Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

 photo credit: blogto.com

by mike in boston (@mikeinboston) / hatemailaccount at gmail

 

I am still chasing a couple of interviews and have now heard every excuse in the book, up to and including “the dog ate my phone.”  Thankfully a few stories popped up that are worth discussing.

 

Feschuk’s Foibles

 

There are literally dozens of hockey writers in Ontario and distinguishing oneself from others in this group is very difficult. The upside is that the appetite for hockey, specifically Leafs hockey, is seemingly limitless. The consequence is that no story is too small to be blown up into water-cooler fodder for days on end.

 

This is the quandary in which Dave Feschuk of the Star found himself a few years back when he wrote about a conversation he had with James Reimer’s mum at a time when the Leafs were being cagey about the goalie’s injury. Feschuk revealed that Mrs. Reimer used the words concussion and brain-injury.

 

The fallout came fast and furiously from all corners. The loudest voice (shockingly) was Brian Burke’s, whose job  in Toronto included regularly telling the media how to do their jobs, and occasionally hanging up on interviewers. Feschuk received some support from the likes of Howard Berger, but overwhelmingly the consensus was that he had crossed a line by calling a parent. [aside: I don’t agree with this criticism]

 

Feschuk made news this week by writing a story about how Phil Kessel refused to follow a coach’s direction on a certain play. The story of this incident is delivered through the mouthes of several anonymous sources who are quoted at length in the story. Neither Kessel nor the coach are quoted directly by Feschuk.

 

The question this story raises is whether it is fair for rely so heavily on anonymous sources to convey negative opinions rather than facts. [If you have not done so, go read this excellent roundtable discussion on anonymity featuring some prominent bloggers.]

 

This is a borderline case since the facts in question — whether Kessel refused or simply objected — could also be seen as matters of opinion. Damian Cox appeared on the FAN morning show and said that people who take shots at others anonymously are “gutless” and that The Star’s writers shouldn’t be giving people a platform to insult others without attaching a name.

 

The distinction Cox draws here is a reasonable one, despite his lazy and typically obnoxious choice of words. Some facts are hard to get and people will only share them under the cover of anonymity. There is a place for that in sports reporting, and I think everyone understands that leaks will happen. People in the media intentionally leak things to me and TSM all the time, knowing that we will report it here. It is part of a game in which we all have roles to play.

 

The hard part of this case is that whether or not Kessel is “uncoachable” is not a factual matter. So Feschuk’s piece needs to counter balance the opinions he is reporting on by talking to other people about Kessel’s relationship with his coaches. (A more thoughtful Cox might have made this point rather than just bashing the competition).

 

Feschuk is a leading hockey writer at the Star. Judging by the photo that Berger posted on his blog, Feschuk looks reasonably young. But he now has two (maybe more?) journalistically questionable pieces on his mantle. My question for you is whether you consider Feschuk credible as a writer in light of these pieces?

 

The Star is a Rudderless Ship

 

After reading Feschuk’s story the immediate question I had was why the story was approved by the sports editor. From what I was told, the answer is simple: there is no sports editor at the Star currently. I am trying to get a comment on the record from someone at that paper about the state of affairs.

 

At last recollection Mary Ormsby was a sports editor there, but her online profiles now list a jumble of other titles. According to his online bio, Jon Filson left the position of Sports editor at the Star this summer. The Star’s webpage doesn’t list a new person in that position.

 

The very funny thing about this is that, as you may recall, Damian Cox’s final Star piece was essentially a promotion for hockey on Rogers. I commented at the time that it was a mystery how any self-respecting editor could allow this kind of thing to go to press.

 

There are some talented people working at that paper and I wish them all the best during this transitional stage. I have never worked at a newspaper so maybe I am overstating the value of a departmental editor. But the proof is in the pudding, as it were.  In light of Feschuk’s piece, the optics are terrible.

