on stage to sit in that chair was dressed like the “Macho Man’ Randy Savage and this guy nailed it. He was carrying a title belt with him and had the mannerisms down to a tee. This has clearly been the best part of the draft; so this guy whoever he is was the actually winner of the draft no matter what happens today.

The Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you happen to miss the live edition of the podcast all you have to do is head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 28, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Well we are just one day away from the 1st round of the NFL draft and it’s clear that beyond the first three or maybe four picks no one has any idea what’s going to actually happen.

The Jacksonville Jaquars will pick first and barring any major trade or something clearly out of the ordinary it looks like they’ll take quarterback Trevor Lawrence with that pick.

The New York Jets are still at #2 and after giving up on Sam Darnold it looks like the Jets will also be selecting a quarterback. It seems as New York will go with Zack Wilson with their pick.

That bring us to the third pick which belongs to the San Francisco 49ers after they traded into that spot. Now it seems to be another case of a team taking what they hope will be their franchise quarterback, but which one will San Francisco actually take. It seems like Mac Jones the soon to be former University of Alabama quarterback is the odds on favorite to be selected by the 49ers with this pick. Now as of late there seems to be more talk that San Francisco might go another direction and grab either Justin Fields or Trey Lance with this pick. One way or another San Francisco is going to take a quarterback, but the question is which one will it actually be.

Then we roll into the fourth pick which is currently held by the Atlanta Falcons. Now there’s always the chance that the Falcons get blown away by a trade offer from a team that’s looking to grab one of the remaining quarterbacks, but if they keep the pick they have their choice and would probably grab the best player in this draft and that appears to be tight end Kyle Pitts.

As we get to five and six we have the Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins in these spots. Now neither of these teams looks to be in the quarterback market; so if a team is interested in moving up to try and grab one of the remaining quarterbacks this may be the spot where we see a trade; especially with Miami.

Don’t forget that the Dolphins actually started with the 3rd pick in this draft, but they dealt that to San Francisco as part of a three-team deal that included the Philadelphia Eagles. I don’t think it would be a very big surprise to see the Dolphins move back again in this draft and stockpile some more draft picks.

I really think the drama here is how far will the two remaining quarterbacks fall in this draft be it Jones, Field or Lance. There are teams like the New England Patriots and the Chicago Bears that should have some interest in a young quarterback. New England is sitting at #15 while the Bears have the 20th pick.

Could one of the two remaining quarterbacks fall to them? Or are they going to have to try and move up into the Top 10 or just outside it to get one of them?

It would really be out of New England’s character to move up in the 1st round, but this entire off season the Patriots did things no one was expecting; so maybe they have one more surprise move in them.

Now the Bears on the other hand have moved up to get a quarterback before. Remember they overpaid to move up from the 3rd pick to the 2nd pick to draft Mitchell Trubisky because somehow San Francisco was able to convince them that their where other teams willing to move up to draft Trubisky. Is it possible that another team might be able to take advantage of the Bears gullibility and get them to overpay again to move up in this draft?

You do have to wonder if a team like the Washington Football Team would take a quarterback if there was one on the board when their pick came around at #19. Washington did sign veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick this off season, but he’s just on a one year deal; so drafting his successor wouldn’t be a terrible idea. If Washington takes a quarterback he could sit for a year and learn the NFL game while Fitzpatrick plays.

There is a very interesting wild card team as we get to the bottom of the 1st round. I would be really interested to see what the New Orleans Saints would do if one of these quarterbacks where sit on the draft board when their pick came up at #28. For years now the Saints have tried to sell Taysom Hill as a legitimate starting quarterback in the NFL, but instead of turning the team over to him when Drew Brees retired they resigned Jameis Winston to either compete for the starting quarterback job or be the #1 QB while Hill continues as a gadget quarterback. I seriously doubt that the Saints would give up the draft capital to move up even minimal spots to grab whichever quarterback might be remaining, but if that aid quarterback fell into their lap at #28 could they pass him up?

