Archive for the ‘hockey’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: January 30, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It looks like Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans will eventually part ways. There have been talks more or less since the start of the season that the Pelicans might be interested in trading Davis and apparently the feeling is now mutual. On Monday Rich Paul who is Davis’ agent went public with Davis’ trade request. After the trade request was made public the NBA fined Davis $50,000 for going public with it.

It is quite interesting on how we got to this point though. Davis changed representation this season and he’s now with an agency that is linked to LeBron James. Then when New Orleans made a trip to Los Angeles to face the Lakers James and Davis went out to dinner together. Can you say tampering.

New Orleans has actually asked the NBA to investigate the situation and see if there was any tampering, but I think we all know what they’re going to find. What’s better for the NBA; having Davis play in a big market like Los Angeles with James where they can contend for a title or stay in small market New Orleans and not make the playoffs. I think it’s obvious that nothing will be done about this.

Of course with a payer like Davis there are quite a few teams interested in acquiring his services and while there’s no real rush for the Pelicans to trade him I think we all know in the end barring the NBA stepping I that he’ll be with the Lakers when this is all said and done.

If you’ve ever listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that I’m not a big fan of the NBA and this is part of the reason why. It seems as though star players no longer want to beat each other. It appears as though they’d all rather join up and play together.

It makes me question how teams that are bad right now going to get good. Now of course they can improve through the draft, but there are only so many star players in a draft. How many draft picks do you have to hit on for a team to improve?

There’s no chance that a top free agent is going to sign with a non-playoff team. Now don’t even try to sell me that James went to the Lakers when they where bad. Everyone should know by ow that he signed with the Lakers because he wanted to be closer to Hollywood. I believe he owns a production company and also has a television show on I think it’s Showtime, but I might be incorrect about that.

Now it’s not against the rules for James to talk to Davis unless he was doing it through the Lakers. I’m not sure if the NBA would go into that deep of an investigation to see if James reached out to someone in the Lakers front office about meeting with Davis. I have a feeling that even of the NBA did find out there was tampering in this situation they’d just fine the Lakers. If there was actually tampering I think the NBA shouldn’t let Davis be traded to or sign with the Lakers, but we all know that isn’t going to happen.

What do you think the NBA should or will do about the James/Davis situation?

What will the Columbus Blue Jackets do with Artemi Panarin as the February 25th trade deadline approaches. It seems clear that Panarin won’t be getting a contract extension.

On Monday Panarin’s agent Dave Milstein released a statement saying: “We have informed the team that we are willing to discuss Artemi’s future after the season. Our priority now is to focus on the rest of the season; trying to win a Stanley Cup for the Columbus Blue Jackets and their fans. No additional comments will be made.”

Panarin is making $6 million dollars this season and is in the final year of his contract. Panarin scored 82 points for the Blue Jackets last season and through 46 games this season he has 53 points. With those kind of scoring numbers and at 27 years old Panarin is on for a big raise.

Interestingly the Blue Jackets acquired Panarin from the Chicago Blackhawks in June of 2017 because the cash strapped Blackhawks knew that a Calder Trophy winner like Panarin would end up with a contract that they just couldn’t afford.

The Blue Jackets appear to be in a difficult position as Panarin and goalie Sergei Bobrovsky will both be free agents at the end of this season. It’s possibly that one or both of these players could get dealt before the trading deadline, but Columbus is in 3rd place in the Metropolitan division just 4 points out of 1st place.

What do you see the Blue Jackets doing with these two players? Will they trade one or both of them? Do you think they’ll re-sign one? If so which payer do you think they re-sign? Or do you possibly see them bringing both players back which would be tough to do with the NHL’s hard salary cap.

Are the Tampa Bay Lighting the best team in the NHL right now? The Lighting are in 1st place in the Atlantic division and their 76 points are 5 points better than the Calgary Flames and 10 points better than the Winnipeg Jets for the President’s Trophy. Of course having the most points in the regular season doesn’t guarantee playoff success, but maybe the Lighting can buck that trend.

Brayden Point leads Tampa Bay in goals with 30 while Nikita Kucherov leads the Lighting in assists with 56 and points with 78. Steven Stamkos is second on the team with 26 goals while Point is second on the team in assists with 35 and points with 65. Tampa Bay has seven players who have scored 11 or more goals and they have 13 players with 10 or more assists.

In goal Andrei Vasilevskiy is 20-6-2 with a 2.50 GAA in his starts while Louis Dominque is 16-4 with a 2.99 GAA in his starts. Edward Pasquale made one start in goal for Tampa Bay and did get a win even though his GAA was 4.62.

Vasilevskiy is the Lighting’s #1 goalie, but it’s nice to have a back up like Dominque who can pick up wins I place of the starter.

How do you like Tampa Bay’s chances come playoff time?

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

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How was your week

Posted: January 26, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I seem to be at the point where I’m done and over winter. I can’t seem to shake this feeling no matter what I do. Now normally I turn to sports and that will help me shake this feeling, but for some reason that’s not working for me this year.

As you know we’re at the point where football season is more or less over and baseball season hasn’t started yet. That of course leaves me with basketball and hockey to watch and I’m not sure why, but that just hasn’t been enough for me.

I’m also started to wonder if it’s the struggle of the local NBA and NHL teams that is contributing to my issues.

In the NBA the Chicago Bulls are 11-38 and have lost 12 of their last 13 games. Last night the Bulls dropped a 106-101 contest to the Los Angeles Clippers. Maybe the Bulls will have a chance to pick up another win this Sunday as they’re playing the team with the worst record in the NBA the Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland is currently an NBA worst 9-41.

Now over in the NHL the Chicago Blackhawks aren’t in a much better situation than the Bulls are in.

The Blackhawks are currently 18-24-9 for a total of 45 points. There are currently only three teams in the NHL with a lower point total than the Blackhawks. The Los Angeles Kings have 44 points while the New Jersey Devils and the Ottawa Senators it at 43 points. While the NHL is currently on their All-Star break at least the Blackhawks won 2 games in a row heading into the break.

