Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: December 11, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

What a difference a year makes when it come to the baseball free agent market.

Last off season everything was Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. When will they sign, who will they sign with and how much will they sign for. This went on and on and on all through the off season. Machado and Harper dominated all of the off season of the off season news and it was the lead story on every show that discuss baseball. It was a gigantic dog and pony show, but we waited and waited to see who they’d sign with. When the winter meetings came around last year there was a lot of talk that this would be the time that something would get done and there would be something to report. Well as you know they where way, way off on that. In the end Machado signed with the San Diego Padres on February 21st while Harper didn’t sign with the Philadelphia Phillies until March 2nd.

Headed into this off season the two big free agents where pitchers, Steven Strasburg and Gerrit Cole. Just like last season there was a lot of talks about which teams would be in on trying to sign them and just how much either would end up getting. It seems as though everybody was getting ready to settle in for the long haul like last season. Well surprise it didn’t take that long.

On December 9th Strasburg officially re-signed with the Washington Nationals. Strasburg got a 7-year deal worth $245,000 million dollars. Strasburg’s salary is $35 million dollars a season, but there is some deferred money in his contract; so he’ll actually make $23,571,482 million dollars a season. There’s a total of $80 million dollars in deferred money in Strasburg’s contract which will be paid out from 2027 to 2029. The contract has a full no-trade clause, along with bonuses for winning the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove set at $100,000 each. There’s also a $100,000 for making the All-Star team. As far as Cy Young and MVP Strasburg will receive $500,000 for winning either award, $250,000 for finishing 2nd, $150,000 for finishing 3rd, $100,000 for finishing 4th and $75,000 for finishing 5th.

With Strasburg off of the board that left Cole out there as the top pitcher. Remember Zach Wheeler has already signed with the Philadelphia Phillies; so two of the top three rated free agent pitcher had been signed.

Well it didn’t take all that long for Cole to find a new team. Yesterday Cole agreed to a record setting 9-year $324 million dollar deal with the New York Yankees. This is the largest deal ever for a pitcher and the second best payday in the history of free agency. Since the deal was just agreed to there aren’t a lot of details available on it just yet. We do know that Cole will be paid $36 million dollars a season.

I have to tell you I always get a good laugh when I hear some expert on television start saying that so and so is going to sign with this team because it’s close to where he grew up. Well both Strasburg and Cole grew up in California. Strasburg was born in San Diego California and went to college at San Diego State Cole was born in Newport Beach California and went to college at the University of California. Most of the experts had Cole going back out west to either the Los Angeles Angels or the Los Angeles Dodgers with the possibility that the San Diego Padres could be an option. I believe that most of those same experts thought Washington was the front runner to bring Strasburg back, but there where a few that thought he’d land in San Diego with the Padres. You can throw Wheeler into this mix as well as the experts had him headed to Atlanta because he was born in Smyrna Georgia.

Now I’m sure there are some players out there who’d like to play closer to where they grew up, but it’s no where close to as many as they talked about this off season. In not sure why they didn’t factor winning into the equation more that where someone grew up, played high school or college baseball at. Maybe they’ll be smarter looking at the free agent market next off season.

With Strasburg, Cole and Wheeler off of the free agent market it looks like Madison Bumgarner is the top free agent pitcher now. There have been some reports that the Dodgers have shifted their focus to signing Bumgarner. There is also a rumor that the Chicago White Sox have interest in him.

After Bumgarner is signed it appears that teams will look at Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu to strengthen their starting rotations.

While the starting pitchers are finding big money and new teams in some cases the free agent market for the top position players hasn’t real heated up yet.

Anthony Rendon is considered the top position player on the free agent market and he’s been linked to quite a few teams. I did find it interesting that the Angels sent Zack Cozart to the San Francisco Giants in a trade yesterday. That opens up a spot at 3rd base for the Angels and you have to think that they’ll take a serious run at Rendon or possibly Josh Donaldson to fill to spot.

Most teams like the Angels seem to be focusing on Rendon, but once he signs look for those teams to quickly switch their focus to getting Donaldson. After that there seems to be a lot of interest in Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have said that they’re open to trading a star player and with a Rookie of the Year and MVP award on his resume Bryant fits that profile. Reports are the Phillies have kicked the tires on a deal for Bryant.

The problem right now in trading for Bryant is teams don’t know how long he’ll be under their control. Bryant currently has a grievance against the Cubs and Major League Baseball about his service time. If you remember Bryant like a lot of top young players in today’s game was kept at Triple-A for enough time to push his arbitration clock back a season. So it’s unknown right now if Bryant has one or two years left of arbitration. Teams may wait for that to be cleared up before they make a trade for him.

I’m happy to see the free agent market moving like it is and I hope it keeps going.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

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

The Detroit Lions will be hosting a Thanksgiving day game tomorrow like they have for many, many years and at 3-7-1 it’s a not make or break type of game. There has however been some interest in the Lions quarterback situation for tomorrow’s game against the 5-6 Chicago Bears.

If healthy Matthew Stafford would no doubt be the Lions starting quarterback, but he’s been out the last 3 weeks with what’s being reported as broken bones in his back. The Lions haven’t placed Stafford on injured reserve and seem to be taking his injury week by week.

Jeff Driskell has started the last 3 games for the Lions at quarterback. Detroit is 0-3 with Driskell as their starting quarterback and he’s coming off of a 3 interception game last Sunday. It’s being reported that Driskell is suffering from a hamstring injury and his availability for tomorrow’s game is unclear.

Now if Driskell has to miss tomorrow’s game the Lions will turn to 3rd string quarterback David Blough. Blough is an undrafted rookie out of Purdue University who has yet to take a snap in an NFL regular season game.

Now as soon as this news broke and I’m sure you can guess this there where quite a few media members who wanted to know why the Lions didn’t go out and sign Colin Kaepernick.

Detroit was actually one of the six teams that stayed with the Kaepernick tryout and drove to that high school to watch him; so they at least wanted to see what he looked like in his workout.

