Toronto Sports Media Sports Radio Lineups

by RobG

Sportsnet 590 interviews a Toronto GM for 2 segments for the second night in a row. Tonight, Alex Anthopoulos of the Jays sits with McCown and Cox at 5:20. Will be interesting to hear what moves might still occur before spring training starts in a month.

Here’s your drive home lineups

On Sportsnet 590 The FAN tonight, Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown from 4-7pm. Damien Cox co-hosts from 5-7pm:

400 – Michael Boone, Montreal Gazette
420 – Bert Sugar, boxing historian
520 & 540 – Alex Anthopoulos, Blue Jays GM
600 – Glenn Healy, HNIC
620 – Jon Paul Morosi, Fox Sports
640 – Reverand Andrew Sheldon, on the Tim Tebow story

On TSN Radio 1050, Cybulski & Co., with James Cybulski. Bob Mackowycz co-hosts:

415 – Eric Thames (outfielder, Toronto Blue Jays)
430 – James Duthie (NHL on TSN)
500 – Fab 5
520 – Bob McKenzie (TSN Hockey Insider)
530 – Ron Wilson (Head Coach, Toronto Maple Leafs)
600 – Darren Dreger (TSN Hockey Insider)
615 – Kevin Smith (Actor/Film Producer)
630 – Hub Arkush (Pro Football Weekly)

On TSN (5pm) & TSN2 (6:30pm), Off the Record, with Michael Landsberg:

Tom Green in-studio
Gary Payton
Katie Baker, Grantland.com

Tonight on Sportsline:

Why is Brian Burke the only one making ‘noise’ about SI’s Most Overrated poll, should the Canadiens trade Mike Cammalleri, is the MLS becoming more popular in Canada and will Manny Pacquiao & Floyd Mayweather Junior ever fight each other? Join Bubba O’Neil & Mark Hebscher, tonight at 7 on CHCH.

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Darren
Darren
January 12, 2012 5:46 pm

Great 2 hear Burt Randolph Sugar on during the 4 O’Clock hour, it’s terrific that he sounded like the ole’ Burt and not the Burt that was on the last time, he sounded like he was about to check-out any minute, spent 15 days in the hospital right after his last appearance.

Derrick
Derrick
January 12, 2012 7:23 pm

You think AA is going to come on the radio and even hint at what moves he may make?! Have ever heard an AA interview before?

Ami Angelwings
January 12, 2012 11:15 pm

@Darren I haven’t heard it yet but I’m really glad to hear you say that 🙂 Last time, he sounded so frail and he was forgetting so much I had a lump in my throat listening to the interview… I was really worried for him but I’m so glad he sounds okay today… 🙂

sam in oshawa
sam in oshawa
January 13, 2012 9:07 am

One more year jays fans,they promise,i think ok maybe two but thats it ask AA if you can make any sense at what comes out of his mouth!!!

Rome
Rome
January 13, 2012 10:06 am

So lets see, last offseason he said we have the money if there’s a quality FA (understandable, last seasons didn’t have quality FA) we can’t say that this season, so the tune changed. Now we hear they will give big FA money if the guy “guaranteed we’re going to win”. What does that mean? A playoff spot? a ALCS win? a World Series?

There some snakeoil salesman stuff there, serously a “guarantee we are going to win” is the only option to get a major FA and spend money? Is his free agent pass on top of Mount Everest and can only go there once?

How about thinking that this FA will make the team better which would be better for the fans and possible attract future FA who looks like they are trying to win? Oh wait that’s going to be next offseason excuse.

Isn’t a guy like Darvish a longterm player, is timeline to winning so infinite that even a 25 year old Darvish will be retired before we get there.

Chef Mike in Burlington
January 13, 2012 10:40 am

Just listened to both AA segments on the podcast. Happily, not the super puff piece I thought it would be, but sure not 60 minutes…

Podcast link is
http://pmd.fan590.com/podcasts/pts/PTS-2012-01-12-5-pm.mp3

Hardly penetrating, groundbreaking questioning, but still far better than we usually get…

So what did we learn…

– He confirmed, in as many words, that their bid on Darvish was low and significantly lower than the winning bid.
– He confirmed that Dice-K was the benchmark they used to price Darvish and decided he was too much $$$ to invest in one player.
– He confirmed that his payroll has been capped at about where it is now and will not be increasing in any significant way this season.
– Jays were never in the Papalbaum race, picked Santos instead
– Going position by position with Bob, AA connfirmed that the team they have now is the one they will take to spring training.

The addition of a an extra wild card space for 2012 is 50-50 at best, but gaurenteed for 2013, so tell me you TSM baseball guys, you all know more about this then I do, what can we expect??

Is this another .500 season where they are out of it again by the All Star break? Is this the year the great AA plan takes hold and they compete for a WildCard?

I don’t see it, they have the same basic team that they did last year and need 10 more wins to be relavant, and I don’t see where they would get those, but maybe that’s just me…

You guys know this better than I do, so where are they? Better ? Worse?, The Same?

Derrick
Derrick
January 13, 2012 11:58 am

Chef Mike,

Bob and Damien said best at the beginning. There are a lot of “ifs” in the line-up – CF, 2B, 3B, and LF (all potential offense issues) and the starting rotation. Can Cecil come back? Can McGowan find that magic again? What will Morrow deliver? And is Alvarez the real deal?

Is it better than last year? We know Lind can play 1B. JP can catch and can also do a bit of hitting. The team has a legitimate CF (Rasmus) and LF (Snider) to play defense whereas last year it was a huge question mark. The team have a dependable defender at 3B whereas last year it was run by committee (and Lawrie has proven he can hit too, but can he repeat?). Romero has proven to be a solid starter and, other than McGowan, the remaining starters are fairly young and still learning. I also feel the bullpen is much improved whereas last year it was closer by committee.

I don’t if it’s better, but it’s a lot more interesting than last year.

Daniel
Daniel
January 13, 2012 5:21 pm

Hey Mike

Good summary, but this: “Going position by position with Bob, AA connfirmed that the team they have now is the one they will take to spring training.” is not quite right.

He said he hoped to make a trade within the next two to three weeks, but barring that, this would be the team he will take to Spring Training.

The general sense I get of the Jays position is this:

The Jays are a hard team to predict, because they have a lot of young, supposedly high upside players who haven’t reached their potential yet. So (as Derrick says) it’s totally feasible that guys like Morrow, Snider and Drabek will have seasons similar to 2011, but also totally feasible that they will take natural steps forward.

AA said in the interview that he could get a payroll increase if he could guarantee that would lead to winning (ie being in a race). But, I get the sense that all the unpredictable young players make it difficult for AA to feel totally confident about that at this point. (He did say, this would be a much easier call midseason – and has suggested several times that could be a time where the Jays add a hefty salary).

As things stand now, the 2012 Jays should win more games than the 2011 team – especially looking at the roster for the first 2/3 of the 2011 season. A full season of Lawrie replaces Jayson Nix at 3rd (HUGE upgrade). A full season of Rasmus replaces Patterson (in theory, should also be a huge upgrade. Patterson is terrible.). Santos and Oliver replace Francisco and Rauch (big upgrade. The back end of the pen was pretty nasty last year). A full season of Kelly Johnson replaces Hill (probably a moderate upgrade).

So while you never know who might regress, with those upgrades (most of which occurred in the later part of 2011) I personally would peg the Jays in the 83 to 88 win range. That outlook will be better if AA can add another starter.

So, in the one Wild Card system, I’d have trouble believing the Jays had a shot at the playoffs. But, if you look back at the last few years, a second Wild Card could have been had most seasons with about 88 to 90 wins. So I don’t think a playoff spot is likely, but I definitely think there’s reason for optimism for 2012 (if the 2nd WC spot gets added this year). At the very least, we may see a playoff race for the first time in … 19 years!

I guess if there’s one silver lining, if that with the farm system and young core being very deep and very well regarded, it’s reasonable to hope for internal incremental improvements each year going forward regardless of what else happens. It’s not like the JP years where they took a shot, had a short window, and then that was it.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
January 13, 2012 5:55 pm

great baseball discussion for a snowy friday.
.

I believe that the range for the WC over the last 10 years is 88-93, with 90 or 91 being the most common win total needed. it’s reasonable to think this team could recapture the win total from 2 years ago (85) with the developmental improvements of the young guys. I don’t think there is much added value in the guys they’ve brought in, relative to what they let go. Santos might be worth an extra win on his own, but Francisco pitched lights out for the last 2 months, so the bar is high.
.

AA said in the interview that he could get a payroll increase if he could guarantee that would lead to winning
.

Does anyone really believe that adding Fielder + one of the available starters DOESN’T have a high degree of probability of putting them in a playoff race?If you believe in WAR then you will never get a better chance to acquire a guy who will “guarantee” wins than Fielder. If that’s really what AA said, i hope someone calls him out on it.

Daniel
Daniel
January 13, 2012 6:07 pm

“Does anyone really believe that adding Fielder + one of the available starters DOESN’T have a high degree of probability of putting them in a playoff race?”

Yeah, kind of agree with you there. Maybe AA is playing it a bit too safe? Or maybe Rogers told him ‘dream on’ regarding a guy like that. Hard to know! Wish the Jays were in the running though.

lagerandale
lagerandale
January 13, 2012 6:39 pm

Re: Fielder

I agree with above, this is the guy AA should blow the budget on, what scares me though is why isn’t he signed yet? Is there five teams with a better 1B? Ok, I buy that, throw them out. Throw out the 5 bottom feeders that still leaves 20 teams. I think there’s something about Prince that’s scaring teams off. Maybe its just his agent or the term/money he wants but there could be something else there.

Mike S
Mike S
January 13, 2012 7:00 pm

When the Jays didn’t get Darvish in mid-December I’m pretty sure my friend Daniel said something to the effect of “I don’t agree with those in the media who are saying the Jays won’t be in the playoff race in 2012. There is plenty of time for AA to make significant moves before spring training and I would be surprised (and very disappointed) if that didn’t happen”

Now that it looks like the Jays will enter the 2012 season with basically the same team that they had in mid-December Daniel seems to be somewhat optimistic that they will be in the playoff race, especially if there is an additional wild card team…………..I am not a big baseball fan but I find it hard to believe the Jays will be able to compete with the best teams in the league (TEX or ANA, NYY or BOS, TB, etc) for those wild card spots unless they upgrade their roster before the season starts

Daniel
Daniel
January 13, 2012 11:11 pm

Barring another trade I don’t think a playoff race is likely. But yeah, I think the team might win 85 – 88 games and play some meaningful late season games if a second Wild card could be had with around 90 wins..

I’m certainly not predicting it though. It’s more likely that they won’t, definitely.

Daniel
Daniel
January 13, 2012 11:18 pm

Also I don’t believe I said ‘I don’t agree with their opinion that they won’t be in the race’. Just that it’s too soon to tell.

I mean, They could trade Darnaud, Marisnick and Hutchinson for Garza tomorrow if they really wanted to. They’ve got the prospects for to improve the MLB club, should they choose to go that route. They seem to be holding on to the farm more than I figured they would..

Chef Mike in Burlington
January 14, 2012 7:31 am

My last comment on this will be about 2 things AA said that no one, either Bob, Cox or anyone here took any issue with…

“AA said in the interview that he could get a payroll increase if he could guarantee that would lead to winning (i.e being in a race)….from Daniel…”

THIS IS PROFESSIONAL SPORTS, THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES OF ANYTHING!!! Bob/Cox the professional sports announcers should have jumped across the table at such a stupid and wrong headed statement. To use make that as a requirement in order to make needed investments in your own property?? Seriously ?? No GM with half a brain would ever ask for $$$ under that condition and Rogers knows that. AA is their chosen boy for a reason and he knows exactly what the real message there is.

He also talked about attendance and how there might be more resources there when they ” the fans come back”…again Seriously ??..

It’s not like the 5 Million people or so with an hour of SkyDome forgot where it is, they stopping going because its been a poorly performing team for 15+ years. They stopping going because in the 10 years Rogers has owned the team, they have not played one meaningful game in September. They stopped going because the only stars that the “4-5 game a year” fan has heard of, always play for SOMEONE ELSE, (and Rogers has the gall to charge you more to see those stars on someone else’s team). They stopped going because the cost of a family day at Rogers SkyDome with half assed decent tickets, a few snacks, a few beers and program is $150.00+, and you have a LOSING team.

To be told, as a fan, that they won’t invest $$$ a in team to compete in the AL East until “I the fan” pay to watch more losing seasons on top of the 18 I’ve already seen is the height of arrogance.

Cox said nothing, Bob said nothing, like good Rogers boys…

Brad
Brad
January 14, 2012 9:34 am

@Chef Mike:

Well said! You hit the nail on the head with your statement!!

ROGERS DOES NOT CARE WHAT THE FANS THINK AT ALL…and that is very sad

At best, the Jays this year will be a .500 team.
And once again, empty Rogers Centre for the year. This is becoming a very bad joke!

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
January 14, 2012 9:47 am

Chef Mike – i often find your posts about Rogers to be negative in a way that is out of proportion, but i can’t find much wrong with what you said. the more AA says “if the fans come back …” the more it appears that part of his job is making excuses for a payroll that is in the bottom half or bottom third in the league. that’s pretty sad, and i’m willing to bet he can’t feel very good about it. the only thing i would quibble with is that Bob has been pushing for this team to boost the payroll to $120 million for several years. he’s a Jays fan, and he wants the team to win as much as the other fans.
.

the saddest thing is that it’s clear Toronto is hungry to love the Jays again. the Jays are also a bit of a media darling in the US. Adding some high level talent this off-season would have really pushed the Jays to the forefront and would have drawn people to the ballpark. But Rogers appears content to use the Jays as cheap programming and nothing more.

sam in oshawa
sam in oshawa
January 14, 2012 10:19 am

Talking blue jays is like a dog chasing its tail.Bad management over the years has kept the fans away,so be it .Now AA wants a timeline of patience that seems to be never ending.BB fans in T.O. deserve better for all the reasons in previous posts,i think they are small market in MLB and rogers understands that and will not pump money at them as in previous management regimes.Blaming fans for staying away has been the mantra for yrs with previous jays regimes and it sounds like this cast is on the same track.In any sport when teams are bad how is that the fault of the fans,also the media likes to get on this fan rag when it suits them,a loyal fan base should be embraced,jays fans (which i am not)should be stroked for there patience,they have a right to be critical!!!

Chef Mike in Burlington
January 14, 2012 11:22 am

Actually Boston Mike, as a Rogers customer and shareholder, i love that they starve the Jays of resources, that means more profit to make my Iphone run faster on their new network and the price of my shares goes up!! I have never bashed Rogers as a company, but i have and will as owners of a professional sports team.

B. Jays games are content only, and I am sure that between local radio rights to themselves, local TV rights to themselves and the $80M they get from MLB TV/merch/Rev-share money, they could play to an empty dome and STILL make money. They have no real incentive to win, no Stienbrenner/Henry figure who wants to win, they don’t need to win to satisfy their ROI. If they don’t care, but then why should anyone else?

Rogers treats the team like its Kansas City, not the 5th biggest market in North America, and they have sold the lie about being a “small market” perfectly. It’s not just me, attendance is down 500,000 a year since they bought the team, not my opinion, but fact (baseballreference.com).

I am a sports fan more than a baseball fan, (I far prefer football), but the facts remain. When you are as big/rich as Rogers is, in a non-salary cap league, in a region of 5M people with no other competition, with currency at near par, access to the same info as everyone else and are still non competitive for the 10 straight years of their ownership, Rogers is either choosing to not compete or are totally inept at running sports team, and both are bad.

Trust me, i want them to be better, I still have friends who work near Skydome and a fuller dome means they sell more beer, make more $$$ and I get the odd freebie when i visit them, so call me selfish…

Mike S
Mike S
January 14, 2012 2:46 pm

I agree that it was strange to hear AA say that Rogers would give him the money if it meant they were “guaranteed” to win…………….I would have pressed him on that comment and I was disappointed that McCown & Cox did not………………I realize that when you are interviewing someone in studio you have to treat them with respect but that doesn’t mean you should basically ignore peculiar comments like that

Daniel
Daniel
January 14, 2012 3:20 pm

Well, the thing with the Jays is – if you’re able to look at what AA has done in 2 seasons in a vacuum – it’s very impressive. People go too far over the top with praise of him sometimes, but he’s legitimately done a lot with a bad situation in a short amount of time. He’s already created a situation with more hope going forward than JP ever did (maybe part of the reason for this reinvigorated interest there seems to be in the Jays).

BUT – I do understand views like Chef Mike’s – because if you look at the Jays overall (not just AA’s tenure), you see a team that hasn’t been in a playoff race in 19 years. So it’s not so easy to be patient at this point. People are tired of waiting – that’s an incredibly long time! It’s pathetic, really.

Also – I fully agree that Rogers should spend more. I would have loved to see them make a run at Fielder. I think Mike is right – the Jays are very highly rated on TV and radio – Rogers must make a killing on those 162 games.

AA made a gaffe by saying ‘we win, the fans come out, we get to spend more’. He should absolutely not have said it that way. But…in reality… that’s pretty much what all teams do (unless you get some windfall like a new stadium – Marlins).

Look at the Rangers (a team AA has referenced he’s emulating). The Jays do look pretty similar to the Rangers of a few years ago in young talent, AND payroll/attendance. In 08 the Rangers were 21st in payroll and 25th in attendance. In 09 they were 19th in payroll and 18th in attendance. (Link: http://tinyurl.com/7ayglol) But they had a good young core so they started winning, then people started showing up, and now they’re signing Darvish and may look at Fielder.

I’m not defending Rogers here. The Rangers play in an easier division, and their way certainly isn’t the only way to do it. I 100% agree with Mike they should be spending more money. But, just being devils advocate a bit, the ‘put good young core together – then win – then spend’ plan does seem to be what most teams aim for.

Daniel
Daniel
January 14, 2012 3:28 pm

Yeah, the guarantee thing was weird.

I get the feeling that AA wants to be a little more sure of what he can expect from this team before putting his ass on the line.

There may be an understanding like: You can ask us for more money if you think it will put you over the top. But if we spend a ton of money, and the Jays are STILL also-rans, so the fans STILL don’t come out – you’re in deep shit.

He’s said a couple of times that adding a higher salary guy might be more likely midseason. Mainly because if the Jays are 3 back of the WC in July, you can be a lot more certain that a risky addition will push them into a race.

That’s my guess, anyway.

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