Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

How was your week

Posted: August 17, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Can you name a team in Major League Baseball that doesn’t need help in their bullpen. Go ahead take some time and let me know if you come up with a team. I think if you did find a bullpen you’re comfortable with it was a stretch to get there. Why is this; well I think I have an idea.

As teams began to protect young starting pitchers more and more those inning had to go somewhere. Think about it. Unless you’re a top tier veteran pitcher with a proven track record as soon as you get close to the 100 pitch mark or you’re about to face the teams you’re pitching against line up for the 3rd time the bullpen is up and going. The you add in that even the best pitcher in baseball is going to have a short start to two as the season goes on. Where do those inning go?

Think about this; if a teams starting pitcher averages just 5 innings a game that leaves 648 innings over the course of a season for the bullpen to cover. It’s insane to expect them to be able to do that.

In the American League the division leaders are currently the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins. In the National League you have the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals leading their respective divisions. The Yankees have 22 blown saves, the Astros have 16 blown saves while the Twins have 17 blown saves. On the other side the Dodgers have 20 blown saves, the Braves have 22 blown saves and the Cardinals have 10 blown saves this season.

Looking at this there seems to be an easy fix to it, but teams don’t seem to want to go that route. Just teach your starting pitchers in the minor leagues how to pitch deeper into games. It sounds simple doesn’t it and you have to wonder why teams don’t want to do it. Instead they’d just rather load their bullpens up with hard throwers an hope they can piece together the end of games.

I’m not sure how many people remember this, but when Nolan Ryan was President and CEO of the Texas Rangers from 2008 to 2013 one of the things he said he wanted the team to do was teach starting pitchers how to work deeper into games and he got killed for it by just about everyone.

In case you don’t know baseball history Nolan Ryan was a first ballot Hall of Famer who received 98.8% of the vote the year he was inducted. That is currently the 4th highest percentage of a player who was inducted into the Hall of Fame. Only Mariano Rivera, Ken Griffey Jr. and Tom Seaver have received more votes than Ryan when they where eligible for the Hall of Fame.

As a pitcher Ryan appeared in 827 games; 773 as a starter, He threw 5386 innings in his career. Oh; Ryan is also the leader in career strikeouts by a pitcher with 5714, but when he suggested starters try to pitch longer in games he was treated like someone who was stuck in his era and didn’t understand the way the game has changed.

I’m sure there’s some sabermetric stat or an algorithm out there to back up the way pitchers are handled in today’s game, but you have to wonder if Ryan was right. I understand that the risk of injury goes up the more innings a starter pitchers, but you could say that about anything in baseball. A manager has a better chance of getting injured with the more trips he has to make to the mound.

Now I’m not talking about a starting pitcher having to go out and pitch a complete game in every starter, but even if he could give his team an average of 6 inning a start he’d be helping to save the bullpen. in a 5-man rotation if each pitcher went one more inning in each start it would save the bullpen 810 innings in a season. you can’t tell me that wouldn’t be a big help.

Sadly there’s probably not a team out their that’s willing to step out of line and allow starting pitchers to work deeper in games. I guess there’s no sabermetric stat that figures out the wear and tear on your bullpen when your starters aren’t throwing any innings.

It looks like the NL Rookie of the Year race just lost one of it’s top contenders. San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. was placed on the IL this week with a stress reaction in his back. Padres manager Andy Green said that Tatis Jr. is “most likely done for the season”.

Tatis Jr. was in the thick of the Rookie of the Year race with Pete Alonso of the New York Mets and Mike Soroka of the Atlanta Braves.

Tatis Jr. missed some games earlier in the season with a leg injury, but he had played in 84 games for the Padres this season. Tatis Jr. was hitting .317 with 22 home runs which is 2nd among rookies. Alonso is the home run leader with 39. Tatis Jr. also had 16 stolen bases which is also 2nd among rookies. Victor Robles of the Washington Nationals leads all rookies with 19 stolen bases.  His .317 batting average was also 2nd among all rookie as Bryan Reynolds of the Pittsburgh Pirates is leading all rookies with a .334 batting average.

If he would’ve stayed healthy and played out the season it’s clear that Tatis Jr. would’ve received serious consideration for the Rookie of the Year award. Even if he does miss the rest of the season as expected he’ll still gets some votes for Rookie of the Year, but he wont be in the running to win the award.

Tatis Jr. is just 20 years old and he is definitely one of the building blocks as San Diego tries to catch up the top teams in the NL West. With a 56-64 record it’s probably a better choice for the Padres to just shut Tatis Jr. down for the rest of the season even if there is a chance he could come back. At this point in their rebuild there’s just no reason for them to take a chance with what is clearly a future superstar.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

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

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How was your week

Posted: August 10, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

If your a member of the Oakland Raiders front office, a teammate or just a fan of the team. How are you feeling about the acquisition of Antonio Brown?

According to the numbers he outs up Brown is one of the best wide receivers in the NFL. Over the past 6 seasons he’s had no less than 101 receptions, 1284 yards and 8 touchdowns. As you can see contributing on the field isn’t the problem with Brown; it’s just about everything else that comes with being an NFL player.

Brown has yet to be a full participant at Raiders training camp since it opened last week. Now most everybody thought that Brown was out due to a cryotherapy accident that caused severe frostbite to his feet, but apparently there was another issue.

It was reported yesterday that Brown has threatened to retire if he’s not allowed to wear a 10 year old helmet.

The issue with the helmet actually started in May when the NFL announced that they would be ended the one year grace period for certain models of helmets. One of which was a model Brown prefers to wear.

The reason for this ruling by the NFL was that the style of helmet Brown wants to wear fell short in laboratory testing for head impact severity.

