The 2015 Jim “Shaky” Hunt Sports Media Awards

January 2nd, 2016 | by mike (in boston)
The 2015 Jim “Shaky” Hunt Sports Media Awards
business of sports
44

by mike in boston @mikeinboston and TSM @yyzsportsmedia

 

With 2015 coming to a close we here at TSM HQ thought it would be a good time to look back on the year that was in Toronto sports media. Since most of the time we are forced to write about the very worst segments, articles, tweets, and interviews, we are delighted to take this opportunity to highlight some of the very best work being done by those fortunate enough to have jobs in sports media.

 

Without further ado, here are our picks for the Shakies in 2015.

 

Best Overall

 

Mikemy co-winners this year are Shi Davidi (Sportsnet) and Rick Westhead (TSN). There are no two people whose work I consistently enjoyed more in 2015.

 

It has been a real pleasure watching Shi Davidi develop from CP baseball reporter to standing at the top of the Jays insider pile at Sporsnet. He is a real success, and I’m sure that came as a result of lots of had work. He’s done it without resorting to rumour mongering, silly outfits, shtick, or being a condescending jerk.

 

From early on in 2015 Shi was in early on every major Jays story, delivering his usual mix of opinion, fact, and sources.  He is obviously very well plugged in over at the Jays offices, as he was out front on the whole Beeston fiasco. Whenever a major trade broke, Shi was right in the thick of it delivering insights and analysis. As the AA era came to an abrupt halt Shi has been the go to person for reasonable takes that don’t suffer from post hoc justifications. Of all the people working at Sportsnet he has managed to stay highest above the fray when it comes to needing to defend Rogers’ payroll parameters.

 

I am very much looking forward to his stock continuing to rise at Sportsnet, and within MLB. The only concern for Shi in 2016 is that he was clearly well respected by AA, and was likely able to get a lot of scoops through that channel. He will have to establish new relationships with Atkins and Shapiro. Great work Shi. In a year where everyone was talking baseball, you were in a league of your own. (You can read Shi’s 20 questions with TSM here)

 

Rick Westhead had a spectacular 2015, delivering a lot of what we expected and a whole lot that we did not. When he was brought on board by TSN last year (see his 5 questions with me here) Rick had a small track record writing about sports, mostly investigative reporting with a focus on legal and business issues. In those areas Rick had a lot on his plate in 2015 with the NHL concussion lawsuits, the CHL union/compensation battle, CIAU/CIS drug testing, the endless Coyotes saga, and many other stories.

 

Beyond claiming the ‘business of sports’ space all to himself, Rick also delivered some excellent features for TSN and W-5. (memo to TSN: why is it so hard to find links to Rick’s video work on your wesbsite?) His story on women’s soccer in the favelas of Brazil was highly praised far beyond our borders. Richard Deitsch even promoted it on PTS (Dec 23, Hour 3). While others were (wrongly) reporting that MLSE would hire John Cassaday as their new CEO, Rick correctly told us that the deal was not done. Before the year was out Rick was also reporting that the Jays’ payroll would stay around $140 million. This was eventually “confirmed” by Bob McCown 6 weeks later.

 

Overall, Rick has been a huge asset to the sports media community by bringing forward stories that would otherwise not be on our radar, and by lending a kind of journalistic credibility to sports reporting that is too often missing.

 

TSM: So, In all the years we’ve been doing this, to me anyways, it’s the year I’ve had the most difficulty writing the column.  This was quite simply a fascinating year in sports and therefore in sports media in this town. Some highlights of the sports year as best as I can recall them and in real order:

 

  • Raptors don’t show up in playoffs
  • Nonis trades David Clarkson.
  • Brendan Shanahan cleans house at Maple Leafs, firing coaches, scouts and GM Dave Nonis
  • MLSE can’t replace Tim Leiweke until very late in 2015 and then the new hire is a sports unknown
  • Argos get sold, move to BMO
  • Deflategage
  • Blue Jays struggle early, leading to rumours of Gibbons being fired.
  • Edmonton wins the McDavid sweepstakes
  • The Jays magical couple of transactional filled weeks, including the night that was the trade for Troy Tulowitzki
  • The Jays incredible run that ended too short
  • Rogers shuffles the deck, Blundell to mornings, Brady and Walker to afternoons, Tim and Sid to TV
  • Mike Richards takes medical leave
  • Stephen Brunt leaves PTS
  • Media layoffs
  • Toronto doesn’t bid on Olympics
  • Price, Anthopolous and Beeston all leave the Blue Jays
  • Enter Shapiro and Atkins, Jays fans disillusioned
  • Kessel traded
  • Lou joins Leafs
  • Leafs near bottom of the standings, fans ok with performance so far
  • American Pharroah wins triple crown

 

I’ve left off the Babcock signing because I think the story itself was so fascinating from a media perspective.  If you recall, everyone, and I mean everyone was reporting that Mike Babcock wasn’t coming here. I’m not criticizing that part of the story.  It’s what they were told by various sources.  However, the morning it actually happened was one of the coolest ways I’ve ever seen a story unfold:

 

Darren Dreger tweets at 11:06am

“Toronto and Buffalo in bidding war for Babcock. No decision yet. Hearing Red Wings final offer was 5 years at $4 million per.”

 

At 12:43 pm Bob McKenzie tweeted:

“Sources in BUF say they are OUT on Mike Babcock. Not going to BUF.”

 

At 12:45pm Aaron Ward Tweeted:

Source say Mike Babcock has decided to leave the Detroit Red Wings. #TSN”

 

At 1:06pm Dreger tweets:

“Source says Babcock told Blues 2 days ago he was out. Things change? If not, the Leafs may have won the sweepstakes”

 

Jeffler chimed in moments later with :

MLSE’s private jet is scheduled to head to Detroit later today and depart within three minutes of arrival. http://flightaware.com/photos/view/334911-9a6d812c5b8800b9c0c814927ca8c17bbb374469/aircrafttype/GLF4 …

 

Friedman and Dreger were tied, both at 1:59pm tweeting that they believed Babcock was indeed a Maple Leaf.

 

So given all of that, how do I answer the best of the year question? Well, I am going to also go the tie route, and in this year that was so Jays dominated I’m awarding the 2015 Shaky Hunt best overall award to those who cover the Blue Jays on a full time basis.

 

The team captured our hearts and imagination and the coverage was exceptional.  Mike hit it out of the park on Shi Davidi.  The whole crew who covers the Jays all season did a great job.  Scott MacArthur, Robert MacLeod, Dirk Hayhurst, Arden Zwelling, Ben Nicholson-Smith, Scott Ferguson, Richard Griffin, Bob Elliott, Mike Rutsey, Gregg Zaun, Jamie Campbell, John Lott, Gregor Chisholm, Mike Wilner, Barrie Davis, Buck Martinez, Jerry Howarth, Joe Siddall, Pat Tabler (appologies to those I left out).

 

Special mention goes to the town’s biggest Jays fan, Bob McCown, add in the addition of Brunt to Blair’s show, Morosi, Rosenthal and the rest of the news breakers south of the border. This was the year of the Jays and we got great coverage.

 

Most Improved

 

TSM:  I’m going hockey on this one and it’s a tie between Chris Johnston (Sportsnet) and Jeff O’Neil (TSN). O’Neil has, in my mind really become an entertaining broadcaster.  He’s no longer the one trick pony as a former player.  He adds humour and asks the questions I want asked.  Johnston in the last year has become must listen to/much watch tv.  He provides great insight and I enjoy listening and watching him all the time.

 

 

Mike: In past years I have given this one to Michael Grange (Sporsnet) and Macko&Cauz (TSN1050). This year I am giving it to Damien Cox (Sportsnet/The Star). This might seem like an odd choice, but hear me out. There was a period of time where everything Cox wrote, tweeted, or said seemed intended to rile people up. He would take cheap shots at TSN, bait Bob into useless arguments, and just generally come across as incredibly obnoxious most of the time. I believe 2014 was also the year Cox referred to me as “gutless”.

 

2015 brought in a much better Cox. His Twitter contributions were on topic and his PTS appearances were pleasant and he enhanced many interviews with his questions. I can’t comment much on his writing since I stopped reading Cox in The Star after his editor approved this advertorial piece on behalf of Sportsnet. With Feschuk and Fitz-Gerald and the underrated McGran there’s lots of other people covering hockey for the Star. But, judging by a quick skim of Cox’s recent postings he is writing interesting stories. As far as his TV work goes, he is nowhere near the top of least likeable people covering hockey for Sportsnet.

 

Cox is one of the most historically disliked media members in this market over the last 15 years, but based on his 2015 performance he should easily drop out of the top 3. For myself, I enjoyed his work in 2015, especially on Twitter and on radio, and will definitely be checking in more often on what he’s saying and writing in 2016.

 

Best Twitter Follow

 

MikePeople want different things out of Twitter. As someone who spends very little time tweeting, what I want from the people I follow is interesting links, the odd quick take that can be captured fully in 140 characters, and no pictures of your breakfast or your workout or your cats.

 

Using these criteria, my best follows in 2015 were Richard Deitsch and Dave Zirin. Both manage to give me the mix of sports and social issues I care about, without falling into the familiar forms of internet social justice hysteria one sometimes sees. Another great follow is Howard Bryant of ESPN, but there is far too much tennis content there for my tastes.

 

TSM: Given the baseball theme I’m following, I am going with Jon Morosi, Ken Rosenthal, Buster Olney, Bob Nightengale, Rob Nyer Jason Stark and Jon Heyman.  I’ll add in Rick Westhead for his unique broad-based sports coverage.

 

Miscellaneous Awards

 

  • (Mike) Best FAN590 Program Director in 2015: Dave Cadeau — the bar was set pretty low, but Dave is doing a great job in his first few months. He has been active in trying to fix the station’s issues, he seems to care about listeners, and he hasn’t once screamed at Jonah about the things I write. Cadeau has been tasked with leading the station through its most important programming decision ever: the end of the Bob McCown era on PTS. That’s something to watch in 2016.

 

  • (TSM) Ripcord award: Former Fan PD Don Kollins: Kollins ripped apart a lineup, in my mind leaving a mess behind and then pulled the cord and scurried off to the bay area.

 

  • Best addition to sports radio in 2015:

 

(Mike) TSN 1150. When the Toronto based stations are unlistenable in the mornings, TSN1150 in Hamilton is broadcasting syndicated US shows Mike&Mike and the Dan Patrick Show. If you like NFL and NBA there is no  better option right now. If you hate college professional sports, then I’m afraid you’re better off sticking with the local shows.

 

(TSM): I’ll add in Morosi and Richard Deitsch as guest co-hosts on Fan 590.

 

  • (Mike) Best sports app: Star Touch. The massive investment in the technology from La Presse was worth it, and here’s hoping it saves the Star from financial ruin. This is by far the best way to read sports content. It nicely replicates the feel of holding a newspaper, and the layout within the sports section is fantastic. (Warning iPhone owners: this app is not compatible with your giant screen for some reason.) I am reading way more articles by Star writers than ever.  Memo to the Sun: you have a gigantic sports department and an awful website. Get an app like this one to market as soon as possible.

 

  • (TSM) Worst sports website: Tie — Toronto Sun and TSN. Both are embarrassing.

 

  • Best sports media coverage:

 

(Mike) the Globe. The combination of Christine Dobby (telco), James Bradshaw (business), and David Shoalts (sports) brought a refreshing injection of sports media coverage in 2015. This space has been largely unoccupied since the Star ditched Chris Zelkovich’s popular column and blog, and since the Globe stopped employing Bruce Dowbiggin to fill Bill Houston’s large shoes. The Globe fumbled the sports media beat around between Simon Houpt and Steve Ladurantaye for a while in years past, but both were pretty far out of their depths. The current group is doing a great job and here’s hoping there is more of it in 2016.

 

(TSM): Perhaps a cop out, however I am going to those MSMs who take time to tweet.  Twitter is the best platform for sports coverage, allowing those who cover the game to do so on their own.

 

  • (TSM) Magic Moments of the year: A couple of things happened this year where MSMers did things that I considered extraordinary.  Two come to mind: First, to Barry Davis for his homerun celebration on the Bautista dinger.  Media aren’t supposed to do that, but he did and it was awesome.  The other came from Doug Smith in response to a Blue Jays homerun at a critical time:

Screen Shot 2016-01-01 at 6.43.19 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Those are our awards for 2015. What are yours?

 

Also feel free to give out any awards we missed … Worst Twitter follow? Most annoying PTS co-host? Favourite Cathal Kelly column? Best traffic updates? Best musical bit/impersonation on Mike Richards’ show? Favourite generic male/female highlight narrator?

 

—–

 

Happy New Year everyone. Thanks for reading. Consider making your new year’s resolution a commitment to commenting here more often. Discussion is what keeps us motivated to write.

 

Mike and Jonah/TSM

44 Comments

  1. DJ says:

    Love the award going to TSN1150 for best addition in 2015. Hate that you gave it to them for US syndicated programming.

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand where you are coming from. Your job (hobby) is to look critically at the media and you feel that the US syndication are a better option for your entertainment time. Get it…

    That said, what is the cost? If you listen to the Toronto Mike Podcast (no, this is not him pumping his own tires) you will hear over and over from media/radio personalities that the opportunity for broadcasters to learn and grow is shrinking. As we continue to use CHEAP options rather than develop talent we will continue to have a shortage of great Canadian options.

    So to MIB and Jonah I ask:

    In 2016 what do you think needs to happen to IMPROVE both the talent pool and the development of up and coming broadcasters in Canada?

  2. Rob J says:

    My hopeful prediction for 2016 and beyond is the rise of some independent sports media in Tor. With 99 percent of the reporters ‘covering’ teams that are literally owned by the 2 companies they work for (think about that), the market is oversaturated by opinions which, rightly or wrongly, are obviously biased because of this blatant conflict of interest. Every opinion has to be assessed based on the guy’s employer, not his independent thought. This is ridiculous and sad for a self-proclaimed major media market. More independent voices needed!

  3. Ben says:

    Worst Place: Bryan Hayes

  4. Toronto Mike says:

    For the record, there’s no competition between me and Jonah and MIB. It’s quite the opposite. We’re planning Jonah’s second appearance on Toronto Mike’d and I’ve met up with MIB for a beer. Mike, I’m buying next time.

    I pump TSM’s tires at every opportunity. Ask anyone who listens to my podcast. I don’t compete with TSM, I complement TSM…. and compliment TSM.

    On that note, I’m about to pump my own tires. I often have sports media people over to my home to have a recorded chat in my basement. I hope everyone here gives it a shot. Friedman, Cox, Wilner, Madani, Smith, Strombo, Marek, Hebscher, Toth, Brady, Walker, Millman, Lajoie, Sammut, Johnston, Alter, Down Goes Brown and Mirtle, for example. Just cherry pick an episode from this handy list: http://www.torontomike.com/2014/11/cant_miss_toronto_miked_episodes.html

  5. Rob J says:

    I don’t know Toronto Mike and have no stake in this at all, except yeah, any fan of this blog would thoroughly enjoy his hour-long interviews with the major players in Tor sports media. His guest list is a whos-who and the tough questions get asked and answered.

  6. joel says:

    interesting omission (pro or con): tim &sid moving to tv

  7. Bear32 says:

    Surprised there was no Sportsnet or TSN morning show bashing. That being said, what can be done to get the message to the Fan that Blundell, “Georgie” et al are an embarrassment to the Sportsnet brand?

  8. Patriots2016 says:

    I totally agree with Bear32. I say it in EVERY FAN590 survey I get…Perhaps we all need to send emails to the PD….I can’t listen to them at all….I have moved to the 1050 show – not great but better than Blundell.
    ABB – Anyone But Blundell!!!!!!!!!

  9. Craig says:

    Cox?!?!?!….Really?!?!?!?? He’s an absolute moron. He should stick to tennis. TSN tv and radio are FAR superior to anything Fan590 and sportsnet can offer. The only time sportsnet wins is when Bob is on air……without Cox.

  10. torontosportsmedia says:

    George Who?

  11. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    Wow – To have Mike Wilner included in the best overall anything makes me wonder about your sanity – Maybe the best all round overall jerk who still has a job –
    The way things are in the cutthroat media business makes me think more and more that Wilner works for free-
    I may have missed a reference but Dave Perkins on PT is a must listen for me-

  12. Tighthead says:

    Biggest disappointment would be Rogers doing so little to improve HNIC. I don’t mind Strombo that much (I do find his look distracting and annoying), but most of the Sportsnet crew just seems like the B team. I don’t know anyone – honestly anyone- who approves of Healy.

    It didn’t get much run but TSN giving full coverage to the RWC was outstanding. Maybe that was the best bonus of 2015.

  13. Steve in Waterloo says:

    I support the Cox nomination.

    When TSM was teasing this column asking who we thought was TSM of the year, I kept coming back to Cox, who’s improved performance this year made him my choice.

    The sarcastic trolling seems to have stopped, and he has reinvented himself somewhat.

    He’s got insightful things to say and read on three different platforms.

    He has my support, until he begins to troll again….

  14. Curt says:

    LOL. Okay, keep pumping Cox’s tires…see where that gets you (or him). A wise man said: “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” Cox may be playing nice now but we all know what’s lurking just under the surface.

  15. yaz says:

    Here are my awards: Not every ex-management type has the chops to be a broadcaster but I am impressed with Craig Button, Doug Maclean, and Dave Poulin, in that order. They offer a dose of sober reality that quickly shifts a debate back onto the tracks rather than continuing blindly down speculation-road. Granted, they are still speculating, but they focus their panel back to reality based speculation from out-of-your-ass speculation; Stamkos & Johansen debates are recent examples.

    My favourite quote was Dave Shoalts on the Toronto Mike’d podcast regarding Rogers broadcasters: ‘Most of them will tell you they were never told how to say something but let me tell you everybody with half a brain figures out where the line is and there’s an understanding there, and people in ( Rogers ) broadcasting will tell you off the record that anybody smart knows where you can go and where you can’t.’

    My fave Tweet of the year (June 5) : Al Strachan on Bruce Arthur “I insult his preaching, he insults me.” I would hazard a guess that of all the anonymous Twitter accounts held by Toronto media, they troll Bruce the most – Al (retired) is the only one willing to put his actual name to it. Wake up Brucie, nobody gives a F what you think about ISIS, #LaquanMcDonald, Donald Trump, or anything else.

    And this gem from Jeff Blair, verbatim from a couple months ago: “I think – I think twitter has changed the winter meetings maybe more than any other thing in baseball. I mean it – it really has its-ah-an-I-an-I-an-I-an-I, you know, if–if-if you like rumours, or you like trade talks, I mean, I think its-its ah, changed it in-in-in-in something of a, something of a positive way.” Though when baseball news is breaking, I am listening to Blair, not Cauz & (insert name here).

  16. Rob J says:

    MIB retweed Howard Berger’s blog this morning. Good example of an opinion not tainted by ownership-media conflict of interest. I also like how he answered a reader’s comment at 3:00 am!

  17. jeff in hamilton says:

    Worst (most infuriating) Twitter follow: Its a tie for me:

    Greg Brady – self-importance, smugness, and CAPS LOCK. The triple crown

    Sid Sixiero – his tweets are so formulaic, you could set your watch by them

    Steve Simmons – Cant write an article or tweet without a Phil Kessel mention

  18. Antonio says:

    Most interesting media person to read: Cathal Kelly
    I know many here don’t like his personality or style but I always enjoy what he writes – regardless of the topic. His column on going to a competitive fishing content in the US was hilarious. I’m not a fisher nor would I normally be interested in reading about a story like this but his article on it was awesome.

    Most annoying media personality: Bruce Arthur (the Wayne Gretzky of this category)
    Perennial winner (or loser, if you will), Arthur pounds out the same old liberal tripe each and every day. “I hate conservatives, I love liberals, I have an infatuation for Steph Curry, I also have a thing for Steve Nash….”

  19. MattK says:

    I find a good way to know if you are following the right people on Twitter is the Seixeiro test. Does anybody in your timeline RT Sid? Unfollow them.

  20. jeff in hamilton says:

    @MattK – I cant agree more with your comment. Gawd he is awful. I feel that Tim has true talent, and he is being wasted on this Fart-joke spewing moron.

  21. Pete says:

    Most Underutilized — Jeff Marek. This guy should have a much more prominent role with the Rogers’ TV package. I would have easily made him host instead of Strombo (since the decision was made to unnecessarily demote MacLean). Honourable Mention — Chris Johnston. He too deserves a bigger role.

    Most Underrated — Scott MacArthur. Thought he did a solid job covering the Jays. TSN lured me more to their station for Jays talk than the station whose company owns the team.

    Most Overrated — Michael Grange. I find his oral delivery is quite choppy and his scratchy voice becomes tough to listen to.

    Most Overdramatic/Fake — Sid Sixiero. His act and rants have worn thin.

    Most Cringeworthy — All the media constantly asking David Price about his off-season intentions as it pertained to the Jays. He continually dodged the subject and it became uncomfortable after the umpteenth time.

    Most Irrelevant — (Tie) George Stroumbolopoulos and Darren Dreger. The former (to me) brings absolutely nothing to Hockey Night, and the latter I find has taken the biggest hit to his stock since the hockey rights were ripped away from TSN.

    Most Annoying — (Tie) Greg Brady and Mike Wilner.

    Biggest Rogers Schill — (Tie) Greg Brady and Mike Wilner.

  22. steve says:

    Toronto sports media types are all “owned” by their employers.

    Independent and critical analysis is nothing but wishful thinking for fans in Toronto.

    We didn’t need Shoalts to spell it out on TorontoMike’s podcast, but nevertheless, it was refreshing to hear.

    That said, I won’t be surprised to “see and hear” more US syndicated programming on both Bell & Rogers properties in 2016, cheaper than paying, let alone developing, home grown talent.

    Perfect example this morning, not a syndicated program, but the Fan parachutes an out-of-towner from the US to sit in on Blair’s time slot. Last thing I want to hear is a glorified fan-boy from the US, a guy who only wants to hear himself talk, drop names. No man named “joey” can be taken seriously. I’ll give credit where credit is due, for man with little talent and a teenage girl’s voice, he’s carved out a nice little career in “Merica”.

    Watch 1150’s numbers for Mike & Mike and Dan Patrick, I think it’s more than an experiment.

  23. Claire A Fye says:

    The “out-of-towner” you refer to is Joey Vendetta and he’s a Toronto boy. He worked at Q107 for years. You can argue the merits of having him on ( I personally can’t stand listening) but he’s not a guy “from the US”. If you’re going to bitch about him, get your facts straight ( yes I know he lives there now). And I might argue the reason he’s brought in is because the talent pool hasn’t been allowed to develop. It’s awfully short sighted to suggest that doesn’t matter; it sure will when all you hear is American college football and hoops and other stuff no one here cares about. Look, Mike & Mike and Dan Patrick are great but you’ll be waiting a long time before they talk about anything Canadian. They know their audience, and it ain’t us.

  24. Claire A Fye says:

    And look at me. I took a guy named Steve seriously

  25. scarboro_scamp says:

    I know it’s the magazine not to be named but I just wanted to mention Arden Zwelling’s ‘Inside the 48 Hours that Transformed the Blue Jays’ as one of the best things I have ever read, well, ever. Captivating from a fan’s standpoint, that’s for sure.

    As much as I agree with the sentiments regarding Mr. Vendetta, Joey Ramone is a Joey I could trust and take seriously. 1, 2, 3, 4!

  26. Claire A Fye says:

    A lot of folks take Joey Votto seriously. And Joey Gallo and Joey Smallwood both were taken seriously. On the other hand, Steve Martin, Steve Carell…Buffoons!!!!

  27. Steve Jones says:

    The Fan has Vendetta back on? I just don’t get it. His show is so unlistenable. Do people really want to listen to 3 hours of lame jock interviews? Yes, he knows basically everybody. But no, few to none of them are even remotely interesting interviews. You have to assume the bench guys at the Fan have been internally branded as last recourse fillers. Must suck to watch a hack come in and do the job you could do just as well, albeit with a different show format. With the exception of Leafs Lunch and Bob I’m largely listening to other formats and shows. The sports radio landscape has become tiresome for me. Such is the ebb and flow I suppose.

  28. Head Scout says:

    Arash Madani of Sportsnet is the best sports journalist in Canada by a country mile. His interviews and commentaries are concise and compelling.

  29. Antwon says:

    Tim & Sid have jumped the shark. Their fanboy audience didn’t carry over to TV. They should have stuck with radio and replaced Bob Mccown.

    Also, king douche Mike Wilner is now calling himself the Jays play by play man. Nice show of respect to Jerry there. They pity you enough to let you take a few innings at home games like some sort of contest winnner, and you go and declare yourself the play by play guy? Rogers should dump this loser but as we all know, that won’t happen.

  30. Another Steve says:

    Antwon:

    This is what Wilner’s twitter bio says: “Blue Jays Radio Play-By-Play Broadcaster and host of BlueJaysTalk.”

    What you wrote is untrue.

  31. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    @Another Steve
    I see no difference with what Antwon posted and what you quoted from
    the chief Blue Jay lackeys site – He calls himself ‘Blue Jays Radio Play-By-Play Broadcaster” and that is what Antwon said – Explain the difference – I have said it before Wilner must be working for free so he can shower with the team – He is a complete buffoon and I am astounded that he still gets air time – Wilner and that other clown Ken Reid(spelling?)- There has got to be better people available to replace those two incompetents-

  32. Rob says:

    Best Toronto Radio Show- Leafs Lunch by a mile. What radio is supposed to be.

  33. Mike V says:

    “king douche Mike Wilner is now calling himself the Jays play by play man”.

    He does play by play in the booth, does he not? Why are you so upset that his bio lists one of his job responsibilities?

    While Wilner may be a homer and a company man at times, he is miles ahead of the average JaysTalk caller (why do they still bother with this?) or the generalists sports writer trying to cover baseball.

  34. yaz says:

    I don’t get nor like Joey Votto. If he is an L.A. guy now then why the hell is he coming all the way to Toronto to do radio 3 times a year?? And why would they hire him and not a Rogers regular? Does Joey want to have a presence here to try and get a full time gig? Even if he does, why would a PD want him??

    Aside from whether or not you like Votto, it makes no sense for continuity to send Blair up to 4 PM when Bob is away. This has been happening more and more and I bet it affects not just Bob’s ratings but Blair’s. Flipping in Ennis or Votto or whomever wrecks whatever waning listenership Blair has. Leave a PTS regular in when Bob leaves and leave Blair in his own slot.

  35. Matty Zero says:

    @Yaz But that Vendetta fellow is a helluva hitter in the 3 spot.

  36. Matty Zero says:

    As for the Blue Jays, if they insist on bringing in all these ex-Cleveland types, at least bring in the one who has won something – Francona. Should’ve hired him the first time around. And yes, he was available in the Gibbons-hiring off-season.

  37. Antonio says:

    @Matty Zero
    Like most successful athletes and coaches/managers, he had no interest in coming to Toronto. Why would he?

  38. BoJack says:

    Lol ….. Wilner the contest winner. Sounds about right. The main thing he has going for him is that his callers are worse than he is.

    ……

    My award for 2015 is the Trooper Award for Tim Micalef. It must be tough to be a smart enough guy interested in reasonable debate and have to go to work with Screaming Sid every day. I guess the $$$$ helps!!

  39. Mike S says:

    Here are my award winners for 2015:

    Toronto Sports Media Member of The Year………..Shi Davidi

    Most improved radio show………….Leafs Lunch

    Most unlistenable radio show………Blundell & Richards (tie)

    Best newcomer…………..Dave Poulin

    Worst newcomer…………..Todd Hlushko

    Best fill-in radio host………Andi Petrillo

    Worst fill-in radio host……….Joey Vendetta

    Best PTS co-host…………….Richard Deitsch

    Worst PTS co-host……………Ken Reid

    Best radio move…………..TSN 1150 deciding to air The Dan Patrick Show

    Worst radio move…………..the divorce between PTS and Stephen Brunt

    Best Twitter follow………..several (Bob McKenzie, Duthie, Mirtle, Friedman, etc)

    Worst Twitter follow………….Adam Proteau

    Witness Protection Award……….Bob Mackowycz (if his absence is health related I hope he gets well soon)

  40. Not that Chris says:

    http://media.sportsnet.ca/2016/01/sportsnet-canadas-1-sports-media-brand-in-2015/

    Wow…they’re not just slightly ahead of TSN anymore, they’re pounding them on every platform.

  41. Dogpounder says:

    Comments section is a hilarious read this week.

  42. Mike S says:

    Over the holidays Vendetta was the fill-in host for Jim Rome at least once on The Jim Rome Show so apparently it’s not just the people at 590 that think he is a good replacement radio host

  43. yaz says:

    @ Mike S love that list. That could be a posting here sometime.

    Love Deitsch

  44. yaz says:

    I have heard Howard Stern several times say that he went to #1 the first day of broadcast in Toronto because we used small sound satellite dishes pointed at cars on the highway to actually hear what they were listening to. Either he 100% made this up like Steve Simmons’ Kessel hot dog or it is true or some version of it is true. Given that ratings determine the amount of money that is transacted between advertisers and networks, I doubt that they solely rely on the metrics provided by 2-300 people.

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