It appears as we’re going to have five quarterbacks drafted in the 1st round one way or another and then the questions can start about how they’ll work out with the team that drafted them. What’s always humorous to me is how fast the media turns on these guys after pushing them so hard since the end of the NFL season. It’s like they forget that it takes some time for these young quarterbacks to develop and very few of them actually led their teams into the playoffs their first year with them.

I’m almost to the point where I’m glad the draft is here just so I don’t have to hear people who know as much as I do about who’s going to be drafted where talk about it. How about you?

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just swing on by TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: April 24, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

We are nine races into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup series and so far we’ve had nine different race winners. This week the series moves to Talladega Super Speedway for race #10. Will we have our tenth different winner of the season? Or will one of the drivers who’ve already won a race this season find a way to get their second win of the year?

Don’t forget that winning a race gets you an automatic spot in the playoffs as long as you can stay in the Top 20 in points and so far I believe that all nine race winners are inside that Top 20. With 19 races left before the playoffs even start you have to wonder how many different race winners we might see this season. Is it possible that everyone who qualifies for the playoffs has won a race this season?

The last time a driver won 10 races in a season was in 2007 when Jimmie Johnson accomplished the feat driving the #48 car. Carl Edwards came close the next season as he won 9 races in 2008. Right now it doesn’t look like we have a driver that’s going to dominant and win a large number of races, but with 19 left to go it is possible that someone gets on a roll.

To be honest I can of like not seeing one guy go out and win every week. It actually makes it more fun for me to watch a race when it seems like almost anybody can get their car into victory lane. With Talladega being a plate race and in general with plate races there is one big wreck or two that eliminates a bunch of cars this race could easily be won by someone you’re not expecting to win.

Right now it appears that Denny Hamlin is the odds on favorite to pick up the win on Sunday. While Hamlin has yet to find his way to victory lane this season he has been the most consistent driver with 8 Top 5’s in the 9 races this season. Hamlin is current points leader on the season as well.

If you’re not interested in betting on the favorite Joey Logano has the second best odds to win followed by Ryan Blaney while Chase Elliot and Bard Keslowski are tied for the fourth best odds to win. If you’re looking for a sleeper type of bet then a driver like Ryan Newman might be your pick. Newman is one of the drivers with the most experience in plate racing and might be able to stay out of the “big one” and be around for the end of the race. Don’t don’t forget that Michael McDowell won the first plate race of the season at Daytona. If you think McDowell has a shot at picking up another win at a plate race on Sunday you can get really good odds on him.

These plate races are probably the toughest to predict when it comes to NASCAR. Now there are always accidents in a NASCAR race, but rarely do they take out multiple cars like they do when they’re plate racing. That really opens up the field and gives any driver the chance to win the race as long as he can keep his car out of trouble.

While you’re considering your pick; here’s how they’re going to start on Sunday. Denny Hamlin is on the pole with Joey Logano 2nd, Martin Truex Jr. 3rd, William Byron 4th and last week’s winner Alex Bowman 5th. Christopher Bell will start 6th with Ryan Blaney 7th, Chase Elliot 8th, Kyle Busch 9th and Brad Keslowski round out the Top 10 as he’ll start 10th.

Can you of those drivers stay up front all race and win? Or do you have someone else in mind as the winner of the race tomorrow? Let me know who you think is going to win at Talladega tomorrow.

In case you don’t remember the NHL is playing a shortened season and that season is winding down rather quickly. Just this week the Colorado Avalanche and the Las Vegas Golden Knights became the first two teams to officially clinch playoff spots while the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres and the Columbus Blue Jackets where the first three teams officially eliminated from the playoffs.

The Golden Knights currently have the most points in the NHL with 68 while the Avalanche have the 3rd most points in the league with 66. The team in between them right now is the Carolina Hurricanes with 67. The Hurricanes haven’t yet clinched their playoff spot, but that should happen for them soon.

There are some tight races to see who might grab what playoff spot in each division and remember in the NHL lower seeded teams have beaten higher seeded teams on multiple occasions; so who gets into the playoffs could be very important.

