Weekend Open Minds Thread

October 17th, 2015 | by mike (in boston)

Hey everyone. We haven’t done one of these in a while. Rather than us picking topics, now is your chance to put issues on the table for discussion. What’s on your sports mind this weekend?

If there are things about the site you want to get off your chest, that’s fine too. We are always looking for ways to make the place more fun and welcoming and productive. Jonah and I both have our own watching, listening, and reading habits so obviously we won’t cover all the things worth covering in Toronto sports media. If there are things you want us to discuss more, let us know.

Happy weekend everyone. I’ll be back at you next week.



  1. rob j says:

    I’ve only ever lived near the toronto sports market. In other cities, do the fans become such a huge part of the story when a team does well? I’m a (non-jays) baseball fan but every other story is about fans being ticked off for one reason or another: officiating, dome closed, start times, announcing, etc. As an observer of the game, why would anyone want to read, watch or listen to any reporting about a team’s fans? And if they actually are as whiny as it seems, why would they even want the Jays to advance? This has got to be a Toronto thing, right?

  2. AP says:

    Random question. When we got Ben Revere he was placed lower in the lineup. Wilner did his cheerleader thing and said it was the right move. Then Revere ends up being our leadoff hitter and he looks exactly like we’d imagine.

    What has Wilner said about it? Did he admit he was wrong? I’m always curious if these know it all media types admit they’re wrong, but it’s hard to keep track of all their statements.

  3. Mont from London Ont says:

    Wilner would never admit he is wrong because in his small mind he never is – Wilner is all that is wrong with team coverage in general and certainly Toronto in particular – Wilner is an arrogant clown who talks down to all callers and especially those who disagree with him – As I have said before I can’t believe he gets paid and only does his job so he can shower with the team – He is a total embarrassment to any knowledgeable sports fan – I am at a loss to understand why he is still around – Him and Ken Reid-

  4. jbg says:

    Those that thought tulo should lead off thought so because he had history of being a better hitter then Revere. Time has shown that Revere has hit better so he stays leading off and Tulo moves down the lineup.

  5. Rob J says:

    To some, the flat ratings at the FAN recently were surprising. But as John Shannon says, “When everyone agrees, it’s bad radio”.

  6. Daniel says:

    So apparently Matt Stairs is cohosting the morning show with Blundell next week, and Richard Dietch is cohosting Prime Time in a couple weeks..

    No idea how that will sound, but I give kudos to The Fan for trying something different!

  7. Species 1967 says:

    When and how did Kayla leave the Blundell show? Was it after Friday? That was a pretty short stint, especially considering how she was supposedly bringing balance to his perceived crudeness.

  8. Darrell says:

    Very simple point here but where are the female personalities on the FAN? There is NONE and I personally do not like it at all. The FAN is stuck in the 1960’s and has this white fluffy cloud idea that no women know their sports like men. I beg to differ. Yeah, sure there’s Jackie Redmond, Hazel Mae, Sophia Jurkowitz (from Hockey Night in Canada) but why can’t the FAN ever have any women on any of their shows? Don’t get it at all!

  9. Happy says:

    I’m sure the Fan knows their target audience. I’m sure they’re aware that most male fans would discount a female’s take. As a father of three daughters, I obviously disagree with the audience’s general ideas on it, but that’s the glass ceiling which is evident in most fields.

  10. Alex says:

    A number of people have asked why Evanka hasnt been a co host on PTS, when they use her partner often.

    The same could be said for 1050, who stopped having Kate Bierness (sp) as a co host on Naylors show.

  11. Zebb says:

    I wouldn’t mind the site adding a private forum that we could register for. Just to keep the banter rolling and threaded. I have no clue what is involved on the tech side.

    I would love to see an interview with Bill Houston or Marty York. York is a nutter. Houston has an epic meltdown when he had his own short lived blog.

    Is there a more overt inter-media hate on Twitter than Strachan for Arthur?

