Prime Time Sports Review for Thursday, September 6, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener calls with Bob McCown

  • Calls are about Rogers not spending money on the Blue Jays, Bob thinks it’s interesting that everybody blames Rogers but not Alex Anthopoulos for not spending money, believes that Rogers will give him the money if asked

5pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Damien Cox co-hosting

First segment: Interview with Alex Anthopolous, General Manager of the Toronto Blue Jays

  • Cox asks Anthopolous how the Jays can keep track of so many players playing in so many places as it relates to taking PEDs, Anthopolous says that that’s the job of random testing and the testing should be enough
  • Bob asks if the organization should do something separate from the League punishment, Anthopolous says that they could, but the various anti-drug programs are different between the leagues
  • Cox asks (without naming names) if the Jays would be interested in Melky Cabrera despite him being suspended for PED use, Anthopolous says he’s willing to give second chances, but not third or fourth chances
  • Bob asks about the future of John Farrell with the Blue Jays, if he has 1 year left on his contract and if they’re working on an extension, Anthopolous says he does have 1 year left but the Jays doesn’t reveal details of contract negotiations, or if they are even happening

Second segment: Interview with Ken Rosenthal, baseball reporter for FOX Sports

  • Rosenthal believes that in Farrell wants to go to Boston, the Jays should try to get as much for him as possible and let him go, Bob disagrees
  • Bob points out that if the Jays don’t let Farrell go, the Red Sox manager position will be filled by the time Farrell’s contract is over, Rosenthal agrees but thinks that if Farrell wants to leave you still need to let him go
  • Bob asks about the possibility of Terry Francona returning to the Red Sox, Rosenthal says he thinks Francona is the right choice for manager but that it’s unlikely he’ll return

Third segment: Talk segment

  • Bob talks about Bill Clinton’s speech at the DNC, and how much he likes Bill Clinton

6pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Damien Cox co-hosting

First segment: Interview with Fred Gaudelli, producer of NBC Sunday Night Football

  • Gaudelli discusses the NFL officials strike, says that it is what it is and thinks that the replacement crew for the last game was okay
  • Bob asks Guadelli if there’s a time or day that you could put the NFL on NBC and it would be stretching how popular it is, Gaudelli says having a lot of Thursday night games this year will be telling
  • Gaudelli says that an extra night of football won’t be added, nor will an 18 game NFL season because of the extra damage this could cause players and increase head injuries
  • Cox asks Gaudelli how he balances adding new gadgets to the broadcast while balancing keeping it simple, Gaudelli says you have to ask yourself if it makes the game more enjoyable and more understandable or just be clutter
  • Gaudelli mentions that they are experimenting with 3D modelling of plays during a game where the camera can be anywhere and at any angle, he suggests it will happen on US Thanksgiving

Second segment: Interview with Brian Billick, former head coach of the Baltimore Ravens

  • Billick defends Art Modell’s decision to leave Cleveland and says that he had no choice but to move the team, praises Modell as a person and as a boss
  • Cox asks if Billick’s noticed anything problematic about the replacement officials, Billick thinks they did a great job

Third segment: Interview with Darren Heitner, contributor at Forbes Magazine

  • Bob asks Heitner about Riddell putting warning labels on their football helmets, Heitner thinks it’s a good idea, but doesn’t think it’ll affect, positively or negatively, the future or current litigation against the company
  • Heitner says that companies put all sorts of obvious warning labels on their products in order to protect themselves from any possible liability if people do use their product dangerously
  • Cox says it’ll be interesting if the NFL defends itself in court by saying the players are using their helmets the wrong way, Heitner believes the NFL have a lot of stronger defenses to use
  • Bob wonders how the Dallas Cowboys can have such a great difference in value compared to the next highest team given that TV revenue is shared in the NFL and the differences in attendance figures aren’t that big, Heitner explains that there are certain revenues that the Cowboys don’t have to share and that they are such a different sort of franchise and brand than other teams


Alex Anthopolous seems really worn down by this season.  He was uncharacteristically cranky to start the interview, and he seemed to not really want to answer any questions.  Given what happened in the call segment, it might have been nice for the callers/listeners to hear some questions directed at Anthopolous about spending and if he’s asked Rogers for the money.

I liked the back and forth between Bob and Ken Rosenthal, and I’m glad Bob pointed out that if the Jays don’t let Farrell out of his contract this year, the Red Sox job won’t be free for him the year after, because people act like Farrell could just join them at the end of his contract.  What I wish someobdy would have brought up would be simply because Farrell might PREFER the Red Sox job if it’s open, doesn’t mean he wouldn’t want to stay with the Jays if joining the Red Sox didn’t end up being a viable option.  People act like he wants to leave the Jays, rather than just rumored to want to join the Red Sox.  There’s a difference between “if you’d be willing to let me go, I would appreciate it, but if not, I’m happy with staying” and “you better let me go because I don’t want to be here anymore.”

I suspect Bob was holding his tongue through the entire Billick interview, and I think, in general, he was keeping back his thoughts about Modell because it would be rude to share them on the day of his death.

The Heitner interview was fairly interesting, and I wish the segment had been longer.

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Chef Mike in Burlington ON
Chef Mike in Burlington ON
September 9, 2012 12:29 am

Bob was all pissy that Rogers was constantly being blamed and not AA, but when he had him on the phone not 20 minutes later, he could have asked the big questions, but chose not to, kinda odd huh?
I believe AA is doing exactly what he’s told to do by ownership, just build a team thats not embarrassing for cheap. He’s a new GM with a young family in the biggest job of his life making $500K+ a year ( I guess, likely much more…) with an ownership group that is OK with a .500 team costing them only $80M but also creating hundreds of hours of TV content.
I suspect he has contract langauge that gives him some job security when he stays inside the $$$$ parametres he’s given, regardless of record, and a few years of this, and keeping his mouth shut, secures he and his family for life, builds his resume and sets him up fro his next job. Remember, he’s 35 or so, building for his next job, and if being the Rogers/Jays whipping boy sets him up for a future $2M a year job in 2015 in Philly or Detriot, he’s fine with that…and so would any of us as well…
As a fan looking for a winner, it blows, but as a family guy, we all here would do the exact same damn thing…

September 9, 2012 12:40 am

McCown is notorious for doing that. Always says something different until the actual guest comes on the air. Lone exception was Larry org when he was cfl commish

September 9, 2012 11:48 am

I joked last week that if i had a dollar for every fan grumbling about about Rogers not spending enough on payroll, I could buy the team myself.

i still think part of the anger toward Rogers is that they are a corporation who most people probably connect to personally. “I pay $$$ for cable/tv/internet and they have the 23th highest payroll in baseball.” i think the anger would be tempered some if the team was owned by a Widget manufacturer. (I emailed Brunt and he disagreed with me saying it wasn’t a factor.)

I might be more sympathetic if a good number of the callers with this POV weren’t so insufferable. I don’t remember if it was Thursday or Friday, but one of the more annoying callers said “As I said yesterday when I called…” I was surprised 590 doesn’t have a caller limit policy, as stations like WFAN or WIP do. When I listened to WIP in the late 90s (since there was no local ESPN station then), their rule was one call per week and they had a two-minute time limit on callers. Personally, I prefer no-call sports talk radio, but I think that’s a sound policy. I’m sure 590 management would point to their rating book to say what they’re doing works.

mike in boston
mike in boston
September 10, 2012 11:34 am
Reply to  Alex

you’re not wrong about callers … they have a tendency to make you want to distance yourself from a thesis just because when they advance it, they make it sound so stupid.

i tuned in to the Jays game online this weekend during a rain delay and listened to a few minutes of Wilner. Poor guy … since they had so few calls, each call went on forever. I heard Wilner say “you’re making stuff up!” at least 3 times.

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