Of course this opens the door to a ton of reasons why the Lions didn’t try to sign Kaepernick. It’s possible they didn’t like what they saw at his tryout even though reports are he looked good. Maybe there was something they saw that they didn’t think fit with what they do. Also remember that Blough has been with the Lions all season and even though he hasn’t played he’s been at the meetings and practices; so he should have a grasp of their offense. Kaepernick would be coming into a brand new system that he would know nothing about and have two or three days at most to be ready to play his first game in almost three full seasons.

It seems like every time a team passes on signing Kaepernick they’re indicted for passing up on him, but if you look at what could be the reasons the Lions didn’t bring him in it makes some sense. I’m also under the impression that Driskell is going to end up starting at quarterback tomorrow; so there would be no need to sign anyone.

The only real question about that might be out there about why the Lions didn’t take a look at Kaepernick is the fact that they wanted to sign Josh Johnson. Now Johnson did play in four games for the Washington Redskins last season and he started three of those games; so he’s not coming off of long term inactivity like Kaepernick is. It would be interesting to know why the Lions would look at Johnson first instead of Kaepernick, but of course there’s no way to find that out.

Now even though the Lions where very interested in signing Johnson he had already signed a deal with the XFL and they where unwilling to release him so he could sign with Detroit.

I am a little surprised that the XFL wouldn’t release Johnson from his contract. The XFL and the NFL aren’t going head to head and it seems as though they could’ve released Johnson and then just resigned him after the NFL season ended.

The XFL season starts in February; so if a player signed with a team that made a deep playoff run it could hurt his preparation for the upcoming XFL season, but the Lions aren’t even going to make the playoffs; so Johnson would be free to return to the XFL at the end of the NFL’s regular season.

I haven’t seen any quotes from Johnson on the situation, but by not being allowed to sign with Detroit he’s missing out on a chance to make more money than he will in the XFL. You have to wonder if this might affect players signing with the XFL in the future.

It appears as though the Atlanta Braves had a plan going into this off season and they’re making the moves they want happen early.

Yesterday they added another free agent when they signed catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a two year $16 million dollar deal.

d’Arnaud was a big time prospect when the New York Mets brought him up in 2013, but things never really clicked for him. He suffered a multitude of injuries when he was with the Mets and after playing in just 10 games for them last season he was released. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but played just 1 game in the majors for them before he was purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays.

I’m not sure what goes on in Tampa Bay, but d’Arnaud like so many players seem to have found himself in a Rays uniform and had his best season. He played in 92 games and tied his career high in home runs with 16. He also posted his second best season in RBI’s with 67 and batting average at .263. Of course the big question will be; can he put up similar numbers with the Braves?

d’Arnaud will share catching duties in Atlanta with Tyler Flowers, but I’m under the impression that d’Arnaud was signed to be the #1 catcher and Flowers will just spell him when needed. d’Arnaud has never caught more than 103 games in a season; so it makes a lot of sense for the Braves to have Flowers on the roster just in case.

There where three other catcher signed yesterday as well. The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Stephen Vogt while the Houston Astros signed Dustin Garneau. Mike Zunino also signed a one year deal to stay with Tampa Bay. Counting Flowers who’s contract was re-worked by the Braves there have been six catchers signed already this off season.

With d’Arnaud signing yesterday and Yasmani Grandal singing last week with the Chicago White Sox there aren’t really any top tier catchers left on the free agent market. There are quite a few veteran catchers available on the free agent market, but none of them are truly #1 type of catchers.

If your favorite team was looking for a catcher this off season they’re going to have to explore the trade market to get something done.

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How was your week

Posted: November 23, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The New York Yankees finally made the decision to part ways with Jacoby Ellsbury. After seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox the Yankees brought Ellsbury to New York with a 7 year $153 million dollar contract. Unfortunately the Yankees never got much of a return out of Ellsbury.

After four seasons with the Yankees Ellsbury ran into some injury issues that cost him the last two seasons. Now the Yankees did pay him $21,142,857 both of those seasons he was out.

Now the Yankees owe Ellsbury on more year at $21,142,857 and there is also a $5 million dollar by buy attached to his contract. The Yankees have come out and said that they are going to contest the final year of Ellsbury’s contract in hopes of not having to pay him.

The Yankees are claiming that Ellsbury received medical treatment for his injuries from a Health Care Provider who is not affiliated with the team. The team must also authorized permission for this type of treatment.

The MLBPA released a statement on this situation backing Ellsbury. “The Players Association will vigorously defend any action taken against Jacoby or his contract and is investigating potential contract violations by his employer”.

From the Yankees point of view it’s understandable that they’d like to get out of that final year of his contract along with the buy out, but I’m not sure if they’re going to have a leg to stand on in this case, but you never know what’s still going to come out in this case. I guess will have to wait and see how this all ends up playing out.

I corresponding moves the Yankees also designated 1st baseman Greg Bird and left handed pitcher Nelson Cortes Jr. for assignment.

Bird made a big splash for the Yankees in 2015. He hit 11 home runs in 46 games for New York and it looked like he could possibly be a long term solution for the Yankees at 1st base, but that didn’t happen.

Bird played just 17 games in the Arizona Fall League in 2016 and he never played more than 82 games in a season after that. He also never hit better than .199 for the Yankees. Bird managed to play in just 10 games last season before his season was ended by injuries.

It appears as though Ellsbury is going to attempt to play in 2020 if there’s a team willing to take a chance on him. As of now it’s unclear if Bird will try to play next season.

After the Atlanta Braves made the first signing of free agency bringing in closer Will Smith and re-signing set up man Chris Martin. The next team to make their mark in free agency was the Chicago White Sox.

First the White Sox agreed to a four year $73 million dollar deal with catcher Yasmani Grandal. He was considered the best free agent catcher and one of the top hitters available this off season.

Grandal took a chance last off season signing a one year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers and it appears to have paid off for him.

Grandal had a career high in home runs with 28 and RBI’s with 77 while hitting .246. He also played in a career high 153 games catching in 137 games that covered 1095 2/3rd innings. Grandal just turned 31 earlier this month and I’m not sure if he’ll be able to catch as many games this coming season for the White Sox. Of course being that he’s now with an American League team he’ll be able to keep his bat in the line up as a Designated Hitter.

The White Sox also announced this week that they have signed 1st baseman Jose Abreu to a three year $50 million dollar contract extension. Earlier this off season Abreu accepted the White Sox qualifying offer of $17.8 million dollars in hopes that an extension could be worked out.

Under his new contract Abreu will be paid a salary of $11 million dollars for the 2020 season with a $5 million dollar signing bonus. In 2021 Abreu will make $16 million dollars and in the final year of his contract Abreu’s salary jumps to $18 million dollars. $4 million dollars of Abreu’s 2022 salary will be deferred.

Abreu has spent all six of his major league seasons with the White Sox. Last season Abreu led the American League in RBI’s with 123 and has been a productive bat in the White Sox line up since joining them out of Cuba.

It seems like the consensus was that the White Sox needed to add a bat this off season and most experts thought they’d add an outfielder, Grandal is definitely the bat they needed and keeping Abreu should give the White Sox a solid line up.

Honestly I was in the other camp on what I thought the White Sox should add as I thought they needed a top of the rotation starter and who knows it’s still very, very early in free agency; so maybe they still will.

So we’ve had a couple of early free agent signings. Will this trend continue? Or will the free agent market slow down like we’ve seen the last few seasons?

I’d be interested to know who you think the next team might be to step up and get a player signed and which player do you think will be the one that gets signed. There’s always a lot of talk about who’s going where, but who will it actually be?

We had the first head coaching change of the NHL season as the Toronto Maple Leafs fired Mike Babcock after the team started 9-10-4. Sheldon Keefe is taking Babcock’s place behind the Maple Leafs bench. Keefe had been coaching Toronto AHL’s team the Marlies.

Technically, Babcock has only been relieved of his duties as coach and is still under contract with the Maple Leafs. That eight-year, $50 million dollar contract was the biggest deal ever given to an NHL coach and there are still three more seasons on it. Babcock will likely be allowed to pursue other opportunities, but compensation for coaches or executives is no longer a part of the CBA.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 20, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well Colin Kaepernick finally had his workout or tryout or whatever you want to call it this past Saturday and of course there was quite a bit of controversy that came along with it.

The NFL had Kaepernick’s workout scheduled to take place at the Atlanta Falcons facility and 25 teams where expected to attend. Kaepernick and his representatives had other ideas as they moved the workout 60 miles away to a high school.

There reasoning for this apparently was they wanted to tape the workout themselves and the NFL wasn’t going to allow them to tape it. Now I can understand that there is quite a bit of distrust between these two parties, but did Kaepernick and his group really think the NFL would edit is workout tape to make him look bad. There where going to be 25 teams there; would they all agree to what the NFL was going to say or alter about his workout?

The other complaint that Kaepernick and his group had was who he’d be throwing to. It seemed as though the NFL was just going to bring in more or less any available former receivers they could get. Kaepernick and his group wanted him to throw to receivers that he was use to working with. I don’t think this would’ve made much of a difference, but anything to complain about; I guess.

From all reports Kaepernick looked good in the workout. He showed good mobility and good arm strength during the workout, but with the late move of his workout the number of teams he ended up working out for dropped from 25 to 6.

As of now Kaepernick hasn’t been signed by an NFL team and I’d be surprised if he is. Right now there’s no real reason for a team to bring in what you have to remember is a back up quarterback unless there’s some kind of long term injury. I think if he’s going to be signed it will be in the off season when a team will have an easier time letting him adjust to their offense.

Now in my honest opinion I don’t think that Kaepernick is planning on signing with any NFL team. I just don’t think that he wants to play in the NFL. It seemed like this workout was more of a way for him to get his name back at the top of the news cycle and now if he’s not signed he can continue to play the role of the player who was black balled.

There was also a rumor out there that this was all doe for a Nike commercial. Now this rumor quickly came and went, but would you be surprised if you saw clips of this Kaepernick’s workout in a Nike commercial?

People seem to forget that we’re taking about a quarterback that just lost his starting job and that’s always going to make people wonder if that hadn’t happened would Kaepernick have went down this road.

I want to remind you that we’re taking about a guy who’d be a back up quarterback if he’s ever signed. It’s not like Kaepernick is going to sign with a team and take them to a Super Bowl championship. He’s a back up quarterback and it’s going to be difficult for a team to sign a back up quarterback that craves the spotlight.

Don’t get me wrong Kaepernick does have talent and would be one of the better back up quarterbacks in the NFL, but at 33 years old; he’ll turn that on November 3rd you have to wonder if he’s worth the gamble.

While teams look high and low for back up quarterbacks and that includes contacting former players who are now ESPN analysts, but will one of them take a chance on Kaepernick. So far the answer is no, but with this workout getting his name back into the mainstream media will have to see if it generates a buzz.

Would you like to see you favorite NFL team sign Colin Kaepernick?

With the exception of trying to re-sign Josh Donaldson everyone seems to think that the Atlanta Braves needed to address their bullpen this off season. It appears that the Braves where thinking the same thing as they’ve made their second signing of a reliever in two weeks.

Last week the Braves announced the signing of Will Smith to a 3 year $40 million dollar deal. Smith was the San Francisco Giants closer last season. He appeared in 63 games and posted a 6-0 record with an ERA of 2.76 while recording 34 saves.

Yesterday the Braves announced the signing of relief pitcher Chris Martin to a 2 year $14 million dollar deal. The Braves acquired Martin from the Texas Rangers on July 30th of last season for Kolby Allard a 22 year old left handed pitching prospect. Martin was solid with the Rangers, but had some struggles with Atlanta. He appeared in 38 games for the Rangers going 0-2 with an ERA of 3.08 and picking up 4 saves. For the Braves he appeared in 20 games going 1-1, but his ERA was a run higher at 4.08.

The Braves have also brought back veteran set up man Darren O’Day. Atlanta gave O’Day a 1 year $2.25 million dollar deal early in the signing period. O’Day is 37 years and spent 7 of his 12 major league seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. O’Day pitched in just 8 games for the Braves last season due to injury, but has good career numbers as a set up guy.

With these three signing and the additions of Shane Greene and Mark Melancon at last seasons trade deadline the Braves bullpen has a whole new look coming into spring training. With only a couple of bullpen spots open and a host of young pitching prospects it will be interesting to see how and who Atlanta fills out their bullpen with.

What do you think of the Braves early signings?

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How was your week

Posted: November 16, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

This week Major League Baseball handed out it’s awards for the regular season and while they rarely get all of these award winners right I don’t have to many issues with who won this season. I do have issues with how some of the voting went; so that’s where we’re headed.

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels beat out Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros for American League MVP. Now it’s no surprise Trout won since he is the best player in the game of baseball, but I don’t know if that makes him the most valuable.

Now there are 30 “writers” who voted for American League MVP and they voted for 10 players apiece; so in total 300 votes for AL MVP where cast. First off I think that anyone who votes for a starting pitcher is coping out. While there are some great pitchers in today’s game they don’t have an affect on enough games to be considered an MVP. I believe there where some voters who filled their ballots with more than one pitcher and those voters should probably be replaced.

Now in baseball today with all of the analytics and sabermetrics it’s become that the home run is king. Now neither home run leader was a serious candidate for MVP, but the National League home run leader Pete Alonso was voted NL Rookie of the Year and managed to finish 7th in voting for MVP. Oddly in the American League the home run leader Jorge Soler got one 10th place vote for MVP and I just don’t understand that at all.

Soler played on all 162 games this season for the Kansas City Royals and while I understand that the Royals where just 59-103 last season Trout won the MVP award and the Angels finished under .500 at 72-90. Soler hit an American League leading 48 home runs while finishing 2nd in RBI’s with 117 while hitting a respectable .265 In no way shape and or form be I believe that Soler should’ve won the AL MVP award, but with the numbers he put up he should’ve received way, way more than one 10th place vote.

Now I’m not sure what these writers do to get a vote these awards, but I’d like to give props to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press for being the only voter smart enough to put Soler on his ballot. I’m not sure what the other voters where looking at or thinking about when they filled out their ballots, but they did a huge disservice to Soler.

If I would’ve had a vote my ballot would’ve looked like this. I would’ve had Bregman #1 with Trout at #2. D.J. LeMahieu would’ve been 3rd on my ballot with Marcus Semien 4th. Matt Chapman would be 5th on my ballot with Soler rolling in at 6th for me. Xander Bogaerts comes in 7th for me with Nelson Cruz 8th. My ballot would’ve wrapped up with Rafael Devers in 9th and Michael Brantley in the 10th and final spot on my ballot.

That’s what I would’ve turned in for AL MVP. What would your ballot for AL MVP look like?

While it’s understandable that most if not all of the talk about the NFL is focused on the horrible actions of Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns at the end of the Thursday night game. We discussed this a little on Friday’s Sports Time Radio podcast and I believe that the NFL is handling the situation correctly and I don’t really want to get into it much more.

I’d be interested to know if you think the NFL has handled this situation correctly. Where the suspensions enough? Should there have been more suspensions? Or should those suspensions have been longer? Please let me know what you think in the comments.

What came out of the game football wise was Browns got a much, much needed win. Cleveland improved their record to 4-6 and with the remaining schedule they have there’s an outside chance that they’ll actually be able to find themselves in the playoffs.

The Browns have three home and three road games remaining on their schedule and they should be favorite to win four or maybe even five of these games.

Next week the Browns host the Miami Dolphins which is a very winnable game even though the Dolphins have put together a two game wining streak. Cleveland then travels to Pittsburgh for a rematch with the Steelers. Cleveland was the favorite this past Thursday night, but that game was in Cleveland; so they might come into Pittsburgh as an underdog, but they’ll have a chance to win this game. The Browns return home to host the winless Cincinnati Bengals. This should be a win. Then Cleveland heads out to Arizona for their only non-division game left on the schedule as they face the Cardinals. Looking at this game you’d have to think that Cleveland should get a win here, but the Cardinals have played better than expected and sometimes that east to west travel affects a team. For the sake of our argument let’s say the Browns pull this one out. In Week 17 the Browns have their toughest game remaining on their schedule as they host the AFC North leading Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland may really need a win here, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to pull off the upset here unless the Ravens don’t have anything left to play for. The one big advantage the Browns have with their schedule is the fact that if they have a must win to get into the playoffs type of situation in the final week of the season they’re playing the Bengals again. The game is in Cincinnati, but eve being at home shouldn’t help the Bengals here as they should be in full tank mode.

If Cleveland goes 4-2 in there remaining games they’ll finish 8-8 and I don’t think that’s going to be good enough to get one of the AFC wild card spots. I think the Browns are going to have to find a way to go 5-1 or even 6-0 down the stretch to get themselves into the playoffs. They have the schedule to do it, but this team has been a mess more or less all season. Can they get it together over these final 6 games and claim a playoff spot?

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Let’s call it Wednesday

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

I was very surprised yesterday when they announced that Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins had won the American League Manager of the Year award. It’s not that Baldelli wasn’t a deserving candidate or that the Twins didn’t have a good enough season for him to win. I just honestly thought that with everything the New York Yankees went through injury wise that their manager Aaron Boone would win this award.

The race was very tight between Baldelli and Boone as both of them received  1st place votes. Baldelli also picked up 13 2nd place votes while Boone received just 9 2nd place votes. To round out their voting Baldelli got 2 3rd place votes while Boone got 4.

The third finalist was Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays, but he ended up a distant 3rd in the voting, Cash received 3 1st place, 3 2nd place and 9 3rd place votes.

As for the rest of the managers receiving votes. Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s finished 4th getting 3 2nd and 10 3rd place votes. A.J. Hinch of the Houston Astros was 5th getting 1 1st, 1 2nd and 4 3rd place votes while Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians got 1 3rd place vote.

While the voting in the American League was close it was even closer in the race for National League Manager of the Year. Of course after looking at the vote totals I still have some questions.

As it turned out Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals beat out Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers by 7 points. Shildt picked up 10 1st place votes while Counsell actually got more 1st place votes receiving 13. Shildt made up ground on the ballots by receiving 14 2nd place votes while Counsell got 6. Shildt got 3 3rd place votes to Counsell’s 5 to round out the voting.

The third finalist in the National League was Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker who won this award last season. He received 3 1st, 6 2nd and 12 3rd place votes this season to finish in 3rd place.

Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers grabbed 4th place getting 4 1st, 1 2nd and 1 3rd place vote. Dave Martinez of the Washington Nationals received 3 2nd place and 6 3rd place votes while Tory Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks picked up 2 3rd place votes.

I have to tell you I’m very confused by how the National League voting went. I understand that post season performance doesn’t count in voting for these awards, but even considering that was there a manager who did a better job than Dave Martinez did last season? At one point last season the Nationals where 19-31 and I was one of the people who was saying that Martinez should be fired. Under Martinez the Nationals made a complete turn around finishing 93-69 and grabbing a wild card spot.

Now Shildt did a nice job of dealing with the injuries the Cardinals had this season; guiding them to the National League Central title. Counsell got another good season out of a Brewers team that never seems to spend a lot of money or make big deadline deals. Both of these managers did a good job last season, but neither of them brought their team back from the position that Martinez brought the Nationals back from.

Then to kind of add to it I had just figured Martinez would finish a strong 4th in the balloting. I was shocked when I looked at the voting results to find out he finished 5th and didn’t even receive a 1st place vote. I would be very interested to know what qualifications these voters used to choose a manager of the year.

Tonight Major League Baseball will announce the winner of the Cy Young awards. In the American League the final three are Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros along with Charlie Morton of the Tampa Bay Rays. The National League finalist are Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets.

deGrom is looking to go back to back as he won this award last season. Scherzer is looking to pick up his third National League Cy Young and fourth overall. He won back to back in 2016 & 2017 in the NL and picked up the American League Cy Young in 2013 when he was a member of the Detroit Tigers. Ryu is looking to win his first Cy Young and if he does he’ll be the first Dodgers pitcher to win since Clayton Kershaw won back to back in 2013 & 2014.

Verlander is looking to become a second time Cy Young award winner as he picked up his first one in 2011 when he was with the Detroit Tigers. Cole and Morton are looking to become first time Cy Young winners.

Who are you picking to win?

While I believe most of us where asleep the San Francisco Giants hired a new manager. After being fired by the Philadelphia Phillies after two seasons Gabe Kapler is now the new manager of the Giants.

In his two seasons with the Phillies Kapler went 161-163. Philadelphia was 80-82 in his first season and finished in 3rd place. Last season the Phillies went 81-81 and finished in 4th place under Kapler.

It was admittedly a disappointing season for Philadelphia last year as the brought in big money free agent Bryce Harper; so it wasn’t a big shock when they decided to move on from Kapler. Joe Girardi was hired to replace Kapler in Philadelphia.

Kapler will be replacing a sure fire Hall of Famer in the Giants dugout. Bruce Bochy managed the Giants from 2007 until last season when he retired. Now Bochy overall record may be just a little under .500 at 1052-1054 what’s more important is he won three World Series titles while managing in San Francisco.

It appears that the Giants would like to try and rebuild under President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi and newly hired General Manager Scott Harris; so Kapler’s record may not end up being very good to start.

What should help Kapler weather a rebuild in San Francisco is his history with Zaidi. Kapler was the Dodgers Director of Player Development while Zaidi was part of their front office; so they’ve worked together before and hopefully have similar ideas on how the Giants will go about their business.

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How was your week

Posted: November 9, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

There was an interesting rumor involving the Chicago Cubs that started up yesterday. While I could see it possible happening the aftermath that was talked about made no sense at all to me. Let’s go through it and see what you think.

There are many teams including some that will be contenders next season that need a front line catcher. The biggest free agent name on the catching market is Yasmani Grandal and there has been some mention of Travis d’Arnaud. Other than that there are some solid veteran catchers on the free agent market, but not the knock your socks off kind of payer teams are looking for.

This brings us to the Cubs who have apparently been receiving calls on their starting catcher Willson Contreras and it seems as though they might be interested in moving him. After a rough 2018 Contreras bounced back in 2019 and established himself as one of the top catchers in baseball; so it’s understandable why teams would be interested in acquiring him. How ever why would the Cubs be interested in dealing him?

Well the Cubs have one of the worst minor league systems in baseball and they could strengthen that by trading Contreras for multiple prospects. Contreras is also an arbitration eligible player along with the likes of Kris Bryant and Javier Baez. There’s just no way the Cubs would be able to retain all three of these players when they reach free agency at close to the same time; so a deal makes sense.

Now the part of this rumor that didn’t make any sense to me at all. It was reported that if the Cubs traded Contreras they’d jump into the market to try and sign Grandal. So the Cubs are going to trade a 27 year old catcher who’d make less money for a 31 year old veteran catcher who’s going to want a multi-year contract at right around $20 million dollars a year. This almost seems counter productive on a team that has more important needs than a catcher even if Contreras is traded. Don’t forget the Cubs have Victor Caratini who came through their minor league system as a catching prospect and has produced when given playing time. Caratini is 25 years old and a switch hitter. Why wouldn’t they turn the starting catching job over to him and just sign a veteran to back him up?

