Archive for the ‘football’ Category

How was your week

Posted: June 10, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I’m not sure if anyone is buying the Minnesota Twins as a contender, but they’ve found a way to hang into 1st place in the A.L. Central through about 60 games. Minnesota has a 1 1/2 game lead over the Cleveland Indians going into today’s action. How are the Twins doing it?

It seems as though the Twins get a win every time Ervin Santana pitches. Santana is 8-3 through 13 starts with 10 of those starts being quality starts. Santana has pitched 90 innings with an E.R.A. of 2.20 and already has 3 complete game shutouts this season. Santana is coming off of a 4 hit complete game shutout of the San Francisco Giants last night.

The rest of the Twins rotation has struggled this season with the exception of Jose Berrios, but he’s only made 5 starts. You have to wonder if Santana can continue to pitch at this level all season long and it looks as though the Twins will need him to if they want to stay at the top or close to the top of the A.L. Central.

Now Santana was expected to be a top of the rotation starter when he came up with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; so maybe he’s just reaching the potential everyone thought he would.

Another Twins player who appears to be establishing himself as a top player in the A.L. is Miguel Sano. Sani is Minnesota’s top offensive threat hitting .301 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI’s. Sano is the Twins leader in those three offensive categories. Sano is also the team leader in runs scored with 38 and has 9 doubles and 2 triples this season. Sano has struck out 84 times in the 54 games he’s played in, but no one cares how many times a player strikes out.

One of the bigger knocks on Sano was his defense and what position he’d end up playing. He spent some time in the outfield last season, but has moved back to 3rd base for this season. Sano has made 4 errors this season and has a fielding percentage of .963. That puts him 12th among all 3rd baseman and it’s good for 6th in the American League.

Sano is going to need some help on offense. Joe Mauer is hitting a solid .284, but has just 4 home runs. Brian Dozier is providing some power with 9 home runs, but is hitting .242 and it seems as thought top prospect Byron Buxton just can’t hit major league pitching. Buxton is a gold glove caliber defender in centerfield, but he’s hitting just .199 in the 54 games he’s played.

I don’t think anyone expects the Twins to stay in contention for the division title or even a wild card spot, but it’s fun to see the teams you don’t expect to do well play above their expectations.

On the Thursday edition of Sports Time Radio Dan the Man and I where discussing what the problems where with the St. Luis Cardinals. Apparently the Cardinals thought they had some issues as well as they made quite a few changes before Fridays game against the Philadelphia Phillies. A game they did win 3-2 to break their 7 game losing streak.

St. Louis designated 3rd baseman/Shortstop Jhonny Peralta for assignment. Which means they now have 10 days to trade or release Peralta. There where also quite a few coaching changes for St. Louis. 3rd base coach Chris Maloney has been reassigned within the organization. Mike Shildt will take over for Maloney. In addition, assistant hitting coach Bill Mueller will take a leave of absence, and Ron “Pop” Warner and Mark Budaska have been reassigned from the minor leagues to the coaching staff.

The Cardinals activated 2nd baseman Kolten Wong from the disabled list before Friday nights game. Wong started against the Phillies last night going 1 for 2 with a walk after missing 13 games with a left elbow strain.

Peralta was in the final year of his contract with St. Louis. Peralta signed a 4 year $53 million dollar deal with the Cardinals back in 2014. Injuries limited Peralta to 82 games last season and he has only appeared in 21 games for the Cardinals this season. Peralta was hitting .204.

The Cardinals are 27-32 after last nights win and find themselves 4 1/2 games behind the N.L. Central leading Milwaukee Brewers coming into Saturday’s games. Do you think these changes will help the Cardinals?

Before yesterday’s Cleveland Indians/Chicago White Sox game the Indians had scheduled former Ohio State football player and Bedford Ohio native safety Tyvis Powell to throw out the first pitch. Powell was with the Seattle Seahawks during the 2016 season and appeared in 8 games for them before the Browns claimed him off of waivers.

In am odd turn of events the Browns ended up waving Powell just hours before he was schedule to throw out the first pitch at the Indians game. The Browns say they were not aware that Powell was scheduled to throw out the first pitch until after the roster move was made.

 

Powell still supported a Buckeyes group event and threw out the first pitch at Friday night’s game once a rain delay was lifted. The Indians went on to beat the White Sox 7-3 in the game.

We’re just a win away from possibly crowning champions in both the NHL and the NBA; so I guess that means it’s time to look forward to the NFL. Now the Golden Nugget Casino really jumped into this as they listed the odds for all 256 potential Super Bowl match ups.

The best odds right now have the New England Patriots facing the Dallas Cowboys at 7 to 1. At 8 to 1 you can get the Patriots against the Green Bay Packers. If you’re interested in seeing a Super Bowl rematch you can bet the Patriots against the Atlanta Falcons at 10 to 1. Now maybe you like the long shot and if you do you can bet that the New York Jets will face off against the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl at 5000 to 1. That is roughly equivalent to what some sportsbooks set the odds that Leicester City would win the Champions League in 2015-2016.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 7, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Did you start Scooter Gennett of the Cincinnati Reds in your daily fantasy league last night? Better yet did you start Gennett in any of your fantasy leagues? I’ll be honest; I saw Gennett for $2000 on FanDuel last night, but didn’t use him. If I would’ve used him or if you had him in your line up you would’ve gotten points for a player going 5 for 5 with 4 home runs and 10 RBI’s. It’s the first time since 2012 that a player has had a 4 homer game and the 17th player to do it in baseball history. Gennett had just 3 home runs coming into last nights game. He had 38 career home runs and one 2 home run game in his career.

