Archive for the ‘Sports Time Radio’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 29, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Apparently this is going to be a different type of baseball season for me. When they first put in this 60 game season I had almost no desire to watch any of the games, but then they started. Opening day didn’t really interest me; so I only ended up watching an inning or two of those games, but then my local teams opened up. I don’t know why, but my interest really picked up for opening day of the two local Chicago teams. Now we’re six games into the season and I barely watch either of what turned out to be three games the Chicago games where involved in yesterday. I’m not sure what causing this, but all of a sudden I’m this bipolar baseball fan and I’m wondering if the entire season is going to be like this.

I’m looking for some kind of help here. If this is happened to you or if you have any idea why my interest in this baseball season waned so quickly.

I do know that one of the things that has bothered me the last couple of days is the way the mainstream media has reacted to the Miami Marlins situation.

I’m sure you know that they had multiple players and coaches test positive for the Covid-19 virus and their games have been suspended until at least Sunday.

I found it shocking that there where mainstream media members that where surprised this happened and they went on to call it a nightmare scenario for baseball and there where even some of these goofs calling for an immediate end to the baseball season. Did they honestly believe that we would get through the entire baseball season without one positive test for the Covid-19 virus?

I know that a lot of people and the media want to try and compare Major League Baseball to the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, but you can’t.

Both the NBA and the NHL have set up “bubble” situations for their players to pay under. If you’re a baseball player you’re more or less living your normal life. If you have a home game you sleep in your own bed and spend time with your family before going to the ballpark. In the case of the Marlins they where on the road; so they where staying in a hotel. Did someone pick up the virus there or did some of the players or coaches go out for dinner and possibly contracted it while they where out. Unfortunately there’s just no way to tell.

Now of course this was played up as a terrible story and everyone wanted to put baseball in a bad light over this. Oddly what very few reporters mentioned was that the Philadelphia Phillies who where the team that was hosting the Marlins had ZERO positive tests for the Covid-19 virus. Do you find it odd that a lot of reporters left this fact out of their story?

Obviously it’s a big deal that these players and coaches got sick and hopefully they’ll all recover quickly and without any issues, but unfortunately this kind of thing can happen when you’re working in normal society. Remember these players are going to work like a lot of people still are; so they’re having interactions with people who aren’t involved with Major League Baseball and they can’t control how or what those people do in their lives. Of course this doesn’t mean that people are out there intentionally trying to infect a sports team all I’m saying is their daily interactions can’t be monitor by Major League Baseball, but a player may run into someone on a plane, in the hotel the team is staying at or quite a few places when a team is on the road.

I’m sure that most of the mainstream media just wants to point the finger at Major League Baseball and say it’s all their fault, but since all of the Phillies players and coaches tested negative you’d have to think that Citizens Bank Ballpark where the Philadelphia plays it’s home games is clean.

Now not only did Major League Baseball postpone all of the Marlins games until Sunday they also postponed the series between the Phillies and the New York Yankees that was scheduled to start last night in Philadelphia. As of now Miami has seven games postponed; four against the Baltimore Orioles and three against the Washington Nationals. The next scheduled game the Marlins might play might be at home oddly enough against the Phillies. Will have to wait and see if Major League Baseball allows the Marlins to play those games.

The one thing that I’m very interested in that Major League Baseball hasn’t announced yet is how are they going to make up these games. I’m sure most people don’t consider the Marlins a playoff contender, but in a shortened 60 game season you never know. Of course the Yankees and the Phillies where considered playoff contenders and they’ll have four games to make up against each other when this is all said and done. Those four games could have huge playoff ramifications; so they’re probably going to need to find a way to play them.

What do you think Major League Baseball should do with these postponed games? Should they make them up? Or just try to go with an unbalanced schedule?

Should anybody be really surprised that the Los Angeles Dodgers pitchers threw inside, over and behind some of the Houston Astros hitters last night?

As I’m sure you all remember that it was the dodgers that the Astros where caught cheating against in the 2018 World Series; so you had to expect that there where going to still be some hard feelings on the Dodgers side. What may be more surprising is the fact that there where no hit batsman in the game.

In the end the Dodgers used a 5-run 5th inning to put the game away winning 5-2. This is just a short two game series and you have to wonder if we’ll see some more inside pitches from the Dodgers staff tonight.

Have you been listening to the Sports Time Radio podcast? The live version airs on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss that edition you can head over to TuneIn.com and listen any time you want.

Also feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: July 25, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well after quite a delay the Major League Baseball season finally got underway Thursday evening with two games. The New York Yankees beat the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals 6-1 in a game that was shortened to 5 1/3rd innings due to rain. In the second game the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 8-1; that game went all 9 innings.

Now if you’ve listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast or just kept up with the blogs right here you know that I’ve been hot and cold or maybe you’d call it here or there on if I was going to watch baseball this season. Like a lot of fans I was very frustrated with the way the negotiations went, but in the end I was right there to watch Max Scherzer throw the first pitch of the season to Aaron Hicks.

What I didn’t expect to happen was how bored I was by the Yankees/Nationals game. Honestly I don’t know what my issue with the game was, but luckily when my two local Chicago teams started the season yesterday I found myself enjoying those games much, much more. Maybe the problem was I’m not really invested that much into this shortened baseball season; so seeing the Yankees and the Nationals start the season didn’t get me excited for baseball. I guess I’ll have to play it by ear and see how it goes today as there will be quite a few games for me to watch, but only two of them will feature the teams in my area.

I should have access to a minimum of five games today. At 12:05 p.m. Fox will be showing it’s first game of the season featuring the Milwaukee Brewers at the Chicago Cubs. At 1:10 p.m. the Chicago White Sox will be hosting the Minnesota Twins. At 1:15 p.m. the MLB Network will be showing the Pittsburgh Pirates at the St. Louis Cardinals. Then at 3:10 p.m. Fox will be showing the San Francisco Giants at the Los Angeles Dodgers. The final game that I’ll have a chance to watch will be on Fox Sports 1 at 8:10 p.m. as the San Diego Padres host the Arizona Diamondbacks.

All the listed start times are for the Central time zone; which of course is where I live.

The listed pitching match ups for these games are as follows. Corbin Burnes starts for Milwaukee, Yu Darvish starts for the Cubs. Randy Dobnak is starting for the Twins while Dallas Keuchel stats for the White Sox. Trevor Williams starts for the Pirates while Adam Wainwright starts for the Cardinals. San Francisco has yet to announce their starting pitcher for todays game, but the Dodgers listed start is Alex Wood. In the last televised game in my area the Diamondbacks are starting Robbie Ray while the Padres are going with Dinelson Lamet.

There are your games and your starting pitchers for the televised games; so what I want to know from you is; what are your viewing habits going to be today? The only game you won’t be getting would be the White Sox/Twins game unless you live in that viewing area and if not it would be replaced by your local teams broadcast. Are you planning on watching one game? Or will you watch two games? Is it possible that you’ll watch three or even four games? Or are you just planning on skipping all of the baseball games today?

What I’d also be interested in knowing from you is; what was your highlight from opening day?

As for me I’m not sure if you would call it a highlight, but the thing that I enjoyed the most was watch Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs pitch a complete game shutout against the Brewers. With all the talk coming into this season I wasn’t expecting to see a pitcher throw a complete game in all of the 60 games each team was playing and here Hendricks throws one in the Cub home opener.

Hendricks was allowed to go 9 innings because he kept his pitch count down. Hendricks threw just 103 pitches in his complete game shutout with 74 of them being for strikes. He struck out nine while giving up just three hits. Interestingly all three of Milwaukee’s hits where by Orlando Arcia who was hitting 9th for the Brewers. The 1 through 8 hitters in Milwaukee’s line up went 0 for 27 against Hendricks.

To be fair Hendricks wasn’t the only opening day starter to register a complete game, but he was the only one that went 9 innings. In Thursday nights game Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole get credit for a complete games. Since the game was rained shorten and they where the only two pitcher to appear for their teams it goes down as a complete game for each pitcher and while Scherzer did strikeout 11 and Cole gave up just 1 hit neither outing was as impressive as Hendricks was.

I wanted to leave baseball for a story that’s been confusing me for the better part of a week now; Antonio Brown.

Brown had been working out with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and there was some talk that Seattle might be interested in signing him. Then kind of out of the blue Brown more or less said that he was retiring from football. Then just two days later Brown backtracked on his retirement and then went on to blame to NFL for holding up his career.

In case you don’t remember the NFL is investigating Brown for about sexual assault and rape allegations. That means Brown is head for a suspension or possible a spot on the Commissioner’s Exempt List. Of course Brown would have to be signed by a team before he could serve out any suspension. Even with this hanging over his head there are multiple teams that have shown some interest in possibly signing Brown.

Brown played in just 1 game last season with the New England Patriots even though he signed a big money deal with the Oakland raiders during the off season. I don’t think we need to rehash all the incidents he had with them before being released. He did catch 4 passes and score a touchdown in his one game with New England last season.

If your favorite NFL team was desperate for a wide receiver would you like to see them sign Brown? He is very talented, but he appears to bring a lot of baggage with him.

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

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 22, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well sports fans we’re right on the brink of getting all four major sports back. NFL training camps open tomorrow, the NBA and the NHL are just about a week and a half away from restarting their seasons, but most importantly starting tomorrow we’re going to get baseball games that count.

Baseball gets rolling with two showcase games tomorrow. Opening the season the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees. While the nightcap features old rivals as the Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants.

Both games will be shown on ESPN. The Nationals/Yankees games has a scheduled start time of 6:00p.m. While the Dodgers/Giants game has a scheduled start time of 9:00 p.m. Both start times are for the Central time zone; which is the time zone I live in.

Now there has been some questions about how much starting pitchers will impact these games right out of the gate and we should get an idea tomorrow how teams might handle their starters. Three of the games top four starter pitchers will take the rubber tomorrow. Max Scherzer makes the start for Washington The Yankees will counter with their big free agent signing Gerrit Cole. The Dodgers are going with Clayton Kershaw as their opening day starter and he’ll face off against Johnny Cueto; who’s getting the opening day start for San Francisco.

You have to wonder if these pitchers will be on a pitch count or if they’ll be allowed to work as long as they can. Out of the four opening day starters Cueto may be the one with the most questions since he’s returning from Tommy John surgery. Cueto did make 4 starts last season, but totaled just 16 innings and posted an E.R.A. of 5.06. My guess is that he’ll be on the shortest leash of the four opening day starters, but you never know what a team might have planned.

What would you consider to be a good start for these starters? Do you think it’s possible that we’ll get a “quality start” out of any of these opening day starters? The definition of a quality start is 6 innings pitched while permitting no more than 3 earned runs. Going 6 innings might be too much to ask out of even these big name pitchers to start this odd season.

After opening the season with two games on Thursday the rest of the league get started on Friday. The Dodgers and Giants will play their second game of the season on Friday, but the Yankees and the Nationals get Friday off.

With just the start of the baseball season a day away; how are you feeling about baseball?

I’ve been back and forth about this shortened 60 game season, but we had our fantasy drafts this past weekend and that helped me start to look forward to baseball coming back. When the first announced that this was the format they where gong with I was less than interested in baseballs return and was convinced that I wouldn’t watch an inning.

My stance has softened on that as the start of the season has gotten closer, but I do have some concerns. I think my biggest issue is; are we going to get spring training baseball to start off with? With expanded roster to start the season and the designated hitter being universal managers are going to have a lot of flexibility. Will we see a lot of situation substitutions? Also if starting pitchers aren’t going to be going deep into games to start the season; how many pitching changes will there be?

Now besides the DH becoming universal and the expanded rosters to start the season there are a few other new rules this season.

We have the three batters minimum for relievers. Instead of teams being able to match up pitchers to hitters this season when a pitcher comes out of the bullpen he’ll have to face three batters. The only way they won’t face three batters will be because the inning came to an end or that reliever became ill or got injured.

Placing a runner on 2nd base in extra innings. This is easily the new rule I dislike the most, but in a shortened season like this Major League Baseball is trying to avoid marathon games; so starting in the 11th inning A baserunner will magically appear on nd to start the inning.

I didn’t remember hearing about this one, but there’s a wet rag rule. Apparently pitchers will be allowed to bring a wet rag with them to the mound. The pitcher will be allowed to use this rag to moisten his fingers instead of licking them. I’m not sure if this rule is just for this year do to the pandemic or if it’s something that will stay on the books.

There is also a no brawl rule for this season. Since MLB is going to try and have players, managers and coaches maintain social distancing it’s understandable why they wouldn’t want teams fighting. MLB has mentioned that the possible penalty for breaking the no brawl rule could be immediate ejection and subsequent discipline, including a possible fine and suspension.

What do you think of these rules? As I’ve mentioned I don’t like the runner being placed on 2nd bae rule, but I’m okay with the other changes.

I’m not a big fan of the DH being universal a I liked the differences between the two leagues, but remember the collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2021 season and there was a very good chance that the Major League Baseball Players Association was going to be asking for the DH to be added to the National League. Let’s face it with al of the complaining that the media does about pitchers hitting this was going to happen sooner or later. This way the media will have one less thing to cry about when it comes to baseball, but I’m sure they’ll still find plenty of other things to whine about.

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

You can also look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: July 18, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

While the National Football League will have it’s own set of circumstances to deal with as they try to open their season it does seem that they’ll be able to play that season continuously unlike Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association had to. Of course the NFL will have to figure out a couple of things.

First and foremost testing and player safety will be the most difficult thing to keep up with. The one thing that keeps popping up right now is the number of pre-season games teams will play. The NFL owners want to cut the number of pre-season games to 2 while the National Football League Players Association doesn’t want to play any pre-season games.

When it comes to sports it seems as when it comes to negotiating it’s either that specific league itself or it’s a players union that’s try to take advantage of the situation and get something out of this deal. That’s all this seems to be here. The NFL players union wants something in return for a certain number of pre-season games. In the end they’ll work this out somehow and will probably end up settling on just 1 pre-season game being played.

Now NFL teams don’t take pre-season all that seriously anymore and as for most teams the starters barely play if at all. As odd as it may sound I think it might be important to have the NFL play a couple of pre-season games.

Most importantly playing these pre-season games would give teams an idea of how they’re going to handle the current situation and it may give them an opportunity to see what a game would be like without fans and then what steps they might have to take if a limited number of fans are allowed to return to games later in the regular season.

Then from a pure fans point of view without some type of pre-season game or games being played how many weeks will it take for an NFL team to get up to speed and start playing decent football. It’s not like the starters would be playing ever minute of these two pre-season games, but no matter how much they played it would help improve the games when they get into the regular season. Last season the Chicago Bears hardly played their starters during the pre-season and they suffered for it at the start of the regular season. Everyone is waiting with anticipation for football to arrive, but the last thing any fan wants to see is bad football to start the season.

This of course leads us to the question of; what does the NFL players association want? While I’d like to think that it’s just players safety and how the NFL will handle testing for the Corona virus I know better than that. Unfortunately the NFL players association hasn’t mentioned anything; so we’re going to have to wait and see and just hope that this doesn’t up the season.

The NFL did released the process they’re going to try and follow if and when the season get started. Here’s what the NFL will be trying to do. The league will mandate that team buses cannot be more than 50% full and that there must be at least one open seat between passengers on team planes. Also everyone will get his or her own hotel room on the road and that all players and team personnel must wear face coverings while on the road. Players also are being told that they will not be allowed to leave their hotel rooms to eat in or otherwise use restaurants that are open to the public. Now players will be allowed to use contactless food delivery services and they’ll also be able to use rom service. Everyone has to travel on the team plane and/or bus. While at the hotel, players and team personnel may not be visited in their rooms by anyone who’s not in their traveling party, and no one in the traveling party may use shared hotel facilities such as pools or gyms unless they have been disinfected and are being used only by the traveling party.

The NFL release these guidelines on Friday, but it’s unclear if the NFL players association has agreed to these or if the two sides will have to sit down and come to an agreement on these. I’d like to think that since the NFL released these that they’ve worked this out with the NFL players association.

It doesn’t seem like the NFL is asking too much of it’s players while they’re on the road, but as we have seen with the NBA and it’s “bubble” set up; players are use to a certain lifestyle so there may be some push back, but hopefully the players will see this is for their own health and safety and follow the these guidelines.

NFL training camps will be opening very soon and the NFL will be welcome backed by sports fans with open arms. The NFL has always been the most popular of the big four sports here in America. Now the fans have to hope that there’s no interruption of the regular season or playoffs if they get that far. It would be a big plus even if the games had to be played with out fans to see a league be able to play their entire schedule without a stoppage due to the Corona virus.

We’re just a little under two months away from the start of the NFL regular season. Thursday night September 10th the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are scheduled to host the Houston Texans in the first NFL game this coming season.

Now we have baseball starting in five days. Then will have the hockey and Basketball starting at the end of the month. What I’d like to know is; are you looking forward t the start of one of those three season or are you holding out for the start of the NFL season?

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

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 15, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Dak Prescott is represented by Todd France in his negotiations with the Dallas Cowboys. Yesterday there where reports that France has said their would be no new contract between the Cowboys and Prescott by next Wednesday and Prescott would be signing his franchise tender. Once Prescott officially signs that franchise tag contract he’ll make $31.4 million dollars next season.

There where some reports that Prescott and the Cowboys might be close to a deal, but that the contract was for too many years according to Prescott. Now you’d think if both sides had seem to have agreed on a dollar figure you think it wouldn’t of been to difficult to get the years worked out, but apparently they where unable to do so.

Now if you remember as Prescott was headed into free agency he said that he expected to be paid between $30 and $40 million dollars per season and while the franchise tag gets him into that salary area it is on the lower end of Prescott’s original number. There where some reports that France had approached the Cowboys with a deal that was around $34 million dollars a season, but it was never mentioned how long that deal would’ve been for.

Since the Cowboys used the “exclusive” franchise tag on Prescott he’s paid the average salary of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL as of April 2020. Otherwise the Cowboys could’ve paid Prescott 120 percent of his salary from last season. Prescott receives whatever number is greater for his salary.

To be fair Prescott has been a steal for the Cowboys while on his rookie contract, but that’s no fault of the Cowboys like some people have implied. Remember Prescott was a 4th round pick in the 2016 draft and he was paid according to his draft slot. Prescot clearly outplayed his contract, but there was a reason Prescott was selected in the 4th round when he was coming out of college.

Prescott had solid number in college at Mississippi State, but he was spectacular by any means. In his Senior season he threw for 3793 yards with 29 touchdowns and 5 interceptions. In passing yards Prescott ranked 15th. He was also 15th in touchdowns as for interceptions there where only a handful of college quarterbacks that threw fewer than Prescott did.

Prescott didn’t receive a Heisman Trophy vote in his Senior year. Interestingly running back Derrick Henry of Alabama won the Heisman and is now in the same place as Prescott. Henry is currently a free agent and was franchised tagged by the Tennessee Titans after leading the NFL in rushing yards last season.

There where five other quarterbacks that received Heisman Trophy votes when Prescott was a Senior. Deshaun Watson finished 3rd in the voting, Baler Mayfield finished 4th, Keenan Reynolds finished 5th, Connor Cook finished 9th and Trevone Boykin finished 10th in the Heisman voting.

In the voting for the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner Prescott’s future teammate Ezekiel Elliott finished 8th in the voting.

In the end the decision the Cowboys have to make before they sign Prescott to a long term deal is: Is he a franchise quarterback?

Prescott had his best statistical season in 2019. He threw for 4902 yards and 30 touchdowns which where both career highs. Unfortunately there was some bad with that good as the Cowboys had their worst record 8-8 with Prescott as their starting quarterback and they missed the playoffs.

Prescott also has the ability to run the football if needed. Last season he ran the least number of times in his four year career 52; he averaged 5.3 yards per carry and scored 3 rushing touchdowns. Prescott had run for 6 touchdowns in each of his first three seasons with Dallas.

Running less signals that Prescott is becoming more comfortable throwing the football and staying in the pocket and while his interception total did jump to 11 last season he had an interception percentage of 1.8%. There where 13 other starting quarterbacks that threw more interceptions than Prescott did last season.

Prescott has started all 64 games at quarterback for Dallas since they drafted him in 2016 and he has a record of 40-24.

We all know that in the NFL a quarterback gets way too much credit when his team wins and way too much blame when his team loses, but you know there are going to be people pointing out that Dallas hasn’t won a Super Bowl with Prescott as their starting quarterback, but he has taken the team to two playoff appearances in his four seasons. I’m sure there are a lot of teams out their that would like to go to the playoffs with what could be a franchise quarterback that often.

Prescott is always going to be compared to Jared Goff and Carson Wentz who went #1 and #2 in that 2016 draft, but Goff and Wentz where expected to be starting quarterbacks right out of the draft while no one was sure about Prescott.

Goff has been successful as the Los Angeles Rams starting quarterback and while he’s taken them to the playoffs the last two season with one of those playoff runs ending in a Super Bowl loss, but his numbers where down last season and there have been some questions that have come up about Goff’s ability to be a starting NFL quarterback.

Since the Philadelphia Eagles drafted Wentz they’ve been to the playoffs in the last three seasons and won the Super Bowl in 2017. The Eagles have played 6 playoffs games since drafting Wentz and have a 4-2 record, but Wentz has played in just one of those games and in that game only threw 4 passes before being injured.

Goff and Wentz have both been signed long term by their teams. Goff is signed through 2024 and has an average salary of $33.5 million dollars a season. Wentz is also signed through 2024 and has an average salary of $32 million dollars a season.

This is where it gets interesting. Do you feel that Prescott is a better NFL quarterback than Goff and Wentz? Or is he similar to them? Depending on where you sit on that might be how you feel about how much Prescott should be paid.

Prescott and the Cowboys have a little less than 7 hours to come to an agreement on a contract. Do you think they’ll work something out? If so; how much do you think Prescott will be paid? Please leave your answers in the comments.

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

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: July 11, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

We’re just under two weeks away from the return of one of America’s favorite past time. Major League Baseball is scheduled to return on July 25th and you have to wonder how many more players will decide to opt out before that date.

Just yesterday Buster Posey of the San Francisco Giants and Michael Kopech of the Chicago Wed that they would be skipping the 2020 baseball season. That brings the number of player who have announced they’ll be opting out of the 2020 season to 11. Mike Leake of the Arizona Diamondbacks was the first player to announce he’d be skipping the 2020 season. Ryan Zimmerman, Joe Ross and Wellington Castillo all from last seasons World Series champions the Washington Nationals joined the opt out list. Tyson Ross who was a free agent and Joe’s brother is also skipping the 2020 season. The Atlanta Braves had two players Nick Markakis and Felix Hernandez who decided to opt out of this coming season. Add Ian Desmond of the Colorado Rockies and David Price of the Los Angeles Dodgers and there are your 11 players who have officially opted out this coming season.

Now I’m sure there are some names that you know on this list, but I’m not sure you’d put any of these players in the superstar category. Now at one time you might’ve considered Posey, Price or Hernandez as superstars, but they’ve had their struggles the last few seasons and while they’re still quality major league players I’m not sure if they would be considered superstars.

That kind of leads me to my question. Will we see a legitimate superstar from baseball announce that he’ll skip the 2020 season before July 25th?

There has been some Talk that Mike Trout could be the superstar who decide to opt out of the 2020 season. Trout’s wife is pregnant with their first child and is due in August I believe. It would make perfect sense for Trout to take the 2020 season of to be with his wife and newborn child and not risk bringing Covid-19 into his home.

Don’t forget that MLB is handling things a little differently than the National hockey League or the Nationals Basketball Association is. MLB players are going to be traveling to and from games while the NHL and the NBA will be living in a “bubble” set up. MLB players will also be going on road trips which adds a whole other level of concern for a player and his family to deal with.

Now I completely understand if a player decides it’s in his best interest to skip the 2020 season. I was sick for about five weeks with what is described as an undiagnosed case of the Corona virus. Unfortunately when was sick I was unable to get tested because I didn’t fit into the proper category. By the time I was able to get tested I was feeling better and tested negative. Now I’m sure you’re wondering why I would get tested when I was feeling better; well I needed a negative test to return to work.

This situation can out some players in a difficult spot especially if they have young children at home or in a case like Trout’s have a child on the way. They’re going to have to try to find the proper balance between their job (baseball) and their families.

You also have to realize that if a player like Mookie Betts who was traded to the Dodgers this past off season is just one year away from free agency. If he decides to skip the 2020 season he doesn’t become a free agent. Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs lost an arbitration hearing over his years of service last season; so he’s still two seasons away from being a free agent. Would he consider sitting out the 2020 season and then have to wait to reach free agency until 2023?

Also the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires after the 2021 season and there have been quite a few rumors that we’ll see a players strike or the owners lock out. Depending on how much time might be missed as the two sides work out a new agreement that might push these arbitration players free agency even farther back.

This is just one more thing for a player to add in t his decision on if he’ll be playing starting on July 25th.

In some on the field baseball news the Toronto Blue Jays announced that Vlad Guerrero Jr. will be switching positions. Guerrero spent last season as the Blue Jays 3rd baseman, but Toronto’s manager Charlie Montoyo announced that Guerrero will be playing 1st base and spending time as the Blue Jays DH this season.

Guerrero played in 123 games last season 96 at 3rd base, 24 as a DH and 3 as a pinch hitter. Guerrero hit .272 with 15 home runs last season. He also finished 6th in Rookie of the Year voting.

Guerrero was a solid defensive 3rd baseman last season. In 824 1/3rd innings at 3rd base Guerrero made 17 errors posting a fielding percentage of .936%. Guerrero does come up negative in some of the analytic and sabermetric stats. He was -16 in Total Zone Total Fielding and he was -9 in BIS Defensive Runs Saved. Those numbers may have factored in to Guerrero’s move across the diamond.

Guerrero is 21 years old and he stands 6’2 and his weight is listed at 250 pounds. Guerrero’s size may have also factored in his move to 1st base. While 1st base isn’t an easy position to play it might be a little less stressful on Guerrero’s joints which would help extend his career.

Guerrero’s move to 1st base opens up a spot for Travis Shaw to take over as Toronto’s everyday 3rd baseman.

Shaw is looking to have a bounce back season after hitting just .157 in 86 games for the Milwaukee Brewers. Shaw also spent part of the season in Triple-A. Shaw did put up back to back 30 plus home runs seasons in 2017 & 2018. Shaw also brings a left handed bat to the Blue Jays line up, but will have to wait and see how Shaw plays for Toronto.

Remember that the Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com Monday thru Friday, but if you miss the live edition of the podcast all you have to do is head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 8, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, fantasy, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well since it looks like we’re going to have some sort of a baseball season as of right now it’s probably time to take a look at how your fantasy season is going to go.

There was actually some talk about not playing this year and one of my leagues actually voted not to have a season, but then they changed their minds and are working on a different format. How about you; is your league playing this year?

Now normally at the top of the draft we see a lot of starting pitchers go. I’m talking about pitchers like Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole, Jacob deGroom, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Verlander if he’s healthy. It makes sense if you’re in the right position in your draft to grab one of these starters and build your rotation around them. Depending on how your league is set up you’ll get the stats you’re looking for out of these types of starting pitchers, but will it be that way this season?

Now one of the categories in the two Yahoo leagues I’m in are innings pitched. We have to get over innings out of our pitching staffs for the week and that might be much, much tougher to do this year than normal.

Think about the five pitchers I listed above and ever other team #1 starter who will be starting opening day. How many innings do you think that starting pitcher is going to give you in that first start? I honestly think if you’re very lucky you might get a starting pitcher to go  innings at the most. Dave Roberts the manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers mentioned that he thought starting pitchers would only go 3 or 4 innings at the start of this season.

Now with there only being 60 games in this abbreviated season if a team uses a five-man starting rotation then you’re looking at 12 starts or maybe 13 if they find a way to skip the 5th starter and give their #1 starter an extra start. How many starts will it take for a pitcher to build up his endurance to go more than the 3 or 4 innings Roberts predicted? Is it possibly that we could see the best starting pitcher on a team only give them 60 to 65 innings at the most.

So when it comes to fantasy; is it going to be worth taking one of these starting pitchers even if it’s a big name starting pitcher in the 1st round? I don’t think it will be, but I’m sure there will be some fantasy players who think they’ll be good options.

So you’ve joined me and you’ve decided to downgrade starting pitching for this season. How do you build you’re pithing staff? Obviously you’ll be looking to take closer much earlier in the draft than you normally would. Since you’re going to be going after these closers early than you normally would target the ones that you think are going to be on playoff contending teams. In a short season like this teams are going to want to use these guys quite a bit even if it’s just for an inning and if you get those closers from winning teams that will equal saves. This is where your baseball acumen is going to have to come into play because you’re going to have to figure out who those playoff contending teams are and that might not be easy with just 60 games this season.

The two teams everyone seems to agree on being in the hunt this season are the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers. That would mean you’d be looking at Aroldis Chapman and Kenley Jansen at the top of your closer list. With this shortened season there are going to be quite a few teams that look like they might contend, but the Houston Astros seem to have the third best odds to win the World Series. If you’re buying the Astros then Roberto Osuna is your pitcher.

Now if someone notices that you’re trying to draft multiple closers you may start a run and not end up with as many as you originally planned you’ll need to fill out your pitching staff another way.

Now in my leagues we have Holds as a category; so someone like Jake Diekman of the Oakland A’s might be a good option. Diekman tied for the lead in Holds last season at 31 with Ryan Pressly of the Astros and Craig Stammen of the San Diego Padres. What separates Diekman for me from Pressly and Stammen is his 12.19 strikeouts per 9 innings. It’s always nice to get a bonus out of reliever who’s not getting you saves. Now Stammen did have 13 save opportunities in San Diego last season, but barring an Injury to Kirby Yates it’s doubtful Stammen sees too many closing chances in a shortened season.

In all honesty if you think the Yankees are the team that’s going to win it all it wouldn’t hurt to load up n their bullpen pitchers. If you did manage to land Chapman it might not hurt to have Zack Britton or Adam Ottavino. It might not be a terrible idea to try and land all three as the Yankees can really shorten a game. If you’re in a deep league you could probably add Tommy Kahnle as another Yankees reliever you could justify drafting. There aren’t too many teams where you can go four deep in their bullpen, but the Yankees could be one.

Now this is just one of many strategies that fantasy baseball players are thinking about using for the upcoming season. Do you have a plan heading into your baseball fantasy draft? If you’ve got what you think is a good plan feel free to share it in the comments. Don’t worry I’m the only one who can see them; so no one in your league will find out what you’re planning.

Don’t forget to checkout the live broadcast of Sports Time Radio. You can find the podcast on BlogTalkRadio.com. Now if you do miss the live version of the podcast you can head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: July 1, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

At the start of the NFL off season all the talk was about Tom Brady heading into free agency and what the New England Patriots would do at the quarterback position. This was all the media could talk about and how the Patriots needed to move quickly to find their next quarterback. What did the Patriots do; they stood pat.

As the NFL draft rolled around over and over it was said that the Patriots would need to find a way to move up in the 1st round to draft a quarterback or they would have to get lucky and have one fall to them at #23. So what did the Patriots do with that 23rd pick? That’s right they traded it to the Los Angeles Chargers and moved back to the 37th pick. When that pick came around everyone thought for sure that this would be the spot the Patriots took their quarterback, but instead New England took Kyle Duggar a safety from Lenoir-Rhyne. Then pretty much every time it was the Patriots turn to make a pick someone would say they need to take a quarterback here. You know who didn’t think they needed to take a quarterback with any of their picks? That’s right the Patriots.

Then just as Tom Brady settles in with his new team the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and it looks like New England will go with Jarrett Stidham as their starting quarterback New England decides to add a veteran quarterback to their roster.

Just when everyone stopped talking about the Patriots quarterback situation and had switched over to talking about how the might not win the AFC East for the first time in forever New England adds Cam Newton on a incredibly team friendly deal. Newton was all set to make $19 million dollars in the final year of his contract before he was released by the Carolina Panthers. Instead of collecting that Newton signed and incentive laden deal with New England that can pay him a maximum of $7.5 million dollars.

It’s being reported that the Patriots won’t be handing Newton the starting quarterback job, but it’s difficult to believe that a healthy Newton won’t be their starter come Week 1.

Of course that does bring up another question; is Newton healthy? Newton played in just two games last season and judging by his statistics he probably wasn’t healthy enough to be playing in those two games. up until last season Newton had been a warrior playing in all but five games over his first eight seasons.

Towards the end of the 2018 season it looked like Newton’s injuries where starting to catch up to him, but he’s had quite a bit of time off to rest and rehab; so you have to wonder what kind of Newton the Patriots will get.

Before his injuries Newton was the best running quarterback in the NFL and that’s something that New England didn’t have with Brady. Of course Brady knew how to manage the pocket to keep himself out of trouble and to be fair Brady also got a lot more penalty calls from the referees than Newton ever did. Newton averages 5.1 yards per carry when he runs with the football and he’s scored a career 58 rushing touchdowns. Even if he’s not the same runner he once was just the threat of Newton being able to take off with the football adds another dimension for Josh McDaniels and the Patriots offense to show. Not counting last season Newton has ran the football between 90 and 139 times in a season. I don’t expect him to get anywhere close to those numbers with the Patriots. I wouldn’t be surprised if Newton runs the football less than 50 times next season, but teams will have to remember that the possibility of him running will always be there.

Now the signing of Newton in no way means that the Patriots have soured on Stidham as their future quarterback. Remember Newton is only signed for one year in New England at very low money. It’s doubtful that Newton would return to the Patriots on such a low money deal again for the 2021 season and New England doesn’t have a lot of salary cap space to maneuver with. Don’t forget that this is just Stidham’s second season in the NFL; so sitting one more year behind Newton and earning isn’t the worst thing for him.

Now that the Patriots have a quarterback that the mainstream media is happy with do you think they’ll reinsert them as the favorite in the AFC East? Don’t forget that the Buffalo Bills where 10-6 last season and mad the playoffs They also added a top receiver this off season in Stephon Diggs. Do you think the Bills can compete with the Patriots for the AFC East title?

Let me know what you think of the Cam Newton signing by the Patriots. Do you think he was the right choice? Or did you have another quarterback in mind for them.

While we’re talking about the Patriots. The NFL has decided what penalties New England will face for the filming incident during the Cincinnati Bengals/Cleveland Browns game from last season. It’s being reported that the Patriots  be fined $1.1 million dollars and stripped of a 2021 third-round pick.

It was actually Week 14 of last season when the Patriots film crew was in the press box and filmed the Bengals sideline. One of the Bengals staffers noticed and turned the film crew in. New England claimed that the crew was their to film b-roll footage for their online series called “Do Your Job”. The Patriots have admitted that they should have done a better job advising the crew of league protocol and communicating with the Bengals beforehand. It’s prohibited from shooting video of coaches on the sideline and don’t forget that the Patriots have a little thing called Spygate in their history.

Do you think these penalties where fair? If not which side do you fall on? Should New England have been fined more and lost a higher draft pick? Or should they have been fined less and maybe not lost a draft pick? Or do you agree with how the NFL handled this.

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

Remember that you can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

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

With the big spike in positive Covid-19 test in Florida recently you have to wonder if the restart to the NBA season is in jeopardy. It seems as though the league itself isn’t too concerned and they’re ready to follow the plan they have in place, but you have to wonder if and ho many players have questions.

As we know right now there are two players Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Lakers and Willie Cauley-Stein of the Dallas Mavericks who have notified their teams and the league that they’ll be skipping the remainder of the season. The NBA stated quite a while ago that there would be no penalty for players that didn’t want to play in these with the exception of a loss of salary.

Nothing against Bradley or Cauley-Stein, but neither is a big name in the NBA and even though Bradley had found his way into the Lakers stating line up neither player will be a big loss for their respective teams. The question now is: could we see a marquee player opt out of going to Orlando for these games?

Kevin Durant now of the Brooklyn Nets did come out and say that if he was healthy he wouldn’t play in these games, but I’m not sure how much I believe that statement. this is pretty easy to say when you know that you’re not capable of playing in these games anyway. Durant missed the entire 2019-20 season with an Achilles injury and he and the Nets have decided to hold him out of the restarted season. There’s also a possibility that Durant is being a good teammate. Remember his Nets teammate Kyrie Irving was trying to rally support for NBA players to skip the restarted season in Florida. Who better to help out you cause than one of the top players in the NBA.

Durant is a two time NBA champion and he also won MVP in both of those finals series; he has also won the league MVP for the 2013-14 season. I think a healthy Durant would be one of the first guys ready to get the season restarted. There where also quite a few people who thought that Durant was the best player in the NBA even better than LeBron James before he got injured and I’m not sure that someone with his kind of talent would actually consider sitting out. Add in the fact that a returning Durant would make the Nets a serious title contender coming out of the Eastern Conference. Would he really walk away from a chance to win another NBA championship?

While I’m not buying the Durant story their is a player who is a big key to his teams success that has been rumored to be considering skipping the games in Orlando and that player is Lou Williams of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Williams might not have the name value as a player like Durant or Irving does, but he is a huge part of what has made the Clippers successful this season. Williams is one of if  not the best sixth man in the NBA. He’s played in 60 games for the Clippers this season coming off the bench in 52 f those games. He averages 18.7 points per game while playing an average of a little over 29 minutes per game. Williams also hands out also averages 5.7 assists per game and shoots 36.3% from behind the 3-point line. The Clippers may be looked at as Kawhi Leonard’s team with Paul George being the second best player on the team, but if they where to lose Williams their chances of winning the NBA title would take a huge blow.

Heading back into the restart of the season the Clippers are the #2 seed in the Western Conference and they’re looked at as the Lakers biggest obstacle to the NBA Finals. he Clippers actually kick off the restart of the NBA season against the Lakers on July 30th, but it looks like we’ll have to wait and see if Williams will be joining his teammates for that games and the remainder of the NBA season.

The NBA released it’s schedule for the restart of the season last night and as I mentioned the Clippers vs. the Lakers is the late game on July 30th. The first game that officially restarts the NBA season is the Utah Jazz vs. the New Orleans Pelicans. As you can see the NBA ha set their return up perfectly for television. In the first game the fans will get to see Zion Williamson and then in the night cap you get the Lakers against their biggest challenger in the Western Conference the Clippers. There’s absolutely k no way that this wasn’t planned, but I’m sure that TNT who will be airing these games on their network is thrilled with these two games.

July 30th gets the NBA season restarted with just those two games, but on July 31st there are six games ready for tip off. You’ll be able to watch the Memphis Grizzlies vs. the Portland Trailblazers on NBATV while ESPN has two games that night. They start off with the Boston Celtics vs. the Milwaukee Buck while the second game features the Houston Rockets vs. the Dallas Mavericks. Interestingly there are five games scheduled for August 1st and four of them will be televised by ESPN; so if you’re a fan of the NBA their are going to be plenty of games for you to watch.

It look like the NBA is set and ready to return; are you excited? Or should the NBA and it’s players have concerns about the recent upswing in positive test for Covid-19 in Florida? Let’s hope that the virus takes a down turn in the time we have now and the NBA season restarting, but will have to see how that plays out.

Don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if for some reason you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you choose to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime