Toronto Sports Media Morning Drive Lineups


Here’s your drive lineup for your listening enjoyment this am:

On 590 with Greg Brady and Jim Lang:

620 Carl Hanstke
640 Jeff Johnson
720 @alexfan590
740 Ian Leggatt
820 John Farrell
840 Jeff Blair

On TSN radio with Mike Richards

7:00am Mark Zecchino
8:00am Dave Naylor
8:15am Aron Black
8:30am Dan Shulman


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July 26, 2012 10:03 am

Way to go, Gareth Wheeler. He tells TSN listeners that Rogers and the Blue Jays are idiots and to spend, spend, spend…… He takes callers and says that callers are allowed to disagree with him and he “won’t call them an idiot” and that he will not be an “apologist” for the Blue Jays. The lead guy at the FAN – does the complete opposite of Wheeler.

Very refreshing thought and media at the FAN 590 have their lips pressed up against Anthopolous and Beeston.

July 26, 2012 10:04 am

How can anyone of you possibly defend the Blue Jays display and I am not just talking about the 16-0 score last night.

Mike S
Mike S
July 26, 2012 11:53 am

After telling us they would air the Dan Patrick show for two weeks while Scott MacArthur is on vacation it looks like 1050 pulled the plug today and decided to have a local show instead, with Wheeler as host……………….does anyone else think they make this stuff up as they go along ??

July 26, 2012 12:32 pm

I’ll say this again: the vast majority of hosts at The Fan have called out ownership to spend more. Brady, Blair, McCown, Brunt, Grange, Zaun all have. Wilner does not share that opinion but hat does not make him a shill. Many who don’t work at Rogers agree with him (Law, Keri,

Wheeler misses he point if he thinks spending is the key from getting the 09 Jays, who were in a god awful position to a good position. It’s team building through youth and then supplementing that with free agents. Smart spending can help, but blowing cash on the wrong guys will hinder your restructuring.

However – I think beginning this offseason, yes. It’s fair to expect some more payroll investment. Young good core is there, and the team is likely a couple pieces away from real contention. (With lucky health this team had a real chance at he 2nd WC his year). It makes sense to begin ‘spending mode’. But over the past couple years? The focus should have been (and was) rebuilding he farm system and creating a young core.

AA isn’t perfect, and I don’t particularly trust Rogers – but I frankly wish the Leafs and Raptors were rebuilding this way.

Another Steve
Another Steve
July 26, 2012 1:16 pm

I was pleased the past few weekends when I heard both the Wimbledon men’s final and the British Open live on 1050. I thought it was excellent use of late Sunday morning radio in July, especially when there there is not much else to broadcast at that time. And it was also good that they used the host feed, since the hosts know how to speak about the respective sports with knowledge and enthusiasm.

If 1050 can do more of that – and less CFL – then I will be pleased.

July 26, 2012 2:08 pm

This is the problem with media outlets owning teams. With a couple of exceptions, Sportsnet shill the Jays – they just do. Yes, Bob, Blair and Zaun will criticise on occasion, but if you watch/listen to Buck and Pat they are in constant sell mode. It’s very annoying and insults the intelligence of fans. (I won`t even talk about Wilner or Dividi.)

I found it refreshing listening to Wheeler’s rant this morning. I know he works for the “enemy” and it’s easy for him to criticise. But, his points are the same ones I’ve been making since the “payroll paramters” fiasco last winter. Rogers obviously want to field a competitive team in order to maintain/increase ratings, but they’re not really interested in winning. And there is a big difference between the two.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
July 26, 2012 3:28 pm

the injuries this year have been devastating. you can bang on Rogers for a lot of stuff, but i’m not sure any team — even the Yankees — could survive losing 3/5 of the rotation, their closer, several veteran BP arms, and a handful of members of their starting line-up.

the Jays need to improve their major league roster if they want to get to 90 wins next year. If the Jays don’t improve the rotation by next year then they have little chance of making the playoffs.

If there are moves to be made this season that help reach that goal then they should make them, but it’s hard to see them getting good value in light of the large number of buyers and small number of sellers. There are a few quality arms that will be available in free agency this off-season though, and those only cost you money and not prospects.

July 26, 2012 4:17 pm

True enough. But, of the three starters, I believe only Morrow was a big loss. Drabek had a great spring and a good first couple starts, but he was reverting back to last season’s form when he went down. Hutchinson, while looking good early, was bound to get roughed up later in the season when the schedule got tough and everyone had had a look. (Remember, he was the fifth starter.)

At any rate, people can blame the injuries all they want but for the first two months, when the Jays had a healthy roster, good schedule, and the rest of the AL East was on the DL, they were mediocre. That tells me that while the injuries obviously hurt them, I don’t think they were ever a contending team this season with a healthy roster. Just my opinion.

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
July 26, 2012 6:16 pm

that’s totally fair Curt. It’s hard not to think about how this team would look if they had signed Darvish this past off-season. They’d likely be sitting 2nd in the division, and in or very near a wildcard spot.

July 26, 2012 11:30 pm

Play by play guys are different … Name me a local play by play team that isn’t biased. Ever heard Hawk Harrelson? John Sterling? As hosts I’ve never felt The Fan personalities have been shills for the Jays. Particularly with payroll. There’s a ton of ‘spend the money Rogers!’. More than I actually believe is warranted (and I am no fan of Rogers).

I agree with MIB on the Jays. Losing Morrow alone may have cost them a few games the way he was pitching. Losing 3 sps in 4 days is pretty close to unheard of.

It’s a good young team with a good young core, but they need one maybe two more starters -Ike’s right. Don’t care if they get them by trade or FA. But with the 2nd WC, there should be no excuses to put together a team capable of a real run in 2013. To AAs credit, he’s said the jays are over the ‘building for later’ stage.

July 27, 2012 10:48 am

All I know is that Gareth “scratchy” Wheeler killed Jeff “it’s not in my nature to boo” Sammut yesterday, it wasn’t even close….It was a little embarrassing to listen to the Fan yesterday. I wonder if Scratchy will go after the Leafs and Raptors like that when they become part owners?

As a sports radio junkie, I find i’m listening habits are splitting 50/50 now between 1050 and 590…..also, I thought Arnie Spanier did a really good job filling in for Hayes last week.

All in all it’s nice to have choice.

and one last thing, has the summer of the “Rog” been replaced with the summer of “Sammut”?… this point I’d rather listen to the “Rog”

Ami Angelwings
July 27, 2012 4:25 pm

Gareth Wheeler is impressing me lately. I like his rantiness, and what he said about Penn State when the host was trying to dial it up, was awesome.

I think people feel as if Bob doesn’t really count, because he’s way more powerful than other FAN590 employees and he can basically say whatever he wants and it’ll be seen as his opinion and not the FAN590’s opinion, and that he can also be dismissed as “oh that’s just Bob, he hates everything”. That is to say when people bring up Bob as proof that Rogers allows dissent, I think in general, most people don’t really think he counts as proof.

Also, I think that the concern some fans have isn’t that people will get fired if they criticize the Jays, but that some employees may believe they have a better chance of moving up if they defend the Jays.

That isn’t to say I believe it, but I think that’s more what people are concerned about than just a simplistic “oh Rogers will fire you if you say bad things about the Jays” which is almost definitely not true (depending on how far you go I guess).

I do wonder though about how working so closely WITH the Jays and the company who owns them can affect how you feel about the Jays. Just like how many of us would feel more comfortable criticizing people we don’t know than people we consider friends or colleagues b/c we see those people on a regular basis and therefore can’t help but care about what they think of us, I wonder if that affects Wilner, etc… He’s with the team a lot, he talks to the players a lot, I’m sure he has interaction with Rogers people who are involved in the Jays side of things, so even if he doesn’t mean to be, that sort of relationship could have an affect on him. I would probably find it harder to criticize my workplace, even if they allow me, than another place, because I still have to work there even if they would never ever fire me, I still would have to look people in the eye the next day, and more than that, I KNOW them, so likely I’ll think of ways to justify behavior. All of these things play into a cost/benefit analysis of what we believe even if consciously we’re thinking “I can say whatever I want!”

Ami Angelwings
July 27, 2012 4:26 pm

I mean with Bob we see this at work too. Not with the Jays, b/c as I said, I think the Rogers exec just chuckle it off as “oh that’s just Bob” and he makes good radio, but you see it with any people he interviews that he considers a friend, and he’s more likely to defend those people in discussions about them, usually saying “I know him, I consider him a friend, and I know that he would never think…”

mike (in boston)
mike (in boston)
July 27, 2012 4:36 pm

I think that the concern some fans have isn’t that people will get fired if they criticize the Jays, but that some employees may believe they have a better chance of moving up if they defend the Jays.

bingo. well said.

it’s implausible to believe that Rogers owning the Jays (and soon MLSE) has no effect on how their media people report on the team. people are people and they have to know that, at some level, criticism of ownership exposes them in a way that boosterism does not.

the question is how much of an effect does ownership have on the people on the media side. Sportsnet have done a good job of collecting people on the radio side who fall on both sides of that divide, and this mitigates the problem to some extent.

That said, at the end of the day they are not criticized enough for being a bottom half / bottom third payroll team. Given the company’s means, they should be in the running for the most valuable free agents every year.

July 27, 2012 7:37 pm

Ami and mike I hear what you guys are saying, but…

I’ve argued with Brady over twitter because he was going on about how ‘the Jays won’t win until they spend’ (while I think prospect development is more important to this point). Grange called the team out for trying to make trades when they should be signing FAs in his opinion. Zaun was practically screaming on PTS in the offseason about how the jays should spend and get Fielder. I’ve heard Brunt, Blair and Lajoie say the same. It’s not even close to just Bob.

So, while its smart to question whether opinions on the jays are being affected by Rogers ownership, the opinion that ‘Rogers should spend more’ is so common on The Fan and Sportsnet that I see no reason to think there’s a problem.

The guys on (owned by the score) regularly deride the ‘jays gotta spend more’ crowd and people in their comments call them ‘Rogers apologists’ even though they have nothing to do with Rogers. I dunno..

If I felt there was censorship (ie the Wilner suspension) I’d be all over criticizing them. I just don’t see it.

July 27, 2012 7:44 pm

I talked to dan lebatard about perceived conflicts of interest, because he has the same agency rep him as riley, spolstra, wade and lebron.

He said “you just have to do your best job. And people will either trust/believe you or they won’t.”

July 27, 2012 8:57 pm

“That said, at the end of the day they are not criticized enough for being a bottom half / bottom third payroll team. Given the company’s means, they should be in the running for the most valuable free agents every year.”

Hear, hear.

July 27, 2012 11:07 pm

Before I completely blow my stack and blast Mike Wilner again – how in the world do the Toronto Maple Leafs success or failure (for the record – since `93 they have been a failure) have to do with the success or failure of the Toronto Blue Jays?!?!?

For the record the Toronto Maple Leafs (outside of a few years) have been a disaster and joke of a franchise since `93. Anyone in Toronto can see and know that. Have the Toronto Blue Jays “REALLY” made an interest and drawn people out to the SkyDome or Rogers Centre now – since 1993??

I think the Toronto Blue Jays could be AMAZING – if Rogers and Wilner would just shut up and step up and spend the money wisely. I’d love the fans (just like at the Air Canada Centre last fall) yelling to, “Fire Wilson!” ; I would love Jays fans to join in unison and yell out, “SPEND OUR MONEY!!!!!!” Toronto could get Fielder, they could get Darvish, they could get Grienke. Don’t sell Encarnacion’s contract as a big superstar! Don’t sell Brandon Morrow as a big superstar! Are they having good years this year? Yes (at least with Encarnacion). Blue Jays fans have just become very complacent with mediocrity and it is just so sad. Do they have some great youth? Yes. But you name me a team over the last 20 years or even 40 years that have won the World Series with “can’t miss prospects”? Teams use those prospects to add star players. Toronto just keeps selling the youth and it is great to an extent, but you cannot lay your whole foundation on it.

I grow sick and tired of Mike Wilner blaming the Toronto’s fan interest in the Maple Leafs and calling them more or less “stupid” because they need to jump on board with the Blue Jays. Blue Jays have won SQUAT over 20 years.

Gareth Wheeler has “ONIONS” to bash the Blue Jays when warranted, unlike Mr. Wilner.

Ami Angelwings
July 28, 2012 7:46 am

What I don’t understand is how exactly a “real” baseball fan is supposed to judge performance of the team or players according to Wilner. :\ For example, whenever the Jays win, Wilner tells everybody to talk about how wonderful it is that the Jays won, and when people focus on the overall picture, want to talk about the overall performance of a player, or focus on the negative of the game, he talks about how nobody wants to talk about what a great game it was, and how the Jays won, and nobody wants to talk about the game. But when the Jays lose, you’re supposed to talk about the big picture, how many games out of the playoff hunt they are, how they’ve done in the overall season, and if you talk about the game and how badly they played, then you’re being negative and you’re focusing on one game.

So I’m confused. :\

July 28, 2012 8:54 am


Completely agree 100%. I can’t fathom why Wilner does not criticize the Blue Jays. The only thing I can think of, is that it is in his contract. But even that, is lame.
I follow Jon Morosi and Ken Roesenthal on Twitter. They are bang on with their info all the time. Yet, when a fan tells Wilner the news about a trade, etc that Morosi or Rosenthal have posted, Wilner calls the fan on it and doesn’t believe them. He made comments last night about the Grienke trade. I guess it only becomes official when MIKE WILNER says so. The man is a pompous ass. Yes, he knows alot about baseball. WHO CARES?!?..a lot of us know a thing about baseball too. When Mike Wilner is calling games, HE SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM TWITTER! Just my opinion, but it is a tad unprofessional when he gets into debates with people tweeting and basically calls the people morons for even engaging a debate with him.
He always, always, always retweets the negative comments to make himself look good.
There has to be someone better than Wilner. Maybe even Gregg Zaun doing it. Love it when Zaun says what is on his mind. Good and bad.
Wilner is TOO MUCH of a homer.
Have a good weekend:)

July 28, 2012 10:35 pm

I just do not understand why the good people of Toronto have grown to accept the company line that the ownership will spend money when they feel it is “good and ready to compete”.

I don’t really know exactly when Rogers became owners of the Jays but if they are only going to spend when they feel it is “good and ready to compete” and “when fans come out” (as Anthopolous and Beeston said for word this past winter), why do you accept the company line? They have played a youthful, spirited effort in most games I will give you that. But why is it that Tampa Bay and Baltimore draw flies and have better records than Toronto? If ownership won’t spend till they feel it is good and ready to compete – aren’t they all but saying that this team stinks right now? How can Wilner say that this team is “moving forward in the Anthopolous plan” if ownership has not given him the money to buy players?

Blue Jay fans are like Leaf fans, like it or not Mike Wilner? Leaf fans will show up at the Air Canada Centre whether they win or lose – when ownership clearly doesn’t make smart acquisitions and spend years getting out of bad contracts (Jeff Finger comes to mind of recent players). Blue Jay fans are told that ownership will spend money when they feel they are “good enough to compete” and “when fans come out”. Are the Jays a mess as a team product right now? No – of course not. However they could be a WHOLE LOT better – if ownership would just take a chance.

Alex Anthopolous has done a good job; not great but not horrible either. Yes he was given a hard decision trading Roy Halladay. Halladay more or less insisted with Riccardi, Anthopolous and ownership to “spend money” or that he would bail and go to a team who was serious about winning.

The point of the matter I see is this…. Whether it’s the Tigers, Yankees, Red Sox, Braves, Dodgers or any of the other teams in baseball that you follow – there are 162 games. Your team will lose a fair share and your team will hopefully win some. @ Ami – Wilner wants you only to see positives and how everything is moving in a positive direction. HUH!?! Perish the thought – if you ever cut down the team and say about the team investing in improving the product? You are only allowed caller after caller saying “how great prospect A, B and C are and how Alex Anthopolous will only find good controllable players”. It is fantasy land and it is just a shame how Toronto fans have grown to accept this bogus stuff the Rogers Empire (let’s face it they are an empire) feed you. They take our money from our TV, cell phone, internet and Blue Jay games we attend. They will gladly accept that…

Slightly going off track here but people keep saying how great it will be once Rogers and Bell own the Toronto Maple Leafs. What makes you think (given their track record of owning the Blue Jays) that they will turn the starving Cup crazed Leaf fans dream into a reality and we can be partying up and down the street of Yonge Street???

Gareth Wheeler was just a complete breath of fresh air the other day on TSN Radio with his thoughts of the Blue Jays. Mike Wilner has somehow brainwashed some people who listen to the FAN 590 (callers at least) into thinking that there is no wrong at the Dome and everything is hunkey dorey.

Ami Angelwings
July 29, 2012 3:56 am

I don’t think Wilner has brainwashed the callers into thinking that. I mean, if he had, he wouldn’t constantly be arguing with people telling him how little faith they have in AA and ownership, how the Jays need to spend more, and how flawed they think the current Jays team is.

From my listening and reading online, it seems like a lot of Jays fans (I can’t say “most” because it’s impossible to know what Jays fans who don’t express themselves online or on the radio think) don’t trust Rogers to spend, and that skepticism only grows with each off season where the Jays don’t sign high-priced free agents. Part of Wilner arguing with fans that WIlner doesn’t seem to get, is that the difference of opinion isn’t that the fans think we should just spend random money to spend it, it’s that spending money would be a sign that Rogers is willing, and right now fans don’t trust Rogers IS willing. So to those fans it’s not that they want to see Rogers have a $120 million payroll just to have it, it’s that it would be a sign that Rogers is willing to open the chequebook.

Also, I think Toronto fans in general are getting worried that we’re at a disadvantage because our GMs/Presidents all have unwritten rules that other GMs don’t operate by (Burke and being against long term contracts, restricted free agent signings, etc, Beeston and AA with not wanting more than 5 year deals…) and it’s hamstringing the potential moves the teams could make to improve.

July 29, 2012 9:06 am

I was hoping to see an open comment thread for the weekend… TSM / RobG… it would be great if once a week an open thread was put up for people to comment on whatever was on their minds… it could have a suggested topic or not… as Bob says “the topic is yours to choose…”

July 29, 2012 9:09 am

Ami – I am sick and tired of all of Burke’s “rules” eg. ego-statements… but I think the one about the not signing the long-term deals may come out well. If anything Ovechkin and Crosby were locks but look at them now… (yes, much different circumstances in the cases but bottom line they might be paid the money while delivering much less than expected).

The 5 year thing for the Jays is ridiculous given no cap. Ah, all of this Jays/spending talk is starting to wear on me.

July 29, 2012 11:51 am

All good points, Ami. I would also add that the chances of Rogers spending on the Jays went down considerably when they bought into MLSE. Btw, I’m not critical of the Jays not trading for anyone significant right now – I don’t think you’ll get the proper value. For me, the time to spend was last offseason when real difference makers were available without costing anybody off your roster. But, as it happened, Rogers announced their MLSE purchase at the same time AA and Beeston started talking about “payroll parameters”…

Also, someone posted a while back (I think it was Mike in Boston) that the Jays will continue to finish 4th or 5th in the division as long as AA and Beeston sign players to “team friendly” contracts. That’s exactly right.

July 29, 2012 4:55 pm

Once Wilner is gone – I think Wilner talking the Jays is a little marshmellow world like

The bigger question in baseball is this? Who’s the biggest homer in the American League? Ken Harrelson of the White Sox or Mike Wilner of the Blue Jays? That’s the tougher question to try and answer. LOL!

July 29, 2012 4:56 pm

Sorry I meant to write that once Wilner is gone – Blue Jays land will be better for it.

I think Wilner talking the Jays is like living in a marshmellow world where every decision is fluffy and comfortable and pillow like.

Ami Angelwings
July 29, 2012 6:57 pm

Is he the guy they were playing that clip of a few weeks ago on the FAN?

Because if he is, then him, hands down.

Wilner isn’t really a homer. I think he feels that he needs to “balance” fans, and right now he feels that fans are imbalanced towards negativity…

It’d be interesting to see what happens if the Jays ever got good, or DID get high priced free agents (like if they had signed both Darvish and Fielder) and he constantly got callers saying how this is the best line-up top to bottom in the history of the major leagues, and stuff like that, because I suspect that Wilner is going to slant his show towards negativity and people will start complaining he hates everything.

July 29, 2012 7:58 pm

I am totally fine with him LOVING the Toronto Blue Jays. Really I am. However name a sports fan who follows a particular team where everything is right and perfect and where you cannot name 1 thing where the team lacks.

Somehow Wilner is in the complete different stratosphere to every other sports fan.

Ami Angelwings
July 29, 2012 9:07 pm

Except Wilner does acknowledge flaws in the Jays and he acknowledges weak spots on the team, he merely thinks that the direction AA is going is correct and doesn’t seem concerned that Rogers isn’t spending. That’s not the same as “everything is right and perfect”.

And as I said, I think his positivity and wanting people to only talk about positive things is because he thinks (incorrectly) that everybody is too negative and he needs to “balance” it out. I think if the calls and tenor of the fans he interacts with ever goes the other way, and the general feeling was that the Jays were the greatest team ever, he’d balance it out with more criticism.

July 29, 2012 9:47 pm

I think you’re 100% right on your last two comments Ami.

July 29, 2012 9:54 pm

As for the Jays – I think we can all agree that what we want is a good team. Whether that’s through a series of clever trades (Marcum – Lawrie, League – Morrow, Bunch of junk – Rasmus) or through big FA signings (yet to happen under AA) I really don’t care. Just build a team that has a good chance at the playoffs for a good run. I like where AA has taken this team in 2+ years, so I trust his judgement to this point.

Some will probably say you HAVE to make big FA signings to get good, but a quick glance at the standings the last few years shows that’s not true. It can really, really help if you make good signings, but bad ones are a hindrance.

I think the key is that if AA wants to spend on FAs this year, Rogers absolutely should allow him to. Attendance is up, ratings are big, and the team is already contending with crazy pitching injuries and a God awful year from Romero.

Judging by AA’s comments, I really believe he hasn’t felt the time was right to make major financial investments up to this point. I think he wants flexibility. That’s what guys like Gareth Wheeler are missing. However, if AA is ready to add some key FAs, and there’s evidence that Rogers isn’t allowing him to – THEN get out your pitchforks.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x