Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: February 14, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’m sure I’ve mentioned multiple times that the Sports Time Radio podcast emanates from the Chicago suburbs. The four of us that you hear on the podcast all live in the Chicagoland area and have a rooting interest in the Chicago teams. Sadly right now it seems as though we have just baseball season to look forward to.

For about 10 seasons the Chicago Blackhawks where a serious threat to win the Stanley Cup and they did actually win it three times in six seasons. Now the Blackhawks have fallen. Last season they did get into the playoffs, but they where quickly eliminated in the 1st round. This season it’s even worse for the Blackhawks as they are currently in last place in the Central division. Through 57 games this season the Blackhawks are 24-25-8 and have 56 points. Last night the Blackhawks lost their 7th straight game 5-2 to the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Now there are some obvious reason for the Blackhawks slipping to where they are. They’ve had salary cap issues since winning their first Stanley Cup. Injuries are always a factor as they lots Marion Hossa probably forever and Corey Crawford has played just 28 games in goal for them this season. There is also the fact that the rest of the NHL has just caught up to the Blackhawks. Chicago was really one of the first teams in the NHL to embrace the speed side of the game and it paid off in multiple Stanley Cup’s.

How do the Blackhawks fix this, is what everyone wants to know. First off a healthy Crawford makes them a lot better, but they also need their young guys to perform like they’re expected to.

Nick Schmaltz is 20 years old and has 15 goals and 24 assists while Alex DeBrincat who is just 19 years old has 21 goals and 16 assists this season. Ryan Hartman is just 22 years old and is putting up solid number with 7 goals and 15 assists, but they’re really the only two younger Blackhawks who have been good this season. Connor Murphy looks to be coming along as a defenseman and is just 23 years old; so there are some guys who look like they can contribute in the future.

Of course the Blackhawks also need their top guys to stay as top guys. Patrick Kane is still that guy. Kane is tied for the team lead in goals with 21 and leads the team in assists with 32. Jonathan Toews is having another solid season as he has 15 goals and 21 assists. It’s difficult to believe that Duncan Keith doesn’t have a goal through 57 games and is a -13. Keith is a former Norris Trophy winner and his struggles on defense and the teams struggles on defense as a whole may be the biggest issues the Blackhawks will need to correct this coming off season.

Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp where both brought back to help this team out and it hasn’t paid off this season. Saad has 13 goals and 11 assists while Sharp has 6 goals and 8 assists. While it’s nice to see the guys who where here when the team started winning Stanley Cup’s, it would be nice if they added something.

Now any team that has Kane and Toews on it can turn things around quickly; so don’t be surprised if the Blackhawks are back in the playoffs next season.

Of course the other big time winter sport is basketball and in Chicago we have the tanking Chicago Bulls.

It’s humorous that the Bulls would prefer to lose games and they’ve some how managed to win 20 games so far this season. There are seven teams in the NBA with worse records than the Bulls and to rebuild and rebuild quickly you need to be drafting inside the Top 5 and in some cases inside the Top 3 to improve quickly.

As you look at the current Bulls roster it’s unclear if any of these players with the exception of Lauri Markkanen will still be with the team when they get back into the playoffs. There are high hopes for Zach LaVine, but he’s coming back from injury and has to prove that he’s more than just a highlight dunker. The Bulls where very interested in Kris Dunn in the 2016 draft, but the Minnesota Timberwolves took him with the 5th pick. Chicago acquired Dunn with LaVine and the draft pick that turned out to be Markkanen for Jimmy Butler and a draft pick that Minnesota used on Justin Patton. Dunn was solid for the Bulls until he got injured. It looks as though Dunn will return tonight against the Toronto Raptors, but it’s unclear how many minutes he’ll actually get. Do you see LaVine or Dunn being on a Bulls playoff team?

While it seems as though tanking is the way to go in the NBA. Remember that the Philadelphia 76ers started their rebuild in 2013 and they still haven’t found their way back into the playoffs and still aren’t close to contending for an NBA title. How far away from the playoffs are the Bulls? and how long will it take them to be an NBA title contender?

Luckily for us here in the Chicagoland area it’s almost baseball season. With the addition of Yu Darvish the Chicago Cubs should be considered a World Series contender.

The Cubs should have a very good starting rotation with Darvish being added to the likes of Jon Lester, Jose Quintana, Kyle Hendricks and Tyler Chatwood. The biggest pitching question the Cubs have is will their closer hold up. Brandon Morrow is taking the role for the very first time. Morrow was injury prone as a starter, but seems to have found a home in the bullpen. Morrow made 45 appearances last season covering 43 2/3rd innings, but as a closer he’ll be asked to pitch more than he did last season which was his first full season in the bullpen. The Cubs also signed Steve Cishek this off season. Cishek was the closer for the Seattle Mariners in 2016 until he had some struggles and was replaced by Edwin Diaz. Cishek has posted two 30 plus save seasons in his career and could be a good back up if Morrow struggles.

With an everyday line up that should be one of the best in baseball and now a starting rotation that should compare to anyone’s, the only question the Cubs may have is will that bullpen hold up.

Baseball wise Chicago also has the White Sox. Now the White Sox started their rebuild last season and where some promising signs heading into this season.

A young rotation featuring a healthy Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez should be interesting to watch. It’s possible that Rodon won’t be ready for opening day and there’s no reason for the White Sox to rush him. After struggling with the Washington Nationals Giolito was good in his 7 starts for the White Sox last season. Giolito posted a 2.38 E.R.A. while going 3-3 and pitching 45 1/3rd innings. Lopez made 8 starts and went 3-3 as well, but had a higher E.R.A. at 4.72 over 47 2/3rd innings.

The White Sox have held onto Jose Abreu so far and look like he’s the veteran they’re going to build around; so they’ll get at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI’s out of him. Will get to see a full season of Yoan Moncada. Avisail Garcia hit .330 last season; so maybe he’s going to get close to the player a lot of people though he was going to be. Don’t forget that Matt Davidson also hit 26 home runs in 118 games last season.

While the White Sox will probably be a sub .500 team again in 2018 there should be some interesting young players to keep an eye on.

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

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

 

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How was your week

Posted: February 10, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

-s of right now Jaromir Jagr is no longer a member of the NHL. The 45 year old Jagr was assigned to Kladno of the Czech league after clearing waivers. Though he remains technically part of the Calgary Flames organization, it seems unlikely that he will make a return to the NHL this season.

If this is the end of Jagr’s NHL career, he’ll finish among the very best that have ever played the game. He ranks third all-time in goals, fifth in assists, second in points and third in games played. He collected a Hart Trophy as league MVP in 1999, and was a five-time league scoring champion. In 208 career playoff games, Jagr recorded 201 points and lifted the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first two seasons of his career. Though he was a threat on the powerplay, an incredible 538 of his 766 goals came at even-strength.

Playing for his ninth team in Calgary, he recorded just seven points in 22 games and never fit into their structure after missing all of training camp. Though there remains a possibility that he could return for the playoffs, it is more likely that he’ll retire to the Czech league where he actually owns Kladno. Whether he attempts a comeback in the summer after his current contract expires is unclear, but if he’s played his last game he’ll be remembered as one of the best and most interesting players to ever suit up in the NHL.

With the NBA trade deadline passing this week there is still an opportunity for playoff contending teams to make moves. Now obviously there won’t be any more trades made, but teams can still buy out players and they can move to the team of their chose.

Greg Monroe was just signed by the Boston Celtics on Thursday after being bought out by the Phoenix Suns.

The Atlanta Hawks bought out Marco Belinelli while the Chicago Bulls bought out Tony Allen. If it’s not official yet look for the Memphis Grizzlies to buy out Brandon Wright. Now after being traded there are report that both Joe Johnson and Derrick Rose will be bought out by their new teams.

There will probably be more names added to this list as there are some buy out rumors out there. Here are some of the names that could be bought out.

Corey Brewer by the Los Angeles Lakers, Josh McRoberts by the Dallas Mavericks, Another Hawks buy out could be Ersan Ilyasova and there’s a possibility that Vince Carter could be bought out by the Sacramento Kings. All of these players are on one year deals with their current teams, but there are a couple of other players with extra years on their contracts that could also be bought out. Shabazz Muhammad of the Minnesota Timberwolves is a buy out candidate and is signed through next season. The interesting buy out could be Joakim Noah by the New York Knicks. Noah is signed through the 2019-20 season; so there’s some work there to do if he’s going to be bought out.

Now none of these players are going to sign with a new team and lead them to the NBA title, but they could be an intricate piece of a championship team. Was there a name on the above list that you’d like to see your favorite team sign?

Why does it seem that if you’re a 1st round draft pick of the Philadelphia 76ers you have to miss your first season.

It looks like you can add Markelle Fultz to that list that includes Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.

On Friday while talking to reporters Philadelphia’s President of Basketball Operations Bryan Colangelo used the word possible when talking about Fultz missing the entire season. Colangelo’s comments don’t necessarily mean that Fultz is likely to sit out the next two months. Still, the latest update doesn’t exactly sound promising.

Reports are that Fultz has had to completely rebuild the muscle memory in his shooting mechanics during his absence. Colangelo did say that Fultz’s current shooting range was “within the paint” before he stopped speaking to reporters.

Fultz is just 19 years old and appeared in just four games this season before being shut down by the 76ers due to a scapular muscle imbalance and soreness in his right shoulder. Fultz averaged 19 minutes a game and was scoring 6 points per game.

As we’ve talked about over and over and even over again there are a ton of unsigned free agents still in baseball and now those players will have a place to work out when spring training starts next week. Any unsigned MLB free agents will have the opportunity to train in Florida at a camp staged by the players union beginning Wednesday at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida.

Now there are some limitations on these players with one of the bigger ones being that they can’t use their own coaches and trainers, but the camp will be run by former Houston Astros manager Bo Porter.

Believe it or not this isn’t the first time that this has happened. After an 8-month work stoppage that cancelled the 1994 World Series there was a free agent “showcase” camp held in Florida in 1995.

You can point fingers at either side on why players haven’t been signed and there was a bit of a heated exchange between MLB Commissioner and Tony Clark the Executive Director of the MLBPA this week about the unsigned players.

Players and their agents might have to find a way to accept that baseball is changing and there might not be as many big money contracts out there. If you go back to the last four World Series winners they where teams that were built through that teams farm system and just added the right free agent at the right time. Now if a team doesn’t feel that they’re at a place where they can win a World Series it’s more likely that they’ll build up their farm system instead of trying to reboot with bi money free agents. Contending teams will still add the big time free agents they think they need to win it all, but the teams that are just on the outside looking I might be past those days of spending big money to not win.

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 follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: February 3, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’m sure at one time or another your favorite team has taken a player in the 1st round that just hasn’t worked out for them. For some teams it’s even been the player they’ve taken with the first pick in the draft. These players are considered busts and it appears as though we have another one to add to the list.

In 2012 the Houston Astros where just in the second year of their rebuild. They had the worst record in  baseball at 55-107 and received the 1st pick in the 2013 draft. With that pick the Astros decided to take a pitcher that they could build their starting rotation around for year to come. They too Stanford right hander Mark Appel with that pick.

One of the reason Appel sticks out to me is Dan the Man and I had some guest on the Sports Time Radio podcast who covered Houston sports. One of them exclusively covered the Astros and he was very excited about this pick.

While with the Astros Appel was highly ranked as a minor league prospect by the different publications that cover that. He was ranked as high as #17 by one of them, but he never got to the majors with the Astros. While with the Astros Appel was chosen to represent the Astros at the 2015 All-Star Futures game. Appel spent three seasons in the minors with the Astros before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. Appel was sent to Philadelphia with Brett Oberholtzer, Vincent Velasquez, Tom Eshelman and Harold Arauz. In return the Astros received Ken Giles and Jonathan Arauz.

The Phillies assigned Appel to Triple-A hoping that he wasn’t too far away from being a part of their major league rotation. Appel made just 8 starts in the 2016 season before needing surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow. Appel threw a couple of innings in Rookie League at the start if the 2017 season before returning back to Triple-A. Appel appeared in 19 games with 17 of them being starts last season. He went 5-4 with an E.R.A. of 5.14. On November 20th 2017 Philadelphia designated Appel for assignment.

Appel announced earlier this wee that he’d be stepping away from baseball. Now Appel is just 26 years old; so I don’t think you can rule out some type of a return, but with all the hype that went with his selection by the Astros he has to go down as one of the biggest busts selected at #1. Appel actually commented on being considered a bust saying “It depends on how you define it, but I probably am. I had high expectations. I didn’t live up to those for a number of reasons. If you want to call me the biggest draft bust, you can call it that.”

Appel’s career spanned just five minor league seasons. He went 28-18 with a 4.87 E.R.A. in 88 games covering 406 1/3rd innings. 85 of those games where starts.

Appel maybe the latest #1 overall draft pick to be a bust, but he surely won’t be the last.

I guess you had to expect that this would happen sooner or later with the slow off season market for baseballs free agents, but one agent used the term a “fight is brewing” over the lack of free agent activity this off season. While the word collusion wasn’t used you have to believe that it’s not far from being thrown out there. An agent also mentioned that there could be a spring training boycott if teams don’t begin signing players soon.

Now you have to understand that this is pretty much expected from an agent who’s been unable to get his guy a deal this off season. One agent described the owners behavior as “coordinated”. You’ll notice again that they didn’t use the word collusion.

I’ve always found this an interesting situation. How is it an owners fault if he doesn’t want to give a $200 million dollar contract to a player like Jake Arrieta, Yu Darvish of J.D. Martinez. What if a team just doesn’t feel that a pitcher like Alex Cobb is worth the $20 million dollars a season he’s asking for. Lorenzo Cain got a 5-year $80 million dollar deal from the Milwaukee Brewers, but there are quite a few players still unsigned.

Of course it’s no surprise that the agents seem to have left out the fact that the big name guys like Arrieta, Darvish and Martinez have all turned down ling term deals for big money because it didn’t reach the dollar amount they thought they where worth. You could also add Cobb into this group, but he’s not really looked at as a top free agent.

Pitchers and catchers are going to be reporting to spring training very shortly. How do you see this playing out? Will we have a flurry of last minute signings? Or will we have some big name players still looking for contracts when spring training starts? Do you think the players would actually boycott?

When the New York Knicks signed Joakim Noah to a 4-year $72.5 million dollar contract Dan the Man and I had some questions. Noah had battled injuries in his last couple of seasons with the Chicago Bulls and it really looked like his best basketball was behind him. Now it looks as though the Knicks are stuck with a bad contract for a player who’s not going to be much help to them.

Noah was sent home after he and Knicks head coach Jeff Hornacek had a heated exchange at practice. It was reported last week that Noah yelled at Hornacek after being lifted in the fourth quarter of a loss to the Golden State Warriors. The two reportedly had a heated exchange the following day in Denver either during or after practice.

You have to wonder if the issue could be about Noah’s playing time. The Knicks have four centers on their roster Enes Kanter, Kyle O’Quinn, Willy Hernangomez as well as Noah. There hasn’t been a lot of minutes for Noah this season as he is playing an average of just under 6 minutes a game.

It’s going to be a difficult situation for the Knicks to get themselves out of. Noah is still owed $55 million dollars on his contract; so that might make a buyout tough to negotiate. It’s doubtful that a team would take a contract like Noah’s in a deal. So what are the Knicks to do? Right now it looks like the answer is to pay Noah to stay home.

With the trade deadline quickly approaching will have to see if the Knicks can find a way out of this situation.

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 follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

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

So we’ve had a couple of trades this week that involve bigger name players in two different leagues. Let’s take a look and see how they breakdown.

Oddly this trade can’t be made official for six weeks according to NFL rules and I’m not even sure if the teams can discuss the deal. When the trade is finally official the Washington Redskins will have acquired Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a 2018 3rd round draft pick.

It appears as though this is a deal that should help both teams. By acquiring Smith the Redskins will no longer have to overpay Kurt Cousins and they’ll have a little stability at the quarterback position. As part of the deal the Redskins agreed to give Smith a four year extension. According to reports Smith’s deal is worth $94 million dollars with $71 million dollars being guaranteed.

Smith is coming off the best season of his career which saw him throw for 4042 yards with 26 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions. Smith had always been looked at as a checkdown type of quarterback, but last season he started to throw the football down the field and it helped him have that best season. Can Smith lead the Redskins to the playoffs like he did for the Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers before that?

Now Kansas City got a solid 3rd round pick, but what might be more important is that they picked up a starting cornerback in Fuller. The Chiefs have also freed up $17 million dollars in salary cap space as well.

Fuller is about to turn 23 years old and will be headed into his 3rd professional season. Fuller played in all 16 games for the Redskins last season, starting 6 of them. Fuller had 4 interceptions and 10 passes defended last season. The Chiefs should be able to plug Fuller in opposite of Marcus Peters at cornerback and be set coming into next season.

This deal will end Kirk Cousins 6 years with the Redskins. Cousins has played under the franchise tag the last two seasons as he and the team could never come to terms on a deal. Cousins enters free agency with quite a resume as he’s put up over 4000 yards the last three seasons as the Redskins starter. There should be plenty of teams looking to sign Cousins as their starting quarterback.

You’d have to think teams like the Denver Broncos, New York Jets and the Arizona Cardinals should be front and center looking to bring Cousins in. You also have to figure that a team like the Buffalo Bills might be interested and there is always the Cleveland Browns.

With Alex Smith headed to Washington the Chiefs will turn to Patrick Mahomes as their quarterback. The Chiefs traded up to get the 10th overall pick to take Mahomes. He made one start for Kansas City last season throwing for 284 yards with an interception in that start. There was some talk at the end of the season if the Chiefs should make the switch and start Mahomes. Now they’ll go into the 2018 season knowing that Mahomes will be their starter.

The other trade I mentioned earlier was in the NBA. That trade saw the Los Angeles Clippers send Blake Griffin along with Brice Johnson and Willie Reed to the Detroit Pistons for Tobias Harris, Avery Bradley, Boban Marjanovic and two draft picks a 1st and 2nd round pick in next years draft.

Griffin was the #1 overall pick in the 2009 draft. Griffin was the 2010-11 Rookie of the Year, he also made the All-Rookie team that season. He’s been a 5-time All-Star and has been named All-NBA 4 times. For his career Griffin averages 21.6 points per game and 9.3 rebounds per game. The difficult thing for Griffin has been staying healthy. Griffin has played in 33 games this season, but is healthy and should make his Pistons debut tomorrow night against the Memphis Grizzlies.

In return for Griffin the Clippers got solid players in return. Harris is in his 7th NBA season and is averaging a career high in points at 18.1 per game this season. The Pistons had just acquired Bradley in the off season from the Boston Celtics. Bradley played in 40 games for Detroit and was averaging 15 points per game. Marjanovic is a 7″3 center who was playing just 9 minutes a game for Detroit. On the plus side he was averaging a career high 6.2 points per game, but you have to wonder how many  minutes there will be for him with the Clippers behind DeAndre Jordan.

There was talk that the Clippers made this deal to open up some salary cap room to try and sign LeBron James this coming off season. There was also some talk that this might not be the only deal the Clippers make. Jordan’s name has been brought up as a possible trade candidate as well as guard Lou Williams. If the Clippers do move both Jordan and Williams it would open up quite a bit of salary cap space not only for a run at James, but possible someone else he might be interested in playing with.

It seems pretty obvious that James will be playing in another uniform next season, but which uniform will it be? We’ve heard some talk about the Los Angeles Lakers, but the Clippers play in Los Angeles, as a matter of fact they play in the same building. Could they be an option for James? You have to wonder if will see other teams try to create some salary cap room to try and make a run at James this off season.

As you can tell there still isn’t much baseball news to report as we’re waiting for some type of major free agent signing. It’s getting closer and closer to pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training and all of the top pitchers are still on the market. You have to wonder which side is going to make that first move. Will a player actually take less money than he’s been asking for to get into camo or will a team finally panic and overpay to get a guy into camp? It could be an interesting couple of weeks.

Don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but 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: January 27, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

How much did the Milwaukee Brewers improve their team this week? and are they a serious contender in the National League Central? Could the Brewers be a sleeper pick for the World Series?

On Thursday the Brewers acquired Christian Yelich from the Miami Marlins. Now the Brewers did have to give up four prospects to get Yelich, but that’s not really a big surprise when you get a when you’re trading for a 26 year old outfielder who’s signed for the next 4 years on a very team friendly contract.

Yelich was a 1st round pick of the Marlins and quickly ascended through their system making his major league debut in July of 2013. Yelich is a career .290 hitter and it appears he is growing into his power as he’s hit 21 home runs in 2016 and then 18 home runs last season. Yelich has already won a Gold Glove in his short career, but you have to wonder if he’ll see the majority of his playing time in rightfield for the Brewers after playing either left or centerfield for the Marlins.

The name you may recognize that went back to Miami in the Yelich deal is Lewis Brinson. Brinson was a 1st round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2012 and appeared in just 21 games for the Brewers last season. Now Brinson did struggled a little in his first trip to the major leagues hitting just .106, but it’s not a very big sample size for him. Brinson played 76 games at Triple-A in 2017 and hit .331 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI’s. We should get to see right away what the Marlins got in Brinson as you have to figure with their rebuild that he’ll be one of their starting outfielders this season.

As for the other three prospects the Marlins got in the deal. Well we might have to wait for a few seasons to see how they turn out. Monte Harrison is a 22 year old outfielder who split last season between Class-A and High Class-A last season. Harrison hit .272 with 21 home runs, 67 RBI’s and 27 stolen bases. Harrison is a big strikeout guy as he struck out once every 3.3 at bats last season and for his career he strikes out once every 3 at bats. Of course trading power for strikeouts is how baseball is played these days; so this isn’t an issue for Harrison.

Isan Diaz is a middle infielder who played in 110 games in High Class-A last season. He hit .222 with 13 home runs and 54 RBI’s. Diaz is a .261 hitter over four minor league seasons, but last season he posted his lowest average in his short career. I guess we have to get use to this as Diaz struck out once every 3.2 at bats last season. Diaz played 70 games at 2nd base committing 14 errors with a fielding percentage of .949. He also played 32 games at shortstop committing 7 errors with a fielding percentage of .932.

The final player headed to Miami in this deal is 221 year old right handed pitcher Jordan Yamamoto who spent last season in High Class-A. Yamamoto made 18 starts, but pitched in 22 games. He went 9-4 with an E.R.A. of 2.51. He also had 2 complete games with one shutout and also picked up a save while pitching 111 innings. Yamamoto also struck out 113 guys while walking 30 batters last season.

With only Brinson being major league ready it’s going to be a few seasons before we know how this trade worked out for the Marlins. Of course on the Brewers side will know right away.

They Brewers didn’t just add one outfielder this week, but two as on Friday they officially announced the signing of Lorenzo Cain. Cain was signed to a 5 year $80 million dollar deal.

Cain has an interesting contract structure. He’ll receive $13 million dollars next season. His salary jumps $1 million dollars as season through 2022. Cain will also receive a deferred payment of $1 million dollars in each of the five years following the contract’s conclusion. Cain has complete no-trade protection in one of the years of his contract, but it wasn’t specified which one. In 2019 he can block a deal to 15 teams, in 2020 it’s 7 teams and then in 2021 and 2022 it’s 5 teams.

Cain was originally a 17th round draft pick of the Brewers in 2004. Cain was traded to the Kansas City Royals in December of 2010 with Alcides Escobar, Jeremy Jeffress and Jake Odorizzi. This was the deal that brought Milwaukee Zach Greinke, Yuniesky Betancourt also came to the Brewers in that deal.

Cain is 31 years old, but has never reached the power numbers people thought he would. He hit 15 home runs last season with Kansas City and has a career high of 16. You have to think moving to a little more homer friendly Miller Park for 81 of his games will help those numbers.

Cain is a career .290 hitter and has hit .300 or better in three of the last four seasons. There is also a speed factor to Cain’s game as he’s reached double digits in steals every season since 2012. Cain made one All-Star appearance while with the Royals. He was named the M.V.P. of the 2014 ALCS and was a member of the Royals 2015 World Series winning team. Cain has spent the majority of his career as a centerfielder where he has a career .985 fielding percentage.

You have to think that Cain will be the Brewers everyday centerfielder with Yelich being moved to rightfield. There is a chance that Ryan Braun could move back to rightfield as he played there full-time for the Brewers in 2014 and 2015. We also may see Braun get some playing time at 1st base as the Brewers will need to find at bats for Domingo Santana if he’s not traded.

After the Yelich trade I thought the Brewers would be done adding position players and I thought it was a big surprise when they signed Cain the next day. Now reports are that the Brewers are looking to add a pitcher. Now with Cain’s contract on their books I’d be surprised to see them add one of the big name starters that are still available, but there are reports that they’ve contacted the Tampa Bay Rays to see if they can get a deal done for Chris Archer.

The Brewers where a surprise team last season, but this season it looks like they’re building a contender. Do you think they have enough right now? Or is there something you think they need to add?

The New Orleans Pelicans pulled off a big 115-112 win over the Houston Rockets last night, but with about 12 seconds left in the game Pelicans center DeMarcus Cousins had to be helped off the court.

After missing a free throw Cousins tried to knock the basketball away from Trevor Ariza. Cousins started hopping on his right foot as it appeared as though he was unable to put any weight on his left leg. Cousins went down to the floor as he tried to put weight on that left leg and eventually had to helped off the court and back to the locker room by his teammates.

It looked bad for a non-contact injury and it turned out to be. Cousins will need season ending surgery to repair a to repair a torn left Achilles tendon.

Cousins was having a fantastic season for the Pelicans and had just posted his second triple-double in three games last night before the injury happened. Cousins has been averaging 25.2 points per game to go along with 12.4 rebounds per game this season. Cousins also has three games this season where he’s scored 40 or more points and has grabbed 20 or more rebounds in a game.

The Pelicans are 27-21 and are currently in 6th place in the Western Conference. While New Orleans does have Anthony Davis to lean on in Cousins absence you have to wonder if they’ll be able to hold onto to a playoff spot.

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

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 24, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Are the Cleveland Cavaliers really a sinking ship? The Cavaliers have lost six of their last seven games including last nights 114-102 loss to the San Antonio Spurs. Even with all the talk of the Cavaliers being in trouble they are still 27-19 and in 1st place in the Central division. Now the Cavaliers do find themselves in 3rd place overall in the Eastern Conference. They are six games behind the conference leading Boston Celtics and are just a half a game ahead of the Miami Heat for 3rd place.

There where reports that the Cavaliers held a team meeting and it appears as though the finger is being pointed at Kevin Love as the player who’s causing Cleveland’s issues. Isaiah Thomas who’s played all of eight games with the Cavaliers was the main player in calling Love out. Do you think this is Love’s fault?

Love has played in 45 of Cleveland’s 46 games this season. He plays a little over 28 minutes a game and is averaging 18.4 points per game. That makes Love the Cavaliers second leading scorer behind only LeBron James. Love is also the Cavaliers leading rebounding averaging 9.4 rebounds per game. Love is the Cavaliers best 3-point shooter in the Cavaliers starting line up. Love is shooting 39.9% from behind the 3-point line. Only Kyle Korver at 43% and Jose Calderon at 44.8% are shooting better from behind the 3-point line than Love. Just looking at the numbers you have to wonder why his teammates seem to have pushed the blame onto him for the teams issues, but they have.

Now it appears as though the Cavaliers are looking to make a trade. There are reports that the Cavaliers are in talks with the Sacramento Kings to acquire guard George Hill. The Cavaliers are willing to send Channing Frye and Iman Shumpert along with a 2019 2nd round draft pick for Hill; so will have to see if this deal happens.

Now if the Cavaliers really believe that Love is at the fault for the teams troubles, could we see him get dealt? The Charlotte Hornets are interested in dealing their top player Kemba Walker, but I’m not sure of they’d be interested in taking on Love’s contract in a deal like that. There was a lot of interest in Love last season, but so far this season there hasn’t been a lot of trade talk involving him. Is it time for Kevin Love and the Cavaliers to part company?

The Super Bowl match up is set. Will see the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles battle it out for the Lombardi trophy on February 4th.

The Patriots advanced to the Super Bowl with a tough fought 24-20 win over the Jacksonville Jaquars. The Eagles in the other hand turned out to have an easier road as they beat the Minnesota Vikings 38-7.

After the Patriots-Jaquars game I got a chuckle out of listening to what seemed like everyone that the Patriots where able to come back and win the game. Even former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason cried about a pass interference call that when you see the play on replay was clearly a penalty, but apparently Esiason is another one of the people who don’t like to see the Patriots win. What makes it even more humorous was the fact that Jaquars head coach Doug Marrone agreed with the pass interference call that Esiason didn’t like. Who knows maybe Esiason had money on the Jaquars. he also added “It’s Gillette Stadium so the flags have to come out, don’t they boys?”. I think Esiason still does a daily radio show; so maybe he didn’t want to spend two weeks talking about the Patriots. It’s unclear what Esiason’s reasoning was, but he was clearly wrong.

I like I’m sure a lot of people where surprised by how easily Philadelphia handled Minnesota. I thought after the way Minnesota advanced to the NFC Championship that it was their year and they’d win, but to no surprise there I was wrong.

Everything started off just fine for the Vikings. Minnesota took the opening kickoff and went right down the field grabbing a 7-0 lead on a Case Keenum 25 yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph. Who would’ve thought that these where the last points the Vikings would score in this game.

Philadelphia went on to score 38 straight points against a very good Minnesota defense. Nick Foles went 26 of 33 for 352 yards. Foles threw 3 touchdowns with no interceptions and was sacked just 1 time.

You can see how the Eagles have adjusted their offense with Foles as their quarterback. The Eagles are still using the run pass option, but Foles is nowhere close to the runner that Carson Wentz is; so Foles will throw the football out of those options. It will be interesting to see how Eagles head coach Doug Pederson adjusts the Eagles offense for the Super Bowl.

It looks as though the Patriots are a 5 point favorite according to Las Vegas. Of course this line will fluctuate probably everyday until kickoff.

While we’re still waiting for a big name free agent to sign with someone the San Francisco Giants went out and added another outfielder.

The Giants picked up former M.V.P. Andrew McCutchen from the Pittsburgh Pirates a few weeks ago and it looked as though he would be their starting centerfielder, but there where reports that the Giants had been looking for another outfielder. Yesterday the Giants did sign another outfielder as they inked Austin Jackson to a 2 year $6 million dollar deal.

Jackson is 30 years old, but 2018 will be his 9th season. Jackson hasn’t been a full time outfielder since 2015 when he played 136 games. Last season he played in 85 games for the Cleveland Indians. Jackson hit .318 with 7 home runs and 35 RBI’s. Jackson started 38 games in centerfield for the Indians last season. Jackson made 2 errors on 63 chances in centerfield for a field percentage of .984. Jackson has always been looked at as a good defender and has the speed to cover a lot of ground in AT&T Park.

Are the Giants set in the outfield? Will we see Jackson in center flanked by McCutchen in right and Hunter Pence in left on opening day for San Francisco?

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: December 6, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The last team any team wants to deal with is an injury to one of their top players, but the Golden State Warriors are going to have to find a way to fill the void created by the injury to Stephen Curry. Curry will miss at least two weeks with a sprained ankle. An MRI was done on the ankle and there was no structural damage. After the two week time frame Curry’s ankle will be re-evaluated. There where also X-rays taken after the game which where negative, but Curry left the arena in a walking boot and using crutches.

The injury occurred in the final minute of Golden State’s 125-115 road win against the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night. As Curry was going for a steal on Pelicans guard E’Twaun Moore he stepped on Moore’s foot and turned the ankle.

Golden State is currently 19-6 and just a 1/2 a game behind the Houston Rockets for the best record in the Western Conference.

Golden State didn’t announce who would step into the starting line up in place of Curry, but you’d have to expect that Shaun Livingston would be that guy. Livingston has played in 22 of the Warriors 25 games this season and has made one start. He’s averaging 4.7 points and 2 assists per game while playing just over 15 minutes per game. There should also be an increase in playing time for guards Nick Young and Patrick McCaw. Young and McCaw have been playing about 13 minutes a game this season.

Filling Curry’s minutes won’t be the problem for Golden State. What’s going to be a bigger issue for them is making up the 26.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.74 steals per game that Curry has given them this season.

If Curry is out just the two weeks that have been mentioned he’ll miss games against the Charlotte Hornets, Detroit Pistons, Portland Trailblazers, Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers. He would return on December 20th at home against the Memphis Grizzlies.

That of course would be the best case scenario for Curry’s return, but there’s no rush at all for Golden State to bring them back. It’s still very early in the season and the worst thing that could happen is they don’t get the #1 playoff seed in the Western Conference. Of course the Warriors don’t need home court advantage through the playoffs to reach the NBA Finals or win the NBA title.

The NFL handed out three one game suspensions after Week 13.

The first suspension was given to New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for his late hit on Tre’Davious White in New England’s game against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. White was laying face down on the ground after making an interception when Gronkowski jumped on him driving his elbow and forearm into White’s head and neck area.

Gronkowski was penalized on the play but not ejected from the game. While White was placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol.

The other two suspensions came after the Pittsburgh Steelers/Cincinnati Bengals Monday night game.

Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster was given a one game suspension for his block on Vontaze Burfict. It was ruled that Burfict was in a defenseless posture was laid out by Smith-Schuster and had to be carted off the field. Smith-Schuster stood over Burfict as he lay motionless on the field.

The other suspension from the Monday night game was given to Bengals safety George Iloka. Iloka received his suspension for his hit on Steelers wide receiver Antoine Brown on Brown’s game tying touchdown reception. It was ruled that Brown was in a defenseless position when Iloka hit him. Even after the big hit by Iloka, Brown some how held onto the football.

Both Gronkowski and Smith-Schuster have had there hearings and their suspensions where upheld. Iloka did have his hearing on Tuesday evening and the verdict from that hearing isn’t expected to be announced until some time today.

As we’re waiting for the baseball winter meetings to get started and some of the bigger names to sign as free agents or get moved in a trade there have been some minor moves by teams.

A signing that a lot of people thought could be big had the St. Louis Cardinals signing Miles Mikolas to a two year $15.5 million dollar deal. Mikolas has pitched 37 games in the major leagues; starting 10 of them, but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2014. For the last three seasons Mikolas has been pitching for the Yomiuri Giants in the Japan Central League. Mikolas made 62 starts going 31-13 over 424 2/3rd innings with an E.R.A. of 2.19. His numbers playing in Japan where much better than the numbers he posted in his first major league stint. Mikolas was 4-6 with an E.R.A. of 5.32 over 91 1/3rd innings in those three major league seasons.

Mikolas is being added into the starting rotation mix for the Cardinals, but we’ll have to see if the improvement he made playing in Japan will carry over to St. Louis next season.

The Texas Rangers also came to an agreement with a pitcher. The Rangers signed pitcher Mike Minor to a contract, but he has to be able to pass a physical before the deal becomes official. There where no contract terms announced between the Rangers and Minor, but reports are his contract will be 4 year and $28 million dollars of he passes that physical.

Minor missed both the 2015 and 2016 seasons because of arm and shoulder injuries, He returned last season with the Kansas City Royals and had success out of their bullpen. Minor pitched in 65 games for Kansas City last season. Minor was 6-6 with an E.R.A. of 2.55 while picking up 6 saves.

Before last season Minor was a starter. In 5 seasons with the Atlanta Braves Minor made 110 starts. He was 38-36 as a starter with an E.R.A. of 4.10. He made 30 or more starts twice for the Braves and had one complete game in those 110 starts.

Interestingly the Rangers would like to use Minor as a starter again, but as part of a six man rotation. While no team has officially went to a six man rotation for an entire season it appears as though this is the way baseball is headed.

Would you like to see teams go to a six man starting rotation?

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 anytime you want at TuneIn.com

Remember that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 29, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The New York Giants where 11-5 last season and got into the playoffs as a wild card team. This season through 12 weeks the Giants are 2-9 and won’t be getting into the playoffs. Since the Giants season is more or less over they have decided that they are going to use the final 5 games of the season to evaluate their back up quarterbacks Geno Smith and rookie Davis Webb. This move means that Eli Manning’s steak of starting being the Giants starting quarterback will be coming to an end at 210. The Giants did offer Manning the opportunity to start this Sunday to keep the streak alive, but he turned the start down.

Manning hasn’t had a terrible season as he’s completing 62.5% of his passes and he’s thrown 14 touchdowns to 7 interceptions. Don’t forget that Manning doesn’t have his best receiver as Odell Beckham Jr. played in just 4 games this season due to injury. The Giants also signed Brandon Marshall to help out their passing game this past off season, but Marshall played in just 5 games due to injury. Sterling Shepard who’s now the Giants top wide receiver also missed time and has played in just 7 games this season. Rookie tight end Evan Engram is the Giants leader in receptions with 44 and receiving touchdowns with 5.

The Giants don’t have much of a running game to speak of either. They had hoped that Paul Perkins would step up and become that #1 running back, but that didn’t happen. Perkins was the starter for 4 games, but is averaging just 1.9 yards per carry this season. Wayne Gallman has been solid as a guy who can spell the starter, but it’s not clear of he can be the guy that can carry the load at running back. Orleans Darkwa has taken over as the starting running back and is the teams leading rusher with 519 yards. Darkwa has out up one 100 yard game this season. He is averaging a very good 4.6 yards per carry and is getting about 14 carries a game since becoming the starter.

Now Manning is going to get the majority of the blame for the teams struggles, but that’s how it is when you’re the quarterback. They get too much credit when a win is winning and too much blame when a team is losing. You just have to hope that before people start pointing the finger at Manning they look at the whole picture of the season.

Now the question becomes, what do the Giants do with Manning going forward. He’s signed through 2019 and it would be a big salary cap hit if the Giants just cut him. Could they trade him? Don’t forget that Manning’s former head coach Tom Coughlin is now in the front off with the Jacksonville Jaquars and while the Jaquars are doing well this season it’s clear that they’d like to move on from quarterback Blake Bortles. Remember Jacksonville took the starting job away from Bortles before the last pre-season game only to go right back to him in Week 1 when they realized that Chad Henne wasn’t the answer either. Now Jacksonville isn’t the only team that could use Manning.

He could be s fit for the other New York team the Jets. Josh McCown is having a good season for the Jets, but is only signed through this season.

Could he follow is his brother Peyton’s footsteps and finish his career with the Denver Broncos? Denver is 3-8 this season and has used three different quarterbacks.

Now you never know what the Cleveland Browns might do, but you’d have to think that Manning would be a big upgrade over whatever they’re thinking about doing at the quarterback position. It would also give DeShone Kizer a veteran to learn from for a couple of seasons.

Maybe there’s a chance that Manning could stay in the NFC East with say the Washington Redskins. The Redskins current quarterback Kurt Cousins is playing under the franchise tag for the second season in a row and the two sides don’t seem to be close to a contract agreement.

Now the San Francisco 49ers appear to have acquired a possible franchise quarterback in Jimmy Garapalo, but he’s in the last year of his contract and if the 49ers can’t re-sign him they’d need someone at quarterback. On a side note Garapalo will make his for start for San Francisco this Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

A dark horse team that could be interested in Manning might be the Arizona Cardinals. There have been rumors that 2017 could be Carson Palmer’s last season and they don’t have a young quarterback that they’re developing. A veteran like Manning could come in and fill the quarterback spot while the Cardinals look for that next guy.

It’s rare in the NFL that a quarterback of Manning’s caliber could be available. He is a two time Super Bowl winner and he was named M.V.P. in both of those Super Bowl wins. As the season winds down will have to see if the Giants find what they’re looking for in Geno Smith or Davis Webb or if maybe they’ll be looking to go back to Manning for the 2018 season.

There was a first in LeBron James’ career last night. For the first time in his 15 year career that covered 1082 games James was ejected with just about 2 minutes left to play in the 3rd quarter of the Cleveland Cavaliers game against the Miami Heat.

James made a steal, but missed the lay up and like every NBA player thought he had been fouled. James argued with referee Kane Fitzgerald who accessed James a technical and ejected him.

Fitzgerald even explained his actions to reporters after the game. “It was a culmination of a couple different acts,” Fitzgerald said. “Immediately after the no-call, he turned and threw an air punch directly at me, and then he aggressively charged at me, and then he used vulgarity in my ear a few times.”

James played 28 minutes before being ejected. He scored 21 points grabbed 12 rebounds while handing out 6 assists and getting 5 steals. Even with James missing the final quarter of the game the Cavaliers picked up an 11 point win over the Heat 108-97.

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 that you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: November 25, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It was reported yesterday that Derrick Rose had left the Cleveland Cavaliers and is going to contemplating his future not only with the team, but as a basketball player. As of right now it’s unclear when or if Rose will rejoin the Cavaliers.

Rose was the #1 overall pick in the 2008 NBA draft by the Chicago Bulls. Rose is a Chicago native and it seemed like a perfect fit for him and his career started off well. Rose won the Rookie of the Year award in 2008-09 and played in all 81 games that season. Rose played 78 games in his second season, his scoring averaged improved by 4 points per game and made his first All-Star team. 2010-11 was Rose’s breakout season. His scoring average jumped to 25 points per game and he was handing out 7.7 assists per game while playing in and starting all 81 games for the Bulls. Rose had such a good season he was name NBA M.V.P. for the 2010-11 season. After that season injuries really seem to get the best of Rose. He played 39 games in the 2011-12 season due to injuries and then had to sit out the entire 2012-13 season because he was hurt. Rose returned to the Bulls for the 2013-14 season, but played just 10 games and didn’t look like the same player that won an M.V.P. award. Hoping for a bounce back 2014-15 season Rose again lost games to injury as he played in 51 games that season. Rose was able to play in more games 66 in the 2015-16 season, but put up just 16.4 points per game in what turned out to be his last season with the Bulls.

In June of 2016 the Bulls traded what at one time was their home town hero Rose to the New York Knicks along with Justin Holiday and a 2017 2nd round pick for Jose Calderon, Jerian Grant and Robin Lopez. To complete the deal the Knicks selected Damyean Dotson with the draft pick they received.

Rose started off playing well for the Knicks, but again an injury limited him to 64 games in what turned out to be his one season with the Knicks. Rose’s scoring average did increase with the Knicks to 18 points a game which was his highest since the 2011-12 season when he first got hurt.

Rose went into free agency for the first time in his career after the 2017-18 season. At first his name came up quite a bit and was linked to multiple teams, but that slowly faded. At one point it was starting to look like Rose wouldn’t be able to find a team for this season, but then the Cavaliers came along.

Cleveland appeared like it would be a good fit for Rose. If you remember last season LeBron James did quite a bit of complaining during the 2017-18 season that the Cavaliers needed at point guard and in signing Rose it looked like the Cavaliers had address that roster need.

While the Cavaliers got off to a slow start this season they’ve won their last 7 games in a row including a 100-99 win over the Charlotte Hornets Friday night. Cleveland is currently 12-7 early in this NBA season, but Rose has only played in 7 of those games for the Cavaliers.

Rose was playing just under 27 minutes a game for the Cavaliers and was averaging 14.3 points per game. For a point guard Rose was just handing out 1.7 assists per game, but that’s no surprise since James dominants the basketball.

Now the question is, will we see Rose play another game in the NBA? If Rose has played his last game or if he comes back to finish out the season with the Cavaliers it looks like we’re looking at a once promising career that was derailed by injuries.

Now yesterday on the podcast Schaumburg Stu filled in for Dan the Man who was out doing “Black” Friday shopping. Stu and I discussed the Chicago Bulls match up with the Golden State Warriors and Stu had them being beaten easily, but I’m not even sure if he thought they’d be beaten as badly as they where last night.

The Bulls actually had a lead after one quarter 32-29, but it was all Golden State after that. In the final three quarters the Warriors out scored the Bulls by 52 points 115 to 63 as they handed the Bulls their 3rd worst loss in team history 143-94.

Stephen Curry was the games high scorer with 33 points. Curry put up those points in just 27 minutes of game action as he was allowed to take some time off because of the blow out. Klay Thompson added 29 points for Golden State. Thompson also played limited minutes as he scored his points in 26 minutes of game action. No Golden State starter played more than 27 minutes and Kevin Durant didn’t even play because of his injured ankle. Of course against the terrible 3-14 Bulls it’s a good time to get your players some rest.

It was definitely a contrast of teams going in different direction. The Warriors a going to be a contender for the NBA title again while the Bulls are trying to play their way into the draft lottery and are hoping to land the #1 pick.

This seems to be the way that the NBA goes. Either you’re a team or you think you’re a team that can compete for the NBA title or you’re looking to rebuild with young players. I guess the question is how do you decide what type of team you are. Remember the Bulls where a playoff team last season and at first looked like they where going to upset the top seeded Boston Celtics last year. After the season the Bulls decided to send their best player Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves as well a buying out veteran Dwayne Wade and there you have it you’re a lottery team. How long will a Bull rebuild take? Remember the Philadelphia 76ers started their rebuild in 2013-14 and are just now starting to show signs of improvement.

With Thanksgiving having just came off the calendar we might see a little more talk about which MLB players might end up where. Most players like to know where they’re going to be playing the following season by the New Year. It makes sense as a lot of them have families to move and children to get situated. It should start to get active and it’s always fun to talk about who might go where and how it affects that team. Of course some of this movement might slow down as the Miami Marlins are still trying to trade Giancarlo Stanton.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is available for you anytime you’d like to listen to it at TuneIn.com

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 22, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, fantasy, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I always try to work in how we did on our picks for the past week in the NFL. Now there are times I just forget or sometimes run out of space to work it in. Now last week was one of these weeks and wouldn’t you know it I got a telephone call from Mr. Fantasy to yell at me about the win/loss totals not being in the blog. So to avoid getting scream at on the telephone again I decided that I’d start the blog out with them.

Our Week 11 picks went like this Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy both went 10-4. Schaumburg Stu and I ended up at 8-6. For the season Dan the Man is in the lead at 106-54. Mr. Fantasy is holding down the second spot three games out of the lead at 103-57. Schaumburg Stu and I are stuck at the bottom of the pile as we are both 96-64 on the season.

Since it is Thanksgiving tomorrow instead of one Thursday game we get three. Things start off with the Detroit Lions hosting the Minnesota Vikings. The middle game of the three has the Los Angeles Rams visiting the Dallas Cowboys. The NFL day wraps up with the Washington Redskins playing host to the New York Giants.

I’m pretty sure that the scheduling for all four of the big sports is done by computer, but you have to wonder what the NBA was thinking when they saw that there was just one game scheduled for last night and it was the Chicago Bulls at the Los Angeles Lakers.

Now years ago this wouldn’t been a marquee match up and heck even last season the Bulls had Jimmy Butler and Dwayne Wade on their roster. This season there are very few recognizable names on either teams roster with the exception of Lonzo Ball.

Neither team was playing very well coming into the game as the Lakers where 7-10 while the Bulls have one of the worst records in the league at 3-11. The Lakers where a .500 team at home this season at 5-5 while the Bulls some how managed a road win and where 1-7 away from Chicago.

The game as a whole ended up being decent. the Bulls built a 14 point lead going into halftime at 56-42. The second half belonged to the Lakers as they scored 61 points while holding the Bulls to just 38 points as Los Angeles took a 103-94 victory.

Kyle Kuzma of the Lakers was the games high scorer with 22 points. His teammate Kentavious Caldwell-Pope added 21 points. Lonzo Ball had another rough shooting night going 3 for 13 from the field in the game. Ball was also just 2 of 8 from behind the 3-point line. Ball did grab a team high 13 rebounds. Julius Randle came off the Lakers bench to post a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

All five Bulls starters scored in double figures led by Denzell Valentine with 17 points. Bulls 1st round pick Lauri Markkanen (13 points and 14 rebounds) and Justin Holiday (10 points and 10 rebounds) each posted double-doubles in the game. Antonio Blakeney came off the Bulls bench to score 15 points.

The win improved the Lakers record to 8-10. This was also the first of back to back games for Los Angeles as they go on the road to face the 4-13 Sacramento Kings tonight. The loss dropped the Bulls to 3-12 on the season. This was also the first of back to back games for the Bulls. Chicago travels to Utah tonight to face the 7-11 Jazz.

If you have Denver Nuggets forward Paul Milsap on your fantasy team it looks like you’re going to be without him for about three months. Milsap had surgery on his left wrist to repair torn ligaments.

Milsap was injured in the 2nd quarter of Denver’s game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. The Nuggets ended up losing that game without Milsap 127-109.

Milsap has played in 16 games this season. He is averaging 15.3 points per game. To go along with 6.2 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game.

Luckily for the Nuggets they have quite a few players who can take over for Milsap while he’s out. Look for Kenneth Faried, Trey Lyles, Tyler Lydon and even Darrell Arthur to fill Milsap’s minutes. Faried appears to be the player who will take over Milsap’s plac in the starting line up; so if you’re looking for a fantasy pick up Faried may be the guy to go with.

As we wait for the baseball off season to pick up some stream you have to wonder if things will be a little slow until there is some type of movement in where National League M.V.P. Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins might go.

Right now it appears as the two most talked about teams with interest in Stanton are the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Talks with the Giants have actually gotten to the point where there are now players names associated with the deal. San Francisco would not only acquire Stanton, but Marlins 2nd baseman Dee Gordon as well. In return the Marlins would receive a package of players led by Giants 2nd baseman Joe Panik and multiple prospects. Gordon is another of Miami’s veteran players that new ownership and CEO Derek Jeter has expressed interested in trading.

It’s always interesting when names start to come up in trade talks, but before everybody starts putting Stanton in a Giants uniform, don’t forget that he has a full no trade clause and can veto any trade.

Stanton was born in Panorama City California and according to reports grew up a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. Would he accept a trade to the Dodgers biggest rival?

The third team that has popped up lately in Stanton rumors are the Boston Red Sox. Now you knew sooner or later we’d start to hear about the bigger name teams wanting to get in on a Stanton deal and it’s no surprise that the Red Sox are the first name up. The Red Sox where last in the American League in home runs last season with 168 while Stanton himself hit 59 home runs.

We’re just at the start of these Stanton rumors and these are just the first three teams to come up. It appears as though Stanton will be traded at some point in time. Where do you have him playing baseball in 2018?