As you know the NFL has been hit with lawsuits from former players about the long term affect the physical play of football has had on them and the concussions they’ve suffered.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term CTE which stands for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. It’s a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. CTE is a big complaint in these lawsuits; so you can understand why the NFL would want to improve safety. Part of that would be finding helmets that protects players better.

All equipment mangers where required to remove all of these now banned helmets and players where informed that these helmets would no longer be NFL approved during Phase Three OTA’s which is the first time players are allowed to wear helmets during o field workouts.

On the first day of Raiders OTA’s Brown requested his old helmet and was told that he would no longer be allowed to wear it. As I’m sure you can guess Brown was quite upset by this and seems to be under the impression that he is being single out as he pointed to quarterbacks Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers not being subject to this rule change. Now I did see a small notation in an article that Brady was unhappy with the helmet change, but he hasn’t voiced his displeasure to the extent that Brown has. As for Rodgers I haven’t heard anything from him about the new helmet rules.

Brown has filed a grievance with the NFL over the league’s enforcement of helmet regulations. He was schedule for a hearing with a neutral independent arbitrator on Friday, but the results of that hearing have yet to be released.

Raiders coaches and Brown’s teammates have called this “honestly the most insane thing I have ever heard of” adding that “I don’t know why it’s so important to him, it doesn’t make sense”.

Would Brown actual follow through with his threat to retire. The Raiders acquired Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers for a 3rd and a 5th round pick this past draft. Oakland then signed Brown to a 3 year $50,125,000 dollar deal. Brown’s deal included a $1 million dollar signing bonus with $30,125,000 of his money being guaranteed. Over the three years Brown will make an average of $16,708,333 per season.

Do you see Brown retiring and walking away from his new contract if he doesn’t get his way?

Now I don’t know about you, but I thought that July 31st would be the end of trades in Major League Baseball, but apparently I was wrong.

It seems that if a player isn’t on a major league deal he can be dealt and while there won’t be any major names traded because they’re not signed to minor league deals there might be a name dealt that you might know.

I’ve seen three of the deals so far. The Los Angeles Angels acquired left handed pitcher Miguel Del Pozo from the Texas Rangers. The Minnesota Twins acquired outfielder Ian Miller from the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners also sent catcher Jose Lobaton to the Los Angels Dodgers for cash considerations.

Like I said I doubt will be seeing any well known names get traded and I think I was more confused than anything else. I was under the impression that the trade deadline meant no more trades.

To everyone’s surprise the New York Mets where actually buyers at the trade deadline, but it seems to be working out their way.

The Mets have won 15 of their past 17 games and have moved themselves to within 1/2 of a National League wild card spot. As of right now the Washington Nationals and the Milwaukee Brewers are holding onto the two National League wild card spots. The Mets are tied with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies just 1/2 game behind.

Remember at the trade deadline the Mets where going to deal Noah Syndergaard and or Zach Wheeler, but instead they added Marcus Stroman. Most people thought that the Mets added Stroman in hopes of flipping him to a contender. Well as it turned out the Mets where that contender.

To be fair the Mets did go on their run against the Chicago White Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates and Miami Marlins, but you have to beat the teams that are on your schedule and that’s just what the Mets did. Last night the Mets kept their winning streak alive with a 7-6 walk off win over the Nationals.

Do you think that the Mets can keep their momentum going and find their way into a National Playoff spot? Or now that the schedule has change; will they start to return to the way they played earlier in the season?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

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

How was your week

Posted: August 3, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, MMA, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The one and only trade deadline in Major League Baseball has come and gone. There wasn’t as much movement as the experts predicted there would be and a lot of the bigger name teams didn’t even make any deals.

You might think this is the end of players being able to change teams as there are no more waivers to put players through, but there still is a way a lot of people didn’t think of. I noticed that very soon after the trade deadline teams started to designate players for assignment. Now when a player is “designated” their team has 10 days to either trade or release them. Well since being traded is no longer an option these players will become free agents and can sign with the team of their choosing. A designated player can also accept a minor league assignment, but with the veteran player that I’ve seen get the designation tag they won’t be headed to the minors.

The first veteran player that I saw get the designation tag was Jonathan Lucroy of the Los Angeles Angels. Lucroy signed a one year $3.35 million dollar deal with the Angels this past off season. He played in 74 games this season and was hitting .242. That is a low batting average for Lucroy, but as a catcher he brings other things to the game as he’s a solid defender behind the plate and is very good at handling a pitching staff.

The Angels seem to think that they’re a better team with Max Stassi as their catcher. Stassi was acquired from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline for two minor leaguers. Stassi appeared in 31 games for the Astros this season and was hitting .167. In his major league career Stassi is a .217 hitter.

I’m not sure how those numbers added up for the Angels, but they save themselves some money. Lucroy’s name had came up in some trade rumors before the deadline, but no deal was able to be worked out. Now Lucroy is free to sign with the team of his choice.

Asdrubal Cabrera now formerly of the Texas Rangers was another veteran player who found himself DFA’d after the trade deadline.

The Rangers signed Cabrera this past off season for one year at $3.5 million dollar and he was expected to take over at 3rd base for the retired Adrian Beltre. Cabrera played in 93 games this season and was hitting .235 with 12 home runs.

While Cabrera has exclusively played 3rd base this season in his career he’s spent time at 2nd and short; so I would expect that wherever he signs he’ll be used as a utility player.

While it was a bit of a surprise to see Lucroy and Cabrera get DFA’d I was even more surprised when the Pittsburgh Pirates decided that to designate Jung Ho Kang for assignment.

Kang has really struggled this season. He was hitting .169 in the 65 games he played in, but he had hit 10 home runs.

After what was considered a surprising rookie season in 2014 where he finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year balloting Kang followed with a solid 2015. Then after the 2015 season Kang who is a from South Korea got into some legal trouble and was permit to travel to the United States for the 2016 season. He did manage to resolve his legal issues; so he could play last season, but he appeared in just 3 games for the Pirates.

