Prime Time Sports Review for Tuesday, August 28, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener calls with Elliotte Friedman

  • Callers are about the Red Sox/Dodgers trade, John Farrell possibly leaving the Blue Jays, and conflict of interests that may arise with media companies owning sports teams

5pm hour – Elliotte Friedman hosting, Mike Wilner co-hosting

First segment: Interview with Michael Grange, Sportsnet columnist

  • Grange gives a rundown of what happened today in the NHL CBA talks, says that it was a short meeting and the players said they need time to look at the new proposal
  • Friedman asks if Grange has an educated guess of what was in the new proposal from the owners, Grange says that the owners might be more flexible in what they want in the first year
  • Grange believes ultimately the revenue split will be 50/50
  • Wilner points out that the “concessions” from the owners aren’t concessions at all because the owners are simply moving off a position where they took even more revenue from the players, but ultimately are getting a net gain

Second segment: Intervew with Rob Becker, legal analyst

  • Becker explains what the anti-trust lawsuit from the NFLPA against the NFL is about, thinks that the players have a case because the league fined two teams for violating unofficial spending limits
  • Wilner asks how the MLB owners could get sued for collusion in the past when they had a CBA, Becker says it’s because they did things that were not covered in the CBA or were against what was in the CBA
  • Friedman asks Becker about the lawsuit NFL players are launching against the NFL in regards to head injuries and concussions, Becker says that the case is about the NFL covering up the dangers of head injuries so NFL players couldn’t actually consent to dangers they were unaware of
  • Wilner asks if players could sue for money they might have earned if they had known of the risks and took better precautions to prolong their careers, Becker says that would probably work against them because it could be argued that they would never have played football at all

Third segment: Talk segment

  • Friedman and Wilner discuss former MLB pitcher Jack Morris, and what a jerk he was, Wilner recounts an experience he had with Morris as an intern
  • Friedman asks Wilner why Bob hates him, Wilner says he doesn’t know and that he has never been told that he’s banned from PTS

6pm hour: Elliotte Friedman hosting, Mike Wilner co-hosting

First segment: Interview with Stan Kasten, President and part-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Kasten is happy with the big trade with the Red Sox and is positive about the LA Dodgers’ future, isn’t concerned about the payroll, says that it’s going to be where other teams with similarly sized markets are at
  • Kasten doesn’t care about the criticism and thinks the deal will work out, but if it doesn’t, it doesn’t
  • Wilner asks Kasten how it’ll feel if the Dodgers face the Nationals or the Braves in the playoffs, Kasten says he’s only concerned about making the playoffs right now
  • Kasten raves about how positive the team is about the trade

Second segment: Interview with Glenn Healy, CBC Hockey Analyst

  • Healy says he has no idea when a deal will be made, says that some owners may actually prefer the NHLPA’s offer, but that those owners won’t have enough pull to change Bettman’s negotiation position
  • Healy believes that eventually the players will give the owners what they want, and that it’s important for them to realize that they won’t break the owners
  • At the end of the interview, Healy makes fun of Elliotte Friedman, implying that he has a small penis

Third segment: Interview with Alan Ashby, Blue Jays radio announcer

  • Alan Ashby talks about Colby Rasmus’ struggles, and how once the confidence goes, you can struggle
  • Wilner says that the Bautista surgery seemed inevitable after he came out of the last game, Ashby agrees, is confused why a new MRI changed the Jays minds on giving him surgery, wonders what the differences between the MRIs were


What was up with that shot Glenn Healy took at Elliotte Friedman at the end of his interview?  That seemed pretty mean and uncalled for.  It wasn’t like they were sparring through the interview and if it was in return for Friedman pointing out Healy turned 50, that still seems unjustified.  Friedman tried to laugh it off, but Wilner appeared quite shocked at the insult and seemed taken back.  It just seemed weird because it came out of left field, and unusually mean for “ribbing.”  It wasn’t like the interview was jovial and had a lot of back and forth.  It was perfectly respectful until suddenly at the end, Healy takes a shot at Friedman’s penis size.

Healy’s interview also didn’t reveal very much.  He seemed to repeat himself a lot, and he never actually answered Mike Wilner’s question about how Don Fehr is approaching these negotiations.

I think Wilner is a good match with Friedman because he makes up for Friedman’s deficiencies as a host.  Wilner is clear, fairly concise, and he doesn’t lack confidence.  He also has a creative mind, and I liked his question to Grange about what the revenue sharing would need to be for the owners to support all 30 teams.  Unfortunately, Grange didn’t actually answer the question, but I still thought it was a great question.

When Wilner said that the NFL players should be able to sue for wages they could have made if they had known of the head injury risks, I was really wishing that Rob Becker would have said “but then a completely different space/time continuum would be created, and we can’t know what would have happened,” just because I’d love to see how Wilner handles his own line being turned against him.  I thought Wilner thought any “could have” situations weren’t worth thinking about.

If what Wilner says about having no idea why he’s never on PTS with Bob is true, then it means the issue must be on Bob’s side.  I wonder if it’s expicit (Bob specifically says that he never wants Wilner as an interview guest) or more that Bob lets the producers know he’d prefer Ken Rosenthal, Alan Ashby or Buck Martinez and they just go with his requests.  I think Wilner has a point when he says that he and Bob are similar in many ways, and that might be why Bob doesn’t get along with him, because both of them have differing opinions on baseball, both of them fancy themselves as experts on baseball, and they both can’t be right.

I enjoyed the Becker interview and I found it the more informative segment.  I already knew the answer to Wilner’s question (it’s because the owners were colluding to keep salaries low when it’s supposedly a competitive free market) but I understood why he asked it because Becker confused the issue by saying you can only sue for collusion in a year with no CBA.  What the issue actually is, is that because there was no CBA, there was no cap, but the owners were trying to create an unofficial cap behind the scenes that they all agreed not to spend over.  The CBA only factors in insofar that salary caps agreed upon in the CBA aren’t legally collusion.

Kasten is entertaining and energetic, but he’s very full of spin and positivity.  He and Beeston are cut from the same cloth.  They even kind of talk the same way.

All in all, I generally enjoyed this show.  I think Wilner did a good job as co-host, and he’s perfect for Friedman because they are so different.

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mike in boston
mike in boston
August 29, 2012 7:04 pm

oh goody, this review is up. i can finally comment on a show i listened to in “real time”, at least in podcasting terms.

i usually skip the talk segments but this one yielded one of the most hysterical moments on PTS. With the outro music playing Friedman asks Wilner “what’s up with you and Bob?”. This was completely out of left field and Wilner was clearly not ready. Then the real comedy starts. Wilner categorically says he has not been banned, while Friedman says he read/heard that somewhere (i.e. here).

Wilner is then left trying to explain why he’s never a guest with Bob, if in fact it is the case he has not been banned for some actual malfeasance. The music ends with the obvious conclusion left dangling in the air that the real reason he’s never on regular PTS is that … Bob doesn’t like him. Ouch.

mike in boston
mike in boston
August 29, 2012 7:12 pm

Becker is a top 10 guest in my opinion. He could read the phone book and I would listen.

Kasten is a much better guest when Bob is away. Friedman and Wilner had a great interview with him on a wide range of issues. They really covered all aspects of the trade, as well as the long term strategy of this ownership group. Wilner rightly asked if they gave up too much and Kasten didn’t dodge the question. Ami is right that Kasten is full of spin, but the interview was lively and not the yu(c)kfest it is when Bob is hosting.

Another Steve
Another Steve
August 29, 2012 7:28 pm

I thought the show yesterday was quite solid, and it shows how good Wilner is when he isn’t put in the thankless position in which he often finds himself. That is, I think he is a better journalist than those around him because he prepares for what he will talk about. (Preparation has become a thing for me – and Wilner is clearly always ready and prepared when he is on PTS).

Thanks heavens I missed the end of the Healy bit, but it did remind me of the comment I heard from Joey Vendetta yesterday when I was driving home – something to the effect that a certain concert is a “great place to pick up tail.” Each time I hear his show I keep thinking it might be ok this time, then it just goes downhill. Tim and Sid are fun, but JV, although he is a comfortable presence on the air, seems too intent on telling stories about his rock-and-roll lifestyle, which bores the life out of me. I must remember to have a pod-cast ready for the commute home tomorrow lest I have to endure Vendetta compare pussy-hunting stories with his hockey-player friends.

August 29, 2012 7:41 pm
Reply to  mike in boston

I laughed when I saw this in the recap. I’m surprised EF is such a shit disturber.

Itchy Butt
Itchy Butt
August 29, 2012 8:28 pm
Reply to  Another Steve

Thank you Steve. One thing Wilner never gets credit for is his ability to talk many sports, unlike a lot of the one dimensional hosts on 590.

August 29, 2012 9:40 pm

I heard Vendetta once, couple years ago, filling in for Blair and never wanted to listen again. The last thing I want to hear is nothing but athletes and celebrities.

August 29, 2012 10:55 pm

I seem to recall…late in the J.P Ricciardi years…Wilner was on PTS…and was slowly and correctly trashing Bobs arguments about the job J.P was doing…with facts.Bob did not like that.Thats the last of Wilner on PTS if i recall correctly.

August 30, 2012 1:18 am

I find Vendetta to be very uninteresting as a sports host. Only knows hockey, and constantly name drops. Before Brady & Lang started I remember there was a rumour The Fan had offered him mornings but he refused. I would not have been a fan of that.

Wish I heard that Friedman/Wilmer interchange about McCown. As someone said, both are stubborn and uncompromising with their views (and Wilners are far more verifiable with stats than McCown) so it doesn’t surprise me that he doesn’t want Wilner on. Jonah Keri is like that. I hear him on McCown once – Bob asked him about a pitchers won-loss record, and Keri replied he hadn’t paid attention to that stat since he was 12. Last time I hers Keri on too!

August 30, 2012 1:19 am
Reply to  Daniel

Last time I heard Keri on (iPhone typo!)

August 30, 2012 8:21 am
Reply to  Daniel

Keri is way too new school.for bob. Better he be on with blair, with whomhe knows from montreal and has a good rapport.

mike in boston
mike in boston
August 30, 2012 12:00 pm
Reply to  Daniel

Add me to the list of people who find Vendetta unlistenable. Hard to believe the FAN can’t do better.

Speaking of people who are terrible at their jobs and would never be hired on the basis of recent performance, Dowb the Bounty Hunter has a completely biased article about the NHL/PA labour dispute:

Outfoxed in the public realm by NHLPA executive director Don Fehr conceding the salary cap and buried by social media for grasping, the NHL realized it needed to protect its flanks.

nowhere in his article is there sufficient context given for these claims. Nothing he cites supports this analysis, and there is no attempt at balance. I have no horse in this race, but isn’t trying to paint an even picture a core journalistic value? Most of Dowbiggin’s writing is barely above The Star’s comments section.

August 30, 2012 3:00 pm
Reply to  Daniel

Keri’s been on since saying that he hasn’t paid attention to win/loss since he was 16, I believe. I might be wrong, but I remember wondering at the time if that line would really bother Bob, so I looked out to see if Keri returned.

I think Keri not being on is more because he’s a non-Jays guy, and it seems the only 2 US National writers they have on the show regularly are Rosenthal and Morosi. I suspect this is because Rogers knows that the Jays fanbase is energized this year and they’re getting new fans and want to move away from the non-Jays reporters, notice that there’s a lot more Elliott, Zaun and Ashby.

I think once the playoffs start, we’ll see Keri return. He was used primarily during the playoffs last year too. (That’s when he said he hasn’t cared about wins since 16.) If he mysteriously vanishes, then maybe there’s something to the idea Bob banned him.

Also, Bob’s been moving off the pitcher wins thing since that confrontation with Keri. This year, he was saying Romero was pitching poorly even though he had an 8-1 record at the time.

August 30, 2012 4:03 pm

Joey Vendetta is awful, terrible, dumb dumb radio. The guy isn’t able to talk about sports in any sort of intelligent way. He brings nothing, other than an impressive rolodex of his ‘friends’ or more accurately, NHL guys whom he’s bribed with his LiveNation connections. It’s a joke. Just idiotic, name dropping B.S. & it’s pathetic that The Fan can’t find better talent to fill in. I can’t stand listening to Roger Lajoie’s repetitive chicken little warblings but I’ll take him every single day of the week over Vendetta. I’d really like to see Ben Ennis given a more prominent role. I mean, hearing this clown talk about the women on CP 24 as ‘smoke shows’ is garbage.

August 30, 2012 5:07 pm

On Wilner being “banned” from the show…. I do recall a post-game show in late August / Mid September or something 4-5 years ago, where if the Jays had swept the Rays, or the Red sox, they would be 3-4 games out of a wild spot card, and the question became, are the Jays playing meaningful baseball games.

Bob had made the comment on his show that the games were not meaningful, because they weren’t in the race, but if they had swept the series, then they would be meaningful games going forward (paraphrasing, etc. etc.)

Some caller mentions this to Mike on the call-in show, and Mike says he knows Bob has made a career out of being a contrarian and that he respects Bob (something along those lines), but that anyone who says the Jays are not playing meaningful games, does not know what they are talking about.

Anyways, I never heard Wilner on his show ever since then.

mike in boston
mike in boston
August 31, 2012 8:18 am
Reply to  Damian

cool story, i don’t think that one has been raised here before.

Wilner has had a rough 7 days on his own station. I was listening to a Tim & Sid podcast from last friday and they were hyping the fact that Vendetta was going to sub in while they are on vacation. The dialogue went something like:

Tim: His first guest? CHARLES BARKLEY!!!
Sid: You mean it’s not Mike Wilner?

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