Archive for the ‘NASCAR’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: April 26, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, baseball, hockey, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I was caught off guard yesterday by the news that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will be retiring at the end of this NASCAR season. Earnhardt Jr. missed the last 18 races of the 2016 season with concussion like symptoms, but was medically cleared to return to racing this season. Even though Earnhardt Jr. missed pretty much the entire second half of the 2016 season he still won Most Popular Driver as voted by the National Motorsports Press Association. It was the 14th year in a row that Earnhardt Jr. had won that award. Career wise Earnhardt Jr. won 26 races and 9 exhibition races; he is also one of only eight drivers to have won the Daytona 500 two or more times. Earnhardt Jr. won his first Daytona 500 in 2004 and then 10 years later in 2014 he won the race again. Earnhardt Jr. was actually leading this years Daytona 500 when he got caught up in a wreck. He ended up finishing 37th.

Even though he won’t be behind the wheel any more don’t expect Earnhardt Jr. to be too far away from the race track. He still co-owns JR Motorsports which is involved in the NASCAR Xfinity and truck series.

It’s been a slow start to the 2017 season for Earnhardt Jr. His best finish was a 5th place at Texas Motor Speedway on April 9th. That’s been his only Top 10 finish so far this season, but there are 28 races left this season. It would be nice to see Earnhardt Jr. get himself into The Chase and have a chance to win a championship in his final season.

Dustin Pedroia has missed the last two Boston Red Sox games after Manny Machado slide into and past 2nd base spiking Pedroia in the calf area. There was some swelling in the area that caused Pedrioa to sit out the final two games of that series against the Baltimore Orioles. There where reports that Machado reached out to Pedroia via text message and apologized for the incident and it appeared that the two players had worked things out between themselves.

On Saturday there was no attempt made by the Red Sox to retaliate on behalf of Pedroia and it looked like everything was put in the past. Then in the final game of the series on Sunday Machado came up to bat with Matt Barnes pitching for the Red Sox. The first pitch Barnes threw to Machado was a 90 plus mile an hour fastball behind his head that actually hit Machado’s bat. Barnes was ejected after that pitch and Machado went on to hit a RBI double off Joe Kelly who came in to replace Barnes. After this incident Machado and Pedroia exchanged words while Machado was in the on deck circle and it seemed as though Pedroia was saying that he didn’t ask the Red Sox or in this case Barnes to do that.

Now I would’ve had absolutely no problem at all if the Red Sox would’ve hit Machado as some type of retaliation for his slide into Pedroia, but my issue with this is you don’t go head hunting when you’re doing it. There was a similar incident in the Minnesota Twins/Detroit Tigers series over the weekend and when the Tigers pitcher retaliated he threw at the rear end of the Twins batter. Now that I can deal with, but you can’t go up around or after a guys head when you’re doing this.

Now I was hoping that Major League Baseball would come down on Barnes hard and set an example of what they would do to pitchers who go head hunting, but sadly they choked in a big way. All Barnes got was a 4-game suspension for throwing at someone’s head and he’s appealing that. This is just sad and a huge joke at the hands of Major League Baseball. Barnes should’ve easily gotten double digit games for what he did and to suspend him for just 4 games is laughable. What would’ve been Barnes suspension had he actually hit Machado in the head? Machado would’ve missed multiple games with the concussion he probably would’ve gotten from the pitch had it hit him. Is that what it would’ve of taken for Barnes to get and actual punishment. Major League Baseball truly dropped the (base)ball in this time and I hope it doesn’t take someone getting hit in the head by a pitcher who’s retaliating for one of his players for them to realize that this is a serious issue and it needs a serious suspension.

The 2nd round of the NHL playoffs gets started tonight. The Western Conference series will drop the puck tonight. The teams that knocked out the #1 and #2 seeds in the Western Conference will meet in the 2nd round as the St. Louis Blues host the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of their series. Then the Anaheim Ducks will host the Edmonton Oilers in Game 1 of their 2nd round series. Both of these games can be seen on the NBS Sports Network.

On Thursday the 2nd round in the Eastern Conference gets started. The Ottawa Senators host the New York Rangers in Game 1 of their series. This game will be shown on CNBC. Then a half an hour after the first game starts the series that everyone is talking about gets started as the Washington Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins in game 1 of that series.

Now I don’t want to take anything away from the Rangers or the senators as they both won their 1st round series and deserve to be here, but does it seem right that the Capitals and the Penguins are meeting in the 2nd round and not the Conference Finals? Most people thought that the Capitals and the Penguins where the best two teams coming into the playoffs and now they meet in the 2nd round; that just doesn’t seem right to me. I know the NHL re-did their playoff format, but I don’t understand how the teams with the top two points on the season should meet in the 2nd round of the playoffs. I don’t know maybe it’s just me. Feel free to let me know what you think of the NHL playoff seeding for the 2nd round in the comments.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Week 11 in the NFL ended with the Oakland Raiders getting past the Houston Texans 27-20 on Monday night.  That game also wrapped up our picks for the week; so here’s how we did. Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy tied for the top spot with a record of 11-3. Schaumburg Stu was a game behind at 10-4 and my belief in the Green Bay Packers out me in the cellar at 9-5. On the season Schaumburg Stu is holding onto 1st place with an overall record of 102-59. Dan the Man is 2nd overall at 96-65. Mr. Fantasy is 3rd at 92-69 and I am bringing up the rear with an overall record of 87-74. Let’s see if my luck turns around in Week 12.

While we’re on Week 12 being that tomorrow there are three games on the schedule. The day kicks off with the Minnesota Vikings at the Detroit Lions. Both these teams are 6-4 and tied  for 1st place in the NFC North. Kickoff is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. c.s.t. The middle game is the Washington Redskins at the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys are 9-1 and in 1st place in the NFC East while the Redskins are 6-3-1. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. c.s.t. The third and final Thanksgiving day games is the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Indianapolis Colts. The Steelers are 5-5 and are tied with the Baltimore Ravens for 1st place in the AFC North. The Colts are also 5-5 and are one game behind the AFC South leading Houston Texans. Kickoff for this game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. c.s.t. The games are spread out over three networks. CBS has the first game, FOX has the second game and NBC will carry the night game.

There where quite a few injuries in Week 11. The first one that will come up is in Thursday nights Steelers/Colts game. Andrew Luck is in the NFL’s concussion protocol and as of now hasn’t been cleared to play yet. Luck didn’t practice yesterday and there’s no word on if he’ll practice today. Luck is in serious jeopardy of missing the game against Pittsburgh. It looks as though Jay Cutler’s season could be over. It’s being reported that Cutler has a torn labrum in his throwing shoulder. Reports are Cutler will get a second opinion and hope for a different result. The Cincinnati Bengals placed Giovani Bernard on season ending injured reserve. Bernard torn his ACL during the Bengals final drive of Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills. The Bengals also lost wide receiver A.J. Green on the second play of Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury. It was originally reported that Green had a torn hamstring, but I don’t believe that’s been confirmed as MRI results haven’t been released. It’s looking like Green will miss this week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens. San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid torn his bicep Sunday and has been placed on injured reserve. Reid has already had surgery and has said the procedure went well. Obviously Reid is done for the season. Another injury that might impact one of tomorrow’s game. Minnesota wide receiver Stefon Diggs missed practice Tuesday with a knee injury. Diggs is the Vikings leader in receptions with 67, targets with 87 and yards with 747. The Vikings broke there four game losing streak last week and Diggs led the team with 6 receptions. It’s looking like Diggs will play tomorrow, but if you have him in fantasy watch the injury report.

I’m always a little confuse when the people who report on the NBA try to say who the best team is when we’re all of 15 or so games into the season. If you just go by record the Los Angeles Clippers are the best team at 13-2. How many people out there are confident enough to say that the Clippers will win the NBA title when the season is over. The teams I think most people expect to meet in the NBA finals are right behind the Clippers. The Golden State Warriors are 12-2 and the Cleveland Cavaliers are 10-2. The only other team in the NBA with double digit wins right now are the San Antonio Spurs who are 11-3. It won’t be long until we see how the Clippers match up with the Cavaliers and the Warriors. On December 1st the Clippers are in Cleveland to take on the Cavaliers and then on December 7th the Clippers will play host to Golden State. When it’s this early in the season these games don’t mean a ton, but it will be good to see how the Clippers due against the expected top teams in the NBA.

You’ll notice the only Easter Conference team listed above are the Cavaliers. Is there another team in the Eastern Conference that you see challenging the Cavaliers for a spot in the NBA finals. The Atlanta Hawks and Chicago Bulls have 9 wins and the Charlotte Hornets, Toronto Raptors and Boston Celtics each have 8 wins. Now those five teams all seem pretty equal, but will or are at of them capable of knocking off Cleveland in a seven game playoff series. The Cavaliers first loss of the season was at home to the Hawks, but would Atlanta be able to repeat this in a playoff series. Even though we’re this early in the season it looks as the road is paved for the Cavaliers to make the NBA finals barring a huge upset.

The 2016 NASCAR season wrapped up with the Ford EcoBoost 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The Chase for the Sprint Cup was also down to four drivers as Jimmie Johnson, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Carl Edwards where the guys looking to win the title. Edwards led the most laps (47) out of the four, but during a late restart Edwards tried to block Logano from making a pass and the two touched. Edwards got the worst of the collision as he went into the wall and was knocked out of the race. Edwards finished 34th. After the wreck Logano managed to find his back to the front of the pack and was right there in the end with Busch and Johnson. In the end Johnson took the lead with three laps to go and survived a late restart to claim his 7th Sprint Cup title. Logano finished 4th and Busch came home 6th. Johnson 7th title win ties him with “The King” Richard Petty and Dale Earnhardt Sr. for the most titles won by a driver in his career. Johnson last title came in 2013, but he won five seasons in a row from 2006 to 2010. Is there an 8th title in Johnson’s future? He’ll start his defense of his latest title in February at the Daytona 500.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 24, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in NASCAR, sports
Tags: , , , ,

What if I told you that your superstar quarterback would be suspended for the first four games of the season. I’m sure you’d  unhappy. Then as the starting quarterback the  #2 guy came in and the team went 2-0 in games that he started. I’m sure you’d be okay with that. Now throw I the #2 quarterback got injured in his second start and would miss the third week of the season. Now you’re favorite team is on to it’s third  quarterback in three weeks. Even as a fan you might think that they’ll suffer their first loss of the season in Week 3. Not only did that loss not happen, but they had a dominating performance to go to 3-0 After the game though there was a report that your third sting quarterback has a thumb injury. The injury was to the quarterbacks right hand, but it being reported as “not serious”. Now if this third string quarterback can’t play in Week 4 what would your favorite 3-0 team do under center for Week 4. Is it at al possible that they’d just go ahead and play the starting wide receiver who use to be a college quarterback in that game. Now when you look at this scenario you might find it hard to believe that this team could actual be 3-0 going into Week 4, but this is how the New England Patriots season has went and they are 3-0.

We all know the Tom Brady saga and he’s still going to have to sit out one more game, Jimmy Garoppolo played very well in his first two starts until getting hurt in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. That left 3rd round draft pick Jacoby Bissett as the starter for Thursday night game against the Houston Texans. Add in to all this that you’re all world tight end missed the first two games with injuries and while he was on the field at times in Week 3; he was ineffective. I thought against a defense like the Texans that a third string quarterback wouldn’t be able to get a win against them. What do I know. Patriots head coach Bill Bellichick put together a game plan that Brissett executed perfectly as the Patriots cruised to a 27-0 victory over the Texans to start Week 3. I’ll be the first to admit that I picked the Texans to win the game and I did have some company as Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy also had Houston winning. That means Dan the Man was the only one who picked New England to win and he’ll go into Sunday as the only one of us at 1-0.

Brissett was just 11 for 19 for 103 yards. He was sacked once, but did not throw an interception. Brissett managed the game from the pocket and when he needed to run he did. Brissett ran 8 times for 48 yards and a touchdown. His 27-yard touchdown run was the Patriots first of three rushing touchdowns in the game. LeGarrette Blount handled the majority of the ground game for New England. Blount carried the football 24 times for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns. Julian Edelman wasn’t productive as a receiver, but the Patriots didn’t throw the ball enough for that. He had just 4 catches for 38 yards, but he also ran the football 3 times for 14 yards. James White added 3 carries for 12 yards and Martellus Bennett added a carry for 6 yards to go with his 10 receiving yards on 2 catches. Danny Amendola had 2 receptions for 23 yards while Malcom Mitchell had a catch for 27 yards. Chris Hogan caught 1 pass for 3 yards and White had a catch for 2 yards as Brissett spread the football around.

Now what if Brissett’s injury causes him to miss Week 4. Does Edelman play quarterback like he did in college against the Buffalo Bills. Would you put it pass Bellichick to start a wide receiver at quarterback. He’s had linebackers catch touchdown passes and has played a wide receiver at defensive back. How about a wide receiver at quarterback. New England might as well have some fun with it in Week 4 as Brady will settled the position down after that.

Kevin Garnett announced his retirement after 21 seasons in the NBA. Garnett spent parts of 2 season with the Brooklyn Nets, 6 seasons with the Boston Celtics and 14 seasons with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Garnett won the league MVP for the 2003-04 season. He also won the All-Star game MVP that season. Garnett was drafted by the Timberwolves with the 5th pick in the 1995 draft. The Timberwolves traded Garnett to the Boston Celtics in 2007 for two 1st round draft picks, Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff and Sebastian Telfair. Garnett won his only NBA Championship with the Celtics in 2007-08. After six season with Boston Garn along with Paul Pierce, Jason Terry and D.J. White where traded to the Brooklyn Nets for Keith Bogans, MaRshon Brooks, Kris Humphries, Kris Joseph, Gerald Wallace and three 1st round draft picks. A 2014 1st round pick, a 2016 1st round pick and a 2018 1st round pick. Garnett returned to the Timberwolves in February of 2015 when he was traded for Thaddeus Young. Garnett is a 15 time All-Star and has been voted All-League 22 times. Garnett has scored 26,071 points in his career good for 17th in NBA history. He’s 9th in career rebounds with 14662 and he’s 19th in career blocks with 2037. Garnett’s scoring average for his career was 17.8 points per game. It’s safe to say that Garnett is on his way to the Hall of Fame.

It’s race two of The Chase and the Sprint Cup series is at New Hampshire Motor Speedway for the Bad Boy Off Road 3oo. Carl Edwards took the pole with a speed of 135.453 mph. Last weeks winner Martin Truex Jr. will start 2nd with Ryan Newman 3rd, Jimmie Johnson 4th and Denny Hamlin rounding out the Top 5 starting 5th. Remember if a Chase driver wins he automatically moves into the next round like Truex Jr. did last week with his win at Chicagoland Speedway. Will we see a Chase driver advance or will we see someone from out side of The Chase get a win. Maybe Truex Jr. gets his second win in a row and stops someone from moving into Round 2 of The Chase.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio on BlogTalkRadio.com the podcast is also available on TuneIn.com

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your Week

Posted: September 17, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, baseball, NASCAR, sports
Tags: , , , ,

The Chicago Cubs became the first team to clinch a playoff spot when the San Francisco Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals last Thursday night. You can call it a back in or however else you want to describe it, but with the lead the Cubs had in the division it they where going to win it one way or another.

The Cubs have 15 games left and there’s some good and some bad in that. The good of course is you can get your starting rotation set up in the order you want it. Another good thing is that you can get players like Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo some rest heading into the playoffs. Both Bryant and Rizzo have played in 142 games heading into this afternoon’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. These last 15 games will also give the coaching staff a chance to look at the guys they’ll want to carry on the playoff roster. There’s always that last spot or two left on the playoff roster and while it may not matter as these players may not see the field you never know. The Cubs will also have a chance to get guys healthy. Jorge Soler left yesterday’s game with an injury that was reported as not being serious, but either way he’ll have time to get back to 100%. Pedro Strop should be returning soon and he’ll have some games to get ready to go for the playoffs.

There isn’t a ton of bad that goes with clinching early, but I think there are things that you have look out for. You have to make sure you don’t get complacent while your off. There is such a thing as too much rest; so you have to make sure the regulars stay sharp. I think the biggest thing that the Cubs will have to watch out for is when you have this type of lead and you get to cruise down the stretch is turning it back on again when the games count. You can add injuries in here, but you just never know when an injury is going to come up; so you can’t count that. Again there aren’t huge negatives with clinching early; it’s just stuff that the Cubs will have to look out for down the stretch.

The Chase for the Sprint Cup starts tomorrow at the Chicagoland Speedway with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400. There are 16 drivers who either won a race or qualified on points to make at Top 16. Chase Grid  Qualifying is this afternoon; so we don’t know who’s going to be on the pole, but they did have a practice session yesterday. Jimmie Johnson posted the fastest practice time, but there where four other Chase drivers right behind him. Carl Edwards was 2nd fastest with Denny Hamlin 3rd, Brad Keslowski 4th and Chase Elliott 5th. The NASCAR playoffs are starting.

We have our fantasy hockey draft coming pretty soon and while I know the top names I have a difficult time as the draft winds down finding that guy who can really help my team. It’s an auction style league; so there is some strategy on who to nominate when and try to make sure you land the guy you wanted. I found a couple of names that I think could help out a fantasy team later in the draft and I’m wondering what you think of them.

Nick Bjugstad of the Florida Panthers. Bjugstad is coming off an injury plagued season in 2015-16. He played in 67 games and put up 34 points last season. Can he get back to the player that led the Panthers in goals like he did in 2014-15.

Thomas Vanek scored 18 goals and 23 assists with the Minnesota Wild last season. In July the Detroit Red Wings signed Vanek 1-year $2.6 million dollar contract. Vanek will be looked upon to halp replace Pavel Datsyuk. Vanek has scored 40 goals twice in his NHL career and is it possible he gets close to that with the Red Wings.

Maybe I could sneak a young rookie defenseman through in the draft. How about someone like Nikita Zaitsev. Zaitsev played the last 3 season in the KHL for CSKA Moscow. He was a KHL All-Star in 2015 and 2016 as well as being named IIHF World Championship All-Star team in 2016. I know it’s tough for a rookie to make a big impact on defense, but this is a player who while considered a rookie isn’t really a rookie. Hopefully the Toronto Maple Leafs can find some ice time for him.

There’s a couple of names I’m looking at. Feel free to send me a name or two your looking at later in your draft.

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your Week

Posted: September 10, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, NASCAR, sports
Tags: , , , ,

The Los Angeles Dodgers are in 1st place in the National League West. This may still come as a bit of a surprise to some people as the San Francisco Giants had the best record in all of baseball at the All-Star break. The Dodgers have capitalized on the terrible second half of a season the Giants are having and have built a 4 game lead in the division over the Giants. I think a lot of people thought the Giants would right their ship and over take the Dodgers for 1st place, but that hasn’t happened yet and with around 20 games to go it’s looking more and more like it won’t.

On Friday night the Dodgers got some much needed help for their starting as Clayton Kershaw return. Kershaw hadn’t pitched for Los Angeles since June 26th. Kershaw threw 66 pitches over 5 innings giving up 5 hits and 2 runs (both earned) while striking out 8 against the Miami Marlins. Kershaw did take the loss as the Marlins took the game 4-1, but more importantly for the Dodgers there where no after effects from Kershaw’s outing and he should be in the starting rotation for the rest of the regular season and of course the playoffs. Kershaw should make 4 starts the rest of the season with his next one being September 13th or 214th against the New York Yankees. There’s talk of the Dodgers going to a 6-man rotation down the stretch.

Kershaw return became even more important for the Dodgers as Scott Kazmir who was also close to returning from injury had a set back and has had to go back on the disabled list. The Dodgers are also waiting for Brett Anderson and Brandon McCarthy to return from injury. With all their injuries the Dodgers have used 15 different starting pitchers this season. Will Kershaw’s return and the acquisition of Rich Hill along with Kenta Maeda be enough to help the Dodgers make a playoff run?

After Teddy Bridgewater was injured the Minnesota Vikings season was in a bit of turmoil. Minnesota went out and traded a 2017 1st round draft choice and a conditional 2018 draft pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for quarterback Sam Bradford. Minnesota kicks off it’s season on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans. That meant Bradford had a little over a week to get the Vikings offense down and be able to make audible calls. Minnesota’s head coach Mike Zimmer had kept it quit on who the Vikings starter would be for Week 1. Zimmer even said yesterday he had made a decision on who would start, but wasn’t going to announce it. There are now reports out there that Shaun Hill will make the start Week 1 against Tennessee with Bradford as the #2 quarterback. During practices this week it looked like Hill would get the start. Hill took the majority of the first team snaps on Monday and Wednesday with both quarterbacks getting an equal share of snaps at Tuesday’s practice. Do to the timetable of the trade Hill getting the start shouldn’t be a big surprise. The question should be; how long will Hill be the starter? I would think that Bradford is the starter for the Week 2 Sunday night game against the Green Bay Packers.

Tonight is the last night for a driver outside the Top 16 to punch his or maybe her ticket to The Chase with a win. Denny Hamlin starts on the pole tonight for the Federated Auto Parts 400 from Richmond International Raceway. Kyle Larsen starts 2nd with Matt Kenseth 3rd. Jamie McMurray goes off 4th with Kurt Busch rounding out the Top 5. McMurray is the first driver in the starting line up who doesn’t have a win this season, but  McMurray is currently hanging on to a spot in the Top 16. Chase Elliott and Austin Dillion are the other two drivers who would qualify for The Chase on points right now. Elliott starts tonight’s race 34th while Dillion starts 8th. McMurray has a 22 point lead over 17th place Ryan Newman while Dillion is 31 points ahead of Newman and Elliott has a 39 point lead on Newman. Kasey Kahne is the 18th place driver 44 points out of The Chase and it’s looking like Kahne will need a win to get in. Kahne has won a race at Richmond before, but it was back in 2005. Could Kahne or another driver without a win on the season pick one up tonight and grab a spot in The Chase?

Kyle Busch starts the defense of his Sprint Cup title as The Chase starts September 18th at the Chicagoland Speedway with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400.

You can listen to Sports Time Radio at BlogTalkRadio.com you can also find the podcast anytime you want at TuneIn.com

You can find and or follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 3, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in NASCAR, sports
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We had the first of two Sports Time Radio fantasy football drafts last night. This was the traditional snake style draft. Dan the Man got the 1st pick in the draft and used it to select Antonio Brown the Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver. Brown has pretty much been the #1 ranked player; so it was a good choice by Dan. I ended up with the 16th pick and Mr. Fantasy ended up picking 19th out of 20 teams. It’s always fun to get that first draft out of the way. Now tonight we have out suction style draft. It took a while, but I’ve gotten the hang of these auction drafts. When we first started doing them I would end up with quite a bit of money left over. There are still times I look at the prices and just can’t believe that someone is paying that for whatever player is on the board. So we had a Friday draft, a Saturday draft and then Mr. Fantasy and I have a draft on Monday morning. Yes you read that right we’re doing a fantasy football draft on Labor Day.

In case you where wondering how the 1st round fell for me I took Dez Bryant the Dallas Cowboys wide receiver with the 16th pick. I had to decide between Bryant and New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks. It was a tougher choice than I thought it would be. I think Bryant is still one of the top receivers in the NFL and I know he might suffer a little bit without Tony Romo, but I think he was the better choice. Cooks is a good receiver as well, but I think he’s more a function of the Saints offense. I know there where a lot of people who liked Dak Prescott. I just hope he throws the football to Bryant.

It was announced yesterday that Dale Earnhardt Jr. will miss the remainder of the NASCAR season. Earnhardt Jr. has missed the last 6 races and will skip the final 12 as well due to the concussion like symptoms he’s suffering from. It’s believed that Earnhardt Jr. suffered the concussion when he was involved in a crash June 12th at the Michigan International Speedway. Hendrick Motorsports announced that Jeff Gordon will drive the #88 car this week at Darlington. Gordon along with Alex Bowman will finish the season behind the wheel for Earnhardt Jr.In addition to Sunday’s race, Gordon will be behind the wheel of the No. 88 for races at Richmond (Sept. 10), Dover (Oct. 2) and Martinsville (Oct. 30). Bowman will drive at Chicagoland (Sept. 18), New Hampshire (Sept. 25), Charlotte (Oct. 8), Kansas (Oct. 16), Talladega (Oct. 23), Texas (Nov. 6), Phoenix (Nov. 13) and the series finale at Homestead (Nov. 20). With the missed races Earnhardt Jr. fell out of the Top 16 in points and even if he was to return for this weeks race at Darlington or next weeks race at Richmond he’d have to win one of those two races to get into The Chase. Earnhardt Jr. has been undergoing regular evaluations at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program and is being treated for issues related to balance and focusing on objects that are at a distance while moving his head. On August 5th at the Watkins Glen race Earnhardt Jr. spoke with the media and said he wants to continue racing. Earnhardt Jr. is under contract with Hemdrick Motorsports for the 2017 NASCAR season. He is son of seven-time Sprint Cup champion and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt, Earnhardt Jr. has never won a Sprint Cup title, with a best finish in the season standings of third in 2003. After missing The Chase for two consecutive seasons, he has enjoyed a career resurgence with five consecutive Chase appearances from 2011 to 2015.

At first it didn’t look like the Los Angeles Dodgers would be bringing Yasiel Puig back to the majors as a September call up. Now they did decide to add Puig to the roster when it expanded to 40 players. Puig got the start in right field for the Dodgers and hit 5th last night against the San Diego Padres. Puig spent a month at Triple-A Oklahoma City before returning to the Dodgers line up last night. Now the Dodgers did end up losing the game 4-2 to the Padres, but Puig went 2 for 4 and upped his batting average to .263 on the season. Puig was placed on revocable waivers last month by the Dodgers. One team claimed Puig on waivers, but it was never reported who that team was. It is being reported that the team was the Milwaukee Brewers and they where interested in sending the Dodgers Ryan Braun as part of a Puig trade. The Dodgers decided to hang onto Puig and have said that if they do trade him they would wait until the off season so they could talk to all the teams interested in him.

http://m.mlb.com/gameday/padres-vs-dodgers/2016/09/02/448874?#game_tab=box,game=448874,game_state=final

In other Dodgers news Clayton Kershaw is schedule to make a rehab start today for the Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes today. Kershaw is scheduled to throw 50 pitches in this minor league rehab outing. Kershaw has been out since June 26 with a lower-back injury, and it is possible he could return to the  Dodgers on the club’s next road trip. While Kershaw is the big name pitching at Rancho Cucamonga today Brett Anderson is also going to pitch in their game today following Kershaw to the mound. Rancho Cucamonga has been a popular landing spot for rehabbing Dodgers players this season. Los Angeles has put a record tying 27 players on the disabled list this season. Now depending on when Kershaw actually returns he could make up to four starts for the Dodgers. The Dodgers are currently in 1st place in the National League West. They’re holding a 2 game lead over the San Francisco Giants coming into Saturday’s action. Just imagine what adding a pitcher like Kershaw would do for your stretch run and playoffs.

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Did the Minnesota Vikings season end yesterday at practice? During a non-contact drill at practice yesterday quarterback Teddy Bridgewater went down. Bridgewater dropped back to pass during a drill, planted his foot and immediately went down. Trainers rushed to his side and began inflating an aircast. After an examination and an MRI Bridgewater was diagnosed with a dislocated knee and a torn ACL. The Vikings reported it as complete tear to his ACL and other structural damage, but there appears to be no nerve or arterial damage. As I’m sure you can guess that this injury ends Bridgewater’s season before it even officially started. Bridgewater was headed into his 3rd season as the Vikings quarterback and with the improvement he made last season there was talk that he’d break out this season. With Bridgewater as there starting quarterback the Vikings where expected to challenge the Green Bay Packers for the top spot in the NFC North. Now you just have to wonder if Minnesota can be a playoff team.

What do the Vikings do at the quarterback position. 36 year old Shaun Hill was Bridgewater’s primary back up. Hill appeared in 3 games for the Vikings last season, but has played in just 46 games over his 10 year career. Hill has been a back up through most of his career, but he did play in 9 games for the then St, Louis Rams in 2014. Hill’s best season was 2010 when he played in 11 games for the Detroit Lions. Hill threw for 2686 yards and 16 touchdowns in those 11 games. Is Hill the guy that the Vikings want as their starting quarterback for 16 games this season? Minnesota us expected to resign quarterback Brad Sorensen if he clears waivers. Sorensen and Joel Stave would play quarterback in the Vikings final pre-season game this Thursday against the Los Angeles Rams. If Hill isn’t going to be the starter for the Vikings who is out there.

Could the Vikings reach out to someone like Michael Vick; who isn’t currently on a NFL roster. There are some teams with depth at the quarterback position; so maybe there’s a trade the Vikings could make. Minnesota attempted to sign Nick Foles, but he chose to sign with the Kansas City Chiefs. Would the Chiefs be willing to deal Foles or their other back up Aaron Murray. Even if the Chiefs moved a quarterback they would still have some depth as they drafted Kevin Hogan from Stanford in the 5th round and he could serve as the 3rd quarterback. The Cleveland Browns are reshaping there roster; so maybe Josh McCown is available. Maybe Josh isn’t the McCown the Vikings go after, but could it be Luke McCown of the New Orleans Saints. The very first name that came up when the injury happen was Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers. I’m not sure if the Vikings would want to bring in that kind of a distraction to a contending team and don’t forget Kaepernick has quite a few years left on his deal; so what would you do with him when Bridgewater returns next season. Now the name I haven’t heard that was actually brought up on the Tuesday edition of Sports Time Radio was Mark Sanchez. The Denver Broncos named Trevor Siemian there starer this week, but would they be willing to deal Sanchez. He’s a quality back up quarterback and the Broncos may hold on t him since this is Siemian’s first go round as a starter. So there are some options for the Vikings depending on which way they want to go. It’s just a little disappointing that they have to go this route at all.

If you’ve ever listened to the NASCAR segment on the Sunday edition of Sports Time Radio you’ve heard Chris Olmstead (BeyondtheFlag.com) and I discuss Kyle Larson just about ever week. He always seemed to be a threat to win, but never quite got there. It was getting to the point that people where starting to change there thinking from when will Kyle Larson get his first win to if Kyle Larson will get a win. Well Sunday at the Michigan International Speedway Larson won the Pure Michigan 400 for the 1st win of his Sprint Cup career. On a restart with 9 laps to go Larsen was on the inside of leader Chase Elliott. Both drivers where looking for their first win and both drivers spun their tires on the restart. Larsen got a little more help from veteran Brad Keslowski behind him than Elliott did from Sprint Cup series rookie Ryan Blaney and was able to take the lead. The race stayed green for the final 9 laps and even though Elliott was able to get himself into the 2nd place spot he was unable to challenge Larsen for the win.

The victory gives Larsen not only his first career win, but a spot in The Chase. There are 13 drivers locked into The Chase as long as Chris Buescher can stay in the Top 30 in points. Right now Buescher is just 7 points ahead of 31st place David Ragan. If 13 drivers are locked into The Chase with wins that means there are only three spots for drivers to get in on points. That is of course if we don;t get a first time winner in one of the final two races and that driver grabs a spot in The Chase. As of right now Elliott, Austin Dillion and Jamie McMurray would be the 3 drivers to make The Chase on points. McMurray has a 15 point lead on Ryan Newman for the 16th and final spot in The Chase.

There are just two races left for a driver to win his way into The Chase. This week the Sprint Cup series is at Darlington Raceway for the Bojangles Southern 500. Then on Saturday September 10th the regular season wraps up at Richmond International Raceway for the Federated Auto Parts 400. Could we actually get two more first time winners or will three guys find a way to point themselves into The Chase. The Chase itself actually starts close to home for me. They’ll be at the Chicagoland Speedway for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 400 on Sunday September 18th.

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How was Your Week

Posted: August 27, 2016 by Sports Time Radio in NASCAR, sports
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Is Baltimore Orioles closer Zach Britton a serious candidate for the AL Cy Young? The last relief pitcher to win the AL Cy Young was Dennis Eckersely back in 1992. If you’re not taking Britton as a serious contender than who are you looking at for the award. Detroit Tigers rookie Michael Fulmer and Kansas City Royals lefty Danny Duffy have probably been the two best starting pitchers in the AL, but are they Cy Young worthy? Fulmer is 10-4 with a 2.58 ERA in 20 starts as of right now. He will probably win the AL Rookie of the Year award, but could he claim the Cy Young as well. Duffy has made 19 starts, but has appeared in 35 games since he started the year pitching out of the Kansas City bullpen. Duffy is 11-1 with a 2.66 ERA going into today’s schedule start against the Boston Red Sox. J.A. Happ of the Toronto Blue Jays is 17-4 in 25 starts with an ERA of 3.19 while Rock Porcello of the Red Sox is 17-3 in 26 starts with an ERA of 3.23 and will receive consideration for the award. The fact that Porcello is having a good year and wears a Red Sox uniform may actually make him the front runner for the award. All 4 of these pitchers have had good seasons to this points and there starts down the stretch will impact where they finish in the Cy Young voting, but I don;t think any of them has had a better year than Britton. Britton has appeared in 55 games for Baltimore. He is 2-1 with an 0.69 ERA and is 38 for 38 in save opportunities this season. Britton has pitched 52 innings, allowed 27 hits and allowed 7 runs to score, but just 4 of then where earned. He’s struck out 61 batters while walking 16 and has allowed just 1 home run. Opponents are hitting .150 against him and his WHIP is 0.83. Baltimore has 34 games left and since they’re in the pennant race there’s a chance Britton gets close to 80 appearances. I’m sure Fulmer, Duffy, Happ and Porcello’s teams all have close to the sane number of games so they should each get 4 or 5 starts depending on where they are in their rotations; so they’ll have some chances to show they deserve the award. The Orioles are currently 70-58 in the AL East. They are 2 games behind Happ and the Blue Jays for the division lead and 1 game behind Porcello and the Red Sox for 2nd place. Baltimore is holding onto the 2nd AL wild card spot right now as they have a 1 game lead over Fulmer’s Tigers. Duffy’s Royals are 67-61 and are currently 3 games out of the wild card spot. So as you can see each guy is pitching for a playoff contender. That means the choice should come down to who the best pitcher is.

I can understand if you don’t recognize the name Kerry Hyder. It took me a little while t figure who he was and who he played for. Hyder is a defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions. In the Lions August 18th game against the Cincinnati Bengals Hyder put a hit on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton that the NFL decided was roughing the passer. Hyder was fined $18,231 for this hit. This happens pretty much every week in the NFL, but this one is interesting because Hyder has yet to earn an “accredited” season in the NFL he is only making $1000 a week during pre-season. So basically the NFL just fined Hyder about three times what he’ll make. Now Hyder can appeal this fine and the players Collective Bargining Agreement has provisions for this situation. “On appeal, a player may assert, among other defenses, that any fine should be reduced because it is excessive when compared to the player’s expected earnings for the season in question,” the CBA also states; “However, a fine may be reduced on this basis only if it exceeds 25 percent of one week of a player’s salary for a first offense, and 50 percent of one week of a player’s salary for a second offense. The rule also says: “A player may also argue on appeal that the circumstances do not warrant his receiving a fine above the amount stated in the schedule of fines.” You’ll have to think that Hyder will go the appeal route and use these CBA provisions to get his fine reduced.

Hyder was on the New York Jets practice squad in the 2014 season and was with the Lions on their practice squad during 2015 before being signed for the final game of the 2016 season with Detroit. Hyder is 25 years old and played in his college ball at Texas Tech is trying to make the Lions and add some depth at their defensive tackle position.

There are just 3 races left until The Chase; so any driver looking for a win to get in is running out of time. This week the NASCAR Sprint Cup series is at the Michigan International Speedway for the Pure Michigan 400. Joey Logano won the pole with a speed of 201.698 m.p.h. Jimmie Johnson will start 2nd with Denny Hamlin 3rd, last weeks winner Kevin Harvick will start 4th and Chase Elliott rounds out the Top 5 starting the race in the 5th spot. Elliott is the only driver in the Top 5 without a win this season, but he is currently in The Chase on points. Elliott along with Austin Dillion, Ryan Newman and Jamie McMurray are the 4 drivers that would qualify for The Chase without a win right now. If any driver not currently in the Top 16 finds his or her way into victory lane they would bump one of these drivers out of The Chase. Newman is the driver in 16th place right now and he has a 35 point lead on 17th place Trevor Bayne and a 39 point lead on 18th place Kyle Larson. With just 3 races to go that’s a pretty sizeable points margin to make up unless Newman has difficulties in all 3 races. Chris Buescher picked up a win in the rain shortened Pocano race and has moved into the Top 30 in points; so he’s in The Chase. Will we see a driver outside the Top 16 get a win and move into The Chase or will someone already in start to look like a serious cup contender and grab another victory. On a side note Alex Bowman who is driving the #88 car this week for Dale Earnhardt Jr. had a good qualifying run and will start 6th tomorrow.

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Baseball’s non-waiver trade deadline ended Monday afternoon and there where a lot of players that ended up changing teams. Now I’m not going to try and breakdown every trade that happen, but I want t talk about the way the trade deadline was rated. As you know by now they either rate a team as a trade deadline winner or losers. The one team that everyone seemed to continue to jump on and make sure everyone knew they lost at the trade deadline was the Chicago White Sox. Now the White Sox did trade set up man Zach Duke to the St. Louis Cardinals for minor league outfielder Charlie Tilson. This deal was not enough for the experts or anyone breaking down the trade deadline moves and the White Sox got the brunt of it.

The reason the White Sox where being considered the biggest loser at the trade deadline is the fact that they didn’t trade starting pitcher Chris Sale. This of course is just a huge joke. Sale is one of the top pitchers in baseball and to trade him you’d have to get quite a bit in return. There’s no way the White Sox should’ve traded Sale anywhere unless they could’ve gotten 5 prospects Double-A or higher who are major league ready. Now you’re really limiting which teams you can deal with by handling it that way, but you have to get value if you’re going to move a talent like Sale. So the White Sox couldn’t get a deal done for Sale and I don’t know why it’s such a bad thing for them to hold on to him.

The White Sox are 51-55 and find themselves 10 games behind the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central. They are 7 1/2 games out of a wild card spot, but they have 5 teams they’d need to jump to get one of those spots. It’s starting to look like the White Sox will not be a playoff team; so it’s a viable option to deal Sale, but if and only if your asking price is met. Sake is just 27 years old. He is 14-4 with an ERA of 3.17 in 20 starts. He has 3 complete games this season with 1 of them being a shutout. He has placed in the Top 6 of the Cy Young voting the last 5 seasons and he’s sure to end up there again. He led the American League in strikeouts last season and is currently 2nd this season with 133 strikeouts. So Sale is the best player on the White Sox and would easily bring the most in return if traded, but since the White Sox didn’t trade him they’re losers.

How about a team that is 10 games under .500 at 48-58. They’re 13 1/2 games out in their division and 10 games out of a wild card spot. Now this team didn’t trade it’s best player and they could’ve gotten a lot in return for him maybe even more than the White Sox would’ve gotten for Sale, but I didn’t hear this team lambasted like the White Sox where and put into the loser bracket. Why did no one jump up and down on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for not trading Mike Trout? Aren’t the Angels farther away from competing than the White Sox are and couldn’t a rebuild really get started by dealing Trout for a boat load of prospects. Let’s keep looking for another team.

How about the 43-64 Arizona Diamondbacks. They are probably the most disappointing team in baseball this season. Now they paid big, big money for Zack Greinke in the off season and they also have Paul Goldschmidt on their team. Even though the Diamondbacks are going nowhere this season Greinke and Goldschmidt are still both with the Diamondbacks. It was just laughable that the White Sox where expected to move Sale, but these other under performing teams aren’t expected to move their best players to fix there teams. Are these guys just upset because Sale had that clubhouse freak out and cut up those throw back uniforms and that’s why he has to be moved. Either that or they where secretly rooting for Sale to be dealt to a team they want to see win and he could be the piece that puts them over the top. Anyway the guys breaking down the trade deadline where way, way out of line putting the White Sox where they did and expecting them to just more or less give away a top pitcher in baseball. Stupidity just plain and simple stupidity.

On Sunday the NASCAR race was postponed do to weather and moved to Monday. There where just 21 laps left when the Monday race had to be red flagged because of fog with rookie Chris Buescher in the lead. Buescher had to wait 80 minutes as the NASCAR officials decided what to do. With threats of severe weather and no lifting of the fog, NASCAR decided to end the race and Buescher had his very 1st Sprint Cup victory. Buescher along with 3rd place finisher Regan Smith hadn’t made their final pit stops when the caution flag came out for that fog at lap 132.  The drivers stayed on the track under caution for 7 laps as NASCAR decided to throw the red flag at lap 139. While there was some rain in the area the majority of the drivers pitted either because they needed fuel or because they thought the race would go longer. No one could predict the fog rolling in and ending the race. Buescher became the first rookie to win a Sprint Cup race since Joey Logano did it in 2009. What can be considered an odd win for Buescher had to use an odd Victory Lane. They moved Victory Lane into the garage since NASCAR couldn’t use the real Victory Lane because of the threat of lightning. While Buescher did get the win he hasn’t yet qualified for The Chase for the Sprint Cup. Buescher sits six points behind 30th-place David Ragan in the Sprint Cup standings. A driver has to be in the top 30 to qualify for the Chase via a race victory. Buescher has 5 races to make up those 6 points and get himself into the Top 30 in points and qualify for The Chase. NASCAR Schedule

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