Archive for the ‘baseball’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 9, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

As cities and states try to get the way of life people are use to back up and running all sports organizations are trying t get their league up and running. Some states have started to reopen businesses that had been closed down due to the pandemic and along with those businesses reopening the NBA has decided to open up it’s facilities to it’s players.

Now there are some new guidelines put in place by the NBA that players and team employees will have to follow. No more than four players would be permitted at a facility at any one time. No head or assistant coaches could participate. Players remain prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs, fitness centers or gyms. Group activity remains prohibited, including practices or scrimmages. Also lifting weights with a spotter will be prohibited if it forces the player to be within 12 feet of a staffer. Players in team facilities must wear facemasks at all times except during physical activity. Team staffers must also stay 12 feet away from them. The NBA will allow a total of six assistant or player development coaches to supervise these works. Head coaches will not be allowed.

The NBA’s decision to reopen practice facilities was based on Georgia’s plan to slowly reopen its economy. It seemed as players where considered traveling there to facilitate workouts in ways the NBA considered unsafe. The Atlanta Hawks are Georgia’s only NBA team, but they’ve decided to not open their facilities on May 1st.

There was an National Basketball Players Association phone call with it’s players and they invited commissioner Adam Silver to join the call and address the players. There was an audio taped of the one hour long call released.

The NBPA’s executive director Michele Roberts and NBPA president Chris Paul as well as several players asked commissioner Silver questions during the conversation.

The players asked commissioner some difficult questions including how future seasons would be affected and the financial realities of future salary caps and basketball related income. Commissioner Silver also had to handle some difficult questions about how the league would handle players safety.

It was mentioned that returning to play this season at one or two potential sites including Orlando and Las Vegas made the most sense. There was also no mention on if fans would be in attendance for these games.

The commissioner expressed a desire that the NBA complete its season with a traditional playoff structure that includes seven-game series in each round, but he left open the possibility of play in tournaments to accommodate more teams in resumption of a shortened season. Silver also told players that the start of next season could be pushed until December, regardless of whether this season was completed.

Commissioner Silver discussed how the CBA wasn’t built for a pandemic and were issues that needed to be collectively bargained with the NBPA. Among those issues Silver mentioned how future basketball related income and salary caps would be affected by massive decreases in revenue.

As for returning to play this season; Silver indicated discussions around training camp length in the resumption of the season centered on a minimum of three weeks. Silver said the NBA’s hope would be that players who test positive for Covid-19 won’t require shutting down a team or season, but only the removal of a player amid persistent testing of those who had come into contact with him.

It was reported by ESPN that the NBA estimates it would need in the neighborhood of 15,000 tests to resume and complete its season.

Now I’ve said all along that the NBA and the NHL should either end these seasons as is or come back when it’s safe and go right into the playoffs. Something commissioner Silver said that caught my attention and I believe it’s the biggest reason these leagues don’t want to give up these regular season games. Commissioner Silver mentioned that 40% of the NBA’s revenue comes from money built around regular season and playoff games being played in the arenas.

That would be a large chunk of money for the NBA to walk away from and you know they’re going to do everything in their power to not have to let that cash go.

What would you like to see? Are you interested in the NBA coming back and finishing the regular season? Or would you like to see them go right into some type of playoff format?

With no games being played and as of right now there are none on the schedule it’s no surprise that these leagues are trying to find a way to save money.

Major League Baseball is going to save itself a little bit of money by cutting the MLB Draft from 40 rounds to 5 rounds.

MLB an the Major League Baseball Players Association have been in discussion about shorten the draft for weeks. The MLBPA had agreed to the 5 round draft, but they where pushing for MLB to do a 10 round draft. The draft usually consists of 40 rounds, but the owners wanted to limit the number of rounds to help cut down on spending during the coronavirus shutdown.

This move will save each team a little less than $1 million dollars and apparently there are quite a few people unhappy about this move. Of course none of these people are paying the bills for these teams and with everything going on it helps each team to save where they can even if it’s looked at as a small amount by people.

While it has to be disappointing for those players who would’ve been drafted in those later rounds it might turn out to be a better situation for them.

Once a player goes undrafted he’ll be allowed to sign with any team instead of just the one team that drafted him. Now while it might not be ideal it will give that player the right to try and sign with a team where he think he fits the best. This may give those players a chance to find a team where they might develop quicker instead of being drafted by a team that might have a long term solution at the position that drafted player plays.

Please let me know how you feel about MLB making this change to the draft. Also let me know if you feel this is good or bad for those players that won’t get drafted.

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

You can also look me up on Twitter @Burketime

 

Since there aren’t any sports being played right now I like to flip through article titles online and see if anything catches my attention. This kind of helps me keep up with what’s going on in sports without having to read every single article out there.

While flipping through articles yesterday I ran into one that caught my attention and while I didn’t go through and read the entire thing I  enough of it to get the idea of the article and wonder why.

This article went on to explain that the NHL is planning on returning and finish it’s regular season and playoff for this season. This didn’t make ay sense to me, but as I continued looking into this it was also said that the NHL would be willing to push back the start of next season to finish this one. This article also mentioned that the NHL would have no problems playing games in July or August if they had to. Now I know that the playoffs don’t generally end into early June, but imagine regular season games in July or August.

Once I saw the story in the NHL I went through to see if I could find any new on what the NBA might be planning. I didn’t see anything new on how the NBA might try and finish out it’s regular season and playoffs, but I did see that the NBA has decided to postpone the draft lottery and scouting combine. The actually draft itself had already been moved back until late June.

With the NBA making these moves and postponements it makes me think that the NBA is planning to do the same thing that the NHL is going to do and they’ll try to play the rest of their regular season games as well the playoffs.

Now I don’t think I would have any issues if the NHL and the NBA came back and went right into the playoffs. I could fully understand each league wanting to be able to crown a champion, but at first I didn’t understand why they’d want to come back and play regular season games.

Then it hit me; there’s only one reason that the NHL and the NBA would want to come back and play regular season games; they want that television money. Remember the NBA has a very lucrative deal with ESPN and TNT to televise their regular season and playoff games and while I’m sure that the NHL’s deal with NBA isn’t quite as lucrative I’m sure they’d like to get whatever money they have coming in that contract.

You could also throw Major League Baseball into this mix as they’ve already said that they’re planning on playing as many regular season games as possible. Why would they want to do that: television money.

At least when they start playing MLB games again it will actually be baseball season, but how many people are going to be interested in watching NHL and NBA games in the summer or possibly even in the fall.

To be fair if you’re the first league to come back and start playing games you’d probably draw huge ratings. With as hard up as people are to watch sports I’m sure they’d take anything new to watch. Just look at how well the NFL draft just did in the ratings. Now imagine how well and actually live sporting event would do in the ratings. To be honest I’d probably even tune into an NBA game just to watch sports.

I would really like to get your opinion on this. Would you watch an NHL or NBA regular season game if they came back to play them in July or August? Would it make you more interested to watch these games if your favorite team was in the running to possibly win the title?

Do you like the idea of the NHL and NBA coming back to play regular season games? Or would you like to see them come back and go directly into the playoffs? Or at this point would you like to see hem just end their seasons with no champions and move onto next season?

I would be very interested in what you’d like to see the NHL and NBA do. As I mentioned before I wouldn’t have any issues if they came back and went straight into the playoffs, but I have no interest in any NHL or NBA regular games being played.

As we’re talking about sports returning it looks as though NASCAR will be back on May 17th. NASCAR is planning on running this 400 mile race at Darlington Speedway in South Carolina with no fans.

What may be even more interesting about this is NASCAR is planning on this being the first race of 11 races that they’ll run in seven days. Yes, you read that right; 11 races in seven days.

These races will take place at two different tracks. Darlington Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.

NASCAR has decided to run races here because South Carolina has relaxed coronavirus restrictions and Charlotte, North Carolina; is following suit.

After the May 17th race the NASCAR’s schedule includes a 200-mile Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway on May 19 and a 500 kilometer contest at the South Carolina track the following night. NASCAR will then shift to Charlotte for a 600 mile Cup Series race on May 24; with a 300 mile Xfinity Series competition the following day. A 200 mile Gander Trucks race on May 26 and a 500 kilometer race at Charlotte Motor Speedway the next night.

NASCAR, which did not announce any dates past May 27, but it intends to run a full 36 race NASCAR Cup Series slate this year. It also plans to keep its 10 race postseason format and tracks involved unchanged.

Do you like this idea NASCAR has come up with? I guess more importantly; will you be watching any or all of these races?

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast. The podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want to.

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

How was your week

Posted: April 4, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, pro wrestling, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well sports fans it appears as tough we still have no idea on when will see a live sporting event. With the announcement by President Trump that he’s extending the stay at home order through the end of this month it looks like any hope of us seeing something as early as May 1st is out the window. Now I know they where hoping to see the country start recovering by Easter, but I think just about everyone though that was too soon. Hopefully if there right this time around and things can start to return to normal at the end of the month then will have a better idea about when some type of sporting event might return.

I don’t believe that either the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League has said anything about what they’re planning to do with what’s left of their regular season and their playoffs. I’ve mentioned here before that if they do decide to comeback and at this point I don’t think they should, but if they do they should just head right into the playoffs. I think the bigger question with both the NBA and the NHL is how long will it take the players to get ready to start playing games again. They’ll have to allow the teams some type of shorten training camp to get ready.

As for Major League Baseball; well they’ve already told us how they plan on handling things. It appears that once things are up and running will get a two to three week extension of spring training and then they’ll start the regular season. Now there’s still no number of games that has been set, but that would be difficult to do right now. Of course the owners did come out and say that they’d like to play as close to 162 games as possible. Let’s hope that things work out as planned and at the end of this month players will be able to report back to spring training. Does that mean we could see the MLB season starting a early as May 22nd. Now I don’t think that’s going to happen, but that would be close to MLB’s own timetable. To be honest I’d like to see them wait until Sunday May 31st and kick everything off then. At this point I guess will just continue to wait and see how this month plays out.

Now I’m not sure how many people consider professional wrestling a sport. While you do have to be athletic to be a professional wrestler a lot of people don’t put it in the sporting category because the outcome of the matches are predetermined. I’d be interested to get your views on professional wrestling as a sport or not.

Anyway this weekend is World Wrestling Entertainments biggest show of the year. Or what would be their biggest show of the year had there not been an outbreak of Covid-19. With everything going on WWE had to make changes to Wrestlemania. For the first time the event won’t be live as the matches have already been taped, but they’ve split the event into two nights. Part one airs tomorrow night with the second half of the show airing Sunday night. It hasn’t been announced which matches will be feature on which night, but obviously after tomorrow nights broadcast you’ll know what matches will be left to air on Sunday night. The show was also filmed with no audience; so it’s going to look just like their television shows have lately.

There was also some interesting news television wise for WWE. There have been some reports that after Wrestlemania airs this weekend the company will shutdown until they can begin having crowds at their shows. What makes this big news is the fact that RAW has aired every Monday night since January 11th 1993. If you think about that it’s an amazing feat. That’s over 27 years showing a different show every week as there are no reruns of RAW.

Now not only does WWE show RAW every Monday night on the USA Network, but there is a second WWE program called NXT that airs Wednesday nights also on the USA Network. WWE also has a third brand called Smackdown which airs every Friday night on Fox. Raw is a three hour program while NXT and Smackdown each have a two hour run time. I’m not sure how WWE or the networks they’re on would fill 7 hours of programming and as of right now none of this is has been confirmed; it’s just something WWE is considering.

Apparently the talk of this possible shutdown for WWE came about because they’ve been filming there shows in Florida at a facility they call the performance center, but Florida has recently issued a stay at home order which could possibly affect the WWE’s ability to get some of their wrestlers to the taping.

I’m not as big of a fan of the WWE product as I use to be, but the shows are still very popular and do solid ratings for the network they’re on. I’m not sure if showing old matches or even old pay per views would fill the void for fans. The WWE’s ratings have struggled since they started running shows with no audience and you’d have to think not having new matches would hurt those ratings even more.

Again nothing has been decided on what WWE will do after Wrestlemania airs this weekend, but I’m under the impression they’ve already made a decision. As usual RAW is scheduled to air Monday and you’d think if WWE had decided to shutdown production some kind of announcement would’ve been made. Of course I guess they could always make that announcement during the Wrestlemania pay per view either Saturday or Sunday night.

What do you see WWE doing? Do you think that they’ll close up shop for a while? Or do you think that they’ll continue to record matches for RAW, NXT and Smackdown?

Even with what seems like nothing to talk about the Sports Time Radio podcast is still up and running over at BlogTalkRadio.com. If you missed any of the podcast just head over to TuneIn.com and you can catch up over there.

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

How was your week

Posted: March 28, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Major League Baseball season was scheduled to start this past Thursday, but with everything going on not only in the United States, but around the world that didn’t happen. Now unfortunately we knew that this was going to take place, but we did get some news from MLB on what we hope will be the upcoming season.

I don;t know if this was an official statement from the owners or if it was just something a reporter picked up, but it came out a few days ago that the owners want to play close to the 162 game regular season schedule as possible. Now I haven’t heard how many games they’re actually going to try to play, but there have been some numbers thrown out. For almost a month now that 81 game season has been out there, but after the report about what the owner want to do I heard closer to 120 game season with someone actually going as high as 140 games. Now I think it would be next to impossible to get 140 games in, but if they get started soon enough they could be able to get 120 game regular season in.

Now to get any kind of decent umber of games in there would have to be multiple doubleheader played by every team and the owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association got together to come up with a plan. I was actually surprised to hear that they seem to have come to an agreement on some things.

As of right now there is no schedule; so we don;t know when the season would actually start, but the Commissioner’s office will put together a schedule at the appropriate time and the players association will have input before it’s finalized.

The biggest issue for the players association was how service time was going to be handle if the season was shorten or not played at all and they where able to come to an agreement on that.

A regular year of service time is considered to be 172 days. For this season if a player is on the roster or IL for the entire season he will accrue those 172 days of service time no matter how many games they play in the 2020 season.

In what would be the worst case scenario for baseball fans if there is no season players will be credited with the same amount of service time they had for the 2019 season. That means players who are one year away from free agency would become free agents next fall no matter what.

Here are some of the other things they agreed on.

As of yesterday March 27th all transactions are frozen. A date will be decided upon by the players association and MLB on when roster moves can start being made again. Roster expansion was not agreed upon, but it was discussed. There where some reports that roster would expand to 29 players for the 2020 season, but that’s not going to happen right now. It’s possible the issue may be revisited later; so we may see change in roster size.

The MLB draft is currently scheduled for June 10th, but MLB has the option to move that date. Is was set that the draft has to take place before July 20th. The draft can also be reduced to 5 rounds, but MLB has the option to have the draft go anywhere between 5 and 40 rounds.

MLB has also reserved the right to run a combine for amateur players in 2020 and 2021 if the league decides it makes sense to do so.

Drafted players will receive no more than $100,000 of their signing bonuses up front, receiving 50 percent of the remainder by July 1, 2021, and the other 50 percent by July 1, 2022. Undrafted players will be able to receive no more than $20,000 as a signing bonus. Signing bonus values will remain at their 2019 level in both 2020 and 2021, according to terms of the new deal. MLB can also reduce the 2021 Draft to as few as 20 rounds.

There is also a chance that the international signing period will be pushed back. it was schedule for a July 2nd 2020 start, but may be pushed back as far as January 15th 2021. Next years international signing period can also be pushed back if needed. It was also decided that teams will not be allowed to trade draft picks or international bonus slots in 2020 or 2021.

I have to say it was nice to see the owner and the players association actually work together so quickly to get some type of agreement in place for when the 2020 season starts. Of course there will still be a few things to deal with when we finally get a start date for the season, but it’s much better to see them working together than at odds over every little thing.

There was a push by the general managers in the NFL to delay the upcoming draft, but commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL’s Management Council Executive Committee discussed the issues on Thursday and decided that unanimously that the draft will take place as scheduled April 23rd through April 25th.

I believe this was a good choice by the NFL. The NFL was able to conduct free agency while dealing with the Covid-19 virus and the draft should be no different. Now to no one’s surprise all of the fan events and meet and greets that where schedule to take place in Las Vegas at the draft have been canceled. That is just good common sense for the NFL to do that, but that draft can happen without people actually having to get together.

I know there will still be complaints from some general managers, but if I’m a fan of one of the teams that are complaining I’d be stating to wonder why they’re not ready to draft. I guess there could be some physical concerns about a player and I’m not sure if they would be allowed to have him checked medically, but other than a possible unseen injury what else could general managers be concerned about?

Let me know if you think the NFL made the right call in keeping the draft where it is or do you think they should’ve postponed it?

The Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com Monday through Friday, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you feel like.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: March 7, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the start of Baseball’s regular season right around the corner it’s starting to look like the American League East might be a division decided by which team is the healthiest.

We’ve mentioned here before that the New York Yankees will be starting the season without Giancarlo Stanton in their everyday line up and pitcher James Paxton out of the rotation. As well Luis Severino will miss the entire season after it was decided that he’d undergo Tommy John surgery.

It looks like you can add one more injury to the list for the Yankees. This time it’s outfielder Aaron Judge. Judge had been dealing with some soreness that at first the Yankees medical staff couldn’t identify. Yesterday it was finally reported that Judge has been dealing with a cracked rib.

The Yankees are saying that Judge will rest for two weeks and then be reevaluated. You have to believe that even if Judge is healthy after his two weeks of rest he’s not going to be ready to go when the Yankees open the season March 26th in Baltimore.

With the exception of Severino the Yankees should get  their other injured players back with plenty of regular season games to play, but this is setting up very similar to last season for the Yankees and while they handle those injuries well enough to win the A.L. East the question will be if this season goes like last season can they do it again.

Now the Yankees aren’t the only team in the A.L. East that is dealing with injuries to key pieces of their team.

The Boston Red Sox are reporting that it spears Chris Sale will avoid Tommy John surgery as his injury has been diagnosed as a flexor tendon strain. Sale will be shut down for a week and then resume throwing and the Red Sox will go from there.

The Red Sox had already planned to have Sale start the season on the Injured List as he’s been recovering from pneumonia; so this shouldn’t hurt how Boston was going to set up their rotation to start the season.

Sale is coming off the worst season of his career and only made 25 starts in 2019 because of injuries. Sale went 6-11 with a 4.40 ERA last season. He also threw a career low 147 1/3rd innings since becoming a starter.

Even with the trading of Mookie Betts the Red Sox should still be a factor in the American League playoff race either as a contender for the A.L. East title or in the wild card race, but they’re not only going to need a healthy Sale to do that they’re also going to need Eduardo Rodriquez to pitch like he did last season and they’ll also need Nathan Eovaldi to stay healthy and give them quality starts.

The Red Sox did have another injury as they put 2nd baseman Dustin Pedroia on the 60-day injury list a week or so ago.

Pedroia has been dealing with a knee injury that has allowed him to play in just 9 games the past two seasons. Pedroia played in just 3 games in 2018 and he appeared in 6 games last season before reaggravating that injury.

Pedroia is a former Rookie of the Year (2007) as well as a former MVP (2008) and you have to wonder at 36; he’ll turn 37 in August if it’s time for him to just walk away. He’s been a pivotal member of a World Series winner and you have to wonder if he’ll ever be healthy enough to contribute like he has in the past.

Pedroia does have this season and next season on his contract with a total of $25 million dollars in salary; so if he did decide to retire he’d have to come to some kind of agreement with the Red Sox on his contract. I doubt that money is the motivating factor that keeps Pedroia trying to return since he’s made approximately $115 million dollars over the course of his career.

Do you see Pedrioa being able to comeback? And if he comes back; what kind of player do you think he’d be?

With free agency approaching for NFL teams they’re going to have to make decisions on if or who they’ll use their franchise or transitional tags on.

There have already been a couple of teams that have placed their franchise tag on players. The Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs used their franchise tag on defensive tackle Chris Jones while the Jacksonville Jaquars put their franchise tag on defensive end Yannick Ngakoue.

Ngakoue has already come out and said that he doesn’t want to stay with the Jaquars; so will have to see if a trade happens or if he’ll possibly sit out next season. By being tagged it means that Ngakoue will be paid between $17.7 and $18.1 million dollar next season if he can’t agree to a contract with Jacksonville or a team that he would be traded to.

As a defensive tackle Jones is entitled to a little less under the franchise tag than a defensive end gets. If Kansas City is unable to sign Jones to a new contract they’ll pay him between $16 and 16.4 million dollars.

I understand that players want that big money and long term stability that a contract brings, but for one year at that kind of money you’d like to think they’d be set for life.

While it hasn’t been made official yet it’s being reported that the New Orleans Saints will use a 1st round tender tag on free agent Quarterback Taysom Hill.

This means that any team that would sign Hill would have to give the Saints a 1st round pick for that signing. This tag also allows the Saints the right to match any offer Hill might receive from another team.

The Saints have made it pretty clear that they want to resign Hill, but you can’t blame them for wanting to handle the situation this way. While I’m not sure that Hill has been a high priority for teams looking for quarterbacks this off season the tag shows Hill how much New Orleans wants him to return.

By placing this tag on Hill I think it’s almost certain that he’ll return to the Saints. I’d be shocked to see another team give up a 1st round pick for him.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

 

How was your week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who do you think will win this years Daytona 500?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

How was your week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Will you be watching the XFL?

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

You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Let’s call it Wednesday

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

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

Do you believe that the Cincinnati Reds are contenders?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is there another fit out their for Puig?

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

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

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

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