By Ami Angelwings
4pm hour – Listener calls with Bob McCown
- Callers are about a variety of issues, but mostly focus on the Jays and John Farrell
- Bob defends Alex Anthopolous on spending money, says we don’t know if Beeston or Rogers was stopping him from spending on Yu Darvish
5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Bob McCown, Elliotte Friedman, Dave Perkins and David Branch
First segment: Interview with David Branch
- Bob asks Branch about the new CHLPA trying to get junior hockey players to be paid at least minimum wage under labour laws, Branch says they’d have to look at the specifics, points out that the CHL already pays for a lot of things (education, hockey sticks, etc)
Second segment: Who should the Jays get to replace John Farrell?
- Perkins says that he thinks Farrell is a terrible manager, and has said so several times, including twice on PTS
- Perkins thinks Farrell ran a sloppy clubhouse, managed the team poorly on the base paths, and could never explain his decisions
- Perkins thinks that Farrell has the look and voice of a manager but no substance, Friedman calls him a “himbo”
- Friedman thinks that Brad Ausmus and Sandy Alomar Jr. would be a good candidate to manage the Jays
- Bob is skeptical of Alomar’s assertiveness due to an interview he did with him a long time ago on Jays Talk, Friedman says that Alomar is the personality that held the Indians together back when they had a lot of troublemakers
- Perkins thinks that a latino manager is the future of baseball because of how many latino star players are coming up, he thinks either Alomar or Ozzie Guillen would be a good pick
- Perkins also doesn’t want any more Americans who look down on Canadian baseball fans to manage or general manage the Blue Jays
- Bob still wants Guillen because it’ll be fun
Third segment: Discussion about the Islanders moving to Brooklyn
- Bob thinks that because people in Brooklyn don’t think of themselves as Long Islanders, the Islanders may have issues with fans
- Friedman thinks as long as they win, they’ll attract people
- Perkins thinks that the arena will hurt them because it won’t seat many and is designed for basketball
- Bob recounts his experience watching IHL hockey in Las Vegas
6pm hour – Roundtable continues
First segment: Discussion of the NHL lockout
- Branch wonders if the lockout will lead to a growth in the KHL, and says that it’s hurting interest in hockey in Canada, and maybe we’d get more players in Europe in the future and an international championship
- Bob brings up his idea that the players should have planned a players’ league
- Friedman thinks if the NHL opens its doors to replacement players, Fehr may try to beat them in court like he did with baseball
- Perkins is doubtful the NHL owners want to go to Sochi and shut down their arenas for 3 weeks, Bob thinks they will use it as a bargaining chip, but will ultimately do it or risk Russian players having even more incentive to stay in the KHL
Second segment: Discussion of the World Series
- Bob thinks the Giants will sweep
- Perkins had apparently bet the Giants to sweep at 40-1 odds
- Bob segues talk about the Tigers inability to come back into how the 1992 Jays always felt they could come back in any game
Third segment: Discussion of David Stern’s legacy
- Bob recounts 2 stories involving David Stern
- Branch thinks David Stern is very smart
- Friedman thinks Stern is #1 of all commissioners in all sports
- Perkins reminds everybody that Stern’s legacy isn’t without pockmarks: the gambling scandal, the new basketball that was a dud, the new draft age causing “one and done” in the NCAA, how the Supersonics left Seattle
I think it’s really interesting how, in the past, Bob’s defended Rogers and Beeston on the spending issue, wondering why nobody’s pointing the finger at Anthopolous, and now he’s doing the opposite. It seems as if he’s become really disillusioned with Beeston and Rogers because of what he perceives as the mishandling of the Yunel Escobar situation and the Farrell situation. I was quite surprised to hear him suggest that Anthopolous might not be able to spend money because Beeston won’t give it to him. He’d never have said that a couple months ago, but now, I guess, he’s starting to wonder if he can really trust what Beeston or Rogers says.
So now that Farrell’s gone, it’s time for everybody to talk about how they always knew he was a bad manager? I’ve noted that I thought Perkins might have thought that, but both times he’s brought it up on PTS, he’s been extremely circumspect about it. I pointed out in my reviews at the time, that I wish he’d elaborate, but he never did, outside of saying he doesn’t agree with every decision. Now, suddenly, Farrell’s gone and it’s time to unleash? The media, I thought, pretty much ignored Farrell while he was here. While people suggested that the Jays might have issues in running the bases, they kept chalking it up to a young team, and I didn’t see a lot of people saying that it was Farrell’s fault. Now he’s a “himbo”. I don’t think Perkins is wrong that Farrell’s look and way of speaking made him seem smart, and people often liked him because of those superficial qualities. I just wonder where was all this while he was around. If they had extended him for 2 more years, would we have another 3 years of the media apparently smiling and holding their tongue at a “terrible” manager?
That said, it was nice to hear Perkins unleash today. He really didn’t hold back on any topic, and also wasn’t afraid to point out all the mistakes that Stern’s made as commissioner too, while everybody else was having a love in for him.
I’m generally not a fan of PTS having special guests on the roundtable, because topics either become all about them, or they vanish and we barely hear from them. This was true of Branch. He talked a lot during the 2 hockey segments, and I literally barely remember him on the rest. I’m not even sure he talked during the playoff segment. If he did, I don’t remember anything he said. He was mostly silent on the other segments too.
In the 4pm hour, Bob said that they would talk to Branch about the CHLPA wanting minimum wage for their players, and that they would ask him questions about it. He specifically used the word “inquisition”. That segment wasn’t even close to an inquisition. I felt Bob was really lenient on his friend, and just basically let Branch tell the CHL’s side of the story. Bob didn’t go after him with the passion we’ve see him talk about this subject with. That was disappointing because, even if the CHLPA does turn out to be a joke, the issue itself should be more thoroughly dealt with in an interview.
I think I’ve said this before, but Friedman and Perkins have really good chemistry together, and they showed it again on this roundtable. Even when they disagree, it flows well, and sometimes when Friedman gets into a disagreement, I find he tends to dominate the discussion with drawn out points. Today, I really enjoyed him on the roundtable, and I think his interaction with Perkins had a lot to do with it.
This was probably the first lockout discussion segment that I actually found interesting. I think it’s because rather than talking about what’s happening (nothing), they were talking about all these what if scenarios, fleshing them out, and it was really fun to listen to. If the lockout is going to drag on, I wouldn’t mind more wild speculation rather than just the same old same old.
I liked that both Perkins and Friedman often chimed in with counters to Bob’s assertions and stories on this roundtable. Sometimes, Bob really dominates a narrative with “just so” stories, and assertions that aren’t based on anything. For example, his justification for why Sandy Alomar Jr. might not be a good manager is because of a Jays Talk interview he did with him 20 years ago. Or, when he talks about his interview with David Stern in the past where Stern said “you can give it all to Michael, half to Michael…” It’s just nice to hear Perkins and Friedman offer up more substantial things as to why Bob’s casual reading of a person or situation might not be accurate.
In general, I really enjoyed listening to this roundtable (outside of the first segment, which I found uninformative). I thought it had a good flow, and I enjoyed how they handled the topics.
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