Toronto Sports Media Sports Radio Lineups

by Rob Gregg

To all, a safe and happy Canada Day long weekend.

Here’s your drive home lineups

On Sportsnet 590 The FAN from 4-7pm, Prime Time Sports with Jeff Blair:

400-500 – Phones
500-700 – Roundtable – John Shannon, Sid Seixeiro, Doug Smith

On TSN Radio 1050 from 4-7pm, Cybulski & Co., with James Cybulski. Bob Mackowycz co-hosts:

TBA

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

Luke and Brayden Schenn, Philadelphia Flyers
Terrence Ross, Raptors Draftee
Darren Dreger, TSN NHL Insider

Tonight on Sportsline:

Did the Raptors succeed or disappoint at the NBA Draft, and will Steve Nash sign with this team? Will the Maple Leafs dip into the NHL’s free agent pool or is a trade for Luongo, Nash or Ryan more likely? What is wrong with Milos Raonic and will Derek Jeter eventually pass Pete Rose as MLB’s all-time hits leader? Join Hebsy & Bubbs, tonight at 7 on CHCH.

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Syn
Syn
June 30, 2012 12:59 am

Before the bitching begins, I would like to note that I enjoyed today’s roundtable.

Daniel
Daniel
June 30, 2012 2:23 am

I really liked it too. Fun show.

(Aside from Shannon saying Romero had been ‘lights out this year’. Kind of embarrassing considering the talk all week has been about how much he’s struggling).

itchy butt
itchy butt
June 30, 2012 8:01 am

Lights out? That’s what he said???? What a dipstick. Ricky is lucky he has the record he does. His last 5 or 6 wins were the result of the Jays smashing the crap out of the ball. He hasn’t given up less than 4 runs in a game since April.

Daniel
Daniel
June 30, 2012 3:18 pm

Yeah. They were complaining about Ricky and Shannon said ‘Ricky’s been lights out this year. 8-2.’. Then there was an awkward pause and Blair said ‘yeah, pitchers won/loss records aren’t really relevant’.

Shannon’s fine on hockey. Just shouldn’t be a general sports cohost.

Mike S
Mike S
June 30, 2012 8:45 pm

It’s hard to tell because someone else was speaking at the same time but it sounded to me like Shannon said “Romero hasn’t been lights out” and not “Romero has been lights out”…………………if you want to check for yourself it happens just before the 7 minute mark of the 5 PM hour of the roundtable

Ami Angelwings
June 30, 2012 10:57 pm

Doug Smith and Sid Sixeiro were advocating for the Jays to make moves to fix the bullpen because they’re still so close to a playoff spot. Smith said that you’re wasting an amazing year by Bautista, and Sid pointed out you don’t even need to have your pitching staff be “lights out” to win, just to be average. In this context, Shannon interrupted Sid and said “Ricky hasn’t been lights out, and he’s 8 and 2.” Then Blair said pitcher wins don’t mean anything, it’s a team stat.

Daniel
Daniel
June 30, 2012 11:00 pm

Oops I misheard. Sorry John!

Ami Angelwings
July 1, 2012 12:53 am

This is one time that I might agree somebody used pitcher wins PROPERLY, since the talk was whether you could win with crappy starting pitching, so it is worth it to note that the Jays have won despite substandard performances from Ricky Romero.

cam
cam
July 2, 2012 2:05 pm

At the risk of piling on Mike Wilner, I truly think it is time for him to move on. To be fair I think him a less than mediocre talent and a truly horrendous play by play announcer so I may be jaded…

He has never been shy in deriding the views of Jays fans who engage with him on twitter and Jays Talk. However, when it creeps into the Jays broadcasts as it did the other day you risk alienating a larger section of the listening audience. On its own, the comment we all wanted Encarnacion out of town last year but this year we all knew he had this potential seems trivial enough. However it is part of larger pattern whereby he seems to take every opportunity to insult the intelligence of the audience. As an aside, I neither know of nor have heard anyone one who saw this type of year coming out of Encarnacion

This constant battle with the fans is just not necessary and for me, detracts from the broadcast. I see no difference in these sweeping statements from Wilner and the more ludicrous ones that surface from a small segment of fans. His smartest man in the room attitude exacerbates the issue, but I really believe he just does not like the fans anymore. Perhaps dealing with fans in post-game shows will do that but in the final analysis if they don’t like the media personality – well they end up like Andrew Krystal doing reports from city hall.

