Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

Let’s call it Halloween

Posted: October 31, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NFL’s trade deadline was yesterday and in most cases there aren’t very many trades made let alone players who’s names we know actually getting moved. Yesterday ended up being a little different. While there wasn’t what you’d call a big name player traded all of the guys that where dealt had a name fans would know. Let’s see what we think of who went were.

With it being announced that Will Fuller would miss the rest of the season due to injury the Houston Texans where one of the teams in the market for a wide receiver and they managed to find one in Demaryius Thomas. The Texans sent two draft picks a 4th and a 7th round pick in the 2019 draft to the Denver Broncos to get Thomas and a 2019 7th round pick.

Thomas is in the last year of his contract that pays him $14 million dollars this season. Thomas had started all 8 games for the Broncos this season. He has caught 36 passes for 402 yards and 3 touchdowns. Thomas is a 4 time Pro Bowl selection and while he may not quite be the #1 receiver he use to be the Texans don’t need him to be that guy.

The Philadelphia Eagles where another one of the teams that where reported to be in the market for a wide receiver. With Thomas off the board the Eagles found their receiver in a deal with the Detroit Lions. Philadelphia sent a 3rd round pick in the 2019 draft to the Lions for Golden Tate.

Tate is 31 years old and is in the final year of his contract that pays him a little over $3.7 million dollars this season. Tate has played in 7 games for the Lions this season starting 4 of them. He has caught 44 passes for 517 yards and 3 touchdowns. Tate made his only Pro Bowl in 2014, but has caught at least 90 passes or more in each of the last four seasons.

After what went down in Sunday’s game I guess it wasn’t too big of a surprise when the Green Bay Packers sent Ty Montgomery to the Baltimore Ravens for a 2019 7th round draft pick. Montgomery is just 25 years old and is in the last year of a contract that pays him $379,324 this season.

In Montgomery the Ravens get a versatile player. He started his career as a wide receiver, but when injuries decimated the Packers running backs in 2016 Montgomery stepped in and filled the role for them.

In 7 games this season Montgomery has carried he football 26 times for 105 yards and a touchdown. He has also caught 15 passes for 170 yards. Montgomery has also returned 10 kickoffs with an average of 21 yards per return.

There where also a couple of defensive players who found their way to new teams at the trade deadline.

The Los Angeles Rams added to their defense line as they sent two draft picks a 2019 3rd round pick and a 2020 5th round pick to the Jacksonville Jaquars for Dante Fowler Jr.

In 2015 Fowler Jr. was the 3rd overall pick in that draft, but has been kind of a disappointment in Jacksonville. In 7 games this season Fowler Jr. has 2 sacks and for his career he has 14 sacks in 39 games.

Fowler Jr. is still playing under his rookie contract which has him making a little over $1.9 million dollars this season. There is a 5th year on his rookie contract that would see his salary jump to $14.2 million dollars for next season, but I’m not sure if the Rams would be interested in picking that option up.

In what may have been the biggest surprise at the trade deadline the Green Bay Packers sent HaHa Clinton-Dix to the Washington Redskins for a 2019 4th round draft pick. Clinton-Dix was the 21st pick in the 2014 draft and has started 65 of the 71 games he’s played in for the Packers.

There was some talk that this was a monetary move by the Packers as Clinton-Dix is in the final year of his contract and Green Bay wanted to get something for him before he went into free agency.  Washington will pick up the rest of Clinton-Dix’s contract which pays him a little over $3.15 million this season.

What do you think of these trades? Who do you feel made the best move at the trade deadline? Is there one player that you thought would get traded that didn’t?

The Cleveland Cavaliers made the first coaching change of the NBA season when they started off 0-6. With Larry Drew as “the voice” as he described it the Cavaliers went out and got their first win of the season last night as they beat the Atlanta Hawks 136-114.

The Cavaliers had seven players score in double digits led by Rodney Hood with 26 points. Tristan Thompson put up a double-double with 11 points and a game high 13 rebounds. #1 draft pick Colin Sexton came off the bench to play 28 minutes and scored 17 points. Sexton’s playing time was stated as one of the big reasons the Cavaliers made a coaching change.

Humorously at 1-6 the Cavaliers aren’t out of any type of playoff race in the Eastern Conference, but if there going to get back into things they’re going to have to do it without Kevin Love.

Love is out with a toe injury and as of now there is no timetable for his return. Love’s injury first came up in pre-season and right now he is just resting hoping to recover in two to three weeks.

You do have to ask yourself if Cleveland is really in all that big of a hurry for Love to return. With the 0-6 start now 1-6 it appeared as though the Cavaliers where in for a down season. If that was the case a healthy Love who is signed to a long term deal could bring back good quality in a trade. Of course to get full value for Love in a trade he’d have to be 100% healthy.

Do you think that Love will be with the Cavaliers for the entire season? Or do you see him being traded?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime Happy Halloween

 

 

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 17, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NBA season tipped off last night with two games. The first game saw the Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers 105-87 while the nightcap saw the Golden State Warriors start the defense of their championship with a 108-100 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder.

In the first game Jayson Tatum was the leading scorer in the game with 23 points for the Celtics. Joel Embiid was the 76ers leading scorer with 23 points, but Ben Simmons just missed a triple-double by two assists. Simmons had 19 points, 15 rebounds which was a game high, but just 8 assists.

In the second game Stephen Curry was the high scorer with 32 points and was very close to a triple-double himself as he had 8 rebounds and 9 assists. Kevin Durant added 27 points in the Warriors victory. Oklahoma City opened the season without Russell Westbrook who’s recovering from a procedure he had on his knee in September. Reports are Westbrook could miss up to four weeks. Paul George led the Thunder in scoring with 27 points while Steven Adams posted a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds in the opening night loss.

