Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

How was your week

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

After the Houston Rockets sent Chris Paul and some draft picks to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Russell Westbrook there was one question that popped into my mind and I’m sure I’m not the only one who was thinking or asking it. Did the Rockets get better?

First things first; here’s what the trade looks like. Oklahoma City gets Paul along with a protected 2024 1st round pick, a protected 2026 1st round pick. As well the Thunder have the right to swap draft spots with the Rockets in 2025 and 2021 there is some protection involved in those swaps. Also in 2021 Oklahoma City can swap for Either Houston’s pick or the Miami Heat’s pick which the Rockets currently own through trade.

While a lot of experts seem to think that Westbrook’s game is in decline the Rockets are still getting a player who’s averaged a triple-double in the last three seasons. It seems like a lot of people are pointing out that Westbrook’s scoring average dropped to 22.9 points per game which was his lowest in six seasons, but remember he had Paul George with him in Oklahoma City last season to help with scoring. What for some reason I haven’t heard anyone point out is Westbrook averaged a career high in rebounds per game at 11.1 and what may be even more important now that he’s heading to Houston is he averaged a career high in assists per game at 10.7. Westbrook was the NBA’s leader in assists per game last season and that could bode well now that he’s being paired up with James Harden again.

The one area that has been a problem for Westbrook is shooting the 3-pointer which has become the most important thing a player can do in today’s game. Westbrook shot just 29% from behind the 3-point line last season and has never shot better than 34.3% from behind the 3-point line in his career, but in Houston’s offense they might be able to work around that weakness.

Last season Harden shot 36.8% from behind the 3-point line while Eric Gordon shot 36% and P.J. Tucker shot 37.7% from behind the 3-point line. If Westbrook is o the floor with any combination of these players he wouldn’t be looked at as the guy who would be taking the “3” and this type of combination would give him drive and kick options when the ball is in his hands.

The bigger question may be; how much will Westbrook have the ball in his hands? Harden is very ball dominant when he is on the floor, but Westbrook is also use to having the basketball in his hands all of the time. They still play the game in the NBA with just one basketball on the floor at a time right now; so these two superstars are going to have to figure out how to share that basketball. That may actually be the biggest key to the success of this trade.

The one thing it appears the Rockets are getting in Westbrook is a healthier player than Paul was for them. Westbrook played in 73 games last season while Paul was suited up for 58 games for the Rockets last season. I understand that “load management” is the buzzword this NBA off season, but if you look at their careers Westbrook has been healthier than Paul throughout.

This is going to be an interesting season for the Rockets. I don’t think the trade for Westbrook makes them the best team in the Western Conference, but it’s going to make them one of the more exciting teams to watch.

Now you have to wonder what happens to the 34 year old Paul. It seems clear that the Thunder are in rebuild mode and they have the draft capital to possibly do that quickly, but do they want Paul as the leader of that rebuild?

Paul has three more seasons and quite a bit of money left on his deal. He is also coming off a season where he averaged the lowest points per game of his career at 15.6. Now some of that was because he was on a high powered offensive team that didn’t need him to score, but you do have to wonder if the team he ends up on needs him to score; can he do it?

Now before this deal happened there was a lot of talk that the Rockets where looking for a third team to add into it. It appears as the Miami Heat where that team and you have to wonder if there is still some interest in Paul by Miami. With all of the draft picks Oklahoma City has recently acquired they could sweeten the pot for Miami to take Paul and his large contract.

Of course wither it’s Miami or any other team that acquires Paul they’ll have to take the load management trend to heart. Paul played in just 58 games the last two seasons and hasn’t appeared in all 82 games of a season since the 2014-15 season. It wouldn’t be important for Paul to play in every game for whatever team he ends up on, but I’m sure they’d like to see him play in 70 plus games or so.

Where do you have Paul ending up? Does he stay with Oklahoma City? Will he end up in Miami? Or do you have him going to another team? Please let me know where you’ll think he’ll end up in the comments.

The Los Angeles Angels honored Tyler Skaggs last night and they did something perfect when you’re honoring a pitcher; they threw a no-hitter.

This was the Angels first home game since Skaggs passed away on July 1st. In the pre-game ceremony all the Angels wore Skaggs #45 and his widow Debbie threw out the first pitch.

The Angels then went out and put up 7 runs in the 1st inning on their way to a 13-0 win over the Seattle Mariners.

Taylor Cole made the start as the “opener” and pitched 2 innings. Cole struck out 2 and threw 22 pitches before giving way to Felix Pena. Pena took the no-hitter the rest of the way pitching the final 7 innings striking out 6. The only Mariners player to reach base was catcher Omar Navaez who Pena walked with one out in the Top of the 5th inning. that was the only blemish on the Angels tribute to Skaggs.

After the final out of the no-hitter the Angels players came out of the dugout to celebrate and the players that where still wearing Skaggs #45 covered the pitching mound with their jerseys as a tribute to Skaggs.

Skaggs actually would’ve turned 28 today July 13th.

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

you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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How was your week

Posted: July 6, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Is it possible that we’re only going to get one division race to watch the remainder of the season in Major League Baseball? Well let’s take a look.

Let’s start out west where the Los Angeles Dodgers currently have the largest lead out of any of the division leader. The Dodgers are 14 1/2 games up on the Colorado Rockies in the NL West. Over in the American League West the Houston Astros have a 6 1/2 game lead over the Oakland A’s. Moving back east the Atlanta Braves are at the top of the NL East and they have a 6 1/2 game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies. In the AL East it’s the New York Yankees who find themselves in 1st place. The Yankees have built a 8 1/2 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays. Looking at the AL Central you’ll see that it’s the Minnesota Twins at the top of the division and they hold a 6 1/2 game lead over the Cleveland Indians.