Darrell
Darrell
July 2, 2012 2:17 pm

Mike Wilner is horrible – that’s no question! But he is hardly close to the ranks of Andrew Krystal! LOL!

William
William
July 2, 2012 2:48 pm

At the risk of piling on Mike Wilner, I truly think it is time for him to move on. To be fair I think him a less than mediocre talent and a truly horrendous play by play announcer so I may be jaded…

And yet they give him EVEN MORE responsibility this year doing play-by-play. He’s been horrible for years and yet he gets a mini-promotion (granted, it’s probably because they’re too cheap to get a pbp fill-in… but still). He’s not going anywhere.

Darrell
Darrell
July 2, 2012 2:50 pm

He probably puckers up to Jerry Howarth and kisses up Anthopolus and company and that probably is the reason why he isn’t going anywhere.

Daniel
Daniel
July 2, 2012 5:08 pm

Is Wilner the most controversial member of the Toronto sports MSM right now? Seems to be debated the most on here in the last while.

Just to negate the pile on, I consider myself a prett massive baseball fan, and I think Wilner does a great job. There is so much overreaction to every hot/slow start, every good/bad game out there that I totally appreciate his take downs of idiotic suggestions and comments. There really are a lot of them.

Sure he comes across as a dick sometimes, but so does McCown, Brady, Cox, Jim Rome, Colin Cowherd and lots of other sportscasters. Emotionally engaging the audience, even if its negative, is part of the schtick. And part of why people listen.

Having said that, if that’s not your thing, then I certainly get not liking him. Perhaps those who can’t stand Wilner should email TSN radio and request a decent baseball alternative that is different in style? Maybe they could bring on Richard Griffin full time or someone who’s kind o an anti Wilner. Scott ferguson is there I guess… But they could definitely stand to improve their coverage.

Daniel
Daniel
July 2, 2012 5:11 pm

On another baseball note, the new Fan baseball show starts tomorrow. I’m pretty interested in listening. Dirk Hayhurst is a pretty well respected author who has a pretty neat perspective on the game. I think it’s an interesting hire.

Ami Angelwings
July 2, 2012 5:22 pm

For me, I like WIlner, but the way he frames things bothers me, because it’s a tactic I see a lot online in trolls and people who are trying to strawman their opponents. For example, he regularly just lumps all callers in together and acts as if the same people saying that they love Colby Rasmus are the same people saying that they didn’t like him before. It’s probable that those are different people. ALSO, there’s nothing wrong with criticizing a player who has played poorly and then not criticizing them when they’re playing well.

It’s like the whole “flip flopping” thing in the States. Changing your mind based on new information isn’t flip flopping, it’s being influenced by new developments.

And Wilner categorizing criticism as “hate” (as he did last night w/ Codero’s critics) is problematic as well because then he’s just dismissing everybody’s criticism as being just emotion, while he’s rational. I have this issue in general with over broad use for the phrase “haters gonna hate” as if any kind of criticism is just irrational hate and that it’s always personal. It’s so dismissive and it allows Wilner to easily dismiss anybody he talks with, or argues with on Twitter. After all, if people are just “haters” rather than “critics” then you don’t need to listen to them because they just hate, it’s all pointless, it’s just mindless hate.

And also it’s not consistent. If people weren’t allowed to criticize Colby Rasmus for his poor production because previously he’s had good production, why must people praise Cordero for a few good innings and ignore everything else he’s done this season?

I think Wilner’s a really smart guy, and I like listening to him talk baseball, and I even like listening to him argue with Blair or Brunt or Tim and Sid, but that’s because when he’s with them, he respects them, even in the face of Tim’s “you play to win the game!” which is just as irrational as most of Wilner’s worst callers. But Wilner doesn’t call them haters, or say that they’re too emotional, or dismiss them, he listens to them and debates them. But with the fans, I think 10 years on the job has just gotten too him and he starts to argue JUST LIKE internet trolls online that he hates so much. And it’s very disheartening. :\

Darrell
Darrell
July 2, 2012 7:45 pm

Don’t really know how entertaining Dirk Hayhurst will be on a baseball show with Sam Cosentino, as Cosentino is just as bad as Wilner with the love for the Jays – but I am curious and interested to see how they do tomorrow on day 1.

cam
cam
July 2, 2012 8:06 pm

Daniel – Unfortunately TSN is not an option if you have to catch the game on radio. It is the only time I endure Wilner, otherwise I exercise that freedom of choice thing to change stations.

I am not advocating for the kinder gentler broadcaster as you suggest. I enjoy controversy, emotionally charged intelligent debate. I have no issue when individuals suggest what is patently stupid are put in their place. I think the addition of Greg Zaun’s informed contrarian views are great as well Alan Ashby’s criticisms when calling the games. Hell there is no one more arrogant than Keith Law who I miss on 590 but think is a great addition to TSN.

As for being polarizing, when he doesn’t miss any opportunity to lump large sections of the audience into the dumb schmuck category, I doubt he’ll win the Most Popular Host category. There in lies a major part of my issue; I am tired of the constant shots at the fans. I respect the fact that you think is good at what he does I just don’t agree with it.

alex
alex
July 2, 2012 9:05 pm

Is wilner the most controversial msm right now?

I dont think so, with cox, simmons and prob others i dont know still around.

Darren
Darren
July 2, 2012 9:47 pm

Wilner is not controversial he is just a windbag bully who refuses to hear anybody’s opinion or thoughts that is not ‘involved’ with the Blue Jays. I personally think Grange would be a good fit for Jays Talk, IMO.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
July 2, 2012 9:57 pm

awesome discussion here, as per usual.
.

some people like the Jerry Springer appeal of Wilner’s radio show, and that’s fair. but the overwhelming message here and elsewhere is that people are hungry for an alternative. hopefully with the new FAN baseball show we’ll soon have just that. hopefully TSN figures out that the CFL as well as NHL free agency cannot sustain their summer programming and they too will follow suit and devote air time to baseball
.

i learned early on in life that you can disagree without being disagreeable. this was a valuable lesson.

Darren
Darren
July 2, 2012 10:03 pm

Apparently Wilner missed that lesson, he is just as bad on Twitter, maybe worse.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
July 2, 2012 10:09 pm

great comments by the “haters” … you really captured what’s missing from JaysTalk. It’s not about being nice – it’s about being able to engage in debate, even if the point of view is not terribly well articulated.
.

I’ve said this before on this board: if you had a nuanced position on baseball or the Jays, you wouldn’t call Wilner. He’s convinced all the intelligent callers NOT to call because the last thing they are going to get is a reasonable discussion. The end result is an unlistenable combo of dimwits talking to an asshole. No thanks.
.

Mike: you probably read this. We can do better, but it starts with the host. Try mixing up your approach and see if things improve.

Darrell
Darrell
July 2, 2012 11:27 pm

Let me start off by saying that I do NOT like listening to Mike Wilner, whether it be on the shows during the week. I must admit I have found myself listening to Jays Talk more lately and not to listen to Wilner’s “wisdom”. I listen more lately to hear fans are finally standing up to Wilner lately. I think fans are finally growing sick and tired of Mike Wilner’s act at the FAN.

I am a Raptors, Leafs and New York Yankees fan. I can see some good stuff going on with my favorite teams; but yes I can also see some issues that the they all need to address. Now I get to Mike Wilner. I get that Wilner is a Jays fan. I get that he loves the Blue Jays – as it’s his sports team that he is a fan of. Why is it that we can tune into the FAN and never ever hear Wilner say Lind is hitting crummy, Cordero is a bust? I am not saying that Wilner has to dump completely on his team 100% of the team or that the team is a mess. However, each and every sports fan can and should be able to address some good and some bad things about their favorite sports teams. We all have our favorite teams, favorite sports and favorite players but listening to Wilner’s praise of the Jays (even on nights when they get slaughtered) is so sickening.

The thing I find annoying about Wilner as a FAN 590 personality, is that everyone “has” to see his side of things regarding the Blue Jays. That’s plainly stupid and retarded. In our regular circles, do we cut our sports fan friends out of our lives – if they don’t support the team we root for? Do we cut out the sports fan friends if they cut down our team? No. There maybe debates and discussions between our friends/family with us about our sports topic – but we don’t come across like an arrogant know-it-all and that we are the sports God. To say that everything is right in Blue Jays land (like Mr. Wilner always seems to portray and say as Mr. “Baseball expert”) is stupid! Are they horrible? No. Are they a championship dynasty? No. With each and every single team – you probably could sit and say a few things that are wrong with a given team. LOL – I can’t figure out who’s worse for being a total homer in baseball? Mike Wilner or Ken Harrelson of the Chicago White Sox broadcasts?

That’s the unique thing about sports that I feel everyone likes about sports. We can come together, talk about the sports issues and topics and have a healthy discussion back and forth about how each person sees the sports story (whatever it maybe?).

Curt
Curt
July 3, 2012 12:01 am

Wilner just doesn’t deserve the attention that he gets (no need pointing out the irony of posting this). He’s a Rogers hand-puppet, sure, but as long as people pay attention and tune in to listen to the Jays Talk circus, they (Rogers) won’t care. It’s about ratings and nothing else. I don’t listen to his program anymore because 1) there are too many idiot mouth-breathers who call in (I actually have some sympathy for Wilner on that) 2) Wilner is a pedantic, annoying shill. I’ve got things to do – why would I put myself through that nonsense? I say if so many people are fed up with Wilner, don’t pay attention. Ratings will then take care of itself, and Wilner can go back to studying Baseball America from whence he came.

Mike S
Mike S
July 3, 2012 1:26 am

I enjoyed the PTS roundtable today…………….usually we get Kirke and Ormsby on the holiday roundtable but this time we got Friedman and Grange (and Perkins)……………and McCown was back from two weeks vacation so he had plenty to say on the Jays pitching woes and the Steve Nash situation

alex
alex
July 3, 2012 2:41 am

When they announced the roundtable, i joked to ami, “wheres mary ormsby?”

Ami Angelwings
July 3, 2012 3:22 am

I like Ormsby, but I also like all 4 of the people on today’s roundtable, so I am not upset that she’s not there or anything. I just wish she’d be on the roundtables more. (I also like Kirke but that’s because I find him amusing, and he’s fairly relaxed and passive even if he has no knowledge about something, it beats Cox and Shannon’s aggressive “I’m always right about everything” style)

I felt today’s roundtable could have been really good, but a lot of nuance got lost in the arguments between Bob and Grange and Grange not expressing his points very well. For example, I think Grange’s point about Bautista wasn’t that Bautista would get angry and refuse to play or demand to be traded, I think his point was something I said last winter, which is that you’re wasting the best years of Bautista’s career, and if you aren’t going to “go for it” now, then maybe you should trade him for future assets that are more in line with “the plan” (however long term it is now). I said before that I think Bautista’s sudden emergence actually screwed up Alex’s plan and it’s shot expectations of the fans up, because they look at him being 31 and go “gee, how much longer can he do this? we need to do something before he tails off” and Alex never anticipated a 31 year old superstar on his team, he thought Bautista would be a journeyman and the team would be filled with 22-25 year old burgeoning superstars, and fans would be content for a slow build.

The other thing is that Grange’s point on Nash is good, but I was waiting for somebody to point out that you can still try to stockpile youth, and a young point guard to develop behind Nash for those 3 years, that it wasn’t necessarily bust after Nash is gone, but it just became a yelly fest about whether 3 years and then bust is worth it. :\

Also, nobody pointed out that even if you tanked and got a high pick and they were a superstar, you’d have to keep them in Toronto when they start reaching the peak of their powers. So many high pick superstars are trying to engineer their exit from the teams that drafted them right now, and we just had one do that last year in Bosh.

But all in all, it was a fun roundtable, and I was v pleased that there was no Shanny or Coxy.

Sam
Sam
July 3, 2012 5:59 am

@Ami – I agree re Grange and his point about Bautista, it was a good one and he couldn’t seem to articulate it. I thought EF was going to do it for him but then he didn’t. Not that McCown or Perkins should have to make Grange’s point for him, but it was a little disheartening that they didn’t really try to engage him – just pretty much said “ahhh, you can’t trade Bautista!”. But then Bob did talk about what he might trade Bautista for (I don’t think he came up with anything).

This is a point though that could come up in future roundtables, or in reality, that Bautista could tell the Jays hey look spend or trade me.

itchy butt
itchy butt
July 3, 2012 6:45 am

Darrel said: “Let me start off by saying that I do NOT like listening to Mike Wilner”

In other news…..water is wet.

daver
daver
July 3, 2012 10:36 am

Hey Itchy Butt, did you know that he’s also a New York Yankees fan?

Darrell
Darrell
July 3, 2012 10:39 am

Oh Itchy Butt – don’t get me all emotional and choked up by your words… LOL!

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
July 3, 2012 2:04 pm

did anyone listen to the new baseball midday show? i was out and missed it. Maybe someone can do a write-up at the end of the week and ask TSM to publish it as a separate blog post. it would be nice to see some more media commentary here.

Mike S
Mike S
July 3, 2012 3:22 pm

We might have to rely on people like my friend Daniel for a review of the new noon show on 590 because I am not much of a baseball fan anymore

Apparently Brian Burke will be on with McCown today at 5:25……………I believe this is his first apprearance on PTS since his team “went over a cliff in an 18 wheeler” towards the end of this past season

Daniel
Daniel
July 3, 2012 8:58 pm

haha…thanks Mike!

I didn’t catch it live, but I did check it out on the website.

To be honest, I’m partly just impressed that Rogers is actually investing in covering baseball. It wasn’t that long ago that baseball seemed like an afterthought on 590 (even in the summer), and the only alternative was 640 – which just covered hockey (again, even in summer). I basically relied on blogs for baseball talk. So, this is cool. I guess Rogers is partly responding to interest perking up for the Jays, and also trying to better promote their product. Either way, this combined with improvements on the TV side (Zaun etc) is appreciated, as a fan.

As for the show – I thought Hayhurst was excellent. I don’t believe he’s worked in actual broadcasting before, but he sounds like a natural to me. Good delivery, insightful, funny. Sounded very comfortable. Actually he sounded far more comfortable than Cosentino did. I thought Cosentino was OK, but a bit shaky. I don’t find him to be the most compelling personality. Hayhurst is definitely the key to the show.

It peaked my interest. I’ll keep tuning in.

BECKS
BECKS
July 4, 2012 3:17 pm

Mike Wilner on Jays Talk…

Greg Millen doing color on Leafs games…

It couldn’t possibly get any worse for Toronto sports fans.

Darrell
Darrell
July 4, 2012 3:19 pm

LOL – I completely forgot about Greg Millen. With Millen – I love hearing when Leafs give up a goal, “____________ (insert Leaf goalie name) didn’t have a shot at the save!”

I am a big Leafs fan – but Millen is bad. Anyone hear what the status of Andy Frost doing Leaf post game shows are like for the upcoming season?

Truck Turner
Truck Turner
July 5, 2012 5:11 pm

Ami, you made a very good point about Grange, re: Bautista. The problem with Grange as a radio “personality” is that, frankly, he isn’t one. He’s a solid columnist and he certainly knows his beat (s), but he is woefully ill-suited to radio, where being verbally articulate is every bit as critical a skill as being intelligent and well-informed…perhaps more so. Coupled to the off-brand-Muppet quality of his voice itself, it makes him much more of a chore to listen to than someone that knowledgeable ever should be…particularly in this market, where the likes of Michael Grange and Bruce Arthur (measured, intelligent sports media voices) are decidedly thin on the ground. In fact, with the likes of Cox and Simmons still lingering about like embarrassing odours, Toronto is becoming rather too much like Boston for my tastes—for every Bob Ryan, there are dozens of braying jackasses writing reactionary sky-is-falling pieces on an hourly basis. Worse still, McCown has become an enabler of them on his show, because he doesn’t bother to do his own homework anymore. So he ends up deferring to the likes of Cox, who know about as much as McCown does these days (dick-all) but are more forceful in expressing their ignorance.

Because Grange *sounds* like a beta, alphas like McCown are forever going to treat him, however consciously, like their cabana boy. Now, anyone who reads Grange with any regularity can see that the depth of his knowledge and his critical thinking skills completely shame organ banks like Cox, but if you put a mic in front of him, he becomes an also-ran, the third cousin in the back of the wedding photo that McCown doesn’t really pay much mind to. And the Bautista discussion was a good example of that—he sees the situation with much more clarity than the other passel of boobs, but his usually salient talking points tend to get pushed to the margins. Bruce Arthur was invariably better at handling the likes of McCown and Shannon, because he was a much more relaxed, confident speaker…and generally every bit as sharp as Grange. He got his points across because he wasn’t afraid to be quietly patronising to the other knuckleheads, often adopting a posture of “Really? You think *that’s* a good idea? Well, other than (insert airtight argument here), yeah, I suppose you’re right…”, and waiting smugly to see if any of the others has bothered to think their argument through as carefully as he had. He wasn’t obnoxiously arrogant in the way that Wilner or (Christ forbid…) Keith Law generally are, but he was confident enough in his opinions, and his delivery of them, that he didn’t seem like a scientist with social anxiety issues asked to give an impromptu public speech the way Grange sometimes can if his ideas are starting to get bulldozed.

By the way, Ami, your point about AA seemingly having his long-term plan knocked into a cocked hat a little bit by the late-blooming, where-the-f***-did-HE-come-from arrival of Jose Bautista as a premier power hitter is bang on, in my opinion. I’m sure he had a good, hard think about whether to trade Bautista after his 54 HR campaign in 2010 or re-sign him. I think if he’d hit 25-30 HRs that season, AA probably trades him for prospects, opting to strike while the iron is hot, as it were. But putting up MVP numbers undoubtedly complicates things. Good players, you trade at the peak of their value, if you can. Great ones, however, don’t grow on trees, and trading *them* is an awfully risky gambit for a number of reasons, not least of which is public perception. I wouldn’t say that AA is *disappointed* that Bautista has become the force he has, but if he were honest, I’m sure he’d admit that it has made his job a damned sight more complicated in some ways. He’s signed for another three years, I believe, which means that a number of Toronto fans, rightly or wrongly, are going to perceive that they only have three years before this particular window closes. If AA doesn’t see it that way, then he’s likely going to have a bit of a problem on his hands, either from an already-impatient fan base or from his superstar RF, wondering why the competitive team he was assured (I would have to believe…) was going to be in place when he signed his five-year deal is nowhere in sight. If Jose is effectively E5 Encarnacion Mark I, AA probably doesn’t give a damn, and trades him for prospects. But now he has an elite AL power hitter, an All-Star, effectively saying publicly what impatient fans have been saying for a while now: Stop dicking about and go for it. If he wasn’t “Jose Bautista: Newly Minted Superstar”, does AA really care what he thinks? Probably not. But he *is* who he is, and he is expressing many of the same concerns that a great many (though not all, certainly) fans are. Is that enough to make him re-consider his plans and alter his timeline? We’ll see.

“Hallelujah….holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol…”—Clark Griswold.

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