Posts Tagged ‘Rory McIlroy’

The Golden State Warriors won 73 regular season games and there was a lot of talk about this was the best team ever. This 73 win team made it to the NBA Finals for the second season in a row. Now the issue becomes is this the best team ever or is this the best regular season team ever since they lost Game 7 and the NBA Championship 93-89 to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. The record Golden State broke belonged to the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls, but that Bulls team won the title. The next year the Bulls won 69 games to tie for the second most wins in a season at the time with 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers. Both of those 69 win team won the title. I guess the question is; what does a 73 win regular season mean when you don;t win the NBA title. The record is impressive in this NBA day and age where players are always looking to take regular season games off and not to mention staying healthy. Did setting the wins record in the regular season hurt Golden State in the playoffs. To be fair the NBA did everything in it’s power to make sure there was a Game 7. The NBA and the referees did quite a bit to stack the deck against the Warriors in Games 5 and 6, but Game 7 appeared to be on the up and up and they didn’t win. Without the NBA title on their resume where does this Golden State team rank in NBA history. Would they make it into the Top 5 or do they make the Top 10. Is there even a possibility that they’re outside the Top 10 because they didn’t win the title. Even if the Warriors had won the NBA title there where people who thought that the 1995-96 Bulls team led by the greatest player of all time Michael Jordan was still a better team. By not winning the championship Golden State made it easier for anyone and everyone who want to compare these teams to drop them down the list. If you’re making your list; where do you have this Golden State team on it?

While we’re talking about the Warriors they made some noise yesterday about who they might target in free agency. NBA free agency officially starts July 1st and there are reports that Golden State’s number one target is Kevin Durant. Now of course teams always need a back up plan and yesterday the Warriors back up plan may have opted out of his contract. While he is 38 wouldn’t Dirk Nowitzki fit nicely into the scheme that Golden State runs.  Nowitzki has spent his entire 18 year NBA career with the Dallas Mavericks, but could he leave Dallas for a shot at another NBA title with Golden State. The Mavericks won the NBA championship in 2010-11 season and Nowitzki was voted finals M.V.P. Nowitzki won the league M.V.P. in 2007; he’s a 13 time All-Star and has been named to the All-NBA team 12 times all with the Mavericks. Nowitzki is the Mavericks all time leading scorer and is 6th in NBA history. Nowitzki is also the Mavericks all-time leader in games,  rebounds, field goals, three-point field goals and free throws. I think it would be tough for Nowitzki to leave Dallas, but is the allure of another championship enough for him to sign with Golden State.

While we’re on free agency Dwight Howard declined the $23.1 million dollar option in his contract and come July 1st will be a free agent. Now guys like LeBron James and Dwayne Wade will opt out of their contracts and sign max deals with their respective teams. With the increase of the salary cap and the influx of money do to the new television agreement there will be a lot of players opting out of there deals on a yearly basis to get bigger and bigger contracts. This move might make sense for a lot of those players, but is it the right move for Howard. Will the Houston Rockets or any other NBA team pay him more than the $23.1 million he just opted out of. Last season Howard’s scoring average (13.7 points per game) reached it’s lowest since his (12.0 points per game) in his rookie season. Howard is still a solid rebounder and shot blocker, but he’s also still a terrible free throw shooter. With the way the NBA game has changed it’s hard to see a team paying Howard upwards of $20 million, but it does only take one team to see something in Howard or have a use for him. Would you want your favorite team to sign Howard with the price tag of over $20 million.

The NBA draft is tomorrow and the Philadelphia 76ers have the 1st pick. Word has leaked out that the 76ers plan on selecting LSU forward Ben Simmons with that 1st pick. There was some talk that Simmons didn’t want to play for Philadelphia and would prefer to be drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers with the 2nd pick. That talk seems to have passed as Simmons had his first workout for an NBA team and it was the 76ers. With Simmons now appearing to be a lock for the #1 pick this leaves the Lakers drafting Duke forward Brandon Ingram. It’s been reported over and over that Simmons and Ingram are clearly the Top 2 players in this draft. The Boston Celtics have the 3rd pick and they’ve dangled it in front of the Chicago Bulls in a deal for Jimmy Butler. Boston is a young team and adding a veteran for this pick would be a good move, but if they hang onto it I’m not sure who they’d draft. Could it be California forward Jaylen Brown, Washington forward Marquese Chriss or possible Croatian forward Dragan Bender. It pretty much seems that after Simmons and Ingram come off the draft board it’s kind of up for grabs on who goes next.

I was wondering if or when we’d start hear Olympians bow out of the Rio de Janeiro games because of the Zika virus. World’s #4 ranked golfer Rory McIlroy has decided not to compete at this summer’s Olympics in Rio due to fears about the Zika virus. McIlroy joins a list including Adam Scott, Louis Oosthuizen, Charl Schwartzel, Marc Leishman and Vijay Singh having already said they will not travel to Brazil; while world #6 ranked golfer Rickie Fowler has also cast doubt on his participation. The situation is a difficult one for golf as it  returns to the Olympics for the first time since 1904. Concerns about the Zika virus, which has been linked to birth defects, have cast a shadow over Rio 2016, but the International Olympic Committee, with guidance from the World Health Organisation, has resisted calls for the Games to be moved or postponed.

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MLB

After last night I’m sure a lot of people are asking, who is Ross Stripling? As you know by now Stripling is a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers who had a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants last night for 7 1/3rd innings, but was removed from the game because he was on a pitch count. Stripling is 26 years old and played college baseball at Texas A&M. He was originally drafted in the 9th round of 2011 amateur draft by the Colorado Rockies. Stripling didn’t sign with the Rockies and after spending another season in college the Dodgers selected him in the 5th round of the 2012 amateur draft. Stripling is a right handed pitcher who has spent the last 3 seasons working his way through the Dodgers minor league system. Stripling has made 48 minor league starts and has appeared in 55 minor league games before this season. His minor league record was 12-10 with an ERA of 2.83 over 235 1/3rd innings. He had 1 complete game in the minors and also recorded 1 save. The Dodgers have had their share of injuries to starting pitchers and they where looking for a 5th starter to open the season with. Stripling was able to land that 5th starter spot with his spring training performances. Overall this spring Stripling made just 1 start, but appeared in 4 games covering 11 innings overall this spring. Stripling was 1-1 with a 4.09 ERA but did average a strikeout an inning during spring training. The Dodgers saw enough in Stripling to give him the 5th starters job and for 7 1/3rd innings last night it paid off. While it was a great outing for Stripling sadly he ended up with a no decision and the Dodgers ended up with a loss in extra innings last night. Stripling’s official line was 7 1/3 rd innings 0 hits, 1 run allowed, 4 walks and 4 strikeouts. The Dodgers gave Stripling a 2-run lead in the 5th inning as A,J, Ellis and Corey Seager each singled in the inning to drive in runs. After Stripling walked Angel Pagan Dodgers manager Dave Roberts went to the bullpen for Chris Hatcher. The first Giants batter Hatcher faced was catcher Trevor Brown who greeted him with a 2-run home run to tie the game at 2-2. The game stayed tied at 2 into the bottom of the 10th inning. Joe Blanton came out of the Dodgers bullpen to pitch the 10th inning. Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford was the first batter Blanton faced and Crawford hit the 2nd pitch he saw over the left field fence for a walk off home run. Sadly Stripling’s great outing went for nothing as the Giants ended up taking Game 1 of the series 3-2 in 10 innings. The teams meet again on Saturday and it will be  it will be Clayton Kershaw against Madison Bumgarner in their first match up of 2016. The ace lefties are each 1-0 in 2016 and matched up four times in 2015. This will be the eighth overall meeting between them.

The Chicago Cubs lost their first game of the 2016 season last night 3-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, but really the first loss this season for the Cubs happen before the game started when it was announced that outfielder Kyle Schwarber will miss the entire 2016 season with a knee injury. Schwarber collided with centerfielder Dexter Fowler in Thursday night 14-6 victory as they where going for a fly ball in the left centerfield gap. Schwarber had to be carted off the field and an MRI showed that Schwarber suffered full tears to the ACL and LCL in his left knee. Schwarber also suffered a severely sprained ankle in the collision with Fowler.  Schwarber is expected to have surgery in one to three weeks and will remain at the Cubs’ spring training facility in Mesa, Arizona, until he is ready to travel back to Chicago. The Cubs hope that Schwarber can return for spring training next year, but with damage to two ligaments, they aren’t sure of the timetable. Munenori Kawasaki will be recalled from Triple-A Iowa to take Schwarber’s roster spot.Jorge Soler played left field in Friday nights game at Arizona. The Cubs have some depth and you may see Tommy La Stella get some playing time in Schwarber’s place, with third baseman Kris Bryant being another option in left field. The Cubs also have Matt Szczur to insert into the outfield rotation. Schwarber was a catcher by trade and is still in the learning process in leftfield. While the injury will take playing time away from Schwarber he’ll have the opportunity to watch and learn the position this season. If he’s able to return for the start of the 2017 season he may end up being a better defensive outfielder.

 GOLF

We don’t talk a lot of golf on the Sports Time Radio podcasts, but this is Master’s weekend and I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least look at who’s leading the tournament going into today’s round. Defending champion Jordan Spieth is leading the tournament at -4 under par. Spieth has tied Arnold Palmer’s record by being in the lead at the Master’s for 6 consecutive rounds. Rory McIlroy is one shot behind at -3 under. Danny Lee and Scott Piercy are tied at -2 under and then there are three golfers; Brandt Snedeker, Soren Kjeldsen and Hideki Matsuyama tied at -1 under. Spieth is trying to be the first golfer to repeat as Master’s champion since Tiger Woods won back to back in 2001 and 2002.

 NASCAR

The NASCAR car Sprint cup series takes the track tonight (Saturday) at Texas Motor Speedway for the Duck Commander 500. Carl Edwards took the pole with a s qualifying speed of 194.609. Joey Logano is starting 2nd with Martin Truex Jr. 3rd. Chase Elliot (4th) and Rickey Stenhouse Jr. (5th) round out the Top 5. None of these five drivers have a win; so they’ll be looking to use there good starting spot to get that win and lock themselves into the Chase. Chris Olmstead from BeyondtheFlag.com will join the Sports Time Radio podcast on Sunday morning as usual, but instead of his normal preview he’ll do a review of tonight’s race. As I’m writing this I don’t have Chris’ picks for his three drivers to look for in victory lane. If I can get them before the race starts maybe I’ll be able to tweet them out and let you know who he’s going with. 

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It’s looking more and more like Tiger Woods won’t be playing in this weeks PGA Championship. Woods aggravated his back injury hitting a shot and almost falling into a bunker. He managed to get through a few more holes before having to withdraw from last weeks tournament. There has been no official word from Woods on if he’ll be playing this week, but it would take a miraculous recovery for him to do that. With Woods out injured the media is scrambling to find a face to put on television. They’ve tried this a few times and I’m guessing they’ll turn to Rory McIlroy. McIlroy won last week and won the last major played; The Open Championship a few weeks ago. I seem to remember the media has tried this before with McIlroy and it didn’t work out, but who knows how things will go this time. I don’t know why they have to try to put a face on every tournament instead of just running the best golfer out there as the tournament is going on. I guess they figure no one will watch if they can’t find a guy to out into Tiger’s spot. Besides McIlroy here are 5 other golfers who might be holding the Wanamaker Trophy after Sunday’s final round. Watch Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Rickie Fowler, J.B. Holmes and as a wild card this week Hideki Matsuyama. Just a few guys I think the course fits well and have good chances to win.

I just heard a report that Woods has shown up at the golf course and is going to play a practice round today and see how his back is. I bet every reporter covering this tournament is hoping Woods back holds up.

Well I heard the start of my favorite debate yesterday. What debate you ask. Well it’s time for everyone to start figuring out how to give Mike Trout the American League MVP this season. Miguel Cabrera has won the award the last 2 seasons, but his stats are a little down this season and if they’re going to give Trout the MVP this may be the year to do it. Now you’re going to hear them push Trout’s Wins Above Replacement (W.A.R.) so be ready for that. The biggest issue I have with this stat is it’s estimated. You don’t estimate a players batting average, home runs, RBI’s or stolen bases. Again I’ll say that Trout is the best position player in baseball, but has he had a MVP season to this point? Right now Trout is 12th in Batting average, 5th in home runs, 4th in RBI’s Remember they pushed the fact the last two 2 seasons that Trout stole bases and Cabrera didn’t. Trout is tied for 23rd in stolen bases this season. So while there is no clear-cut candidate for MVP right now, but there are still a couple of months to go in this season. Will someone break out and win the award or will the experts get their way and finally get to give Trout the MVP. Who are some of the other candidates for MVP in the American League. You know the MVP is going to come off of a playoff team; so let’s see who’s out there. The Baltimore Orioles best player this season is Adam Jones. Jones has 21 home runs, 69 RBI’s and is hitting .285. The Toronto Blue Jays might be a wild card team with Jose Bautista being their best player, he has 21 home runs, 65 RBI’s and is hitting .292. The New York Yankees are hanging around the wild card race; it looks like Brett Gardner is having the best season for New York. Gardner has 15 home runs, 50 RBI’s and is hitting .283 and is in double digits for stolen bases at 18. Detroit should win the American League Central barring some type of collapse. Victor Martinez is having the best season for the Tigers. Martinez has 23 home runs, 66 RBI’s and is hitting .324, but remember he’s a full-time (DH) designated hitter. The Oakland A’s should find a playoff spot, but who’s their best everyday player? How about Derek Norris? Norris has 9 home runs, 41 RBI’s and is hitting .295 but has only played in 84 of the A’s games this season. Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson both have hit 23 home runs this season. Donaldson has 78 RBI’s while Moss has 72 RBI’s but Donaldson is hitting .244 while Moss is hitting .251. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim look to grab one of the wild card spots. No argument with Mike Trout being their best player. The Seattle Mariners still have a chance at a wild card spot and Robinson Cano is their best player. Cano is hitting .329, but his power numbers are down. He has 8 home runs and has driven in 62 RBI’s this season. Did any of those numbers jump out at you? I mentioned that these guys still have a couple of months to add to these stats and see if someone can win this award. Let’s face it even though he won’t win the MVP. This season the award should go to Houston Astros 2nd baseman Jose Altuve, who is hitting .337 this season and has 4 home runs with 33 RBI’s this season. Altuve isn’t a power hitter and those numbers will be much lower than everyone else’s, but he does lead the American League in stolen bases with 44. We all know Altuve has 0% chance to win the MVP and the Astros aren’t good enough and he isn’t even on a lot of people’s radar. I’d be surprised if he even found his way into the top 5 of the voting, but right now he’s the best player in the American League. See what happens to me when they start talking about this stuff. Have I ever told you how much I hate the WAR stat?

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