In all honesty I thought that the Cubs would dangle Caratini in front of teams this off season and see what they might be able to get for him in a deal, but it looks like it might be Contreras that they’re going to end up doing that with.

If you had the Cubs catching situation what would you do? Do you trade Contreras? If you did deal Contreras; would you try to sign Grandal? Or would you just allow Caratini to be the full time catcher?

Major League Baseball is going to start handing out their year end awards this week. Now I don’t have to big of an issues with the players and managers that where nominated expect in one category; American League Rookie of the Year.

Now it seems as though just about everyone in the media or I should say on MLB Network had given the Rookie of the year award to Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros after he had only spent about a week in the majors; so I fully expect him to win the award. What I can’t figure out is how they came up with the other two finalist.

Alvarez is one of the finalist for the award along with Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays and John Means of the Baltimore Orioles.

I’m not going to jump up and down and complain to much about Means being nominated. He did go 12-11 with a 3.60 ERA over 31 games 27 of which where starts and he threw 155 innings for one of the worst teams in baseball. Even though I’m not so sure he should’ve been a finalist I can see him making the top 3.

Lowe on the other hand is a completely different story. He only played in 82 games due to injury. Alvarez only played in 87 games, but he was a latter minor league call up; Lowe was hurt. Lowe hit .270 with 17 home runs, 51 RBI’s and an OPS of .850. Now those are solid rookie numbers, but nowhere near good enough to be a finalist for Rookie of the Year.

Now who should’ve gotten Lowe’s spot in the final three. How about Eloy Jimenez of the Chicago White Sox. Jimenez played in 122 games and led all American League rookies on home runs with 31 and RBI’s with 79. I’m completely lost on how Jimenez didn’t get enough votes to be a Rookie of the Year finalist.

Maybe you’re not in on Jimenez; so how about Vlad Guerrero Jr. I’m not sure if Vlad Jr. had the type of season people where expecting him to have and that may have hurt him in the voting, but overall he had a better year than Lowe. Guerrero played in 123 games which was the most for an AL rookie. He hit .272 with 15 home runs and 69 RBI’s. I’m under the impression people thought they’d see more power out of Guerrero, but even without the big power numbers he had a good rookie year and could’ve been a finalist.

Am I completely wrong here? Do you think Lowe belongs as a finalist? Or is there someone else besides Jimenez or Guerrero that you thought should’ve been a Rookie of the Year finalist?

The other award I’m a little confused by is National League Manager of the Year. The Nominees are Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves, Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers and Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals.

I can understand these three managers being the finalist, but Snitker did win this award last season; so did the Braves improve that much that he deserves to be nominated again? They won the NL East last season and where 90-72. The Braves won the NL East again this season and where 97-65. Is a seven game improvement in your teams won-loss record make you a Manager of the Year candidate?

Obviously the third finalist should’ve been Dave Martinez of the Washington Nationals. Now playoff performance doesn’t count, but even discounting that the Nationals won the World Series where they came from to accomplish that should’ve been enough to make Martinez a finalist for Manager of the Year, but probably should’ve made him the winner.

On June 1st the Nationals had as many losses as the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers went on to loss more games than any other team in baseball this season at 114. The Nationals straighten things out and ended up losing 69 games. They finished 4 games behind the Braves in the NL East and ended up being a wild card team.

How is Martinez not a finalist for NL Manager of the Year?

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How was your Week

Posted: November 2, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now that the baseball season is over I was afraid that I was going to have to sit through all of the pundits sitting around a desk talking about which players where going to opt out of their deals and hit the free agent market. Well then luckily I found out that players with opt out clauses in their contracts have to make a decision on if they’ll opt out or not by tis Monday November 4th. I figured we’d beat everyone out the punch and go through the players with opt out clauses and see what we think they going to do.

The hot name right now who has an opt out clause is Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals. Strasburg just had his best regular season going 18-6 in 33 starts and pitching 209 innings. He followed that up by going 5-0 in the post season including going 2-0 in the World Series and being named MVP. Strasburg has four years left on his deal with the Nationals and it’s for $100 million dollars, but at 31 years old and being a client of Scott Boras you have to think that he’s going to opt out and become a free agent.

Before the post season all of the opt out talk seemed to be about J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox. Martinez has three years left on his deal with the Red Sox at $62.5 million dollars. He’s scheduled to make $23.75 million dollars this season, but then his salary drops to $19.35 million dollars for the final two years of his deal. Martinez is 32 years old and is another Scott Boras client. I’m not sure that if Martinez opt out he’ll get a better deal than what he has right now, but Boras likes to take his players into free agency; so I’d expect Martinez to exercise his opt out clause.

New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman can opt out of his deal that has two years left at $30 million dollars. Chapman will turn 32 years old before next season and his numbers did improve in 2019. Now he has already said that if the Yankees don’t offer him a contract extension he’ll opt out of his deal and enter free agency. Once he opts out the question becomes; what’s a 32 year old closer worth? Chapman has been one of the best closers in the game since the Cincinnati Reds moved him into the bullpen in 2012. You do have to wonder how long he’ll be able to remain a top closer. I’d expect Chapman to opt out and go into free agency.

The other big time closer who could’ve opted out of his deal was Kenley Jansen of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jansen had a bit of a down year in 2019, but he’s still a top closer and those aren’t easy to find. Luckily for the Dodgers Jansen announced that he won’t be opting out of his deal. By staying with the Dodgers Jansen will make $38 million dollars over the final two years of his contract. He’ll make $18 million dollars next season and then $20 million dollars in 2021.

The Chicago Cubs signed Yu Darvish to a 6 year $126 million dollar deal in the off season before the 2018 season. Unfortunately for the Cubs and Darvish he has had two rough seasons for them. With four years and $81 million dollars left on his deal Darvish could’ve opted out. Instead Darvish has decided to stay with the Cubs and not opt out. Now the Cubs will have to hope he can bounce back.

Another Cubs player who can opt out is outfielder Jason Heyward. He signed an 8 year $184 million dollar deal with the Cubs before the 2016 season and has been a bit of an enigma since joining the Cubs. Heyward has four years and $96 million dollars left on his deal and I doubt that he would get anywhere close to that kind of an offer if he chooses to opt out; so I expect him to stay with the Cubs.

Well that looks like all of our opt out candidates. I’m guessing that will see three of these players opt out and two stay with their team. We already know what Jansen is doing; so I’m not counting him in this.

What do you think? Which players do you see opting out and which do you see staying with there teams?

Teams will also have to make some other important decisions by  Monday November 4th. Teams will have to decide if they want to extend the qualifying offer to any of their free agent players. This year the qualifying offer is $17.8 million dollars.

The other decisions the teams will have to make by Monday will be to either pick up an option on a player or buy him out.

A couple of examples from the now world champion Nationals. Ryan Zimmerman has an $18 million dollar option with the team for next season or they can buy him out and allow him to become a free agent for $2 million dollars. Adam Eaton has a option with the Nationals for $9.5 million dollars for next season or the club can buy him out for $1.5 million dollars and allow him to become a free agent. The Nationals also have to make a decision on catcher Yan Gomes. He has an option for $9 million dollars for next season or the club can buy him out for $1 million dollars and he’d become a free agent.

Just about every team has a player or players with option that they’ll have to decide if they’re going to pick up or not. These decisions will make a big impact on the free agent market as to who’s available.

Now some of these decisions have already been made by teams. The Cleveland Indians bought out long time 2nd baseman Jason Kipnis for $2.5 million dollars instead of paying him $16.5 million dollars for next season. The New York Yankees also decided to buy out 1st baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion for $5 million dollars instead of paying him $20 million for next season.

Now even though these players where bought out by their current teams there’s no rule that says they can’t resign with them for less money. I’m not sure if that’s what will happen with Kipnis and Encarnacion, but that will be the case with some of the players that get bought out.

As the MLB off season gets going will have more and more to talk about; so we’re just getting started.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on, but if you miss the podcast live just head over to and you can listen to the podcast ay time you’d like.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 30, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Even after a controversial call the Washington Nationals where able to pick up a 7-2 win over the Houston Astros in a must win Game 6 for them. Of course with the win the Nationals force what a lot of people think is the best thing in sports a winner take all Game 7 tonight.

The Nationals took a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the 1st. Trea Turner led off the game with an infield single and was moved up to 2nd base on an Adam Eaton sacrifice bunt. Anthony Rendon single to centerfield to drive to drive Turner home and give the Astros an early lead.

The Astros came right back in the bottom of the 1st inning and put up 2 runs of their own.

George Springer started the inning with a double and moved up to 3rd on a Steven Strasburg wild pitch. Jose Altuve drove him home with sacrifice fly to leftfield. After a strikeout for the second out of the inning Alex Bregman homered to leftfield to give the Astros a 2-0 lead.

At the time no one knew that these would be the only 2 runs that the Astros would score in the game as Strasburg held them in check. Justin Verlander was able to keep the Nationals bats silent until the top of the 5th.

With one out Eaton homered down the rightfield line to tie the game at 2-2. Verlender recorded a second out before Juan Soto touched him for another solo home run to rightfield giving the Astros a 3-2 lead.

Brad Peacock entered the game for the Astros and worked a 1,2,3 6th inning. Peacock started the 7th inning and gave up a single to Yan Gomes. Turner then hit a soft ground ball back to the mound, but the throw carried Houston’s 1st baseman Yuli Gurriel into the baseline and while it didn’t appear that Turner had ventured out of his running lane he was called out for batter interference and Gomes was sent back to 1st base. There was  long delay as the play was reviewed; so the Astros made a pitching change as Will Harris came in from the bullpen. Harris got the first batter he faced out, but Rendon hit his a home run to leftfield to give the Nationals a 5-2 lead.

Chris Devenski came out of the bullpen to start the 9th inning for the Astros and quickly got two outs. Turner doubled and then Eaton was hit by a pitch. Rendon was up next and sure enough he came through and drove Turner and Eaton in with a double to rightfield. That made it 7-2 heading into the bottom of the 9th.

Strasburg actually came out to start the bottom of the 9th for the Nationals, but after getting the first batter out on a line drive back to him he was removed from the game for Sean Doolittle. After getting the first batter he faced on a line out to leftfield. Carlos Correa doubled to keep any hope Astros fans had alive, but they didn’t last long. Doolittle got Robinson Chrinos to pop out to 2nd base for the final out of the game.

While Rendon was clearly Washington’s hero at the plate going 3 for 4 with a double a home run and 5 RBI’s. Strasburg was clearly a huge factor on the mound. He pitched 8 1/3rd innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 7. Strasburg threw 104 pitches and improved his record to 2-0 in this World Series.

Verlander was solid for the Astros in his start. He pitched 5 innings, but it took him 93 pitches to get through those 5 innings. He gave up 3 runs on 5 hits while walking 3 and striking out 3. When Verlander exited the game the Astros where only down one run at 3-2. Ryan Pressly was the only Houston reliever who didn’t give up a run. Peacock gave up a run in his 1 1/3rd inning, Harris gave up a run in his 2/3rds of an inning and Devenski gave up 2 runs in his inning of work.

So we’ve got Game 7 tonight in Houston. Before this series many people might’ve thought that Houston have home field advantage was a good thing, but for the first time in any playoff series the road team has won every game. Now when I said any series it includes all the sports that play seven game series. It’s an unbelievable to think about how many times you’ve heard an announcer say that a team is playing for a win to help secure home field advantage only to have this happen. Can the Astros break this odd road team winning streak tonight? and capture the World Series title or do the Nationals have one more road win stored up for tonight’s game?

You’d have to guess that there won’t be any major changes in either teams batting order; so the only real difference to look at is who’s starting on the mound.

Max Scherzer gets the start for the Nationals tonight. Scherzer was scratched from his start in Game 4 with a stiff neck. Scherzer has pitched in 5 post season games starting 4 of them. He’s thrown 25 innings and is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA. Scherzer got the win in Game 1 of this series throwing 5 innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while striking out 7 and walking 3.

The Astros will turn to Zack Greinke to start Game 7 for them. Greinke got a no-decision in his only World Series start. He lasted just 4 2/3rd innings. He gave up 1 run on 7 hits while walking 3 and striking out 6. Greinke is 0-2 in his 4 post season starts and has an ERA of 5.30 over a span of 18 2/3rd innings. Greinke has struck out 22 hitters while walking 5 this post season.

Looking at the starting pithing match up you’d think that the Nationals have a big advantage, but you never know. Greinke has made 15 career post season starts; so he has experience and he is a former Cy Young award winner. Scherzer has actually made 21 post season appearances with 17 of those being starts and he is a multiple time Cy Young award winner.

Well it’s down to one game and as they say all hands are on deck. So who do you have winning tonight? I have to stick with the Astros since they where my pick to win it all when we made are pre-season predictions.

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

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How was your week

Posted: October 19, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The New York Yankees picked up a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the American League Championship series last night. The win by the Yankees allows the series to continue, but they are still just won game away from elimination. The Astros hold a three games to two lead in the series.

Game 5 saw the Yankees send out James Paxson as their starting pitcher while the Astros countered with Justin Verlander. Both of these pitchers started game 2 of this series, but neither was around for the decision as the Astros on that game 3-2 in 11 innings. Paxson was looking to bounce back from an outing where he lasted 2 1/3rd innings. Verlander was solid in Game 2 going 6 2/3rds for Houston.

Game 5 played out a little differently for these two pitchers and it can only be described as odd or maybe weird, but definitely different.

George Springer led off the game with a single. Springer advanced to 2nd base in what was ruled a passed ball on Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez. Jose Altuve grounded out for the first out of the inning with Springer moving over to 3rd base. Michael Brantley drew a walk to out runners on 1st and 3rd for Alex Bregman. The first pitch that Paxson threw to Bregman went to the backstop as a wild pitch allowing Springer to score giving the Astros a 1-0 lead; Brantley to move up to 2nd base. Bregman ended up lining out to leftfield. Yuli Gurriel made the final out of the inning for the Astros by lining out to centerfield; so the Astros took that 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 1st inning.

Houston’s lead didn’t last long as D.J. LeMahieu hit the second pitch he saw from Verlander into the rightfield bleacher to tie the game at 1-1. Aaron Judge followed tat with a single and after a Gleybar Torres double the Yankees had 2nd and 3rd with just o outs. Giancarlo Stanton was returning to the Yankees line up and battling a quad strain; he struck out for the 1st out of the inning. Aaron Hicks was up next for the Yankees. Hicks had also just recently returned from injury. Hicks after two quick strikes Hicks managed to work the count full. He then hit the 6th pitch of his at bat which was a hanging slider from Verlander off the rightfield foul pole for a three-run home run to give the Yankees a 4-1 lead. Gary Sanchez struck out and Didi Gregorius popped out to end the inning.

I’m sure after reading this you’ve realized that the score was 4-1 after the 1st inning and that the final score of the game was 4-1. Yes you are correct about that. It was the first time in post season history that both teams have scored in the 1st inning and then failed to score again in the game.

Both pitchers settled down after that 1st inning and Verlander actually only gave up one more hit in the game, but still took the loss. Verlander ending up pitching 7 innings. He gave up 4 runs on 5 hits while he struck out 9 throwing 105 pitches. Paxson greatly improved on his Game 2 start as he pitched 6 innings giving up just the 1 run on 4 hits while walking 4 and striking out 9 in getting the win. Paxton’s pitch count ended up at 112 pitches.

After Paxson Tommy Kahnle pitched 1/3rd of an inning allowing a hit and a walk. Zach Britton was next out of the Yankees bullpen. Britton went 1 2/3rds striking out 2 batters before giving way to the Yankees Closer Arlodis Chapman who picked up the save pitching the final inning of the game. Chaman threw just 9 pitches 7 of which where strikes and recorded 1 strikeout as he recorded the save.

The Astros just needed one pitcher out of their bullpen. Brad Peacock came into the game to pitch a 1,2,3 bottom of the 8th. Peacock recorded 1 strikeout in his inning of work.

With the rain out earlier in the week both teams will have to fly to Houston and get ready for Game 6 tonight. With the Game 4 rain out you would’ve thought we would see a rematch of Game 3 starting pitchers which was Gerrit Cole for the Astros and Luis Severino for the Yankees, but it doesn’t appear that’s what we’re going to get.

Neither team has said who will be making the start for them; so we still make get that Cole/Severino rematch, but there are multiple report that both teas are considering making Game 6 a bullpen game. I believe that both Cole and Severino would be on regular rest, but there was also talk of these two teams making Game 4 of the series a bullpen game; so maybe will see that tonight.

The Astros bullpen has thrown 15 inning so far this series while the Yankees bullpen has thrown 23 1/3rd innings this series. The Astros have Wade Miley in their bullpen who hasn’t pitched in this series, but the Yankees could counter that with J.A. Happ who’s only worked 2/3rds of an inning in the series. Miley and Happ have started games in the post season and they would give their teams a chance to get multiple innings out of a pitcher without trying to stretch them out. You have to wonder if the Yankees hadn’t lost C.C. Sabathia to injury in Game 4 of this series if he would’ve been able to give them multiple innings and helped in this game.

Sabathia dislocated his shoulder and was replaced on the Yankees ALCS roster, Sadly that move means that if the Yankees manage to comeback and win this series Sabathia if healthy would not be eligible to pitch in the World Series. It looks like this injury has end the future Hall of Famers career. Sabathia announced that 2019 would be his last season.

So what do you see happening tonight? With Houston returning home; do they close out the series tonight? Or do the Yankees have enough in them to turn this into a 7 game series? I guess will get those answers tonight.

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