Archive for the ‘football’ Category

With pitchers and catchers just reporting the St. Louis Cardinals got some bad news already. The Cardinals top pitching prospect and the #6 rated minor league prospect overall Alex Reyes needs Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2017 season. An MRI revealed a complete tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.Reyes had the MRI on Tuesday after letting the Cardinals of elbow discomfort. The scan was examined by team physician Dr. George Paletta; who confirmed that Reyes requires Tommy John surgery. The images have been sent to Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion, but the Cardinals do not expect the diagnosis to change. Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak said Reyes will likely have the surgery on Thursday. It will be performed by Paletta. Reyes first notified the Cardinals of arm discomfort late last week, and the club recommended the imaging scan after running Reyes through a physical exam at their spring training complex. Reyes has been pitching with a compromised ligament in his right elbow since at least 2013; when he was diagnosed with an elbow strain. Reyes will no longer pitch for the Dominican Republic team in next month’s World Baseball Classic. Reyes pitched in 12 games last season for St. Louis making 5 starts. He pitched a total of 46 innings going 4-1 with an E.R.A. of 1.57 and getting 1 save. Reyes was expected to contribute at the major league level this season, but his role hadn’t been decided yet. While it was never announced you have to believe there was a plan in place to limit his innings this season be it as a starter or out of the bullpen. Not that you ever want to lose a player for the season this early, but the Cardinals do have Lance Lynn returning from Tommy John surgery which cost him the entire 2016 season. St. Louis also has 23 year old prospect Luke Weaver who made 8 starts for them last season to help in the rotation if needed. Weaver was 1-4 in those 8 starts with an E.R.A, of 5.70 over 36 1/3rd innings. Weaver did make one relief appearance last season.

Kyle Schwarber has said that he wants to continue to catch and the Chicago Cubs cane out yesterday and said that they will allow him to do some catching this spring. Schwarber  tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee in the third regular season game in 2016 was examined by the Cubs medical staff yesterday and if they clear him he’ll catch one or two days a week this spring. Schwarber miss all but those first three games of the regular season, but he did return to serve as the Cubs designated hitter in the World Series. Schwarber will have to wear a brace on his left knee this season and possibly the rest of his playing career. The Cubs are working on creative ways for Schwarber to work with the catchers and not put any unnecessary stress on his knee. Coming into the 2017 season Wilson Contreras looks to be the Cubs starting catcher with Miguel Montero being his back up. If Schwarber can catch he could be a very valuable 3rd catcher for the Cubs.

Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star forward Kevin Love will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee and is scheduled to miss 6 weeks. Love began suffering from a sore left knee Saturday against the Denver Nuggets and sat out from the Cavaliers game Tuesday. An MRI on Sunday didn’t reveal any structural damage, but Love sought out a second opinion. If Love is out the 6 weeks he should be able to return at the start of April and that would give him 7 games to get ready for the playoffs. That actual should give Love enough time to test the knee out and get back into game shape. Love is currently 3rd on the Cavaliers in scoring averaging 20 points a game. He is the teams leading rebounder grabbing 11.1 per game. Love is also one of the Cavaliers best 3-point shooters making 38.4% from behind the 3-point line. Cleveland is 38-16 and have a 2 1/2 game lead over the Boston Celtics in the Eastern Conference. Will they still be in 1st place when Love returns? More importantly does it matter at all where the Cavaliers are seeded come playoff time? You have to think that even if the Cavaliers fall into 2nd or even 3rd place they would still be the clear favorites to win the conference and go to the NBA Finals.

The Anaheim Ducks beat the Minnesota Wild 1-0 last night, but they may lose Antoine Vermette to a suspension after he slashed linesman Shandor Alphonso. After losing a face off with 7:33 left in the 3rd period Vermette slashed the leg of the linesman. This earned Vermette a 10 minute penalty for game misconduct and an ejection for abuse of an official. NHL Rule 40.3 explains that a player will receive a 10 game suspension for deliberately applying physical force to an official in any manner. Vermette’s slash fits into this category. Just last season Dennis Wideman of the Calgary Flames received a 20 game suspension for cross-checking a ref on his way back to the bench. Wideman’s suspension was later reduced to 10 games through an appeal. Vermette is in his 13th NHL season, but this is his 1st one with Anaheim. In 58 games this season Vermette has 22 points on 8 goals and 14 assists, but is a -10 for +/- this season. There is no timetable for an NHL ruling on Vermette’s slash, but you have to think there will be a suspension involved with this incident.

For the Super Bowl the Atlanta Zoo had a bet with the Rhode Island Roger Williams Park Zoo that the loser would name a baby animal after the winning team’s star quarterback. The Atlanta Zoo paid off there bet by naming a Madagascar hissing cockroach Tom Brady. The animal to be named had been agreed upon between the two zoo’s since it was expected the loser of the bet would be bitter. The zoo introduced a whole family of cockroaches in a video Monday, including a tiny Tom Brady.

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So the Super Bowl actually did turn out to be super. I am wondering how many people turned the game off when the Atlanta Falcons took a 28-3 lead early in the 3rd quarter. Of course as we all know now the New England Patriots scored the final 31 points of the game including the game winning touchdown in overtime to comeback and win the game.

In there comeback Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and running back James White set some new Super Bowl records. Brady set records for most passing attempts with 62. Most pass completions with 42 and most passing yards with 466. White caught more passes than anyone else in a single Super Bowl game with 14. His 110 receiving yards was also the most ever for a running back in a Super Bowl. The Patriots as a team set some new records as well. They had the most first downs with 37, most passing first downs with 26 and most offensive plays in a game with 93.  Plus there was the record-setting 19 point fourth quarter comeback and 25 point second half rally. The teams also combined to set three new records. Most 1st downs in a Super Bowl by both teams with 54, most passing 1st downs in a Super Bowl by both teams with 39 and most combined passing yards by both teams with 682. The Patriots now have the most Super Bowl appearances by a team with 9 while Bill Belichick is now the head coach with the most Super Bowl appearances at 7 and wins with 5. Tom Brady now also has the most career passing touchdowns in Super Bowl history with 15.