The Nashville Predators are trying to hang onto the final playoff spot in the Central division while the East division is still wide open and it looks like there are five or maybe even six teams battling to get into the playoffs in that division. The Montreal Canadiens are holding onto the final playoff spot in the North division and they currently have a solid six point lead over the Calgary Flames. With two spots already locked up in the West division and the Minnesota Wild doesn’t look like they’re far off from locking up a third playoff spot out of that division. That means there’s just one playoff spot in that division to be decided between Arizona Coyotes, St. Louis Blues, San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings. Arizona currently has the final playoff spot, but they’re just one point ahead of the Blues. While the Sharks find themselves four points out of that final playoffs spot and the Kings are five points out of that last spot. This should make for some interesting games down the stretch.

Don’t forget to check out the Sports Time Radio podcast. The podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but is also available to listen to on TuneIn.com.

I’m also on Twitter @Burketime if you want to look me up.

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 21, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Even though they’ve only played 16 games so far this season there seems to be a lot of people that are concerned about the New York Yankees, but is it justified?

The Yankees are 6-10 through those 16 games this season. There is just one team with a worse record than the Yankees and that’s the Colorado Rockies who are 5-12. Now their are also three teams the Minnesota Twins, the Detroit Tigers and the Arizona Diamondbacks that have also started out this season 6-10; so the Yankees aren’t alone in starting off the 2021 season on a down note.

Coming into this season there where some questions about the Yankees pitching staff. Obviously they had Gerrit Cole at the top of their rotation, but after that there where a lot of questions. The Yankees signed free agents Corey Kluber and Jameson Taillon. Both where coming off of injuries that kept them out for almost all of the shortened 2020 season. The Yankees rounded out their rotation with Jordan Montgomery and Domingo German. Now that’s not a terrible rotation for any team, but so far it hasn’t worked out for the Yankees with the exception of Cole.

Montgomery is 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA. Taillson is 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA. Kluber is 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA. While German went 0-2 with an ERA of 9.00 in his two starts before he was sent to the alternative training site. Nick Nelson made a spot start for the Yankees in German’s place last time that spot in the rotation came up. The next time the Yankees will need a starter for that spot will be Saturday and they haven’t announced if Nelson will make the start again or if they’ll go with someone else.

As you can see this seems to be a problem for the Yankees, but if they can tread water their may be help on the way. Luis Severino should be pretty close to being able to return from Tommy John surgery, but will have to wait and see if and when the Yankees decide to bring him back. Severino hasn’t pitched for the Yankees since he made two starts in the 2019 post season, but this is a pitcher that won 19 games for this team in 2018. Severino was looked at as a future ace for this rotation until they signed Cole as a free agent. A healthy Severino along with Cole at the top of the Yankees rotation would surely turn around their fortunes.

You also have to wonder if German will be able to work his way back to that pitcher who won 18 games in 2019. German didn’t pitch last season due to a suspension and their was some talk that he might not be welcomed back into the Yankees clubhouse because of that. Of course getting off to the start he did didn’t help ingratiate himself to his teammates. You have to wonder if German can work out his issues at the alternative training site and return to this rotation with Severino if his teammates would be a little more accepting of him.

Now even though we pointed out the way the starting pitchers have started off the season that’s not the only issues the Yankees seem to be having through these first 16 games. Surprisingly the Yankees really aren’t hitting either.

Looking at the Yankees regular everyday line up and you’ll see that only one of them is hitting .300 and that is DJ LeMahieu. To be fair Kyle Higashioka is also hitting .308 and even though he’s been getting a little more playing time once Gary Sanchez is 100% Higashioka will go back to catching once a week.

While LeMahieu is doing what he just seems to normally do there are five players in the Yankees line up that where hitting under .200. Well I guess technically it’s just four players now as Jay Bruce announced his retirement over the weekend. Now it’s doubtful that Giancarlo Stanton, Clint Frazier, Gleybar Torres and Aaron Hicks hit under .200 for the entire 2021 season; so once they start to hit things will pick up for the Yankees.

I guess because they play in New York and they where heavy favorites to not only win the American League east, but also get to the World Series people are concerned by a slow start.

How worried are you or should fans be about the Yankees after just 16 games?

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

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: April 17, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

We’re not quite 15 games into the 2021 Major League Baseball season, but that hasn’t stopped people from overreacting. You have to remember tat this season isn’t a 60 game sprint like last season, but it’s a 162 game marathon like it always is. That means just because a team might be off to a 5-8 start like the New York Yankees are doesn’t mean they won’t end up winning the American League East like almost everyone predicted they would. It’s just way to early in the baseball season to panic.

Believe it or not I actually saw someone write that this three game weekend series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres was a battle for supremacy in the National League West. Now these teams will face each other 17 times during the regular season. Does the first three game series against each other really set the tone for the entire season? The Dodgers won game one of this series last night. What if they go on to sweep the Padres this time around; does that mean that San Diego has no chance to win the other 14 match ups?

I think everyone expects the Dodgers and the Padres to get into the playoffs this season and it would be a big surprise if one of them misses out. Let’s just say that the Dodgers do pull off the sweep this weekend and then San Diego rebounds and wins the next 14 games against them. Would that make the Padres the decided favorite if they met in the playoffs?

It very much the same situation when Aaron Rodgers told Green Bay Packers fans to “relax” when they where upset about how the team was playing very early in the season. No team has even played 15 games; so relax.

As of right now the Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and New York Mets are the 1st place teams in the National League while the Boston Red Sox, Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners are the 1st place teams in the American League. How many of those teams do you have not only hanging onto 1st place, but actually getting into the playoffs?

Now their is one early season debate that I think might make some sense nd I’d like to know what you think about this. Has Ronald Acuna Jr. of the Atlanta Braves supplanted Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels as the best player in baseball?

This was the first time in quite a few years that trout wasn’t the #1 rated fantasy player coming into a draft. Believe it or not in Yahoo’s rankings Trout was ranked a #7 while Acuna Jr. was #1. In between then was Fernando Tatis Jr. at #2, Jacob deGroom at #3, Mookie Betts at #4, Juan Soto at #5 and Gerrit Cole at #6. I don’t necessarily agree with these rankings, but that’s how Yahoo had it laid out for fantasy players coming into this season.

Currently the Top 5 in Yahoo fantasy for the season so far has Acuna Jr. at #1. He ‘s followed by Jake McGee, Corbin Burnes and Joe Musgrove at 2,3 and 4 then we get another position player to round out the Top 5 as Manny Machado makes an appearance.

Now if Acuna Jr. hasn’t taken over as the best player in baseball he is currently the most exciting. Of course being off to a great start has helped Acuna Jr’s candidacy to become the best player in baseball. He’s currently the stat leader in eight offensive categories including home runs which you know the analytic experts love. Adding to Acuna Jr’s case is the fact that he’s scored from 3rd base on a pop up to the second baseman and a routine ground out.

You may not realize this, but Acuna Jr. is just 23 years old and won’t turn 24 years old until December. A lot of everyday players don’t hit their peak until after the age of 25; so it’s quite possible that Acuna Jr. may become a better player than he is right now.

Trout himself is off to a good start. He’s hitting .386 with on On Base of .526 and a Slugging Percentage of .750. Those aren’t bad numbers to start a season off with and they’re close to being in line with numbers Trout has put up for entire seasons with the exception of the batting average.

Now is Trout’s 10th full season in the majors and he’ll turn 30 years old this August; so if he does slip back to the 2nd or even 3rd best player in baseball it wouldn’t be that big of a regression and unfortunately it’s bound to happen soon or later, but I’m not sure if it’s going to be this season.

Let me know who you think the best player in baseball currently is. I’d be interested to know who you’re picking.

