Toronto Sports Media Top Sports MSMer of 2011- Fans Speak

by TSM

Greetings and salutations!

So it’s taken a bit to get back in the swing of things, but we are raring to get 2012 going! Pardon the lack of quality stuff; much more to come!

I, with the good man LT have tabulated the picks from the media on their picks of the top Toronto MSMers of 2011. Before we release the results, and taint the waters, let’s have you the fans vote on whom you think are the top in the business in the market.

Here are the ground rules:

1. You can only submit your top 10.
2. Candidates must be on the air, or in print of a major news outlet and be readily seen or heard in the Toronto area.
3. I will say that some people in the biz voted for Tim and Sid as I person, so…… do as you please.
4. No questions.

I will tell you that we have huge turnout in our MSM poll. Very few who we sent requests to didn’t respond at all. A select few declined out of “respect for the process” and 1 jokingly voted for himself 10 times.

LT will be tabulating the votes here. Please circulate to others, and only post one reply.


I’ve been reading all the papers and listening to podcasts lately, and was thinking man the tide has turned on the good ship blue jay in a BIG way. Then I saw this:

January 16, 2012 at 7:52 pm (Edit)

Anyone catch the Cathal Kelly article in the Star on AA??–toronto-blue-jays-gm-alex-anthopoulos-is-testing-the-fans-patience

Anyone catch the Cox article in the Star??

2 stories in one day. Makes me wonder if they have been reading TSM? Or maybe the wonderkids shine is wearing off elsewhere too??”

Seems to me that the MSMers in Toronto are smelling blood and are preparing to pounce. Hard to believe how quickly things may have soured on AA already. Before you send me the flaming emails, I am an AA fan and a blue jay fan too. AA’s best defense would be the teams performance.

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January 17, 2012 12:30 am

I actually didn’t find either Cox Or Kelly’s article to be that harsh on AA, TSM..

Cathal Kelly basically seemed to be saying that Rogers and Beeston were hanging AA out to dry – leaving him to explain payroll parameter stuff, when that’s not really his job.

Both say that pressure is starting to rise on him, which I think is definitely accurate.

January 17, 2012 8:45 am

“AA’s best defense would be the team’s performance.”

I think that is where we are at with the Jays. If they perform this year then people will watch if not then it could get ugly. IMHO not only does AA need to “guarantee the win” for a budget increase but for fan interest as well.

More than anything the public stance of “you want a better team then show up” has done it for me. You want more of my money and time then give me a reason by putting a competitive team on the field. I have invested both my time and money in this team but after this statement I could not give a good sized rat’s ass about the minors and scouting system, I want a return in the shape of a competitive team in the majors. Competitive means meaningful baseball in September.

Pardon my rant

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
January 17, 2012 9:11 am

just listened to the AA interview: he claimed the Jays are in the high 80 million dollar range. according to both BR and Cot’s, the Jays started 2011 with a $70 million payroll. Can anyone make the case that they added $17 million between then and now? The same sources show that they currently have $55 million in committed salary for next year, and estimate their arbitration cases as yielding a $77 million dollar payroll. maybe he meant high 70’s?

Steve in Waterloo
Steve in Waterloo
January 17, 2012 1:55 pm

Not sure where, but here’s my list of TSM people:

Steve Simmons – never miss Sunday article
Damian Cox – don’t always agree, but takes a different approach
Elliot Freedman – like his 30 thoughts column
Cathal Kelly – fairly new (to me anyway) but enjoy his take on things
Bob Elliot – THE baseball guy
Blair – always like his take
McCowan – getting more and more annoying, but he has great guests

No one else is coming to mind, so I will stop there…

January 17, 2012 4:03 pm

Very skewed list from someone who doesnt live in toronto (or even canada)

Bruce Arthur
Bob MCowen
Jeff marek
Jeff blair
Stephen brunt
Elliott friedman
James mirtle
Tim and sid

January 17, 2012 4:44 pm

In no particular order:

– Friedman
– Brunt
– McCown
– Blair
– Arthur
– McKenzie
– Grange
– Smith (Doug) (I’m not a basketball guy but I like his work & him personally)
– Duthie
– Onrait

Duthie and Onrait are on there largely because they make otherwise dull intermissions and broadcasts entertaining. To some degree. I had trouble coming up with spots nine and ten.

I haven’t listened to Tim and Sid beyond a couple of guest spots on PTS. I don’t have the time to listen/watch anything else other than PTS and even that is frequently fast-forwarded. If I was younger, still in school and had plenty of time on my hands I’d probably listen.

January 17, 2012 5:23 pm

My MSM’er of the year is…Donald S. Cherry! Just kidding.

Bryan Hayes is actually my MSM’er of the year. He’s clearly the biggest sports fan of all the sports radio hosts. What I mean by that is he’s very knowledgeable about ALL sports, NHL, MLB, NBA, NCAA, PGA, you name it. Hayes knows what’s going on. He’s the type of guy that I can DEFINITELY see moving to ESPN a la Adnan Virk years from now.

Honourable mention goes to Brady and Lang, who now have a great thing going in the AM on the FAN.

January 17, 2012 6:02 pm

Finally lol ! This is more difficult than I thought, I had names but then I kept wanting to add people and difficult to remove some. For me, I looked on who I like to listen, read, or watch, who seems to be putting out a strong effort and who had a storng dozen months for their career. Here are mine in best in order possible.

Greg Brady – My go to guy for opinions, good promotion to the morning show
Stephen Brunt – Constant smart articles, his recent on WJHC was perfect
Tim and Sid – Big free agent signing, great different type of talk
Bruce Arthur – Great articles as well, not utilized enough on TSNR
Alan Ashby – Best PBP guy for local team

Jeff Blair – Good radio host, good baseball talker. Strong opinions
Andi Petrillo – Good on TV, able to host hockey & soccer shows with ease.
James Cybulski – He’s the only person on TSNR I can think of putting on here
Dan Dunleavy – Good overall PBP ability, can talk many sports.
Mike Wilner – Can’t stand him, but darn it, best postgame show in town.

Can’t believe I couldn’t find a spot for Grange, it’s just his radio content has pretty much disappeared, even though he still writes great articles, I just can’t find a spot for him. Will we find out who came in second, third etc? This positivity is nice, are we going to get the worst of MSM and how can I explain Wilner being on both my lists ha.

January 17, 2012 8:58 pm

Where’d all the Stellick fans go?

January 18, 2012 1:08 am

In no particular order:

January 18, 2012 1:17 am

Sorry, I hit enter by mistake.

In no particular order:

McCowan – Best radio show on either station
Friedman – In spite of the fact that he’s been hockey-only for a few years now I think he’s still one of the most versatile broadcasters and interviewers we have
Jeff Marek – versatile. Seems to be a real guy too
Bob Mackenzie – nobody more plugged in on the hockey side
Doug MacLean – not afraid to speak his mind even if he’s ‘wrong’ or his opinion seems extreme. I could seem him taking over for Cherry one day
Duthie – the best studio host in any sport on any station, period.
Eric Smith – like I said about Marek, versatile. Solid radio host, good analyst and reporter and host. Good on social media and interacting with fans too
Brunt – the best writer this country has, period.
Jack Armstrong – while he’s good at what he does as a basketball analyst I think he understands what it means to work in ‘sports entertainment’ too
Onrait – he used to rub me the wrong way but I have grown to appreciate his humor and respect that his delivery & style is unlike any other; and that’s good

Ami Angelwings
January 18, 2012 6:18 am

Bob, Brunt, Wilner, Blair, Grange, Arthur,

I can’t think of more than those 6 I can vote for in good conscience xD

Ami Angelwings
January 18, 2012 6:19 am

who wrote the “Fall of the Boogeyman” piece for Sportsnet? he or she should be nominated just for that…

January 18, 2012 3:33 pm

Good- McCown, Brunt, Arthur, Grange, Tim & Sid, Armstrong, Cathal Kelly
O.K – Perkins, Shoalts, Griffin, Marek, Brady, McKenzie, Zaun
Don’t like – Cox, Shannon, Blair, Richards, Paul Jones, Doug Smith, Wilner

I think by Freidman is the best by far. Multi-talented, while his specialty is hockey he’s knowledgable in other sports and he’s really good whether as a co-host or as a phone guest when appearing on the FAN and he’s good on CBC.

January 18, 2012 5:38 pm

Simmons is by far the worst.

Cox is mostly just terrible. He does surprise sometimes with the odd great piece, which is his only saving grace. Not really ‘in touch’.

Mirtle is excellent, as is Jonas Siegel. Not Jonah, Jonas. 😉

I’m a hockey fan and pay little attention to baseball, bball & footie. Take it for what it’s worth.

January 18, 2012 6:23 pm

The way I see it:

1) Stephen Brunt – The Best. Just a tremendous writer & radio guest.
2) Bruce Arthur – A solid 2nd place. Great knowledge on wide array of topics.
3) Jeff Blair – Very well connected writer and excellent baseball source. Radio show has vastly improved.
4) Tim & Sid – Score BIG for their informed, entertaining….edutainment? Really loving their show.
5) Bob McKenzie – Best of ‘Insiders’. Too stuffy & Holier than Thou for my tastes but he’s real good at what he does. A ‘go to’ source for breaking info.
6) Doug McLean – Many seem to dislike him & his ‘bit’ but I think he’s funny & entertaining as well as informed. Easily my favourite member of ‘Hockey Central At Noon’. He’s at his best when his GM’s cap is on with trade analysis & player evaluations.
7) Elliote Friedman – Thoughtful & balanced analysis. 30 Thoughts is A+. Great on Bob’s round-table.
8) Michael Grange – Wasn’t familiar with him prior to 2011 but he’s diverse, smart & a very good writer.
9) Greg Brady – 8 Mile drives me crazy in good & bad ways. Strong opinions & knowledge but his trolling posing as ‘objectivity’ is weak sauce & diminishes the overall good work he does.
10) Bob McCown – Bob’s slipped in my estimation. He still shows excellence from time to time & his guests are incredible…but the ‘get off my lawn’ bit is noticably stale after Tim & Sid’s high energy slot.

Really wanted to have Doug Smith on here too. To me, he’s easily the best basketball guy.

January 18, 2012 6:52 pm

Ahhh…also think Pierre LeBrun, Alan Ashby & Evanka Osmak are all pretty great too.

Thinking about all these names…there’s an awful lot to like out there even though I’m as guilty as anyone in grousing about the personalities I don’t like.

January 18, 2012 11:38 pm

Here are my top 10

Bob McCowan
Steven Brunt
Elliott Friedman
Darren Draeger
Dave Hodge
Steve Simmons – for his Sunday column only
Bruce Arthur
Doug Smith
Mike Wilner

Mike S
Mike S
January 19, 2012 1:39 pm

Here is my top 10 list:

1) James Duthie………..fantastic at just about everything he does

2) Stephen Brunt………..excellent writer and best sports radio co-host in Toronto

3) Elliotte Friedman…………..great on radio, television, and his blog; uses Twitter effectively

4) Bruce Arthur……………..excellent witer and good on radio; I wish he could have stayed with 590 as an occasional PTS co-host and roundtable guest

5) Dave Hodge…………..very good host; funny and intelligent; hilarious on Twitter

6) Bob McCown…………….not as good as he used to be but is still the best sports radio host in Toronto

7) Greg Brady……………has made mornings on 590 a lot more fun; extremely entertaining on Twitter

8) Bob McKenzie…………….knows his stuff; the gold standard of hockey insiders

9) Doug MacLean……………I understand why many people don’t like him but I find him very entertaining as long as he doesn’t go overboard

10) Steve Simmons…………..yes he can be annoying but I enjoy his columns and his radio/television work; his Sunday column is always fun to read

January 22, 2012 9:05 pm

In no order:

McCown- the best
Brunt- very knowledgeable
Friedman- excellent insight
Arthur- solid writer
Elliot- best baseball guy
MacKenzie- best hockey guy
Cox- always controversial
Hodge- funny
Shoalts- entertaining
Davidi- good baseball insight
Bowen- best play by play

January 23, 2012 9:32 am

1 Dan Patrick ( His show has the best flow)
2 Tim & Sid ( I am hooked already)
3 Bob McGown (The vet is still a must listen)
4 Steven Brunt ( Can deliver in print as well as on air)
5 Bob McKenzie ( My go to guy for hky info.)
6 Mike Wilbon & Tony Kornhieser (These guys are a great team)
7 Elliotte Friedman ( The next one…Future host if PTS.)
8 Michael Grange ( Great read..I really don’t mind him on air either.)
9 Greg Zuan ( Takes no prisoners.Love his delivory)
10 Nick Kypreos ( I listen every day so i had to pick one of them)

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