  12. Darrell says:

    I understand ‘it is that way because it always has been that way’ but why are we just socially accepting of it? There are some gorgeous women who know sports on TSN and Sportsnet. This is totally not to arouse my lusting desire at all but I would much rather listen to Evanka Osmak or Hazel Mae’s view on sports than Jeff Blair or Dean Blundell. I would rather listen to Kate Beirness or the Natasha woman who co-hosts on SportsCentre than Steve Simmons or Dave Feschuk.

  13. AP says:

    If you want a female personality like Barb DiGiulio, I can get that. You know she’s been following sports forever and knows when the Jays last won the World Series, etc, or when the Leafs had Dougie and Wendel. I have a hard time taking these latest ladies seriously. Now if they were to speak on stats, and bring something to the table other than experience,I would be on board. But I don’t want to hear those ladies you mention the same way I don’t want to hear Ken Reid, whose opinion I don’t care for.

    Btw Hazel Mae has been around baseball long enough I bet she has great baseball opinions.

    And yes I don’t doubt if they looked hard enough they could get women who were well versed on the topics.

  14. scarboro_scamp says:

    I just tried to watch a Sportsnet clip on Twitter and had to sit through 3 unskippable ads. Probably won’t be watching any more Sportsnet clips on the Twitter. 3 unskippable ads is almost abusive.

  15. Darrell says:

    DiGiulio was great, I agree. I was just throwing out random names but they are better than almost half of the men currently on the radio at the FAN.

  16. Rob J says:


    Sorry…how is Marty York a ‘nutter’??

  17. Darrell says:

    I agree 150% with Mont from London above, about Wilner. Without a doubt, Mike Wilner has to be the worst sportscaster in the Toronto market. I was not a fan of Mike Toth on TSN or currently with Ken Reid of Sportsnet, but I would chose either of them before choosing Wilner.

  18. Marcus says:

    @rob j

    Good media topic. I do remember seeing articles in the US about fans and their antics, mostly with baseball and football (maybe there’s something about the outdoors that makes people think it’s perpetual recess). And I can”t say that Toronto fans look like the most knowledgeable or cool-headed these days. Of course, the media aids and abets this. The downside of all this media coverage of fandom is that fans stop remembering that they are a peripheral part of the show and start to think they are the show.

    I remember during the 92 series how American broadcasters ravrd about how respectfiul and polite the Toronto fans were. Things have not taken a turn for the better.

    And in terms of the average fan’s knowledge of the game, I like ex-Alouette and Bills coach Matv Levy’s take. [paraphrased here]: “If you listen to the fans, pretty soon you’ll be sitting with them.”

  19. Marcus says:

    Excuse my thumb.

    Ravrd = raved

    Matv = Marv

  20. Zebb says:

    Rob J – he is a crazy Jays hater/troll on Twitter. Recently retweeted an allegation about a player being on drugs (not roids). Panders to the CFL crowd who claim lack of respect at every turn. Also plays the “I am blackballed for keeping it to real card”.

    The guy has had a tremendous fall and appears to not be the least bit humbled. Dan Russell in Vancouver is similar.

  21. Mike V says:

    Rob j, is that a serious question?

    I could do without ever hearing that name again but since it’s been brought up, here’s my personal favourite BS Marty York story: like most Toronto teams and coaches, he absolutely hated Sam Mitchell and the raptors. You could read it in his writing that he was beside himself with rage when the team started winning on way to the division. Sam won COTY and his contract was up. Broad consensus around the league was that he would be renewed but Marty wasn’t having it, he had “sources” and he knew it wouldn’t happen. So ESPN’s Mark Stein I believe broke the story about Sam’s extension one Thursday afternoon and that got picked up by outlets on both sides of the boarder. Marty’s column in metro ran on Friday. The day after, he is still going on about how the extension won’t happen. He had “sources” at MLSE who told him it didn’t happen, it would never happen and reporters who said otherwise were homers.

    MLSE confirmed Stein’s report later that morning.

