Cybulski & Co Hit One Out Of The Park

Call them like I hear them. So while I thought James Cybulski debut was a little weak, I have to say that today’s show was as JJ Evans used to say, DYNO -MITE

The early part of the show was okay. Along with the Toronto Star’s Dave Feschuk Cybulski wasn’t referring to himself as C-Balls and seemed much more relaxed. They had a good dialogue with Jared Bayless and James Duthie. Personally, I could have done without Maestro Fresh Wes, but hey that’s me and he was promoting a charity event.

The main event though, and one I think the folks down the dial should notice was the interview with Toronto Maple Leafs President and GM Brian Burke. TSN Radio doesn’t have the greatest website where i can provide you with individual links to interviews (yet?). This was simple one of the best interviews Burke has done since he arrived in town. For whatever reason, perhaps it was the hosts, Burke wasn’t combative, he had a good sense of humour, the questions were hard hitting, but very fair. For me, the best part was the follow up questions. Burke would say something and one of the two guys would immediately craft another question based upon the answer provided. To be honest, it was a Mccownesque interview.

At one point, Burke was asked to grade himself as a GM so far. He gave the answer that he has continually, any GM, in his mind that is out of the playoffs today has failed. The follow up to that was, did you set yourself up to fail then by setting unrealistic expectations? Burke’s response was terrific. “How do you try too hard to be competitive? “ In other words he said, he wasn’t going to come in here and say we are going to suck for a couple of years because he wasn’t prepared to do that.

Burke was asked about the teams need for a big center. He was asked why he admits it publicly when they are so hard to come by. His response, “how many top centres have moved since I got here, fans are very sophisticated, what do you want me to tell you? Everyone knows we need a big center, what am I going to say, no we don’t? How many have we missed out on?” In other words the whole world sees the need, what is he supposed to do act as if he doesn’t?

Burke was asked about Ron Wilson and the impression that he is tough on his players. Burke said, “I don’t think you’ve seen Ron Wilson lambaste a player yet, I’ve seen it in private” He continued that if a coach of his blasts a player we will know it and we will know he has Burke’s blessing to do it. He continued on “if Ron doesn’t call a player out after a game, what are the fans going to think? they all see what’s happened in a game, what’s he supposed to say?” Burke said the rule is that if you criticize a player you have to do so constructively, “Ronnie tries to paper over a criticism with a positive”

That lead to more questions about Wilson, and his personal relationship with Ron Wilson, Burke said “perception is Ron and I are best friends, and we are good friends. However, I will fire Ron Wilson the minute it is justified and it’s in the best interest of the Maple Leafs, he knows that and our friendship will last that or it won’t.”

All of these are responses that I haven’t heard or seen before. We always get the opening question, but never the followup that allows these types of answers.

Burke went to say that the reason Wilson hasn’t been successful is that he hasn’t had the roster to be successful yet.

Right after the interview the guys interviewed Tony Kornheiser. Tony is one of those love em or hate em guys, personally I am a fan. He was terrific and the type of interview you would expect to hear on PTS but haven’t before (at least not in my memory). Tony knows sports and he knows sports media. He’s a great writer and his knowledge of sports in general is really good and entertaining. It was a very strong segment and a brilliant follow up to Burke.

The rest of the show, Bob McKenzie, Matt Dunigan and Bruce Arthur were very good as well, taking advantage of a really deep bullpen of sports talent at TSN. I personally could to without Dunigan, but it gave me the opportunity to flip stations.

I did catch the beginning of the Tatti show this evening and I was happy with what I heard. A tour around the league, or at least tonight’s games. All the information I needed to hear, to get ready for the games ahead.

Although I didn’t hear him, I loved seeing Steve Simmons tweet that Scott Ferguson is doing updates at night on TSN radio. Simmons put it best “What a pleasure it was to turn on TSN Radio a few seconds ago and hear Scott Ferguson doing an update. Like hearing from an old friend.”

I didn’t get a chance to listen to Richards this am nor Hayes. If you did, what did you think?

I did catch a bit of the lunch time show and I have to admit Steve Koules voice, at least in my car was starting to drive me a little nuts. I don’t know if it’s him talking too fast or he has a cold but I found it really distracting. The segment he did with Steve Simmons was great and a nice change. Personally I found myself flipping back and forth between the two on each break, I still like the hockey show on 590.

Basically, after day two I can say so far so good. It’s nice having listening options the same way we have paper and television options.

I am off to Florida tomorrow for a trade show, so few updates over the weekend. Let me know what your listening to, reading and watching



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April 15, 2011 6:55 am

I also heard the Burke interview and it alway easier when the season is over whith to be more open and honest…good follow up questions… I also beleive when Burke arrived in Toronto he was on PTS he and McCowan also had a really good segment…Burke can be really good or just average pending on his mood…

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
April 15, 2011 8:11 am

Scott Ferguson? I sincerely hope this does not mean he will be their Jays reporter. He seems like a great guy and he does have a nice radio voice, but he is part of a generation of baseball analysts who think Joe Carter is one of the best Jays ever because he had so many 100 RBI seasons.

The Jays are on the upswing relative to the other sports, and many people are really turned off by Mike Wilner, so TSN has a real chance to draw people in if they get the right guy to talk Jays on an every day basis.

April 15, 2011 8:58 am

Did anybody find a link to the Mr Tony interview?


[…] the Toronto Star. "Efforts to effectuate a sale remain ongoing." Fans had hoc more… Cybulski & Co Hit One Out Of The Park – Toronto Sports Media – 04/15/2011 Globe and MailCybulski & Co Hit One Out Of The ParkToronto […]

April 15, 2011 2:39 pm

I heard on an update that Hayes interviewed Anthopolous today, but other than that I’ve barely heard a sign that they’re aware the Jays exist.

Bit weird since I’ve heard some solid Raptors and Argos talk. I hope they’re not going to avoid Jays talk because of the Rogers thing.

April 15, 2011 6:40 pm

I am glad you showed some love to Cybulski for that Burke interview, you were spot on, I thought it was great. It was friendly & professional, but not softball and good pick up on how there were actually follow up questions. Cyb was really hard on Ron Wilson and Burke defended him by saying “Did you see the second half of the season” as Cyb answered “Yes but I also saw the first half” Oh snap! but still good respond, and the Kadri stuff of “fine having an ego on ice but needs to be more humble off ice” was intersting. I thought a real well done interview and his interviews on his first day with Beckham and Bosh were good as well.

It was such a contrast to what we heard with Burke on Hockey Central a few weeks back with MacLean, Kypreos and Millard with all the “BURKIE” talk and laugh off when he doesn’t even answer their questions but answers just what he wants with a hint of insults towards them. Oh that BURKIE… BURKIE can I leave my resume. It was embarassing. Good job on Cybulski for not being that.

Talking about contrast I loved hearing Hayes reaction to the Raptors season ending game on his last segment on Thursday. He went off on them in losing their home closing game against the Heat’s bench. He called the team out to be totally gutless in that game that they could have given something back to their fans who sold out that arena against a team that took away their best player (like the Cavs did a few weeks back) but instead they layed an egg. As a fan I was really happy to hear that emotion against the Raps.

On the other hand we had the Raptor infomerci errrr Hoops basketball show where ESmith & Jones talk about how Triano was “So assertive and confident” in his post season interview and how the players sounded “so positive and confident” “like they were a playoff team” when cleaning out their lockers. How is that a good thing for a team who missed the playoffs? isn’t that just happy with poor team performance. Before you think for yourselves bball fans, Esmith says “Oh it’s not that at all. It’s positive because they feel good about things”. Seriously gag me. Thank you Hayes for speaking to the fans, not like these basketball experts speaking like shills.

April 15, 2011 9:59 pm

I don’t get the hate that Cybulski was getting a few days ago on here.

His first day interview with Chris Bosh was much better than any interview CB has done on the FAN. (maybe it’s b/c Cybulski actually knows the sport and the league).

McCown is a legend but he has a bad habit of either: preening during inteviews, pauses, trolling interviews for things he doesn’t like (UFC, soccer, etc interviews are all ruined), pretending to be a lawyer when discussing legal topics, etc.

At least the young TSN guys will make the show about the guests and not be the star.

The Meatriarchy
April 18, 2011 7:51 am

The Burke interview was excellent the only thing I found lacking were follow-up questions around Burke’s strategy to acquire a centre

Example: Burke says we need a centre and for the first time “we have the assets” to go out and get one

Obvious follow up questions: by assets are you talking cap space or the prospects/draft picks you acquired this year in trades? Does that mean Colbourne and Gardner aren’t going to be here for very long?

Also a question that no one has asked Burke yet that I would love to see asked? “If on July 1st there isn’t a big name centre on the market because all the big name centres have resigned do you have a player in mind that you think you can acquire by trade? Do you have a player in mind that you think could be acquired via an offer sheet?

And Mike just totally nailed what I believe is the downside to McCown. He gets a lot of praise here but there are aspects of his personality that are very grating.

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