Tuesday Toronto Sports Media Ramblings


Did you happen to catch any PTS this evening?

I’ll admit it, I didn’t hear all of it, but what I heard was damn good radio. Jonah Keri with McCown was fascinating. Keri is writing a book and McCown, a baseball fan first was genuinely interested and when he is, his work is at it’s best.

The best part of the show was when former Fan PD Nelson Millman was on. It was as good as all those segments years back when Millman would sit with McCown and take calls. Like two old buddies talking about the good old days. It’s well worth listening to. They talk about the early years at the station and the part of the old Team network is must listen radio.

As I posted on twitter today, the fact that the Fan has stuck around for 20 years is nothing short of amazing, a real testament to those who ran the station and those who worked there.

So MLSE took the safe road and hired Tom Anselmi to replace Richard Peddie. Anselmi appears to be the complete opposite of Peddie. However will the results be any different? It seems to me that in promoting Anselmi, MLSE has done nothing more than keeping the status quo. Imagine if MLSE were to replace Brian Burke with Dave Nonis. Would you expect anything to change? You’ve seen how Anselmi has done with TFC, and he learned under Peddie, the master of making money. Do you expect anything to change?

Jeff Blair doesn’t.

“but he’s good enough that he won’t interfere with the raison d’être of MLSE: continuing to make money hand over fist the way his predecessor, Richard Peddie, did for all those years.

And here you thought it was all about winning.”

Well, the Blue Jays season can’t end fast enough for any of us can it? The annual wait until next season articles are surely coming, complete with all the reasons for hope right? Well Richard Griffin is kicking things off for us:

“The Jays have 27 games remaining in a season spiralling out of control. Destined for a win total in the 70s, the truth is the season can’t end soon enough for senior management and for a fan base that began the year in love with everything Blue Jays, but ended it believing nothing has changed.”

What a @#@!#@! show. A season filled with so much hope will end with way more questions than when it began. For the boy wonder GM or the sockless president, that can’t be a good thing. Honestly, would you buy tickets given what’s gone on?

Yes, i am aware of all the injuries. The problem is there are no guarantees that any of those who went down will ever recover again.

“The Jays, if they don’t act quickly this winter, are in danger of squandering all the goodwill and enthusiasm they generated through the first three months of the season. When the World Series concludes, Anthopoulos must act quickly, bidding for at least one young, talented free-agent pitcher. He must make a significant trade for an outfield bat before or during the winter meetings.

The GM has already indicated he is willing to overpay in a trade with some of his inventory. Fans will not buy season tickets unless there is an early signing of consequence.”

Honestly Jays fans, what would it take, yes name names, to get you legitimately excited enough to buy tickets to next years Jays games (and I don’t mean 1 or 3 games), I mean a real serious commitment, season tickets, or partial?

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September 5, 2012 2:50 am

“Yes, i am aware of all the injuries. The problem is there are no
guarantees that any of those who went down will ever recover again.”

Not trying to be a dick, but that’s really not true or the problem. Of all the injuries the Jays have had, nobody is suggesting that any of them will never recover again. I mean, Morrow is already pitching again. Drabek, Hutchinson and Perez had Tommy John, which is routine these days. And Bautista, Lawrie and JP are all said to be fine for the start of 2013. I worry about Lind and Santos long term, but I’m not sure anyone is really counting on them necessarily.

The Jays had a pretty decent team this year. But they did NOT have much major league ready depth (a legit criticism I think), and had a once in a blue moon injury streak. Hence lineups with Mathis, Vizquel and McCoy (etc) in them regularly.

I do think the time is right to make some major additions though. It’s a good core when healthy, we’ve got a second Wild Card now, and the old AL East powers seem as though they may be entering new, less dominant phases (especially Boston).

My shopping list: I think they need to add two starting pitchers. I think Morrow has shown this year he can be a number one. So I’d say they need a #2 type guy and a #4 type guy. Signing one of Edwin Jackson or Anibal Sanchez should work as a #2 type. Maybe they could trade for a #4 with some prospects. Rotation becomes Morrow, Jackson/Sanchez type, Romero, #4 guy, Happ.

As for the lineup – the holes are 2B, LF and 1B (or DH depending on where they play EE). I’d like to make a play for Ortiz to DH. I think 2B and LF could be done with prospects (Hech, Sierra) or low cost guys.

So Edwin Jackson/Anibal Sanchez, David Ortiz, a back end of the rotation starter, and league average players at 2B and LF. If they can pull something like that off, they should be in pretty good shape. It would require an investment of money, but should hardly be wild spending.

September 5, 2012 2:58 am
Reply to  Daniel

Not being a dick at all. My point is okay, they had injuries, massive ones. Players get get older and you dont know what next year will bring. You can only sell hope for so long. That’s my point

September 5, 2012 3:33 am

Ah OK. I thought you meant these guys careers were at risk.

Yeah, I hear ya. I mean, I’ve been on board with AAs rebuilding plan so far. But I absolutely expect an attempt to win in 2013 or I’ll be disappointed.

Itchy Butt
Itchy Butt
September 5, 2012 6:41 am

The McCown/Millman segments were LIGHT YEARS ahead of the current pinhead that comes in from time to time…..so dull I forgot his name!

September 5, 2012 6:44 am

“It seems to me that in promoting Anselmi, MLSE has done nothing more than keeping the status quo.”

Or they just decided to do nothing for the moment.

With the salary cap, there is not much really that the Leafs can do to improve quickly. One of the really interesting pieces of the CBA will be to what extent rich teams can effectively increase their salary cap by burying contracts in the minors etc. I heard somewhere on the radio that small market teams want to shut down all such loopholes.

On the other hand, if I’m George or Nadir or whoever at Rogers/Bell, how much ribbing and/or criticism do I want to take about the Leafs sucking even if its making money hand over fist… They might want the flexibility in the CBA to improve the team quickly. Its possible they really couldn’t care less. But, even though the Leafs are a small part of Rogers they are VERY public. No one wants to be associated with a perennial loser.

mike in boston
mike in boston
September 5, 2012 8:54 am

i was on CBC’s website and clicked on a MacLean article/blog by mistake.

The headline and opening line of the piece reads “There won’t be a lockout”. The rest of the article states some facts about the past and current labour deals. At no point does he explain why there won’t be a lockout.

I understand why broadcasters want to capitalize on their employees by using them in different ways. Rogers is the king with this strategy as Sportsnet TV people write blogs and appear on radio. The downside of this approach is that people are rarely talented enough to succeed in these new roles.

I’m sure Ron Maclean is awesome at whatever his TV job is. But blog posts like this one do nothing to advance discussion. It’s just bad writing.


mike in boston
mike in boston
September 5, 2012 9:02 am
Reply to  Daniel

On the injuries. The Jays lost their best hitter, their best starter, and their closer for all or most of the season. That sucks, and is unlikely to happen again.

On the other hand: neither Drabek nor Hutch had proven themselves to be reliable starters when they went down, so it’s a mistake to think that if they had not gotten injured that they would have performed better than the people who replaced them. The track record is just not there to substantiate that inference.

The Jays have been banking on *potential* for all of AA’s tenure. If players performed up to the level of their perceived talent, then the team had a real chance to compete. But as we’ve seen, lots of guys have not performed up to that level. The solution is to mix in some guys at key positions who have a track record, as opposed to potential, of success.

September 5, 2012 2:45 pm

I just listened to the interview Bob did with Nelson Millman yesterday (archived). Great interview rehashing the history of The Fan. It certainly is astounding to note the number of personalities that received their starts at the station and moved on to other networks (or in some cases returned). McCown should write a history on it. He’s been there since day 1 and even before that too.

Chef Mike in Burlington ON
Chef Mike in Burlington ON
September 5, 2012 3:25 pm
Reply to  Daniel

Daniel, you’re not a dick, you’re just a guy with faith, but it’s in an organization that cares fat more about radio and TV content and profit more than winning.

Their injuries were bad, but what’s actually worse is not just the days on the DL, but by how many young players were there. Usually older teams have high DL days, not ones as young as this one, it really makes me wonder about the coaching and conditioning methods .

What the injuries also really showed is just how shallow the talent pool on this team is is team is, there is no “1” and “1A” or “1B” , but a significant drop off from starter to their backup. Not sure where the blame is for that, (actually we all do!) but that need to be addressed in the off season.

I don’t share your faith for next year Daniel. Tommy John, while more common, is hardly routine, and 3 guys back at 100% is an 16-18 month process, and 100% of what ?? They had proven themselves to be competent, not stars, so how many more games do they win over what they brought up/traded? And what about Romero, their stud, he hasn’t won a game since what, July?? Does he recover from the ass-kicking he got this year?. Even Bauptista, has he peaked already, he’s 31, and only once played a full season. Have the Jays cheap ways pissed away his best years??

This “great young core” that’s “under team control” that started with “such promise” (according to AA anyway…) has instead proven itself to be a shallow and fragile, irrelevant again after August 1st.

Boston has already publicly stated they will be very active in the off season, and the Yankees always are, can you tell me who will be left over for AA to bid on? There’s no history of them spending in cheap years, and this off-season already looks to be more competitive than most.

September 5, 2012 3:44 pm

Yeah you’re right, I mean, you probably can’t count on the three guys who had Tommy John really contributing next year (maybe mid to late season) … but that’s why I think the Jays need to acquire two new starters this offseason.

“This “great young core” that’s “under team control” that started with
“such promise” (according to AA anyway…) has instead proven itself to
be a shallow and fragile, irrelevant again after August 1st.”

Been a terrible year. But the Jays were something like 3.5 out of the playoffs on Aug 1? That’s well after the pitching injuries and just before they started trotting a AAA battling lineup out there. So… things were OK until they started putting one or two healthy regulars in the lineup.

“Boston has already publicly stated they will be very active in the off
season, and the Yankees always are, can you tell me who will be left
over for AA to bid on?”

It’s been written a bunch that neither team wants to go over the $190 mil luxury tax threshold. The Yankees apparently will be right up against it after they resign Cano and Granderson. And I’ve read in a few places that Boston doesn’t want to get clogged with big contracts right after dumping a bunch. I actually think we’ll see both those teams make some more moves like ‘Montero – Pineda’ trade. Not that that’s necessarily better for the Jays, but I thinking the spending patterns of a lot of clubs are beginning to change.

Anyway, we’ll see. 2012 has been a weird year. Sucked, but semi justifiable because of injuries. Like you guys though, I’ll be disappointed if they don’t make some strides this offseason.

Chef Mike in Burlington ON
Chef Mike in Burlington ON
September 6, 2012 11:06 am
Reply to  Daniel

Actually, up until mid-July, I was getting my “you were right, I was wrong, all hail AA!” post ready. Even i will admit, what little of them I bothered to watch this year was entertaining, despite being a very young and inexperienced team, AA might be on to something…

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