Archive for the ‘Auto Racing’ Category

Alex Cobb waited and waited and while he was the last bigger named free agent to get signed he finally did get a deal. Cobb signed a four year $57 million dollar deal with the Baltimore Orioles; pending a physical of course.

There was talk through the off season that the Orioles would be looking at add starting pitching. Cobb will join the returning Chris Tillman, free agent signing Andrew Cashner as well as Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman in Baltimore’s rotation. Of course what order these pitcher will start in is yet to be determined, but it won’t be long before we know that as well.

The question now is how long will it take Cobb to be ready to make his first start. The Orioles open the season with a three game series against the Minnesota Twins starting next Thursday March 29th. My guess is Gausman, Bundy and Cashner get those starts with Tillman probably getting the start at the home opener April 2nd against the Houston Astros. Is there any chance at all that Cobb would be ready to start the second game of the Astros series? If Cob doesn’t start against the Astros the New York Yankees are the next team that comes to Baltimore. Maybe that’s the series Cobb gets his first start in.

Now Cobb has never been a pitcher who goes deep into games. He has three career complete games in 115 career starts. You have to wonder if he’ll even be able to get through five innings in his first couple of starts. Now you’ll heard that he’s been working out and that he’s in great shape, but he hasn’t faced a live hitter yet and that’s a big deal.

Cobb didn’t quite get the $20 million dollars a season like he demanded when free agency started, but he will get $14.25 million dollars a season.

While the addition of Cobb improves the Orioles starting rotation is it enough to make them a playoff contender? The American League East looks top heavy with the Yankees and the Boston Red Sox expected to compete for 1st place. It’s also expected that the team that doesn’t finish in 1st place will end up with one of the American League wild card spots. If that ends up being the case the Orioles will have just one wild card spot to play for against the rest of the American League. Do you see the Orioles grabbing that other wild card spot?

With the retirement of Danica Patrick there are currently no female drivers in either of the top two NASCAR series. Jennifer Jo Cobb has competed in some Camping World Truck Series events, but her team is underfunded and they don’t run a full time schedule. I’m not sure if Cobb has shown enough behind the wheel of a truck to move up to the Xfinity series which would be the next step before reaching the top level Monster Energy Series.

Now it’s unclear how long it will be before we she another full time driver in one of NASCAR’s top two series, but when the time comes that driver might be Hailie Deegan. Deegan is just 16 years old and has been racing in the K&N Pro Series. In the K&N Pro Series West opener last Thursday at Kern County Raceway in California Deegan came home in 7th place just three spots behind Kevin Harvick, yes that Kevin Harvick.

If her last name sounds a little familiar to you it’s possible you know her father, X-Games Motorcyclist Brian Deegan. Deegan has a list of career achievements including and X-Games gold medal. When asked about his daughter making it into NASCAR he used the terms “time” and “hard work” in his answer.

Hailie is currently driving the #19 car a Toyota Camry for Bill McAnally Racing. How will Hailie do in the next K&N Pro Series West event in Tucson Arizona on May 5th? Then down the road will she be the next full time woman behind the wheel in one of the top two NASCAR series?

Led By James Harden’s 42 points the Houston Rockets ended the Portland Trailblazers 13 game winning streak last night with a 115-111 victory. The win was also the Rockets 6th in a row and that is currently the longest winning streak in the NBA. Chris Paul was the only other Rockets starter to score in double figures with 22 points. Eric Gordon added 18 points off the bench while Luc Mbah a Moute also reached double figures coming off the bench with 13 points.

The Trailblazers winning streak cane at a good time as it pushed them into 3rd place in the Western Conference. The playoffs race in the Western Conference is really bunched up with the exception of the top two spots.

With just 11 games left on their schedule the 4 games ahead of a banged up Golden State Warriors team it appears as though the Rockets will ne the #1 seed in the Western Conference. Even though their dealing with quite a few injuries right now the Warriors are still 9 games ahead of the Trailblazers in the standings and should stay in the #2 spot. Now from 3rd on down it’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out. Portland is currently holding that #3 spot, but the Oklahoma City Thunder are just 2 games behind them with the New Orleans Pelicans and the San Antonio Spurs just 3 games out of 3rd place. The Minnesota Timberwolves are in 7th place, but they’re just 3 1/2 games out of 3rd place while it’s the Utah Jazz who have that 8th and final playoff spot right now. The Jazz are 4 games out of that 3rd place spot, but they are also just 2 games ahead of the Denver Nuggets who are the first team out of the playoffs right now. Even the Los Angeles Clippers have to be considering a playoff contender as they’re in 10th place, but are just 2 1/2 games out of that final playoff spot.

With the way the Western Conference standings are right now it’s going to make these final 10 plus games interesting for these teams.

Quickly over in the Eastern Conference it looks as though there eight playoff teams have been decided. The Milwaukee Bucks currently sit in 8th place, but they have a 6 1/2 game lead over the 9th place Detroit Pistons. While mathematically the Pistons still have a chance to get into the playoffs they’re going to need Milwaukee to go on a losing streak down the stretch.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

Advertisements

How was your week

Posted: February 24, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, basketball, football, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

After being upset in the 1st round of the NFL playoffs last season the Kansas City Chiefs have made some big trades this off season.

The Chiefs started making changes very quickly starting with trading Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 3rd round draft pick. Looking at this deal now it’s interesting that the Chiefs acquired a cornerback in this deal and Fuller is looked upon as a starter.

Yesterday the Chiefs traded another Pro Bowler as they sent cornerback Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams for what is being reported as a package of draft picks. It appears as though we might not find out the details of this traded until March 14th when the trade can become official.