Now Gennett doesn’t even play on a regular basis for Cincinnati. Just last week when the Atlanta Braves came into town former Reds player Brandon Phillips was unhappy that Cincinnati had issued Gennett his old #4. I believe Phillips used the term “slap in the face” to describe the way he felt about Gennett getting issued #4.

Gennett’s night started off without a lot of fanfare as in his first at bat he hit a bloop single to leftfield off St. Louis cardinals starter Adam Wainwright to drive in Billy Hamilton. Gennett came up against Wainwright again in the 3rd inning this time with the bases loaded. With a 3 & 2 count Gennett hit a grand slam to left center for his first home run of the night. Gennett came back up to the plate in the 4th inning again with the bases loaded, but this time against Cardinals reliever John Gant. The count again went to 3 & 2 before Gennett hit his second home run and grand slam of the night to centerfield. Gennett came up against Gant again in the 6th inning and this time he hit a 3 & 1 pitch the opposite way into the leftfield seats for his third home run of the night. Gennett final at bat came in the bottom of the 8th inning against Cardinals reliever John Brebbia. Down in the count 0 & 2 Gennett hit a line drive into the rightfield bleachers for his fourth home run of the night.

The Reds picked up Gennett in spring training after the Milwaukee Brewers surprisingly cut him. Gennett was the Brewers starting 2nd baseman in 2016 playing in 137 games for them.

The Reds face the Cardinals again tonight with Lance Lynn starting. Do you think Gennett will be in the Cincinnati starting line up tonight?

The Washington Nationals picked up a 2-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers last night, but after the Nationals ended up having another heated exchange with an N.L. West team.

With runners on 1st and 2nd Washington;s closer Koda Glover struck out Yasiel Puig to end the game. After getting the strikeout Glover shouted in the direction of home plate which Puig took exception to. Puig attempted to towards the mound and it appeared as though he was trying to ask Glover what he said.

In response Glover took off his cap and tossed aside his glove as players from both teams quickly intervened to keep the two separated. Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman pulled Glover away, and nothing escalated before the squads headed off the field.

“Tempers flared a little bit,” Glover said. “It is what it is. I don’t have any hard feelings toward him. He was staring at me, and I didn’t like it.” While Puig did not speak to reporters after the game.

Remember just last season the Dodgers took a tense divisional round playoff series between the teams last year. The series went five games before the Dodgers advanced.

The Nationals have won both games between the teams so far this season, with the finale of their current series set for Wednesday afternoon. Steven Strasburg is scheduled to make the start for the Nationals while it will be Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers.

Washington is still holding a huge lead (12 1/2 games) in the N.L. East while the Dodgers have dropped 2 games back of the Colorado Rockies in the N.L. West.

It’s time for organized team activities or OTA’s in the NFL. While I’ll never understand why these just aren’t called practices the bigger stories from these are the players who don’t show up for them. While they are voluntary NFL teams like to have all of their players attend.

Now the big player missing at New York Giants OTA’s was wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) who is looking for a new contract. Beckham has no financial bonuses in his contract tying him to any OTA appearances.

Now back in May Beckham did say that he would attend mini camp with the Giants when the time comes. Beckham was actually quoted as saying “for sure” when asked about being at mandatory minicamp; which starts next Tuesday.

Beckham has clearly out played his contract as he is scheduled to make $1.8 million this season under the terms of his rookie contract. The Giants recently picked up his fifth-year option for 2018 at what is likely to be around $8 million.

Beckham, a three-time Pro Bowler who had 101 catches for 1,367 yards and 10 touchdowns last season. Don’t forget he also was fined at least six times for a variety of infractions. Through three NFL seasons Beckham has caught 288 passes for 4122 yards; averaging 14.3 yards per catch with 35 touchdowns.

Beckham pretty much re-wrote the Giants record book as a rookie, but has now went on to be the first Giants receiver to have 75+ receptions, 1200+ yards and 10 or more touchdowns in three straight seasons.

While Beckham gets a lot of negative attention for some of his antics it’s clear that he is one of the top receivers in the NFL. When Beckham’s $8 million dollar contract kicks in that would make him tied for 20th among wide receivers in pay. He’d be tied with Kenny Stills of the Miami Dolphins and Marvin Jones of the Detroit Lions. Out of those three receivers; which one do you want your quarterback throwing to? At $17 million a season Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers is the highest paid wide receiver coming into the 2017 season.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, but you can also find the podcast on TuneIn.com

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 10, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in fantasy, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Interestingly we’re about 30 games into the baseball season and I heard people talking about their fantasy football draft. Now I also got my invite to renew our two leagues already. I think this is the earliest I’ve ever received a notice to renew our leagues. Of course this got me thinking. Who could be the impact rookies to look for in this years draft. Now we still have to get through training camp and of course the wonderful pre-season games, but let’s have some fun and rank the rookies who could have a big fantasy impact this coming season.

While there are a few players you could put at the top of this list I think I’m going with Christian McCaffery of the Carolina Panthers. Carolina used the 8th pick in the draft to select McCaffery; so you have to think he’ll be a big part of their offense. McCaffery should not only get carries he should also be a big factor in the passing game. Leonard Fournette of the Jacksonville Jaquars should also get enough carries to have some fantasy impact. Fournette should be the #1 running back right fro  the start of training camo and as long as he gets the carries he’ll be a positive fantasy player. I seem to be running back heavy at the top here, but I also like Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings. Minnesota doesn’t have a #1 running back; so Cook should be able to step right in and fill that role. Cook could be a good fantasy player this season. It looks like wide receiver Mike Williams landed in the right spot with the Los Angeles Chargers. Keenan Allen just can’t seem to stay healthy and Phillip Rivers like to go downfield; so Williams has a chance to be the top fantasy receiver. The Cincinnati Bengals need someone to help A.J. Green; so with the 9th pick the Bengals selected John Ross. Ross was the guy at the combined with the lighting fast 40 time and should be able to run some of the coverage off for Green. Don’t be surprised if Samaje Perine wins the job as the Washington Redskins #1 running back in training camp. Washington doesn’t have a top back and if he’s given a chance Perine could take that job. O.J. Howard has a chance to get a lot of targets around the goal line and that could really help his fantasy numbers. If Howard can work well with Jameis Winston will be the key to his fantasy success. David Njoku is another tight end who has a shot at putting up some good fantasy numbers. Of course he was drafted by the Cleveland Browns, but pretty much as soon as they selected him they cut their starting tight end. Njoku is young and might need a little time to learn at the NFL level, but if he gets it quick there could be some fantasy positives there. Juju Smith-Schuster is another wide receiver who went to a good spot. Obviously Antonio Brown is the clear #1 receiver on the Pittsburgh Steelers, but there’s no true #2. While there are getting Martavis Bryant back from suspension he’s just one violation away from a lifetime ban. Plus Bryant is purely a deep threat; so there’s room for another underneath receiver. This could be a good spot for Smith-Schuster to fit in. I’m going to round out the Top 10 with Tennessee Titans wide receiver Corey Davis. Marcus Mariota needs a true #1 receiver and Davis could be that player. Davis was considered the best route runner in the draft and if he can get a good working relationship with Mariota there could be some fantasy positives there.

There’s 10 rookies for you to start looking at and I’m sure there are some that you like that I didn’t mention. Feel free to leave your favorite rookie headed in this fantasy season in the comments and as this list expands I’ll take a look at them.

On Sunday afternoon the Nashville Predators beat the St. Louis Blues 3-1 to in that series 4 games to 2 and advance to the Western Conference finals for the first time in team history. Then last night the Ottawa Senators beat the New York Rangers 4-2 to win that series 4 games to 2 to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Tonight the Predators and the Senators will find out who they’ll be facing in the Conference Finals as we have two Game 7’s on the schedule. Now the marquee match up this round has been the Pittsburgh Penguins against the Washington Capitals and it just seems right that it should take seven games to decide who wins it. Of course the series didn’t look like it would be going seven games when the Penguins won the first two games and three of the first four games in this series. Washington has responded with back to back wins in Game 5 and Game 6 to get us to this point. Can the Capitals make it three wins in a row to take the series or will Pittsburgh find a way to get a win on the road to advance to the Conference Finals and continue to defend the Stanley Cup. The other Game 7 tonight features the Edmonton Oilers at the Anaheim Ducks. Edmonton jumped out and took the first two games of this series before Anaheim came back and won three straight games. The Oilers where able to hold off elimination with a big 7-1 win in Game 6. There has been a lot of offense in this series as the teams have combined to score 42 goals in six games. Can Edmonton put up another 7 goals and advance or will it be the Ducks who put the puck in the net enough to advance to the Conference Finals.

On a side note: at the start of the season Dan the Man picked Washington to win the Stanley Cup while my choice was Anaheim. It looks like we’re going to need big Game 7 wins out of our picks to continue in the Stanley Cup playoffs.

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

Don’t forget; you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

So we’re a month into the 2017 baseball season. Are you concerned with the way your favorite team started off? Neither World Series team from 2016; the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians are both just over .500 at 14-12 while the Houston Astros are off to the best start at 18-9. Now I’m a big advocate of panicking after the first month of the season, but there are people out there who do. Of course everyone wants their favorite team to get off to a good start, but not every team in baseball can get off to that good start. It’s kind of the same thing with players stats. Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals is off to a good start this season, but I don’t think he’ll hit .419 all season long. On the other side Curtis Granderson of the New York Mets is hitting just .122 after the first month of the season. Maybe it will end up being a down year for Granderson, but do you really think he’ll hit .122 all season long? Or will we see him end up right around his career batting average of .253. I know it’s fun to talk about it, but when it comes to rooting for a team or a player you have to be able to handle the highs with the lows. I get that’s easier said than done and it does take some time to be able to do that, but it’s a long, long season and things always seem to even out.

What I am finding interesting to watch is can the players who had down years in 2016, but have had good starts to the 2017 season keep it up. Jason Heyward go a big free agent deal with the Chicago Cubs before the 2016 season and then went out and hit .230 with 7 home runs and 49 RBI’s. Heyward has started off 2017 hitting .261 through 25 games with 3 homers and 16 RBI’s. How about Zack Greinke. He also got a big free agent deal from the Arizona Diamondbacks and while he did have a winning record at 13-7 his E.R.A. was 4.37. That’s the highest it’s been since his second year in baseball. Greinke had one complete game shutout in 2016, but was limited to 26 starts due to injury. Greinke has made 6 starts in 2017; he’s 2-2 with an E.R.A. of 3.19 and he already has one complete game. Jordan Zimmerman is another pitcher who signed a big time free agent deal before the 2016 season. Zimmerman switched leagues signing with the Detroit Tigers, but was limited to 19 games (18 starts) in 2016 due to injury. Zimmerman was 9-7 with a 4.87 E.R.A. Now in five 2017 starts Zimmerman’s E.R.A. is still quite high at 6.18, but he’s 3-1 on the season. I mentioned Ryan Zimmerman in the paragraph above, but you might not remember that Zimmerman hit .218 with 15 home runs and 46 RBI’s in 115 games in 2016. In 25 games this season Zimmerman is hitting .419 with 11 home runs and 29 RBI’s.

