Archive for the ‘post season’ Category

How was your week

Posted: October 5, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, pro wrestling, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I was interested to see how much mainstream media talk there was about the WWE moving their Smackdown show to Fox. Obviously it was a big topic of conversation on Fox itself and FS1, but I heard people talking about it on ESPN and the MLB Network. There was so much talk about this that I even tuned in for the start of the show.

Now I use to watch every minute of wrestling that I could. As a child I was introduced to wrestling by my father. My father worked two jobs and his second job was overnight on Friday and Saturday night as a security guard. He’d work from 11:00 p.m. until 7:00 a.m. and then on Sunday’s when he got home he’d make a big breakfast for my mother and I. After that he’d sit down to read the Sunday newspaper and turn on the television. We’d watch AWA which was a professional wrestling company owned by Verne Gagne. After that wrestling show there was another one on from time to time that I believe was called Bob Luce wrestling. I don’t remember the name of the federation that wrestled on that show, but I do remember the wrestlers doing some of the local commercials on that show and they where classic.

That’s how I got started as a wrestling fan and I just continued to watch wrestling after that. Believe it or not I actually spent some time as an independent pro wrestler, but sadly I’ve lost most of my interest in wrestling over these last few years.

Last night I turned on the pre-show on Fox, but I quickly became bored and turned it off. I just didn’t enjoy what they where doing on the pre-show, but I was interested to see who got to open the show and who was in the first match. I thought it would be a pretty big deal to open the show or get to be in the first match. I was figuring that it would be a wrestler that WWE was high on and that they’d have some type of interaction with one of the many special guest that had been advertised for the show and I guess I was kind of right.

Becky Lynch was the first wrestler out to start Smackdown. As Lynch was doing her promo she was interrupted by Baron Corbin. as the banter was going o between these two they where interrupted by Dwayne Johnson who WWE fans know as “The Rock”. If you’ve seen “The Rock” perform in the WWE before you kind of knew what you where in for. He did his usual shtick, but he was very entertaining and the fans loved him. After “The Rock” with some help from Lynch made fun of Corbin the segment ended with Corbin being beaten down by “The Rock” and Lynch which the crowd again loved.

I flipped over to check the score of the New York Yankees/Minnesota Twins game; so I didn’t see the introduction for the first match, but I got back to Smackdown before the first match started.

I was a little surprised to see that Lynch not only got to do the opening segment, but was also in the first match. Lynch teamed with Charlotte Flair against the team of Sasha Banks and Bayley. In the end Lynch and Flair picked up the win as Flair was able to make Bayley tap out to her figure eight finisher.

Now I was done with the WWE and Smackdown after this match; so I don’t know how the rest of the show went, but there are some very interesting take a ways just from these two opening segments.

While Lynch her “The Man” persona started on Smackdown she is currently the RAW women’s champion, but she was chosen to open this show. Corbin just won WWE’s King of the Ring tournament, but he is also a RAW wrestler. Now I know that it’s typical for wrestlers from one of WWE’s show to show up on another show even though I believe this is going to end by Fox’s choice. It’s interesting that the first two wrestlers to make appearances on Fox’s new show where wrestled that are prominently featured on WWE’s other show.

Maybe it’s just me and I’m reading too much into it, but I would’ve thought that a new show would’ve wanted to feature a performer from it’s show to start off.

If you watched Smackdown let me know what you thought of it and let me know fi I missed anything of note since I turned away after the first match.

We had four MLB playoffs games last night as every playoff team was in action.

The first game of the day saw the Houston Astros win the first game of their series with the Tampa Bay Rays 6-2. Justin Verlander went 7 shutout innings striking out 8 as he got the win for Houston.

The next game saw the Atlanta Braves even up their series with the St. Louis Cardinals at one game apiece as the Braves picked up a 3-0 win in Game 2.

Mike Foltynewicz pitched 7 shutout inning for the Braves while Adam Duvall came up with a big pinch hit 2-run homer in the bottom of the 7th to make it a 3-0 game. After getting knocked around in Game 1 Mark Melancon picked up a save. Melancon did give up 2 hits, but also stuck out two in his inning of work.

There where five home runs hit in Game 1 of the New York Yankees/Minnesota Twins series and even though the Twins out homered the Yankees three to two the Yankees picked up the win in Game 1 10-4.

Neither starting pitcher made it into the 5th inning, but James Paxson the Yankees starter got close pitching 4 2/3rds. Jose Berrios the Twins starter pitched 4 innings. The Yankees put the game away by scoring 2 runs in the 5th and 6th inning and 3 runs in the 7th inning. Even though Tommy Kahnle gave up a run in the 2/3rd of an inning he worked he still got credit for the win.

The day of baseball wrapped up with the Washington Nationals evening up their series with the Los Angels Dodgers by getting a 4-2 in in Game 2 if that series.

Coming off his first career relief appearance in the Nationals wild card victory Steven Strasburg return to his role as a starter and picked up the win going 6 inning and striking out 10. Clayton Kershaw was solid for the Dodgers, but his bad luck in the post season continued as he took the loss despite pitching 6 solid innings.

The National League teams are off today, but we’ll get Game 2 in each of the American League series today.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter. I’m @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 2, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Uncategorized

It took 8 innings, but the Washington Nationals found a way to get past the Milwaukee Brewers in the National League wild card game last night.

Milwaukee got off to a quick start as they picked up two quick 1st inning runs on Max Scherzer. Trent Grisham drew a lead off walk to start the game and then Yasmani Grandel brought them both home with a 2-run home run to rightfield.

The Brewers then added another run in the Top of the 2nd inning when Eric Thames hit a solo home run off Scherzer to centerfield to give the Brewers an early 3-0 lead.

The Nationals got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the 3rd inning when Trea Turner hit a solo home run to left-center off of Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff to make it a 3-1 game.

Scherzer settled down and then turned the ball over to Steven Strasburg in the 6th. This was Strasburg’s first career relief appearance, but he was clearly up for the task as he pitched three scoreless inning giving up 2 hits and while striking out 4.

Woodruff gave the Brewers four strong innings throwing 52 pitches which is what he’s been doing since returning from injury. Brent Suter gave the Brewers and inning of shutout relief which was followed by two shutout innings of relief by Drew Pomeranz.

All that led us to the bottom of the 8th inning and the Brewers turned the game over to their closer Josh Hader. It looked good for Hader as he struck out Victor Robles swinging for the first out. Michael Taylor pinch hit for Strasburg and was hit by a pitch. This was a bit of a controversial hit by pitch, but they took a look at it and the call stood. The hit by pitch looked like it might not matter as Hader stuck out Turner swinging for the 2nd out of the inning. Ryan Zimmerman pinch hit for Adam Eaton and hit a 2-1 fastball into centerfield for a single as Taylor advanced to 3rd base. Andrew Stevenson entered the game as a pinch runner for Zimmerman. Anthony Rendon drew a walk to load the bases for Juan Soto. This looked like it might be a good match up for the Brewers with the left-handed Hader facing the left-handed hitting Soto, but Soto took third pitch of the at bat to rightfield for a single. Taylor and Stevenson easily scored to tie the game and when Grisham had trouble with the ball in rightfield it allowed Rendon to score all the way from 1st to give the Nationals a 4-3 lead. Soto was tagged out in a rundown between 1st and 2nd to end the inning.

The Nationals where just three outs away from a wild card game victory, but it’s been well publicized just how bad their bullpen has been this season. Washington’s manager Dave Martinez had said that he had no problems using Strasburg or Patrick Corbin out of that bullpen and you had to wonder if maybe Corbin would be called upon to try and close this game out.

Instead Martinez turned to Daniel Hudson. The Nationals acquired Hudson at the trade deadline from the Toronto Blue Jays and while he was 3-0 with 6 saves and a 1.44 ERA in 24 games for Washington he has been a set up man for most of his career.

Up until last night Hudson had one other post season appearance. In 2011 Hudson started an NLDS game for the Arizona Diamondbacks oddly enough against the Brewers and it didn’t go so well. In 5 1/3rd inning Hudson gave up 5 runs on 9 hits and took the loss in Game 2. Milwaukee went on to beat Arizona 3 games to 2 in that series.

So how would Hudson fair against the Brewers as a closer in a wild card game? As it turns out pretty well. Thames struck out swinging for the first out of the inning. Lorenzo Cain singled to out the tying run on base, but Hudson got Orlando Arcia to foul out to the catcher for the second out. Ben Gamel then lined out to centerfield stranding Cain at 1st base and ending the game.

Strasburg picked up the win for the Nationals out of the bullpen while Hudson got the save. Hader was tagged with the loss. The Nationals advance to the NLDS to face the Los Angeles Dodgers. Game 1 is tomorrow in Los Angeles. Corbin will get the start for the Nationals while the Dodges starter is currently undecided.

Tonight the American League wild card game will be played as the Tampa Bay Rays are in Oakland to face the A’s. The game is scheduled to start around 7:10 Central time.

Charlie Morton gets the start for Tampa bay while Oakland is going with Sean Manaea. Morton went 16-6 in 35 starts with an ERA of 3.05 over 194 2/3rds innings. Manaea has pitched in just 5 games this season covering 29 2/3rd inning, but he is 4-0 with an ERA of 1.21.

On paper it looks like the Ray might have a big advantage on the mound to start as it’s been asked how many innings Manaea can give the A’s. Out of his five starts Manaea has two in which he went 6 innings and one where he went 7 innings; so if he’s pitching well innings shouldn’t be an issue for him or the A’s tonight.

Both of these teams have deep quality bullpens; so it will be interesting to see how long of a leash each starting pitcher has. You have to wonder if either starter will be allowed to work out of a little trouble fi they get in it or if they bullpen will be ready to go in that case.

The winner of tonight’s game moves on to face the Houston Astros in the ALDS. So who do you have moving on? Do you have the Rays or the A’s getting the win tonight?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do happen to miss the podcast live all you have to do is find your way over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast at your leisure.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 28, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re into the final weekend of the Major League Baseball season. Every team has two games left except the Detroit Tigers and Chicago White Sox who have three game left and are scheduled to play a doubleheader today to even their schedule up with the rest of the teams.

It seems as everything is decided for the baseball playoffs except where the American League wild card game will be played. The Tampa Bay Rays and the Oakland A’s have identical records heading into today’s game. If these two teams end up tied after the final two games it would be the A’s that get to host the wild card game since they won the season series between the two teams.

Now there still is a chance that the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals could end up tied for 1st place in the NL Central. If this was to happen the teams would have to play a game 163 to decide who is the NL Central champion and who the wild card team would be. The losing team in this scenario would then have to go to Washington to face the Nationals in the wild card game since the Nationals are the home team for the National League wild card game. Both the Brewers and the Cardinals lost last night; so the Cardinals held on to their one game division lead.

I did find it humorous that there was quite a bit of complaining out of the Brewers about the line up the Chicago Cubs where playing against the Cardinals last night. Oddly with a line up that Milwaukee saw a sub-par the Cubs managed to break their 9-game losing streak as they beat the Cardinals last night 8-2. The Cubs scored all 8 of their runs against the Cardinals bullpen.

Maybe the Brewers should’ve been more focused on their match up with the Colorado Rockies instead of what line up the Cubs had for there game. Colorado easily beat Milwaukee 11-7 last night. The score actually makes the game look closer than it was as Milwaukee scored 2 runs in the 8th inning and 3 runs in the 9th inning to make the final score closer than what the game actually was.

The Brewers had bullpen issues just like the Cardinals did last night. Milwaukee’s bullpen gave up 10 runs over a 3 inning span. The only Milwaukee reliever than didn’t give up any runs last night was Jimmy Nelson who worked the 8th inning and walked one hitter, but he also recorded a strikeout.

Honestly though I think if you looked at every team the biggest issue they probably have is a bad bullpen as that seems to be the theme around Major League Baseball this season; well besides the juiced up baseballs.

I’m sure that the fans of the Boston Red Sox where thrilled when the team came out yesterday and mentioned that one of their top priorities heading into the off season was the get themselves under MLB’s luxury tax. I’m guessing trying to cut payroll isn’t something Red Sox fans will be excited about. The question now becomes; how can they get there?

The Red Sox are about $60 million dollars under the luxury tax with the contracts that they’re committed to for next season. The Red Sox have 6 free agents and 1 player with a mutual option; so they will probably let most if not all of those players walk away after this season or should I say these final two games. The problem the Red Sox have to deal with is that they have 9 players headed to arbitration and there are some interesting names that the Red Sox will have to make some tough decisions on.

Brandon Workman, Steven Wright, Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree and Sandy Leon are five of the players the Red Sox have going to arbitration. There’s a chance that the Red Sox may just let these five players go into free agency and not offer arbitration to any of them. That would help the Red Sox towards their luxury tax goals, but it probably won’t get them all the way to where they need to go.

The Red Sox are going to have to make some tough decisions on the other four players headed to arbitration. Those four players are Jackie Bradley Jr, Eduardo Rodriquez, Andrew Benintendi and Mookie Betts. Is there a chance that we could see one or more of these players dealt this off season? If the Red Sox do decide to trade one of these players; who is the most likely to get traded? and what could they get in return for that player?

Benintendi is just headed into arbitration and while his salary is going to jump up from the $717,500 he made last season I don’t think he’s the guy that Boston trades.

Rodriquez is coming off a career year; 19-6 with a 3.80 ERA in 33 starts while pitching 196 1/3rd innings. With all of the pitching issues the Red Sox had this season and the fact that Rick Porcello is one of their impending free agents you have to think that Rodriguez will be sticking around.

That leaves Betts and Bradley to try and help the Red Sox meet that luxury tax threshold they’ve talked about. While Betts numbers are down from last season when he won the MVP there’s nothing wrong with hitting close to .300 with 30 home runs. Betts was awarded $20 million dollars in arbitration last season and you have to think that number is going to go up, but how high will it go? Could we see his salary jump to $25 million dollars for next season. This is Betts last year of arbitration and he could bring a good return in a trade. Bradley Jr is an interesting case. Bradly Jr has just never hit at the major league level and has a career batting average of .236. He will hit about 20 home runs a season, but he is one of the best defensive centerfielders in baseball. The question is; what’s that worth to another team? Bradley Jr. made $8.55 million dollars in arbitration last year; so you have to figure that his salary will be $10 million dollars or more for next season. What can Boston get for a light hitting, but great defensive centerfielder?

Who do you see the Red Sox trading Betts, Bradley or maybe both?

Now the wild card in this for Boston is J.D. Martinez who can opt out of his contract this off season. While I think it would be foolish for Martinez to walk away from the $23.75 million dollars he’s scheduled to make next season he is a Scott Boras client. If Martinez does opt out there’s very little chance that the Red Sox would be interested in bringing him back as getting that salary off of their books would really help them with their goal of getting under the luxury tax. Also I’m not sure if Martinez would get anywhere near that salary number o the free agent market. I believe that Martinez can also opt out of his contract after next season and that may make a little more sense for him to do as his salary drops to $19.35 million dollars for the final two years of his contract.

What do you think Martinez will do? Does he opt out of his deal? Or will he stay wih the Red Sox?

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkrado.com, but if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast whenever you choose to.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 8, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Speculation was that once the Major League Baseball draft was I the books it wouldn’t take ling for Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel to sign and they where right on the nose with that.

It was officially announced yesterday that Kimbrel has signed with the Chicago Cubs and that Keuchel has signed with the Atlanta Braves. Let’s see who got what.

Now if you listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast at all during the baseball off season I said over and over the Cubs needed to add bullpen help, but like always no one listened to me. I guess they had to learn their lesson on the field before they realized my idea wasn’t so bad.

Kimbrel received a 3 year deal for $43 million dollars from the Cubs. At first I thought they may have overpaid for him, but there where reports that the Tampa Bay Rays had upper their offer for Kimbrel to 3 years and $39 million dollars; so the Cubs had to out bid them and they did.

Now Kimbrel has been one of the best closers in baseball since his rookie year in 2011. He’s got a 50 save season under his belt and has never saved less than 31 games in a season. Kimbrel has also been one of the healthier pitchers in baseball and has appeared in at least 57 games in every season he’s pitched, but there have been some bumps in the road.

Kimbrel posted the second highest ERA of his career 2.74 last season, but his issues really showed up in the post season. While he did record 6 saves last post season in the 10 2/3rd innings he pitched he allowed 7 earned runs that’s an ERA of 5.94. Kimbrel gave up 9 hits and walked 8 batters last post season as well. Now Kimbrel’s struggles have been attributed to him tipping his pitches which is a correctable problem; so hopefully when he takes the mound for the Cubs he’ll be back tp his normal form.

The question now becomes how long will it take Kimbrel to get ready to join the Cubs bullpen? Kimbrel himself said he thought it would take two weeks while Cubs manager Joe Maddon went with three weeks when asked this question. Once Kimbrel is in the Cubs bullpen the other question will come up. Can he pitch on back to back days? Can he pitch more than one inning? Along with a few more questions; I’m sure.

It looks like a good signing for the Cubs as Brandon Morrow is still injured and while Pedro Strop did  solid job in the closer role he’s always been a better set up man though his career.

Did you like this signing?

I believe that it’s going to be easier for Kimbrel to get back into his role of closer than it’s going to be for Keuchel to be a top of the rotation starting pitcher like he’s been in his career. Just the last few seasons we’ve seen starters who have just reported to teams either at the end of spring training or right after spring training had ended and they’ve had rough seasons. Keuchel is joining a team with about 1/3rd of the season in the books. It makes you ask; what will the Braves get?

There was some talk mostly from Keuchel’s agent Scott Boras that Keuchel wasn’t going to sign a one year deal, but in the end that’s exactly what he got from Atlanta. Keuchel signed a 1 year deal for $13 million dollars with the Braves.

Keuchel made 34 starts last season and threw 204 2/3rd innings. The starts where a career high while the innings total was the second highest in his career. He did however give up more hits 211 than innings pitched and his strikeouts per 9 innings rate dropped a whole point. There where reports that Keuchel’s velocity was down and since he pitches to contact that could result in more hits off of him.

Now Keuchel is just what the Braves appear to need; a veteran top of the rotation starter. Don’t forget that Keuchel has not only won 20 games in a season, but is also a Cy Young ward winner. He posted an ERA of 3.74 last season, but that was in the American League and ERA’s are always higher there.

The question now just like for Kimbrel is; how long before Keuchel will be ready to join the Braves starting rotation? Keuchel is scheduled to make a start in Triple-A and it was agreed upon in his contract that he can only stay in Triple-A until June 18th. Even if Keuchel is injured he has to be called up and placed on the Injured List by June 18th. So expected Keuchel in the Braves rotation in 10 days.

Did you like the signing of Keuchel for the Braves? Who do you think made the better signing; Atlanta or Chicago?

Last night the Toronto Raptors took a 3-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals as they won Game 4 by a the score of 105-92. There are many ways to look at this, but the one thing I’m wondering is did this series just set up for Kevin Durant to be the hero?

Durant hasn’t played in a month due to a calf injury. His last game was against the Houston Rockets in the second round of the playoffs on May 8th and after the Western Conference final series against the Portland Trail Blazers there where a lot of people convinced that the Warriors didn’t need Durant to win the title. I wonder if those people have changed their minds now.

Remember that we’re talking about a player who is considered by some to be the best player in the NBA. Don’t forget that Durant is a two-time finals MVP. He’s also won a league MVP. As well as being a 4-time league scoring leader. That’s a lot of offense for even a team like the Warriors to be missing.

It’s an interesting scenario for Durant who is headed into free agency once these finals are over. If he returns and Golden State runs the table; wins three straight games and their third title in a row; how big of a hero is he? Now if he returns and they still end up losing the title to Toronto he should still be covered because he returned and tried to help the team out while possibly being less than 100%.

In all honesty no matter which route Durant chooses to take it’s not going to impact his free agency at all as he’ll still be the top target for every team looking to add a top player. I guess maybe it’s just the visions of Willis Reed walking out of the tunnel or Michael Jordan being almost carried off the court with the flu that makes me wonder if Durant could have a moment like that over an entire three game span.

What do you think. Does Durant play in the NBA Finals?

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

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: May 29, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

When the Los Angeles Lakers signed LeBron James the team was expected to re-claim it’s spot among the elite of the NBA. Unfortunately for James and the Lakers things went from bad to worse.

The season didn’t go anywhere near as expected as James played in just 55 games due to injury. That was the least amount of games he’s ever played in during the regular season in his career. James also couldn’t find a fit with the young core of players that the Lakers had assembled and he did his best to get them shipped off in a trade for Anthony Davis that didn’t come to fruition.

Even with the addition of the best player in the NBA the Lakers finished 37-45 and missed the playoffs for the 6th year in a row.

To no one’s surprised Luke Walton was fired as head coach and there was a report earlier in the week that Rich Paul who runs Clutch Sports for James wanted Walton removed very early this past season.

Apparently there was a dinner where James and his business manager Maverick Carter sat down with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver to discuss certain things one of which was the state of the Lakers. While these three sat at one table it was reported that Paul was at another table within ear shot of the three. Now there’s no way to knw what was actually talked about, but this seems a bit off to me.

Now after the Walton firing things got even weirder for the Lakers. Magic Johnson who was team President just up and quit without telling anyone. Since Johnson’s departure there has been a lot of finger pinting with Johnson blaming everything on General Manager Rob Pelinka.

Besides the signing of james the Lakers added some veteran players Lance Stevenson, Rajon Rondo, JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler. According to reports these players where signed by Johnson and Pelinka without any discussion from the rest of the front office or coaching staff.

So how can the Lakers fix this? Apparently James has already spoken to Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard about joining the Lakers as free agents this off season. I know you’d think this would be tamoering, but since it’s James nothing will come of it. Kyrie Irving has also talked about teaming up with James again and is another free agent the Lakers could sign. Add in the fact that they somehow magically moved up in the draft lotttery and now own the 4th pick which I’m still guess will be used in a trade for Davis and the Lakers are on their way back.

Aftr the removal of Walton from the head coaching position the Lakers had a difficult time finding someone to accept the job. Of course the first choice was Tyronn Lue who was the head coach whne the Cleveland Cavaliers won the NBA title with James a few seasons ago. For some reason the Lakers didn;t want to go any more than three seasons on a conttract for a head coach while the going rate in the NBA is five years. Lue declined the offer and the two side couldn;t come to an agreement.

The Lakers next choice seemed to be Monty Williams who was an assistant coach with the Philadelphia 76ers at the time. It was clear that Lue was the top chpice for the Lakers and Williams was just a secondary candidate; so while the Lakers where busy trying to workout their issues with Lue the Phoenix Suns swooped in and hired Williams as their head coach.

After whiffing badly on their first two attempts to hire a head coach they finally found someone to take over the team.

Former Indiana Pacers and Orlando Magic head coach Frank Vogel was named head coach of the Lakers. Vogel spent 6 seasons with the pacers and made the payoffs in five of those six seasons. His two seasons in Orlando didn’t go as well. The Magic never won 30 games in a season with Vogel as their head coach and they missed the playoffs in both of his seasons with the team.

Vogel acccepted the Lakers three year contract offer with the caveat being that Jason Kidd would be one of his assistant coaches.

Kidd spnt a season as the Brooklyn Nets head coach and then three and a half seasons as head coach of the Milwaukee Bucks. Kidd was fired 45 games into the 2017-18 season by Milwaukee. Kidd made the playoffs his only season in Brooklyn and two of the three full seasons he coached with Milwaukee.

It seems as though the Lakers would’ve liked to have just hired Kidd as their head coach, but you wonder if his history had anything to do with them going about things the way they did. Will have to see if the natural order of progression has Kidd taking over the Lakers in three years or less.

The Lakers apppear to be a mess right now, but don’t expect them to stay that way. James should be able to recruit one or two top players to join him and I still fully expect them to end up with Davis one way or another. Would it shock you if the Lakers where competing for the top spot in the Western Conference next season?

I just saw a big deal made of the fact that we’re 100 days away from the kickoff of the NFL regular season. Does everyone miss football that much that this needed to be celebrated like it was?

I get that the NFL is still the top sport in most people’s opinion, but there was a lot of other sports going on. Maybe your not into baseball because it’s May and there’s still a long way to go. I understand that the NHL comes in at the bottom of the four major sports, but the Stanley Cup finals have started. By the way the Boston Bruins beat the St. Louis Blues 4-2 in Game 1; Game 2 is tonight. Also the NBA Finals are one day away from starting. I don’t know; maybe it’s just me, but I think we didn’t need to make this big a deal for the NFL being 100 days away.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast 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 any time you want.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember you can follow me on Twitter @Burketime

 

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remember to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: February 2, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, NFL picks, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

On Thursday it was announced that LeBron James would miss his 18th straight game with a groin injury, but after this announcement came out something changed and James ended up playing.

The Lakers went 6-11 with James on the shelf, but got off to a good start in his return as the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Los Angeles Clippers 123-120 in overtime.

James played 40 minutes in his return and just missed a triple-double. James scored 24 points to go with 14 rebounds and 9 assists. Not surprisingly James led the Lakers in all three of those offensive categories.

James was 9 for 22 from the field and did struggle from behind the 3-point line where he was just 1 for 6. You have to think there was a little rust in James game since this was the first time he has been in a game since Christmas day.

The Lakers really needed James to return and to return at 100%. While James was out the Lakers fell into the 9th spot overall in the Western Conference; so they’d be out of the playoffs. Now even with the win on Thursday the Lakers are still in 9th place, but they’re just 1 game out of the 8th spot and just 2 1/2 games from being in the 6th spot. As long as James is and can stay healthy you have to figure the Lakers will be a playoff team, but I don’t think they would be without him.

James returns just in time for the Lakers marquee match up against the Golden State Warriors Saturday night. The game will be telecast in prime time on ABC with a scheduled tip off of 7:30 p.m. cst.

Golden State will be hosting the Lakers, but the Warriors did just have their 11 game winning streak snapped at home by the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night 113-104. Is it possible that the Warriors saw that James had returned and where looking ahead to their Saturday night match up? Of course Philadelphia isn’t the type of team anyone should be looking past and if that’s what the Warriors did it cost them their wining streak.

Both teams had Friday night off: so there should be no scheduling issues as they face off tonight. Can the return of James give the Lakers the momentum to beat the Warriors? Or does the Lakers winning streak with James quickly end at 1 game?

Even though we didn’t end up talking about it much this week on Sports Time Radio and to be honest I didn’t hear as much buzz about this game as I normally do the Super Bowl is going to be played on Sunday.

Just like we do for ever NFL game we have made picks and I even reached out to a couple of knowledgeable sports fans and got their picks as well. With the exception of Mr. Fantasy who’ll make his pick on the live edition of Sports Time Radio Sunday morning from 10:00 a.m. until 12:00 p.m. cst. Anyway; here’s what we came up with.

Now for the Super Bowl we not only pick the winner of the game, but the score and who we think will win MVP.

Dan the Man likes New England 42-34 with Tom Brady winning the MVP.

Schaumburg Stu likes New England 27-14 with Rob Gronkowski winning MVP.

I am also going with New England 39-30 and I also have Gronkowski as my MVP.

Here are the picks from the two friends I reached out to.

Ken is on the New England bandwagon and has them winning 40-30 with Brady as MVP.

Right now Hank is the only one going with the Rams. He has it 34-30 with Todd Gurley winning the MVP.

That’s what we’re going with for tomorrow. Feel free to leave your pick in the comment section and let me know who you think will win with the final score and your MVP pick.

In non-Super Bowl football news I’m pretty sure we had a future Hall of Fame player retire on Friday as Julius Peppers called it a career at 39 years old after 17 NFL seasons.

Peppers spent 10 seasons with the Carolina Panthers four seasons with the Chicago Bears and three seasons with the Green Bay Packers. Carolina made Peppers the 2nd pick in the 2002 draft and h played there the first 8 years of his career. The Bears lured Peppers away from the Panthers with a 6-year $91.5 million dollar deal when he was a free agent. After four season in Chicago the Bears cut Peppers and the Packers quickly signed him to a 3-year $30 million dollar deal. After his contract with the Packers expired he returned to Carolina for the final two years of his career.

Now I called Peppers a future Hall of Famer and it starts with the fact that he has 159 1/2 sacks in his career which is good for 4th all-time in NFL history. Peppers finished just 1/2 a sack behind Kevin Greene for 3rd. Peppers also has 11 career interceptions; four of which he returned for touchdowns. He also recovered 21 fumbles in his career and scored on two of those recoveries. Peppers played in 266 games and started 244 of them. He finishes with 724 combined tackles, 557 solo tackles, 167 assists on tackles and 175 tackles for loss. Peppers also recorded 186 quarterback hits which is a stat they just started keeping in 2006. You can add the 2002 AP Rookie of the Year award, 9 Pro Bowl selections and 3 All-Pro selections to Peppers resume.

Do you think Julius Peppers will be in the NFL Hall of Fame?

Who do you think will be the most sought after NFL free agent this coming off season? Do you think pass rushers Ezekiel Ansah or Demarcus Lawrence will be hot commodities? Or could a running back looking for a full-time work load like Latavius Murray or Mark Ingram be a guy teams target? Maybe you think that Golden Tate is the best wide receiver on the free agent market and he’ll be the player to cash in.

Of course their will be players added to this list as teams make adjustments to their rosters, but right no these payers look like they could be some of the top players on the upcoming free agent market.

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