Prime Time Sports Review for Friday, March 15, 2013

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener phone calls with Bob McCown

  • Calls are about Adam Lind, The Leafs, and great two-sport athletes

5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Bob McCown, Stephen Brunt, Damien Cox, and Bob Elliott

First segment: Discussion about the World Baseball Classic

  • Elliott talks about Canada’s performance at the World Baseball Classic
  • Roundtable debates the merits of the WBC, Bob and Cox don’t like it the way it is, Brunt and Elliott think it’s good and helps expand the game into other countries
  • Cox thinks they should just do the Olympics instead of the WBC

Second segment: Discussion about the Maple Leafs losing 4 games in a row

  • Cox says that despite their loss to Pittsburgh they played well
  • Bob wonders if this is the beginning of a slide like last year

Third segment: MLB discussion

  • Elliott doesn’t think the Orioles will be able to repeat last year’s performance, but thinks Buck Showalter is the best manager in baseball
  • Elliott thinks that Texas is making a mistake trying to get rid of Nolan Ryan from ownership

6pm hour – Roundtable continues

First segment: Prime Time Bullets

  • Bob talks about the cross-demographic appeal of NCAA basketball, and how it’s unfortunate that Canadians don’t get more of it on TV, Brunt says it’s a minority passion in Canada
  • Cox thinks NCAA basketball has lost its personality a long time ago, cites “one and done” as a reason why, and that it’s the US hype machine that gets people interested in it
  • Cox talks about Milos Raonic losing to Tsonga, and how people are still waiting for Raonic to breakthrough against the top players
  • Cox wonders if we’ve reached the end of Federer’s reign after Nadal easily beat him
  • Bob starts to talk about Patrick Chan setting a record in the short program, Elliott shares a figure skating story
  • Roundtable discusses Dahntay Jones injuring Kobe Bryant, Bob thinks it looked fine to him and wasn’t a dirty play
  • Bob brags about finally getting through to Bryan Colangelo that Andrea Bargnani is a stiff
  • Roundtable talks about the Heat’s winning streak and if it’s possible for any team to beat them, or build a team like theirs
  • Roundtable discusses Jake Gardiner’s agent’s tweet implying Gardiner should be playing, Cox says the Leafs think that he needs more experience to be an NHL defenseman, Brunt wonders if the Leafs might panic and put Gardiner in the lineup now because of the 4 game losing streak
  • Cox thinks that the Leafs should make the Luongo deal to push them into the playoffs and that Vancouver needs to either lower their price or include other players in the deal
  • Bob thinks Vancouver might want to trade somebody other than Luongo if they want value back, either Schneider, or keep both goalies and trade a non-goalie
  • Brunt thinks that if the Canucks don’t make a Luongo deal and they don’t win the Stanley Cup, then there will be outcry
  • Cox notes that outside of the pieces that Brian Burke and Dave Nonis added to the Vancouver Canucks, GM Mike Gillis has done very little to make that team better
  • Discussion about Phil Anschutz selling AEG and taking the L.A. Kings out of the deal
  • Cox leaves the roundtable

Second segment: Will and should the Jays end their relationship with Dunedin for spring training?

  • Elliott talks about his Expo hat, Bob (McCown) notes that Expos gear appears to be “in” again
  • Bob talks about the possibility that the Jays might end their relationship with Dunedin for spring training after 2017
  • Brunt says that the revival of the Cactus League has changed the conversation, and given other teams more options for where to go for spring training, Elliott says the argument against Arizona has been that people from Toronto prefer to drive straight south and go to Florida
  • Brunt says either the Jays need to find a town that will redo an existing empty facility, or build a new one which he can’t see them doing
  • Elliott says that Naples, FL is a possibility
  • Brunt thinks that as long as the Jays are hot and stay in Florida, fans will find their way to them no matter where they are

Third segment: Can anything happen between now and the season starting that would have J.A. Happ starting instead of Ricky Romero?

  • Elliott says there’s a school of thought that they should stick with Romero because they to be loyal to him, but also a school of thought that the Jays have spent so much money in the off-season to “go for it” and you need to go with your best lineup
  • Bob asks who should be the opening day starter if Happ and Romero continue to play the way they do, Elliott says he’d start Happ, Brunt says he’d give Romero three starts, Bob agrees with Elliott, says you have to go with your best to try to win every game
  • Brunt says that Happ is what he is, and you can’t count on him to be great, Bob says he’d take his best pitchers currently, and Happ is better than Romero right now
  • Bob asks who the closer will be, Brunt says that it’ll be Janssen if he’s healthy, but that Santos looks like the healthier of the two
  • Bob asks if Santos and Janssen (assuming health) are the Henke and Ward of this version of the Jays, Elliott and Brunt says they aren’t as good and Janssen is a different kind of pitcher than Ward


I thought the second hour of the roundtable was really interesting, especially giving the bullets such a long segment.  There was a lot of discussion of a variety of topics, and I think this might not be a bad format in the future if there are a lot of current event topics to talk about and just “same old same old” for the bigger topics.  I think it’d probably be better listening for some people to hear a long bullets segment, than yet another steroids or NHL moving teams to Canada argument.

Once Cox left, I found that the roundtable was more of a discussion, where Bob was more of a moderator than an arguer, and it was really interesting to listen to Brunt and Elliott discuss the Jays and Dunedin.

Hopefully if the Jays have success this year, that it’d mean Jays fans and media people would stop comparing everything about the Jays to the 92 team and we can move on and let future Jays teams stand on their own.  Brunt was talking about Reyes as being comparable to Alomar as the Jays’ best all-round athlete, and Bob wondered if Janssen and Santos were the new Ward and Henke.  I know that Wilner would be really happy if fans moved on from the 1992/93 teams too because he gets so many calls saying that the Jays need to make an Alomar/Carter trade or etc…

Bob said that Boudreau “couldn’t get them turned around, didn’t look like he did an effective job” last year but the Ducks were 27-23-8 after he took over and went 24-15-6 starting from January 2012.  That’s an indication that he had actually turned them into a pretty good team after a month at the helm, and so their hot start this season didn’t come out of nowhere.  They just couldn’t overcome a 7-13-4 start to make the playoffs.

During the calls, somebody brought up Bob saying that Halladay had won a World Series with the Phillies, but he was speaking so fast and asked so many questions Bob forgot that he said it by the end of Bob answering his questions.  I just thought it was interesting that a caller remembered that mistake.  Even if Bob responded to it, I suspect Bob would just say he doesn’t remember saying it.

So far I’ve been generally enjoying Prime Time Sports in Dunedin.  Bob seems engaged and happier, there’s no chance of Shannon on the roundtable, Cox is intermittant, and we get 3 hours of Brunt a day.  I know that Brunt isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but I enjoy hearing him on with Bob, and I think they have great chemistry together. 🙂

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