Prime Time Sports Review for Friday, September 14, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Interview with Darren Millard

  • Bob and Millard talk about a party Bob went to the night before and Millard’s summer vacation
  • Lots of casual talk, no substance

Second segment: Interview with Darren Heitner, Forbes Magazine

  • Bob and Heitner discuss the NCAA investigating possible violations of players or their families getting compensation
  • Heitner says that the NCAA is trying to keep the “amateur” status of their athletes because there are tax benefits associated with that
  • Bob wonders if the NCAA is corrupt, Heitner says that’s too strong a word but they are trying to hang onto a system that gives them a lot of money

5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Bob McCown, Stephen Brunt, Dave Shoalts and Bill Watters

First segment: Blue Jays discussion

  • Watters thinks that Ricky Romero’s problem is lack of conditioning, claims that Jerry Howarth said that
  • Brunt says that he doesn’t think it’s a mechanical issue, Bob thinks it is and Ricky needs to be broken down like Halladay was
  • Bob thinks that Gose and Hechavarria have been failures, Brunt says they were called up before they were ready
  • Bob and Brunt argue about whether its fair to declare two young players busts like that, Bob says there were high expectations and Brunt says there were no expectations that they would even make the major leagues much less play well

Second segment: Discussion about Roger Goodell’s suspension of New Orleans Saints players being overturned on appeal

  • Watters thinks that Goodell has been overly harsh as a commissioner and acts as if he needs to send a message
  • Bob says that it’s because when Goodell became commissioner there were many players who got in trouble with the law, and he had to crack down and now it seems to have expanded into other things

Third segment: How will the NHL lockout affect AHL teams?

  • Watters thinks that sending the younger players for a year in the AHL could help them develop, but definitely won’t hurt
  • Bob asks Shoalts if this will affect coverage of the Marlies, Shoalts says that they’ll cover them more just for lack of anything to do, but they won’t get the same coverage as the Leafs
  • Brunt says its hard for people to embrace the Marlies because you don’t see every game and its hard to get to know the team and the players

6pm hour – Roundtable continues

First segment: Discussion of the NHL lockout

  • Watters thinks Don Fehr is egotistical and doesn’t understand that the players are cattle and they should give the owners what they want
  • Brunt, Shoalts and Bob proceed to argue with him, Shoalts points out that the players are who the fans come to watch and aren’t replaceable like other jobs
  • Watters says that player salaries have increased beyond revenues, Brunt says that that’s impossible because they’re tied to revenue as a percentage, Watters backtracks and claims that what he meant was that owners invest the money they make back into the game so they really make very little and the players need to give them more

Second segment: Discussion of USC Football team banning a reporter for reporting on their kicker having surgery

  • Brunt says that this is the way the industry is moving, and eventually teams will only release information through their own media
  • Everybody agrees this is stupid, and that the reporter did nothing wrong

Third segment: Prime Time Bullets

  • The only bullet is about the document that banned Pete Rose from baseball being on auction for possibly a record amount
  • Shoalts thinks this shows how much money some people have

Thoughts:

Sorry, this is so late, I’ve had a rough and very busy last few days.

This is my first experience with Watters, so I don’t know if he’s usually like this, but I’m not a fan right now.  He hid his opinion behind other people twice this roundtable.  The first time, he claimed he heard Jerry Howarth say that Ricky Romero was lazy in his conditioning, and then tried to push that point of view, and then hid behind Howarth saying it again.  First, nobody at the roundtable can confirm this, so how do they know you are remembering what Howarth said in the first place.  Secondly, when challenged, he hides behind Howarth again saying that Howarth knows his stuff and has never said anything bad about a Blue Jay before.

There are two fallacies there.  First, it’s an appeal to authority.  He’s claiming Howarth as an authority, therefore the point must be true because he (supposedly) said it.  Secondly, he’s saying that because Howarth never says bad things about the Jays (untrue, as Brunt pointed out), therefore this must be true.  Neither of those provide evidence that Romero’s problem is his conditioning.

He did a similar thing when he said that Bob Batterman said that the owners are ranchers and the players are cattle.  He then argues that the players need to understand that they’re cattle, and calls the players “cattle” 3 more times, before Shoalts called him on it, and he claimed he’s not saying that, Batterman is.  Except, he IS saying that, he’s arguing it.  Batterman might have originated the analogy, but Watters is the one using the term, and saying that this is what the players need to understand.