 

Quick Hits

 

I have avoided discussing either the Ray Rice story or the Adrian Peterson story until things run their course. I am going to wait a little while longer, partly because people might be a little burnt out on analysis of these issues at the moment. That said, here’s an observation: while almost everyone agrees it is never OK to hit your wife, there is significant disagreement about whether it is OK to hit your kid. Part of the explanation is that many people were raised in the “spare the rod, spoil the child” tradition and turned out to be just fine. But I cannot see how anyone can look at the pictures of Peterson’s kids’ injuries and feel motivated to debate the point. Wherever the line is, this is far far beyond it.

 

Rob Wong was reporting from Leafs camp this week. This lends support to the thesis that Alter was axed because his position was made redundant by the Rogers/NHL TV deal rather than much to do with his job performance. I’ll ask the question again though: do you care that the FAN won’t have a dedicated Leafs beat reporter anymore? As someone who grew up listening to Howard Berger talk about line combinations every day, this is a real departure. TSN still has Jonas Siegel on the roster.

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

I spent an hour on the train yesterday and had to choose one podcast from this past week to keep me company. After surveying what both afternoon drive shows had on offer I opted to listen to Naylor and Arthur. I have said this before, but it is worth repeating: for my tastes there is no better duo in Toronto sports radio for measured discussion of important issues. No shtick, no hysteria, no sound effects, no simplistic analysis, no platitudes … just well thought out takes, and — this one is tragically under appreciated — the ability to listen and respond to what the other person is actually saying.

 

According to reader Julian in last week’s discussion, Brady coined the phrase “Gibby’s Gang” to refer to the Toronto media’s love affair with all around good guy John Gibbons. That is both apt and pretty damn funny. The point can be made about Beeston and AA as well. Notice how everyone is excited about next year’s rotation, and giving all kinds of praise to the organization for not trading these guys for short term gains. This is a perfectly fine opinion, but as the Jays crawl to the finish line of another disappointing season, the focus should be on why a team with a top 10 payroll cannot perform better than JP Riccardi’s bottom 10 payroll teams.

 

 

as always, thanks for reading and commenting.

until next time …

mike (in boston)

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 54
  • comment-avatar
    matt 3 years

    The main failing to me in feschuk’s piece was the fact the anonymous sources really lacked context of the situation those comments by spott were made. No mention was made it could have been an exchange of opinions between Kessel and spott. Later in the article it was said that spott joked Kessel hated coaches incl. Spott nd he didn’t even know spott yet which shows the comments were made in jest. I highly doubt there was an outright refusal by spott as if it was that is clearly insubordination and you’d have to think that Spott would know better than to air dirty laundry.

    As for feschuk, these two pieces are questionable. I considered his call to Reimer’s mom out of bounds a few years back and think that use of these sources shows that he is scrounging for a insert himself into the crowded landscape of talking heads in the city.

    I also am tiring of the bashing of competition and the promotion of ‘teammates’ stories. The star and tsn guys like Arthur called the story and interesting look into the leafs room. The article a few months back on this site talked about the consesus opinions that come from this media battle and again this is another example of that. I didn’t hear one negative discussion or expression of negativity by the tsn team, but the story was dismissed as garbage by the sportsnet guys. Having an opinion of your own rather than that of the station you
    appear on is getting lost as the lines are blurred.

    As for alter, I miss the daily beat. I am a big Jonas fan. I think he is under utilized at tsn. I wish tsn used him a bit more like Howard berger was where he would occasionally take calls or be in studio rather than 2 15 min hits on LL every day. LL might benefit bringing him in for 2 hrs on off days and give O’neill a rest and save him for day after game reaction. O’neill is a character, but during down periods between games is wearing on me as I’m sick of hearing his lack of workout, and roadtrip stories. Sometimes they are funny, but it seems to sideteack the show.

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 3 years

    Re: Feschuk & numerous others.Anytime i start reading an article and in the first paragraph i read “according to a close friend” OR ” overheard from an insider” i drop that article faster than the Blue Jays dropped out of the playoff picture.

