Toronto Sports Media Weekend Update

May 21st, 2016 | by torontosportsmedia
Toronto Sports Media Weekend Update
sports and toronto



Happy first long weekend of summer!

Just some random thoughts as we head off into the killer weather we are supposed to have.

  • I had the chance to take in the Jays game vs. Tampa on Wednesday night at the dome. I had seats in the second deck, behind home plate – last row.  I’ve never sat there before and wasn’t aware of the over hang effect at the TED.  While I dislike the atmosphere immensely with the roof closed it’s even worse under this overhang.  The sound just sits there and it’s pretty awful.  Once again, I will say that the in game presentation (see below) at the Dome is amongst the worst I’ve ever seen.  I know all the purest don’t get it, but I am not talking to you.  For the general to casual fans it sucks.
  • Can someone tell me why the street south of the dome isn’t closed to cars and used only as a pedestrian walkway for pre and post game purposes?  How great would it be to see food trucks, beer tents etc???  Seriously, it cannot be that hard to figure this stuff out.
  • On the drive home I caught a little bit of Jays talk with Mike Wilner.  The show is the hardest job in Toronto sports.  Really, do people not value their time at all?  They sit on hold for what has to be ages to say idiot things like “why do you keep saying it’s early, I’ll hang up and listen to your answer”.  I mean really?????  While Wilner clearly has the mean streak in him, he has the patience of  a saint to take that abuse night after night.
  • I then drove to Cleveland for game two of the Raptors vs. Cavs series.  I actually gave it some thought after the predictable pounding they took in game one as to whether or not I wanted to make the trip to see them get killed again.  Well, I am so glad I did.  I had never been to Cleveland proper for a game before of any time and I could not have been more impressed.  It was an easy drive, 4.5 hours door to door with no wait at the border.  We passed tons of Ontario plates along the way, all of whom had Raptors gear in or on the car.  We parked across the street from the arena ($40).  The whole environment in and around the arena was awesome!  Really fun restaurants and bars, tons of music and people 4 hours before the game!  Streets were closed off and yes there was a whole section of town below the arena where no cars are allowed and it’s filled with hip restaurants and bars (See above).  The fans in and around couldn’t have been any cooler.  Lots of fun jabs and back and forth “gamemanship” but all of it with a smile.  The arena while clearly a little older feels very small and has a great feel to it.  The in arena screen is HUGE.  It’s killer.  The noise in the arena is phenomenal.  The pre-game and in game presentation is fun.  Every time the raptors were doing something positive, the screen would flash a Ben Rothersberg image on the screen and the arena would fill with booos- #brilliant.  The only really lame thing is this item they have on the scoreboard called “The Diff”.  Apparently fans in Cleveland can’t do math as it literally provides the score differential!  If the Cavs are up by 5, “The Diff” says “+5”.  If they re down by 2 it says “-2”.  I mean really, what genius came up with that idea??????
  • Post game and during our drive home we listened to ESPN radio on satellite radio.  Amazing how much more respect the Raptors get nationally (internationally?) then they do locally.  The talk on ESPN radio was that not having JV was a killer.  The fact that the Cavs are just way bigger and stronger is a killer and having Lowry in a terrible slump doesn’t help either.  Their biggest comment, something I haven’t heard on any radio show in Toronto is how the Raptors are getting screwed by the NBA scheduling department.  The Raptors have been on an every other day schedule throughout the playoffs.  The Raps played Thursday night and again today, on Saturday.  Meanwhile, the western conference series played Wednesday and won’t play again until Sunday!  The Raps will have played 2 games while the other series teams sit and rest.  There is no way that would have been the case if it were the Heat and not the Raps playing the Cavs said literally every host and analyst on ESPN.  Back in Toronto all the talk was about Lowry and going to the locker room and inviting himself to watch the game on Wed at the Cavs house.  Neither thing was mentioned on ESPN at all.  Go figure.
  • The number one question I was asked in Cleveland?  How you guys like Shapiro??????  Second most popular question? How long before Shapiro fires Gibbons and trades everyone away. They’ve seen this movie before they all said.
  • You walk the streets around any Toronto sporting venue and you are surrounded by overpriced Kellel Karts (hot dog vendors).  We saw 1 in Cleveland, big Brawts’ $4.00.  Clearly a different economy than the big smoke.
  • Speaking of Gibbons, I just love the banter on the radio by the experts on the rational reasons why Gibbons doesn’t deserve to be fired.  “Gibbons isn’t the one not hitting”.  “Gibbons isn’t the one who can’t get an out late in the game”.  Really! You can’t make this crap up.  I am not calling or suggesting Gibbons should be fired.  I will say it again because at least two people reading this are going to come in and attack me for saying so or feel the need to defend the guy.  I am not calling or suggesting Gibbons should be fired.  However to say the manager isn’t the one failing because he doesn’t play is the dumbest argument ever.  What coach or GM ever gets fired for a rational reason, let alone because they don’t play on the field, court or ice.  Doug MacLean says it best.  Coaches get fired because owners want change.  It happens all the time.  Is this the case with Rogers?  I have no f’n idea, however the fact that ultimately Gibbons isn’t the one on the field has no merit whatsoever.  Naylor and Landsberg had a writer on who said it’s unlikely he gets fired because he was within a hair of going to the world series and the team is in a slump.  I can buy that. I say he get’s fired for one reason and one reason only, he isn’t their guy.  It may not be today, tomorrow or anytime soon.  When it does, that will be the reason.
  • Back to Wilner, good on him for saying that when he says “its early” that’s not the same as saying “nothing to worry about”.  When he says “it’s early” he explained this week he meant there’s  lots of time to figure things out and get back in the thick of things.  He’s not saying there are no problems.
  • I don’t listen to the Fan morning show but many of you told me that their morning host was tweeting NBA draft predictions the eve of the NBA draft LOTTERY.  Apparently the thought was the Draft and the lottery were happening the same night.
  • Rumblings of panic at Rogers in the hockey department.  The new boss is counting costs and everyone expects major changes post NHL playoffs.  Who stays, who goes? Anyones guess but there is panic for sure.
  • If you think Austin Matthews has Leaf nation pressure, wait until we see the pressure from the local and national sports media.  Maple Leaf ratings blow.  It’s going to Mathews mania in this town and on every broadcast. The only saving grace to that?  If Stamkos signs in Toronto.
  • I love that Phil Kessel is having playoff success.
  • Nelson Millman posted on Social media that he’s about to ride off into the working sunset after a long career in the media business.  The BEST segments EVER on PTS used to be when Nelson came and talked shop and took calls.  The Biz will miss Nelson.  Happy retirement!!!
  • Not sure when the Argos open up at BMO, but I’d love to go with a big crowd…
  • Happy May 24 weekend!



  1. Rob J says:

    Agreed that the street to the south of the dome should be pedestrians only on gamedays. So much could be done to enhance the pregame experience on that stretch.

  2. GreyCountyMike says:

    Re Jays Talk: Neither the host nor the callers seem capable of reasonable discourse. Absent both sides being in total agreement (which is boring, bad talk radio), the show too often devolves into pouting and other stubborn childishness. Wilner’s a smart man, but clearly doesn’t have the humility nor the human decency to regularly interact with the others who, understandably, may not be as smart as he is.

    The solution? As long as Wilner is the host, scrap the calls. Let him preach all night about the organization, give his analysis of the game just played, and update listeners on the goings-on around the Major Leagues. If the show becomes an informercial, then so be it. After all, this is content marketing and not by any means journalism.

  3. Steve Jones says:

    I am not so sure that Wilner has the hardest job in Toronto radio. It’s not like the Leaf callers are rocket scientists either. But those hosts and the Raptors too aren’t as rude and dismissive as Wilner is. Personally I just find him arrogant and unlikeable. He doesn’t have to prove every caller is wrong.

    I totally agree with the game day experience in Toronto. Basically everywhere you go in the US it’s an event. Which I think is just an embodiment of the fact that Americans love their sports more than Canadians do.

    No surprise to hear cuts are coming to Rogers hockey. They have been using local feeds for some series and they cut the number of games televised this year. The bloated on air hockey talent is just the next level of changes.

  4. mario says:

    Should be very interesting if there is indeed going to be changes by Rogers , cost cutting on who won’t be returning next season. No body likes to see anyone loose their job but there are weak links with the on air talent. Most will say Strombo which I don’t mind , PJ Stock to name a couple comes to mind. But where dose the future talent come from? TSN surly is not about to give anyone up, maybe Arron Ward if they can look past personal issues which he was cleared on would be a good pick up.

  5. Alex says:

    Presumably, the pool of ex-players wanting media jobs is ever green, with new folks each year. You could easily cycle out older more expensive talent for younger, cheaper folks.

  6. AP says:

    I found the Nelson Millman segments to be over hyped. It would appear to be interesting with listeners giving their opinions on programming choices, but always devolved into Millman saying this is how we do it. Oh ok thx.

  7. Original Mitch says:

    Unfortunately, there won’t be real changes at Rogers NHL department. It’ll be mostly low level behind the scenes employees. Maybe some mid-level producers and possibly one higher up (mainly for show). But the usual gaggle of ‘talent’ that are costing them ratings won’t be replaced. That’s not how it works with Rogers. They rarely see the real issues and change what doesn’t need changing. It’s a shame because its not the behind the scenes nor the hockey itself that is the issue. Its staring them in the face, but they refuse (stubborn) to see it.

  8. Matt says:


    Commend you on the non biased approach to Jays talk, i can’t stand the callers either, but giving Mike Wilner any kind of credit will be met with irrational aggression towards the author.

    Funny, when the Twins hit the game winning home run, Buck was screaming swing and a drive, as if the Jays had hit one. Here I thought he was nothing but a homer, he sounded pretty excited by that Minnesota home run. But ya, he’s not good for being a home town broadcaster, sure.

  9. Art says:

    Please at the very least dump Healy and Stock!

  10. Darrell says:

    Couple of comments… They should cut George Strombolopoulous from HNIC head role but will probably not. He seems like an alright guy, but just not good at a lead role as the main HNIC guy.

    Mike Wilner? He only wants callers that kiss up to him and agree with him and say how much he knows and that hardly constitutes as ‘entertaining radio’. Sadly Sportsnet and the FAN 590 programming department think he is good at what he does… Telling people ‘it’s early’, ‘that there’s a lot of season left to go’ and blaming how fans think about the Toronto Blue Jays on the ‘losing of the Toronto Maple Leafs’ is hardly entertaining radio. That’s the problem.

    I used to love Millman on the 9 to noon show with Mike Hogan (when he was a semi-regular on his show on the FAN). He would totally fix up the decisions around at the FAN, if he was still looking for work.

  11. Matty Zero says:

    If the Leafs sign Stamkos, he would make a good buffer, and take some of the pressure off the kid. Just not so sure he will be worth $10M in actual production.

    As for potential cuts, I’d say Stock is good as gone, his presence has been limited lately, and likely one of the hosts will probably go. No idea which one, though.

  12. Omar Khan says:

    A couple of weeks back on Jays Talk, a caller was speaking about firing the “coach”, it was obvious he meant manager Gibbons and wasn’t using the proper baseball nomenclature, at least not to Wilner’s standards. He likely was just a casual Blue Jay fan calling in to express a view. Instead of addressing his points, Wilner feigned ignorance and asked, “which coach do you mean?” ie. hitting coach, pitching coach, bullpen coach, etc. He knew perfectly well that the caller was referring to Gibbons but chose to turn the call into one of his pedantic exercises.

    Hey Mike, people listen and call in because they are fans of the team not your moribund condescension. It’s been years and he still can’t figure this out!

  13. Steph says:

    Wilner is great. A guy called in yesterday who wanted to trade Martin for “somebody better”…which logically Wilner asked why another team would do that? The guy said he wanted somebody with a better track record, to which logically Wilner asked “isn’t Russell Martin’s track record pretty good?” It was golden. The guy from Vancouver is the WORST.
    Interesting about the south end of the Skydome, especially with the brewery and park. Could be great.
    I hope the changes to HNIC are made with an eye to a more modest, less flashy hockey based broadcast. I’m fine with Strombo, he needs some time. Cox, McLean, Kypreos should be kept on weeknight broadcasts.

  14. RobInAurora says:

    “Which I think is just an embodiment of the fact that Americans love their sports more than Canadians do”….or is it that Americans love their food and booze more than Canadians do. How else do you explain the obesity that is so prevalent down there?…Jurassic Park and maple leaf square prove we like our sports as much as anybody. And no one is feeding their face….those “event” atmospheres at us sports venues are evidence that Americans know how to squeeze their patrons for as much money as they can.

  15. Rob J says:

    Listening to Wilner matching ‘wits’ with jays fans has the entertainment value of watching 2 old guys fight over a can of soup. Click.

  16. yaz says:

    Cuts at HNIC will be coming but cutting a couple guys here and a few crew there won’t help them much ( start by cutting the crane operator gliding into Strombo ). Healy, Stock, throw in a Cox, what do they make combined? I’d say 2.5 mil is a very high over-estimate – then say another 2.5 mil in crew cuts relative to an average annual 435 million paid for the rights? (5 mil cut would be just over 1%, nothing) (435 mil is avg annual cost, I know the payments are structured differently)

    You still have to put on some kind of show with a bit higher production value than a Tuesday night mid-season CBJ/Preds classic or you’d end up with an intermission show looking like that shot of Mike Johnson and Bob Cole last night during Game 4 in San Jose – a high wide angle shot of them huddled together with some kind of satin beaded black velvet tarp over the wall behind them with a HNIC logo.

    Product on the ice has to change, and, not sure how they did it, but giving the #1 pick to Toronto helps a lot and 5 of top 6 picks going to Canadian teams helps. Agents keep saying players don’t want to play in Canada yet they benefit from the largest TV deal while anonymously partying and Tindering their asses off in cities like Nashville, L.A., Dallas etc. Only way to force players into Canadian markets is to draft them. I say the fix was in. Purely speculative so please save the comments hammering on my conspiracy theory. Yes, Leafs had 20% chance at first overall but they also had an 80% more likely chance of not getting the #1 pick. If the Leafs get better throughout the rest of the Rogers deal it could save it – barely. Obviously a generational player in Edmonton couldn’t do it.

    Can’t close Bremner in the short term when it is bracketed by major streets Spadina and York, with Lower Simcoe in between. Snarling those streets with endless busses would bung up traffic during rush hour. York St is a parking lot on the best of days. Maybe for another ALDS or WS ( like that’s gonna happen this year ).

  17. Steve in Waterloo says:

    “Americans love their sports more” coupled with “why the street south of the dome isn’t closed?”

    Best guess is that Rogers doesn’t want the street closed thus inviting competition and forcing fans to eat in the dome.

    And, in the US, they embrace competition while Canadian politicians lean more to protection of the large corporations (for some reason($))

    Canadian fans lose.

  18. imsorrydave says:

    Omar Khan- THIS! Oh you hit the nail on the head! Mike seems to forget the point of Jays Talk is not to provide him with forum to prove that he knows more than anybody. I know he has to put up with a lot of moron callers, but his lack of simple grace is astounding.

  19. Steve Jones says:

    Not to pile on but I had to laugh yesterday when Wilner said many umpires don’t understand the game. He being the aribiter of all that is baseball knows the game so much better. I also found it funny when he said the tweet from the wife of the umpire who tossed Donaldson proves the point that umpires don’t get it. Clearly it was an odd tweet from the wife, but what does that have too do with umpires. They guy is just so incredibly unlikeable.

  20. Steve Jones says:


    I’m not sure how you draw obesity causation to liking sports. I also have to disagree that Fan attendance at Maple Leaf Square proves anything. It’s a single data point that only happens when a high profile game is on. Thinking more broadly consider 10K seat high school basketball ball arenas. 20K seat high school football stadiums. Not to mention college sports. Or that ESPN gets $6 out of every basic cable subscription. Americans are far larger sports fans than Canadians. It’s just the way it is.

  21. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    Re Wilner – Due to a malfunction on my xm signal I had to listen to the Jays on 980 London – Wilner was doing PBP – Puleese! Who is the fool that thinks Wilner can do PBP? Brutal at best – I do notice that when the Jays are on the road they don’t take Wilner along – That should tell that clown something – As stated he is a condescending know it all jerk-
    On another topic – The ads ruin ALL radio and TV – I am a PTS fan but tried listening to overdrive – Same thing – Too many ads – I don’t know what the answer is but ads are killing all media-

  22. Original Mitch says:

    Re: Wilner
    I would love to ask Mike why he’s so unlikable and such a d**k to his callers. But ask him with a gun to his head so he can’t spew the company line over and over again. Is it a Rogers mandate? I wouldn’t put it past them, but is being a condescending know it all part of the mandate as well? Or is he of the mind ‘well it works for Skip Bayless and/or Stephen A, so let me be the baseball version’.
    It’s hard to believe that with Rogers investing so much on the team and broadcast, yet they drive us to satellite radio and/or because of the presentation.

  23. The Londoner says:

    I think Mike Wilner envisions himself as the heir apparent to Jerry Howarth. I wonder if that is even possible now that he has made himself so unlikeable to the fans combined with his blind support for all things Rogers. He has zero impartiality and has no complaints about how anyone runs anything with regards to the Jays. Or perhaps that is exactly what they are looking for in a PBP announcer.

  24. Matty Zero says:

    Mont – You do realize if there were no ads, there would be no shows, right?

    As for Wilner, if any caller brought up that umpires don’t know the game, or some umpires wife’s tweet, he would tear them a new one. Thank God we have the great Mike Wilner to tell us how to think about the game. And he totally envisions himself as the heir to Jerry, can’t wait for Rogers to stab him in the back, after all the years of shilling. Let’s hear what tune he sings then.

  25. Alexy says:

    Thanks TSM for commenting on Wilner.

    Wilner is the embodiment of the sportsnet hiring model: be terrible at your existing job and get rewarded with new duties.

    Does anyone think a radio station in any other market would hire Wilner to do playbyplay or take calls? How many different jobs at sportsnet has Eric Smith had now? How many shows does Shannon appear on?

    Rogers … promoting mediocrity.

  26. Nanaman says:

    Anyone wanting to experience some real gameday experience should head over to the Hammer and take it a Ticats’ game. And what’s even better is to take in the Labour Day game. I know there are many CFL haters out there, but most have yet to take in a game anywhere but in Toronto. Once you have experienced the game at any of the other eight stadiums, you would have a better appreciation of the players and product (especially since a family of four can take it all in for about $120, if that)

  27. jbg says:

    I have no problem with Wilner, I appreciate that he attempts to up the level of conversation. You don’t get the jose bautista for Mike trout trade ideas. What is more annoying then callers claiming home runs are rally killers. The idea if a rally is to get runs. I admit the Grammer and coach manager arguments aren’t needed. A slip of the tongue doesnt need to derail a call. I enjoy it when people phone in have real numbers and facts or honest questions about something.

  28. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    Matty Zero
    I certainly appreciate the fact that ads drive a program and the more popular the program the more ads – A real Catch 22 – However my main beef is the same ads in huge 6 or 7 minute doses – Some guy screaming about cars some old guy pontificating about clothes just point at it etc – If some new ads were in the mix or they were in shorter doses maybe I could take them – As soon as the ads hit on PTS e.g. I turn off the sound on my computer and as it always the same I know almost exactly when to turn the sound back on – Another gripe with all the ads between innings a couple of times they came out of the ads with a guy already on base – We are starting to miss some of the action –
    I wish I had an answer – Surely those buying the time realize people are just tuning them out?

  29. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    Matty Zero
    Do you think Wilner envisions himself as a successor to Jerry Haworth?
    Wow even Wilner can’t have that much of an ego – He is positively brutal at play by play –

  30. yaz says:


  31. Claire A Fye says:

    Wilner is pretty good at play-by-play. Have a listen to other broadcasts,as I have, and you would appreciate that. I think he’s much better at that than the post game Jays Talk. The problem with that show isn’t so much him as the idiots who call him. The screener should do his job and keep the idiots off the air. I get that he can get arrogant and condescending but I don’t get that sense when he’s speaking to a caller who’s baseball smart. There just aren’t enough of them. There does seem to be a piling on effect on this board. Someone says something bad about Wilner ( Shannon, Wheeler, Reid) and the skies open up with a veritable downpour of like-minded comments.

  32. Rob J says:

    All you have to do is point.

  33. Rob J says:

    It’s cause Wilner is brutal.

  34. Claire A Fye says:

    @Rob J Judging from all your previous posts, everybody is brutal.

  35. Rob J says:

    Now you’re catching on. Thanks for reading.

  36. Big G says:

    This thing about idiots calling Wilner is ridiculous and is meant simply to gas Wilners head. The reason why people think that idiots call Wilner, is simply because if a caller doesn’t bow down to Mike and tell him how great he is or if a caller is being reasonable objective about the manager , then they are an idiot, People have to understand that, Mike Wilners set a criteria for his caller and the criteria is

    A. Never Blame John Gibbons for Anything

    B. Never tell Mike you disagree with him

    c. Always tell him he does a great job.

    Those who praise Mike Wilner as doing a great job simply do not remember the

    Dan Shulman days of Jays talk Dan did not refer to fan as idiots like Mike

    does. Hence the reason Dan is where he is and in so much demand.

    this thing about idiot fans calling Mike I think is disrespectful.

    It’s funny how in the third game of the 3 game series against the twins Mike called out the umpire for throwing Josh Donaldson out of the game and accusing the umpire of trying to make himself the show, yet Donaldson walks by an authority figure in the game and Drops an f bomb, now tell me what professional sport out of the four majors sports would not penalize the player who walks by an official and drops an f bomb, Sure go to your workplace and walk by a boss in your office and drop an f bomb, then when penalized tell the person in authority they are trying to make themselves look good. Is that not twisted or what, and the fans are idiots?
    Wilner irresponsibly took to the radio and insights fans to degrade the officiating, ultimately saying what Josh Donaldson did was O.K.

    All in all according to Wilners reaction and degrading of the umpire, lets tell our kids, when they are frustrated in sports let drop loud f bombs right in front of the officials of the game.

    In contrast to Mike reaction was the intelligent real professional approach of Stephen Brunt.

    Stephen on the JB show today said Jays need to worry about winning and leave everything else alone i.e insighting chirping, as they seem to be caught up on in this bad boy act. He said Josh Donaldson is the raining MVP so therefore he should always let his play do all the talking, especially when your dealing with a team that is dead last. That is true intelligent veteran like unbiased criticism. Good on Brunt for that standpoint where the easiest thing to do when the company that employs you owns the team would be to defend Donaldson actions.

  37. Claire A Fye says:

    Now we’re comparing Wilner to Dan Shulman? As I said, pile on boys, pile on.

  38. Big G says:

    @Claire A Frye

    By you calling jays fan idiots, as many including Wilner himself likes to is also a pile on.

  39. jbg says:

    I think what they do with blue jays talk is impressive. I think the vast majority of people on this site feel that the worst use of sports talk is listener phone in segments. Blue jays talk is almost the opposite of that. You don’t just have a host saying yeah great thanks for the call next caller.

  40. Claire A Fye says:

    @Big G I didn’t call Jays fans idiots. I called some of the callers to Jays Talk idiots. Big difference.

  41. Claire A Fye says:

    Let me further qualify that. Some of those callers are legitimately ignorant. I don’t doubt that. But I also believe there are a bunch of callers who take great joy in trolling Wilner. It’s like when Sue Johansen was doing those sex call in shows. You just knew people were calling to get her reaction but she never would bite. Wilner bites. He’d probably get a lot less grief here if he took every call seriously but that’s not him. And who can blame him. He has to do this 170+ times a year. That’s got to be painful.

  42. yaz says:

    Wilner’s condescension applies to both intelligent and unintelligent callers. Last year a guy called in and quoted a pitching stat. Wilner, in his best, nose-up-in-the-air, nasally ‘I don’t know about that, that’s ridiculous, where did you get that stat?’ Caller: ‘It was on the screen during the game on your network.’ Wilner: ‘Ahhh…’

    Many of those that disagree with Wilner these days preface their questions with so many ‘I know you won’t agree Mike but..’ Or they mutter something and move on to the next question or statement while Wilner is disagreeing with them because they’re afraid of drawing his wrath. I liked when Wilner was on with Brady, Brady would go at him. Blundell does too, and Wilner backs down even though Blundell knows squat about baseball.

    I enjoyed the Andy Frost Leafs post-game show that embraced the insipid and thoroughly inebriated callers and let them ramble on. What insights are we going to get from callers anyway? Make it fun to listen to.

  43. Curt says:

    I’ve listened to Wilner on Jays Talk maybe about three times in my life…that was more than enough. I get that he has to deal with some idiot callers, but perhaps if there were a host who was more respectful, he/she would attract a better quality of caller and the discourse of the show would improve. A lot of the idiots who call in (I’m guessing) are trolling Wilner and the producer puts them through to get the host and audience going – Jerry Springer shit.

    The Jays do seem to attract a lot of trouble don’t they? But according to Pravda, it’s never their fault…

  44. Big G says:

    @Claire A Fye

    I hope your not suggesting that people that have an objective opinion about the Jays are idiots, what then do you mean by saying that there is a difference between idiot callers and Jays fans. How are you differentiating between the two without saying if you complain about the jays your not a fan which would be just ridiculous. It is the objective fans Mike refers to as idiots, the ones who critic the manager and certain decisions and critic other things other media outlets have also pointed out. Please define your perspective of an idiot caller. Some fans are honestly ignorant of the game, still this does not mean they are idiots. Please qualify this statement.??????? The show has it’s pro Wliner crowd and the objective callers. Who are the idiots? Some would argue that the idiot callers are the ones who turn Wilner into the victim and tell him how great he is.

  45. Claire A Fye says:

    @ Big G The post was pretty clear. I’m not saying Jays fans are idiots. The trolls are.

  46. Rob J says:

    Last-place teams have many faults. Pravda believes The jays are the exception, and if you point out facts which conflict with the Pravda narrative that a turnaround is inevitable (after all, the players are wearing jays’ uniforms) and that there are fatal flaws obvious to an objective fan, you are attacked as an idiot. Jays fans are extraordinarily thinskinned because they want to believe so badly that Pravda is right and hearing an objective opinion fries their synapses.

  47. Marcus says:

    @yaz @Rob J, loved the references to the credit company and the junk removal company. You clearly listen to a lot of Jays games on The Fan.

    About radio ads, listen to the US radio broadcasts i.e. the NFL or MLB feeds from Westwood One, and it’s either the announcer reading the ads or a straight up 30 second spot with the facts and very little else. No lame attempts at humour. Much preferable.

    About HNIC, I read a lot of the feedback over the season and it’s definitely understandable. Watching the recent broadcasts with Strombo, Kypreos, Hrudey and Friedman, it seems that things have balanced out. Kypreos especially has learned how to relax and make his points with confidence without being overbearing. What a (welcome) change from his time with Doug McLean (sp?).

    Closing the streets south of Skydome. One mitigating factor are the condos in Lower Simcoe whose tenants who own cars would understandably want to come and go as they please.

  48. Big G says:

    @ Clair A Fye

    It’s funny that no other radio personality on the station gets sympathy regarding the so called “idiot” callers, but Wilner does. Bob and Blair field calls about the jays yet you don’t here this notion regarding “Idiot” callers or trolls, maybe just maybe with jays talk it’s the host.

    Enough of that.

  49. Matt G says:

    Zero evidence to back this up but I would bet that the reason there are so many uninformed fans that call into Blue Jays Talk is because Wilner either: a) drives away droves of listeners so the pool of informed fans is highly diluted; or b) people with informed opinions don’t want to have to deal with the shrew aka Wilner. He’s terrible. T – E – R – R – I – B – L – E One of McCown’s substitute hosts relayed that the reason Bob never has Wilner on his show is that he has to spend three hours in the studio and if he’s going to be stuck in there for three hours, he at least wants to be around people he likes. So it’s amazing to me that the company hasn’t caught on, and if this forum is any proxy, that Wilner is both boorish and untalented.

  50. jbg says:

    The fan refers to the callers to bluejays talk as idiot callers or at least plays up the disgruntled nature of the callers that is part of the shtick. Blair will often tell a caller they are wrong. Granted he will also frequently say yeah maybe you have a good point. You don’t get that to often from Wilner.
    Just last week a caller called Blair complaining that jays went cheap on there bullpen getting rid Hendricks. Blair cut the guy off explained how Chavez has more term and makes more and is also better. That stores isn’t cheap is crap hit not cheap. I don’t think the Caller was an idiot was a nice discussion after that was cleared up. I think it’s important when someone starts an argument with a blatantly wrong assumption to get it corrected quickly and then see where the discussion can go. I find that is what Wilner does but many times the caller just continues to say he is wrong. Callers just seem to be anti analytics and that is what response they are going to get from Wilner.

    I also don’t understand why people find it hard to believe Storen is on the trade block. If they can get something for him of course they are trying. They are likely not optimistic that anyone will give them anything but they have to shop him to find out.

  51. MontfromLondonOnt says:

    @Claire A Fye “Wilner is pretty good at play-by-play. Have a listen to other broadcasts,as I have, and you would appreciate that”
    I have satellite radio and enjoy the fact that I can listen to other teams PBP guys and I can tell you in my experience the only one worse then Wilner was when good ol’ Jimmy Price at PBP used to spell Dickerson for the middle innings – That was terrible -There are some great ones and of course some bad ones but none as bad currently as Wilner – I prefer baseball on the radio and even if I didn’t know who Wilner was I would still tune out his PBP call- Then again I guess I was spoiled by having the good fortune to hear Dave Van Horne with the Expos when I lived in Montreal and the untouchable Ernie Harwell on WJR when we moved to London –

  52. RobInAurora says:

    “Thinking more broadly” consider the US has 10 times the population base that Canada does and we embrace multiculturalism here…(I’ll let you extrapolate the “data points”, you seem to me to be brighter than the average sports fan. Comparing apples and oranges is quite a feat)

  53. Omar says:

    Another point re Wilner. He called players leaving the bench for the Texas bench clearing stupid. I guess this guy doesn’t understand competitive team sports. I mean, can you imagine a bench clearing during a ballgame and one player (Wilner) refusing to leave the bench to support his team mates?

    Wilner is incredibly wooden with his play by play. I guess it’s a matter of taste, but for someone to say he 590is pretty good, whereas he may be the worst I’ve ever heard (opinions really do vary). The one thing you can say about Wilner is that he is widely despised by both the casual and hard core jays fan. So he’s consistent in that regard. Personality goes a long way, especially on radio, where it’s the only thing that comes through.

    Jeff Blair talking baseball is great. As I’ve noted before, his twitter feed during Jays games makes for great entertainment (especially when Thole is the backstop). Baseball Central is my favourite show on 590.

  54. Steve Jones says:

    LOL. Why do people feel the need to try and start arguments. This board is for the most part very civil. And if you’re going to troll do try to do it with some points that aren’t patently ridiculous. Sure the US has 10 times the population of Canada. Which is pretty much irrelevant. Does it explain how the Nebraska Cornhuskers who are in the middle of no where with a population base of 280K manage to draw 85K to every football game? No, it’s because some people travel hundreds of miles to go to games because they’re fans. As opposed to say, the Argos who sadly can’t draw flies. Not to mention U of T or York.

    And multiculturalism? I thought basketball was a world wide sport. University games play to hundreds of fans. High school even less in Toronto which is pretty darn multicultural. I guess you feel the need to defend Canada on an issue that frankly does not need defending. It’s all good up here.

  55. Rob J says:

    Really disappointed, but hardly shocked, at the complete disregard of journalistic standards by formerly objective newsmen like Grange, Arthur, Blair etc during the Raptors games. Complete fanboy cheerleaders. Mike in Boston was right to chastize Blair for loving being a fan on twitter. I feel like a naïve fool for expecting objective unbiased analysis. If he and Grange pulled that crap while at the Globe, they’d be disciplined.

  56. Original Mitch says:

    Jamie Campbell is about the only person who was worse at PxP than Wilner. They have no real feel for the game. Stating the obvious all the time. Buck isn’t great, but at least he can point things out to the viewers that aren’t obvious. Jerry is very good for the radio IMO. God Jamie Campbell was awful.

  57. Antonio says:

    I’ve never had an issue with a journalist or broadcaster being a fan or “fan-boy” of a team. Lets face it, we all have teams we’re partial to and there’s nothing wrong with declaring which team(s) you love.

    That said, my issue is only when a journalist or broadcaster becomes an apologist for his team and never criticizes their performance or their manager (see “Gibby”). They seem to do is out fear of pissing off their employer – which also happens to own their favorite team.

  58. Rob J says:

    They should cheer privately, then; not while working as journalists. Its not just the cheerleading, but it now makes me wonder if they’re still going to be as gung-ho to break stories and dig for news that might be seen as negative. I thought people went into journalism to break important stories and speak truth to power. With the teams I follow, there’s a marked difference between the tweets that come from the clubs’ accounts and those from the media that cover them. I dare anyone to read tweets from last night without knowing who sent them and be able to tell if they came from a pro journalist or a fan-site. That should worry any media consumer.

  59. Curt says:

    I know someone will reply with “Oh great, another negative post…” or “It never used to be like this around here…” etc., but I don’t care, I have to vent. Look, Toronto-based sports broadcasting is absolutely terrible. I’m not only speaking about Rogers (although because they own almost everything, they rightfully get most of the criticism). TSN is brutal also. I watched the GS/OKC game on Sunday with the TNT feed. The difference in quality between that and a typical Raptors game was staggering. We don’t have broadcasters who call and cover games in the country anymore – we have active cheerleaders. It’s beyond embarrassing. But it seems to be the new normal in the age of media-owned sports “franchises”.

  60. Big G says:

    @Rob J

    I’m not sure what kind of objectivity your looking for. The team has absolutely overachieved at this point. Every media outlet in this country and South of the border had Cleveland in four, this. Toronto media predicted sweep, then when Raptors won a game they said that is the only game Toronto will win, now that they tie it up they say when it gets back to Cleveland Toronto is toast. Is that cheerleading or objectivity. I don’t think the media guys want the embarrassment of having predicted total dominance by Cleveland a team facing the team in your very own market and then having it totally go the other way. This can very well turn out to be a massive upset, one of the biggest in Toronto sports history. Why wouldn’t the media back the raptors at this point. Do you think the guys that cover the media in Cleveland are even remotely giving raptors a chance? Even with the series tied and Raptors having seriously outplayed Cleveland in the last two games, those South of the border still 100% have their money on Cleveland, just listen to Stephen A Smith.

  61. (Another) Andrew says:

    I’ve never had an issue with a journalist or broadcaster being a fan or “fan-boy” of a team. Lets face it, we all have teams we’re partial to and there’s nothing wrong with declaring which team(s) you love.

    Unlike 99.9% of fans they make a living reporting on sports so they should be capable of stepping back a bit from the fandom. That they don’t do so says a lot about them.

    I thought people went into journalism to break important stories and speak truth to power.

    Nope. In pretty much country the mainstream journalists are ill-disguised stenographers pretending to challenge power. When it comes to sports there are probably unsung bloggers in most major markets who are more reliable than any journalists employed by the companies that own the teams or even just the broadcast rights.

    BTW I caught a couple of minutes of PTS when Shannon was talking about how good the ratings have been for this round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I didn’t hear the start of the discussion so maybe he was just answering a question, I don’t know. But my first thought was that he’d probably been stung by the earlier reports of Canadian ratings being down by 61% for the first round and was now making sure everyone knows how great the NHL is doing!

  62. Rob J says:

    I don’t want to go back and forth on this philosophical difference I have with other commenters, but why not simply tweet ‘Man, Derozan suddenly got hot, hitting 4 in a row, Raps up 95-88’ (or whatever). Factual, objective, informative.

  63. Greg says:

    Whats with Sportsnet pushing back the start time for the Mem cup game tonight to 10pm so it wont start until after the Jays game? the only game in the tournament to start that late and its the one between the Quebec league champ and the OHL champ. Com’on Rogers!

  64. Original Mitch says:

    It is unfortunate the type of sports journalism we get in this country. Its pathetic, quite frankly. the good news is that its just sports, and not an arena where activism could cause real social changes. So we have “reporters” and “broadcasters” who cheer like fan-boys and can’t distinguish between unbiased journalism and obnoxious cheerleading. Then you have two companies that own everything. And two companies who regularly fire staff, meaning nobody is safe so nobody will dare challenge. instead they pander. And…what happens when we have real good journalists? They head south of the border where they can be themselves as professionals and not just shills.
    I was just reading a story about the Twins PXP guy who was confronted by a player about his negative talk about the team. The team is in last place and awful for those that don’t know so his negative (real) talk was fully warranted. I can’t even begin to imagine a Wilner or Campbell saying anything negative ever, ever. At least not without a “but…”

  65. Curt says:

    “And two companies who regularly fire staff, meaning nobody is safe so nobody will dare challenge.”

    Very true. But I think this also applies to those outside the Rogers/Bell bubble. In a shrinking sports media industry, journalists don’t want to blackball themselves out of potential future employment by being critical of “Canada’s Team”, just in case their current employers decide to downsize. Not to name names, but there are one or two at the Star who fit that description.

  66. Simultcast in Mississauga says:

    Re: Wilner
    His disrespect for callers is disgraceful; why anybody would call in to get the Wilner kick in the nuts is something that perhaps a psychologist could answer best. He also deserves the Ken Harrelson annual award for Most Balanced Reporting. Yet, I hope that Rogers retains this quirky individual albeit with some behavioral improvements as Mike Wilner contributes by not being one of those boring announcers who are afraid to vary from the shackles of mundane PCness.

    Re: Stoney Ridge Estate Winery
    Encouraged by Bob McCown’s hype of his winery, I visited the establishment, along with several other wineries around Lincoln, this past weekend. When I told my wife that Bob owned it, she didn’t want to go in but nevertheless we did and were surprised how nice it was. McCown seems less than sartorial on TV but his winery was exceptionally clean and organized with grounds that are reminiscent of a Cuban resort. The cheese tasting was fun and of course there was wine too tasting too. A trio of pot bellied non wine buying guys were there obviously only to look at the Bob displays but most of the guests (and none of the wineries were busy) were bicycle tourists who likely had no idea that the King of Sports Radio had any involvement in the winery. Worth adding to the list of wineries to visit in the Niagara region.

    Re: commercials
    The number of commercials between 4 and 5 on both PTS and Overdrive is incredible! Like several others here, sometimes I just turn down the volume like an auditory ad blocker on the internet until the seven minutes of commercials (both Overdrive and PTS) are over. But most times, I’ll flip over to Netflix around 4:30 unless the next guest has potential. Yes, the bills have to be paid but the number of ads is overkill. Overdrive is struggling to get market share: one idea would be for TSN1050 to promote a commercial free hour (maybe 4-5) during the summer so that people will switch over from all the PTS ads and give Overdrive a try. What does 1050 have to lose long term by trying out this marketing tactic given that the show will be gone if it doesn’t improve in the ratings?

  67. edge says:

    I like the Raptors but the homerism on both Sportsnet and TSN is really amateurish. They don’t even try to hide it. The constant cut-aways to Maple Leaf Squares with the obviously network-provided big-head host cut-outs. They even let the word “we” slip in there at times (heard it last night on SportsCentre with Darren as well). Hey guys, there’s enough enthusiasm around this Raptors team that you don’t have to go manufacturing it or reminding us constantly that two corporate behemoths own the team. The difference in quality between TSN/SN and TNT when it comes to the NBA is night and day.

    As for HNIC, the Predators were my second team and once they were gone, I haven’t watched at all. Then again, even when the Preds were in I was watching NBC/FSN feeds. I don’t get it. They pay billions for this product, obviously pay a bundle for the studio and whatever hosts they could, but when the premiere product comes along they cheap out and treat it as an afterthought. Oh, you’re handwringing over an all-US SCF? The NBA could be looking at an OKC/Toronto final. You think that’s ideal for them, as compared to a Golden State/Cleveland rematch? Yet they embrace their circumstances far better than Rogers has with the NHL.

    And Canadians are the best hockey fans in the world, but on the whole, Americans are better overall sports fans.

  68. Sevsar68 says:

    Wilner is a condescending corporate shill. Granted he gets some real dummies calling in, but his attitude towards them is sickening – just as bad on Twitter. He thinks he’s so much smarter than the callers/tweeters – just ask him! I don’t listen to Jays’ talk anymore because of him.

  69. Rob J says:

    Sorry, me again. I’m going on the record and say that the theory that ‘the NBA doesn’t want the Raptors in the finals’ is something that would be fitting for ‘Coast to Coast’ with George Noory, not a national sports network. Shame on Sportsnet for giving those 2 bozos a platform for ‘tinfoil hat’ idiocy.

  70. Paul G. says:

    @ Greg re Memorial Cup Game

    The game is being played in Red Deer Alberta at 8:00 pm “Local (MDT) time (10:00 PM EDT). No Rogers conspiracy, just common sense scheduling for the local population…as it should be!

  71. Greg says:

    @Paul G

    I understand the tournament is in Alberta, but it is the ONLY game all week at 10est and the only game between two teams in the east. Even tomorrow’s Red Deer Brandon game is at 6 local time 8 est. Just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.

  72. Paul G. says:

    @ Greg

    Mea Culpa

    I am big enough to admit when I am wrong. After reading your last post, I started a Google search and came across a May 23rd London Free Press article (sorry…as an old luddite I couldn’t provide a link) that backed up your complaint. Rogers indeed did make the request and the Canadian Hockey League acquiesced.

  73. Alex says:

    Well, conventional wisdom says the US net wouldn’t want a Canadian team in the final because theyou lose a major city for ratings. The league itself prob shouldn’t care, but they probably do.

  74. Rob J says:

    People would risk their careers and go to jail for fraud, not to mention put the whole league and billions of dollars in jeopardy just to keep Toronto out of the finals? What kind of martyr complex do you fans have!?

  75. Claire A Fye says:

    Over the years I have listened to a lot of play-by-play in a bunch of sports. Rating them is difficult but I think there are some truisms that hold water. Those voices that have been around for a long time ( Bowen, Howarth) become favoured over time because they’ve been doing it so long they become beloved. I don’t particularly think either one is very good. Howarth has a lot of crutches. “The Blue Jays are in flight.” for example. He’s been doing it so long though everyone seems to love him. I prefer Wilner. That’s my opinion and I’m sure most of you disagree. So be it. As for objectivity, don’t forget talk radio is entertainment, not news. News is supposed to be unbiased. Talk has to be entertaining.

  76. Big G says:

    @Rob J

    When was the last time you’ve seen an executive go to jail for fraud in the U.S.?

    How many bankers from the 2008 housing meltdown went to jail for fraud?

    Who do you suppose would go to jail if the games were fixed?
    Answer: Noone
    Why? there is no law outlawing match fixing for entertainment venues.
    Nfl faced allegations of match fixing in court and won, on the basis that entertainment can be rigged.

    Newsflash: Executives don’t go to jail for fraud they pay fines worth as much as the company generates in an hour.

    Newsflash: The nba and NFl will never be in jepordy, the fanbase in the states is slave to the sports.

    Newsflash: Where there is gambling there is fixes.

    Newsflash: An nba ref has already been caught fixing games
    Refs work for the league so I doubt he acted alone.

    Newsflash: The league obviously favours certain games to appease their sponsers and big markets.

    Newsflash: People in the U.S(fans and Sponsers) could care less about the Raptors or any Canadian sports franchis. If the league can control the outcome of games through phantom foul calls the leagues reward to their fans and sponsers in the states would be a matchup of the two best players in the league resulting in a bazillion eyeballs. The reward is well worth the risk.

    Newsflash: A Player from championship Golden State delivered a kick to the head of another player and was not suspend. Why? Aswer: because the entire market in Calafornia would like to see Golden State move on and suspending Green would hurt that chance.

    Newsflash: WWE is not real. The wrestlers are not eating Weaties.

  77. Rob J says:

    If the NBA has fixing games recently to give big-market US teams the title, that’s news to the teams from New York, LA, Houston, Chicago Detroit, etc. But I’m sure the tiny market from San Antonio thinks it’s precious that they’ve somehow established a dynasty despite the attempts to corrupt the process.

  78. Eric says:

    Are we done with the newsflashes yet? It’s like CP24 over here yet somehow even lamer than Steve Anthony.

  79. Curt says:

    Shulman did the Yankee game tonight so I watched the SN feed. Runners on 1st and 2nd, nobody out and Donaldson (MVP) is up…and bunts. Shulman (no homer whatsoever) sounds surprised and asks Buck what he thought of that call. “I love it!” he quickly replies. Is Buck that blind to the home team or is it just all those foul tips catching up with him?

  80. Original Mitch says:

    If you honestly believe the pro leagues go out of their way to make sure the raptors and the Jays don’t win, then just stop watching those sports immediately. You’ll never ever be satisfied otherwise and take this lame ‘us against the world’ attitude that Bautista and Donaldson have adopted. The NBA and MLB did not institute teams in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver with a hidden understanding that those teams could never reach the pinnacle because of ratings. Of course I am not suggesting that for business reasons they would prefer certain markets. duh, of course they would. But to think they go out of their way to make things happen inside the sporting arena…then stop watching if you believe it and stick with the CFL.
    Ironically I do believe the leagues do rig the drafts at times to have chips fall in a certain place. But inside the arena/court, no way.

  81. yaz says:

    Random musings:
    -Last Wed to open the show, Cauz ‘If you’re sad about the Raptors loss let us inject some happy into you.’
    -That morning Bill Watters AGAIN spewing the Kessel story that ‘Shanahan went to Kessel and asked him to switch wings and Kessel said no.’ ( Shanahan laughed and disputed that story on air last year )
    -Ray Ferraro got into Russia despite having a ziploc bag filled with SierraSil.
    -Anyone else bothered by the GM of the Leafs doing those cheesy McAlpine Lincoln ads? How much is MLSE paying Lou, does he really need a free Lincoln to drive??
    -Segment lead in music has been noticeably better on PTS lately.
    -545 PM last Thu Shannon asked such a long question, the guest said ‘What? I don’t know what your question was.’ – and neither did I.
    -Hayes continues to be the lead and sometimes only voice with non-hockey guests. I rarely listened to Hayes in the old 2-4 slot. He does have a professional voice but he drones and goes on and on. He was talking Raps last Thu 5 pm, I switched to PTS to hear them talk about the same topic.
    -Richards with a great interview about someone I could care less about – Royce da 5’9′. I enjoyed it. Richards is genuinely interested and engaged when he does interviews.
    -Greg Carrasco is the new voice of the Fan from 530-9 am and Dean Blundell is in Thornhill not selling Hyundais.

  82. Bobby G says:

    @Big G
    Do you have any idea how often the F-bomb (or whatever was said) is dropped on the field during the course of a baseball game? And if you think it’s okay for the narcissistic ump to eject Donaldson for it, why aren’t you railing against him for not throwing out the Twins’ bench coach?
    Oh, you hadn’t thought that out and just wanted to rail against Wilner? I thought so.
    The majority of callers to sports radio aren’t worth the time. That’s why they only do it as a last resort. Most people feel free to turn it off when Bernie from Ajax wants to ask why they don’t trade half the team to the Mets. Hosts like Wilner make it tolerable. The best part about a Jays loss is listening to Wilner after the game.
    And if you call in to a baseball show and use the word “coach” when you really mean “manager” you deserve to be ridiculed. You’re wasting my time and and everyone else’s.

  83. Big G says:

    @Bobby G

    lets tell kids learning the game and learning about sportsmanship that the proper response is to drop an f bomb in front of the official right after a couple of controversial calls even if he or she is not referring to the ump Lets not tell teach them the proper place to divest of frustration. In what sport would that athlete not be penalized. It’s clear that being demonstrative in front of umps has not helped the jays I think there is a general consensus that it has hurt them. Wilner himself has been critical of Bautista for Demonstrative actions in front of umps.

    “And if you call in to a baseball show and use the word “coach” when you really mean “manager” you deserve to be ridiculed. You’re wasting my time and everyone else’s

    When your a host and you have the power of the microphone with a lot of listeners and you feel the need to degrade those who may not know or have a different opinion then that truly defines Narcissism.

    Again I ask why is it only Wilner that seems to get these calls? Wilner is not the only host on the station that fields calls about the jays, however he is the only hosts that reacts the way he does.

  84. jeff says:

    @BIG G

    Your comments regarding Wilner are SPOT ON!
    Not only does Wilner berate these callers for having the audacity to mix up a phrase, more often than not, he will talk over them as they are completing their question.
    He handles his twitter account in the exact same manner.
    Years ago, for some reason, I found this entertaining. Now though, I see it as pompous and arrogant.
    He seems completely unwilling to engage to a reasoned debate, which begs the question, why take any callers at all?

  85. Patrick says:

    Looks like Middlestadt and Randall are being replaced with Rusic, Bastl and Rapp.

  86. Original Mitch says:

    What it comes down too is the fact that ultimately, try as he might, Wilner doesn’t know Jack about baseball. Or at least, doesn’t know anymore than you or I. That’s the real issue here. You can listen to him berate callers, talk down to them and flat out call them names for a little while and think ‘well, he’s the expert and the callers are dumb’. but over time, you realize he doesn’t know anything about baseball that you can’t get from a box score. He claims he does and his years and years of experience allows him to call himself an expert. But he isn’t. It becomes painfully obvious after listening to him and then you realize: its just bullying. That’s literally all he does. he bullies.

  87. Bobby G says:

    @ Big G
    You’ve got to be kidding me. Nobody is talking about kids and no kids heard what Donaldson said. You’re comparing MLB with schoolyard sports? If the ump hadn’t thrown Donaldson out it would’ve been just one of the other thousand times that adult language is used during a professional game. And why wasn’t anyone else thrown out for dropping an F-bomb? You didn’t bother to answer that perfectly logical question. The ump was clearly not up to the task handed to him by MLB and should be disciplined accordingly. You can console him with soothing phone calls that are handed in a soft-spoken, understanding manner that clearly takes in his deficiencies and accepts him for who he is and pins the blame his lack of knowledge on someone else.

    Which brings me to Wilner. On the rare occasions when calls are taken at the Fan these days, they all have various ways of being dismissive of the people who clearly aren’t following the bouncing ball. Take a listen.
    Hell, Blair doesn’t even listen to the callers (or the guests). He’s checking his laptop or his phone and clues in after 10 seconds of dead air.
    Wilner just rubs your sensitivities the wrong way. Do you think there should be a manual on how to handle a clueless caller? Then they can handle them all the same way. Wouldn’t that be great? How wonderfully bureaucratic! What great radio! Give me Wilner on baseball over almost anyone else any day. If he hurts your feelings, I would suggest you have the problem. Im sure somebody whose opinions and knowledge don’t conflict with you will be along shortly.

  88. jeff says:

    @Bobby G (or should I call you “Mike W”?) You seem incredibly sensitive/angry on this subject

  89. Bobby G says:

    Yes, @ OriginalMitch, wonderful analysis. Wilner knows nothing about baseball. Certainly not as much as you. Or anybody else. That’s settled then. Let’s get somebody on the mic who doesn’t use so many damn statistics so we can really get this Jays Talk thing rolling. I hate statistics. Facts always ruin a phone call from someone whose clueless.

  90. Mike S says:

    The commercial breaks on 590 are pretty predictable so it’s not hard to avoid them if you are listening live and not on podcast

    Just about every show on 590 has only two breaks each hour and each break lasts about 8 minutes……… of the breaks happens at the same time each hour (from 52 minutes past the hour until the top of the hour)………..the other break usually happens near the bottom of the hour

    There are more breaks on 1050 than on 590 but most of them happen at approximately the same times each hour

  91. yaz says:

    Earlier during Naylor’s turn in the 4-7 slot they were running with Dreger late in the 4 PM hour and letting him run right through the 5 PM hour until about 5:05 then break for commercial – trying to steal some of the opening 5 PM PTS crowd. Guess they didn’t feel it was helping. Random commercial breaks would break up the monotony. I just turn my radio to satellite at 4:52 on 590 and about 4:54 on TSN which breaks later. I’m not going to refinance the home that I own to buy a fing diamond at the Scarborough town centre after I overpay some min wage workers to clear out some junk from my yard no matter how many times I listen to the daft ads.

  92. mitch says:

    I can see why you like that condescending d*ck Wilner.

  93. Big G says:

    @Bobby G

    Wilner on a few occasions has mentioned that he has a B.A in phycology,
    might you have been one of the patients he had prior to getting into Radio?
    Wilnuts seems to have done a number on you.

  94. Cirroc says:

    Anybody else enjoying Simmons getting roasted today? That guy is a snivelling weasel of the Nth degree.

  95. Claire A Fye says:

    Once again I’m confused. So many comments about the teams being owned by the two media giants Bell and Rogers, how the reporters are all homers and being muzzled. They’re all hard to take seriously because of all the (forced?) cheerleading. And yet Simmons reports something that isn’t cheerleading, that is worthy of discussion, and he’s a snivelling weasel.
    The reality is there are guys we love, guys we hate. Pretty sure most of the people discussed here don’t care a lick

  96. Paul G. says:

    @ Yaz

    There was no PTS today. The Jays had a 4:00 game in NY.

  97. Bobby G says:

    Good one, @ Mitch. It would be tough not to condescend to a comment like that.
    You and your buddy, @ Big G, are fantastic at not practising what you preach.
    By the way, @ Big G, thanks for once again avoiding the facts. But I guess you’re just being consistent, seeing as that is exactly what you demand out of Wilner.

  98. Alexy says:

    “Wilner on a few occasions has mentioned that he has a B.A in phycology,
    might you have been one of the patients he had prior to getting into Radio?”

    Only a Wilner fan would think a BA in psychology qualifies you to treat patients.

    His followers really are as dumb as his callers.

  99. William D says:

    Is it possible that Bobby G is Wilner? sounds dangerously close. Just listen to his arguements, there too indebth for just a supporter.

    Hey @Bobby G

    if you are Wilner Rogers needs to demote you to one of their customer service call centres for training on how to deal with customers of the team, Did you forget fans are customers of the team? If they take the time to call the show, it likely means they go to games or spend alot of time watching, and by the way facts can be utilized in just about any way shape or form, this is how lawyers and politicians make their money, as for the Bobby G\Wilner agenda it's obvious.


  100. Mike V says:

    ey Cup Final on the same day Steve Simmons writes his next article that is so full of crap it’s universally condemned.

    Spring radio ratings for smaller markets are out. TSN 1150 in Hamilton makes 1050 look stellar in comparison, ratings cratered to a 0.3 from a 0.9 last book. (Top line number -haven’t seen demos but they must be just as bad). What is the point of a Hamilton station outside of Tiget Cat season? The old format had a 3, 1000% percent better.

  101. Mike V says:

    Hmm, must have cut out my first part. That should read “It’s really fitting that Phil Kessel makes the Stanley Cup Final on the same day Steve Simmons writes his next article that is so full of crap it’s universally condemned.”

  102. Joe says:

    @William D 

    Here we go again.. Everytime somebody is a fan of somebody they must then ofcorse be that somebody tight?

    I don't like Wilner either bu obviously some people do or he wouldn't have a job. You can disagree with everything Bobby G (I probably do too) but he's not Wilner he's just a fan of his and that's ok.

    This place get silly sometimes man.

    Anyways, onto something else. I found some satidfaction yesterday with the Penguins win over Tampa. The day after Steve the crap distuber Simmons was at it again this time targeting a pair of raptors. Nice to see Kessel move on to the Cup final and being a key part of his teams success. I guess the hotdods in Pittsburgh are not as good eh Steve?

    Simmons is a joke and I hope the Raps can move on like Phil did just to stick it to Simmons one more time. 

  103. Alfie says:

    Listening to Simmons on Breakfast Club this morning discussing his piece about Joseph and Carroll going to the casino the morning of Game 5. Simmons says that he didn’t want to ask them about the casino visit at shoot around because he was worried about it being a distraction. If so, then why run the story after Game 5? The Raptors have another big game to play and all the questions about the casino visit have become a distraction thanks to Simmons. Why did he wait until Kessel was traded before running the hot dog story?

  104. Bobby G says:

    Thanks, @ Joe.
    Finally some common sense from a guy who doesn’t like Wilner. I don’t have any problem with someone not liking Wilner, I’m just tired of the disingenuous reasons for disliking him. (He doesn’t know anything about baseball, it was Donaldson’s fault, he’s a customer service representative) and then reverting to name calling or conspiracy theories if you disagree with them (I’m definitely, not Mike Wilner, by the way. I’ve never even met the man)… These people are guilty of the exact same things they accuse him of. Anyway, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s fine. To each their own.
    As for the Raps, however, I too hope they move on. But Blundell sure is expelling a lot of wind over what he doesn’t think is journalism. The second that guy breaks a story that isn’t spoon fed (and fully explained) to him by a Rogers exec, is the time I will value his criticism of journalism. Blundell is far too sophomoric to be taken seriously about anything, Simmons included.

  105. Big G says:

    @Bobby G

    Say what you want, you twisted my entire point. Donaldson should have taken the high rode, A. There's no reason to be dropping f bombs in front of an official weather it's directed at a 10 and 30 team or doesn't desculate anything

    During Donaldson's at bat he was obviously not happy with some of the calls and then when going back to the dugout drops an f bomb right in front of the official. Which other player did that  same thing at that very moment.that also should have been thrown out? A smart athlete understands time and place.

    B. Donaldson is the reigning MVP he probably makes more money than those minnesota twins players combined why chirp. The reaction by Donaldson  or any of the Blue Jays has not helped them with the officials, mlb or other teams. This point was reiterated by Stephen Brunt on Blairs show.Complaining about the umps or at the umps is obviously going nowhere, it's only led to ejections.

    but you obviously endorse  this irrational outburst that has led to nothing that helps the team or how about letting the manager deal with it, that's what he's there for. I guess it makes to much sense.

    C. In every sport there is kids learning at the grassroot level. and kids observe the behaviors of their favorite players, You'll often hear athletes say I loved watching this guy growing up. Just say n Donaldson did himself a disservice A. Knowing that Jays have targets on their back with umps and B. Chirping at a far more inferior team.

    Twist whatever you want I'm done.

  106. Dros says:

    Steve Simmons is the worst columnist this city has. Bar none. 

    The guy writes pieces like the Kessel hotdog story and this one because he wants clicks. That's it. That's what everyone does, yes, but he doesn't stand actually stand behind his work when pressed. He didn't want to ask the question in the scrum because he didn't want it to be a distraction? Bull. That's a cop out. He wrote the thing in the first place. 

    It's insane how long of a career he has managed to have. 

  107. jeff says:

    @Dros  Sad but true.  He is still aorund, because SunMedia and TSN got a huge lift by this article, and the reaction to it.  By those standards, he is a media employers dream.  So as long as we pay attention to him, he will keep making up these stories…

  108. Mike V says:

    It is really though? SunMedia circulation numbers are not that great so hard to say many are paying to read him and itn 2016, pageviews aren't worth much.

    I think the cost (both monetary and reputationally) of keep old, lazy guys like Simmons around far outweighs the benefits they bring.

  109. Rob J says:

    For a couple of non-stories, hot dog-gate and casino-gate sure got a lot of traction.

  110. yaz says:

    @Paul G I didn't say PTS was on yesterday.

  111. Original Mitch says:


    Sorry, didn't realize that pointing out that someone is a condescending blowhard on radio was innapropriate in these parts. all hail Wilner! 

    And Donaldson has a Toronto vs everybody t-shirt on his profile pic and regularly curses out umpires on calls, so yeah if i'm that umpire that game, I toss his ass out so fast as well!


  112. Anthony says:

    'Sorry, didn't realize that pointing out that someone is a condescending blowhard on radio was innapropriate in these parts. all hail Wilner! '


    Whats wrong with being decent to people?

  113. Alex says:

    Bob should have just taken a long weekend. No round table > return of Reid. 

  114. Sam In Scarb says:

    777  JACKPOT   PTS the Hall of Shame roundtable   shannon,reid & kirke

    Not here to critisize or bitch as I won't be watching or listening for even 1 second.

    rogers sales staff and advertizers are you listening?

  115. Anthony says:

    @WIlliam D

    Back in the day I believe you also accused myself and another poster of being Wilner. How many Wilners can be on here? 

  116. William D says:

    @ Anthony

    In the world of the internet, people hide behind several alias names,

    nothing new, happens on various chat platforms.

  117. Benjamin says:


    Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t make him Mike Wilner, nor should it allow some to accuse them of it.

    This whole threat has turned into a hot garbage fast due to a handful of anonymous posters feeling the need to take shots at a guy.

    TSM, perhaps you can make a ‘Mike Wolner bash threat’ so that the rest of us (I guess I’m Mike Wilner now), could steer clear and attempt to avoid the kids table

  118. Carl A says:

    Today could be the worst roundtable on PTS of all time. It is truly bottom of the barrel.

  119. Benjamin says:


    Not sure what’s worse, that Roundtable or this comment thread

  120. Bobby G says:

    @ Original Mitch
    No, what you did was change it from a debate on Wilner’s merits to an exercise in name calling. You may not have realized it because I didn’t respond in kind.

    @ Big G
    There was no twisting of your points, they were already twisted beyond all logic. But that’s okay. Because if you’re done, my prayers have been answered.

  121. William D says:


    If I recall you've also accused a poster to this blog of being a caller to Jays talk, simply because the commenter and the caller had the same name. Pretty bizzare.

  122. Steven says:

    What a gong show this has become, all because a few posters dont like Wilner. Your ruining it for all of us, jesus

  123. Ben says:

    Actually Bobby G is trolling everyone, because of his emphatic love affair with Wliner. Just kill the Wilner talk. If anyone loves or hates Wilner call him and let him know. He absolutely loves to hear from the people that love him. Enough with the Wilnuts thing.

  124. Original Mitch says:

    I genuinely think that through proper critic, maybe our small voices can actually affect positive change. Who knows what big wig read these forums. You know SOME of them have their finger on the pulse of things. And if you are defending Mike Wilner's dismissive, condescending and belittling nature on his show, then I worry that those types of people will emerge even more in the TO sports broadcasting arena. And it is true, I am particularly hard on Wilner. He's the worst I have ever heard in my life. I want smart, knowleagable hosts who treat their audience with the proper respect. Always been fascinated with PTS and how Bob may complain and ask hard questions to his guests and sometimes be a grouch, but he's ALWAYS respectful to callers, even when he doesn't agree with them. 

  125. Steven says:


    Your attacking anyone who suggests that they like Wilner, suggesting that they are Wilner himself. You and William are taking over this based off of some unhealthy obsession. Why can't we have an equal opinion? Why can't you say your piece and move on? Why are we all subject to whatever you want on here. 

    Youve turned it into a gongshow all out of some need to attack a guy who doesnt even read this place. If you want to make a difference, start a petition, email people, do something other then complaining on here. Complaining will get you no where. 

    Please, (William too) dont attack us, let us have reasonable and rational discussion

  126. Original Mitch says:


    I'm attacking people? Seriously? You feel 'attacked' by me? Gees Louise, get a grip. 

    I haven't said anything about anybody on here and frankly what's his name is the one who is attacking me, based on your ultra sensitive standards. Don't worry though, I can take it. He wants to call me childish names to further his argument, so be it. Again, I see why he likes Wilner, cut from the same cloth.

  127. Steven says:

    Ill ask again, hopefully you can answer without the condesending attitude. 

    What are you accomplishing here. William and others (maybe even you) have been on her for years ripping Wilner. Guess what, you havent accomplsihed anythng. You can keep on ripping on him and anyone who defends him, its a free world (althought TSM has said in the past anyone who gets personal with personalities will be banned, pro tip), but what have you accomplsihed. Ive been reading William rip him for at least 18 months, Im sure you have too, so at the end of the day, what have those 18 months done to forward your goal? Im guessing not alot, so perhaps its time to take a different route? 

  128. Original Mitch says:


    Wow, so now you are making allegations that i've made personal attacks againsts Wilner and trying to get me banned from here. okay then. 

    Also, this is a forum about Toronto Sports broadcasting personalities. He's a polarizing and promiment one. Maybe that's why William and others keep bringing him up, because he's very relevant. Ever think that was the reason we discuss him? Because he's on for at least 162 nights and ultimately plenty more in a calendar year? 

    And what route do you suggest we take? Not mention him or other members of the media ever? 

  129. Steven says:


    You enjoy making leaps and dodging. 

    You just said that you hope that by holding him to fire you want someone to make a change. Well thats been what people have been complaining about here for 18 months. It died down and was a fun place to read posts for the last month while William and others rarely broguht it up. TSM makes a positive comment on him and you guys come here and take away that cool place. Anyone who asks you to stop is met with accurations of being Wilner himself and trolled. Why can't we have an intellegent, non rhetoric/trolling discussion about Wilner then? Why is it that when someone tries to defend him your on him like a dog on a bone. We had something cool going here for a while, and all of a sunned its de-volved to where we where 6 months ago where people where getting banned. Why can't TSM make a single positive comment about Wilner and it have to turn into a troll fest? 

    Just let us enjoy this place, stop telling us what opinions where allowed to have and if someone challengages you, perhaps an intellegent conversation is the best course of action, not a trolling attack. 

    What a Gongshow. 

  130. Original Mitch says:


    interestingly enough, I tried to have a good discussion about Wilner, stating that he doesn't really know baseball enough to be in the seat he occupies and that he just reads rudamentary stats from to prove his point. My comment was receieved with the most arrogant, condescending reply ever By Big G or whatever his name. So let's see both sides, here, okay?

  131. steven says:


    So even if that is the case, why start aggressive trolling and attacking? Ive read through these pages and responces, I don't care about Mike Wilner, your just as if not more aggressive than him. If you feel that he is condesencing and aggorant, fine, but guess what, you've been donig what he does, if not more so. Your need to attack has been one of the main reasons that this is the gongshow its become. 

    If he's doing what you say, why attack (much like you did to me ). Just tell him hes wrong abd move on, I don'tknow, be an adult? 

    Like I said, Gongshow. Too bad, was cool here for the last few months. 

  132. Original Mitch says:


    I guess I believe in standing up to bully-like behavior from the likes of BigG (or whatever his name) and yourself. You two attack me and that other guy, yeah we push back a little. Sorry for doing that. You win, i'm out. unbelievable. 


  133. Bobby G says:

    @Original Mitch (Please don’t tell me there are duplicates.)
    I can only assume you’re talking about me but who can be certain, eh?
    The only one calling people names on here is you.
    All I said is that you had lowered the level of debate to its lowest possible level. Making the assertion Wilner “doesn’t know jack” about baseball isn’t worthy of a serious counterpoint. I can’t believe you repeated it. You may not like his take on the game, you may not like the way he handles callers, you may not like his voice, you may not like anything about him. That is your opinion, fine. But he knows baseball. To say otherwise is just silly.
    Furthermore, you have not made any kind of rational counterpoint to anyone else on here. It is either that you are trolling us (I can’t be bothered to recall the name of the person who has so egregiously wronged me that I must refer to this outrage continuously and forever.) Or you don’t have a rational response to a rational point — because your argument doesn’t hold water. I will go with the latter.
    Either way, it makes no difference to me. I pledge to never to respond to you on this or any other point ever again. In fact, I’m terribly sorry I wasted my time and the time of so many others by doing so in the first place. I’m moving on.
    Ignoring you appears to be in everyone’s best interest.
    Good luck to you with your future endeavours.
    Thank heavens you’ve already forgotten my name.

  134. Original Mitch says:


    Its fine. you like Wilner, I don't. Easy peasy. I question his baseball knowledge, you retort in condescending fashion.I question his on-air antics, you retort in condescending fashion.easy peasy. That other guy has a different take on Donaldson than yours, you respond in condescending fashion. easy peasy.


  135. steven says:

    @Origial Mitch

    I came in here without a bias or a need to comment. I saw your comments. Its ok to have someone challenge you when you say something silly, its not ok for you to attack them. Its not ok to troll and act like someone took away your toy. Like I said, I dont care what your issues with Wilner are, who cares, whats wrong with a disagreeing like a civil human adult?

    Dont worry, im gone too, the fun has been taken out of this place by a few selfish posters who feel the need to attack a radio personality and attack anyone who questions them. Is it really worth it?

  136. Original Mitch says:

    How about this. if it was Zaun or former player being a jerk to callers for disagreeing with him, I wouldnt question his pedigree. What I said about Wilner if you bothered to actually read my comment was that he doesn’t know anymore about baseball than you or I. So him being a jerk to callers is additionally off-putting.
    If a nuclear physicist wants to be condescending about string theory to me, he’s a jerk but I can’t question his expertise. If Joe Blow is gonna talk down to me, I don’t like it.

  137. Ben says:


    It's funny how you just come in here an start taking up an arguement you have nothing to do with????? hmmmmmmm. Weird.i've seen you do this befor. I agree with whoever said there is 1 poster acting as several.


  138. Mike V says:

    What a bizzaro thread. So Wilner doesn’t know anything about baseball because he uses stats? Or because you don’t like what he says? Or because you don’t like that he is short with stupid callers when they phone in?

  139. Ben says:

    Both parties crying for Wilner and about Wilner are idiots. 1. Wilner can defend himself, he does it quite often and B. If you have beef with him call his show, his listeners love the entertainment(Which to me are made for radio). The arguement is useless. What a waste of precious time.

  140. Anthony says:

    @William D

    I certainly did, amazing you of all people recognize that, or maybe not 😉

    Will still love reading TSM and Mike, but the comments are being flooded by negativity and aggression towards others.

    Im out, peace

  141. Laurence says:

    Mike Wilner is virtually unlistenable. He’s arrogant and condescending, it tedious tired radio.

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