Prime Time Sports Review for Thursday, August 23, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener phone calls with Jeff Blair

  • Blair asks callers if Gary Bettman is taking NHL fans for granted because he knows they will be back after a lockout
  • Blair says that owners are 100% responsible for every sports lockout and strike
  • Callers acknowledge that Bettman takes them for granted, some are angry, others seem to accept it as what it is

5pm hour – Jeff Blair hosting, Paul Jones co-hosting

First Segment: Interview with Paul Beeston, Toronto Blue Jays President and CEO

  • Beeston says injuries are not an excuse, thought that this year they could have made a move up the standings
  • Jones asks how the injuries have affected the direction the Jays will go going forward, Beeston says that the Jays need to be aggressive in the off-season on either the trade or free agent market
  • Blair asks if increased attendance will lead to greater spending, Beeston says that will depend “on what we have available”, says the goal is to be sustainable
  • Beeston says the Jays increased attendance will lead to the Jays getting to the next level, Blair asks what that is, Beeston says it’s getting to the play offs, Blair seems surprised he wasn’t talking about payroll
  • Jones asks Beeston where he stands on Ricky Romero, Beeston says you can’t shut him down, you have to let him keep pitching and hope it’s just a bad four months
  • Blair asks if there’s any movement from MLB to investigate why there are so many pitching injuries lately, Beeston says that it’s something that needs to be looked at

Second Segment: Talk segment and interview with Tristan Thompson, Cleveland Cavalier player

  • Blair and Jones discuss basketball shooting technique and how many NBAers have poor technique
  • Thompson arrives
  • Jones asks Thompson about working with John Lucas and Byron Scott, Thompson praises them
  • Jones asks what Byron Scott impart onto Thompson, he says that Scott taught him to keep it simple, be consistent, play hard every night
  • Blair asks what the hardest physical aspect of the NBA is, Thompson said it became difficult when he had to play centre after Anderson Varejao got injured
  • Jones asks what advice Thompson would give to Raptors rookie Jonas Valanciunas, Thompson says that he has to learn that he won’t get the calls as a rookie
  • Thompson says he’s excited to play for Jay Triano on Team Canada
  • Jones asks Thompson if Team Canada has had discussions about making the team representative of all of Canada, not just Toronto, Thompson says that they all want to win and make the Olympics
  • Thompson promotes the NBA 3X tournament

Third Segment: Talk segment

  • Jones and Blair discuss what a hard worker Tristan Thompson is and how much he wants to learn
  • Blair says that having a full NBA off-season without a lockout will help the rookies and sophomores improve this year
  • Blair asks Jones to elaborate on the regional bias in Canadian basketball, Jones says that in the past the Canadian team would worry about representing all of Canada in its players, but now they don’t care if they all come from Southern Ontario

6pm hour – Jeff Blair hosting, Paul Jones co-hosting

First segment: Interview with Doug MacLean, Sportsnet hockey analyst

  • Blair thinks the players have learned their lesson about agreeing to escrow and won’t again, MacLean agrees
  • Maclean says the problem is that 10 teams don’t make money and another 10 make money only if they make the playoffs, and the league can only work this way if the players gave up 25% of their salaries and the owners have serious revenue sharing, suggest that the team needs to have only 20 teams
  • Maclean understands the frustration the players have with the owners’ reluctance to fix their business
  • Maclean believes the lockout won’t last all year, maybe 6 weeks

Second segment: Talk segment

  • Paul Jones talks about how hungry the Canadian men’s basketball team is to make the Olympics
  • Jones thinks that Olympic basketball needs to go to an under-23 format, like soccer, Blair wonders if that really makes a difference because of how young stars are developing and that owners still won’t want them to play and risk injury
  • Blair asks Jones if Triano will be a different coach now that he’s had more experiences, Jones thinks he will be a better coach thanks to his experience with the Raptors

Third segment: Interview with Tom Wright, director of operations for UFC Canada

  • Blair and Wright discuss how the cancellation of UFC 151 benefits Toronto UFC fans because it moves the championship fight to UFC 152 in Toronto
  • Wright expresses how angry and disappointed Dana White is about Jon Jones declining the replacement fight
  • Jones asks if the cancelled fight hurts more because it was in Vegas, Wright says the cancellation is a “super big deal”
  • Blair wonders why Jones would want to cross Dana White, Wright is also perplexed
  • Jones asks if there are sanctions that White can level on Jones, Wright says there aren’t
  • Blair asks if White is worried about a precedent being set, Wright doesn’t think it’s a concern

Thoughts:

Well that was boring. >_<

It’s sad when the most interesting part of the show was the 4pm hour and listening to Blair rant about the NHL owners and explaining how the owners are the cause of the lockout, not “greedy players”.

This has not been a good week for Prime Time Sports in terms of getting interviews that fall through.  So far, I think every day has had at least one cancellation leading to Blair and his co-host filling time.

Today’s interviews were pretty boring.  I think the most interesting one was the one with Doug MacLean and his was the shortest.  Tristan Thompson had extremely generic answers to every question, and I don’t think he understood Jones’ question about regional bias because his answer was a bit of a non sequitur.  Jones didn’t provide anything particularly interesting during the talk segment even though they were all about basketball.  I think the problem is that there’s nothing really to talk about.  Triano became coach of the Canadian men’s team, but nothing is actually happening with the team, and there’s no Raptors news to talk about, so talking about basketball for almost the whole show amounted to very little.  Jones also seems a bit out of his depth when talking about hockey and UFC.  A lot of his questions seemed pretty simplistic and didn’t reveal anything.

Paul Beeston wasn’t asked very tough questions and I noticed that he didn’t necessarily say what the Sportsnet article implies he did.  Beeston was still quite guarded about whether the Jays would spend money.  Beeston talked a lot, but he said very little.

Interviewing Tom Wright is essentially interviewing a PR person.  It would have been better to hear from a UFC reporter or analyst rather than Wright.  Is “Showdown Joe” banned from Prime Time Sports, or is there some other reason why they couldn’t have him on occasionally.  It seems like whenever PTS talks about UFC, it’s Wright who they call up.  I get he’s a friend of Bob, but Bob isn’t even hosting today.

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