There where also five records tied in this Super Bowl. Most Super Bowl wins; Tom Brady with 5. Most sacks in a Super Bowl; Grady Jarrett with 3. They started keeping this record in 1982. Most 2-point conversions in a game with 2 and most 2-point conversions by teams combined with 2 and most 1st downs by penalties with 4 by the Patriots.

Now as a whole the NFL playoffs weren’t that great to watch. Did this type of a Super Bowl make up for it? These where the two top offenses in the playoffs and that did show through in this game and that made it fun to watch. There was some talk that this was the greatest Super Bowl of all time. While it was a good game to watch I’m not sure if it’s the greatest Super Bowl ever, but I’d love to know what you thought of the game. Feel free to leave me your comments about the Super Bowl.

With all the complaining LeBron James has done about his team this season you have to wonder if he’s concerned about a NBA Finals rematch with the Golden State Warriors or if he thinks there’s a team in the Eastern Conference that the Cleveland Cavaliers have to worry about. The Cavaliers have a 2 1/2 game lead over the Boston Celtics for the top spot in the Eastern Conference with the Toronto Raptors 4 1/2 games out of 1st place and the Washington Wizards 5 1/2 games behind the Cavaliers.

Now we’ve seen the Raptors take a run at the Cavaliers the last few seasons; so I’m not sure anyone would consider them a challenger in the East.

The Celtics are currently on a 7-game winning streak and they try to make it 8 in a row as they face the Sacramento Kings tonight. The Celtics are led by Isaiah Thomas who is averaging 29.9 points per game and has proven that he is one of if not the top player when the 4th quarter rolls around. Thomas is also the team leader in assists per game with 6.4. Can a team with a point guard as there leading scorer take down the Cavaliers in a 7-game series? Now the Celtics do have some big men who can score and shoot the 3-pointer. Al Horford averages 15.1 points per game and makes 34.1% from behind the 3-point line. Jae Crowder averages 14.2 points per game and shoots a team high 42.2 % from behind the 3-point line. Now the Celtics are a young up and coming team, but are they ready to take that step and take the Cavaliers out in a seven game series. If we get this match up in the playoffs we might get the chance to see where the Celtics stand.

Now how about the Wizards. Remember this is the team that started the season off 5-10 and there was talk of what a disappointing season this was going to be. Washington is now nine games over .500 at 30-21. The Wizards just had there 7-game winning streak snapped on Monday by the Cavaliers. Cleveland won that game 140-135 in overtime, but the Wizards had to get an idea that they could play with the Cavaliers. Is an close overtime loss enough to build confidence in a team that can be up and won at times. I’m sure you’ve heard the reports that John Wall and Bradley Beal don’t always get along. That would be alright as long as they both continue to play well. Wall leads the team in scoring at 23 points per game while Beal is right behind him averaging 22.2 points per game. Wall is also handing out 10.4 assists per game. Both are shooting well from the field. Beal shoots 46.9% from the field and 39.1% from behind the 3-point line. Wall is shooting 45.8% from the field and 31.4% from behind the 3-point line. Otto Porter is shooting a very good 46.7% from behind the 3-point line and Marcin Gortat is grabbing 8.3 rebounds per game. The Wizards are run by there backcourt tandem and the team will go how they go, but they do have some pieces that could help them in a series against the Cavaliers. Could Washington be the team that gives the Cavaliers trouble in a playoff series?

We had a couple more free agents come off the market yesterday. Chris Carter signed with the New York Yankees for one year at $3 million dollars while Mike Napoli agreed to return to the Texas Rangers on a one year $8.5 million dollar deal with a club option. Carter’s deal does have incentives where he can earn an extra $500,000. With pitchers and catchers reporting next week you have to wonder how many more deals will get before then.

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You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: February 4, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in football, hockey, sports
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It’s just one day until the New England Patriots face the Atlanta falcons in Super Bowl 51. It looks as though kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. cst on Sunday, but do they ever start on time? I’m just glad that it’s time for the game as the two week build up to it gets tiring. There are only so many times we can hear about Tom Brady being a 6th round draft pick or the fact that this is the first time a lot of the Falcons have made it to the Super Bowl. While the stories get boring no matter what they are or how hard the media tries to come up with different angles on them.

The big story line now is what kind of condition will Falcons center Alex Mack be in. All reports are pointing to him playing, but how long will he be able and will he be able to perform. As the center Mack is in charge of making all the Falcons line calls and adjusting protection for quarterback Matt Ryan. The other Falcons injury question is wide receiver Julio Jones. Jones was limited in practice, but is fully expected to play. Some good injury news for the Falcons was that pass rush specialist Dwight Freeney was removed from there injury report. As I’m sure you could’ve guessed the Patriots injury report is quite full. tight end Martellus Bennett and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell are listed with knee injuries. Wide Receiver Chris Hogan is listed with a thigh injury that has been bothering him though the playoffs. On the Patriots defense Dont’a Hightower has a shoulder issue while two defensive tackles Alan Branch (toe) and Vincent Valentine (back) made the injury report. Also Patriots safety Nate Ebner left the AFC championship game with a concussion and still hasn’t been cleared tp return. With the exception of Ebner and of course barring any type of injury set back it appears all of these players will play in the game.

If you’re a betting man the Patriots are -3 point favorites right now and the over/under on the game is between 58 1/2 and 59 points. That is the highest over under for any Super Bowl. Of course being that it’s the Super Bowl you can find prop bets on just about everything. If you’re not interested in betting on the actual football game there are plenty of other prop bets out there. You can bet on the national anthem, the halftime show, the announcers (Joe Buck and Troy Aikman) Who’ll win the M.V.P. and if they’ll televise a handshake between Roger Goodell and either Tom Brady, Bill Belihick or Robert Kraft if the Patriots where to win. There are even more prop bets out there, but they’re just too many to list here.

Tomorrow on the Sports Time Radio podcast we’ll reveal are picks on the game. Obviously will pick our winners of the game, but we also do the final score and who we think will win the M.V.P. award. If you’d like to play along with us feel free to leave your picks in the comments here or e-mail them to SportsTimeRadio@Hotmail.com If we get your picks on time will announce yours on air right along with our picks. Really I’d like to see a good game.

In some other football news Michael Vick has said he plans to retire. Vick didn’t play in the 2016 season, but spent 13 seasons in the NFL. This of course is nor counting the 2007 and 2008 seasons when he spent some time in prison and was suspended for his involvement in a dog fighting ring.

The Atlanta Falcons traded up in the 2001 pick to take Vick #1 overall. Vick spent the first six years of his career with the Falcons. Vick made 67 career starts for the Falcons, but played in a total of 74 games for them. He was 38-28-1 as a starter and took them to the playoffs in 2002 and 2004. After his suspension Vick returned to the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles. Vick spent five seasons with the Eagles appearing in 54 games starting 42 of them. Vick went 20-20 as a starter for the Eagles. Vick spent the 2014 season with the New York Jets where he played in 10 games starting three of them where he went 1-2 as there starter. 2015 saw Vick join the Pittsburgh Steelers where he played in five games starting three of them going 2-1 as a starter for them.

In his career Vick played in 143 games starting 115 of them. As a starter his record was 61-51-1. Vick threw for 22,464 yards with 133 touchdowns and 88 interceptions. Now many will remember Vick for his running ability as a quarterback. In 2006 Vick ran for 1039 yards. In his career Vick rushed for 6109 yards with 36 touchdowns. Vick averaged an amazing 7.0 yards per carry in his career and had a career long run of 61 yards.

Vick had hoped to play in the 2016 season, but was never signed by a team. He did return to the Georgia Dome as a guest of the Falcons for there regular season finale on January 1st. Falcons owner Arthur Blank called Vick “an important player in our history” and the Falcons fans gave Vick a great reception at halftime when he was introduced.

It looks as though the National Hockey League will be playing some games overseas. The NHL is waiting on word for the National Hockey League Players Association on whether they’ll approve two regular season games overseas. It would be the Colorado Avalanche and the Ottawa Senators who would play a two game series in Stockholm Sweden on November 10th and 11th. The NHL would also like to have two pre-season games between the Los Angeles Kings and the Vancouver Canucks played in China. The China trip would involve either two games in Beijing; or one in Beijing and one in Shanghai.

The NHL still hasn’t made a decision on if it’s players will be allowed to compete in the 2018 South Korea Olympics, but the players would like to continue playing in the Olympics. The players would love a decision on there Olympic participation before the Sweden and China games are schedule,  but it doesn’t look like that will happen. The NHL, the NHLPA, the International Ice Hockey Federation and, for the first time, the International Olympic Committee are scheduled to meet in New York on Friday. It’s doubtful, but maybe they’ll come to a decision then on if the NHL players will be allowed to compete in the Olympics. Do you want to see the players from your favorite team play in the Olympics?

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalklRadio.com, but you can also get the podcast anytime you want at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

The Divisional round of the NFL playoffs kicks off today with two games. The other two games are Sunday. Just like last week I’m going to put your Saturday picks in here to keep us honest. Mr. Fantasy and I will let you know who we’re all going with on Sunday’s podcast. The first game has the Seattle Seahawks at the Atlanta Falcons. We are split on this game as Mr. Fantasy and Schaumburg Stu are going with the Falcons and Dan the Man and I are taking the Seahawks. The second game today has the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots. This was the only game this weekend we all agreed on and no surprise we all picked the Patriots to win this one.

Because of the weather in the Kansas City area the NFL adjusted the Sunday schedule to try and make travel safer for everyone getting to and from the game. The Pittsburgh Steelers at the Kansas City Chiefs game was originally scheduled to kickoff at 12:05 p.m. but with the weather situation in the area the game has been moved to a 7:20 p.m. kickoff time. The other game on Sunday hasn’t been moved. It’s still a 3:40 p.m. kickoff time for the Green Bay Packers at the Dallas Cowboys.

Back in Week 6 the Seahawks beat the Falcons 26-24 in Seattle. Atlanta was driving at the end of the game and with the clock running down Matt Ryan tried to hit Julio Jones with a long pass down the middle of the field. It appeared as though Richard Sherman interfered with Jones on the play, but there was no penalty called. What I’m trying to figure out is why everyone thinks that if pass interference would’ve been called on that play that Atlanta would’ve won it. Even if the penalty had been called the football would’ve been at the Seattle 35 yard line. Now that means it would’ve been a 52 yard field goal that Matt Bryant would’ve needed to make for the Falcons to win the game. What I’m not understanding is why everyone thinks that a 52 yard field goal is a gimme and that Atlanta would win. Bryant is a very good kicker. He made 34 of 37 field goal attempts with a long of 59 yards, but two of his three misses on the season where from 50+ yards. Bryant also missed one extra point this season. Apparently the first game between these two teams featured the only missed call by a referee in the NFL this season and then a guarantee that a kicker would make a 52 yard field goal. I can’t be the only one who thinks this is ridiculous.

The Patriots/Texans game is also a rematch from the regular season. In Week 3 the Patriots beat the Texans 27-0 in New England. Since this game was back in Week 3 Tom Brady was suspended and Jimmy Garoppolo was injured; so that means Jacoby Brissett was the Patriots quarterback for the game. Now neither team is the same as they where back in Week 3, but New England is favorite by 15 1/2 to 17 points in the betting lines. That’s a very big point spread for a playoff game. Brock Osweiler started the game in Week 3 and he’ll be under center for Houston tonight. Osweiler went 24 of 41 for 196 yards with an interception in Week 3. Lamar Miller ran for 80 yards on 21 carries in that game and Ryan Griffin caught 8 passes for the Texans. Houston is also coming into this game with the #1 ranked defense in the NFL. Now back in Week 14 the Patriots faced the #1 defense of the Baltimore Ravens. Tom Brady threw for 406 yards against that defense as New England won 30-23. We’ll have to see if we get a good game or if we get the big win that the odds are predicting.

