How was your week

Posted: February 3, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’m sure at one time or another your favorite team has taken a player in the 1st round that just hasn’t worked out for them. For some teams it’s even been the player they’ve taken with the first pick in the draft. These players are considered busts and it appears as though we have another one to add to the list.

In 2012 the Houston Astros where just in the second year of their rebuild. They had the worst record in  baseball at 55-107 and received the 1st pick in the 2013 draft. With that pick the Astros decided to take a pitcher that they could build their starting rotation around for year to come. They too Stanford right hander Mark Appel with that pick.

One of the reason Appel sticks out to me is Dan the Man and I had some guest on the Sports Time Radio podcast who covered Houston sports. One of them exclusively covered the Astros and he was very excited about this pick.

While with the Astros Appel was highly ranked as a minor league prospect by the different publications that cover that. He was ranked as high as #17 by one of them, but he never got to the majors with the Astros. While with the Astros Appel was chosen to represent the Astros at the 2015 All-Star Futures game. Appel spent three seasons in the minors with the Astros before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. Appel was sent to Philadelphia with Brett Oberholtzer, Vincent Velasquez, Tom Eshelman and Harold Arauz. In return the Astros received Ken Giles and Jonathan Arauz.

The Phillies assigned Appel to Triple-A hoping that he wasn’t too far away from being a part of their major league rotation. Appel made just 8 starts in the 2016 season before needing surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow. Appel threw a couple of innings in Rookie League at the start if the 2017 season before returning back to Triple-A. Appel appeared in 19 games with 17 of them being starts last season. He went 5-4 with an E.R.A. of 5.14. On November 20th 2017 Philadelphia designated Appel for assignment.

Appel announced earlier this wee that he’d be stepping away from baseball. Now Appel is just 26 years old; so I don’t think you can rule out some type of a return, but with all the hype that went with his selection by the Astros he has to go down as one of the biggest busts selected at #1. Appel actually commented on being considered a bust saying “It depends on how you define it, but I probably am. I had high expectations. I didn’t live up to those for a number of reasons. If you want to call me the biggest draft bust, you can call it that.”

Appel’s career spanned just five minor league seasons. He went 28-18 with a 4.87 E.R.A. in 88 games covering 406 1/3rd innings. 85 of those games where starts.

Appel maybe the latest #1 overall draft pick to be a bust, but he surely won’t be the last.

I guess you had to expect that this would happen sooner or later with the slow off season market for baseballs free agents, but one agent used the term a “fight is brewing” over the lack of free agent activity this off season. While the word collusion wasn’t used you have to believe that it’s not far from being thrown out there. An agent also mentioned that there could be a spring training boycott if teams don’t begin signing players soon.

Now you have to understand that this is pretty much expected from an agent who’s been unable to get his guy a deal this off season. One agent described the owners behavior as “coordinated”. You’ll notice again that they didn’t use the word collusion.

I’ve always found this an interesting situation. How is it an owners fault if he doesn’t want to give a $200 million dollar contract to a player like Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish of J.D. Martinez. What if a team just doesn’t feel that a pitcher like Alex Cobb is worth the $20 million dollars a season he’s asking for. Lorenzo Cain got a 5-year $80 million dollar deal from the Milwaukee Brewers, but there are quite a few players still unsigned.

Of course it’s no surprise that the agents seem to have left out the fact that the big name guys like Arrieta, Darvish and Martinez have all turned down ling term deals for big money because it didn’t reach the dollar amount they thought they where worth. You could also add Cobb into this group, but he’s not really looked at as a top free agent.

Pitchers and catchers are going to be reporting to spring training very shortly. How do you see this playing out? Will we have a flurry of last minute signings? Or will we have some big name players still looking for contracts when spring training starts? Do you think the players would actually boycott?

When the New York Knicks signed Joakim Noah to a 4-year $72.5 million dollar contract Dan the Man and I had some questions. Noah had battled injuries in his last couple of seasons with the Chicago Bulls and it really looked like his best basketball was behind him. Now it looks as though the Knicks are stuck with a bad contract for a player who’s not going to be much help to them.

Noah was sent home after he and Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had a heated exchange at practice. It was reported last week that Noah yelled at Hornacek after being lifted in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Golden State Warriors. The two reportedly had a heated exchange the following day in Denver either during or after practice.

You have to wonder if the issue could be about Noah’s playing time. The Knicks have four centers on their roster Enes Kanter, Kyle O’Quinn, Willy Hernangomez as well as Noah. There hasn’t been a lot of minutes for Noah this season as he is playing an average of just under 6 minutes a game.

It’s going to be a difficult situation for the Knicks to get themselves out of. Noah is still owed $55 million dollars on his contract; so that might make a buyout tough to negotiate. It’s doubtful that a team would take a contract like Noah’s in a deal. So what are the Knicks to do? Right now it looks like the answer is to pay Noah to stay home.

With the trade deadline quickly approaching will have to see if the Knicks can find a way out of this situation.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime



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