  22. Mike V says:

    I read a story about Royals’ fans starting a petition to remove Joe Buck from the ALCS broadcast because he was biased against the team (Buck is a Cardinals fan). So not just a Toronto phenomenon.

  23. Mont from London Ont says:

    Pardon this rant but this really bugged me-
    Coming out the ads to start the bottom of the eighth
    in last nights game (2nd game ALCS) Zobrist I think it was had already
    taken a pitch for a ball – Considering all the @#$#$$G time taken up
    with the ads to miss a pitch is inexcusable – He could have done
    anything with that pitch and the viewer would have missed it live –
    If anything ruins my viewing pleasure it is not who wins or loses
    or even some hare brained announcer it is the goddamned ads –
    Pheww – Thanks for looking – Rant over-

  24. MattK says:

    Peoples obsession with hating Mike Wilner is weird. A healthy Tulo should be at the top of the lineup instead of Revere. Unfortunately he isn’t healthy so Revere is the leadoff guy which is ok but lets not pretend Revere is actually a better hitter. Don’t see how that makes Wilner wrong in this case.

  25. AP says:

    They said on the broadcast yesterday that Tulo on any other team would be a cleanup hitter. Wilner suggesting him as a leadoff hitter was simply him agreeing with whatever the Jays are doing that day.

    I follow the Raps and Doug Smith always does the same.

  26. MattK says:

    Yah this Blue Jays offense isn’t normal they had 3 of the top ten hitters in baseball this year so he isn’t moving the 2-3-4 hitters so I’d rather have him leadoff (when healthy) and get more at bats then Revere.

  27. Anthony says:

    ‘Peoples obsession with hating Mike Wilner is weird.’

    Yup, its taken over this website, not in a good way.

    I remember a podcast with Buster Only suggesting that the Tulo leading off idea was brilliant due to it allowing your three best hitters getting the most at-bats. Amazingly no one says a peep. Its pretty easy to bitch in hindsight, but a few smart baseball guys (Only’s guest agreed) felt it was a great idea. Didn’t know ESPN was under Rogers control too….

    Alas, another week of trolling, can we change that? Actually talk about sports media topics and not troll the personalities? That be super.

  28. Dave in Bolton says:

    Kate Beirness is by far the best female personality on TV and make for a great radio host. I’d love to have a Kate Beirness radio show in the 10 am time slot they could even simulcast the show.

    I’m still going with the idea they should turn TSN 5 into a radio/tv network with shows being on radio as well as TV.

    New schedule if I were the program director
    6 am to 9 – Macko and Cauz
    10 to 12 – the Kate Beirness show
    12 to 1 – Insider Trading with Duthie, Mckenzie, Dreger and LeBrun
    2 to 4 – the Brian Hayes show
    4 to 7 – TSN Drive with new host Andrew Walker

    I believe Andrew Walker is best untapped personality in Toronto and in the country. He has the voice and interview skills to step into the lead role at TSN radio

    Send Nailer back onto TV maybe even name him new host of the reporters in order to keep him at TSN and not repeat What happened to Cybulski.

  29. Sam says:

    As mentioned above I would also like to see a forreum with the opportunity for threaded discussions on individual topics.

    Happened to hear Brunt on his first day with Blair – seemed almost gleeful to be away from PTS.

    Saw Dutchysen (sp) interviewing Phillips and Shulman… OK we get it Darren you have big guns – maybe get your suits cut a bit better.

    Deitsch had Onrait on his sports media podcast last week – good stuff. Also very good cast with Paul Heyman a couple weeks ago.

    TSN The Reporters announced yesterday it will be moving to Mondays next week at 4:30 because it kept on jumping around on Sundays. I think it is a good move but find the show is much more talking point oriented due to length than say PTS. It would be a much stronger show if it was longer – they don’t have much time to let topics simmer… I guess that’s just TV and the PTI’ing of everything with their “rundown” on the side of the screen and limited attention spans etc.

  30. alex says:

    I wonder what The Reporters on Monday afternoon will do to Arthur’s monday co-hosting Naylor’s show. Start at 5? Another day? Scrapped?