There was a marquee match up in the NHL last night as the Washington capitals hosted the Chicago Blackhawks. Both teams had 59 points coming into the game, but you wouldn’t know that by the way the game went. Washington totally embarrassed Chicago skating to a very easy 6-0 win. The Capitals put the game away very early as they scored three goals in the 1st period. Jay Beagle started the scoring for Washington with his 7th goal of the year. :13 seconds later Nicholas Backstrom made it 2-0 with his 12th goal of the season. Brett Connolly picked up his 6th goal of the season to make to score 3-0 with just under three minutes left in the 1st period. The Blackhawks managed to hold the Capitals to just one goal in the 2nd period. Tom Wilson scored for Washington with three minutes left in the period. It was Wilson 3rd goal of the season putting Washington up 4-0 after two periods. T.J. Oshie scored his 12th goal of the game just about eight minutes in to the 3rd period to make the score 5-0. Beagle then picked up his 2nd goal of the night and his 8th on the season with about 1:30 left to play.

Braden Holtby made 24 saves to post his league leading 6th shutout. With the shoutout Holtby’s Goals Against Average dropped to 1.85 for the season. All-Star Corey Crawford was a joke in goal for the Blackhawks as he allowed 5 goals on 30 shots. Even the Blackhawks back up goaltender Scott Darling found a way to give up a goal as he was beaten 1 time out of the 4 shots he faced.

It would be great if Blackhawks fans could say that the team was just looking ahead to there game against the Minnesota Wild on Sunday, but I don’t think that was the case. Now Minnesota is just two points behind the Blackhawks in the Central division standings of the Western Conference and if Minnesota wins there game tonight against the Dallas Stars the teams each have 59 points when they met on Sunday.

The NBA regular season is just about halfway over and Russell Westbrook just picked up his 19th triple-double of the season. Westbrook had 21 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds, but also had 10 turnovers as the Oklahoma City Thunder lost to the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-86 last night. Westbrook had a rough shooting night going 7 of 23 in the game and just 1 of 10 from behind the 3-point line.

According to records; Westbrook is the only player since 1973-74 to record multiple triple-doubles with at least 10 turnovers in a single season.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

The NFL is into the playoffs and they started last Saturday with wild card weekend. So since there where games we made picks. Schaumburg Stu and I went 4-0 for the first weekend of the playoffs while Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy went 3-1. Dan the Man thought the Oakland raiders would get a win with 3rd string quarterback Connor Cook under center while Mr. Fantasy’s loss was the Miami Dolphins.

Now we’re into the divisional round. There again are 4 games. Two on Saturday and two on Sunday. Saturday starts with the Seattle Seahawks at the Atlanta Falcons. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:35 p.m. The second game has the Houston Texans at the New England Patriots. The scheduled kickoff for this one is 7:15 p.m. On Sunday the first game is scheduled to kickoff at 12:05 p.m. as the Pittsburgh Steelers are at the Kansas City Chiefs. The second game features the Green Bay Packers at the Dallas Cowboys. The scheduled kickoff for this game is 3:40 p.m.

There where no upset in the wild card round and let’s face it the games where pretty boring. All the home teams won and the closest game was 27-14 between the won by the Houston Texans over the Oakland Raiders. Now the match ups look a little better this week; so we’ll see a higher seed lose?

It came as a little bit of a surprise yesterday when the Oakland Raiders announced that they wouldn’t be retaining offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave. The Raiders offense was ranked 6th in the league in total offense and they scored the 7th most points in the NFL. With quarterback Derek Carr becoming an M.V.P. candidate before breaking his fibula in Week 16. It was reported that Oakland’s head coach Jack Del Rio told the rest of the staff Tuesday afternoon of the move. Musgrave was the Jacksonville Jaquars offensive coordinator in 2003 and 04 when Del Rio was the head coach there. Quarterback coach Todd Downing will take over the offensive coordinator duties. There where reports that Downing had a very good chance of getting an offensive coordinator job with one of the teams hiring a new head coach and there are people wondering if this facilitated this move. Musgrave did have his critics. They pointed out how the Raiders offense seemed to be slow starting and then when they got a lead Musgrave would get too conservative.  Now the Raiders defense finished ranked 26th on the season, but reports are that defensive coordinator Ken Norton’s job is safe.

I was stunned yesterday when I saw the headline that Carl Edwards was walking away from the Joe Gibbs Racing and the #19 car. It was announced that Edwards was retiring from NASCAR immediately. Joe Gibbs Racing has called a news conference Wednesday where Edwards is apparently going to example why he’s walking away from NASCAR. Edwards is 37 years old and showed no sign of injury after an accident, yet he is stepping away from the sport. Certainly any team would want him if he ever decides to return. The timing of the decision certainly leads to speculation of a variety of reasons Edwards could want to stop racing. Maybe Edwards was just mentally spent after another near miss at the championship. Maybe the Joe Gibbs Racing driving corps isn’t as tight as it’s portrayed. Maybe he really is a Ford guy who has a plan in the back of his mind to return to that stable in the future. Maybe he has another job lined up in television? Edwards has done some commentary before and is very good in the booth calling the races. Edwards does have 28 career wins, but never did win a Cup title. He does have two 2nd place finishes on his record. 2016 Xfinity champion Daniel Suarez is expected to take over the #19 car. Suarez, who helped bring the Arris sponsorship to Joe Gibbs Racing makes the jump, but it might of happened a year or two early. Joe Gibbs Racing seemed to have quite a stable of drivers and you had to wonder down the line which driver might lose there ride. Matt Kenseth signed a contract extension last season. It’s being reported that Denny Hamlin has signed a contract extension as well. Kyle Busch is one of the top drivers in NASCAR and Eric Jones has been set up with Furniture Row Racing for the 2017 season, but is expected to return to Joe Gibbs Racing in either 2018 or 2019. Maybe Edwards felt like the odd man out and just decided to walk away. It looks like the question now is; will we ever see Carl Edwards in a full time NASCAR ride again?

