Archive for the ‘basketball’ Category

How was your week

Posted: May 25, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

With the way that sabermetrics and analytics have taken over baseball I’m not really surprised at anything that comes out. I’m to the point now where I’m more humored or curious on how they got to this conclusion. That was the case this week when I read one story and the heard a report on MLB Network that has Texas Rangers outfielder Joey Gallo as an MVP candidate.

To be fair I haven’t followed Gallo closely this season except to plug him into my FanDuel home run derby line up; so I thought we could go over his numbers and see if or how he’s starting to be mentioned as an MVP candidate.

Gallo has played in 43 of the Rangers 48 games this season. Gallo is hitting .285; he came into the season as a career .203 hitter over the first four seasons of his career. He’s had 151 official at bats this season. Of his 43 hits this season 11 of them have been doubles, he has 1 triple and 15 home runs. At least right now he has more singles 16 than home runs. Gallo also has 35 RBI’s this season. His strikeout rate is still very high and he’s on pace to strikeout about 228 times this season. Gallo has walked 35 times and you can also add 3 stolen bases to his stat line.

To be honest his numbers are better than I thought they would be, but is he an actual candidate for MVP?

I can see why people would have Gallo in the MVP conversation right now. There really aren’t a lot of candidates in the American League. If I had to guess right now I’d say that George Springer of the Houston Astros is the front runner for the award. I’d think that Springer’s teammates Alex Bregman and Michael Brantley would garner some votes as well. You could add Gallo in as the 4th contender and just to round out a Top 5 you could throw Gary Sanchez of the New York Yankees in the MVP race.

It is a bit of a down year right now in the American League. The Yankees have had a lot of injury to their key players who would grab a lot of those MVP votes from the East coast writers and at this point of their season there’s no one on the Boston Red Sox who’s an MVP candidate.

If this situation was to continue I’m not sure who all of those writers would cast their votes for; so that might make Gallo a viable contender for the MVP award. If I had to guess those writers would end up pushing Sanchez o the award as there would be no one else to vote for.

Gallo is tied for 2nd in the AL in home runs. He’s tied for 6th in RBI’s and his average puts him 27th out of all qualifiers. He is tops in OPS right now which is a big stat among the analytics community; so I’m sure that’s one of the main reasons we’re hear his name mentioned as an MVP candidate.

Now there’s still a long way to go in this season. Gallo and the Rangers still have 114 games to play, but right now I can understand why they have him in the MVP conversation. Will he win it? I guess will just have to wait and see how the rest of the season plays out.

I wanted to drop in a quick update on the Sports Time Radio podcast instead of waiting to the end to do it. We’re going to be off the next five Sunday’s as Mr. Fantasy is on a European vacation. Then of course since Monday is the Memorial day holiday will be off because Dan the Man likes his holidays, but other wise will be rolling along like usual.

The podcast can be heard live on BlogTalkRadio.com. We’re on Monday thru Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Then on Friday we start 30 minutes earlier as we’re on from 5:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. The podcast is also available for you to listen to any time you’d like at TuneIn.com.

Sports Time Radio also has a Facebook page; so you should check that out and give it a like while you’re there. The podcast also has it’s own Twitter account @SportsTimeRadio. If you’re interested in following that. The hosts also have Twitter accounts if you’re interested in follow us. Dan the Man is @DanZeeeMan, Mr. Fantasy is at MrFanofSports while I am @Burketime. Sadly Schaumburg Stu doesn’t have a Twitter account, but maybe someday he’ll start one.

Feel free to interact with us on social media or by calling into the podcast and talking to us.

The Golden State Warriors are still waiting to find out who they’ll be facing in the NBA finals and tonight there’s a chance that they might get that answer.

The Toronto Raptors host the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Raptors hold a 3 games to 2 lead in the series and with one more win will advance to the NBA Finals for the first time in team history.

If Milwaukee finds a way to win Game 6 on the road the series would head back to Fiserv Forum for a Game 7 on Monday.

No matter how this Eastern Conference series plays out the NBA Finals will start on Thursday May 30th. It also won’t matter which Eastern Conference teams wins as they both had better regular season records than the Warriors; so they’ll be hosting that Game 1.

With the finals on the horizon this brings up an interesting question. Would you rather be Golden State or the team that wins the Eastern Conference?

It seems as though the biggest advantage that Golden State has is they can get healthy; but besides that is there anything else that helps them being off this long? Golden State hasn’t played a game since May 20th when they swept the Portland Trail Blazers out of the Western Conference finals. That means that the Warriors will have 10 days between games. Now I’m sure they will have practices and scrimmages, but that doesn’t recreate an actual game. I mentioned earlier that health could be the Warriors one advantage, but even with this time off it’s being reported that Kevin Durant won’t be ready for the start of the NBA Finals; so that advantage might not mean anything.

Is it at all possible that it’s better to be the team still playing? That of course would be as long as one of your players doesn’t suffer an injury before the NBA Finals.

I don’t think that either the Raptors or the Bucks will beat the Warriors for the NBA title, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they look better than them when Game 1 rolls around. It wouldn’t even be a huge shock to me if that Eastern Conference team picked up a Game 1 win.

Feel free to let me know what situation you’d rather be in heading into the NBA Finals.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Day weekend.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 22, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It seems that a Major League Baseball manager and NFL quarterbacks have at least one thing in common. When their teams win they get too much and credit and when the teams loses they get too much blame. At least in the NFL the quarterback gets his hands on the football when his team is on offense. A manager doesn’t get to hit or pitch, but he’s the one that loses his job when that team doesn’t perform. That seems to be the case in New York right now as Mets manager Mickey Calloway is on the hot seat after a prolonged slump by his team.

The Mets where on a 5-game losing streak and it looked like Calloway might be out of a job. First year General Manager Brody Van Wagenen came out and said that Calloway would be the Mets manager, but he used the term “for the foreseeable future”; so that really didn’t answer anything.