Out of the three players that found themselves DFA’d Kang looks to be the only one that might accept a minor league assignment if offered, but I’m not sure the Pirates will make that offer.

It will be interesting to see if there’s another major league team out their that would be willing to take a look at Kang or if he’ll head back to South Korea and possible find a team in the Korean Baseball Organization to play for. Kang spent 9 seasons in the KBO before joining the Pirates in 2015.

Will designating players become the new waiver deal in baseball or are these just three teams moving on from veteran player with one year left on their contracts? I guess time will tell as will have to see if there are anymore veteran players that meet this fate.

At UFC 240 Cris “Cyborg’ Justino defeated Felicia Spencer by unanimous decision, The win improved her MMA record to 21-2-1, but it also appears that it was her last fight for UFC.

On Friday UFC President Dana White appeared on the company’s YouTube channel and stated that the UFC is “out of the Cyborg business”. White went on to say “I’m going to release her from her contract and I will not match any offers. She is free and clear to go to Bellator or any of these other promotions and fight these easy fights she wants. Done; done deal. I will literally, today, have my lawyer draft a letter to that she is free and clear.

Justino originally signed with UFC in 2013. She was signed to fight in the all female promotion Invicta FC. Justino made five appearance in Invicta before moving over to UFC in 2016.

The boat started rocking earlier this week when Justino was on Ariel Helwani’s MMA show and demanded an apology from White for what she described as ‘bullying” earlier in her career. She also mentioned that this damaged her brand. Now even before this Justino had said that she was going to test free agency and would be taking offers from other promotions. Now with White’s announcement she is free to do that.

It’s unclear where Justino will end up. There had been some talk of her possible following Ronda Rousey into professional wrestling, but that has died down as of late. There was also a mention that she might be interested in a professional boxing match. I’m not sure if there’s enough interest or an opponent that could draw attention to a Cyborg boxing match, but I guess it’s possible.

It’s disappointing that we’re not going to get to see a rematch between Justino and Amanda Nunes. Nunes handed Justino her 2nd career loss with a quick 51 second knockout at UFC 232 and it was always expected that they’d fight again. Of course when it comes to UFC I guess you can never really say never; so maybe we’ll get that rematch at some time.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and up can listen any time you want.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 31, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

For the last three seasons the Cleveland Indians have won the American League Central. Unfortunately, those three division win have only equaled one trip to the World Series. In 2016 World Series the Indians lost 4 games to 3 to the Chicago Cubs.

Currently, the Indians are 3 games behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Cleveland also is holding the top wild card spot in the American League right now. The Indians are currently 2 games ahead in the wild card race. 

Even with a winning franchise the Indians just can’t seem to get fans to show up. Through 53 games this season the Indians ranked 20th out of 30 major league teams. On average Cleveland draws 20,565 fans per game. Besides winning a World Series you have to wonder what else Indians fans need to better support this team.

It appears the low fan turnout has finally gotten to the Indians. This past off season, they allowed Michael Brantley to leave as a free agent and they dealt veterans Edwin Encarnacion and Yan Gomes to try and cut some payroll. There was even talk that the Indians would be willing to deal a couple of their top pitchers be it Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco or Trevor Bauer.

None of the deals for those pitchers materialized during the off season, but it was definitely something that needed to be  kept an eye on. Then Kluber was struck by a line drive and suffered a non-displaced fracture of his right ulna bone. Now Kluber is beginning to throw off a mound in his rehab but he won’t be returning until late August. Carrasco was the next Indians pitcher to hit the IL and his was quite serious as he was diagnosed with leukemia. Carrasco has started a throwing program, but there is no timetable for his return. That left Bauer as the only starter left that they tried to trade in the off season.

Now as far as top of the rotation starters Bauer was an affordable alternative as he was making $13 million dollars this season through arbitration. Bauer has one more year of arbitration before he’ll hit free agency after next season.

In the end it took a three team deal, but the Indians where finally able to move Bauer. It was the Indians, the Cincinnati Reds and the San Diego Padres who coordinated this deal and here’s who landed where.

The Reds were the team that ended up with Bauer. San Diego ends up with Cincinnati outfield prospect Taylor Trammell while the Indians bring 5 players back to Cleveland in this deal. From Cincinnati Cleveland receives Yasiel Puig and Scott Moss. Going from San Diego to Cleveland is Franmil Reyes, Logan Allen and Victor Nova.

It was reported that one of the things Cleveland was looking to acquire was a power hitting outfielder and they got two in Puig and Reyes. Puig has 22 home runs so far this season while Reyes sits at 27 home runs. Carlos Santana was the Indians home run leader with 22 before this trade.

So the Indians end up with 2 quality major league outfielders and three prospects. The Reds get a top of the rotation starter. Which is something they’ve been looking for all season and the Padres get a top outfield prospect who is ranked anywhere from 11th to 33rd depending on which publication you read.

Now the Indians are the only one of these three teams that are in the playoff race and you have to wonder how dealing a top starter like Bauer will affect that. The Indians have a couple of 24 year old starting pitchers in Shane Bieber and Zach Plesac who seem to have started to establish themselves and if Mike Clevenger can stay healthy it looks like Cleveland will be able to hang around not only in the AL Central, but in the wild card race.

Don’t forget if Kluber comes back healthy and is anywhere near the pitcher he use to be the Indians will be adding a former Cy Young award winner to their rotation for the final month of the season.

To be honest, when I first saw this trade reported I wasn’t sure that Cleveland had not gotten enough for a pitcher like Bauer, but now that I’ve had the time to sit down and take a full look at the trade, I think they did vey well. Of course the difficult thing with any deal is you just never know how a prospect is going to turn out. Scott Moss is in Double-A while Victor Nova has only played in Rookie League. Logan Allen made 8 appearances for San Diego 4 of which where starts covering 25 1/3rd innings; so he looks to be major league ready if the Indians want to add him to the roster, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s assigned to Triple-A to begin with.