We had a couple of more free agents sign in the last couple of days. Outfielder Colby Rasmus agreed to a one year $5 million dollar deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. Rasmus is coming off his worse season batting average wise. Rasmus hit .206 in 107 games with the Houston Astros. Rasmus did have 15 home runs and drove in 54 runs. Rasmus has played all three outfield positions, but it looks as though he’ll spend the majority of his time with the Rays as a corner outfielder.

The other signing has Trevor Plouffe going to the Oakland A’s on a one year $5 million dollar deal. Plouffe has spent his entire seven year career with the Minnesota Twins. Plouffe was limited to just 84 games last season do to injury. Plouffe is a career .247 with 96 career home runs. Plouffe spent time at 1st and 3rd base last season, but it appears as though the A’s will use him at 3rd and Ryon Healy will shift to 1st base and spend time at Designated Hitter.

While slowly, but surely players sign with new teams you have to wonder how much longer it will be before players like Mark Trumbo, Jose Bautista and Matt Wieters sign new deals. It seems as just about every team in baseball has “checked in” on Trumbo and you have to wonder why he isn’t signed yet. Apparently the Texas Rangers are the team with the most interest in Trumbo right now. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have shown some interest in Wieters, but there seems to be very little interest in Bautista. Is Bautista the guy in this free agent market that’s going to have to take a one year prove it type of deal and then try the free agent market again next season.

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

You can find me o Twitter @Burketime

The NFL playoffs kick off today with wild card weekend. The first game we’ll see today has the (12-4) Oakland Raiders at the (9-7) Houston Texans.

Both of these teams are dealing with what you could call interesting quarterback situations. The Raiders where 12-3 with Derek Carr as there starting quarterback, but in Week 16 Carr went down with a broken leg and is done for the season. Oakland turned to back up Matt McGloin for the final game of the season and then hopefully into the playoffs. Then in what has to be looked at as just bad luck McGloin got hurt in the Week 17 game against the Denver Broncos. McGloin has been limited in practice all week and is listed as “Questionable” on the injury report. While most reports are saying McGloin won’t play we won’t actually know until inactive list for the game is released. So the Raiders are down to there 3rd string quarterback. That is Connor Cook who was the Raiders 2016 4th round draft pick. Cook will actually ne the first quarterback in NFL history to make his first career start in a playoff game. Cook did go 14 of 21 for 150 yards with 1 touchdown and 1 interception in relief of McGloin against the Broncos. The Raiders did sign Garrett Gilbert to the practice squad to serve as a back up quarterback.

The Texans quarterback situation was affected by injury in Week 17 as well. Tom Savage had taken over as the Texans starting quarterback when he replaced Brock Osweiler in Week 15’s game against the Jacksonville Jaquars. Savage made starts in Week 16 and Week 17, but Savage suffered a concussion in Week 17 against the Tennessee Titans and has not cleared the NFL’s concussion protocol. That means Osweiler gets the job back as Houston’s starting quarterback for today’s playoff game. Osweiler was 8-6 as the Texans starter this season. He completed 59% of his passes and threw 15 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. After taking over for Savage against the Titans Osweiler went 21 for 40 for 253 yards and a touchdown. It was the most passing yards Osweiler had thrown for sine Week 6. The other injury the Texans are dealing with is to leading rusher Lamar Miller. Miller has been inactive the last two weeks, but wasn’t on the Texans final injury report for the playoff game. Miller ran for 104 yards in the Texans 27-20 loss to the Raiders in Week 11.

Here’s how we’re picking this game. Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I are all going with the Houston Texans. That means Dan the Man is the only one picking the Raiders.

The second playoff game today has the (9-7) Detroit Lions at the (10-5-1) Seattle Seahawks. The injury situation isn’t as bad for either of these teams entering the playoffs, but there is some concern with the way they both played down the stretch. The Lions come into this game on a 3-game losing streak that dropped into a wild card spot. Now the Seahawks did win there final regular season game of the season, but it was just a 2-point (25-23) win over the 2-14 San Francisco 49ers. Luckily for the Seahawks they are the home team and they’ve never lost a playoff game at CenturyLink Field. The Lions have also never won a game in Seattle. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford will still be wearing a glove on his throwing hand to protect his injured finger. Detroit has made only two playoff appearances since 1999 and has not won a postseason game since 1991. The Lions have also trailed in the fourth quarter of every game during the regular season, and they overcame nine fourth quarter deficits while getting out to a 9-4 record before falling back to earth in December and early January. The Seahawks ate just 2-2 since Pro Bowl safety Earl Thomas was injured and some sideline squabbles only added to the idea that Seattle is a team in turmoil. The Seahawks are also missing wide receiver/return man Tyler Lockett who broke his leg in the game against the Arizona Cardinals on December 24th. To fill the void Lockett leaves in the return game Seattle signed veteran return man Devin Hester. Hester has an NFL record 20 returns for touchdowns, including a record 14 on punts, 5 on kickoffs and 1 on a missed field goal attempt return. Hester played in 12 games for the Baltimore Ravens this season. Hester returned 25 punts averaging 7.2 yards per return. He also returned 19 kickoffs averaging 24.5 yards per return.

We’re all in agreement with our pick for this game as we all have the Seahawks getting the win.

