Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Harvick’

Eight months ago the Montreal Canadiens and the Nashville Predators swapped All-Star defensemen. The Canadiens received Shea Weber and in return they sent P.K. Subban to Nashville. On Thursday Subban made his first return to the city of Montreal. Subban spent the first 6 seasons wearing a Canadiens sweater and the team played a tribute video for him that brought him to tears. Subban made two All-Star teams (2013 and 2015) and won the Norris trophy with Montreal in 2013 and the video was a nice touch. The Canadiens did go on to win the game 2-1 in Subban’s return visit. Also something with this trade that doesn’t seem to happen to often is that it’s benefitted both teams.

It’s the home stretch in the NHL regular season as most teams have 20 games or less left to play. With teams looking to find there way into the playoffs it’s a tough time of the season for a team to suffer an injury. The Buffalo Sabres who are trying to make a playoff push and find themselves 4 points out of the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference just suffered a big loss due to injury. Kyle Okposo who is the Sabres leader in points this season suffered an injury to his ribs and is expected to miss both of the Sabres games this weekend and possibly more. Being that it’s an NHL injury there isn’t a lot of information out there about Okposo’s injury. Okposo had 2 assists in Buffalo’s 6-3 win Thursday night over the Arizona Coyotes before being injured. Okposo was the team’s top free agent addition last summer and leads Buffalo with 43 points. Okposo has scored 19 goals and has 24 assists in 63 games this season for the Sabres.

The Sabres first game without Okposo is Saturday night when they’ll host the 29-26-8 Tampa Bay Lighting before they head to Pittsburgh for a Sunday match up against the 39-16-8 Penguins. It would be a long shot for the Sabres to make the playoffs as they’d have to jump five teams for that final wild card spot, but Tampa Bay is one of those teams ahead of them in the standings; so a win tonight would at least keep there playoff hopes alive. There’s no actual timetable for Okposo’s return, but the Sabres are hopefully he’ll return for Tuesday nights home game against the 30-26-7 Philadelphia Flyers.

The Chicago Blackhawks also had an injury loss as they placed defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson on injured reserve with an “Upper Body Injury”. Hjalmarsson was on the ice for just 3 minutes in the Blackhawks 6-3 win over the Arizona Coyotes on February 23rd. Hjalmarsson has missed the Blackhawks last three games and is expected to miss Chicago’s game tonight against the 32-23-9 Nashville Predators in Nashville. There is a chance that Hjalmarsson will return for the Blackhawks next set of back to back games. Chicago host the Anaheim Ducks on Thursday March 9th before they head to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Friday March 10th.

While Hjalmarsson isn’t a scoring defenseman having 14 points on the season. Scoring 5 goals on 9 assists, but he averages over 21 minutes of ice time per game for the Blackhawks. That’s the 3rd highest average on the team. Hjalmarsson has played in 60 games for the Blackhawks and is 2nd in the NHL in shot blocks. Hjalmarsson has blocked 156 shots this season and is second to Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators who has 168 shot blocks this season.

Another loss for the Blackhawks was back up goalie Scott Darling who was hurt in practice before last nights game and is expected to miss three weeks. Darling had to fill in for Blackhawks #1 goalie Corey Crawford who was out with an illness last week and won both of his starts, Darling has actual won his last 4 starts in a row and is 16-5-2 as a starter this season. While Darling is out injured the Blackhawks have called up goaltender Jeff Glass from Rockford of the AHL to serve as Crawford’s back up.

Week two of the NASCAR season takes the teams to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Folds of Honor Quik Trip 500 on Sunday. Kevin Harvick took the pole for Sunday’s race with a qualifying speed of 190.398 m.p.h. Ryan Newman will start 2nd while Kyle Busch starts 3rd, Rickey Stenhouse 4th and Brad Keslowski will start 5th to round out the Top 5. Last week’s winner Kurt Busch will start 13th in Atlanta.

There where some qualifying issues as five teams didn’t clear inspection. Michael McDowell, Cole Whitt, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Derrike Cope and Cody Ware were the five drivers who failed to post an official lap when the 20 minute clock expired; ending the first of three qualifying rounds. Their position in the starting field was determined based on 2016 championship owner points. There where also a couple of teams that just made it out with enough time to get onto the track for qualifying. Team Penske’s (#22) Joey Logano and Stewart-Haas racings (#14) Clint Bowyer just made it. Logano will start 6th while Bowyer will start 25th on Sunday.

In last nights 135-130 win by the Cleveland Cavaliers over the Atlanta Hawks the Cavaliers set a record for the most made 3-pointers in a game with 25. The Cavaliers hit on 25 of the 46 (54.3%) 3-point shots they took against Atlanta. LeBron James led the way with six made 3’s. Kyrie Irving had five made 3’s as part of his game high 43 point night. Channing Frye, Kyle Korver, Richard Jefferson and Derrick Williams all had three 3’s. While Iman Shumpert hit two 3’s.

The Cavaliers broke the record that was just set by the Houston Rockets on December 16th 2016 against the New Orleans Pelicans. It was Korver who hit the 25th and final 3-pointer for the Cavaliers against his former team. Korver spent five seasons with Atlanta before being traded earlier this season to Cleveland.

How long do you think this record will stand? I’m not even sure if it will make it to the end of the regular season which is April 12th. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Rockets regain the record and of course the Golden State Warriors would be a front runner to break this record. Of course with this style of play in the NBA just about any team in the association could break this record on any given night. What team do you think will break this record? and when?

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MLB

The Chicago Cubs have won the first two games in their four game series against the Washington Nationals to improve their record to a Major League best 22-6. When the season was getting under way most if not all of the media expected the Cubs to be good and they haven’t disappointed. At first the Cubs winning was viewed as nothing but positive since it’s the Cubs and everyone knows the story. No World Series win since 1908. Then as odd as it might seem as the Cubs continued to win these early season games the media started to question if the Cubs where that good or if it was there schedule that has been allowing them to put up this type of record; so this four game series against the Nationals was seen as a big test for the Cubs.

The Cubs opened the 2016 season with an odd 2-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Behind the starting pitching of Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester the Angels didn’t score in either game and the Cubs started off the season 2-0. The Angels are currently 13-16 and weren’t the challenge the media thought they’d be for the Cubs. The Cubs stayed out West for a 4-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks looked to have won the off season, but that didn’t translate into this series as the Cubs took 3 of 4. Arizona is currently 13-18 and in last place in the National League West; so they apparently weren’t the match up the experts where looking for the Cubs to face either. After their  trip out West, the Cubs came home for their home opener and a 3-game series against the Cincinnati Reds, which the Cubs swept. While it’s difficult to sweep a team this wasn’t much of a surprise to anyone. The Reds did get of to a good start to the season, but are now 13-17. After the Reds, the Colorado Rockies came to Chicago for a 3-game series and the Cubs hit their first speed bump of the season as the Rockies took 2 of 3 in this series. Colorado is one game under .500 at 14-15, but the N.L. West is so close that they’re just one game of of 1st place. After losing there first series of the year the Cubs went back on the road to face there rivals the St. Louis Cardinals in a 3-game series. This was looked at as the Cubs first test of the season and they appeared to pass as they took 2 of 3 games in St. Louis. The Cardinals have struggled a little bit and since they’re just .500 at 15-15 this series win wasn’t good enough for the Cubs. The Cubs then went to Cincinnati for a 4-game series against the Reds; which they where expected to win and they took 3 of the 4 games. It was back to Chicago for the Cubs and another N.L. Central match up; this time against the Milwaukee Brewers. Because of rain the series ended up being just 2 games and the Cubs won both. This was another expected outcome as the Brewers are in rebuild mode. Milwaukee is 11-18 and currently in last place in the N.L. Central. The Atlanta Braves where the next team on the schedule as they came to Chicago for a 3-game series, but more rain allowed just 2 games to be played and the teams split the shortened series. Was this the chink in the Cubs armor experts where looking for? The Braves are also rebuilding and have the worst record in baseball right now at 7-21, but look out they won a game in Chicago. The Cubs headed back out on the road and jumped back into N.L. Central play as they faced the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 3-game series. This was suppose to be another test for the Cubs as the Pirates where and still are in 2nd place in the N.L. Central. This appears to be another test the Cubs passed as they swept the Pirates. Pittsburgh is 16-13 on the season. This brings us to where we are now with the Cubs facing the Nationals.

You’ve seen the schedule the Cubs have played and are they just a creation of the teams they faced or are they a serious contender. I hope you’re leaning towards contender and you’re not looking to make excuses for the tams success. I’ve also been trying to figure out how the schedule is the Cubs fault. I believe the schedule was set by Major League Baseball  and the Cubs or any other team don’t have anything to do with the scheduling of games. Will the Cubs continue to win games at a clip of .786 like they are now; probably not. While the Cubs are on a 5-game winning streak right now and they haven’t lost back to back games there will probably be some times when they lose multiple games in a row. Will that be the test the media needs, to see how they bounce back from a losing streak or is it something else. While it’s still too early in the season to hand the Cubs the World Series trophy they look like a team that might be in the mix for it at the end of the season.

NASCAR

The Sprint Cup series is going racing tonight in the GoBowling 400 at Kansas Speedway. Chris Olmstead usually joins the Sports Time Radio podcast on Sunday mornings to preview the race and give his Top 3 drives he thinks has h the best chance to end up in victory lane. Well with the race being on Saturday night Chris has sent us his picks for tonight’s race. Chris is going with Kevin Harvick; who’s starting 26th, Chase Elliott who’s starting 13th and Kyle Busch who’s starting 6th. Martin Truex Jr. took the pole with an average speed of 190.921 miles per hour. Matt Kenseth starts 2nd with his teammate Denny Hamlin starting 3rd. Kurt Busch will start the race 4th and last weeks winner Brad Keslowski rounds out the Top 5 starting 5th. Hopefully Chris will be able to join The Big Jack and Mr. Fantasy on Sports Time Radio tomorrow (Sunday) to review the race.

PGA

Zac Blair is a professional golfer and yesterday he was disqualified from the Wells Fargo Championship on Friday for using a bent putter. Now how did Blair’s putter get bent? Well Blair missed a putt on the 5th hole of his round on Friday and proceeded to hit himself in the head with his putter and bent it. Everything would’ve been fine if Blair hadn’t use the putter, but Rule 4-3b states that you can’t use a non-conforming club and by bending his club in anger Blair had a non-conforming club. Blair could have tapped in with a wedge and played the rest of the round without a putter. The Rules of Golf allow you to replace a damaged club during a round but not if the damage was done in anger. Blair  approached a rules official on the sixth tee and explained the situation, which resulted in disqualification. Blair was 4 over par at the time and in danger of missing the 36-hole cut. In case you’re wondering Andrew Loupe is leading the tournament at -8 going into Saturday’s round.

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Last Sunday the NASCAR series was at the Phoenix International Speedway for the Good Sam 500. On Sunday morning Chris Olmstead from Beyond the Flag joined the Sports Time Radio podcast to preview the race. As Chris is wrapping up his preview we have him select three drivers that he thinks have the best chance to end up in victory lane. For the Phoenix race he went with Jimmie Johnson who finished 11th as one of his choices. His other two choices where Carl Edwards and Kevin Harvick who ended up finishing 1st and 2nd. Harvick edged out Edwards by 9/100th of a second. Edwards had actually found his way past Harvick on the last lap, but Harvick was able to pull up side by side with Edwards and after some contact it was Harvick who was able to narrowly pull out the victory. The win of course puts Harvick in the Chase along with Denny Hamlin, Johnson and Brad Keslowski. The Sprint Cup series continues the west coast swing as they go to Fontana California for the Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway. Chris will join us on the podcast a little after 10:00 a.m. to preview the race and make his picks. Tune in to hear if Chris can pick back to back winners.

Now I don’t watch much if any college basketball, but you know that I filled out a tournament bracket. Pretty much all I know about the college basketball season is the highlights I’ve seen on the various sportscasts I watch. Anyway here’s what I managed to come up with for my Final Four. I have Villanova coming out of the South bracket; facing Texas A&M out of the West bracket. Villanova wins this match up and goes to the championship game. I have North Carolina coming out of the East bracket to face Michigan State who wins the Midwest bracket. I have Michigan state winning this game and advancing to the Championship game. So my finals match up has Villanova vs. Michigan State and I have Michigan State winning the NCAA championship. So my Final Four is actually Villanova, Texas A&M, North Carolina and Michigan State. I guess will have to see how this goes for me.

I was a little surprised when the report came out that the Denver Broncos matched the contract offer made to running back C.J. Anderson by the Miami Dolphins. The contract has a  a guaranteed $5.25 million signing bonus, and his base salary of $675,000 is also guaranteed. In addition, $1.7 million of his $2.9 million base salary in 2017 is guaranteed. Anderson’s base salary of $4.5 million in 2018 and 2019 are not guaranteed. He will have to be on the Broncos’ roster to earn his base salary in those years. Anderson was tendered at a one-year, $1.671 million deal, with the Broncos holding right of first refusal on the restricted free agent. That meant the Broncos could match any offer, but it also meant they would not have received any compensation from the Dolphins if Anderson had signed there.With Anderson back in the fold it will give the Broncos one less thing to worry about as they try to figure out their quarterback position. Denver did acquire Mark Sanchez from the Philadelphia Eagles, but they’ve said all along he won;t be the only quarterback in camp. Denver has shown some interest in Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers as well as free agent quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.

The New England Patriots made a couple of moves yesterday. First they sent defensive end Chandler Jones to the Arizona Cardinals for guard Jonathan Cooper and a 2nd round draft choice. Jones is entering the last year of his contract, but is coming off a career high 12 1/2 sacks last season. In 4 years with the Patriots Jones had 36 sacks. Cooper was the 7th overall pick in the 2013 draft. He played in 14 games last season starting 9 for Arizona, but has had some injury issues. The 2nd round pick is a plus for New England. Remember they lost their 1st round draft pick as a penalty for deflate gate. Even without Jones New England was still deep along the defensive line, but that didn’t stop them from adding one more as they signed free agent Chris Long to a one year deal. Long formerly of the St. Louis now Los Angeles Rams is coming off a couple of injury plagued seasons. He played in just 6 games in 2014, but came back to play 12 games last season recording 3 sacks. Long was the 2nd overall pick of the 2008 draft and had 54 1/2 sacks in 8 seasons with the Rams.

The Oakland Raiders have made quite a splash in free agency this off season. They brought in pass rusher Bruce Irvin as well as signing the best offensive lineman on the market in Kelechi Osemele. Not it’s being reported that the Raiders will offensive tackle Donald Penn. Bringing Penn back means that Osemele will play guard for sure. It also means that quarterback Derek Carr will have a very large offensive line in front of him. Penn goes 6’5 and 305 pounds, Osemele goes 6’5 and 333 pounds along with the other starters Rodney Hudson at 6’2 and 291 pounds, Gabe Jackson 6’3 and 336 pounds and Austin Howard 6’7 333 pounds. If it’s not the biggest offensive line on the National Football League it has to be right at the top.

Another signing took place yesterday as Mike Wallace agreed to a deal with the Baltimore Ravens. Wallace spent last season with the Minnesota Vikings and on his way out the door took some shots at his now former quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. After being released by the Minnesota Vikings in a salary cap move there was some talk Wallace would resign with Minnesota, but Wallace didn’t feel this way saying “When this process started, I knew I wasn’t going back to Minnesota. I was like, ‘I need a good quarterback,'” Wallace said. “I need a quarterback who is proven and can get things done. [Ravens Quarterback Joe] Flacco has always been that guy.” In his one season with the Vikings Wallace caught 39 passes for 473 yards and 2 touchdowns. The 39 catches tied for Wallace’s career low. He also had 39 catches as a rookie with the Pittsburgh Steelers. In Baltimore Wallace will team with the returning Steve Smith and hopefully Breshad Perriman. Perriman lost his rookie season last year to injury, but if he can contribute the Ravens could have a solid receiving core.

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Week 3 in the NFL seems to have gotten us on track with our picks as we all where into double digits with correct picks. Dan the Man won the week going 13-3. Mr. Fantasy and I where a game behind at 12-4 while Schaumburg Stu finished at 10-6. Mr. fantasy has retaken the overall lead at 29-19. Dan the Man has moved into 2nd place with a record of 28-20. Schaumburg Stu is in 3rd with a record of 27-21 while I am still in last place with my record of 25-23. Let’s see if we can continue our wining ways going into Week 4.

In NASCAR The Chase is two weeks old and the two drivers moving into the 2nd round by winning races are both from Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR). Two weeks ago at Chicagoland Denny Hamlin (#11) picked up the win to advance and last week at New Hampshire it was Matt Kenseth (#20) who found his way into victory lane and punched his ticket to the Contender Round. There’s 1 more automatic bid at stake as the drivers go to Dover International Speedway. Now after Dover the 4 lowest drivers will be eliminated from The Chase and there are some interesting names that are in trouble. There is a chance tat at the end of the race this weekend we’ll see Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Dan the Man’s favorite driver Clint Bowyer all gone from The Chase, It looked like Harvick was going to win his way into the 2nd round, but ran out of gas while leading the race allowing Kenseth to go by him for the win. Don’t forget that Harvick had an incident with Jimmie Johnson at Chicagoland. Harvick ended up blowing a tire after his and Johnson cars touched and ended up finishing 42nd. Harvick hung on to finish 21st last week in New Hampshire and finds himself in almost a must win situation t advance. Bowyer is also looking at a must win to move on situation heading into Dover, but not because of anything that happened on the racetrack. Bowyer’s car failed inspection at Chicagoland and NASCAR penalized him 25 points and suspended his crew chief. Bowyer and his team are appealing the penalties, but the points are listed in The Chase standings. Busch’s Chase got off to a good start with a 9th place finish in Chicagoland, but had an accident last week in New Hampshire and finished 37th. Busch isn’t in as dire of a situation as Harvick and Bowyer find themselves in, but he’ll need a good finish to move into the 2nd round. Earnhardt Jr. would move on to round 2 with the standings the way they are right now, but he’s only a few points ahead of that 13th spot and if he has a bad finish he could fins himself out of The Chase. Earnhardt had a good 12th place finish in Chicagoland and last week finished 25th. It would be difficult to see drivers like Earnhardt Jr, Harvick, Busch and Bowyer gone from The Chase, but that’s what makes this format exciting.

If you’re a baseball fan you’e probably heard the term good pitching beats good hitting. This statement is really suppose to apply in the playoffs. With the National League playoffs pretty much set which team has that good pitching to move along. Now the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates will have to use one of their top pitchers just to move into the Division Series when the face each other in the Wild Card game. Most teams will go to a 4 man rotation; so let’s look and see who might be in the best position rotation wise.

The Pirates would probably go with Gerrit Cole in the Wild Card game and if they win they’d go to Francisco Liriano followed by A.J. Burnett. That gives the Pirates a solid 1, 2, 3 and then they would have their choice of Charlie Morton or left-handers J.A. Happ or Jeff Locke. That’s not a bad playoff rotation.

I think everyone in the Chicago area would let out a collective groan if Jake Arrieta doesn’t start the Wild Card game. If the Cubs where to move on they’d have Jon Lester ready for Game 1 of the NLDS. After that it gets dicey for the Cubs. Kyle Hendricks is coming off a good outing on Monday against the Kansas City Royals. That performance may have given Hendricks a leg up over veterans Jason Hammel and Dan Haren, but which ever way the Cubs choose t go it could get interesting.

The Los Angeles Dodgers have the best 1, 2 starting pitching combination in baseball with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke after that who knows. Veteran Brett Anderson has put up solid numbers this season; so you’d think he might be #3 in the rotation. Then is it Mike Bolsinger, Alex Wood or Carlos Frias making that next start.

With the season ending injury to Carlos Martinez it seems as though the St. Louis Cardinals just have to decide what order they’re going t throw their pitchers in. Cardinals opponents should see Michael Wacha, John Lackey, Lance Lynn and Jamie Garcia in some order. The decision for the Cardinals is what to do with the returning Adam Wainwright. Wainwright is going to work out of the bullpen for the remainder of the regular season and maybe he won’t be stretched out enough to start a game, but is he is do the Cardinals plug him into the rotation or stick with the pitchers who got them here.

While the Cardinals look to have a very good situation as far as starting pitching goes the New York Mets may have even a better one. The Mets have Matt Harvey, Jacob deGroom and Noah Syndergaard set and ready to go. The Mets have some very good choices for that 4th spot. They could go with a solid veteran like Bartolo Colon or someone like Jon Niese, but there’s also young left-hander Steven Matz. While the sample size on Matz is small just 6 starts; he is 4-0 with an ERA of 2.27. Where will the Mets go?

Is there a pitcher out there who can go on a run like Madison Bumgarner did in the post season last year for the San Francisco Giants on their way to a World Series win. Either way it’s the post season and it should be exciting.

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How many more injuries can the Oklahoma City Thunder take this season. Kevin Durant missed games early in the season recovering from his foot surgery and now he’s out because they had to go in and adjust the screws in the plate they put in that foot.  Russell Westbrook suffered facial fractures had surgery to repair them and didn’t miss too many games, but is playing with a protective mask on. Now Serge Ibaka injured his knee and is out four to six weeks. Ibaka had  successful arthroscopic surgery yesterday and would be back for the playoffs if the Thunder makes the playoffs. Westbrook has been keeping the Thunder in the playoff hunt while making a case for himself as the MVP, but with the New Orleans Pelicans victory last night Oklahoma City finds themselves 1/2 a game out of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Western conference. Oklahoma City has 15 games left starting tonight (Wednesday) against the Boston Celtics to get past the Pelicans and into the NBA playoffs. If the Thunder can find a way to pass the Pelicans and grab that 8th seed they’d  get a 1st round match up with the Golden State Warriors. You’d think the Thunder would have to go into that opening round match up without Ibaka, but Golden State doesn’t really feature their big men. If Oklahoma City can get a healthy Durant back playing with the MVP candidate Westbrook against Golden State’s “Splash Brothers” Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry in just the 1st round of the playoffs. Would a Durant return be enough for Oklahoma City to shock a team like Golden State?

The NCAA tournament goes into full swing tomorrow as the official 1st round starts. We don’t cover much college basketball on the podcast, but I always fill out a tournament bracket just for the fun of it. While I’m not going to go game by game through my picks, but here’s my Final Four teams. Out of the Midwest region I have who else, but Kentucky. I have the Wisconsin Badgers coming out of the West region and they’ll play Kentucky in the Final Four. In the South region I have the Gonzaga Bulldogs going to the Final Four to play the winner of the East region which I have as Northern Iowa; with Gonzaga going to the championship game. So my finals match up is Gonzaga vs. Kentucky and I have Kentucky winning it all with a 70 – 61 victory in the tournament final.

At just 24 years of age and with just one season of professional football under his belt San Francisco 49ers linebacker Chris Borland retired because he is concerned about head injuries. Now I have no issues with Borland deciding to walk away from the NFL but the mainstream media has handled this story very, very poorly. I’ve heard Borland called everything from a hero to a quitter and I don’t believe he’s either. To me he’s just a guy who no longer wanted to play football. When you’re an athlete you have this fire or love inside you for the sport you play; it’s what keeps you going when you think you can’t go on. I’m guessing that Borland didn’t have a love for football or the NFL and just decided to move on with his life. Of course the media jumped all over this story and started predicting the end of the NFL Just because Chris Borland didn’t want to play football anymore doesn’t mean there aren’t players lining up to find their way into the NFL Is it possible that you’ll receive an injury that might affect your long-term healthy; yes. Are you paid very, very well to take that chance and play professional football; yes. Let’s not turn Borland into the poster boy for leaving the NFL because of head trauma. I don’t believe he has or received a serious head injury; he may have had a concussion last season, but I don’t think he missed any games because of it. Borland is a guy who accessed the risk of playing in the NFL to what he’d like to do with the rest of his life and decided to leave the sport. Don’t expect the mass exodus that the media is predicting now that one player has done it. I’m interested to see if any other players go this route.

While the NASCAR season is only four weeks old with the way it’s started can anyone stop defending champion Kevin Harvick? Harvick started his season by finishing 2nd to Joey Logano at the Daytona 500. The next week at Atlanta Motor Speedway Harvick finished 2nd again; this time to Jimmie Johnson at the Folds of Honor Quiktrip 500. Week 3 in Las Vegas Harvick led 142 on his way to his 1st victory of the season at the Kolbalt 400. Then last week at the Phoenix International Raceway Harvick led 224 of the 312 laps and easily won the CampingWorld.com 500. So in four weeks of racing Harvick has two 2nd place finishes and two victories. This week NASCAR moves to Fontana California for the Auto Club 400 at the Auto Club Speedway. Will Harvick get his 3rd win in a row or can another driver find his or her way to victory lane. I guess the question if someone else does win the race will Harvick finish 2nd?

I’ll be the first person to say that I can’t stand the way Theo Epstein, Jed Hoyer and the Chicago Cubs are handling the Kris Bryant situation. To tell you the truth though I’m not really that upset with the way they’re handling his situation this spring training. The Cubs front office is making a business decision not a baseball decision to send Bryant to Triple A Iowa to start the 2015 season. In case you don’t know if Bryant goes to Triple A and spends 12 days there the Cubs gain and extra year of salary control with him. I can deal with him just going to Triple A for 12 days. The issue I actually have is this shouldn’t even be an issue as Bryant should’ve been in the major leagues last season and we wouldn’t even be having this conversation. Imagine if Bryant had a years worth of big league experience under his belt going into this season and wouldn’t have to learn on the fly at the major league level. Major league pitching is tough and it’s a lot more difficult to adjust to than Triple A pitching is. That would all be out-of-the-way had the Cubs just looked ahead and brought Bryant up last season. This is just part of the reasons why the Cubs don’t win. Poor front office decisions lead to poor on field results and the Chicago Cubs are living proof of that. Now the Cubs look better than they have in a long time and might have an outside shot at making the playoffs. How much more help would a Kris Bryant with one year of major league at bats be compared to a Kris Bryant who’s a rookie and learning major league pitchers be?

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11/19/14

Week 11’s picks had Dan the Man, Schaumburg Stu, Mr. Fantasy and I all going 8-6 for the week. For the season I’m in the lead with an overall record of 102-57-1. Schaumburg Stu is 2 games back at 100-59-1 while Dan the Man and Mr. Fantasy are tied while an overall record of 99-60-1. Who knows what Week 12 will have in store for us.

In what I guess we’ll call the Fantasy Football Challenge pitting Mr. Fantasy vs. Greg, played out this way. At quarterback Mr. Fantasy went with Tom Brady of the New England Patriots while Greg picked Robert Griffin III of the Washington Redskins. Brady scored 13.44 points and finished 13th among quarterbacks while Griffin scored 8.74 points and finished 21st among quarterbacks for Week 11. At running back they both agreed that Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints was the right choice. Ingram finished 9th among running backs with 20.70 points. At wide receiver Mr. Fantasy went with DeSean Jackson of the Washington Redskins while Greg’s choice was Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers. Jackson finished 48th among wide receivers for Week 11 with 6.95 points while Cobb finished with 20.65 points which was good for 10th place among wide receivers. At tight end Mr. Fantasy picked Antonio Gates of the San Diego Chargers while Greg went with Julius Thomas of the Denver Broncos. Gates scored 5.45 points and finished 21st among tight ends while Thomas got hurt in Sunday’s game and scored 1.80 points which put him in 42nd place among tight ends. At kicker Mr. Fantasy picked Stephen Gostkowski of the New England Patriots while Greg’s choice was Nick Novak of the San Diego Chargers. Gostkowski scored 6 points and finished tied for 11th place while Novak scored 10 points and finished tied for 6th place. Sleeper picks for Week 11. Mr. Fantasy went with Cleveland Browns wide receiver Taylor Gabriel while Greg’s choice was Indianapolis Colts running back Trent Richardson. While Richardson might not be a sleeper in name value in production value he would be a sleeper if he had a good week. Gabriel coed 13.37 points and finished 23rd for Week 11. Richardson scored 4.60 points and finished 47th among running backs for Week 11. If you heard the show Sunday morning you have to hear Mr. Fantasy complain about picking the same players over and over. He suggested that they not be allowed to pick the Top 5 scores at each position. I ran the idea by Greg and he was good with it; so starting with Week 12 they will not be allowed to select any of the Top 5 scoring players at each position for the season. As always I use the scoring system from your Yahoo league titled Next Year is Here 13.

If you’ve listened to Sports Time Radio you know that we all live in the Chicago area. If you listen to sports talk radio in Chicago when they’re not firing Marc Trestman or trying to get Jay Cutler traded or released they’ll talk about who the Chicago Cubs will sign from the free agent market this off-season. The team itself had come out and said that Jon Lester was the first free agent that they where interested in, but they’d also like to sign Russell Martin. Now Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu are the resident Cubs fans on the show while Mr. Fantasy roots for the Chicago White Sox. Now we’ve heard this song and dance from the Cubs organization for the past couple of seasons. How they just missed out on this free agent or that free agent and it has started already this off-season. Russell Martin signed a 5 year $82 million dollar deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Cubs of course having to explain losing Martin to Toronto, went with it was too much money. I actually agree it was too much money for Martin, but he was the only top catcher on the free agent market and that’s what someone was going to have to pay to bring him in. There’s strike one on the Cubs. This morning the Cubs have been quoted as saying that they believe that Lester will sign with the Boston Red Sox. So the Cubs put two names up for their fans to look for and now it looks more and more that neither one of these players will be in a Cubs uniform come opening day. While Martin was far and away the best catcher on the free agent market there are still some top of the rotation starting pitchers still out there. Will the Cubs go after a James Shields or a Max Scherzer now that they’re saying Lester is headed to Boston. I doubt they will, but they’ll need to find some new names to put up for their fans to wish for.

If you’re playing fantasy hockey this season like Dan the Man and I are, I hope you had all of your Nashville Predators in your line up last night. The Predators went out and scored 9 goals last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Taylor Back scored 2 goals while Derek Roy, Eric Nystrom, Mike Ribeiro, Filip Forsberg, Calle Jarnkrok, Roman Josi and Colin Wilson each added a goal. Shea Weber tallied 3 assists while Ryan Ellis, and Paul Gaustad each had 2 assists in the game. Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer gave up 6 of the Predators goals while Jonathan Bernier gave up the other 3 goals and was tagged with the loss. The Montréal Canadiens led the NHL right now with 29 points and an 20-14-5 record. The Tampa Bay Lightning are just 1 point behind at 28 points and an 20-13-5 record. After that it’s the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Anaheim Ducks tied at 27 points.

Kevin Harvick won his 1st Sprint Cup championship and a championship for Stewart-Haas Racing by winning the Ford EcoBoost 400 in Homestead Miami Florida on Sunday. Harvick went from 12th to first over the final 15 laps gave Harvick the championship over Denny Hamlin, Ryan Newman and Joey Logano. It was Harvick’s first Sprint Cup title in his 14th season of competition.

You can find Sports Time Radio on BlogTalk Radio and you can find me on Twitter @Burketime.