So now it’s up to you. Who got the better of this deal? Do you like the group of players the Indians got back? Or is it the single players that either the Reds or the Padres got in this deal that have drawn your interest?

While Bauer was the big name pitcher that was dealt yesterday there were two middle relievers traded yesterday that come really help their new teams.

The Chicago Cubs acquired reliever David Phelps from the Toronto Blue Jays for right-hander Tom Hatch who is currently in Double-A. The Atlanta Braves also added some bullpen help as they acquired Chris Martin of the Texas Rangers who’s name was involved with a lot of teams as a bullpen piece. The Rangers received left-hander Kolby Allard who is currently in Triple-A, but did appear in 3 games last season for Atlanta.

It seems as though every team could use some kind of help in the bullpen; so I won’t be surprised if we see a lot of reliever get moved at the trade deadline, but with Bauer off of the board there aren’t too may big time starters out there to trade for.

With the New York Mets acquiring Marcus Stroman over the weekend, will we see them deal Noah Syndergaard, Zach Wheeler or both? The San Francisco Giants are just 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot, will they keep Madison Bumgarner or trade him? It looks like the Detroit Tigers have decided to hang onto Matthew Boyd, but could the right deal change the Tigers mind? The Arizona Diamondbacks might also be a factor at the trade deadline if they decide to trade Zach Greinke or Robbie Ray.

That’s not a lot of starting pitchers, so there could be some teams battling to acquire one of these guys. This should make it interesting to see what happens later today at the deadline.

Remember you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: July 27, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the trade deadline in Major League Baseball just four days away there’s no shortage of rumors out their. As we’re waiting for the first major trade to happen there has been so much talk on which player might headline that deal that it’s tough to figure out who it might be. There is however one thing that all of these deals seem to have in common no matter who the player is or what position he plays and I’m not sure how everyone seems to come to this conclusion, but apparently the New York Yankees will be acquiring everyone.

If the Yankees actually went out and dealt for 1/4th of the players they’ve been rumored to imagine what their team would look like. They’d have a bench full of All-Stars that could start on any other team in baseball and their pitching staff would feature all starting pitchers and Aroldis Chapman.

While I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Yankees went out and traded for some type of pitching be it a starter or a bullpen piece I’m not sure why they’re name seems to come up when positions players are involved.

Even with all of the injuries the Yankees have dealt with this season they’ve still hit the baseball well. Brett Gardner and Gary Sanchez both landed on the Injured List this week; so maybe there’s a catcher out their the Yankees might have some interest in, but other than that is there a position player that makes sense for them to add?

Pitching seems to be another story. On Thursday the Yankees pitching gave up 19 runs and 23 hits to the Boston Red Sox. Then last night the Red Sox hit double digits again as they scored 10 runs while picking up 14 hits.

There isn’t a Yankees starting pitcher with an ERA under 4.00, but the question seems to be if the Yankees go out and acquire a starting pitcher which one of the five current starters they have should or will lose their spot in the rotation.

Masahiro Tanaka has made the most starts for the Yankees this season with 21. He is 7-6 with an ERA of 4.79. The talk that I’ve heard lately was that Tanaka doesn’t have “swing and miss stuff” which might not play well coming out of the bullpen. Tanaka was the victim of that Thursday night Red Sox offensive barrage. Tanaka lasted just 3 1/3rd innings giving up 12 hits and being charged with 12 earned runs. Could Tanaka be headed to the bullpen?

J.A. Happ is 8-5 with a 5.23 ERA in 20 starts this season. Happ is 1-2 in his last 5 starts and is coming off a rough outing on Tuesday when he lasted just 3 1/3 innings and gave up 6 run on 6 hits against the Minnesota Twins. The Yankees did find a way to win that game, but Happ was nowhere around for a decision. Happ has always been looked at as a guy who pitches well in pennant races, but could he be headed to the Yankees bullpen?

James Paxton was acquired in the off season and I’m not sure the Yankees have gotten what they expected out of him. Paxton is 5-6 with a 4.72 ERA in 18 starts this season. Paxton was the Yankees starter last night and he gave up 7 runs on 9 hits over 4 innings against the Red Sox. Paxton’s strikeout numbers are good, but this is the second start in a row where he’s failed to more than 4 innings. Could Paxton be headed to the bullpen?

Domingo German is the youngest (26) of the Yankees starters and he’s been the best of the starters this season. German is 12-2 with an ERA of 4.03 in 17 games; 16 of which have been starts. Staying o trend German is coming off his worst start of the season. He lasted 3 2/3rd innings on Monday against the Minnesota Twins. German gave up 8 runs on 9 hits, but oddly the Yankees did end up winning this game in extra innings. German may have the easiest time of any Yankees starter to transition to the bullpen. Would German be the guy who heads to the bullpen if another starter is acquired?

C.C. Sabathia is in his 19th and final season in baseball. He’s made 16 starts this season and is 5-5 with a 4.50 ERA. Sabathia has pitched more than just 6 innings in 6 of his starts this season and his last start was his shortest o the season as he lasted just 4 innings. Sabathia appears to be on his way to Cooperstown when his career is over and you wonder if the Yankees would take him out of the rotation in his final season, but it is possible. Could Sabathia be the starter headed to the bullpen?

Even with the Yankees going 2-4 in their last 6 games and the pitching being just terrible they still have an 8 1/2 game lead in the AL East. Sabathia gets the start today against the Red Sox while German makes the start tomorrow in the series finale. Can these two turn the Yankees starting woes around?

