Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: February 11, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, sports
Tags: , , , ,

2/11/15

The big story right now is that the little league team from Jackie Robinson West out of  Chicago used players from outside their boundaries and were stripped of their U.S. Little League World Series championship. I spent about 10 years coaching Little League baseball in the town I grew up in and while I didn’t coach at this level I can tell you first hand that this happens all of the time. I coached at what was called at the time the Senior league level which is players 13 to 15 years old. The level this is happened at is called the Major league level which has players from 10 to 12 years old. Now not only did I coach in my time in Little League, but I was also Vice President of the league and had to be acting President on a few occasions when needed. Does it make it right that they did this, no it doesn’t, but the kids themselves probably didn’t have much to do with this. I’m sure if you played Little League there was a kid you knew who used his Aunt’s address so he could play with his friends. When I was in elementary school my parents used the neighbors address so I could go to the school closest to our house. With every Little League World Series game on television now coaches are going to do whatever they can to win. Remember Danny Almonte; he was the pitcher who turned out to be 14 or 15 years old when he pitched in the Little League World Series. That turned out to be his father’s idea. There has always been an issue with either Japan or Korea and the ages of their players. I’m sure this has happened before and the team or teams just got away with it, but you wonder if the reason this is happening is because this team won. It’s too bad for the kids, but I’m sure some of them knew where certain players lived and that they should’ve been on different teams. I’m not sure if there’s a way to fix this now that it’s a featured television event, but remember that its Little League and it’s suppose to be for the kids.

So Alex Rodriquez had a meeting with the New York Yankees to apologize for his disastrous 2013 effort to escape a Biogenesis doping ban, even as team brass told Rodriguez that they did not intend to pay him the millions in marketing bonuses for any home run milestones he might reach in the future. As pitchers and catchers are getting ready to report you have to wonder where does Rodriquez fit in the Yankees plans for the 2015 season. Chase Headley was resigned in the off-season and will play 3rd base. If he’s healthy you have to figure Mark Teixeira will be at 1st base. There’s also the fact that Rodriquez has never played 1st base.  Chris Young finished the season strong for the Yankees and Garrett Jones was signed in the off-season; so even the Designated Hitter role is crowded. The meeting took place at Yankee Stadium and it’s being reported that it lasted about 90 minutes. Rodriquez  did not say whether he would challenge the Yankees on the bonuses, according to the person present. The execs told him they do not consider any records he might set as milestones and will not pay them, and that he was free to challenge them, according to the source. It will be interesting to see what kind of media circus follows Rodriquez around at spring training. On a side note Rodriquez will be the first player I nominate in our fantasy auction draft this season just to see how high the bidding might go.

A hamstring injury will sideline Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy for 4-6 weeks. The Brewers did not specify how Lucroy was hurt. Lucroy should be able to play by the time the Brewers open the regular season on April 6 against the Rockies at Miller Park. But he will miss the bulk of Spring Training, and those lost at-bats could be troublesome.  The Brewers have a quality backup catcher in defensive-minded Martin Maldonado, who signed a two-year contract last month. The other catcher on the 40-man roster is Juan Centeno, who briefly appeared in the big leagues with the New York Mets in 2013 and 2014.  Brewers pitchers and catchers are expected to report to camp on February  20th. The first full-squad workout is scheduled to be held on February 26th.

On the podcast today (Wednesday) we have Tim Kelly from Section215.com scheduled to talk some Philadelphia sports and I’m wondering how he feels about the Philadelphia Flyers playoff chances. The Flyers are one of the hottest teams in the NHL, picking up points in seven straight games after a 2-1 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday gave them a 5-0-2 record since January  20th, when they beat the rival Pittsburgh Penguins 3-2 at home. The Flyers are eight points behind the Boston Bruins for the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot. For the second season in a row the Flyers got off to a poor start. Last season they were 4-10-1 after 15 games and went 38-20-9 the rest of the way to reach the playoffs. This season the Flyers were 8-13-3 after 24 games but have gone 15-9-6 since to keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Having overcome a poor start last season gives the Flyers belief they can do it again, but this is most definitely doing things the hard way. The Flyers announced starting goaltender Steve Mason would be out 2-3 weeks with a lower-body injury. I did see a report yesterday (Tuesday) that Mason will have knee surgery. That was hardly the type of news you want to hear in the middle of a late-season push toward the playoffs, especially considering the difficulties backup Ray Emery has had this season. Emery entered the game against Montreal with a 9-9-1 record, a 3.34 goals-against average and .886 save percentage. But Emery made 39 saves against the Canadiens, withstanding a bombardment over the second half of the game to get his team into overtime and earn the Flyers a point in the standings, one that could have easily been lost were it not for his stellar play.

The national basketball Association is heading towards its All-Star break and I saw that one of the All-Star game activities this season is a fashion show. Yes, you read that right a fashion show. Apparently there will be three different looks per player. At least I think it’s the players who are modeling, but I don’t know for sure. I understand that the dunk contest got boring and not everyone likes three point shooting or skills competition, but a fashion show really. I also believe I heard that LeBron James is a producer or something to that effect on this. All I know is this is one All-Star event I have zero interest in.

Follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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