Prime Time Sports Review for Wednesday, August 15, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener phone calls with Bob McCown

  • Calls are about Blue Jays, CBA negotiations, a couple of callers fear that John Farrell will get poached by the Boston Red Sox to be their manager, Bob thinks this is ridiculous


5pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Damien Cox (Prime Time Sports co-host, Toronto Star Tennis and Hockey reporter) co-hosting

First Segment: Interview with Ken Rosenthal, baseball reporter for FOX Sports

  • Bob asks about the dysfunction in the Red Sox and the players revolting against the manager, Bobby Valentine, Rosenthal believes the reports are accurate
  • Ken Rosenthal thinks that Bobby Valentine is the wrong coach for the Red Sox, and that the Red Sox organization asked for this dysfunction by hiring him
  • Bob asks how the San Francisco Giants will handle Melky Cabrera being suspended for taking PEDs, Ken says they may struggle offensively
  • Rosenthal thinks that shutting down Stephen Strasburg is well-intentioned by the GM of the Nationals, but a bad decision because he’s doing it despite there being no historical information that says he needs to
  • Rosenthal believes this may hurt Strasburg’s development by keeping him from getting used to pitching a full season

Second Segment: Interview with Stephen Brunt, co-host of Prime Time Sports, Sportsnet reporter

  • Cox asks what the legacy of the London Olympics is, Brunt says that they had a 17 day high from the Olympics, but now the financial price must be paid
  • Bob asks Brunt if it’s normal for an Olympic host city to sell off everything related to the Olympics in the city, Brunt says it’s never happened before but it’s a good idea to make back some money
  • Cox asks Brunt if Canadians should be disappointed in the Canadian performance, Brunt says that given the money we put into the “Own The Podium” program, we should be allowed to be disappointed in the results
  • Bob is surprised that people being DQed for stepping on the lines in the 4×100 doesn’t happen more often
  • Brunt thinks Christine Sinclair was the right choice to be flag bearer
  • Bob wonders if Christine Sinclair is liked by her teammates, Brunt says she absolutely is and all of the younger teammates look up to her
  • Cox asks if the team is still in trouble with FIFA, Brunt doesn’t think anything big will happen

Third Segment: Talk segment about tennis

  • Bob and Cox argue about whether Bob actually bet Cox $50 that Raonic wouldn’t be able to beat Richard Gasquet
  • Cox thinks that Nadal may never play pro tennis again because of his injury, Bob thinks that tennis will be able to handle losing a star of his calibre
  • Bob and Cox vaguely discuss the NHL CBA negotiations


6pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Damien Cox (Prime Time Sports co-host, Toronto Star Tennis and Hockey reporter) co-hosting

First Segment: Interview with Michael Grange, Sportsnet reporter; Elliotte Friedman, CBC hockey reporter

  • Grange says that Bettman wants a salary cap more in line with the NFL and NBA, where player salaries are at or under 50% of league revenues, while Donald Fehr pointed out that baseball doesn’t have a salary cap
  • Friedman thinks that the biggest news story is the glacial progress of this negotiation
  • Cox thinks that revenue sharing is not the business of the players
  • Grange believes revenue sharing is not the real issue the players care about while Friedman disagrees
  • Grange thinks that the difference in the money they’re talking about with regards to revenue sharing is so small, the players don’t care
  • Friedman and Bob think that the players should care about revenue sharing because the failing franchises are holding down league revenues
  • Grange thinks the number one challenge for Donald Fehr is to make sure that the players get to play, get paid and don’t lose any money from their current contracts
  • Cox asks why the players’ offer conceded a hard cap and smaller percentage of revenue for the players, Grange thinks its because they know the owners are willing to lose an entire NHL season
  • Bob asks if, in retrospect, the deal in 2004 was a failure, Friedman believes the players made out quite well, especially with the lower free agency age, Grange believes the owners won the deal because they got the hard cap system they wanted
  • Grange believes that the owners will eventually get a deal that achieves all their goals 5-7 years from now
  • Cox wonders what leverage the players have, Bob believes that the players need the will to be able to take their services elsewhere, or be willing to not play if there’s no alternative
  • Friedman points out the owners are no longer scared to lose games to a lockout, Bob believes the players need to be willing to threaten refusing to play the Winter Classic, Cox says it’s small potatoes, Bob thinks that it’s Gary Bettman’s baby and that he wouldn’t want to lose it
  • Grange disagrees with Bob that the lockout could go over a year

Second Segment: Interview with Steve Bicker, sports broadcaster with KCBS 740AM in San Francisco

  • Bob notes that there were rumours about Jose Bautista taking steroids and wondered if there were rumours surrounding Melky Cabrera, Bitker says that there was a report that noted he failed a test previously but nobody believed it
  • Cox asks if Giants fans are as defensive about Cabrera as they were about Barry Bonds, Bitker believes that things have changed and they aren’t defensive
  • Bob asks if there’s any criticism of the Giants for possibly covering up Cabrera’s PED use, given what happened with Bonds, Bitker thinks that it’s unfair to suspect that the Giants covered anything up
  • Bitker admits that the Giants DID cover up PED use in the case of Barry Bonds, and they could have taken a principled stand when it happened, but chose not to

Third Segment: Talk segment about a possible NHL lockout

  • Bob and Cox argue again about whether or not Bob made a $50 tennis bet with Cox
  • Bob thinks that it might actually be good for the careers of players because it gives their body a long period of rest rather than a few months in between seasons
  • Bob and Cox discuss the amount of revenue that MLSE could lose if there’s a lockout, and that it would be considerable, but a lockout would benefit teams that lose money like the Phoenix Coyotes because their operating costs outweigh the revenue they generate



It was pretty funny to hear Bob mention that Jose Bautista was the subject of PED use rumours when the guy who started the unfounded rumours is sitting right next to him.

I thought the hockey CBA talk was quite interesting.  Including both Grange and Friedman turned it into a roundtable, basically, and I liked when Grange and Friedman got into it a bit too.  I thought a lot of good points were made, and both guys knew what they were talking about.  I’m glad that Friedman and Bob responded to Cox about revenue sharing, because it’s something that is talked around a lot in these discussions.  If the players are expected to be paid according to a percentage of revenue, and the owners keep wanting to reduce that percentage because some of their franchises are in bad locations and losing tons of money, then it IS relevant to the players what happens to those franchises.

The interview with Bitker was also extremely interesting, and I thought both Cox and Bob asked some really great questions about what the mood is like in the Bay area, and how fans feel about this vs. Barry Bonds.

Stephen Brunt is fun to listen to, as always, and Bob seemed like he missed talking to him.  I wonder why Bob felt that Christine Sinclair was disliked?  Was it just because he thought the other players didn’t look happy around her?  That particular bit showed the problems with having Bob talk about a sport he doesn’t follow, but, luckily, it was made up for by Brunt’s strength talking about women’s soccer.

The calls were pretty generic.  There’s a lot of anger right now among the Jays critics about this season.  I think they’re frustrated because they want SOMEBODY to blame, but the Jays have an excuse this year, so we’re getting a lot of callers who are trying to find other ways in which the Jays have failed this year, or might fail in the future.  Bob handled the callers who were concerned about John Farrell being poached by the Red Sox really well, I thought.  He asked them what Farrell has done that would make him so attractive as a manager, and I thought that was really on point.  It’s not that he’s failed as the manager of the Jays, but he hasn’t shown anything so special that other teams would be trying to take him from the Jays either.

All in all, this was a much better show than some of the recent ones.

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