Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 26, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, baseball, hockey, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I was caught off guard yesterday by the news that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be retiring at the end of this NASCAR season. Earnhardt Jr. missed the last 18 races of the 2016 season with concussion like symptoms, but was medically cleared to return to racing this season. Even though Earnhardt Jr. missed pretty much the entire second half of the 2016 season he still won Most Popular Driver as voted by the National Motorsports Press Association. It was the 14th year in a row that Earnhardt Jr. had won that award. Career wise Earnhardt Jr. won 26 races and 9 exhibition races; he is also one of only eight drivers to have won the Daytona 500 two or more times. Earnhardt Jr. won his first Daytona 500 in 2004 and then 10 years later in 2014 he won the race again. Earnhardt Jr. was actually leading this years Daytona 500 when he got caught up in a wreck. He ended up finishing 37th.

Even though he won’t be behind the wheel any more don’t expect Earnhardt Jr. to be too far away from the race track. He still co-owns JR Motorsports which is involved in the NASCAR Xfinity and truck series.

It’s been a slow start to the 2017 season for Earnhardt Jr. His best finish was a 5th place at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9th. That’s been his only Top 10 finish so far this season, but there are 28 races left this season. It would be nice to see Earnhardt Jr. get himself into The Chase and have a chance to win a championship in his final season.

Dustin Pedroia has missed the last two Boston Red Sox games after Manny Machado slide into and past 2nd base spiking Pedroia in the calf area. There was some swelling in the area that caused Pedrioa to sit out the final two games of that series against the Baltimore Orioles. There where reports that Machado reached out to Pedroia via text message and apologized for the incident and it appeared that the two players had worked things out between themselves.

On Saturday there was no attempt made by the Red Sox to retaliate on behalf of Pedroia and it looked like everything was put in the past. Then in the final game of the series on Sunday Machado came up to bat with Matt Barnes pitching for the Red Sox. The first pitch Barnes threw to Machado was a 90 plus mile an hour fastball behind his head that actually hit Machado’s bat. Barnes was ejected after that pitch and Machado went on to hit a RBI double off Joe Kelly who came in to replace Barnes. After this incident Machado and Pedroia exchanged words while Machado was in the on deck circle and it seemed as though Pedroia was saying that he didn’t ask the Red Sox or in this case Barnes to do that.

Now I would’ve had absolutely no problem at all if the Red Sox would’ve hit Machado as some type of retaliation for his slide into Pedroia, but my issue with this is you don’t go head hunting when you’re doing it. There was a similar incident in the Minnesota Twins/Detroit Tigers series over the weekend and when the Tigers pitcher retaliated he threw at the rear end of the Twins batter. Now that I can deal with, but you can’t go up around or after a guys head when you’re doing this.

Now I was hoping that Major League Baseball would come down on Barnes hard and set an example of what they would do to pitchers who go head hunting, but sadly they choked in a big way. All Barnes got was a 4-game suspension for throwing at someone’s head and he’s appealing that. This is just sad and a huge joke at the hands of Major League Baseball. Barnes should’ve easily gotten double digit games for what he did and to suspend him for just 4 games is laughable. What would’ve been Barnes suspension had he actually hit Machado in the head? Machado would’ve missed multiple games with the concussion he probably would’ve gotten from the pitch had it hit him. Is that what it would’ve of taken for Barnes to get and actual punishment. Major League Baseball truly dropped the (base)ball in this time and I hope it doesn’t take someone getting hit in the head by a pitcher who’s retaliating for one of his players for them to realize that this is a serious issue and it needs a serious suspension.

The 2nd round of the NHL playoffs gets started tonight. The Western Conference series will drop the puck tonight. The teams that knocked out the #1 and #2 seeds in the Western Conference will meet in the 2nd round as the St. Louis Blues host the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of their series. Then the Anaheim Ducks will host the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of their 2nd round series. Both of these games can be seen on the NBS Sports Network.

On Thursday the 2nd round in the Eastern Conference gets started. The Ottawa Senators host the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their series. This game will be shown on CNBC. Then a half an hour after the first game starts the series that everyone is talking about gets started as the Washington Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins in game 1 of that series.

Now I don’t want to take anything away from the Rangers or the senators as they both won their 1st round series and deserve to be here, but does it seem right that the Capitals and the Penguins are meeting in the 2nd round and not the Conference Finals? Most people thought that the Capitals and the Penguins where the best two teams coming into the playoffs and now they meet in the 2nd round; that just doesn’t seem right to me. I know the NHL re-did their playoff format, but I don’t understand how the teams with the top two points on the season should meet in the 2nd round of the playoffs. I don’t know maybe it’s just me. Feel free to let me know what you think of the NHL playoff seeding for the 2nd round in the comments.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com but you can also listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

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