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

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: April 10, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

For quite a few years now Major League Baseball has been trying to get younger fans to watch their games. Somewhere down the line they decided that the way to do this was to speed up the game, but that doesn’t seem to have worked. Then they went back to something that had worked for them before by having more home runs hit. After the last strike in the 90’s fans where really turning against the game of baseball, but the Mark McGwire/Sammy Sosa home run chase brought fans back to the game. This time baseball allowed the baseballs to be “juiced”; so more home runs would be hit by everyone this time, but it didn’t seem to work this this time around. Then they decided that the games where too long and they added some new rules to help shorten them. Unfortunately some of the rules they’ve added aren’t helping the game at all, but will have to get into those another time. The thing that makes baseball tough to watch is something that they can’t control and that was the addition of analytics. As teams started to embrace analytics what no one realized was it would turn baseball into almost exclusively a three outcome game. By using analytics baseball has become a home run, walk or strikeout game and let’s face it that no fun to watch even for someone like me who’s been a lifelong baseball fan.

Now fortunately for us long time fanes there are those moments in baseball where it shows us the actual beauty of the game and reminds us why we love it so much. Last night we had one of those moments.

For the first time in the history of the San Diego Padres they had a pitcher throw a no-hitter. Joe Musgrove threw 112 pitches and struck out 10 Texas Rangers last night on his way to the first no-hitter in Padres history.

Musgrove faced 28 hitters last night as the only Rangers player who managed to reach base against Musgrove was Joey Gallo who was hit by a pitch in the Top of the 4th inning.

Musgrove’s family have been long time Padres season ticket holders and Musgrove wears #44 in honor of former Padres pitcher and former Cy Young award winner Jake Peavey.

Musgrove in in his 6th major league season and was acquired by the Padres this past off season from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a three team trade that also involved the New York Mets. To get Musgrove the Padres sent starter Joey Lucchesi to the Mets. San Diego also sent four minor leaguers Omar Cruz, Drake Fellows, Hudson Head and Dave Bednar to the Pirates. Pittsburgh also received Endy Rodriguez from the Mets in this deal as well.

This was actually the third time in Musgrove’s career that he had been traded. He was originally a 1st round draft pick of the Toronto Blue jays, but they traded him to the Houston Astros who he made his major league debut for on August 2nd of 2016. After the 2017 season Musgrove was sent by the Astros to the Pirates as part of the trade that brought Gerrit Cole to Houston. Musgrove spent three seasons with the Pirates, but injuries limited him in two of those. He’s now made two starts for the Padres and so far so good as Musgrove is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA over 15 innings with 18 strikeouts and 0 walks. Not a bad start for the team he’s rooted for since he was a kid.

This was the first no-hitter for a franchise that is in it’s 53rd season as they started play in 1969. For those people who like this kind of thing last night was the Padres 8206th regular season game. Until last night the Padres had been the only team in Major League Baseball that hadn’t had a pitcher throw a no-hitter for them. Well that can no longer be said as Musgrove changed that.

How about one more odd fact from Musgrove’s no-hitter last night. Before Musgrove threw his no-hitter last night the last no-hitter was by Alec Mills of the Chicago Cubs on September 13th of last season (2020). The catcher for Mills no-hitter was Victor Caratini who was acquired by the Padres along with Yu Darvish this past off season from the Cubs and he just happened to be catching last night for Musgrove.

Did you get to see Musgrove’s no-hitter? Either way; what do you think of Musgrove’s no-hitter and the Padres finally getting a no-hitter in their history?

Have you been listening to the Sports Time Radio podcast? It airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but you can also listen to the podcast whenever you want to by going to TuneIn.com.

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 7, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Now at this time of year you can almost always as yourself; do the New York Jets know what they’re doing? Now there are plenty of good reasons for that question and will have to see if the latest move they just made falls into that category.

The Jets gave into what almost seemed to be pressure from the media and traded Sam Darnold. Darnold went to the Carolina Panthers and for a former #3 overall pick the Jets didn’t get much in return. New York will receive a 6th round pick in this upcoming draft along with a 2nd and a 4th round pick in the 2022 draft.

