Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: December 11, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

What a difference a year makes when it come to the baseball free agent market.

Last off season everything was Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. When will they sign, who will they sign with and how much will they sign for. This went on and on and on all through the off season. Machado and Harper dominated all of the off season of the off season news and it was the lead story on every show that discuss baseball. It was a gigantic dog and pony show, but we waited and waited to see who they’d sign with. When the winter meetings came around last year there was a lot of talk that this would be the time that something would get done and there would be something to report. Well as you know they where way, way off on that. In the end Machado signed with the San Diego Padres on February 21st while Harper didn’t sign with the Philadelphia Phillies until March 2nd.

Headed into this off season the two big free agents where pitchers, Steven Strasburg and Gerrit Cole. Just like last season there was a lot of talks about which teams would be in on trying to sign them and just how much either would end up getting. It seems as though everybody was getting ready to settle in for the long haul like last season. Well surprise it didn’t take that long.

On December 9th Strasburg officially re-signed with the Washington Nationals. Strasburg got a 7-year deal worth $245,000 million dollars. Strasburg’s salary is $35 million dollars a season, but there is some deferred money in his contract; so he’ll actually make $23,571,482 million dollars a season. There’s a total of $80 million dollars in deferred money in Strasburg’s contract which will be paid out from 2027 to 2029. The contract has a full no-trade clause, along with bonuses for winning the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove set at $100,000 each. There’s also a $100,000 for making the All-Star team. As far as Cy Young and MVP Strasburg will receive $500,000 for winning either award, $250,000 for finishing 2nd, $150,000 for finishing 3rd, $100,000 for finishing 4th and $75,000 for finishing 5th.

With Strasburg off of the board that left Cole out there as the top pitcher. Remember Zach Wheeler has already signed with the Philadelphia Phillies; so two of the top three rated free agent pitcher had been signed.

Well it didn’t take all that long for Cole to find a new team. Yesterday Cole agreed to a record setting 9-year $324 million dollar deal with the New York Yankees. This is the largest deal ever for a pitcher and the second best payday in the history of free agency. Since the deal was just agreed to there aren’t a lot of details available on it just yet. We do know that Cole will be paid $36 million dollars a season.

I have to tell you I always get a good laugh when I hear some expert on television start saying that so and so is going to sign with this team because it’s close to where he grew up. Well both Strasburg and Cole grew up in California. Strasburg was born in San Diego California and went to college at San Diego State Cole was born in Newport Beach California and went to college at the University of California. Most of the experts had Cole going back out west to either the Los Angeles Angels or the Los Angeles Dodgers with the possibility that the San Diego Padres could be an option. I believe that most of those same experts thought Washington was the front runner to bring Strasburg back, but there where a few that thought he’d land in San Diego with the Padres. You can throw Wheeler into this mix as well as the experts had him headed to Atlanta because he was born in Smyrna Georgia.

Now I’m sure there are some players out there who’d like to play closer to where they grew up, but it’s no where close to as many as they talked about this off season. In not sure why they didn’t factor winning into the equation more that where someone grew up, played high school or college baseball at. Maybe they’ll be smarter looking at the free agent market next off season.

With Strasburg, Cole and Wheeler off of the free agent market it looks like Madison Bumgarner is the top free agent pitcher now. There have been some reports that the Dodgers have shifted their focus to signing Bumgarner. There is also a rumor that the Chicago White Sox have interest in him.

After Bumgarner is signed it appears that teams will look at Dallas Keuchel and Hyun-Jin Ryu to strengthen their starting rotations.

While the starting pitchers are finding big money and new teams in some cases the free agent market for the top position players hasn’t real heated up yet.

Anthony Rendon is considered the top position player on the free agent market and he’s been linked to quite a few teams. I did find it interesting that the Angels sent Zack Cozart to the San Francisco Giants in a trade yesterday. That opens up a spot at 3rd base for the Angels and you have to think that they’ll take a serious run at Rendon or possibly Josh Donaldson to fill to spot.

Most teams like the Angels seem to be focusing on Rendon, but once he signs look for those teams to quickly switch their focus to getting Donaldson. After that there seems to be a lot of interest in Kris Bryant of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have said that they’re open to trading a star player and with a Rookie of the Year and MVP award on his resume Bryant fits that profile. Reports are the Phillies have kicked the tires on a deal for Bryant.

The problem right now in trading for Bryant is teams don’t know how long he’ll be under their control. Bryant currently has a grievance against the Cubs and Major League Baseball about his service time. If you remember Bryant like a lot of top young players in today’s game was kept at Triple-A for enough time to push his arbitration clock back a season. So it’s unknown right now if Bryant has one or two years left of arbitration. Teams may wait for that to be cleared up before they make a trade for him.

I’m happy to see the free agent market moving like it is and I hope it keeps going.

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How was your week

Posted: December 7, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Did you know that the Milwaukee Bucks have won 14 straight games? I just learned that they where on that long of a winning streak when they beat the Los Angeles Clippers 119-91 last night for that 14th straight win.

Now you would think a team on this kind of a run would be highlighted, but as I was checking the top NBA stories on the ESPN website the Bucks weren’t even listed as a top story. Of course I wasn’t surprised at all when there was a story about LeBron James listed as a top story.

You have to wonder if this is part of the reason that the NBA ratings are in the tank. I’m not a huge basketball fan; so all I do is look at the final scores and see who’s winning. If it would’ve been pointed out to me that the Bucks where on this type of winning streak I would’ve taken the time to watch a little bit of their game. Instead they’ve won 14 games in a row and I haven’t seen a minute of any of those games.

People might also be surprised to know tat the Bucks have the same record 20-3 as the Los Angeles Lakers even tough you’d think that the Lakers might be the only team that is in the NBA. While the Lakers are a good team there are fans of other teams and they’re not going to care what the Lakers are doing; so they’re not going to tune into those games.

Now I get that the Lakers are a good team; with quite a bit of help from tampering and the NBA they’ve found their way back into the limelight and apparently ESPN thought that this would be good enough to bring the ratings back up. If you remember everyone was under the impression that the television ratings where down because the Lakers weren’t a playoff team. Now the Lakers are clearly the best team in the Western Conference are the ratings are lower now than they where last season.

It does seem that the NBA itself might’ve realized that something is going on with their television ratings as there has been some talk about making changes. Would a mid-season tournament help the ratings? Would a shorter regular season get fans more interested in watching? How about expanding the playoffs; would that help regular season ratings? I don’t think that any of these changes would make that big of a difference in the ratings, but a mid-season tournament could be of some interest. Of course I would have to see how they lay things out and if all of the teams where involved.

The problem with the NBA might not be the way it’s formatted for television, but the actual on court product. The game has really become focused on the 3-point shot. How many times during a game do you see a player pounding his dribble at the top of the key trying to either get a 3-point shot for himself or to beat his defender off the dribble. Now if he does beat that defender and drives to the hoop that player is rarely looking to score in today’s game. In most cases that player is going to kick it out to one of his four teammates who have been standing out at the 3-point line while he’s been dribbling. How exciting is this to watch? NBA players are all fantastic athletes and fans don’t want to watch players stand at the 3-point line and catch and shoot the basketball unless it All-Star weekend and they’re competing to win the 3-point shooting contest.

Another part of he problem is that the league may just be too top heavy. Even though the Dallas Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets are off to good starts to the season; do you believe either one of those teams will represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals? It’s been pretty clear since Anthony Davis was traded to the Lakers and the Clippers signed Kawhi Leonard and traded for Paul George that one of the team from Los Angeles will be the Western Conference team that’s in the NBA Finals. Now normally we’d throw the Golden State Warriors into this conversation, but injuries have decimated their team and instead of playing for a championship this season they’ll be headed into the draft lottery.

Now the Eastern Conference is a little more wide open. Milwaukee has established itself right now as the top team, but there are challengers. It’s possible that the Boston Celtics, Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and even the defending champion Toronto Raptors could all compete for the Eastern Conference title.

You would think that  competitive Eastern Conference would be good for television ratings and maybe it will come playoff time, but for some reason fans just don’t seem to have a lot of interest in the NBA regular season. Maybe as the season goes on and it’s gets closer to the playoffs fans will be interested in regular season games to see which team gets the top seed in the Eastern Conference.

Of course this also brings me back to my point of how the league is televised. Will they take the focus off of LeBron James and actually give some television time to an Eastern Conference team. We’re talking about a 30 team league that just seems to just try and focus on a few teams and players. It’s clear that this approach isn’t working and they’ll have to try and do something else, but will they? It’s generally and older generation that runs television and you have to wonder if they will be able to understand that or how things need to be changed.

Now I have heard that there are people who dislike the game because of the officiating and I can understand being upset about some of the calls and on-calls. I mean just this week the referees missed a clear dunk by James Harden in a game that the Houston Rockets ended up losing by 2 points. They also miss James taking 3 1/2 steps with the basketball without dribbling while a referee was looking right at him. I’m not sure why that referee didn’t call traveling, but I bet it had something to do with the fact that it was James that had the basketball and not some unknown player. I don’t think that poor officiating is a cause for poor ratings, but it might turn a few people away that the NBA might want back.

What do you think of the NBA game right now?

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: December 4, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It seems that every week there’s an NFL coach on the hot seat. Well for the last few weeks that head coach has been Ron Rivera of the Carolina Panthers. Most people expected the Panthers to make a coaching change since they have new ownership and normally that includes a coaching change, but they thought the change would happen after the regular season. Panthers owner David Tepper decided not to wait until the off season and fired Rivera after Carolina lost 29-21 to the Washington Redskins.

Rivera was in his 9th year as the Panthers head coach and had just coached his 140th regular season game. Rivera had a 76-63-1 in the regular season. Carolina made the playoffs four times under Rivera and the Panthers went to the Super Bowl under Rivera in 2015. Carolina played 7 playoff games under Rivera and went 3-4.

The Panthers are 5-7 this season, but have had their starting quarterback Cam Newton for just two games. Rivera has been dealing with Newton and his injuries for a couple of seasons now and will have to wait and see what Tepper decides to do in the off season with Newton.

Carolina got off to a rough start with Newton as their starting quarterback going 0-2. Kyle Allen took over at quarterback and the Panthers ran off 4 straight wins. Carolina split their next 2 games before dropping 4 in a row and ending Rivera’s coaching stint with the team.

Perry Fewell is taking over as Panthers interim head coach. This is Fewell’s second stint as an interim head coach. In 2009 Fewell went 3-4 after taking over the Buffalo Bills. Fewell is in his 10h year as an NFL coach. He was the Bills defensive coordinator for 4 seasons. He then spent 5 seasons as the New York Giants defensive coordinator. This was his first season on the Carolina coaching staff as defensive backs coach.

With the firing of Rivera Carolina has the first coaching opening in the NFL and they’ll have  the first chance to interview whichever hot college coach they might be interested in hiring. There are yet to be any names linked to the Carolina job, but I’m sure it won’t be too long before we hear a few come up.

With Fewell taking over there are some other changes that Carolina is making to the coaching staff. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner is now the special assistant to the head coach. Quarterbacks coach Scott Turner will move to offensive coordinator. When it comes to the front office it appears as General Manager Marty Hurney will keep his job. Tepper has said that he’ll search for a assistant general manager or a vice president of football operations.

Who do you think the Panthers will hire as their next head coach?

The NFL draft isn’t until April 23rd, but there have already been seven under classmen who have declared for the draft.

There are three wide receivers who’ve declared. Jalen Reagor of TCU, Isaiah Hodgins of Oregon State and Laviska Shenault Jr. of Colorado. Also declaring are Maryland running back Anthony McFarland Jr. along with three players from Missouri defensive lineman Jordan Elliott, offensive lineman Trystan Colon-Castillo and tight end Albert Okwuegbunam

The one player most of not everyone expects to declare for the NFL draft is Tua Tagovailoa of Alabama, but in an interview Tagovailoa has said that he’s unsure if he’ll enter the NFL draft or return to Alabama for his senior season.

Tagovailoa is rehabbing from a hip injury and it’s unclear right now what his health situation will be by the time the draft rolls around or when teams want to work him out and you have to wonder if this will affect his decision. Tagovailoa has a chance to be the first player taken in the draft, but with his hip injury there’s also a chance that he’ll slide down the draft board.

The Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin made official what seemed pretty clear after Sunday’s 20-13 win over the Cleveland Browns. Devlin “Duck” Hodges will continue to be the Steelers starting quarterback this week. The Steelers travel to Arizona to face the Cardinals in Week 14.

Hodges was solid in his start against the Browns going 14 of 21 for 212 yards with one touchdown and one interception. This will be Hodges third start this season; the Steelers are 2-0 in his first two starts.

Hodges has completed 67.2% of his passes this season going 41 of 61. He’s thrown for 530 yards with 3 touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Steelers are 7-5 on the season and are currently tied with the Tennessee Titans for the final AFC wild card spot. Pittsburgh currently holds the tiebreaker over Tennessee as they have the better winning percentage in conference games.

Including this weeks games against Arizona the Steelers played three of their final four game on the road. The Steelers only home game left this season is Week 15 when they host the Buffalo Bills. Week 16 Pittsburgh is on the road against the New York Jets before they wrap up the season against their division rival and AFC North leading Baltimore Ravens in Week 17.

The New York Jets finally decided to place linebacker C.J. Mosley on injured reserve and officially end his season.

Mosley signed a 5-year $85 million dollar deal this past off season with the Jets, but played in just two games this season due to his injury.

There has been some talk for a while now that Mosley would under go surgery for his injury which is listed as groin/abdomen. It now appears as though Mosley is going to have the surgery even though he’s done everything he can to try and avoid it.

In his two games his season Mosley made 4 tackles and assisted on 5 others. He also had one interception which he return for a touchdown; he also had one fumble recovery.

To take Mosley’s place on the roster the Jets signed another former Raven defensive back Bennett Jackson.

Jackson was drafted in 2014, but just made his NFL debut this season with Baltimore. The Ravens just waived Jackson this week.

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.

Remember to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: November 30, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in basketball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

It’s not a huge surprise that the Golden State Warriors are off to a terrible start this season, but after going to five consecutive NBA Finals and winning three title a 4-16 start to this season might be worse than people thought.

Now the Warriors issues started more or less last season when all the talk was what Kevin Durant would do as a free agent. Of course none of that mattered after Durant went down in the NBA finals with an injury that is going to keep him out the entire 2019-20 season. Klay Thompson also picked up an injury in the NBA finals and while it was first announced that he’d be returning after the All-Star break Golden State’s head coach Steve Kerr has said earlier this season that Thompson wouldn’t be returning this season. Then you add in the fact that Stephen Curry has only played four games this season. Curry broke his hand and is currently rehabbing and should be returning soon. Plus free agent signing D’Angelo Russell is also out with a thumb injury. Then Draymond Green injured his right heel and just returned to action after missing eight days and three games.

Now the Warriors have been watching Green’s minutes all season, but now it looks like there going to be watching his minutes even more carefully. In his return game Green played 24 minutes as the Bulls beat the Chicago Bulls 104-90. Last night Green was limited to just 19 minutes as the Warriors where beat easily by the Miami Heat 122-105.

Don’t forget that while it was the heel injury that caused Green to miss three games he has been dealing with injuries to his finger, back and elbow though the first month of the season.

Green signed a four year $100 million dollar contract extension this summer that will take him through the age of 33. With all of the injuries that Golden State has suffered this season; so it’s more important now then ever for the Warriors to consider Green’s long term health.

It’s really looking like Golden State will end up in the draft lottery even if Curry, Thompson and Russell return fully healthy this season. I don’t think that there will be enough games left for them to make any type of playoff run. It would be very interesting if the Warriors somehow found a way to move up in the draft lottery and added a high draft pick to a healthy roster that included Curry, Thompson, Green and Russell.

While it’s difficult to take anything positive away from a 4-16 start Eric Paschall has been given the opportunity to show his skill set. Paschall is playing 31.3 minutes per game and is averaging 17 points per game which is leading the team in scoring for the currently healthy players.

The Los Angeles Lakers won their 10th consecutive game last night with a 125-103 win over the Washington Wizards.

Anthony Davis led the Lakers in scoring with 26 points while LeBron James added 23 points in the win. Davis also grabbed a team high 13 rebounds while James handed out a team high 11 assists.

Last nights win improved the Lakers season record to 17-2. This is the best start for the Lakers since 2008-09. The Lakers also started 17-2 in 1985-86. That 1985-86 team went on to post the best two loss start of any Lakers team in history as they went 19-2.

This is the first time since 2009-10 that a Lakers team has put together a double digit winning streak. That 2009-10 Lakers team won 11 straight games. This Lakers team will have a chance to get that 11th victory Sunday as they host the Dallas Mavericks.

That 2009-10 Lakers team went on to win the NBA title; something that Los Angeles hasn’t done since that season.

The Lakers are dealing with a couple of injuries. Kyle Kuzma suffered a ankle sprain in the second half of Friday nights game. Kuzma is listed as day to day, but x-rays take last night came up negative according to Lakers head coach Frank Vogel.

Guard Avery Bradley will be reevaluated this weekend to determine his availability. Bradley is recovering from a hairline fracture in his right leg. So far Bradley has missed eight games with this injury.

The Lakers schedule will get a little tougher starting Sunday with their game against the Mavericks. After Sunday the Lakers play three games on the road starting with a back to back set against the Denver Nuggets and Utah Jazz. The short road trip wraps up with a game Friday against the Portland Trailblazers.

The Philadelphia eagles announced yesterday that they signed left tackle Lane Johnson to a four year contract extension worth $72 million dollars. Johnson’s new contract runs though 2025 and includes $54 million dollars in guaranteed money.

Johnson’s contract now makes him the highest paid tackle in the NFL. Johnson new contract surpasses the deal Taylor Lewan of the Tennessee Titans who has a contract that guarantees him $50 million dollars.

Johnson was Philadelphia’s 1st round pick in 2013; the 4th overall selection in the draft. Johnson has played in 90 games and started all of them for Philadelphia. Johnson has made the Pro Bowl each of the past two season and was voted first team All-Pro in 2017.

Earlier this month the Eagles signed right guard Brandon Brooks to a four year $56 million dollar extension. The Eagles have also inked kicker Jake Elliott and long snapper Rick Lovato to new deals.

Philadelphia has now turned it’s attention get a new deal done with tight end Zac Ertz. The Eagles and Ertz where having preliminary contract talks, but those have seemed to have stalled according to reports.

What do you think of this signing spree the Eagles have been on? Do you like the players they’re locking into new deals? Or would you of like to have seen them spend their money elsewhere?

The Eagles are currently 5-6 heading into Sunday’s game against the Miami Dolphins. A win on Sunday will put the Eagles in a tie for 1st place in the NFC East with the Dallas Cowboys.

The Eagles and Cowboys meet in Week 17, but besides that the Eagles have four very winnable games on their remaining schedule. The Eagles should beat Miami 2-9 Miami this Sunday. Then Philadelphia has two games remaining against the 2-9 New York Giants and a game against the 2-9 Washington Redskins.

It looks like Philadelphia will have to win the NFC East to get into the playoffs. If they go 4-1 over these final five games; will that be good enough to win their division?

Don’t forget to listen to the Sports Time Radio podcast live on BlogTalkRadio.com, but if you miss the podcast live just had over to TuneIn.com and you can listen whenever you please.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 27, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The Detroit Lions will be hosting a Thanksgiving day game tomorrow like they have for many, many years and at 3-7-1 it’s a not make or break type of game. There has however been some interest in the Lions quarterback situation for tomorrow’s game against the 5-6 Chicago Bears.

If healthy Matthew Stafford would no doubt be the Lions starting quarterback, but he’s been out the last 3 weeks with what’s being reported as broken bones in his back. The Lions haven’t placed Stafford on injured reserve and seem to be taking his injury week by week.

Jeff Driskell has started the last 3 games for the Lions at quarterback. Detroit is 0-3 with Driskell as their starting quarterback and he’s coming off of a 3 interception game last Sunday. It’s being reported that Driskell is suffering from a hamstring injury and his availability for tomorrow’s game is unclear.

Now if Driskell has to miss tomorrow’s game the Lions will turn to 3rd string quarterback David Blough. Blough is an undrafted rookie out of Purdue University who has yet to take a snap in an NFL regular season game.

Now as soon as this news broke and I’m sure you can guess this there where quite a few media members who wanted to know why the Lions didn’t go out and sign Colin Kaepernick.

Detroit was actually one of the six teams that stayed with the Kaepernick tryout and drove to that high school to watch him; so they at least wanted to see what he looked like in his workout.

Of course this opens the door to a ton of reasons why the Lions didn’t try to sign Kaepernick. It’s possible they didn’t like what they saw at his tryout even though reports are he looked good. Maybe there was something they saw that they didn’t think fit with what they do. Also remember that Blough has been with the Lions all season and even though he hasn’t played he’s been at the meetings and practices; so he should have a grasp of their offense. Kaepernick would be coming into a brand new system that he would know nothing about and have two or three days at most to be ready to play his first game in almost three full seasons.

It seems like every time a team passes on signing Kaepernick they’re indicted for passing up on him, but if you look at what could be the reasons the Lions didn’t bring him in it makes some sense. I’m also under the impression that Driskell is going to end up starting at quarterback tomorrow; so there would be no need to sign anyone.

The only real question about that might be out there about why the Lions didn’t take a look at Kaepernick is the fact that they wanted to sign Josh Johnson. Now Johnson did play in four games for the Washington Redskins last season and he started three of those games; so he’s not coming off of long term inactivity like Kaepernick is. It would be interesting to know why the Lions would look at Johnson first instead of Kaepernick, but of course there’s no way to find that out.

Now even though the Lions where very interested in signing Johnson he had already signed a deal with the XFL and they where unwilling to release him so he could sign with Detroit.

I am a little surprised that the XFL wouldn’t release Johnson from his contract. The XFL and the NFL aren’t going head to head and it seems as though they could’ve released Johnson and then just resigned him after the NFL season ended.

The XFL season starts in February; so if a player signed with a team that made a deep playoff run it could hurt his preparation for the upcoming XFL season, but the Lions aren’t even going to make the playoffs; so Johnson would be free to return to the XFL at the end of the NFL’s regular season.

I haven’t seen any quotes from Johnson on the situation, but by not being allowed to sign with Detroit he’s missing out on a chance to make more money than he will in the XFL. You have to wonder if this might affect players signing with the XFL in the future.

It appears as though the Atlanta Braves had a plan going into this off season and they’re making the moves they want happen early.

Yesterday they added another free agent when they signed catcher Travis d’Arnaud to a two year $16 million dollar deal.

d’Arnaud was a big time prospect when the New York Mets brought him up in 2013, but things never really clicked for him. He suffered a multitude of injuries when he was with the Mets and after playing in just 10 games for them last season he was released. He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, but played just 1 game in the majors for them before he was purchased by the Tampa Bay Rays.

I’m not sure what goes on in Tampa Bay, but d’Arnaud like so many players seem to have found himself in a Rays uniform and had his best season. He played in 92 games and tied his career high in home runs with 16. He also posted his second best season in RBI’s with 67 and batting average at .263. Of course the big question will be; can he put up similar numbers with the Braves?

d’Arnaud will share catching duties in Atlanta with Tyler Flowers, but I’m under the impression that d’Arnaud was signed to be the #1 catcher and Flowers will just spell him when needed. d’Arnaud has never caught more than 103 games in a season; so it makes a lot of sense for the Braves to have Flowers on the roster just in case.

There where three other catcher signed yesterday as well. The Arizona Diamondbacks signed Stephen Vogt while the Houston Astros signed Dustin Garneau. Mike Zunino also signed a one year deal to stay with Tampa Bay. Counting Flowers who’s contract was re-worked by the Braves there have been six catchers signed already this off season.

With d’Arnaud signing yesterday and Yasmani Grandal singing last week with the Chicago White Sox there aren’t really any top tier catchers left on the free agent market. There are quite a few veteran catchers available on the free agent market, but none of them are truly #1 type of catchers.

If your favorite team was looking for a catcher this off season they’re going to have to explore the trade market to get something done.

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 at your leisure.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime

How was your week

Posted: November 23, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, hockey, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

The New York Yankees finally made the decision to part ways with Jacoby Ellsbury. After seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox the Yankees brought Ellsbury to New York with a 7 year $153 million dollar contract. Unfortunately the Yankees never got much of a return out of Ellsbury.

After four seasons with the Yankees Ellsbury ran into some injury issues that cost him the last two seasons. Now the Yankees did pay him $21,142,857 both of those seasons he was out.

Now the Yankees owe Ellsbury on more year at $21,142,857 and there is also a $5 million dollar by buy attached to his contract. The Yankees have come out and said that they are going to contest the final year of Ellsbury’s contract in hopes of not having to pay him.

The Yankees are claiming that Ellsbury received medical treatment for his injuries from a Health Care Provider who is not affiliated with the team. The team must also authorized permission for this type of treatment.

The MLBPA released a statement on this situation backing Ellsbury. “The Players Association will vigorously defend any action taken against Jacoby or his contract and is investigating potential contract violations by his employer”.

From the Yankees point of view it’s understandable that they’d like to get out of that final year of his contract along with the buy out, but I’m not sure if they’re going to have a leg to stand on in this case, but you never know what’s still going to come out in this case. I guess will have to wait and see how this all ends up playing out.

I corresponding moves the Yankees also designated 1st baseman Greg Bird and left handed pitcher Nelson Cortes Jr. for assignment.

Bird made a big splash for the Yankees in 2015. He hit 11 home runs in 46 games for New York and it looked like he could possibly be a long term solution for the Yankees at 1st base, but that didn’t happen.

Bird played just 17 games in the Arizona Fall League in 2016 and he never played more than 82 games in a season after that. He also never hit better than .199 for the Yankees. Bird managed to play in just 10 games last season before his season was ended by injuries.

It appears as though Ellsbury is going to attempt to play in 2020 if there’s a team willing to take a chance on him. As of now it’s unclear if Bird will try to play next season.

After the Atlanta Braves made the first signing of free agency bringing in closer Will Smith and re-signing set up man Chris Martin. The next team to make their mark in free agency was the Chicago White Sox.

First the White Sox agreed to a four year $73 million dollar deal with catcher Yasmani Grandal. He was considered the best free agent catcher and one of the top hitters available this off season.

Grandal took a chance last off season signing a one year deal with the Milwaukee Brewers and it appears to have paid off for him.

Grandal had a career high in home runs with 28 and RBI’s with 77 while hitting .246. He also played in a career high 153 games catching in 137 games that covered 1095 2/3rd innings. Grandal just turned 31 earlier this month and I’m not sure if he’ll be able to catch as many games this coming season for the White Sox. Of course being that he’s now with an American League team he’ll be able to keep his bat in the line up as a Designated Hitter.

The White Sox also announced this week that they have signed 1st baseman Jose Abreu to a three year $50 million dollar contract extension. Earlier this off season Abreu accepted the White Sox qualifying offer of $17.8 million dollars in hopes that an extension could be worked out.

Under his new contract Abreu will be paid a salary of $11 million dollars for the 2020 season with a $5 million dollar signing bonus. In 2021 Abreu will make $16 million dollars and in the final year of his contract Abreu’s salary jumps to $18 million dollars. $4 million dollars of Abreu’s 2022 salary will be deferred.

Abreu has spent all six of his major league seasons with the White Sox. Last season Abreu led the American League in RBI’s with 123 and has been a productive bat in the White Sox line up since joining them out of Cuba.

It seems like the consensus was that the White Sox needed to add a bat this off season and most experts thought they’d add an outfielder, Grandal is definitely the bat they needed and keeping Abreu should give the White Sox a solid line up.

Honestly I was in the other camp on what I thought the White Sox should add as I thought they needed a top of the rotation starter and who knows it’s still very, very early in free agency; so maybe they still will.

So we’ve had a couple of early free agent signings. Will this trend continue? Or will the free agent market slow down like we’ve seen the last few seasons?

I’d be interested to know who you think the next team might be to step up and get a player signed and which player do you think will be the one that gets signed. There’s always a lot of talk about who’s going where, but who will it actually be?

We had the first head coaching change of the NHL season as the Toronto Maple Leafs fired Mike Babcock after the team started 9-10-4. Sheldon Keefe is taking Babcock’s place behind the Maple Leafs bench. Keefe had been coaching Toronto AHL’s team the Marlies.

Technically, Babcock has only been relieved of his duties as coach and is still under contract with the Maple Leafs. That eight-year, $50 million dollar contract was the biggest deal ever given to an NHL coach and there are still three more seasons on it. Babcock will likely be allowed to pursue other opportunities, but compensation for coaches or executives is no longer a part of the CBA.

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 20, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well Colin Kaepernick finally had his workout or tryout or whatever you want to call it this past Saturday and of course there was quite a bit of controversy that came along with it.

The NFL had Kaepernick’s workout scheduled to take place at the Atlanta Falcons facility and 25 teams where expected to attend. Kaepernick and his representatives had other ideas as they moved the workout 60 miles away to a high school.

There reasoning for this apparently was they wanted to tape the workout themselves and the NFL wasn’t going to allow them to tape it. Now I can understand that there is quite a bit of distrust between these two parties, but did Kaepernick and his group really think the NFL would edit is workout tape to make him look bad. There where going to be 25 teams there; would they all agree to what the NFL was going to say or alter about his workout?

The other complaint that Kaepernick and his group had was who he’d be throwing to. It seemed as though the NFL was just going to bring in more or less any available former receivers they could get. Kaepernick and his group wanted him to throw to receivers that he was use to working with. I don’t think this would’ve made much of a difference, but anything to complain about; I guess.

From all reports Kaepernick looked good in the workout. He showed good mobility and good arm strength during the workout, but with the late move of his workout the number of teams he ended up working out for dropped from 25 to 6.

As of now Kaepernick hasn’t been signed by an NFL team and I’d be surprised if he is. Right now there’s no real reason for a team to bring in what you have to remember is a back up quarterback unless there’s some kind of long term injury. I think if he’s going to be signed it will be in the off season when a team will have an easier time letting him adjust to their offense.

Now in my honest opinion I don’t think that Kaepernick is planning on signing with any NFL team. I just don’t think that he wants to play in the NFL. It seemed like this workout was more of a way for him to get his name back at the top of the news cycle and now if he’s not signed he can continue to play the role of the player who was black balled.

There was also a rumor out there that this was all doe for a Nike commercial. Now this rumor quickly came and went, but would you be surprised if you saw clips of this Kaepernick’s workout in a Nike commercial?

People seem to forget that we’re taking about a quarterback that just lost his starting job and that’s always going to make people wonder if that hadn’t happened would Kaepernick have went down this road.

I want to remind you that we’re taking about a guy who’d be a back up quarterback if he’s ever signed. It’s not like Kaepernick is going to sign with a team and take them to a Super Bowl championship. He’s a back up quarterback and it’s going to be difficult for a team to sign a back up quarterback that craves the spotlight.

Don’t get me wrong Kaepernick does have talent and would be one of the better back up quarterbacks in the NFL, but at 33 years old; he’ll turn that on November 3rd you have to wonder if he’s worth the gamble.

While teams look high and low for back up quarterbacks and that includes contacting former players who are now ESPN analysts, but will one of them take a chance on Kaepernick. So far the answer is no, but with this workout getting his name back into the mainstream media will have to see if it generates a buzz.

Would you like to see you favorite NFL team sign Colin Kaepernick?

With the exception of trying to re-sign Josh Donaldson everyone seems to think that the Atlanta Braves needed to address their bullpen this off season. It appears that the Braves where thinking the same thing as they’ve made their second signing of a reliever in two weeks.

Last week the Braves announced the signing of Will Smith to a 3 year $40 million dollar deal. Smith was the San Francisco Giants closer last season. He appeared in 63 games and posted a 6-0 record with an ERA of 2.76 while recording 34 saves.

Yesterday the Braves announced the signing of relief pitcher Chris Martin to a 2 year $14 million dollar deal. The Braves acquired Martin from the Texas Rangers on July 30th of last season for Kolby Allard a 22 year old left handed pitching prospect. Martin was solid with the Rangers, but had some struggles with Atlanta. He appeared in 38 games for the Rangers going 0-2 with an ERA of 3.08 and picking up 4 saves. For the Braves he appeared in 20 games going 1-1, but his ERA was a run higher at 4.08.

The Braves have also brought back veteran set up man Darren O’Day. Atlanta gave O’Day a 1 year $2.25 million dollar deal early in the signing period. O’Day is 37 years and spent 7 of his 12 major league seasons with the Baltimore Orioles. O’Day pitched in just 8 games for the Braves last season due to injury, but has good career numbers as a set up guy.

With these three signing and the additions of Shane Greene and Mark Melancon at last seasons trade deadline the Braves bullpen has a whole new look coming into spring training. With only a couple of bullpen spots open and a host of young pitching prospects it will be interesting to see how and who Atlanta fills out their bullpen with.

What do you think of the Braves early signings?

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How was your week

Posted: November 16, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

This week Major League Baseball handed out it’s awards for the regular season and while they rarely get all of these award winners right I don’t have to many issues with who won this season. I do have issues with how some of the voting went; so that’s where we’re headed.

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels beat out Alex Bregman of the Houston Astros for American League MVP. Now it’s no surprise Trout won since he is the best player in the game of baseball, but I don’t know if that makes him the most valuable.

Now there are 30 “writers” who voted for American League MVP and they voted for 10 players apiece; so in total 300 votes for AL MVP where cast. First off I think that anyone who votes for a starting pitcher is coping out. While there are some great pitchers in today’s game they don’t have an affect on enough games to be considered an MVP. I believe there where some voters who filled their ballots with more than one pitcher and those voters should probably be replaced.

Now in baseball today with all of the analytics and sabermetrics it’s become that the home run is king. Now neither home run leader was a serious candidate for MVP, but the National League home run leader Pete Alonso was voted NL Rookie of the Year and managed to finish 7th in voting for MVP. Oddly in the American League the home run leader Jorge Soler got one 10th place vote for MVP and I just don’t understand that at all.

Soler played on all 162 games this season for the Kansas City Royals and while I understand that the Royals where just 59-103 last season Trout won the MVP award and the Angels finished under .500 at 72-90. Soler hit an American League leading 48 home runs while finishing 2nd in RBI’s with 117 while hitting a respectable .265 In no way shape and or form be I believe that Soler should’ve won the AL MVP award, but with the numbers he put up he should’ve received way, way more than one 10th place vote.

Now I’m not sure what these writers do to get a vote these awards, but I’d like to give props to Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press for being the only voter smart enough to put Soler on his ballot. I’m not sure what the other voters where looking at or thinking about when they filled out their ballots, but they did a huge disservice to Soler.

If I would’ve had a vote my ballot would’ve looked like this. I would’ve had Bregman #1 with Trout at #2. D.J. LeMahieu would’ve been 3rd on my ballot with Marcus Semien 4th. Matt Chapman would be 5th on my ballot with Soler rolling in at 6th for me. Xander Bogaerts comes in 7th for me with Nelson Cruz 8th. My ballot would’ve wrapped up with Rafael Devers in 9th and Michael Brantley in the 10th and final spot on my ballot.

That’s what I would’ve turned in for AL MVP. What would your ballot for AL MVP look like?

While it’s understandable that most if not all of the talk about the NFL is focused on the horrible actions of Myles Garrett of the Cleveland Browns at the end of the Thursday night game. We discussed this a little on Friday’s Sports Time Radio podcast and I believe that the NFL is handling the situation correctly and I don’t really want to get into it much more.

I’d be interested to know if you think the NFL has handled this situation correctly. Where the suspensions enough? Should there have been more suspensions? Or should those suspensions have been longer? Please let me know what you think in the comments.

What came out of the game football wise was Browns got a much, much needed win. Cleveland improved their record to 4-6 and with the remaining schedule they have there’s an outside chance that they’ll actually be able to find themselves in the playoffs.

The Browns have three home and three road games remaining on their schedule and they should be favorite to win four or maybe even five of these games.

Next week the Browns host the Miami Dolphins which is a very winnable game even though the Dolphins have put together a two game wining streak. Cleveland then travels to Pittsburgh for a rematch with the Steelers. Cleveland was the favorite this past Thursday night, but that game was in Cleveland; so they might come into Pittsburgh as an underdog, but they’ll have a chance to win this game. The Browns return home to host the winless Cincinnati Bengals. This should be a win. Then Cleveland heads out to Arizona for their only non-division game left on the schedule as they face the Cardinals. Looking at this game you’d have to think that Cleveland should get a win here, but the Cardinals have played better than expected and sometimes that east to west travel affects a team. For the sake of our argument let’s say the Browns pull this one out. In Week 17 the Browns have their toughest game remaining on their schedule as they host the AFC North leading Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland may really need a win here, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to pull off the upset here unless the Ravens don’t have anything left to play for. The one big advantage the Browns have with their schedule is the fact that if they have a must win to get into the playoffs type of situation in the final week of the season they’re playing the Bengals again. The game is in Cincinnati, but eve being at home shouldn’t help the Bengals here as they should be in full tank mode.

If Cleveland goes 4-2 in there remaining games they’ll finish 8-8 and I don’t think that’s going to be good enough to get one of the AFC wild card spots. I think the Browns are going to have to find a way to go 5-1 or even 6-0 down the stretch to get themselves into the playoffs. They have the schedule to do it, but this team has been a mess more or less all season. Can they get it together over these final 6 games and claim a playoff spot?

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Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: November 13, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

I was very surprised yesterday when they announced that Rocco Baldelli of the Minnesota Twins had won the American League Manager of the Year award. It’s not that Baldelli wasn’t a deserving candidate or that the Twins didn’t have a good enough season for him to win. I just honestly thought that with everything the New York Yankees went through injury wise that their manager Aaron Boone would win this award.

The race was very tight between Baldelli and Boone as both of them received  1st place votes. Baldelli also picked up 13 2nd place votes while Boone received just 9 2nd place votes. To round out their voting Baldelli got 2 3rd place votes while Boone got 4.

The third finalist was Kevin Cash of the Tampa Bay Rays, but he ended up a distant 3rd in the voting, Cash received 3 1st place, 3 2nd place and 9 3rd place votes.

As for the rest of the managers receiving votes. Bob Melvin of the Oakland A’s finished 4th getting 3 2nd and 10 3rd place votes. A.J. Hinch of the Houston Astros was 5th getting 1 1st, 1 2nd and 4 3rd place votes while Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians got 1 3rd place vote.

While the voting in the American League was close it was even closer in the race for National League Manager of the Year. Of course after looking at the vote totals I still have some questions.

As it turned out Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals beat out Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers by 7 points. Shildt picked up 10 1st place votes while Counsell actually got more 1st place votes receiving 13. Shildt made up ground on the ballots by receiving 14 2nd place votes while Counsell got 6. Shildt got 3 3rd place votes to Counsell’s 5 to round out the voting.

The third finalist in the National League was Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker who won this award last season. He received 3 1st, 6 2nd and 12 3rd place votes this season to finish in 3rd place.

Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers grabbed 4th place getting 4 1st, 1 2nd and 1 3rd place vote. Dave Martinez of the Washington Nationals received 3 2nd place and 6 3rd place votes while Tory Lovullo of the Arizona Diamondbacks picked up 2 3rd place votes.

I have to tell you I’m very confused by how the National League voting went. I understand that post season performance doesn’t count in voting for these awards, but even considering that was there a manager who did a better job than Dave Martinez did last season? At one point last season the Nationals where 19-31 and I was one of the people who was saying that Martinez should be fired. Under Martinez the Nationals made a complete turn around finishing 93-69 and grabbing a wild card spot.

Now Shildt did a nice job of dealing with the injuries the Cardinals had this season; guiding them to the National League Central title. Counsell got another good season out of a Brewers team that never seems to spend a lot of money or make big deadline deals. Both of these managers did a good job last season, but neither of them brought their team back from the position that Martinez brought the Nationals back from.

Then to kind of add to it I had just figured Martinez would finish a strong 4th in the balloting. I was shocked when I looked at the voting results to find out he finished 5th and didn’t even receive a 1st place vote. I would be very interested to know what qualifications these voters used to choose a manager of the year.

Tonight Major League Baseball will announce the winner of the Cy Young awards. In the American League the final three are Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros along with Charlie Morton of the Tampa Bay Rays. The National League finalist are Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets.

deGrom is looking to go back to back as he won this award last season. Scherzer is looking to pick up his third National League Cy Young and fourth overall. He won back to back in 2016 & 2017 in the NL and picked up the American League Cy Young in 2013 when he was a member of the Detroit Tigers. Ryu is looking to win his first Cy Young and if he does he’ll be the first Dodgers pitcher to win since Clayton Kershaw won back to back in 2013 & 2014.

Verlander is looking to become a second time Cy Young award winner as he picked up his first one in 2011 when he was with the Detroit Tigers. Cole and Morton are looking to become first time Cy Young winners.

Who are you picking to win?

While I believe most of us where asleep the San Francisco Giants hired a new manager. After being fired by the Philadelphia Phillies after two seasons Gabe Kapler is now the new manager of the Giants.

In his two seasons with the Phillies Kapler went 161-163. Philadelphia was 80-82 in his first season and finished in 3rd place. Last season the Phillies went 81-81 and finished in 4th place under Kapler.

It was admittedly a disappointing season for Philadelphia last year as the brought in big money free agent Bryce Harper; so it wasn’t a big shock when they decided to move on from Kapler. Joe Girardi was hired to replace Kapler in Philadelphia.

Kapler will be replacing a sure fire Hall of Famer in the Giants dugout. Bruce Bochy managed the Giants from 2007 until last season when he retired. Now Bochy overall record may be just a little under .500 at 1052-1054 what’s more important is he won three World Series titles while managing in San Francisco.

It appears that the Giants would like to try and rebuild under President of Baseball Operations Farhan Zaidi and newly hired General Manager Scott Harris; so Kapler’s record may not end up being very good to start.

What should help Kapler weather a rebuild in San Francisco is his history with Zaidi. Kapler was the Dodgers Director of Player Development while Zaidi was part of their front office; so they’ve worked together before and hopefully have similar ideas on how the Giants will go about their business.

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How was your week

Posted: November 9, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

There was an interesting rumor involving the Chicago Cubs that started up yesterday. While I could see it possible happening the aftermath that was talked about made no sense at all to me. Let’s go through it and see what you think.

There are many teams including some that will be contenders next season that need a front line catcher. The biggest free agent name on the catching market is Yasmani Grandal and there has been some mention of Travis d’Arnaud. Other than that there are some solid veteran catchers on the free agent market, but not the knock your socks off kind of payer teams are looking for.

This brings us to the Cubs who have apparently been receiving calls on their starting catcher Willson Contreras and it seems as though they might be interested in moving him. After a rough 2018 Contreras bounced back in 2019 and established himself as one of the top catchers in baseball; so it’s understandable why teams would be interested in acquiring him. How ever why would the Cubs be interested in dealing him?

Well the Cubs have one of the worst minor league systems in baseball and they could strengthen that by trading Contreras for multiple prospects. Contreras is also an arbitration eligible player along with the likes of Kris Bryant and Javier Baez. There’s just no way the Cubs would be able to retain all three of these players when they reach free agency at close to the same time; so a deal makes sense.

Now the part of this rumor that didn’t make any sense to me at all. It was reported that if the Cubs traded Contreras they’d jump into the market to try and sign Grandal. So the Cubs are going to trade a 27 year old catcher who’d make less money for a 31 year old veteran catcher who’s going to want a multi-year contract at right around $20 million dollars a year. This almost seems counter productive on a team that has more important needs than a catcher even if Contreras is traded. Don’t forget the Cubs have Victor Caratini who came through their minor league system as a catching prospect and has produced when given playing time. Caratini is 25 years old and a switch hitter. Why wouldn’t they turn the starting catching job over to him and just sign a veteran to back him up?

In all honesty I thought that the Cubs would dangle Caratini in front of teams this off season and see what they might be able to get for him in a deal, but it looks like it might be Contreras that they’re going to end up doing that with.

If you had the Cubs catching situation what would you do? Do you trade Contreras? If you did deal Contreras; would you try to sign Grandal? Or would you just allow Caratini to be the full time catcher?

Major League Baseball is going to start handing out their year end awards this week. Now I don’t have to big of an issues with the players and managers that where nominated expect in one category; American League Rookie of the Year.

Now it seems as though just about everyone in the media or I should say on MLB Network had given the Rookie of the year award to Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros after he had only spent about a week in the majors; so I fully expect him to win the award. What I can’t figure out is how they came up with the other two finalist.

Alvarez is one of the finalist for the award along with Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays and John Means of the Baltimore Orioles.

I’m not going to jump up and down and complain to much about Means being nominated. He did go 12-11 with a 3.60 ERA over 31 games 27 of which where starts and he threw 155 innings for one of the worst teams in baseball. Even though I’m not so sure he should’ve been a finalist I can see him making the top 3.

Lowe on the other hand is a completely different story. He only played in 82 games due to injury. Alvarez only played in 87 games, but he was a latter minor league call up; Lowe was hurt. Lowe hit .270 with 17 home runs, 51 RBI’s and an OPS of .850. Now those are solid rookie numbers, but nowhere near good enough to be a finalist for Rookie of the Year.

Now who should’ve gotten Lowe’s spot in the final three. How about Eloy Jimenez of the Chicago White Sox. Jimenez played in 122 games and led all American League rookies on home runs with 31 and RBI’s with 79. I’m completely lost on how Jimenez didn’t get enough votes to be a Rookie of the Year finalist.

Maybe you’re not in on Jimenez; so how about Vlad Guerrero Jr. I’m not sure if Vlad Jr. had the type of season people where expecting him to have and that may have hurt him in the voting, but overall he had a better year than Lowe. Guerrero played in 123 games which was the most for an AL rookie. He hit .272 with 15 home runs and 69 RBI’s. I’m under the impression people thought they’d see more power out of Guerrero, but even without the big power numbers he had a good rookie year and could’ve been a finalist.

Am I completely wrong here? Do you think Lowe belongs as a finalist? Or is there someone else besides Jimenez or Guerrero that you thought should’ve been a Rookie of the Year finalist?

The other award I’m a little confused by is National League Manager of the Year. The Nominees are Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves, Craig Counsell of the Milwaukee Brewers and Mike Shildt of the St. Louis Cardinals.

I can understand these three managers being the finalist, but Snitker did win this award last season; so did the Braves improve that much that he deserves to be nominated again? They won the NL East last season and where 90-72. The Braves won the NL East again this season and where 97-65. Is a seven game improvement in your teams won-loss record make you a Manager of the Year candidate?

Obviously the third finalist should’ve been Dave Martinez of the Washington Nationals. Now playoff performance doesn’t count, but even discounting that the Nationals won the World Series where they came from to accomplish that should’ve been enough to make Martinez a finalist for Manager of the Year, but probably should’ve made him the winner.

On June 1st the Nationals had as many losses as the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers went on to loss more games than any other team in baseball this season at 114. The Nationals straighten things out and ended up losing 69 games. They finished 4 games behind the Braves in the NL East and ended up being a wild card team.

How is Martinez not a finalist for NL Manager of the Year?

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

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