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

Thoughts:

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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