Let’s call it Wednesday

Posted: December 18, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Well here is still quite a bit of activity in the baseball free agent marker as Madison Bumgarner ended up being the next top free agent to sign. It’s not surprise that Bumgarner got a sizeable deal 5 years for $85 million dollars, but it was a bit of a surprise that it was the Arizona Diamondbacks that signed him. There where no rumors or anything linking Bumgarner and the Diamondbacks, but they got the deal done.

Bumgarner’s contract is set up very interestingly. He’ll be paid just $6 million dollars next season. His salary jumps to $19 million dollars in 2021. In 2022 and 2023 he’ll be paid $23 million dollars. Then in the final year of his contract his salary drops down to $14 million dollars. Now in the three middle years of his contract $5 million dollars of his salary from each of those years will be deferred. That money will then be paid out to Bumgarner in the years 2025, 2026 and 2027.

There have been some rumors that Bumgarner took less money to sign with the Diamondbacks, but that hasn’t been confirmed. His name had been associated with teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and Chicago White Sox, but we don’t know if he received any type of offers from these teams.

It seems that the addition of Bumgarner would give the Diamondbacks a really solid big three in their starting rotation. You’d have to figure to would be Bumgarner, Robbie Ray and Luke Weaver in some order, but there are still reports out their that Arizona is still interested in trading Ray.

I’m not sure how much sense it makes for Arizona to bring in a pitcher like Bumgarner and then turn around and trade away Ray. The Diamondbacks do have veteran starter Mike Leake along with Merrill Kelly, Zac Gallen and the two pitchers they acquired from the Houston Astros in the Zack Greinke deal Jon Duplantier and Corbin Martin to fill out the starting rotation if Ray is dealt.

It is possible that Ray could be use to bring back an outfielder that Arizona seems to need unless they’re going to give Yasmany Tomas a chance. Tomas is in the final year of his 6 year $68.5 million dollar deal; so this is the last chance for the Diamondbacks to get anything out of him. Tomas has spent the better part of the last three seasons in the minors, but don’t forget that he did hit 31 home runs in 2016.

Will have to wait and see what the Diamondbacks do with Ray and how their outfield shuffles out.

The Milwaukee Brewers made a couple of signings this past week and I think the best way to describe them is they where very Brewers like signings.

First Milwaukee signed outfielder Avisail Garcia to a 2 year $20 million dollar deal. Then the Brewers added 1st baseman/3rd baseman Ryon Healy to  1 year deal. The terms of Healy’s deal haven’t been disclosed yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a minor league deal with an invite to spring training.

With the signing of Garcia and the fact that Milwaukee hasn’t made any real effort to bring back free agent Eric Thames appears to mean that Ryan Braun will be moving to 1st base. There was talk of this happening last season and it didn’t, but with these moves it appears as though it’s almost a certainty this season.

Right now Healy would be the Brewers starting 3rd baseman unless they think that either Lucas Erceg or Blake Allemand might be ready to play full time at the major league level. There’s also a possibility that Milwaukee will bring in another veteran free agent to platoon with Healy at 3rd base.

The Brewers have been very busy in this early off season. Not only have they added Garcia and Healy, but they’ve also added two starting pitchers. Milwaukee has added left hander Brett Anderson to the starting rotation. They’ve also signed Josh Lindblom who’s been pitching in the Korean league the last couple of seasons. Lindblom should also find a spot in the Brewers starting rotation.

These are the kind of interesting under the radar type of moves that help keep the Brewers in the hunt for a playoff spot. Will have to see how these signing workout and if they add anyone else.

As far as big names go it seems that Josh Donaldson is the only one left on the free agent market.

There where reports a few days ago that the Los Angeles Dodgers where out on Donaldson, but yesterday anther report came out that the Dodgers are still interested in signing him. The Washington Nationals have made it clear that they’re interesting in signing Donaldson. National general manager Mike Rizzo came out yesterday and confirmed all these reports. There are also some reports that the Minnesota Twins would be interested in bringing Donaldson on board. Also the team that Donaldson played with last season the Atlanta Braves would also like to have him back.

It seems like the biggest question with signing Donaldson is how many years to give him. There are reports that Donaldson is looking for a 4 year contract. Donaldson just turned 34 years old earlier this month; so teams have to decide how they think Donaldson will be as a 38 year old.

Where do you think Donaldson will end up? and how many years do you think he’ll sign for?

Even with a loss last night the Los Angeles Lakers are still the top team in the Western Conference. At 24-4 the question was posed to LeBron James about the hot new term in the NBA load management and James had some interesting answers. James said “if I’m healthy I play” he added “I mean, that should be the approach. I mean unless we’re getting to like late in the season and we’ve clinched and we can’t get any better or any worse, it could benefit from that, but why wouldn’t I play if I’m healthy? It doesn’t make any sense to me, personally. “I mean, I don’t know how many games I got left in my career. I don’t know how many kids that may show up to a game and they’re there to come see me play and if I sit out, then what? That’s my obligation.”

James has played in all 28 of the Lakers game this season and is averaging 34.7 minutes per game. Now as the season goes on it wouldn’t be a surprise to see James sit out the 4th quarter of blow out games. It’s just common sense for the Lakers to want and James to be healthy for the playoffs, but it is nice to hear an NBA player that actually seems like he wants to play.

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How was your week

Posted: December 14, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in football, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

In Thursday nights 42-21 victory over the New York Jets Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson pretty much secured the NFL MVP award for himself. Jackson only threw the football 23 times, but completed 15 of those passes for 212 yards. You might not think those are very impressive number until you see that he didn’t throw an interception and oh yeah also threw 5 touchdown passes. Jackson was also the Ravens leading rusher in the game. He ran the football 8 times for 86 yards and in the process of gaining those yards surpassed Michael Vick’s record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a season. The victory also put the Ravens record at 12-2 and clinched the AFC North division title. That 12-2 record also put the Ravens in the drivers seat for the #1 seed in the playoffs. Which means they wouldn’t have to leave M&T Bank stadium until the Super Bowl. Baltimore is currently 6-1 at home this season. They’ll play their final home game next week as they host the Cleveland Browns.

What makes Jackson’s numbers from Thursday night even more interesting is that he was battling a quad injury. Once the injury news broke there where quite a few pundits on the television talking about how they knew this was going to happen with a running quarterback and the Ravens needed to sit Jackson against the Jets. It’s odd, but it almost seems like these people want Jackson to get injured so they can prove their point. I don’t understand that at all, but I guess they need to be right that badly.

Jackson is the clear cut MVP frontrunner and I believe even if he did get injured he’d still win the award. Now besides having an MVP season Jackson still has something to prove come playoff time. I’m sure that will begin to hear quite a bit about Jackson’s dismal performance against the San Diego Chargers in last seasons playoffs and yes they where still the Chargers.

Jackson did throw 2 touchdowns to 1 interception in that playoff game, but he complete just 14 of the 29 passes he threw for 194 yards as the Ravens where beaten 23-17 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score indicated. The Chargers even did a decent job of slowing down Jackson’s running ability. In that game he ran the football 9 times for 54 yards and had 3 fumbles in that game.

There where a lot of people who didn’t understand why Ravens head coach John Harbaugh didn’t make a quarterback change in that game and go to Joe Flacco, but he choose to stay with Jackson and it sure has paid off for him this season. Of course we don’t know if Jackson would’ve played any different this season had he been pulled from that playoff game, but you’d have to imagine it would shake his confidence a little. Plus he had already replaced Flacco as the Ravens starter and it was clear that Flacco’s days with Baltimore where numbered. Can you just imagine the uproar had he led them to a comeback win and then they let him go.

Now that Jackson has pretty much locked down the MVP award the question that came up is will he be a unanimous selection for the award. In 2010 Tom Brady of the New England Patriots was a unanimous selection, but I believe he’s the only one. Could Jackson be the second?

Now there are some other candidates for the MVP award and with the way the voting is done there’s a good chance that one of them will pick up a 1st place vote.

While I do believe Jackson will win in a landslide expect Russell Wilson of the Seattle Seahawks to probably finish 2nd. You have to think that the other quarterback from the playoff teams will get votes. So expect to see Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, Kurt Cousins of the Minnesota Vikings and maybe even Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys get some votes. Prescott may seem like an odd choice with the Cowboys hanging around at .500, he’s currently leading the NFL in passing yards and well he is a Cowboy.

I know you’re saying to yourself that I only listed quarterbacks. Well the NFL is a quarterback driven league and while there are some running backs that may pop up o an MVP ballot hear or there they don’t have enough backing to be a contender for this award. The same goes for any receiver even though I did hear someone try to bring Michael Thomas of the New Orleans Saints into the MVP conversation. I just don’t see that happening Jackson is going to win the MVP award and his closest competition will be another quarterback.

Is Jackson your choice for NFL MVP? Or do you have someone else in mind that you think you’d vote for?

Vic Fangio is in his first season as the Denver Broncos head coach. Actually he in his first season as a head coach anywhere, but he had an interesting idea for the NFL scheduling wise.

Fangio mentioned that the NFL should get rid of the division and just have two conferences. Now this would give each conference 15 teams. As for the scheduling Fangio said that you could play each team in your division one time which would give you 15 games and then if the NFL and their owners wanted to stay with a 16 game schedule that 16th game could be against a natural rival.

I know that I’m way in the minority here, but I like this idea. I remember how much I enjoyed inter-league play in Major League Baseball until they started doing it every week. It would be a throwback to the days when the AFL champion use to meet the NFL champion in the Super Bowl. Not that the NFL needs another reason to build up the Super Bowl anymore than it is imagine what they could do if they knew this was the only time in a season that these two teams would meet.

Now I do see the negatives here, but imagine if the only time Tom Brady played Aaron Rodgers it was in the Super Bowl. Or how about if Lamar Jackson only faced the top defense in the NFC in the Super Bowl. I think it would make the game mean even more than it does now.

I don’t expect anyone to actually consider this, but I have to day that I liked it.

Don’t forget that 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.

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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?

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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.

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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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