How was your week?

Posted: August 5, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized
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I, what most NBA experts saw as a surprise, saw Russell Westbrook sign a 3-year contract extension to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Most if not all of the experts that cover the NBA expected Westbrrok to follow Kevin Durant out of Oklahoma City when his contract expired after the 2016-17 season. Even though Westbrook has a new deal there’s no guarantee that he’ll be with Oklahoma City long term. Westbrook’s new contract replaces the final year of the deal he was under. He’s also signed for the 2017-18 season and has a player option for the 2018-19 season. We see a lot of these player options in contracts now because of the escalating salary cap number. With the new contract Westbrrok gets a raise for the 2016-17 season. He was originally due to make $17,769.374 for this coming season, but under his new contract that salary jumps to $26.5 million. That will also be Westbrook’s salary for the 2017-18 season and it would also be that for the 2018-19 season if he doesn’t opt out of the contract.

Westbrook played in and started 80 games for the Thunder last season. He averages 34.4 minutes per game. He averaged 23.5 points per game, 10.4 assists per game and 7.8 rebounds per game. On average he took 18.1 shots per game, but with Durant now wearing a Golden State Warriors uniform look for that number to go up. Westbrook is a 5-time All-Star and has finished in the Top 12 of the league’s MVP voting in four of the last five seasons. With Durant gone  Oklahoma City is clearly Westbrook’s team and I expect him to take full advantage of that.  Westbrook is a triple-double waiting to happen and I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see him win the league MVP award in one of both of these next two seasons he’ll be under contract to the Thunder. RW’s Career Page

Oklahoma City is going to have a different look this season than in the past. Not only is Durant gone, but the Thunder traded Serge Ibaka to the Orlando Magic for Victor Oladipo, Ersan Ilyasova and Domantas Sabonis on draft night. Besides getting the #11 pick Sabonis in a trade with the Magic the Thunder also made a deal with the Denver Nuggets to acquire Daniel Hamilton the 56th pick in the draft. Oklahoma City was 55-27 and the 3rd seed in the Western Conference playoffs under 1st year coach Billy Donovan. The Thunder made it all the way to the Western Conference finals where they lost to Golden State in 7 games. Even in the tough Western Conference; the lost of Durant and the trading of Ibaka the Thunder should still be a playoff team. Can they get to the conference finals again? and if they did could they find a way to get past Golden State and into the NBA Finals?

New York Yankees 1st baseman Mark Teixeira announced this week that he’ll be retiring after the 2016 season. Teixeira is 36 years old and is in his 14th major league season. He currently has 404 career home runs and is one of just five switch hitters with 400 or more career home runs. Teixeira is a 3-time All-Star and a 5-time Gold Glove winner. His best season may have been his first one with the Yankees. He hit .292 while leading the league in home runs with 39 and RBI’s with 122. He finished 2nd in the MVP voting that season to Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins. Teixeira was the 5th overall pick of the 2001 draft by the Texas Rangers. He made his major league debut April 1st of the 2003 season. Injuries have really taken it’s toll on Teixeira the last 5 seasons. He hasn’t played in more than 123 games in any of those seasons and only played 15 games in 2013 due to injury. Besides the 404 career home runs Teixeira is a career .269 hitter and has driven in 1281 runs over his 14 seasons. Tex career stats While I don’t think Teixeira has the career numbers to get into the Hall of Fame he has been with the Yankees for 8 seasons and that can help a player in the voting.

Has anyone broken out as the National League MVP to you? Before Clayton Kershaw got injured it seemed as tough he was the front runner for the award even though he’s a pitcher and it’s a cop out to vote that way. There are some contenders, but I don’t think anyone has separated themselves from the field as of yet. Daniel Murphy is having a great season for the 1st place Washington Nationals. Murphy is leading the NL with a .356 average along with 21 home runs and 81 RBI’s. With Bryce Harper having what is considered a down year Murphy has been a huge piece for the Nationals. What about Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies? Gonzalez has good numbers this season with 23 home runs, 75 RBI’s and is hitting 320. Will there be questions about his numbers because he plays in Colorado. What may hurt Gonzalez more than anything is that it doesn’t look like the Rockies will be a playoff team. Colorado is 8 games out of the NL West lead and trail by 4 games in the wild card race. It may seem odd to talk about the standings when your looking at the MVP race, but they actual matter to the people who vote for the award. Could Corey Seager of the Los Angeles Dodgers be a surprise candidate. Seager is the front runner for NL Rookie of the Year, but with his .303 batting average, 19 home runs and 51 RBI’s could MVP also be included. Seager also plays shortstop and he plays shortstop for the Dodgers. With the injury to Kershaw and some of the other issues the Dodgers have dealt with Seager may get some consideration for MVP. Don’t forget Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. Someone on the Cubs is going to get MVP votes with the year the team is having and Bryant may be the guy. He’s currently 2nd in the NL with 26 home runs; just one behind the league lead. He has also driven in 68 runs and is hitting .284 this season. It should also be taken into consideration that Bryant has played multiple position for the best team in the NL. Bryant has played most of his games at 3rd (68 games), but has played the outfield in 57 games. He has also played 5 games at 1st base; he DH’d in 1 game and even played an inning at shortstop this season. With Kershaw out of the running for this award could the cowards that can’t make a decision on an everyday player run and hide behind another pitcher. Is there a chance they turn to another Nationls player and get behind Steven Strasburg. Strasburg is 15-1 with an ERA of 2.63 in 20 starts this season. He’s struck out 161 batters this season while walking 38 guys. He has given up 13 home runs and teams are hitting .194 against him this season. Are one of these five players the NL MVP? or is these someone else out there? If you had a ballot; who do you have a top of it?

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