What do you think will we see these players continue to play well this season or will they have a relapse or revert to what happened to them in 2016? Better yet; did you take a chance on one of these players in your fantasy league this season? If you happened to they might be paying some big dividends early in the 2017 season.

I’m sure by now you’ve know about the death of Boston Celtics superstar Isaiah Thomas’ sister Chyna back on April 15th. Well last night the Celtics played Game 2 of their second round playoff series against the Washington Wizards on what would’ve been Chyna’s 23rd birthday. Now the Celtics did go on to win the game 129-119 in overtime to go up 2 games to none in the series. Now Thomas who was dealing not only with the recent loss of his sister also had oral surgery on Monday to fix the tooth he lost in Sunday’s Game 1 win. With all of this going on in Thomas personal life he still went out and scored 53 points in the Boston victory. Thomas played 45 minutes in the Game 2 win. He shot 18 of 33 from the field including 5 of 12 from behind the 3-point line. Thomas made 12 of the 13 free throws he shot as well. Thomas also had 4 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals with just 2 turnovers in Game 2. When Thomas was on the floor the Celtics where a +10 in the game. Unlike their first round series the Celtics won both of their home games to start round 2. The series will now move to Washington for game 3 & 4 with Game 3 being played on Thursday night.

With the draft over teams have to start looking at free agents to fill the needs they still have. The Denver Broncos hope they filled one of their holes yesterday when they signed running back Jamal Charles for one year. The deal could be worth up to $3.75 million dollars. Charles has spent his entire nine year NFL career with the Broncos AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs. Charles has played in just 8 games total the last two seasons due to injury, but for his career he has gained 7260 yards with 43 touchdowns while averaging 5.5 yards per carry. Charles has played in 103 career games and has five 100 yard seasons to his credit. His best season was 2012 when he gained 1509 yards. Charles is also a receiving threat out of the backfield. In his career he has 285 receptions and 20 receiving touchdowns. In 2013 Charles caught a career high 70 passes.

Charles will join a Broncos backfield where Devin Booker was the leading rusher with 612 yards in 2016. The Broncos would also like to see C.J. Anderson return from injury. Denver also used a 6th round draft pick on De’Angelo Henderson a running back out of Coastal Carolina.

We spent quite a bit of time on the Tuesday edition of Sports Time Radio talking about Sidney Crosby and the hit that gave him a concussion; so I don’t want to go into that again. You can find that podcast on TuneIn.com if you’d like to get Dan the Man and mines take on the situation. It seems as though the series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals is the marquee NHL playoff match up, but sooner or later people may need to start paying attention to the Nashville Predators. The Predators swept the #1 seeded Chicago Blackhawks out of the 1st round of the playoffs and last night they beat the St. Louis Blues 2-1 to take a 3 games to 1 lead in that series. The Predators/Blues series is the only one that has played four games and all of the other series are at 2 games to 1 with to Game 4 being played tonight. The Capitals are at the Penguins and the Anaheim Ducks are at the Edmonton Oilers. Pittsburgh and Edmonton have the lead in those series. The other Game 4 is Thursday night as the New York Rangers hosting the Ottawa Senators with the Senators ahead in that series.

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

I’m on Twitter @Burketime

I’m sure most if not all people know this, but when a team wins a World Series it’s not just the players who get rings. In the case of the Chicago Cubs it was reported that they bought 1908 World Series rings and pins. Now in a lot of cases employees have turned around and sold these rings on the secondary market. There are reports that the rings the Cubs just received could go for $80,000 or more if they where to be sold. Now the Chicago Cubs and the Ricketts family are trying to avoid that by making everyone who got a ring except the players sign an agreement saying that if the owner of the ring tries to sell or transfer your ring you must notify the Cubs in writing of the proposed transaction and a complete accounting of the terms. This is according to a memo obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times. The memo goes on to say “If the Cubs elect not to purchase the ring, then you may transfer it according to the terms you provided to the Cubs; however, each subsequent owner shall also be bound by these terms in the event of a subsequent proposed sale or other transfer.” Rings may also be given as gifts, but the same terms apply. How much would you get if the Cubs decide to buy your ring back? $1! Now players are expected to pay taxes on their ring while the Cubs will pick up the tax bill for the lower level employees.

Now the Cubs may be the first World series winner to do this, but this is not the first major award that has this type of stipulation. The Heisman trophy comes along with a set of rules after you win it and so does an Oscar.

Do you think it’s fair for the Cubs to make their employees do this? In some cases the ring could be worth more than that employee makes in an entire year. Please let me know what you think.

It appears as though former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez has committed suicide in prison this morning. Hernandez was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction and just days ago was acquitted of double murder. The report says that Hernandez died in his prison cell after hanging himself with his bedsheet.

While it’s sad to see a 27 year old man with a young daughter take his own life. You have to remember that he was convicted of killing a man and that’s why he was in prison.

The New England Patriots drafted Hernandez in the 4th round of the 2010 draft. Hernandez played in 38 games over three seasons with New England. He caught 175 passes for 1956 yards and 18 touchdowns.

Pittsburgh Pirates centerfielder Starling Marte was suspended 80 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for a performance enhancing substance. Marte tested positive for nandrolone, which violated MLB’s Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension is effective immediately. Marte is eligible to return in mid July. Marte addressed his teammates in a closed door meeting Tuesday afternoon, but he did not meet with the news media.

With Marte out until after the All-Star break; who will play centerfield? Pirates manager Clint Hurdle came out yesterday and said that Andrew McCutchen will move back to that position. At the beginning of this season McCutchen was moved to rightfield so Marte could play centerfield.

I thought that the Pirates would bring up top outfield prospect Austin Meadows, but it was outfielder Jose Osuna who got the call up from Triple-A Indianapolis. Osuna is the Pirates 28th ranked prospect. Meadows is off to a very slow start at Triple-A. Meadows is hitting .146 with 1 home run and 5 RBI’s in 11 games at Triple-A. In 10 games for Indianapolis Osuna is hitting .250 with 1 RBI. In last nights game Adam Frazier started in rightfield.

While he is out Marte will not be paid, but even more interestingly if the Pirates make the playoffs Marte will not be eligible for them.

Are the Washington Nationals considering a change at closer? After Dusty Baker had to take current closer Blake Treinen out of the game in the 9th inning Monday night he used the term “this ain’t working” when speaking with reporters after the game. The Nationals bullpen has been struggling. Coming into last nights game they had the 4th worst bullpen E.R.A. in baseball at 6.25. Treinen lasted 1/3rd of an inning last night giving up two hits, two walks and a run before giving way to Shawn Kelley. Kelley got the final two pouts to pick up a save in Washington’s 3-1 win over the Atlanta Braves. While nothing is definite the Nationals could turn to Kelley or Koda Glover as the closer if Baker decides that he wants to make a change.

In other Nationals pitching news Joe Ross will be called up from Triple-A Syracuse to start Wednesday’s game against Atlanta. The Nationals wanted Ross to start the season at Triple-A to limit his innings, but that blew up in their face when Jeremy Guthrie’s start went off the rails. Guthrie lasted just 2/3rds of an inning in that start. He gave up 10 earned runs on 6 hits and walked 4 for an E.R.A. of 135.00. Guthrie was designated for assignment after his start. Ross has made two starts in Triple-A covering 9 2/3rds innings. Ross is 0-1 with a 3.72 E.R.A. while striking out 9 and walking 3. Ross has to be an upgrade over Guthrie almost by default.

Here’s some better news for the Nationals. It appears as though starting shortstop Trea Turner will be returning from the disabled list soon; possible as early as today. Turner went on the disabled list April 8th with a hamstring injury, but he ran sprints, took grounders and batting practice before Sunday’s game and looks ready to return. Turner’s return could be big for the Nationals as one of the players trying to replace him Stephen Drew is also having hamstring issues leaving just Wilmer Difo as the only healthy option for the Nationals at shortstop. The Nationals face the Braves at 6:35 p.m. c.s.t. so you’ll have to check their line up and see if Turner is starting.

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

You can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: March 18, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, basketball, College Basketball, football, NASCAR, sports

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge college basketball fan, but it seems like this time of year you almost have no choice. With the NCAA tournament under way it seems like there are no other sports on television to watch. It’s always more interesting when there’s a local team in the tournament and in my area we have the Northwestern Wildcats. It was the first time they’ve ever made the tournament and they won their 1st round game against Vanderbilt on Thursday. In the 2nd round they play the #1 seeded team in their region Gonzaga. It was a big plus that they made the tournament and then it’s cool that they won a game. I’m not sure how many people expected them to beat Gonzaga today, but I do know quite a few people who picked Northwestern to get a win in their bracket. I picked Gonzaga to win this game, but I don’t think it will be a blow out. Do you have a local team in the tournament that you’re rooting for?

While we’re talking about the tournament; how did your bracket end up after the 1st round? I managed to get through the 1st round losing just four teams, but none of the teams that I lost in my bracket I had going to the Sweet 16. I lost two teams in the  Midwest bracket and two teams in the East bracket. I had Creighton over Rhode Island and Nevada over Iowa St. in the Midwest and I had UNC Wilmington over Virginia and SMU over USC in the East. I thought losing just four teams in the 1st round was pretty good, but I don’t really know. How did you do in the 1st round?

Now not only did UNC Wilmington lose in the first round of the NCAA tournament, but after the game they also lost their coach. On Friday it was announced that Kevin Keatts would be moving from UNC Wilmington to take the head coaching job at North Carolina State. Keatts was 72-28 in three seasons at UNC Wilmington and the last two years they went t the NCAA tournament. The team won CAA regular season titles all three seasons under Keatts, who became the first coach in conference history to win back to back Coach of the Year accolades. The team also set a new season high in wins with 29 this season. He will replace Mark Gottfried, who was fired after six seasons in Raleigh. Gottfried took the Wolfpack to the NCAA tournament in each of his first four seasons, but the program failed to live up to expectations the past two years and finished 13th in the ACC each season.

The Milwaukee Bucks beat the Los Angeles Lakers last night 107-103, , but more interestingly there was a bit of a shoving match that ended with three players being ejected. With :36 seconds left in the 3rd quarter Malcolm Brogdon fouled Nick Young a little on the hard side. Young didn’t appreciate the foul and shoved Brogdon. Gregg Monroe quickly jumped in and shoved Young, That in turn brought D’Angelo Russell and Brandon Ingram into the fray as they engaged Monroe. The referees quickly jumped in and accessed double technical to Russell and Monroe; so they where ejected. Young had picked up a technical foul earlier in the game; so when he was given another one by the officiating crew he was ejected as well. Young and Russell addressed the media after the game, but Monroe left without speaking to reporters. The players will now have to wait and see how the NBA rules on this incident and if there will be any suspensions or fines from it.

Now the loss by the Lakers did eliminate them officially from the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. This is the longest stretch that the Lakers have went without making the playoffs. Before this stretch the longest the Lakers had been without making the playoffs was two consecutive seasons.

Latavius Murray signed with the Minnesota Vikings as a free agent this week. Murray was with the Oakland Raiders last season and his departure leaves the raiders with a need at the running back position. Adrian Peterson is still out on the free agent markets, but there are reports that the Raiders would like to acquire retired running back Marshawn Lynch from the Seattle Seahawks. Since Lynch is still under a contract with the Seahawks the Raiders would either have to workout a trade with Seattle or just hope they would release Lynch; so they could sign him. Under Lynch’s contract he has a $9 million dollar salary for the 2017 season with a salary cap hit of $9 million dollars as well. For the 2018 season Lynch’s salary is $7 million dollars, but there is also a $3 million dollar roster bonus he would be due. Now Lynch is from Oakland; so would playing for his hometown team be enough to get hi to return to the NFL. Lynch also has a “Beast Mode” apparel store in Oakland. Lynch will turn 31 in April.

Lynch spent nine seasons in the NFL. Lynch spent three plus seasons with the Buffalo Bills before being traded to the Seahawks after the fourth game of the 2010 season. Lynch has 9112 career rushing yards and has rushed for more than a 1000 yards in a season six times. Lynch led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 2014 and 2015. If the Seahawks decide to trade Lynch to Oakland would his season off hurt him in his return? If there is a trade what would the Raiders have to give the Seahawks for Lynch?

NASCAR is entering the third week of their season as they heads to Phoenix International raceway for the Camping World 500 on Sunday. Joey Logano took the pole for Sunday’s race with a speed of 137.321 m.p.h. Ryan Blaney will start 2nd with Dale Earnhardt Jr. 3rd. Kyle Larson (4th) and Jamie McMurray (5th) will round out the Top 5. While Logano took the pole after his run in with Kyle Busch last week; Busch will start 9th on Sunday.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: March 15, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, College Basketball, football, sports, Uncategorized

We’re just one day from the NCAA men’s basketball tournament starting; otherwise called March madness. Now I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know a whole lot about college basketball, but I filled out a tournament bracket. I think there are a lot of people in the same situation as I am. What I’d be interested to know is; how did you pick your bracket? Now I’m not the kind of person who fills out multiple brackets to try to get the best outcome. I actually do two bracket and they always seem to end up being pretty much the same. I one of my brackets I have Villanova, Duke, Kansas and Louisville in the final four with Duke and Kansas meeting in the finals and Duke winning it. My second bracket has Duke and Kansas in the final four again, but this time they’re joined by Florida St. and UCLA. My finals match up is Duke vs. UCLA with UCLA winning it all. I don’t know if this will actually help anyone and I doubt it will, but those are the teams I went with.

My next question for you about March madness is; what’s your favorite part of it? Now for me I like the first weekend of the tournament more than the rest of it. You always get those big upsets in the first weekend. Sometimes it’s a #5 seed beating a #12 or like last year we got a #2 seed losing to a #15 seed. Of course the one upset we’ve yet to see is a #1 seed going down at the hands of a #16 seed. I don’t think that we’re going to see one of those upsets this season, but it would be fun if we did. Who’s your big time underdog team that’s going to pull off these upsets. It seems as though the experts like Wichita St. who drew a 10th seed, but everyone seems to think is better than that. I think after all the hype I heard about Wichita St. I picked them to win their 1st round game, but I’m not sure if I have them going any farther than that. There always seems to be that one team that wins a couple of games that no one was expecting and this of course can make or break your bracket. I’d love to know which higher seeded team you picked to make a tournament run.

With NFL free agency still rolling along a running back has finally signed with a team. I think  most people thought we’d see Adrian Peterson or Jamaal Charles be the first running back to sign, but it turned out that Eddie Lacy was the guy. Lacy signed a 1 year $5.5 million dollar deal with the Seattle Seahawks. $3 million dollars in Lacy’s deal is guaranteed.

Lacy is looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2016 season. Lacy played just 5 games last season. Lacy was averaging 5.1 yards per carry before he injured an ankle that required surgery and ended his season. Lacy was a 1000 yard rusher his first two seasons (2013 & 2014) in the NFL, but rushed for just 758 yards in the 2015 season. Lacy can also be a factor in the passing game as he has a career high of 42 receptions in 2014.

The biggest issue with Lacy seemed to be his weight. He was listed at 235 pounds by the Green Bay Packers, but I’m not sure anyone ever believed that. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll mentioned that they’d like to see Lacy’s weight in the 240’s.

Lacy is being brought in to help a Seahawks running game that averaged 3.8 yards per carry and ranked 24th in the NFL last season. It was a tough season for the Seahawks running core as they struggled though injuries which led to 18 different guys getting a carry during the season. Lacy will join Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise in the Seattle backfield mix. Rawls had a very good rookie season averaging 5.6 yards per carry and rushing for 830 yards. Last season Rawls battled through multiple injuries playing in 9 games last season and rushing for 349 yards and 3.2 yards per carry. Prosise was a rookie in 2016 playing in 6 games and rushing for 172 yards and averaging 5.7 yards per carry. The Seahawks are hoping that Prosise will blossom into a 3rd down back. Carroll has said often that his preference is to go with multiple backs. Lacy is the favorite to get the bulk of the carries, but Rawls and Prosise will also factor in.

Now there was another running back signed, but again it wasn’t Peterson or Charles. Rex Burkhead signed with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots on Tuesday. Burkhead spent his first three seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, but was the #3 running back behind Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard. Do to injuries Burkhead saw a little more playing time last season. I the final week of the season Burkhead rushed 27 times for 119 yards against the Baltimore Ravens. Burkhead has returned kicks as well as playing other special team role and he has lined up as a slot receiver. With that kind of versatility he seems like a good fit for the Patriots. Burkhead will compete with Dion Lewis and James White in the New England backfield, but should see more time on the field than he did in Cincinnati as the Patriots use all of their running backs on the roster.

It appears that the two teams that everyone expected to make it to the NBA finals have it a regular season wall. The Cleveland Cavaliers did right their ship a little last night with a 128-96 win over the Detroit Pistons, but even with that win the Cavaliers have lost 4 of their last 6 games. The Golden State Warriors also managed to get a win last night, but they struggled to do that. Golden State beat the Philadelphia 76ers 106-104 Tuesday night. Coming into that game the Warriors had lost three games in a row. Now the Cavaliers are still on top of the Eastern Conference by 2 1/2 games, but Golden State has fallen off the top of the Western Conference standings. The San Antonio Spurs have taken over the top spot in the Western Conference by 1/2 game. Both teams are dealing with injuries to top players and the NBA regular season is long even with the days off. With both teams hitting this bad stretch do you think will see anyone else in the finals besides the Warriors and the Cavaliers?

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

 

How was your week

Posted: March 11, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

NFL free agency started this week and as there always seems to be a lot of player movement took place right at the beginning. Quite a few players have new teams including some quarterbacks; so let’s look and see where some of these quarterbacks ended up.

The San Francisco 49ers brought in two quarterbacks as they signed Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. Oddly Hoyer and Barkley where both members of the Chicago Bears last season as Jay Cutler’s back up. Now Cutler was finally released by the Bears as they signed Tampa bay Buccaneers back up Mike Glennon as their new starter. Robert Griffin III was released by the Cleveland Browns after one season with the team. Cleveland did add a quarterback as they sent a 2017 4th round pick to the Houston Texans. In return the Browns get quarterback Brock Osweiler, a 6th round pick in the 2017 draft and a 2nd round pick in the 2018 draft. It doesn’t appear as Osweiler is in the Browns quarterback plans as they’ve said they will try to deal Osweiler or just release him before the season starts. A couple of back up quarterbacks got new deals as Landry Jones re-signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Aaron Murray has signed with the Los Angeles Rams. Kirk Cousins also signed his franchise tender with the Washington Redskins.

Now with all of the quarterback movement you might have noticed that there’s a name missing that most people thought would be on the free agent market. Tony Romo is still a member of the Dallas Cowboys. It was thought and reported that the Cowboys would be releasing Romo allowing him to become a free agent, but then rumors broke that Romo could be traded. The Houston Texans and Denver Broncos had been the front runners to sign Romo if he had been released and they where the first two teams named when trade talk started. You can’t figure it would take any more than a 6th or 7th round draft choice to get Romo from the Cowboys, but there are some questions with dealing for him. Romo is due $14 million dollars in base salary. Plus there’s a $5 million dollar signing bonus and a $5.7 million dollar restructuring bonus. So Romo would be a salary cap hit of $24.7 million dollars for any team that would trade for him. That’s a large salary for a quarterback who’s played 5 games total the past two seasons. Maybe Denver or Houston is trying to get Romo to re-do his contract, but no reports of that have come out. You do have to wonder why a team would give up a draft pick; even a late round draft pick for a player they could possibly get  on there own terms.

The New England Patriots aren’t normally big players in the free agent market, but this year they did sign a top free agent. New England signed cornerback Stephon Gilmore away from the Buffalo Bills. Terms of Gilmore’s deal were not disclosed, but it is being reported the deal is for 5 years. Now the Patriots did re-sign two of their own free agents. They brought back defensive lineman Alan Branch on a 2 year $12 million dollar deal. New England also re-signed safety Duron Harmon to a 4 year $20 million dollar deal. Now you might not see signing one top cornerback and two of your own free agents as big moves, but the Patriots also made three trades this week. First New England sent a 2017 4th round pick to the Indianapolis Colts for tight end Dwayne Allen and a 20017 6th round pick. The Patriots then traded their 2nd round pick in the 2017 draft to the Carolina Panthers for defensive lineman Kony Ealy and a 2017 3rd round pick, but New England wasn’t done. The Patriots finally completed the long rumored trade with the New Orleans Saints for wide receiver Bradin Cooks. New England will send their 2017 1st round pick; #32 overall and the 3rd round pick (#108 overall) which is the compensatory pick they got from the Cleveland Browns for linebacker Jamie Collins. In return the Patriots will receive Cooks and the Saints 4th round pick (#118 overall) in the 2017 draft. So ask yourself; did anybody do better during the first week of free agency than the defending champions?

Now there where some other free agents signings involving some top players. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery is joining the Philadelphia Eagles. Defensive end Calals Campbell and cornerback A,J, Bouye are joining the Jacksonville Jaquars. Wide receiver Terrelle Pryor signed with the Washington Redskins while former Redskins receiver DeSean Jackson signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tight end Martellus Bennett signed with the Green Bay Packers. These are just some of the top ranked free agents that signed this week.

Interestingly there are some big name free agent running backs available, but none of them where signed at the start of free agency. There are names like Adrian Peterson, Eddie Lacy, Jamaal Charles, Latavius Murray and LeGarrette Blount on the open market. Now Peterson, Lacy and Charles are all coming back from injury; so that may hold up there signings as teams look at their medical reports. How long do you think it will be before one of these top running backs is signed?

The Chicago White Sox are in rebuild mode for the 2017 season. Now one of the players that the White Sox haven’t traded, but has drawn a lot of interest is Jose Quintana. Now the White Sox have been looking for a big return for the 28 year old Quintana and that case may have just been made for the White Sox. Quintana made a start for Team Colombia in the World Baseball Classic against Team U.S.A. Quintana faced a line up of major league players and held Team U.S.A. to 1 run over 5 2/3rd innings. Quintana stuck out 4 while walking 1 throwing 63 pitches. Quintana got the first 17 Team U.S.A. batters he faced out before the last batter he faced in the game Brandon Crawford singled to rightfield. Now Team U.S.A. did go on to beat Team Columbia 3-2 in 10 innings, but Quintana was the star of the game and if a team was interested in trading for him the price may have just went up.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but you can also find the podcast anytime you’d like at TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

It’s the time of the year in the NBA where the M.V.P. talk starts. For some reason this has been the week where everyone who supported Russell Westbrook earlier in the season have now turned their backs on him and are looking for other candidates for M.V.P. The other names that keep coming up are James Harden, LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard. So let’s take a look and see how these players match up.

Westbrook’s Oklahoma City Thunder are 35-29 and currently holding on to the 7th spot in the Western Conference. In 64 games Westbrook averages 32.1 points per game, 10.5 rebounds per game and 10 assists per game. Westbrook is the leagues leading scorer and he is 3rd in assists he is also 12th in rebounding, but remember he’s a point guard. That’s right Westbrook is averaging a triple-double per game so far this season. The last player to average a triple-double in a season was Oscar Robertson who did in during the 1961-62 season for the Cincinnati Royals.

Harden’s Houston Rockets are 44-20 and are currently in 3rd place in the Western Conference. In 64 games Harden is averaging 29 points per game, 7.9 rebounds per game and 11.5 assists per game. Harden is the leagues 2nd leading scorer and is leading the NBA in assists. Harden is tied for 25th in rebounding.

James’ Cleveland Cavaliers are the top team in the Eastern Conference with a record of 42-20. James has played in 57 games this season and is averaging 26 points per game, 8.2 rebounds per game and 8.8 assists per game. James is the leagues 8th leading scorer. He is 4th in the league is assists and is tied for 22nd in rebounding.

Leonard’s San Antonio Spurs are 49-13 and in 2nd place in the Western Conference. Leonard averages 26.3 points per game, 3.4 assists per game and 6 rebounds a game. Leonard is the leagues 7th leading scorer. He is tied for 53rd in assists and is tied for 60th in rebounding. I’m sure you’ve noticed that with the exception of scoring Leonard’s stats don’t compare top the other M.V.P. candidates. While that may be the case Leonard is far and away the best defensive player out of the four candidates; so that should help his M.V.P. case.

Now it looks as even if Westbrook puts up the best numbers he’s not going to win the M.V.P. award and that’s even if he averages a triple-double. Since Oklahoma City isn’t really considered a threat to win the NBA title that will hurt Westbrook’s case even though it’s a regular season award. I’m not sold on the Rockets being a title contender either, but the team is much improved this season and Harden is being given the credit for that. I’m not sure why James is even in this conversation. Most people still consider him the best player in the NBA ; so I’m guessing that’s why his name keeps coming up, but he doesn’t deserve to win this award. Leonard is kind of a sleeper pick at this point, but he’s gained some support lately. San Antonio is always a title contender, but I’m not sure that Leonard’s stats are M.V.P. worthy especially when you compare him to the other candidates.

If I had a vote which I don’t I’d cast mine for Westbrook. What he’s doing is historic. Harden would be 2nd on my ballot with Leonard 3rd and James a distant 4th. When it’s all said and done look for Harden to walk away with the M.V.P. award when the voting comes out.

The Dallas Mavericks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 122-111 last night. Neither team is going to make the playoffs this season; so the importance of this game was would Dirk Nowitzki break the 30,000 point mark for his career in this game. Nowitzki came into the game needing 20 points to reach the 30,000 point mark. With 10:58 left in the 2nd quarter Nowitzki hit a jumper to reach the scoring milestone. Nowitzki became just the 6th player to reach the 30,000 point milestone. The other player to reach that mark are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant and Wilt Chamberlain. Nowitzki is in his 19th season and has said he plans on returning for a 20th; all with the Mavericks.

Nowitzki has played in 1377 career games. For his career he averages 21.8 points per game, 7.8 rebounds per game and 2.5 assists per game. Nowitzki is a 13 time All-Star, he was the M.V.P. for the 2006-07 season and was the finals M.V.P. in 2011 when the Mavericks won their only title over the Miami Heat, Dallas made the finals in the 2006-07 season, but lost to the Heat in the finals. Nowitzki is a sure bet to make the basketball Hall of Fame when his career is over. Don’t forget that Nowitzki was actually drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks with the 9th pick in the 1998 draft. Nowitzki and Pat Garrity where traded to Dallas for Robert “Tractor” Traylor on draft night. Dallas had taken Traylor with the 6th pick of the draft.

NFL free agents can’t officially sign with teams until 3:00 p.m. tomorrow. Of course that isn’t going to stop reports from coming out on who’s going to go where. The first such report that came out has Brandon Marshall staying in New York, but moving from the Jets to the Giants. It’s being reported that Marshall will sign a two year $12 million dollar deal to join the Giants. Marshall had hoped that the Jets would grant him his release and they did saving $7.5 million dollars on their salary cap. There was some talk that the Jets and Marshall engaged in contract extension talks, but in the end the two sides parted ways. The Jets didn’t look for any type of trade for Marshall as the team considered it a “long shot” on getting a deal done. Marshall spent two seasons with the Jets with his first one being much more productive than his second one. Of course quarterback play has a lot to do with how a wide receiver is going to do and the Jets didn’t have very good quarterback play last season. Marshall should be a good fit for the second receiver slot behind Odell Beckham Jr. in the Giants offense. Marshall also gives  Giants quarterback Eli Manning another target to throw to. With the release of Victor Cruz the Giants have found a solid veteran replacement for that wide receiver position. Of course by staying in New York Marshall will also be able to continue to do Inside the NFL.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com but you can also find the podcast in TuneIn.com as well.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

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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You can find me on Twitter @Burketime