Bits and Bites

Hey all. Sorry for the delay in posting today. Here are some random thoughts:

I’m watching as many playoffs games as possible (when in Canada at least) and yet I have to admit that the lack of Maple Leafs has lowered my interest level dramatically. Could the days leading up to the draft go any slower?

There is nothing easier in sports and in life then winning. I mean how hard is it to deal with success? So it was with great interest that I read Michael Grange’s excellent article about Bryan Colangelo and the off-season he is having right now. The best judge of character is how one deals with adversity and Colangelo has lots of that right now.

“But for the first time since Colangelo swept into Toronto as the most celebrated Raptors signing since pre-fall Vince Carter, there’s a sense the tall collars of his hand-sewn shirts might be feeling a little snug.

Interviews with people inside Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., the parent company that owns the NBA franchise, indicate Colangelo has spent a significant proportion of his time and energy deflecting anxious queries from an increasing concerned ownership about the Raptors performance after his hand-picked club crashed to an 11-19 finish after the all-star break and missed the playoffs. ”

I think this is a good thing. He should be taking some shots and he should be accountable. I don’t my GM not having a problem with losing or not succeeding. I do find it humorous that the powers that be at MLSE are questioning Colangelo though. I mean if the question is something other than , “why do you think we failed” I would have little time in the process. No one in the boardroom has the basketball knowledge to ask or answer intelligent basketball questions.

“He came in with great DNA and great credibility and this is a tough time for Bryan,” Richard Peddie, the chief executive officer of MLSE, said. “He’s feeling it.”

I’ve said this before, but Peddie would be much better served by not talking. When he does the wrong thing always comes out. He justs sounds all wrong when he speaks.

Stephen Brunt has an interesting take on the Coyotes fiasco. Besides restating all the facts as we know them to date Brunt throws this gem in for you to ponder:

“Meanwhile, there are at least two groups of financial heavy-hitters jockeying for position to win what is perceived as the biggest prize – a second NHL team in Toronto – both of which have made their intentions known to the league, and have not been discouraged in their quest. ”

Brunt doesn’t say who these two groups are, but rest assured they have lots of cash ready to go. Let the speculation begin.

David Shoalts chimes in with his Coyotes recap here

Darren Dreger’s blog on all the latest Coyotes rumours is here too

The highlight of the night on HNIC was Glen Healy stating that the city of Glendale guaranteeing the Coyotes loses is “unconstitutional”! I loved Milbury’s response, about Healy now being an expert on Constitutional law in Arizona.

On the whole issue of attendance, while I was in Atlanta, their basketball team was in the playoffs. I heard no fewer than 10 times that “good seats were still available for the next home game”. If you aren’t selling out a playoff game I guess it’s time to move! (tongue firmly planted in cheek)

I drove home late last night from the Airport and got to listen to Mike WIlner hosting Jays talk. Now, let me say that there is no harder job than having to talk to fans on the radio after games. The meat-heads are always out in full force. Having said that, I am not sure I have heard a guy who is more condescending to the callers than Wilnder is. Clearly fans don’t mind as he took call after call, but man is he rough around the corners.

Happy Mother’s day and Sunday

Michael Grange’s article on Bryan Colangelo is here

Stephen Brunt’s article on Phoenix and another team in Toronto is here

About the Author
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
mike (in Boston)
mike (in Boston)
May 9, 2010 10:03 am

on Wilner — he has his supporters and his detractors, but i think everyone agrees that he is condescending and pedantic (pronunciation of names is one example).

given that his callers are people who have invested 3 hours in the game and still have energy left over to talk about it you’d think he’d be more welcoming and less dismissive.

unfortunately he’s the “baseball guy” for toronto sports radio so there are no real alternatives (which seems to be the reason most FAN hosts have their jobs). Thankfully there are plenty of more knowledgeable options online with whom to have a proper discussion.

May 9, 2010 10:43 am

I agree. Wilner is no doubt very knowledgeable about baseball but whenever he gets in his “I’m right and anyone who thinks otherwise is a moron, no matter how educated his opinion might be” mood, I can’t listen to more than a minute of it.

I think it was last week, he had a caller on who was making a point and actually using sabremetric stats to back it up. Wilner’s response to the guy was basically “All you’ve proven to me is that you know how to read FanGraphs.”

On the Coyotes, I have no idea if Glenn Healy’s claim about a deal being against the Arizona Constitution is true or not but I know that any deal seeing the city pick up the team’s losses should not be approved. Arizona is a very conservative state and this would essentially be just another corporate bailout. Can’t see that going over well with all the Tea Party folks looking to oust John McCain. I know if Toronto ever did something like this to save a team I’d be pissed.

May 9, 2010 1:38 pm

Mike – you’re right. He’s the only real baseball guy on The Fan. Hogan/Armstrong/McCown all seem like big fans of the game, but Mike’s the only one I’d call an expert.

I think Wilner’s rudeness on the phone may be something of an act. People seem to either love him or hate him – which can be a good thing in radio, I would think. Personally, I think he’s great.

I have to say though, he does have a strong following. The amount of commenters on his blog/livechat dwarf anything I’ve ever seen The Fan do on their website before. Those who love him REALLY love him.

May 9, 2010 1:40 pm

Actually, supposedly Kypreos is a big Jays fan, although he never gets to talk about it. Maybe they should leave him on year round and let him talk other sports? I dunno.

Hey TSM – how about Wilner for the pressbox?

May 9, 2010 1:42 pm

I have such split feelings on Wilner, condescending is a good word to describe him, he is so full of himself with “I am never wrong, and you are just stupid fans who don’t know better”. I usually don’t listen to jerk hosts, I find them off putting. But saying that I do listen to Wilner, he does challenge his callers to back up what they say (which I think it’s good) and he does know baseball pretty well so I like having a “baseball expert” on after every game.

Some callers do need to put in their place when they make no sense or have knee jerk reactions to everything. But most topics are gray areas and valid opinions on both sides, but he thinks he has all the knowledge and he’s always right. Even though he’s wrong all the time! Remember Frank Thomas was struggling, he always said he was going to come out of it (he didn’t) Or when he thought TB Rays had no chance of making the playoffs a couple of years ago (they did)

But the worst was the Reed Johnson switch to Shannon Stewart. A lot of fans didn’t like the switch (including myself) He really dismissed anybody who had this opinion as people who like players just because they are “White guys with high socks”. Seriously how insulting can you be? It turns out Stewart didn’t even last the year and seems to be retired now as Reed is still in the league with the Dodgers.

As for Atlanta, I always thought they were the worst major sports city in NA. The population never really embraced any of the sports teams (a lot of people think it’s because few who live in Atlanta and can afford to go to games actually have roots there, so they don’t feel the home town sports pride that others city have). I have no idea why the NHL went there, and rumors that MLS has Atlanta on their short list for an expansion team has bad idea written all over it. That city just seems like a poor sports city all around.

Mike S
Mike S
May 9, 2010 5:29 pm

I agree with all of the comments above (except my friend Daniel)………..I have never been a fan of Wilner………..there is nothing wrong with having strong opinions and making callers accountable for what they say but that doesn’t mean you have to ridicule them………he reminds me a bit of Mike Schopp on WGR 550 Buffalo……….if these guys think that all callers are stupid then maybe they should find a job where they don’t have to deal with so many idiots…………and if it’s all just an act then that’s pretty sad

As for Atlanta, my brother lives there so I go there quite often………….it is not a great sports town but not as bad as many people say…………college football is king there (especially Univ. of Georgia), similar to the Leafs here…………they support the Falcons very well (usually sold out) and the Braves too (about 2.5 million each year)…………they should not have a hockey team………the Thrashers have been bad for 10 years but even if they were good they probably wouldn’t draw well………..I’m not sure why the Hawks don’t draw but it might have something to do with them being terrible for many years (until recently)

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x