There are 11 games on the NBA schedule tonight with ESPN carrying two of them. The first game they’re carrying is the New Orleans Pelicans at the Houston Rockets. The second game they’re showing has the Dallas Mavericks at the Phoenix Suns.

With the season underway the biggest question will be; is there a team out there to challenge Golden State for the title? Let’s take a look and see if we can find a team.

There where quite a few people who thought that if Chris Paul wouldn’t of gotten hurt that the Houston Rockets would’ve knocked the Warriors out of the playoffs last season. Is it possible that the Rockets could come out of the Western Conference?

Of course most of the talk in the Western Conference centered around LeBron James signing with the Los Angeles Lakers. Now I’ve heard predictions about the Lakers winning anywhere from 50 games to not even making the playoffs; so this is a tough team to judge. The Lakers have some good young talent, but they also signed some veterans to mix into their roster. I’m not sure where this team will end up, but I don’t think they’ll win the title.

The San Antonio Spurs are going to have a different look than they’ve had the last few seasons and while I fully expect them to be a playoff team I’m not sure that they’re going to be good enough to challenge for a championship.

Once Russell Westbrook is 100% Oklahoma City will be a playoff team, but they don’t appear to have enough to win the Western Conference.

You can probably throw teams like the Utah Jazz, Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trail Blazers into the same grouping. They have some good young talent and should find their way into the playoffs, but they won’t win the Western Conference.

I was a little surprised to hear that there are quite a few people who think that the Denver Nuggets are going to be a serious contender in the Western Conference. The Nuggets do have their Top 5 scorers returning from last season and they’ve added Isaiah Thomas; who will likely be their 6th man, but I’m not sure if I’m as high on them as a lot of people are. I guess I’ll have to wait and see what kind of a team the Nuggets end up being.

While the Western Conference seems to still have the majority of the top teams in the NBA someone is still going to have to represent the Eastern Conference in the NBA Finals, but who will that be.

It seems like most of the experts are picking the Boston Celtics to win the Eastern Conference, but it’s possible they could have some challengers. Maybe there opponent from last night the Philadelphia 76ers will be that team that challenges the Celtics for the Eastern Conference title. Who else could win the Eastern Conference?

The Toronto Raptors won 59 games last season, but lost in the conference semi-finals to the Cleveland Cavaliers and decided to make a coaching change. They added Kawhi Leonard and if he’s healthy could he lead them to the Eastern Conference championship?

The Milwaukee Bucks are another team that should contend in the Eastern Conference. Milwaukee may have the best player in the conference in Giannis Antetokoumpo, but the question is do they have enough pieces around him? The Bucks also changed coaches this off season; so will see if a new coaching staff helps them improve.

Who will the Cleveland Cavaliers be without LeBron James? Cleveland still has some talent, but they lost their best player and one of the best if not the best player in the NBA and that’s tough to comeback from. I actually expect them to make the playoffs and depending on who they match p with they might even win a playoff series, but I don’t think that they’re going back to the NBA Finals.

The Indiana Pacers where one of the bigger surprises in the NBA last season winning 48 games. Of course they drew the Cavaliers in the 1st round of the playoffs and where knocked out. Victor Oladipo had a breakout season and was name Most Improved Player. If Oladipo can continue to play like he did last season the Pacers are good enough to contend in the Eastern Conference.

I think you can add teams like the Miami Heat, Washington Wizards, Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets as teams that will get into the playoffs, but won’t win the Eastern Conference.

What do you think; is there anyone out there that can knock Golden State off of the top of the NBA mountain? I can’t do it; I don’t see any team out there capable of stopping the Warriors from winning another NBA title barring injury of course. Even though the Western Conference is said to be the more talented of the two conferences I’m actually a lot of interested to see who’s going to win the Eastern Conference than I am about anything that will go on in the West.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Please follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 3, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’ve been a sports fan for as long as I could remember, but I have to admit it’s getting more and more difficult to watch some of them. I’m not sure what I would do if I didn’t have sports to watch, but with the way things are going I might have to find out.

If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that I am completely down on the NBA and I watch very little of it. I loss interest when the league started to make the rule changes to eliminate defense so scoring would increase and they got it. Now every night it’s a 3-point shooting contest and I don’t understand how that’s fun to watch. It wasn’t for me; so I’ve pretty much stopped watching.

The NFL is starting to make some changes that are making me watch less and less of it. In the first 4 weeks of this NFL season I’ve watched less football than I ever have. To be fair the NFL started try to eliminate defense a long, long time ago, but now it’s the rule changes that are just killing me.

The biggest plus is they seem to have simplified the catch rule even though I’m pretty sure most to the referees don’t know what a catch is. Of course that little plus doesn’t make up for the gigantic negative that roughing the passer has become. It as bad enough when they started throwing flags when the quarterback got touched anywhere around the head area; now it’s just ridiculous. I’m sure there are some out their, but I haven’t seen one legitimate roughing the passer call this season and some of these terrible calls have cost teams games. That’s when it becomes a big deal. Just imagine your favorite team missing the playoffs by one game and you can look back at that one bad roughing that passer call that a referee shouldn’t of thrown a flag on.

With the road that the NFL is on right now I don’t know how much longer I’ll be watching games.

Now if you’ve listened to the podcast or even followed the blog for a while you know that baseball is my favorite sport out of all of them, but I am very frightened that my enjoyment of the game is going to be taken away from me.

Now I’m not a fan of sabermetric or any of the analytics that have been brought into the game recently, but I heard something yesterday that scared me to death when it comes to baseball.

During one of the many pre-game shows I watched yesterday they where having a discussion about the Oakland A’s using Liam Hendricks as their “opener” for wild card game against the New York Yankees tonight. Now using an “opener” is the new fade in baseball and the A’s going that route didn’t bother me; it was the way the conversation went after that.

The panel started discussing how soon there would be no more starting pitchers in baseball and ever game would be a bullpen game. This would be the end of it for me. I just don’t understand why teams would feel the need to do this, but the panel I was listening to was pretty sure that this was going to happen and happen sooner than people think it will.

I’ve always understood that from time to time you’re going to need a bullpen game or a game is going to turn into a bullpen game if your starting pitcher exits the game early, but to use it on a daily basis tells me a lot about your organization. The biggest thing it tells me it that your organization doesn’t know how to draft a starting pitcher or develop them once you get them into your minor league system. It also tells me that your coaching staff at the major league level has so little confidence in that pitchers ability that they’re not comfortable running the guy out their for the 1st inning. What’s the difference if the pitcher who was going to start the game and comes in after the “opener” faces the top of the opponents order to start the game or in the 3rd inning.

The “opener” seems like a gimmick to me, but the Tampa Bay Rays won 90 games this season and they used an “opener” more than any other team and they had success with it; so that means other teams will follow suit.

Now when I gave up on the NBA it wasn’t that big of a deal or even that difficult for me to do. I didn’t play basketball at a very high level; so I wasn’t invested in the game that much.

Football fading away for me is a little tougher. I played quite a bit of football in my life and I was actually a decent player and while I haven’t completely let go of the game if I get to that point it’s going to be tough for me.

Now I pray that baseball doesn’t put me through this. I am attached to baseball. I started playing baseball as soon as I was old enough to join and I played it as long as I could. It was easily my best sport and I have to admit that I don’t want to give it up, but I need them to stop ruining the game for me. Sadly for me I’m not sure if they’ll be able to stop destroying the game because it allows the people who couldn’t play it because they weren’t good enough to be involved and have some control and you know they enjoy that. Man am I going to miss baseball.

I guess I still got hockey and their regular season starts tonight.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 29, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, basketball, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I wanted to start off today’s post with a question. What is a Roval?

Here’s an official description I found. The Charlotte Roval is the first new track on the Monster Energy series since Kentucky Speedway joined the circuit in 2011. The Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval is a daunting, new 13 turn 2.4 mile road course incorporating part of the infield, but all 400 feet of Charlotte’s 1.5 mile oval on which drives will race 500 kilometers over 130 laps.

The race is the Bank of America 500 is it is the first road course race in the 58 year history of the Charlotte Motor Speedway. This race is also the final race in the first round of the Monster Energy NASCAR Series playoffs. This race is also the first road course in the 14 year history of the playoffs. This is also the first Monster Energy NASCAR race held I September at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

There have been some big time names to try out the track including the likes of Jeff Gordon, Mario Andretti, Max Papis, A.J. Allmendinger and Jeff Burton. It appears as though the track set up got positive reviews from those drives as they used terms like it could entertain fans and challenge the drivers and their crews.

NASCAR has updated the chicane penalties for Sunday’s race. These new penalties are more or less specific for turns 11 and 12 along with turns 15, 16 and 17 and address what NASCAR calls shortcuts. Here’s how NASCAR worded the new penalties.

Should a driver cut the course in the Turn 11-12 chicane, the penalty would require drivers to come to a full stop in the restart zone alongside Turns 15-17. If a driver cuts the Turns 15-17 chicane, they would be required to stop on the apron off the racing surface before the start-finish line.

Now after this race there will be four drivers eliminated from the playoffs. Clint Bowyer finds himself just 4 points out of the playoffs while 7-time series champion Jimmie Johnson finds himself 6 points away from advancing. Eric Jones and Denny Hamlin are the other two drivers out of the playoffs heading into tomorrow’s race. Jones is 21 points out while Hamlin is the farthest away from getting into the second round at 29 points out.

Kyle Busch and Brad Keslowski have won races in the first round of the playoffs and have automatically advanced into the second round. Martin Truex Jr. has also advanced as he has enough points to move forward. It also appears that Kevin Harvick will move into the second round as he is currently 57 points to the good. After that those other eight spots can go to any of the drivers who are still in the playoffs.

Will the Roval favor any of these drivers? Or is it going to be a learning experience to start with the race turning into a shoot out at the end.

The drivers are actually on the Roval right now practicing. Daniel Hemric has the best time so far, but championship contenders Johnson, Truex Jr, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano, Chase Elliott and Kyle Larson all right behind him. Johnson actually just ran the fastest time on the Roval on the updated practice times.

Do you have one of the four drivers that are currently out of the playoffs getting a win today and advancing? You know that Dan the Man is rooting for his driver Clint Bowyer to find a way to advance. Or do you see someone else getting a win at the Roval?

Kevin Durant is one of the best players in the NBA and there are people who have sad that he’s the best player in the league ahead of LeBron James. I think we’d all agree on Durant’s talents, but it’s when he starts to talk or tweet that seems to be his downfall.

Durant actually used the words “pure hate” as the reason he doesn’t win any regular season NBA awards.

Durant was appearing on Bay Area sports-radio station 95.7 The Game when he was asked whether he’d had a goal last season of being named the league’s defensive player of the year. He replied, “You know they’re not gonna give me anything. Even if it’s on the fence, I have to be clear-cut better than everybody, for me to even get a look.”

Remember that Durant is talking about regular season awards. He’s actually been named finals MVP theses last two seasons the Warriors won the championship. Durant has actually won three of the last four finals MVP as he won it four years ago when Golden State won the title then.

Durant is actually a solid defender and the his size and athletic ability he can guard every position on the floor. Of course the Warriors are known for their offense and you have to wonder if maybe that hurts Durant’s candidacy for Defensive Player of the Year.

Now I don’t watch a lot of NBA games and with the fact that the Warriors play on the west coast I don’t get to see a lot of their games. Now I have to tell you when I do get to see one of their games I’m not exactly watching Durant play defense. I can’t be the only one; can you honestly tell me that when you watch a Warriors game you’re watching Durant play defense.

Now there’s a lot that goes into being a great defender, but looking at some basic Durant stats he averaged 7.1 defensive rebounds per game, 1.19 blocks per game and 0.71 steals per game. While those are all very good numbers; none of them led of team. Last season DeAndre Jordan and Andre Drummond led with 10.9 defensive rebounds per game. Victor Oladipo was the league leader in steals with 2.36 per game. Paul George (2.04) and Eric Bledsoe (2.01) where the only other players in the NBA to average over 2 steals a game. As for blocks Anthony Davis was easily the league leader with 2.57 blocks per game. Davis was 0.72 blocks per game better than anyone else.

That’s kind of how the numbers line up, but like I mentioned there’s more that goes into playing defense than just numbers. Where do you rank Durant as a defensive player?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 8, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Before you know it the NFL regular season is going to be starting and there are two top defensive lineman that have still not reported to their teams training camps. Both players are looking for new contracts and there has been some talk that one could actually be traded. Let’s see what we can figure out.

Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams is scheduled to make a little over $2.5 million dollars in the final year of his rookie contract. That’s quite a deal the Rams are getting for a player who has been recognized as the best defensive tackle in the NFL.

Donald played in and started 14 games last season. He recorded 11 sacks an forced 5 fumbles last season. Over his four seasons Donald has made 148 tackles to go with 56 assists; he also has 39 sacks and has forced 9 fumbles recovering 2 of them.

Believe it or not Donald is actually the 14th highest paid player on the Rams and is even scheduled to make less than punter Johnny Hekker going into this season.

Donald has an estimated market value of $18.9 million dollars, but would the Rams be willing to meet that number in a contract?

It will be interesting to see if and when Donald reports to camp. It seems right now the Rams hold all of the cards. Even if Donald holds out into the season if the Rams decide they want to keep him they have the option of putting the franchise tag on him next off season.

Do you see the Rams and Donald agreeing on a contract?

The other hold out is Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack who is also in the final year of his rookie contract and is scheduled to make just under $4.7 million dollars this season.

It’s become an interesting situation because obviously Mack wants more money, but his production has been down the last couple of seasons. Mack posted a career high 15 sacks in 2015. That total dropped to 11 in 2016 and 10 1/2 last season. Now those 10 1/2 sacks did lead the Raiders last season, but it’s not quite the numbers an elite defensive end puts up.

As of late there have been some that the Raiders are “open for business” when it comes to Mack. That more or less means that they would be willing to listen to trade offers for the defensive end. Even though these reports have said that the Raiders are willing to listen they also say that there is a very slim chance that a trade would actual happen.

It looks as though in the end the Raiders and Mack will agree on a new deal. Mack has come out and said that he wants a contract comparable to Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller. In 2016 Miller signed a 6-year $114.5 million dollar contract with Denver. If the Raiders see Mack as a talent like Miller then it should be a simple negotiation, but do the Raiders see him as that type of a player?

What do you have the Raiders doing with Mack? Will he get a new deal or will they actually trade him?

It hasn’t been made official yet, but there is suppose to be an announcement by the NBA later today, but it looks as though we’re going to get to see the Los Angeles Lakers visit the Golden State Warriors on Christmas Day.

The Warriors/Lakers game will be headlining a Christmas Day line up that has four there games on the schedule.

Besides LeBron James visiting the defending champions will get to see the Philadelphia 76ers taking on the Boston Celtics. We also get the Milwaukee Bucks against the New York Knicks, the Utah Jazz against the Portland Trailblazers and the Houston Rockets against the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Yes it is just August, but this set of games especially the Warriors/Lakers game is going to be talked about like it’s happening tomorrow and in some cases it already is being talked about like that.

Which on of these games are you most looking forward to on Christmas Day?

While we’re on the NBA it appears as though Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Rockets have verbally agreed to a contract.

The 34 year old Anthony played with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season in what turned out to be the worst season of his career. Anthony averaged a career low 16.2 points per game He shot 43.7% on 2-pointers and 35.7% on 3-pointer for a combined shooting percentage of 40.4% last season. Anthony also grabbed 5.8 rebounder per game and handed out 1.3 assists per game.

In July Oklahoma City traded Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks who subsequently released him. Not surprisingly Anthony cleared waiver and became eligible to sign with any team.

Anthony has stated that he doesn’t want to come off of the bench, but that might be where he finds himself with the Rockets. It appears as though Anthony will be asked to pick up some of the offense that Trevor Ariza did last season. Ariza signed as a free agent with the Phoenix Suns this off season.

While Ariza did leave Houston in free agency the Rockets where able to re-sign point guard Chris Paul and center Clint Capela. The Rockets also add 2014 Rookie of the Year Michael Carter-Williams to add depth at guard.

Does pairing Anthony with James Harden and Chris Paul give the Rockets the trio they need to challenge Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference?

The Washington Nationals are still trying to get themselves into the race in the National League East. Washington has gotten over the .500 mark at 58-55 which outs them 6 games behind the East leading Philadelphia Phillies and 4 1/2 games out of a wild card spot.

Now the Nationals shipped off a couple of relievers for some interesting reason this past week. Brandon Kinztler was traded to the Chicago Cubs after there was a report that he was a clubhouse snitch; which apparently was untrue and then they dealt Shawn Kelley to the Oakland A’s after Washington had designated him for assignment after he acted childish when he was called upon to pitch in a blow out.

So being a couple of arms down the Nationals added some what they hope will be help to the bullpen by signing Greg Holland. Now Holland has had his struggles this season and ended up being released 7 days ago by the St. Louis Cardinals.

Can the Nationals get Holland right? He was 0-2 with an ERA of 7.92 with St. Louis. Holland made his first appearance yesterday for Washington. He pitched 1 inning; striking out 3 and walking 1 in Washington’s 8-3 win over Atlanta. Maybe getting off to a good start with the Nationals is what Holland needs.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

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

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 1, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Yesterday was the end of baseballs non-waiver trade deadline and there where quite a few deals that got done. Now teams can still make trades, but a player has to be put on waiver for any trades to happen.

Baseball has one of the simpler systems to understand. When a player is out on waivers there are a few things that can happen. He can get through waivers unclaimed and then can be dealt to any team. If a player is claimed his team can pull him off of waivers and keep him or they can try to work out a deal with the team that claimed him. There is one more option, but it doesn’t happen to often. If a player is claimed on waivers the team that placed him on waivers can simply let him go to the team that claimed him. The team claiming him would get him with no players exchanging teams, but would be responsible for all the money left on that players contract. The waiver claim order goes from the team with the worst record at the time the players was placed on waivers to the team with the best record being given the last chance to claim any player.

Oddly with all of the deals that ended up being made yesterday I feel that there was more talk about a player that wasn’t traded; that of course being Bryce Harper.

Washington Nationals General Manager came out early in the day on Tuesday and said flat out that Harper wouldn’t be traded, but that didn’t stop everyone from talking about him being traded. I guess they thought that Rizzo was bluffing and he had a Harper deal in the works. In the end Harper stayed with the Nationals and I guess I was the only one surprised that happened.

I understand that the Nationals have had a disappointing season and I believe they’re the most disappointing team in baseball. Even with as bad as Washington has been they’re still a .500 team at 53-53 and are just 5 1/2 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies for 1st place in the National East.

Now I know there are going to be a lot of people out there who will talk about the fact that the Nationals have to pass two teams to get into 1st place and in a lot of cases that can be too big of a mountain for a team to climb, but because of scheduling I don’t think that’s the case this time. The Nationals have 17 more games against the Phillies and the Atlanta Braves who are currently in 2nd place in the National League East. Washington will play Philadelphia 9 times and Atlanta 8. There’s no easier way to make up ground in your division then by beating the teams in front of you.

Of course for the Nationals to make this move they’re going to have to get some things back on track starting with Harper being better than the .223 hitter he’s been so far. They’re also going to need some offensive help from Ryan Zimmerman and it would be an extra plus if they could get any kind of offense at all out of their catching position.

On the plus side Daniel Murphy seems to be finding his swing as he’s hit .474 over his last six games. If Murphy starts to hit that could help Harper see better pitches and just with Murphy’s improvement Harper is hitting .350 over his last six games. The Nationals will also need rookie Juan Soto to continue to play like the way he’s played and Anthony Redon will also need to produce.

Max Scherzer is fine at the top of the Nationals rotation, but after that there are questions starting with Steven Strasburg. Strasburg is currently on the disabled list with a pinched nerve in his neck. He’s expected back in the middle of the month; so he’ll need to contribute to the pitching staff.

Now after the big two it looks as though the Nationals will be going with Gio Gonzalez, Tanner Roark and Jeremy Hellickson to round out their rotation.

Gonzalez is 6-7, but has an ERA of 3.78 in 21 starts. If he can get some run support his record could be better. Roark has been terrible this season. He’s appeared in 22 games making 22 starts. He has a record of 5-12 with a 4.37 ERA. He’ll need to pitch much more like the guy who has a career ERA of 3.55 to help the Nationals get back in the playoff race. Now Hellickson has been a nice surprise for Washington. He was a late signee and has only made 15 starts, but he’s 4-2 with an ERA of 3.59. If Hellickson can just continue to pitch like he’s been he’ll be a big help down the stretch.

Washington did make a trade deadline deal yesterday as the sent reliever Brandon Kintzler to the Chicago Cubs for minor leaguer Jhon Romero.

The Nationals have some questions in the bullpen and it starts with when will closer Sean Doolittle return? Doolittle is on the disabled list with left toe inflammation and while on the disabled list suffered a stress fracture in that foot. It appears he is still weeks away from returning.

With Doolittle out who will the Nationals turn to in closing situations? Ryan Madson has converted 4 of his 6 save chances, but has an ERA of 4.54. Kintzler had 2 saves in 5 chances. Kelvin Herrera is 1 for 1 in save chances since being acquired and you’d think he’d be the guy the Nationals would turn to since he had 14 saves with the Kansas City Royals before being traded to Washington.

Beside who will close games the Nationals are going to have to find pitchers in their bullpen that can get the game to the closer.

Someone in the bullpen is going to have to step up and fill the main set up role. Matt Grace has been good from the left side with a 2.77 ERA and Justin Miller is 6-1 this season. Shawn Kelly has an ERA of 3.34; so this combination will have to continue to hold leads for whoever ends up closing games for the Nationals.

Have you given up on the Nationals? Or do you think they still have a chance?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live in BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that you can listen to the podcast ay time you want at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 18, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It’s All-Star break time in Major League Baseball. I’m not a fan of any of the All-Star games, but the baseball All-Star game is as close to the actual sport than any of the other All-Star games out there. I didn’t watch any of the game tonight nor did I watch the Home Run Derby yesterday. I guess it’s kind of my mid-season baseball break to prepare for the trade deadline and playoff races. While we’re on trades.

While the All-Star game was on I caught some breaking news on one of the many sports channel I have and they where reporting that Manny Machado will be traded very soon. Apparently the Baltimore Orioles have agreed to trade Machado to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

When the news of the trade first broke the team that was going to be acquiring Machado was unknown, but as the night went it became clear that the Dodgers where that team.

Now there are a few things that the teams have to work out before this trade will be official. It appear right now that the Orioles will receive just one player Yusniel Diaz from the Dodgers. Diaz is a 21 year old outfielder who is the Dodgers #4 ranked prospect. What the teams are trying to work out now is if the Orioles will send any money along with Machado to the Dodgers. If money is added to the deal Baltimore could receive another player. Adding money to the deal would also help the Dodgers with some of their luxury cap concerns.

Will have to wait until the deal is officially agreed on before will know everything, but I’m surprised that the Orioles where only able to get one prospect as of now for Machado.

The Dodgers are currently in 1st place in the NL West by 1/2 game over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

By adding Machado the Dodgers will be able to get their line up back to where to was at the start of the season. Los Angeles lost their starting shortstop Corey Seager after 26 games this season. Seager sprained the UCL in his right elbow and has under gone Tommy John surgery. He should be ready to return in spring training next season. Chris Taylor has been filling in at shortstop, but was originally going to be the everyday centerfielder; Kiki Hernandez has been helping fill in at centerfield with Taylor at shortstop. With the addition of Machado it will allow Taylor to return to centerfield and Hernandez can return to be a utility guy.

Taylor is hitting .253 with 11 home runs, but has struck out 109 times this season. Hernandez is hitting .230 with 16 home runs. Machado would bring a .315 batting average with 24 home runs. It would be a big upgrade for the offense at that position, but Machado is also playing solid defense at shortstop with a fielding percentage of .980.

Even if the Dodgers do end up being the team that adds Machado there are no guarantees that he’ll put them over the top. Los Angeles is still dealing with a lot of injuries. Justin Turner missed the final four game before the All-Star break with left abductor tightness. Turner is expected to return when the season restarts on Friday. Yasiel Puig ended up on the disabled list right before the All-Star break with Grade 1 right oblique strain and is expected to still be out a couple of weeks. The Dodgers also have five relievers and one starter on the disabled list and don’t forget that both Rich Hill and Clayton Kershaw have missed starts this season with injuries.

While adding a player the quality of Machado will be a big, big plus for the Dodgers it might be even ore important if they can get healthy and stay healthy.

How do you feel about Machado to the Dodgers. Does it make the favorite in the NL West or the National League? How much does it improve their odds to win the World Series?

The Portland Trail Blazers won the Las Vegas Summer League championship on Tuesday by beat the Los Angeles Lakers 91-73.

The Trail Blazers jumped out to a 31-19 lead after the 1st quarter and where able to cruise home from there. K.J. McDaniels was named MVP of the championship game. McDaniels was the games high scorer with 17 point and also grabbed 7 rebounds. McDaniels came off of the Portland bench to go 8 of 14 in his 20 minutes of action. Caleb Swanigan grabbed a game high 9 rebounds while Wade Baldwin IV handed out a game high 6 assists for the Trail Blazers.

Josh Hart was the Lakers high scorer with 12 points. Hart ended up getting ejected in the 4th quarter after picking up two technicals for complaining. Jonathan Williams grabbed a team high 6 rebounds while Alex Caruso handed out a team high 4 assists. While the Lakers didn’t win the championship Hart was named Summer League MVP.

While the Lakers where playing for the Summer League championship second year guard Lonzo Ball was having surgery on his left knee.

After a month of rest and looking into other treatment option for his injured knee which included platelet rich plasma injections Ball ended up having arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus ligament.

Ball ended up missing the final eight games of the regular season with what was described as a knee contusion. Ball then took another month off after the season ended to allow the injury to strengthen and heal. While Ball spent time lifting weights and getting stronger he didn’t spend much time on the basketball court because of the knee injury. After the surgery Ball is expected to be ready for training camp without any complications.

Once Ball is healthy he’ll have to battle it out with veteran Rajon Rondo for the starting pint guard spot. Rondo was signed as a free agent this off season. Even though Ball was the #2 pick in last years draft the Lakers have said that the four spots around LeBron James would be open for competition in training camp.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime.

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 11, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

While there are some players having good seasons I think it’s still pretty clear that Mike Trout is the best player in baseball. With the exception of last season when he finished 4th; Trout had been 1st or 2nd in the MVP voting since his rookie year. Trout is on his way to contending for another MVP awards this season as he’s hitting .314 with 25 home runs and 50 RBI’s. The RBI total is a little low, but remember that Trout generally hits 2nd in the Angels line up; so he has less opportunities to drive in runs early in the game.

No with all of the awards and the numbers he’s put up Trout has only played in 3 post season games.

In baseball unlike some other sports it’s difficult for one player to carry his team. Now a player can get hot and pick up more than his fair share, but over a 162 game season there are about as many highs as there are lows for a player. So don’t expect Trout to be getting the Angels into the playoffs again this season as he needs some help and you wonder if he’ll ever get it there.

The Angels have assembled what should be an impressive young pitching staff, but I’m not sure if they’ve all been healthy at the same time to form a rotation. Tyler Skaggs and Nick Tropeano are currently on the disabled list while Andrew Heaney has actually managed to stay healthy this season. Garrett Richards had made all 15 of his starts going into last nights game and while he did make his 16th start of the season he left that start after just 2 2/3rd innings due to right forearm irritation. Richards is scheduled to start Sunday against the Dodgers, but will have to see if he makes that start.

Richards is 30 years old while Heaney and Tropeano are 27 years old and Skaggs is the youngest at 26 years old. Then the Angels added Shohei Otani to the mix and it looked as though they’d have a starting rotation that could help get Trout into the playoffs, but it doesn’t look like this will be that year.

Otani returned from the disabled list on July 3rd, but only as a hitter. He’s made 9 starts this season and has a good ERA at 3.10, but it’s unclear if he’ll pitch again this season. His bat in the line up is a plus, but the Angels really could’ve used his help in the rotation.

While it’s looking like another season that Trout and the Angels won’t see any post season action they’re actually having a good year. The Angels are over .500 at 47-45. While it’s always good to be over .500 the Angels are still 14 games behind the Houston Astros for 1st place in the American League West. The Angels are currently 10 games behind the Seattle Mariners for the second American League wild card spot. Not only do the Angels have to make up a double digit deficit in games, but they also have to jump the Oakland A’s who are 4 games ahead of them in the standings.

Could we see the Angels go out on the trade market and try to acquire a starter? Even if they did go out and get a top starter would it be enough to get them into the playoffs?

Alex Bregman had the first two home run game of his career last night and got the walk off hit for the Astros as they beat the A’s 6-5 in 11 innings last night. While Bregman hit those two home runs neither of them was the walk off winner.

Here’s how it went down/ Bregman made weak contact with a pitch that was low and outside. It appeared as though the ball would stay foul by home plate, but it ended up rolling into fair territory. A’s catcher Jonathan LuCroy scooped up the baseball and attempted to tag Bregman. As Bregman pulled back from LuCroy’s tag attempt the baseball popped out of his hands and fell to the ground. Bregman took of towards 1st base where he appeared to be an easy out. LuCroy threw the ball to 1st base to get Bregman out the ball ended up glancing off of Bregman’s helmet and going down the rightfield line. While all this madness was going on Kyle Tucker who was on 2nd base when this started scored the game winning run.

Since LuCroy was charged with an error on the throw Bregman doesn’t get credit for an RBI or what would’ve been his fourth walk-off hit of the season. The Astros however do get credit for their sixth walk-off win of the season.

Believe it or not this is the second time this season that Bregman has hit the ball not very far from home plate that ended a game. On April 8th Bregman hit a pop up in front of home plate against the Padres. San Diego 1st baseman Eric Hosmer came running in calling the ball. Hosmer ended up over running the baseball and it dropped behind him as the game winning run scored.

In case you where wondering the umpires did review the mess with Bregman and LuCroy. The review took a little over two minutes and as I’m sure you can guess the call stood.

It looks like the Carmelo Anthony will be playing for someone other than the Oklahoma City Thunder next season. The Thunder has given Anthony permission to meet with other teams.

Early reports are that Anthony and his representatives have met with the Rockets and the Heat. The Lakers along with some other teams have expressed interest in Anthony, but no meetings have been reported.

Now before Anthony can go anywhere the Thunder would have to find a trading partner for him and that’s not going to be easy. Anthony has a no-trade clause, but would be willing to waive it if he’s dealt to a team that would be willing to release him. That’s where the issues start to come in to play. Anthony has a salary of $28 million dollar for next season and there isn’t a team out there that can absorb that type of a cap hit.

If Oklahoma City is unable to find a trade partner for Anthony they may end up buying him out so they can spread the salary cap hit out over a four year period.

Who does Anthony end up playing for next season?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.Com

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

How was your week

Posted: July 7, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

As we get closer and closer to the July 31st trade deadline it seems like it’s been clear for some time which teams would probably be looking to buy and which teams would be interested in selling. Now there is one team that everyone seems to have in their sellers list that I can’t figure out why they’re there.

Most if not all of the people I’ve seen talk about the trade deadline have the Oakland A’s as sellers. Now Oakland is 8 games over .500 at 48-40, but are in 3rd place in what looks like a tough AL West. Oakland is currently 10 games behind the 1st place Houston Astros and they also find themselves 7 1/2 games behind the 2nd place Seattle Mariners who are currently holding down the final America League wild card spot.

While this is a big deficit for the A’s to make up they do have 74 games left to play this season. Plus the Astros and Mariners have been two of the hottest teams in baseball.

If Oakland does decided to make some deals they have some interesting players they could move.

Jed Lowrie name has been quite popular and with the way he’s played this season that’s understandable. Lowrie is hitting .290 and has shown some power with 14 home runs this season. Lowrie is 34 and is in his 14th season and while he’s played mostly 2nd base this season he recently filled in at 3rd base for the injured Matt Chapman. Lowrie is in the final year of his contract which pays him a total of $6 million dollars. With the numbers Lowrie is putting up and what would be a very affordable contract in today’s game; add in that he can play multiple positions it’s easy to see why they think Lowrie the A’s could trade him.

The other name that seems to come up every time the A’s and trades are mentioned is Blake Treinen. He just turned 30 and it looks as though he might’ve finally figured things out. Treinen has picked up 22 saves this season and has an ERA of 0.84. Treinen has appeared in 35 games covering 42 2/3rd innings. He’s struck out 52 while walking 12 nd has given up just 1 home run this season.

Treinen spent the first three plus years of his career with the Washington Nationals and while he put up solid numbers he never develop into the bullpen piece they thought he would. Any team that would acquire him would have to figure out if he’s actually figured things out or not.

Treinen is making $2.15 million dollars this season and won’t reach free agency until the 2021 season; so any team that deals for him would have him under control for two more seasons.

Oakland has some other veteran players in the final years of their contracts, but I’m not sure how much interest they’d draw on the trade market.

The A’s have veteran pitchers Yusmeiro Petit and Santiago Castilla as well as outfielder Matt Joyce and catcher Jonathan LuCroy in the last year if their contracts. None of them are putting up great stats this season, but maybe since LuCroy is a catcher he might get some interest.

No, I didn’t forget Khris Davis who still has one more year of arbitration left before he’d hit the free agent market in 2020. Oakland has just never shown any interest in trading Davis and there’s been no mention of his name in any trade rumors.

If the A’s decide to make Davis available he could bring a good return from a team looking to add a proven power hitter to their line up. Davis has hit over 40 home runs and driven in over 100 RBI’s the last two seasons and even though he missed some time with an injury he’ll have a chance to get to those numbers again.

Like a lot of the players that could draw some interest from teams Davis has a vey friendly contract as he’s making $10.5 million dollars this season.

Do you have the A’s as buyers or sellers?

When the Chicago Bulls traded their best player Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves and Justin Patton at the 2017 draft they received guards Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine along with Lauri Markkanen. LaVine was injured at the time of this deal, but the Bulls saw him as a young player they could rebuild around. Well if the Bulls still see LaVine as that guy it’s going to cost them.

LaVine is a restricted free agent this off season meaning he can get offers from teams and the Bulls would have 48 hours to either match that offer or allow LaVine to go to the team that gave him that offer.

Due to his injury LaVine played in just 24 games last season and maybe the Bulls thought that would keep teams from offering him a large deal. If that’s what they where thinking they where very wrong.

The Bulls had some contract talks with LaVine this off season, but couldn’t agree on a new deal. With the window still open the Sacramento Kings stepped in and gave LaVine an offer sheet for 4 years and somewhere between $78 or $80 million dollars. The Kings offer is fully guaranteed with no option years.

The Bulls have already said that they will match the Kings offer sheet to LaVine keeping him with the Bulls. With this new contract LaVine’s salary will count about $19.5 million dollars against the Bulls salary cap.

Do you think it was the right move for the Bulls to match the Kings offer sheet to LaVine? He is just 23 years old, but has had some injury issue. I mentioned that he played just 24 games last season. He was also injured in the 2016-17 season playing in just 48 games. LaVine averaged 16.7 points in his 24 games last season. He also handed out 3 assists per game and grabbed an average of 3.9 rebounds per game. I understand when the NBA signed their new television contract before last season that salaries went through the roof; so this seems like an acceptable contract in today’s game. I guess will have to wait and see if LaVine turns into the player the Bulls think he’ll be or if the should’ve let Sacramento have him.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 30, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Even though ever network that covers the NBA reported it as breaking news it came as absolutely no surprise to anyone that LeBron James decided not to opt in to the final year of his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Even though they’ve been reporting on it for weeks the networks lost their minds when it became official and I don’t understand why. I think before last season even started most people thought this was exactly what was going to happen; so why the over reaction. Also it’s not this is the first time that James has been a free agent.

So now it’s time for the circus to being. It appears right out of the gate that the Los Angeles Laker are the front runner to sign James. The Lakers have the most cap space out of any NBA team this off season and there’s been a lot of talk that James wants to be closer to Hollywood since he owns a production company. The Lakers actually have enough salary cap space to add James and one other big name free agent. The Lakers have also been named as a team that would have major interest in Kawhi Leonard if the San Antonio Spurs decided to trade him and Leonard has said he’d like to play in Los Angeles.

If the Lakers are going to compete with teams like the Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets they’ll need to add a “Big 3”, but the question is; who will be that third player?

Paul George has made it clear since he was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder before last season that he’d like to play for the Lakers. Is a trio of James, Leonard and George enough to knock off the defending champion Warriors or the team they beat in the Western Conference finals the Rockets? While George is a quality NBA player is he than a Draymond Green or Klay Thompson? George averaged 21.9 points per game last season for Oklahoma City as the second option behind Russell Westbrook. In the playoffs George’s scoring average jumped up to 24.7 point per game, but that didn’t help the Thunder get  out of the 1st round of the playoffs. Oklahoma City lost their 1st round series to the Utah Jazz in six games.

Who else is out their on the free agent market that could possible join the Lakers and be that third guy?

The Lakers spent the #2 overall pick on Lonzo Ball before last season, but would Chris Paul be a big enough upgrade to for the Lakers to try and sign him. There are a lot of people who think that if Paul hadn’t gotten injured it would’ve been the Rockets that Faced the Cavaliers in the NBA Finals instead of the Warriors. Paul is 33 and has missed 20 plus games each of the last two seasons due to injury. Paul may be a better option than George, but could Lakers head coach Luke Walton find enough minutes for Ball in that mix? If the Lakers truly believe that Ball is their future they might pass on Paul.

Don’t forget that Kevin Durant also didn’t opt into the final year of his contract and is a free agent. I’m sure that you all heard the reports that James sent Durant a text attempting to sway him to join him in Los Angeles. I’m not sure if there’s a way to find out if that ever really happened, but it was reported. While James is considered the best player in the NBA with back to back championship and winning the MVP award in both of those championships Durant isn’t far behind James. This would be a huge signing if the Lakers could pull it off and would definitely make them the favorite to win the NBA title, but would Durant leave Golden State for James and the Lakers.

Now even though the NBA game has changed quite a bit and the Center position is almost non-existent it’s still nice to have a big man who can protect the rim and grab a big rebound if needed. With that being said could a player like DeMarcus Cousins or DeAndre Jordan possibly be the Lakers third target.

Jordan is more of a classic NBA big man. He averaged 12 points, 15 rebounds and just under 1 blocked shot per game last season. Jordan didn’t attempt a 3-pointer last season and is a terrible free throw shooter. Jordan actually had his best numbers at the free throw line last season, but he still made just 58% of his free throws. Jordan wouldn’t take shot attempts way from James and Leonard, but could be an interesting third player in the mix.

Cousins has shown he can be a top player in the NBA, but he has to learn to get his emotions under control. Cousins played just 48 games last season due to injury, but averaged 25.2 points per game while also grabbing 12.9 rebounds per game. Cousins attempted 6.1 3-point shots per game last season and hit 35.4% of them. Cousins also had two games last season where he had 40 plus points and 20 plus rebounds. Cousins is recovering from an Achilles injury; so that is something any team looking to sign him would have to look at. If the Lakers where that team they’d have to try and figure out Cousins personality would be a fit with player like James and Leonard. If it did work it could be exactly what the Lakers would need to challenge teams like the Warriors and Rockets, but it’s a 50/50 proposition when it comes to Cousins.

Now a player like James, George, Jordan and Cousins can be offered 5 year deal worth $205 million dollars under the “Bird rights” from the teams they played with last season. The best the Lakers can offer is 4 years at $142 million dollars. Since Durant has only been with Golden State for two seasons he falls under the early Bird rights. That allows the Warriors to offer Durant a four year deal with either a 175% of his salary from last season or 104.5% of the league average salary; whichever is greater.

Do you see the Lakers being able to pull this off? If you believe they will; who are the “Big 3” you’d like to see them out together.

Don’t forget that the Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but it’s also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime