Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: February 26, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The New York Yankees won 103 games last season which was enough to win the American League East title. They advanced through the American League Division Series with a sweep of the Minnesota Twins before their season came to end in when they lost to the Houston Astros 4 games to 2 in the American League Championship Series.

While the Yankees goal of getting to and winning the World Series just the fact that they played as well as they did dealing with the injuries they had was a surprise. I’m not sure if there was a team in baseball that suffered as many injuries as the Yankees did.

Now coming into the 2020 season the Yankees already knew they’d be playing this season without centerfielder Aaron Hicks who under went Tommy John surgery an will miss the entire season. Knowing that Hicks would be down for the entire season as earlier as the Yankees did will give them the opportunity to cover his at bats.

You’d think after dealing with the injurie the Yankees did last season missing one of your regulars would be something this team could handle. Well unfortunately yesterday the Yankees announced that starting pitcher Luis Severino would miss the entire 2020 season and some of the 2021 season as he will undergo Tommy John surgery.

During a spring training throwing session Severino felt pain in his forearm which was a similar pain to what he felt in his post season start again the Astros last October. After further examination by the Yankees medical staff and an MRI it was concluded that he would need surgery.

Severino made just 5 starts last season; 3 in the regular season and 2 in the post season as he dealt with shoulder and lat injuries. Severino totaled just 20 1/3rd inning overall last season and was looking to bounce back with a full season in 2020.

Don’t forget that Severino isn’t the only Yankees pitcher that is currently injured. James Paxton is still recovering from back surgery and isn’t expected to return until May. You also add in the fact that Domingo German still has 63 games left on a suspension to serve. This leaves the Yankees with two big rotation spots to fill at the start of the season.

As of now the Yankees have Gerrit Cole, Masahiro Tanaka and J.A. Happ set for their starting rotation, but how do they fill those final two spots? They have what appears to be 7 pitchers in camp that could fill those spots. Jordan Montgomery, Jonathan Loaisiga, Mike King and Deivi Garcia are joined by two non-roster invitees Chad Bettis and Nick Tropeano as contenders to fill those two spots. Are there a couple of names that stick out to you that you’d like to see in the Yankees rotation to start this season?

It’s also possible if the Yankees don;t like what they’ve seen or will seeout of these pitchers there are a few free agents left on the market. Andrew Cashner has just let it be known that he’d be willing to itch out of the bullpen, but he’s been a starter for the majority of his career.

There are also a couple of interesting younger pitchers still out there. Danny Salazar is just 30 years old and at one time was looked at as a top of the rotation starter by the Cleveland Indians. Injuries have derailed Salazar the last two seasons as he’s pitched in just one major league game last season. Before those injuries Salazar was an All-Star in 2016 and won 14 games in 2015. Aaron Sanchez is also available. Sanchez is just 27 years old, but has battled injuries for about the past four seasons. In his last full healthy season Sanchez went 15-2 with an ERA of 3.00 and finished 7th in the American League Cy Young voting that season. Could either of these injury prone starters stay healthy long enough to help out an injured Yankees staff?

There are some other veteran names out their if the Yankees where interested. There’s 35 year old Clay Buchholz, 36 year old Marco Estrada and 37 year old Jason Vargas. The could also bring back Matt Harvey back to New York albeit on for the other New York team as he’s a free agent.

I’m not exactly sure what the Yankees will end up doing, but those are some of the pitchers they could use to fill out their rotation. There is one other in-house option that I haven’t heard anyone mention yet.

How about C.C Sabathia. Now Sabathia announced his retirement last season, but that means he hasn’t been out of baseball for that long and after spending 11 seasons with the Yankees he’d obviously be able to fit right back into the clubhouse. Sabathia started 22 games and pitched in 23 games overall last season covering 107 1/3rd innings. He went 5-8 with an ERA of 4.95. Now it’s not like Sabathia would be any type of long term solution for the Yankees rotation, but with the veteran starters that are available bringing back a pitcher that is familiar with the team and the players around him might be much easier than bringing in someone who would be totally new to the organization.

You’ve seen the choices that the Yankees might be able to use in their starting rotation. Who do you think that they might go with to fill those two starting rotation spots to start the season?

While I was writing about Yankees injuries I noticed that there was another one that they just announced. The Yankees are saying that Giancarlo Stanton is now questionable for opening day with a calf injury. Stanton injured his calf yesterday while working in the outfield. After an MRI Stanton was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his right calf. Aaron Boone used the phrase “down for a bit” when asked how long Stanton would be out, but did mention this injury could carry over into the regular season.

If the Yankees where hoping for a clean slate injury wise to start the 2020 season it sure doesn’t look like they’re going to get that.

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 at your leisure.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

 

How was your week

Posted: February 15, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NASCAR season kicks off with what has been called their Superbowl of stock car racing the Daytona 500. The race is considered the most prestigious and important race on the NASCAR calendar. The race also carries the largest purse of the season. The race is also an anomaly as in most if not all other sports their championship is played at the end of the season.

Since 1997 the winner of the Daytona 500 receives the Haley J. Earl trophy in victory lane. The winning car is displayed in race winning condition for one year at the Daytona 500 Experience a museum and gallery adjacent to the Daytona International Speedway.

Joe Gibbs Racings Denny Hamlin is the defending champion. Hamlin starts this year race 21st as he looks to win his 3rd Daytona 500 and become the first driver to win this race back to back since Sterling Marlin in 1994-95.

Rickey Stenhouse Jr. of JTG Daughtery Racing had the fastest qualifying time and will start on the pole in the #47 car. Alex Bowman starts 2nd in the #88 car.

“The King” Richard Petty has won the Daytona 500 more time than anyone else 7. Cale Yarborough has won the race 4 times while Bobby Allison, Dale Jarrett and Jeff Gordon have each won this race 3 times. There are also 7 drivers who have won the race two times each.

Joey Logano and Hamlin are the favorites to win this years race at 10 to 1 while Chase Elliot, Brad Keselowski, Kyle Busch and Kevin Harvick are close behind at 13 to 1.

Who do you think will win this years Daytona 500?

It looks like the Cleveland Indians have suffered the first major injury of spring training as their top starting pitcher Mike Clevinger suffered a partial tear of the medial meniscus in his left knee.

Clevinger is slated to undergo surgery and is expected to miss about 6 to 8 weeks according to what the team has been telling reporters. It also seems highly unlikely that Clevinger would be ready to open the season in the Cleveland rotation. The extent of his rehab will be determined following the operation, but even a return on the short end of typical meniscus timelines would leave Clevinger with little if any time to prepare for the season opener.

Clevinger was looked upon to be one of the tp starters for the Indians this season. He made just 21 starts last season due to another injury, but when he made his starts he was very good. Clevinger went 13-4 with an ERA of 2.71 in those 21 starts.

Clevinger has made 84 starts in his major league career and has appeared in 97 career games. He is 41-21 with an ERA of 3.20. You can see that when Clevinger is healthy he’s been a very good pitcher for the Indians. Now the question is; can he stay healthy?

Shane Bieber and Carlos Carrasco have two of the spots in the Indians starting rotation locked down, but with Clevinger out the Indians will have to fill in the other three. Zach Plesac and Adam Plutko each made 20 or more starts for the Indians last season; so it wouldn’t be a surprise if they filled in two of the other rotation spots for the Indians. If that is the case Cleveland will just need to find someone to fill the 5th spot in the rotation until Clevinger returns.

It looks like that final spot might come down to one of four pitchers. Aaron Civale might have the inside track as he made 10 starts last season and went 3-4 with an ERA of 2.34. Jefry Rodriguez made 8 starts for the Indians last season going 1-5 with an ERA of 4.63. Logan Allen and Scott Moss will also have the opportunity to compete for the 5th starter spot, but neither have made a start in the majors and would need a good spring training to win the 5th starter spot.

Luckily for the Indians Clevinger’s injury wasn’t more serious and t appears as though Cleveland might only need a fill-in starter for a short period of time.

The Arizona Diamondbacks also had an injury happen to one of the pitchers in their starting rotation.

Mike Leake suffered a fracture in his left wrist, but luckily that’s his non-throwing hand. Apparently this is an aggravation of an injury Leake had as a child. Leake hurt his wrist slipping and falling while chasing his dog.

The Diamondbacks plan for Leake is to rest his wrist for two weeks. He can still throw, but he will be unable to catch any return throws or swing a bat.

The Diamondbacks acquired Leake from the Seattle Mariners at the trade deadline last season. Leake made 10 starts for Arizona after the trade going 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA over 60 innings.

Leake’s injury shouldn’t affect how the Diamondbacks rotation sets up for the season. Robbie Ray and Luke Weaver return to the Arizona starting rotation and they’ll be joined by free agent signing Madison Bumgarner. It looks as though Zac Gallen will have the first shot at locking down the 5th starter spot for the Diamondbacks.

Gallen made 8 starts for Arizona last season. He went 2-3 with an ERA of 2.89 over 43 2/3rd innings. Gallen made 14 starts at Triple-A before being called up by the Diamondbacks after they acquired him in a trade with the Miami Marlins and he was excellent. Galen went 9-1 with an ERA of 1.77 over 91 1/3rd innings.

The Diamondbacks did acquire Corbin Martin as part of the Zack Greinke deal with the Houston Astros. Martin made 5 relief appearances with the Astros last season, but suffered an injury and had to undergo Tommy John surgery. Martin had surgery last July and it appears as though his 2020 season is in doubt.

While it looks like Gallen will get that 5th starter role the Diamondbacks still have Merrill Kelly who made 32 starts for Arizona last season, but it seems as though he’ll start the year in the bullpen. Kelly did make 32 starts for the Diamondbacks last season covering 183 1/3rd innings which was the most on the team. It was Kelly’s first year back in Major League Baseball after spending four years in the Korean Baseball Organization.

Do you see the Diamondbacks going with Gallen or Kelly as their 5th starter?

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 whenever you want.

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

 

How was your week

Posted: February 8, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Earlier this week we had a three team blockbuster trade in Major League Baseball. Mookie Betts and David Price went to the Los Angeles Dodgers, Kenta Maeda is headed to the Minnesota Twins and the Boston Red Sox received Alex Verdugo and Brusdar Graterol. Now there apparently seems to be an issue with this deal from the Red Sox end.

Reports are that the Red Sox had some concerns about an injury Graterol even though he pitched in 28 games last season. 10 of those games where with the Twins in September. Graterol is represented by Scott Boras who was quoted as saying “No doctor has told me that there is anything about his future going forward other than that it is very bright and he has no limitations”. I don’t know about you, but I’m not buying the injury angle here at all.

What I honestly think happened is the Red Sox looked at the deal and decided that they weren’t receiving enough in a deal that contained a former MVP and a former Cy Young award winner.

As of right now these five players are in limbo as these three teams need to figure out how this deal will actually play out. Now not only does this non-deal affect these five players, but the Dodgers made another deal on the basis of this one with the Los Angeles Angels. In that deal the Dodgers sent Joc Pedersen, Ross Stripling and minor leaguer Andy Pages to the Angels for infielder Luis Rengifo.

With pitchers and catchers on the verge of reporting this is has to be quite an issue for these teams to be dealing with. Just to kind of add salt to Pedersen’s wound not only does he not know what team he’s going to be on, but he lost his arbitration case that ended up having to be against the Dodgers since this trade is being held up.

Are you buying the Red Sox injury concerns for Graterol or do you think there was another reason that they had concerns with this trade.

Not that it will be looked at as a big free agent signing it is a player that we root for on the Sports Time Radio podcast. Hunter Pence signed a one year deal to return to the San Francisco Giants.

Pence spent seven seasons with the Giants from 2012-2018 before joining the Texas Rangers last season. An injury cut Pence’s season short. He didn’t play in a game after August 22nd, but he played so well in the first half of the season that he was named to the American League All-Star team.

Pence played in 83 games last season spending most of his time at Designated Hitter, but he did play 16 games in rightfield and 8 games in leftfield. This obviously becomes something you have to look at since the National League doesn’t have the Designated Hitter just yet. Pence did hit .297 last season with 18 home runs.

Pence got a one year deal from the Giants. He’ll earn $3 million dollars with a chance to earn $2.5 million dollars in incentives. Pence can earn a $1 million dollar roster bonus as well as $1.5 million dollar bonus based on plate appearances starting with his 450th plate appearance.

San Francisco has also added another veteran outfielder as they signed Billy Hamilton to a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training.

It appears as though Hamilton would be a 26th man option for the Giants on their roster. You’d have to think that he’d be used as a late inning defensive replacement and pinch runner, but Hamilton could challenge Steven Duggar as a left handed centerfield option.

Hamilton’s offense never really caught up to the threat that he is on the bases. Hamilton was hitting just .211 when the Kansas City Royals released him, but he did hit better after the Atlanta Braves picked him up.

Are you interested in the XFL? If you are they kickoff today. The opening game has the Seattle Dragons at the DC Defenders today at 1:00 p.m. The second game today has the LA Wildcats at the Houston Drillers at 4:00 p.m. There are also two games tomorrow starting with the Tampa Bay Vipers at the NY Guardians at 1:00 p.m. The second game on Sunday has the St. Louis Battlehawks at the Dallas Renegades at 4:00 p.m.

Do you have any interest in the XFL? If you do there are fantasy leagues as well as betting. I saw that the Dallas Renegades are the favorite right now to win the league championship. Since we’ve haven’t seen much of these teams I’m not sure how they’re coming up with these betting lines, but I’m sure there are people out there who will be betting on these games.

Bob Stoops is the head coach of Dallas and their quarterback is Landry Jones. Jones played his college football at the University of Oklahoma where Stoops was his coach. Jones is Oklahoma’s all-time leader in touchdowns with 123 and passing yards with 16,646. Jones has made 5 starts in the NFL and has played in 18 career NFL games. After Ben Rothlisberger was injured last season the Pittsburgh Steelers reached out to Jones, but he had already signed with the XFL an was unable to get out of his contract.

While Jones might be the most notable name out of the XFL quarterbacks, but there are some other names you’ll know taking snaps in this league. Cardale Jones is the starter for DC. Luis Perez is the starter in LA. Matt McGloin is the starter in NY. Jordan Ta’amu is the St. Louis starter. Aaron Murray is the starter in Tampa Bay. Brandon Silvers gets the start in Seattle while Philip Walker is the starter in Houston.

Walker actually gets the start for Houston over Connor Cook; so he may be the first starting quarterback to lose his job in the XFL.

I’ve decided that I’ll be watching these opening week games. I’m hoping for some decent football and while I’m not expecting NFL caliber play I’m hoping for something better than the Alliance of American Football delivered.

Will you be watching the XFL?

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 at your leisure.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: February 5, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’ve been hearing about it pretty much all off season, but it looks like it finally happened. The Boston Red Sox finally trade outfielder Mookie Betts and got themselves under Major League Baseball luxury tax line. It took three teams to get a deal done, but here who went where.

Betts along with left handed pitcher David Price will be headed to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Red Sox will receive outfielder Alex Verdugo from the Dodgers and right handed pitching prospect Brusdar Graterol from the Minnesota Twins. Minnesota will receive starting pitcher Kenta Maeda. On the surface it looks like the Dodgers really got the better end of this deal, but let’s try to take a closer look.

Betts is just one year away from free agency and there are reports that he’ll receive a contract worth $400 million dollars. Will that be from the Dodgers? Or will he just be their for one year. Betts has received MVP votes in each of he last 5 seasons; winning the award in 2018. Betts is a career .301 hitter and has hit 30 or more home runs twice in his career while also stealing 16 or more bases every season he’s been a full time player. He is definitely one of the superstars in the game of baseball, but the key here is will the Dodgers be able to keep him for more than one season. The Dodgers also get Price and his large contract. Price was a Cy Young award winner, but believe it or not that was back in 2012. Price has been injured in two of the last three seasons and has made just 63 starts over that period of time. Last season Price had an ERA of 4.29 and pitched 107 1/3rd innings over 22 starts. Last season was the first time Price had an ERA over 4.00 since 2009 which was his first full season at the major league level. Price has three years and $96 million dollars left on his contract.

The Red Sox gets Verdugo who was a former prospect coming up through the Dodgers organization, but never had a chance to play full time. Last season was the first time Verdugo played in over 100 games. He hit .294 in 106 games with 12 home runs and 44 RBI’s. Verdugo played all three outfield positions for the Dodgers last season, but it appears as he’ll be a corner outfield for the Red Sox. The Ed Sox also pick up the hard throwing 21 year old right hander Graterol. He appeared in 10 games for the Twins last season all in relief covering 9 2/3rd innings. Graterol has only pitched in 51 minor league games over 4 seasons making 41 starts. He’s thrown 214 total minor league innings, but has moved quickly through the Twins minor leagues. Graterol pitched at three minor league levels for Minnesota last season going 7-0 with an ERA of 1.92 in 18 games 11 of which where starts. Will Graterol be in the Red Sox starting rotation come opening day?

It appears that the Twins where added to this deal late since all the early reports had this deal happening between just the Red Sox and Dodgers. Minnesota was the team that gave up a top rated prospect as Graterol was the 83rd ranked prospect coming into this season. In return for giving up a prospect the Twins get veteran and versatile in Maeda. He pitched in 37 games last season for the Dodgers with 26 of those being starts. Maeda also picked up 3 saves last season. Maeda has really shown his versatility in the playoffs. Maeda has pitched in 24 post season games over the last three season, but only three of those games have been as a starter. In the post season Maeda is 2-1 with a 3.31 ERA over 32 2/3rd innings. Even though he’s shown that he can be either a starter or reliver it appears as though Maeda will be in the Twins starting rotation as the 2nd or 3rd starter.

It’s clear that the Dodgers where the winners of this deal and if  they can sign Betts to a long term deal that would really put this deal over the top for them. The Twins get a solid veteran pitcher for their prospect, but the biggest question in this deal is; how did the Red Sox do? There will be a lot of if’s attached to this deal for the Red Sox. Now they did get the luxury tax relief they where looking for, but it also looks like they gave up a chance to contend for the AL East. Now if Verdugo produces as a full time player and if Graterol can become a fixture in the starting rotation this deal might not look to bad for Boston, but right now was it more than just a salary dump?

This was the first time in baseball history that a former MVP and a former Cy Young award winner where traded by a team in the same deal.

Now I’m sure there’s people out there thinking that by adding an outfielder the Dodgers really have an over crowded outfield. Well Los Angeles was able to take care of that before the trade for Betts and price was even announced. The Dodgers sent outfielder Joc Pedersen and minor league outfielder Andy Pages to the Los Angeles Angels in return for Luis Rengifo.

Pedersen’s name had come up in trade talks quite a bit over the last couple of off seasons and he was finally dealt.

Pedersen can not only play all three outfield positions, but has also played some 1st base. He’s coming off a season where he hit a career highs in home runs at 36 and RBI’s with 74. Pedersen should step right in and be the everyday rightfielder for the Angels and it looks as though he might also be their lead off hitter. Pages has been in the minors for just two years, but was the Dodgers 29th ranked prospect. It will be quite a few years before Pages will be ready to step into the major leagues; so it’s kind of a wait and see situation with him.

At 22 years old Rengifo got his first taste of playing in the majors last season. He appeared in 108 games for the Angels last season. He hit .238 and played 104 games at 2nd base and 12 games at shortstop. If Rengifo makes the Dodgers opening day roster he’ll be their third player along with Chris Taylor and Enrique “Kiki” Hernandez who can play multiple positions. That would give Dodgers manager Dave Roberts a lot of flexibility on his bench.

With these two deals; do you now consider the Dodgers the favorite to win the World Series? I’d also be interested to know how you think these deals affect the Red Sox, Twins and Angels.

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you d miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIN.com and you can listen at your leisure.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 29, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I wanted to start out today by letting everyone know that I’m not going to be writing about Kobe Bryant. It’s a terrible tragedy that he was killed in that helicopter crash with those other people on board. To ne completely honest I just don’t feel comfortable writing about something like that and while I’d like to pass my condolences along to everyone who lost someone they cared about in that helicopter crash, but that’s all I really want to say about the whole situation.

Do you believe that the Cincinnati Reds are contenders?

The Reds added Wade Miley as a free agent to their starting rotation. They also acquired former top prospect Jose DeLeon from the Tampa Bay Rays, but it’s unclear right now where he’ll fit in. DeLeon pitched in just 3 games last season due to injury. He also missed the entire 2018 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Miley should fit in as the 4th Reds fourth starter behind Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo. Anthony DeSclafani should start the season as Cincinnati’s 5th starter.

The Reds added Japanese outfielder Shogo Akiyama as an international free agent and it appears as though he’ll be their everyday centerfielder. Early in free agency they also added Mike Moustakas to play 2nd base. Then just yesterday Cincinnati added free agent outfielder Nicholas Castellanos.

With Akiyama and Castellanos joining last seasons breakout performer Aristides Aquino in the outfield the Reds will have to make a decision on what to do with Nick Senzel who played 96 games in centerfield after being called up to the majors. Senzel’s name has been rumored in trade talks this off season; so maybe he’ll end up being part of a deal before the season starts. Senzel is recovering from a shoulder injury, but he should be ready for spring training.

Right now Freddy Galvis is penciled in as the Reds starting shortstop, but there are lots of trade rumors circulating around different shortstops the Reds might acquire. Cincinnati has been rumored to be interested in dealing for Francisco Lindor of the Cleveland Indians. Lately there has also been a rumor of a three team deal involving the Reds, Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers. In this deal Lindor would end up with the Dodgers and Corey Seager would be dealt to the Reds.

Galvis is an above average defender, but isn’t anywhere near the hitter that Lindor or Seager is. Lindor and Seager will be a free agent in two seasons; so you’d think if the Reds do make a deal for either of these two players they’d like to get them signed long term.

Add in Eugenio Suarez and what I’m sure the Reds are hoping will be a bounce back year for Joey Votto and the Reds look to have a potent offensive line up. The catching situation may be the weak spot in this Reds line up. Tucker Barnhart is the left handed hitting catching option while Curt Casali and Kyle Farmer look like they’ll be the right handed catching options.

The Reds will have to jump three teams in the National League Central to win the division and that can be a tall order. Do you think that the Reds have done enough to win the division? There’s an outside chance that they can contend for a wild card spot, but it’s going to be difficult task to beat out the National League East team that doesn’t win that division.

With Castellanos off the board it appears that Yasiel Puig is the last top remaining free agent out there.

It’s a bit of a surprise that Puig is still available. He has 20 plus home run power and has one of if not the best outfield arm in baseball. Now he can be a little bit of a head case, but you’d have to think that the right team with veteran leadership would be able to keep him under control.

When free agency started I thought the perfect fit for Puig would be with the Miami Marlins. A Cuban born player in a market with a high Cuban population might help attendance. The Marlins still aren’t anywhere near contending for a playoff spot; so anything that would improve attendance would be a good thing. The Marlins where the worse drawing team in baseball last season averaging just 10,016 fans per game. The Marlins might improve on the 57 wins they had last season, but will their attendance improve? At this point in free agency I’m sure they could bring Puig in on a lower money short term deal if it’s something they’re interested in doing.

Is there another fit out their for Puig?

It’s possible the Texas Rangers might be a landing spot for Puig, but I’m not sure that he’s the centerpiece player they’re looking to build around. Now the Detroit Tigers are interested in bringing in another outfielder, but they came out and said that they have no interest in signing Puig. With the trade of Starling Marte the Pittsburgh Pirates could probably use an outfielder, but there’s very little to almost no chance that they’d make this type of signing. I do believe there is still one contender that might be interested in Puig’s services and that’s the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals let Marcell Ozuna and his 29 home runs go in free agency and right now it appears as they’re going with some of their younger players to fill that roster spot. Puig would probably be a much better fit for a team that’s looking to contend. By signing Puig it would also allow the Cardinals to move Dexter Fowler out of rightfield as Puig would be a defensive upgrade over Fowler.

With spring training right around the corner do you see Puig signing with a team before spring training start? If you do see Puig getting signed; which team do you see him signing with?

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

If you’re interested you can also follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: January 25, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Unless your a fan of regular season NBA action or college basketball there’s some down time for you as far as sports go. The NHL is on it’s All-Star break. Thy did have their skills challenge last night and the All-Star tournament games are tonight. The NFL is in it’s off week or maybe we should say bye week as the Super Bowl will be played a week from tomorrow. They also held their skills challenge during the week and they do have the Pro Bowl game tomorrow. Unlike like last year in Major League Baseball where it seemed like we waited forever for the top free agent names to sign they’ve all signed already this off season. Now there are a few name value players still on the free agent market, but the big names that drew all the attention heading into the off season have signed. I guess luckily for us baseball did give us an interesting rumor to discuss towards the end of the week.

The Boston Red Sox don’t have a manager and they actually came out this week and said that they’d be okay with not having a manager when spring training starts. So while they’re still looking for a manager they’re also waiting for the commissioner’s office to conclude their investigation into the Red Sox sign stealing scandal and find out what if any punishment they will receive.

Now towards the end of the week there where some reports that the Red Sox would listen to offers on outfielder Mookie Betts, but this time there was a different team that came up in these rumors.

This time it was the San Diego Padres who express interest in acquiring Betts. The Red Sox have one of the lower ranked farm systems on baseball while the Padres farm system is one of the highest ranked ones on baseball. The Red Sox aren’t really in a position to lose any draft picks, but if you look at the punishment the Houston Astros received from Major League Baseball you’d have to be thinking that the Red Sox will lose some draft picks.

The question then becomes what and how much would the Padres be willing to give up in a deal for Betts. Remember Betts just signed a one year deal and he’ll become a free agent after the 2020 season. Would he be willing to re-sign with the Padres? Or is he interested in testing the free agent market?

The numbers that have been thrown out for Betts as a free agent next off season could be upwards of $35 million dollars a season. Now the Padres have Manny Machado, Eric Hosmer and Will Myers signed to big money deals, but there is talk that Myers would be part of a deal involving Betts. Could San Diego be able to afford one more big money deal?

Now San Diego’s estimated payroll for the 2020 season is a little over $155 million dollars; so it does appear as though they could add Betts to their roster and stay under the luxury tax.

You’d have to think that the Red Sox wouldn’t be interested in Myers who’s due to make $22.5 million dollars a season for the next three seasons and has an option year for the 2023 season at $20 million dollars. This may mean that a third team might have to be involved in this deal or San Diego might have to pick up a large chunk of what Myers is owed.

After working out if or how Myers would be involved in a deal for Betts it would be in to what and how many prospects would be going from San Diego to Boston.

San Diego has multiple prospects that could be involved in a trade for Betts, but how many would the Padres be willing to give up for a player they might only have for one season.

Would the Red Sox insist on a top pitching prospect like Mackenzie Gore, Luis Patino, Michel Baez or Adrian Morejon being included in a deal for Betts along with maybe another lower tier prospect or two.

It does look like these are two teams that would match up in a deal like this, but will they be able to work out the particulars of this deal. If they do manage to work out this deal how would it affect both of these teams.

Would either team be a contender next season if this deal was made. Even with the addition of Betts I doubt it would put them o the same level as the Los Angeles Dodgers, but it could possibly make them a contender for a wild card spot.

The Red Sox where just 3 games over .500 last season and losing their best offensive players probably isn’t going to help them compete with the New York Yankees or Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. Then there’s the question on how they’d actually replace Betts at the top of the order.

The Red Sox did acquire Marcus Wilson from the Arizona Diamondbacks last season, but he’s just 23 years old and hasn’t played above Double-A; so it doesn’t look like he’d be a candidate to replace Betts. I’m not sure how many people remember this, but the Red Sox still have Rusney Castillo under contract for on more season. He hasn’t played in the major leagues since 2016, but with one year left on $72.5 million dollar contact maybe the Red Sox could get something out of him in the final year of that deal. If the Red Sox don’t go with either of those choices they could always sign one of the remaining free agents to a deal to fill to role in the short term.

So what do you think. Do the Red Sox go into the season with Betts in their line up? Or is he playing for another team at the start of the 2020 season?

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 15, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

What do you think of the way that Major League Baseball is handling the sign stealing situation?

The Houston Astros where fined $5 million dollars which is the maximum fine a team can be accessed. The Astros also have to forfeit their 1st and 2nd round draft picks in the 2020 and 20201 draft. General Manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch where also given one year suspensions without pay as part of Houston’s penalty.

In the wake of these penalties where announced Astros owner Jim Crane decided to fired Luhrow and Hinch. With spring training about a month away it outs the Astros in an odd position. Remember they fired their assistant general manager Brandon Taubman after an odd outburst at some female reporters. Taubman is also on MLB’s ineligible list; so he is unable to move into the general managers role if that’s the way the Astros choose to go.

With the Astros investigation wrapped up MLB will move on to the Boston Red Sox and their use of technology to steal signs.

The Red Sox have already made a preemptive and removed Alex Cora as their manager. Cora was the Astros bench coach in 2017 when the Astros where accused of stealing signs. He was hired by the Red Sox after Houston won the World Series in 2017 and led the Red Sox to the a World Series win in 2018. In Houston Cora appears to be the coach who put all of the sign stealing systems in place. Now there hasn’t been any reports on what his involvement with the Red Sox sign stealing system was, but as the old saying goes where there’s smoke there’s fire.

With Cora being involved in both of these sign stealing situation and the fact that Hinch got a year suspension; what should Cora get? Would Major League Baseball go as far as suspending him for multiple years?

Now the Red Sox parted way with Dave Dombrowski who had the job title of President of Baseball Operations which included handling general manager duties. To this point I haven’t heard anything on if Dombrowski will face sanctions like Luhnow did, but you have to think that’s a possibility. Dombrowski isn’t currently working for a major league team, but any type of penalty might prevent a team from hiring him.

I have to say that I’m pretty much in agreement with the penalties that where handed down to the Astros. I think the only thing that I would’ve liked to have seen Major League Baseball do was take away some of the teams international pool money along with the other penalties they where accessed.

The most difficult decision Major League Baseball has to make is what if anything happens to Carlos Beltran. There have been and there appears that no players will be penalized for the sign stealing scandal and while Beltran is currently the manager of the New York Mets he was a player and according to reports the leader of the sign stealing system.

This leads to the questions. Should Beltran be penalized? Should the Mets fire Beltran? Who they just hired November 1st and hasn’t managed a game for them.

The other thing that may be of some interest especially to Los Angeles Dodgers fans. Don’t forget that the Astros beat the Dodgers in the 2017 World Series and the Red Sox beat the Dodgers in the 2018 World Series. Could he Dodgers have been back to back World Series winners if not for the teams they where playing stealing signs?

I’m not sure if there’s an actual way to take away a World Series title from a team, but maybe they could add an asterisk next to the teams name in history and let the fans decide for themselves.

Then there comes the question of the American League Most Valuable Player award. In 2017 Jose Altuve of the Astros won the award and then in 2018 Mookie Betts of the Red Sox won the award. Was it easier for them to hit because they knew what pitches where coming? Now Major League Baseball didn’t strip either Ryan Braun or Jason Giambi of the MVP awards they won after it was learned that they where both use performance enhancing drugs. So there is a bit of a history here.

Just for the record in 2017 Aaron Judge of the Yankees finished 2nd to Altuve in the MVP voting and then in 2018 it was Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels who finished 2nd to Betts in the MVP voting.

In some other baseball news earlier in the week Miguel Sano signed a 3 year $30 million dollar extension to stay with the Minnesota Twins. With this signing it appeared that the Twins might be out of the race to sign Josh Donaldson. Anybody who thought that was wrong as yesterday the Twins inked Donaldson to a 4 year $92 million dollar deal with a 5th year option.

Donaldson’s deal is the largest free agent signing in Twins history and it’s the second largest contract the franchise has ever handed out. The largest contract in Twins history was Joe Mauer’s 8 year $184 million dollar deal he signed in 2011.

With the signing of Donaldson and Nelson Cruz locked in as the DH it appears as though Sano will make the move across the diamond and play 1st base for the Twins this season.

Donaldson was what was being describe as the last “big name” free agent on the markets, but there still are some quality players still available in free agency. The two hot names now seem to be outfielders Nicholas Castellanos and Marcel Ozuna, but don’t forget that Yasil Puig is also still a free agent. It will be interesting to see where these three free agents end up along with the remainder of the available players still out there.

Remember to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do miss the live broadcast of the podcast just head o over to TuneIn.com and you can listen at your leisure.

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Let’s call it Christmas

Posted: December 25, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I know I’ve mentioned this a time or two here; so as you know I live in the Chicago suburbs. And with the Bears, Bulls and Blackhawks struggling the talk has continued to be about baseball. Now everyone seems to be very down on the Cubs, but on the other side of town there’s a lot of buzz about the White Sox. Now this isn’t the first time there has been this kind of reaction to a White Sox off season.

In 2015 the White Sox signed Adam LaRoche to be the DH of what looked like an already potent line up. Jeff Samardzija was added to the starting rotation and the White Sox added David Robertson as the closer and Zach Duke as the main set up guy out of the bullpen.

All of these moves led to the White Sox being crowned the winners of the off season which made them a trendy pick to win the AL Central and there where even some Chicagoans that had them going to the World Series.

What ended up happening is they still play the game on the field as the White Sox went 76-86. They ended up in 4th place in the AL Central 19 games back of the division winning Kansas City Royals. The White Sox never spent one day in 1st place in 2015.

Now this off season the White Sox made a big move early signing the top catcher on the free agent market Yasmani Grandal to a 4 year $73 million dollar contract. Jose Abreu accepted the qualifying offer of $17.8 million dollars to stay with the White Sox. James McCann had a career year for the White Sox in 2019 and they where able to bring him back on a 1 year $5.4 million dollar deal.

After those signings there was talk that the White Sox needed at add an outfield bat and pitching help. The White Sox sent one of their what seems to be many prospects outfielder Steele Walker to the Texas Rangers for Nomar Mazara. I’m not sure why, but there seemed to be some complaining about this trade; I guess because you’re not allowed to trade a prospect. Even with that garbage Mazara is a proven run producer and should hit 20 or more home runs.

As far as pitching goes; the White Sox actually offered more money to Zach Wheeler and Steven Strasburg, but they both chose to sign somewhere else. I had hoped that the White Sox would make a big move and bring in Madison Bumgarner and while I heard there was some interest on the White Sox part it didn’t seem like they where even close to getting him signed. As the top pitching free agents slowly started signing with teams it looked like the White Sox where going to miss out. They did managed to sign Gio Gonzalez to a 2 year $5 million dollar contract and it looked like he was going to be the veteran pitcher they where going to add to their rotation. Little did we know the White Sox weren’t done. They went out and added former Cy Young award winner Dallas Keuchel to the starting rotation. Keuchel signed a 3 year $55.5 million dollar deal that has a vesting option that could make his contract a 4 year $74 million dollar deal.

Is Keuchel the top of the rotation starter that the White Sox needed to add to their young arms. Keuchel signed late last season and made 19 starts for the Atlanta Braves. He went 8-8 with an ERA of 3.75. Keuchel made 2 playoff starts for Atlanta, but pitched just 8 innings. Keuchel didn’t get a decision in either of his playoff starts and posted an ERA of 4.50.

Keuchel has stayed relatively healthy throughout his career; so he should make 30 plus starts for the White Sox. He’ll be at the top of a rotation that includes up and coming starters Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez. Giolito is coming off the best of his two full major league seasons. Can Keuchel be the leader of this rotation and help Giolito take that next step? Lopez has been show potential and seems to just need a veteran who’s been through it to give him some guidance. Can Keuchel fill that role?

No there are reports out there that the White Sox aren’t done. They’ve been linked very closely to free agent 1st baseman Edwin Encarnacion. With Abreu already signed you’d have to think that if this signing happens Encarnacion would primarily be used as a DH. If signed Encarnacion would add another legitimate power threat to the White Sox line up. Last season Encarnacion was limited to just 109 games due to injury, but still hit 34 home runs. Those 34 home runs would’ve led the White Sox last season. Will have to see how this scenario plays out, but Encarnacion isn’t the only remaining free agent the White Sox have been linked to.

Nicholas Castellanos is the other free agent who’s name seems to keep being associated with the White Sox. Castellanos was dealt to the White Sox crosstown rival last season and played very well for them. In 51 games with the Cubs Castellanos hit .321 with 16 home runs and 36 RBI’s and was probably the Cubs biggest offensive threat down the stretch. The question I have is where would the White Sox play Castellanos? He played very good defense for the Cubs in rightfield after being traded, but isn’t known for his defense. The White Sox have already added Mazara who’s a better defensive rightfielder than Castellanos. Of course the White Sox do have the DH position open; so that could be an option. I’m not sure if Castellanos would be used as a full time DH as he has played 3rd base, left and right field in his career. I’m sure there’s also a chance that either Castellanos, Mazara or even Grandel could play some 1st base and give Abreu a day off. This is another free agent will have to keep our eye on and see if the White Sox make this move.

If you’re in the White Sox front office are you leaning towards signing Encarnacion or Castellanos?

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Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime and have a Merry Christmas.

 

How was your week

Posted: December 21, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I’m not surprised that Josh Donaldson seems to have four teams that are very interested in his services. Going into the off season there where multiple looking for a 3rd baseman and Donaldson along with Anthony Rendon where the top free agents at that position. Once Rendon signed with the Los Angeles Angels that left just Donaldson out there for these teams looking to add a top 3rd baseman. Now obviously only one of those teams will sign Donaldson; so which one will it be?

The four teams that are in on Donaldson right now are the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Washington Nationals and Minnesota Twins. Now the Twins and the Nationals have offered four year contracts to Donaldson while the Braves and the Dodgers have only been willing to go to three years on a deal.

This led me to an interesting question. If you’re a National League team how comfortable are you going to be with a 37, 38 year old 3rd baseman?

Now I know that there is a lot of discussion about the designated hitter becoming league wide in the next CBA, but if that doesn’t happen could a four year deal with Donaldson get a team into trouble the final couple of years of that deal? To be fair to Donaldson he has been relatively injury free throughout his career. He played in 155 games for the Braves last season and with the exception of the 2018 season Donaldson has always played 113 games or more since becoming a starter.

So you’ve made yourself comfortable with giving Donaldson a four year deal. Then the question becomes; how much is he going to be paid? Most of the reports out there have Donaldson landing a contract that would pay him between $90 and $100 million dollars on a four year deal.

Donaldson is coming off of a season where he hit 37 home runs and drove in 94 RBI’s. Even though he’s never won a Gold Glove Donaldson has always been looked at as a god defensive 3rd baseman. He made 13 errors last season and had a fielding percentage of .969. Donaldson was 3rd among all of 3rd baseman in assists last season with 304 and he was 2nd among 3rd baseman in double plays last season with 38; so his defense is solid.

Donaldson did post a lower than normal batting average last season .259, but he had a slugging percentage of .521 and a On Base + Slugging Percentage of .900 and he did walk 100 times. How do you feel these numbers will translate over the next four years?

Once Donaldson does sign that will leave three teams possibly in the market for a 3rd baseman. Remember the Dodgers do still have Justin Turner who has said that he’d move across the diamond to 1st bas of the Dodgers acquired another 3rd baseman, but what about the other teams.

There does seem to be a lot of talk about the Colorado Rockies being interested in trading Nolan Arenado. That might seem a little odd as Arenado is just in the 2nd year of a 7-year $260 million dollar contract, but the rumor has been out there for about a week now.

The Texas Rangers seem to be the team that is in pursuit of Arenado. The Rangers have been looking for a franchise type player to build their team around as they open that new stadium and while they missed out on signing Rendon landing Arenado would fit that bill nicely. I doubt the Rockies would deal Arenado to the Dodgers, but with the minor league system the Dodgers have you can never say never. I’m sure the Twins, Nationals and Braves would also have some interest in Arenado if they miss out on Donaldson.

The other big name 3rd baseman who’s name has come up in trade talks this off season is Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. The big question with Bryant is how many years of control would a team have on him. Right now he has two years of control, but he has a service grievance against Major League Baseball and if he wins that grievance he’ll have just one year of arbitration left. That could affect the type of package a team might offer the Cubs for Bryant.

The team that has been the most closely linked to a Bryant trade have been the Philadelphia Phillies. If Philadelphia would make that move for Bryant that would still leave three of Donaldson’s four suitors looking for a 3rd baseman.

Once Donaldson makes his decision and signs with a team where would the teams that miss out on him look at to fill their spot at 3rd base? There are some options that teams could turn to and while they’re not in the same category as a Donaldson, Bryant or Arenado they could do the job for a season while those teams try to figure out that position.

Asdrubal Cabrera has a solid season first with the Rangers and then with the Nationals. He hit .260 with 18 home runs and 91 RBI’s last season. Todd Frazier had a bit of a bounce back season in 2019. He hit 21 home runs with 67 RBI’s and his batting average was .251 which is the best it’s been since 2015. Starlin Castro started 42 games at 3rd base last season and played in 45 games at that position last season. Castro hit 22 home runs and had 86 RBI’s while hitting .270 on a bad Miami Marlins team. Maybe one of these teams that miss out on a 3rd baseman might look at Castro to make the move there full time.

Those are three possible options for a team if they don’t end up signing Donaldson and they’re not in the dealings for Arenado or Bryant and while these wouldn’t be long term solutions at 3rd base these players are good enough to help a team win some games.

What do you see the teams that miss out on Donaldson end up doing? Do you think they’ll look into or make a trade for Bryant or Arenado? Will they sign one of the remaining free agents? Or is at all possible that they would just turn the position over to one of the young players in their own organization? I guess this will all start to play out once Donaldson signs.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: December 18, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well here is still quite a bit of activity in the baseball free agent marker as Madison Bumgarner ended up being the next top free agent to sign. It’s not surprise that Bumgarner got a sizeable deal 5 years for $85 million dollars, but it was a bit of a surprise that it was the Arizona Diamondbacks that signed him. There where no rumors or anything linking Bumgarner and the Diamondbacks, but they got the deal done.

Bumgarner’s contract is set up very interestingly. He’ll be paid just $6 million dollars next season. His salary jumps to $19 million dollars in 2021. In 2022 and 2023 he’ll be paid $23 million dollars. Then in the final year of his contract his salary drops down to $14 million dollars. Now in the three middle years of his contract $5 million dollars of his salary from each of those years will be deferred. That money will then be paid out to Bumgarner in the years 2025, 2026 and 2027.

There have been some rumors that Bumgarner took less money to sign with the Diamondbacks, but that hasn’t been confirmed. His name had been associated with teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox, but we don’t know if he received any type of offers from these teams.

It seems that the addition of Bumgarner would give the Diamondbacks a really solid big three in their starting rotation. You’d have to figure to would be Bumgarner, Robbie Ray and Luke Weaver in some order, but there are still reports out their that Arizona is still interested in trading Ray.

I’m not sure how much sense it makes for Arizona to bring in a pitcher like Bumgarner and then turn around and trade away Ray. The Diamondbacks do have veteran starter Mike Leake along with Merrill Kelly, Zac Gallen and the two pitchers they acquired from the Houston Astros in the Zack Greinke deal Jon Duplantier and Corbin Martin to fill out the starting rotation if Ray is dealt.

It is possible that Ray could be use to bring back an outfielder that Arizona seems to need unless they’re going to give Yasmany Tomas a chance. Tomas is in the final year of his 6 year $68.5 million dollar deal; so this is the last chance for the Diamondbacks to get anything out of him. Tomas has spent the better part of the last three seasons in the minors, but don’t forget that he did hit 31 home runs in 2016.

Will have to wait and see what the Diamondbacks do with Ray and how their outfield shuffles out.

The Milwaukee Brewers made a couple of signings this past week and I think the best way to describe them is they where very Brewers like signings.

First Milwaukee signed outfielder Avisail Garcia to a 2 year $20 million dollar deal. Then the Brewers added 1st baseman/3rd baseman Ryon Healy to  1 year deal. The terms of Healy’s deal haven’t been disclosed yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

With the signing of Garcia and the fact that Milwaukee hasn’t made any real effort to bring back free agent Eric Thames appears to mean that Ryan Braun will be moving to 1st base. There was talk of this happening last season and it didn’t, but with these moves it appears as though it’s almost a certainty this season.

Right now Healy would be the Brewers starting 3rd baseman unless they think that either Lucas Erceg or Blake Allemand might be ready to play full time at the major league level. There’s also a possibility that Milwaukee will bring in another veteran free agent to platoon with Healy at 3rd base.

The Brewers have been very busy in this early off season. Not only have they added Garcia and Healy, but they’ve also added two starting pitchers. Milwaukee has added left hander Brett Anderson to the starting rotation. They’ve also signed Josh Lindblom who’s been pitching in the Korean league the last couple of seasons. Lindblom should also find a spot in the Brewers starting rotation.

These are the kind of interesting under the radar type of moves that help keep the Brewers in the hunt for a playoff spot. Will have to see how these signing workout and if they add anyone else.

As far as big names go it seems that Josh Donaldson is the only one left on the free agent market.

There where reports a few days ago that the Los Angeles Dodgers where out on Donaldson, but yesterday anther report came out that the Dodgers are still interested in signing him. The Washington Nationals have made it clear that they’re interesting in signing Donaldson. National general manager Mike Rizzo came out yesterday and confirmed all these reports. There are also some reports that the Minnesota Twins would be interested in bringing Donaldson on board. Also the team that Donaldson played with last season the Atlanta Braves would also like to have him back.

It seems like the biggest question with signing Donaldson is how many years to give him. There are reports that Donaldson is looking for a 4 year contract. Donaldson just turned 34 years old earlier this month; so teams have to decide how they think Donaldson will be as a 38 year old.

Where do you think Donaldson will end up? and how many years do you think he’ll sign for?

Even with a loss last night the Los Angeles Lakers are still the top team in the Western Conference. At 24-4 the question was posed to LeBron James about the hot new term in the NBA load management and James had some interesting answers. James said “if I’m healthy I play” he added “I mean, that should be the approach. I mean unless we’re getting to like late in the season and we’ve clinched and we can’t get any better or any worse, it could benefit from that, but why wouldn’t I play if I’m healthy? It doesn’t make any sense to me, personally. “I mean, I don’t know how many games I got left in my career. I don’t know how many kids that may show up to a game and they’re there to come see me play and if I sit out, then what? That’s my obligation.”

James has played in all 28 of the Lakers game this season and is averaging 34.7 minutes per game. Now as the season goes on it wouldn’t be a surprise to see James sit out the 4th quarter of blow out games. It’s just common sense for the Lakers to want and James to be healthy for the playoffs, but it is nice to hear an NBA player that actually seems like he wants to play.

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