Also, I wonder if Watters considers himself “cattle” too?  If all the radio stations in Canada decided they didn’t like to compete agianst each other for radio hosts and capped salaries, would he be happy that he can’t play one station off another anymore?  If he doesn’t like it, he can go to a German radio station, after all.

The analogy is terrible in general.  Cattle aren’t sentient and they don’t have the right to be paid for work.  The analogy should be more that that the cows can decide which ranchers they want to go to depending on what kind of feed the ranchers have.  The ranchers that buy expensive feed get better cattle.  The ranchers hate constantly buying more expensive feed to compete with each other, so they decide to all agree that they will only buy feed up to a certain point.

I’m not saying the owners or players are right or wrong, but if you’re going to use an analogy, at least use an accurate one.

Shoalts was on his game today, and I think he contributed a lot.  I especially liked him debating with Watters.  I think he did a good job, and he understands the situation pretty well.  He had to yell at points because Watters was yelling to speak over him, which is another thing I didn’t like about Watters.

Brunt was seriously amused at how much Watters thought the players were just cows, and was also chipping in.  Bob too, when Watters attacked Fehr because Bob likes Fehr.  It was quite a segment.

I don’t understand the purpose of the Millard conversation.  They talked about Bob’s personal night out with friends and Millard’s summer vacation, and I felt like I had intruded on a coffee shop conversation and should leave.  I barely understood some of the context.

Bob completely giving up on two young rookies who weren’t even supposed to be in the major leagues amazes me.  That discussion was one where I wished Mike Wilner was there, so he could logically explain to Bob why this is an unrealistic expectation.  Bob was sounding like one of Wilner’s callers that segment and I kept thinking “boy we need Wilner here!”  It would have been great to hear how Bob would respond.

I also often wish Wilner would show up whenever people compare Romero to Halladay because they’re completely different situations.  Halladay had a mechanical issue that needed to be rebuilt.  Romero’s issues are in his head, he needs to stop over-thinking and worrying about pitching, and just pitch.

All in all, I thought this was an okay roundtable that could have been improved with somebody other than Watters filling that fourth seat.  I didn’t feel he added anything, and he doesn’t back up any of his assertions, he just yells a lot and makes people back off.  I enjoyed Shoalts and Brunt a lot on this roundtable, and thought they made a good tandem in the hockey CBA discussion.

Photo available here

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TheBusiness
TheBusiness
September 17, 2012 7:56 pm

Ami,

Nicely done. I too was unimpressed with Bill Watters. You have explained it more eloquently that I have in other comments but essentially what we have in Bill Watters is a high volume, high ego, low knowledge individual hijacking what would otherwise be a fantastic show. If Watters comes back I’ll turn off.

Basshat
Basshat
September 17, 2012 8:05 pm

Watters is an embarrassment and having him on a regular basis is going to suck all of the credibility out of PTS pretty quickly.

The personal talk on PTS has always been a pet peeve of mine. Most of us couldn’t give a damn what they did on the weekend, last night, or any other time. We also don’t care how much traffic there was coming into work or where Bob’s parking spot is located. If they can’t sustain relevant sports discussion for the full three hours then start the show later and extend Tim and Sid.

Dave
September 17, 2012 8:06 pm

Have to think that if Wilner was there he woulda ripped apart Bobs statements on the kids….and i think he did awhile back…not on the kids but other Jays stuff…which is why he`s never on.I was suprised how Brunt went after him once or twice…something like that stat hasnt mattered since the 50`s…there`s better measures out there.Was a little suprising from Brunt.
I liked it.

Kamlesh
Kamlesh
September 17, 2012 9:19 pm

I see only the excellent Greg Brady criticising Yunel Escobar for the gay slur on his face. Others at Rogers must be waiting for orders from their (and Jays’) overlords saying it’s allowed to have an opinion via twitter or blogs. I’ve noticed Brady is the only one who will consistently go after the Jays brass and players. More evidence that Brady is the best thing on the sports scene in T.O., and the only person in that fraternity who is smart enough to work for the BBC.

Here is a nice podcast from the BBC with sometime Brady guest Colin Murray showing a different side with an appreciation of Sinatra on BBC4’s Great Lives series.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/player/b00k3zns

mike in boston
mike in boston
September 17, 2012 9:42 pm

haven’t listened to the return of Watters yet, but finally got caught up on the Fehr interview.

Great job all around by all parties. Fehr was passionate while still maintaining his eloquent and staid persona. Bob and Brunt really brought out the best in him, and managed to stay out of his way when Fehr got on a roll. PTS at its best. No way anyone else gets as much out of that interview. I promise not to say anything bad about PTS for a few days … it was that good.

mike in boston
mike in boston
September 17, 2012 9:44 pm
Reply to  mike in boston

shit! forgot to add that Shannon came on as a guest and contributed absolutely nothing of value. It’s hard to believe that with all their hockey insiders PTS has to rely on John “the show-wrecker” Shannon.

mike in boston
mike in boston
September 17, 2012 9:57 pm

if you have not seen it yet, the Jays have issued a statement condemning Blue Jays SS Yunel Escobar’s apparent decision to write a slur against homsexuals on his eye black during a game. This story is going to be a mess tomorrow, so it’s good the Jays have at least come out and said they are against discrimination of any kind.

Still, it’s hard to imagine how this possibly happened without someone intervening. Worst Jays season ever?

steve north
steve north
September 17, 2012 10:02 pm

watters opines (per bob batterman) that the nhl owners are ranchers and the players are cattle.

i believe that analogy originated with tex schramm of the dallas cowboys. don’t think it worked out all that well.

north

Daniel
Daniel
September 17, 2012 11:00 pm
Reply to  Kamlesh

Loads of Rogers people go after the Jays regularly. Brady, Zaun, Grange, Brunt and McCown all regularly bitch that the team doesn’t spend enough money/isn’t going in the right direction etc.

I see no evidence of censorship.

Daniel
Daniel
September 18, 2012 3:20 am
Reply to  mike in boston

What a capper on this year.

For Yunel’s sake, I hope this was a prank played on him by a teammate. Someone writing something stupid on the eyeblack as a joke-insult to Yunel, he didn’t notice, and then wore them on the game.

Otherwise. Man. What a knob.

Daniel
Daniel
September 18, 2012 3:22 am
Reply to  Dave

It’s so, so insane to call Gose and Hechvarria failures after a month in the big leagues, probably a good half a year before they should even really be up here.

I like Bob’s passion and enthusiasm for baseball, but his nuts and bolts analysis is SO bad.

Itchy Butt
Itchy Butt
September 18, 2012 5:18 am
Reply to  Kamlesh

“The excellent Greg Brady”
Kill me now…..

Alex
Alex
September 18, 2012 6:56 am
Reply to  Kamlesh

The story broke late in afternoon drive, during the daly stuff on pts.

I presume the other day parts will talk about it.

And speaking of brady amd the bbc, he is an anchor on fighting talk.

Itchy Butt
Itchy Butt
September 18, 2012 8:07 am
Reply to  Daniel

Tao Of Steib goes after them on a regular basis and is featured on the Sportsnet website as a link, so there goes the tinfoil hat theories….

mike in boston
mike in boston
September 18, 2012 11:51 am

just listened to Bettman’s presser. I could have sworn that i heard Howard Berger ask a question. Is he currently working for someone?

Ami_Angelwings
Ami_Angelwings
September 18, 2012 5:40 pm
Reply to  Kamlesh

last night when the story broke, Sammut and Russick (sp?) both were harsh on Yunel.

Ami_Angelwings
Ami_Angelwings
September 18, 2012 5:41 pm
Reply to  Alex

Sammut was tearing into Yunel on the night show, as was the guy after him…

Ami_Angelwings
Ami_Angelwings
September 18, 2012 5:50 pm
Reply to  mike in boston

yeah the Shannon interview was terrible. I had no idea why he was there and he didn’t say anything of value.

Ami_Angelwings
Ami_Angelwings
September 18, 2012 5:51 pm
Reply to  Daniel

I think somebody cursed the Jays. I’m trying to think of a trade or something that happened before the season fell off the map that we could blame the curse on. xD

Mike S
Mike S
September 18, 2012 9:52 pm
Reply to  mike in boston

I believe Berger does some work for the National Post…………….he also is a contributor to Hockey Buzz and he has his own blog called “Berger Bytes”

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