So counting today it’s just four days until the 2016 Major League Baseball season starts. The St, Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates start the season off at Noon followed by the Toronto Blue Jays taking on the Tampa Bay Rays. The night game features a rematch of last seasons World Series as the New York Mets take on the Kansas City Royals. All these games will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN-2. Now as you look at the schedule for Sunday April 3rd you’ll notice there’s a fourth game on the schedule. It has the Chicago Cubs taking on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This is just an exhibition game and while these two teams will open the regular season against each other on Monday this games doesn’t count in the standings. Now this is an incredibly stupid game scheduling. If you;re the Cubs or the Angels there’s no way you can play even one of the guys on your 25 man roster in this game. Why is this game even here? Just imagine if one of these tams starters got injured in this stupid game the day before the season is schedule to actually start. I would love to hear MLB try to explain why they put this game hear because I’m sure they have a very stupid reason for it, but it’s always good for a laugh when they try to make sense of something like this.
With the regular season getting ready to start we’ll be making our predictions for the 2016 season. I believe that Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu have there’s all ready to go. I am in the process of finishing mine and I believe we’re still waiting on Mr. Fantasy to turn his in. I will get them all organized and they will appear right here in the Saturday blog as well SportsTimeRadio.com
Last night the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 to sweep the season series; winning all 5 games the teams have played against each other. Unfortunately the Wild’s dominance of the Blackhawks this season wasn’t the story of the game. With 9:27 left in the 1st period Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was ejected for swinging his stick and catching Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle in the face. Keith was assessed a match penalty for intent to injure and is suspended until the NHL can review the play. Keith has had an incident like this before was knocked to the ice by Coyle and retaliated by swinging his stick while laying on the ice. Coyle was left with blood dripping down the bridge of his nose. The penalty left the Blackhawks shorthanded for five minutes, though the Wild did not score during the extended power play. The ejection left the Blackhawks without two key defensemen since Brent Seabrook missed the game because of illness. Keith has had an incident like this before. He was previous suspension, in the 2013 playoffs for swinging his stick and hitting Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter in the face. The Blackhawks have 5 games left in the regular season. Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets, April 3rd against the Boston Bruins, April 5th against the Arizona Coyotes, April 7th against the St. Louis Blues and April 9th against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if the NHL keeps Keith out for the rest of the regular season. Now Keith is one of the best defenseman in the NHL and the Blackhawks would miss him in those 5 games. This may not be the worst thing for Keith. He plays a lot of minutes for the Blackhawks and the time off might be good for him heading into the playoffs. The Blackhawks are trying to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. A feat that hasn’t been done since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1996-97 and 97-98 seasons.
The Washington Capitals have clinched the President’s trophy. The President’s Trophy is an award presented by the NHL to the team that finishes with the most points during the NHL regular season. As the team with the best regular season record, the President’s Trophy winner is guaranteed home-ice advantage in all four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, provided they advance that far. However, it does not guarantee that success; only eight of these winners have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. The last team to win both the President’s Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season was the 2012–13 Chicago Blackhawks. The Capitals last won the President’s trophy in the 2009-10 season, but they where beaten in the Quarterfinals by the Montreal Canadiens. I mentioned us making picks a little earlier and in case you don;t remember Dan the Man had the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup at the start of the season.
If you’re a New York Mets fan you had to be a little concerned when the news came out that Matt Harvey was going to miss his last spring training start. The reason that was giving was that Harvey had a non-baseball related issue. At that time there was also a chance that Harvey would miss his schedule opening day start against the Kansas City Royals. As it turned out Harvey was dealing with a blood clot in his bladder as well as a bladder infection. Now the Mets play their last spring training game today against the Washington nationals and luckily for Harvey his medical issues have cleared up and he’s going to start the game today and will be on schedule to start opening day for the Mets. Harvey is schedule to pitch 2 innings against the Nationals and then Noah Syndergaard who was originally schedule to make today’s start will take over on the mound. Harvey is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in three starts this spring while Syndergaard has a 2.04 ERA in four appearances.
It seemed like there where reports all winter long that the Texas Rangers might add a catcher. Well they waited until the end of spring training to make a deal. The Rangers acquired catcher Bryan Holaday from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for catcher Bobby Wilson and righthander Myles Jaye. Holaday who is from Dallas has had a terrific spring training, but he found himself 3rd on the Tigers depth chart at catcher behind starter James McCann and off-season acquisition Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Holaday was out of minor league options; so the Tigers could expose him to waivers and hope he wasn’t claimed by another team or deal him; which they choose to do. Holaday was recently scratched from Monday’s game to get a thumb issue checked out, but was cleared for action. The Houston Astros where another team that had been reported to be looking for a catcher this spring. On Monday they completed a deal with the San Diego Padres for catcher Eric Kratz. The Padres/Astros trade is believed to have expedited the deal between the Tigers and the Rangers for Holaday.
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