  31. Dave in Bolton, absolutely love your revamped TSN 1050 Radio schedule. I am not a hockey puck, but get how it needs coverage, especially after the Jays run. Love Kate and Andrew getting their own shows, although it is pretty much proven that a solo host has to be incredibly strong with very strong guests to make it work, otherwise you need someone with you, not necessarily a permanent co-host, but maybe rotating ones, to make it work. Don’t get me started on call-in’s, which I despise.

    Sam, Brunt being absolutely gleeful to be away from PTS and McCown and with Blair makes sense to me for a number of reasons. First, Brunt was in a kind of abusive relationship with Bob, the way that Bob would continually try to bait Brunt, who finally realized that he is better than that, and fed up with deflecting, or ignoring Bob’s outlandish statements with no justification at all. It wears on you after a while, I am surprised it took this long, but if not for the Jays run the 2nd half of the season, Brunt would still be with Bob. Blair’s glee to cover the Jays, and do it with Blair, who doesn’t talk out of his ass on baseball, but is up to date on old school coverage and analytics, in a relaxed environment was too good for him to pass up.

  32. Dan says:

    Does anyone here actually watch The Reporters? Does anyone really care anymore what four old, white guys have to say with their outdated opinions and hot takes? I doubt it would be missed if it were axed — the fact it is getting moved to a day/time where its core audience would be working is telling; just like the fact they show PTI and Around The Horn ahead of it.

  33. Anthony says:

    ‘Does anyone here actually watch The Reporters? Does anyone really care anymore what four old, white guys have to say with their outdated opinions and hot takes?’

    That’s my feeling as well. I grew up on the Reporters, the ESPN and TSN versions as lead ins to Sunday Morning countdown, but there are much more intelligent dialog out there these days. The fact that they don’t often include minorities or those outside the regular names makes it fairly boring and repetitive. Why do I care about a guy who never covers Football commenting on football? If they don’t know the sport, why are they talking about it?

    Id love to see them bring new topics and fresh faces, at least then there would be interest, but alot of the dialog on that show (admittedly haven’t watched it in a year or so) comes off rehearsed, ill take this side you take that side. Not very intelligent watching IMO.

  34. Mike S says:

    McCown discussed the Brunt/PTS divorce on Friday’s show………it was during the first hour of October 16 PTS at the 8 minute mark

    Basically he said that Brunt is no longer on the show because he couldn’t commit to doing 40 weeks per year………here is a direct quote: “the listeners of this program deserve to have a co-host who appears 40 weeks per year”

    That is a strange comment given that there has been rotating co-hosts on PTS for at least the last 10 years………..there hasn’t been a full time co-host since maybe Jim “Shaky” Hunt, and even then I don’t think he ever did 40 weeks per year

  35. Neil says:

    @Anthony and @Dan

    Great that you touch on a lack of minorities in the sports media business. I think it’s truly an injustice to the athletes and sports fans in Canada that the sports media does not exhibit nearly enough cultural diversity. Yet this is the 21st century. Would make for a good topic on this site.

  36. Daniel says:

    @ Mike S

    I don’t think McCown is wrong though. It was frustrating that Brunt on more often. I think we all assumed that was Sportsnet’s decision, but perhaps Brunt had a hand in keeping his show total low?

  37. Blue Jay Fan says:

    The round table on PTS has the same lack of appeal as the reporters, even more so now without the youth of Tim and Sid.

  38. yaz says:

    Another spotty week on the Leafs Lunch / Hayes Show podcast front. Every other TSN show it’s almost like a bot does it – Friday Oct 16 LL still not up. Hour 1 Oct 16 BH show up, not hour 2 etc. They must get a PA to do it and the PA keeps changing or something.

  39. yaz says:

    I like The Reporters – at least it’s Toronto-centric. Their theme music is worthy of a Guantanamo torture cell and despite the fact Bruce Arthur is on it – I enjoy it. Though my pvr misses it a lot for some reason.

  40. Dave in bolton says:

    anyone else think Mike Richards would be a better late night host then in the mourning’s? id put him from 11 pm and on after Game Night

  41. Mike S says:

    Daniel……….McCown is not wrong when he says that Brunt should have been on PTS more often……….but McCown is wrong when he says that Brunt needs to be on PTS 40 weeks per year

    If Brunt was willing to do every other week from early September to mid June (a total of about 20 to 25 weeks) I’m sure he would still be on PTS……….but the problem has been that Brunt did only about 15 weeks last year and his commitment to PTS seemed to be decreasing each year

  42. Mike S says:

    Kudos to 590 for thinking outside the box and bringing in Richard Deitsch to be PTS co-host for the week of November 2………they have also apparently been trying to get Keith Olbermann to be co-host for a week as well

    They should try this type of thing more often………it didn’t work when they used Butch Carter last year but it did work when they brought in Rob Becker for a week many years ago

  43. Zebb says:

    Random comment – big thanks to TSN for going chin deep on the Rugby World Cup coverage. American fans envy us.

    Speaking of The Reporters, does anyone remember the bygone version from vintage TSN? Paul Beeston, Jack Donahue, maybe Pat Marsden and I think some grouchy columnist from the Star or Sun. No hot takes, lowest budget. It was fun to watch in a different era.

  44. Zebb says:

    It wasn’t the gruff columnist. It was Bill Watters. I think John Wells hosted.

  45. Daniel says:

    Wow! Keith Olberman would be an incredible get.

  46. Jacob says:

    New program director at Fan 590 really bringing some life to their schedule. It’s nice to seem some change in the programming.

  47. yaz says:

    Oct 20 Mike Richards Itunes Podcast x 3. Cauz & Wheeler x 3. By 5:15 TSN Drive already posted what they had done. Leafs Lunch & Hayes show another big goose egg. Though they post to the TSN Webpage & links from their Twitter.

  48. New Fan 590 survey today asking me to critique all of the various co-hosts and regulars on air. It gave me great pleasure to be able to critique Reid and Shannon, guess how I voted, but was really nice was the ability to add comments after critiquing each one. Long survey, they really covered a lot of the bases.

  49. Brian says:

    @ Dave in Bolton

    Leafs Lunch is the best show on TSN — it’s not close. You’re going to axe that? Duthie isn’t going to do anything else. And Mac, Dregs and Pierre are busy enough with all the radio spots here and elsewhere. They would refuse too.
    Hayes is a pretty good host and LL smokes HC@N on the Fan. Kypreos is getting exposed with too much airtime; Millard is the most awkward host on any show and Maclean never fails to make it all about him.
    I think Walker is OK (much less grating than Brady) but he’s not ready for that slot.
    I’m not sure how Blair stays on radio or TV. He’s always repeating himself, can’t make a decent argument, and gets too flustered when challenged.
    And everyone in this market seems to revere Jerry Howarth. I can’t listen to him. The whole radio team is difficult to listen to. Howarth, Wilner and Siddall are awful together.
    Does anyone know what happened to Mackowycz?

  50. Mike S says:

    The revolving door of Gord Stellick hockey sidekicks has continued this year on Leafs radio broadcasts on 590:

    A few years ago it was Ric Nattress, and he wasn’t very good………….then it was Mark Osborne, who did a decent job but left to take a job with the LA Kings………….this year it’s Todd Hlushko and I haven’t been impressed with him so far

  51. Sam in Scarb says:

    @ Mike S, Ya robbers treats Gord Stellick like a red haired,freckled faced stepson with a limp.Yet Stellick takes it all like a champ !

  52. Dros says:

    The Great Canadian Ratings Report by Zelkovich:

    “To put things in perspective, CFL games this past weekend averaged 350,000”

    The Leafs vs. Columbus game on Friday on TSN got just 205,000…


  53. Blue Jay Fan says:

    Rogers reporting a massive large bump in profits across the board, thanks in part to the jays. Rogers media appears to be handing it to Bell right now.

