Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: March 18, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, sports
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How many more injuries can the Oklahoma City Thunder take this season. Kevin Durant missed games early in the season recovering from his foot surgery and now he’s out because they had to go in and adjust the screws in the plate they put in that foot.  Russell Westbrook suffered facial fractures had surgery to repair them and didn’t miss too many games, but is playing with a protective mask on. Now Serge Ibaka injured his knee and is out four to six weeks. Ibaka had  successful arthroscopic surgery yesterday and would be back for the playoffs if the Thunder makes the playoffs. Westbrook has been keeping the Thunder in the playoff hunt while making a case for himself as the MVP, but with the New Orleans Pelicans victory last night Oklahoma City finds themselves 1/2 a game out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western conference. Oklahoma City has 15 games left starting tonight (Wednesday) against the Boston Celtics to get past the Pelicans and into the NBA playoffs. If the Thunder can find a way to pass the Pelicans and grab that 8th seed they’d  get a 1st round match up with the Golden State Warriors. You’d think the Thunder would have to go into that opening round match up without Ibaka, but Golden State doesn’t really feature their big men. If Oklahoma City can get a healthy Durant back playing with the MVP candidate Westbrook against Golden State’s “Splash Brothers” Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry in just the 1st round of the playoffs. Would a Durant return be enough for Oklahoma City to shock a team like Golden State?

The NCAA tournament goes into full swing tomorrow as the official 1st round starts. We don’t cover much college basketball on the podcast, but I always fill out a tournament bracket just for the fun of it. While I’m not going to go game by game through my picks, but here’s my Final Four teams. Out of the Midwest region I have who else, but Kentucky. I have the Wisconsin Badgers coming out of the West region and they’ll play Kentucky in the Final Four. In the South region I have the Gonzaga Bulldogs going to the Final Four to play the winner of the East region which I have as Northern Iowa; with Gonzaga going to the championship game. So my finals match up is Gonzaga vs. Kentucky and I have Kentucky winning it all with a 70 – 61 victory in the tournament final.

At just 24 years of age and with just one season of professional football under his belt San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland retired because he is concerned about head injuries. Now I have no issues with Borland deciding to walk away from the NFL but the mainstream media has handled this story very, very poorly. I’ve heard Borland called everything from a hero to a quitter and I don’t believe he’s either. To me he’s just a guy who no longer wanted to play football. When you’re an athlete you have this fire or love inside you for the sport you play; it’s what keeps you going when you think you can’t go on. I’m guessing that Borland didn’t have a love for football or the NFL and just decided to move on with his life. Of course the media jumped all over this story and started predicting the end of the NFL Just because Chris Borland didn’t want to play football anymore doesn’t mean there aren’t players lining up to find their way into the NFL Is it possible that you’ll receive an injury that might affect your long-term healthy; yes. Are you paid very, very well to take that chance and play professional football; yes. Let’s not turn Borland into the poster boy for leaving the NFL because of head trauma. I don’t believe he has or received a serious head injury; he may have had a concussion last season, but I don’t think he missed any games because of it. Borland is a guy who accessed the risk of playing in the NFL to what he’d like to do with the rest of his life and decided to leave the sport. Don’t expect the mass exodus that the media is predicting now that one player has done it. I’m interested to see if any other players go this route.

While the NASCAR season is only four weeks old with the way it’s started can anyone stop defending champion Kevin Harvick? Harvick started his season by finishing 2nd to Joey Logano at the Daytona 500. The next week at Atlanta Motor Speedway Harvick finished 2nd again; this time to Jimmie Johnson at the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500. Week 3 in Las Vegas Harvick led 142 on his way to his 1st victory of the season at the Kolbalt 400. Then last week at the Phoenix International Raceway Harvick led 224 of the 312 laps and easily won the CampingWorld.com 500. So in four weeks of racing Harvick has two 2nd place finishes and two victories. This week NASCAR moves to Fontana California for the Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway. Will Harvick get his 3rd win in a row or can another driver find his or her way to victory lane. I guess the question if someone else does win the race will Harvick finish 2nd?

I’ll be the first person to say that I can’t stand the way Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and the Chicago Cubs are handling the Kris Bryant situation. To tell you the truth though I’m not really that upset with the way they’re handling his situation this spring training. The Cubs front office is making a business decision not a baseball decision to send Bryant to Triple A Iowa to start the 2015 season. In case you don’t know if Bryant goes to Triple A and spends 12 days there the Cubs gain and extra year of salary control with him. I can deal with him just going to Triple A for 12 days. The issue I actually have is this shouldn’t even be an issue as Bryant should’ve been in the major leagues last season and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Imagine if Bryant had a years worth of big league experience under his belt going into this season and wouldn’t have to learn on the fly at the major league level. Major league pitching is tough and it’s a lot more difficult to adjust to than Triple A pitching is. That would all be out-of-the-way had the Cubs just looked ahead and brought Bryant up last season. This is just part of the reasons why the Cubs don’t win. Poor front office decisions lead to poor on field results and the Chicago Cubs are living proof of that. Now the Cubs look better than they have in a long time and might have an outside shot at making the playoffs. How much more help would a Kris Bryant with one year of major league at bats be compared to a Kris Bryant who’s a rookie and learning major league pitchers be?

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast at BlogTalkRadio.com

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