While the Rams are getting a top cornerback in Peters he does come with some baggage. Just last season Peters had a meltdown after a penalty and ended up throwing the referees flag into the stands. After that he thought he had been ejected and went to the locker room, but it turned out he hadn’t been and returned to the field without all of his pads on and no socks. Kansas City did suspend Peters for a game after this incident. There where also times when Peters was seen yelling at Chiefs defensive coordinator Bob Sutton on the sidelines. Peters also had an issue in college where he was kicked off the team at the University of Washington in 2014.

Even with the behavioral issues that Peters has shown, he is a fantastic talent on the field. He was a 1st round draft pick (#18 overall) by the Chiefs in the 2015 draft. Peters led the NFL with 8 interceptions and 2 returns for touchdowns as a rookie. Peters picked up 6 interceptions in 2016 and 5 last season. His 19 total interceptions lead the NFL for the three seasons he’s been in the league. Peters has made two Pro-Bowl and was voted 1st team All-Pro in 2016.

Peters is moving to defense that’s run by Wade Phillips and most experts seem to believe that Phillips will be good for the temperamental Peters. Phillips has had success with these type of emotional cornerback before. Phillips has been given credit for corralling the emotions of Aqib Talib when he was running the Denver Broncos defense. When Phillips was with the Broncos they won a Super Bowl and Talib made his first career Pro-Bowl. Will have to see how the working relationship between Peters and Phillips goes next season.

The Houston Rockets beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 120-102 last night in a game that featured two teams will see in the Western Conference playoffs.

The Timberwolves may have lost more than just a game last night as All-Star guard Jimmy Butler was helped off the court with a knee injury. Butler grabbed an offensive rebound away from Nene and as he was going to go back up and try to score he went down and grabbed his right knee. The original fear was that it might be an ACL tear as Butler himself was heard saying “it’s torn” while being helped off the court. X-Rays where negative, but Butler will have an MRI today to try and see what the severity of the injury might be.

Butler is the NBA’s leader in minutes played, but that’s no surprise as Tom Thibodeau has always played Butler a lot of minutes going back to their days with the Chicago Bulls.

Butler has played in 56 of the Timberwolves 62 games this season and is averaging 22.2 points per game. Butler has always been considered an all around player as he also pitches in with 6.2 rebounds per game, 5.5 assists per game and 1.9 blocked shots per game. Butler is also a solid defensive player which is difficult to find in the NBA these days.

Butler’s injury will probably be the deciding factor on how the Timberwolves season goes. Minnesota hasn’t been to the playoffs in 11 years, but it looks as though that streak will come to and end this season as they are currently 4th in the Western Conference with a record of 36-26. While Minnesota is 10 games over .500 they are just 3 games out of the 9th spot in the Western Conference. The Timberwolves struggle mightily on offense without Butler.

If Butler was to miss the rest of the season or even say 10 to 15 games, would the Timberwolves be able to hang on to a playoff spot while he recovers?

We haven’t spent a lot of time talking about NASCAR on the Sports Time Radio podcast this year, but their season kicked off last week with the Daytona 500.

It was an exciting race that featured lots of crashes as most restrictor plate races in NASCAR do, but in the end it was Austin Dillon who found himself in victory lane when it was all said and done.

After a late race crash the Daytona 500 was headed to overtime. It appeared as though Aric Almirola was going to pick up the win, but Dillon received a big push from  Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. down the backstretch on the second and final lap of overtime. As Almirola moved up the racetrack to block, but Dillon made contact with Almirola’s rear bumper turning him sideways and turning him into the wall as Dillon and Wallace went by coming out of Turn 3.

Dillon and Wallace went on to finish one, two in the race in a couple of cars with iconic numbers. Dillon drivers for his grandfather Richard Childress, piloting the #3 car made famous by the late Dale Earnhardt Jr. Wallace posted the best finish ever by an African-American driver in the Daytona 500, surpassing the 13th-place result of NASCAR Hall of Famer Wendell Scott in 1966. Wallace drives the #43 car for Richard Petty Motorsports. Of course the #43 was made famous by “The King” Richard Petty himself.

Rounding out the Top 5 at Daytona. Denny Hamlin #11 cane home 3rd with Joey Logano #22 in 4th and Chris Buescher #37 finishing 5th.

This Sunday the drivers head to the Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500. Kyle Busch will start on the pole after posting a speed of 184.652 miles per hour. Ryan Newman qualified 2nd with Kevin Harvick 3rd, Daniel Suarez 4th and Brad Keselowski round out the Top 5.

Remember that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to look for me on Twitter @Burketime

The Baseball Writers Association of America announced their awards this week with the final award being handed out was the M.V.P. Since the awards are now formatted for television they narrow the race down to three finalist before they announce the winner. In the National League it was Paul Goldschmidt, Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Votto. In the American League the finalist where Jose Altuve, Aaron Judge and Jose Ramirez. This year there was going to be a first time winner in both leagues no matter which player won.

In the National League Stanton was named M.V.P. over Votto by just two points with Goldschmidt finishing a distant 3rd. Stanton ended up with 302 points. He got 10 1st place votes, 10 2nd place votes, 5 3rd place votes, 3 4th place votes, 1 5th place vote and 1 6th place vote. Votto ended up with 300 points as he also got 10 1st place votes. Votto also received 9 2nd place votes, 4 3rd place votes, 5 4th places votes and 2 5th place votes.

Believe it or not this wasn’t the closest M.V.P. voting ever. In 1944 St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Marty Marion beat Chicago Cubs outfielder Bill Nicholson 190-189. Then in 1947 Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees edged out Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox 202-201. Then in 1979 there was actually a tie for the National League M.V.P. award. Keith Hernandez who was with the Cardinals and Willie Stargell of the Pittsburgh Pirates each ended up with 216 points.

I’m always interested to see what other players picked up some votes as writers put 10 names on their ballot. Goldschmidt received 4 1st place votes, Charlie Blackmon picked up 3 1st place votes his teammate Nolan Arenado got 2 1st place votes and last years winner Kris Bryant received 1 1st place vote.