Oh well; I guess I just have to look forward the Super Bowl and then pitchers and catchers reporting to shale these winter blues.

On Wednesday we where talking about some of the interesting free agents left on the market and we stopped when we got to the outfielders.

Now of course Bryce Harper hasn’t been signed, but another top outfielder did ink a deal. A.J. Pollock signed a four year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pollock’s deal is reported to be for $60 million dollars.

Even with Pollock off the board and not including Harper there are still some quality outfielders out there for teams to take a look at.

There are a couple of former Colorado Rockies teammates who could still fit in as corner outfielders for a team. Carlos Gonzalez and Gerardo Parra are still on the free agent market.

Gonzalez has had his share of injuries though his career, but the last four seasons he has played in at least 132 games. If Gonzalez found his way to an American League team the opportunity for him to be used as a DH at times could lower a teams concern of injury his risk.

Parra is a top outfielder defender and has won two Gold Gloves. Even while playing half of a season in Coors Field Parra has never been a big home run hitter. In his three seasons with the Rockies Parra reached double digit home runs just once. In today’s game where home runs are everything this could be held against Parra by teams looking to fill an outfield spot.

Going over the free agent outfielders list I think there’s only one player left that could be an everyday centerfielder for a team and that’s Adam Jones.

Jones has been with the Baltimore Orioles for the last 11 seasons. He’s picked up 4 Gold Gloves as a centerfielder and last season spent time at all three outfield positions. Jones power numbers did drop last season as he hit 15 home runs, but it’s possible that as one of the few threats in the Orioles line up that he was pitched around quite a bit.

Besides Gonzalez, Parra and Jones I’m not sure if there are any other outfielders that would be looked at as a significant contributor on a contender, but maybe some team will take a chance on them.

Melky Cabrera hit .280 with the Cleveland Indians and could be a solid 5th outfielder and bench player for a team. Cameron Maybin has always been looked at as a player with potential, but he’s 32 now and may never get that chance to play everyday. However he can play all three outfield spots and can still run. Could he be a solid bench player? Denard Span has been a solid player though his 11 year career, but he’s turning 35 soon and you have to wonder if a team will take a chance on him. Span could fill in at all three outfield spots and while speed isn’t as prevalent in his game he can still steal a base for you. Hunter Pence battled injuries last season and his numbers suffered for it. Pence has stated that he’d like to play in 2019, but as a soon to be 36 year old is their a team out there that might be willing to take a chance on him. I am curious to see if Jose Bautista will be on someone’s roster in 2019. Bautista sent time with the Atlanta Braves, New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies last season. Bautista also played five different positions last season. Overall he hit .203 with 13 home runs.

Do you see any of these outfielders finding jobs for the 2019 season?

I guess while we’re talking about baseball free agents I’d be interested to know when you think Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will sign. I was kind of under the impression that neither guy would sign a new deal until possibly late February and that’s not all that far away. Do you think we’ll see one or both of them sing sooner than that? Or are we still about a month away from either guy finding a new team?

I haven’t heard much new on the Harper front, but there are some reports that the San Diego Padres have shown interest in Machado. I guess will have to watch and see if that goes anywhere.

Don’t forget that the Sports Time Radio podcast can be heard live on BlogTalkRadio.com. If you miss the podcast live you can just head over to TuneIn.com and listen to it whenever you’d like.

Feel free to look me up n Twitter @Burketime

On December 28, 2018, an old friend of the show, Al Yellon of Bleed Cubbie Blue wrote “Going to all-digital tickets is a bad idea for the Cubs and here’s why”.  This article details why he is in agreement with Kelsey McKinney from Dead Spin (F^*K Digital Tickets).  Neither is in love with major sports eliminating paper tickets and going digital.  Al, a season ticket holder was informed that they, the season ticket holders will no longer receive hard tickets and if they want them, it could cost up to $150.00.  Both view these tickets as a souvenir that is free, essentially because today the only thing I have personally found below $5 are the team reusable bags in the gift shop, which I by at every game I attended because I generally try to go to a bobblehead game for my “free souvenir.”   

Me personally, I have no issue with it all.  I am all for it.  Sure, I have file cabinet with an overstuffed folder full of old tickets, scorecards and programs but since the evolution of smart phones and apps, having the box score on my phone and being able to upload my pictures from the games I have attended into the Ballpark app, I am as content as can be.  While I have yet to let go of those old tickets, but I have done what all are doing today and Pinned some ideas for a project to display all my tickets in a framed sort of way.  Time will tell when or if I ever get around to it.   

Years ago, I started traveling to see the Cubs play at different ballparks across the country but to be honest the last Hard Copy tickets I have received was back in 2006 for a Cubs/Cards game.  But since then it has been all Print-at-Home tickets.  Sitting 1st row in front of the tarp and being able to interact with Andrew McCutchen in his rookie season before the Cubs beat them was a cool experience or when I stuck my hat out to catch his fly ball during batting practice at Wrigley only to have hit smack my wrist and bounce down to Francisco Liriano are memories that I will always have. 

One complaint that both have are about the scanners that the teams use to check your digital tickets and what if they go down.  What I think they have forgotten is that whether it is a digital ticket, print-at-home or a hard copy, they all get scanned at the gates now.  So, no matter what ticket you have, lets hope those scanners do not go down or lose power.   

Al gives us reasons why the Cubs want to go to an all-digital ticket system which pretty much aligns with why the NFL went to an all-digital ticket.  Basically, it allows the Cubs to track every ticket and who the season ticket holders are selling them to and how many and if they are violating any agreements between the team and season ticket holder.  The Cubs of course package it must nicer 

While Al and Kelsey, which I do encourage you to read their articles, may not be excited about digital tickets, I seriously doubt either will stop attending games because of this.  If they do, it sounds just like my Uncle Bob – he stopped attending Cubs games when they started the presale of bleacher tickets but of course, since they won the World Series, he’s back on the wagon.   

When I used to blow my entire tax returns on Cubs tickets while I was living with my parents, it was never about the hard copy tickets, it was about the game and experience.  I embrace the digital ticket and encourage you to download the Ballpark App.  However, I do not understand why the other major sports leagues have not created this type of app.  

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 7, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

There where two NHL head coaching changes this week and they came from teams  that have won 5 Stanley Cups since the 2009-10 season.

John Stevens lasted just 13 games into this season going 4-8-1 before the Los Angeles Kings decided they needed to make a change. Stevens was the Kings head coach for a total of 82 games going 45-29-8 and while the Kings did make the playoffs last season they where swept out of the 1st round.

Stevens wasn’t the coach in Los Angeles when the Kings won their two Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014. Darryl Sutter was the teams head coach them and that’s who Stevens replaced.

The Kings have tabbed Willie Desjardins to replace Stevens behind the bench. Desjardins has previous head coaching experience as he was with the Vancouver Canucks for three seasons 2014-2017. In his three seasons with Vancouver Desjardins had a record of 109-110-27 and one playoff appearance.

Desjardins head coaching career with the Kings got off to a good start last night as he notched his first win. Los Angeles beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-1 in Desjardins first game as head coach. Jack Campbell turned away 30 of the 31 shots he faced in goal while Dustin Brown, Kyle Clifford, Ilya Kovalchuk and Tyler Toffoli all scored in the Kings victory.

Desjardins and the kings get just one day off before they’ll host the 8-4-2 Minnesota Wild on Thursday night. Minnesota is currently in 2nd place in the Central division of the Western Conference.

While the Kings replaced a head coach who replaced a Stanley Cup winning head coach the Chicago Blackhawks replaced a head coach who won the Stanley Cup three different times. 

After a 6-6-3 start to the season the Blackhawks decided it was time to make a head coaching change and they relieved Joel Quenneville of his duties.

Quenneville was the Blackhawks head coach for 797 games the second most in Blackhawks history. He had a career record of 452-249-96; those 452 wins are also second most in team history. Under Quenneville the Blackhawks played in 128 playoff games. They had a record of 76-52, but more importantly won the Stanley Cup on three occasions. The Blackhawks raised the Stanley Cup after the 2010, 2013 and 2015 seasons with Quenneville as their head coach.

After their last Stanley Cup win in 2014-15 the Blackhawks had two first round playoff exits and then last season for the since 2007-08 they didn’t make the playoffs; so after a slow start to this season the Blackhawks decided to let Quenneville go.

Replacing Quenneville behind the Blackhawks bench will be 33 year old Jeremy Colliton. As of his hiring Colliton will be the youngest active head coach in the NHL. Colliton has previously coached Mora IK in the Swedish professional hockey league. He was the head coach for the Rockford IceHogs in the American Hockey League before being hired by the Blackhawks.

Colliton has two days to get himself and the Blackhawks ready for his coaching debut. The Blackhawks return home after dropping three straight road games and five straight games in a row. On Thursday they’ll host the 6-7-2 Carolina Hurricanes. Carolina is currently in 7th in the Metropolitan division of the Eastern Conference. The Hurricanes are also currently on a five game losing streak; so  one of these teams will get to end there losing streak tomorrow night.

I’m not sure if you’d call it a last ditch effort, but the Washington Nationals made what was describe as an “aggressive” offer to soon to be free agent Bryce Harper yesterday. As it turned out the offer from the Nationals was 10 years for $300 million dollars, but the offer was turned down.

I don’t think that there was anyone who was surprised that this offer was turned down. Free agency is going to start on Friday and there was no chance that a client of Scott Boras was going to sign any kind of contract before getting offers from other teams. Even with the Nationals having a good relationship with Boras and his other clients this deal wasn’t going to happen.

Now there are a coupe of questions that come along with this offer. Was this just a make good offer by the Nationals so when Harper signs with another team they can tell their fans that they made a good offer and he just decided to sign somewhere else. Or was this just a courtesy offer to see where Boras and Harper where money wise.

Now according to reports there where no opt outs or deferred money in the contract offer the Nationals made.

If this is just a starting point for contract negotiations with Boras for Harper you have to wonder what the other teams that are interested in signing Harper are thinking.

Harper is a former Rookie of the Year (2012) and MVP award winner (2015), but that was coming up on four seasons ago and he hasn’t really been close to have that type of year again. Harper did hit 34 home runs and he drove in 100 runs, but he hit just .249. In two of the last three seasons where Harper ha played 147 games or more he’s hit .249 or lower. The consensus is that Harper is a great player, but is he going to be worth whatever a team is going to have to pay him?

There are going to be a lot of teams that are associated with singing Harper, but who are the real players in this? There are the teams that have the money to sign him like the New York Yankees, Boston Red, Chicago Cubs and Los Angeles Dodgers, but does he or would he fit in with any of those teams? The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are also a team that might have to money to sign a player like Harper, but they’re going to have to figure out how to keep Mike Trout; so signing Harper might not be high o their list of things to do. There has been a lot of talk that the Philadelphia Phillies are the front runner to sign Harper, but isn’t it too early to say someone is the favorite since we don’t even know contract terms yet. Maybe we’ll see when free agency tarts if ay team tries to get the jump on signing Harper, but I have a feeling this is going to be a long process and that he’ll be one of the last free agents to sign.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 3, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’ve been a sports fan for as long as I could remember, but I have to admit it’s getting more and more difficult to watch some of them. I’m not sure what I would do if I didn’t have sports to watch, but with the way things are going I might have to find out.

If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know that I am completely down on the NBA and I watch very little of it. I loss interest when the league started to make the rule changes to eliminate defense so scoring would increase and they got it. Now every night it’s a 3-point shooting contest and I don’t understand how that’s fun to watch. It wasn’t for me; so I’ve pretty much stopped watching.

The NFL is starting to make some changes that are making me watch less and less of it. In the first 4 weeks of this NFL season I’ve watched less football than I ever have. To be fair the NFL started try to eliminate defense a long, long time ago, but now it’s the rule changes that are just killing me.

The biggest plus is they seem to have simplified the catch rule even though I’m pretty sure most to the referees don’t know what a catch is. Of course that little plus doesn’t make up for the gigantic negative that roughing the passer has become. It as bad enough when they started throwing flags when the quarterback got touched anywhere around the head area; now it’s just ridiculous. I’m sure there are some out their, but I haven’t seen one legitimate roughing the passer call this season and some of these terrible calls have cost teams games. That’s when it becomes a big deal. Just imagine your favorite team missing the playoffs by one game and you can look back at that one bad roughing that passer call that a referee shouldn’t of thrown a flag on.

With the road that the NFL is on right now I don’t know how much longer I’ll be watching games.

Now if you’ve listened to the podcast or even followed the blog for a while you know that baseball is my favorite sport out of all of them, but I am very frightened that my enjoyment of the game is going to be taken away from me.

Now I’m not a fan of sabermetric or any of the analytics that have been brought into the game recently, but I heard something yesterday that scared me to death when it comes to baseball.

During one of the many pre-game shows I watched yesterday they where having a discussion about the Oakland A’s using Liam Hendricks as their “opener” for wild card game against the New York Yankees tonight. Now using an “opener” is the new fade in baseball and the A’s going that route didn’t bother me; it was the way the conversation went after that.

The panel started discussing how soon there would be no more starting pitchers in baseball and ever game would be a bullpen game. This would be the end of it for me. I just don’t understand why teams would feel the need to do this, but the panel I was listening to was pretty sure that this was going to happen and happen sooner than people think it will.

I’ve always understood that from time to time you’re going to need a bullpen game or a game is going to turn into a bullpen game if your starting pitcher exits the game early, but to use it on a daily basis tells me a lot about your organization. The biggest thing it tells me it that your organization doesn’t know how to draft a starting pitcher or develop them once you get them into your minor league system. It also tells me that your coaching staff at the major league level has so little confidence in that pitchers ability that they’re not comfortable running the guy out their for the 1st inning. What’s the difference if the pitcher who was going to start the game and comes in after the “opener” faces the top of the opponents order to start the game or in the 3rd inning.

The “opener” seems like a gimmick to me, but the Tampa Bay Rays won 90 games this season and they used an “opener” more than any other team and they had success with it; so that means other teams will follow suit.

Now when I gave up on the NBA it wasn’t that big of a deal or even that difficult for me to do. I didn’t play basketball at a very high level; so I wasn’t invested in the game that much.

Football fading away for me is a little tougher. I played quite a bit of football in my life and I was actually a decent player and while I haven’t completely let go of the game if I get to that point it’s going to be tough for me.

Now I pray that baseball doesn’t put me through this. I am attached to baseball. I started playing baseball as soon as I was old enough to join and I played it as long as I could. It was easily my best sport and I have to admit that I don’t want to give it up, but I need them to stop ruining the game for me. Sadly for me I’m not sure if they’ll be able to stop destroying the game because it allows the people who couldn’t play it because they weren’t good enough to be involved and have some control and you know they enjoy that. Man am I going to miss baseball.

I guess I still got hockey and their regular season starts tonight.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 9, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

These past two days we’ve had two sports seasons officially come to an end. Last night the NBA season ended and then the day before that the NHL season came to an end. So who won?

The Washington Capitals won their first Stanley Cup title in team history on Thursday night when they beat the Las Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals.

The Capitals came into existence as an expansion team in 1974 and this is only the second time in team history that they’ve made it to the Stanley Cup finals. The other time was the 1997-98 season where they were swept out of the finals by the Detroit Red Wings.

It’s not that the Capitals haven’t been a successful franchise; they’ve just had their issues in the playoffs. The Capitals are in the NHL’s Metropolitan division of the Eastern Conference. Washington ha won that division 11 times. They also been awarded the President’s Trophy three times. The President’s Trophy is awarded to the team that finishes with the most points during the NHL regular season. Washington has also made it into the playoffs in 10 of the last 11 seasons.

The Capitals have had a bit of an issue getting out of the 2nd round of the playoffs though. I the 2014-15 season the New York Rangers knocked the Capitals out in the 2nd round and then in both the 2015-16 season and the 2016-17 season it was the Pittsburgh Penguins who beat the Capital in the 2nd round. Pittsburgh did go on to win the Stanley Cup in both of those seasons.

You had to wonder if this season would be the same. After Washington got by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 1st round they where again matched up with the Penguins in the 2nd round. This time it was the Capitals that came out on top winning a six game series against Pittsburgh. Washington them beat the Tampa Bay Lighting in a seven game Eastern Conference finals series to get to the Stanley Cup finals.

Las Vegas was the home team for this series and they took advantage of it winning Game 1 6-4. With the season the Golden Knights have had as an expansion team I think there where a lot of people rooting for them to win the Stanley Cup, but the Capitals turn the series completely around winning four straight games to take the Stanley Cup. Game 2 was a tight 3-2 win while Game 3 went ended up a 3-1 win. Game 4 may was the only real laugher in the series as the Capitals ended up with an easy 6-2 win, but it took a Lars Eller goal at the 12:23 mark of the 3rd period to put Washington ahead 4-3. The goal held up and the Capitals where Stanley Cup champions.

Alex Ovechkin was named the Conn Smythe trophy winner. Ovechkin scored 15 goals and assisted on 12 other goals during the playoffs. Six of Ovechkin’s 15 goals came on the power play.

The Conn Smythe trophy is awarded to the most valuable player during the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs. Unlike the awards presented in the NFL,NBA or MLB the Conn Smythe trophy is based on a player’s performance during the entire NHL postseason instead of just the championship game or series.

With the NHL season all wrapped up it was the NBA’s turn to see if their season would come to an end on Friday night in Cleveland.

The Golden State Warriors led the Cleveland Cavaliers in the series three games to none; so they just needed one more win to end it. Now is you’ve read this blog before or have listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you know I had Golden State winning this series in five games, but I really thought that the Cavaliers would win Game 3. I didn’t think that a team led by LeBron James would get swept in the NBA finals, but that’s exactly what happened.

It doesn’t appear as though the Cavaliers showed up last night as Golden State jumped out to a 34-25 lead after the 1st quarter and that was pretty much. The Cavaliers where unable to outscore the Warriors in any quarter of the game. Golden Sate really pulled away in the 3rd quarter when the Cavaliers only managed to score 13 points in the entire quarter. In the end the Warriors cruised to an easy 108-85 victory.

This was the third time in the last four seasons that the Warriors have won the NBA title. Not only did Golden State win back to back finals, but Kevin Durant won the NBA finals MVP award for the second time in as many years. Durant is the first player to win that award back to back since James himself did it as a member of the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013. It’s the 7th time in NBA finals history a player has won back to back MVP awards. The only players to win three NBA finals MVP awards in a row are Shaquille O’Neal who did it with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000, 200 and 2002. Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls did it twice. The first time was in 1991, 1992 and 1993 and he repeated the three-peat in 1996, 1997 and 1998. Could we see Durant join this group next season?

While this is the Warriors third title in four seasons it’s actually the fourth overall for the team itself. I’m sure not many people remember that Golden State won the NBA title back in 1975 when the swept the at the time Washington Bullets; now Wizards in the NBA finals.

Of course when you win three titles in four seasons there has to be talk of a dynasty and there is a good possibility that Golden State will be back here next season. The only major free agent they have is Durant and he has stated publicly that he’d like to return to the Warriors. Golden State does have six other free agents; Nick Young, Zaza Pachulia, David West, JaVale McGee, Kevon Looney and Patrick McCaw. You’d think if the Warriors are interested in bringing any of these players back they’d return willingly for another shot at an NBA title.

I’ll throw the question out to you. With three championships in four seasons and with them looking like they’ll be the favorite coming into next season. Are the Golden State Warriors a dynasty?

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

Don’t forget to follow me o Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: May 19, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, fantasy, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

One of the things my mother use to say when I was growing up was that if it wasn’t for bad luck I’d have no luck at all. Oddly it seems like this is something I’m dealing with right now.

If you’re a FanDuel player I’m sure you’ve participated in the Home Run Derby they’ve had going on this baseball season. It’s a free contest; so why not play. It’s a simple contest to get in on. You select three players you think are going to hit home runs and the person who’s three man team hits the most home runs wins.

When the contest first started I actually went the first week without hitting a home run. I was trying to find the best match us or the ballparks that seem to allow the most home runs and it just wasn’t working out for me; so I decided to make a change.

About 10 to 12 days ago I switched up my strategy. I decided that as long as they where available I’d use Bryce Harper and Mike Trout as two of the three players I’d enter in the contest. Now my co-host on the Sports Time Radio podcast Dan the Man took it one step further. He uses Harper, Trout and Mookie Betts everyday if they’re all available.

Here’s the humorous thing about this. Since we’ve been doing this none of these players has hit a home run during the contest. Now these three players haven’t been available to pick every contest as FanDuel use night games during the week, but they are available the majority of the time.

Now I’m not sayin that we’re the cause of these players not hitting home runs, but Trout was actually in the longest hitless streak of hit career going into last nights game. Trout was 0 for 19 heading into the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays last night. Trout went 1 for 3 last night an his hit was his 13th home run of the season; so maybe the streak is finally over. Even with Trout’s home run the Angels lost 8-3 to Tampa Bay last night.

Let’s hope that Trout’s home run gets him going and for our sake that Harper and Betts join in.

The Las Vegas Golden Knights are just one win away from being the first expansion team in NHL history to make it to the Stanley Cup finals in their first season.

The Golden Knights defeated the Winnipeg Jets 3-2 in Game 4 of their Western Conference finals series last night.

Las Vegas has been trying to set the tone in their playoff games and one of the ways they’re doing that is by scoring first and they did that again last night.

Just 2 minutes and 25 seconds into the game William Karlsson scored the first goal of the game for the Golden Knights on the power play. Karlsson was assisted by Reilly Smith and Jonathan Marchessault.

Karlsson’s goal was the only one of the 1st period as the Golden Knights went into the first intermission with a 1-0 lead.

In the 2nd period it was Winnipeg’s turn to cash in on a power play opportunity. 9 minutes and 29 seconds into the 2nd period Patrik Laine evened things up for the Jets at 1-1 with a power play goal. Laine was assisted by Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien on his goal.

The tie game didn’t last long as less than 50 seconds later at 10:12 of the period Tomas Nosek gave Las Vegas the lead back at 2-1 with a goal. Nosek was assisted by Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Luca Sbisa on his goal. Nosek was actually the Las Vegas player who was penalized when Winnipeg tied the game.

The 2nd period ended with Las Vegas holding a 2-1 lead.

Early I the 3rd period the Jets had a power play opportunity that they where unable to cash in on, but with 5 minutes and 34 seconds gone in the 3rd period Tyler Myers tied the game up at 2-2 with a goal. Myers was assisted by Jack Roslovic on his goal.

With the game even at 2-2 neither team wanted to make a mistake that the other could take advantage of. Unfortunately for Winnipeg that mistake came in the form of a Dustin Byfuglien give-away. With a little over 13 minutes gone in the 3rd period Reilly Smith took advantage of that give-away and scored an unassisted goal that put the Golden Knights up 3-2.

Marc Andre-Fleury made Smith’s goal stand up as he stopped 35 of Winnipeg’s 37 shots on goal as the Golden Knights picked up a 3-2 win in Game 4. Connor Hellebuyck was solid in goal for Winnipeg as he stopped 26 of the 29 shots Las Vegas threw at him.

With the win the Golden Knights have a 3 games to 1 lead in the series and will and will have a chance their first chance to close out this series and advance to the Stanley Cup finals Sunday in Winnipeg. That game has a puck drop time of 2:00 p.m. Sunday. The game will be shown on NBC.

The Arizona Diamondbacks are 25-19 and are currently in 1st place in the NL West, but they’re not without their issues.

Jake Lamb has played just 5 games for the Diamondbacks this season before he went on the disabled list with a sprained acromioclavicular joint in his left shoulder. Lamb came off the disabled list last night; going 1 for 4 as the Diamondbacks suffered their 8th defeat in 9 games 3-1 to the New York Mets. Arizona has been struggling offensively and they’re hoping Lamb’s return will help turn that around.

The Diamondbacks hope that Lamb can help replace some of the offense they lost when A.J. Pollock went on the disabled list with a broken left thumb. Pollock broke the thumb trying to make a diving catch and is expected to be out anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks.

With Paul Goldschmidt off to a slow start this season Pollock has been the Diamondbacks offensive leader. Pollock leads Arizona in batting average at .293, home runs with 11 and RBI’s with 33. Hopefully for Arizona the return of Lamb along with Goldschmidt picking up his pace can off set the loss of Pollock.

Arizona has had some pitching injuries as well. Robbie Ray has started throwing off of flat ground and the Diamondbacks are hoping he’ll be able to return from his oblique strain by the end of the month. Ray returning soon will help boost the Diamondbacks starting rotation, but they’re still looking for someone to take the place of Tajuan Walker in the rotation. Walker is out for the season. Walker suffered a torn UCL in his right elbow and has already under gone Tommy John surgery.

Arizona has tried a couple of pitchers in the 5th spot of their rotation, but haven’t landed on someone they want to keep there.

Kris Medlen made a start, but lasted just 4 innings giving up 7 runs on 9 hits while walking 4 and striking out 4. Medlen was sent back to triple-A after his start.

Troy Scribner also made a start which was his major league debut. Scribner pitcher 3 2/3rd innings in his start giving up 2 runs on 4 hits, but he walked 6 while striking out 4. Scribner was also sent back to Triple-A after his start.

So where do the Diamondbacks turn now? How about Clay Buchholtz.

Buchholtz has made 5 minor league starts this season, 1 in Double-A and 2 in Triple-A for the Kansas City Royals before being released by Kansas City. Buchholtz has made 2 starts in Triple-A for Arizona and his numbers look good. In those 5 starts Buchholtz is 1-1 with an ERA of 2.93. He’s pitched 27 2/3rd innings in those 5 starts with 19 strikeouts and 12 walks.

Buchholtz spent 10 seasons with the Boston Red Sox before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies last season. Buchholtz pitched just 7 1/3rd innings for Philadelphia before an injury ended his season. Buchholtz has pitched in 208 major league games with 190 of them being starts. He is 81-62 with a 4.01 career ERA. Could he be the Diamondbacks answer until Ray returns?

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

Look for me on Twitter @Burketime

We’ve got a Game 7 in the NHL playoffs tonight. The Nashville Predators will host the Winnipeg Jets tonight after the Predators where able to force a Game 7 with a 4-0 Game 6 victory in Winnipeg on Monday.

This is the only 2nd round series still playing. Tonight’s winner will move on to face the Las Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference finals. In the Eastern Conference the Tampa Bay Lighting will host the Washington Capitals Sunday night in the opener of that series.

Home ice hasn’t meant much in the Predators/Jets series as both teams have won the others ice multiple times in this series.

Nashville was the President’s trophy winner with 117 points this season, but Winnipeg was the next closet team to them with 114 points.

Nashville has is being led in scoring this post season by Filip Forsberg with 15 points. Mark Scheifele has been the Jets leading scorer so far this post season with 14 points. The Predators rely on Pekka Rinne in goal, but back up goaltender Juuse Saros has appeared in 3 games this post season. Rinne has a Goals Against Average of 2.94 this post season, but his record is just 7-5. Rinne does have 2 shutouts in 12 post season games including Game 6 in Winnipeg. Connor Hellebuyck has manned the net for the Jets this post season. Winnipeg’s back up Steve Mason has made 1 post season appearance. Hellebuyck has a Goals Against Average of 2.36 with a record of 7-4. Hellebuyck has posted 1 shutout this post season.

The Predators where last years Cinderella story making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals before coming up short to the eventual champions the Pittsburgh Penguins. Winnipeg didn’t even get into the playoffs last season. The series has lived up to the hype, but one of these teams has to go home.

The puck should drop for Game 7 in the Bridgestone Arena about 7:00 p.m. Who do you have winning tonight; Nashville or Winnipeg?

For the second time in baseball history a pitcher born in Canada threw a no-hitter and it just so happened that the game was being played in Canada.

Seattle Mariners left hander James Paxton, who’s nickname is Big Maple no-hit the Toronto Blue Jays last night as the Mariners won the game 5-0. Paxton is from Ladner, British Columbia.

Paxton struck out 7, walked 3 and threw just 99 pitches in his no-hitter. Josh Donaldson made the final out hitting a hard ground ball that Mariners 3rd baseman Kyle Seager cut off, throwing Donaldson out at 1st to seal the no-hitter.

With 2 outs in the bottom of the 7th inning Seager made the defensive play of the game that really saved the no-hitter. Kevin Pillar hit a down the 3rd base line that looked like it had a chance to get down into the leftfield corner. Seager made a full out dive to snag the baseball. Seager made a bit of an off balance throw to first base, but Ryon Healy was able to pick the throw on one hop and record the out.

Russell Martin did lead off the bottom of the 8th inning for the Blue Jays with a long drive to leftfield, but Ben Gamel easily made the catch near he wall for the 1st out of the inning.

Those where really the two closest times that the Blue Jays came close to getting a hit. Paxson was rolling along most of the night and in the 9th inning he got top prospect Anthony Alford to foul out for the 1st out of the inning. Teoscar Hernandez has been one of the hotter players in the Blue Jays line up, but Paxson struck him out for the 2nd out of the 9th inning. That led to the Donaldson ground out that Seager snagged to end the game.

Paxson’s no-hitter was the 6th in Mariners history. The last Seattle no-hitter was on August 12th 2015 when Hisashi Iwakuma threw one against the Baltimore Orioles. ‘The King” Felix Hernandez has the only perfect game in Mariners history. Hernandez threw that on August 15th 2012 against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Can you name the other Canadian born pitcher to throw a no-hitter?

If you said Dick Fowler you where correct. Fowler no-hit the St. Louis Browns on September 9th 1945. This was actually Fowler first start of that season. Fowler had been serving in the Canadian military during World War II and had just recently returned to the Philadelphia Athletics.

Fowler spent his entire 10-year career with the Athletics. He did miss all of the 1943 and 1944 season because of his military service. Fowler pitched in 221 career games with 170 of them being starts. Fowler went 66-79 with 4 saves. His career ERA was 4.11.

The Western Conference finals in the NBA where set last night. The Houston Rockets advanced by beating the Utah Jazz 112-102 and winning that series 4 games to 1. The Golden State Warriors moved on with a 113-105 win over the New Orleans Pelicans winning that series 4 games to 1. The Cleveland Cavaliers swept the Toronto Raptors out of the playoffs to advance to the Eastern Conference finals. Cleveland is waiting to see who’ll they’ll be playing and might find out tonight.

The Boston Celtics host the Philadelphia 76ers I Game 5 of their 2nd round series tonight. Boston is ahead 3 games to 1; so if they get a win tonight they’ll be the team that moves on to face the Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference finals. If the 76ers get a win tonight the series will head back to Philadelphia for Game 6 on Friday night.

With the Western Conference 2nd round wrapped up the Rockets and the Warriors will get some time off. The Western Conference finals don’t start until Monday May 14th in Houston.

Most people believe that the Rockets and the Warriors are the two best teams in the NBA and that the winner of this series will be the eventual NBA champions. Are you in this camp? Do you believe that whoever wins this series will win the championship or do you believe that which ever teams coms out of the Eastern Conference has a chance.

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

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

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 18, 2018 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

When it’s baseball season the first thing I do when I get home from work is turn on the MLB Network and catch up on what happened the night before.

Going into last night all of the talk was about Shohei Otani pitching against the Boston Red Sox. Now humorously there where some stupid people out there who where ready to give Otani the AL CY Young along with the MVP and the Rookie of the Year. The frightening thing about this is the people who are saying he should be given those awards already are a lot of the people who vote for them at the end of the season. Now I was part of the group that wanted to wait and see.

Through 8 games Otani’s hitting has been solid. He’s hitting .367 with 3 home runs and 11 RBI’s There’s nothing wrong with those numbers and Otani himself has asked for more at bats and with the way he’s been hitting he should get them.

Now on the pitching side he had an average first start against the Oakland A’s, but did pick up a win. Otani’s second start was also against the A’s and he was fantastic. He went 7 innings gave up just 1 hit while walking 1 and striking out 12. This outing sent people into a tizzy and they started shooting off their mouths before thinking about what they where saying. Well Otani’s third start was scheduled for Sunday, but the game was postponed; so he made that third start last night. Now this time he wasn’t facing the sub .500 A’s. This outing was against the 13-2 Boston Red Sox.

Otani stepped up I competition and lasted just 2 innings. He threw 66 pitches gave up 3 runs on 4 hits while walking 2nd striking out just 1. Magically during an incredibly poor outing Otani developed a blister on his pitching hand and had to be removed from the game.  Otani also got tagged with his first loss.

Now I don’t believe that he’s as bad of a pitcher as he was last night, but I also don’t believe that he’s as good of a pitcher as he was in his second outing against the A’s. Of course I wasn’t stupid enough to go on television and say that Mike Trout was now the second best player on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. I also wasn’t handing him the Cy Young after just two starts.

I’ll be interested to see if an outing like this shuts these morons up or if they’ll just jump on the blister excuse and ride that. Now I don’t expect any of them to recant or admit they where stupid by saying some of the things they said, but it would be a nice change of pace if they did.

Is it time for the New York Yankees to move Giancarlo Stanton down in their batting order? Stanton has been hitting 3rd for the Yankees in between Aaron Judge and either Didi Gregorius or Gary Sanchez.

Stanton has played in all 16 games for the Yankees this season and has 66 at bats. Stanton does have 3 home runs and 10 RBI’s through the first 16 games, but he’s hitting just .197 and has struck out 29 times.

The Yankees have the kind of line up where they could comfortably move Stanton down the 5th spot on the and take some of the pressure off of him. Of course with the contract he has there will always be a certain amount of pressure on him. A move down in the order might also help with the fans as they’ve taken to booing Stanton any time he doesn’t come through with a hit.

If the Yankees could find someone else to plug into the two hole Judge could easily slid into the three spot. Judge is off to a good start hitting .339 with 4 home runs and 11 RBI’s. Judge does seem very comfortable hitting second; so maybe the Yankees would be better off leaving him there and moving Gregorius into the three spot. Gregorius is also off to a good start hitting .333 with a team leading 5 home runs and 16 RBI’s. Sanchez is actually off to a worse start than Stanton, but without the strikeouts. In 14 games Sanchez is hitting just .190, but does have 3 home runs and 13 RBI’s. Of course there is a chance that plugging Sanchez in the third spot between Judge and Gregorius it might get him hitting.

This may be the first difficult call that rookie manager Aaron Boone might have to make with the everyday line up. Let me know if you think the Yankees should move Stanton down in the line up.

Last night the Las Vegas Golden Knights became the first expansion team in NHL history to sweep a playoff series.

Brayden McNabb scored the only goal in the game and Marc Andre-Fleury made it stand up making 31 saves as the Golden Knights won Game 4 1-0 over the Los Angeles Kings. This was Fleury’s second shutout in the series.

The Kings by no means where blown out in this series as every game was decided by one goal. Game 1 was a 1-0 game. Game 2 was a 2-1 overtime game. Game 3 was the highest scoring game in the series as it ended 3-2 and then of course Game 4 last night was another 1-0 game.

With last nights win Fleury passed Dominik Hasek for 11th place on the NHL’s all-time list with his 66th career playoff win. He tied Terry Sawchuk for ninth place with his 12th career playoff shutout.

The Golden Knights will face the winner of the Anaheim Ducks/San Jose Sharks series. San Jose is ahead in that series 3 games to none and have a chance to sweep the Ducks out of the playoff tonight.

San Jose is actually the only other team left that can sweep their 1st round series. Will see if they can get it done tonight at home in Game 4.

Are you surprised that the Golden Knights swept their opening round series? How do you think they’ll do in the next round? Let me know in the comments.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live at BlogTallkRadio.com, but don’t forget that the podcast is also available any time you want to listen to it at TuneIn.com.

Don’t forget that I’m on Twitter @Burketime.

Now I understand that it’s exciting for fans if your favorite team gets off to a hot start or if one of your favorite players comes out of the gate playing very well. Now I’ll always give fans a break when they get a little carried away about their favorite team or player, but when the people who are suppose to be experts on these things start doing they need to be call out.

I’m sure you’ve heard by now that Shohei Otani had a very good outing as a pitcher against the Oakland A’s on Sunday, but people got a little carried away by it. Otani pitched 7 innings threw 91 pitching and gave up just 1 hit. He also struck out 12 while walking just 1 and improved his record to 2-0. Both of Otani’s starts have come against the A’s. Now after this start people got a little bit crazy. They’ve already have pretty much handed him the AL Rookie of the Year award, but I also heard someone say he should be the AL Cy Young award winner. Now surprisingly that’s not all. I also heard that he should be the AL MVP and one person went so far as to say that Mike Trout is now the second best player on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Now all of this is happening after just 2 starts and 19 at bats. Am I the only one who thinks it might be a little too early to start handing him all of the awards. Don’t forget that these are the same people that wanted Otani to start the season in the minor leagues after the spring training he had.

The Angels plan is for Otani to pitch every Sunday. If he’s healthy and makes ever start he’ll end up with 27 starts. That will put him three to five starts behind guys he’ll be competing with for the Cy Young. Will voters take that into consideration when they’re casting their votes. Would he need to win 18 games to be a serious Cy Young contender?

You can look at the MVP race the same way. If Otani is going to be the Angels DH three times a week; will he get enough at bats to be a serious contender for the MVP? He’ll be in a race with guys who are hitting six or seven days at week and getting 600 plus at bats. Can you really look at him as an MVP when he’ll have a limited number of at bats compared to his competition.

Right now it’s a great baseball story, but the people who get paid to talk about baseball for a living have to learn to get themselves under control and stop handing out end of the season awards after 10 games.

Otani is going to be fun to watch, but now that he’s gotten some at bats under his belt in the regular season teams will start to adjust to him. How are these people going to react if he’s to go into a slump. How quickly will they jump off of the Otani bandwagon?

The NHL playoffs get started tonight with three game. There are two games dropping the puck at 6:00 p.m. in my time zone. One game has the Minnesota Wild at the Winnipeg Jets while the other game has the Philadelphia Flyers at the Pittsburgh Penguins. The late game tonight has the Los Angeles Kings at the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

The other five first round series get started on Thursday night. Again there are two games that will start at 6:00 p.m. in my area. The New Jersey Devils visit the Tampa Bay Lighting while the Toronto Maple Leafs are at the Boston Bruins. 30 minutes after that the next game starts. That game has the Columbus Blue Jackets at the Washington Capitals. The 8:30 p.m. game in my area has the Colorado Avalanche at the Nashville Predators. The night wraps up with the San Jose Sharks at the Anaheim Ducks.

I am playing the bracket challenge on NHL.com. I have the Predators facing the Capitals in the Stanley Cup Finals with the Capitals winning the Cup in six games.

Today is the last day of the NBA regular season and there are 12 games on the schedule and believe it or not there is still some drama in the Western Conference.

The Minnesota Timberwolves and the Denver Nuggets are tied for the 8th and final Western Conference playoff spot. The Timberwolves hold the tiebreaker, but that’s not going to matter. These two teams face each other tonight in Minnesota. So quite simply the winner gets in and the loser goes home.

The Nuggets are coming in as the hotter team as they’ve won six in a row and are 8-2 over their last 10 games. Minnesota has won their last two games, but they are just 6-4 in their last 10 games.

Who do you have grabbing that last Western Conference playoff spot the Nuggets or the Timberwolves?

Heading into the playoffs how big of a winning streak do you want to be on? There is always talk that a team can peak to early and that may be the question right now with the Philadelphia 76ers.

Philadelphia won it’s 15th game in a row last night and they are currently a game ahead of the Cleveland Cavaliers for the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia will try to make it 16 in a row tonight as they host the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks aren’t playing for anything tonight as they are locked into the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. Now if the 76ers do win this game and claim the #3 spot this will be the first round playoff match up.

Now if the 76ers winning streak ends tonight and the Cavaliers get a win over the New York Knicks it will be Cleveland that is the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference and they would face Milwaukee in the first round of the playoffs.

While the #3 seed in the Eastern Conference will face the Bucks whoever ends up as the 4th seed will face the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs.

The question ight be here would it be better for the 76ers to drop this final game heading into the playoffs just to possible remind them of what it’s like to lose. Or do you think it’s better for them to keep rolling and head into the playoffs on a 16 game winning streak?

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime