Bill Watters Is a Better Guest Then Host

Dennis Beyak was co-hosting with Watters tonight as Brady was on the ice with the ex-NHLers and the charity players at the Baycrest charity event. Watters gets different hosts from time to time. Brady is an excellent foil for Watters and he carries the show while Watters fills in with his comments, opinions and innuendo. There success over the last 4 books as compared with “the franchise” Mccown is beyond admirable, it’s quite remarkable. Having said that, listening to Watters and Beyak tonight was vintage Watters. Beyak is good at what he does, but he doesn’t appear to have the depth or the range that Brady has. Instead of a real dialogue the conversation was an interview. There is no question that Wilbur THRIVES in those situations.

When Beyak says to Watters, “do you think there is going to be a lot of trade activity at the nhl draft, will that be the time for Burke to try to trade the likes of Tomas Kaberle or Pavel Kubina?” Watters becomes the former assistant GM of the Leafs and the talent that they try to sell. Watters surmising that indeed this will be the time for Burke to get busy and that he (Watters) believes Kaberle and the Leafs first round draft pick (#7) could be headed to Tampa for the #2 pick which currently belongs to Tampa is the type of commentary you want from Watters. He continued that the only way Burke keeps the #7 pick is if he is able or willing to take a bad contract back from Tampa(he mentioned Martis St. Louis). Watter’s did the same type of analysis with the New York Islanders picking at number 1. He then turned his attention to the Atlanta Trhashers, concluding that he would love to see the Leafs land Ilya Kovalchuk(he just isn’t sure if this is the right time). He did say that the Thrashers have to either extend Kovalchuk this summer or trade him. Whether you disagree with Watters on any of this is almost irrelevant. Unlike most if not all of us, he has been in the position of having discussions like this. He does have the personal experience to be able to rely upon to make these comments more credible. When he says that Vincent Lecavalier would have been a Maple Leaf but for Jay Feaster backstabbing his then boss and general manager Rick Dudley, there is credibility. Yes,we know there is bias, but there is substance behind it. To be honest, it was great listening to it and it is what got Watters to where he is today.

The problem is, there isn’t that much information to talk to Watters about on a regular basis to warrant the interview type format. Not a knock on Bill, rather the reality of the sports world in which he can talk intelligently about. So when he is on in the morning, lunch and afternoons we get more stories about the Duchess and his old war stories then we do the stuff that we actually care about. Clearly the folks at 640 feel the pressure to get every ounce of sweat out of every penny that they are paying Watters. There can be no other reason for him to be on the air 68 times a day. I realize I have made that point before, but they are shooting themselves in the proverbial foot. They have made major gains on Mccown (in relative terms). Maybe it doesn’t matter. It says here that they will never significantly close the gap until they start making better use of this asset. More isn’t better in this case. Less would be. Wilbur’s insight today was fantastic. It had be wanting for more. When I hear him at lunch he has me lunging for the flip button. It’s just too much.

On the point of radio, Mccown had a good night on PTS too. His roundtable with Brunt, Krike and Deacon was good. I think the Blue Jays talk was really good. The dialogue about whether or not the Jays could add some payroll down the stretch if they remain “competitive” was the first time in YEARS there has been interesting radio banter about the Jays that wasn’t negative. Their points that the Jays appeared to have stopped over-inflating the attendance numbers to ridiculous levels and that the question as to whether the decision to increase payroll would be left to a potential new president (they think one is coming in June or July) was really interesting too. The discussion as to whether Beeston would stay on in a chairman role was good in that it provided insight into the Jays organization that is clearly run much differently then other teams.

When the topic shifted to hockey the quality eroded a bit. Mccown (really the least interesting of opinions of the bunch today) repeated for the 90th time his opinion that Burke is the smartest GM in hockey that he knows and therefore he couldn’t really mean that he wants John Tavares in the upcoming draft, rather this is a classic “bait and switch” to get something else done completely. It was an interesting argument on Monday or Tuesday. By this afternoon it had me reaching for my channel changer. It did get more interesting though when the discussion came to the second NHL team in Toronto. Say this for Mccown, he is the only fish in town who thinks this will happen and sooner then most people think AND for less money then the experts think. I politely disagree, but give credit where credit is due.

All in all a very good Friday drive home today. I hope everyone enjoys the weather we are supposed to be getting tomorrow and Go Caps Go!


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