Archive for the ‘hockey’ Category

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How was your week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 8, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

MLB

For the 300th time in baseball history there was a no-hitter thrown. Mike Fiers of the Oakland A’s accomplished the feat last night against the Cincinnati Reds. This is the second time in Fiers career that he’s thrown a no-hitter. Fiers no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers when he was a member of the Houston Astros in 2015.

Fiers was making his ninth start of the season last night and was having a rough start to his season. Coming into last night Fiers was 2-3 with an ERA of 6.81. It makes perfect sense that he goes out and no-hit one of if not the hottest hitting team in baseball. Baseball is an odd game.

Adding to the oddity of this game is the fact that it almost wasn’t played at all last night. There was an issue with some of the lights in leftfield. There was a meeting at home plate with the umpires, each teams manager and general manager with Major League Baseball on stand by trying to decide if the game would be played. After an hour and 38 minute delay the game was ready to start. Apparently this game was only 15 minutes away from being cancelled.

Once the game started it took Fiers 2 hours and 25 minutes to throw his second no-hitter. Fiers is the 35th pitcher in baseball history to have thrown multiple no-hitters. He is also one of just five active pitchers who have pulled this off. Fiers is also the 8th pitcher in baseball history to throw his two no-hitters with different teams.

Interestingly, you have to wonder how many managers would’ve left their pitcher in as Fiers threw 131 pitches last night. With the way pitchers are handled in today’s game once they hit that 100 pitch mark the bullpen is up and warming, but A’s manager Bob Melvin stayed with Fiers and allowed him to get his no-hitter.

Fiers had thrown 109 pitches through 7 innings and it was reported that Melvin told him if he allowed anyone to get on base he’d be coming out of the game. The A’s did have someone warming up in the bullpen the final two innings of the game.

Melvin was quoted as saying “I broke every rule in the book”. “It was no fun for me once he got past 120 pitches; I promise you that, but he deserved it”.

Now it a 1-0 game going into the bottom of the 7th, so Melvin wasn’t only managing a no-hitter he was trying to win a tight game.

Jurickson Profar gave Fiers and the A’s an extra run to work with when he hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 7th inning to make it a 2-0 game.

Now as with any no-hitter there seems to be a defensive play that stands out and the A’s made two last night both in the top of the 6th inning.

Joey Votto looked like he not only would break up the no-hitter, but the shutout as well, when he connected on a deep flyball to centerfield. Ramon Laureano went back to the fence timed his jump just right and caught what looked like it was going to be a Votto home rune to keep the no-hitter in going. Profar also added defensive gem to preserve the no-hitter. Kyle Farmer hit a shallow flyball to rightfield that looked like it was going to drop between A’s fielders, but Profar made a diving catch to rob Farmer of a hit.

The only what you might call controversial call happened in the top of the 4th inning. Jesse Winker hit a ball that went off of Matt Chapman’s glove. It would’ve been a tough play for Chapman to make and the call could’ve went either way. It took the official scorer quite a while to make a ruling, but in the end they called it an error on Chapman. It may have been a tough error to assign, but Chapman is a top defender and it was a play that he normally makes.

With the win Fiers improves his record on the season to 3-3. He struck out 6 and walked 2 and his ERA came down to 5.48.

Another rarity for pitchers these days is the complete game, but there was one of those last night.

Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers threw a complete game against the Atlanta Braves last night. Ryu gave up 4 hits while striking out 6 and he threw just 94 pitches in his complete game.

The Dodgers cruised to a 9-0 victory over the Braves as Justin Turner backed Ryu’s effort by hitting three home runs and driving in 6 of the Dodgers 9 runs.

This was Ryu’s 3rd career complete game, but it’s his first since 2013 his rookie season when he had 2. With the win Ryu improved his record to 4-1 on the season. He also lowered his ERA to 2.03.

Coming into last night, there had been just 6 complete games in baseball this season. So to have two in one night is special and then add the fact that one of them was a no-hitter and it was a great baseball night.

NHL

There is just one spot left in the NHL Conference finals and it will take a Game 7 tonight to decide who gets that spot.

The Boston Bruins and the Carolina Hurricanes have claimed their spots in the Eastern Conference finals and that series starts tomorrow night. The St. Louis Blues grabbed one of the spots in the Western Conference finals with a 2-1 double overtime win over the Dallas Stars last night.

So there’s only room for one more team. Who will it be?

The San Jose Sharks are hosting the Colorado Avalanche tonight to see who claims that last Conference finals spot. No team has won two games in a row in this series, does that mean that Colorado is on trouble since they won Game 6? It does look as though San Jose might have a slight advantage coming into this game but as we know with the way these NHL playoffs have went; you just never know.

Who do you have winning Game 7 tonight, the Sharks or the Avalanche?

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live all you have to do it head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

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

 

How was your week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but the podcast is also available for you to listen to whenever you want at TuneIn.com.

Remember you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 17, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

For the first time in NHL history a President’s trophy winner was swept out of the 1st round of the playoffs.

It was the Columbus Blue Jackets who sent the President trophy winning Tampa Bay Lighting home with a 7-3 win last night in Game 4 of their opening round series. Not only was this the first time a President trophy winner had been swept in the 1st round of the playoffs it was also the first playoff series win in Blue Jackets history.

If you go all the way back to Game 1 it started off looking like it would be the Lighting that would be the team that would be sweeping this series. Tampa Bay scored 3 goals in the 1st period of Game 1 and looked like they’d take that game easily. Maybe there was a hint of how this series would go when Columbus scored he next four goals and took Game 1 4-3.

In Game 2 it was the Blue Jackets that rattled off the first three goals in the game, but there was no comeback by the Lighting as Columbus was able to cruise to a 5-1 Game 2 win.

Now believe it or not this wasn’t the first time that the Blue Jackets won the first two games of an opening round playoff series on the road. Just last season they took the first two games in Washington, but then the Capitals won the next four games to eliminate Columbus. I’m sure that Lighting fans where hoping for the same thing to happen as the series shifted to Columbus for Game 3 & 4.

In the 1st period of Game 3 neither offense could put the puck in the net, but the Blue Jackets where able to wipe away some of those memories from last season as they scored the only two goals of the 3nd period which was enough as they picked up a Game 3 win 3-1.

I’m not really sure if it would’ve made a difference, but you have to ask yourself if Nikita Kucherov wasn’t suspended for this game if Tampa Bay might’ve been able to pull this one out.

Facing elimination last night it looked like the Lighting was in trouble as Columbus jumped out to a 2-0 lead. Tampa Bay was able to get one of those goals back in the 1st period and was down just 2-1 after the opening period.

The Blue Jackets struck first in the 2nd period to make it a 3-1 game, but this time it was the Lighting that came right back. Tampa Bay scored the next two goals to even the game at 3-3 and it appeared as though they might be able to force a Game 5.

The Blue Jackets picked up a goal at the end of the 2nd period to make it a 4-3 game, but Tampa Bay had to be feeling a little better than they had in the first three games.

Both defenses came up big in the 3rd period as it wasn’t until Tampa Bay pulled it’s goalie before anyone was able to score. Unfortunately for the Lighting it was the Blue Jackets who picked up an empty net goal to make it a 5-3 game.

Tampa Bay decided to keep it’s goaltender on the bench and that allowed the Blue Jackets to add a couple of more empty net goals to make the final score 7-3.

As the Lighting head home to try to figure out what went wrong the Blue Jackets advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs where they’ll face the winner of the Boston Bruins/Toronto Maple Leafs series. The Maple Leafs currently lead that series 2 games to 1 with Game 4 being played tonight in Toronto.

While the Lighting may have the distinction of being the first President’s trophy winner to get swept in the 1st round they are far from the first President’s trophy winner to be a disappointment in the playoffs.

It’s been six seasons since a President’s trophy winner went on to win the Stanley Cup. That was the Chicago Blackhawks in 2012-13. Besides the Blackhawks only the Detroit Red Wings have managed to win the President’s trophy and the Stanley Cup in the past 16 NHL seasons. Out of those 14 President’s trophy winning teams only one of them even made it to the Stanley Cup finals.

I guess you have to start to wonder if it better for your favorite NHL team to just get into the playoffs instead of having the most points in the regular season and winning the President’s trophy.

While Tampa Bay will get most of the attention for the way they where swept out of the payoffs they weren’t the only team to get swept out of the 1st round.

With a 3-1 win in Game 4 of their playoff series the New York Islanders swept the Pittsburgh Penguins out of the 1st round of the NHL playoffs.

Even though they Islanders had the better regular season record the Penguins had won two of the last three Stanley Cup title coming into this playoff series and any time you have Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Phil Kessel your team is a threat to win it all. So this has to come as a bit of a surprise that the Penguins couldn’t win a game in this series.

I’ve always heard people say that a hot goaltender can carry a team in the playoffs and it looks like that’s that the Islanders have right now.

Robin Lehner posted a 1.47 Goals Against Average with a .956 Save Percentage in the Islanders opening round series against the Penguins. Lehner gave up three goals in Game 1, but after that he allowed just one in each in Games 2, 3 & 4. This was against a Penguins team that scored the 6th most goals in the NHL this season, so it was an impressive performance by Lehner.

The Islanders will get some time off as they wait for the winner of the series between the Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals. The Capitals currently lead that series 2 games to 1 with Game 4 being played tomorrow in Carolina.

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 ay time you want @TuneIn.com.

Remember to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: April 13, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Tampa Bay Lighting where the best team in the NHL this season. They ended the regular season with 128 points easily claiming the President’s trophy. Tampa Bay was 21 points better than any other team during the regular season. Both the Boston Bruins and the Calgary Flames had 107 points during the regular season. Tampa Bay headed into the Stanley Cup playoffs as the favorite, but as we’ve seen time and time again winning the President’s trophy doesn’t always equal playoff success and the Lighting have started off in a hole.

Tampa Bay opened their opening round playoff series hosting the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Lighting got off to a fast start in Game 1 putting up 3 goals in the 1st period, but what looked like an solid Game 1 win didn’t quite turn out that way. The Blue Jackets scored 4 straight goals; 1 in the 2nd period and 3 in the 3rd period including the game winner by Seth Jones at 14:05 of the period to take the win for Columbus.

Game 2 was last night as the Lighting looked to even up the series. This time it was Columbus that got off to the fast start scoring 2 goals in the 1st period. Of course you had to wonder if the team that got off to the fast start would be able to hold on in this game and the Blue Jackets did.

Columbus was the only team to score in the 2nd period and had a 3-0 lead heading into the 3rd period before the Lighting got on the scoreboard. While the Blue Jackets came back from being down 3 goals in Game 1 the Lighting was unable to make that kind of comeback. The Blue Jackets added 2 more goals in the 3rd period as they pulled away for a 5-1 win in Game 2.

Now this was just the third time this season that the Lighting have lost back to back games, but even down 2-0 there is some hope for Tampa Bay. Last season the Blue Jackets took their first two games against the Washington Capitals in that 1st round series last season and then proceeded to lose four straight games. After that series the Capitals went on to win the Stanley Cup. Can the Lighting repeat that scenario? or will they just end up being another President’s trophy winner that doesn’t win the Stanley Cup?

Now there is a chance that the Lighting will have to go into Game 3 without their leading scorer Nikita Kucherov. In the 2nd period of last nights loss a clearly frustrated Kucherov tripped Blue Jackets Defenseman Markus Nutivaara. Then while Nutivaara was on his knees Kucherov checked him into the boards. It was clearly a dangerous hit and Kucherov received a 5 minute major penalty and a game misconduct for that series of events.

Kucherov is scheduled to have a hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety about that boarding penalty on Nutivaara.

With Tampa Bay already down 2 games to 0 in the series they can’t afford to lose their leading scorer for length of time in this series.

Kucherov was the leagues leading scorer with 128 points. In 82 games he had 41 goals and 87 assists was a +24 for Tampa Bay this season. With those 128 points Kucherov claimed the Art Ross trophy and with the season he’s had you have to think he’s a front runner for the Hart Memorial trophy.

How will the Lighting do if they have to play without Kucherov?

Now we’ve mentioned the injury situation the New York Yankees have been going through this season and believe it or not they lost another starter to injury.

This time it was Gary Sanchez who landed on the 10-day Injury List. Sanchez was placed on the Injury List retroactive to April 11th with a left calf strain. Sanchez becomes the 12th Yankees player to land o the Injury List this season.

Sanchez had a rough 2018 as he played in just 89 games due to injuries and hit .186, but he got off to a good start this season. In 11 games Sanchez was hitting .268 with 6 home runs.

There’s no timetable for Sanchez’s return. The Yankees have called up catcher Kyle Higashioka from Triple-A to take Sanchez’s roster spot. Higashioka is expected to split time with Austin Romine behind the plate until Sanchez returns.

The Yankees did get some good news on the injury front as left handed starting pitching C.C. Sabathia will be activated from the Injury List to make his first start of the season today against the Chicago White Sox.

This passed off season Sabathia underwent minor knee surgery a well as having an angioplasty. This lead to the Yankees pacing Sabathia on the Injury List to allow him the time he needed to recover properly. Now Sabathia was technically on the Yankees active roster as he started the season off by serving a five game suspension for hitting Jesus Sucre with a pitch in a game late last season.

Sabathia; who’ll turn 39 in July signed a one year $8 million dollar deal with the Yankees this past off season; so he could play his 19th and final season in pinstripes.

Sabathia along with Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxson and J.A. Happ give the Yankees four solid starting pitchers in their rotation. What New York will have to decide is if Domingo German will continue to fill Luis Severio’s spot in the rotation while he works his way back from injury or if we’ll see Gio Gonzalez get a call up from Triple-A to fill that rotation spot.

The Yankees signed Gonzalez a little less than a month ago as some insurance for -A covering Severino’s injury. Gonzalez has made 2 starts in Triple-A covering 10 innings. With the late start to his season it might take Gonzalez another start or two before he’s ready to join the Yankees starting rotation.

With the Yankees off to a slow 5-8 start this season and with it looking like Severino is still going to be out for quite a while. Will the Yankees make a move for a starting pitcher? Or will they run with Gonzalez?

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

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

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