Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

How was your week

Posted: September 12, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in sports

The NFL season kicked off Thursday night with the Kansas City Chiefs beating the Houston Texans 34-20. The game wasn’t as close as the final score indicated it might have been as the Chiefs got out to a 34-7 lead and the game was pretty much over after that. I’m sure the NFL was hoping for a more competitive game and I bet they where even more displeased when they found out that ratings where down 13% from last years opening game.

Now historically and I’m not sure why this is, but NFL ratings are always down in an election year, but 13% is a big number and I don’t think the election can account for that.

Now there was a lot of competition on Thursday night, but the NFL is the #1 sport in America and normally that doesn’t matter, but you have to wonder if there was just too many sporting events on.

Besides the NFL on Thursday night there was the NHL and NBA playoffs going on. They’re in the stretch run in Major League Baseball and there are quite a few teams with a chance to make their expended playoffs. The WNBA was in action and there was also a NASCAR series truck race on Thursday night. Did you watch one of these sports over the opening night of the NFL?

I watched the start of the NFL game, but I became bored very quickly and switched over the the U.S. Open to watch Serena Williams play Victoria Azarenka. I’m not sure why the NFL game didn’t hold my interest and to be honest I’m not a huge tennis fan, but I like watching Williams play.

Now unfortunately I brought Williams bad luck as she ended up losing 6-1, 3-6, 3-6 and may have gotten injured.

After a point in the third set Williams was bent over after a point and stayed like that for a while holding the lower part of her left leg. The trainer came out and took a look at her leg as the match was stopped for a medical timeout. Williams leg was taped up and she was able to finish the match, but Azarenka easily won after the stoppage.

After the match Williams said that she believes that it was her Achilles that was giving her trouble. She went on to mention that she thinks she hurt her Achilles during one of the long baseline rallies during the match, but didn’t use that as an excuse for losing.

After the match Williams said “I don’t think that had anything to do with it” she also added “Ultimately, it didn’t affect my play at all.”

Williams was seeking her 24th Grand Slam singles title and since her 39th birthday is a couple of weeks away the question started about if she’ll win another Grand Slam title.

Now I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know much or anything about tennis, but I’d find it difficult to bet against Williams in any tournament she’s entered in.

Now since I didn’t see much of the Thursday night NFL game I had to look at the stats to see how things went fantasy football wise. Now there where a couple of things that stuck out, but I’m not sure if it’s an indicator on how the season will go.

Going into ever fantasy draft Clyde Edwards-Helaire was the hot running back name. Now remember there was no pre-season; so it was all guess work about how he’d fit into the Chiefs offense and for one week he did well, but I’m not sold that it will be this way every week.

Now Edwards-Helaire is Kansas City’s #1 running back; so he’s going to get the bulk of the carries in the running game and that means he’ll score fantasy points for his owners, but don’t expect him to get 25 carries like he did Thursday night.

What I noticed was that Patrick Mahomes only threw for 211 yards. That may be his lowest total for the season. What also stuck out was the fact that Edwars-Helaire didn’t have a reception and as a whole Chiefs running backs only caught 2 passes in the game.

So while Edwards-Helaire showed that he could run the football one of the reasons fantasy players where so high on him was because of the contributions he was going to make in the Chiefs passing game.

Now I think that Edwards-Helaire will be a good fantasy player. I just don’t expect him to continue to run the football as much as he did on Thursday night. Now hopefully he’ll be more involved in the Chiefs passing game as the season goes on and that will help make up for the lower number of carries he’ll probably get down the line.

Now obviously I’m not saying that if you own Edwards-Helaire that you should cut him or anything like that. All I’m saying is it’s just Week 1; so don’t try and tell the other players in your fantasy league that you’re the smartest guy in the room just yet. just remember there’s a lot of football left to be played and I’m sure there will be some other oddities coming out of Week 1 of the NFL.

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

I’m also on Twitter if you’d like to look me up. I’m @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 9, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in sports

We had our first upset in the NBA playoffs as the 5th seeded Miami Heat beat the Eastern Conference’s #1 seed the Milwaukee Bucks four games to one in the conference semi-final match up.

Now I don’t think anyone ended up being surprised by the Heat winning this series. Since they took a three games to none lead it seemed pretty clear that they’d end up sending Milwaukee home. What might be the surprising part of this series win was just how easy the Heat made it look.

Now the first round playoff match ups rarely have series upsets. Sure ever now and then and 8th seed will win a game in a series against the #1 seed, but then thing get back to how it should be and that #1 seed rolls though the 8th seed. Now in the second round then have been more upsets, but it’s been since a 5th seed has beaten a #1 seed in a playoff series.

Miami used a balanced attack last night as six players scored in double figures in their 103-94 win. Jimmy Butler and Goran Dragic each scored 17 points to lead Miami in scoring. Jae Crowder added 16 points and Bam Adebayo was the other starter in double figures with 13 points. Tyler Herro added 14 points off the bench while Kelly Olynyk chipped in 12 points while also coming off the bench. Butler also grabbed 10 rebounds to make his night a double-double. Butler and Herro each handed out 6 assists to tie for the team lead there.

Now the Bucks where in a hole to start as they where playing without one of the best players in the NBA in Giannis Antetokounmpo who was out with an ankle injury.

Without Antetokounmpo it was Kris Middleton who led the Bucks in scoring with 23 points. Donte DiVincenzo scored 17 points while Brook Lopez scored 15 points and grabbed a game high 14 rebounds. Wes Matthews scored 11 points and Marvin Williams came off the bench to score 11 points while Eric Bledsoe handed out a game high 9 assists.

Now as soon as this game was over the talk immediately turned to what Antetokounmpo’s future will be. Now the Bucks can offer Antetokounmpo the super max deal which would be a contract for a total of $220 million dollars. That’s $80 more million dollars more than any other team can offer him. It’s doubtful that he’ turn down a contract of that size to enter free agency, but Antetokounmpo has made it clear that he wants to win and even though the Bucks have been one of the better teams in the eastern Conference the last two seasons they haven’t made it into the NBA Finals. Milwaukee has said that they won’t trade Antetokounmpo, but is it possible that he could force a sign and trade.

While Antetokounmpo has had his struggles in the playoffs during the regular season he’s one of the best players in the NBA. Last season may have been Antetokounmpo’s best; well at least statistically. He averaged 29.5 points per game, 13.6 rebounds per game and 5.6 assists per game while playing just over 30 minutes a game.

Now you’ll hear a lot of talk about the things Antetokounmpo needs to improve on like his free throw shooting and his 3-point shooting, but there isn’t a team in the NBA that wouldn’t want him if the Bucks decide to trade him.

If Milwaukee can’t resign Antetokounmpo and they give in and decide to trade him the questions then become; what could they get for him? and were would he end up?

Right off the bat there was talk that the Golden State Warriors would be the first team n line if Antetokounmpo is made available. Golden State did end up with the 1st pick in the upcoming draft, but could a package including that pick be enough to sway the Bucks to deal one of the best players in the game? I’m not sure if there’s enough on that Golden State roster to get this deal done, but you never know what a team will do with a player that can just walk away in free agency. Would Milwaukee take less in a deal instead of watching Antetokounmpo leave and get nothing in return.

What happens with Antetokounmpo will be the top story heading into the NBA’s off season.

Where do you have Antetokounmpo playing next season? Do you think he’ll take that big money contract and stay in Milwaukee? Or do you have another landing spot in mind for him?

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com. If you miss the live edition of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to the podcast any time you want.

I’m also on Twitter if you want to find me there I’m @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: September 5, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in sports

Now if you’ve listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast or I’m sure I mentioned it here a time or to, but I’m not a big NBA fan. Normally I’ll flip over to see a score or watch a minute or two of a game, but until last night I hadn’t seen a minute of the NBA since they’ve returned. However last night I wanted to watch a little of the Miami Heat’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks and now I just watched a little here and there. There was no way I was going to try and sit through the entire game. I have to say I was surprised with the outcome.

Now Milwaukee hadn’t won a game in the series and if they lost last night they’d be just one game away from being eliminated from the playoffs. this would be a big upset since Milwaukee was the best team in the Eastern Conference this season and where an easy pick to go to the NBA Finals.

Well unfortunately for the Bucks the Heat had their number again and beat Milwaukee 115-100 in Game 3 and now have a commanding lead in the series.

At first it looked like Milwaukee would find a way to get their first win in the series. They had a 1 point lead after the 1st quarter and then going into halftime they had increased that lead to 7 points. The 3rd quarter also went the Bucks way as they where able to add 5 point to their lead and heading into the 4th quarter they had a 87-75 lead. Too bad they had to play the 4th quarter.

When Jimmy Butler hit the first of two free throws with 6:16 left to play the Heat had fought it’s way back and tied the game at 93 all. Butler than gave the Heat their first lead by making his second free throw.

Now I thought that the Bucks might fold right there and Miami would cruise to another victory, but Milwaukee hung tough for a short period of time and regained the lead at 99-98 when Giannis Antetokounmpo dunked with 4:41 left in the game.

Who would have known that would be the last lead the Bucks would have in the game as Miami went on a 17 to 1 run including going six of six from the free throw line in the closing minutes to win Game 3 115-100.

Butler was the Heat’s and the game top scorer with 30 points. Bam Adebayo added a double-double with 20 points and tied for the game high in rebounds with 16. Two of the other three Miami starters got into double figures as Jae Crowder scored 17 points and Goran Dragic added 15 points. Tyler Herro was the only other Miami player to score in double figures as he added 13 points coming in off the bench.

Brook Lopez was the Bucks leading scorer with 22 points. Antetokounmpo scored 21 points; he also ended up tied for the game high with 16 rebounds and also handed out a game high 9 assists. Khris Middleton scored 18 while George Hill and Donte DiVincenzo each reached double figurs in points off the bench. Hill scored 13 point while DiVincenzo added 10 points.

So the Bucks who won 56 games during the regular season and where the #1 seed in the Eastern Conference are just one game away from being sent home by a Miami team that won 44 regular season games and came into these playoffs as the 5th seeded Eastern Conference team.

Game 4 will be played on Sunday and is scheduled for a 2:30 p.m. start time on ABC. Will Milwaukee be going home after that game? Or will they find a way to extend the series and hand the Heat their first loss in these playoffs?

As always I’m interested to know what you think will happen. Do you have Milwaukee gong home? Or will there be at least a Game 5 in this series?

Now I haven’t watched any of the other NBA playoff series, but here what I know.

The Houston Rockets beat the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of their series last night 112-97 last night. At 5:30 p.m. today on TNT the Boston Celtics face the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference series. Boston is leading this series 2 games to 1. Then at 8:00 p.m. also on TNT the Denver Nuggets take on the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 2 of their Western Conference series. The Clippers took Game 1; so they’ve got a 1 game to none lead in this series.

Are you going to be watching the NBA on TNT tonight?

I hope that you’re listening to the Sports Time Radio podcast, but if not it airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com. The podcast can also be heard any time you’d like to listen to it at TuneIn.com.

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

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: September 2, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Monday was the trade deadline in Major League Baseball and there was a lot more activity than everybody thought there would be. Where you surprised by all the deals at the trade deadline?

Now it seems as the San Diego Padres have won the award for trade deadline winners, but there where a lot of teams that made moves and some where surprising.

The Cleveland Indians did decide to part way with Mike Clevinger and he was dealt to San Diego in a trade that had nine player in it. The Arizona Diamondbacks dealt a couple of what would’ve been their upcoming free agents as they sent left hander Robbie Ray to the Toronto Blue Jays. They also traded outfielder Starling Marte to the Miami Marlins. Humorously earlier on Monday everyone thought the Marlins where going to be sellers because they sent Jonathan Villar to the Blue Jays, but then they surprised everyone by turning around and acquiring Marte. These where just a few of the players that ended up changing teams on Monday, but I’m not going to go through every deal because I’m sure there have been plenty of other people who have already done that.

Now while there are winners at the trade deadline there are also losers. Even though the Los Angeles Dodgers have looked like the best teams in baseball they where added into the loser slot because the only deal they made had them sending Ross Stripling to Toronto for two players to be named later. The New York Yankees where also looked at as trade deadline loser since they didn’t make a deal. Now I want to look at who where the trade deadline losers, but in another way.

In a weird way I think the biggest losers at the trade deadline where the fans. Now maybe you where happy that your favorite team picked up what could be a key piece in a playoff run r maybe you’re happy with what you’re favorite team did in working towards rebuilding their franchise and that’s not where the fans lose out.

So why do I think the fans came out as losers in this trade deadline? Well for the 8th time in 9 seasons it looks like the best player in baseball Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels will be at home during the playoffs and that’s sad.

Trout has made just one playoff appearance in his career and that lasted just three games. In 2014 the Angels where swept by the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS and this is the only time Trout has seen playoff baseball. Not including this season which looks like it will be their 5th the Angels have been an under .500 team and it doesn’t seem they’re on their way to changing that.

The Angels are currently 12-24 and in last place in the AL West. They are 11 games behind the division leading Oakland A’s. And while they weren’t really huge sellers at the trade deadline they didn’t go out looking to add anyone either.

At the trade deadline the Angels sent catcher Jason Castro to the Padres for right handed pitcher Gerardo Reyes who was immediately sent to their alternative training site. The other deal the Angels made saw them sending outfielder Brian Goodwin to the Cincinnati Reds for left handed pitcher Packy Naughton and either a player to be named later or cash considerations.

Reyes pitched in 27 games for the Padres last season and while he did go 4-0 while striking out 38 batters over 26 innings, but he had an ERA of 7.62. Reyes will probably fill a relief role if he’s used by the Angels. As for Naughton he was picked by the Reds in the 9th round of the 2019 draft and hasn’t pitched in the majors. He split 2019 between high Class A and Double A where he went 11-12 with an ERA of 3.32 in 28 starts covering 157 innings. Naughton is 24 years old; so maybe he’ll develop into a starting pitcher for the Angels, but will have to wait and see.

While the Angels have always had a good offense it’s been pitching that’s been holding them back and while they added some depth to the starting rotation this past off season they never really address the bullpen. The Angels came into the 2020 shortened season with Hansel Robles as their closer. In 2019 Robles looked like he might be able to handle to closing role as he picked up 23 saves after taking over the closers role, but unfortunately Robles was unable to continue that success into the 2020 season. Robles has appeared in 12 games pitching 11 innings. He managed to pick up just 1 save and his ERA is 10.64 not exactly the kind of numbers you’re looking for out of a closer. Ty Buttrey has taken over as the Angels closer and has done a solid job posting 4 saves and an ERA of 3.00 in 16 games this season.

Trout has been in the majors for 9 full seasons and he’s signed with the Angels until the 2030 season; so he’s not going anywhere unless the frustration of not making the playoffs gets to him and he forces a trade. So it brings up the question of; when will we see Trout back in the playoffs? Or maybe the question should be; will we see Trout back in the playoffs?

Being that the Angels are a west coast team Trout doesn’t get the exposure that some players do, but if he and the Angels could just find their way into the playoffs a tie or to he’d have the showcase he needs to truly become the face of baseball. To be honest I’m not sure that Trout would even want to be that as he really hasn’t looked for media attention with the exception of those Subway commercials a few years back, but it would be nice if baseball fans could see the best player in baseball perform on the biggest stage baseball has.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com. If you miss the live version of the podcast it is also available for you to listen to any time you want at TuneIn.com.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: August 29, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in Auto Racing, NASCAR, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The NASCAR regular season ends tonight in Daytona Beach Florida with the Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway.

14 of the 16 playoff spots have been filled. Matt DiBenedetto is currently in the 15th position and William Byron is currently in the final playoff spot. In his final season Jimmie Johnson is 17th in the standings, but he’s just 4 points out of a playoff spot. Will it be these three driver that take the last two playoff spots? Or will it be a driver outside of the playoff race that wins the race and automatically qualify for the playoffs?

If there’s a first time winner tonight DiBenedetto can clinch a playoff spot by picking 51 points in tonight’s race while Byron and Johnson would both need help to clinch a playoff spot. If there’s a repeat winner tonight then DiBenedetto 47 points to get into the playoffs while Byron would need 52 points to qualify for the playoffs.

There are also 17 drivers that could get into the playoffs with a win as well as an 18th driver who would get into the playoffs with a win and a good points day to get into the Top 30. While a driver automatically qualifies for a playoff spot he as to be in the Top 30 points to claim that playoff spot.

Johnson is the sentimental favorite since he’s retiring after this season. He’s a two time Daytona 500 winner with both of those wins coming when he swept both races at this track in 2013. Johnson is a seven time cup champion and tonight he is going to try and get into the playoffs for the 16th time they NASCAR started this format in 2004. Are you rooting for Johnson to win the race and make the playoffs?

Kevin Harvick starts on the poll for tonight’s race. Harvick was awarded the poll using the new formula NASCAR has. He’s how it breaks down: 50% of it comes from your finish in the last race. 35% comes from where you stand in owner pints and the final 15% comes from where your fastest lap from the last race ranked. Harvick just so happened to finish 1st in all of those categories.

Here’s what the rest of the Top 10 looks like. Martin Truex Jr. starts 2nd, Joey Logano starts 3rd, Brad Keselowski starts 4th, Aric Almirola starts 5th; William Byron starts 6th, Jimmie Johnson starts 7th, Alex Bowman starts 8th, Ryan Blaney will start 9th with Denny Hamlin starting 10th.

In last nights Xfinity race teammates worked together and had success doing it to a certain extent.

All three Kaulig racing drivers Justin Haley, Ross Chastain and A.J. Allmendinger where having great success working as a three car team in the draft and towards the end of the race they where sitting 1, 2 and 3. Haley was in the 3rd and was doing a solid job of blocking and holding off the oncome field. Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe managed to dislodge Haley from the 3rd spot and started to make their way to Chastain and Allmendinger. Since Chastain was in 2nd place it now became his responsibility to try to hold off the oncoming field. As Cindric and Briscoe closed in they ended up giving Chastain a big push and instead of protecting Allmendinger he decided that he was going to try and pass him and go for the win. Unfortunately for Kaulig Racing Allmendinger either decided to block Chastain or just pull back in front of him to get to the finish line for the win. In this case Chastain got their to quickly and ended up turning Allmendinger and wrecking both cars. Cindric was also caught up in this last lap crash. Through it all Haley who had been able to get himself back into the draft around 7th or 8th position after he was passed found his way to the finish line and ended up winning the race.

Haley and Chastain who ended up finishing 6th are full time drivers for Kaulig racing while Allmendinger races part time for the team. Chastain alluded to that in his post race comments. “It doesn‘t matter how many races each of us run,” Chastain said referring to Allmendinger‘s part-time schedule. “We‘re supposed to go for the win. Team rules are the last 10 laps and we all stay committed. I hate that Justin go shucked out there with five to go. “But coming to the checkered; what am I supposed to do? Finish second? Not this guy.”

Allmendinger ended up finishing 15th pretty much took the high road in his post race comments. “It‘s the way it is,” Allmendinger said. “I don‘t know. I try to take care of my teammates, but it is what it is and it was going for the win. Ross is going for the championship and going for the win there. I saw him get low and thought maybe he would take care of me a little bit considering I was there. But he‘s going for the win. It is what it is and just disappointing because we were going to have another one-two-three Kaulig finish at Daytona. “It‘s racing. And congratulations to Justin Haley for getting a Kaulig Racing Chevrolet into Victory Lane. That‘s the most important thing.”

It was still a good night for Kaulig Racing as they swept the all stages of last nights race. Haley won Stage 1; Allemendinger won Stage 2 while Haley won the race.

You have to wonder with the success teammates had working together last night if will see that in tonight’s NASCAR. Bryon, Johnson and Bowman start 6th, 7th and 8th; so they’ll have an opportunity to work together right at the start of the race. Of course Byron and Johnson are both racing for one of those two playoff open playoff spots; so you have to wonder how long they’ll work together.

It would seem that teammates like Logano and Keselowski would be interested in working together since they’ve had quite a bit of success do it, but to be fair when it comes down to the end of the race we could see some strange pairings working together.

If you come across this blog before the race starts let me know who you think wins the race. As for me I’ve always liked the underdog in these type of races; so I’m going with John Hunter Nemechek as my pick to win.

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast. The podcast airs 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 any time you want.

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 26, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

As I was doing my research for fantasy baseball season one of the things that seemed to be agreed on was that with the exception of the very best starting pitchers they wouldn’t have much impact this season. There where also people who thought that starters would only pitch 3 or 4 innings per start. Now either these experts where wrong or after last night Lucas Giolito has moved into the upper echelon of starting pitching.

Through five starts this season Giolito was 1-2 with and ERA of 4.88. On August 20th he went 7 innings against the Detroit Tigers. He struck out 13 and didn’t give up any runs. Last night it was Giolito’s turn to start. This time against the Pittsburgh Pirates and made it a memorable start.

Last night Giolito threw the 19th no-hitter in Chicago White Sox history. He also recorded the most strikeouts 13 in any no-hitter thrown by a White Sox pitcher.

It took Giolito 101 pitches to no-hit the Pirates last night. He did walk one batter and of course there where some good defensive plays to help keep the no-hitter in tacked.

Jose Abreu made two good plays on throws from Tim Anderson. On one play Abreu had to come off of 1st base to handle a throw from Anderson, but was still able to tag the Pittsburgh runner trying to reach base safely. The other play saw Anderson one hop a throw to 1st base that Abreu was able to pick cleanly for an out. The other quality defensive play was the final out of the game. On what may have been the only bad pitch Giolito made all night he left a pitch up and Eric Gonzalez hit a line drive that looked like it might be headed for the rightfield corner. Luckily Adam Engel took the proper angle on it and was able to cut the ball off and make the catch to end the game and keep the no-hitter for Giolito.

Giolito was the 16th pick in the 2012 draft by the Washington Nationals, but thing didn’t go all that well for him with Washington. After pitching in part of four minor league seasons with the Nationals Giolito was called up. He made 4 starts for Washington and pitched in 6 total games to end the 2016 season. Giolito had his issues; he pitched 21 1/3rd innings and went 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. After having those struggles at the major league level Washington traded Giolito along with Reynaldo Lopez and Dane Dunning to the White Sox for outfielder Adam Eaton.

After being drafted as high as he was Giolito was looked at as someone who would develop into a #1 starter. He spent most of the 2017 season in AAA Giolito was called up and made 7 starts that season and pitched well. In those 7 starts Giolito went 3-3 with a 2.38 ERA. After showing that potential Giolito spent the entire 2018 season in the starting rotation and he had his issues. He made 32 starts that season pitching 173 1/3rd innings. He went 10-13 and posted a 6.13 ERA which I believe was the highest for any starting pitcher that season. It should’ve come as no surprise that there was talk that Giolito would never become the pitcher people thought he would be when he was drafted, but last season he showed he could develop into that. Giolito pitched in 29 games covering 176 2/3rd innings. He went 14-9 ad his ERA came down to 3.41. He also had 3 complete games; 2 of which where shutouts. Now you add a no-hitter to Giolito’s resume and it looks like the White Sox got a pretty good deal.

Giolito’s next start is scheduled for this coming Sunday against the Kansas City Royals; so we’ll see if he can continue to pitch well or if there might be a little bit of a no-hitter hangover.

The White Sox could use for Giolito to turn into that #1 starter people thought he’d be coming out of the draft. Right now the White Sox would make the expended playoffs, but they’d be one of the two wild card teams. As it’s turning out the AL Central is looking like it’s going to be a tougher division than people predicted it to be. The Minnesota Twins currently lead the division by 1 1/2 games over the Cleveland Indians and the White Sox.

With the win last night the White Sox are 18-12; so their season is officially half way over. They’ll have seven more games against the Twins and three more games against the Indians to try and make up some ground and not have to play in that wild card game.

Do you see the White Sox making the playoffs? And if they do get into the playoffs; would you consider that a surprise?

While we’re in the AL Central the Indians and the Twins are playing the third game of a three game series today. Minnesota won the first game 3-2 behind Kenta Maeda while Cleveland took the second game 4-2 behind Shane Bieber. Interestingly for the rubber match today the Indians are bringing Mike Clevinger back from the teams alternative training site to make the start in today’s game. The Twins will be countering with Jose Berrios.

I found it interesting that Clevinger is being brought back up, but Zach Plesac is not. Without going into the whole story I’m sure you remember that Clevinger and Plesac had some issues in Chicago after going out on the town after a Plesac start.

I understand that Clevinger is the better pitcher out of the two, but I really think what he did ended up being worse than what Plesac did. Remember Clevinger actually got on the team plane and flew back to Cleveland with his teammates potentially exposing them to Covid-19. Now it’s possible Plesac would’ve gotten on the plane as well, but he got caught sneaking into the team hotel and was given a rental car and had to drive back to Cleveland alone.

Adam Plutko took a couple turns in the starting rotation and top prospect Triston McKenzie made his major league debut while Clevinger and Plesac where at the alternative training site. It looks like Plutko will head back to the bullpen while McKenzie will stay in the rotation along with Clevinger.

So what does this mean for Plesac? With the trade deadline 5 days away you have to wonder if his days in Cleveland are numbered.

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

Feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: August 22, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, hockey, post season, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I know I’ve mentioned this here before, but in case you’re new to this blog I’ll go over it again. I’m not a fan of the style of play in today’s NBA. Now don’t get me wrong I enjoy a good highlight reel dunk like everyone else, but when it take that player four steps to do that dunk well then it’s something that should be in the dunk contest. I also don’t enjoy how there’s no movement on offense. Four players stand around at the 3-point line while the player with the basketball tries to drive to the hoop. If he is unsuccessful he kicks the basketball out to one of his teammates for a 3-pointer. It just makes the game boring for me. I’m not going to talk about defense because let’s face it they stopped playing defense a very long time ago in the NBA.

Now with all tat being said I was quite surprised when I heard that the television ratings are down as much as 7% in some cases. Now after NASCAR returned and did some really big ratings I thought with as long as we went with sports that when they came back the ratings would be through the roof, but apparently that’s not the case in the NBA. I was trying to think of reasons for this ratings drop and I think I have a couple of ideas.

When the NBA returned they played meaningless games. When the NBA came back I thought they’d go right into the playoffs, but instead they had some more regular season games. Unfortunately with the exception of who would be the 8th seed in the Western Conference everything else was pretty much decided. The odd regular season return ended up with just the Memphis Grizzlies and the Portland Trailblazers being the only two teams that had anything to play for, but there where 22 teams invited to play in the NBA bubble. I’m still not sure why the Washington Wizards where added to this regular season. I guess the NBA decided that they just couldn’t add all Western Conference teams, but the Wizards never had a shot at getting into the playoffs.

Another reason for the ratings being down piggybacks of my first reason. Since these games didn’t mean anything to the top teams the star players sat out. Load management is the word used in the NBA now, but it made perfect sense that players like LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Los Angeles Lakers skipped games. Now James and Davis weren’t the only top players to skip games. Kawhi Leonard of the Los Angeles Clippers sat out as did Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks. To be fair though one of the games Antetokounmpo missed was because he was suspended for headbutting another player, but you see where I’m going here. Since the NBA really pushes their star players especially James; why would you watch a game if those players aren’t playing?

Another reason for the decline in ratings could be just the simple fact that it’s August and it’s normally the NBA off season. It might be tough for the average fan to watch an NBA game because they’re just not use to doing it this time of the year. I know it might seem like a weird reason, but there are fan that move from sport to sport and this time of year is looked at as baseball season with football right around the corner. Don’t forget that there are fans with children who might be playing other sports and they might not be around a television to watch an NBA game.

It also possible that the fans of those eight teams that where left out of the bubble format just stopped watching NBA games because their favorite team wasn’t playing. If you’re a fan of a certain team then there’s a good chance that you’re a fan of the NBA as a whole, but since you’re favorite team wasn’t playing there wasn’t a reason for these fans to have an interest in what was going on in the bubble. That leaves eight teams worth of fans not watching and I’d bet that they where much more interested in the draft lottery that happened this week over what’s going on in the  playoffs.

If you’re the networks covering these game; ESPN and TNT there has to be some concern especially at ESPN since they paid the most to get the rights to televise these games. Now there is a chance as the playoffs continue on that fans will more interested as the match ups get better. NBA fans know that it’s almost impossible for a 8th seed to beat the #1 seed or a 7th seeded team to beat that 2nd seeded team, but as the top seeds move on to face better teams it might spark some more interest in fans. You’d have to think that fans would want to see a Lakers/Clippers match up in the Western Conference finals. Of course over in the Eastern Conference Milwaukee seemed like the best team; so will fans have any interest in a rematch of last years Eastern Conference finals if we get the Bucks against the Toronto Raptors or might they be more inclined to watch the Bucks against the Boston Celtics.

I guess we won’t have the answers to this until the playoffs move forward. I am interested to know why you think the NBA ratings are down. I’d also like to know if you’re watching NBA games.

Happily for the NHL they are on the opposite end of the television ratings game. NHL games are actually slightly up ratings wise in the United States while in Canada they have put up excellent numbers. There where reports that in times in Canada there have been between five and seven million people watching the NHL. Of course hockey was invented in Canada and I’m sure if you’re a fan of the NHL you’ve heard the term that we’re just borrowing the game here.

What do you think the reason for the increase in NHL ratings is? Do you think it helps that both of the NHL’s bubble set ups are in Canada? Please let me know what you think in the comment section.

Don’t forget to listen to Sports Time Radio live Monday thru Friday on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you do miss out on the live version of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen to it any time you want to.

Also feel free to look me up on Twitter @Burketime

 

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 19, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Cleveland Indians are currently in 2nd place in the American League Central just 1 1/2 games behind the division leading Minnesota Twins, but they find themselves in a bit of a quandary with a couple of their starting pitchers.

Let’s do a quick recap. On August 8th Zach Plesac made a start against the Chicago White Sox. Plesac picked up the win; he pitched 6 innings gave up 5 hits and no runs while walking 1 and striking out 7. It was Plesac’s first win of the season in 3 starts and it lowered his ERA to 1.29. So he was off to g a good start this season.

Now Plesac was born in Crown Point Indiana and went to college at Ball State which is in Muncie Indiana neither of which are too far from Chicago. After the game Plesac decided to go out to dinner with some friends. Now this is against MLB’s protocol due to the Covid-19 situation. Now Plesac got caught sneaking back into the Indians hotel and the team got him a rental car and made him drive back to Cleveland by himself just in case he had been exposed to the Covid-19 virus while he was out.

As it turned out unbeknownst to the Indians another of their starting pitchers was out that night with Plesac. Mike Clevinger joined Plesac on his night out in Chicago, but apparently made it back into the team hotel without being caught and even flew back to Cleveland on the team plane before it was found out that he was out with Plesac.

Once back in Cleveland Plesac and Clevinger where both placed in quarantine and tested for the Covid-19 virus now luckily neither player has had a positive test, but the incident has caused a bit of a rift with their Indians teammates. With both Plesac and Clevinger going through their 10 day quarantine with no positive tests they where eligible to rejoin the team. Now before the Indians game Friday night against the Detroit Tigers there was a team meeting and players spoke their minds about what Plesac and Clevinger had done. Now apparently Francisco Lindor spoke and was very critical of Plesac and Clevinger’s action, but the player who really made an impact at the meeting was veteran reliver Oliver Perez who went so far as to say that if Plesac and Clevinger where put back on the roster he’d opt out of the remainder of the season.

Now I thought they might all be able to get together and work something out so Plesac and Clevinger could rejoin the team, but as of right now they are both at the teams alternative training site, but that can’t last forever.

So what do you do if you’re the Indians?

Clevinger is 29 years old and has really come into his own as a starting pitcher. He had some injury issues last season, but still went 13-4 in his 21 starts with an ERA of 2.71. Plesac is even younger; just 25. Last season he made 21 starts going 8-6 with a 3.81 ERA.

Is it possible that the Indians might be forced to trade away two young starting pitchers? If they did go that route; what could they get for them? and which team would be willing to make a deal?

Not only are both of these starters young, but Clevinger has two more seasons of arbitration while Plesac is still in pre-arbitration and doesn’t reach free agency until 2026. That’s a lot of value in two young starters, but do the Indians have to trade them?

Now look what they did was wrong and they got very luckily that neither of them contracted Covid-19 while they where out especially Clevinger who endangered his entire team, but I’m not sure if this is an offense that  means banishment from the team. I can understand their teammates being upset with them and they should be, but there’s got to be a way to work this out without them being forced off the team.

Now if the Indians where to trade them; what would they be looking for? Don’t forget that Lindor only has one more year of arbitration before he becomes a free agent and there’s very little chance of him staying in Cleveland unless he’s willing to sign a contract they way under his value. Is it possible that Cleveland could use either Plesac or Clevinger to try and get their future shortstop? There are some shortstops ranked in the Top 10 major league prospects, but would their current teams be willing to deal them for a young starting pitcher; it’s difficult to say. It’s possible that the Indians might want young pitchers who are still in the minors for their major league young pitchers and it also might be that Cleveland could be looking for a cornerstone type of outfielder since they haven’t had much luck with their own outfield prospects.

Now only time will tell which way the Indians go with this situation, but it might be sooner than you think. I believe that since Plesac and Clevinger where on the 40 man roster they can only spend a maximum of 10 days at the alternative training site; so we might get a answer as soon as next week.

I definitely need your opinion on this one. How do you feel about what Plesac and Clevinger did? Then what do you think the Indians should do? Do you think they should trade them? Or do you think they should let them stay with the team and try to regain their teammates trust? Now if you think they should be given a second chance by the Indians; do you think this affects the way the team plays? I’m also wondering if you think that other players have done something similar to this and gotten away with it?

I do know if I was many of the rebuilding team in MLB I’d be in contact with the Indians very quickly to find out if we could work out a deal. A pair of starters like Plesac and Clevinger could really speed up a teams rebuilding process.

The Sports Time Radio podcast airs 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 whenever you’d like to.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

 

How was your week

Posted: August 15, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The New York Yankees are 13-6 and have won their last three games in a row. They are in 1st place in the American League East two games ahead of both the Tampa Bay Rays and the surprising Baltimore Orioles.

Now the Yankees where a popular pick to win the World Series before the season started and they’ve looked like a good choice so far, but they’ve had a couple of injuries that could slow them down.

Now the Yankees knew all along that they would be without starting pitcher Luis Severino for the entire  game season. Aroldis Chapman hasn’t pitched this season due to illness, but was scheduled to throw a simulated game yesterday. If Chapman’s simulated game went well he could possibly join the Yankees bullpen soon. That bullpen took a hit earlier this month when set up man Tommy Kahnle injured his elbow. Unfortunately Kahnle is done for the season and will require Tommy John surgery. In almost a flashback to last season the injuries just seem to keep coming for the Yankees. Four days ago the Yankees placed outfielder/designated hitter Giancarlo Stanton on the Injured List. Stanton was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain of his left hamstring. This injury normally has a recovery time of three to four weeks, but it was reported yesterday that Stanton’s injury is worse than expected and his timetable for return may be long than those three to four weeks. Then yesterday the Yankees added outfielder Aaron Judge to the Injury List. Judge hadn’t played in the last couple of games because of his injury which was diagnosed as a mild calf strain.

Judge has been the Yankees best player this season. He was hitting .290 with 9 home runs and 20 RBI’s. Those 9 home runs lead all of baseball and his 20 RBI’s are tied for the lead in baseball with three other players. Even though Judge had played just 17 games there where quite a few media members who had already awarded him the MVP.

Now last season the Yankees had quite a few injuries and where still able to win the A.L. East. The Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins in the ALDS before being beaten by the Houston Astros 4 games to 2 in the ALCS. Of course the Yankees where able to recover from their injuries last season over the course of a 162 game season. Will they be able to do the same thing this season with just a 60 game season?

In last nights Yankees line up Luke Voit batted 2nd in the Yankees line up; which is where Judge normally hits. Mike Tauchman played rightfield in Judge’s place while Clint Frazier was called up from the teams alternative site and filled in for Stanton as the designated hitter. Thairo Estrada was called up to take Judge’s spot on the roster.

Obviously not just one player can replaced what Judge has given the Yankees on offense this season, but it could soften the blow a little if Gary Sanchez, Gleybar Torres and Brett Gardner start to hit. Currently Sanchez is hitting .113, Torres is hitting .217 and Gardner is hitting .163.

Tauchman and Frazier should get the majority of the playing time in rightfield, but it’s possible that utilityman Tyler Wade might see some innings out there. Even though Frazier filled in at DH last night you have to think that Mike Ford will get some of those DH at bats. The Yankees also have Miguel Andujar at their alternative training site; so it’s possible he could be brought back up and help fill the void left by the bats of Judge and Stanton.

The Yankees currently have a two game lead in the division, but can they hold onto that lead with Judge gone for a minimum of 10 days and Stanton appearing to be gone for a month or more. With the expanded playoffs this season it’s doubtful that even if the Yankees struggle with these players out they’d miss out on those playoffs, but I guess it’s an outside possibility.

With 41 games left on their schedule; where do you think the Yankees will end up?

The St. Louis Cardinals haven’t played a game since July 29th do to a Covid-19 outbreak within the team, but the Cardinals are scheduled to restart their season with a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox today.

With just five games under their belt this season it’s very doubtful that the Cardinals will be able to play the entire 60 game schedule. It does appear that Major League Baseball is going to try and get the Cardinals to that 60 game mark, but that’s going to entail them playing multiple doubleheaders and you have to think that the strain of that kind of schedule isn’t going into play towards the Cardinals favor of making the playoffs.

How do you think the rest of the Cardinals season goes? When the Miami Marlins came out of their Covid-19 quarantine they played and have continued to play very well. Could St. Louis go on a run like the Marlins did and get themselves into the expanded playoffs? Or is the strain of trying to play 55 games over the remainder of the season just be too much for the team to handle?

The Cardinals four have doubleheaders schedule between now and their next day off which is September 3rd. After that day off the St. Louis has seven doubleheaders on the schedule and just one other schedule day off on September 9th. I doubt that at any other time in baseball history has a team tried to play that kind of a schedule.

Just as the Cardinals are getting ready to return to play it was reported that the Cincinnati Reds had a player test positive for Covid-19 jeopardizing the teams game tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

While this isn’t the first time this season that the Reds have had Covid-19 issues it doesn’t appear as this is the first actual case the team has had. Reds infielder Matt Davidson actually had a positive test results, but all follow up testing came back negative which led to the belief that the first test result was a false positive. Mike Mouatakas and Nick Senzel self reported symptoms and ended up on the injury list until a negative test allowed them to be reinstated. Joey Votto also spent one day on the injury list before being allowed to return.

The Reds will have to go through extensive testing and with that going on you’d have to think that the remainder of their series against the Pirates will be postponed. Hopefully those will be the only postponements the Reds will face, but will have to wait to find that out.

The Sports Time Radio podcast airs live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you don’t catch up with the live edition of the podcast just head on over to TuneIn.com and you can listen any time you’d like.

You can also find me on Twitter @Burketime

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: August 12, 2020 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Major League Baseball announced the suspensions from Sunday when the benches emptied in the Oakland A’s/Houston Astros game and I have to say I think they really dropped the ball on this.

Now if you remember there was a lot of concern at the start of spring training that pitchers would throw at Astros hitters because of the cheating scandal. MLB even went so far as to warn teams about excess Astros being hit by pitches. Apparently MLB didn’t happen to mention anything to the Astros about their pitchers hitting batters.

As of now Joe Kelly of the Los Angeles Dodgers appears to be the only pitcher who has intentionally tried to hit Astros hitters. Kelly ended up with an eight game suspension even though he didn’t manage to hit anyone and wasn’t even ejected from the game he was pitching in.

That brings us to last weekend. In the process of being swept in a three game series by the A’s somehow Astros pitchers managed to hit five Oakland hitters while no one from Houston was hit. If you go back to the start of the accusations about Houston’s cheating it was one of their former players Mike Fiers who pretty much confirmed everything and that’s when MLB decided to look into the matter further. Interestingly enough Fiers now pitches for the A’s. Is it possible that the Astros are the team that’s carrying the grudge and not the teams they cheated against? Obviously with Fiers being a pitcher in the American League he’s never going to come to the plate for an at bat; so what’s the next best thing? Go after his teammates and it appears that’s what the Astros pitchers did.

On Sunday after Oakland outfielder Ramon Laureano was hit for the second time in the game he was a little upset on his way to first base and rightfully so. Laureano started jawing with the Astros dugout on his way to first base and things escalated after he got to first base. Houston’s hitting coach Alex Cintron was responding to Laureano from the dugout and from reports was saying some disparaging things about Laureano’s mother. After trading some barbs Laureano had enough and went after Cintron, but Cintron hide behind some of the Astros players and Laureano was cut off by his former teammate now Houston back up catcher Dustin Garneau. Of course the benches emptied, but there where no punches thrown just a lot of pushing and shoving.

Now going back to the start of this 60 game season MLB told each team that they didn’t want the benches to empty in situations like this because of the Covid-19 outbreak. MLB also said there would be harsh penalties if teams didn’t follow this rule. I’m not sure the suspensions they announced would be considered hash.

Yesterday MLB announced that Laureano is suspended for 6 games. He is appealing by the way. Cintron who was really the instigator in this incident was given a 20 game suspension. Being that he’s a coach Cintron doesn’t have the option to appeal and began serving his suspension last night.

Now I think MLB really blew it here, but not with Laureano. I honestly thought that Laureano would get an eight game suspension like Kelly got, but I’m okay with him getting six games. It the Cintron suspension that I have a real issue with.

Now you can’t hear what anyone is saying on the video, but you can clearly see that it’s Cintron who is the main Houston in this case coach who is doing the majority of the bantering with Laureano. You can also see Cintron motion over and over for Laureano to come towards him, but when Laureano did Cintron hide very, very quickly. I’m sorry, but this deserved way more than a 20 game suspension. I really believe that Cintron should’ve been suspended for the rest of the season and the playoffs if the Astros make it into the post season. MLB had said that this is the last thing they wanted to have happen this season and Cintron was the guy who made it happen. You’d think that would make him the perfect guy for MLB to make an example of to make sure no coach does something like this again. I just don’t think 20 games is enough.

If you haven’t seen the video please take the time to take a look at it and then try to tell me I’m wrong. If you’ve seen the video I’d be interested to know what you think about these suspensions. Do you think 6 games was enough for Laureano? Or do you believe he should’ve gotten more or less? What about Cintron was 20 games enough? Or do you believe he should’ve gotten more or less?

How about we wrap the blog up with a nice comeback story.

Last night in the Colorado Rockies 8-7 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Daniel Bard got his 1st save for the Rockies this season. Not only was that Bard’s first save this season it was his first save since 2011 when he was a member of the Boston Red Sox.

Bard was looked at someone who would be a future closer for the Red Sox and after very good years as a set up man in 2010 & 2011 an injury limited Bard to just 17 appearances in 2012. Unfortunately Bard also struggled with more injuries in 2013 and only made 2 appearances for the Red Sox that season. Bard was always thought to have a good arm; so teams continue to take a look at him. He pitched in the minors with the Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets and teams like the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates had him on their rosters, but he never pitched for them. Bard pitched in 23 games from 2014, 2016 & 2017. He hadn’t pitched the last two seasons or in 2015, but this off season the Rockies signed him. That time off seems to have done Bard some good. He’s appeared in 8 games for the Rockies this season. Bard has an ERA of 3.00; he’s 1-0 with that 1 save and he’s struck out 12 hitters over 9 innings while not walking anyone. Since the media likes to hand out awards early in a season I’d have to say that Bard is definitely the front runner for Comeback Player of the Year.

You can listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkradio.com, 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 any time you want.

Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter @Burketime