  54. Daniel says:

    TSM – curious about your tweets saying you’re hearing there’s a lot of chatter that AA won’t be back.

    Can you IMAGINE the outrage if Rogers screws this up? Wow.

  55. Blue Jay Fan says:


    I don’t think there will be outrage at all. People in this city are not tied to gm’s or coaches their tied to competitive teams. The funny thing about the current team is, that although this team seems to be competitive at the moment, if this team does not win it all this season, losing David Price, Marco Estrada(who teams will be bidding high for), one of Edwin or Jose and Burhle, could completely reverse this teams fortunes and set them back, What would people think of AA at that point. Goins, Pillar, Martin,Revre and Tulo aren’t exactly going to light the offence on fire and what would Donaldson be without the protection of a Jose. this thing can go south pretty quick if the Jays don’t bounce back and win this thing.

  56. Anthony says:

    Why would Bautista/Jose go? The Jays have a team friendly option for them that simply needs to be active. If they do trade one, they should get a nice return. There’s alot of money coming off the books, they should be able to keep all the bats around while buying a pitcher or two. Plus, its not like anyone else in the East is all that dangerous right now.

  57. The level of intelligent baseball talk with Matt Stairs on the roundtable has gone up at least 500%. You realize how woefully inadequate the baseball talk is without him, which is just banter that a bunch of regular guys can have around the pub. I have really enjoyed Stairs on Blundell as well this week, who I never listen to, and only did because of him.

  58. Alex says:

    The Aaron Loup details have come out: his wife had a very premature labor/delivery.

  59. Blue Jay Fan says:

    It’s guaranteed that Edwin/Jose will go to free agency and cash in BIG, I can’t see anyone mortgaging their future for their limited services. Without Bautista and Jose the only scary bat is Donaldson, and how scary would he be without the services of Jose and Edwin? not very much so. In terms of signing free agent pitching how successful over the years have the Jays been? Not very much so. Lastly, the Yankees and Boston never have trouble throwing money at big money free agents and not very many big free agent pitchers or batters have refused over the years. Toronto is not exactly a free agents first choice destination.

    Why would Bautista/Jose go? The Jays have a team friendly option for them that simply needs to be active. If they do trade one, they should get a nice return. There’s alot of money coming off the books, they should be able to keep all the bats around while buying a pitcher or two. Plus, its not like anyone else in the East is all that dangerous right now

  60. Pudge72 says:

    @MattK – completely agree with you about Tulo being lead-off in this particular line up. You want your best hitters to get the most at-bats. Revere was most productive as the 9th hitter, getting on base for Mt. Crushmore. Tulo should be fully healthy in 2016. Assuming that, and no change in the Jays line-up (except for healthy Devon Travis replacing Goins at 2B) he or Travis should be the lead off hitter, with Revere hitting 9th.

    @DaveinBolton – like your TSN 5 ideas. Good stuff.

    – Overall quality of content would improve immensely if TSN 1050 replaced Wheeler/Cauz with Beirness…yesterday. She has been great when I have heard her on the radio. Same for switching Reid with Ozmak on PTS. Jessica Mendoza on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball has also been a great listen. Thank god Curt Schilling stuck his foot in his mouth earlier in the summer.

    – Marty York and McCown (Sundin to the Rangers, Gibby about to get fired this past mid-season) have some of the worst ‘sources’ ever.

    – Wilner is too much of a homer at times, and he does pick and choose reference points for convenience often, but he is generally good to excellent on JaysTalk given the steaming pile of garbage that he has to deal with almost every time a phone line becomes available. Any other person having to listen and respond to that much junk would have gone insane by now.

  61. Pudge72 says:

    @BlueJayFan – ummmm…Bats/EE both have team options for 2016 that are a slam dunk to be activated. After 2016? That is when your discussion points come into play. I personally would see the Jays extend/re-sign at least Bautista as EE is pretty much a DH only at this point (keep Colabello at 1B), and is the streakier of the two hitters. That said, it would be great to see both get re-signed.

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