As it turned out the best thing for the Mets was to return home to face the Washington nationals another struggling National League East team. The Mets have taken the first two games of this four game series with the Nationals. Thursday the Mets picked up a 5-3 win and then last night the Mets won 6-5 on a walk off infield single by Amed Rosario.

With those two wins the Mets improved to 22-25 on the season and you’d have to think that for a short period of time Calloway’s job is safe. Of course who knows if he’ll last through another losing streak.

As early as it still is in the season I’m not sure that a managerial change would make that much difference on a team like the Mets.

The Mets have struggled with injury like a lot of teams have this season. Jed Lowrie was a big off season signing for the Mets, but he’s yet to play a game due to injury. Lowrie sprained his left knee capsule which kept him out of all of spring training as well as the 47 regular season games the Mets have played. It appeared that Lowrie was recovered from his injury, but had a setback when he strained his left hamstring. Lowrie is going to be re-evaluated in two weeks and there’s no set timetable for his return. Todd Frasier also started out the season injured, but has returned to play in 23 games this season. Frasier is off to a slow start hitting .206 with 2 home runs. You can add Michael Conforto to that injury list as he is currently on the IL with a concussion. Hopefully Conforto will just miss the 10 days that the Injured List calls for, but you never know with a concussion.

Then there’s the plight of Yoenis Cespedes. Cespedes has battled injuries for the last three seasons with the Mets. In 2017 he played in 81 games, last season he played in just 38 games and this season it doesn’t appear as he’ll play any games for the Mets this season. Cespedes was sidelined after having surgery on both of his heels. While it’s unclear how Cespedes had an accident while working on his ranch and suffered multiple right ankle fractures. As of right now there’s no idea when he’ll be able to return.

The only Mets pitcher to miss significant time has been Jason Vargas. Even when he was healthy Vargas wasn’t very good. In 7 games 6 of which where starts Vargas was 1-2 with an ERA of 5.92 over 24 1/3rd innings. Vargas injured his hamstring and landed on the 10-day IL. He’s scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Friday and then a decision will be made on a return date. When Vargas returns the Mets will have to decide if he’ll go back into the starting rotation where he wasn’t very good or he’ll be oved to the bullpen. There’s also a possibility that the Mets could release Vargas when he returns.

Now injuries are out of the managers control, but they do affect a teams record and that indirectly can lead to the manager losing his job. Even at 3 games under .500 the Mets are only 5 1/2 games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East.

Do you think a change in manager would help the Mets? Or do they just need their players to get healthy and back into the line up?

While it’s really no surprise that the Golden State warriors are going back to the NBA Finals for the 5th season in a row it is a little surprising that they did it by sweeping the Portland Trail Blazers.

Now remember Golden State Played the entire series without Kevin Durant who is recovering from a strained calf. Andre Iguodala also missed game 4 of the Western Conference Finals with a calf injury.

Luckily for Golden State Iguodala’s injury isn’t serious and he’ll be ready for Game 1 of the NBA Finals whenever that is. Durant’s stats for the Finals is still unclear.

The Warriors will now sit and wait for the winner of the Milwaukee Bucks/Toronto Raptors series. Toronto won Game 4 of the series last night 120-102 to tie the series at two games apiece.

If this series was to go seven games it wouldn’t end until Monday, May 27th. There’s never really a quick turnaround with these NBA series; so the NBA Finals might not start until mid-week or later.

That means the Warriors will have at least a week to get their players healthy and prepare to try and win their 3rd NBA championship in a row and their 4th title in 5 years.

Do you think this much time off is go for the Warriors? Or do you think it would’ve been better for them to only have a few days off before starting the NBA Finals?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com The podcast airs Monday thru Thursday from 5:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. Then on Friday’s we start a half hour early at 5:00 p.m. and we go until 6:00 p.m. Now if you do happen to 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: May 15, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NBA held it’s draft lottery last night. Now there are a lot of people who believe the lottery is rigged and I happened to be one of those people. Now last nights lottery did nothing to slow down the conspiracy theorist at all.

The New York Knicks, Cleveland Cavaliers and the Phoenix Suns each had an equal chance to win the draft lottery with the Chicago Bulls next in line percentage wise. When it was all said and done the Knicks where the only team that stayed in the inside the Top 5. The Cavaliers ended up with the 5th pick, the Suns pick 6th and the Bulls pick 7th. Even the Knicks fell a little as they ended up with the 3rd overall pick.

The overall winner of the draft lottery was the New Orleans Pelicans who will have the #1 pick and the right to select Zion Williamson. The Memphis Grizzlies moved up to the #2 spot while the Knicks sit at #3. The Los Angeles Lakers jumped up all the way to #4 which was no surprise at all to me as I expected the Lakers to come away with the #1 pick.

Now I’m sure most people would look at this and not think there was anything fishy going on, but let’s take a closer look at how things fell out.

As I mentioned I thought the Lakers would end up at #1 and if it wasn’t them it would be the Knicks who got the first pick. but New Orleans fits into this conspiracy just fine.

As everyone knows Anthony Davis has no interest in returning to New Orleans next season and since he’s signed with the agency that LeBron James owns it’s no shock at all that he wants to play with the Lakers. The two teams tried to work out a trade around the deadline, but couldn’t come to terms on a deal because the Lakers didn’t have enough assets for the Pelicans to make the trade. Now the trade package the Lakers can offer has greatly improved.

I’m guessing the deal will go down something like this. The Lakers will send the #4 pick along with multiple other draft picks to New Orleans with Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball for Davis.

The Lakers will get the star they want in Davis and James will be able to shape the team the way he wats with that young core gone. This should also be enough for the Lakers to return to the playoffs even in the tough Western Conference which is where the NBA wants them.

The Pelicans will gain a solid core of young players that they immediately add Williamson and one other young talent that they’ll get with the 4th pick to the mix. Remember most experts think that there are four top players in this draft; so the Lakers pick landed just inside of where they needed it to for this deal to happen.

Memphis landing at #2 may have been the biggest surprise of the night, but when you look at the Grizzlies closely you can understand why the NBA wanted them up there.

Memphis is one of the lowest drawing teams in the league and last season they tried to sell for their top players. Marc Gasol ended up in the Eastern Conference finals as a member of the Toronto Raptors, but the Grizzlies where unable to find a taker for Mike Conley. You’d have t think without a top pick in this draft that Memphis would deal Conley in the off season and that may still happen.

By landing in the 2nd spot of the draft the Grizzlies will most likely select Ja Morant. There are experts who think Morant might be a better NBA player right out of the gate than Williamson. Now don’t go crazy their not saying for his career; just for the start of their rookie seasons. This would give Memphis a bonafide young superstar for fans to come out and watch as the teams begins a rebuild.

The Knicks came away with the 3rd pick in the draft and I’m not really sure if there’s anything of interest here. There where repots that if the Knicks landed the #1 pick in the draft they’d try to trade it to New Orleans for Davis. I guess you could look at the fact that the Knicks are owed by James Dolan who is not only the worst owner in the NBA, but the worst owner in all of professional sports; so maybe the NBA didn’t want to do him ay favors and allow him to end up with Williamson.

Luckily for the Knicks they landed n a spot where they should be able to draft a young player like R.J. Barrett to help their team out. The other teams with chances like the Knicks in the lottery; the Cavaliers, Suns and the Bulls will all be back in the draft lottery next season with the picks they got.

The other team that walked away from the draft lottery with some bad luck was the Atlanta Hawks.

The Hawks had two chances to move into the top of the draft since they also owned the Dallas Mavericks pick. Sadly for the Hawks they didn’t get close to a top pick as they ended up at #8 and #10. It would’ve been very interesting if the Hawks had moved up into the Top 3 and would’ve been able to select one of those players that will go in those spots.

Now no matter which side of the draft lottery conspiracy you’re on there are two things that you have to remember. 1) The draft lottery is a made for television event and 2) the NBA is a business and they’re going to do what’s best for business.

It’s always been good for the NBA when the Lakers and the Boston Celtics are good. The Celtics where a playoff team even though they where a bit of a disappointment in the playoffs, but the Lakers on the other hand need some help to find their way into the playoffs. While it appears as though the Celtics will be good enough to find their way into the playoffs next year the Lakers would need some help. Did the NBA give the Lakers enough help to get into the playoffs next season?

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

Remember to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: May 11, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, MMA, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

According to most of the people who cover and report on the NBA the championship was decided last night. Now it was just a Western Conference semi-finals Game 6, but they feel that these where the best two teams and the winner of this series would go on to win the NBA title. So who won this series and the title last night?

Well it was the Golden State Warriors who beat the Houston Rockets 118-113 last night. Now not only did Golden State win Game 6 on Houston’s home court the Toyota Center but they did it without Kevin Durant.

Durant is consider to be the best or one of the best players in the NBA, bt he was scheduled to miss the rest of the series against the Rockets when he strained a calf in Game 5. As it turned out the Warriors didn’t need him.

Now if you’ve read any of the blog I’ve written here when I talk about the NBA that I don’t enjoy the style of play; so there was no way I was going to sit through an entire game.

I turned the game on just as Klay Thompson hit a 3-pointer to give Golden State a 110-104 lead with 36.1 seconds left in the game.

To be honest I think it took about 20 minutes to play the final 36.1 seconds of this game and I was quite bored, but I managed to stick with it. The Rockets where just throwing up 3-pointers and then fouling; so they where trying to trade 3 points for 2 points and with 3.6 seconds left they had cut the Warriors lead to 3 points at 116-113.

Once Steph Curry got his hands on the basketball and the Rockets had to foul him with just 2.3 seconds left you knew this game was over. Curry didn’t disappoint as he nailed those two free throws to put the game away and end Houston’s season again.

This is the second season in a row that the Warriors have knocked the Rockets out of the playoffs. This was also the 4th time in 5 seasons that the Warriors have eliminated the Rockets from the playoffs.

At this point the Rockets probably have to decided if the combination of James Harden and Chris Paul will ever be able to gte past the Warriors in a playoff series. Especially since last night looked like Houston’s best chance with Durant sidelined.

Curry ended up being the Warriors leading score with 33 points even though he went scoreless in the fist half of the game. Curry went 9 of 20 from the field including 4 of 11 from behid the 3-point line, but he made all 14 of the free throws he shot to get him to that 33 number.

Klay Thompson added 27 points while Andre Iguadala was the other Golden State starter to score in double digits with 17 points. Kevin Looney and Shaun Livingston helped pick up the score void in Durant’s absence. Looney went for 14 points while Livingston added 11 points. Draymond Green grabbed 10 rebounds and handed out 7 assists to lead the Warriors in those categories.

In a losing effort James Harden led the Rockets with a game high 35 points. Harden added 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 steals, but it just wasn’t enough to get the Rockets a Game 6 win.

Chris Paul and Clint Capela each had double-doubles as Paul went for 27 points and grabbed 11 rebounds while Capela had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Paul also handed out a team high 6 assists. P.J. Tucker was the other Rockets starter to reach double figures in scoring with 15 points.

The Rockets bench didn’t have much affect on the outcome of this game. Houston got 17 points in 50 total minutes from the four players who came in off the bench.

Golden State will get some time off to rest and hopefully Durant will be healthy for the Western Conference finals which start on Tuesday. Who will Golden State be playing in those Western Conference finals? Well they’re going to have to wait until Sunday to find that out.

We actually have not one, but two Game 7’s on Sunday. The Portland Trail Blazers are at the Denver Nuggets on Sunday afternoon to start the NBA action. Then the Toronto Raptors will host the Philadelphia 76ers in a Game 7 with the winner going to the Eastern Conference finals to face the Milwaukee Bucks.