Now in the American League Altuve was the run away winner as he received 27 1st place votes and totaled 405 points. Judge got 2 1st place votes and racked up 279 points while Ramirez received the other 1st place vote and totaled 237 points. Interestingly even though he only played in 114 games last season Mike Trout ended up with 197 points and finished 4th in the voting.

This really should’ve been Altuve’s 2nd M.V.P. as he easily was the top player in the American League, but the voters love for Trout took the award away from him. You have to wonder if Trout had played an entire season if they would’ve given him the award again.

Altuve is the 11th second baseman to win the M.V.P. and the first since Dustin Pedroia won it in 2008. Altuve is listed as being 5’6 and this ties him  with Yankees shortstop Phil Rizzuto, the 1950 winner and Athletics pitcher Bobby Shantz, the 1952 winner as the shortest MVPs in history.

I think that the voters got this right, but what do you think? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments.

Danica Patrick is 35 years old and has made the decision that her full time racing career is over.

NASCAR’s final race of the season is at Homestead-Miami Speedway this Sunday and Patrick used one of their media rooms on Friday afternoon to let everyone know that she was retiring. During her press conference Patrick announced that she’s going to run two races next season. She’ll run in the Daytona 500 to kick off the NASCAR season in 2018 and then she’ll race in the Indianapolis 500 in May 2018 as her final race.

Patrick did have one season left on her contract with Stewart/Haas racing, but they decided to part company when they couldn’t find a sponsor for Patrick for the 2018 season. Aric Almirola will replace her at Stewart/Haas next season.

There where some questions if Patrick would look for another ride for 2018 and then if she wanted to continue to drive would she be able to find a new team. In the end there just wasn’t a seat out there for her.

Patrick finished a disappointing 27th in points this season. Her best finish in the NASCAR series was 24th in points. In 189 NASCAR races Patrick finished in the Top 10 seven times, but she also never found her way to victory lane as a NASCAR driver. Patrick did win in an Indy car back in 2008 at a race in Japan. She also finished third in the 2009 Indianapolis 500.

Even though Patrick didn’t have great success as a driver she was always one of the most popular. For quite a while her primary sponsor was GoDaddy. They built and entire advertising campaign around her including Super Bowl ads which where humorous and racy by nature.

In the comments, please let me know how you think Patrick will be remembered as a driver.

With Patrick’s announcement as well as the retirement of Dale Earnhardt Jr plus the fact that Matt Kenseth hasn’t found a ride for 2018 it’s almost difficult to remember that the Monster Energy Series will crown a champion Sunday.

The final four drivers looking for a title are Martin Truex Jr. who’s starting 2nd on Sunday. Kyle Busch who starts right behind Truex in 3rd. Brad Keslowski starts the race in the 5th position and the final championship driver Kevin Harvick starts 9th.

Earnhardt Jr. starts 25th with Patrick right behind him starting 26th while Kenseth is starting 4th for the Ford Eco-Boost 400 on Sunday.

Do you think with a title on the line and three big name drivers leaving the sports that the ratings will go up for the final race of the 2017 season?

I’m sure just about every sports fan heard about the three UCLA basketball players that where arrested in China for shoplifting. As we know the players have returned to the United States and the school announced that the players where suspended indefinitely.

Now I’ve heard lots of sportswriters and others on television talk about how long these suspensions should be. I’ve heard everything from the entire season to just a couple of games. I’ve been trying to come up with a number of games myself and I just can’t seem to come to a conclusion. I’d be very interested to know what you think. Would you like to see them get a long suspension, a short suspension or are you somewhere in the middle? Again please leave your thoughts in the comments for me.

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

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 13, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, baseball, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books and here’s how we did with our picks. Schaumburg Stu got out to an early lead at 12-3 while Dan the Man finished a game behind him at 11-4. Mr. Fantasy and I tied at the back of the pack at 9-6. Let’s see how this coming week goes.

If you’re a fantasy football player and had the #1 pick in our draft there’s a very good chance that you took David Johnson the Arizona Cardinals running back. Johnson was the top choice in every league I’m in this season and now the Cardinals and fantasy owners are scrambling.

Johnson dislocated his catching a pass inside the 10-yard line in the Cardinals 35-23 loss to the Detroit Lions. Johnson is scheduled to have surgery on his wrist some time this week and was placed on injured reserve by Arizona. By being placed on injured reserve it means Johnson will miss a minimum of 8 weeks. The original prognosis had Johnson being out 8 to 12 weeks, but Arizona’s head coach Bruce Ariens said that’s it “possibly” for Johnson to be back in 11 to 15 weeks or right around the holidays.

So who is going to get the carries and catches with Johnson out? Kerwynn Williams looks to be the first guy in line, but Andre Ellington should also be in the mix. The Cardinals did re-sign Chris Johnson to fill out their 53 man roster, but I wouldn’t expect him to get a lot of playing time. Since Johnson is a true duel threat back in both the running game and the passing game I expect the Cardinals to have to use multiple players to fill his spot. I’d look for Williams to handle the bulk of the carries while Ellington will be the bigger factor in the passing game.

Before he left the game Johnson had 11 carries for 23 yards and caught 6 of the 9 targets thrown at him for 68 yards. After Johnson went out Williams carried the football 5 time for 10 yards and caught the only pass he was targeted on for 2 yards. Ellington didn’t have any rushing attempts in the game, but he was targeted 3 times in the passing game catching 2 of them for 35 yards.

Obviously Johnson is a huge loss more for Arizona than fantasy owners and there’s no way to truly replace him with one guy. I’m thinking that Ellington will be used as a 3rd down style back with Williams being the guy who’s on the field most of the time as the bigger running threat. Of course this will depending on how the game is going for the Cardinals at the time, but those look like their options as well as a couple of guys fantasy owners can use.

If you listened to last Sunday’s podcast you know that I was very excited to see Danny Woodhead get a shot at being the main running back for the Baltimore Ravens. I really thought that Woodhead would’ve been a big steal for not only the Ravens, but fantasy owners. Woodhead left Sunday’s game after getting 1 carry for 4 yards and 3 receptions for 33 yards. It was reported that he had a hamstring injury and now it’s come out that it appears he’ll miss 6 to 8 weeks and the Ravens may put him on injured reserve.

It appears as the Woodhead injury may hurt the Ravens more in the passing game than in the running game. Behind Woodhead Baltimore had two solid running backs in Terrance West and Javorius “Buck” Allen. West ran the football 19 times for 80 yards and scored a touchdown in Week 1 while Allen had 21 carries for 71 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals.

While it appears that the running game might be alright while Woodhead is out. Who’s going to be able to fill his shoes in the passing game. Woodhead first caught teams and fantasy owners attention as a receiver out of the backfield. Now it looks like the Ravens will give wide receiver Michael Campanaro a chance to fill that role. Campanaro wasn’t targeted in the passing game on Sunday, but he did end up with 1 carry for 2 yards. Could he be the guy in the backfield to try and cover for Baltimore while Woodhead is out?

Major League Baseball announced the schedule for the 2018 season yesterday and while there where a lot of interesting things on the schedule there was one very interesting thing on there.

Every team will open the season on March 29th, but on April 17th the Oakland A’s host the Chicago White Sox. It will be the 50th anniversary of the A’s first game played t the Oakland Coliseum. Now there are always anniversaries though a baseball season, but what caught my eye on this game is the fact that the A’s aren’t going to charge their fans to see this game. That’s right the game if FREE! Oakland believes that this is the first time in major league history that a stand alone game will be completely free for fans.

The A’s will release more information on this game early in 2018. I wonder if Dan the Man has booked his flight to Oakland yet.

It was reported yesterday that Danica Patrick will not be driving for Stewart-Haas racing next season do to lack of a title sponsor. The title sponsor or main sponsor is the name that you see on the hood of the drivers car. It’s the most expensive sponsorship a team looks for and there’s just not one for what would’ve been Patrick’s car next season.

So now that Patrick is out at Stewart-Haas will she be able to find a full time ride in NASCAR’s top series. Patrick has made 180 career starts in what is now called the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Patrick has just seven top 10’s in those 180 starts and quite possibly the biggest thing she did was winning the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013. It’s not the best resumes when there are drivers like Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch, who both have won a Cup looking for rides next season.

Patrick had her worse finish in the NASCAR standings at 28th.

I don’t think that Patrick is the draw she use to be and you have to wonder if a team would take a chance on her. She’s mentioned before that she is financially secure enough that she does not have to race and it wouldn’t be worthwhile doing if it made her miserable. That would make me question is she even wants to continue driving. What do you think?

Now Patrick was kind of thrust into the spotlight as the only full time female driver and she never really had a chance to develop. I think is she’s truly serious about being a driver she needs to take a step down and look for a full time ride in the Xfinity series and see if she can improve before trying to get back into the top NASCAR series. I’m not sure if she would be willing to do that, but if she has that love for racing that a lot of drivers have I think it would be the best move for her career. Would you like to see her as a full time Xfinity driver or maybe just a part time driver in the Monster Energy series?

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

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

Tim Tebow was moved up by the New York Mets from low Class-A to high Class-A and for some reason there’s been nothing but complaining about this move. I’ve never really understood the dislike for Tebow dating back to when he was a Heisman trophy winning quarterback at the University of Florida.

Tebow played in 64 games for the Columbia Fireflies. He hit .220 with 3 home runs and 23 RBI’s. Those aren’t exactly the kind of numbers you would think deserves a promotion, but you have to remember that Tebow turns 30 years old in August and the Mets have to figure out what they have with him if anything. Now Mets General Manager didn’t help the clause when he started throwing out sabermetric stats to try to explain the promotion and in fact he probably made things worse.

Now I’m sure there will be an attendance bump with the arrival of Tebow, but I don’t understand how people wanting to buy tickets to see him play is his fault. Even Tebow himself has said that he has a “long way to go”, but I guess that’s not good enough for some people and they’re just going to continue to pile up him no matter what he does. Tebow was scheduled to make his Florida State League for the St. Lucie Mets on Tuesday, but the game was rained out.

You have to wonder what took so long for this to happen, but it was announced this morning that the New York Knicks and team president Phil Jackson will be parting ways.

It appears this started with conversations about what was best for the team’s future between Jackson and Knicks owner James Dolan this week when the franchise decided it would not buy out embattled forward Carmelo Anthony. Jackson has mad it well known that he’d like the Knicks and Anthony to part ways, but Anthony has refused to waive his no-trade clause and the Knicks didn’t seem interested in buying Anthony out of his contract. Anthony has two years and a little over $54 million dollars left on his contract.

With no end in sight to the Jackson/Anthony stalemate and free agency beginning on Saturday the Knicks needed a solution. Jackson’s discussions with Dolan accelerated late Tuesday night and the decision was made to part ways. There are reports that said people close to Dolan have been advising him to fire Jackson during the 2016-17 season. With free agency getting ready to start the Knicks made it clear that General Manager Steve Mills will stay on in his current role and lead the team during free agency.

Dolan did release a statement saying “After careful thought and consideration, we mutually agreed that the Knicks will be going in a different direction”. “Phil Jackson is one of the most celebrated and successful individuals in the history of the NBA. His legacy in the game of basketball is unmatched. We wish him the best and thank him for his service to the Knicks as both a player and an executive.”

The Knicks completed a disappointing 31-51 season in April and missed the playoffs for the fourth straight year. They were 80-166 in Jackson’s three full seasons as team president, losing at least 50 games in each of them.

Jackson has faced increased scrutiny in recent weeks, stemming from his clash with Anthony and the revelation that Jackson was fielding trade offers for Kristaps Porzingis as the Knicks looked to move up in this year’s draft. No deal was made and New York selected French guard Frank Ntilina with the 8th pick in the draft.

Porzingis skipped his exit meeting with Jackson and Mills after the season because of frustration over the dysfunction and drama surrounding the Knicks. There where quite a few reports that that Jackson had been upset with Porzingis’ actions and was trying to teach him a lesson in professionalism this summer.

With Jackson gone the Knicks are still a mess as a franchise. As an owner James Dolan hasn’t been anything special. It will be interesting to see where the Knicks go and if they will improve in 2017-18.

On the heels of signing 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson to a three year extension through the 2020 NASCAR season Hendrick Motorsports went out and inked 21 year old Chase Elliott through the 2022 season as part of a four year contract extension. Elliott was signed with Hendrick Motorsports through the 2018 season and there was much doubt that he would stay after the way he’s performed.

Elliott replaced four time NASCAR champion Jeff Gordon in the #24 car for Hendrick Motorsports in 2016 has 15 Top 5’s in 57 career NASCAR starts. Elliott is still looking for his first NASCAR win he did win the Xfinity Series championship in 2014.

Even with Elliott and Johnson signed to new deals there are still some questions that Hendrick Motorsports needs to answer. With Dale Earnhardt retiring at the end of the season Hendrick will need a new driver for the #88 car next season. Hendrick must also find replacements for two of the sponsors on their other driver Kasey Kahne’s #5 car. Both Farmer’s Insurance and Great Clips have announced that they won’t be returning for the 2018 NASCAR season. Now Kahne is signed through 2018 with Hendrick Motorsports, but Kahne is on a 99 race winless streak and is currently 21st in the point standings. There is a chance that Hendrick may just release Kahne from the last year of his contract and start next season with two fresh drivers along with Elliott and Johnson.

It’s a Saturday night race for the NASCAR Monster Energy series this week at Daytona International Speedway for the Coke Zero 400.

On Thursday the drivers from the Xfinity and the Monster Energy series will take the track for practice. On Friday the Xfinity series will qualify first. Then the Monster Energy series drivers will qualify for Saturday nights race. Then the Xfinity drivers will return to the track Friday night for the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250. It’s a 100 laps which will equal the 250 mile distance. Then Saturday nights race will be 160 laps to get to the 400 mile distance.

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

Don’t forget that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: May 6, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, baseball, horse racing, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Joey Logano picked up his first win of the of the NASCAR season as he won last Sunday’s Toyota Owners 400 at Richmond International Speedway, but the win will not count towards the post season for Logano and his #22 team. On Thursday NASCAR issued an L1 level penalty to Team Penske’s No. 22 team for a rear suspension violation discovered during teardown. The penalty carries multiple consequences, which includes making  Logano’s win at Richmond on Sunday encumbered. What the encumbered win means is that Logano cannot use the Richmond win as consideration for an automatic playoff spot. Should Logano still make the postseason, the five playoff points that come with a victory would not apply for Richmond. The official race record will still list Logano as the winner. Additional penalties are a $50,000 fine and two-race suspension for crew chief Todd Gordon, and the loss of 25 driver points and 25 owner points. Team Penske announced it would not appeal the penalties.

There was also a penalty accessed to Richmond 3rd place finisher Denny Hamlin and his Joe Gibbs Racing #11 team, but it was nowhere near as stiff as Logano’s. During a post race check Hamlin’s car was found to have a unsecured lug nut on one of the tires. Hamlin’s crew chief Mike Wheeler was handed a $10,000 fine after one lug nut was found to be improperly secured.

Tomorrow the Monster Energy NASCAR series has the GEICO 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Talladega is a restrictor plate race; so that has to bring everyone to the thought of this race being the one that the retiring Dale Earnhardt Jr. can get a win a qualify for “The Chase”. Earnhardt Jr. is still one of the best if not the best restrictor plate racer in the Monster Energy Series and he’s always a good choice to win at Talladega, but he didn’t have a great practice session yesterday; so we’ll have to see how he does in qualifying today.

While we’re on the subject of racing; the race for the triple crown starts with the running of the 143rd Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs today. The favorite to win right now is Classic Empire who has 4-1 odds and is being ridden by Julien R. Leparoux. There are also two horses who’s odds are close to Classic Empire’s at 5-1. You can get McCracken or Always Dreaming at those 5-1 odds. Irish War Cry is the only other horse with betting odds under 15-1 as he’s currently at 6-1. So betting wise it looks as though it’s a four horse race.

Now I’ll be the first to tell you I know absolutely nothing about horse racing or how to bet on it, but I’m picking Girvin to win today. Girvin is currently at 15-1 odds and is being ridden by Mike E. Smith. Girvin will start the race out of gate #7 and let’s face it; how can I not pick a horse who’s named after former NBA star George Gervin.

The Baltimore Orioles won their game Friday night 4-2 over the Chicago White Sox, but when it came time to close the game out the Orioles where without closer Zach Britton who wasn’t in their bullpen last night. Not Britton was just activated from the disabled list on Tuesday. Britton went on the disabled list on April 18th with left forearm strain and it appears as though Britton may have had a recurrence of the injury. Britton did pitch a scoreless inning Tuesday night and then again Thursday night, but was unavailable last night due to the injury flare up. Britton underwent an MRI on his pitching arm and Baltimore’s manager Buck Showalter said “There’s some talk about the next step to take with him.” Brad Brach assumed the closer role for the Orioles last night just like he did when Britton was on the disabled list. Brach entered Friday nights game with a three run lead and got the save despite allowing a run on two hits to the White Sox in the 9th inning.

With an odd set of circumstances behind it the Orioles lost their starting pitcher in last nights game after he record two outs. Wade Miley made the start for the Orioles against the White Sox last night and threw just 12 pitches as he was hit by line drives off the bats of consecutive White Sox hitters. Miley gave up three hits, but no runs in what was the shortest start of his career at 2/3rd on an inning. Miley left the game with what the Orioles are calling a left wrist contusion. White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was the first player to hit Miley with a line drive as he hit a ball that caught Miley on his pitching hand. Baltimore’s trainer came out and examined Miley, but Miley convinced him that he was okay and was allowed to stay in the game. Then two pitches last White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia hit a liner back up the middle that caught Miley in the back of his left leg. Miley walked off the field under his own power as Gabriel Ynoa came out of the Orioles bullpen to retire the side with no runs being allowed. It was reported that the baseball Abreu hit had an exit velocity of 103 m.p.h. while the baseball Garcia hit was clocked at 102 m.p.h.

Now I played a lot of baseball growing up and now I watch way too much baseball and I’ve never seen a pitcher get hit in consecutive at bats like that. Please leave me a comment and let me know if you every seen this happen in a baseball game.

There was another odd set of pitcher injuries last night in the Seattle Mariners/Texas Rangers game. In the 11th inning of what turned out to be a 3-1 Texas win in 13 innings the Mariners lost two pitchers to injury on consecutive batters. Jean Machi was removed from the game with two outs in the Top of the 11th after walking Carlos Gomez. Evan Marshall came out of the Seattle bullpen and was given all the time he needed to warm up since Machi left the game do to an injury. On the second pitch Marshall threw to the Rangers Joey Gallo he screamed in pain grabbed the back of his right leg and went down. Marshall ended up having to be helped off the field and was diagnosed with a hamstring injury. Mariners manager Scott Servais told reporters after the game that Machi had a nerve issue in his right thumb that made it difficult to feel the baseball.

Now there have been a ton of pitcher injuries early this season, but these are two of the oddest set of injuries I’ve ever seen.

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

Don’t forget you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

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

How was your week

Posted: March 18, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, basketball, College Basketball, football, NASCAR, sports

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge college basketball fan, but it seems like this time of year you almost have no choice. With the NCAA tournament under way it seems like there are no other sports on television to watch. It’s always more interesting when there’s a local team in the tournament and in my area we have the Northwestern Wildcats. It was the first time they’ve ever made the tournament and they won their 1st round game against Vanderbilt on Thursday. In the 2nd round they play the #1 seeded team in their region Gonzaga. It was a big plus that they made the tournament and then it’s cool that they won a game. I’m not sure how many people expected them to beat Gonzaga today, but I do know quite a few people who picked Northwestern to get a win in their bracket. I picked Gonzaga to win this game, but I don’t think it will be a blow out. Do you have a local team in the tournament that you’re rooting for?

While we’re talking about the tournament; how did your bracket end up after the 1st round? I managed to get through the 1st round losing just four teams, but none of the teams that I lost in my bracket I had going to the Sweet 16. I lost two teams in the  Midwest bracket and two teams in the East bracket. I had Creighton over Rhode Island and Nevada over Iowa St. in the Midwest and I had UNC Wilmington over Virginia and SMU over USC in the East. I thought losing just four teams in the 1st round was pretty good, but I don’t really know. How did you do in the 1st round?

Now not only did UNC Wilmington lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but after the game they also lost their coach. On Friday it was announced that Kevin Keatts would be moving from UNC Wilmington to take the head coaching job at North Carolina State. Keatts was 72-28 in three seasons at UNC Wilmington and the last two years they went t the NCAA tournament. The team won CAA regular season titles all three seasons under Keatts, who became the first coach in conference history to win back to back Coach of the Year accolades. The team also set a new season high in wins with 29 this season. He will replace Mark Gottfried, who was fired after six seasons in Raleigh. Gottfried took the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament in each of his first four seasons, but the program failed to live up to expectations the past two years and finished 13th in the ACC each season.

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers last night 107-103, , but more interestingly there was a bit of a shoving match that ended with three players being ejected. With :36 seconds left in the 3rd quarter Malcolm Brogdon fouled Nick Young a little on the hard side. Young didn’t appreciate the foul and shoved Brogdon. Gregg Monroe quickly jumped in and shoved Young, That in turn brought D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram into the fray as they engaged Monroe. The referees quickly jumped in and accessed double technical to Russell and Monroe; so they where ejected. Young had picked up a technical foul earlier in the game; so when he was given another one by the officiating crew he was ejected as well. Young and Russell addressed the media after the game, but Monroe left without speaking to reporters. The players will now have to wait and see how the NBA rules on this incident and if there will be any suspensions or fines from it.

Now the loss by the Lakers did eliminate them officially from the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. This is the longest stretch that the Lakers have went without making the playoffs. Before this stretch the longest the Lakers had been without making the playoffs was two consecutive seasons.

Latavius Murray signed with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent this week. Murray was with the Oakland Raiders last season and his departure leaves the raiders with a need at the running back position. Adrian Peterson is still out on the free agent markets, but there are reports that the Raiders would like to acquire retired running back Marshawn Lynch from the Seattle Seahawks. Since Lynch is still under a contract with the Seahawks the Raiders would either have to workout a trade with Seattle or just hope they would release Lynch; so they could sign him. Under Lynch’s contract he has a $9 million dollar salary for the 2017 season with a salary cap hit of $9 million dollars as well. For the 2018 season Lynch’s salary is $7 million dollars, but there is also a $3 million dollar roster bonus he would be due. Now Lynch is from Oakland; so would playing for his hometown team be enough to get hi to return to the NFL. Lynch also has a “Beast Mode” apparel store in Oakland. Lynch will turn 31 in April.

Lynch spent nine seasons in the NFL. Lynch spent three plus seasons with the Buffalo Bills before being traded to the Seahawks after the fourth game of the 2010 season. Lynch has 9112 career rushing yards and has rushed for more than a 1000 yards in a season six times. Lynch led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 2014 and 2015. If the Seahawks decide to trade Lynch to Oakland would his season off hurt him in his return? If there is a trade what would the Raiders have to give the Seahawks for Lynch?

NASCAR is entering the third week of their season as they heads to Phoenix International raceway for the Camping World 500 on Sunday. Joey Logano took the pole for Sunday’s race with a speed of 137.321 m.p.h. Ryan Blaney will start 2nd with Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3rd. Kyle Larson (4th) and Jamie McMurray (5th) will round out the Top 5. While Logano took the pole after his run in with Kyle Busch last week; Busch will start 9th on Sunday.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

The NFL is into the playoffs and they started last Saturday with wild card weekend. So since there where games we made picks. Schaumburg Stu and I went 4-0 for the first weekend of the playoffs while Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy went 3-1. Dan the Man thought the Oakland raiders would get a win with 3rd string quarterback Connor Cook under center while Mr. Fantasy’s loss was the Miami Dolphins.

Now we’re into the divisional round. There again are 4 games. Two on Saturday and two on Sunday. Saturday starts with the Seattle Seahawks at the Atlanta Falcons. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. The second game has the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots. The scheduled kickoff for this one is 7:15 p.m. On Sunday the first game is scheduled to kickoff at 12:05 p.m. as the Pittsburgh Steelers are at the Kansas City Chiefs. The second game features the Green Bay Packers at the Dallas Cowboys. The scheduled kickoff for this game is 3:40 p.m.

There where no upset in the wild card round and let’s face it the games where pretty boring. All the home teams won and the closest game was 27-14 between the won by the Houston Texans over the Oakland Raiders. Now the match ups look a little better this week; so we’ll see a higher seed lose?

It came as a little bit of a surprise yesterday when the Oakland Raiders announced that they wouldn’t be retaining offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. The Raiders offense was ranked 6th in the league in total offense and they scored the 7th most points in the NFL. With quarterback Derek Carr becoming an M.V.P. candidate before breaking his fibula in Week 16. It was reported that Oakland’s head coach Jack Del Rio told the rest of the staff Tuesday afternoon of the move. Musgrave was the Jacksonville Jaquars offensive coordinator in 2003 and 04 when Del Rio was the head coach there. Quarterback coach Todd Downing will take over the offensive coordinator duties. There where reports that Downing had a very good chance of getting an offensive coordinator job with one of the teams hiring a new head coach and there are people wondering if this facilitated this move. Musgrave did have his critics. They pointed out how the Raiders offense seemed to be slow starting and then when they got a lead Musgrave would get too conservative.  Now the Raiders defense finished ranked 26th on the season, but reports are that defensive coordinator Ken Norton’s job is safe.

I was stunned yesterday when I saw the headline that Carl Edwards was walking away from the Joe Gibbs Racing and the #19 car. It was announced that Edwards was retiring from NASCAR immediately. Joe Gibbs Racing has called a news conference Wednesday where Edwards is apparently going to example why he’s walking away from NASCAR. Edwards is 37 years old and showed no sign of injury after an accident, yet he is stepping away from the sport. Certainly any team would want him if he ever decides to return. The timing of the decision certainly leads to speculation of a variety of reasons Edwards could want to stop racing. Maybe Edwards was just mentally spent after another near miss at the championship. Maybe the Joe Gibbs Racing driving corps isn’t as tight as it’s portrayed. Maybe he really is a Ford guy who has a plan in the back of his mind to return to that stable in the future. Maybe he has another job lined up in television? Edwards has done some commentary before and is very good in the booth calling the races. Edwards does have 28 career wins, but never did win a Cup title. He does have two 2nd place finishes on his record. 2016 Xfinity champion Daniel Suarez is expected to take over the #19 car. Suarez, who helped bring the Arris sponsorship to Joe Gibbs Racing makes the jump, but it might of happened a year or two early. Joe Gibbs Racing seemed to have quite a stable of drivers and you had to wonder down the line which driver might lose there ride. Matt Kenseth signed a contract extension last season. It’s being reported that Denny Hamlin has signed a contract extension as well. Kyle Busch is one of the top drivers in NASCAR and Eric Jones has been set up with Furniture Row Racing for the 2017 season, but is expected to return to Joe Gibbs Racing in either 2018 or 2019. Maybe Edwards felt like the odd man out and just decided to walk away. It looks like the question now is; will we ever see Carl Edwards in a full time NASCAR ride again?

We had a couple of more free agents sign in the last couple of days. Outfielder Colby Rasmus agreed to a one year $5 million dollar deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. Rasmus is coming off his worse season batting average wise. Rasmus hit .206 in 107 games with the Houston Astros. Rasmus did have 15 home runs and drove in 54 runs. Rasmus has played all three outfield positions, but it looks as though he’ll spend the majority of his time with the Rays as a corner outfielder.

The other signing has Trevor Plouffe going to the Oakland A’s on a one year $5 million dollar deal. Plouffe has spent his entire seven year career with the Minnesota Twins. Plouffe was limited to just 84 games last season do to injury. Plouffe is a career .247 with 96 career home runs. Plouffe spent time at 1st and 3rd base last season, but it appears as though the A’s will use him at 3rd and Ryon Healy will shift to 1st base and spend time at Designated Hitter.

While slowly, but surely players sign with new teams you have to wonder how much longer it will be before players like Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista and Matt Wieters sign new deals. It seems as just about every team in baseball has “checked in” on Trumbo and you have to wonder why he isn’t signed yet. Apparently the Texas Rangers are the team with the most interest in Trumbo right now. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have shown some interest in Wieters, but there seems to be very little interest in Bautista. Is Bautista the guy in this free agent market that’s going to have to take a one year prove it type of deal and then try the free agent market again next season.

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

You can find me o Twitter @Burketime

Week 15 in the NFL just wrapped up and Dan the Man came out on top of our picks with a 13-3 record. The difference was Dan the Man was the only one who had the Carolina Panthers beating the Washington Redskins on Monday night. Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy where both 12-4 for the week while I was 11-5. Overall Schaumburg Stu looks to be on his way to winning this years contest as he is 148-76through 15 weeks. Dan the Man took 2nd place back by a game over Mr. Fantasy. Dan the Man is 141-83 and Mr. Fantasy is 140-84. That of course means I am in the cellar and it looks like I’ll be staying there. I’m 130-92 overall. There are two weeks left for our picks.

With the NHL coming up on there Christmas break it’s a bit of a surprise that the Chicago Blackhawks have the most points with 48. With the hard salary cap the NHL has the Blackhawks have had to allow top players leave through free agency and others have had to be traded away to keep the team under the salary cap. The Blackhawks are carrying six players 25 or under on their roster. The Blackhawks have six rookies that are contributing to the teams success. Ryan Hartman has 6 goals and 6 assists in 30 games. Vinnie Hinostroza has 3 goals and 5 assists in 26 games. Tyler Motte has 4 goals and 3 assists in 28 games. Gustav Forsling has 1 goal and 3 assists in 29 games and Michal Kempny has 2 assists in 23 games. The Blackhawks had to pick up a lot of these points while there captain Jonathan Toews and #1 goaltender Corey Crawford have been out injured.

While the Blackhawks are at the top right now there are some teams right behind them. The Pittsburgh Penquins and the New York Rangers have 47 points on the season. The Columbus Blue Jackets who are on a 10 game winning streak right now and the Montreal Canadiens have 46 points on the season. The Philadelphia Flyers and the Minnesota Wild each have 42 points and the Washington Capitals, Ottawa Senators, San Jose Sharks and St. Louis Blues all have 4 points this season. Either way it should be an interesting race for the President’s Cup.

Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers is the NHL points leader with 40. McDavid also leads all other players in assists with 28 while Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penquins leads the league in goal scoring with 22. Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild is the plus-minus leader at +22. In goal Devin Dubnyk leads all goalies in three of the four major categories. Dubnyk leads in Goals Against Average with a 1.55, Save Percentage at .948 and shutouts with 5. Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets in the wins leader with 19.

As for the rookies. Patrick Laine of the Winnipeg Jets leads in points with 29 and goals with 18. Mitchell Marner of the Toronto Maple Leafs leads in assists with 15. Xavier Ouellet of the Detroit Red Wings is the plus-minus leader at +9. In the goal it’s all Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penquins as far as rookies go. Murray leads in Goals Against Average at 1.85, Save Percentage at .938, Shutouts with 2 and Wins with 13.

The Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-108 in overtime Tuesday night. LeBron James scored 34 points and in the process passed Moses Malone for 8th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. James now has 27,442 career points. Shaquille O’Neal is 7th on the list at 28,596. James has a good chance to get past O’Neal before the season ends.

While James moving up the scoring list on the Cavaliers win was a positive the chance that they may loss J.R. Smith with a broken thumb is the negative. Smith exited the game in the 1syt half when it appeared he injured his thumb trying to strip Giannis Antetokounmpo of the basketball as he drove to the basket. The X-rays taken at the arena were inconclusive, according to the Cavaliers. Smith will travel back to Cleveland with the team and be re-evaluated Wednesday. Smith, who signed a four-year, $57 million extension with Cleveland in the offseason after the Cavaliers championship win entered Tuesday’s game averaging 8.8 points on 33.7 percent shooting (35.8 percent from 3). Smith  previously missed six games because of knee and ankle injuries this season. The Cavaliers take on the Bucks again Wednesday night this time in Cleveland as the teams are playing a back to back; home and home series. The Cavaliers are on top of the Eastern Conference with a record of 20-6 while Milwaukee is currently .500 at 13-13.

We’re coming up on Christmas day where the NBA will run out five games for fans to watch. The first game is at 11:00 a.m. and features the Boston Celtics at the New York Knicks and is on ESPN. The second game with a scheduled 1:30 p.m. start time has the Golden State Warriors at the Cleveland Cavaliers in an NBA finals rematch is on ABC. Game three has a 4:00 p.m. scheduled start time has the Chicago Bulls at the San Antonio Spurs on ABC. The fourth game is scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. and has the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Oklahoma City Thunder on ESPN. The fifth and final game of the night is scheduled to start at 9:30 p.m. and has the Los Angeles Clippers at the Los Angeles Lakers on ESPN. I know the Clippers and the Lakers play in the same building, but for scheduling purposes the Lakers are the home team. All the game times I listed are for the Central time zone.

The top series in NASCAR is getting a new name. Sprint will no longer be the top sponsor for NASCAR. Starting with the 2017 season will have the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Monster Energy will be the 5th different name for the top series. It was known as the NASCAR Winston Cup Grand National Division from 1971 to 1985, the NASCAR Winston Cup Series from 1986 to 2003, the NASCAR Nextel Cup Series from 2004 to 2007 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series from 2008 to 2016. Even with the new sponsor and the modernized NASCAR logo that moves the colors solely to the left of the wording instead of having colors behind it, includes the sanctioning body’s name after the series sponsor for the first time. NASCAR kept one thing the same; the word Cup is still in the title.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime