Prime Time Sports Review for Tuesday, October 2, 2012

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener calls with Bob McCown

  • Calls are about who should win the AL MVP, whether Gregg Zaun should replace Farrell as coach, the Jays spending more money
  • Bob thinks Cabrera should win the AL MVP and that the Triple Crown matters
  • Bob doesn’t think people should become managers without any prior managing experience and Zaun wouldn’t want to spend time in the minors coaching

5pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Stephen Brunt co-hosting

First segment: Talk segment

  • Bob and Brunt talk about Brunt’s new book about the CFL, Brunt talks about how Earl Grey came to donate the Grey Cup
  • Bob says he’ll donate his own trophy to the biggest profile league that contacts him, people start contacting him

Second segment: Interview with Nick Kypreos, Sportsnet hockey analyst

  • Kypreos talks about how much he wants the lockout to be over
  • Kypreos discusses the KHL signing a deal to air some games on ESPN, thinks that some people will watch
  • Bob thinks that if the lockout goes to February, the NHLPA might just decide that there’s no point in trying to get a deal to save this season, Brunt says that’s the only way to make the owners hurt

Third segment: Interview with Mark Messier, former NHL player

  • Kypreos stays for the Messier interview
  • Messier talks about the Messier Project to educate people about the risk of concussions, and that they’re trying to find out why enrollment in hockey in Canada is down
  • Kypreos asks if parents are more nervous nowadays to enroll their children in hockey, Messier says this is something they need to find out

6pm hour – Bob McCown hosting, Stephen Brunt co-hosting

First segment: Interview with Bryan Colangelo, General Manager of the Toronto Raptors

  • Colangelo talks about the Raptors going into pre-season
  • Colangelo talks about Jonas Valanciunas, says not to expect him to be a force in the paint yet, but that he will be a strong rebounder
  • Colangelo discusses Jose Calderon and how he is handling the acquisition of Kyle Lowry to be the starting point guard

Second segment: Interview with Thomas Lake, Sports Illustrated

  • Lake is on to talk about the story he wrote about the son of Rae Carruth, and his grandmother who is his caretaker after Carruth had his mother murdered
  • Lake explains the backstory: Carruth had his ex murdered because she wouldn’t get an abortion, but she lived long enough to make a phone call that implicated him and the child survived even though she died
  • Lake explains Carruth was found guilty of conspiracy in the murder, but not of first degree murder, he sued for custody of the child in prison, but was held off by the grandmother
  • Lake says that the grandmother is the hero of the story and put aside her life to care for the child, and had to forgive Carruth in order to accept the child (who bore a resemblance to him), is willing to let Carruth know his child if he would admit to the crime, which he won’t

Third segment: Interview with Chris Botta, Sports Business Journal

  • Bob asks Botta about the report that there is a group trying to buy the Islanders and keep them on Long Island, Botta says the story is completely false


The Botta segment amused me because Botta acted like he was disappointed that he was being interviewed just for a story that wasn’t true.  Obviously, he was exagerrating his response for radio, but it was still amusing.  I loved when he said “so is the interview over then?” after he simply told Bob and Brunt that the story was absolutely false.

The Lake interview was really good, and chilling because of the subject matter.  I think Bob handled it well, and I can see he was controlling his anger at the situation because it was pretty clear he didn’t think Curruth should be allowed to see the child, period.  I didn’t know anything about this case, and so it was good to get a background on what happened, and then about where things are at now, and what the story Lake wrote, was about.

The Kypreos and Messier interviews were fairly meaningless, although the KHL talk was at least something new.  I think talking about the impact of a KHL/ESPN TV deal would be something that a media person (like Michael Heistand) would be better off doing though, than Nick Kypreos.  It’s amazing that during an NHL lockout, you can still dedicate 2 segments to hockey.

I think all women’s soccer leagues in Canada should contact Bob to have the Bobcat Bowl be for a women’s soccer league, just because we know how he feels about women’s sports and soccer. xD

It’s no surprise that Bob thinks the Triple Crown should matter in MVP voting.  It’d be interesting if they had somebody like Jonah Keri (or even Jeff Blair) on to suggest an opposing view, and see what Bob thinks about it.  Bob’s been convinced about these things before.

I wonder if we’re going to get more basketball on PTS now that hockey is locked out, or if we’re still going to get Kypreos, Healy, Shannon, etc on.  It was a little odd that they had two hockey people on but they just had Colangelo on to talk about basketball (and not also somebody like Grange or Eric Smith).

Also, CFL coverage on PTS seems to have completely vanished since TSN Radio got the rights to the Argos.  I know that the CFL isn’t a super big deal, but they used to have the Argos coach on every week or so to talk.  Nobody even mentions the CFL on PTS anymore.  Is this a Rogers mandate?  Or was it a Rogers mandate to have Argos people on back when the Argos were on the FAN590, and now that they aren’t, Bob just doesn’t care to mention the CFL?  It seems as if there’s more Bills talk (and guests) on Prime Time Sports than Argos now.

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October 3, 2012 3:09 am

I remember McCown said last year that he has stopped talking Argos because he doesn’t think anyone wants to hear about them anymore. I actually heard Cybulski say something similar to that last year as well (which was ironic because they do talk a fair bit of CFL).

I actually think it might be just as plausible that the TSN Radio guys are instructed totalk about the CFL as it is that the Fan guys are told no to. Maybe moreso, because sadly, I’m not really sure there’s a lot of interest in the Argos these days.

Brian Gerstein
October 3, 2012 9:23 am

I caught part of Colangelo’s interview, and I do have to give him credit for doing what was best for the long term interest of the club i.e. drafting Jonas knowing he was basically red shirted in Europe for a year. Given his contractual status, he deserves to be applauded for that. What I find most intriguing about Colangelo is that when he was locked up with several years of job security, he kept focusing on the quick fix, which never worked out, and now that he is a lame duck, has been performing his job admirably. I say keep him on one year contracts from now on, as we obviously are getting better results out of him.

I do have a problem though when he is talking playoffs this year. While a noble goal, it is really not a big deal to me this year. Player development is though, and integrating all the new players we have, especially with so many rookies. MLSE cares about the playoffs for the revenues, and while it would be a feather in the franchise’s cap to reach the playoffs after so many dry years, this is not important in the big picture. Even if we are in the playoff hunt late in the season, I would hate to see games dictated strictly by winning the games, thus giving too many minutes to players who are either not part of our long term future, or just because of their tenure, would get more PT. Develop, develop, and develop some more. I don’t care about playoff experience and getting blown out in the 1st series. In a lot of ways, this team would be better off by never being in the playoff hunt, so Casey can work them all year to become a cohesive unit, and weed out the players who don’t fit.

Let’s go through the roster with at least the big question marks for me. #1 on the list is DeMar DeRozan. If a deal is not reached i.e. an extension before October 31st, 2013, he would accept a $4.5M U.S. qualifying extension, making him a restricted free agent a year later. I am really not pleased that Colangelo is talking to DeMar’s agent now back and forth about signing a long term contract. DeMar was pathetic last year, with his lowest shooting % of his career, barely over 42%, and his 1st half of the season was atrocious. While he picked it up a bit the 2nd half, he certainly did not carry the team with Andrea’s absence. My concern is adding a long term piece who will just be O.K., and he has not sold me yet on being deserving of that. Colangelo himself just said that only Bargnani at the 4 is guaranteed a starting job come opening day. While he says the ceiling is still high for DeMar, he contradicts himself by not even naming him as a starter heading into training camp. It could turn out that Ross even this year supersedes what DeMar brings to the table, especially in his all-around game, as Ross can actually play defence.

#2 is the glut of big men. Point guard situation is excellent now with Lowry the starter, don’t even start with me that there is real competition for who starts, that was done just to be politically correct with Jose, who knows his back-up role and isn’t happy about it, but knows it is reality. With Lucas there, I do expect Calderon with his expiring contract to be moved at some point this year. Getting back to the big men, one of Davis or Johnson has to go, and they both know it. This will be an interesting battle this year to see who establishes themself. My money is on Amir, but he has to play better than last year, when he dealt with a lot of personal issues that affected his game.

#3 for me is of course Jonas. My expectations are quite modest this year, and I am not going to let the hype get the best of me. Big men take a lot more time to develop. As long as he gets his minutes, and I really hope that he starts, I will be happy. He has to learn what is called a foul and what isn’t, and how he needs to earn the refs respect so he does not foul out in the 1st half. The best thing about Jonas is that he will get his boards, get to the line, and he shoots over 80% from the line, so even in late game situations, he should be out there. He already knows how to play the pick and roll game, and with Jose they will be quite the force out there. He does need to develop a back to the basket game, but that will take years.

This is the first year in I don’t know how many years that I am excited about the team. Given the NHL lockout, the Raptors will be centre stage, and I am looking forward to increased coverage, although I do hope that the hockey pucks stay off the basketball court, let them cover the lockout.

October 3, 2012 4:04 pm

Undoubtedly TSN tells their radio hosts to disproportionately discuss the CFL since they are the sole CFL broadcaster. Despite the enduring popularity of the CFL in western Canada, Toronto’s relative level of interest has continuously declined in recent decades. It’s no longer 1975, when the Argos were the only game in town except for the Leafs, and had a significant audience largely by default. We now have many other options for sports and entertainment, whether it’s attending live events in Toronto or watching other ones from around the world on TV and online.
I think McCown could also feel somewhat embarrassed by his acquaintance with the former Argo owners David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski, who made appearances on PTS, but were eventually exposed as posers who had been, at least in part, surreptitiously using someone else’s money (David Braley) to buy the team and cover operating losses. Cynamon and Sokolowski also promised to build a new stadium when they “bought” the team, and given subsequent events and revelations, appear to have had no honest intention to do so if it involved spending any of their own money. They had agreed to pay $20 millon towards construction of a new $70 million stadium with the Canadian Soccer Association, York University, and various levels of government. Yet C&S inexplicably walked away from the deal, right when the time came for them to put their money on the table. About four or five months later, MLSE stepped in to accept the same deal C&S had walked away from, reviving the stadium project that became BMO Field. This caused McCown to launch an angry rant, both on the air and in a rare written opinion on Fan590’s website, complaining about how tax payers’ money was being used to benefit MLSE, when he apparently had no objection to the same deal during much of the preceding year when it had involved his friends Cynamon and Sokolowski instead of MLSE

mike in boston
mike in boston
October 3, 2012 5:07 pm
Reply to  Brian Gerstein

thanks for this analysis … i have a hard time paying attention to the Raptors under Colangelo since so many players end up being acquired, hyped as upgrades to the roster, then traded for someone else who is then hyped in turn as a huge upgrade … meanwhile the win-loss record remains around the same woeful level.

it would be nice to have a Raptors team worth cheering for.

mike in boston
mike in boston
October 3, 2012 5:08 pm
Reply to  Mullah_Kintyre

oh snap!

October 11, 2012 3:54 pm

Funny thing is the Argos are the only Toronto team I care about and the Canadian Football League is by far my favourite league to watch and follow. And the Grey Cup, well it’s no. 1 in my books with it being the national football championship game of Canada. And I live in the GTA. The Blue Jays are the only Canadian MLB team, Raptors only Canadian NBA team. Expos gone. Much of the country could care less about the Blue Jays or Raptors but GTA centric people don’t get that. Oh well, Centre of the Universe or is it Centre of Their Universe?

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