Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

How was your week

Posted: July 11, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re just under two weeks away from the return of one of America’s favorite past time. Major League Baseball is scheduled to return on July 25th and you have to wonder how many more players will decide to opt out before that date.

Just yesterday Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Michael Kopech of the Chicago Wed that they would be skipping the 2020 baseball season. That brings the number of player who have announced they’ll be opting out of the 2020 season to 11. Mike Leake of the Arizona Diamondbacks was the first player to announce he’d be skipping the 2020 season. Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross and Wellington Castillo all from last seasons World Series champions the Washington Nationals joined the opt out list. Tyson Ross who was a free agent and Joe’s brother is also skipping the 2020 season. The Atlanta Braves had two players Nick Markakis and Felix Hernandez who decided to opt out of this coming season. Add Ian Desmond of the Colorado Rockies and David Price of the Los Angeles Dodgers and there are your 11 players who have officially opted out this coming season.

Now I’m sure there are some names that you know on this list, but I’m not sure you’d put any of these players in the superstar category. Now at one time you might’ve considered Posey, Price or Hernandez as superstars, but they’ve had their struggles the last few seasons and while they’re still quality major league players I’m not sure if they would be considered superstars.

That kind of leads me to my question. Will we see a legitimate superstar from baseball announce that he’ll skip the 2020 season before July 25th?

There has been some Talk that Mike Trout could be the superstar who decide to opt out of the 2020 season. Trout’s wife is pregnant with their first child and is due in August I believe. It would make perfect sense for Trout to take the 2020 season of to be with his wife and newborn child and not risk bringing Covid-19 into his home.

Don’t forget that MLB is handling things a little differently than the National hockey League or the Nationals Basketball Association is. MLB players are going to be traveling to and from games while the NHL and the NBA will be living in a “bubble” set up. MLB players will also be going on road trips which adds a whole other level of concern for a player and his family to deal with.

Now I completely understand if a player decides it’s in his best interest to skip the 2020 season. I was sick for about five weeks with what is described as an undiagnosed case of the Corona virus. Unfortunately when was sick I was unable to get tested because I didn’t fit into the proper category. By the time I was able to get tested I was feeling better and tested negative. Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I would get tested when I was feeling better; well I needed a negative test to return to work.

This situation can out some players in a difficult spot especially if they have young children at home or in a case like Trout’s have a child on the way. They’re going to have to try to find the proper balance between their job (baseball) and their families.

You also have to realize that if a player like Mookie Betts who was traded to the Dodgers this past off season is just one year away from free agency. If he decides to skip the 2020 season he doesn’t become a free agent. Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs lost an arbitration hearing over his years of service last season; so he’s still two seasons away from being a free agent. Would he consider sitting out the 2020 season and then have to wait to reach free agency until 2023?

Also the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after the 2021 season and there have been quite a few rumors that we’ll see a players strike or the owners lock out. Depending on how much time might be missed as the two sides work out a new agreement that might push these arbitration players free agency even farther back.

This is just one more thing for a player to add in t his decision on if he’ll be playing starting on July 25th.

In some on the field baseball news the Toronto Blue Jays announced that Vlad Guerrero Jr. will be switching positions. Guerrero spent last season as the Blue Jays 3rd baseman, but Toronto’s manager Charlie Montoyo announced that Guerrero will be playing 1st base and spending time as the Blue Jays DH this season.

Guerrero played in 123 games last season 96 at 3rd base, 24 as a DH and 3 as a pinch hitter. Guerrero hit .272 with 15 home runs last season. He also finished 6th in Rookie of the Year voting.

Guerrero was a solid defensive 3rd baseman last season. In 824 1/3rd innings at 3rd base Guerrero made 17 errors posting a fielding percentage of .936%. Guerrero does come up negative in some of the analytic and sabermetric stats. He was -16 in Total Zone Total Fielding and he was -9 in BIS Defensive Runs Saved. Those numbers may have factored in to Guerrero’s move across the diamond.

Guerrero is 21 years old and he stands 6’2 and his weight is listed at 250 pounds. Guerrero’s size may have also factored in his move to 1st base. While 1st base isn’t an easy position to play it might be a little less stressful on Guerrero’s joints which would help extend his career.

Guerrero’s move to 1st base opens up a spot for Travis Shaw to take over as Toronto’s everyday 3rd baseman.

Shaw is looking to have a bounce back season after hitting just .157 in 86 games for the Milwaukee Brewers. Shaw also spent part of the season in Triple-A. Shaw did put up back to back 30 plus home runs seasons in 2017 & 2018. Shaw also brings a left handed bat to the Blue Jays line up, but will have to wait and see how Shaw plays for Toronto.

Remember that the Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com Monday thru Friday, but if you miss the live edition of the podcast all you have to do is head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 8, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, fantasy, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well since it looks like we’re going to have some sort of a baseball season as of right now it’s probably time to take a look at how your fantasy season is going to go.

There was actually some talk about not playing this year and one of my leagues actually voted not to have a season, but then they changed their minds and are working on a different format. How about you; is your league playing this year?

Now normally at the top of the draft we see a lot of starting pitchers go. I’m talking about pitchers like Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGroom, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander if he’s healthy. It makes sense if you’re in the right position in your draft to grab one of these starters and build your rotation around them. Depending on how your league is set up you’ll get the stats you’re looking for out of these types of starting pitchers, but will it be that way this season?

Now one of the categories in the two Yahoo leagues I’m in are innings pitched. We have to get over innings out of our pitching staffs for the week and that might be much, much tougher to do this year than normal.

Think about the five pitchers I listed above and ever other team #1 starter who will be starting opening day. How many innings do you think that starting pitcher is going to give you in that first start? I honestly think if you’re very lucky you might get a starting pitcher to go  innings at the most. Dave Roberts the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers mentioned that he thought starting pitchers would only go 3 or 4 innings at the start of this season.

Now with there only being 60 games in this abbreviated season if a team uses a five-man starting rotation then you’re looking at 12 starts or maybe 13 if they find a way to skip the 5th starter and give their #1 starter an extra start. How many starts will it take for a pitcher to build up his endurance to go more than the 3 or 4 innings Roberts predicted? Is it possibly that we could see the best starting pitcher on a team only give them 60 to 65 innings at the most.

So when it comes to fantasy; is it going to be worth taking one of these starting pitchers even if it’s a big name starting pitcher in the 1st round? I don’t think it will be, but I’m sure there will be some fantasy players who think they’ll be good options.

So you’ve joined me and you’ve decided to downgrade starting pitching for this season. How do you build you’re pithing staff? Obviously you’ll be looking to take closer much earlier in the draft than you normally would. Since you’re going to be going after these closers early than you normally would target the ones that you think are going to be on playoff contending teams. In a short season like this teams are going to want to use these guys quite a bit even if it’s just for an inning and if you get those closers from winning teams that will equal saves. This is where your baseball acumen is going to have to come into play because you’re going to have to figure out who those playoff contending teams are and that might not be easy with just 60 games this season.

The two teams everyone seems to agree on being in the hunt this season are the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. That would mean you’d be looking at Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen at the top of your closer list. With this shortened season there are going to be quite a few teams that look like they might contend, but the Houston Astros seem to have the third best odds to win the World Series. If you’re buying the Astros then Roberto Osuna is your pitcher.

Now if someone notices that you’re trying to draft multiple closers you may start a run and not end up with as many as you originally planned you’ll need to fill out your pitching staff another way.

Now in my leagues we have Holds as a category; so someone like Jake Diekman of the Oakland A’s might be a good option. Diekman tied for the lead in Holds last season at 31 with Ryan Pressly of the Astros and Craig Stammen of the San Diego Padres. What separates Diekman for me from Pressly and Stammen is his 12.19 strikeouts per 9 innings. It’s always nice to get a bonus out of reliever who’s not getting you saves. Now Stammen did have 13 save opportunities in San Diego last season, but barring an Injury to Kirby Yates it’s doubtful Stammen sees too many closing chances in a shortened season.

In all honesty if you think the Yankees are the team that’s going to win it all it wouldn’t hurt to load up n their bullpen pitchers. If you did manage to land Chapman it might not hurt to have Zack Britton or Adam Ottavino. It might not be a terrible idea to try and land all three as the Yankees can really shorten a game. If you’re in a deep league you could probably add Tommy Kahnle as another Yankees reliever you could justify drafting. There aren’t too many teams where you can go four deep in their bullpen, but the Yankees could be one.

Now this is just one of many strategies that fantasy baseball players are thinking about using for the upcoming season. Do you have a plan heading into your baseball fantasy draft? If you’ve got what you think is a good plan feel free to share it in the comments. Don’t worry I’m the only one who can see them; so no one in your league will find out what you’re planning.

Don’t forget to checkout the live broadcast of Sports Time Radio. You can find the podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com. Now if you do miss the live version of the podcast you can head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Earlier this week the National Football League announced that they would be cutting their pre-season schedule to 2 games. With everything going on in the world today that seemed like a good idea and let’s face it all the NFL pre-season isn’t any fun to watch. After this announcement the National Football League Players Association held a vote and what should come as no surprise to anyone they want something different than what the NFL just announced. The NFLPA wants no pre-season this year. Now of course getting the NFL owners and the NFLPA to agree on something is incredibly difficult. I’m sure they’d argue over what color the grass was if you asked them. This shouldn’t be too big of a stumbling point as their has to be some sort of pre-season and I’m sure the NFLPA is just using this as a negotiating tactic.

The one thing that we have to remember is even though these are the sports we love to a lot of owners and players it’s just a business and they’re going to try and use everything and anything they can as leverage. Don’t forget that when baseball was going through their negotiations the Major League Baseball owners tried to use these negotiations to recoup some of the things they gave up in the last collective bargaining agreement. To be fair the Major League Baseball Players Association was any better as they wouldn’t budge off of the players getting 100% of there prorated money.

Unfortunately for fans they’re the ones that pay the price. Baseball could’ve easily given us more than this 60 game embarrassment of a season if the owners would’ve started with a decent opening proposal and the players association had negotiated in good faith on their side. Of course neither side could do that as one of them had to feel like they where getting the upper hand in the negotiations and neither side wanted to look weak with the actual collective bargaining expiring after the 2021 season.

In the end who suffers; the fans. I haven’t seen any team announce that they’ll  lowering ticket prices to help out their fans that may have gotten laid off or completely lost their jobs during the pandemic. It was also made very clear that the one thing the players wanted to make sure of in those negotiations was that they got all of their money. Maybe it’s a good thing that they’ll have to start playing these games without fans.

The toughest part about this entire thing is that no matter what these leagues do to their fans they’re always going to come back. I’m not sure why that is though. Maybe it’s just a pure love for a sport or sports in general, but they’ll come back. Or will they?

