TSM Things That Make Me Go Hmmm

Hope you all stayed dry during yesterday’s rain storm here in Toronto.

Here are a couple of things that made me go hmmmm over the weekend:

From Damien Cox of the Toronto Star:

“Maybe at the No. 6 pick that year, Ricciardi was in a golden position and couldn’t have done wrong. But after years of saying he screwed up that pick, or didn’t get the best player and in general did a mediocre job,, it’s worth noting that he was the GM who brought Romero to town.”

What do you think Jays fans? Is this the one and only good move JP made? Personally, I am not smart enough to tell how JP did. I can tell you this, based on his persona, I hated the guy. Thoughts?

From Steve Simmons from the Toronto Sun:

“Instead, there was little coverage and almost no reaction to a fight between the Argos’ best player and best-known assistant coach. For O’Shea, fighting in games is nothing new. He had more than a few of those in his career. But as a coach, his responsibilities change.

Speaking just for myself, I’d care a whole lot more about the Argos if they were covered with same energy and enthusiasm that the Leafs are.”

You know I love my Simmons column on Sunday. However, and this is nothing against either the Argos or the CFL, I don’t care how much coverage they get in Toronto, people don’t care. This isn’t a if they win people will care. Toronto doesn’t care about either the Argos or the CFL. The Sun, as my twitter followers like to tell me, has pages of Argos/CFL coverage and the result is the same. No one cares. Jim Lang said the other day that he think the Argos are more popular than the TFC. I am not a soccer fan either, but I know that this city has way more soccer fans then it does Argos/CFL fans. If this were Saskatchewan, or another market, I can see it. Here? The ship has sailed. No matter how many hours Mike Hogan is on the air, no matter how many Chris Schultz mustaches, this isn’t a CFL market. Ratings on tv may be good across the country, people may watch the grey cup, Toronto is not a CFL market.


From Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun:

“I asked Peddie who was next in the tank.

“Well, Burkie was supposed to be here,” he said. “But he’s out shooting something. I think it’s caribou this time. I guess if Burkie isn’t signing big, dumb animals, he’s hunting them.

Why does Richard Peddie speak to the media? Forget the playoff guarantee in the article, but what kind of asinine comment was that from Peddie!

Dumb animals? Original I guess. Would love to be this scribe when he enters the leafs locker-room this year wouldn’t you?

“Then I wandered over to the autograph booth and saw that there was huge lineup to get Cody Franson’s autograph. The line almost went right to Lake Shore Blvd. You know this town is Leafs crazy when 100 people line up to get Cody Franson’s autograph. Again, nothing against Cody Franson, who could be a nice fit on the Leafs blue line this season. But he’s no Aki Berg.”


I love a good laugh, but I don’t get the humour here.

“I noticed that most of the people at the party were wearing Leafs or Raptors shirt, and there weren’t many wearing TFC sweaters. Then again, the event started at 10 a.m., and most TFC fans are drunk by then.”

Geesh, was someone having a tough time sleeping one off or something? Wow.

From Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail:

“The rule change has a sensible motive; the league is trying to reduce the number of injuries that occur on the dangerous high-speed kick returns. Fewer returns equal fewer injuries.

But the move is likely to send viewers away to other games or channels while advertisers peddle their wares. Network ads are the same on all NFL games so it will be the local commercials that are ignored by fans grazing the remote universe till action resumes. With the NFL already experiencing erosion to its RedZone Channel (which shows only live scoring highlights from all games that are under way) why give viewers another reason to stray from commercial buyers?”

I don’t know about you, but there isn’t much the NFL can do that would turn viewers away. Unless replacement players are playing, I’m thinking the greatest game on turf will be just fine, no matter what they do.


From Bruce Dowbiggin of the Globe and Mail:

“At the moment, the two products sound too much alike, hence a reluctance to switch from the standard bearer Fan 590 to anything else. As the challenger, TSN Radio has to live up to its slogan of “The evolution of sports radio.” Give listeners a reason to change. So far, not so much.”

You all listen to a ton of sports radio. Is the reason TSN radio isn’t catching on because it sounds too much like the Sportsnet Fan 590?

I didn’t think so either.

Hayes is in a better slot. Patrick live is a better slot. However, as many an expert in radio in this town tell me, there are only 2 slots that matter here, morning drive and afternoon drive.

Richards vs. Brady/Lang is a no brainer. The Richards show to date is as big a flop as the Krystal experiment on 590.

Cybulski and Co. is a work in progress. Some great days, some flat days. Personally, I think they would have done better with Cybulski in the am. They wouldn’t match the 590 #’s, it would be a better head to head match up. Whomever they put up against McCown right now is going to be a loser.

It will be interesting to see what the next round of changes look like.


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August 22, 2011 1:11 am

I wish they would give the mid-day show on 590 to Damon and get him on PTS. The show is much harder to listen to when he is the co-host, constantly trying to take over the show. better to have him in charge of his own show.

PTS would be almost perfect is the two rotating co-hosts were Brunt and Arthur.

And, been asking this since they started: Why doesn’t TSN Radio podcast the whole show instead of just the interviews?

August 22, 2011 2:22 am

Just as tedious as Simmons’ coverage is to you, your incessant drone about Toronto not being a CFL market is getting pretty darned boring too. I’m not disagreeing with you on your point, but how many times are you going to flog that horse?

Move on. Please

August 22, 2011 8:15 am

Say what you want about J.P. He was a great judge of talent.

He is a guy with an ego the size of Rogers Centre who belittled Toronto fans every time they criticised him, citing the fact they “don’t know baseball.” He’s a loud mouth that acted as if he was gods gift to Canada and a baseball saviour to a population that didn’t understand the game.

He did sign Vernon Wells to that monster contract but it has been documented that ownership had more to do with that deal than JP. He signed AJ Burnett who pitched well and left for more money. He signed BJ Ryan who was lights out his first season. Unfortunately the Mitchell Report came out, BJ lost 30 pounds, and his elbow exploded. His worst move was choosing Russ Adams instead of Troy Tulowitzki. Losing out on Tulowitzki was bad enough but what hurt the most was that Adams could not play… at all.
JP did set the Jays up to have a competitive team for a long time with his other selections. He drafted Adam Lind, Aaron Hill, Ricky Romero, Travis Snider, Dustin McGowan, JP Arencibia, Casey Jansen, Jesse Litsch, Brett Cecil, Shawn Marcum, Eric Thames and a few others that have not made the big club. He also drafted and traded for players that have brought top talent back to the team via trade.

I won’t argue JP wasn’t a jerk, but he did a commendable job that will never truly be recognised.

August 22, 2011 8:16 am

As much as Walt thinks you are going overboard with your thoughts on CFL in TO, I’m with you 100%. I’ve thought so for at least the last 20 years.

As you say, that ship has sailed. I’m alone in this opinion, but I think if the CFL is a worthy and popular league (and it is outside of this market) let it go on without a team in Toronto. I’ve never understood the argument that it would fold up and die if it ever lost the Argos. It is just too damn popular everywhere else – except, perhaps, Hamilton. However, in Hamilton, they talk about their team – nobody talks about the Argos in Toronto unless they are paid to do so.

I like Peddie’s comments. He is making an anti-hunting point and, although it was ham-fisted, I agree with it.

It seems clear to me that Bruce Dowbiggin has completely lost touch with the subject with which he is paid to cover. TSN 1050 sounds like the Fan? I just can’t listen to it, for the most part, unless poor Eric Smith is on the air. (He seems like a nice, earnest fellow but isn’t he clearly the weak link over there now?)

As for the Toronto Sun — it’s now just for mouth breathers and knuckle-draggers. Pay no attention to them as they are now at the stage that they’ll do anything to get attention.

August 22, 2011 8:29 am

Forgot to mention the deal that sent Robinzon Diaz to Pittsburg for Jose Bautista. Robinson who?

Bob Roper
Bob Roper
August 22, 2011 8:52 am

Damien Cox? As a broadcaster, he’s self absorbed and fills the air with far too many “in jokes”.

JP? Good riddance. The team’s record tells the tale.

Steve Simmons? Arrogant…but when it comes to the CFL…dead on.

Peddie? Shut the #@*&% up. Go sell condos.


Dowbiggin? How does this guy continue to get a paycheck? Calgary deserves him.

TSN Radio? Really? The evolution of sports radio? Dan Patrick…with NO Canadian/Toronto content? Jim Richards? Really? Cybulski? Weaver? What are the suits at TSN thinking? Or are they?

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
August 22, 2011 8:57 am

– i enjoy reading JP Riccardi stories as much as i enjoy reading stories about the Jays’ attendance. It’s lazy journalism. The fact that it’s a Cox story is, in a word, unsurprising.

on TSN/FAN product differentiation:

– i think Bruce’s premise is flawed. TSN does not need to radically deviate from what the FAN is doing in order to be successful; they need to offer compelling content that changes listeners’ habits. I think they are doing that in some slots and not in others. For example, their weekend programming is actually pretty decent, especially when compared to the video game show (repeated several times), the fishing show, and 12 hours of the Rog.

– If i’m recalling correctly, when The Zone sports radio started in Boston the analysis was that one could not judge how well they were doing relative to WEEI until the 2 year mark. We’re only 6 months in to the TSN experiment. It’s way too soon to make any valid comparisons. We can talk about we do and don’t like, but predicting the demise of TSN RADIO is fantastical.

Mike on the go train
August 22, 2011 9:33 am

Thanks Darrell, I never knew that jp had his fingers in all those players deals, some seem to b decent and he clearly did have some baseball acumen, despite having the media and public relations skills of a power drill.

Now we have AA, the Rogers lapdog and lackie that will do exactly what he’s told, to build a cheap team that will play .500 ball, stay close until august and only cost 70M. He’ll selling hope all he can, playing to 1/2 houses unless real stars from others teams come to put asses in seats for them, but not to many, Rogers still wants MLB profit sharing money too.

These will be your 2012 Toronto Blue Jays…

Chris F.
Chris F.
August 22, 2011 10:02 am

JP for all his faults was pretty good at spotting talent but usually talent in the draft or under the radar moves like acquiring Jose Bautista who at the time wasn’t thought of as being much but he turned into a spectacular player for the Jays.

The problem was for a guy who said in the beginning that he could do things the way they did in Oakland then a couple years later crying about how they need to spend money and he blows his brains out with some of the worst big money contracts in the entire league! At least he was able to find a way to make amends for his mistakes but the team would always have to pay for them.

JP was also way too conservative in drafting as he went with the philosophy of going for college kids and cheap ones at that. He also more or less gutted the Jays entire scouting and development staff to the point that it was a skeleton crew.Anhopolous has in two short years invested a lot of money on drafting and scouting which has paid almost immediate dividends.

Another problem for JP was the guy’s ego got in the way of everything (making a mountain out of a molehill when Orlando Hudson called him a “pimp” in a joking manner, the whole adam Dunn bruhaha) JP just loved to have his name in the papers and all over the media which probably hampered his ability to make deals and such.

I never really liked the guy as he jerked around people when he felt like it. The firing of Buck Martinez as manager was one instance, while Martinez deserved to get the fired the manner in which it was done was terrible. The same kind of fate happened to Carlos Tosca.

I think it’s fair to say that JP will be remembered as a guy who had some say on some of the product on the field these days but overall he was not the best GM we could’ve had in this city. (They should’ve hired Jocketty or Terry Ryan IMO)

Mike V
Mike V
August 22, 2011 10:06 am

The Argos have their problems and I’m not really a fan but to say they are behind TFC in interest is wrong. Soccer has the 20,000 at the stadium with not much else and even that is starting to crack after 5 years of no playoffs. The Argos have the 20,000 at the stadium plus a much bigger TV following.

August 22, 2011 11:45 am

I can’t understand why the Sun uses so many pages on the Argos and the CFL; unless it’s to fill up the Sports Section and brag about how many pages they have in the Sports Section.

Richard Peddie wasn’t hired for his PR skills. He was hired to put cash in the coffers of MLSE.

Funny talking about the morning shows I don’t listen to either of them anymore preferring 680 news. Richards hasn’t changed and like Krystal out east maybe Richards was a hit in Calgary but he doesn’t work in Toronto. And reading this stuff I was thinking when will they change Brady/Lang?

Re JP: he just wasn’t a likeable guy – probably no matter what he did.

Brad Mclean
Brad Mclean
August 22, 2011 12:00 pm

The only way TSN Radio can compete with McCown is if they do a Hockey only show with their big insiders (Mckenzie, Duhatshcek etc) and hosted by a name like Hodge. Cybulski and Co. Is like a college radio program. It is so amateur sounding. Has anyone else noticed how bad and inconsistent the production on their podcast versions are as well.

Brad Mclean
Brad Mclean
August 22, 2011 12:25 pm

1- Mike should stick to cooking as he couldn’t be more wrong in reference to AA who is building the team the way HE wants. No lackie there.
2- uh Darrell? Russ Adams was drafted 3 years before Tulowitzki so I’m not sure if anyone should be thanking you for your insight.
3- JP was told by his own staff not to give BJ Ryan a long deal as relievers are always an injury/regression risk and he gave him 5 years! JP’s biggest problem was not following any kind of plan and making excuses.

Chris F.
Chris F.
August 22, 2011 1:15 pm

@Brad Mclean: Yeah the big chatter was how everyone was pissed that JP took Romero over Tulowitzki. I think it’s safe to say that many are glad Romero was drafted and would take him over Tulo.

Chef Mike in Burlington
August 22, 2011 2:14 pm

“Brad Mclean says…Mike should stick to cooking as he couldn’t be more wrong in reference to AA who is building the team the way HE wants. No lackie there.”

I truly to hell hope you are correct…seriously i do….few things would make me happier as a sports fan than to see baseball relevant in this town again. But to quote Bobcat, “cite the case”….of AA being his own guy building a winner??

In his nearly 3 years as GM, “his way” has been build on the cheap, live off the draft, sign no “name” free agents, and just keep selling fans hope for “next year”…exactly what Rogers wants in their GM.

I hope I am totally wrong and that these no names grow into a team playing for a W/C next year, I genuinely do, it’s been almost 2 decades.

But since Rogers bought the team, they have shown no real interest in buying any parts to make it relavant, much less a winning team. Even Bobcat said he was tired of “next year”…

Is AA a lackie?? I don’t know, maybe that was harsh, but he is a rookie GM with no record of success, and no way to make demands. What he gonna do, quit??

Brad Mclean
Brad Mclean
August 22, 2011 2:27 pm

Yeah Mike, I guess we will see soon. Rogers has to show us the money after next season at the latest to reward our loyalty. That will be the true test of this regime.

August 22, 2011 2:33 pm

You’re right Brad. Thanks Chris. That’s what I meant. Ricciardi took Romero because they already had Adams at short.

August 22, 2011 2:59 pm

Don’t be surprised if you see TSN go after McCown. His contract ends soon and God knows, TSN has the bucks to get him.

August 22, 2011 3:18 pm

Great smorgasbord of topics. In this market I find everything is exaggerated, I don’t think JP was as horrible as many make him out to be (Bautista trade, strong pitching staff, decent drafts) but his major star signings didn’t work out. On the other side, I think AA has done some good moves but has done some major fails as well (pitching and especially bullpen has been ignored)

Argos. There’s always the chicken & egg thing. Do you need coverage to get fans out, or do you need fans out to get coverage. Well TSN went with the former & put ridiculous level of Argos/CFL coverage & attendance is still down. You don’t see jersey’s being worn or any buzz about the team or league here. Heck I’d be interested in seeing if TFC will be more mainstream if they get half the coverage the likes of Argos get. A thing that must be stopped is “Argos have 20000 in attendance, just like TFC/Raps/Leafs”. come on those teams have triple & quadruple amount of home games compared to the Argos.

To see a true value of a sports franchise I would look at box office (much like they do in movies) compared to straight attendance. Cheap seats or even freebies can make a stadium or interest look stronger than it is. Considering the attendance Argos get with a single digits amount of home games I would think it’s safe to assume that it’s “box office” is behind the others easily.

I think MRichards was a horrible signing, I would say even worse than Krystal, Krystal was awful but at least he was noticed when he left. Would anybody notice or care if Richards left the market next week? I still think Cybulski is a good choice, bringing in Mackowycz is a strong pick up (added bonus that it removes the likes of McCormick & Naylor) but would like to hear still from Arthur and Feschuk. Those guys with Macko would be a stronger trio rotation than what’s on PTS.

August 22, 2011 9:21 pm

Drumanchor mentioned earlier that “poor Eric Smith” is a weak link? I disagree with that assessment. I like his work and find his show entertaining. At first I assumed he would simply be talking basketball all of the time but I’m impressed with his interviews on other subjects or sports as well. I’d listen to him ahead of many guys on the Fan (not Bob though). I like when he had a show with Jack Armstrong as well.

By the way, is Jack the only one that does segments on both TSN 1050 and the Fan?

Also, I asked this in a previous post and nobody answered it or responded to it. TSM, perhaps you or one of your readers knows the answer so I will copy and paste i again:

Somebody referenced the fall ratings. What about the summer ratings? I haven’t seen TSM post any kind of ratings in a while and I’d be interested in knowing how Stellick is stacking up against what Krystal was doing. Eric Smith too. And I’d be just as interested in knowing what TSN is doing too and if they’ve made any gains on the Fan in any of the timeslots. In fact, do they even have summer and fall ratings periods anymore? I thought the new ratings’ system meant that the numbers were available monthly if not daily or weekly?

Jonas (Hamilton)
Jonas (Hamilton)
August 22, 2011 10:52 pm

“I asked Peddie who was next in the tank.
“Well, Burkie was supposed to be here,” he said. “But he’s out shooting something. I think it’s caribou this time. I guess if Burkie isn’t signing big, dumb animals, he’s hunting them.

Reading this, I thought Peddie made the comment about signing the dumb animals. But that part was the author’s comment (click the link and read the article on the website). I don’t like Peddie but I don’t think it’s fair to attribute that part of the comment to him.

As for the Argos, my opinion is people think it’s not cool to go to games, hence the low attendance. However, I think there are alot more closet Argo (and CFL) fans in Toronto than people think. Here in Hamilton, pretty much everyone I know keeps tabs on the ticats, but very few actually go to games. It’s a matter of convincing these people to go to a game or two a year.

Steve from Waterloo
Steve from Waterloo
August 23, 2011 10:30 am

Re: The Argos.

I tried to follow them last year as they bottomed out and began to rebuild. Thought I would follow along.

I bought an Argo t-shirt last month. I was making an effort…

I went to a game in the Skydome and that is the problem. The place absolutely sucks to watch a football game. No atmosphere, no excitement, 4/5th’s empty.

I will watch on tv, I will read those 3 pages in the Sun, but I won’t likely go to a game, at least in the Skydome, even again.

your a douche
your a douche
September 13, 2011 9:27 am

Well this post was a peice of garbage. Thanks; for wasting my time…you know, all I learned from this article is how arrogant you are as a writer. good luck with that!

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