Archive for the ‘hockey’ Category

How was your week

Posted: August 22, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I know I’ve mentioned this here before, but in case you’re new to this blog I’ll go over it again. I’m not a fan of the style of play in today’s NBA. Now don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good highlight reel dunk like everyone else, but when it take that player four steps to do that dunk well then it’s something that should be in the dunk contest. I also don’t enjoy how there’s no movement on offense. Four players stand around at the 3-point line while the player with the basketball tries to drive to the hoop. If he is unsuccessful he kicks the basketball out to one of his teammates for a 3-pointer. It just makes the game boring for me. I’m not going to talk about defense because let’s face it they stopped playing defense a very long time ago in the NBA.

Now with all tat being said I was quite surprised when I heard that the television ratings are down as much as 7% in some cases. Now after NASCAR returned and did some really big ratings I thought with as long as we went with sports that when they came back the ratings would be through the roof, but apparently that’s not the case in the NBA. I was trying to think of reasons for this ratings drop and I think I have a couple of ideas.

When the NBA returned they played meaningless games. When the NBA came back I thought they’d go right into the playoffs, but instead they had some more regular season games. Unfortunately with the exception of who would be the 8th seed in the Western Conference everything else was pretty much decided. The odd regular season return ended up with just the Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trailblazers being the only two teams that had anything to play for, but there where 22 teams invited to play in the NBA bubble. I’m still not sure why the Washington Wizards where added to this regular season. I guess the NBA decided that they just couldn’t add all Western Conference teams, but the Wizards never had a shot at getting into the playoffs.

Another reason for the ratings being down piggybacks of my first reason. Since these games didn’t mean anything to the top teams the star players sat out. Load management is the word used in the NBA now, but it made perfect sense that players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers skipped games. Now James and Davis weren’t the only top players to skip games. Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers sat out as did Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. To be fair though one of the games Antetokounmpo missed was because he was suspended for headbutting another player, but you see where I’m going here. Since the NBA really pushes their star players especially James; why would you watch a game if those players aren’t playing?

Another reason for the decline in ratings could be just the simple fact that it’s August and it’s normally the NBA off season. It might be tough for the average fan to watch an NBA game because they’re just not use to doing it this time of the year. I know it might seem like a weird reason, but there are fan that move from sport to sport and this time of year is looked at as baseball season with football right around the corner. Don’t forget that there are fans with children who might be playing other sports and they might not be around a television to watch an NBA game.

It also possible that the fans of those eight teams that where left out of the bubble format just stopped watching NBA games because their favorite team wasn’t playing. If you’re a fan of a certain team then there’s a good chance that you’re a fan of the NBA as a whole, but since you’re favorite team wasn’t playing there wasn’t a reason for these fans to have an interest in what was going on in the bubble. That leaves eight teams worth of fans not watching and I’d bet that they where much more interested in the draft lottery that happened this week over what’s going on in the  playoffs.

If you’re the networks covering these game; ESPN and TNT there has to be some concern especially at ESPN since they paid the most to get the rights to televise these games. Now there is a chance as the playoffs continue on that fans will more interested as the match ups get better. NBA fans know that it’s almost impossible for a 8th seed to beat the #1 seed or a 7th seeded team to beat that 2nd seeded team, but as the top seeds move on to face better teams it might spark some more interest in fans. You’d have to think that fans would want to see a Lakers/Clippers match up in the Western Conference finals. Of course over in the Eastern Conference Milwaukee seemed like the best team; so will fans have any interest in a rematch of last years Eastern Conference finals if we get the Bucks against the Toronto Raptors or might they be more inclined to watch the Bucks against the Boston Celtics.

I guess we won’t have the answers to this until the playoffs move forward. I am interested to know why you think the NBA ratings are down. I’d also like to know if you’re watching NBA games.

Happily for the NHL they are on the opposite end of the television ratings game. NHL games are actually slightly up ratings wise in the United States while in Canada they have put up excellent numbers. There where reports that in times in Canada there have been between five and seven million people watching the NHL. Of course hockey was invented in Canada and I’m sure if you’re a fan of the NHL you’ve heard the term that we’re just borrowing the game here.

What do you think the reason for the increase in NHL ratings is? Do you think it helps that both of the NHL’s bubble set ups are in Canada? Please let me know what you think in the comment section.

Don’t forget to listen to Sports Time Radio live Monday thru Friday on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do miss out on the live version of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to it any time you want to.

Also feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

 

Earlier this week the National Football League announced that they would be cutting their pre-season schedule to 2 games. With everything going on in the world today that seemed like a good idea and let’s face it all the NFL pre-season isn’t any fun to watch. After this announcement the National Football League Players Association held a vote and what should come as no surprise to anyone they want something different than what the NFL just announced. The NFLPA wants no pre-season this year. Now of course getting the NFL owners and the NFLPA to agree on something is incredibly difficult. I’m sure they’d argue over what color the grass was if you asked them. This shouldn’t be too big of a stumbling point as their has to be some sort of pre-season and I’m sure the NFLPA is just using this as a negotiating tactic.

The one thing that we have to remember is even though these are the sports we love to a lot of owners and players it’s just a business and they’re going to try and use everything and anything they can as leverage. Don’t forget that when baseball was going through their negotiations the Major League Baseball owners tried to use these negotiations to recoup some of the things they gave up in the last collective bargaining agreement. To be fair the Major League Baseball Players Association was any better as they wouldn’t budge off of the players getting 100% of there prorated money.

Unfortunately for fans they’re the ones that pay the price. Baseball could’ve easily given us more than this 60 game embarrassment of a season if the owners would’ve started with a decent opening proposal and the players association had negotiated in good faith on their side. Of course neither side could do that as one of them had to feel like they where getting the upper hand in the negotiations and neither side wanted to look weak with the actual collective bargaining expiring after the 2021 season.

In the end who suffers; the fans. I haven’t seen any team announce that they’ll  lowering ticket prices to help out their fans that may have gotten laid off or completely lost their jobs during the pandemic. It was also made very clear that the one thing the players wanted to make sure of in those negotiations was that they got all of their money. Maybe it’s a good thing that they’ll have to start playing these games without fans.

The toughest part about this entire thing is that no matter what these leagues do to their fans they’re always going to come back. I’m not sure why that is though. Maybe it’s just a pure love for a sport or sports in general, but they’ll come back. Or will they?

I’ve mentioned over and over on the Sports Time Radio podcast that I was done with baseball for the 2020 season and I would see them for spring training in 2021. Well it didn’t take long for me to soften on that stance and say that I might watch some games this year. I can pretty much tell myself anything I want, but once the games return I’ll be in front of the television watching whatever game I can get. How about you?

just last ight I had a good friend of mine explain to me how he was so upset with the NFL that he was done being a fan and he didn’t care about how many pre-season games they played or if they played at all. Now he’s a life long fan and I’m not sure what actually set him off, but he had a list of complaints and had some very good points. Of course in the end when the kickoff the football he’ll be there watching in some form.

I’m sure there are fans of the NBA and the NHL that have said they won’t be watching the restart of those leagues once they get up and running, but we know that’s not going to be the case. I’m thinking that maybe one or two out of every ten fans that say they’re not going to watch might actually stick to that statement.

So fill me in on where you stand. Are you like me and you have or had a strong stance at one point, but it’s beginning to weaken? Or are you staying strong and you’re going to hold the line and not watch whatever sport it is you’re upset with when they start play? If you are thinking that you won’t be watching when your favorite sport gets up and running will it be for the entire season or just a short break from the game? Also if you’re going to stay away from the game will you be strong enough to do it for the entire season? Then what do you do if your favorite team makes a run for the championship; do you get back onboard? or do you still manage to stay away? Would you actually miss out on your favorite team winning a championship? Even though it might be a little impure do to the Covid-19 situation.

Who knew that there was so much to think about and try to process when you’re a true fan of a team or a sport.

I understand that there where a lot of people up in arms yesterday when MLB announced that they had 31 people test positive for Covid-19. There was even quite a bit of talk about not restarting the season, but I think we know that’s not going to happen even if it is just 60 games.

Now I can completely understand that a positive test is something that people should have concerns about, but there are a couple of things you have to think about. Did you honestly think there would be no positive tests and while the mainstream media just threw the number 31 out there the other way you can look at it is that 1.2% of the people MLB tested came back positive. Wouldn’t that have sounded like a much better number if it had just been reported that way.

Don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live version of the podcast just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

Also feel free to look me up on Twitter I’m @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 24, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Once the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown sports all of the fans have been wondering when they would be returning. Now the big three sports have all announced their plans to return, but the National Hockey League was first and we haven’t heard much from them since, but yesterday there was some news.

While the National Basketball Association plans on holding all of it’s game in one place that they describe as a ‘bubble” the NHL is looking for two what they’re calling “hub” cities to play their games in. The NHL had been considering eight cities to host games, but yesterday the list was cut to six cities.

Las Vegas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver have made the cut so far, with Pittsburgh and Dallas eliminated Tuesday. Columbus was scratched off the list Monday.

The NHL has been hoping to find two cities in different time zones to help with television scheduling. Las Vegas has always been the front runner to be one of the hub cities, but which city will get the other set of games; well it’s wide open.

The NHL is planning on playing the Western Conference playoffs in one city and then have the Eastern Conference playoffs in the other city. It’s currently unclear where the Stanley Cup Finals would be played, but you’d have to think that one of the two hub cities would host it.

Last week the Canadian government told the NHL that they’d be allowed to quarantine internally. This news immediately moved Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver to the front of the NHL’s hub cities list with Las Vegas. There is a very good chance that the NHL playoffs could be played exclusively in Canadian cities.

Even with the list cut to six possible host cities there has been o date set by the NHL on when they might make an announcement of where they’ll be playing. There was an original July date set for the playoffs to start; so the NHL still has some time to narrow down their list, but hopefully will find out soon.

Where do you think the NHL will end up playing their games? It has seemed that they really want to play in Las Vegas, but like I mentioned those three Canadian cities look really good right now. The other two choices would be big cities; Chicago and Los Angeles. Could they offer the NHL what they’ll need to play their?

As for me I honestly don’t care where the NHL ends up playing these games; I just want to be able to watch hockey again.

As the NBA tries to get the remainder of their season played in Orlando Florida one of the things they mentioned was that if a player was uncomfortable returning to play there would be no penalty with the exception of a dock in pay. It appears as though we have one player right now who’s going to skip the restart of the NBA season.

Avery Bradley has informed his team the Los Angeles Lakers and the league that he will not be taking part in the games in Orlando.

Bradley has three children with his wife Ashley and his oldest son Liam Bradley has a history of struggling to recover from respiratory illnesses. This would make it very unlikely that Liam would be cleared to enter the NBA bubble set up.

Bradley is in first year with the Lakers. He’s played in 49 games this season starting 44 of them. He’s averaging 8.6 points per game and playing just a little over 24 minutes a game. Bradley is also averaging 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists per game for the Lakers this season.

With Bradley’s decision the Lakers will be allowed to sign a player to replace him and it appears that J.R. Smith is the front runner for that roster spot.

Smith is 34 years old and hasn’t played in the NBA this season. Smith also played in just 11 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2018-19 season. Of course since Smith spent time with the Cavaliers during the time LeBron James was their this has given him the upper hand in being signed by the Lakers.

It’s doubtful that Smith would be able to fill the role that Bradley played for the Lakers and it appears as though Kentavious Caldwell-Pope will be the player who takes over Bradley’s starting role. Smith will probably have to settle for a role as a bench player who doesn’t see the flor unless the game is a blow out.

Don’t forget that Bradley was one of the few players that supported Kyrie Irving of the Brooklyn Nets idea of not playing when the games restarted.

Sitting out will end up costing Bradley about $650,000 dollars, but don’t feel to bad for him. This season with the Lakers was Bradley’s 10th in the NBA and not counting his salary for the 2019-20 season he’s made a little over $51 million dollars in his career.

Now the question becomes; will any other NBA players follow Bradley lead?

Now it was reported yesterday that Denver Nuggets All-NBA Center Nikola Jokic tested positive for the coronavirus in Serbia and his return to the United States to rejoin his team is temporarily delayed. Now according to the protocol the NBA has in place Jokic will need two negative tests within 24 hours in Serbia before he can receive clearance to travel. Then once he arrives in Denver; he’ll need to undergo a cardiac screening and test negative once for the virus.

NBA teams including the Nuggets are scheduled to return to their team facilities on Tuesday to begin testing protocols before they head to Orlando somewhere between July 7th and 9th to begin training camp. Will Jokic be ready to join his teammates by then? Or is their a chance that he might end up missing games because of his positive test.

Denver’s head coach Mike Malone recently disclosed that he also tested positive for the Corona virus while the league was off due to the pandemic. Malone has since been cleared and will be tested again with his team on Tuesday. Hopefully there will be more issues for Malone.

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live in BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you cam listen whenever you want.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 27, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well it looks like the National Hockey League has got it’s plan in place to finish their 2019-20 season. Now all we need to know is the official start date and where they’ll be playing.

This news came out last week and not much of anything has changed. It’s going to be a 24-team playoff format. The top four seeds in each division will get byes and play each other in a round robin tournament while the remaining teams will face off in best of five game series.

Here’s how this shakes out:

In the Eastern Conference, the Boston Bruins (44-14-12, 100 points), Tampa Bay Lightning (43-21-6, 92 points), Washington Capitals (41-20-8, 90 points) and Philadelphia Flyers (41-21-7, 89 points) will each have a bye and play each other once to determine the order of the top four seeds for the first round of the playoffs.

In the Western Conference, the St. Louis Blues (42-19-10, 94 points), Colorado Avalanche (42-20-8, 92 points), Vegas Golden Knights (39-24-8, 86 points) and Dallas Stars (37-24-8, 82 points) will each have a bye and play round-robin to determine their seeding order.

Back into the Eastern Conference. The Qualifying Round will have four best-of-5 series: the Pittsburgh Penguins (40-23-6, 86 points) vs. the Montreal Canadiens (31-31-9, 71 points); the Carolina Hurricanes (38-25-5, 81 points) vs. the New York Rangers (37-28-5, 79 points); the New York Islanders (35-23-10, 80 points) vs. the Florida Panthers (35-26-8, 78 points); and the Toronto Maple Leafs (36-25-9, 81 points) vs. the Columbus Blue Jackets (33-22-15, 81 points).

While over in the Western Conference best-of-5 qualifying round series are: the Edmonton Oilers (37-25-9, 83 points) vs. the Chicago Blackhawks (32-30-8, 72 points); the Nashville Predators (35-26-8, 78 points) vs. the Arizona Coyotes (33-29-8, 74 points); the Vancouver Canucks (36-27-6, 78 points) vs. the Minnesota Wild (35-27-7, 77 points); and the Calgary Flames (36-27-7, 79 points) vs. the Winnipeg Jets (37-28-6, 80 points).

It seems like the NHL would like to get this started by July 1st, but that hasn’t been made official just yet. It also appears as there will be a two to three week training camp for teams to prepare for this playoff format.

The plan is for these games to be played in two cities which are still undecided. In a perfect world these two cities would be in different time zones to help out the television broadcast, but that’s not a priority according to the NHL. The NHL’s commissioner Gary Bettman has said the decision on the hub cities and when play will begin will depend on COVID-19 conditions, testing ability and government regulations. A comprehensive system for testing will be in place in each hub city, and each team will be permitted to travel a maximum of 50 personnel, including players, coaches and staff.

While it’s still unclear where these games ight be played it does look like the NHL has narrowed it’s choices to 10 cities. Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Edmonton, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Pittsburgh, Toronto and Vancouver are all in the running to host.

If the NHL can get this up and running it will put them in a very interesting position. While we have soccer, NASCAR and the Korean Baseball Organization to watch none of the four what are considered major sports have had a plan in place until this one. Now to be fair the NFL season is still months away and they haven’t missed any games because of this pandemic.

I would be very interested to know if non-NHL fans would tune into these games to get a sports watching fix; so to speak. If they did it could be a big, big opportunity for the NHL to get some new fans.

Major League Baseball ha stated that they’d like to start their season on July 4th weekend and if they did that would hurt the NHL’s drawing power, but with the trouble that the MLB owners are having trying to get a agreement done with the players union it’s looking less and less like they’ll make that July 4th start date.

The other question of course is; what will the National Basketball Association do?

The NBA has announced that they where looking at a two city plan like the NHL is going with, but they knew that they’d be playing games in Orlando Florida and Las Vegas Nevada. It makes sense for the NBA to do this because they play summer league games in these cities.

Unfortunately this is all we know about what the NBA might do. The National Basketball Players Association executive director Michelle Roberts used the term “overwhelming” when discussing if the players wanted to finish the 2019-20 season.

It’s been reported that a joint task force between the NBA and the NBPA has been working together to negotiate the plans for a possible return to action. They reportedly hope to issue guidelines about a return to play before June 1. Roberts does not believe the union will need to vote on these plans because of the collective bargaining that has already taken place through the joint task force and the calls she is making with every team.

It looks like will have to wait and see if we get some news on what the NBA is going to do come June 1st. Will they use a playoff format similar to what the NHL is doing? Or will they actually try and finish the regular season? Hopefully will find out soon.

Let’s say the NHL gets it’s plan off the ground and they start playing on July 1st and maybe the NBA isn’t too far behind. The biggest question of course is; will you be watching? I think right out of the gate it’s almost not going to matter what sport is on just a long as it’s a sport that draws decent interest. Don’t forget that when NASCAR had it’s first race it had over 6.3 million people watch it. Do you think a returning NHL game would do as well or better than that?

Tune in to the live broadcast of Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com. We’ve been starting the podcast at 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday due to Dan the Man’s current work schedule, but hopefully will be returning to our regular 5:30 p.m. start time soon. Of course Schaumburg Stu and I our still start at 5:00 p.m. on Fridays; so listen.

Also if you miss the podcast live remember all you have to do is swing by TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: May 23, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It seems as though the NHL and the NBA have similar plans to restart their seasons. Both leagues are looking into playing their games in just two cities which they’re “hub cities” and while the NHL’s plan has is slowly starting to take shape there is less of an idea on what the NBA might do.

The NHL is going with what would be described as a 24 team conference based playoff format. The top four team in each conference would get first round byes. These top teams would be determined by the standings points percentage of each team when the regular season was stopped on March 12th.

The 5th through 12th seeds would face off in a best of five series to narrow the field down to the traditional 16 team playoff field the NHL normally uses. From there it would be the usual Stanley Cup playoff set up with those 16 teams.

On Monday the NHL’s Commissioner Gary Bettman said that they’ve found 8 or 9 cities that they’d consider using as “hub cities”. The original plan was for the NHL to use just two “hub cities”, but Bettman mentioned the possibility that the NHL could use up to four “hub cities”. It’s unclear which cities are in the running to host these NHL games, but it’s apparent that Las Vegas is a heavy favorite to be one of those cities.

The NHL looks at expanding the playoffs to 24 teams for this season as the best solution for the teams that where near the bottom of the playoff race when the season was stopped. For example the Arizona Coyotes get the 11th seed, but they where just four points out of a wild card spot and they had 12 regular season games left to play.

The National Hockey League Players Association executive board voted to approve a 24 team conference based playoff format presented by the owners for a potential restart of the 2019-20 NHL season sometime this summer.

It does appear that they may be a few items to work out though. One of the issues will be if there will be reseeding in the playoffs. The NHL released just a straight bracket format for this playoff set up, but the players would prefer to see reseeding done after each round.

I’m sure you’re wondering what the Top 4 teams in each conference would do while the other 16 teams are playing in the opening round. Well these teams would face off against each other in a round robin style tournament to stay sharp. It was a concern of the players about what these four teams would do and this round robin tournament would answer that question.

The NHLPA does have some reservations about expanding the playoffs to 24 teams and they’ve said they’d like to see a more traditional 16 team playoff format. With so many teams bunched at the bottom of the standings it seems as though allowing then all to get into the playoffs makes sense since each team had enough regular season games left to make a run into the playoffs.

Do you like the idea the NHL is going with here? I think the more important question is if and when the NHL restarts; will you be watching?

Now the NBA’s plan is much, much less clear, but they’ve also mentioned using the “hub city” style set up like the NHL. Now unlike the NHL the NBA has more or less decided that they’ll play their games in Orlando and Las Vegas; so it would be very similar to their summer league program.

Even though nothing has been decided by the NBA one of the points of contention seems to be if the players will be allowed to leave what was described as the “bubble” locations the teams would be playing in.

Los Angeles Lakers forward Jared Dudley told reporters that “You will be allowed to leave.” This situation was apparently discussed during the conference call the players had with Commissioner Adam Silver and National Basketball Players Association executive director Michele Roberts. Dudley did add “Now just because you leave, if we’re going to give you that leeway, if you come back with corona, you can’t play.”

It’s been mentioned that the primary places players will spend their time would  include hotels, gymnasiums and dining areas. While they’re in this “bubble” locations. Commissioner Silver referred to it as a “campus” like environment. Dudley mentioned that “there will be rigorous testing inside the bubble”.

How do you think the NBA players would handle this situation. Do you see some of them leaving the “bubble” location for whatever reason? We’re looking at 30 teams with a minimum of 12 players per team; so that’s going to be a lot of players in the same location looking for something to possibly do.

If a player was to leave the “bubble” location and then tested positive for the Covid-19 virus after returning how would his teammates feel about that player?

Dudley said that it would be “somewhat selfish” for a player to do this, but he believes that the NBA’s frequent testing would show it rather quickly. I myself would be more interested to see how that players teammates handle the situation and how that player ended up being treated.

While it’s been said that players would be allowed to leave the NBA’s “bubble” location you have to wonder if the superstar players like LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo or Kawhi Leonard or another player at that level would be allowed to leave. Obviously there’s no way they could stop those players for leaving, but these are the type of players that hold their teams future in their hands and a positive Covid-19 test would not only be bad for that player, but could end that players team season.

I’m sure will learn more about what the NHL and the NBA are going to do, but it appears as both leagues are set on finishing their seasons in some way.

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the live version of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you’d like.

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Since there aren’t any sports being played right now I like to flip through article titles online and see if anything catches my attention. This kind of helps me keep up with what’s going on in sports without having to read every single article out there.

While flipping through articles yesterday I ran into one that caught my attention and while I didn’t go through and read the entire thing I  enough of it to get the idea of the article and wonder why.

This article went on to explain that the NHL is planning on returning and finish it’s regular season and playoff for this season. This didn’t make ay sense to me, but as I continued looking into this it was also said that the NHL would be willing to push back the start of next season to finish this one. This article also mentioned that the NHL would have no problems playing games in July or August if they had to. Now I know that the playoffs don’t generally end into early June, but imagine regular season games in July or August.

Once I saw the story in the NHL I went through to see if I could find any new on what the NBA might be planning. I didn’t see anything new on how the NBA might try and finish out it’s regular season and playoffs, but I did see that the NBA has decided to postpone the draft lottery and scouting combine. The actually draft itself had already been moved back until late June.

With the NBA making these moves and postponements it makes me think that the NBA is planning to do the same thing that the NHL is going to do and they’ll try to play the rest of their regular season games as well the playoffs.

Now I don’t think I would have any issues if the NHL and the NBA came back and went right into the playoffs. I could fully understand each league wanting to be able to crown a champion, but at first I didn’t understand why they’d want to come back and play regular season games.

Then it hit me; there’s only one reason that the NHL and the NBA would want to come back and play regular season games; they want that television money. Remember the NBA has a very lucrative deal with ESPN and TNT to televise their regular season and playoff games and while I’m sure that the NHL’s deal with NBA isn’t quite as lucrative I’m sure they’d like to get whatever money they have coming in that contract.

You could also throw Major League Baseball into this mix as they’ve already said that they’re planning on playing as many regular season games as possible. Why would they want to do that: television money.

At least when they start playing MLB games again it will actually be baseball season, but how many people are going to be interested in watching NHL and NBA games in the summer or possibly even in the fall.

To be fair if you’re the first league to come back and start playing games you’d probably draw huge ratings. With as hard up as people are to watch sports I’m sure they’d take anything new to watch. Just look at how well the NFL draft just did in the ratings. Now imagine how well and actually live sporting event would do in the ratings. To be honest I’d probably even tune into an NBA game just to watch sports.

I would really like to get your opinion on this. Would you watch an NHL or NBA regular season game if they came back to play them in July or August? Would it make you more interested to watch these games if your favorite team was in the running to possibly win the title?

Do you like the idea of the NHL and NBA coming back to play regular season games? Or would you like to see them come back and go directly into the playoffs? Or at this point would you like to see hem just end their seasons with no champions and move onto next season?

I would be very interested in what you’d like to see the NHL and NBA do. As I mentioned before I wouldn’t have any issues if they came back and went straight into the playoffs, but I have no interest in any NHL or NBA regular games being played.

As we’re talking about sports returning it looks as though NASCAR will be back on May 17th. NASCAR is planning on running this 400 mile race at Darlington Speedway in South Carolina with no fans.

What may be even more interesting about this is NASCAR is planning on this being the first race of 11 races that they’ll run in seven days. Yes, you read that right; 11 races in seven days.

These races will take place at two different tracks. Darlington Speedway and Charlotte Motor Speedway in North Carolina.

NASCAR has decided to run races here because South Carolina has relaxed coronavirus restrictions and Charlotte, North Carolina; is following suit.

After the May 17th race the NASCAR’s schedule includes a 200-mile Xfinity Series race at Darlington Raceway on May 19 and a 500 kilometer contest at the South Carolina track the following night. NASCAR will then shift to Charlotte for a 600 mile Cup Series race on May 24; with a 300 mile Xfinity Series competition the following day. A 200 mile Gander Trucks race on May 26 and a 500 kilometer race at Charlotte Motor Speedway the next night.

NASCAR, which did not announce any dates past May 27, but it intends to run a full 36 race NASCAR Cup Series slate this year. It also plans to keep its 10 race postseason format and tracks involved unchanged.

Do you like this idea NASCAR has come up with? I guess more importantly; will you be watching any or all of these races?

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

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 8, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in football, hockey, NFL picks, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now the NFL draft is right around the corner and this year for the first time it’s going to be a virtual draft. With everything going on in the world right now this makes perfect sense, but of course there where people in the media who complained about it. I guess that’s just what the media does any time the NFL makes a decision.

If you’re a fan of the NFL I’m sure you’ve looked at one or more mock drafts to see who they have your favorite team picking. I’ve noticed a new trend when it comes to these drafts. It seems that someone wants every team with an early 1st round pick to trade down in the draft to acquire more picks. I’m not sure why or how they think this would work and I’m sure there are a few teams looking to trade down, but not every team with a Top 10 pick can do that like it’s been suggested.

The Cincinnati Bengals hold the first pick in the draft and they appear to need a lot of help, but what they really need is a franchise quarterback to build around and it seems that the Bengals are sold on Joe Burrow being that guy. If the Bengals have done their research and they’re convinced that Burrow has a chance to be their starting quarterback for the next 10 years or more why would they want to trade that pick?

You can apply the exact same logic to the Washington Redskins who have the #2 pick in the draft. There are a lot of people who think that Chase Young is the best player on this draft and the Redskins have a chance to take him and start to rebuild their defense around him. Why should they give up the opportunity a once in a lifetime defense lineman to get a few extra picks down the road in the draft?

This seems to make very little sense, but there are quite a few people out there trying to sell this. Is it really smart to give up player who are at the top of the draft for a reason to try and find players later in the draft to fill the roles that these top players would fill.

Now as always there will be teams trying to trade up in the draft and to be fair if one of these teams in the Top 5 or Top 10 are blown out of the water by a deal when then they should make it. Of course that’s not going to happen to often; so you have to ask yourself if moving down to get possibly swap 1st round picks this year with a team and then pick up maybe that teams 1st or 2nd round pick next year; is it worth that wait?

Now remember you’ll have no idea where that draft pick the following year might fall; so that would be part of the gamble in a deal like this. It seems like it would be better to stick with what looks like a quality player than move down and take a chance, but it could happen.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see a team like the Detroit Lions trade out of the #3 spot in the draft and acquire some more draft picks. There’s a good possibility that a team like the Miami Dolphins who have the 5th pick in the 1st round or the Los Angeles Chargers who have the 6th pick in the 1st round might be looking to move up to try and draft Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.

Remember the Dolphins have three picks in the 1st round #5, #18 and #26. Would they possibly give up two of these picks to move into the 3rd spot and draft Tagovailoa? There is no team that can match what the Dolphins could give up to move up in this draft; so they seem to be the team to watch.

The San Francisco 49ers also have two picks in the 1st round #13 and #31, but it doesn’t appear as San Francisco is looking to trade up and would that be enough to get them into the 3rd spot of the draft.

What do you see happening at the top of the draft? Will the Bengals and the Redskins keep their picks? What do you think the Lions will do with the 3rd pick? Keep it or trade it?

We’ve been wondering what the NBA and the NHL might do when it’s clear to begin playing games again. Now the NBA has made a couple of statements and there have been some idea floated around, but for the most part the NHL has stayed mostly quiet until yesterday.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman came out and made some statements on what may happen with what’s left of the NHL regular season and where games might be played.

Bettman mentioned that the NHL make skip the rest of the regular season to allow more time for the Stanley Cup playoffs. The NHL last played on March 12th; so there are 189 regular season games remaining.

Bettman also acknowledge that the NHL has looked into possibly having games played in neutral site arenas. Now this has to be done just in case a NHL team can’t get back into their own building because it’s booked for another event. It’s not like these arenas just sit empty when the NHL isn’t playing games; so it may actually be difficult for certain teams to book their own building for games.

Bettman also mentioned that these are just a few of the options that the NHL is looking at and it appears as though the NHL is hoping like a lot of us that they’ll have a clearer picture of how the Coronavirus pandemic is affecting the 31 NHL markets.

Would you be okay with the NHL not playing anymore regular season games and moving right into the playoffs when play resumes?

Don’t forget that the Sports Time Radio podcast is still up and running over at BlogTalkRadio.com. You can also head on over to TuneIn.com and listen to the podcast any time you want to.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: April 4, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, hockey, pro wrestling, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well sports fans it appears as tough we still have no idea on when will see a live sporting event. With the announcement by President Trump that he’s extending the stay at home order through the end of this month it looks like any hope of us seeing something as early as May 1st is out the window. Now I know they where hoping to see the country start recovering by Easter, but I think just about everyone though that was too soon. Hopefully if there right this time around and things can start to return to normal at the end of the month then will have a better idea about when some type of sporting event might return.

I don’t believe that either the National Basketball Association or the National Hockey League has said anything about what they’re planning to do with what’s left of their regular season and their playoffs. I’ve mentioned here before that if they do decide to comeback and at this point I don’t think they should, but if they do they should just head right into the playoffs. I think the bigger question with both the NBA and the NHL is how long will it take the players to get ready to start playing games again. They’ll have to allow the teams some type of shorten training camp to get ready.

As for Major League Baseball; well they’ve already told us how they plan on handling things. It appears that once things are up and running will get a two to three week extension of spring training and then they’ll start the regular season. Now there’s still no number of games that has been set, but that would be difficult to do right now. Of course the owners did come out and say that they’d like to play as close to 162 games as possible. Let’s hope that things work out as planned and at the end of this month players will be able to report back to spring training. Does that mean we could see the MLB season starting a early as May 22nd. Now I don’t think that’s going to happen, but that would be close to MLB’s own timetable. To be honest I’d like to see them wait until Sunday May 31st and kick everything off then. At this point I guess will just continue to wait and see how this month plays out.

Now I’m not sure how many people consider professional wrestling a sport. While you do have to be athletic to be a professional wrestler a lot of people don’t put it in the sporting category because the outcome of the matches are predetermined. I’d be interested to get your views on professional wrestling as a sport or not.

Anyway this weekend is World Wrestling Entertainments biggest show of the year. Or what would be their biggest show of the year had there not been an outbreak of Covid-19. With everything going on WWE had to make changes to Wrestlemania. For the first time the event won’t be live as the matches have already been taped, but they’ve split the event into two nights. Part one airs tomorrow night with the second half of the show airing Sunday night. It hasn’t been announced which matches will be feature on which night, but obviously after tomorrow nights broadcast you’ll know what matches will be left to air on Sunday night. The show was also filmed with no audience; so it’s going to look just like their television shows have lately.

There was also some interesting news television wise for WWE. There have been some reports that after Wrestlemania airs this weekend the company will shutdown until they can begin having crowds at their shows. What makes this big news is the fact that RAW has aired every Monday night since January 11th 1993. If you think about that it’s an amazing feat. That’s over 27 years showing a different show every week as there are no reruns of RAW.

Now not only does WWE show RAW every Monday night on the USA Network, but there is a second WWE program called NXT that airs Wednesday nights also on the USA Network. WWE also has a third brand called Smackdown which airs every Friday night on Fox. Raw is a three hour program while NXT and Smackdown each have a two hour run time. I’m not sure how WWE or the networks they’re on would fill 7 hours of programming and as of right now none of this is has been confirmed; it’s just something WWE is considering.

Apparently the talk of this possible shutdown for WWE came about because they’ve been filming there shows in Florida at a facility they call the performance center, but Florida has recently issued a stay at home order which could possibly affect the WWE’s ability to get some of their wrestlers to the taping.

I’m not as big of a fan of the WWE product as I use to be, but the shows are still very popular and do solid ratings for the network they’re on. I’m not sure if showing old matches or even old pay per views would fill the void for fans. The WWE’s ratings have struggled since they started running shows with no audience and you’d have to think not having new matches would hurt those ratings even more.

Again nothing has been decided on what WWE will do after Wrestlemania airs this weekend, but I’m under the impression they’ve already made a decision. As usual RAW is scheduled to air Monday and you’d think if WWE had decided to shutdown production some kind of announcement would’ve been made. Of course I guess they could always make that announcement during the Wrestlemania pay per view either Saturday or Sunday night.

What do you see WWE doing? Do you think that they’ll close up shop for a while? Or do you think that they’ll continue to record matches for RAW, NXT and Smackdown?

Even with what seems like nothing to talk about the Sports Time Radio podcast is still up and running over at BlogTalkRadio.com. If you missed any of the podcast just head over to TuneIn.com and you can catch up over there.

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 1, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

As us sports fans meander around with just the breadcrumbs that the NFL leaves for us to devour it’s time to make some decisions on the big two sports that currently have their seasons postponed.

It feels like an eternity since the National Hockey League or the National Basketball Association have played a game. At this point unless you’re a hardcore fan of either league do you even care if they comeback? Or is it time for them to just let this season go and move on to next season?

Just off the top of your head; who had the best record in the NHL? Did you know that it was the Boston Bruins with 100 points? Did you get that right?

Okay then we move on. Who has the best record in the NBA? This one might’ve been a little easier for you since the NBA receives more high level media coverage than the NHL does. So did you get this right? It’s the Milwaukee Bucks with a record of 53-12.

Originally the NBA had it’s teams looking into arena availability for as late as August, but lately the biggest news in the NBA is the fact that Shaquille O’Neal had visited the Tiger King zoo. Is this what the NBA has come to.

The NBA, National Basketball Players Association and 2K have partnered to produce an NBA 2K tournament that will air on ESPN and ESPN2 starting Friday, it was announced.

The NBA 2K20 Player Tournament will run through April 11, according to a statement, and will begin airing on ESPN on Friday with a half-hour pre-show at 7 p.m. ET. The tournament will run on ESPN until 8:30 p.m. and then is scheduled to transition to ESPN2 until 11:30 p.m.

The winner of the event will receive $100,000 to give to a charity in support of the Covid-19 relief efforts.

Sixteen NBA players will compete in this event with five of them already being announced. Kevin Durant, Trae Young, Hassan Whiteside, Donovan Mitchell and Devin Booker are the five that have been announced.

Players were seeded based on their player rating in NBA 2K20, with Durant, a 96 overall in the game, as the No. 1 seed. Players who were tied in overall rating were seeded based on tenure in the league.

Here’s the list of the other players that will be competing. Andre Drummond, Zach LaVine, Montrezl Harrell, Domantas Sabonis, Deandre Ayton, DeMarcus Cousins, Michael Porter Jr., Rui Hachimura, Patrick Beverly, Harrison Barnes and Derrick Jones Jr.

Is this something that you’re interested in? I can tell you this won;t be something that I’ll be watching. I’m not a big fan of the NBA as it is; so watching players play a video game isn’t going to draw my attention. If you do watch this please let me know what you think of this event.

The National Hockey League Players Association surveyed nearly 600 players before the 2019-20 season was put on hold. Here are the results they ended up with.

Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins was selected the most complete player. Crosby had 47 points in in 41 games; 16 goals and 31 assists and his 30 points; 11 goals and 19 assists since January 14th are tied for 5th in the NHL.

Crosby received 45.56% of the votes beating out Patrice Bergeron of the Boston Bruins who received 25.44 % of the vote. Aleksander Barkov of the Florida Panthers (7.50%) and Ryan O’Reilly of the St. Louis Blues (5.33%) rounded out the four players receiving votes.

Crosby’s career track record which includes two Hart Trophy awards as NHL most valuable player (2007, 2014) and three Stanley Cup championships (2009, 2016, 2017) also made him the top choice as the player among any position you’d most want if you needed to win one game. Crosby received 44.03% of the votes in that category beating out Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers who received 30.53% of the vote.

McDavid did dominant the category for best forward. McDavid who is the Oilers captain scored 97 points; 34 goals and 63 assists during the season. McDavid picked up 68.35% of the vote in the best forward category. McDavid’s teammate Leon Draisaitl finished second in the voting. Draisaitl had 110 points; 43 goals and 67 assists during the season.

Victor Hedman of the Tampa Bay Lighting was selected as the best defenseman for the second season in a row. Hedman received 37.88% of the vote beating John Carlson of the Washington Capitals who picked up 21.35% of the vote. Carlson is the front runner for the Norris trophy which is given to the best defenseman in the league, but he lost this vote to Hedman.

Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens became the repeat winner of the best goaltender award by beating out Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lighting. Price received  41.55% of the vote while Vasilevskiy got 17.09% of the vote.

Marie-Philip Poulin edged out Hilary Knight and was named best female hockey player. Poulin won with 39.92% of the vote while Knight ended up with 36.29% of the vote. Poulin was a forward on the two-time Olympic gold medal winning teams in 2010 and 2014. Poulin also scored the game winning goal in each of the championship games against the United States.

Do you agree with the way the players voted or would you have given these awards to other players? Please let me know who you would’ve voted for in the comment section.

Did either of these things that the NBA and NHL make you interested in them returning and finishing out the season. If you’d like to see either or both leagues return I’d be very interested in knowing how you think the leagues should finish out their season. Would you like to see the NHL and the NBA finish out their regular seasons or would you like to see them just go right into the playoffs?

While we went through what the NBA and the NHL have been up to recently I’d be curious to know how you’re passing the time without sports. Also I could use some tip to get through this time myself.

The Sports Time Radio podcast is still up and running. 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 whenever you’d like to.

Don’t forget to find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: November 23, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The New York Yankees finally made the decision to part ways with Jacoby Ellsbury. After seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox the Yankees brought Ellsbury to New York with a 7 year $153 million dollar contract. Unfortunately the Yankees never got much of a return out of Ellsbury.

After four seasons with the Yankees Ellsbury ran into some injury issues that cost him the last two seasons. Now the Yankees did pay him $21,142,857 both of those seasons he was out.

Now the Yankees owe Ellsbury on more year at $21,142,857 and there is also a $5 million dollar by buy attached to his contract. The Yankees have come out and said that they are going to contest the final year of Ellsbury’s contract in hopes of not having to pay him.

The Yankees are claiming that Ellsbury received medical treatment for his injuries from a Health Care Provider who is not affiliated with the team. The team must also authorized permission for this type of treatment.

The MLBPA released a statement on this situation backing Ellsbury. “The Players Association will vigorously defend any action taken against Jacoby or his contract and is investigating potential contract violations by his employer”.

From the Yankees point of view it’s understandable that they’d like to get out of that final year of his contract along with the buy out, but I’m not sure if they’re going to have a leg to stand on in this case, but you never know what’s still going to come out in this case. I guess will have to wait and see how this all ends up playing out.

I corresponding moves the Yankees also designated 1st baseman Greg Bird and left handed pitcher Nelson Cortes Jr. for assignment.

Bird made a big splash for the Yankees in 2015. He hit 11 home runs in 46 games for New York and it looked like he could possibly be a long term solution for the Yankees at 1st base, but that didn’t happen.

Bird played just 17 games in the Arizona Fall League in 2016 and he never played more than 82 games in a season after that. He also never hit better than .199 for the Yankees. Bird managed to play in just 10 games last season before his season was ended by injuries.

It appears as though Ellsbury is going to attempt to play in 2020 if there’s a team willing to take a chance on him. As of now it’s unclear if Bird will try to play next season.

After the Atlanta Braves made the first signing of free agency bringing in closer Will Smith and re-signing set up man Chris Martin. The next team to make their mark in free agency was the Chicago White Sox.

First the White Sox agreed to a four year $73 million dollar deal with catcher Yasmani Grandal. He was considered the best free agent catcher and one of the top hitters available this off season.

Grandal took a chance last off season signing a one year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers and it appears to have paid off for him.

Grandal had a career high in home runs with 28 and RBI’s with 77 while hitting .246. He also played in a career high 153 games catching in 137 games that covered 1095 2/3rd innings. Grandal just turned 31 earlier this month and I’m not sure if he’ll be able to catch as many games this coming season for the White Sox. Of course being that he’s now with an American League team he’ll be able to keep his bat in the line up as a Designated Hitter.

The White Sox also announced this week that they have signed 1st baseman Jose Abreu to a three year $50 million dollar contract extension. Earlier this off season Abreu accepted the White Sox qualifying offer of $17.8 million dollars in hopes that an extension could be worked out.

Under his new contract Abreu will be paid a salary of $11 million dollars for the 2020 season with a $5 million dollar signing bonus. In 2021 Abreu will make $16 million dollars and in the final year of his contract Abreu’s salary jumps to $18 million dollars. $4 million dollars of Abreu’s 2022 salary will be deferred.

Abreu has spent all six of his major league seasons with the White Sox. Last season Abreu led the American League in RBI’s with 123 and has been a productive bat in the White Sox line up since joining them out of Cuba.

It seems like the consensus was that the White Sox needed to add a bat this off season and most experts thought they’d add an outfielder, Grandal is definitely the bat they needed and keeping Abreu should give the White Sox a solid line up.

Honestly I was in the other camp on what I thought the White Sox should add as I thought they needed a top of the rotation starter and who knows it’s still very, very early in free agency; so maybe they still will.

So we’ve had a couple of early free agent signings. Will this trend continue? Or will the free agent market slow down like we’ve seen the last few seasons?

I’d be interested to know who you think the next team might be to step up and get a player signed and which player do you think will be the one that gets signed. There’s always a lot of talk about who’s going where, but who will it actually be?

We had the first head coaching change of the NHL season as the Toronto Maple Leafs fired Mike Babcock after the team started 9-10-4. Sheldon Keefe is taking Babcock’s place behind the Maple Leafs bench. Keefe had been coaching Toronto AHL’s team the Marlies.

Technically, Babcock has only been relieved of his duties as coach and is still under contract with the Maple Leafs. That eight-year, $50 million dollar contract was the biggest deal ever given to an NHL coach and there are still three more seasons on it. Babcock will likely be allowed to pursue other opportunities, but compensation for coaches or executives is no longer a part of the CBA.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do happen to miss the podcast live just head over to TuneIn.com and you can listen at your convenience.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @BurkeTime