Milwaukee advanced to the Eastern Conference finals this past Wednesday when they eliminated the Boston Celtics in five Games. Milwaukee won Game 5 116-91 on Wednesday.

So who do you have n these two game 7’s? Are you going with Toronto or Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference? What about the Western Conference; do you like the Trail Blazers or the Nuggets to advance?

Anderson Silva is fighting tonight on UFC’s 237 card. Silva will fight Jared Cannonier tonight.

Silva is 44 years old and has three fights left on the current contract he has with the UFC. Obviously he’ll have two fights left after tonight. Apparently it doesn’t matter how many fights Silva has left on any contract because according to his manager Jorge Guimaraes; Silva and the UFC are in talks about a contract extension.

Silva is 34-9-1 with one no-contest in his UFC career. He’s coming into tonight’s fight off of a loss. Silva dropped an unanimous decision to Israel Adesanya on UFC 234 February 10th in Melbourne Australia.

This is the quickest turnaround for Silva in his UFC career. Before the fight with Adesanya he had almost a two year lay off.

Silva held the UFC middleweight title from 2006 to 2013 which covered 10 fights; a UFC record at the time. Silva still holds the UFC record for most consecutive victories with 16. Silva is considered one of the greatest UFC fighters of all-time and a sure Hall of Fame selection when he final does decide to retire.

Silva is looking to turn around the struggles he’s had. He has only one fight since 2012; a span of 7 fights. The win came against Derek Brunson on February 11th 2017.

Silva has also had two suspensions in that time frame after testing positive for a prohibited substance. Now the USADA; which is the UFC’s anti-doping partner did over turn Silva’s suspensions saying they where caused by a contaminated dietary supplement.

Do you have Silva getting a win tonight?

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.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 1, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now if you’ve ever listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast or just kept up with the blogs here you know that the NBA is my least favorite of the four major sports. I would check in on games from time to time to get the score and watch a few minutes of whatever game as on, but after Game 1 of the Western Conference semi-finals between the Houston Rockets and the Golden State Warriors I may be done with the sport as a whole.

Golden State won Game 1 104-100 and after the game I think that the Rockets complained more than any other team in NBA history. Now I’ve played enough basketball to understand that ever time you miss a shot you think you where fouled, but the Rockets really took it to another level.

James Harden took the Rockets final shot of Game 1 and like he always does he brought his legs forward to make contact with the defender. It’s clear that the contact had no impact on if Harden’s shot was going to go in, but he hit the floor like he had been checked into the boards in an NHL game. Now Harden gets a lot of these calls as evidenced by the fact that he shot more free throws than any other player in the NBA this regular season, but he didn’t get this call and that set the Rockets off.

Now after the complaining from the Game  loss had slowed down just a little bit the Rockets came out with some information on Game 7 of the Western Conference finals that they also lost to the Warriors.

Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey said that they had audited that Game 7 and the referees missed 81 calls that the Rockets should’ve gotten. At first I thought this was some kind of joke, but when I went back and looked at the article he actually said 81 missed calls. If the referees would’ve made all 81 of those calls; how long would that game of lasted?

Now of course Morey didn’t say how the game was audited, but obviously since he’s the Rockets General manager I could imagine the ticky-tac foul calls that he would’ve wanted the referees to make.

At first I thought all of this was a joke as I’m use to hearing players, coaches and just about everyone from the losing team complaining about the referee during the playoffs. This of course is done to work the referees a little bit and hopefully get some more calls in the next game, but it seems as though the Rockets where quite serious about their audit of that Game 7 and all their complaining from Game 1. This has led to the Rockets now becoming my least favorite professional sports organization in the entire sporting world and I hope they never win a championship.

All this led up to Game 2 which was played last night in Oracle Arena since the Warriors have home court advantage on this series and hosted games 1 and 2. There was drama right away for this game as Scott Foster was announced as one of the referees along with Ed Mallory and Eric Lewis.

Foster refereed a Rockets game back in February and James Harden complained so much about the way Foster called the game that he was given a fine by the league. Now Harden wasn’t the only Rockets player to complain about Foster officiating that game, but I believe he was the only one that was fined for his comments.

With Foster as one of the officials you’d had to wonder how this game would go. Would he end up inciting the Rockets with calls he made or would he unintentionally favor the Rockets so it wouldn’t look bad. In the end neither scenario really took place.

The Warriors ended up being called for 23 fouls in the game while the Rockets where called for 21 fouls. As things turned out there was much more interest in the injures to Harden and Stephen Curry than what foul calls the referees made.

As for the game the Warriors built a 14 point lead midway through the 3rd quarter and it appeared as Golden State might cruise to an easy Game 2 victory, but the Rockets came back and cut the Warriors lead to just 3 points with just under seven minutes left to play, but that was as close as they get. Golden State ran off 9 straight points to stretch their lead back out and in the end picked up their second win in the series 115-109.

Golden State won the first two games at home; so they have a 2-0 lead in the series. The teams get a bit of an extended break as the series shifts to Houston for Game 3, but that game won’t be played until Saturday night.

C.C. Sabathia made his 4th start of the season for the New York Yankees last night and while Sabathia ended up taking the loss 3-1 to the Arizona Diamondbacks he did join some pretty elite company.

Sabathia pitched 5 1/3rd innings giving up 2 runs on 5 hits while walking 2 and striking out 5 and it’s those 5 strikeouts that are important here.

Coming into this game Sabathia was just 3 strikeouts short of reaching 3000 career strikeouts. Sabathia struck out Arizona’s John Ryan Murphy to end the 2nd inning and record his 3000th strikeout last night. Sabathia is now the 17th player in Major League Baseball history to strikeout 3000 batters. He is also just the third left handed pitcher to reach that total following Steve Carlton and Randy Johnson.

Sabathia announced that 2019 would be his final season, but if he stays healthy and can make his starts he has a chance to move up the all-time strikeout list. Sabathia finds himself 82 strikeouts behind John Smoltz; so he has a good chance to catch him. Sabathia is also 114 strikeouts behind Curt Schilling and 115 strikeouts behind Bob Gibson; so he also has a chance to pass both of them as well.

One thins is clear; no matter where Sabathia ends up on the all-time strikeout list it appears as his next stop after the 2019 season will be Cooperstown when he’s inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.

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

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: April 20, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Since he NHL and NBA seasons run at the same time it’s inevitable that the leagues get compared to one another. In most of those comparisons, the NBA comes out ahead. They’re clearly the more popular league as well as being better marketed and having a better television deal but when it comes to the playoffs the NHL is far and away better than the NBA.

Now both leagues have 16 teams make the playoffs; 8 teams from the Eastern Conference and 8 teams from the Western Conference. That’s where the similarities stop.

Just look at the first round of the playoffs for example. In the NHL, we saw the #1 overall seed the Tampa Bay Lighting get swept out of the Eastern Conference playoffs by the Columbus Blue Jackets. Then last night the #1 seed in the Western Conference the Calgary Flames where also eliminated in the 1st round of the playoffs by the Colorado Avalanche in 5 games.

This is the first time in NHL history that both #1 seeds have been eliminated in the 1st round of the playoffs. Now this is something that we’d never seen happen in the NBA.

Over in the NBA there was a lot of noise when the #1 seed in the Western Conference the Golden State Warriors blew a 30 plus point lead to lose the second game of their opening round series against the Los Angeles Clippers. Of course the Warriors turned around and beat the Clippers by 27 points in Game 3 to take a two games to one lead in the series. I’d actually be surprised to see the Clippers win another game in this series.

The other #1 seed in the NBA was the Milwaukee Bucks and in their first round Eastern Conference playoff series they’ve had no problems beating the Detroit Pistons and taking a 2-0 lead. The Bucks won Game 1 by 35 points and Game 2 by 21 points. Do you see Detroit winning a game in this series?

Now the NHL did have one higher seeded team dominate a 1st round series. The 2nd seeded New York Islanders swept the 3rd seeded Pittsburgh Penuins oout of the playoffs in their 1st round match up, but the other series could go either way.

The Toronto Maple Leafs won Game 5 of their series 2-1 last night to take a three games to two lead in their series with the Boston Bruins. Toronto has a chance to close out the series at home on Sunday.

The defending champion Washington Capitals are tied two games a piece in their first round series with the Carolina Hurricanes. Game 5 is tonight in Washington.

Over in the Western Conference the #1 seeded Nashville Predators are tied 2-2 in their opening round series against the Dallas Stars. Game 5 is this afternoon in Nashville.

The 3rd seeded St. Louis Blues currently hold a three games to two lead over the 2nd seeded Winnipeg Jets. In Blues will have a chance to close out the series tonight in St. Louis.

After dropping the first game in this series, the Las Vegas Golden Knights ran off three straight wins against the San Jose Sharks but San Jose bounced back to win Game 5. Las Vegas is at home for Game 6 tonight with a chance to close out the series.

While some of these series may end tonight each team in these series has won multiple games. That’s something that’s not going to happen in the opening round NBA playoff series.

We’ve already mentioned that Golden State and Milwaukee are leading their series and the Bucks look like they’ll have a good chane to sweep. How about the other series?

The Toronto Raptors have a history of struggling in the playoffs and when they lost Game 1 of their opening round playoff series to the Orlando Magic there was a lot of talk that we’d see the Raptors make another surprise playoff exit. Well the Raptors bounced back and won the next two games and now hold a two to one lead in this series.

The Philadelphia 76ers had the same trouble as the Raptors did dropping Game 1 of there playoff series to the Brooklyn Nets but the 76ers came back and won the next two games including a Game 3 win without Joel Embiid to take a two games to one series lead. Even if Embiid is out the 76ers should be able to win this series

The Boston Celtics look like they  might be on their way to a 1st round sweep of their opening round playoff series against the Indiana Pacers as the Celtics have taken all three game in this series so far. The Pacers host the Celtics for Game 4 tomorrow; so will see if Boston sweeps or if the Pacers can get a game.

Now the one NBA playoff series where we might actually see a 1st round upset is in the Western Conference. The 7th seeded San Antonio Spurs currently hold a two games to one lead over the 2nd seeded Denver Nuggets. Th teams split the first two games in Denver and San Antonio picked up in win in Game 3 at home. The Spurs are hosting Game 4 this evening looking to take a commanding lead in this series.

The Portland Trail Blazers held home court as they won the first two games in their playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Last night Oklahoma was at home and they picked up their first win of this series. This may be the most evenly matched payoff series and we’ll see if the Thunder can even things up at home tomorrow night.

So far the Houston Rockets have been the most dominate team in the Western Conference playoffs. They won Game 1 against the Utah Jazz by 32 points and in Game 2 they beat the Jazz by 20 points. The series shifts to Utah for Game 3 tonight and will have to see if Utah can slow down the Rockets and find a way to get a win in this series.

Now when you go through and you look at these series it’s quite clear that the NHL has the more interesting playoffs series going on right now. Does that means more people will watch. Probably not but maybe they should.

What have you watched more of, the NBA or the NHL playoffs?

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.

Remember you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 10, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

NBA

It’s been a strange year for the Los Angeles Lakers and some how it got even stranger for them.

The Lakers lost their final game of the season to the Portland Trail Blazers 104-101. The loss capped off a disappointing 37-45 season. While this was just another loss for the Lakers it was what came about afterwards that was quite a surprise.

Pretty much out of nowhere, Magic Johnson resigns as President of the Lakers. There were reports that the Lakers top brass was having a meeting and most if not everyone thought it was to decide the future of head coach Luke Walton. After that meeting broke up Johnson stepped up to the mic choking back tears as he announced his resignation.

I’m not sure if will ever know the real reason why Johnson decided to step down after just two seasons with the Lakers. Johnson said “I want to go back to having fun” and he also said that “he wants to go back to who I was before taking this job”.

What may be the most interesting thing about Johnson’s resignation was the fact that he went to the media first before informing Lakers owner Jeanie Buss or the team general manager Rob Pelinka. It was reported that Buss and Pelinka along with chief financial officer Joe McCormack, chief operating officer Tim Harris and manager of special projects Linda Rambis held an all hands on deck type of meeting in El Segundo California after Johnson’s announcement.

Johnson was the Lakers President for two years and even with the signing of LeBron James, the team improved by just two wins this season. The Lakers where unable to find their way into the playoffs in either of the seasons Johnson was President. The Lakers haven’t actually been to the playoffs since 2013.

Johnson is still the greatest player in Lakers history but he may not of been cut out to be President of an NBA team. It can be difficult for great players to transition into front office or coaching roles and this may just be another case of another player not knowing what he was getting himself into. Johnson is and will continue to be a very public figure and good will ambassador for the game of basketball but he may not of realized how many hours being a team President would require him to put in.

Do you think we’ll ever know the real reason Johnson resigned?

MLB

I’m not sure of it was last week or two weeks ago that I wrote about all the injuries the New York Yankees had been dealing with to tart the season off but some how with the news that came out yesterday, it got worse for them.

The Yankees top starter, Luis Severino went down right before the start of the season with an injury to his right shoulder. Severino was placed on the Injured List to start the season but reports were that he had begun throwing long toss.

Apparently, Severino was still having some discomfort after his long toss session. Severino had his shoulder examined yesterday and was diagnosed with a grade two lat strain and will be completely shutdown for six weeks.

Looking at that timetable Severino might be able to start throwing again right around June 1st.  Maybe it’s possible that Severino could be back before the All-Star break.

Severino is in the first year of a four year $40 million dollar contract. He won 19 games last season and was thought to be the Yankees #1 starter coming into this season. Severino is just 25. He has a lot of years ahead of him and just needs to get healthy.

Now Severino wasn’t the only starting pitcher that got some bad news injury wise the last couple of days. Both the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Cubs had a starting pitcher get injured.

Mike Clevinger hasn’t given up a run in his two starts this season for the Indians but he had to come out of his second start this season due to an injury. At first it was thought to be just a minor injury but Clevinger ended up being diagnosed with a right upper back/Teres major muscle strain.  Clevinger will be shutdown for 6 to 8 weeks.

It’s unclear right now who the Indians will use to fill Clevinger’s spot in the rotation but they have some options. It actually looks like Cleveland is considering about six different pitchers for that spot. We could see Adam Plutko, Jefry Rodriguez, A.J. Cole Asher Wojciechowski or Cody Anderson. Ultimately, it might be Anderson who takes over that rotation spot until Clevinger returns but he’s still working his way back from missing the last two seasons with injuries.

Luckily for the Cubs it looks like Jon Lester suffered the most minor injury out of these three pitchers.

On Monday, Lester had to come out of his start against the Pittsburgh Pirates after two innings due to hamstring tightness.

After the game, Lester said that he planned on making his next start.  However, the Cubs aired on the side of caution and put Lester in the Injured List. This appears to be the right move and even though it might cost Lester a couple of starts.  It’s better to let him get back to 100% then make the injury worse trying to pitch though it.

The Cubs will turn to Tyler Chatwood to pick up those couple of starts that Lester will miss.

The Cubs signed Chatwood to a three year $38 million dollar deal in 2018, but he struggled with control and has started the 2019 season in the bullpen. Chatwood has appeared in three games as a reliever this season covering 5 innings but his control issues still appear to be there. Chatwood has walked 4 batters in the 5 innings he’s pitched and walks were the issue he had last season. Last season in 24 games (20 starts) over 103 2/3rd innings, Chatwood walked 95 batters.

With as poorly as the Cubs have gotten out of the gate this season they’re going to need Chatwood to be able to keep them in those games he starts for Lester. Can he find his control?

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

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 3, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re only a week into the Major League Baseball season; so it’s still to early to panic if your favorite team didn’t get off to the undefeated start that you thought they would. The one thing that you might have to worry about is if your favorite team got off to a slow start and they’re having to deal with a lot of injuries. Right now the New York Yankees fit into this category and you have to wonder how he healthy they’ll be this season.

The Yankees where a trendy pick to win the American League East this season coming off a 100 win in which they finished 8 games behind the Boston Red Sox in their division and had to settle for a wild card.

Coning into the season the Yankees knew that they’d be without outfielder Aaron Hicks who had a breakout season for them last season. Shortstop Didi Gregorius would also start the season on the injured list as he recovers from Tommy John surgery. Gregorius began his throwing program on Monday and is expected to return in July. Then towards the end of spring training the Yankees #1 starter Luis Severino experienced some shoulder trouble that landed him on the injured list. Add to this the fact that C.C. Sabathia who is pitching in his final season had to start the season off serving a 5-game suspension which was given to him at the end of last season. Then after being down two starters the bullpen took a hit as top set up guy Dellin Betances landed on the injured list with shoulder issues.

Now ever team deals with injuries at the start of or during the season, but I’m not sure if there’s a team out there that has paced more talent on the injured list than the Yankees have. Then to make it worse the Yankees weren’t done adding to their injured list.

On April 1st the Yankees added two more players to their injury list and I’m sure there fans where hoping in was a bad April Fools joke, but it wasn’t.

DH/Outfielder Giancarlo Stanton went on the injury list with a left bicep strain. He was joined on the injury list by starting 3rd baseman Miguel Andujar who has a right shoulder strain.

The diagnosis for Stanton seems to be a couple of weeks of rest and he should be good to return, but Andujar may be a different story. There’s a chance that Andujar nay need surgery to correct his shoulder issue and if that is needed his season would probably be over.

Now the Yankees are 2-3; so there’s no need to have a panic attack. Sabathia should be done with his suspension; so he’ll be back in the rotation and may ever get the start against the Detroit Tigers today. Baring any setbacks Severino and Betances should be returning soon and hopefully the projections are right on Stanton and he’ll only miss a couple of weeks. It will take a little linger for Hicks to return as he’s de back towards the nd of the month. The Big question will be Andujar and that will depend on if he needs surgery to fix his shoulder or if just some rehab will take care of the problem.

The AL East is the most top heavy division in baseball; so as long as the Yankees can tread water until the majority of their players return they should still be able to compete not only for the division title, but a wild card spot.

What’s your concern level for the Yankees?

With nothing left to play for this season the Los Angeles Lakers have shut LeBron James down for the remainder of the NBA season.

James numbers where very good as he averaged 27.4 points per game to go with 8.5 rebounds per game and 8.3 assists per game. The only problem with James numbers is the fact that he put them up over just 55 games this season. Those 55 games was the lowest numbers of games James has played in any season though his 16 year career.

Now there have been have been a lot of talking heads on television doing their best to cover for James and pushing the blame off on everybody else except him.

Now it was clear to just about everybody that the Lakers need to find some shooters to put around James. In today’s NBA you need those guys to hit 3’s around a player like James, but James wanted veteran players around him instead of the young core of players the Lakers had.

Los Angeles gave James his wish and signed Rajon Rondo, Lance Stevenson and JaVale McGee as well as adding Tyson Chandler when he became available. While these four are solid veteran NBA players none of them where the outside shooter that the Lakers needed on the court with James.

You also have to wonder how the recruitment of Anthony Davis by James dampen the sprit of the young Lakers players. Reports where that the Lakers would be willing to deal their young core of players who are all 21 or younger to acquire Davis. Will never know what kind of affect this non-deal ended up having on the team, but it seemed as though there was some type of impact. It will be interesting to see if the Lakers end up making a deal for Davis this off season and what they’ll end up giving up to get him.

With four games left in the regular season and since the teams isn’t going to be going into the playoffs this season I guess the best the fans could hope for is that the team drops these last four games and improves their lottery chances. I won’t be surprised at all if the Lakers end up improving their draft position in the lottery, but I’m not saying it’s fixed.

So looking at the Lakers season as a whole James had quality stats, but it was for a non-playoff team. He also put those stats up in his lowest numbers of games ever. It will be interesting to see how the mainstream media spins this Lakers season to cover for James, but I think all in all this has to be considered a failure for James.

You can hear 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.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime.

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

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

I’m trying to figure out how much blame LeBron James should get for this Los Angeles Lakers season. While I don’t think they where going to be a championship team just by signing him. I’m not sure how much he helped their cause this season.

It seems pretty clear that James doesn’t enjoy playing with young talent; so the Lakers brought in some veteran on one year deals to play with James. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was re-signed. While veterans Rajon Rondo, Lance Stevenson and JaVale McGee where signed to one year deals. The Lakers also added Tyson Chandler after he was waived by the Phoenix Suns. This may not of been the best group of players to sign, but James had won a championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers with players similar to this group.

The issue may not have been bringing in veteran players, but the Lakers had some young players that appear like they had good futures ahead of them, but these signings made it tougher for them to get minutes.

Kyle Kuzma, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball should’ve been allowed to develop alongside of James this season, but have had to share time with the veterans that James prefers to play with. To be fair Ball has been injured and has played in just 47 games this season. Kuzma is dealing with a mild ankle sprain that will cost him about a week, but he has played in 60 games this season. Ingram is listed as day to day with a shoulder injury and did sit out Monday nights loss to the Los Angeles Clippers. Ingram has appeared in 52 games this season.

I’m not sure how much of an affect this had on these three young players, but it was made perfectly clear by James that he was willing to have the team deal all three of them to acquire Anthony Davis. It seems like the trade talks with the New Orleans Pelicans for Davis had some affect on the Lakers and James did nothing to stem the tide of that happening. You would’ve thought a leader like James should be would’ve stepped in and spoke with the young players, but he seemed more intent about complaining in his interviews about the younger players even though he didn’t use their names.

James is clearly one of the best players to ever play the game, but it might be time to start questioning what kind of a leader he actually is. It may seem like a daunting task, but the Lakers are just 5 1/2 games out of the 8th spot in the Western Conference.

The Lakers have 18 games left this season, but the start to get into the playoffs isn’t going to be easy. Tonight they play the Denver Nuggets, but at least it’s a home game. The Lakers next game after tonight is another home game, but this one is against the Boston Celtics Saturday night. After these two home games the Lakers head out on a five game road trip; so the path to the playoffs isn’t going to be an easy one for them.

So do you think that the Lakers will make the playoffs? With the way the Lakers season has gone. How much Blame should James get for it?

I believe the Boston Celtics where 7 point underdogs going into last nights game against the Golden State Warriors. It seemed like that line made sense. The Celtics where 38-26 coming into the game and holding down the 5th seed in the Eastern Conference. They where also traveling across the country for this game and Boston had lost five of their last six games.

Golden State had some issues coming into this game at well, but being at home you can understand why they where the favorite. Golden State was 44-19 coming into last nights game and they had moved in the top spot in the Western Conference. After winning 16 of 17 games the Warriors have went 3-4 in their last 7 games. They where coming off of a win last Saturday night against the Philadelphia 76ers.

With everything set up for the game it looked like it might be a close contest that Golden State would end up winning. Well what actually happened? The Celtics ended up blowing out the Warriors by 33 points 128-95.

Gordon Hayward had what may of been his best game in a Celtics uniform. Heyward came off the bench to score a game high 30 points. Hayward went 12 of 16 from the floor going 4 of 6 from behind the 3-point line. Hayward also grabbed a team high 7 rebounds. Four other Celtics scored in double figures. Kyrie Irving had a double-double scoring 19 points and handing out 11 assists. Jaylen Brown had 18 points, Jayson Tatum had 17 points and Marcus Morris added 10 points.

Steph Curry led the Warriors with 23 points, but only two other Warriors reached double figures in points. Kevin Durant scored 18 points, but had a rough shooting night. Durant went 5 of 16 from the field and missed all 5 of the 3-point shots he took. DeMarcus Cousins was in the Warriors starting line up last night. Cousins scored 10 points and grabbed a game high 9 rebounds. Draymond Green led the Warriors in assists with 5.

Golden State played without Klay Thompson for the second consecutive game with a knee injury. Shaun Livingston was also held out of last nights game against the Celtics due to neck spasms.

The Warriors have a 1 1/2 game lead over the Denver Nuggets for the #1 seed in the Western Conference, but Golden State doesn’t seem to be as dominant as they have been the last few seasons.

Now the Warriors have been to the playoffs the last six seasons and have been all the way to the NBA Finals the last four seasons winning three of those. That’s a lot of extra games for a team to have to play even with the extra days off that have been added to the schedule. Are these extra games finally catching up to the Warriors? Or come playoff time will Golden State be able to find there groove and make it to another NBA Finals and win the title?

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.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: March 2, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

So I have a question for you. Would you take a contract for 4 years and $180 million dollars or would you go with a contract for $330 million dollars over 13 years?

MLB

This was the decision Bryce Harper had to make. As we know he took the long term 13 year $330 million dollar deal to join the Philadelphia Phillies. I don’t think Harper could’ve lost I either of these situations as both contracts have some merit to them besides the money. Let’s take a look.

I’ve heard people say that Harper took lifetime security over a shorter term deal. Honestly could you spend $180 million dollars? So I don’t think you can apply that here.

The 4 year $180 million dollar deal was offered by the Los Angeles Dodgers. So Harper would’ve been joining a series World Series contender on a short term deal. This deal would’ve also allowed Harper to go back out onto the free agent market as a 30 year old and he shouldn’t be past his prime by the end of this deal. Obviously, Harper wouldn’t have been offered 13 years on a deal as a 30 year old but it wouldn’t have been a surprise if a team offered him 6 or 7 years. The deal with the Dodgers would’ve given Harper the highest yearly salary of any player by quite a distance. Zack Greinke is currently the highest paid player this season with a salary of $34.5 million dollars. On average Harper would’ve made $45 million dollars a year.

Harper decided to sign with the Phillies for 13 years and $330 million dollars which is the largest deal in total money ever signed by any player. Most people think that the Phillies are on their way to being a contender. However, they’re in a much tougher division than the Dodgers, so it’s going to be a much more difficult road to the playoffs. Philadelphia and Harper did work his salary out so there’s room for the team to still add some players down the road. It also looks like Harper will be with the Phillies for all 13 years. He has a full no-trade clause and there are no opt outs in his deal. It will be interesting to see what kind of a player Harper is when he gets to the end of his deal.

I was always under the belief that Harper’s agent Scott Boras wanted to set the record for the largest contract ever signed by a Major League player. But I am a little surprised that Harper wasn’t willing to bet on himself and take the shorter term deal the Dodgers offered.

What would you have done?

Harper reports to the Phillies spring training camp in Clearwater Florida today and it’s been reported that he’ll wear #3 for Philadelphia. They haven’t said if Harper will work out with his new teammates today since you have to figure he’ll be tied up with multiple media obligations today. Since he is a little behind this spring, you have to figure he’ll be on the field if not today then tomorrow.

NBA

I don’t watch too many NBA games as I just don’t find the style they play very interesting anymore. I will, however, flip over to get a score of a game and watch a minute here or there to see what’s going on. Last night I did this with the Chicago Bulls/Atlanta Hawks game.

I flipped over with a little under two minutes left in regulation and since it was a close game, I figured I could watch the final two minutes even though I knew it would take close to 30 minutes to finish. Luckily the game went much quicker than I thought it would as there weren’t to many stoppages of play.

The game ended up tied after regulation and I thought, what the heck I’ll watch overtime and see who wins this game. What a mistake that was for me as the game ended up going four overtimes before the Bulls managed to win the game 168-161.

I’m not going to say that this was a must watch game, but there where some interesting stats that came out of it. The 329 combined points was the 3rd most in NBA history. In March of 1982 the Milwaukee Bucks and the San Antonio Spurs combined for 337 points which is the 2nd highest scoring game in NBA history. The highest scoring game ever played in the NBA was in December of 1983 when the Detroit Pistons and the Denver Nuggets combined to score 370 points in triple overtime.

Trae Young led the Hawks with 49 points. He also added 16 assists and 8 rebounds in 56 minutes. Young is now just one of four rookies to have 45 points, 10 assists and 5 rebounds in a game. Young is also the first rookie to score 120 points in a three game span since Allen Iverson did it in April of 1997.

The Bulls where led by Zach Lavine who scored 47 points, but they had three players put up double-doubles. Otto Porter Jr. had 31 points and 10 rebounds. Lauri Markkanen also scored 31 points and grabbed 17 rebounds while Robin Lopez scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

Besides Young two other Hawks players had double-doubles. Alex Len put up 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while Dewayne Dedmon scored 14 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.

Nine of the ten players who started the game scored in double figures. Three players ended up fouling out while two other picked up five fouls in the game. Even with all of the minutes logged in this game there where three payers that didn’t get into this game per coach’s decision. The teams combined to take 242 shots with 108 of those shot attempts being 3-pointers. Neither team shot very well from the free throw line as they went 52 of 73 (71.2%). Normally the home team shoots more free throws than the road team in an NBA game but in this game the Bulls actually shot 48 free throw to just 25 for the Hawks.

This was the first game of a home and home series, so these two teams will take Saturday off before they face off again Sunday afternoon in Chicago.

Do you think we’ll get another overtime game?

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime