Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

October 24th, 2015 | by mike (in boston)
Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition
business of sports

photo credit: Sad Walks


by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount at gmail


Well, that sucked. Dalton Pompey did everything to become this city’s Dave Roberts but the offence could not get him home. In future weeks we can discuss whether AA deserves blame for not having built a better bullpen for the playoffs. But for now let’s just revel in the season that was. No one will ever be able to take that 7th inning away from us. On to this week’s column.


5 Questions with David Alter (National Post)


David very generously agreed to talk with me about his new role, how it compares with his last job, and how he sees this year’s Leafs. Here is our conversation:


Have you noticed any major differences in being a beat reporter for a newspaper rather than a radio station?


Yes. With a newspaper there are deadlines involved. But also you have to learn to be less concise and more compelling in terms of telling a story. With radio there was more of a “news of the day” component where my job was to break the news. With a newspaper you have to hammer home why what you’re saying is important to your readership. That’s been the biggest difference. With radio I was mostly focused on analysis of what’s going. With reporting for a paper it’s story telling along with news, analysis, and establishing importance. So there’s a couple more elements.


Do you enjoy having this kind of flexibility in terms of the job?


Definitely. When I grew up I wasn’t really focused on writing … I studied economics at Western and then fell into broadcasting, which I really enjoyed. At the FAN, I was doing Leafs reports but a lot more things too. At the Post they are going to have me do a video and multimedia component as well, so there are some new elements but a lot of it is similar.


As a writer you report to an editor, and as a radio station employee you reported to a Program Director. Is there a difference there? 


Huge. With a PD their biggest concern is keeping the station afloat, and so their #1 priority becomes the shows and the producers, because that is where the books are created. So everything else becomes a B or C to that goal. A PD is always worried about growing from the previous ratings book. With a sports editor, it’s more direct … my job has more importance because the content I’m providing is priority #1. It’s more of a coach-QB relationship; my role was much smaller under the previous job.


By the time I was done at the FAN, I was doing 45 seconds voicers for updates. That went to 40 seconds, to 35, to 18 without a sound byte, to 18 seconds with a sound byte. So you can imagine how little you can get across within that little window. I had the chance to blog on Sportsnet but when they have so many other voices who are all very good, being a radio guy means you’re not going to get as much attention.


Lots of people who read TSM are trying to get in to the business so I wanted to ask about your career path. You worked your way into being a beat reporter by doing a bunch of other work at the FAN. What do you think made them choose you? 


It was definitely a job I wanted. I started at the FAN in Dec ’06 as a part-time employee. From that point for the next 5 years I never said no to anything. I tried to make myself into the best employee I could be … even if I wasn’t the 1st choice I was the most convenient choice. Sometimes that matters a lot … being in the right place at the right time. They did what they did with Howard Berger, and I applied but they gave the job to Dan Dunleavy, who then got a better offer and went to do play by play. So it fell together very quickly.


Phil Kessel became a lighting rod for controversy last year. Some media members thought he was responsible in part for a lack of professionalism in the locker room and in dealing with the media. What were your experiences with Phil?


It was OK. I remember when he came over he was fine, but over time he became the way people saw in terms of his interview style. For me, even on his best days he didn’t really have much to say but it didn’t bother me. If someone doesn’t want to talk I can always find a different way to tell the story. Could he have been more chatty? Sure, but I never had a problem with Phil. Sometimes you have to know when to press and when to lay off.


In your time covering the Leafs have you noticed athlete-media relations changing for the worse?


As you get more experience, you get better stuff from athletes. When I was at the FAN they cared mostly about getting the quote of the day so you end up sticking a big microphone in people’s face a lot of the time. And that’s not a pleasant experience for a lot of people. If you put the everyday person in front of the camera, they are not going to be themselves. So for me I would try to find the guy no one was paying attention to and pull him aside, and you get better stuff that way. It’s not getting worse; people have to be smarter about how they do their jobs, and build trust.


Does that suggest that there is a kind of value that beat reporters are uniquely situated to provide?


100%. Part of my disagreements with the FAN stemmed from when they took me off the road. It took away from that ability to develop relationships. If they don’t see you then it doesn’t stick in their heads that you’re committed. When you’re always there then they are more likely to pull back the curtain a bit. Especially on the road when they can’t duck away as much … you get a lot more candid responses when you’re on the road. I do think beat reporters need to exist. That’s where you get a lot of the stuff that you won’t see on camera. In the pack reporting environment it just conditions athletes to think more about what they are going to say, as opposed to just having a conversation. It’s more real and you get more of the real person. I can do more of that now that I’m in this job.


In addition to Phil’s departure, the management and coaching overhaul has been significant. Have you noticed a change in the locker room culture this season?


Yeah … people seem to be a bit more accountable in terms of being available and putting their best selves forward. That’s the influence of Babcock and Lou, who run a tight ship. But it’s early. The true selves will come out more as we move through the season.


One of the most tired media talking points is that the fans won’t accept a true rebuild. Do you think there’s truth to that?


The fans will accept a rebuild as long as the results are the right ones under a cap system. The real question will be about temptation. Will they feel the need to add someone if they are a bubble team around deadline time? But things look good so far … Nylander and Brown looked like the best guys in camp but they kept them with the Marlies for their benefit, and for the benefit of the build. Same with Marner. This is a reversal of past behaviour and I think fans see that. What fans won’t accept is going back to past mistakes.


You have been working in Toronto sports media during some pretty dark days. Even though you don’t cover the Jays, has their success made going to work more enjoyable?


It has been. One of the selfish things for me is that the pressure on the Leafs side is lower since the focal point has been on the Jays. And reporters enjoy winning too. That whole notion that reporters root for losing because it makes for a better story is not true. When guys are in a better mood you can get more compelling stories and it’s great. No one wants to carve the people they cover and winning allows you to write about a lot more things.




Thanks very much to David for his candid and insightful answers. I found his point about the way that radio stations value content really interesting, and one that I had not appreciated before. You can find him on Twitter here and read his stuff in the National Post here. If these questions did not satisfy your hunger, TorontoMike had David on his podcast.


Kayla Harris Leaves the Company


Dave Cadeau (FAN PD) has only been on the job a short while but he decided to shake up Blundell&Co by trimming the company down to just George Rusic and producer Ryan Fabro. You’ll recall this is the same trio that brought you laughing about fans dying at stadiums in recent weeks. Leaving are Kayla Harris (sports updates) and paid intern “Johnnie” who was a regular part of the show.


When Blundell’s show was launched on the FAN back in March the press release touted the diverse voices that would be represented, including not one but two females. (It turned out one of those voices was long time traffic reporter Halina Balka.) This announcement generated mixed emotions for those of us who think there should be more women hosting and guesting on Toronto’s sports radio airwaves. On the one hand, it was great the station was hiring from within and adding a woman to a prominent show. On the other, they were adding a woman to a show hosted by someone who has been sanctioned during his career for misogyny.


As it turned out, Kayla’s role was not very prominent and she quickly settled into being a traditional sports anchor, giving listeners the updates at the top and bottom of the hour. So, despite all the promotion about varied voices, the staffing of Blundell&Co did not push the cause of gender diversity forward. This is hardly a damning complaint, since the rest of the industry is guilty of the same charge, but the PR surrounding the show did give observers some reason to think they were going to try to be more inclusive. They didn’t try very hard.


The decision to let her go raises many questions. First, why make this move? If the issue is cost, I can’t see how this saves much money. If it’s about ratings, I can’t see that this will make a difference. If it’s about shaking up the culture of the show, this doesn’t achieve that objective at all since her role was so minor. So I don’t really get the logic here. Second, is this a prelude to more significant changes? Everyone in the industry with whom I have spoken agrees that Cadeau has one move and one move only when it comes to saving Blundell’s show: change the co-host and bring in someone with a high profile who can raise the sports IQ. I have no antipathy towards Rusic … he earned this job through his hard work at the station … but even he knows that he wasn’t the first or second choice. So maybe this is just the first of a series of moves. We will have to wait and see.


Overall I’m sad for Kayla that this ended so quickly. To be honest, this feels like a merciful end to a poorly executed concept. They should have given her a bigger role. Here’s hoping for better things in the future. I’m also sad for Ryan Walsh that his household is no longer fully employed by Sportsnet. That has to make things a little awkward around the office. But I’m also disappointed that in 2015 the best either station could muster was a few appearances of Kate Beirness on TSN1050, and yet another female voice doing little more than sports updates. The industry can do better and should do better.


Over to you: Will you miss Kayla on Blundell’s show? Does anyone even remember when Mary Ormsby used to be on PTS? Should TSN give Beirness a radio show?


Quick Hits


TSM has been tweeting that job cuts are coming to the Canadian media scene as recent data show that cord cutting continues. The same is true at ESPN with Bloomberg reporting that the company is looking to trim its roster in light of recent cable subscriber losses.


At the same time, ESPN continues to throw gigantic mounds of money at Stephen A. Smith, who recently “threatened” NBA superstar Kevin Durant. It’s got to suck to be a hard working staffer and see your position axed while that guy remains gainfully employed.


Christine Dobby at the Globe is reporting that “Rogers added 24,000 Internet customers while shedding 31,000 cable-television subscribers and 14,000 home-phone customers” in Q3 while also adding “77,000 new postpaid wireless subscribers in the three-month period ended Sept. 30.” When you combine that with the revenue jump from the Jays, things are looking good at Rogers. Look for their radio and TV numbers to benefit as well this fall.


This financial picture is also good news for Rogers’ NHL coverage, since it has sheltered that TV property from scrutiny after ratings fell below expectations in the 1st year. Shoalts had a piece detailing the small changes being made for year 2.


The National Post continues to lose money, although less than in the past. Paul Godfrey tells us “the year ahead will see us leveraging our new scale and launching expanded product and service offerings to Canadian audiences and marketers.” Great.


Michael Grange has a very nice piece on Mark Buehrle with some really great quotes. One gets the sense from reading Grange’s work that people really like talking to him. He has fallen off the PTS map for the most part, but maybe with the Brunt co-host shake-up we will hear more Grange in the future. The content is reliably good and he is an under-utilized asset at Sportsnet.


Low Hanging Fruit


  • I had the misfortune of catching TSN’s fantasy football commercial featuring Chris Shultz and others. That thing is an embarrassment for all parties. It looks like someone’s teenage son was put in charge of the project.


  • I’m never a fan of the line “just stick to sports” when it is directed to athletes airing their political views, but I am a big fan when it is said to sports media members on Twitter during an election. For the love of God, start a blog for that stuff.


  • TSN’s The Reporters is moving to Mondays, and shifting from a live show to a taped format. Do you care? People at TSN have made a very big deal about this. Was this appointment viewing for many of you? (0 comments on the linked video as of this morning)


  • Driving around yesterday I tuned in to the 9am hour of Blair and Brunt. If you are paying Brunt a huge salary to do radio, why on earth would you make him take calls? I can’t think of a bigger waste of his time, and ours.


  • With the Jays season ending, the full court print media press will also come to an end and writers like Arthur, Kelly, Brady, Rosie, and others will return to their normal range of topics and regular beats. Good thing or bad thing? Have you enjoyed having this many people writing about the Jays? Has anyone’s work stood out?




thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)


  1. mario says:

    Thanks for a great read.. I just for the life of me can not figure out why with all the money all media company’s make they nickel and dime their employees with job cuts? I guess that’s why they have all that money..

  2. yaz says:

    I like The Reporters and counted it as regular Sunday viewing. But too often it was pushed to a later time or not on at all due to soccer or some damn thing. Even my PVR with its ‘this day in any time slot’ setting often missed it. Hopefully, wherever it lands, it is a regular time slot. Don’t care if it is taped – will likely lead to a more consistent panel.

    Re Alter – too many sports radio/print personalities in this town went to Western.

  3. rob j says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how the hosts react to the jays collapse vs KC. Every personality I heard picked the jays to win. I doubt none will give credit to the Royals and most will focus on the meaningless ‘anything can happen in the playoffs, its a crapshoot’ meme.

  4. rob j says:

    Oops, I meant ‘I believe none would give credit to the Royals’. After all, when Texas made 3 errors in game 5, all the attention was on the Bautista homer. Yet when Goins bailed on the catch in game 2 of the alcs, none of the focus was on KC’s bats.

  5. Alex says:

    It seems thursday and Friday, folks on 590 were laying seeds of blame on price and dickey, aka guys who likely will be gone next season.

    And most people were very defensive of “Gibby”, their pal.

    I wonder if they will throw Anthopolous under the bus if he leaves town.

  6. Dale says:

    I wish that Gibby would have gone over to KC dugout to congrats to Yost That would have good sportsmanlike behaviour. Responses please

  7. GreyCountyMike says:

    No doubt, the “Gibby” love-in will continue for most if not all Toronto media members, whether they are the Jays’ beat folks or the bandwagon jumpers like DiManno and Kelly.

    To the latter point, and referencing mikeinboston’s final question, Arthur did solid work on the Jays … DiManno came across as a fan and wannabe sports writer … and Kelly, well, it’s truly difficult to define exactly what he has brought to the market of late. His role at the Globe is just plain bizarre.

  8. Steph says:

    Had gibbers walked over to shake hands he would have been the first manager in the history of baseball ( to my knowledge) to do such a thing. Also: yost fired him a few years back.

  9. Daniel says:

    It’s disappointing we didn’t win a World Series, but I don’t know why anyone would complain about making it to Game 6 of the ALCS and falling to a great team in KC (who were a run away from a World Series last year).

    There was no collapse. KC is just a great team who played a bit better.

    World Series or not, this was a great year all fans can look back fondly on.

  10. Rob in Aurora says:

    I think it’s rather funny to comment on TSN TV ads without pointing out help pathetic sportsnets are for their NHL coverage… Every ad on Sportsnet is horrible. I’m finding more and more this blog is focused on Sportsnet and the fan. Maybe change the title to “lets discuss the Fan”

    I never have nor will I ever listen to Dean Blundell but there seems to be a preoccupation with little details of his show.

    With respect to women on sports radio, there are very few good men personalities, so there’s no point in force feeding us female personalities for the sake of affirmative action. Let’s just find good ones regardless of gender Kate Bierness was mediocre at best on TSN Radio. She is pretty and does a great job was reading the script on sportscerntre. It doesn’t make her a good radio personality… (her voice is very trumpet like).. Brian Hayes has invited a few of the female SportsCenter staff members onto his show (why don’t you know this?). They offen state that their late night schedules doesn’t allow them much time for daytime radio appearances.

    …..and once and for all: Where the hell is Bob Mackowicz?

  11. Daniel says:

    The baseball playoffs are a crapshoot. Look how often wild card teams win, and teams with the best records/run differential fall short.

    Biggest playoff crapshoot of all 4 major sports by far, I’d say.

  12. Chris says:

    Hey Rob, want to know why everyone here focuses on Sportsnet and the fan? They hold the TV and Radio rights for anything of importance in this market. People bitch about it because it’s what they tune into.

  13. Claire A Fye says:

    @Chris Not true Chris. I’m listening to the Leafs on 1050 right now, and will soon be hearing the Raptors there too. And TSN does do Leaf and Raptor TV as well. It’s interesting to me that you, or anyone else, would think that’s important. Sports radio is to talk about the games, and in my opinion anyway, there’s less cheerleading on TSN than there is on The Fan.

  14. Dogpounder says:

    Simmons, Arthur, Kelly, and Rosie reporting on the Jays was not enjoyable. Some of those post game presser questions were embarrassing.

  15. Dogpounder says:

    As usual, Mike Wilner was excellent during the playoff run.

  16. Not that Chris says:

    You can listen to those games on 1050 (if you’re in metro TO) sometimes, they don’t have all of them. You say there’s less “cheerleading” on TSNR? I’ll take your word for it, because I don’t listen to the station, and their ratings suggest nobody else does, either.

  17. Jim Van Horne says:

    Interesting comments from David Alter regarding his rise up the ranks early in his career. So many young “wannabes” just graduating from broadcast schools (CSM, Ryerson et al)feel they deserve to be on a major network immediately. It’s that sense of entitlement that has become more prevalent in society.. They just don’t understand what it takes. “I know sports, therefore I belong.” Trouble is they don’t understand broadcasting and story telling. That’s why so many of them don’t make it at all.

  18. rob j says:

    Yes, ‘collapse’. From what I understand, just from the coverage, they lost about 3 times in the reg season since the July trade deadline, only to go 5-6 in the playoffs. But I’m sure it will all be justified and swept under the rug by the faithful Rogers employees Monday.

  19. Marcus says:

    Good Q&A with David Alter, well-chosen questions to stimulate those answers.

    Hopefully, Kayla left of her own accord to do something more meaningful with her career than just read headlines.

    I agree with @Rob in Aurora to have top-notch female personalities with solid sports backgrounds and presentation skills on the radio, but if we’re going to have equal opportunities for women, you’ll have to allow for some mediocre female personalities just as mediocre male personalities are currently allowed for.

  20. J Brown says:

    What ever happened to “Dangle Dials” on the Jeff Blair show? is Steve Dangle next to get shit canned?

  21. Darrell says:

    I am a New York Yankees fan. Totally not turning this into a gloating thing at all about the Blue Jays losing. I am growing increasingly frustrated with Sportsnet’s coverage of their hockey package – specifically Hockey Night in Canada. They have totally ruined it for me. I tune into HNIC to hear and watch a hockey game and hear from ‘the so called experts’ on the facets of the game. I could not care less what Don Cherry comes up with as reasons why the Toronto Blue Jays lost the series to Kansas City. Don’t get me wrong, but that avenue is for a ‘baseball’ game and with the likes of Jamie Campbell, Dan Shulman and others. I don’t tune into Hockey Night in Canada to hear what a former and extremely average NHL coach thinks about the Toronto Blue Jays. It is absolutely nauseating with the Sportsnet coverage of the Blue Jays and ramming it down the throat. I get it, they own the team but my goodness? Am I alone? Or does anyone else find it a little “too much overkill”?

  22. Mike V says:

    Rob j don’t be so facetious. Anyone can see that they lost many more than 3 games since July and followers of the sport should know that anything does happen in the playoffs, better teams lose to lesser ones all the time. This wasn’t a collapse.

  23. Jojo says:

    Re: collapse?

    Why even try to analyze it? Of course, everyone had their opinions, and I doubt you’ll change anyone’s mind. There are professionals who get paid big bucks to analyze and determine the next course of action, namely AA and Shapiro; so just take it for what it was… An exciting team who made a playoff run which because they didn’t win, ended in disappointment for many.

  24. Steve in Waterloo says:

    Equal opportunity – I’d like to see Evanka get an expanded role aside from being sidekick to Reid. The little I have seen of her in non highlight role has been impressive. I think she deserves a chance.

    Way to go Jays.
    I am tired of the endless promotion, but was willing to bear with it as long as the team was winning.

    Must say, the SLOW pace of play off baseball was getting nauseating.

  25. AP says:

    The Daniel and Henrik Sedin commercial with Elliotte Friedman and Christine Simpson is painful. And why is the Sedin eating fries. He’s a top flight athlete.

  26. Darrell says:

    I agree on Evanka Osmak – she is great!

  27. Alex says:

    The team with the best record beat the team wi the second best record. I wouldnt say Toronto collapsed, although they were hurt by some of their potent offense weapons regressing in a short series.

  28. rob j says:


    The demise of their potent offense was due to an incredible KC bullpen and some unbelievably in-depth scouting by the Royals starting in early Sept. Add that to the fact that KC knew Price’s tendencies re: his pitch selection and holding baserunners and the Tor media-fans are not giving the opposition enough credit (again).

  29. Mitch says:

    we need to accept that CBC and HNIC are no longer what they used to be, but instead just another company shilling for Rogers. Its understandable, but unfortunate.
    I’m ticked the Jays lost, but at least I don’t have to watch the human sleeping pill anymore before and after the games.
    Kate Beirness might be the only female from both sides who could host her own daily 3-hour radio show. Scratch that, not the only female, but sportcaster, period.

  30. Blue Jay Fan says:

    I thought it was extremely curious that the umpire factored themselves into some a key moment between the Jays and KC game 6, particularly speaking of the horrible strike call on Ben Revre which in essence changed the entire at bat ultimately leading to a strike out as oppose to a 3 and 1 count with 1 out and runners at second and third. To me it all boils down to dollars and what two teams appease the parties that are paying the bills (advertisers and fans). I’m certain that the jays do not maximize the mlb’s opportunity to cash in big in a world series as two big American baseball markets would, lets not forget ratings North of the border are irrelevant to the advertisers in the U.S. I hear umpire apologists say, the ump made 1 bad call vs the jays having several opportunities to cash in and I will grant them that, however my question to that is, if there are 15 opportunities for the jays and the umpire unfairly factors into one of those opportunities how do we know that the one that the umpire factored into would not have been the jackpot, my point is, no official in a baseball game has the right to interrupt any team opportunity to score especially by way of an absolute horrible call, the only acceptable interference by an official is by way of penalty(ejection), given the fact that it did happen in a crucial part of the game, definitely gives jays fans an argument. I’m sure the cynics were also talking about the graphic that fox put up during the game which advertised a forthcoming world series matchup with KC and NY, pretty disgusting act by fox if you ask me and also very tin foil ish. Definitely should raises some eyebrows. Whoever thought match fixing only happens in the soccer world think again. World Series+ Eyeballs + Advertisers – Canada= Billions

  31. rob j says:

    I’m glad the post alleging a conspiracy to oust the jays from post-season was composed by a commenter calling him-herself ‘Blue Jays Fan’ cause in my mind, every jays fan believes every single word haha.

  32. Blue Jay Fan says:

    @Rob J

    Boy was the fS1 graphic of the forthcoming matchup between KC and NY in the 7 inning of a 2 run game an honest mistake!!!!

    and maybe the umpire thought he saw a knee high pitch as oppose to the one that actually was about a foot off the plate and exactly at the batters letters,
    honest mistake in a one of the biggest games for the organization in twenty two years.

    Oh ya the U.S based fox reporters that pretty much said the jays got screwed based on their view of the replay, who cares about what they say, they just want the jays to advance.

    It’s all good
    besides it’s only being viewed by an entire country that has not seen playoff baseball for two decades.

    Why would I ever think that there is corruption in sports, there’s never been any drug use, gambling, betting, corrupt officials. that stuff doesn’t happen. Are jays fan ever ignorant.

  33. Mont from London Ont says:

    @Blue Jay Fan
    Do Toronto Blue Jays followers(I hesitate to call them fans)ever stop
    moaning and crying and blaming everybody else – They lost – Deal with it-

  34. Mitch says:

    if you think mlb is conspiring against your team, then stop watching.
    If you think MLB goes out of its way to screw the Blue Jays out of winning, then why exactly do you watch? If you know your team has no chance of going to WS, why bother?
    Go watch the CFL where its only Canadian teams.

  35. Darrell says:

    The Kansas City Royals did whine a lot this season – but it’s the pot calling the kettle black by Toronto Blue Jays fans. The fans of Toronto thought the team was destined to win the World Series and failed to see that as good a season as they did have this year, there were some failures on this roster. You ask any Toronto fan, almost all of them, had preconceived ideas that this team was destined for the World Series and no question…. WINNERS! In spite of the fact that the team made the playoffs for the first time in 22 years.

  36. Matty Zero says:

    Those last 2 pitches to Revere were not strikes! But, seriously, the foundation is there for the future. As a longtime baseball fan, I know that good pitching almost always trumps power bats come playoff time. Not getting to face the # 4 and 5 starters will slow down the bats.

    As for female hosts, or guests, just get the best regardless. The one thing I do not like about the Fan is the constant parade of Sportsnet-only guests.

  37. Carl A says:

    I like the idea of having a female involved in sports broadcasting but then we got to see & hear Erin Andrews on the baseball broadcast. Her voice can easily give you a headache and she seemed to be in over her head and lost at times. I did see her a few times on ESPN and it wasn’t a memorable moment in history. They should be qualified for the work.

  38. Blue Jay Fan says:

    I consistantly laugh at those sheep that pack the Rogers Centre or the ACC actually thinking that a championship is coming to the North anytime soon. If I am a league commissioner you bet I’m going to fix games through the officiating to ensure an exclusive all ammerican championship, it maximizes profits for your investors who are mostly american. Rogers/Bell or Mlse doesn’t loose anything if fixing is at play because the Rogers Centre or the ACC is packed all year long, merchandise is flying off the shelves and the jays inherit big bucks from revenue sharing not to mention a bump in ad revenue. The fans are the biggest losers in all of this, getting all emotionally invested and having spent massive amounts of money on merchandise and tickets. It’s not a surprise to me after the Jays game how “pissed” off Rogers media was at the strike zone or where they?
    Roger Lajoi took calls after the game and pretty much said off the top that he did not want to hear any negitivity and therfore fielded all Hurray for the jays calls despite what had just happend. This is simply Rogers bowing to the mlb and taking fans for idiots and moral victory lovers.
    After a demoralizing lose whether it’s the leafs,raptors, or the jays Rogers media shills are always trying to sell you on how exciting the game or the year was, in other words we love your money keep packing the stadium win or loose.

    Rogers is laughing all the way to the bank as revenue went up in all their businesses, pretty much from the domino affect of the jays. They lost nothing. Anyone that wants to think that the jays will get them next year or that the jays need better scouts or their young stars will take over the league soon is dreaming, the jays lose was pro sports in canada at it’s finest and the reaction by the fanbase is typical, oh we’ll get them next year. 20+ years and we’ll get em next year, the leafs 40 + years and we’ll get em next year raptors, oh ya nill. Over the years what has officiating done to the Toronto sports, A terrible no call against Wayne Grextsky in the 93 western finals leading to a L.A kings victory, 2. three apologies from the nba in a single year for poor officiating and missed calls, 3.Jose Bautista being a victem of the most bad calls in terms of strikes, etc.

    championships will be non exsitant in Canada in today’s World of large than ever american media, advertising and sponsorships.

  39. mike (in boston) says:

    There’s another thread on the Jays, so please put your thoughts about the umps and MLB and Rogers over there.

    There’s lots of other topics in this column — women in sports radio, Alter on working for a newspaper vs a radio station, the value of beat reporting, cord-cutting, a JVH comment about entitled youngsters, etc. — and I think readers would enjoy seeing those topics discussed.


  40. Franklin says:

    Cool thoughts by Alter. Glad to see him land on his feet after the FAN cut the beat reporter position. Huge mistake in my view.

    Anyone else interested in hearing Evanka & Reid take over the fan morning show? They have goood banter.

  41. alex says:

    Good idea.

    Its a daypart i never listen to and it would logistically remove him as a PTS co host. Win win.

  42. AP says:

    One thing about this playoff run is how all the non-knowledgeable fans started talking baseball.

    The Blue Jays were the favourite to win the World Series by the US media, not just Blue Jay media. The team, on paper, was that good. Your average Leaf fan can’t comprehend going into a playoffs with a team that good. Take away Brett Cecil and we came back to the pack. Drop in poor performances by the likes of Price and Donaldson and we were worse than KC.

    In terms of failure, management failed by relaxing the last couple of weeks of the season, and it almost lead to a loss to Texas. In fact we only won because of a rare three consecutive errors. That’s the stuff you won’t hear from our cheerleading media, or US media who didn’t watch the Jays in the regular season.

  43. Mont from London Ont says:

    @blue jays fan-
    Your post is tongue in cheek – Correct?

  44. Blue Jay Fan says:

    @Mont From London Ont

    I just take pro sports for the business it really is.

    Tongue and cheek?

    Which part of the previous post would be tongue and cheek?

    1. The fact that Rogers has cashed in Big win or lose.
    2. The fact that a sports enterprise (MLB)seeks to maximize it’s profits for it’s owners(by getting the best possible match)
    3. The fact that this “we’ll get em next year” thing has been going on for 40+years with the leafs and 20+ years with the jays.
    4. The fact that Rogers feels it has already built a winning team. (Not the players on the field but the massive fanbase that watched.
    5. The fact that the fox graphic advertising game 1 between KC and NY Mets was
    really suspicious.

    Are you Mont from London Ont or London England. Because newsflash North American professional sports has been exposed for corruption on many occasions. Not sure why potential corruption here would be so unbelievable.

  45. Mont from London Ont says:

    You can’t be serious with a post like this-
    “If I am a league commissioner you bet I’m going to fix games through the officiating to ensure an exclusive all ammerican championship, it maximizes profits for your investors who are mostly american.”
    For starters just how many people in MLB would have to be involved to fix the games? How many would keep their yaps shut after being offered all kinds of cash babes and drugs by the many gossip blogs to tell their stories –
    I am no fan of any pro sport because of the way they gouge the fans – However if the fans are acting like sheep someone will shear them – As a fan stop going to the game and watch it on TV – As soon as the turnstiles slow down prices will drop and the bottom line will be affected – I am/was not aware of the Fox ad you mention but don’t read conspiracy into everything-You have to face it tough at is – They lost and no conspiracy theory will change that – Tin foil hats are available at the box office-

  46. Dros says:


    If Fox put up that graphic, wouldn’t it be a conspiracy by them and not MLB?

    Also, the idea of “there’s always next year” has been a narrative for every losing team, in every sport, forever. It faaaaar preceded the Leafs being owned by Rogers and Bell.

    Lastly, what i’ll never, EVER understand about you sports conspiracy truthers is why on earth would a company that owns a team not want to put a championship team together? You talk about how they make all that money. Ya, you know what makes a company even MORE money? A championship! Like, exponentially more money. Don’t be so thick.

    I’ve read your comments on here for a while and you seem to pursue your own narratives at all costs, regardless of what logic tells you.

  47. Jack E says:

    Whoever allowed Eric Francis on PTS has to be fired. I didn’t think anyone could be worse than Reid and Shannon but here we are. Another hockey guy who can’t discuss other sports, so bad.

  48. Billyjoejimbob says:

    On every website everywhere in the world, there is a loser who ruins it for everyone else. This site is not immune.

  49. Blue Jay Fan says:

    “If Fox put up that graphic, wouldn’t it be a conspiracy by them and not MLB?”

    I guess what you think is that the MLB has no say in the editorials of the broadcast. Leagues always indirectly sway broadcast. Broadcasters are usually PR departments for the league so for you to say that this is a Fox conspiracy I would say is pretty naive. The NHL had an issue with Ron Mclean the next Rights holder “Rogers” had him removed as the host. The NFL has a concussion issue 99% of their rights holders never addressed it. If this was a fox thing wouldn’t that kind of embarrass the league. There was no apology from the league.

    “Lastly, what i’ll never, EVER understand about you sports conspiracy truthers is why on earth would a company that owns a team not want to put a championship team together? You talk about how they make all that money. Ya, you know what makes a company even MORE money? A championship! Like, exponentially more money. Don’t be so thick.”

    “I’ve read your comments on here for a while and you seem to pursue your own narratives at all costs, regardless of what logic tells you.”

    I’m not sure you realize but a championship does not make a team a boatload of more money, in the playoffs revenues are split between the league and the team as playoff is mostly league property
    Florida Marlins won a championship and the following year had to do a salary dump, the Edmonton oilers owner in the 80’s won six Stanley cups and Sold Wayne Grexty to the L.A Kings in 88. Arizona Diamondbacks won a world series in 01 and was bleeding cash and ultimately had to sell the team four years later. Jays won back to back titles in the early 90’s and Sold the team in 2000 as the team was bleeding cash and almost could not find an owner.

    No point in taking personal shots. My point which is not my own narrative but stories which has been reported on. Sport is a business and a entertainment product, a product which produces massive profits for networks, leagues and owners . The business model is no different than any business in Corporate America. Sport has the inclusion of betting, Money laundering, Drugs, bribes etc. Some of these things has been leaked out in spirts over it’s history. My points are not my narrative but things that have been reported on. If you are suggesting that there is no conspiracy in baseball or sport when there has been tons reported on over the history of sports, doesn’t that ignor logic?

  50. Blue Jay Fan says:

    Lastly @ Dros

    “Champioships make teams a lot of money”

    Leafs have not won a championship in nearly 40+ years yet are the richest team in the league by far and turn a massive profit every year. Championship or not their financial positon will always be an enviable one win or lose.

  51. Dros says:

    @Blue Jays Fan

    If you truly think that MLB hands marching orders to networks as to when to run a promotional board of a potential match-up, you’re way beyond having a debate with. It’s easy to be frustrated as a Jays fan, but to think that that’s the MLB pulling strings just isn’t a good look on Toronto fans.

    As for the point about the Leafs, you didn’t dispute at all what I said. All you did was repeat what we all already know.

  52. Antonio says:

    I don’t always agree with Francis but I find he’s opinionated and not afraid to say the politically incorrect thing. I thought he was very good on PTS last night.

  53. Blue Jay Fan says:


    you are completely manipulating my point. I have not said that the network are told by the league when to run promos, my point is that it’s funny that the league had nothing to say about the add being inappropriately run way before the outcome of the game(especially when that can definitely raise concerns about a pre-determined outcomes.) and the league did not address that outrageous strike call another thing that can raise concerns about pre-determined outcome especially given the fact that the call was made at a pivotal part of the game. I’m not saying the league should look at all strike calls but when it’s that outrageous, I think something should be addressed. How do those two occurrences look to a dedicated Toronto fan base?

    “It’s easy to be frustrated as a Jays fan, but to think that that’s the MLB pulling strings just isn’t a good look on Toronto fans”

    Fans in NBA and the NhL are extremely skeptical of the draft process conducted by the leagues. This does not reflect poorly on the fans, this is about a lack of trust and cynicism that fans have when it comes to the league and trying to line up their ducks to make money. This is also about previous questionable occurrences at the draft, that has even been deemed by media oulets as suspicious.

    “As for the point about the Leafs, you didn’t dispute at all what I said. All you did was repeat what we all already know”

    All you stated about this is that “we’ll get em next year goes beyond bell/rogers ownership which is stating the obvious. I spoke of bell and Rogers as they are the current owners using the same business model as previous owners, ultimately bamboozling the fan base always promising better the following year but limiting the most important resource.

    Your points seem to be driven by opinion and in some ways wanting to personal attack, I will end this debate. I certainly will not debate someone’s opinion especially when it is not backed by fact/examples that support point.

  54. Blue Jay Fan says:

    Lastly if you believe the leagues and networks do not have a relationship even after I have raised examples using NFL and NHL, than it’s possible that your interest is totally on the game a less on the happenings around it. I can’t help you there. Conflict of interest between leagues and networks have been a concern of fans forever, this is nothing new. If this possibility is so unbelievable to you, you may be totally out of the loop.

  55. Dros says:

    @Blue Jays Fan

    So, is your argument that leagues have it out specifically for people in Toronto, or just Canada as a whole? Is this an America vs. Canada thing?

    Why would MLB have to answer to some over-zealous person at FOX throwing up a promo board for a game too early? Jay Onrait already addressed the concerns in says that they had three promo boards made: One that said “Jays/Royals vs. Mets”, one that said, “Jays vs. Mets” and one that said, “Royals vs. Mets” and they put the wrong one up. Why would MLB have to address that?

    Also, you’ve stated that there is a connection between leagues and broadcasters and how everyone has it out for (certain?) teams in Canada. If this were true, do you think there’s any way in hell Bettman allows McDavid to go to the Oilers? Not.A.Chance.

    Lastly, your point about Rogers and Bell–THAT’S WHAT ALL OWNERS DO. Whether you’re owned by a single person or a corporation, you sell the idea of hope if your team finishes in the bottom half of the league. No one is going to come out and say, “Ya, stay away. This team sucks and will suck for 5-7 years.” Not going to happen. You paint me as the naive one, but I think that crown fits firmly upon your head here.

  56. Mike V says:

    Still can’t decide if BJF is satire or not.

  57. Blue Jay Fan says:

    For someone that sits there and says teams make a lot of championships with knowing that revenues are split is not really worth arguing with. Totally not worth arguing with.

    An over zealous person at fox, Is that what you were told or is that what you believe. That simplistic explanation is simply one that only a person who also thinks the WWE is real would believe, oh there is just four million viewers watching the broadcast and oops a zealous employee throws up a promo about a matchup which has not yet been determined in the seventh inning of a big game involving a team which has not yet been eliminated and the explanation is that a zealous employee is responsible. Good Lord, honestly. Are you that sold out to media, and if that’s not enough you ask why would the league need to address that. Oh that’s easy to quash the notion of a pre-determined outcome. Oh sorry fans like you believe that the sport is totally honest and 100% respectful of the fan base. The league is so innocent, isn’t it, what happened in the steroids era, I guess you feel that if the league knew they would suspend players, because the league does the right thing, despite evidence to the contrary.

    Mcdavid went to Edmonton simply because Rogers has national and Regional coverage on Edmonton games which would give Connor Mcdavid max exposure and puts and end to the PR nightmare in Edmonton. Connor in Edmonton also renew the rivalry between Edmonton and the up and coming Calgary flames, this was a great move for the league. Connor is in a place that will maximize profits for everyone. NHL, Rogers, Oilers, Calgary. this absolutely does not mean the Stanley cup is coming to Canada, but the team will still benefit and so will the Canadian media. The fans loose as ticket price will likely increase and the team will be just as bad.

    About Bell and Rogers and any other sports owners in Canada. They’ve continued to sell hope and put out average teams for the most part, yet annually laugh all the way to the bank, despite not winning a championship.
    They depend on the sheep like you that stay interested

    I’m done

    Good Luck on blowing your brains out waiting for another championship in Toronto. My Condolences for you viewpoint of fox. You better off tuning into the WWE.

  58. Pudge72 says:

    Sorry @BlueJayFan…as disappointed as I am at the Jays season ending, and as nauseating as it is to listen to Harold Reynolds and Joe Buck, the ad pop-up was simply a technical error, not some component of a grand conspiracy. Someone (Dan Shulman?) explained that Fox would have had three graphics prepared going into the game…one showing Blue Jays / Royals vs. Mets (to be used in-game), one showing Royals vs. Mets, and one with Jays vs. Mets (both available for post game broadcast, depending on the final result).

    It was explained that it was essentially someone hitting the wrong button to activate one of the post game graphics, instead of the in game graphic. If anybody here is involved in TV production, does that make sense? To my non-technical brain, it seems to be a pretty straightforward explanation.

  59. Pudge72 says:

    To add: sorry @Dros…you were correct in saying that it was Jay Onrait who gave the explanation, not Shulman. Sorry, BJF, sometimes the simplest explanation is the correct one.

  60. JD says:

    Guys in all honesty,

    I would air on the side of caution when it comes to listening to fox and their explanation. This was a big coincidence/mistake. How often does a media company promote a series that they supposedly don’t know is going to happen and then the series eventually does happen. Let’s face it, this is the series that the mlb will cash in on. Not saying they planned it, but you have to admit it looks a bit curious. I don’t think you can classify it as a small mistake especially with the amount of people watching on both sides of the border. Fox owner is not exactly Mr.Trustworthy. Anyone remember the phone hacking scandal. I understand both sides. But I certainly would not right off a wink wink nudge nudge.

  61. Dros says:

    @Blue Jays Fan

    If you’re really that ardent in your belief…why do you watch sports at all? Why do you watch the Blue Jays? Are you exempt from being a “sheep” because you wear a tinfoil hat and opine about every single person being out to get you? Well, good for you, I s’pose.

    Maybe you’d be happier if you went for a walk outside, took a deep breath…

    P.S you say that McDavid actually went to Edmonton to “maximize profit for Rogers”…if Rogers was fixing the whole thing, wouldn’t they have had it so that he went to Toronto? That maximizes profits a hell of a lot more than on a team in Edmonton.

  62. JD says:


    For starters I did not say Rogers is fixing anything. You have misquoted something I said now for the second time. Is that to build your own narrative I don’t know. However it needs to stop and will stop as I will not respond to any more of you comments on this topic.

    What I did say is that Rogers, the NHL, and the oilers, not to mention other markets like the flames will largely profit from Connor going to Edmonton it’s the perfect storm, a little too perfect for some cynics. IF we look at some of the highlights, The Rivalry between the flames will be renewed, the already strong Western Conference will benefit as teams and their markets will see Connor a once in a lifetime player several times a year, Rogers who has national and regional rights will acquire more viewers which ultimately helps their sponsorships and ad revenue. It’s a huge win for the NHL and it’s partners. In terms of it only being fixed if Connor went to the leafs, some have argued that Bettmen sent Connor to Edmonton to Calm the PR nightmare that has gone on for the last few years, as of this year Edmonton now has a Championship winning and reputable GM A big time Canada hockey guy that’s led Canada to multiple Gold Medals as their president a good coach that’s been to the playoffs on multiple occasions, now the cherry on top 1st overall draft pick in Connor Mcdavid. The pick completely calms the storm of multiple firings that have gone on in Edmonton. Gary knows that he struck gold when a Canadian team finished last because this once in a lifetime player is a way better fit in a Canadian market for profitability reasons.

    Lastly I love sports don’t get me wrong but I take it for what it is, Very entertaining but at times very odd a questionable. Respctfully no more on this topic

  63. Blue Jay Fan says:

    Why is the name JD on that comment. The above post is adressed to @Dros

  64. Steve says:

    @Blue Jays Fan

    Perhaps because you’re using multiple names to post under? Your grammar/sentence structure reminds me alot of another Rogers/Blue Jays pessimist who posts on here from time to time (hasn’t posted since you showed up funny enough)

  65. Dros says:

    @Blue Jays Fan/JD

    Clearly, you’re using several usernames to comment under here…kinda strange.

    Anyway, that oddity aside.

    “some have argued that Bettmen sent Connor to Edmonton to Calm the PR nightmare that has gone on for the last few years”–what are you talking about? Who’re the “some” people you’re referencing here?

    Also, your argument is just one of how it helps people. The narratives about reigniting the battle of Alberta has no relevancy. There would’ve been storylines no matter where McDavid ended up. All you’re doing is stating reasons why McDavid will make more money. Rogers owns regional rights in Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Edmonton…so there was a good possibility that they were going to benefit financially from whatever team he landed on (if it was Canadian).

    Your argument about Bettman wanting him in Canada for “profitability reasons” is laughable. We all know that Gary is obsessed with his legacy and wants it to be remembered as someone who exponentially expanded hockey’s footprint in America (specifically the southern parts). He’s never given a rats ass about profitability in Canadian markets because he knows they will be there regardless.

    You flip-flop your paranoid narratives based on whatever suits your argument, sentence to sentence.

  66. Blue Jay Fan says:


    1. was the situation in Edmonton not a PR nightmare. (Constant coaching changes) finishing last year after year despite multiple first overall picks.

    2. “My argument changes from sentence to sentence”
    My stance on the relationship between the league and the networks is still the same. I just finish saying that Connor in Edmonton highly benefits Rogers,(the owner) Sportsnet(the national and regional rights holder) and the league. The fans loose as ticket prices will probably go up. The league gains as the biggest stat the game has probably seen in it’s history since Gretzky is in a traditional hockey market. The six Canadian team including Edmonton make up the brunt of the league revenue.

    3.”Rogers owns regional rights in Calgary, Vancouver, Montreal and Edmonton…so there was a good possibility that they were going to benefit financially from whatever team he landed on (if it was Canadian)”.

    I’m not sure you know how the draft works, but you’ve listed a bunch of Canadian teams that went to the playoff. Their chances weren’t close, hence the reason I said Gary struck Gold when Edmonton a (Canadian team) finished last.

    “Your argument about Bettman wanting him in Canada for “profitability reasons” is laughable”

    What other team that was close to bottoming out and first pick eligible would be a better fit for Connor’s exposure. Keep in mind how controversial it would be if the pick went to Toronto(fans were waiting to call FIXED).(Buffalo,Carolina,New Jersey,Columbus) Gary is biased not dumb. Edmonton is a great fit for the league and it’s partners, as Connor is in a hockey only market.

    “You flip-flop your paranoid narratives based on whatever suits your argument, sentence to sentence.”

    Please provide an example of something I have flip flopped on? I have consistently maintained that leagues and networks have a close relationship which at times creates a lot of controversy and cynicism .

    You on the other hand have said things like teams make lots of money of championship which is not true. You had no clue that revenues are split which mitigates a ball clubs earnings. I provided several examples of teams which have financially flopped after championships

    You have now said Connor would have been a story in any Canadian city, while no other Canadian city could have been in the running for Connor given the fact that they were in the playoff.

    You also act as though there has been no PR nightmare in Edmonton. It’s been widely chronicled across every media outlet in Canada what was going on in Edmonton.

    You are saying things that make no sense and simply trying to argue for the sake of arguing. You substantiate none of your arguments at all
    I simply can’t debate with you. You clueless on things a sports person should know.

  67. Anthony says:

    Why is Blue Jays Fan allowed to constantly attack and go after every poster on here? S/He’s obviously doing it under multiple usernames as well. I don’t really understand why s/he’s are constantly allowed to troll and instigate fights and belittle other posters.

  68. Blue Jay Fan says:


    You troll as good as anyone else on here. You simply post for the sole reason of criticizing other posts and trying to tell people what to post.

  69. Blue Jay Fan says:

    Signs that your trolling is succesful:
    *Your victim screaming in all-caps at you.
    *Personal attacks (Calling you a retard, idiot, etc).
    *Being an Internet Tough Guy.
    *Making a crude remark, before quickly logging off before you can retort.

    @Anthony keep in mind the above is what you are accusing me off. Please provide examples of my posts demonstrating these such things, without the other party engaging in the exact same thing.

  70. Mont from London Ont says:

    Hey Blue Jays Fan
    A simple yes or no –
    Are you posting with two or more names on here
    as has been suggested?

  71. Anthony says:

    @Blue Jays Fan

    Funny thing…I remember another poster coming on here, instigating fights with people and when called on it, wanted a detailed , point by point response based off an Internet definition of ‘Trolling’. He didn’t use ‘BlueJaysFan’ but literally did the exact same thing you just did…..When I get home I’ll see if I can find said post…

    Amazing coincidence no? ?

  72. AP says:

    For the conspiracy theorists, what’s the theory on why people who believe a sport is fixed, watch the sport?

  73. Jack E says:

    Wow, am I being trolled? Today’s roundtable is Francis, Reid, Shannon. Just why?

  74. Midnight Rambler says:

    @AP, my old man was a degenerate gambler who threw away loads of money on jai alai and harness racing even though he was convinced both were totally fixed.I asked why he wasted the money and he said, “Who cares if it’s fixed? There has to be a winner.”

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