  • comment-avatar
    Drumanchor 3 years

    Another excellent piece.

    Quick thoughts:

    – I get that there is a fine line between using an anonymous source and using too many anonymous sources. Face it, times have changed and, sadly, the unidentified insider is now a valued contributor to almost all news and sports stories. Unlike some others, I had no problem with Feschuk contacting Reimer’s mother, either. I thought it was sound reporting.

    – Rob “ah” Wong is just another example of Rogers fumbling the ball at the expense of promoting themselves and their hockey package. The Fan certainly should have a beat reporter, like TSN does with Seigel (who I think is quite good), and I feel they should never have booted Howard Berger to the curb.

    – Very good point about the media’s (Rogers/Sportsnet, especially) love affair with Gibbons and, virtually, all things Blue Jays. In a season where you could always depend on the Jays to play persistently inconsistent baseball, most of the people at The Fan can now only talk about “the kids” and next year. These past two seasons have been a fiasco to the point that we are now witnessing a team that has gone from a 6 game lead to perhaps another sub-500 season. This was the one year that provided real opportunity, with Boston and New York floundering, yet the brass at Rogers chose to do nothing to take advantage of it. I wish I could say I am surprised but I can only assume that next season will be much of the same.

    Only in Toronto.

  • comment-avatar
    GreyCountyMike 3 years

    It is completely understandable, albeit nonetheless annoying, that Rogers properties continue to beat the Jays’ drum even in the face of another disappointing end to a season. But what is truly disturbing about the “Gibby’s Gang” syndrome is the simple acceptance by non-Rogers media types that the Jays are brilliant. It’s hometown jingoism at its worst … and completely unnecessary in a vibrant market like Toronto. It’s not as if there is one newspaper, two TV stations and three radio stations in this city … yet, when it comes to the Jays, it seems the reporters just want to regurgitate club press releases.

  • comment-avatar
    HRM 3 years

    Great post again – I look forward to reading these posts every weekend. The Feschuk article was a bit offside in my opinion. While it seems to be the norm at present to quote anonymous sources the problem with this article was that the context and tone of Spott’s comments was not clear. Alot of what came across seemed to imply controversy and a big issue when the tone of Spott’s actual comments at the coaches clinic could have been more “tongue in cheek” or lighthearted. I do believe that this article caused an unnecessary controversy. I understand that controversy sells newspapers but as someone who wants the Leafs to do well I don’t believe this type of distraction and drama (on Day 1 of training camp for God’s sake) is at all helpful. I do believe that if the MSM are going to complain about the dysfunction and poor play of the Leafs (or any other team for that matter) that we have to acknowledge that the MSM contribute to that problem with this type of article. This article was an example of creating a problem rather than reporting on an existing one. Did you see the tweet by Darcy Tucker on this subject. Essentially he asks why any free agent would come here if this is type of media attention they would be under. I have to agree with this sentiment. It’s a double edged sword…I love to follow the coverage but I have to realize that the coverage probably impedes the success of “my teams” to a great extent.

  • comment-avatar
    Darrell 3 years

    I personally miss Howard Berger’s work on the FAN. He was a trusted voice you knew had voices on the inside and didn’t kiss up to the team and assessed this team honestly and objectively. Rogers owning the rights – means there will be more butt kissing just like the baseball team in Toronto where it is hardly warranted.

  • comment-avatar
    WouldStaley93 3 years

    I thought Dave Feschuk’s piece regarding Steve Spott and Phil Kessel was fine. No issue in my opinion.

    People like Damien Cox need to shut up. He is such a troll whose only function at Sportsnet is baiting people on social media and kissing Bob McCown’s ass.

    Dave Feschuk Bruce Arthur Cathal Kelly Andrew Stoeten and Stephen Brunt (when on his A game) are the only good investigative/sports columnists left

    Now for the next 12 years all Canadian hockey fans will be subjected to seeing Cox and that other clown John Shannon on the endless Rogers hockey panels over analyzing every thing Toronto Maple Leafs.

    Between the media stalking and the crap product continuously put out by MLSE as Darcy Tucker tweeted what free agent would want to come to Toronto?

    Anyone here check out Howard Berger’s blog ? It’s actually decent. No more Rogers propaganda from him.

    Also see the continuing twitter war over the Blue Jays between Andrew Walker and another has been hack like Cox in Marty York?

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 3 years

    People often reference the media being made up Blue Jays cheerleaders but I really don’t see it. Brady is pretty tough on them. I think Blair is quite fair. Sid is stupidly negative, making rants about totally pointless stuff.

    I mean Wilner is obviously glass half full. Walker’s a fan. Maybe Brunt is a bit?

    But it’s hardly a situation where all the Rogers people are pumping the Jays tires. I say this as a Jays fan who gets irritated at Fan hosts for their over the top negativity about the team sometimes.

    To me – the issue with the Jays this year is Rogers halting payroll. I think there’s no way AA makes that Marlins deal without thinking he’s getting a bump in payroll the following years. During the 2013 season, the media all said the Jays would get a bump to the 150 range for 2014. But AA was so inactive this offseason and at the deadline, it just seems like Rogers suddenly clamped up. And as a result it’s like the Jays are left with 3/4 of a very good team.

    The good thing about Stroman/Sanchez/Hutchinson/Norris is that the Jays may have an unusually cheap rotation the next few years, and might be able to take savings from their and splurge on a 2B or 3B.

  • comment-avatar
    Clair A Fye 3 years

    A couple of things regarding Feschuk. His job is not to cheer for the Leafs but to report on them. The story he wrote was not disputed or denied, so I don’t think the anonymous source issue is important. The sources were not only anonymous, but accurate. As for Tucker, his saying what he did was pretty rich. He benefitted more than almost anybody from playing in this market. It got him the high profile that helped put him where he is. It’s true that some players would bypass Toronto if given a choice. It’s also true that some would relish the opportunity.

  • comment-avatar
    GreyCountyMike 3 years

    @ Daniel

    If this was being discussed three or four years ago, I would agree wholeheartedly with your evaluation of Jeff Blair. When he was a print-first guy, he was quite fair, I thought. The more he is on The FAN, though, he swings a lot closer to the company line. This season, he’s definitely bought in to the AA program. Sad, really, because the guy once had a solid reputation as an independent thinker in a media town overrun with followers.

  • comment-avatar
    GreyCountyMike 3 years

    @ Clair A Fye

    Bang-on about Tucker. And, let’s not forget, this loose cannon is now trying to squeeze out a living off the backs of junior hockey players as their “advisor/agent.” Didn’t he get into it on Twitter with Healy last season? Guy’s never been the most stable personality in the sport.

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    I agree that Rogers closing the checkbook when this season was really their best shot is a shame, if you’re a Jays fan. But that kind of goes with how Sportsnet reports on the team (or doesn’t). Personally, I haven’t heard any of the Sportsnet regulars being critical of Rogers’ ownership at the lack of money available at the trade deadline when it was obvious that they needed reinforcements. I’m not talking about giving up any of the top prospects to get someone in, but just taking on money. Prado or Headley would have looked good for the Jays and they wouldn’t have cost anything but cash.

    I’d like someone (who isn’t afraid of getting fired) to ask some tough questions of Rogers ownership and their commitment to really winning. From what I see, Rogers want to appear like they’re “all in”. But if they’re satisfied with the ratings, then Rogers doesn’t have any incentive to spend the money. Remember, the Jays were facing a fan revolt after the disastrous 2012 season. Rogers had no choice but to spend money, if only to ensure they wouldn’t lose viewership.

    Questions need to be asked.

  • comment-avatar

    Is Phil Kessel disagreeing with a coach a real “story”? Is it front page news? Is the dollar going to drop? Give me a break! Are we so hard up for what’s important in news that we have to hang on every word, every tidbit that comes out of “leafdom” I mean seriously, have you never disagreed with your boss or co-worker about a strategy? And if you don’t agree with what Cox, or Shannon, or Blair or Brady say, change the frickin channel. Are we all lemmings? Do we need to put so much importance on BS like sports. I can’t believe what I read here sometimes.

  • comment-avatar
    Drumanchor 3 years

    GreyCountyMike – I love your responses. Thoughtful and bang-on, for me.

    Clare A Fye – excellent post as your thoughts on Tucker are so true. This is a guy who has enjoyed a buyout for a number of years and, yet, can’t seem to leave the stage quietly. If he wasn’t traded to the Leafs, we would never have heard of him.

    Jim – well, Jim, with all due respect. When a team’s star player is, essentially, lambasted by the head of the company that pays him about $8 million USD per season, that is a story. When a respected assistant coach also points out his lack of character as well his being overweight, that, too, is a story. We are not all lemmings. This would be news in any market.

    Yes, sports is BS. I agree whole heartily, however, we enjoy it as much as you enjoyed a career at covering it.

    Sorry that you are not anymore.

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 3 years

    Prime example of what to believe in print.Yes,a small filler story to take up space but still get the FACTS correct.

    Ray Rice jerseys returned for exchange at Baltimore stadium yesterday.
    All read as of 8 AM today

    Toronto Sun- 2,000 jerseys
    Toronto Star- 5,000 jerseys
    ESPN – 7,900 jerseys

    Huh

  • comment-avatar
    Nan Young Lee 3 years

    “Travis MacKenzie ‏@TAMacKenzie
    I’m late on this, but I wanted to welcome @Steve_Dangle back to Sportsnet/THE FAN. Enjoyed interning with him, thrilled to have him back.”

    Here is a good episode of the Steve Dangle podcast with James Mirtle. Interesting talk about getting started in the Toronto media and covering sports.

    https://soundcloud.com/steve-dangle-podcast/episode-109

  • comment-avatar
    alex 3 years

    Dangle was on the mvsw pod last week with tyler dellow. Good listen.

  • comment-avatar
    Rob 3 years

    Funny that season after the season the result is the same for the Jays and the rhetoric is the same: “things are looking good for next year.” This is constantly thrown out there and sadly listeners eat it up. But with the Leafs, they are kicked when they are down and the media takes joy out of being responsible for dressing room quarrels and firings of coaches and managers.

    It’s laughable the free ride Gibby is getting here in TO. Imagine he was coach of the Leafs? He would’ve been gone long ago, worn down by the media by false accusations and lazy reporting. The Rogers propaganda machine is in full-swing and it’s sad to see and hear people eat it up the way they are. It’s too bad fair and objective journalism is now a thing of the past and we are subject to these guys on all media platforms spitting out agendas for their higher-ups.

    But realistically, would you bite the hand that feeds you? I know Bob hasn’t and look at him now, do you blame him?

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    Brunt too. His article today (yesterday) which basically said that we can’t give up on this team and that the future is bright was one of the most ridiculous, PR-disguised-as-journalism pieces I’ve read this year (Wilner included). He used to be so good, too. What a shame.

  • comment-avatar
    Antonio 3 years

    Brunt’s official title at Rogers is “Minister of Propaganda”.

    When his former master, George Gillett owned the Habs, he was Minister of Propaganda over there.

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    LOL! They actually deleted the comments for the article, which were overwhelmingly negative (and more informative than the article itself).

  • comment-avatar

    Curt – Do you mean Brunt’s article? I just checked and there is only one comment now and it’s positive. If it’s true that SN is moderating negative comments about the team, then what hope do fans have that the people covering the team for Rogers are going to be objective?

  • comment-avatar
    GreyCountyMike 3 years

    And, to think, there are people in Toronto who still believe that Sportsnet is free of the Rogers spin machine.

  • comment-avatar
    GreyCountyMike 3 years

    I used to ask: “What’s happened to Brunt?” Sadly, there’s no more question.

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    Hey Mike, no there were loads of comments yesterday – almost all negative, but not offensive as far as I could see. But, perhaps, rather embarrassing for Mr Brunt and the team/Rogers.

  • comment-avatar

    Yikes! Heavy-handed moderation on an opinion piece about why people should love the Jays? Doesn’t look good at all.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike S 3 years

    Every time the Blue Jays lose another game I think back to early June when Brunt said this on PTS more than once:

    “The Jays are rolling now, but I sense the fans are reluctant to buy in. They seem to be waiting for the bottom to fall out, which is unfortunate because there is not much evidence that will happen”

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    Yes, those reluctant “trolling naysayers” (as Brunt refers to anyone who dares be critical of the Blue Jays) wouldn’t buy in. Maybe these folks could see things more objectively than a bought and paid for “journalist”.

  • comment-avatar
    CanCon 3 years

    Just read the article. No where near the propaganda that many of you claim. I see it as a summary of the season in a nutshell. Don’t let the anti-Rogers sentiment overshadow your objectivity.

  • comment-avatar
    Clair A Fye 3 years

    I agree with CanCon. I have no time for Rogers. They’re the very definition of a corporate philosophy that can best be described as” You don’t like it, too bad.” That doesn’t mean that everyone who works for them is a shill. Stephen Brunt has been lauded on this site until recently . Not anymore, but it’s only because posters don’t agree with what he has written lately. The guy’s a professional and he’s a very good writer. Deal with it. As for the Blue Jays “propaganda”, there were a lot of people who thought they were going to finally get into the playoffs, especially in June. The one thing I will say about the Sportsnet gang is I’ll have a lot more respect for them once they start blaming ownership and management for what went wrong. I don’t expect that to happen.

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    Brunt has been lauded here to the extent that, compared to the two previous PTS co-hosts (Cox and Shannon – thank God they’re gone), he’s been much more listenable. Over the last couple of years, though, many here have complained about his lack of objectivity when he writes or talks about the Blue Jays. They usually get a free ride from him for some reason. Personally, I suspect that his fawning on-location “stories” (on Bautista, Encarnacion, Gibbons, and AA) have made it difficult for him to be objective. I doubt there’s a Rogers directive or anything telling him to say this or that. That’s not necessary – Brunt’s providing that service all on his own (with the help of annual winter trips to the Dominican Republic).

  • comment-avatar
    Dave in Bolton 3 years

    the Roger’s promotional of the NHL makes me want to vomit it’s disgusting the NHL chose Rogers as their main partner to the point I don’t even want to watch hockey. just disgusting

  • comment-avatar
    Mike S 3 years

    Blue Jays timeline:

    January 31, 2012………..Paul Beeston says “It could start this year, it may start next year, but I’ll tell you in the next five years, I’d expect that we would be in the playoffs two-to-three times”

    2012 season…………Blue Jays go 73-89 and miss the playoffs

    2013 season…………Blue Jays go 74-88 and miss the playoffs

    2014 season…………Blue Jays currently 80-77 and miss the playoffs

    2015 season…………to be determined

    2016 season…………to be determined

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 3 years

    With all the Rogers (aka Robbers) hype bullshit what a great foundation they have for 2015 for The Blue Jays.May I make a suggestion?
    Clearly, rogers have given the gas-pipe to a lot of fine people cause they made too much money…Howard Burger,Barb DeGuilo and others.Also made horrible excuses for not keeping Jack Morris & Dirk Hayhurst.Anyone whom believes the Morris/Hayhurst bull feel free to contact me about 10 acres of land i own just north of Bracebridge which you may or may not be able to build a house on as long as the foundation is not deeper than 1 meter…
    Ahh..It is now the time to give the handshake to both Buck Martinez & Pat T
    abler.They both bring NOTHING to the game you can not already see on TV and it is (not only me) whom are sick of hearing “how tough baseball is and how tough things are for the Blue Jays”

    Don’t care if robbers wants to say “They wanted to move on to be closer to home” bullshirt

    IT IS TIME FOR A CHANGE ON TV!!

  • comment-avatar
    Dogpounder 3 years

    Or perhaps Brunt is moderately satisfied with the general trend of the Blue Jays.

    Just because one doesn’t agree with you, doesn’t make them a corporate shill.

    Is this a sports media thread or a GMO/organic forum?

  • comment-avatar
    CanCon 3 years

    @DaveinBolton… Yeah, the “NHL on Rogers” is getting to be crazy overload for the masses. But, if I stupidly spent $5.2 billion on something to resell. I ain’t sleepin’, I ain’t eatin and I ain’t shittin’ til it’s makin me some money. I can’t blame em for the overkill. But, I sure as hell can blame em for spending $5.2 BILLION which is, by the way, about the same GDP as Barbados. Would be funny if it weren’t so freakin’ sad. What a sad commentary on North America’s addiction to sports!

  • comment-avatar
    Darrell 3 years

    Tonight the Leafs played the Senators in Toronto. Tonight the Leafs also played the Senators in Ottawa. Am I alone tonight in utter confusing state how the two games were shown on TSN4 + TSN5 but only if you were in Toronto or Ottawa on each network?

    I thought Rogers spent tons of money for the tv rights, the guarantee that we can see every single game and 92,000 times hearing Mark Messier tell us that we can see out of market games?

    Rogers are fat cats who lie – on the baseball club in this country and the hockey markets across Canada.

  • comment-avatar
    Daniel 3 years

    @Dogpounder

    I totally agree.

    Look, I don’t work for Rogers. I actually despise Rogers as a company and as owners of the Jays. But I had fun watching the Jays this year, and I do feel optimistic going forward (despite the awful stretch run).

    It is FAR from impossible that Brunt shares that opinion with me regardless of his employer, and having that opinion doesn’t make him a shill.

    Look – flat out, there is obviously no directive from Rogers to say ‘everything with the Jays is great’. Listening to Sid Seixeiro for 5 minutes on any given day should establish that pretty firmly. Or take a glance at his twitter timeline. Jon Morosi was on with Brady and Walker this morning blaming ownership as the reason why the Jays failed this year.

    I have no reason to defend Rogers, but the idea that Fan hosts don’t criticize the team or ownership is a false narrative.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 3 years

    Darrell, there’s no lying. Rogers owns the national rights. TSN owns the Sens regional rights and split the Leafs’ regional rights with Rogers. That’s why all games on TSN5 (or 3 with the Jets) are going to be blacked out.

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    Actually, Brunt spinning the bright future of young Blue Jays pitching and defending the management after a historically disastrous season, which saw them throw away their best chance at reaching the post-season in 20 years, does make him a shill. Apparently, it isn’t anyone’s fault – not the manager, not the GM, not ownership, not really even the players – because if you blame the players then, by association, you have to blame the GM who brought them in. But we get none of this from Brunt or Bob for that matter. Years ago, when he was an actual sports writer (and not on the same payroll as the team), he would have asked actual questions. If that doesn’t make him a shill…

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 3 years

    Buck & Pat signed to do Blue Jays baseball for 5 more years.

    Rob Corte, Vice President of Live Events and News Production, Sportsnet.

    “Armed with more than 30 years of Major League Baseball experience, Buck and Pat’s insight and baseball IQ is unmatched as they continue to inform and entertain fans young and old.”

    Phuck me !!!!!

  • comment-avatar
    Darrell 3 years

    Buck + Pat are not the greatest, but there is another fat cat in the radio booth who is by far worse than Pat + Buck and his last name is Wilner.

    Without question he is by far the WORST analyst!

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 3 years

    Oh, Buck… I felt bad for Dalton Pompey when Buck completely screwed up the call on his first major league home run the other night. “It’s deep drive to right! And Ryan G-… Dalton Pompey with his big league home run!”

    Say what you want about Wilner, but at least he gets the names right.

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 3 years

    Buck & Pat…Hahahah
    Looks like I am not the only one with an opinion about Buck & Pat,here are some comments from the sportsnet website before they disappear when someone from rogers actually reads their own website.

    “Buck is and always has been awesome. He’s = to Vin Scully. He’s a Hall of Fame broadcaster. Looking forward to the next 25 years of listening to this broadcasting champion.”

    and
    “I think Buck is suffering from early stage alzheimer’s and Pat is the typical female blonde joke persona, as in a typical jock strap IMHO. “

  • comment-avatar
    Sam 3 years

    Oh god make this jeter stuff stop! Baseball has so little going for it they have to make a big deal out of this.

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    Robert 3 years

    Anyone know what happened to TSN podcasts? They seem to have disappeared since the new site went live. The RSS feed doesn’t work either.

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    Claire A Fye 3 years

    @Sam Really? All the crap going on in sports and there’s one feel good story and you can’t take it? Of course it’s over the top, but it’s also going to end Sunday. The guy has been an example of what a professional athlete should be both on and off the field. Celebrate it.

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    Daniel 3 years

    @Curt – historically disastrous season? That’s ridiculous. Was probably the most fun I had watching the team in 20 years. Disappointing they fell out of it in August? Hell ya. What we all wanted to see? No. But it was a good year, as far as I’m concerned.

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    Daniel 3 years

    And by good I mean they kept my interest all year with a fun team and I was invested until September. Obviously it was a failure, as they didn’t reach the playoffs. But I’m not the type to paint things in black or white.

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    William/Bill 3 years

    So my oldest son is over having a beer of course he has the remote.Around the horn is on a show so fixed as to who the winner is it is disgusting never mind i have lost all respect for Bob Ryan.I ask him to switch he stops at PTS i see on camera Gord Kirke…clearly a non watchable show even if the POPE is another guest. On to poker ya know where the commentators can see ALL the players hold cards where no one else can see then make stupid/dumm comments about the dumb betting..hint I might even be a better poker player if i new all the other players hold cards..riveting…We are now watching Mike & Molly It’s not bad

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    Curt 3 years

    Historical from the context that, according to Griffin, no team in Blue Jays history, that had the kind of lead they had in June, ever failed to reach the post-season. And those were the days before the wild cards – 5 division championships. Considering that the traditional powers in the division this season were weak, for the Blue Jays to throw away their best opportunity in 20 years is, in my opinion, disastrous. Again, that’s my opinion – we’re still allowed to have those, right?

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    Curt 3 years

    And, btw, if we are all happy about this season, then I’d suggest that the bar in Toronto is set very low. If the Yankees or Red Sox had choked away a 6 game division lead and finished out of the playoffs, how do you think the press (or fans) would react?

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    Darrell 3 years

    All over Rogers have screwed things up! Not even game #1 of Leafs season yet and I am already sick of Greg Millen! “No doubt about it!” “No question about it!”

    Way to ruin a great thing. Paul Hendricks was great on with Bowen. Romanuk is a great voice but to be stick with Millen?

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    Dave in Bolton 3 years

    Darrell this is Rogers the kings of screw ups! how the NHL chose Rogers over Bell I will never know. First off if we are to believe that TSN was already in expansion plans with adding 3 new TSN plus with all the other networks Bell media owns they would of gotten the same exposure with staying at TSN then what their getting with Robbers and shitty Sportsnet. TSN with their amazing cast of hockey personalities would of made it far more easier to watch hockey. The deal with Robbers is nothing short of a disaster and makes me detest this deal even more. NHL/ Rogers deal pure crap