The Jets own the #2 overall pick in this upcoming draft and it’s now clear that they will also be taking a quarterback and it appears as they’ve settle on Zach Wilson out of BYU. Now the Jets hired a new head coach this off season and in a lot of cases new head coaches like to have their own quarterback when they take over and the Jets are doing that for Robert Saleh. Now will have to wait and see if it’s the right quarterback.

As for Darnold it’s been reported that he’ll be the Panthers starting quarterback next season even though Teddy Bridgewater is still on their roster. You have to wonder if the Panthers will try to use Bridgewater as trade bait with some of the other teams out their that are still looking for a quarterback. Dealing Bridgewater could also help Carolina recoup some of the draft picks they just gave up to get Darnold.

Don’t forget that Darnold will be just 24 years old at the start of the season and never really had much of a team put around him in New York. The biggest question about Darnold might be; can he stay healthy for a full season? Darnold has never played more than 13 games in his three year career; so that may be some motivation for Carolina to hang on to Bridgewater just in case Darnold gets injured during the season.

Adam Gase was the Jets head coach that was supposed to develop Darnold into and NFL quarterback, but obviously that didn’t happen. In 38 starts for the Jets the team went 13-25 with Darnold. He threw for 8097 yards in those 38 games with 45 touchdowns and 39 interceptions. Last season Darnold actually threw more interceptions (11) than he did touchdowns (9). That’s never a good stat for a quarterback. One thing for sure that would help Darnold improve immediately would be if the Panthers can find a way to keep him upright. In his three seasons with the Jets Darnold was sacked 30 times in 2018, 33 times in 2019 and 35 times last season. Those are big sack totals for a young quarterback to dal with and it’s not like Darnold can’t run a little.

Now it’s Carolina’s head coach Matt Rhule’s job to turn Darnold into the quarterback people thought he’d be when he was the 3rd pick in the 2018 draft.

Let me know what you think of this trade. Did the Jets get enough in return for Darnold? How do you think Darnold will do with his new team?

With the Darnold trade it looks like we’ll see quarterbacks taken with the 1st, 2nd and 3rd picks in this upcoming draft. It would be a huge shock if the Jacksonville Jaquars didn’t take Trevor Lawrence with the #1 overall pick. Now it looks like the Jets will go with Wilson at #2 and all report seem to have the San Francisco 49ers; who now own the 3rd pick in the draft from a trade they made a week or so ago taking Mac Jones. There are no real questions in the draft until we get to the 4th pick which is currently owned by the Atlanta Falcons.

There was some talk and even in some early mock drafts that the Falcons would also be selecting a quarterback, but that has changed lately. The Falcons themselves have come out and said that they would listen to trade offers for that #4 pick and now in most cases if the Falcons end up holding onto that 4th pick most new mock drafts have them adding Kyle Pitts the tight end from Florida.

What the Falcons do will they a lot about where their franchise might be headed very soon. They have a veteran quarterback already in Matt Ryan; so you have to wonder if they would take his successor in this draft or if they would wait another year or two. The Falcons have Ryan under contract until the 2023 season; so if they where to draft a young quarterback he’d have some time to sit behind a veteran quarterback and learn the NFL game unlike a lot of quarterback do in today’s game.

While it may not make sense for the Falcons to draft a quarterback trading that pick could bring them the windfall they need to compete in a division that features the New Orleans Saints and the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Is it possible that a team like the Denver Broncos, Chicago Bears or the Washington Football Team be willing to give up enough to move up to that #4 pick. San Francisco gave up three 1st round picks and a 3rd round pick to move up from #12 to #3 you have to wonder if Atlanta would want a similar return for a team to move into that 4th spot.

We’re just 22 days away from the NFL draft; so it won’t be long until we find out who ends up doing what.

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

I’m also on Twitter @Burketime if you’d like to look me up there.

How was your week

Posted: April 3, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

We’re two days into the Major League Baseball season; so it’s a way, way too early to start to worry about how your favorite team started off the season. Now of course there are people who do that and to be fair there are some good and bad in the first couple of days, but it’s so, so early in the season let’s just stick with the good.

Now I had multiple fantasy baseball drafts and as I’ve mentioned the drafts we have linked to the Sports Time Radio podcast have 20 in each of them. Now in none of the leagues I’m in did I see anyone pick Yermin Mercedes of the Chicago White Sox. Now I can understand why no one including myself selected Mercedes in their fantasy drafts. He’s the White Sox third string catcher and it was unclear how much playing time he’d actually get. Well he got his start start at the major league level last night for the White Sox as their Designated Hitter. So how did Mercedes do; well he became the first player in the modern era of baseball to go 5 for 5 in his first career start.

Now the last player to get 5 hits in his first career start was Cecil Travis of the Washington Senators who went 5 for 7 in his first career start in 1933. Before Travis you have to go back to 1894 to find another player who picked up 5 hits in their first career start. Fred Clarke of the Louisville Colonels was the player who accomplished that feat in 1894.

Mercedes had singles in the 3rd, 4th, 6th and 8th innings before ending his 5 hit night with a two run double in the 9th inning. Mercedes also drove in two runs with his first hit of the game; so not only did he go 5 for 5 he also drove in four runs in the White Sox 12-8 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

Mercedes started his career with the Washington Nationals in 2011, but after three seasons in their minor league system where he never played above their Dominican Summer League he was let go. Mercedes then spent three years playing in Independent league and the Dominican Winter League before being signed by the Baltimore Orioles in 2015. As Mercedes was making his way through the Orioles minor league system where he made it as high as Double-A he was left unprotected and the White Sox selected him as a Rule-5 pick. Now Mercedes actually made his major league debut last season, but he only got one at bat at the big league level; so it was a little bigger platform for him last night.

Now it is odd in this day and age for a major league team to carry three catcher, but with the White Sox being in the American League they do have that DH spot they can use for an extra spot. You also have to wonder if Eloy Jimenez hadn’t suffered the injury he did if the White Sox would’ve kept Mercedes on the roster or if he’d be catching at the alternative training site instead.

Luckily after the unfortunate injury to Jimenez the White Sox made the decision to keep Mercedes on the big club and while I don’t think anyone expects Mercedes to continue to produce like he did last night it is good story to start off the Major League Baseball season.

Now the other item I really liked from these first couple of days of the baseball season is the fact that the first home run of the season was hit by Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera’s team the Detroit Tigers where facing the Cleveland Indians who where starting 2020 Cy Young award winner Shane Bieber on opening day. Since the Tigers are in rebuilding mode and they where facing a pitcher who was dominant last season in Bieber it looked like Detroit would start the season off 0-1. Well in baseball things don’t always go as planned.

After the Indians didn’t score in the Top of the 1st inning Bieber took the mound to face the Tigers line up. Robbie Grossman lined out to left field for the first out of the inning. Jeimer Candelario singled to left field for the Tigers first hit of the 2021 season. Bieber then recorded his first strikeout of the season by getting Willi Castro swinging for the second out of the inning. That brought up Cabrera. Now the fan fair isn’t quite what it was for Cabrera since he’s had some down years, but he’s still a future Hall of Famer. Cabrera took the first two pitches in his at bat; one for a ball and one for a strike. The third pitch of the at bat was a fastball that Cabrera hit through the snowflakes just far enough to get over the right field wall or a two run homer.

Humorously with it snowing Cabrera didn’t see the ball go over the wall and as it bounced back into play after hitting off a rail Cabrera slide into 2nd base not knowing he had just hit a home run.

Cabrera’s home run gave the Tigers an early 2-0 lead and Detroit went on to win their season opener 3-2 over the Indians.

I’d be interested to know what you enjoyed from the first couple days of the Major League Baseball season.

I hope you’re listening to the Sports Time Radio podcast. It airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live edition of the podcast all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: March 31, 2021 by Sports Time Radio in sports

We’re just two days away from the start of what Major League Baseball hopes will be a 162 game regular season. I honestly hope they’re right because I’d love to see a full season of baseball.

As we head into the season it seems that a lot of people think that we’re going to get a classic World Series match up between the defending champion Los Angeles Dodgers and the New York Yankees and I can understand why people think it’s going to come down to those two teams, but just for fun let’s take a look at some other teams that might factor in before it’s all said and done.

While the Dodgers went out and signed the best free agent pitcher on the open market in Trevor Bauer the San Diego Padres traded for three quality starters to add to their rotation. It’s clear that the National League West is the most top heavy division in baseball. If somehow the Dodgers don’t finish in 1st place the Padres probably would, but both teams should end up in the playoffs. Not only should both teams make the playoffs, but it appears as though they’re destin to meet in a seven game National League Championship Series. If they do get their who knows which team might win that and move on to the World Series.

Over in the National League East there are a few teams that have drawn interest from a lot of people. The Atlanta Braves still have a quality young core of players; so they’ll definitely be a factor in this division again. The New York Mets made a big time addition in trading for Francisco Lindor and they already have some quality starting pitching; so they might also be a team that wins this division. The Washington Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies seem to be just a step behind New York and Atlanta in what is easily the best division in Major League Baseball. This should be the most interesting division to watch this season.

While the National League East is the best division in baseball the National League Central is the worst. The St. louis Cardinals made the biggest addition by trading for Nolan Arenado, but they also have three pitchers on the Injured list to start the season; so while they look like the favorite it’s not clear cut. The Milwaukee Brewers do what the Brewers do every off season. They added some lower tier pieces through trades and free agency and they’re hoping that’s enough to help them compete in a very weak division and it might be. No one seems to know what the Chicago Cubs or the Cincinnati Reds are doing and while the Reds have a everyday line up that can compete if they deal Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo like they’ve been trying to do all season they’ll have to win their games 12-11. As for the Cubs. Instead of dominating this division for years like they should’ve Theo Epstein ran away and the owner didn’t allow them to spend any money; so they’ll fade away like the Cubs used to.

Now the Yankees look like the best team in the American League East, but the Toronto Blue Jays seem to be up and coming quickly. Toronto added George Springer in free agency and they also brought in Kirby Yates to close games, but he won’t be pitching for them this season and will undergo Tommy John surgery. If Toronto can find someone to fill Yates’ role effectively maybe they can compete with New York. After get to the World series last season the Tampa Bay Rays decided to trade their #1 starting pitcher and try something different. With the exception of Tyler Glasnow; who’s now their #1 starter Tampa Bay is going to try to use eight to nine starting pitchers getting 100 innings out of each of them. I guess will see how it works for them, but I doubt it leads to them being able to hang with New York or Toronto.

The American League West looks like another weak division with the exception of Houston Astros and possibly the Los Angeles Angels. The Astros will have to manage to get through this season without Justin Verlander, but luckily they’re in the right division to do that. The Angels where unable to add a top of the rotation starting pitcher, but they did bring in some arms that upgraded the bottom of their rotation. Unfortunately it looks like the Oakland A’s took some big steps backwards this off season, but they do have quite a few young pitchers; so maybe they’ll find something with a couple of them. It looks like the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers will battle it out for last place in this division.

The American League Central could end up being a three team race. It appears as the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox are just slightly ahead of the Cleveland Indians, but the Indians may have the best starting rotation out of those three teams and that could help them stay with the Twins and the White Sox. The White Sox where dealt a blow when Eloy Jimenez torn a pectoral muscle; he had surgery yesterday and will be out 5 to 6 months. The Twins will probably need a full healthy season out of Josh Donaldson as well as Nelson Cruz being able to continue to hit like he isn’t 40 years old. So there are enough questions about the Twins and the White Sox that if the Indians don’t sell off pieces like they’ve been rumored to do for the past couple of seasons they might be able to hang around in this division.

Let me know who you think is going to win which division and which teams will grab wild card spots.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime