Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

August 8th, 2015 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition
business of sports

photo credit: CTV


by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount at gmail


Good morning sports media watchers. We are almost through the dog days of summer and sports media stories are still very quiet. Here is a quick sampler platter of food for thought, but as always you should feel free to talk about whatever is on your mind in the world of sports.




The Jays had a very successful series against the Royals but the main storyline focused more on the scores between the players than the numbers on the scoreboard. Royals starter Edinson Volquez hit Josh Donaldson in the 1st inning, after which umpire Jim Wolf issued a warning. The warning rule was implemented a few years ago to stop bean-brawls. Once issued, the warning means that the next player to throw intentionally at the opposition is ejected along with his manager. In almost all cases, a hit batter or “message pitch” after a warning means an automatic ejection. But Wolf allowed Donaldson to be buzzed in his next two at-bats and Troy Tulowitzki to be hit in the 7th inning without ejecting any Royals. Jays reliever Aaron Sanchez then hit a Royal in the leg and was tossed by Wolf, but not before the benches cleared and there was much pushing, shoving, and gesticulating.


The media reaction to this series of events was interesting and provides a study in contrasts. First, on the radio side Jerry Howarth and Joe Siddall went out of their way to praise umpire Wolf for his handling of the game. This seemed odd since the Jays were on the receiving end of a very non-standard way of treating the warning rule. Many other umpires would have tossed Volquez in the 3rd inning for throwing under the chin of the same player you were warned after hitting. They went even further in their adulation after Tulo was hit, saying that this was clearly not intentional and that pitchers have to be able to pitch inside. Finally, when the Royals threw at Donaldson for the 3rd time in the game, Gibbons was tossed but not Donaldson for arguing about the non-ejection. Both broadcasters talked at length about how restrained the ump had been and what a favour he had done to Donaldson by keeping him in the game even though he should have been tossed for arguing.


This effusive praise stands in stark contrast with most of the player and media reaction to Wolf’s handling of the game. Here’s Jose Bautista talking to TSN’s Scott MacArthur“After a warning’s put on, I mean you’ve got to respect it, right? I have a big problem when an umpire can say that they know 100-per cent in their mind the intent of a particular pitch after a warning is put on. For a fastball to hit Tulowitzki after a warning’s put on you’re supposed to respect the warning; I don’t care how many strikes there are in the count. I think the whole mishandling of the situation is what kind of took things to a different level.


I respect announcers who go out of their way not be homers. With guys like Hawk Harrelson and Buck Martinez and Mike Wilner floating out there, most professionals want to make sure they are being somewhat objective. But if that is what Jerry and Joe were aiming for then they did not execute it well. What fans needed in those moments was an analysis of the rule, how the rule has been traditionally understood, and how Wolf was deviating from that and why. I can’t help but wonder how someone like Alan Ashby would have handled Jerry’s analysis of the great job Wolf was doing. Siddall — as has become his trademark — agreed with everything Jerry said. The audience was not very well served in this case. More balance was needed to explain to Jays fans (this was on 590 after all) why their players were being thrown at without repercussion.


Moving to the TV side of things (and to the other side of the analysis spectrum), Gregg Zaun went after Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura for the latter’s Tweets (since deleted) calling Jose Bautista a “nobody”. Ventura later apologized to Jose. Most of the substance of Zaun’s criticisms was reasonable: show some respect to Bautista, you haven’t proven what he has, don’t Tweet on your way out of town after you’ve been beat. But he also undermines his own case by saying that Ventura is only in the league because someone else was injured (irrelevant) and that Ventura should be man enough to pick up a bat and stand in the box if he wants to take on the Jays. This last point is exceedingly dumb since both teams play in the AL and pitchers don’t hit. Why even bring it up? Zaun concluded the speech by challenging Ventura to come on down Zaun’s section of the Skydome to find him.


We have seen this sort of thing before when Jays broadcasters Dirk Hayhurst (and to a lesser extent Jack Morris) got in to it with the Red Sox and their media over Clay Buchholz’s use of sunscreen on the ball. The common thread between the Hayhurst case and the Zaun case is that you have media members taking on the opposition, but it’s more about the media member’s bravado than the substance of the issue. For example, can you imagine Shi Davidi or Richard Griffin writing an open letter like Zaun’s? Of course not. Zaun brings a WWE-style to his analysis where it’s as much about him as it is about anything else.


This is not my cup of tea, but perhaps others like this sort of thing. Over to you: what did you think of Zaun’s missive? Should local media be fighting on behalf of players?


Finally, Dan Shulman appeared on TSN Drive (August 4th. Hour 2) to discuss the suspension and had this to say: “It’s not a healthy part of the game, but it IS part of the game. […] Ventura is a nice kid but he obviously has some temper issues, and he’s acknowledge [that].” Dan is simply the best and I hope he returns to Toronto radio some day. He would instantly become the most credible voice in the market. He may already be.


Question for you: With all the focus on the Jays these days, whose opinion matters most to you when thinking about trades, player evaluation, suspensions, etc.? Whose opinions do you tune out?


A Brief Review of the new Tim&Sid podcast


If you read this space often you know that TV sports content is at the top of the list of things that don’t get talked about. I’m not denigrating the medium; I simply don’t have time. I’m sure some of the fine folks who read the scores and narrate the highlight packages do great work, though I’m sure we’d also find things to criticize if we spent as much time on them as we do on print and radio. Consequently, the category of TV talk show also gets little attention around here — I’m thinking of shows like Landsberg’s or Hodge’s. That is the space Tim&Sid moved in to when they left the radio airwaves back in the spring. I have not seen the TV show so I can’t comment on its visual aspect, but I did listen to about a week’s worth of their podcasts over the last while and have some thoughts.


The good: it’s shorter. The reason this is good is that they have to more selective about their topics and points and this makes for a tighter show with less time for mock outrage and self-aggrandizing schlock. The pair’s zenith was their one hour Score podcast and the new show moves closer to that direction. Another major improvement is that they can be way more selective about guests. The FAN show was a morass of interviews with Sportsnet “insiders” pumping their latest post on the website. In what I have heard, they are doing only major interviews with the biggest names on the biggest topics. Big upgrade.


The bad: the show is still very focused on Sid’s whacky antics and Tim’s adoring laughter. I’m not sure how this plays on TV but it continues to be terrible audio. In addition, due to the the fact that it’s now 100% a TV show there are even more visual gags and segments that need to be skipped when podcasting.


Constructive advice: Since this is now Sportsnet’s signature prime time interview show I’d like to see them work on that aspect of the show. Just getting the big names doesn’t mean you’ll be delivering good interviews. For all his faults, Bob was at a time one of the best interviewers in the market. As T&S take on more and more of that role, people will be tuning in expecting a comparable level of quality. They are not bad interviewers — except for when they are asking guests about their favourite hamburger toppings — but there is room to grow in terms of depth and insight.


Over to you: What have you enjoyed of the new T&S show? What’s missing? Have you continued podcasting now that it is on TV?


Quick Hits


I have been looking for reasons to highlight the kind of work that gets published in Sportsnet’s apparently successful (so I’m told) magazine. Arden Zwelling, co-host of the very pleasant At the Letters Jays podcast, has a good story detailing the behind the scenes moments that led to the Jays’ big trades. [p.s. – if Rogers wants more in depth coverage of the magazine, be in touch about a review subscription.]


Popular American sports radio host Colin Cowherd is leaving ESPN for FOX, and delivered some racist comments about Dominican baseball players on his way out the door. Sean Newell over at Vice has the story as well as the reaction from Hall of Famer Pedro Martinez. Jose Bautista also commented on Cowherd on Twitter.


Glendale has a 2 year deal with the Coyotes. If this story wasn’t entertaining enough already, it has also created a secondary comedic market whereby Coyotes fans get angry at TSN’s Rick Westhead on Twitter. Here’s a taste:



Phenomenal news for consumers of the NHL’s digital products as MLBAM is taking over. MLB’s app and content delivery are peerless.


There was another, much less publicized, FHRITP incident involving the CBC’s very convivial Charlsie Agro during the PanAms. She handled the situation well and stood up for herself. Go read how the CBC reported on it. This article has everything but a reference to a fainting couch. I imagine this issue is very annoying for reporters but clutching at pearls is not a solution. Here’s an idea: hire some security to protect your on-air talent if you insist on putting them out in the street with crowds of (drunk) people. Not many such incidents at the Santa Claus parade. [note – see comments section for some more thoughts on this issue]


Low Hanging Fruit


Instead of what usually appears in this section I’ll try something else. Fresh off the great discussion about radio line-ups last week I’ll give you another chance to be Program Director for a day. Summer coincides with call-in season on radio. With so many fill-in hosts and so few sports stories, most of the time is spent taking calls. Let’s just agree that bad call-in shows are bad, and most call-in shows are bad call-in shows. That said, here’s the QOTD: what makes for a good call-in show? Is it a well-crafted topic? Is it a host who can keep people on point? Is it the callers themselves? Here’s a second question: who currently does the best job taking calls?


It seems this dreaded format will be with us for as long as sports radio is around, so let’s do what we can to make it better. Tell our PDs how to fix this part of their programming.




thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)


  1. McLean_Deluxe says:

    I’m sorry but comparing Hawk Harrelson to Martinez and Wilner is beyond absurd. Martinez and Tabler spend more time praising the intangibles of opposing teams than ever praising Jays players for anything. Wilner leans pro-Jays because that he was a childhood fan and has to balance the ridiculous negativity of his callers and the casual uninformed fan. I’m fine with my damn call in host being a homer. Harrelson is the biggest homer in all of pro sports, so come on.

  2. McLean_Deluxe says:

    Secondly, comparing the Hayhurst grease gate stuff and Zaun is a monumental stretch as well. Hayhurst never personally attacked any players, but just showed factually how players were finding an edge. That rankled some degrees no doubt, but he never went Zaun nuts, and challenged a player for a fight. Morris was much closer, in that he went harder after the opposing players. I think with all this new excitement around Jays, there will be more and more stuff written by people who havent necessarily followed the Jays that closely until now.

  3. Matty Zero says:

    As a MLB.TV subscriber, I can tell you a lot of the local guys are homers. Maybe not to the level of Hawk Harrelson, but I’d say 80% of them are homers, and that is fine. They are local broadcasts first, after all. I am also looking forward to see what MLBAM does with the hockey package. (I live in the US part-time).

    As for Zaun, Hayhurst et al, I have no problem with former players calling out current ones. Zaun just tries a little too hard at attracting attention to himself.

    Tim and Sid are basically the same, curious to see what it looks like in the fall.

    Anytime a show starts taking calls is an automatic skip or channel flip. Sorry Eddie from Fort Erie!

  4. GreyCountyMike says:

    Matty Zero is absolutely correct. Most if not all teams employ broadcasters who are, to a certain extent, homers.

    I am a longtime White Sox fan … and I can’t stand listening to Harrelson. His commentary is absolutely ridiculous, but it doesn’t make me any less of a fan of the team to admit so. And, I can tell you, a great many Sox fans feel the same way as I do about him.

    One thing I will say positively about Harrelson, though: He’s straight up. He admits exactly what he is. I’ll take that over the phoniness of Mike Wilner any day.

  5. Alex says:

    Since team announcers are team employees, no surprise they are homers.

    I agree with earlier sentiment: callers segment means changing the channel or FF the podcast.

  6. Curt says:

    Buck IS the new Hawk Harrelson. Full stop. “Get outta here, ball!!!” Yes, most local broadcasters are homers to some extent, but active cheerleading is something else.

    Regarding T&S, still a lot of fart jokes but I’d say it’s marginally better than PTS (depending on the co-host). But that’s not saying much these days. I’m not sure about TSN Drive. I want to like Naylor but he comes off as a little too smug sometimes. Drive does have better co-hosts though and we all know how important that is.

  7. Bob Canuck says:

    Mike in Boston,

    In my view, you swung and missed with respect to your take on the recent FHRITP incident.

    First, given the subject matter, phrases such as “fainting couch” and “clutching at pearls” are, in my opinion, sexist. Both phrases are typically made in reference to female stereotypes. You could have communicated your thoughts with better wording.

    Second, the linked-to CBC report is, in my view, an example of straight-forward reporting. Your comment suggests that the report was over the top.

    Third, news organizations are not sitting on the sidelines during the FHRITP phenomena. They support their employee when the reporter confronts the
    culprit(s) and also when the reporter pursues the matter with the police. My guess is that criminal/civil penalties, public shame, and the possibility of employer discipline (see Hydro One and Shawn Simoes) will be far more effective than added Security.

    Fourth, many of the FHRITP incidents have occurred in situations other than those where drunk people are present; therefore, your Security solution will not be as effective as you suggest. Also, let’s not forget that the Ms. Agro incident occurred outside of the CBC Atrium, where no doubt Security could be found inside.

  8. Marcus says:

    Homer announcers – agree with the opinions so far that it’s part of the landscape. When I had SiriusXM, I loved the three different broadcasts for MLB playoffs – one from each team’s hometown station, and a 3rd impartial one from ESPN. Channel switching didn’t get any better.

    Why on earth would Dan Shulman come back to the Toronto market, unless for personal reasons. He’s done more than well for himself since moving on from T-dot.

    Someone said last week how professional it was for TSN drive to lead with the Jays. TSN also has the Blue Jays Report Saturdays at 11 with Scott MacArthur, Richard Griffin, and Gregor Chisolm, a great baseball listen on TSN, and much better than whomever they have on 590 at the same time (I couldn’t stand listening long enough to determine who they were).

    Call-in shows – there’s no excuse for being uninformed in this day and age. Not enough callers who know what they’re talking about. Change the channel.

  9. Hans says:

    Sometimes I wish someone would tell Buck that he’s on Tv and not the radio. That means he can actually stop talking for a bit and doesn’t have to repeat things every 5 minutes like he’s on the radio.

    Regarding Tim&Sid – their new show is like the radio one but it also feel extremely over produced. Like, they’ve been programmed to be a bit more “tv friendly” with heir act.

  10. Anthony says:

    ‘As a MLB.TV subscriber, I can tell you a lot of the local guys are homers. Maybe not to the level of Hawk Harrelson, but I’d say 80% of them are homers, and that is fine. They are local broadcasts first, after all. I am also looking forward to see what MLBAM does with the hockey package. (I live in the US part-time).’

    100 percent, of course they are. Its odd that Toronto fans seem to think the Wilner’s of the world are unique, they are in every single town. He is connected to the team emotionally, as is every other person in his position in every other MLB/NHL/NFL city in North America.

    Re: Tim and Sid

    I still don’t get it. Im in their ‘niche’ but all I get is faux Sid outrage on things, finding things to be upset about and then going on fake rants about them, and Tim as his Ed McMahon, hey oh! If they have great rating/downloads great for them, just not my thing.

  11. Darrell says:

    Can someone teach Buck Martinez how to say the following words:

    “Two” NOT “chew”
    “Three” NOT “Chree”
    “Encarnacion” NOT “Encarnashione”

  12. Robert says:

    That’s not as bad as Barker’s “Encanarcion”. You’d think someone would teach him how to pronounce it, unless they think it’s colourful.

  13. William D says:

    First of all,

    I’m not sure why everyone thinks Canadian sports broadcasting media should aspire to be equal to those in the states. Just because broadcasters in the states are homers and unbalanced in their broadcast why does Canadian broadcasters have to be on board? The last time I checked we are in a different country and should aspire to create a higher standard of reporting, not reporting/ broadcasting that consists of one view and censorship of other views, A sports story will always have both negative and positive and that is how it should be represented in the media. Homers are robots in a human form and sell outs to the product regardless of anything, Homer broadcasters manufacture hype with the sole purpose of over hyping the team for ownership profitability. In other words manipulation. Homerism to the level it is in this market place is not surprising, you have a media company that owns the most consumed media properties (Radio, TV, Internet.) and broadcast the jays across all it’s properties which reaches plenty viewers and listeners across the country. Nonetheless it’s ridiculous. Homerism does not represent the real capacity of the human brain, therefor should not be tolerated by any fanbase.

  14. Anthony says:


    IMO your looking at it the wrong way, its hardly a US vs. Canada thing, its an emotional attachment/tribal issue. When your emotionally invested, working to day on a broadcast, you’re bound to develop personal relationships with those who you cover, its not a nationalistic thing, its a human thing. No different then those we work with at our jobs. There always will be those who look at things with a critical eye, with two all sports radio stations and newspapers with people looking for ways to stick out among a polluted ‘sports personality’, for every Mike Wilner there’s a Jeff Blair, for every Joe Bowen there’s a Damien Cox. You just don’t get that individualism from hometown broadcasts, thats just not what they are there for. Be it Toronto, Vancouver, England or Chicago, they all seem to serve the same purpose.

  15. Anthony says:

    On an aside, its nice to be able to have civil, honest discourse about sports media personalities without making it personal and vengeful, thanks to TSM for cleaning the site up and those who post for keeping things respectful.

  16. William D says:


    The only reason I made reference to the States is because many are saying that homers are all over U.S broadcast so therefore it doesn’t make us look bad if we have our own. My response to that was we don’t need our own, and we don’t need to follow the U.S broadcast model, because many media outlets in the U.S is propaganda. In the U.S it’s all about selling the product by any means necessary(Canada is also guilty of this), which often makes the broadcast fake or over hyped. Yes I agree that a bond between the product and the broadcaster can be created which leads to friendships, however in the overall I feel that everything boils down to the ol mighty dollar. You ever wonder why radio guys the TV guys and the print guys are now under one roof. Media companies especially ones that own sports teams or rights are hiring more homers, guys that can sell a media product through there unique writing style. It’s all about the bottom line and the company line which is sad and pollutes the real story.

  17. Anthony says:

    ‘It’s all about the bottom line and the company line which is sad and pollutes the real story.’

    I guess it depends on how you look on it. Every home board caster has the same mantra and its not a new issue. Joe Bowen is beloved by Leaf fans, Ken Daniels by Red Wing fans, Dean Brown by Senators fans, they are hometown boadcasters who communicate to their fanbases and have a biased view of their teams. They have talents, if they where put in different roles they probably would do things differently (Ken Daniels could be a national broadcaster IMO), but their roles are not that. Its not like these guys just got hired by a multi media company now to be under ‘one roof’, hometown broadcasters communicating a story to the home fans has been that way for years. It dates back to the 60s, its not a new thing, I understand your frustration to a point, but its not a unique issue, its been this way almost since the start of regional sports broadcasts. Its like complaining about Taxes and death, sure they suck, but its not a new issue.

    If you want unbiased looks at teams, its out there in spades, national broadcasts do a very good job of presenting things with a 50/50 look, keeping things even keel because they are catered to a national audience, not a local one. You can argue their talent or ability, but bias is usually something you never here (other then in Ottawa perhaps). Locally, 50/100 media types take all different looks at teams and examine every argument imaginable (it becomes excruciating), they have to, they have no other choice given 24/7 coverage. I can remember a few hissy fits from Sid Sixerio about the Jays and how bad they are, same from Greg Brady. There are guys all over the place who offer a negative look. Hometown broadcasts never have been for that, there equivalent to a paid infomercial for the home teams, been that way since the start, which is kinda the point, they are there for the the fans who want hardcore coverage of their team. They want the Greg Zaun to agree with them that the Umpire is wrong, that everyone is against the team, thats why he’s so good at his job, he gives the fan what they want.

    If your looking for impartiality with your never going to have it no matter where your watching, European Soccer is the same, Canadian Hockey, MLB in the states, its about delivering an easy watch to people back at home, and like i said, the birth of Rogers/Bell isn’t the start of it, its been around well before that.

  18. Midnight Rambler says:

    Is it just me or have Buck and Pat become more “homerish” over the last few seasons: more use of “we”, Buck’s call for balls to “get up, get up…”? Certainly not in Hawk Harrelson’s league but a long way from Fergie Olver being skewered over “How ’bout those Blue Jays?”

    Buck would be much better off as the colour guy (and bis wheezy laugh drives me nuts) and somebody needs to tell Tabler it is pronounced “first (or third) basemen”, not “basemen’s”.

  19. AP says:

    Have to disagree with some of you here.

    While call in shows do have clueless fans, the fact of the matter is that’s how many fans are. Sit in the stands at any arena or stadium and talk to people and they just know what they might have heard Buck and Pat say. They don’t follow advanced stats. They hardly follow other teams around the league. So although it can grate on the mind of a more learned fan, you should appreciate that what these people think is probably what the majority think. So listen and learn.

    Regarding homer broadcasters, we all want to tune in and hear broadcasters who cheer for our team the way we do. Buck’s “get up, get out…” is silly, but it’s what we’re thinking in the moment.

    What I don’t like, though, is when the broadcaster lies to us, in selling the team. In one game they showed us the Jays lineup and scrolled down saying there’s no break in the lineup. And they scroll past names like Colabello, Smoak, Pillar and Goins. I understand the Jays have a top offence, but opposing pitchers are not afraid of those guys. Unfortunately the BS’ing from our broadcasters in this example now becomes a fact for those casual fans who don’t crunch their own numbers. So being a homer is not all bad, but there’s a line.

  20. yaz says:

    I listened to a Kansas City sports station’s podcast in response to Zaun ( sorry, forgot the name 610 or 620 something) They tried to discredit Zaun with the Mitchell report. Wonder if they got a call from Zaun’s lawyers. Zaun did appear on KC sports radio the day before on the same station of the morning show I’m talking about.

    TSN’s ineptitude at posting to iTunes continues. Frustrating for those of us more dependent on Podcasts. Especially Noon-4. Leafs lunch often a couple of days late or they post Leafs Lunch to the Hayes feed. They should just have one Podcast for Noon-4 and use the person that, without failing, posts the 6-9 am Pods ( thought that timeslot used to be the absolute worst at posting ).

    Cauz is funnier than Blundell and more on topic. Given Bastil’s blandness, Cauz has been carrying more water than he does with Macko and seems to be flourishing in with it. How long is this Blundell experiment going to last? Hope Brady & Walker don’t get too used to sleeping in.

  21. yaz says:

    @Anthony Bang on with Tim & Sid. Sid should stop yelling as much and rehearse delivering bold impactful statements that include breathing and pausing for effect rather than yelling and gesticulating. Looking at the camera and not at Tim would also help. But perhaps those bits test well with their demo. The most used wide shot of that moribund set with Tim & Sid looking at each other is not good for TV, see PTI.

    *excuse my typos in previous post.

  22. William D says:


    Your bang on. There is being a Homer and then there is being a Hawk Haroldson, a Buck Martinez or a Mike Wilner. Over the top Homers who exaggerate positive stats.

  23. mitch says:

    Another reason they are such homers is because they ‘hang’ out with players in locker-room, airports, etc, they think they become friends with them and therefore develop emotional attachments.
    My big gripe about homerism is that they treat me like a child. I’m a fan and I understand my team isn’t perfect. Rogers owning the Jays is the worst, obviously, but they could still be so much more objective when calling games.
    And I realize its always sort of been a billboard…but I feel like games have never been more than just a background for Rogers products than they are now. Seems every time he speaks, Barry is shilling a rogers product.
    Sid’s fake anger isn’t my cup of tea. so transparent, so phony. I can do without it.

  24. d says:

    Tulo is a big upgrade over Reyes.. his defence is superior and Buck Martinez says he’s going to make far fewer “ayrs”

  25. Wally says:

    I think grouping all homers together is wrong. I find Buck, Pat and Wilner to be very apologetic with regard to the Jays and don’t highlight faults with the team. They are all homers and without a doubt want the Jays to succeed, just like every other local broadcaster in the history of time…but making no mention of obvious faults is weak.

    On the contrary I think a guy like Matt Devlin with the Raptors or even Luke Wileman with soccer do excellent jobs at being homers while still being critical of their teams. Matt in particular travels with the Raptors everywhere they go just like any baseball broadcaster but when push comes to shove he will criticize players and the organization.

    From my experience people are very split on whether they want homers or not. I personally find neutral broadcasts to be boring and unnatural. It’s human instinct to cheer for their favourites and I think when talking about a guy like Dan Shulman, he went from being local to Toronto and calling many games to national in the US and never calling a Jays game. I am certain that at some point in the future if Dan calls a Jays game he will lean towards them.

    I am still a huge fan of Tim and Sid. Personally I am finding the personalities I like listening to on radio/TV are ones that are diversified in the sports they watch. Tim and Sid are obvious sports fans but more importantly to me, they watch MANY sports and don’t pander to only puck-heads as many shows tend to do. I respect guys like Bob McKenzie, Jack Armstrong and Jason deVos for the knowledge they have with their sports but on a daily radio/TV show they get very dull fast.

  26. Ben says:

    ‘Sid’s fake anger isn’t my cup of tea. so transparent, so phony. I can do without it.’

    Agree 100000 percent. Its just too much. I get that he’s playing a ‘role/character’, but when you do the fake anger thing all the time it looses its luster.

    Maybe its just me, but I don’t think he was that bad a few years ago?

  27. Steve Clark says:

    Interesting stuff about the notion of homers in all sports. On a much lower level, here is my experience. As an OHL/AHL broadcaster, I called all the home games on TV for the OHL team I cover and select games for the AHL team. In the OHL, I always got tagged as a “homer”. I can tell you that I do not get paid one dime by the team for the broadcasting I do, so I am not a team employee. Our goal with a broadcast was to be 60-40 in favour of the home team because our game aired in the road teams market so there had to be balance. I think you can certainly be in favour of the team you cover on a daily basis. You get to know the players a bit and see more of their games (to a previous poster, I never sought out think that I was a friend of a player). I think Matt Devlin has the best balance from what I’ve heard. He’s able to tee up his analyst for constructive criticism, but able to rise to the big moment with genuine excitement.

    Quick other comment: The best radio/TV in my mind is organic. Spontaneous discussion and arguments by great personalities who are emotionally involved, but still aware that they are broadcasting to a greater audience. Anything contrived, or gimmicky can be a turn off. Has Sid reached that point? Don’t know, but something to be aware of.

    Ok, one more:
    Greg Zaun: I really like Zaunie. He’s unafraid to open the fourth wall and explain the subtleties of baseball, and can be critical when the situaiton calls for it. I can’t behind the “Manalyst” moniker, and I fear he may cross the line from analyst to character. I think that may hinder credibility. That said, if entertainment is the goal, he’s nailed it. Love the suits too!

  28. mike (in boston) says:

    Great comments on the homer-ism vs objectivity debate. I agree with those of who think you can have a home team focus without being a homer. Obviously the people tuning in to a local broadcast are mostly going to care about the home side so you want to give them what they want. But the best broadcasters are able to do that without pandering, or so I think. I just can’t take someone seriously who openly cheers for one team while calling play-by-play or commenting on the action.

    A few years ago I recall Buck being interviewed on the FAN and the host asked him about a report by Keith Law which talked about the Jays prospects being overrated by the team (or something like that) and Buck’s reply was “I really don’t care what Keith Law has to say about the Jays …” and then he went on to rave about players X and Y. This is the kind of thing that just destroys credibility. A similar thing happens a lot with Wilner. He’ll defend what the team does no matter what they do. As an example, I recall him ridiculing people who suggested moving Lawrie to 2B, but when the team eventually tried that out for a while he waxed about how smart AA was. If you’re always defending the status quo then it’s hard to take your analysis seriously.

    • mike (in boston) says:

      Bob Canuck – good and fair points about FHRITP.

      A lot of media people read this site, including many reporters, and I know I’m not going to make many friends by shifting the focus away from the dopes who scream things into live mics. But, I really do think this issue has more dimensions to it. Here’s one dimension I wrote about last time this happened: why do TV news directors think it’s a good idea to put reporters in the middle of public spaces after sporting/entertainment events for live segments? People have been yelling stupid and profane things into live mics forever. While FHRITP is more graphic than just yelling FUCK!, it’s not a new phenomenon. In fact it’s highly predictable every time you send someone out to these events. Why put your employees in the line of fire when you could easily do it at a safer distance?

      I’m not at all blaming the reporters. They are doing what they have been assigned to do. They have every right to be angry at their working conditions. I’m asking what news value is there to doing things in this way? To put my request more simply – please stop putting professionals in unprofessional environments and then expressing shock when things go poorly. It’s not too hard to vet fans for bro-tendencies and select a few of them to stand behind and cheer. It’s also not hard to just do a studio shot. As you note, Ms. Agro’s segment was filmed mere steps away from a nice safe CBC-controlled environment. I think these are all better options than trying to prosecute drunks/bros for shouting offensive phrases in public.

      The CBC report I linked to was credited to “CBC staff” so I wasn’t at all claiming Ms. Agro was guilty of clutching at pearls. She’s not. I found the tone of the article to be going out of its way to be alarmist, but that’s just my opinion. I also don’t think it’s true that FHRITP is mostly directed at women, as the article claims. Some of the most famous instances of the phrase have involved male reporters, and in the Jameis Winston case, involved no reporters at all and a crowd of men and women.

      Anyway, I guess I think the shaming tactic is fine but this is also a workplace safety issue. You can’t claim all public space as your workplace just because you have decided/been told to do a live shot. So, when there is a risk of harassment there is also a burden on the employer to mitigate that risk. In my opinion if you move the reporter to safer distance, nothing of value is lost.

      If you are in the industry and have a thought, please chime in. I’ll also reach out to some people and see if I can get someone to talk about this in more detail.

  29. Wally says:

    Interesting to hear Steve Clark’s take on being 60-40 in favour of the home team. I think the king of this approach has to be Bob Cole in his prime. Hockey Night in Canada is the national stage but often games were between a Canadian and American team so naturally the Canadian announcers leaned that way in their commentary. I think Bob Cole 60-40 mantra really shined when he was covering 2 American teams in the playoffs, often feeding off the energy of the crowd and playing up the home team.

    I tend to agree with most that Buck is a bit over the top with the homer-ism but I don’t think he gets enough credit with the actual call of the game itself. When a pure baseball play happens I think the banter between him and Tabler trying to explain the situation is good. That said, when the discussion moves towards organizational moves or individual performances than it goes off the rails. I’m sure there is some influence (whether official or not) from Rogers but I also wonder if it has anything to do with his time in management with the Rogers organization.

    I also like Greg Zaun and his opinions. I feel he is one of the better former-player-turned-analysts in sports right there with guys like Shaq, Barkley, and Milt Stegall. It seems those with larger personalities during their time as professional make for better analysts in their sports and are not afraid to raise issues regarding specific teams or the sport itself (ex: Zaun going after the umpires).

  30. Dan says:

    Not all commentators are team employees, just the ones where the team owns the network (e.g., Jays, Yankees). Most networks are a Fox affiliate and have nothing to do with the team organization. I don’t follow the Jays myself, but I’ve seen enough highlights to know Buck and Tabs aren’t very good and are bigger homers than an a majority of the league.

    I don’t see Shulman returning to Toronto ever. He can make much more money working for ESPN/in the US and reach a much larger audience. If he ever wanted to stop travelling on the road, I hope ESPN would offer him his own radio show though.

    I’ve been looking for reviews of the new Tim & Sid show, so thanks to all the above who commented on it. Confirms my thoughts that, while better than their SN radio show, it still isn’t as good as their The Score days, so for now, I’ll continue to give them a miss, no matter what “big names” they get for interviews.

    I’m looking forward to MLBAM taking over all things NHL digital as their websites, apps, etc are all trash. Even though this deal doesn’t include Canada for GameCentre, I’m hoping to use the good ol’ VPN to purchase the team-specific package that will come in this season for US folk and use the no doubt superior service than Rogers offers with their 90 second delay.

    I don’t listen to any Toronto/Canadian radio shows/podcasts as I don’t care about the Leafs/Jays/Raps and I don’t need to hear NHL talk fill 90% of programming, so I have no idea how good or bad call-ins can be here. The two shows I listen to religiously are probably the “best” for call-ins – The Tony Kornheisher Show and The Dan Patrick Show. The former takes zero phone calls (and doesn’t interview athletes – a different topic for a different day perhaps MiB), while the DP show usually only takes a few calls each hour (if that) and they are generally screened pretty good, short in length, and not completely dumb. Sidebar: DP is also probably the best host in the US for interviewing athletes. He managed to get David Price on the phone for a quick interview the other week as he was broken down on the side of the road driving to Toronto the day after the big trade. I presume the first Toronto outlet to interview him was a group huddle once he arrived at the stadium pre-game.

  31. Steve Clark says:

    Yes, for sure Wally, Bob Cole was the master of the 60/40 split. I wish I could come as close as he does.

    I’d also argue that the team has input into the hiring of many broadcasters. When I applied to the Dallas Stars, I heard back from Stars personnel, and not the Fox Sports people. Sure Fox likely got their say, or made suggestions, but teams more than likely get a fair amount of input who is broadcasting their product.

    As far as the jackass yelling things into microphones, yes people have the right to a safe workplace so the media outlet owes the reporter a safe space. That said, I agree that the chance of something stupid happening is after a live event in which people have been drinking, so maybe alternate locations can be found, or a different angle on a report. I still support legal/human rights intervention for harassment though.

  32. GreyCountyMike says:

    Steve Clark: As always, great input! Thanks so much for taking the time to contribute.

  33. Mitch says:

    Jackasses yelling things in a microphone during a live hit is the equivalent of taking calls on the radio: completely and utterly unnecessary. Producers throwing reporters at live events where alcohol is flowing freely should be banned from the industry. Nothing good can come of it, ESPECIALLY when producer insist reporter talks to streeters. Does anybody at home actually care what some idiot thinks about “Super mailboxes” or “bird flu”? No! Which takes me to callers on the radio. lazy lazy radio hosts turn to callers. Its like “hey, you do my job for me will ya!” all the while the listener at home changes station. Both these practices are antiquated and don’t fit in the modern landscape of broadcasting.

  34. Alex says:

    It was always my impression that the teams had approval over the choice of announcers. Maybe it used to be the case in an earlier era. Now, if they are team employees wit phe vertical integration in places like NY, BOS and TO, its redundant.

  35. Dogpounder says:

    “Give us a call at 1 888 666 0590!”

    Unless it’s “Dave in Vancouver.” I don’t care how scripted and full of shit he sounds… It’s entertaining. Guy’s been doing it since at least the Team 1050 days…

  36. Bad Brian says:

    Who is “Dave in Vancouver”?

    I think Wheeler does a good job handling callers. He seems genuinely interested in having a conversation. Blair is pretty bad. It sounds like he is checking his email instead of listening to what the caller is saying. No one is worse than Wilner though.

  37. Roger says:


    I’m no fan of Cowherd but how is his comment “racist”? He was referring to players from the Dominican Republic (its a country , not a race).

    Just because someone generalizes against a country or religion, everyone and their brother wants to use the “r” word. I have no ide why. Its wrong and inflammatory.

  38. Ben says:

    Prejudice vs. Racism.

    You can be Prejudice against a country. Racism is hating a certain race.

    Cause and effect is the same, splitting hairs IMO

  39. Midnight Rambler says:

    Wilner’s nadir was his time as Ricciardi’s apologist/lackey on Tuesdays (or whatever day it was) with J.P.

  40. Steve Clark says:

    Thanks for the kind words Grey County Mike! Much appreciated. The other thing I forgot to comment on was Rick Westhead getting it from the Arizona fans over the Coyotes continuing financial elephant in the room. I had a chance to meet Rick as he was the alumni guest speaker at the school I taught at. He expressed how surprised he was at the level of vitriol on Twitter directed at him and others. I do not necessarily agree with everything he wrote about the CHL labour situation, but I possess a healthy respect for his writing on sports issues. He truly is one of the best.

  41. Nanaman says:

    On the topic of homers,

    My top five offenders (in no particular order):

    1. Mike Hogan with “his” Argos;
    2. Jim Ralph and the Leafs;
    3. Jack “they never lose a fight” Bruins;
    4. Mike “corporate whore” Wilner.
    5. Joe Bowen.

  42. Roger says:

    Not really. Being labeled a racist (even if its inaccurate) today is about as damaging as being labeled a pedophile.

    Its usually best to know what you’re talking about before slandering someone, no?

  43. Ben says:

    Certainly is a semantics argument.

    Both are equally awful. I’m not going to go by my feelings or your feelings, but the public outcry to the statement suggests that it was just as hurtful as any racist comment. Both are deplorable and both have no place in our society.

  44. Billy C. says:

    Wilner has proven all you haters wrong. He’s not a homer. He’s the voice of the real Jays fans who have believed in AA all along. If you’re not with us when the team struggles then you don’t deserve us when we’re winning. That’s what Wilner and Jays nation are all about.

    Jays Talk is the best call in show on radio. Go Jays!!!!!

  45. Nanaman says:

    So you have never heard Wilner be pro-Rogers? So you must be a real soldier for George W. Bush huh? You’re either with us or against us mindset. Yes, the Jays look awesome, but it doesn’t mean the players, coaches, management, owners and fans are immune from criticism.

    I watched both of the Jays world series runs in the past few days. I recall Bob Costas and others being pro-American. However, after watching it over 30 years later, they were very objective in their criticism of the Jays and Braves/Phillies.

    Wilner is a homer… Especially a corporate whore.

  46. Mike S says:

    I have no time for homer broadcasts……….I am a Boston Bruins fan and they used to have one of the worst duos (Fred Cusick & Derek Sanderson)…….it is not much better now with Jack Edwards & Andy Brickley………’s too bad so many teams feel the need to go over the top with homerism

    I dislike pretty much all call-in segments………out of all of those segments McCown probably does the best job but it’s still not enjoyable…………when they stopped taking calls from Tuesday to Thursday each week in the 4 PM hour on PTS a few years ago I was very happy

  47. William D says:

    @Billy C

    I think your being way over the top unrealistic and homeristic. This is the first year Mike Wilner does not have to make excuses to defend the Blue Jays. For several years he has either used the injury crutch as if other teams don’t go through the same thing or the division excuse even though Tampa Bay Rays has gone to a world series while in the same division. Mike is also on record for saying John Gibbons has only made one mistake this season, the thing is when Gibbons does make a glearing mistake and someone calls Mike on it his response is, that could have gone either way or he just derails the topic by focusing on something else until someone brings it up. You say Mike proved all the haters wrong, where were you, before this trade happened or even for the last two seasons when Mike consistently said he likes the team and picked them to go to the playoff while others were skeptics. Did he prove us wrong then?, Where were you when Mike firmly defended the previous GM that was here for several years and did not sniff the playoffs. What do they say about a blind squirrel. Over past several years I’d say Mike is batting well under .100.

  48. Sperk says:

    While definitely a “homer”, I have to say that I enjoy Mike Hogan’s call of the Argos. Mike is definitely enthusiastic about the Argos and the “call of week” feature on TSN Radio featuring Mike screaming about something is a bit much….however, he never fails to point out if the Argos aren’t playing well or if a player doesn’t make a play he should have made. That’s why I have great respect for his call and can tolerate his over exuberance.

    When was the last time Buck or Pat EVER criticized a move by Gibbons or a player? Jerry Howarth called out Jose Reyes for his defense and the Dynamic Duo responded by defending Jose’s play vehemently. Buck called him “one of the best fielding shortstops in the league” more than once….and then Reyes got traded and Buck and Pat are falling all over themselves praising Tulo for his defense and bragging what a major upgrade he is on the field. I find this to be dishonest…I actually was a fan of Reyes but even I could see he’d slipped defensively. Saying he was strong in this area was insultiong, hurt their credibility and it was hilarious how quickly the narrative changed once Reyes was shown the door

    You can say the same for the Raps…jack and Leo NEVER complained about the Raptors d last year but, when they made a number of changes over the summer to address once of the worst defensive units in the league, they were on the airwaves lauding Massai for addressing this deficiency. I have friends who aren’t basketball people but got caught up in the Raptors success and started watching games the past two years. They are always shocked when I talk about how poor the Raptors are defensively and wondered allowed “why don’t the announcers talk about this?” Jack and Leo also complimented Rudy Gay and Bargnani vociferously until they got traded and then started throwing barbs.

  49. Anthony says:

    ‘You can say the same for the Raps’

    Thats because, at their core, most if not all home town broadcasters are pandering to the home audience. Must we bring up Dennis Eckersley defending Buchholz

    Its just part of the gig

    If I spend more then a few minutes thinking im sure I could find similar situations on other broadcasts, you see it on MLBTV all the time.

  50. Sperk says:

    @Anthony I completely agree with you that this may be a phenomenon that you see in all markets. But, in my opinion, it’s not a good thing

    I okay with “homer” broadcasters who cheer for the teams…as you said, they are pandering to their audience. I also don’t need them be overly critical just to bring attention to themselves…ie. Gregg Zaun. What I dislike is what amounts to lying to the audience that Reyes was an “elite” defender, the Raptors’ play in the second half of last year meant a long playoff run, Rudy Gay wasn’t taking selfish shots and Andrea Bargnani’s effort level was okay. And then to top it off, these same people then criticize these players the second they are out the door for the same reasons they defended them a few months earlier.

    I think it stems from either media conglomerates owning teams and/or the teams paying the announcer thereby controlling the message.

  51. Dave in Bolton says:

    Interesting that Gord Kirk is on the round table today can’t remember the last time he was on. Wonder if It’s the Nelson Milman affect

  52. alex says:

    I figured it was dog days of summer, with people on vacation, at skydome or at the tennis.

    • mike (in boston) says:

      No new column today, so feel free to use this place to criticize Gibby for leaving Price in too long and then bringing in a guy who doesn’t strike out many batters when the Yanks had runners on 2nd and 3rd

  53. (Another) Andrew says:

    Ha, the guy I was watching with criticized Gibbons for taking Price off! But he’s a bandwagon jumper who doesn’t watch a lot of baseball.

    This week Rogers shunted much of their men’s tennis tournament onto the crappy Sportsnet 360, which is also not as widely available as Sportsnet One. Obviously there is a time conflict with baseball and the latter will take priority, but why is the women’s tournament also getting priority over the men’s when it gets poorer ratings? I think both the matches that Raonic and Pospisil were eliminated were on 360.

  54. Dan says:

    Both channels pretty much have the same availability according to Wikipedia, so your theory is a wash. (6.1m vs. 5.9m)

  55. Kamlesh says:

    “David Shoalts ‏@dshoalts · 20h20 hours ago
    As I enjoy this view in PEI, word comes that BCE is no longer part-owner of Globe. Attention Mr Cox: TSN dead to me.”

  56. Anthony says:

    ‘No new column today, so feel free to use this place to criticize Gibby for leaving Price in too long and then bringing in a guy who doesn’t strike out many batters when the Yanks had runners on 2nd and 3rd’

    Hes won 11 in a row, i think he’s earned some rope 😉


    No arguments, the only thing that Ill suggest is that those who seem to think that its a Rogers only thing don’t really have a great grasp for what’s been said around the league. As an example, was watching the Indians/Yaknees game on the Cleveland broadcast during the week. Giovanny Ursela worked a walk, they spend 30 seconds saying how he has a great eye and isn’t afraid to take pitches to draw a walk. He has 9 walks in 192 at bats, 40 strikeouts. I don’t think Cleveland owns its broadcasts rights, no owner interference here, just a bad/fluffy analysis.

    I honestly believe that its a two fold issue,

    1. Hometown guys know that they need to ‘pander’ to the lowest common denominator type, the average fans who just want to enjoy a game. They know the hardcore sabermetrics types are going to watch regardless. They make everything feel great because thats what they do. Dean Brown in Ottawa, Joe Bowen in Toronto, Hawk in Chi town, its all the same.

    2. Its really hard to call a game and come up with instant analysis. Thats where there’s so few Dan Shulman types out there. Sometimes people say things that they didn’t really mean/understand and there are no edits on live TV.

    End of the day I don’t really care, I just don’t think its a Toronto issue, its a sports issue.

  57. Sam in Scarb says:

    @ Anthony
    For the most part i agree with your comments.
    I think the problem with Pat & Buck on tv is quite simple.
    BOTH are just not very good !!

    AS i have said many times i watch the Jays all the time with the mute button on.
    Anything you need to know is on the cluttered screen anyways.

    That being said ,I was at a gathering Friday evening with a bunch of NEW in the past 2 weeks Blue Jay fans….

    The sound was up..OMG Buck & Pat are terrible..

    Buck TALK ENGLISH .. the count may be 2 & 2 NOT chew and chew!!!
    & clearly when a team brings say a reliever in to pitch there is a long pause and he reads the stats (given to him) like a 3 rd grader presenting his/her first ever project on bugs.

    And Tabler ..he does say phuck all of anything relevant at all…

    Friday,count 3-2 he don’t say phuck,then a base hit and he says “he’s a good low ball hitter”

    Or when a base is stolen he pipes up..”ya know he is a good base steeler”

    The screen is cluttered with more info than needed!!

    Those “chew” guys are not.

  58. Curt says:

    I genuinely fear for Buck if the Jays win the division. I hope they have a defibrillator in the booth and that Pat or Scott are trained to use it.

    Regarding the cluttered screens on the SN broadcasts, the entire thing seems to me like a 3 hour Honda commercial with some baseball crammed in here and there.

  59. FMW says:

    This entire city, teams, fans, “media” just have no idea how to handle winning. Every little success they start beating their chest like they won the championship. From Jamie Campbell ridiculous broom. To media members wondering if Jays will win a 100 games. With Wilner himself saying they Jays can “run away” with the division.

    So the Jays are 2/3 away from getting swept by the Yankees, and of course the fans are freaking out and of course the media and Wilner is mocking the sh*t. But is it any more ridiculous after the Jays swept Yankees last week and the media (including Wilner) push that this consistent 500 is now a “great team” that’s World Series favorite and “run away” division best.

    The media feed this over-the-top reaction, They over-hype the winning streak and the sweep of the Yankees so when it goes the other way of course you get the over-the-top reaction the other way. Than the same media types (Wilner in particular) get all preachy about staying calm.

    Here’s what I know. The last coupole of seasons they Jays had big winning streaks followed by a hard crash to earth and huge slumps. They have also underachieved the last couple of season including last season having a super strong start and fall off quickly. Last couple of seasons also has Gibbons as manager who never been much more of a 500 manager. Can they make the playoffs? Sure. But I would never consider them “favorite” until they get it done.

  60. William D says:

    BCE divesting of it’s stake in print media is a no brainer. Print is not on it’s way out the door it’s gone and the door is shut. Anytime now you’ll probably be hearing a simular announcement regarding Rogers and it’s print media baggage like sportsnet magazine, As Kevin O Leary would say it’s time to take it behind the barn a shoot it.

  61. Ami Angelwings says:

    I haven’t been listening to Prime Time Sports consistently since the beginning of 2015 because of the lack of Brunt and how Ken Reid is seemingly on all the time, so I might have missed some developments in Bob’s life, but on Thursday’s show he said that “all four members” of his household watched the Blue Jays game. When did he have four members? I thought it was just him, his wife, and his daughter. Did his wife have another child? Did his mom move in with them? Did he adopt Neil Smith? Did he count his dog as a household member? Did the rooster come back? Does anybody know who the fourth member of his household is?

  62. Nanaman says:


    I am probably wrong, as I only catch a few minutes of PrimeTime each week.

    However, I do recall Bob mentioning a step-son when he was discussing memorabilia.

  63. Alex says:

    Perhaps the Chuck Cunningham of the Fadoo Bobcat household?

  64. mitch says:

    When Jamie Campbell pulled out the broom after the Yanks series and AGAIN after A’s, I actually genuinely felt sorry for him. For him to think of himself as ‘part of the team’ when they wouldn’t recognize him on the street is sad and pathetic.
    After the Jays loss on Saturday, I had a long drive so decided to give Jays talk an honest chance. Literally, caller #2, Wilner called him an idiot. So I had to stop listening.
    The problem with homerism (Wilner, Dean Brown, even Andy Frost) isn’t necessarily their allegiance, its the belittling of others with different views. that’s the problem. You can be a smart homer, or you can be the guys above.

  65. Anthony says:


    To be fair, that caller WAS an idiot lol. I can’t remember the context of what he said, but I remember being frustrated by the fact they let him go on for so long. I think 5/6 other callers eluded to the same. Im not a Wilner fan but end of the day he’s dealing with the common fan who don’t always seem to have a great understanding of how baseball works.

  66. Wally says:

    “You can be a smart homer, or you can be the guys above.” – Mitch

    Agree 100%. I believe this distinction is missed by many individuals who would rather clump homerism and negative stereotypes together.

    I also am finding that most people don’t take the entire body of work of various personalities but rather pick and choose specific instances of homerism and jump on them for being “always a homer”. I can see why a guy like Wilner gets slack since he seems to never sit back and fully listen to the point of callers but rather enforce his opinion to the listeners. But looking at individuals such as Matt Devlin, Bob Cole or Luke Wileman to me these are homers done correctly as they have been critical of the home team while still calling the games in with a noticeable lean towards the home team.

    Buck and Pat are unique. I do see them trying to defend mistakes the Blue Jays make very often and that does get annoying but once again in the flow of a normal baseball game I think the 2 are just fine at what they do. Making jabs at Buck’s speech I feel is quite immature and really grasping for something to hate on. Looking at the entire spectrum of sports commentators there are a few that are flawless in their delivery (Dan Shulman comes to mind). Yes Buck has an interesting way of saying certain words but at the end of the day the information is conveyed and the game continues.

  67. yaz says:

    Aug 17 today. Leafs lunch still only has up to Aug 11 on their iTunes Pods – same on their Website. Disgraceful. All other TSN shows up to date.

  68. (Another) Andrew says:

    Both channels pretty much have the same availability according to Wikipedia, so your theory is a wash. (6.1m vs. 5.9m)

    It wasn’t so much a theory as a question. Even if almost as many people have SN 360 it is not as appropriate for a major sporting event with Canadian content as SN One due to the annoying ticker taking up part of the screen. (BTW I’m not with Rogers cable but when I went down to a lower tier package for the summer I still got SN One, all the regionals, and four out of five TSNs but not SN 360, so I assumed it was not as widely available).

    CBC’s weekend coverage was quite good. When the finals overlapped a bit streaming at was available for all.

    When did he have four members? I thought it was just him, his wife, and his daughter.

    Maybe he’s spent so much time with Ken Reid this year he included him in his household.

  69. yaz says:

    On a streaming note: We all know 590s AM signal is much stronger than TSN1050s, BUTTT, when I am listening to the live feed from their respective Apps on my iPhone wifi ( not the Podcast, the live feed) the 590 shows work throughout my house but the TSN feed won’t work in the downstairs bathroom or laundry room. Shouldn’t wifi equally affect any signal????

  70. Sam in Scarb says:

    Soo I come inside on this hott day to enjoy some air.
    Flip on Tim & Sid see Ian Legget on..OMG
    Curly,Larry or Moe has a better grip on golf than him!!
    PTS see Hazel Mae’s husband (You want one person,ya gota hire the other).
    Again OMG
    Clearly there are many more digital photos of Nelson Millman helping a few baby sheep over a five foot wire fence out there than we can imagine.

  71. Mike S says:

    I guess Steve Simmons listens to 590 in his spare time

    When he was co-host on Naylor’s show on 1050 late last week he made reference to Richard Deitsch comparing the current American League East baseball race to a horse race…………..that Deitsch quote came from his 590 appearance earlier in the week on PTS

  72. Nelson Millman says:

    Hey Sam….I’m allergic to sheep. So that’s not it. Guess again.

  73. Reggie says:

    3 words that make me change the station; Clifton in Etobicoke.

  74. William D says:


    I’ll do better. Eddie in fort Erie.

  75. FMW says:

    I don’t have a problem with homerism if you are own it and true to yourself. IF that’s your act and accept it and people know it. That’s fine (I am not a fan but I can accept it)

    What I can’t take is jerks who are total homers but act above it. Guys who are portrayed as “experts” but only hype up the local team and blinded at the ability of other teams. Who talk down to anybody who looks at the team with a more critical eye by accusing them of “just being a negative fan” that turns out the negative fans are more accurate than the cheer-leading “expert”

    On a different topic the current TSN radio morning show is so much better than anything the Fan is putting out at the same time.

  76. alex says:

    Dombrowski to boston.

    One radio topic gone.

  77. Sperk says:

    @alex Please don’t tell me that this means more time for “Deflategate”…the worst non-story ever. Listening to this unfold is like listening to paint dry

  78. Mike S says:

    I guess we won’t be hearing Jonah Keri on 590 much anymore………he was just a guest on 1050 and they mentioned that he now has an association with them…………maybe it will be similar to the arrangement 1050 has with Dirk Hayhurst

  79. Daniel says:

    @ MIke S – you’re sure that wasn’t Keith Law? They just announced an association with him the other day.

  80. Daniel says:

    @ Mike S – Oop. My bad – you’re right. Look like it was Keri. The Fan will miss Keri a lot. (like they do Law). Really like hearing the opinion of those stat minded guys. Used to go out of my way to listen to Keri interview on Blair or PTS.

    You know, since the Jays are drawing these record audiences, eclipsing even Maple Leaf games … shouldn’t Sportsnet be investing a little more in its baseball media team perhaps? There’s plenty of Jays talk, but really not that many voices. Hearing a lot of Davidi, Wilner and Zaun. Can’t for the life of me understand why they let Hayhurst go.

  81. Daniel says:

    Also – as a big Jays fan – kudos to TSN for ramping up their coverage. I remember when they started up they kind of ignored the Jays (and heavily covered the Argos, it seemed, instead). They’ve definitely got me switching over more often knowing there’ll be Jays talk a fair bit now. Plus Law, Keri, Shulman, Hayhurst are all arguably better than anyone The Fan talks to about baseball these days.

  82. Dan says:

    Yeah, Wheeler is trash. Never listened to him on radio, but hearing him on other properties occasionally and used to follow him on Twitter, he would just spew hot garbage, especially when it comes to TFC and soccer.

  83. William D says:


    Dirk was not enough of a homer. Zaun would have been turfed as well, the word is Zaun was spoken to about his ranting. Dirk chose not to be mentored by Wilner.

  84. William D says:

    Wow is anyone listening to Perkins and Buck. These two are about to sign up to brawl is Summer Slam.

  85. alex says:

    Funny to hear simmons call their hour long segment with feschuck and griffin as a roundtable.

    590 is using way too many of the jays broadcast team to fill segments: too much buck on pts lately. Buck and Siddell both today.

  86. AP says:

    How long has it been since McCown gave up his stance of no athletes on his show? I saw the Nurse siblings today, but I think he’s had some Jays recently.

  87. alex says:

    He also the girl who won that lpga event on yesterday. I nade a joke about her being on to the pts twitter about it and they pointed out daniel beiere had been on earlier in show. Although always says athletes become better guests once they retire.

    Also, keri confirmed tsn exclusivity on twitter a few minutes ago.

  88. Mont from London Ont says:

    @William D
    Dirk chose not to be mentored by Wilner.
    Is this true? Wilner couldn’t teach a kid
    how to make the Blue Jay Kool-Aid – What a joke
    Wilner is – Only it seems he doesn’t realize it-

  89. Dogpounder says:

    I thought Chris Colabello on Bob’s show last week was excellent. Very well spoken and well thought out answers.

  90. William D says:

    @ Mont From London Ont

    I was being facetious about Dirk not wanting to be mentored by Wilner.
    The reason why is because, Mike has got to be top ten in terms of the biggest homers to cover a team in pro sports and it’s over the top ridiculous. Dirk was the complete opposite, he was exactly what the broadcast team needed, someone realistic, especially when the team or a player played poorly. Mike uses advanced stats to consistently extrapolate positive points regardless of how the team is playing, it’s a cop out.

  91. Darrell Samuels says:

    Wilner doing a Jays recap on a sports update on the FAN 590 about the latest Blue Jays game is proof enough that he is a homer!

  92. William D says:

    TSN has ramped up it’s baseball coverage. Rogers isn’t close in terms of the experts.


    Jona Kerri*
    Dan Shulman*
    Scott Mcarthur*
    Dirk Hayhurst*

    Sportsnet (Sadly)

    Buck Martinez
    Jamie Campbell
    Ken Rosenthal*
    Gregg Zaun
    JP Morosi*
    Jeff Blair
    Kevin Barker(Awful)

    Sportsnet has a long way to go, yet their the rights holders, pretty sad.

  93. FMW says:

    Something I been thinking for a while is how much better TSN radio baseball coverage is compared to Fan. Hayhurst is a great mix of smart and entertaining. Scott Macarthur is a good “straight man”/host. Gregor Chisholm from is a solid writer and guest. Of course Dan Shulman is a legend and the IMO best in the entire business.

    You look at what Fan has. Blair is pretty good, Zaun can be entertaining at small amounts and at least rocks the boat. I will give Howarth “legends status” and he’s been more willing to speak his mind. But the rest of the crew is either really bad (Wilner, Campbell) or just kinda generic and boring.

    A couple of days ago McCown on PTS had Joe Siddall and Buck Martinez as guests on different times, when he ran down the guest list he asked “WE have Siddall and Buck? Are they going to have different of opinions?” I was thinking bullseye, everyone except maybe Zaun have always the exact same opinion on everything.

    Off topic but I been really like Taggart and Bastl in the mornings. That is a fun mix.

  94. yaz says:

    Haven’t missed the high pitched ‘Grim Reaper’ from Grimsby since the last Andy Frost post Leafs game show on AM640

  95. Reggie says:

    I did not enjoy listening to Pts today. I found Arash to be over the top with his negativity again and again. John Shannon needs to be better prepared, accepting pay for his sportsnet performances is close to the crime of the century.

  96. Anthony says:

    ‘I found Arash to be over the top with his negativity again and again’

    That’s kinda his gimmick, no? Sid has faul over the top outrage, Bob has the jerk sports jock, Arash the over the top negative. Reid the zany over the top radio DJ. Everyone has their ‘thing’, Arash, who seems to be a nice enough guy off the mic, has his ‘sky is falling’ radio routine.

  97. Robert says:

    @William D

    Don’t forget some other regulars on TSN:

    Keith Law
    Steve Phillips
    Richard Griffin
    Scott Ferguson

    On the other hand, they also have Warren Sawkiw, fortunately not very often.

  98. Dogpounder says:

    Steve Phillips is the Gord Stellick of MLB.

  99. I've says:

    Very nice post.

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