Prime Time Sports Review for Thursday, April 4, 2013

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Listener Phone Calls with Bob McCown

  • Calls are about the Blue Jays and blaming the media for hyping them up and getting fans excited and about the Jays in general, some talk about Luongo

5pm hour – Listener Phone Calls with Bob McCown and Stephen Brunt

  • Bob talks about how callers are blaming the high expectations of the Jays on the media, and that Sportsnet personalities are being pressured to talk about the Jays as if they’re better than they really are
  • Brunt rants about the Globe and Mail accusing him and Sportsnet of pumping up the Jays, by doing the TV special about the Jays’ Dominican connection
  • Brunt talks about how the Globe and Mail was the only place that ever censored something he wrote, that when he was writing politics, he was told to profile a political figure, but because the person had politics that were opposite what the Globe and Mail supported politically they cut his story apart
  • Brunt also complains that Globe and Mail writes stories to include their advertisers’ interests
  • Calls are about the Blue Jays, Luongo and Colby Rasmus’ failures at the plate
  • Many callers compliment Brunt’s Jays/Dominican special

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

First segment: Interview with Glenn Healy, CBC hockey analyst

  • Bob, Brunt and Healy discusses Luongo’s comments that his contract “sucks”, Bob wonders how his contract could suck when he has so much guaranteed financial security and how Luongo plans to fix his bad contract if he hates it so much
  • Bob talks about how if he was a GM he would never sign a player to a no-trade clause, Brunt says that then he will lose players to teams that will

Second segment: Interview with Jonah Keri, baseball writer

  • Keri talks about the Tampa Bay Rays producing so many good young starting pitchers
  • Bob asks Keri about Jose Bautista complaining about the umpires, Keri says that it’s understandable to be upset that umpires are not making the correct calls
  • Keri talks about spending some time with Pete Rose recently and enjoying himself

Third segment: Interview with Drew Edwards, Hamilton Spectator

  • Edwards explains the Chris Wililams situation, that he is trying to get out of the final year of his contract by using a little-known clause in the collective bargaining agreement
  • Edwards says that Williams can sit out this year and avoid chance of injury and then trying to sign in the NFL, or he could sign a new deal with the CFL for more money but then it would be a 2 year deal
  • Brunt thinks Williams would be “nuts” to play this year and risk injury for the money he’d be paid ($48,000), Edwards says that fans would be angry about his lack of loyalty to a team that gave him a chance, but given how short football careers are, his decision is understandable


And cue the fan angst.  Hopefully, after today’s win (and power outburst), fans will be less panicky about the Jays or the expectations on them.

It was interesting to hear Brunt respond to the Globe and Mail ripping him and Sportsnet for his Dominican/Jays piece, AND to air out some dirty laundry from his time at the Globe.  Usually, Brunt is very moderate/polite about these things but he sounded pretty angry, probably because he feels he never threw the Globe under the bus while he worked for them, which would be very true since he would always defend the Globe’s integrity when Bob attacked them for being biased (Olympics, most influential people in sports list).

I didn’t think I would like an extra hour of phone calls, but I enjoyed them because with Brunt around, it really turned into a discussion between Bob and Brunt about the issues brought up by the callers.  I also think Brunt helps to moderate Bob’s gut-reaction to callers a lot, and it becomes them chatting about the issue (much like their talk segments to begin the 5pm hour.)

The 6pm hour wasn’t all that interesting to me because it was going over the Luongo situation for an entire segment, and I don’t think Keri got enough time to really dissect the Rays’ pitching story.

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