You can kind of add this to the list of it happens to everybody. Last night the Golden State Warriors blew a 24 point lead and ended up losing to the Memphis Grizzlies 128-119 in overtime. The loss took place at Oracle Arena where Golden State was 16-2 coming into last nights game. Golden State entered the 4th quarter up by 19 points which normally leads to victory. The Warriors came out “lethargically” at the start of the 4th quarter and Memphis went on a 23-6 run. It took the Warriors offense 7 minutes to score those 6 points. Down the stretch the Warriors used there “Super Death Line Up” of Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala and it looked as though they would hang on for a win. Then, the end of regulation was ugliest of all for Golden State. Tony Allen muscled home a follow-up to a key offensive rebound. With the Warriors up two, the Warriors delivered what might have been their most awkward sequence of the season. As Curry dribbled it appeared that Durant did not know where to be, as Green gesticulated. The play led to a Curry miss, salvaged by a Thompson rebound. From there Durant and Curry deliberated over what was supposed to happen, until Curry finally gave up the rock. Then Curry set a less than forceful screen and Durant, facing Zach Randolph’s closeout, missed an off the dribble 3. Green sauntered to the bench looking less than pleased, before exchanging heated words with Durant. The Warriors continued their struggles into overtime and after Troy Daniels hit a 3-pointer the Grizzlies where up 6 points. It looked as though Durant had a chance to pull the Warriors within three as it appeared he scored and was fouled, but after a review of the play the called was changed and a foul was called on Durant. It seemed as though the Warriors couldn’t get back on track and after Mike Conley hit a step back jumper Memphis had the game in hand. After the game Draymond Green had some pointed comments, but pretty much blamed everyone for the loss. This is the kind of loss that doesn’t happen to a team like Golden State. In the end it won’t affect much as they’re still looked at as the best team in the Western Conference and any issue they might be having; they’ll have 45 regular season games to work out.

You can listen to the Sports Time radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com but you can listen to the podcast any time you want at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

Even though we’re taking a holiday break from doing the Sports Time Radio podcast we  still have to make our picks for Week 17 in the NFL. Here’s who we’re going with this we.

We all have:

The STEELERS over the Browns.

The VIKINGS over the Bears.

The PATRIOTS over the Dolphins.

The CHIEFS over the Chargers.

The SEAHAWKS over the 49ers

The FALCONS over the Saints.

Here’s how we have the rest of the games.

Dan the Man likes Cincinnati. Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I have Baltimore.

I have Philadelphia. Stu, Dan and Mr. Fantasy have Dallas.

Dan has Carolina. Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I have Tampa Bay.

Dan has the Jets. Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I have the Bills.

Mr. Fantasy has Jacksonville. Stu, Dan and I have Indianapolis.

Mr. Fantasy has Los Angeles. Stu, Dan and I have Arizona.

Dan has the New York Giants. Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I have Washington.

Stu has Detroit. Dan, Mr. Fantasy and I have Green Bay.

Stu and Dan have the Texans. Mr. Fantasy and I have the Titans.

Stu and Dan have the Raiders. Mr. Fantasy and I have the Broncos.

Going into Week 17:

Schaumburg Stu is 158-82

Mr. Fantasy is 148-92

Dan the Man is 147-93

The Big Jack is 142-98

How was your week

Posted: December 31, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports
Tags: , , , ,

The UFC held a pay per view last night in Las Vegas at the T-Mobile area. Normally the UFC pay per views are on Saturdays, but I guess they didn’t want to go up against the New Year’s Eve festivities. This was UFC 207 and the main event on the card was the return of former Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey.

Rousey hasn’t fought since November of 2015 when she suffered her first loss to Holly Holm. Holm also won the Batamweight title in that fight. The title has changed hands a couple of times since Holm beat Rousey for it. Going into last nights fight the title holder was Brazillian Amanda Nunes. Nunes won the Batamweight title from Miesha Tate by submission in July of this year and has a career record of 13-4 coming into the Rousey fight. Nunes came in on a four fight win streak, but was still a heavy underdog according to Las Vegas odds.

If you’re a gambler and with the fight being in Las Vegas I’m sure there was some money bet on this fight. You needed to bet on the underdog Nunes to cash a winning ticket. Nunes made quick work of the former champion Rousey. Nunes picked up a very quick win by TKO when referee Herb Dean stopped the fight just 48 seconds after it started. This was the quickest victory of Nunes’ career.

Nunes landed a very early jab on Rousey and then went immediately to the right hand. She is known as one of the harder hitters in the division, and Rousey looked hurt from basically the first exchange. Rousey fell backward to the cage and then leaned forward to try to wrap Nunes up. Nunes shoved her back and continued to plod forward. Rousey managed to land one left hook as Nunes aggressively pursued her, but it didn’t have much effect on the champ. Once Rousey was hurt, she was an easy target for Nunes. Rousey did not shoot for a takedown and had no way of exiting Nunes’ boxing range. While Rousey was never unconscious in this fight like she was after the Holm kick, but she was clearly out on her feet when the fight was stopped. Rousey was able to walk out of the Octagon without assistance after the stoppage.

Nunes now holds the UFC female bantamweight record for most finishes inside the first round. She was tied with Rousey at five coming into the fight.

Even though it was Nunes who won the fight the attention quickly turned to Rousey and what she will do after her 2nd consecutive loss. Rousey did not address the media after the loss, but her agent Brad Slater did say “It’s too soon to say anything about the future. I don’t want to speak for her. She’s going to take some time to process this.” When UFC President Dana White was asked if he thought Rousey would fight again he said “I don’t know. Ronda obviously needs to go home and take some time. She’s very rich. She doesn’t need to fight anymore. She’s super competitive. Maybe she wants to, I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”

UFC 207 was a sellout in the area as the attendance was announced as 18,533 for a gate of $4.75 million dollars. It was the most attended UFC event in Las Vegas. It was reported that Rousey made $3 million dollars for her comeback fight while Nunes was paid $200,000.

What do you guys think; will we see Ronda Rousey fight in the Octagon again?

Now I’m not the biggest college football fan and we don’t talk much about it on the Sports Time Radio podcast, but there are two semi-final bowl games today. The Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl is the first game on the schedule this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. This game features the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide against the #4 Washington Huskies. The second game is the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. This game features the #2 Clemson Tigers taking on the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes. The winners of these two games will advance to the CFP National Championship Game presented by AT&T on January 9th. This years CFP championship game will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Florida.

I’ve seen that Alabama is a pretty big favorite to advance to the championship game. The last betting line I saw had Alabama as a 14 point favorite over Washington. It looks as though the oddsmakers think the second game will be much closer. The betting line I saw on that game had Clemson as a 2 1/2 point favorite over Ohio State.

