Archive for the ‘Sports Time Radio’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: June 20, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

After the commissioner of Major League Baseball Rob Manfred and the President of Major League Baseball Players Association sat down for a meeting that lasted reported about four hours I thought we’d finally come to a conclusion on something and we’d get to see baseball. Now to be honest I’m to the point where even if they decide to play I’m not sure I’m going to watch, but that’s just me.

Well for a second it did look like we where going to have baseball Manfred announced a 60 game season that could grow into 65 games and most importantly the owners where no longer asking to layers to give back any of their prorated salary. Money seemed to be the players big sticking point in these negotiations and with that issue being taken care of it looked like they’d play baseball.

NOPE!

Now I’m now sure why or what else the players could’ve wanted, but they countered the 60 to 65 game offer with a 70 game offer out of nowhere. It seemed odd to me that the players would make this offer as in the 60 to 65 game plan there where only 10 scheduled days off and by adding games you would think that number would go down. Even without travel and expended rosters not having any days off is tough on players; so I don’t know why the players association proposed more games.

One of the other sticking points the players association had when the season would end. They had more or less refused to play games in October and with the owners 60 to 65 game season games ended by the end of September. Would adding games to this schedule make it possible to accomplish that?

Now I wasn’t surprised at all to see reports that Manfred and the owners where upset that the players made a counter offer and they’ve said the don’t plan to make another counter offer as they liked the 60 to possibly 65 game season.

I’m very disappointed in not only myself, but the players association. I’m disappointed in myself because I always want the players to come out on top any time there’s a negotiation for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement, but this time it almost seems like the players aren’t negotiating in good faith. I’m actually to the point where I feel as though the players don’t want to have a season in 2020 and I’m back to thinking we won’t have baseball in 2020.

If we’re going to get a season in 2020 it looks like we’re down to two options. The players can accept the 60 game offer with expanded playoffs which seemed to be the agreement that came out of the meeting between Manfred and Clark. In that agreement that was a  promise by the players not to file a grievance against the owners. The other option would be to force commissioner Manfred to implement a schedule; potentially without extra playoff teams but still with the right to grieve the terms of the March agreement between the two sides.

After spring training was shut down due to the coronavirus in March; the league and the players agreed that when play picked up again players would be paid on a prorated basis. They also agreed to discussed what was call the “economic feasibility” of playing without fans in the stands. The players association has continued to say that discussion has nothing to do with the way they’re being paid, but it seems to have caused quite a bit of tension between the two sides.

In the end none of this may end up mattering as in both Arizona and Florida there has been a spike in the number of positive tests for the Covid-19 virus or Corona virus.

The Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies shutdown their training facilities after multiple players tested positive for the Corona virus. It’s being reported that all MLB training camps will temporarily close do to these positive tests.

The spring training facilities  both Florida and Arizona will undergo a deep cleaning accord to MLB. According to multiple reports players will now need to test negative for the virus before they’ll be allowed to enter the facilities.

What do you think is going to happen with baseball this season. Will they play that 60 to possibly 65 game schedule that came out of the meeting between commissioner Manfred and the unions president Clark? Will the owners agree to the 70 game schedule that the players association recently proposed? Will commissioner Manfred end up having to force a season? Could the two sides come up with another agreement? Or will their be no baseball at all in 2020?

While we’re on baseball I saw that former Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell is close to signing an one year deal to play for the Kiwoom Heroes of the Korean Baseball Organization.

Towards the end of the 2018 season Russell was suspended 40 games  for violating the league’s domestic abuse policy. Even though he had been suspended the Cubs tendered him a contract for the 2019 season. Russell was suspended for the first 28 games of the 2019 season. He played 27 games in Triple-A before being called up and playing in 82 games for the Cubs last season.

The Cubs non-tendered Russell after the 2019 season allowing hi to become a free agent, but he went unsigned during the off season and into what little spring training MLB had.

After being called up Russell hit .237 with 9 home runs. While his offensive numbers where down Russell was still one of the top defensive shortstop according to metrics.

I was surprised that Russell wasn’t brought into a teams spring training camp on a contract that would’ve included an invite to spring training, but no guarantee of a major league roster spot, but I guess in an game that’s starting to look almost purely at offense there’s just not a spot for a defensive player.

At least Russell will get an opportunity to play in the KBO while his former teammates and other major league players sit around and wait for an agreement between the owners and their association.

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 on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

If you’re interested you can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 17, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now I’m sure you know someone or maybe you are that person who has a thankless job. Well even though it’s well paying it seems as though being a commissioner of a professional sports league has to fall into this category. Here’s how it went for a couple of these commissioners these past couple of weeks.

Rob Manfred who is the commissioner of Major League Baseball was interviewed two weeks ago and was very positive in saying that their was going to be a baseball season. Now he didn’t go into detail about how many games or any of the other particulars for the season. Then after some more negotiations between the owners and the players association things didn’t look good. Manfred was then interviewed again earlier this week and said that he was now doubtful that there would be a 2020 baseball season. I’m not sure why, but apparently the commissioner isn’t allowed to change his mind and Manfred is just getting killed by the media for this. Now I am completely confused by this since there are people who change their minds on a daily, hourly or even minute to minute basis; so why can’t the commissioner of Major League Baseball change his mind. Now to be fair with the way the negotiations are going I can totally understand why Manfred might think there won’t be a 2020 season.

In case you’re not up to date on the baseball negotiations the owners sent a new proposal to the players association at the end of last week and asked for a reply by Sunday. Well since the proposal included a pay cut it was immediately turned down by the players and their union. The players association then said that there wouldn’t be a counter offer; so that more or less has put an end to negotiations between the two sides.

Now interestingly Manfred has the power to actually force a season, but so far has been unwilling to do this. Now recently some players have come out and have almost dared Manfred to use this power he’s been given. With the way the negotiations are going a forced season by Manfred would give the players exactly what they want. See if Manfred does decide to force a 2020 season the players would be guaranteed their prorated salaries that they agreed to back in March; so the owners wouldn’t be able to ask them to take ay kind of salary reduction in a forced season.

Maybe you find this funny like I do, but I could just see some major league players standing outside Manfred’s office daring him to force a season. It would be something like we use to do when we where kids. I wonder how long it will be before a player or players double dare or maybe even double dog dare Manfred to force a season. Please just picture that in you mind and then try to tell me you didn’t get a chuckle out of that.

Unfortunately I’ve settled on the fact that I won’t get to watch my favorite sport; baseball in 2020. Now that I’ve resigned myself to that; I’m more concerned about if there will be a strike or lock out after the 2021 season.

Are next commissioner who hasn’t been able to catch a break these past few weeks and this will come as no surprise to you is Roger Goodall the commissioner of the National Football League.

Goodall made a big, big change when he said that he supports any player that wants to take a knee during the national anthem. This of course is a stark contrast to where the NFL’s stance when Colin Kaepernick and a few other players started kneeling was it four years ago now. Of course this didn’t dissuade Goodall critics from coming out of the woodwork to take shots at the commissioner for making this change even though it appears that this is what they wanted all along. It’s oddly confusing that you can finally get a resolution in your favor and still find a platform to complain about it, but I guess this is how things go. I can only imagine what we’d be hearing had Goodall came out and didn’t change the NFL’s view on kneeling.

Goodall also mentioned this week that he’d like to see Kaepernick back in the NFL. Now to be fair Goodall has never said that he didn’t want Kaepernick in the NFL, but with the response he got you’d think Goodall was personally responsible for a team not signing Kaepernick.

Now I’m not sure if it’s a lack of understanding or if it’s just the idea that all of the facts could ruin your story, but Goodall can’t force a team to sign Kaepernick. Remember that Goodall works for the owners; so he can’t tell one of them to sign any player let alone Kaepernick. I’m not sure why people and especially people in the media think that Goodall has that kind of power. Oddly Goodall saying that he’d like to see Kaepernick back in the NFL might actually help Kaepernick get signed, but I doubt anyone will mention that.

The question now becomes; is there a good fit for Kaepernick? And if so with which team?

There’s been some noise that the Seattle Seahawks might be interesting in signing Kaepernick, but lately it seems that the team being pushed to the forefront is the New England Patriots. As we know the Patriots will have different starting quarterback for the first since 2008. New England didn’t sign one of the many free agent quarterbacks and they also didn’t use a high draft to bring in a rookie quarterback; so it looks a though the starting quarterback job is Jarrett Stidham’s to lose. Now since this is going to be Stidham’s first shot at being an NFL starting quarterback you have to wonder if Kaepernick would be a good fit as his back up. Don’t forget that the Patriots do have veteran quarterback Brian Hoyer on their roster.

Do you think there’s a spot for Kaepernick in New England? If not with the Patriots; do you have a landing spot for Kaepernick?

Now don’t forget that you can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com. Now if you miss the live version of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

If you’re interested you can find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 13, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired; just so, so tired. I’m tired of hearing that the Major League Baseball owners sent another proposal to the players. I’m tired of the players and their union immediately turning that proposal down because it includes a reduction in their salaries. I’m tired of listening the the media be it on television, online or on social media about a team not releasing a statement on the current situation in America. Did they honestly think that a team was going to come out and condone what is going on right now? Do we really need another generic statement from a team? I’m also tired of someone who decided to leave his job because he didn’t agree with what the company he was working for made changes he didn’t agree with getting destroyed for it. The last time I checked we’re allowed to have differing opinions in this country. I can already tell that the new thing I’m going to get tired of very, very quickly is NBA and NHL players complaining about having to go back to work.

Now it looked like the NHL and the NBA had their plans in place to get their seasons restarted, but now some of the players have started to question if they want to or should return. Now I’m not surprised by the NBA players doing this since they’re easily the biggest bunch of crybabies in professional sports.

It’s being reported that the NBA players had a conference call and Kyrie Irving was the main voice on the call. Irving ask if a popular adult beverage would be available to players; before insisting that he had indeed was simply sharing an example and he also wondered what food might be provided to players under league partnerships. I can cut him some slack on the food question, but does the league really need to supply the players with alcohol?

Irving did have some questions of merit. He asked as an injured player if he would be allowed to travel with the his Brooklyn Nets teammates to the bubble in Orlando and if he was allowed to be their would he be counted as one of the 35 allotted people the team can bring. Irving also asked if he did travel with the team if he would be allowed to use the sit in the stands to cheer on his teammates and if he would be allowed to use the sauna for his rehabilitation. These seem to be more legitimate questions than the food and drink ones.

Irving also asked a question about the NBA sponsors on campus, and whether they would be supplying players with products. Now he didn’t go into any specific items, but it made me curious on why players who make quite a bit of money would need handouts from a sponsor.

The call itself lasted about 90 minutes and their where about 100 players in on the call. After asking his question Irving went on to appeal to his fellow NBA players on the call that they should sit out the season and not report to Orlando. There where players on the call that said they’d be willing to sit out the restarted season, but I’m not sure if they would gain anything from it. It is interesting that Irving is the one pushing players to sit out. Remember he won’t be able to play because of a shoulder injury; so it’s an easy decision for him to sit out.

Oddly this also puts Irving on the opposite side of the restart issues with his former teammate LeBron James. James along with quite a few of other NBA superstars have supported the league return to play idea. Now remember it’s easy for a player on a team that has a good chance to win the championship to want to return, but if you’re on a borderline team that is being put into the playoffs by the new system the NBA install for this format you might have some more questions.

After the call it seemed a little unclear if the NBA would be restarting their season, but it appears as though they have enough support from the players to do so including the top players in the game. Now the question is when will the restart the season.

Now Irving has always been seen as a disruptor while in the NBA. Remember he wanted out of Cleveland because he thought that he could be the #1 player on a team and wanted to be out of LeBron’s shadow. He got his wish and was traded to the Boston Celtics, but didn’t win a championship during his two seasons with Boston. Then he took the microphone before the start of one of his two seasons with the Celtics and talked about he planned on staying their long term, but he seem to forget he mentioned that as he backpedaled very quickly from that statement and in the end he left Boston and signed with Brooklyn as a free agent.

I’m curious if Irving is just looking for a fight or if he’s upset or maybe disappointed that he won’t be able to play in Orlando. I’m not sure where he actually fits right now, but we’re talking about a guy who’s won an NBA championship and an All-Star game MVP; plus he’s one of the NBPA’s six elected vice presidents; so that will give him some credibility with some of the other NBA players. I’m not sure if Irving can get enough support to stop the NBA’s plan to restart the season, but he might be able to get a few players to not report to their teams when the time comes. Now the NBA has said that they won’t punish any player who doesn’t want to participate in Orlando and I don’t think it’s the NBA those payers would have to worry about; it would be their teammates that might have the issue with them.

How do you think this works out?

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast which airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com. The podcast is also available for you to listen to on TuneIn.com.

I’m also on Twitter if you want to look me up; I’m at @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 10, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I’m sure by now you’ve heard, seen or read that the National Football League has changed it’s stance on players kneeling during the national anthem. It should com as no surprise that the media has been attacking the NFL for not going with this decision as soon as the kneeling started. Now let’s face it no matter what the NFL would’ve decided either at the beginning of this or now with making a change the media would’ve attacked them for one thing or another.

I’m not sure why, but the NFL has always been a target of the media. I’m under the impression the media goes after them because they are the most popular sport in America and someone media member wants to make a name for themselves by trying to take them down. To be fair the NFL hasn’t always made the best decisions on major issues, but now they seem to be doing what everyone wanted them to do in the first place and they still can’t win.

With the NFL under attack their has been one odd thing that quite a few media members have jumped on and I just don’t understand. I’ve heard multiple talking heads on sports television say that the NFL owes Colin Kaepernik a job and that’s something I just can’t buy.

Kaepernick played his last game on January 1st of 2017; so he’s almost three and a half years removed from playing in the NFL. He is still young at 32 years old, but remember he lost his starting job to Blaine Gabbert back in 2017. Yes, he did lead a team to a Super Bowl appearance, but if you subtract that 12-4 season from his record he’s 16-26 as a starting quarterback in the NFL. Now as we know quarterbacks get too much credit when a team wins and too much blame when a team loses, but if you’re going to hold other quarterbacks to this Kaepernick has to be held accountable as well.

Don’t forget that their have been teams that have shown some interest in signing Kaepernick, but went in a different direction for one reason or another. The NFL even set up a tryout for him, but it seemed as though he looked at it as a conspiracy and made a bunch of changes to his tryout last minute. Even if it was a conspiracy almost every NFL team was going to be in attendance for that tryout, but after the changes he made to it a lot of teams declined to travel to the new tryout location and he lost out on a lot of teams getting a look at him.

I actually heard someone claim that if the Jacksonville Jaguars would’ve picked up Kaepernick they would’ve won the Super Bowl in the 2017/18 season. Okay; so let’s take a look at this.

Blake Bortles was the Jacksonville starting quarterback and he threw for 3687 yards with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while completing 60.2% of his passes. This was Bortles 4th season with Jacksonville and he had the advantage of working with  head coach Doug Marrone at the end of the 2016/17 season after he replaced Gus Bradley. Now one of Kaepernik’s strengths in running the football, but that season Bortles ran for 322 yards averaging 5.6 yards per carry and scored 2 touchdowns. Do you honestly see Kaepernik having a better season than Bortles did with just one training camp under his belt?

What you also have to remember is that Jacksonville found success that season by running the football. Jacksonville led the NFL with 2262 yards that season and they where 2nd in rushing touchdowns with 18.

It’s easy to look back and say they would’ve won a Super Bowl, but remember they lost to the lost to the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship game and while it was a close game (24-20); do you buy that Kaepernick at quarterback gets Jacksonville a win?

Now before you start calling me names and saying that I’m against Kaepernick that would mean you’ve never listened to the Sports Time Radio podcast where I’ve advocated for teams to sign him. I have no problem with a team signing Kaepernick, but it shouldn’t have to be forced. If a team believes that he’s the best options as maybe a back up quarterback then they should certainly sign him regardless of how it might be looked at.

There have been some people who think that the Seattle Seahawks should be the team that signs Kaepernick and he could be a good fit as Russell Wilson’s back up. I also saw someone insist that the New England Patriots sign him, but these people seem to forget that there’s still a quarterback by the name of Cam Newton available and there are probably a few teams that would take Newton over Kaepernick if they had to make the choice. In all honesty I would be much happier if the Chicago Bears where headed into the 2020/21 season with either Newton or Kaepernick at quarterback instead of Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles competing for the starting quarterback job. Of course both Foles and Trubisky have experience in the style of offense Matt Nagy runs and I’m guessing that’s why they’re here.

It’s time for you to weigh in and tell me what you think. Does the NFL own Colin Kaepernick a job? Do you think will see him on an NFL team this coming season? If you do think that he’ll be in the NFL; which team do you see him signing with? If Kaepernick does sign with an NFL team; do you see him as a back up quarterback? Or do you think there’s a team out their he could start for? It’s an interesting conversation to have and I’d like to know your thoughts.

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

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: June 6, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well it looks like just about every sports league has come up with either a plan for their return or a plan to start their season with the exception of one; Major League Baseball.

If there is no 2020 baseball season there are some things I’m curious about. Since the players didn’t play any regular season games; did they accrue any service time? Now I don’t believe the loss of a season wouldn’t affect any player who’s under contract, but players that are going through arbitration reach free agency by acquiring a certain amount of major league service time.

Remember just last off season Chicago Cubs 3rd baseman Kris Bryant lost a grievance about his service time. Bryant claimed the Cubs intentionally pushed his minor league call up back to allow them one more year of arbitration with him and while this is true the Cubs did exactly that there’s nothing in the collective bargaining agreement that didn’t allow them to; so Bryant lost. That meant at the start of the 2020 season Bryant had two more seasons before he could become a free agent, but now he and any other player who was two seasons away from free agency didn’t play any games and therefore didn’t accrue any service time. Does that mean Bryant and all those other players have to wait until 2023 to become free agents. Mookie Betts is also in this situation. One of the reasons the Boston Red Sox traded him was because he was in his final year of arbitration and would be come a free agent after the 2020 season. What does a missed season do to his free agency? Will the Los Angeles Dodgers actually get some games out of Betts? If he’s granted free agency after no 2020 season the Dodgers could lose him without playing a game for them.

Let’s say that 2020 is counted as a season even though there were no games and Betts is allowed to become a free agent. He’ll be the top free agent on the market and there was talk that he would receive a contract in the neighborhood of $30 million dollars a season.

Now if the owners and the players association can’t work something out teams are going to lose millions of dollars with no games being played. What kind of free agent market do you think there would be after that? I’m guessing a player like Betts would be lucky to get half of his actual value on the free agent market.

Now immediately the players their agents and the players association would cry collusion like they’ve done over and over in the past and while they may have had a case then; would they have one now? After losing millions of dollars it might be difficult for a team to lay out a large money long term deal especially since the collective bargaining agreement is set to expire at the end of the 2021 season.

Now just imagine a scenario where we don’t have a 2020 season because of the pandemic and he shear greed of owners and players. Then baseball returns to play in 2021 only to have a strike or a lockout at the start of the 2022 season. Could Major League Baseball survive that?

Remember after the last time baseball had a stoppage in play back in 1994 when the players went on strike it took quite a while for fans to return to the ballparks. Now at lot of why the fans returned was because of the home run chase between Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa. As it turned out both of those players along with quite a few more where using performance enhancing drugs. I know Sosa has never admitted to it like a lot of players, but fans aren’t stupid. Those drugs are now tested for; so players can’t use them. How can baseball get the fans attention back?

Home run numbers where up last year as the baseballs where adjusted from the previous season, but fans still didn’t flock to the ballparks. Baseball has been trying and trying to find ways to get more fans to go to games, but there really isn’t anything you can do with a baseball game to fit it into the short attention span society we now live in. Major League Baseball has tried to speed up play, but we’re talking about taking minutes off a game that will still take hours to play.

My biggest concern since baseball has always been my favorite sport is; are they killing the game? I’ve been wondering since the owner rejected that players associations last proposal and then said that there wouldn’t be a counter offer if I’m watching the death of baseball. I’m just not sure I see a way for baseball to recover from this; do you?

Is it possible we could see some of the smaller market or low drawing teams which in some cases are the same contracted. There are 30 Major League Baseball teams right now. Could we actually see them drop two, four or possible maybe even more teams. If so which teams would it be and how would they make that decision. The longer this goes on even the richest of teams is going to start having cash flow problems. Now add in the idea that we could get a 2021 season and then a walk out or strike. How many teams could handle that loss of revenue after what they’re losing right now?

Do you think this is something that could happen? do you think there’s a Major League Baseball team or teams that might shutdown? If you do let me know which team or teams you think it might be. I’d also be interested to know if you think  Major League Baseball itself would contract a couple of teams to try and save money? I’m really hoping none of this happens, but I’d like to know what you think about the entire baseball landscape right now.

Don’t forget to tune in to the Sports Time Radio podcast which airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com. Now if you miss the podcast live just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you want.

You can also follow me on Twitter @Burketimie

 

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: June 3, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

As we wait and wait for your beloved sport to return we’ve heard from most of if not all of the leagues with the exception of the NBA which seemed to be more confused than the other leagues on what they might do. Well we finally got some tentative information on what they might do.

There’s a proposal that the NBA will bring before it’s Board of Governors on Thursday for a vote has the season restarting on July 31st. That means the latest the season could end would be October 12th. The details of the plan will likely need to be finalized soon; so they can be presented to the NBPA and see if it’s acceptable to them.

Now if you’re a fan of the NBA don’t make the same mistake I did when the MLB owners sent a proposal to the MLBPA. I started thinking that I was going to see baseball sooner rather than later and now it looks more like I won’t see baseball at all. Of course the NBA has a much better relationship with their players union than MLB has; so hopefully they’ll be able to work this out and will see basketball at the end of July.

Originally the NBA didn’t want to see a restarted season run past Labor day, but obviously with this new proposal they’ve changed their stance on that.

There of course are some questions to be answered like how many teams will be playing come July 31st. Will they be going straight into a playoff format like the NHL has set up or are they going to go back and play what would be considered regular season games. Now if the season does run until early October; when would the draft  be held. Also they’d have to work in when free agency starts and ends. So as you can see there are quite a few questions that still need to be answered before will see an NBA game, but at least it seems like they’re heading in the direction of restarting.

Some of this may clear itself up as there have been some reports that the NBA would be willing to push the start of the 2020-21 season back until Christmas day. Normally the NBA starts their regular season right around Halloween, but that wouldn’t be much down time between the end of the 2019-20 season and the start of the 2020-21 season. Plus it also adds a couple of months to the chance that they might be able to have fans in attendance for the start of the 2020-21 season. The NBA likely won’t be in any rush to begin of the 2020-21 season until states have lifted bans on large gatherings; at least to some extent.

As I’m sure you know I’m not the biggest fan of NBA basketball and I’m probably not going to change my viewing habits when they finally return, but I’m more interested to know what you think. Will you be tuning in more, less or the same when the NBA makes it return.

There was some sad NBA news yesterday as it was announced that former NBA star player, coach and executive Wes Unseld passed away at the age of 74. According to his family Unseld series of health issues, most recently pneumonia.

Unseld, the second overall pick in the 1968 NBA draft, spent his 13-year career playing for the Bullets, first in Baltimore and later in Washington. He earned MVP honors in his first NBA season in 1969, becoming only the second rookie in league history to do so, along with Wilt Chamberlain. Unseld eventually won a championship for Washington and was chosen Finals MVP award in 1978.

Unseld is considered one of the best rebounders of all-time and he was just 6’7″. Unseld averaged 14.0 rebounds per game in 984 career regular season contests to go along with 10.8 points per game. He earned five All-Star nods and was inducted to the Basketball Hall of Fame as a player in 1988.

Unseld held a role in the Bullets’ front office following his retirement in 1981, then served as the team’s head coach from 1987-94 before becoming the general manager of the newly-renamed Wizards in 1996. He was the franchise’s head of basketball operations until 2000, then again from 2001-03 following Michael Jordan’s departure.

I mentioned MLB a little earlier and I have to say that things don’t look good for baseball actually playing some type of 2020 season. There have been proposal traded between the owners and the players union, but it seems like both sides are far apart in what the 2020 season should be.

While I don’t want to get into the financial aspect of these deals as that’s way too complicated to try to figure out between these two sides, but they don’t even seem to be close on the number of games that would be played. The owners first proposal featured an 82 game season while the players and their union countered with a 114 game season. There are now some reports out their that say the owners have a new proposal that features just a 50 game schedule. It seems as though the number of games is based around what each side thinks salaries should be for the 2020 season.

I’ve said before that at first I was very confident that I’d get to see baseball and they’d be playing a decent number of games, but now I’m thinking that there won’t be a 2020 season and if it’s just going to be a 50 game season; why even bother.

I’m extremely tired of listening to millionaires and billionaires cry about money; how about you?

Please let me know where you stand on these baseball issues. Do you think we’ll have a 2020 season? If you do think we’ll have a 2020 season; how many games will they play? How would you feel if they do play a 50 game season?

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

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: May 30, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

If you’ve listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast or I’m sure I’ve mentioned it here multiple times baseball is my favorite sport. I’m guessing this goes back to the fact that little league was the first league I played in as a child. I’m sure it also helped that my father always had his vacation in the summer time; so we would attend baseball games together. It just kind of led down the path to baseball moving to the front of the line when it comes to my love of sports.

When the owners sent their first proposal to the players union and had a plan to start playing games on July 4th weekend I was excited and overly optimistic that their was going to be baseball season.

As happy as I was that it looked like my favorite sport would be coming back soon I knew there would be some issues that would have to be worked out in this agreement. The unfortunate mistake I made was I gave both side too much credit on their true intentions of bringing baseball back.

I’m not sure how much negotiations took place on the first proposal the owners sent to the players, but after the Blake Snell rant it was clear the players had a lot of issues with it. In return the owners came up with a second proposal and I can completely understand why the players and their union turned that one down almost as quickly as I got it.

It’s starting to appear as though the owners aren’t negotiating in good faith and their using this situation to try and gain back some of the issues they’ve either given up on or loss to the layers and their union in previous negotiations.

I can understand that the owners would like the players to take a salary cut or reduction because they’re not playing a full season, but the number they’re asking the players to take is ridiculous. This almost seems like more of a plan on the owners part to turn the lower paid players against the higher paid players. In this owners proposal the higher paid players would be asked to give back more of their salary than the lower paid players would. Now the owners can point at the higher paid players in the game and try to say that it’s their fault there’s no baseball season.

There where also some reports out their that said if this proposal from the owners went through that some of the higher paid players who would be asked to take a large pay cut would sit out the season. Now you have to wonder how the season would look if players like Mike Trout, Bryce Harper and Manny Machado along with some others sat out the season.

As it’s starting to look more and more like there isn’t going to be a baseball season team owners have started to make moves to try and deal with the monetary losses they’re going to face. On Thursday there where hundreds of minor league players released and there are more players expected to be released as it’s looking like the entire minor league season could be cancelled.

Teams are saying that the majority of these players would’ve been released at the end of spring training if things would’ve played out as they normally had. It appears as though more than 1000 players will end up being released by teams during these cuts. Some of the players that where released have expressed concern that this may be the end of their careers while payers on the bubble with those teams that haven’t made cuts yet have to be concerned about their about their baseball future.

While some teams have already made some moves with their team employees either by laying them off or just furloughing them on Friday it was the Arizona Diamondbacks turn to make this move.

Arizona let about one quarter of the team employees go because of the Coronavirus outbreak while the the employees that are staying on will be taking a 15% pay cut with the teams higher paid employees losing a bigger percentage of their income. This is very similar to the second proposal the owners sent the players.

The majority of the employees the Diamondbacks laid off or furloughed where on the business side of the organization; particularly in ticket sales. The teams baseball operations department will remaining mostly unaffected for now.

We’ve seen multiple athletes use their own money during this pandemic to help out others who have had some trouble during the this time and David Price of the Los Angeles Dodgers is the next player to do such a thing.

Now remember Price hasn’t even thrown a pitch in a game that counts for the Dodgers as he was acquired in a trade this past off season., but he’s still helping out his new teammates.

Price will give each minor league player who is not on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster $1,000 for the month of June. Price’s act of generosity will impact just over 200 people facing unprecedented difficulty during the coronavirus outbreak.

Now the Dodgers themselves had already committed to continuing their $400 a week payments to minor league players. The Dodgers also have this plan in place for those training out of the teams academy in the Dominican Republic through June.

Most minor league players earn below minimum wage and are not protected by the Major League Baseball Players Association. While the minor league players pay is decided by the team itself and some of those teams have chose to stop paying their minor leaguers the MLB players received an advance of $170 million for April and May and won’t receive any more than that if the season is canceled.

It’s nice to see players like Price reach out and give a hand to these minor league players. As it start to look more and more like not only the minor league season, but the major league baseball season could be cancelled these player will need some help.

The Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you want.

You cam also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

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

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

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

Here’s how this shakes out:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can find me on Twitter @Burketime