Author Archives: Brendan Ballantyne

The Midseason MLB Awards

As Major League Baseball reaches its All-Star break and unofficial midway point of its season, this also marks one of the quietest times of the year for sports fans when it comes to on field/court/ice entertainment. That being the case, I figured I’d give an update on where the MLB awards races stand at this point in the season to try and take your mind off of that. If the awards were handed out today, here’s how it should look:

Cy Young:

American League (AL) – Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox

Honourable Mention: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

National League (NL) – Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals

Honourable Mention: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers Read more

Bench Talk 17/06/2017

 

“It’s like the bottom of the ninth and I’m never gonna win. This life hasn’t turned out, quite the way I want it to be.” — Chad Kroeger

Losing can be tough. Losing while riding the pine is downright insufferable. Reach into the styrofoam cooler, crack a cold one and let’s talk some sports.

In the News

Conor McGregor vs. Floyd Mayweather: Is this the greatest examples of cross-sport performances or are boxing and MMA too similar?

Cameron Burgess (CB): I’m just hoping this ends up being more entertaining than the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight. That fight was supposed to be the fight of the century, yet fans witnessed Mayweather run in circles, land a jab, and then back out and keep running. This tactic isn’t just a one-time thing for Mayweather, and I’m expecting much of the same when he faces off against McGregor. I’d love to see 49-0 become 49-1, but I don’t know how realistic that might be. McGregor has become the biggest star in the UFC, but boxing is a completely different sport. The UFC has a ground game, and obviously many different fighting styles, while boxing is just one style that fighters may specialize in. McGregor is a better all around fighter, I don’t doubt that at all, but Mayweather has been one of the best boxers throughout his whole career and has been training and improving his skills since he was a kid. My heart says McGregor, but my head says Mayweather. Read more

LeBron James, as we know him, has won his last NBA Championship

In the wake of an NBA season charged by the greatness of the Golden State Warriors, which was capped off by their defeat of LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to become NBA champions, I can’t help but look to the NBA’s landscape moving forward. My initial assessment: Things do not look good from LeBron James’ perspective.

Let me be clear, this is not set out to bash LeBron James. It’s probably closer to the opposite. I respect the hell out of LeBron James, he’s the greatest player since Jordan and is the best player in the NBA today. But that isn’t enough anymore. A lot of focus has been paid to the fact that LeBron James now has a Finals record of 3-5 in his career after Monday night’s loss. This is definitely worthy of attention, but I’d like to take it one step further and say that I don’t believe LeBron James will capture another Championship. Here’s why: Read more

Bench Talk 06/03/2017

In The News

 Josh Donaldson leads AL 3B in All Star Ballot despite only playing 15 games. Should fans be able to vote/should we care that fans are able to vote?

Cameron Burgess (CB): Not at all. All Stars should be determined by their play and by stats, not a popularity contest. Sure, Donaldson has been one of the best 3B in the MLB in recent years, but 14 games is not enough to be considered for an All Star appearance in my opinion. Somebody who has been playing all season long deserves this spot more. Read more

Warriors, Spurs, Rockets and Jazz Move On: NBA Western Conference Playoff Recap and Round 2 Preview

The Recaps

(1) Golden State Warriors vs. (8) Portland Trail Blazers: 4-0 Warriors

There really isn’t too much to be said about this series. The Warriors were the Warriors and they blazed a trail through the heart of the Trail Blazers. It’s unfortunate that the Blazers found themselves shorthanded–with starting centre Jusuf Nurkic sidelined with a fractured leg–in a matchup that was already of “David and Goliath” proportions from the beginning. The Trail Blazers have an excellent scoring tandem of Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, but they were probably matched up against the only backcourt in the Western Conference that is better then them. Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were just too much for them to handle. The X-factor in this series was clearly the Golden State’s Draymond Green. He was at the top of his game making an incredible impact with efficient shooting and playmaking, while demonstrating his Defensive Player of the Year calibre skillset. He stuffed the box score the entire series. Read more

Celtics, Wizards, Raps and Cavs Move On: NBA Eastern Conference Playoff Recap and Round 2 Preview

The NBA’s first round matchups from the Eastern Conference have officially been settled. Naturally, this would pose a good time to reflect on what transpired and look ahead to the next round. The most predictable first round playoffs in major professional sport turned out as predictable as always. This time around each higher seed in the Eastern Conference moved on. Fortunately for us, these results didn’t come without some intrigue or interesting plotlines. Let’s get right into it: Read more