Questions Abound In Toronto Sports Media

Questions Abound In Toronto Sports Media

By TSM

Here are somethings that have me go hmmmmmmmmmm

While watching the Leafs about to implode during game 7 the CBC showed MLSE exec Tom Anselmi rubbing elbows with Dave Nonis and the hockey braintrust. One question, why?

“How did it feel to turn around to see the puck behind you in the net and realize that the season was over” Someone asked James Reimer that last night after the disaster. Two questions, who and why?

TSN and Rogers each own a healthy portion of the Leafs and Raptors. They’ve agreed to split the radio rights of the Leafs. Last night was TSN’s turn and yet the Fan felt compelled enough to run it’s own feed too. One question, REALLY? Are things that desperate at the Fan?

Eventually the two stations will share the Raptors radio games too. If it were game 7 of the Raptors vs. Celtics last night and it was TSN’s game to broadcast, would the Fan have run it’s own version of the game too?

My baseball knowledge is limited at best. I admit it. However, many in the game and in the media tell me the same thing. Alex Anthopoulos apparently didn’t appreciate the lack of respect he received from former Blue Jays skipper John Farrell who allegedly talked down to his boss, the GM. Farrell, I’m told would tell Alex Anthopoulos to “trust him” and Farrell’s baseball experience ( as opposed to Anthopoulos’s).

So, when Anthopoulous says things like that “HE has “kicked around” the possibility of piggy-backing relievers Lincoln and Brett Cecil in a potential spot start.” is that telling us why he selected a John Gibbons as his manager? Can’t see the GM kicking around anything that has to do with the rotation had he hired an experienced or seasoned (veteran) manager could you? Did the GM hire someone he could influence?

Jeff O’neil on TSN radio this morning speaking about James Reimer ” I don’t know if you fall in love with a guy who doesn’t get the job done. I loved Potvin until cujo showed up”. O’Neil’s like a few others has said something I believe to be spot on (not that you care what I think), the crushing loss should force Nonis to not fall in love with his team.

A few MSMer’s have asked me what I think about O’Neil as an analyst. Personally, I think he’s a nice breath of fresh air in a very crowded space. I like his bluntness and his unwillingness to to say something just because it’s going to be popular. However, someone (hello College of Sports Media) needs to work with O’Neil. He sounds too unprofessional and actually too unpolished to trust or listen to much longer. The good news is he gets it. That you can’t teach. The delivery can be taught.

Hats off to Jeff Blair for sticking to the Baseball daily show despite the Maple Leafs playoff, ummmm, run. I do wonder if anyone besides me is listening to that show though. Are you?

Blair’s sidekick Dirk Hayhurst takes shots at his colleague Mike Wilner on a daily basis. I say this all the time, I don’t know how Wilner does the post game stint with the Blue Jays and maintains any degree of sanity. I do also wonder how much of this Blue Jays allegiance is authentic.

Ok, the game, series and season is over for the Maple Leafs. Please stop telling us about how badly we and the players should feel about the collapse. I’m pretty sure that Leaf fans know how to feel thank you very much. What I want to read and hear from the experts isn’t what Nonis’s options are, but rather what the so called experts think he should do. Can anyone do that?

One question about the Leafs as fingers are getting pointed. Is Tyler Bozak to be penalized or blamed for not being a 1st line center? I mean, isn’t it on the coach or GM for putting a guy in a role he can’t play? Can you say the same thing for captain Dion? If the Leafs had a bonafide 1st line center would the evaluation of Bozak as a second line center at least be “fair”?

Lastly, I’m sure the stats guru’s will prove me wrong here but did Joffrey Lupul totally go missing in game 6 and 7 for the Leafs. I’m a huge Lupul fan but it seemed it me that the guy who has been lights out since he came back from his injury disappeared in the last two games.

Ok, that’s my rant.

I am out of here….

TSM

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 21
  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 7 years ago

    – The studering,coughing into the mike and silent gaps just makes blair totally UN-listenable .
    – Looks like PTS has thrown in the towel for the summer early this year. Seems like every day now when i flip past PTS shannon is on. Should give Naylor a solid 3 1/2 months to build his numbers.

  • comment-avatar
    mike (in boston) 7 years ago

    whole lot of content here, glad to read it. One suggestion though: section headings.
    .

    1. on Gibby. I never liked the hire. Discipline and professionalism were a problem under “Far Away” Farrell. I think it was a mistake to bring in a guy who a) never managed again after being fired, and b) has no track record of winning, and c) has a reputation for fighting with his players, and especially d) whose main qualification was that AA was “comfortable” with him. None of those things would matter if things were off to a good start, but they are fair game in light of the slow start. I think there is something to the idea that AA didn’t want to be undermined, and hiring a guy who would be forever grateful is a good way to achieve that.
    .

    2. Jays super-fan Mike Wilner. Some commenters here like him. Some don’t. The additions of “Zaun Cherry”, Shi Davidi, and Hayhurst to the Rogers roster have made Wilner less and less relevant. This has brought me back as a listener. Zaun has never had a thought he didn’t like, but at least he can talk about the game from a point of experience. Hayhurst is great for the most part, and Davidi comes across as very professional and measured. Let Wilner argue with the dullards who call his show. There’s definitely an audience for idiots arguing with idiots, but I won’t be listening.
    .

    3. Blair. I find him very boring and his delivery has not improved. I enjoy when he interviews baseball people though. He’s still a poor man’s Richard Griffin as a baseball expert though.

  • comment-avatar
    mike (in boston) 7 years ago

    Two more thoughts:
    .

    4. Jeff O’Neill. I have enjoyed him much more than the legion of failed goons and back-ups on TSN and the FAN. “Noodles” & Nattress & Brad May & god only knows who else are terrible in my opinion. O’Neill has some strong opinions but needs to be paired with a good co-host. I listened to him with Tati and it was horrible. Tati just laughed at everything and the show sounded like a couple of drunk frat boys. Tati is usually pretty good, so this was surprising.
    .

    5. Been doing a ton of traveling lately and Tim&Sid are great road companions. As much as i hate their endless interviews with Rogers personalities, the rapport between the two of them is unmatched on radio and wildly entertaining. Great score for the FAN and a huge missed opportunity for TSN. Sid needs to stop with the references to “the 3 letter” though … it’s childish and a little insecure sounding.

  • comment-avatar

    Also not original, since espn is called “the four letter” in the industry.

  • comment-avatar
    Edward 7 years ago

    I was under the impression 1050 and 590 were always going to share Game 7. That’s what I heard from people at both places. I don’t think it was anybody’s “turn”. Have you actually investigated this, or have you just determined that it was somebody’s “turn”?

  • comment-avatar

    Mike:

    Re: Gibbons –

    In a year with a lot at stake and year where his credibility as a GM is put on the line, do you honestly believe ANYONE would hire a guy just because they’d be ‘forever grateful’?

  • comment-avatar
    Drumanchor 7 years ago

    LIstened to O’Neil yesterday for the first time. Just my opinion, but he came across as a Nick Kypreos wannabe.

    He has talent but sounded too much like a jerk.

    As for Wilner, like attracts like.

  • comment-avatar

    Re: Wilner:…”There’s definitely an audience for idiots arguing with idiots, but I won’t be listening” – Excellent point. I don’t care whether Wilner knows what he’s talking about or not…His style and personality are just painful to listen to – when he loses it on air, its pretty funny, but sometimes just annoying. I have to think there has to be some nepotism in his career history – I don’t know how he got that job otherwise…

    I have totally switched to TSN because so much on the FAN is basically awful (Tim and Sid are good, but I’ve switched “brands”). I even prefer Mike Richards to the 2 tools on the FAN – – and that says a lot, because RIchards . Dave Naylor is a little too weak as a personality to be hosting. They need to fix that. He can play 2nd fiddle but drive time needs a host with personality. Naylor is so awkward.

  • comment-avatar

    Re Jeff O’Neil – He is good at providing insight as an ex player, but not like some kind of “expert”. He has transitioned to ‘fan’, with playing experience. Its an interesting take.

    His comment about the meltdown was (paraphrasing) “I’m not affiliated with the Leafs at all anymore. I consider myself more of a Hurricane fan now because I spent most of my career there, but that was so hard to watch. I felt really bad – I can’t imagine what those guys are feeling”…that is very un-Kypreos. Plus O’Neil has a great self deprecating sense of humour – and he’s actually funny. He constantly pokes fun at himself. Again, nothing like Kypreos. And as a player, O’Neil has tons more credibility than Kypreos, who makes O’Neil look like Gordie Howe in comparison. I enjoy listening to O’Neil – he works well with just about anyone and doesn’t act like a big shot. These ex-players with the arrogant attitude are a joke when they are on TV or radio.

  • comment-avatar

    Like Bob, so much depends on who is co-hosting with Naylor. If it’s Darren Dutchyshen, for example, then I have to move on, as that yob is too annoying.

    The thing with Blair is he’s not as knowledgeable as he thinks he is. I’ve always resented his “I covered baseball, and you can’t possibly know as much as me” condescending attitude. He’s been dead wrong so many times… I remember when Manny Ramirez was still in Boston and Blair saying that despite what everyone thinks, Manny is a good guy in the clubhouse. The Red Sox traded him a week later, much to the relief of everyone in Boston. Good call, Jeff.

  • comment-avatar
    Sam in Scarb 7 years ago

    Bottom line is blair was hired in the merry-go -round fiasco at the fan.The FOUR (4) different morning shows within a year. The MAJOR krystal mistake.Bottom line blair got 9-12 because he worked cheap.(he should be kissing the ground he got work). Quickly he thought he is the second coming of Bob Costas NOT !!

  • comment-avatar
    Mike S 7 years ago

    I watched the CBC game 7 overtime clip on YouTube…………..Jim Hughson got the goal scorer wrong (when he was calling the play he said it was Brad Marchand)………….that is a pretty embarrassing mistake for the top play-by-play man to make at such a critical time when over 5 million people are watching……………I guess Bob Cole isn’t the only one at CBC that gets the names of players wrong

    Meanwhile over on 590 I think Dunleavy said it was Dougie Hamilton who took the shot from the point that tied the game 4-4 when it was clearly Bergeron……………..I’m not even sure Hamilton was on the ice for that goal

  • comment-avatar

    “Bottom line blair got 9-12 because he worked cheap”

    This is why comments are the internet are the worst. As if you have ANY idea what his salary is.

  • comment-avatar

    I really enjoy Baseball Central, and get the podcast most days. I like Blair and Hayhurst. Blair knows his stuff on baseball, I far prefer him to Griffin or Elliot.

    Other than the baseball show and bits of Tim and Sid, I haven’t been listening to too much sports talk lately. I’ve been listening to podcasts of the Dan Lebatard show from Miami a lot lately though. Amazing, amazing show. He’s been mentioning syndication possibilities here and there.

  • comment-avatar

    If there’s one Toronto sports question that intrigues me these days, it’s the hiring of Tim Leiweike.

    There seemed to be a consensus that you don’t bring this guy in to just manage the status quo. You bring him in to make a major move of some kind. So, I’m really wondering what MLSE has up their sleeve in the next period of time. Does his hiring signal an MLSE/Tannenbaum NFL bid? I would love to see that.

    Hard to imagine what else that ‘play’ would be.

  • comment-avatar

    Funny that lebatard always used to say they resisted syndication because they didnt want o mess with the show.

    But i gave up istening around the time the NWO heat was formed in Miami after the lockout.

    Hard to be the Cam Cameron Dolphin era.

  • comment-avatar
    Dave in Bolton 7 years ago

    Any word of the fate of the Score is?

  • comment-avatar
    Don River 7 years ago

    “Does his hiring signal an MLSE/Tannenbaum NFL bid? I would love to see that.”

    As was/is the case with Rogers, MLSE can’t be involved because the NFL strictly forbids corporate ownership. There would have to be an individual owner or a limited group of people with one person clearly designated as the leader and decision maker. Then of course there’s the small matter of having $2 billion (give or take) to buy a team and build a new stadium. But Leiweike couldn’t make an NFL team happen in L.A., a city unlike Toronto that both wants a team and is wanted by the NFL, so I’m not sure how he could be expected to make the pipe dream of a Toronto NFL team ever happen.

    If there’s a play with something else, the most obvious and most profitable answer is a second Toronto/GTA NHL team, though how that might work itself out between MLSE, Bell, Rogers and Larry Tannenbaum is a huge mystery.

  • comment-avatar
    Mullah_Kintyre 7 years ago

    Fate of The Score? It’s now owned by Rogers, who will announce a new Sportsnet name for it on July 1 if that’s what you mean. It is still limited to 15% live events, in reality an average of about one live game per day, and they still must have the constant ticker on the screen. That’s presumably at least until some time in 2014, when the Rogers licences are up for renewal.

    It will also be interesting to see what eventually develops in Canada regarding the Speed/Fox Sports 1 situation. I assume the complete silence being maintained so far by all involved probably means nothing has been decided, or they’re just hoping no one will notice when something is changed.

    Wilner has been around for a long time now. He didn’t just show up a few months ago. I remember him doing a weekly show with another guy on the local cable 10 channel in the High Park area more than 20 years ago, before Rogers bought it (Graham Cable, maybe?). And he did sports updates on 680 for a long time.

  • comment-avatar

    I’m aware of the corporate ownership rule in the NFL. That’s why I added Tannenbaums name. McCown speculated if he could be the individual taking the lead on ownership with MLSE as part owners behind him.

    I think the idea of MLSE pursuing a second NHL team is far more of a pipe dream than them pursuing the NFL. They’ve already got a pretty profitable NHL team at the moment.

  • comment-avatar
    Don River 7 years ago

    The NHL likely wouldn’t allow MLSE to own a second team, but MLSE could negotiate a substantial territorial fee — either a one-time fee or an annual one over a number of years. And some believe there is already a provision between Bell and Rogers for one of them to sell its share of MLSE to the other and then take ownership of a Toronto/GTA expansion team. That scenario would also net MLSE a tidy sum.

    The NFL is by far the bigger pipe dream. Unlike when Paul Godfrey was pimping for a Toronto NFL team during the Rozelle and Tagliabue eras, Roger Goodell doesn’t even mention Toronto as an expansion/relocation possibility. This is one-game-a-year Bills territory now. And through the example of the Jays and Raptors, the NFL understands that teams in Canada do nothing to enhance American network rights fees, and, most important, ad revenues. Canadian TV ratings have no effect on those.