It’s in the NL Central where thigs get interesting. With a win last night the Milwaukee Brewers took over 1st place in the division by  1/2 game over the Chicago Cubs. Now it’s not just a two team race in the NL Central. The St. Louis Cardinals are in 3rd place, but find themselves just 1 1/2 games out of 1st place. You can even go as far as saying that the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds are still in the division race even though both teams have under .500 records. Both the Pirates and the Reds are 4 games out of 1st place in the NL Central.

This is easily the best division race in baseball and you have to wonder what one of these teams have to do to separate themselves in the pennant race. If there is a team that can separate themselves from the division.

The Cardinals played well early and looked like the best team in the division. Then it was the Brewers turn in 1st place and I actually saw a host on the MLB Network call the division over once the Brewers took over the division lead. I don’t think we need to go into how dumb of a statement that was or why this moron still has a job, but Brewers lead didn’t last as the Cubs found their way into 1st place for a short period of time.

Who knows how this division is going to end up playing out, but it seems like it’s going to be the only division that’s undecided down the stretch this season. Well I guess there’s always the wild card races.

In the American League wild card race it’s the Tampa Bay Rays and the Cleveland Indians who hold the two wild card spots right now.

Cleveland is just 1/2 game ahead of the Oakland A’s while the Boston Red Sox and Texas Ranger are 2 games back. Let’s even throw in the Los Angeles Angels who are 4 1/2 games out of a wild card spot and the Chicago White Sox find themselves 6 games out of a wild card spot.

There are even more teams hanging around in the National League wild card race. Currently it’s the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies who are holding onto the two wild card spots, but it’s a tight race.

There are actually nine teams that are less than 8 games out of the final wild card spot. Now obviously it’s going to be tough for the team towards the bottom of the wild card race to jump all these teams, but since it’s so close I’ll throw them in.

The Washington Nationals are 1/2 games out. The St. Louis Cardinals are 1 game out. The Colorado Rockies are 1 1/2 games out. The Arizona Diamondbacks are 2 1/2 games out. The San Diego Padres are 3 games out while the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati reds are 3 1/2 games out. While it seems like it’s been a down year for the San Francisco Giants and the New York Mets they’re both technically still in the wild card race. The Giants are 6 1/2 games out of a wild card spot while the Mets are 7 games out of that final wild card spot.

The NL Central and the wild card look like the races to watch for the remainder of the season and will have to see which teams try to improve themselves to get into the playoffs.

While nothing is official yet it appears as Kawhi Leonard will be signing with the Los Angeles Clippers. As well as bringing Leonard in as a free agent the Clippers have acquired Paul George in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Leonard had meetings with the Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers and the team he just won the NBA title with the Toronto Raptors and he made it clear that he wanted to sign with a team that could contend for a championship.

It had also been reported that Leonard and George had express interest in playing together. This help facilitate George being traded to the Clippers. Apparently George’s agent recently approached the Thunder about a trade and it’s believe that George is the perfect piece to pair with Leonard.

I was quite surprised to see what the Clippers gave up to get George. Oklahoma City will receive point guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and a number of draft picks. The Thunder will also receive five 1st round picks. They’ll get unprotected picks in 2022, 2024 and 2026 from the Clippers along with two picks the Clippers acquired in trades from the Miami Heat. Those are an unprotected pick in 2021 and a protected pick in 2023. Oklahoma City also has the option to swap picks with the Clippers in 2023 and 2025.

That may seem like a lot of draft capital to give up and the first thought that comes to mind is did the Clippers mortgage their future. Don’t forget that the Clippers acquired multiple draft picks in the deal that sent Tobias Harris to the Philadelphia 76ers last season.

So a California team has added some more star power. Do you think the addition of Leonard and George males the Clippers a contender for the NBA title? Also are you disappointed that this is where Leonard ended up?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you happen to miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you’d like.

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With NBA free agency moving fast and furious I thought it was interesting that there where people out their who thought that the other leagues could learn something from the way it went. Now sadly this plays into a lack of knowledge of the other sports as free agency on the NFL and the NHL move along at just about a fast of a pace as NBA free agency does. I guess no one was paying attention to those other two sports. Now baseball on the other hand they definitely could learn something.

Free agency is much easier to forecast when that certain league has a salary cap. Things are made even easier in the NBA as teams know what the maximum amount of years and money they can offer a player. While the NFL and the NHL don’t have the same contract limits and dollar amount they are still working against a salary cap.

Over in baseball it’s an entirely different story. There is no salary cap; so in reality teams can spend as much money as they’d like, but there is a luxury tax which a team has to pay if their total salaries go over a certain number. I’ve seen quite a few people try to say that the luxury tax is baseballs salary cap, but it’s not even close to that. In MLB it’s completely up to the team if they want to go over the luxury tax while in a salary cap league you have to make roster moves to stay under that salary cap number.

I don’t expect MLB to adopt a salary cap any time soon as it seems that the luxury tax has worked for them. If you’ve noticed these last few seasons most of the higher salaried teams have been doing their best to stay under the luxury tax line.

So while I don’t believe that baseball has to make any moves with their luxury tax I do think they could learn a thing or two about making their off season more interesting. With a new CBA coming up will see if there are any changes made to head that way.

We’re a little past the half way point with games played in baseball and looking at the standings and the way that things have played out I’d have to say that even though they’re 5 games over the .500 mark the Boston Red Sox have been one of the more disappointing teams this season.

Coming off of a World Series winning 2018 season the Red Sox went into the off season trying to stay under or close to the luxury tax we just talked about; so that took them out of the free agent market.

The only off season signings the Red Sox made was of their own players. They brought back World Series MVP Steven Pearce on a one year deal. Then they re-signed Nathan Eovaldi to a four year $68 million dollar deal.