I’ve mentioned over and over on the Sports Time Radio podcast that I was done with baseball for the 2020 season and I would see them for spring training in 2021. Well it didn’t take long for me to soften on that stance and say that I might watch some games this year. I can pretty much tell myself anything I want, but once the games return I’ll be in front of the television watching whatever game I can get. How about you?

just last ight I had a good friend of mine explain to me how he was so upset with the NFL that he was done being a fan and he didn’t care about how many pre-season games they played or if they played at all. Now he’s a life long fan and I’m not sure what actually set him off, but he had a list of complaints and had some very good points. Of course in the end when the kickoff the football he’ll be there watching in some form.

I’m sure there are fans of the NBA and the NHL that have said they won’t be watching the restart of those leagues once they get up and running, but we know that’s not going to be the case. I’m thinking that maybe one or two out of every ten fans that say they’re not going to watch might actually stick to that statement.

So fill me in on where you stand. Are you like me and you have or had a strong stance at one point, but it’s beginning to weaken? Or are you staying strong and you’re going to hold the line and not watch whatever sport it is you’re upset with when they start play? If you are thinking that you won’t be watching when your favorite sport gets up and running will it be for the entire season or just a short break from the game? Also if you’re going to stay away from the game will you be strong enough to do it for the entire season? Then what do you do if your favorite team makes a run for the championship; do you get back onboard? or do you still manage to stay away? Would you actually miss out on your favorite team winning a championship? Even though it might be a little impure do to the Covid-19 situation.

Who knew that there was so much to think about and try to process when you’re a true fan of a team or a sport.

I understand that there where a lot of people up in arms yesterday when MLB announced that they had 31 people test positive for Covid-19. There was even quite a bit of talk about not restarting the season, but I think we know that’s not going to happen even if it is just 60 games.

Now I can completely understand that a positive test is something that people should have concerns about, but there are a couple of things you have to think about. Did you honestly think there would be no positive tests and while the mainstream media just threw the number 31 out there the other way you can look at it is that 1.2% of the people MLB tested came back positive. Wouldn’t that have sounded like a much better number if it had just been reported that way.

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

Also feel free to look me up on Twitter I’m @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: June 20, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

After the commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred and the President of Major League Baseball Players Association sat down for a meeting that lasted reported about four hours I thought we’d finally come to a conclusion on something and we’d get to see baseball. Now to be honest I’m to the point where even if they decide to play I’m not sure I’m going to watch, but that’s just me.

Well for a second it did look like we where going to have baseball Manfred announced a 60 game season that could grow into 65 games and most importantly the owners where no longer asking to layers to give back any of their prorated salary. Money seemed to be the players big sticking point in these negotiations and with that issue being taken care of it looked like they’d play baseball.

NOPE!

Now I’m now sure why or what else the players could’ve wanted, but they countered the 60 to 65 game offer with a 70 game offer out of nowhere. It seemed odd to me that the players would make this offer as in the 60 to 65 game plan there where only 10 scheduled days off and by adding games you would think that number would go down. Even without travel and expended rosters not having any days off is tough on players; so I don’t know why the players association proposed more games.

One of the other sticking points the players association had when the season would end. They had more or less refused to play games in October and with the owners 60 to 65 game season games ended by the end of September. Would adding games to this schedule make it possible to accomplish that?

Now I wasn’t surprised at all to see reports that Manfred and the owners where upset that the players made a counter offer and they’ve said the don’t plan to make another counter offer as they liked the 60 to possibly 65 game season.

I’m very disappointed in not only myself, but the players association. I’m disappointed in myself because I always want the players to come out on top any time there’s a negotiation for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, but this time it almost seems like the players aren’t negotiating in good faith. I’m actually to the point where I feel as though the players don’t want to have a season in 2020 and I’m back to thinking we won’t have baseball in 2020.

If we’re going to get a season in 2020 it looks like we’re down to two options. The players can accept the 60 game offer with expanded playoffs which seemed to be the agreement that came out of the meeting between Manfred and Clark. In that agreement that was a  promise by the players not to file a grievance against the owners. The other option would be to force commissioner Manfred to implement a schedule; potentially without extra playoff teams but still with the right to grieve the terms of the March agreement between the two sides.

After spring training was shut down due to the coronavirus in March; the league and the players agreed that when play picked up again players would be paid on a prorated basis. They also agreed to discussed what was call the “economic feasibility” of playing without fans in the stands. The players association has continued to say that discussion has nothing to do with the way they’re being paid, but it seems to have caused quite a bit of tension between the two sides.

In the end none of this may end up mattering as in both Arizona and Florida there has been a spike in the number of positive tests for the Covid-19 virus or Corona virus.

The Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies shutdown their training facilities after multiple players tested positive for the Corona virus. It’s being reported that all MLB training camps will temporarily close do to these positive tests.

The spring training facilities  both Florida and Arizona will undergo a deep cleaning accord to MLB. According to multiple reports players will now need to test negative for the virus before they’ll be allowed to enter the facilities.

What do you think is going to happen with baseball this season. Will they play that 60 to possibly 65 game schedule that came out of the meeting between commissioner Manfred and the unions president Clark? Will the owners agree to the 70 game schedule that the players association recently proposed? Will commissioner Manfred end up having to force a season? Could the two sides come up with another agreement? Or will their be no baseball at all in 2020?

While we’re on baseball I saw that former Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is close to signing an one year deal to play for the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization.

Towards the end of the 2018 season Russell was suspended 40 games  for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy. Even though he had been suspended the Cubs tendered him a contract for the 2019 season. Russell was suspended for the first 28 games of the 2019 season. He played 27 games in Triple-A before being called up and playing in 82 games for the Cubs last season.

The Cubs non-tendered Russell after the 2019 season allowing hi to become a free agent, but he went unsigned during the off season and into what little spring training MLB had.

After being called up Russell hit .237 with 9 home runs. While his offensive numbers where down Russell was still one of the top defensive shortstop according to metrics.

I was surprised that Russell wasn’t brought into a teams spring training camp on a contract that would’ve included an invite to spring training, but no guarantee of a major league roster spot, but I guess in an game that’s starting to look almost purely at offense there’s just not a spot for a defensive player.

At least Russell will get an opportunity to play in the KBO while his former teammates and other major league players sit around and wait for an agreement between the owners and their association.

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

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 17, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’m sure you know someone or maybe you are that person who has a thankless job. Well even though it’s well paying it seems as though being a commissioner of a professional sports league has to fall into this category. Here’s how it went for a couple of these commissioners these past couple of weeks.

Rob Manfred who is the commissioner of Major League Baseball was interviewed two weeks ago and was very positive in saying that their was going to be a baseball season. Now he didn’t go into detail about how many games or any of the other particulars for the season. Then after some more negotiations between the owners and the players association things didn’t look good. Manfred was then interviewed again earlier this week and said that he was now doubtful that there would be a 2020 baseball season. I’m not sure why, but apparently the commissioner isn’t allowed to change his mind and Manfred is just getting killed by the media for this. Now I am completely confused by this since there are people who change their minds on a daily, hourly or even minute to minute basis; so why can’t the commissioner of Major League Baseball change his mind. Now to be fair with the way the negotiations are going I can totally understand why Manfred might think there won’t be a 2020 season.

In case you’re not up to date on the baseball negotiations the owners sent a new proposal to the players association at the end of last week and asked for a reply by Sunday. Well since the proposal included a pay cut it was immediately turned down by the players and their union. The players association then said that there wouldn’t be a counter offer; so that more or less has put an end to negotiations between the two sides.

Now interestingly Manfred has the power to actually force a season, but so far has been unwilling to do this. Now recently some players have come out and have almost dared Manfred to use this power he’s been given. With the way the negotiations are going a forced season by Manfred would give the players exactly what they want. See if Manfred does decide to force a 2020 season the players would be guaranteed their prorated salaries that they agreed to back in March; so the owners wouldn’t be able to ask them to take ay kind of salary reduction in a forced season.

Maybe you find this funny like I do, but I could just see some major league players standing outside Manfred’s office daring him to force a season. It would be something like we use to do when we where kids. I wonder how long it will be before a player or players double dare or maybe even double dog dare Manfred to force a season. Please just picture that in you mind and then try to tell me you didn’t get a chuckle out of that.

Unfortunately I’ve settled on the fact that I won’t get to watch my favorite sport; baseball in 2020. Now that I’ve resigned myself to that; I’m more concerned about if there will be a strike or lock out after the 2021 season.

Are next commissioner who hasn’t been able to catch a break these past few weeks and this will come as no surprise to you is Roger Goodall the commissioner of the National Football League.

Goodall made a big, big change when he said that he supports any player that wants to take a knee during the national anthem. This of course is a stark contrast to where the NFL’s stance when Colin Kaepernick and a few other players started kneeling was it four years ago now. Of course this didn’t dissuade Goodall critics from coming out of the woodwork to take shots at the commissioner for making this change even though it appears that this is what they wanted all along. It’s oddly confusing that you can finally get a resolution in your favor and still find a platform to complain about it, but I guess this is how things go. I can only imagine what we’d be hearing had Goodall came out and didn’t change the NFL’s view on kneeling.

Goodall also mentioned this week that he’d like to see Kaepernick back in the NFL. Now to be fair Goodall has never said that he didn’t want Kaepernick in the NFL, but with the response he got you’d think Goodall was personally responsible for a team not signing Kaepernick.

Now I’m not sure if it’s a lack of understanding or if it’s just the idea that all of the facts could ruin your story, but Goodall can’t force a team to sign Kaepernick. Remember that Goodall works for the owners; so he can’t tell one of them to sign any player let alone Kaepernick. I’m not sure why people and especially people in the media think that Goodall has that kind of power. Oddly Goodall saying that he’d like to see Kaepernick back in the NFL might actually help Kaepernick get signed, but I doubt anyone will mention that.

The question now becomes; is there a good fit for Kaepernick? And if so with which team?

There’s been some noise that the Seattle Seahawks might be interesting in signing Kaepernick, but lately it seems that the team being pushed to the forefront is the New England Patriots. As we know the Patriots will have different starting quarterback for the first since 2008. New England didn’t sign one of the many free agent quarterbacks and they also didn’t use a high draft to bring in a rookie quarterback; so it looks a though the starting quarterback job is Jarrett Stidham’s to lose. Now since this is going to be Stidham’s first shot at being an NFL starting quarterback you have to wonder if Kaepernick would be a good fit as his back up. Don’t forget that the Patriots do have veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer on their roster.

Do you think there’s a spot for Kaepernick in New England? If not with the Patriots; do you have a landing spot for Kaepernick?

Now don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com. Now if you miss the live version of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

If you’re interested you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 6, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well it looks like just about every sports league has come up with either a plan for their return or a plan to start their season with the exception of one; Major League Baseball.

If there is no 2020 baseball season there are some things I’m curious about. Since the players didn’t play any regular season games; did they accrue any service time? Now I don’t believe the loss of a season wouldn’t affect any player who’s under contract, but players that are going through arbitration reach free agency by acquiring a certain amount of major league service time.

Remember just last off season Chicago Cubs 3rd baseman Kris Bryant lost a grievance about his service time. Bryant claimed the Cubs intentionally pushed his minor league call up back to allow them one more year of arbitration with him and while this is true the Cubs did exactly that there’s nothing in the collective bargaining agreement that didn’t allow them to; so Bryant lost. That meant at the start of the 2020 season Bryant had two more seasons before he could become a free agent, but now he and any other player who was two seasons away from free agency didn’t play any games and therefore didn’t accrue any service time. Does that mean Bryant and all those other players have to wait until 2023 to become free agents. Mookie Betts is also in this situation. One of the reasons the Boston Red Sox traded him was because he was in his final year of arbitration and would be come a free agent after the 2020 season. What does a missed season do to his free agency? Will the Los Angeles Dodgers actually get some games out of Betts? If he’s granted free agency after no 2020 season the Dodgers could lose him without playing a game for them.

Let’s say that 2020 is counted as a season even though there were no games and Betts is allowed to become a free agent. He’ll be the top free agent on the market and there was talk that he would receive a contract in the neighborhood of $30 million dollars a season.

Now if the owners and the players association can’t work something out teams are going to lose millions of dollars with no games being played. What kind of free agent market do you think there would be after that? I’m guessing a player like Betts would be lucky to get half of his actual value on the free agent market.

Now immediately the players their agents and the players association would cry collusion like they’ve done over and over in the past and while they may have had a case then; would they have one now? After losing millions of dollars it might be difficult for a team to lay out a large money long term deal especially since the collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2021 season.

Now just imagine a scenario where we don’t have a 2020 season because of the pandemic and he shear greed of owners and players. Then baseball returns to play in 2021 only to have a strike or a lockout at the start of the 2022 season. Could Major League Baseball survive that?

Remember after the last time baseball had a stoppage in play back in 1994 when the players went on strike it took quite a while for fans to return to the ballparks. Now at lot of why the fans returned was because of the home run chase between Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa. As it turned out both of those players along with quite a few more where using performance enhancing drugs. I know Sosa has never admitted to it like a lot of players, but fans aren’t stupid. Those drugs are now tested for; so players can’t use them. How can baseball get the fans attention back?

Home run numbers where up last year as the baseballs where adjusted from the previous season, but fans still didn’t flock to the ballparks. Baseball has been trying and trying to find ways to get more fans to go to games, but there really isn’t anything you can do with a baseball game to fit it into the short attention span society we now live in. Major League Baseball has tried to speed up play, but we’re talking about taking minutes off a game that will still take hours to play.

My biggest concern since baseball has always been my favorite sport is; are they killing the game? I’ve been wondering since the owner rejected that players associations last proposal and then said that there wouldn’t be a counter offer if I’m watching the death of baseball. I’m just not sure I see a way for baseball to recover from this; do you?

Is it possible we could see some of the smaller market or low drawing teams which in some cases are the same contracted. There are 30 Major League Baseball teams right now. Could we actually see them drop two, four or possible maybe even more teams. If so which teams would it be and how would they make that decision. The longer this goes on even the richest of teams is going to start having cash flow problems. Now add in the idea that we could get a 2021 season and then a walk out or strike. How many teams could handle that loss of revenue after what they’re losing right now?

Do you think this is something that could happen? do you think there’s a Major League Baseball team or teams that might shutdown? If you do let me know which team or teams you think it might be. I’d also be interested to know if you think  Major League Baseball itself would contract a couple of teams to try and save money? I’m really hoping none of this happens, but I’d like to know what you think about the entire baseball landscape right now.

Don’t forget to tune in to the Sports Time Radio podcast which airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com. Now if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketimie

 

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 3, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

As we wait and wait for your beloved sport to return we’ve heard from most of if not all of the leagues with the exception of the NBA which seemed to be more confused than the other leagues on what they might do. Well we finally got some tentative information on what they might do.

There’s a proposal that the NBA will bring before it’s Board of Governors on Thursday for a vote has the season restarting on July 31st. That means the latest the season could end would be October 12th. The details of the plan will likely need to be finalized soon; so they can be presented to the NBPA and see if it’s acceptable to them.

Now if you’re a fan of the NBA don’t make the same mistake I did when the MLB owners sent a proposal to the MLBPA. I started thinking that I was going to see baseball sooner rather than later and now it looks more like I won’t see baseball at all. Of course the NBA has a much better relationship with their players union than MLB has; so hopefully they’ll be able to work this out and will see basketball at the end of July.

Originally the NBA didn’t want to see a restarted season run past Labor day, but obviously with this new proposal they’ve changed their stance on that.

There of course are some questions to be answered like how many teams will be playing come July 31st. Will they be going straight into a playoff format like the NHL has set up or are they going to go back and play what would be considered regular season games. Now if the season does run until early October; when would the draft  be held. Also they’d have to work in when free agency starts and ends. So as you can see there are quite a few questions that still need to be answered before will see an NBA game, but at least it seems like they’re heading in the direction of restarting.

Some of this may clear itself up as there have been some reports that the NBA would be willing to push the start of the 2020-21 season back until Christmas day. Normally the NBA starts their regular season right around Halloween, but that wouldn’t be much down time between the end of the 2019-20 season and the start of the 2020-21 season. Plus it also adds a couple of months to the chance that they might be able to have fans in attendance for the start of the 2020-21 season. The NBA likely won’t be in any rush to begin of the 2020-21 season until states have lifted bans on large gatherings; at least to some extent.

As I’m sure you know I’m not the biggest fan of NBA basketball and I’m probably not going to change my viewing habits when they finally return, but I’m more interested to know what you think. Will you be tuning in more, less or the same when the NBA makes it return.

There was some sad NBA news yesterday as it was announced that former NBA star player, coach and executive Wes Unseld passed away at the age of 74. According to his family Unseld series of health issues, most recently pneumonia.

Unseld, the second overall pick in the 1968 NBA draft, spent his 13-year career playing for the Bullets, first in Baltimore and later in Washington. He earned MVP honors in his first NBA season in 1969, becoming only the second rookie in league history to do so, along with Wilt Chamberlain. Unseld eventually won a championship for Washington and was chosen Finals MVP award in 1978.

Unseld is considered one of the best rebounders of all-time and he was just 6’7″. Unseld averaged 14.0 rebounds per game in 984 career regular season contests to go along with 10.8 points per game. He earned five All-Star nods and was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1988.

Unseld held a role in the Bullets’ front office following his retirement in 1981, then served as the team’s head coach from 1987-94 before becoming the general manager of the newly-renamed Wizards in 1996. He was the franchise’s head of basketball operations until 2000, then again from 2001-03 following Michael Jordan’s departure.

I mentioned MLB a little earlier and I have to say that things don’t look good for baseball actually playing some type of 2020 season. There have been proposal traded between the owners and the players union, but it seems like both sides are far apart in what the 2020 season should be.

While I don’t want to get into the financial aspect of these deals as that’s way too complicated to try to figure out between these two sides, but they don’t even seem to be close on the number of games that would be played. The owners first proposal featured an 82 game season while the players and their union countered with a 114 game season. There are now some reports out their that say the owners have a new proposal that features just a 50 game schedule. It seems as though the number of games is based around what each side thinks salaries should be for the 2020 season.

I’ve said before that at first I was very confident that I’d get to see baseball and they’d be playing a decent number of games, but now I’m thinking that there won’t be a 2020 season and if it’s just going to be a 50 game season; why even bother.

I’m extremely tired of listening to millionaires and billionaires cry about money; how about you?

Please let me know where you stand on these baseball issues. Do you think we’ll have a 2020 season? If you do think we’ll have a 2020 season; how many games will they play? How would you feel if they do play a 50 game season?

Don’t forget to listen to Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkradio.com, but if you do miss the podcast live remember you can just head to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you’d like.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: May 30, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

If you’ve listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast or I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here multiple times baseball is my favorite sport. I’m guessing this goes back to the fact that little league was the first league I played in as a child. I’m sure it also helped that my father always had his vacation in the summer time; so we would attend baseball games together. It just kind of led down the path to baseball moving to the front of the line when it comes to my love of sports.

When the owners sent their first proposal to the players union and had a plan to start playing games on July 4th weekend I was excited and overly optimistic that their was going to be baseball season.

As happy as I was that it looked like my favorite sport would be coming back soon I knew there would be some issues that would have to be worked out in this agreement. The unfortunate mistake I made was I gave both side too much credit on their true intentions of bringing baseball back.

I’m not sure how much negotiations took place on the first proposal the owners sent to the players, but after the Blake Snell rant it was clear the players had a lot of issues with it. In return the owners came up with a second proposal and I can completely understand why the players and their union turned that one down almost as quickly as I got it.

It’s starting to appear as though the owners aren’t negotiating in good faith and their using this situation to try and gain back some of the issues they’ve either given up on or loss to the layers and their union in previous negotiations.

I can understand that the owners would like the players to take a salary cut or reduction because they’re not playing a full season, but the number they’re asking the players to take is ridiculous. This almost seems like more of a plan on the owners part to turn the lower paid players against the higher paid players. In this owners proposal the higher paid players would be asked to give back more of their salary than the lower paid players would. Now the owners can point at the higher paid players in the game and try to say that it’s their fault there’s no baseball season.

There where also some reports out their that said if this proposal from the owners went through that some of the higher paid players who would be asked to take a large pay cut would sit out the season. Now you have to wonder how the season would look if players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado along with some others sat out the season.

As it’s starting to look more and more like there isn’t going to be a baseball season team owners have started to make moves to try and deal with the monetary losses they’re going to face. On Thursday there where hundreds of minor league players released and there are more players expected to be released as it’s looking like the entire minor league season could be cancelled.

Teams are saying that the majority of these players would’ve been released at the end of spring training if things would’ve played out as they normally had. It appears as though more than 1000 players will end up being released by teams during these cuts. Some of the players that where released have expressed concern that this may be the end of their careers while payers on the bubble with those teams that haven’t made cuts yet have to be concerned about their about their baseball future.

While some teams have already made some moves with their team employees either by laying them off or just furloughing them on Friday it was the Arizona Diamondbacks turn to make this move.

Arizona let about one quarter of the team employees go because of the Coronavirus outbreak while the the employees that are staying on will be taking a 15% pay cut with the teams higher paid employees losing a bigger percentage of their income. This is very similar to the second proposal the owners sent the players.

The majority of the employees the Diamondbacks laid off or furloughed where on the business side of the organization; particularly in ticket sales. The teams baseball operations department will remaining mostly unaffected for now.

We’ve seen multiple athletes use their own money during this pandemic to help out others who have had some trouble during the this time and David Price of the Los Angeles Dodgers is the next player to do such a thing.

Now remember Price hasn’t even thrown a pitch in a game that counts for the Dodgers as he was acquired in a trade this past off season., but he’s still helping out his new teammates.

Price will give each minor league player who is not on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster $1,000 for the month of June. Price’s act of generosity will impact just over 200 people facing unprecedented difficulty during the coronavirus outbreak.

Now the Dodgers themselves had already committed to continuing their $400 a week payments to minor league players. The Dodgers also have this plan in place for those training out of the teams academy in the Dominican Republic through June.

Most minor league players earn below minimum wage and are not protected by the Major League Baseball Players Association. While the minor league players pay is decided by the team itself and some of those teams have chose to stop paying their minor leaguers the MLB players received an advance of $170 million for April and May and won’t receive any more than that if the season is canceled.

It’s nice to see players like Price reach out and give a hand to these minor league players. As it start to look more and more like not only the minor league season, but the major league baseball season could be cancelled these player will need some help.

The Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

You cam also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 20, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, baseball, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Where you one of the almost six and a half million people who tuned in to watch the NASCAR race on Sunday? I was, but to be fair I’m a fan  of NASCAR; so I would’ve watched anyway. This ended up being the most watched non-Daytona 500 race in three years.

Kevin Harvick picked up the win Sunday at the Darlington Speedway in The Real Heroes 400. Harvick led 154 laps on Sunday including the most important one the last one. Alex Bowman led 41 laps and ended up coming home in 2nd. Kurt Busch finished 3rd while Chase Elliott was 4th with Denny Hamlin coming in 5th to round out the Top 5.

Now if you wanted to watch Sunday’s NASCAR race and maybe forgot it was on or you just plain missed it you won’t have to wait long to get a chance to watch another race. Why is that? Well the next NASCAR race is tonight. The drivers and their teams stayed at Darlington Speedway for tonight’s race. They’ll run the Toyota 500 tonight on the same track that they raced on this past Sunday.

Ryan Preece starts on the pole tonight with Ty Dillion joining him on the front row starting 2nd. Joey Logano starts 3rd; Clint Bowyer will start 4th and Ryan Blaney rounds out the Top 5 starting 5th.

The Top 20 finishers from Sunday’s race were inverted to set the starting lineup for tonight. Drivers lining up in positions 21 through 39 are there as that is where they finished in Sunday’s race.

Due to the possibility of inclement weather NASCAR officials have moved the start time of tonight’s race up. The race was originally scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. Central time. The decision was made to move the stat time of the race up to 5:00 p.m. Central time to try and get the entire race in. The race airs live on FS1 tonight.

The Xfinity race which was originally scheduled to be run yesterday was moved to Thursday because of weather. The Xfinity race will start at Noon tomorrow.

This is the second race at Darlington Speedway in a four day span. This is also just the 6th race of the NASCAR season. This is also the first time since July 4th 1984 that there is a NASCAR race on a Wednesday. That last Wednesday NASCAR race was at Daytona and it was won by Richard Petty. That was Petty’s 200th and final win of his NASCAR career.

While I don’t expect as many people to be watching tonight’s race as they had on Sunday, but it will be interesting to see how many people they do get to watch. Will you be one of those people watching tonight?

Last week the owners in Major League Baseball sent a proposal to restart the season to the players union. I wasn’t surprised when there was some complaining right out of the gate by some players. That’s to be expected because there always is someone who doesn’t like something in these kind of negotiations, but other than the complaints we really haven’t heard anything on if they’ve made any progress on getting the season started.

Now the plan was to get the season restarted on July 4th weekend, but there was also talk of having a spring training that would last about two weeks. Now I don’t think it would take too long for a player to get ready to go back to spring training, but the fact that there’s been no news at all has to be concerning. To be honest I didn’t dig to deep looking for news; so it’s possible there has been some rebuttal  by the players union and would have to guess that the two sides have at least been in contact with each other, but who knows.

Now if you’re a baseball fan or maybe just have casual interest in the game of baseball I’m sure that you’ve heard the incredibly stupid rant that Blake Snell went on while he was on Twitch. I’ve talked about that a couple of times on the Sports Time Radio podcast; so I don’t want to get into it here again, but I do want to look at this from another angle.

Now Snell was crying about not getting all of his money while he’s already been paid $286,500 this season without playing a game and I’m under the impression that most if not all major league baseball players have gotten some type of pay. Now they’re being paid by owner who aren’t having any income come in; so they’re looking at taking big financial losses this season.

Since this involves millionaires and billionaires most people understandably don’t care about this, but there’s a group of players that should care greatly about this and they should want the season to be restarted and the owners to start making money. That group is any player that is going to be a free agent after whatever the 2020 season turns out to be.

Mookie Betts is going to probably be the top free agent on the market this coming off season. Now Betts is in line of a big pay day and could possibly be set to get a contract in the $300 million dollar area like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado did when they hit the free agent market.

Now if an owner loses hundreds of millions of dollars this season like it appears that they’re projected to; are they really going to be doing that much spending in the off season? Now I know that immediately the players union will cry collusion and in most case they’re correct, but will that be the case this coming off season.

Right now the proposal has teams playing just one game over a half a season. Also remember there have been a lot of people who have been either laid off or have lost jobs do to this pandemic. How are ticket sales going to be? Do you think that ballparks will be full right out of the gate? Or is it going to take a little time until people will be able to afford to buy tickets to the games?

This is going to be an interesting situation that players like Snell don’t have to deal with and clearly wasn’t thinking about when he shot his mouth off online. I’m sure his soon to be free agent union brothers are just thrilled that he wants to get all his money when they’ll be looking for there’s in the off season.

Tune in to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but remember that the podcast is also available for you to listen to on TuneIn.com.

I’m out there on Twitter @Burketime

Lets call it Wednesday

Posted: May 13, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, baseball, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’ve waited patiently for sports to return and finally on Sunday we’re going to get one of our sports back. NASCAR returns this Sunday at Darlington Raceway.

Now there will be no fans in the stands for this race or for any race in the foreseeable future, but these races still count in the standings. Now be honest with me; if or when you watch a NASCAR race do you notice the fans?

The NASCAR season was just four weeks old when it was shutdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak; so lets’ recap.

Joey Logano has two wins while Alex Bowman and Denny Hamlin each have a win. You shouldn’t be surprised that Logano was also the points leader with those two early season wins. Kevin Harvick was 2nd in points with Bowman 3rd, Chase Elliott in 4th and Hamlin rounded out the Top 5.

Now I myself am a NASCAR and while I understand that there are a lot of people who don’t enjoy the sport and see it as cars just going around in a circle, but don’t try to say that these drivers aren’t athletes. Now I doubt that any of the drivers I just mentioned in the Top 5 could dunk a basketball, hit a 100 mile per hour fastball, catch or throw a touchdown pass or score a goal on skates and that’s fair. Now just go ahead and flip the script. How many NBA, MLB, NFL or NHL players could drive a car going close to or over 200 miles per hour?

Now if you are a NASCAR fan get ready to have these race come at you fast and furious. Not only will there be a NASCAR race at Darlington on Sunday, but they’ll be back there on Wednesday May 20th for a night race. Then the NASCAR series moves to Charlotte Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24th for the Coca-Cola 600. Then they’ll stay at Charlotte Motor Speedway for another Wednesday race on May 27th. The series gets a little bit back to normal as the series shifts to the Kansas Speedway on Sunday May 31st for the Kansas 400. The races then go back to a week to week event as the next scheduled race is the FireKeepers Casino 400 on June 7th at the Michigan International Speedway.

So we’re going to get five NASCAR races in 15 days and a total of six NASCAR races in 22 days before their season returns to a more normal schedule.

Darlington will be an interesting track for the drivers to come back to. It’s called “the Lady in Black” or the Track too tough to Tame”. What helps give it these nicknames is the shape of the track as it’s more of an oval configuration than any other track on the NASCAR circuit. Humorously the story goes that one of the reasons the track got this shape was it had to be configured around a minnow pond at one end that the owner refused to move. That leads to the track having different banking. It’s 25 degrees in Turn 1 & 2, but it’s 23 degrees in turns 3 & 4. This can make t difficult for teams to set up the car for this track.

Darlington is always a fun race to watch and I’d like to know if you’ll be watching? and do you think that this race will get a better television ratings than it normally would since it’s the first sporting event returning?

Now the other sport that has suggested a plan for starting it’s season has been Major League Baseball. The owners have sent a proposal to the Players Union for approval to get this season in.

Now like you I’m not really interested on if the owners are trying to sneak anything past the players in this proposal. All I want to know is when the season is going to start and how many games are they going to play.

Well what I’ve heard and none of this is official is that the teams would return to spring training in mid-June with the season starting the weekend of July 4th. What I’ve seen is that the season will be 82 games long. There where a couple of other things that I thought where interesting that are suppose to be in this proposal. The playoffs would expand from 10 to 14 teams and the DH would become universal. I didn’t hear how big the major league roster would be, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they ended up being 29 players which was discussed earlier.

Like I mentioned this isn’t official as the players and the players union have to agree on this and I’m sure there will be some bantering back and forth before an actual deal gets done, but I was just happy to hear then talking about the baseball season actually starting.

I’m under the impression that once the National League starts using the DH that it’s going to become a permanent fixture in baseball. There was already a lot of talk about it becoming permanent in the next collective bargaining agreement; so maybe the National League will just get started on using it a couple of seasons earlier than planned.

Let me know what you think of the DH being used in not only this shortened season, but also how or what you think about the DH becoming permanent throughout baseball. Is it or will it be good or bad for the game?

Now I’m not a big fan of just an 82 games schedule. I would’ve liked to seen them try to play over 100 games. I don’t believe that 82 games is going to be enough to find out who the best team actually. Now maybe the expanded playoffs will help that situation play out, but I’m not sure that whoever is crowned World Series champion at the end of this shortened season can actually say they where the best team in baseball.

Please share your thoughts with me about the 82 game season. Do you like it? Or would you have like to see them come up with a different number? Or do you think they should’ve just cancelled this season?

Don’t forget to check on the Sports Time Radio podcast. Sadly we’ve missed quite a few podcasts due to me getting sick, but when we’re on check out BlogTalkRadio.com for the live podcast. The podcast also airs on TuneIn.com; so if you miss it look for us there.

Remember to look me up on Twitter @Burketime