Alabama has won 4 of the last 6 National Championships while Ohio State won the title in 2014. Washington was 12-0 in 1991, but the University of Miami Fl. won the national title. Clemson the last time Clemson wo the national title was 1981. This is the 4th year for the College Football Playoff; so when Washington just missed winning a title and Clemson won their last title the championship was awarded by popular vote and there where different polls awarding titles.

I’m wondering if last night was the first time ever in an NBA game that a father and son where both ejected. In the Los Angeles Clippers 140-116 loss to the Houston Rockets both Clippers head coach Glenn “Doc” Rivers and his son Clippers guard Austin Rivers where both ejected in the first half of the game.

Austin was the first of the Rivers to be ejected. After Austin missed a lay up he lightly bumped into referee J.T. Orr and was tossed. After being ejected Austin yelled at Orr and waved his arms at him. A Clippers employee had to lead Austin off the court. Austin tried to go back at Orr when he got to the edge of the court, but that employee held Rivers back.

Doc’s ejection came during a timeout. Doc approached lead official Jason Phillps and was questioning why Marreese Speights wasn’t awarded free throws when the basket was made following Austin Rivers missed lay up. Doc thought that the referees had called and an 1 on the play, but the Clippers weren’t given any free throws. Doc called the timeout himself before he was ejected so he could discuss the situation with the officials.

This is the 3rd time this season Doc Rivers has been ejected and this was the 4th career ejection for Austin Rivers.

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

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

The Oakland Raiders have to be considered one of the surprise teams of this NFL season. While I think most pundits had the Raiders improving on their 7-9 2015 record I don’t remember any of them saying the Raiders would get to double digit wins. Oakland has 10 wins right now and they have three games left in this season. The Raiders where in 1st place coming into Thursday nights game against the Kansas City Chiefs and they went out and had what was probably there worst game of the season. Oakland lost 21-13 to the Chiefs Thursday night and the game brought up some questions about the Raiders. Being that it was a short week; was it just a bad night? Is Kansas City that good? or the more pressing question could be; how hurt is Derek Carr? Carr injured the pinky on his throwing hand in the Raiders 38-24 win over the Buffalo Bills in Week 13. Carr left the game for a short period of time, but returned to lead the Raiders to a victory. Carr had his worst game of the season, but even with that he had the Raiders in position to possible tie the game late in the 4th quarter. Oakland had a 4th and 1 on the Kansas City 14 yard line with 2:06 left in the game. A false start penalty made it 4th and 6 from the Kansas City 19 yard line. Carr tried to connect with Seth Roberts on a possible game tying touchdown, but the pass fell incomplete and the Raiders turned the football over on downs allowing the Chiefs to run out the clock. Carr was 17 of 41 for just 117 yards. He was also sacked 1 time for -8 yards. The loss drops the Raiders into the first wild card spot, but they are three games ahead of the next closet wild card team. Should Carr be rested to allow his pinky time to heal before the Raiders head into the playoffs? or should he try to play through it? Week 15 has the Raiders in San Diego to face the Chargers. Week 16 they’re home against the Indianapolis Colts and they end the season on the road in Week 17 against the Denver Broncos. Now winning the division still isn’t out of the questions as the Chiefs play the Tennessee Titans at home in Week 15. Week 16 they host the Broncos and the Chiefs also end the season on the road as they play in San Diego against the Chargers in Week 17. The Raiders advantage is that the Titans and the Broncos are still in playoff contention and the Chiefs have to face both of them while the Raiders will just see the Broncos. So that makes the quarterback question even tougher. Is winning the division enough of a motive to continue to play Carr or is resting that pinky injury more important? If you’re a Raiders fan; what would you like to see them do with David Carr?

There was an interesting debate this week on which running back either Ezekiel Elliott or David Johnson is he front runner for M.V.P. Elliott is currently the NFL’s leading rusher with 1285 yards and has 12 rushing touchdowns through 13 weeks. Johnson is 3rd in rushing with 1005 yards and has 11 rushing touchdowns. Johnson is more involved in the Arizona passing game than Elliott is for Dallas. Johnson has caught 64 passes for 704 yards and has 4 receiving touchdowns. Elliott has 28 receptions for 322 yards and a touchdown. Of course Elliott’s Cowboys are 11-1 and are the first team to clinch a playoff spot. Johnson’s Cardinals are 5-6-1 and are currently 2 games out of a wild card spot. In most cases a quarterback is the front runner for M.V.P. so it’s a little different to see a couple of running backs being talked about for the award. While I’m still thinking that Tom Brady will end up winning the M.V.P. award, but how would you separate these running backs. I guess it depends on what the word valuable means to you. (Valuable meaning) Is a running back who’s going to be on a playoff team more valuable than a all around running back on a team that looks like it won’t make the playoffs. The Cowboys are touted as having the best offensive line in the NFL. Does that diminish Elliott’s accomplishments? On the other hand the Cardinals have just 5 wins and you have to wonder where they would be if Johnson wasn’t on the team. With three weeks to go will have to see what kind of numbers these two running backs continue to put up and if they can stay even it will be up to the voters to decide. Now if you had a vote who’s your NFL M.V.P.?

The baseball winter meetings wrapped up with two veteran players finding new teams. Fernando Rodney signed a 1-year $2.75 million dollar deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. There are appearance bonuses in Rodney’s contract that could boost it up tp $4 million if he hits them all. Rodney turns 40 next March and split last season between the San Diego Padres and the Miami Marlins. With San Diego Rodney was 0-1 with an E.R.A. of 0.31 with 17 saves. In Miami Rodney went 2-3 with an E.R.A. of 5.89 and 8 saves. Will Rodney be used as a closer in Arizona or will the Diamondbacks find someone else to close with Rodney as the set up guy with closing experience. The other signing saw Dexter Fowler leave the World Series champion Chicago Cubs to join there division rival the St. Louis Cardinals on a 5-year $82.5 million dollar deal. The Cardinals where in the market for an outfielder; preferably a centerfielder; so I’m not surprised they signed Fowler. What is a bit of a surprise to me is the length and the dollars involved with the signing. Fowler hit .276 last season with 13 home runs. Fowler has always been looked at as a lead off type of hitter, but he had just 13 stolen bases last season. Fowler did walk 79 times last season and had an On Base Percentage of .393. Fowler turns 31 next March; so he’ll be in a Cardinals uniform until he’s 36 as his deal also includes a full no trade clause. Do you like Fowler as the Cardinals centerfielder?

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

 

Pretty  much since the 2016 season the talk has been that the Chicago White Sox had to trade Chris Sale and start there rebuilding process. Now just about every team had been rumored to be in on Sale and you can’t blame them. It was looking like the Washington nationals where the front runner to land Sale, but they weren’t willing to give the White Sox two top prospects. In the end the Nationals where left holding the bag as the Boston Red Sox stepped up and gave the White Sox four of their Top 30 prospects for Sale. The Red Sox sent #1 minor league prospect Yoan Moncada, right handed pitchers Michael Kopech and Victor Diaz plus outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe to Chicago for Sale.

Sale was the 13th pick of the 1st round in 2010 by the White Sox. He made his debut that same year. Sale didn’t become a starter until 2012, but has finished in the Top 6 of the Cy Young voting since then. Sale is 70-47 as a starter. Sale has had over 200 strikeouts the last four seasons and led the A.L. in 2015 with 274 strikeouts. Sale led the A.L. in complete games last season with 6. It’s tough to give up a pitcher like Sale as he is a true ace. It will be a few seasons before we know how this trade will be evaluated. Moncada did play in 8 games and got 20 at bats at the major league level last season, but spent most the year in Double-A where he hit .277 with 11 home runs. It appears as though Moncada will play 3rd base, but he spent the majority of his time at 2nd base in the minors. Kopech finished last season at high Class-A where he made 11 starts going 4-1 with an E.R.A. of 2.25. Kopech throws 100 m.p.h. but is still a few seasons away from being a factor in the White Sox rotation. Diaz spent all of last season at Class-A. He pitched in 37 games all in relief and had 10 saves. Diaz record was 2-5 and his E.R.A. was 3.88. Basabe spent most of last season on the same team as Diaz before being moved up to high Class-A for 5 games. Basabe hit .264 combined with 12 home runs and 53 RBI’s. Basabe did steal 25 bases. Moncada is 20, Kopech is 20, Diaz is 22 and Basabe is 20; so while we may see Moncada in a White Sox uniform it will be a while before the other players acquired in this reach the major league level.

Sale will be added to a Red Sox rotation that features 2016 Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello, David Price and it looks like the other two rotation spots are to be decided between Clay Buchholz, Steven Wright, Drew Pomeranz  or Eduardo Rodriquez. Right now it doesn’t look as though the Red Sox other top pitching prospect Henry Owens will be in this battle.

While Sale was the biggest move the Red Sox made it wasn’t the only move they made on Tuesday. Earlier in the day they sent 3rd baseman Travis Shaw and minor leaguers Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington to the Milwaukee Brewers for set up man Tyler Thornburg. Shaw can play 3rd and 1st base hit .242 with 16 home runs with 71 RBI’s last season. Dubon is a shortstop who finished the year at Double-A where he hit .339 in 62 games. Pennington made 13 starts in low Class-A last season going 5-3 with a 2.86 E.R.A. Thornburg appeared in 67 games for Milwaukee last season gong 8-5 with an E.R.A. of 2.15. Thornburg did save 13 games, but blew 8 saves last season. Thornburg should serve as the Red Sox main set up guy and he did have 20 holds last season.

The other move the Red Sox made on Tuesday was the signing of Mitch Moreland to a 1-year deal worth $5.5 million. Moreland had spent his entire 7-year career with the Texas Rangers. Moreland had a down year average wise hitting just .233, but did have 22 home runs and drove in 60 runs. Moreland is a left handed hitter who has played mostly 1st base in his career, but he has played 45 games in rightfield. Moreland has a career .996 fielding percentage at 1st base; so it looks as though he may take over in the field and Hanley Ramirez will move into the DH role.

Not to be out done the other Chicago baseball team that just happened to win the World Series appears to have found their closer. With the prices for Kenley Jansen and Aroldis Chapman get up around $20 million a season the Cubs turned to the trade market to get a closer. While it hasn’t been officially announced it’s being reported that the Cubs have agreed to send outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals for Wade Davis. Davis did miss some time last season with a forearm injury, but still converted 27 of 30 save opportunities and had an E.R.A. of 1.87. Soler appeared to be the odd man out in the Cubs outfield; so moving him makes sense. Soler also had some injury issues last season. He played in 86 games, hitting .238 with 12 home runs and 31 RBI’s. While Davis is in the final year of his contract Soler still has 3 years left on a 9-year $30 million dollar deal.

There where a couple of other signings yesterday. Carlos Gomez agreed to return to the Texas Rangers in a 1-year $11.5 million dollar deal. The Rangers acquired Gomez as a free agent on Aug. 20 after he had been released by the Astros. He played in 33 games for the Rangers and hit .284 with eight home runs and 24 RBIs. He had a .362 on-base percentage and a .543 slugging percentage. The other signing saw the Tampa Bay Rays ink catcher Wilson Ramos to a 2-year $12.5 million dollar deal, but the deal includes playing time incentives to make up to $18.25 million over the two years. Ramos is recovering from a torn ACL that he suffered last September; so he has to pass a physical for the deal to be completed.

Here’s how are NFL picks went for Week 13. Mr. Fantasy won another week going 12-3. Schaumburg Stu and I both had 10-5 records for the week while Dan the Man struggled going 8-7. Overall Schaumburg Stu still has the lead at 123-69. It’s looking like Schaumburg Stu is going to be tough to catch. Mr. Fantasy has moved into 2nd place by  a game as he is 118-74 overall with Dan the Man right behind him at 117-75. That of course means I am still in last place. My overall record is 110-82. I guess we’ll see how Week 14 goes for us.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio live on BlogTalkRadio.com but you can listen to the podcast anytime you want at TuneIn.com

Don’t forget you can find me n Twitter @Burketime