Since the Red Sox where working on the cheap they allowed closer Craig Kimbrell to go into free agency. It was decided that they’d use a closer by committee format and that hasn’t served them very well. Boston has had 34 save opportunities this season and they’ve converted on just 17 of them. Six different relivers have saved at least one game this season with Ryan Brasier leading the way with 7 saves. I can understand the Red Sox not wanting to meet Kimbrell price as he was asking for 5 years and around $15 to $18 million dollars a season, but it appears as though they need a better solution than what they’ve been doing.

As for a better solution will see, but the Red Sox are making a change at closer. Boston has announced that when Eovaldi is reinstated from the 60 day IL he’ll be the teams closer. Now this could be as interesting as it is intriguing since health hasn’t been Eovaldi’s strong suit in his career.

Eovaldi went on the IL after he needed to have what was described as “loose bodies” removed from his right elbow. He is expected back after the All=Star break; when he’ll move into his new role.

In his career that has covered almost eight full seasons Eovaldi has pitched in 160 regular season games, but 152 of them have been as a starter. He has 0 career saves. As a starter Eovaldi has only made 30 plus starts once in his career 2014 and he hit his highest inning total in that same season 199 2/3rds. He has piled up quite a few injuries in his career even missing the entire 2017 season as he recovered from surgery.

Can he really be a guy who can be called on out of the bullpen to pitch two or even three days in a row?

It clear that the Red Sox are banking on the same kind of success as a closer that Eovaldi had coming out of the bullpen last post season, but is that really a reliable way to gauge him as a closer?

It’s clear that the Red Sox have to do something at the end of games as they find themselves 10 games behind the New York Yankees in the AL East race. Boston is also 1 1/2 games behind the Oakland A’s for the second American League wild card spot, but aren’t their other options.

The Red Sox have always had a highly rated farm system and you’d have to think they’d be able to turn one of those prospects into an upgrade at closer and their should be some on the trade market.

I’m sure for the right prospect or package of prospects Boston could pick up Brad Hand, Shane Greene, Will Smith or a handful of other closers. It seems a though the Colorado Rockies have soured on Wade Davis and you can understand why with an ERA of 5.76, but he’s done the job before and has quite a bit of post season experience. You also have to think with the struggles Davis has had Boston might not have to give up too much to get him.

It will be interesting to see how Eovaldi fairs as a closer and if the Red Sox will make a deal just to have a guy in the bullpen; just in case. Whatever the Red Sox are going to do they can’t wait much longer or else their chances of repeating will be gone.

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

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 29, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Tickets, Uncategorized

The frenzy to sign NBA free agents is right around the corner and I have to say I was a little surprised that Kevin Durant decided to go into the free agent market with his injury instead of staying another year with the Golden State Warriors and rehabbing.

I’m not sure what or how things are worded in NBA contracts, but Durant had what I’d call an option year on his deal with Golden State that would’ve paid him over $30 million dollars, but even though he’s going to miss the entire 2019-20 season he declined that option and chose free agency.

Now even though Durant will miss all of next season it hasn’t stopped teams from lining up to throw money at him. It appears as Durant has four teams lined up to speak to once free agency gets under way. The Los Angeles Clippers, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and the Warriors will be the teams that will get the pleasure of paying Durant a boatload of money.

Now Golden State can give him more years and money than an other team, but it seemed as though Durant was ready to move on from the Warriors, but will see. It seems like the Knicks have been mentioned along with Durant since people realized he’d be a free agent two seasons ago. The Nets are kind of newcomers to the Durant sweepstakes, but they have the cap space to add Durant and one other top free agent; so why not jump in. I haven’t really heard the Clippers being associated with Durant. It was thought that Kawhi Leonard would be the top free agent target for the Clippers, but I guess you always need a back up plan and even though he’d miss a year signing Durant would be as good as any.

The big question for whatever team signs Durant is what kind of a player are they going to be getting. Durant was a different type of player when he entered the NBA. There weren’t very many players his size that possessed his skill set and even though the game has evolved he’s still a one of a kind type player.

Durant will be 32 years old when he returns from his injury. He’s played 849 regular season games and 139 playoff games in his 9-year career. During the regular season for his career Durant averages 36.9 minutes per game, but in the playoffs those minutes jump to 40.3 per game. With the new term in the NBA being “load management” you have to wonder what a Durant’s minutes will look like when he returns.

It’s going to be a big risk to whatever team signs Durant as I’m sure you’ve heard the experts on television saying that when he returns he won’t be the player he use to be. To me every case is different and we won’t really know what kind of player Durant is until he returns.

How would you feel if your favorite NBA was the one that signed Durant?

In some other NBA free agent dealings it caught me off guard that Kawhi Leonard was going to meet with the Los Angeles Lakers. What seemed even odder to me was the fact that Leonard wants former Lakers President of Basketball Operations Magic Johnson at that meeting along with Lakers owner Jeanie Buss. Since Johnson is no longer employed by the team per NBA rules he isn’t allowed to be at this type of meeting, but since it the Lakers I’m sure the NBA will make an exception and allow it to happen.

Just look at some of the other things the Lakers have managed to get away with lately. LeBron James tampers with Anthony Davis, but somehow it was Davis who the NBA ended up fining. Then there was the trade of Davis to the Lakers which some was amended this week even though it was agreed to months ago. I’m guessing that the NBA realized that the Lakers needed to be able to sign one more big time free agent to be competitive this coming season; so they allowed them to change the Davis trade even though the New Orleans Pelicans didn’t receive anything else. The Lakers turned the deal with New Orleans into a three team deal by sending Mo Wagner, Isaac Bonga, Jemerrio Jones and a 2022 2nd round pick to the Washington Wizards. Now what did the Lakers get in return? Well they got absolutely nothing. 

That seems like an odd deal in and of itself, but what the Lakers did get in return was cap space. Now even after this deal they didn’t have quite enough money to land that top tier free agent; so Davis being the generous person that he is waived his $4 million dollar trade kicker; so now the Lakers have $32 million dollars in salary cap space.

It’s quite a scam the NBA has going on with the Lakers just to make them good again, but with ratings being down they need to get them back into the playoffs and the only way to do that is to allow them to more or less do whatever they need to do to get the players they need around James. It’s just one more reason you can add to the why I no longer enjoy the NBA list.

Jumping back to Durant; did he do the Warriors a favor by opting into free agency? As we know he’ll miss all of next season and the Warriors are also dealing with Klay Thompson missing most of next season with a knee injury.

It appears as though Golden State will offer Thompson a “Max” deal to bring him back even with his injury. With Durant deciding to enter free agency this gives the Warriors some money on the books to not only re-sign Thompson, but find some help elsewhere this off season.

It might seem a little odd, but Durant becoming a free agent with the injury he has and the time he’s going to miss might have been a positive for the Warriors. I guess will have to see what Golden State does to fill out their roster.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 26, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

While most of the reports out of Houston have been about the Chris Paul/James Harden relationship, yesterday things went in a different direction. There are a few reports out there that the Houston Rockets would be very interested in adding Jimmy Butler this off season. Now the Rockets aren’t the only team interested in acquiring Butler’s services, but they’d have to go about it an interesting way.

Butler is a free agent and what the Rockets would like to see happen is for the Philadelphia 76ers to re-sign Butler and then trade him to them. Now the 76ers have express interest in keeping Butler, so the Rockets would have to convince them to deal him.

In return for Butler the 76ers would receive two of these three players; Clint Capela, Eric Gordon or P.J. Tucker. All three are signed for at least four years, so that might be a lot of salary cap money for the 76ers to add. For this deal to get done, a third team might have to be added into it.

If the Rockets can’t find a way to add Butler, they have a list of seven other free agents they’d be interested in. Danny Green, Jeremy Lin, Brook Lopez, Kevin Looney, DeAndre Jordan and Al-Farouq Aminu are the players on that list.

If one of these players were to be signed by the Rockets, it would be for the mid-level exception. The Rockets exception would fall somewhere between $5.71 and $9.25 million dollars. This dollar amount may limit them from adding Green, Lin or Lopez unless that player would be willing to take a little less money to sign with the Rockets.

With the Western Conference looking to be wide open next season, if the Rockets add Butler, would a Big 3 of Harden, Paul and Butler be enough to win the West? If Houston ends up falling short in acquiring Butler could they still win the Western Conference with the addition of one of the seven other free agents they’re interested in?

As for the 76ers they have already expressed interest in re-signing Butler, but they also have two other free agents that they have said they’d also like to re-sign. Tobias Harris and J.J. Reddick will both draw interest from other team as will Butler. So it might be pretty tough for Philadelphia to bring all three back, but apparently they’re going to try.

It looks like it’s going to take a 5-year max or close to max deal to sign Butler. The Los Angeles Clippers are interested in bringing Harris back to California. The 76ers acquired Harris from the Clippers last season along with Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott. In return the Clippers received Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, Landry Shamet and four draft picks. There have yet to be any teams linked to Reddick, but free agency hasn’t even started and in today’s NBA there are going to be teams lining up tp bring in a player who shoots 41.3% from the 3-point line.

If the 76ers do re-sign all three of these players it will put them over the salary cap and put them out of contention for a number of free agents.

Would you like to see the 76ers bring all three of these players back? If not all three which combination of these three players would you like to see brought back? Or maybe you’d like to see them re-sign jut one of these players. Which one of the three would you like to see re-signed?

The Cincinnati Bengals used the #11 pick in this past draft to select Jonah Williams an offensive tackle out of the University of Alabama. The Bengals where hoping that Williams would move into their starting left tackle spot, but now they’re going to have to wait a year to make that move.

It was announced yesterday that Williams had shoulder surgery and is likely to miss the entire season. It seems likely that Williams will be placed on Injured Reserve soon, but Cincinnati hasn’t made any move yet.

With Williams set to take over at left tackle Cordy Glenn was all set to move inside to the left guard position. Now with Williams out Glenn will go back to the left tackle position and Cincinnati will have to find someone else for left guard. Christian Westerman took the bulk of the starters snaps while Williams was out injured during mini-camp should get the first look at left guard. The Bengals also have veteran guard John Jerry in camp; so he’ll probably get some reps at left guard as well.

The Bengals did announce some positive offensive line news. Last years #1 pick 28th overall center Billy Price has had a solid spring after missing most of his rookie season. Price played in and started 10 games for the Bengals last season before being injured.

Will Robbie Gould be with the San Francisco 49ers when the 2019 season starts?

Gould spent his last two seasons with the 49ers and reached free agency after last season. The 49ers put the franchise tag on Gould which means he would earn $5 million dollars next season, but Gould hasn’t signed the franchise tag ad has asked for a trade.

It appeared as though Gould was interested in returning to the Chicago Bears. Gould spent his first 11 seasons before the Bears released him. The Bears kicking situation is a mess and at one point I think Chicago had eight kickers under contract; so adding someone like Gould would quickly clear up that situation.

In his career Gould has made 358 of the 408 field goals he’s attempted in his career and he’s hit on 454 of the 465 extra points he’s attempted. That’s 87.7% on field goals and 97.6 on extra points. Gould made 33 of the 34 field goals he attempted last season; he led the league at 97.1% field goal accuracy.

It’s understandable with how accurate Gould is that the 49ers don’t want to lose him, but Gould has mentioned that he’d like to spend more time at home with his family and they’re in Chicago.

So what do you think; where does Robbie Gould end up playing next season?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live all you have to do is head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 19, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Major League Baseball trading deadline is about six weeks away and remember that deadline is final this season. There are no more waiver deals after the July 31st trading deadline. This is going to put quite a few teams in the position of having to decide if they’re buyers and they want to add a player or two, to try to make a run or if they’re sellers and they’ll move a few of their guys for some prospects. The question is who, what and will they deal?

In the American League you have to think that teams like the New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Houston Astros, Tampa Bay Rays and even the Boston Red Sox think they’re playoff contenders. You’d have to guess that with maybe the exception of the Rays they’d all be looking to add for a playoff run.

The Yankees have already added as they acquired Edwin Encarnacion from the Seattle Mariners for minor league pitcher Juan Then four days ago.

There are some interesting teams just on the outside of the wild card race that could try to make a trade to get into one of those playoffs spots, but will they?

The Cleveland Indians, Oakland A’s, Los Angeles Angels and Chicago White Sox all find themselves within 3 games of the final American League wild card spot.

Over in the National League you have the Atlanta Braves, Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers. Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, St. Louis Cardinals and Arizona diamondbacks all in the playoff hunt.

Now the Braves and the Cubs have already added what they hope will be help to their pitching staffs. Atlanta signed Dallas Keuchel for the remainder of the season to a $13 million dollar contract. Chicago went longer on their deal to bring Craig Kimbrel into their bullpen as he revived a three year $43 million dollar deal with an option for a fourth year.

Keuchel is scheduled to make his first start for the Braves on Friday against the Washington Nationals. Kimbrel worked a perfect inning in Triple-A and threw just 8 pitches in the process. So it shouldn’t be too long before he’s closing games for the Cubs. Maybe even by this weekend.

You also have to wonder with so many teams still in contention for a playoff spot, are there enough teams who will be willing to deal or have anything to deal that could make a difference.

Also with so few teams being in a sellers mode the asking price for players might be much higher than it usually is. What could a team ask for if three, four or maybe even five teams are interested in one of their players?

In the American League I’d be surprised to see either the White Sox or Indians going out trying to make deadline deals to contend. I’m not sure if the White Sox will still be this close to a wild card spot by July 31st and they seem to be a year away. Cleveland has been interested in cutting payroll since the off season. So even if they look like they’re in the race for a wild card spot, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them trading away players instead of adding them.

The National League, however, is a convoluted mess. The only team that is double digit games out of the second wild card spot is the Miami Marlins and while some of the teams that find themselves 5 1/2 to 7 games out might be looking to sell for the shear fact that they’ll have a lot of teams to jump to contend.

Even with eliminating those teams there are still ten teams in the race for either their division or one of the two wild card spots.

While the Dodgers have moved out to a 10 game lead in the NL West the Brewers only lead the NL Central by 1/2 game and the Braves are up in the NL East by just 2 1/2 games. Those races are far from over.

I’d love for you to jump in and help me out here. Which team or teams do you see making moves to contend? Also, is there a certain player out their that you think a certain team should be targeting? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section.

The NBA draft is tomorrow night and barring a New York Knicks oddity; which could happen we should know who the Top 3 picks are. After those three picks though it’s anybody’s guess who’s going where.

We should see the New Orleans Pelicans take Zion Williamson at #1. Ja Morant should go to the Memphis Grizzlies with the 2nd pick and then all indications point to the Knicks taking R.J. Barrett with the 3rd pick. After these three, we’ll see.

The Pelicans are back on the board at #4 and the hot name right now seems to be Darius Garland, but there has been quite a few reports that New Orleans might deal this pick. The Atlanta Hawks actually offered the #8 and #10 picks to both the Knicks and the Pelicans to move up, but both deals where turned down. New Orleans is apparently looking for an All-Star quality young player instead of more picks if they decide to move that 4th pick. There has also been some talk that the Chicago Bulls and the Phoenix Suns are interested in moving up to that 4th pick. Maybe New Orleans can get a deal done with one of those teams.

Now I actual enjoy the NBA off season more than the regular season, but I have one big problem with the draft that the league needs to fix and it’s an easy fix to make.

Now we’ve known for a week plus that the New Orleans Pelicans will have the 4th pick in the draft that belonged to the Los Angeles Lakers. New Orleans received the pick as part of the trade that sent Anthony Davis to the Lakers. Now for some reason when NBA Commissioner Adam Silver steps to the podium to announce the 4th pick he’ll say that the Lakers selected who ever the player that’s picked. The problem here is obvious; the Lakers no longer have that 4th pick. This will happen again with the 10th pick as it originally belong to the Dallas Mavericks, but they traded this pick to the Atlanta Hawks at last years draft. There will be quite a few more times that this will happen and I’m not quite sure why the NBA can’t handle this like every other league handles this, but for some reason they don’t.

Sadly it’s probably too late to fix this for tomorrow night, but please NBA get on this and make it easier for us watching.

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

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

 

 

How was your week?

Posted: June 15, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

On Thursday night the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA championship in team history. They beat the Golden State Warriors 114-110 in Game 6 to win the series 4 games to 2 and capture that title. As you know I’m not a huge fan of the NBA but I did find it interesting to see how the fans of each team reacted in this series.

I can understand that a fan base is very excited when their team is on the verge of winning a championship especially the first won but that’s no excuse for how the Raptors fans cheering when Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson got injured in this series. It’s one thing to clap as the player is being helped off of the court. However, it’s something else when you’re clapping for the actual injury. I guess you’d say classless.

Now I’m sure you’re wondering how it was possible for Raptors fans to cheer for Thompson’s injury since the game was at Oracle Arena. Well through the magic of social media there where some posts from different establishments where Raptors fans had gathered to watch Game 6. These posts clearly show fans jumping out of their seats and applauding when Thompson goes down injured. Sorry that’s just not the way to go about that situation unless you’re a 10-year old kid and you don’t know any better. Obviously it was easier to see Raptors fans cheering when Durant was injured since Game 5 was played at Toronto’s Scoatiabank Arena.

Golden State fans don’t think that you’re off the hook. Your Warriors have been to five straight NBA finals and they’ve won three titles for you. You have to be able to give credit to the team that beat you even if you’re not 100% sure that they would’ve beat you have circumstances had been different.

Now instead of doing this Warriors fans immediately started complaining that their team wasn’t healthy and if they hadn’t had these injuries they would’ve easily won this series. Now sure on paper you’d think that a healthy Golden State team would beat a healthy Toronto team, but you don’t know that for sure because it didn’t happen. Also I’m curious as to how you know that the Raptors weren’t dealing with any injuries. While they didn’t have any player miss any games, there were reports throughout the series about injuries that both teams where dealing with.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me or maybe this is just how NBA fans are. I don’t remember St. Louis Blues fans cheering when Zdeno Chara of the Boston Bruins broke his jaw in the Stanley Cup finals. Maybe there is a difference in fans from different sports.

Now that the NBA finals is over, there are questions abound for both of the teams that were playing for the championship.

Front and center was Durant’s free agency looming over the Warriors and now with his injury it will be interesting how this changes the off season. There were a few teams that were clearing salary cap space to make a run at Durant and another top free agent and now that Durant will miss all of the 2019-20 season due to his injury, what will these teams do? There have been some reports that teams will still pursue Durant just like they would’ve had he not been injured and allow him to rehab next season on their dime.

While Durant was the big name heading into free agency once the finals ended don’t forget that Thompson was also headed into free agency. There was less being made about Thompson becoming a free agent since most people thought that he’d re-sign with Golden State. Thompson ended up tearing the ACL in his left knee. They’re saying that he’ll be able to return in February of 2020, but there have been cases of guys who’ve had ACL surgery missing the entire season after that surgery.

The Warriors also have Kevon Looney who played very well for them in the playoffs and DeMarcus Cousins headed into free agency. So they’ll have some decisions to make.

Don’t think that Toronto is off the hook. When the Raptors traded for Kawhi Leonard, they knew there was a chance that they might only have him for one season, but they wanted to try and win a championship with him and hope that would convince him to re-sign with the Raptors. Well they got their title and now will have to see if Leonard will re-sign with the Raptors or if he’ll move on.

Danny Green and Jeremy Lin will also be headed into free agency while Marc Gasol has an option year on his contract for a little over $25.5 million dollars, so he can he invoke the option and stay with Toronto or decline that option and take his chances in free agency.

It will be interesting to see where some of these free agents end up. Will they return to the team they where with? Or will they end up wearing a different uniform next season?

The other big question I saw coming out of this NBA finals was; is the Warriors dynasty over?

After five straight trips to the NBA finals and with a couple of crippling injuries to a couple of their top player next season might not be the Warriors year, but over might be a little bit too much.

Remember this is a team that will still have Stephen Curry and Draymond Green and the one thing that no one seems to have mentioned is the fact that the Warriors are allowed to add players in free agency like all the other teams. Of course the one big thing that could hinder the Warriors is if Durant decides to invoke the option year on his contract. If Durant does this he’ll be paid $31.5 million dollars next season. Having to carry a salary like that would pretty much end the Warriors pursuit of any upper level free agents unless they would be willing to take a very friendly team contract. It would also be interesting to see how Durant exercising his option year would affect Thompson. It’s possible the warriors would have to let Thompson walk if Durant’s big salary has to be counted against their salary cap next season.

It looks like next season could be tough for the Warriors but are you counting them out?

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

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 12, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’m sure that Major League Baseball believes they’re not doing anything wrong and let’s face it they’re never going to admit to anything and why would they since this worked for them once before, but it’s clear there’s something going on with the baseball this season.

Some people used the termed juiced other say the baseball is wound tighter this season. I even heard someone say that with the increase in pitching velocity the number of home runs was bound to go up, but I think even the average baseball fan realizes that it’s the baseball.

Let’s go back to 1998 when baseball was coming off a strike and there was quite a bit of backlash from the fans. Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa had an epic home run battle that helped bring fans back to the game.

McGwire win the battle with Sosa as he hit a single season record at that time of 70 home runs. Sosa ended up with 66 home runs and won the NL MVP in 1998.

Of course Barry Bonds went on to break the single season home run record with 73 home runs in 2001 and he also has hit the most home runs by a player n baseball history with 762 for his career. Of course all three of these big time home run hitters have come under scrutiny for the use of performance enhancing drugs to help them reach those home run totals.

This season it doesn’t appear that any player is getting help hitting home runs from any other substance but a supped up baseball.

We’ve played about 1/3rd of the season and right now there are six players with 20 home runs or more. That would mean if these numbers held up all six of these players would reach the 60 home run mark for a season. Eight times in Major League Baseball a player has hit 60 or more home runs in a season; so just imagine if this season there are six guys who reach that number.

I’m sure with the short attention span society we live in today Major League Baseball probably thought it would be the right thing to do to add some excitement to the game and what better way to do that than make home run numbers go up. To be honest it just makes the game boring and hard to watch. You get one moment of a baseball flying into the stands in between a large amount of strikeouts and the baseball not being out in play. It’s bad enough that every single major league ballpark is designed to have regular flyballs land in the bleachers. Now with the baseball the way it is even pop flies are turning into home runs. How is this good for the game?

On Monday we had a firestorm of sabermetrics, analytics and a juiced up baseball put on a sad display of power at Citizens Bank Park as the Philadelphia Phillies hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Phillies and the Diamondbacks combined for a Major League record 13 home runs in a game. Now you would think with 13 home runs being hit in a game we’d see one of the higher scoring games in baseball history as well, but we didn’t. Some how with these two teams combining to hit 13 home runs they only managed to score 21 runs combined.

This is where the sabermetrics and analytics come into play. Since players no seem no long interested in doing anything but hitting home runs there just weren’t any runners on base when all of these home runs where hit.

I’m sure the sabermetric/analytic community has an excuse for this, but we all know that would be just complete garbage. There where runs scored in every inning of this game except the 7th. There where 27 hits in this game and 13 of them where home runs and the teams combined to leave 15 runners on base.

I’m kind of at my wits end when it comes to baseball. This is the game that I’ve been interested in the longest out of the four major sports. Now I’ve given up on the new style of play in the NBA and slowly but surly it’s staring the look like baseball might be next.

The Golden State Warriors kept their NBA title hopes alive with a 106-105 victory over the Toronto Raptors in Game 5 on Monday night.

There where quite a few interesting storylines to come out of this game, but let’s go with the most obvious of them all the Kevin Durant injury.

I find it very hard to believe how many people who watch the NBA game much, much closely than I do think that Durant was some how forced or conned into playing by the Warriors. Just think about that statement for a minute; then try to figure out how they’d be able to do that.

Durant was about to be the biggest free agent on the NBA market where there is a lot of money out there with the television deal they have. Why would he risk that? Do people honestly believe that Durant and his team of people only took the word of the Golden State team doctors before agreeing to play on Game 5? There is no chance at all that Durant didn’t consult his own physician before playing in Game 5.

Durant looked really good for a guy who hadn’t played in a month. He played 12 minutes and scored 11 points. He was 3 of 5 from the field, but he went 3 of 3 from behind the 3-point line. He also made all both free throws he attempted, grabbed 2 rebounds and blocked a shot before going down with a torn achilles.

It looks as thought this injury may keep Durant out all of next season, but there’s really no telling how long he’ll be out until surgery is performed.

After his injury again there where a lot of people saying that he wouldn’t be able to come back as the player he is now because big men have a difficult time coming back from this injury. The first question that popped into my mind was; since when is Durant anything like a normal big man in the NBA?

I actually don’t care how this affects the NBA Finals at all. I’m more interested to see how this affects the off season. There where quite a few teams that where making salary cap room to try to add Durant. Which direction will those teams go now?

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

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 8, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Speculation was that once the Major League Baseball draft was I the books it wouldn’t take ling for Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel to sign and they where right on the nose with that.

It was officially announced yesterday that Kimbrel has signed with the Chicago Cubs and that Keuchel has signed with the Atlanta Braves. Let’s see who got what.

Now if you listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast at all during the baseball off season I said over and over the Cubs needed to add bullpen help, but like always no one listened to me. I guess they had to learn their lesson on the field before they realized my idea wasn’t so bad.

Kimbrel received a 3 year deal for $43 million dollars from the Cubs. At first I thought they may have overpaid for him, but there where reports that the Tampa Bay Rays had upper their offer for Kimbrel to 3 years and $39 million dollars; so the Cubs had to out bid them and they did.

Now Kimbrel has been one of the best closers in baseball since his rookie year in 2011. He’s got a 50 save season under his belt and has never saved less than 31 games in a season. Kimbrel has also been one of the healthier pitchers in baseball and has appeared in at least 57 games in every season he’s pitched, but there have been some bumps in the road.

Kimbrel posted the second highest ERA of his career 2.74 last season, but his issues really showed up in the post season. While he did record 6 saves last post season in the 10 2/3rd innings he pitched he allowed 7 earned runs that’s an ERA of 5.94. Kimbrel gave up 9 hits and walked 8 batters last post season as well. Now Kimbrel’s struggles have been attributed to him tipping his pitches which is a correctable problem; so hopefully when he takes the mound for the Cubs he’ll be back tp his normal form.

The question now becomes how long will it take Kimbrel to get ready to join the Cubs bullpen? Kimbrel himself said he thought it would take two weeks while Cubs manager Joe Maddon went with three weeks when asked this question. Once Kimbrel is in the Cubs bullpen the other question will come up. Can he pitch on back to back days? Can he pitch more than one inning? Along with a few more questions; I’m sure.

It looks like a good signing for the Cubs as Brandon Morrow is still injured and while Pedro Strop did  solid job in the closer role he’s always been a better set up man though his career.

Did you like this signing?

I believe that it’s going to be easier for Kimbrel to get back into his role of closer than it’s going to be for Keuchel to be a top of the rotation starting pitcher like he’s been in his career. Just the last few seasons we’ve seen starters who have just reported to teams either at the end of spring training or right after spring training had ended and they’ve had rough seasons. Keuchel is joining a team with about 1/3rd of the season in the books. It makes you ask; what will the Braves get?

There was some talk mostly from Keuchel’s agent Scott Boras that Keuchel wasn’t going to sign a one year deal, but in the end that’s exactly what he got from Atlanta. Keuchel signed a 1 year deal for $13 million dollars with the Braves.

Keuchel made 34 starts last season and threw 204 2/3rd innings. The starts where a career high while the innings total was the second highest in his career. He did however give up more hits 211 than innings pitched and his strikeouts per 9 innings rate dropped a whole point. There where reports that Keuchel’s velocity was down and since he pitches to contact that could result in more hits off of him.

Now Keuchel is just what the Braves appear to need; a veteran top of the rotation starter. Don’t forget that Keuchel has not only won 20 games in a season, but is also a Cy Young ward winner. He posted an ERA of 3.74 last season, but that was in the American League and ERA’s are always higher there.

The question now just like for Kimbrel is; how long before Keuchel will be ready to join the Braves starting rotation? Keuchel is scheduled to make a start in Triple-A and it was agreed upon in his contract that he can only stay in Triple-A until June 18th. Even if Keuchel is injured he has to be called up and placed on the Injured List by June 18th. So expected Keuchel in the Braves rotation in 10 days.

Did you like the signing of Keuchel for the Braves? Who do you think made the better signing; Atlanta or Chicago?

Last night the Toronto Raptors took a 3-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals as they won Game 4 by a the score of 105-92. There are many ways to look at this, but the one thing I’m wondering is did this series just set up for Kevin Durant to be the hero?

Durant hasn’t played in a month due to a calf injury. His last game was against the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs on May 8th and after the Western Conference final series against the Portland Trail Blazers there where a lot of people convinced that the Warriors didn’t need Durant to win the title. I wonder if those people have changed their minds now.

Remember that we’re talking about a player who is considered by some to be the best player in the NBA. Don’t forget that Durant is a two-time finals MVP. He’s also won a league MVP. As well as being a 4-time league scoring leader. That’s a lot of offense for even a team like the Warriors to be missing.

It’s an interesting scenario for Durant who is headed into free agency once these finals are over. If he returns and Golden State runs the table; wins three straight games and their third title in a row; how big of a hero is he? Now if he returns and they still end up losing the title to Toronto he should still be covered because he returned and tried to help the team out while possibly being less than 100%.

In all honesty no matter which route Durant chooses to take it’s not going to impact his free agency at all as he’ll still be the top target for every team looking to add a top player. I guess maybe it’s just the visions of Willis Reed walking out of the tunnel or Michael Jordan being almost carried off the court with the flu that makes me wonder if Durant could have a moment like that over an entire three game span.

What do you think. Does Durant play in the NBA Finals?

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

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 1, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I’ll be the first one to complain about the extra days off in a playoff series. It’s become common place in the NBA no matter if it’s an opening round series or the NBA finals that at some point there will be an extra day off added into the schedule. Sadly now it seems that the NHL has adopted this terrible scheduling pattern for the Stanley Cup finals.

Now the main excuse given is always travel even though the last time I checked teams are no longer taking the train to get from one destination to the next. Most if not all teams have a team plane which should make their travel much easier than you or I, but they still need that extra day off.

To the point teams and leagues do this because of their television contracts and I don’t understand why they just won’t come out and admit that.

ESPN and TNT grossly overpaid to broadcast NBA regular season and playoff games. It was so bad at ESPN that they had to let quite a few employees go to save their bottom line; so you have to figure that they have quite a bit of control over the schedule; especially when it comes to playoff games.

Here’s how this could play out. The NHL started off okay as they had Game 1 on Monday and then Game 2 on Wednesday, but then they threw in the extra day; so Game 3 is tonight. The Boston Bruins where the prohibited favorite coming into this series, but the St. Louis Blues picked up a Game  win before the Bruins evened thing up with a Game 2 win. Even if one of these teams wins the next three games the NHL season won’t end until June 6th. If this series happens to go seven games the NHL season won’t end until June 12th. Except for fans in St. Louis and Boston; who pays attention to what’s going on in the NHL in the middle of June?

Over in the NBA the season could play out even longer. The Toronto Raptors picked up a Game 1 victory over the favorite Golden State Warriors and Game 2 is in Toronto tomorrow night. Now everyone expected Golden State to win this series and if they did win four games in a row to capture the NBA title the series would end on June 10th. Now if this series ends up going to full seven games in won’t end until June 16th. Since this is the first time the Raptors have ever made it to the NBA finals their fans will stay with this series no matter what, but if this does go all the way until June 16th there will be Golden State fans that won’t care who ended up winning.

Game 1 of the NBA finals was another example of how the television contracts these league get into doesn’t really help them.

Like I mentioned for the first time in team history the Raptors had made it to the NBA finals. Toronto also had the better regular season record; so they got hosted Game 1 and have home court advantage. What did that get for their fans? It got them a 9:00 p.m. start time for Game 1. Now you’ll hear the various leagues talk about growing the game and making it more available to kids. How many kids got to see the end of this game? The only reason I got to see any of this game was because I just happened to be on vacation from my job otherwise I wouldn’t of seen any of Game 1. To be fair tomorrow nights game isn’t much better as it will start at 8:00 in Toronto, but if that’s what television wants that’s what television is going to get. Sorry fans your not important to the NBA!

The Major League Baseball draft is coming up in a few days; I believe it ight be June 3rd, but I’m not sure of that date. I have to give baseball some credit for trying to make it out like it’s a big deal. They’ve created a draft show and it seems like there’s a commercial for it on the MLB Network ever time they go to break. I’m sure they’d love the MLB draft to be looked at and turned into a spectacle like the NFL and NBA drafts are, but that’s just not going to happen for them.

When your favorite NFL or NBA team makes a draft pick the player goes right to training camp with the team that picked him and in most cases will be on the field or court when the season starts. When you get drafted by an major league team you go to spring training, but you spend that time in minor league camp. Maybe the player that a team took with their #1 pick makes an appearance or two in the major league camp just so they ca be seen by reporters and the teams front office people, but there’s very little chance that player will see any time in the major league for quite some time.

Now’s there’s really nothing that MLB can do about this it’s just the nature of their game and it takes time for a player to develop until the NFL and NBA where they can walk into a training camp and compete for a job.

The Baltimore Orioles have the first pick in the MLB draft and in just about every mock draft I’ve read they’re going to select Bobby Witt Jr. a shortstop who is almost 19 years old and played at Colleyville Heritage High School in Colleyville Texas. If the Orioles don’t take Witt Jr. they may go with outfielder Riley Greene from Hagerty High School in Oviedo Florida or left handed pitcher Zach Thompson who pitches at the University of Kentucky.

Now maybe down the road one of these players will have a Hall of Fame career, but I don’t think any of them will be in the big leagues this season; so unlike the NFL and NBA draft we just have t wait and see how these players turn out.

If Witt Jr’s name sounds familiar to you that’s because his father Bobby Witt  pitched for seven different major league teams over a 16 year career.

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

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