Archive for the ‘Sports Time Radio’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 11, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

If you were like me then you were looking forward to Game 4 of the NLDS game between the Chicago Cubs and the Washington Nationals. It was a scheduled 4:38 pm start time, but when I tuned in the game was under a weather delay. I tried to stay with the game, but instead decided just to check in on it from time to time to see if they had started. In the end Major League Baseball decided it was best to postpone the game until today as there was rain forecast throughout Wednesday for the Chicago area and it did rain.

Now the reason I started with my little story is there is some background information about how the game could’ve been played, but that didn’t happen.

It appears that the Cubs and the Nationals knew that there was going to be a significant weather system in the area that would make it difficult to get the game in if it started at the scheduled 4:30 pm start time. Believe it or not both teams actually agreed that the game needed to be moved up and asked if they could start it at 1:00 pm. Now there was no report on if Major League Baseball had any issues with this change, but the television station carrying the game, TBS said no to moving the game up. There was no reason given on why TBS wouldn’t allow the game to be moved up, but it was clearly a very stupid move on their part. So with just a little bit of intelligence and possible the ability to look at a weather forecast we could’ve played Game 4 last night instead of having the game cancelled and rescheduled to today.

From the conspiracy side of things you have to wonder if maybe TBS would like to see the Nationals advance and that’s why they refused to move the game to 1:00 pm Why do I say this? Well the pitching match up for Game 4 is Jake Arrieta for the Cubs against Tanner Roark for the Nationals. Now just looking at this pitching match up there’s a clear advantage for the Cubs. Arrieta has had some trouble against the Nationals including his last start against them when he lasted 4 innings giving up 6 runs, 5 of which where earned. Arrieta also walked 6 and struck out 4 in that game. Roark was 13-11 on the season with an ERA of 4.67. Even with Arrieta’s issues I think that the majority of people would take him over Roark as a starter in this game.

Now even though the Nationals have came out and said that they’re going to stay with Roark as their Game 4 starter, but with the rain out Game 1 starter Steven Strasburg is back in play. Strasburg pitched 7 innings in Game 1 on October 6th; so it’s a bit of a surprise in an elimination game that the Nationals didn’t turn to him. The Cubs did win Game 1 3-0 with Strasburg taking the loss. Strasburg gave up 3 hits and 2 runs, but both of those runs where unearned. He walked just 1 batter while striking out 10 and threw 81 pitches. It looked like the perfect set up for the Nationals, but it looks like Roark will make the starts. There are some reports that Strasburg is suffering from an illness, but you have to wonder if he’ll be available for a relief appearance if Roark runs into early trouble.

Now also with this rain out if the Nationals can get a win in Game 4 it would set up for them to bring back Max Scherzer for Game 5. Scherzer returned from a hamstring injury to start Game 3 and went 6 1/3rd innings giving up 1 run on 1 hit while striking out 7 and walking 3. It almost seems like a set up to good to be true for Washington, but will they be able to take advantage of this situation?

The Boston Red Sox won back to back American East titles, but where knocked out of the playoffs in the division series in both of those years. Last season they where swept out by the Cleveland Indians and this season they where beaten in four games by the Houston Astros. It appears as those two early playoff exits have cost John Farrell his job as Red Sox manager.

Farrell took over the Red Sox in 2013 and led the team to a World Series title. The Red Sox finished under .500 in 2014 and 2015, but bounced back to win the division in 2016 and 2017. Farrell was 432-378 as manager of the Red Sox. Before managing the Red Sox Farrell spent two seasons as manager of the Toronto Blue Jays where he went 154-170. Farrell is 55 years old and with a winning record you have to think that he’ll manage again somewhere if he wants to.

With the firing of Farrell this turns the focus of the Red Sox to Dave Dombrowski. Dombrowski was brought in as President of baseball operations in August of 2015; so Farrell wasn’t his hire.

The Red Sox did hit the lowest number of home runs in the American League this season with 168. Of course they where 4th in doubles with 303 and Fenway Park can play to doubles for the right hitter.

With Farrell out, who could be the next Red Sox manager? I’m sure a very popular name will be former Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. Varitek spent his entire major league career with the Red Sox, but has no managerial experience. I’m not sure if Dombrowski would turn a team that has won back to back division titles over to someone that hasn’t managed anywhere.

Could Dombrowski hire Brad Ausmus again? Dombrowski brought Ausmus in to manage the Detroit Tigers before he left for Boston. Ausmus was let go by the Tigers at the end of the season; so could he be the guy?

If the Red Sox are looking for new blood maybe they’ll hire one of the Cora brothers be it Alex or Joey. Alex is currently the bench coach for the Houston Astros and with the success they’ve had this season you have to figure he’ll be a very popular candidate for any managerial opening. Joey spent 2016 managing the Pittsburgh Pirates Double -A team and last season he was a base coach for the Pirates. Joey’s name has been out there for a long time as a possible hire for a manager position; so maybe this will be his chance.

I’m sure will hear quite a few names attached to this opening before the Red Sox actually make a hire.

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

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

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How was your week

Posted: October 7, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well it took two wild card games and five games in the NLDS before we finally got two pitchers who controlled the game.

Steven Strasburg no-hit the Chicago Cubs for 5 2/3rds innings and while his counterpart Kyle Hendricks gave up 2 hits and walked 3 batters over his 7 innings of work he kept the Washington nationals off of the scoreboard. Strasburg also pitcher 7 innings and was overpowering striking out 10.

Strasburg’s downfall in the 6th inning was an error by Anthony Rendon to put the lead off man on base. Now it looked as though Strasburg was going to work his way out of the jam. After Hendricks sacrificed the runner to 2nd base Ben Zobrist flew out for the 2nd out of the inning. Kris Bryant came through with the big two out hit for the cubs, a single to right-centerfield to score Javier Baez who reached on the error. Bryant was able to advance to 2nd base on the throw home. Anthony Rizzo then came through with another big two out hit for the Cubs as he singled to rightfield scoring Bryant to give the Cubs what appeared to be and insurmountable 2-0 lead.

After the starters departed Ryan Madson was the first pitcher out of the Nationals bullpen. Jon Jay greeted him with a double to left, but a strikeout and then a ground out to 2nd where Jay advanced to 3rd on put the Cubs in another two out runner in scoring situation. It was Rizzo who cane through again for the Cubs as he doubled to left to drive in Jay and give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

Now the Cubs bullpen has had some issues throughout the season, but there where none tonight. Carl Edwards Jr. pitched a 1,2,3 8th inning striking out two. Wade Davis closed out the bottom of the 9th with a 1,2,3 innings as well recording one strikeout in his inning of work.

I’m sure there where some Nationals fans worried that Max Scherzer was unavailable for Game 1 and while Strasburg did give up 2 runs they where both unearned and he kept the Nationals in the game.

Kyle Hendricks was a bit of a surprise when he was named the starter for Game 1 as most people expected Jon Lester to make the start. Hendricks proved to be the right choice as he pitched the Cubs to a Game 1 victory.

Now the Cubs and the Nationals both have very good offenses, but they where shut down by quality pitching. Now you have to wonder what Hendricks and Strasburg had going on that the other starters didn’t have in their outings. Even what you say are the best of the best in starting pitcher had their issues.

Now to be fair the Houston Astros got two solid outings from their starting pitchers, Justin Verlander in Game 1 and Dallas Keuchel in Game 2. Verlander pitched 6 innings giving up 2 runs while Keuchel pitched 5 2/3rd innings giving up 1 run. Trevor Bauer also came through for the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of their series as he pitched 6 2/3rds scoreless innings giving up 2 hits while striking out 8. All three starters gave their teams what they need while picking up a victory, but they weren’t as dominant as Strasburg and Hendricks where last night.

Along with those starts there are starts like Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who did pitch 6 1/3rd innings, but gave up 4 runs. C.C. Sabathia was solid giving up 4 runs with just 2 of them being earned in his 5 1/3rd innings. Chris Sale of the Boston red Sox will probably win the A.L. Cy Young this season, but he had his issues in his first post season start. Sale pitched 5 innings and gave up 7 runs. The Arizona Diamondbacks gave Zack Greinke a big lead in the wild card game and that turned out to be a good thing as Greinke lasted just 3 2/3rd innings giving up 4 runs. Sonny Gray made his post season debut with the Yankees, but lasted just 3 1/3rd innings giving up 3 runs and walking 4. Corey Kluber will probably finish 2nd to Sale in the Cy Young voting was the Indians Game 2 starter to keep him on his regular rest. Kluber pitched 2 2/3rd innings and gave up 6 runs. The Minnesota Twins gave Ervin Santana a lead to start the A.L. wild card game, but he couldn’t hold it as he lasted just 2 innings and gave up 4 runs. The Red Sox got another poor starting effort out of Drew Pomeranz as he managed to pitch just 2 innings giving up 4 runs. Jon Gray made the start for the Colorado Rockies in the wild card game, but lasted just 1 1/3rd innings giving up 4 runs. Tajuan Walker gave up 4 runs in his inning of work for the Diamondbacks in his playoff start. Finally Luis Severino was the starter for the Yankees in their wild card game, but only got one out as the gave up 3 runs before being removed from the game.

Now you have to ask yourself, what is going on here? These are pitchers that will be in contention for post season awards and have had quality seasons for their teams that helped get them into the position their in now. I guess in some cases it could be nerves as some of these pitchers where making their first post season starts. In other cases there are starts where a pitcher doesn’t have his good stuff; so maybe that could account for some of these short outings. Of course the baseball is different this season and the best way to describe it is to say that it is hitter friendly. You can just look at the number of players who’ve set career highs in home runs to know something is going on, but you have to remember that MLB likes offense. Of course there is the old tagline that good pitching beats good hitting and while it did for some teams there where quite a few others where their good pitcher didn’t deliver for them.

The National League has the stage to itself today as the American League series are switching cities. Will get a pair of Game 2’s as the Cubs go with Jon Lester to try to win the first two road games in their series. The Nationals turn to Gio Gonzalez to even things up for them. The second game has Robbie Ray scheduled to start for the Diamondbacks as they look for a split against the Dodgers who are going with Rich Hill as their starter. What kind of starts will these pitchers have?

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

Remember that I’m on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: October 4, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

When Major League Baseball added non-division winning teams to the playoffs they decided to call them wild card teams and wild sure described the start of last nights game between the Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees.

The Yankees decided to go with their young ace Luis Severino as the starter for this game. It started off rough for Severino as Twins lead off man Brian Dozier hit a home run to put the Twins up 1-0 right away. After Joe Mauer fouled out there was a thought that Severino was going to settle in, but after a walk to Jorge Polanco, Eddie Rosario hit a two run home run to rightfield to give the Twins a early 3-0 lead. Eduardo Escobar singled Max Kepler doubled and that was it for Severino. Chad Green came out of the Yankees bullpen to get out of the 2nd and 3rd jam and keep it a 3-0 game.

You would’ve thought the Twins would have some confidence heading into the bottom of the 1st inning, but one swing of the bat evened the game up. Brett Gardner drew a walk off of Twins starter Ervin Santana. Aaron Judge followed with a single to put runners on 1st and 3rd. Gary Sanchez fouled out for the first out of the inning. Didi Gregorius got the Yankees right back in the game with a 3-run home run to even the score at 3-3. Santana got did walk a hitter, but got out of the 1st with no more damage.

The Twins went down 1,2,3 in the top of the 2nd and after the first two Yankees flew out to centerfield to start the bottom of the 2nd Gardner gave the Yankees a 4-3 lead on a solo home run to rightfield. A ground out ended the inning with the Yankees up 4-3.

Green ran into some trouble in the top of the 3rd. A single and then two walks sandwiching a fly out and the Twins had the bases loaded with just one out. Bryon Buxton grounded into a fielder’s choice to tie the game at 4-4. That ended Green’s night as David Robertson was up next out of the Yankees bullpen. Buxton stole 2nd to out runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs, but Jason Castro struck out to end the inning for the Twins with the score 4-4.

Jose Berrios relieved Santana to start the bottom of the 3rd inning and was greeted with a lead off double by Sanchez. After two strikeouts Greg Bird came through with a two out single to bring Sanchez home and give the Yankees the lead for good at 5-4. Aaron Hicks did have an infield single, but with runners 1st and 2nd Jacob Ellsbury fouled out to end the inning.

The Yankees added two run off Berrios in the bottom of the 4th. Todd Frazier stuck out to start the inning. Gardner singled to get on base for the third consecutive time in the game. Judge then hit a 2-run home run to leftfield to put the Yankees up 7-4.

The Yankees added their final run of the game in the bottom of the 7th inning. Judge walked off of Trevor Hildenberger to start the inning. Sanchez singled with Judge going to 3rd. Sanchez was able to advance to 2nd on an error to out runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. Gregorius walk intentionally walked to load the bases. Castro flew out for the first out of the inning. Taylor Rogers came out of the Twins bullpen to strikeout Bird for the second out of the inning. The Twins went to the bullpen again this time for Alan Busenitz. Hicks worked a walk off of Busenitz to force in Judge and make it a 8-4 game. Ellsbury flew out to end the inning.

With Severino lasting just 1/3rd of an inning the Yankees bullpen really stepped up. Green pitched 2 innings followed by Robertson who worked 3 1/3rd innings. Tommy Kahnle pitched 2 1/3rd inning while Aroldis Chapman pitched the final inning.

The Yankees move on to face the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the ALDS on Thursday. The Yankees have yet to announce who their starting pitcher will be, but you have to wonder what they’re thinking about doing with Severino. Severino was 14-6 in 31 starts with a 2.98 E.R.A. during the regular season, but none of that came through in his first post season start. The Yankees will have to figure out if it was just a case of nerves or quite possible if the stage was just too big for Severino.

The Yankees could go with Masahiro Tanaka, C.C. Sabathis and Sonny Gray before they might have to go back to Severino. Of course coming off of such a short outing where he only threw 30 pitches Severino should be available out of the bullpen if needed. Would the Yankees go as far as taking Severino out of the rotation and use Jordan Montgomery in his spot.

While we’re on the Yankees/Indians series, Cleveland did something interesting with their starting rotation as well. It would seem obvious that Corey Kluber would take the mound for Game 1 of any series the Indians are in, but for the ALDS it will be Trevor Bauer getting the Game 1 start followed by Kluber in Game 2. Cleveland is doing this to keep Kluber on his regular rest. This would also make him available for a Game 5 start in the ALDS or possibly a Game 1 start in the ALCS.

Let’s take a look at our NFL picks for Week 4. Schaumburg Stu took the week going 10-6. Dan the Man was right behind him at 9-7 while Mr. Fantasy and I finished the week at 8-8. For the season Schaumburg Stu is in the lead at 39-24. Dan the Man is two games behind him at 37-26. I’m currently holding down 3rd place with a record of 36-27 while Mr. Fantasy is at the bottom right now with a record of 35-28. We’ll see how Week 5 goes for us.

As you know we make our picks on the Sunday Sports Time Radio podcast. Some how every team that I picked to win that was playing in a Noon game lost. I don’t think I’ve ever had anything like that happen to me before.

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

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

How was your week

Posted: September 30, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

There are just a couple of games left for each team in baseball’s regular season and while there’s not much left to decide as to which teams will go to the playoffs players still have a chance to put up some extra numbers for individual awards.

Now there are a couple of contenders for M.V.P. one in the American League and one in the National League that may have had their M.V.P. chances hurt by the way their managers handle them in the batting order. Now according to the sabermetric way of baseball you have to get your best hitter batting 2nd so they can get that extra at bat during a game, Now the issue with this is the fat that it takes away RBI chances for this batters not only early in the game, but through the game especially in the National League. Now not every team is string 1 through 9 in their batting order and in the American League the weaker hitters are at the bottom of the order of course; so as the line up rolls around there’s no one on base when that #2 spot in the order comes back up, In the National League on just about every team the pitcher hits in the 9th spot in the batting order and while it can be entertaining to watch a pitcher swing the bat and there are a few that are quality hitters, they’re not going to be table setters for the top of the batting order. So again there aren’t guys on base for that #2 hitter to drive in.

Now according to sabermetrics RBI’s as well as strikeouts don’t mean as much as they use to in baseball; so having guys in a position in the batting order to drive guys in has become less important in today’s game, but as you try and divide players for an individual award it’s going to be a stat that voters will look at.

Now neither of these players would ever come out and complain about that fact that they where cost an M.V.P. by their manager and where they hit in the batting order. They’d would tell you that winning the World Series is more important than an individual award, but what if your team didn’t make the playoffs. Again no player would admit it, but it would be nice to have your season recognized. Of course when you have a great season and you’re 40 plus RBI’s behind the league leader it’s going to cost you votes for those individual awards.

I’m sure by this point you’re starting to wonder which players I’ve been talking about. Well believe it or not the player in the American League that’s going to be hurt in the M.V.P. voting by his place in the batting order is Mike Trout.

Now there isn’t a real clear cut M.V.P. candidate in the American League with the exception of Jose Altuve of the Houston Astros; so Trout might’ve had a chance to pick up his third M.V.P. award in four seasons. Now trout did miss some time with an injury this season, but he’s still putting up good numbers. Trout is hitting .309 and leads the American League in OBP at .446, SLG at .638, OPA at 1.084 and OPS+ at 190. Trout also has 33 home runs and has more walks 94 than strikeouts this season 90. So as you can see by the numbers Trout has had a very good season and will get some M.V.P. votes when those votes are tallied, but will the fact that he has driven in just 72 runs this season be the thing that stops him from winning?

Now there appears to be more M.V.P. candidates in the National League, but there could be questions associated with any of them. In reality Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds has probably had the best season in the National League, but the Reds are in last place in the National League Central at 67-93; so that will rule Votto out. Now both Charlie Blackmon and Nolan Arenado of the Colorado Rockies are both having seasons that will get them M.V.P. votes, but you have to wonder if voters will downgrade their numbers since they play 81 of their games in Coors Field.

Now there are a couple of players we could’ve mentioned as M.V.P. candidates, but you have to wonder if he had a better spot in the Chicago Cubs batting order if we’d be looking at Kris Bryant as a back to back M.V.P. winner. Now Bryant has played through some injuries this season, but is still hitting .295. Bryant’s numbers are right there with or better than the other National League contender for M.V.P. except for the fact that he has driven in just 73 runs this season. Bryant is actually 57 RBI’s behind the National League leaders. Blackmon is tied with Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins with 130 RBI’s this season. Bryant has a very positive sabermetric 6.2 WAR this season; so just imagine if he would’ve been in a position in the Cubs batting order to drive in over 100 runs he would be right in the middle of the conversation to be the first back to back National League M.V.P. since Albert Pujols did it in 2008 and 2009.

It looks as though Bryant is definitely out as a National League M.V.P. contender, but you have to wonder if Trout could find a way to win the American League M.V.P. award again. Remember Trout was voted M.V.P. last season and when you look at his completion he probably did deserve to win, but voters like him. You also have to remember that when Miguel Cabrera won the triple crown there where quite a few people who where advocating for Trout to win the award. I’m not sure that Bryant will have that kind of backing, but he is on a team that win it’s division and has a chance to defend it’s World Series title.

Will we ever see the voters focus more on the sabermetric stats that everyone seems to be in love with? As you know I’m not a huge fam of the sabermetric stats as I believe they’re more for fantasy players. I don’t need the assistance of sabermetrics to know that Bryant and Trout are great players in today’s game, but they do need to be looked at as M.V.P.’s this season.

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

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 27, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

To say that Week 3 in the NFL was not good to us and your picks would be an understatement. I guess you can say that myself, Schaumburg Stu and Mr. Fantasy tied for the win in Week 3. Sadly we where all 7-9 while Dan the Man finished at 6-10. Overall Schaumburg Stu is leading at 29-18. Dan the Man and I are one game behind at 28-19 while Mr. Fantasy is at the bottom of the pile at 27-20.

If you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast you’ve heard us joke about us jinxing a team when the four of us agree that they’ll win. We last Sunday we agreed on 11 games. Seven of those 11 teams that we all agreed would win lost. Now through a couple of weeks it can be tough to tell what a teams identity is, but some of the teams that lost where clearly upsets. I’d say if you’re a fan of a certain team the worst thing that could happen to them is for the four of us to agree that they’re going to win a game.

Well Week 4 will get rolling Thursday night with the Green Bay Packers hosting the Chicago Bears. Hopefully will have a better week of picks than we did last week.

I always flip around to the different sports networks to see what their talking about. Now yesterday when I was bouncing around from channel to channel there where a couple of them that had breaking news on their crawler and I was waiting for it. When I final got to see what these couple of networks where trying to pass off as breaking news made me chuckle. Their big huge breaking news was that Dwayne Wade was planning to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers after he clears waivers. How is that breaking news? Now I understand that one of the networks playing this off as breaking news paid way too much money to televise the NBA and they have to play any basketball story up as bigger than it is to justify their own stupidity, but anyone else calling it breaking news just hasn’t been paying attention.

On Sunday Wade agreed to a buyout with the Chicago Bulls after playing just one season with them. Wade played in 60 games last season averaging 18.3 points per game while playing an average of 29.9 minutes per game. Wade shoot 43.4% from the field, but just 31% from behind the 3-point line.

Once Wade was bought out it was pretty clear where he would end up signing and even though there where some other teams mentioned I think everyone knew that Wade would end up in Cleveland with LeBron James. While playing together for the Miami Heat Wade and James won back to back NBA titles in 2012 and 2013. Wade also won an NBA title with Miami in 2006. Wade was the series M.V.P. in 2006.

Wade will be entering his 15 seasons and he didn’t play in back to back games last season. Now there are reports that guard Isaiah Thomas is going to be out until January with a hip injury; so it looks as though the Cavaliers starting back court will be Wade and former M.V.P. Derrick Rose. On their training camp roster the Cavaliers have Jose Calderon, Kay Fedler, J.R. Smith , Iman Shumpert and John Holland to go along with Rose and Wade at the guard position. Even when Thomas returns from injury does this look like a good enough back court to win an NBA title or get into the NBA finals?

When Wade clears waivers and signs with the cavaliers it will be for their veteran’s minimum of $2.3 million dollars. Wade could’ve signed for more money with another team, but it’s clear that he wanted to team back up with James again.

With the NHL season lurking just around the corner it’s time for fantasy players to make sure they’re ready for their upcoming fantasy drafts. There are some quality players that are going to start the season on injured reserve, but should be worth taking a chance in and stashing on your bench until they return.

Ryan Kesler of the Anaheim Ducks had hip surgery and looks to be out until the New Year. Kesler played in all 82 games regular season games for the Ducks in 2016-17. He totaled 58 points on 22 goals and 38 assists. Kesler also played in 17 playoffs games last season scoring 8 points on 1 goal and 7 assists. Keep an eye on Kesler’s status as he could be a good add towards the end of your season.

Travis Zajac of the New Jersey Devils has been an under rated fantasy player and that will really be true this season as it appears he’ll be out four to six more weeks after having pectoral surgery in August. Zajac played in 80 games for New Jersey last season. He totaling 45 points on 14 goals and 31 assists. Depending on your leagues depth Zajac will be a good centerman to bring on when he’s healthy.

Ryan Ellis of the Nashville Predators is recovering from off season knee surgery and it’s being reported that he’s still about three months away from returning. Ellis played in 71 games last season totaling 38 points on 16 goals and 22 assists while be a +17. In 22 playoff games Ellis scored 13 points, 5 goals and 8 assists while being a +4. The Predators look to be a team on the rise; so you’ll have to analyze the situation very carefully to see if there will be minutes for Ellis when he returns from injury.

Anther defenseman on the mend is Andrej Sekera of the Edmonton Oilers. Sekera torn his ACL in the post season and it looks like he’ll miss a minimum of half the season. Sekera played in 80 games last season. He ended up scoring 35 points on 8 goals and 27 assists while posting a +14. Sekera played in 11 post season games. He scored 1 goal and assisted on 2 others for a total of 3 points, but was a -1 for the playoffs. Sekera did have his second best scoring season in 2016-17 and has put up 30 points or more in both of his seasons with Edmonton half a season is a long time to wait. Maybe the timing will be right and Sekera will return just as you’re looking for a guy, but I don’t think it’s worth holding a roster spot for him.

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

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 23, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I think that we’re all use to bad Thursday night football games, but so far this season the NFL has delivered two out of the three weeks of this season. Honestly though who thought that the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers would keep that streak going this past Thursday, but they did.

Now the game looked like it was just going to be a blow out as the Rams had a 34-20 lead heading into the 4th quarter, but the 49ers got themselves back in the game and ended up being just an unconverted 2-point conversion away from possibly sending the game into overtime.

In the end the Rams ended up with a 41-39 victory and improved their record to 2-1 while the 49ers fell to 0-3 even though they’ve played three close games to start the season.

I’m not sure if fantasy owners where expecting this, but the game provided them with some very good numbers to start off Week 3.

Jared Goff was 22 of 28 for 292 yards and 3 touchdowns. Goff was credited with 1 rushing attempt for -1 yards as well. Brian Hoyer went 23 of 37 in the game for 337 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interceptions. Hoyer also ran the football 1 time for 9 yards and a touchdown. Did you start either of these guys?

As for running backs Todd Gurley put up some big fantasy numbers. Gurley carried the football 28 times for 113 yards and scored 2 rushing touchdowns. He also caught 5 passes for 36 yards and had a receiving touchdown as well. Who had Gurley having a 3 touchdown night? Carlos Hyde did well for the 49ers as well. Hyde carried the football 25 times for 84 yards and scored 2 rushing touchdowns. Hyde also added 3 receptions for 10 yards. I’m sure Gurley was in everyone’s starting line up, but I wonder how many people used Hyde this week.

The Rams had two receivers go over the 100 yard mark in the game. Robert Woods had the most yards for them with 108 on 6 receptions, but Sammy Watkins was the Los Angeles receiver to have in this game. Watkins also had 6 receptions and went for 106 yards, but he had 2 touchdowns. Pierre Garcon had good numbers as well as he went for 142 yards on 7 receptions, but it was Trent Taylor and Garrett Celek who caught the 49ers touchdowns in this game. I actually had Garcon starting in one of my leagues, but I wonder how many line up Watkins and Woods where in.

I don’t think that either teams Defense/Special teams will be much help to you in fantasy this week as they both let up quite a few points. The Rams did have 4 sacks to go with 1 interceptions and 1 fumble recovery while totaling 83 return yards. The 49ers had 2 fumble recoveries to go with 65 return yards.

The win improved the Rams record to 2-1 while the 49ers fell to 0-3. Both team are on the road for Week 4 as the Rams will take on the Dallas Cowboys in AT&T Stadium while the 49ers will face the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium.

We’ve haven’t heard much about this lately, but as we get closer to NBA training camps opening Carmelo Anthony is still a member of the New York Knicks.

Now Anthony has a full no-trade cause in his contract; so he’ll be able to pick which team he ends up on if a deal is worked out. Anthony had agreed to go to the Houston Rockets, but the teams where unable to work out a deal for him. There are reports now that Anthony has added the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Oklahoma City Thunder as two more teams he’d be willing to accept a trade to. Now it’s no surprise at all that Anthony would be willing to go to the Cavaliers. He and LeBron James are friends off the court and James has mentioned being interested in playing with Anthony before. Now you have to wonder if either of these teams would have the assets required to make a deal for Anthony. The Knicks aren’t looking for any long term veteran type contacts in a deal and draft picks are only going to get you so far. Cleveland is still the best team in the Eastern Conference, but would the addition of Anthony to go along with their earlier acquisition of Paul George give Oklahoma City enough to challenge the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference?

Now don’t forget that the Portland Trailblazers still remain interested in acquiring Anthony, but as of now he hasn’t said that he’d accept a trade to Portland. Portland’s top two players guards Damon Lillard and C.J. McCollum have been trying to convince Anthony to join the Trailblazers if a deal could be worked out, but so far no word out of Anthony on if he’d go to Portland. Could Portland emerge as the front runner for Anthony if deals with the Cleveland and Oklahoma City can’t be worked out?

The Knicks open camp on Monday and you can just how awkward it’s going to be as Anthony plans on reporting to camp. You’d have to expect a ton of tension between the two sides and Anthony has been encouraging the Knicks to show urgency in their pursuit of a trade before the season.

Anthony has two years and $54 million dollars left on his contract, but he has an option year for the 2018-19 season that would pay him $27.9 million dollars for that season if he chooses to opt into that.

Do you remember Anthony Bennett? I’m not surprised at all if you don’t, but he was the #1 overall pick of the 2013 NBA draft. After playing just one season at UNLV the Cleveland cavaliers made Bennett the top pick in that 2013 draft.

Bennett was with the Cavaliers for one season before he was dealt to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with Andrew Wiggins in the deal that landed the Cavaliers Kevin Love. Bennett also stayed just one season in Minnesota before being waived and signing with the Toronto Raptors. Bennett played just 19 games for the Raptors as he spent most of his time in the D-League before being waived. The Brooklyn Nets signed Bennett next and again he spent most of his time on their D-League team playing just 23 games for the Nets before they released him. Bennett them found his way to the Euro League where he played with the Turkish team Fenerbache.

So it’s looking like Bennett is going to end up being another 1st round NBA bust, but maybe not. The Phoenix Suns have signed Bennett to a non-guaranteed contract and he’ll be joining them for training camp this week. It appears that it may be another trip to what is now called the G-League for Bennett, but at least he’s going to get another chance to prove himself in the NBA.

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

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 20, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well we’re two weeks into the NFL season and I already had the best week in our picks. For Week 2 I went 12-4 to take the top spot. Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy where 11-5 while Schaumburg Stu went 10-6. Overall Schaumburg Stu and Dan the Man are tied at 22-9. I am a game behind at 21-10 while Mr. Fantasy is a couple of games out at 20-11. You can hear our picks for Week 3 on the Sunday morning edition of Sports Time Radio.

There where a couple of injuries on Week 2 that could affect your receiving stats for fantasy.

The Cleveland Browns lost what appeared to be the guy who was going to turn into their #1 receiver Corey Coleman with a broken hand.  Coleman has been targeted 13 times in the first two weeks of the season. He has 6 receptions for 62 yards and a touchdown. The Browns placed Coleman on injured reserve; so if he’s to return this season the earliest it could be is November 19th (Week 11) when the Browns host the Jacksonville Jaquars.

If you’re in a deep fantasy league and you’re looking for a receiver to fill Coleman’s spot on your roster you may want to take a look at Rashad Higgins who could be the player who gets Coleman’s targets.

The Carolina Panthers also suffered a big loss in their passing game when tight end Greg Olsen was diagnosed with a broken foot and was placed on injured reserve. Olsen had just 3 receptions on 6 targets in the Panthers first two games, gaining 28 yards. While Olsen may have gotten off to a bit of a slow start to this season he has had three straight 1000 yard plus receiving seasons and that’s going to be difficult for Carolina to replace. Olsen had surgery on his foot yesterday and is eligible to come off of injured reserve November 26th. On the 26th the Panthers are on the road against the New York Jets.

Ed Dickson should be the player that takes over for Olsen as the starting tight end. Dickson hasn’t been a huge receiving threat since joining the Panthers, but back in 2011 he did catch 54 passes as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. Chris Manhertz is listed as the 3rd tight end for Carolina and he just 1 career catch. Carolina did activate fullback Alex Armah from the practice squad to fill Olsen’s roster spot. Armah may get some snaps as an H-back while Olsen is out.

The Miami Dolphins have t overcome quite a bit already this season and we’re just headed into Week 3. The Dolphins first game of the season was moved to Week 11 because hurricane Irma rolled through Florida. Miami took to the road and they brought along their families as well. The Dolphins then went out and out together a come from behind 19-17 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, but it wasn’t without some drama.

Miami’s starting outside linebacker Lawrence Timmons went AWOL before the game and did not play. Unbeknownst to the Dolphins Timmons left the team Saturday night.

The Dolphins announced yesterday that Timmons has been suspended indefinitely. While the length of Timmons suspension hasn’t been announced the collective bargaining agreement allows teams to suspend a player for up to four games for detrimental conduct, but that doesn’t mean that Timmons will be out four games.  Timmons just joined the Dolphins this past off season signing a two year $10 million dollar deal with the team.

There have been reports that Timmons was dealing with a personal matter, but he was also scheduled to meet with a doctor on Monday. There doesn’t appear to be any type of injury involved here; so the doctors appointment looks to be for Timmons mental health.

With Timmons out last Sunday Chad Allen handled the outside linebacker duties against the Chargers, but look for Rey Maualuga to get some playing time there. Maualuga was signed a month ago after spending 8 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. The Dolphins also made a trade. Miami acquired linebacker Stephone Anthony fro the New Orleans Saints for a 2018 5th round draft pick. Anthony was 31st pick in the 2015 draft by the Saints, but he hasn’t played in the first two weeks of this season because of an ankle injury.

The Dolphins stay on the road for their Week 3 game as they take on the 0-2 New York Jets.

The Chicago Cubs got some good news as they try to close out the National League Central and defend their World Series title.

Jake Arrieta is schedule to make his first start on Thursday since lasting just 2 1/3rd innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 4th. This will give Arrieta the opportunity to get 3 starts in before the playoffs would start.

Thursday is game one of a four game series between the Cubs and the team that’s chasing them the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are hosting this series, but just 11 days ago Milwaukee went into Wrigley Field and swept a three game series against the Cubs. The Cubs currently have a 3 1/2 game lead on the Brewers in the N.L. Central.

Arrieta is 14-9 this season with an E.R.A. of 3.48. Arrieta has started against the Brewers twice this season and he has gotten the win in both games. On April 9th Arrieta pitched 7 innings giving up just 3 runs as the Cubs got a 7-4 win. Then on May 21st Arrieta pitched 6 innings giving up just 1 run as the Cubs won that game 13-6.

You’d like to say that Arrieta’s return is more important that the result of the game, but since it’s against the team right behind the Cubs in the standings the result is just as important.

The St. Louis Cardinals are trying to hang around in the National League playoff race. St. Louis is 3rd in the N.L. Central, but they’re 6 games out of the division lead, but they are just 3 1/ games out of the second N.L. wild card spot.

The Cardinals may have received a little help as pitcher Adam Wainwright has been activated from the 10-day disabled list. Wainwright went on the disabled list August 18th with a right elbow impingement. Now even though Wainwright was winning games as a starter 12-5 with an E.R.A. of 5.12 in 23 starts this season the Cardinals are planning to use him out of the bullpen. Wainwright did make 61 appearances out of the bullpen back in 2006, but his last relief appearance was in 2015. Of course at this time of year you use your pitchers where you need them.

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

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

How was your week

Posted: September 16, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

You have to figure that the NFL and their broadcast partners where pretty happy with the first Thursday night game of the season. While that game did end in an easy victory for the Kansas City Chiefs over the New England Patriots it was a close game heading into the final quarter. New England actually had the lead going into the 4th quarter, but Kansas City ran off 21 points to pull away for a 42-27 win. That was Week 1, I’m not sure they where as happy with the Week 2 game.

Week 2 had the Cincinnati Bengals hosting the Houston Texans. Both teams looked terrible in Week 1, Cincinnati was shut out by their division rival the Baltimore Ravens 20-0 and Houston looked lackluster as they got beat 29-7 by the Jacksonville Jaquars. To be fair we did get a close competitive game to watch, but it was very difficult to watch.

The big story coming into the game besides how poorly both teams played in Week 1 was the fact that the Texans have already made a chance at quarterback. Houston decided that they where going to go with rookie Deshaun Watson at quarterback. Watson relieved Tom Savage in Week 1 and led the Texans to their only touchdown of that game. Now on his 22nd birthday Watson would be making his first NFL start.

These two teams didn’t put up much offense in Week 1 and that carried over to this game as there was just one touchdown scored. Watson was the player who managed to score the touchdown when he scrambled 49 yards just before halftime to out the Texans up 10-3. Cincinnati added a field goal before halftime to make it a 10-6 game, but there wasn’t much offense after that. The only points of the 3rd quarter was another Cincinnati field goal. In the 4th quarter it was the Texans who kicked the field goal to get the game to it’s 13-9 final score.

Watson threw for just 125 yards in his debut going 15 for 24, but he didn’t turn the football over. He was also the Texans leading rusher in the game with 5 rushing attempts for 67 yards and the games only touchdown. Andy Dalton was 20 of 35 for 224 yards for the Bengals with no touchdowns or interceptions. Each quarterback was sacked 3 times in the game.

Neither team looked very good, but the Texans picked up the win and managed to even their record at 1-1. Cincinnati dropped to 0-2 and the Bengals have no scored a touchdown in 8 quarters this season. Cincinnati’s lack of offense prompted the firing of offensive coordinator on Friday. Quarterbacks coach Bill Lazor will take over the Bengals offense.

A coordinator change is one thing, but you have to wonder if it’s time for the Bengals to start looking for a new head coach. Marvin Lewis has been their head coach since 2003, he’s the longest reigning head coach in the NFL, but it might be time for a change. Lewis is 118-105-3 as Cincinnati’s head coach and has taken them to the playoffs 7 times. While that may look like a good number when you look close at the Bengals playoff appearances you realize that they where a wild card all seven times and they are 0-7 in those games. Up until last season the Bengals had been to the playoffs 5 seasons in a row and 6 out of the last 7 seasons. Their record dropped to 6-9-1, it was the first season they had been under .500 since 2010. While we are just two games into this season with the way the Bengals have looked you have to wonder if they’ll be a serious playoff contender. I have the feeling that their window has closed and that this is Lewis’ last season. What do you think?

For a while there it looked like this would never happen, but the Cleveland Indians final lost a baseball last night. After running off 22 straight wins the Indians dropped a 4-3 decision last night to the Kansas City Royals.

The night started off well for the Indians. Francisco Lindor lead off the bottom of the 1st with a double off of Royals starter Jason Vargas. Then after a walk and a ground out an Edwin Encarnacion sacrifice fly gave the Indians an early 1-0 lead.

After Trevor Bauer recorded a strikeout for the 1st out in the top of the 2nd inning Alcides Escobar hit a solo home run to leftfield to tie the game at 1-1. It was Escobar’s 5th home run of the season.

The Indians have been finding ways to bounce back in these games while they where on this streak and the bottom of the 3rd looked like one of those times. With 2 outs Austin Jackson doubled. Jose Ramirez followed Jackson’s double with his 27th home run of the season to leftfield to give the Indians a 3-1 lead.

The Royals knocked a run off the Indians lead right at the start of the 4th inning. Brandon Moss led of the inning with his 22nd home run of the season to centerfield to cut the Indians lead to 3-2.

Kansas City then tied the game in the top of the 5th inning. Lorenzo Cain doubled with 1 out and Eric Hosmer followed that with a single to score Cain and tie the game at 3-3.

The Royals took the lead for good in the top of the 6th inning. Bauer recorded the first out of the inning via strikeout, but after Alex Gordon singled Bauer was removed fro the game for reliever Joe Smith. Smith struck out the first batter he faced, but Whit Merrifield and Lorenzo Cain hit back to back singles off of him. Cain’s single to centerfield scored Gordon and gave the Royals the a 4-3 lead.

While Vargas did get off to a rough start he managed to pitch 5 innings and pick up his 16th win of the season. Ryan Buchter (1 inning), Trevor Cahill (2 innings) and Mike Minor (1 inning) came out of the Royals bullpen to hold the Indians to just one hit over the final four innings of the game. Minor even picked up his 1st save of the season.

The teams meet again this afternoon; so maybe the Indians can start a new winning streak or maybe this is the beginning of a Royals winning streak. Jason Hammel (8-11) will try to keep the Royals winning while Carlos Carrasco (15-6) will try to get the Indians back in the win column.

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

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 13, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, baseball, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books and here’s how we did with our picks. Schaumburg Stu got out to an early lead at 12-3 while Dan the Man finished a game behind him at 11-4. Mr. Fantasy and I tied at the back of the pack at 9-6. Let’s see how this coming week goes.

If you’re a fantasy football player and had the #1 pick in our draft there’s a very good chance that you took David Johnson the Arizona Cardinals running back. Johnson was the top choice in every league I’m in this season and now the Cardinals and fantasy owners are scrambling.

Johnson dislocated his catching a pass inside the 10-yard line in the Cardinals 35-23 loss to the Detroit Lions. Johnson is scheduled to have surgery on his wrist some time this week and was placed on injured reserve by Arizona. By being placed on injured reserve it means Johnson will miss a minimum of 8 weeks. The original prognosis had Johnson being out 8 to 12 weeks, but Arizona’s head coach Bruce Ariens said that’s it “possibly” for Johnson to be back in 11 to 15 weeks or right around the holidays.

So who is going to get the carries and catches with Johnson out? Kerwynn Williams looks to be the first guy in line, but Andre Ellington should also be in the mix. The Cardinals did re-sign Chris Johnson to fill out their 53 man roster, but I wouldn’t expect him to get a lot of playing time. Since Johnson is a true duel threat back in both the running game and the passing game I expect the Cardinals to have to use multiple players to fill his spot. I’d look for Williams to handle the bulk of the carries while Ellington will be the bigger factor in the passing game.

Before he left the game Johnson had 11 carries for 23 yards and caught 6 of the 9 targets thrown at him for 68 yards. After Johnson went out Williams carried the football 5 time for 10 yards and caught the only pass he was targeted on for 2 yards. Ellington didn’t have any rushing attempts in the game, but he was targeted 3 times in the passing game catching 2 of them for 35 yards.

Obviously Johnson is a huge loss more for Arizona than fantasy owners and there’s no way to truly replace him with one guy. I’m thinking that Ellington will be used as a 3rd down style back with Williams being the guy who’s on the field most of the time as the bigger running threat. Of course this will depending on how the game is going for the Cardinals at the time, but those look like their options as well as a couple of guys fantasy owners can use.

If you listened to last Sunday’s podcast you know that I was very excited to see Danny Woodhead get a shot at being the main running back for the Baltimore Ravens. I really thought that Woodhead would’ve been a big steal for not only the Ravens, but fantasy owners. Woodhead left Sunday’s game after getting 1 carry for 4 yards and 3 receptions for 33 yards. It was reported that he had a hamstring injury and now it’s come out that it appears he’ll miss 6 to 8 weeks and the Ravens may put him on injured reserve.

It appears as the Woodhead injury may hurt the Ravens more in the passing game than in the running game. Behind Woodhead Baltimore had two solid running backs in Terrance West and Javorius “Buck” Allen. West ran the football 19 times for 80 yards and scored a touchdown in Week 1 while Allen had 21 carries for 71 yards against the Cincinnati Bengals.

While it appears that the running game might be alright while Woodhead is out. Who’s going to be able to fill his shoes in the passing game. Woodhead first caught teams and fantasy owners attention as a receiver out of the backfield. Now it looks like the Ravens will give wide receiver Michael Campanaro a chance to fill that role. Campanaro wasn’t targeted in the passing game on Sunday, but he did end up with 1 carry for 2 yards. Could he be the guy in the backfield to try and cover for Baltimore while Woodhead is out?

Major League Baseball announced the schedule for the 2018 season yesterday and while there where a lot of interesting things on the schedule there was one very interesting thing on there.

Every team will open the season on March 29th, but on April 17th the Oakland A’s host the Chicago White Sox. It will be the 50th anniversary of the A’s first game played t the Oakland Coliseum. Now there are always anniversaries though a baseball season, but what caught my eye on this game is the fact that the A’s aren’t going to charge their fans to see this game. That’s right the game if FREE! Oakland believes that this is the first time in major league history that a stand alone game will be completely free for fans.

The A’s will release more information on this game early in 2018. I wonder if Dan the Man has booked his flight to Oakland yet.

It was reported yesterday that Danica Patrick will not be driving for Stewart-Haas racing next season do to lack of a title sponsor. The title sponsor or main sponsor is the name that you see on the hood of the drivers car. It’s the most expensive sponsorship a team looks for and there’s just not one for what would’ve been Patrick’s car next season.

So now that Patrick is out at Stewart-Haas will she be able to find a full time ride in NASCAR’s top series. Patrick has made 180 career starts in what is now called the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. Patrick has just seven top 10’s in those 180 starts and quite possibly the biggest thing she did was winning the pole for the Daytona 500 in 2013. It’s not the best resumes when there are drivers like Matt Kenseth and Kurt Busch, who both have won a Cup looking for rides next season.

Patrick had her worse finish in the NASCAR standings at 28th.

I don’t think that Patrick is the draw she use to be and you have to wonder if a team would take a chance on her. She’s mentioned before that she is financially secure enough that she does not have to race and it wouldn’t be worthwhile doing if it made her miserable. That would make me question is she even wants to continue driving. What do you think?

Now Patrick was kind of thrust into the spotlight as the only full time female driver and she never really had a chance to develop. I think is she’s truly serious about being a driver she needs to take a step down and look for a full time ride in the Xfinity series and see if she can improve before trying to get back into the top NASCAR series. I’m not sure if she would be willing to do that, but if she has that love for racing that a lot of drivers have I think it would be the best move for her career. Would you like to see her as a full time Xfinity driver or maybe just a part time driver in the Monster Energy series?

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

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

How was your week

Posted: September 9, 2017 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

On the Sports Time Radio podcast we make picks for the NFL games like a lot of other shows do. There are four of us who make picks, myself, Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu and of course Mr. Fantasy. We’ve now develop this thing called the Sports Time Radio jinx. It seems as that when the four of us agree that a team is going to win a game we jinx that team and they end up losing. Now this doesn’t happen 100% of the time with our picks, but it’s happen enough for us to notice it. So as you know Week 1 of the NFL season kicked off Thursday night with the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots hosting the Kansas City Chiefs. On the podcast we all selected the Patriots to win this game. As you know the Chiefs scored 21 4th quarter points to pick up a 42-27 victory. So I looks like it’s happening again. On this Sunday’s podcast Mr. Fantasy and I will announce the rest of our selections for Week 1 and will have to see how many picks we agree on and how many of them go the other way. You should probably be hoping that we don’t all agree that your favorite team will win it’s game.

When Kansas City used the 10th pick in the draft to take quarterback Patrick Mahomes out of Texas Tech a lot of people thought Alex Smith’s job was in jeopardy. Smith is in his 13th NFL season after being the #1 overall pick of the San Francisco 49ers in the 2005 draft. Smith has always completed a high percentage of his passes; 61.9% for his career and an even higher 64.8% in his five seasons with the Chiefs, but he’s never been seen as a downfield passer. Smith has been know to make the smart play and take the dump off pass instead of trying to force something downfield. In his career Smith has 161 touchdown passes to just 91 interceptions and since being with Kansas City Smith has never thrown more than 8 interceptions in a season. Now Smith may not be flashy, but he wins games. For his career Smith has a 80-56-1 record as a starter and since being with Kansas City Smith is 42-20 as their starter. You have to wonder with the numbers he put up against what was thought to be a good Patriots defense if Smith will be cut some slack.

On Thursday night Smith went 28 of 35 for 368 yards and 4 touchdowns. Kansas City’s rookie running back Kareem Hunt caught two of Smith’s touchdown passes. Hunt caught a 3 yard touchdown pass and a 78 yard touchdown pass. Smith’s other two touchdown passes where a 7-yarder to Demetrius Harris and a 75 yard pass to Tyrek Hill. Are the two 70 plus yard touchdown passes enough for Smith to lose his reputation; I doubt it, but he did average 10.5 yards per passing attempt.

Rookie running back Hunt was another Chiefs player who really announced his presentence to the NFL. Hunt took over as the Chiefs #1 running back after Spencer Ware was ruled out for the season after tearing knee ligaments. Hunt averaged 8.7 yards per carry on 17 carries Thursday night. He ran for a total of 148 yards and a touchdown. Hunt also added 5 receptions for 98 yards and two touchdowns. Add to this the fact that Hunt fumble on his first carry and it turned out to be quite a debut. Hunt actually set the record for most yards from scrimmage in a debut. Hunt combined for 246 yards to set the record.

Of course it’s just one game in a 16 game NFL season, but it sure  started the right way for Kansas City. Playing opening night gives the teams a little extra time to prepare for Week 2. The Chiefs return home to host the Philadelphia Eagles while the Patriots head out on the road to face the New Orleans Saints.

Two years ago Aaron Altherr of the Philadelphia Phillies hit an inside the park grand slam when Washington Nationals outfielder Michael Taylor misplayed a fly ball. Well last night it was Taylor who was rounding the bases for an inside the park grand slam when Phillies centerfielder Odubel Herrera misplayed the line drive Taylor hit. The inside the park grand slam helped Taylor’s Nationals pick up an 11-10 win over the Phillies Friday night.

According to MLB’s record there have only been 28 inside the park grand slams since baseball expanded in 1961. An even odder stat is that it’s only happen twice this millennium and Taylor has been involved in both of them. After a reporter reminded Taylor of his involvement in Altherr’s inside the park grand slam Taylor said “feels better to be on this side of it”.

The Cleveland Indians extended their winning streak to 16 games last night with a 5-0 night over the Baltimore Orioles.

Edwin Encarnacion got the Indians off on the right foot as he hit a three run home run in the bottom of the 1st inning to start Cleveland on their 5-0 victory. Encarnacion’s home run was to dead centerfield and landed in the trees next to Heritage Park. That’s the area where past Indians stars are immortalized.

With their 16th win the Indians extended the longest winning streak in franchise history. This is also the longest winning streak in the past 15 years of baseball. Cleveland is now four wins away from tie the 2002 “Moneyball” Oakland A’s at 20 in a row and with five more wins the Indians would tie the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the longest winning streak in baseball history at 21 games. To be fair the 1916 New York Giants did win 26 straight games, but there was a tie in that streak.

The Indians haven’t lost since August 23rd when the Boston Red Sox beat them 6-1. On this streak the Indians have beaten the Red Sox and Orioles one time each. The Kansas City Royals and the New York Yankees three times each and they’ve beaten the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers four times each.

Now to get those five more wins and tie the 1935 Cubs the Indians will have to beat the Orioles two more times this weekend and then sweep the Tigers in a 3 game series Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at home. Do you think the Indians can do it?

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

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