The Tampa Bay Rays have been in playoff contention all season. They started off leading the AL East for quite some time and now they’re holding onto one of the two American League wild card spots, but after an injury to last season Cy Young award winner Blake Snell; can they hold onto a playoff spot?

The Rays are currently in the second and final American League wild card spot, but they are only 1/2 a game ahead of the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland A’s. Can they hold off those two teams with Snell on the shelf for a month?

Snell is scheduled to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow to have some loose bodies removed. Snell is expected to be able to return in September, but who knows where the Rays will be in the standings by the time Snell is ready to return.

Coming off his Cy Young award winning season Snell has struggled. In 20 starts this season he is 6-7 with an ERA of 4.28.

I’m sure a lot of this will depend on where the Rays are in the standings when Snell is ready to return, but might it be better for Snell to just shut him down for the season? Snell is 26 years old and appears to have a long career ahead of him as a top of the rotation starter, but is it worth bringing him back this season?

If you’re the Rays; what do you do with Snell when he returns from surgery?

You ca listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: July 20, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, golf, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I know I’ve mentioned this here before, but my love of sports developed through my father. As a young child he would haul his black and white television into our backyard and I would run around while he watched sports on that television.

Now the majority if the time what was on that little black and white television was baseball, but remember this was a time when we could only watch Chicago Cubs or Chicago White Sox games.

Once those games ended or if they weren’t on until later in the day their where other sports on that we’d watch.

If you’re old enough you’ll remember the Wide World of Sports and their tag line the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat. The defeat part came with a ski jumper crashing at the end of the ramp and tumbling to the ground. The other networks had shows to compete with this. One was called the Sports Spectacular, but I’m drawing a blank on what the third show was called.

These shows allowed me the opportunity to watch sports that I would’ve never watched. Boxing was a big feature on a lot of these shows, but they also showed many, many other types of sports. I can remember seeing track and field events, different skiing events as well as speed skating. It was one of these shows where I first saw the Harlem Globetrotters.

These types of shows helped me develop an interest no mater how small it was in other sports besides baseball, football, basketball and hockey. Not only did it help me develop an interest in these sports, but it also made me want to try them. Now there where different varieties of success with these different sports and there where I few I couldn’t try at all due to the cost of them.

One of the sports I was exposed to and got out try was golf and while I never got very good at it I always did enjoy playing it. I have thrown my fair share of clubs, but luckily I never broke one. Getting upset seems to be one of the rites of passage when playing golf. There where also quite a few rounds when I understood what Mark Twain meant when he said “golf is a good walk spoiled”. I haven’t had the chance to play a round in a long time and due to the various injuries I’ve had through the years I don’t even think I could swing a club, but I do still watch golf on television from time to time.

I don’t watch as much golf as I use to. My father was the driving force behind me watching golf when I was younger and now there are a lot more sports on to watch. I do however tune in every now and then especially when they’re playing a major tournament.

That’s the case this week as The Open Championship is being played this weekend at Portrush Golf Club in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

The 3rd round of the tournament is actually going on as I’m writing this. J.B. Holmes and Shane Lowry are tie for the lead at -8 while Tommy Fleetwood and Lee Westwood find themselves one stroke back at -7. It’s still a little over an hour before any of these golfers will tee off for their 3rd round.

I am wondering if the golfers that missed the cut for The Open Championship are going to be talked about more than the golfer that wins The Open Championship.

Three of he biggest names in golf missed the cut and won’t be playing this weekend in Northern Ireland. Phil Mickelson (+8), Tiger Woods (+6) and Rory McIlroy (+2) didn’t make the cut for The Open Championship.

With these three players out of the tournament this weekend will this stop you from watching it? Unfortunately I believe that these three big name players missing the cut will dissuade the casual  golf fan from checking things out, but I’ll still flip over to it from time to time and see how it’s going. With the tournament being shown live there isn’t any other sporting event on that’s live and I like that; so I’ll be watching even without Tiger, Rory and Phil.

There hasn’t been a perfect game thrown in Major League Baseball since Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners threw one on August 15th 2012 against the Tampa Bay Rays. Well last night another Mariners pitcher took a perfect game into the 9th inning.

Seattle starter Mike Leake may have been making his last start in a Mariners uniform as his name has been mentioned quite a bit in trade talks. If this was Leake’s last start for the Mariners he will have left them with something to remember.

Last night Leake was pitching against the Los Angeles Angels. Through 8 innings Leake was perfect as no Angels player had reached base either by walk, hit or error. The Mariners had staked Leake to a 10-0 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th; so the only thing left to be decided was if there would be a perfect game.

Angels rookie 2nd baseman Luis Rengifo was leading of the 9th inning. Rengifo fouled off the first pitch. Leake missed outside with the second pitch to make the count 1-1. On the third pitch of the at bat Rengifo broke up the perfect game and the no-hitter with a single to rightfield.

In a lot of these cases as soon as the pitcher loses a bid like this he is immediately removed from the game, but Leake was allowed to stay in. It took him a hitter to get himself righted again as Kevan Smith walked following Rengifo’s single. With runners on 1st and 2nd a ground out for the 1st out of the inning moved them up to 2nd and 3rd, but that’s where Leake left them. There was a pop up to 2nd base for the second out and Leake struck out Mike Trout to end the game.

Leake threw 98 pitches in his what ended up being a complete game one hitter. He had just the one walk in the 9th inning and he struck out 6 in the game. With the win Leake improved to 8-8 this season and his ERA dropped to 4.27.

With the trade deadline just 11 days away; do you think this was Leake’s last start with the Mariners?

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 17, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I thought with July 31st being the one and only trade deadline in Major League Baseball that we’d see a team or two go out and make some moves early in the month. That hasn’t been the case as just three deals involving major league players changing teams have happened.

Oddly out of the three trades that have been completed the Kansas City Royals have been involved in two of them.

Kansas City’s first deal sent starting pitcher Homer Bailey to the Oakland A’s for minor leaguer Kevin Merrell. Then in a deal of major league players the Royals sent catcher Martin Maldonado to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Mike Montgomery.

The first trade that was completed this month had the Boston Red Sox picking up starting pitcher Andrew Cashner in exchange for two minor leaguers. Baltimore received 17 year old outfielder Elio Prado and 17 year old infielder Noleberth Romero in the deal.

Humorously there have been a lot of reports that teams are “interested” in certain players, but that’s such a wide open blanket type of statement that no one can really know what is meant. It’s more or less a move by guys who get paid to do this kind of thing for a living to cover themselves when a trade happens. This way a reporter can say something like, well I didn’t have all of the details in this, but there was talk all along that this team was “interested” in this player. I’m sure we’ve all heard something like that said before.

So why haven’t there been more trades made?

I think that there was a good possibility that either the Red Sox or the New York Yankees may have acquired Zack Wheeler from the New York Mets by now had he not have been placed on the Injured List due to shoulder fatigue. It appeared as though he was Boston’s first choice to add to their starting rotation, but they seem to have pivoted when Wheeler was injured and picked up Cashner instead. I’m not sure how much interest the Yankees actually had in Wheeler, but the one thing I’ve learned is that whenever a players name is thrown around in trade talks there is always someone out there reporting that player will go to the Yankees. There’s a chance that the Yankees could add some type of pitching, so why not Wheeler.

Other than that deal there hasn’t been anything that seems like it’s going to happen. Now I’m sure the fact that there are six teams involved in the American League wild card race and legitimately 11 teams still hanging around in the National League wild card race. I’m not sure if the teams that are under .500 will be able to get back to the top of the wild card race in the National League, but if you eliminate them there are still five teams looking for one of those spots. When a team is sitting in this type of position they have to decide if they’re in or they’re out of the playoff hunt and they may wait until closer to the trade deadline to do that.

It was kind of a forgone conclusion that the San Francisco Ginats would be big players in the trade market as they rebuild their team and they still might be, but a four game winning streak coming out of the All-Star Break has them sittting just three games out of the second National League wild card spot.

I’m still under the belief that San Francisco will make some deals and get the rebuild of their franchise under way, but what f they went the other way and became buyers instead of sellers at the trade deadline. That would take a pitcher of talented pitching off of the trade market and that seems to be the one thing that every team contending for a playoff spot needs.

It’s also possible that the trade market has been slowed down by teams unwillingness to deal their top prospects. The key to any top tier player being moved is how many prospects the team he is currently on can get for him. With the prowess some of these rookies have shown it’s possible that a team might want to hang on and continue to develop their own players rather than trading them off for a high priced veteran or a one year rental type of player.

Teams have to somehow weigh their odds of winning a World Series against the career of a guy who’s coming through their minor league system. A team also has to figure out if it’s worth it to deal for a guy who’s in the final year of his contract and might walk away from them after the season. Now in the NBA this worked for the Toronto Raptors as they dealt for Kawhi Leonard and ended up winning the title, but that doesn’t happen to often. There are no guarantees, but a team has to give up a career of a young player for that type of rent a player and that can be a difficult decision.

This is also the first year that there has been one the one trade deadline and there’s a chance that teams are still trying to figure out how to deal with it. Remember after July 31st there used to be waiver trades, but those are gone this season; so once July 31st is past the team you have is well the team you have.

We’re just two weeks away from the trade deadline. How long do you think it will be before we see our first big name player dealt?

I do think once we get that first trade out of the way and it kind of breaks the dam, so we could see multiple trades follow very quickly. Of course the question then becomes; when will we see that trade happen.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you any there.

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How was your week

Posted: July 13, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

After the Houston Rockets sent Chris Paul and some draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook there was one question that popped into my mind and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was thinking or asking it. Did the Rockets get better?

First things first; here’s what the trade looks like. Oklahoma City gets Paul along with a protected 2024 1st round pick, a protected 2026 1st round pick. As well the Thunder have the right to swap draft spots with the Rockets in 2025 and 2021 there is some protection involved in those swaps. Also in 2021 Oklahoma City can swap for Either Houston’s pick or the Miami Heat’s pick which the Rockets currently own through trade.

While a lot of experts seem to think that Westbrook’s game is in decline the Rockets are still getting a player who’s averaged a triple-double in the last three seasons. It seems like a lot of people are pointing out that Westbrook’s scoring average dropped to 22.9 points per game which was his lowest in six seasons, but remember he had Paul George with him in Oklahoma City last season to help with scoring. What for some reason I haven’t heard anyone point out is Westbrook averaged a career high in rebounds per game at 11.1 and what may be even more important now that he’s heading to Houston is he averaged a career high in assists per game at 10.7. Westbrook was the NBA’s leader in assists per game last season and that could bode well now that he’s being paired up with James Harden again.

The one area that has been a problem for Westbrook is shooting the 3-pointer which has become the most important thing a player can do in today’s game. Westbrook shot just 29% from behind the 3-point line last season and has never shot better than 34.3% from behind the 3-point line in his career, but in Houston’s offense they might be able to work around that weakness.

Last season Harden shot 36.8% from behind the 3-point line while Eric Gordon shot 36% and P.J. Tucker shot 37.7% from behind the 3-point line. If Westbrook is o the floor with any combination of these players he wouldn’t be looked at as the guy who would be taking the “3” and this type of combination would give him drive and kick options when the ball is in his hands.

The bigger question may be; how much will Westbrook have the ball in his hands? Harden is very ball dominant when he is on the floor, but Westbrook is also use to having the basketball in his hands all of the time. They still play the game in the NBA with just one basketball on the floor at a time right now; so these two superstars are going to have to figure out how to share that basketball. That may actually be the biggest key to the success of this trade.

The one thing it appears the Rockets are getting in Westbrook is a healthier player than Paul was for them. Westbrook played in 73 games last season while Paul was suited up for 58 games for the Rockets last season. I understand that “load management” is the buzzword this NBA off season, but if you look at their careers Westbrook has been healthier than Paul throughout.

This is going to be an interesting season for the Rockets. I don’t think the trade for Westbrook makes them the best team in the Western Conference, but it’s going to make them one of the more exciting teams to watch.

Now you have to wonder what happens to the 34 year old Paul. It seems clear that the Thunder are in rebuild mode and they have the draft capital to possibly do that quickly, but do they want Paul as the leader of that rebuild?

Paul has three more seasons and quite a bit of money left on his deal. He is also coming off a season where he averaged the lowest points per game of his career at 15.6. Now some of that was because he was on a high powered offensive team that didn’t need him to score, but you do have to wonder if the team he ends up on needs him to score; can he do it?

Now before this deal happened there was a lot of talk that the Rockets where looking for a third team to add into it. It appears as the Miami Heat where that team and you have to wonder if there is still some interest in Paul by Miami. With all of the draft picks Oklahoma City has recently acquired they could sweeten the pot for Miami to take Paul and his large contract.

Of course wither it’s Miami or any other team that acquires Paul they’ll have to take the load management trend to heart. Paul played in just 58 games the last two seasons and hasn’t appeared in all 82 games of a season since the 2014-15 season. It wouldn’t be important for Paul to play in every game for whatever team he ends up on, but I’m sure they’d like to see him play in 70 plus games or so.

Where do you have Paul ending up? Does he stay with Oklahoma City? Will he end up in Miami? Or do you have him going to another team? Please let me know where you’ll think he’ll end up in the comments.

The Los Angeles Angels honored Tyler Skaggs last night and they did something perfect when you’re honoring a pitcher; they threw a no-hitter.

This was the Angels first home game since Skaggs passed away on July 1st. In the pre-game ceremony all the Angels wore Skaggs #45 and his widow Debbie threw out the first pitch.

The Angels then went out and put up 7 runs in the 1st inning on their way to a 13-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Taylor Cole made the start as the “opener” and pitched 2 innings. Cole struck out 2 and threw 22 pitches before giving way to Felix Pena. Pena took the no-hitter the rest of the way pitching the final 7 innings striking out 6. The only Mariners player to reach base was catcher Omar Navaez who Pena walked with one out in the Top of the 5th inning. that was the only blemish on the Angels tribute to Skaggs.

After the final out of the no-hitter the Angels players came out of the dugout to celebrate and the players that where still wearing Skaggs #45 covered the pitching mound with their jerseys as a tribute to Skaggs.

Skaggs actually would’ve turned 28 today July 13th.

Don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIN.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 10, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I’m not sure how this came up, but I found it interesting that MLB commissioner Rob Manfred had to defend the number of home runs that are being hit. I’m not surprised at all that he said hat MLB had nothing to do with the baseballs being altered, but MLB Is looking into why their appears to be less drag on the baseball this season. Honestly what did you expect Manfred to say.

I can understand the questions about more home runs being hit, but this seems to be baseballs motus operandi when ratings start to drop. After the last strike; what brought fans back? It was the home run battle between Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa. Now to be fair that was more PED generated than baseball related, but MLB didn’t do much to try to stop it. Now the last couple of seasons ratings have been down and appears as though baseball has turn to it’s old friend the home run to help them out again.

Now there are people out their trying to sell you on the fact that players are paying more attention to things like swing plane, launch angle and exit velocity as the reason for the increase in home runs. While I’m sue that those reasons have added to the number of home runs being hit there’s no way that it’s accounted for the jump we’ve had this season.

At the current pace home runs are being hit the record for most home runs in a season will be broken by more than 600 home runs.

I’ve also heard some people say that since pitchers are throwing harder now than ever before in the game a batter doesn’t have to hit the baseball as well for it to go out of the ballpark. Does anybody believe that?

While I like to see players hit home runs as much as the next fan, but when a batter takes a pitch that was almost in the other batters box and hits it 450 feet to the opposite field there’s something going on.

I did find it interesting that when the International League started using the same baseball as MLB does their number of home runs jump exponentially. That seems like it’s a clear indication that it’s the baseball.

To be honest I’m not sure if the home run will solve all of baseballs problem. I’m not sure that more offensive was the problem with baseball and there’s something to be said about a well pitched game. It seems that baseballs biggest problem is still the length of games and I’m not sure if there’s a fix for that. It would also help the game if their where less strikeouts and more baseballs put into play. You can’t tell me you enjoy watching batter after batter strikeout unless the pitcher is either working on a no-hitter or is coming up on the strikeout record. More balls in play would provide more action on the field and that may make the game more attractive to watch.

It makes sense for MLB to want to attract younger viewers to their games, but that a very difficult thing for a game like baseball to do. You need to be patient to watch a baseball game and with the younger audiences today well they want a pay off right away. Of course that quick pay off would be a home run, but that’s not going to happen every time a player comes to bat.

If there’s a way MLB could figure out how to teach kids about the game it might help them stay interested in it as they get older. Of course they have a video game like every other sport, but I think they might have to start at even a younger age than that to try to hook fans in. I started learning about baseball at a very young age, but the only video game I had back then was pong.

There are just so many distractions in today’s society that’s it’s going to be difficult for MLB to find a way to get those younger fans to be interested and stay interested in baseball. Do you have any ideas to help MLB out? If so please leave them in the comments.

I’ve heard a lot of talk about how exciting the Home Run Derby was, but I don’t enjoy it; so I didn’t watch. Now I do enjoy the MLB All-Star game more than the All-Star games from any other sport, but I didn’t get to see much of that last night. From all of the reports I’ve heard it was a pretty good game.

I did find it interesting that Shane Bieber won the MVP award. I didn’t see enough of the game to know who might’ve been in contention for the award, but I’m guessing if they gave it to a pitcher who just threw one inning there must not of been a lot of other choices.

Bieber pitched the 5th inning and worked a clean inning striking out all three batters he faced. I’m sure since the game was played in Cleveland and with there being no clear cut MVP choice they went with the hometown player who had the best night.

Bieber is just 24 years old and was a late addition to the AL All-Star team and by winning the MVP he became only the third player in All-Star game history to be named MVP in his home ballpark. Oddly he is the second Cleveland Indians player to do this. Sandy Alomar Jr. was the All-Star game MVP back in 1997. The other player to win the MVP award in his home ballpark was Pedro Martinez in 1999.

Bieber wasn’t added to the All-Star team until Friday when he replaced Mike Minor of the Texas Rangers, but he became the first pitcher since Mariano Rivera in 2013 to win the MVP. Bieber is also just the 5th pitcher in the past 40 years to win the MVP award. He joins Pedro Martinez (1999), Roger Clemens (1986), LaMarr Hoyt (1985), Rivera of course and Juan Marichal (1965). Only Bieber, Marichal and Rivera earned MVP honors without getting a win in the game.

With al of the All-Star festivities in the books MLB returns to regular season action on Friday.

You can listen to the Sports Time radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: July 6, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Is it possible that we’re only going to get one division race to watch the remainder of the season in Major League Baseball? Well let’s take a look.

Let’s start out west where the Los Angeles Dodgers currently have the largest lead out of any of the division leader. The Dodgers are 14 1/2 games up on the Colorado Rockies in the NL West. Over in the American League West the Houston Astros have a 6 1/2 game lead over the Oakland A’s. Moving back east the Atlanta Braves are at the top of the NL East and they have a 6 1/2 game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies. In the AL East it’s the New York Yankees who find themselves in 1st place. The Yankees have built a 8 1/2 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. Looking at the AL Central you’ll see that it’s the Minnesota Twins at the top of the division and they hold a 6 1/2 game lead over the Cleveland Indians.

It’s in the NL Central where thigs get interesting. With a win last night the Milwaukee Brewers took over 1st place in the division by  1/2 game over the Chicago Cubs. Now it’s not just a two team race in the NL Central. The St. Louis Cardinals are in 3rd place, but find themselves just 1 1/2 games out of 1st place. You can even go as far as saying that the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds are still in the division race even though both teams have under .500 records. Both the Pirates and the Reds are 4 games out of 1st place in the NL Central.

This is easily the best division race in baseball and you have to wonder what one of these teams have to do to separate themselves in the pennant race. If there is a team that can separate themselves from the division.

The Cardinals played well early and looked like the best team in the division. Then it was the Brewers turn in 1st place and I actually saw a host on the MLB Network call the division over once the Brewers took over the division lead. I don’t think we need to go into how dumb of a statement that was or why this moron still has a job, but Brewers lead didn’t last as the Cubs found their way into 1st place for a short period of time.

Who knows how this division is going to end up playing out, but it seems like it’s going to be the only division that’s undecided down the stretch this season. Well I guess there’s always the wild card races.

In the American League wild card race it’s the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Indians who hold the two wild card spots right now.

Cleveland is just 1/2 game ahead of the Oakland A’s while the Boston Red Sox and Texas Ranger are 2 games back. Let’s even throw in the Los Angeles Angels who are 4 1/2 games out of a wild card spot and the Chicago White Sox find themselves 6 games out of a wild card spot.

There are even more teams hanging around in the National League wild card race. Currently it’s the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies who are holding onto the two wild card spots, but it’s a tight race.

There are actually nine teams that are less than 8 games out of the final wild card spot. Now obviously it’s going to be tough for the team towards the bottom of the wild card race to jump all these teams, but since it’s so close I’ll throw them in.

The Washington Nationals are 1/2 games out. The St. Louis Cardinals are 1 game out. The Colorado Rockies are 1 1/2 games out. The Arizona Diamondbacks are 2 1/2 games out. The San Diego Padres are 3 games out while the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati reds are 3 1/2 games out. While it seems like it’s been a down year for the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets they’re both technically still in the wild card race. The Giants are 6 1/2 games out of a wild card spot while the Mets are 7 games out of that final wild card spot.

The NL Central and the wild card look like the races to watch for the remainder of the season and will have to see which teams try to improve themselves to get into the playoffs.

While nothing is official yet it appears as Kawhi Leonard will be signing with the Los Angeles Clippers. As well as bringing Leonard in as a free agent the Clippers have acquired Paul George in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Leonard had meetings with the Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and the team he just won the NBA title with the Toronto Raptors and he made it clear that he wanted to sign with a team that could contend for a championship.

It had also been reported that Leonard and George had express interest in playing together. This help facilitate George being traded to the Clippers. Apparently George’s agent recently approached the Thunder about a trade and it’s believe that George is the perfect piece to pair with Leonard.

I was quite surprised to see what the Clippers gave up to get George. Oklahoma City will receive point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and a number of draft picks. The Thunder will also receive five 1st round picks. They’ll get unprotected picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026 from the Clippers along with two picks the Clippers acquired in trades from the Miami Heat. Those are an unprotected pick in 2021 and a protected pick in 2023. Oklahoma City also has the option to swap picks with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025.

That may seem like a lot of draft capital to give up and the first thought that comes to mind is did the Clippers mortgage their future. Don’t forget that the Clippers acquired multiple draft picks in the deal that sent Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers last season.

So a California team has added some more star power. Do you think the addition of Leonard and George males the Clippers a contender for the NBA title? Also are you disappointed that this is where Leonard ended up?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you happen to miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you’d like.

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