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Did Gretzky Pull A Bill Clinton? Saturday TSM roundup

November 19th, 2011 | by torontosportsmedia
Did Gretzky Pull A Bill Clinton? Saturday TSM roundup
sports and toronto
18

By TSM:


Happy Saturday.

So, Sportsnet got the world in a tizzy, or at least Toronto by reporting that Wayne Gretzky was contacted by multiple groups about joining bids to buy Teachers shares in MLSE.

Last night, Gretzky talked to Fox Sports radio and put a ton of cold water on the Sportsnet story, basically saying he hasn’t talked to anyone. So either it’s his lawyers who’ve been contacted Or, 99’s following Bill Clinton’s lead with the old “I didn’t have sex with that woman” If Sportsnet’s story on 99 was a blockbuster, what is it now that he’s basically denied it? Let’s call it an Albom.

Take a listen:

By the way. Today’s must read is also from Rick Westhead who provides some color on the man behind the group who has apparently looked at teachers shares. For the nimrod who asked why bother reading Westhead when his last two years were spent abroad, don’t bother commenting here. Thanks! :)

Richard Griffin has a good piece on what lies ahead for the Blue Jays this off-season. BTW since when did so many people come to hate the Jays. I don’t quite understand why there is so much negativity out there for the team. I especially love those who hate the team because they own Rogers. Yes, Rogers is the evil empire. Yes the screw everyone who pays for cable, highspeed internet, mobile phone or home phone. I don’t understand why all of the sudden there is this hate for the Jays though. MLSE owns TFC. I am not a soccer fan. I don’t hate the TFC. I don’t watch them. I’ve been to a couple of games and enjoyed myself. I am not a die hard. I certainly don’t hate them. No matter who owned them I wouldn’t root against them.

Back to old 99. Unless he is going to suit up, I don’t care what he does. Honest, owner, coach, GM….Yawn. Maybe that’s anti-Canadian, maybe it’s anti-hockey. I don’t find his life after hockey all that interesting, relevant or important. Gretzky as an owner has no bearing on my interest, nor do I think on the success or potential success of a franchise. 99 lives south of the border. Like many famous Canucks, he doesn’t live in Canada anymore. I have no problem with that. I’ve lived in the States. My kids were born in the States. I don’t see how 99 fronting an ownership group (and make no mistake that is all it ever would be) ads any value.

So Raptors TV guy Matt Devlin has been on LeafsTv lately doing Leafs game. Nice switch. I am biased, but I like it, I like it a lot.

Lastly, the question has to be asked;just who designed the latest edition of the Toronto Sun website. It’s glossy all right with no functionality and it pales in comparison to the digital paper. Hard to believe, but in terms of presenting the news, it’s actually a step back from the last edition. It’s really not that complicated. Take whatever content that’s going to be in the print edition and present it in an easy layout. Keep it updated throughout the day and your done. I wouldn’t want to be the one who paid for it, it’s a lousy product. Google’s search bar is as ugly as it gets, but it works. The Sun has followed so many who have spent a fortune on the look and so little on functionality. The end result shows it.

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18 Comments

  1. itchy butt says:

    There’s no hate for the Jays. Just a couple of blowhards on here that repeat the same boring lines ad nauseum. Yes, attendance sucks, but 92-93 were an anomaly with more shrimp cocktail eaters than baseball fans in attendance. I say 25,000-30,000 is what should be expected if they start to play well.

    Gretzky…..best player ever. That’s it. No reason to have him in a management position. He couldn’t even coach.

  2. design guy Paul says:

    As much as I liked Gretzky as a hockey player, his business interests and history has been less than stellar. Wayne is a nice enough and likable guy, but certaintly is no returning Jeopardy champion.
    For those who creating a story (John Shannon and the alike), linked Gretzky with the Leafs, well as far as I can see it seems to be just bad tabloid journalism looking for viewer/reader/listenership. Guys like Shannon have no more knowledge than the rest of us when it comes to behind the scenes team sales as not only do the people at paly don’t even know who Shannon is, and definitely wouldn’t give him any information at all… especially linking someone like Gretzky with the sale.

  3. Daniel says:

    Agree with Itchy on the Jays hate. I think it’s just a couple guys on here or other message boards.

    50k a night was definitely a one off. But this is a huge market, and it blows it’s top for winning teams. If the Jays get in a playoff race, 30 to 35k a night seems likely to me. If we get a Phillies type run of several playoff experiences – maybe something like 40.

    It’s hard to predict because there’s been 18 years without meaningful baseball.

  4. Daniel says:

    BTW Itchy – I’d say your guess is low because the Jays have averaged higher than 25k as recently as the 06 to 08 seasons. And while those teams were pretty good, they weren’t in the race really.

  5. mike (in boston) says:

    one of the nice things about having 2 sports radio stations in Toronto is that we get a new crop of regular contributors. Dave Zirin from Edge of Sports is currently at the top that list for me. He’s well-informed, current, and reasonably well-spoken. His interview on the Hayes show was quite good. I look forward to hearing more from him. I wish TSN would make finding good guests a priority, rather than interviewing their NHL Insiders every hour.

  6. aye eye says:

    I don’t understand why so many people are so down on John Shannon. I get that it’s personal taste, and I’m good with that, but to say he “has no more knowledge than the rest of us” is flat out ludicrous. He has as many contacts in the game as most, if not all, insiders. The guy was VP of Broadcast for the NHL for God’s sake. Don’t like him, fine, but to question his knowledge makes you the fool.

  7. Victor says:

    Devlin has been good. He’s simply a smooth broadcaster and he seems to have made the transition to hockey quite well.

  8. itchy butt says:

    @Daniel….yeah, I was going conservative. If it’s late August/Sept and things are tight, I can see 40K……at least I hope.

  9. DaveInCollingwood says:

    My point about Westhead is only that he’s been busy interviewing Taliban and Indians for 2 years. Reading him on Twitter, he has been back for a week. And now he thinks he’s an authority? Many friends of mine are journalists and it doesn’t work this way. No way. It takes time. Nimrod? Maybe, but at least I’m honest.
    Is his story in the Red Star really a “must read”? Come on, anyone could have pulled that story together.

  10. mike (in boston) says:

    had to laugh at Blair crediting Shannon for “breaking” the Wayne Gretzky story during PTS on friday. We already have “Brunting” for when you claim a deal that everyone knows is going to get done is in fact done when it’s actually not. Can we lower the bar even further? “Shannoning” doesn’t have a very nice ring.
    .

    AYE EYE: I don’t understand why so many people are so down on John Shannon.
    .

    simply put: he talks too much, which invariably comes at the expense of more informed people. listen to the Lawrie interview — at some point Shannon starts telling the guest how hard it is to work your way up through the minors, ending 45 seconds later with something along the lines of “eh Brett?” That’s not a question; that’s Shannon blathering on when the audience would be better served by: “did you struggle with the grind in the minor leagues?”

  11. mike (in boston) says:

    DANIEL the Jays have averaged higher than 25k as recently as the 06 to 08 seasons. And while those teams were pretty good, they weren’t in the race really.
    .

    I think those numbers occurred during the Godfrey/Riccardi “paper the house” era, so they are probably inflated to a non-trivial degree.
    .

    The Jays will need to get to 88-92 wins to compete for a wildcard this year. It’s hard to see how they can do that relying mostly on internal growth and signing reclamation project free agents. Other than Romero there are no proven starters in the rotation. There are no relievers with established roles in the bullpen. These problems need to be addressed if this team wants to compete for the playoffs.

  12. design guy Paul says:

    @Aye Eye
    Why does Shannon’s past at the NHL give him insight to the business dealings of an American Pension Fund. As I said befo, they wouldn’t even know who is, never mind tell him any trade secrets. And to cap it off, Gretzky himself fully denies what Shannon was prattling on as the truth. I think Shannon is trying to prove that he is needed at Sportsnet by making himself noticed. Of course I could be wrong, but seems that his appearances are less frequent, and only as a fil in with no regular gig. I for one would not miss Shannon if he was off the air all together.

  13. Aye Eye says:

    @Design Guy Paul
    I don’t know where Shannon got the information, I just know that he got it. Insiders get their information from all kinds of sources. And Shannon’s past has him very well connected (pardon the pun). And as for his part in the Lawrie fiasco, admittedly that was bad. But I would suggest Cox was worse, and that both reacted like “hockey” guys do. And it was annoying. My original point was only to say that Shannon has great hockey contacts. Nothing more, nothing less. Criticisms of his talking too much are fine, statements that he doesn’t know anything are off base.

  14. Daniel says:

    “I think those numbers occurred during the Godfrey/Riccardi “paper the house” era, so they are probably inflated to a non-trivial degree.”

    Oh yeah, it’s been documented that Godfrey counted comps as attendance during this time. Hard to know how to really judge it (particularly to other teams – how many of them are doing that as well?) I still think a team on a playoff run would average closer to 35K though. People in Toronto would love to jump on a bandwagon after this stretch of mediocre sports results.

    “The Jays will need to get to 88-92 wins to compete for a wildcard this year. It’s hard to see how they can do that relying mostly on internal growth and signing reclamation project free agents. Other than Romero there are no proven starters in the rotation. There are no relievers with established roles in the bullpen. These problems need to be addressed if this team wants to compete for the playoffs.”

    While I think guys like Morrow, Alvarez, and Drabek are likely to take steps forward at some point, I agree it’s hard to count on the rotation after Romero as of now. And the bullpen has to be totally revamped, yeah. Fortunately, remaking a bullpen isn’t too challenging in today’s MLB, if you can bargain hunt. Snagging a #2 will be a big challenge for AA this winter.

    I do think they MIGHT be able to approach the high 80s in wins on mostly internal growth. They won 85 games in 2010, and there are a lot of young players on this team who you anticipate will improve as they approach their ‘peak seasons’ (Rasmus, JPA, Drabek, Morrow, Snider(?), Thames(?)). Having said that, while I want AA to keep his long term plan, I agree that I want to see some current issues addressed to give the Jays the talent to challenge for the playoffs.

    If there is a second Wild Card added for 2012, this season might be the first since 1993 that the team plays meaningful September games. Or finds themselves in a playoff race.

  15. itchy butt says:

    That wasn’t a Lawrie interview. That was 3 idiots talking to each other with Brett Lawrie sitting between them. Horrible

  16. torontosportsmedia says:

    Sorry Dave. I’ll give you credit for googling Westhead. Anyone could have pulled that together? He broke the story! I don’t care if he’s been back for 2 weeks, 2 minutes or 2 seconds. No one else had the story. Who, dare I ask said he thinks he’s an authority. Do you know him personally? I sure as hell don’t. If anyone is guilty for that it’s me. The reason I respect him was when he was on the business beat years back he was always bang on and ahead of the story. The fact he was away for 2 years doesn’t change the fact that he has good sources and his reliability.

  17. Warren Z says:

    Never let a good story get in the way of an ideological based rant.

  18. James says:

    To. Clarify on Gretzky story: what tsm was getting it is that Gretzky completely changed his story.

    As many in msm have mentioned (and I believe cox wrote a front page blurb on), Gretzky himself confirmed with MULTiPLE people at sports net (and probably other outlets, unsure though) directy that he had in fact been contacted.

    This isn’t Shannon with an anonymous source. He and I believe kypper both directly spoke to Gretzky…

    The issue here is that Gretzky flip flopped 100%, evidently lying to someone. And on fox he was evasive when asked if “his business managers had been contacted” for example, he dodged questions by using semantics and the like.

    Those hating on Shannon for this are simply missing out on all the facts.

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