Prime Time Sports Review for Monday, May 20, 2013

By Ami Angelwings

4pm hour – Bob McCown hosting

First segment: Interview with James Hinchcliffe and Alex Tagliani, Indycar drivers

  • Hinchcliffe talks about his last race and the dramatic finish and other dramatic finishes in car racing
  • Bob asks if being in the pole position makes a big difference, Tagliani says he doesn’t really but it’s cool and exciting
  • Hinchcliffe talks about the small differences in the cars between qualifying and race day
  • Bob asks if there’s a danger that if you get the pole in qualifying, you’d be hesistant about changing your car for the race, Tagliani says that wouldn’t happen because the conditions in the actual race are so different and you have to change your car

Second segment: Interview with Doug Smith, Toronto Star Basketball Reporter

  • Bob and Smith talk about the reports that Bryan Colangelo is going to be removed as General Manager of the Raptors and moved to another position in MLSE
  • Smith talks about potential GM replacements, Bob wonders if Phil Jackson would return to coaching, Smith says he won’t because he doesn’t want the grind and the travel
  • Smith suggests Russ Granik, former NBA deputy commissioner as a blue sky candidate for Raptors president, Bob loves the idea
  • Bob asks what happens to Casey is Colangelo is no longer GM, Smith thinks the new person keeps him so that he can be fired if things go south in the future

5pm hour – Roundtable discussion with Bob McCown, Stephen Brunt, Michael Grange and Arash Madani

First segment: Bryan Colangelo being removed from being general manager of the Toronto Raptors and being given another role

  • Grange thinks Colangelo might be moved to a basketball-related role but not have actual decision making power, Brunt thinks Colangelo could be moved to something non-basketball related
  • Bob thinks this shows that MLSE is still a mess and that they are making the wrong decision
  • Bob doesn’t like the potential GM candidates that have been rumoured for the Raptors, thinks the Raptors need to make a “splash” and get a big name like Phil Jackson
  • Bob suggests Russ Granik to be Raptors president

Second segment: David Beckham’s retirement

  • Bob talks about how Beckham’s fame has little to do with his athletic ability and a lot to do with his looks, marrying Posh and other things that make him an icon
  • Madani compares him to Anna Kournikova, but with more success
  • Brunt talks about his impact on the game as an icon and his unmatched global fame
  • Grange wonders if maybe Beckham would be interested in running Toronto FC and being an ambassador for them

Third segment: The decline of horse racing and auto racing

  • Bob wonders about the future of horse racing given how much it’s gone from one of the big spectator sports to being almost a niche sport
  • Brunt thinks horse racing in North America will be gone in 20 years because the industry won’t have the tools to support itself as tracks close and therefore there’s less people breeding animals, etc
  • Grange thinks it’ll be at least 50 years before it vanishes, and it might remain in some small form, Bob thinks it won’t go that easily because it has a lot of rich and powerful backers
  • Bob asks if auto racing is on a similar decline, Brunt says NASCAR is still very strong, but open wheel racing never recovered from the CART/IRL split

6pm hour – Roundtable continues

First segment: NHL playoffs

  • Roundtable discusses the Penguins/Senators series
  • Grange laments that injuries may curtail Sidney Crosby’s career and wants him to win a Stanley Cup, Bob accuses Grange of cheering as a reporter, Grange says he cheers for greatness, Brunt says it’s okay to cheer for greatness
  • Bob doesn’t think winning championships changes whether you’re a great player or not, Madani argues that
  • Grange posits that if Crosby can play 400 straight games without being hurt, he’d be the best hockey player ever, Bob is shocked and disagrees
  • Brunt says everybody wants to see the best players and teams succeed and nobody wants to see the New Jersey Devils win
  • Bob pulls the conversation back to the playoffs and wonders what’s wrong with Rick Nash and that people expected on a better team, he’d be great, Madani points out the Blue Jackets have been better without him
  • Grange says that the problem is Nash is a winger and that he doesn’t have a good centre to play with
  • The roundtable talks about the Detroit Red Wings and how they’re continuing to play well

Second segment: The Toronto Blue Jays

  • Brunt says that the pitching and hitting is coming around, but the Jays continue to make stupid errors on the field and they need to stop that
  • Grange says that the Jays must be competitive in August to salvage this season, even if they don’t end up making the playoffs
  • Everybody questions bringing Gose up now when he’s batting so poorly in AAA, Brunt and Madani wonder if this is to set up a trade of Rasmus
  • Bob rips J.P. Arencibia and his high strike out rate, says that at least Rasmus’ on base percentage is decent
  • Madani defends Arencibia and says it’s unfair of Bob to compare him to Buster Posey because Arencibia is paid so much less

Third segment: Prime Time Bullets

  • First bullet is about Jose Canseco returning to (minor league) professional baseball, Grange says he’d be a better mayor than Rob Ford
  • Second bullet is about Pedro Martinez alleging that the Red Sox did rum shots during the 2004 season


It’s interesting that Bob suddenly wants a “big name” like Phil Jackson, when just a few weeks ago, he was critical of the idea of hiring Phil Jackson just for his name and questioned whether Jackson could be a general manager.  Now, he’s all about wanting big names to “make a splash” and not wanting people who have had success as a GM. Also, it seemed like Bob took Doug Smith’s idea of going after Russ Granik and didn’t mention it was Smith’s idea on the roundtable.

Brunt was pretty quiet during the basketball segment and it was mostly Grange talking.  I like Grange, in general, and I think he often has interesting thoughts, but his tendency to stutter, stop mid-sentence and rephrase, and just drag out his statements makes it a bit annoying to listen to when he dominates a conversation as he did today.  Bob sounded pretty annoyed that Grange derailed the playoff conversation to talk about Sidney Crosby being the best player ever in the NHL.

Bob is suddenly really down on Arencibia when he was turning around his opinion last year and seemed fairly high on him in the offseason when D’Arnaud was traded.  Bob even defended Colby Rasmus in a way when talking about how often Arencibia strikes out.  When a player ranks below Rasmus in Bob’s eye, that’s bad.  I’m also impressed that Bob seems to be caring about OBP quite a lot lately, and not average.  He used to talk about average all the time, but this season I’ve noticed that he’s been referring to people’s on base rather than average when talking about and stressing that certain players don’t get on base enough.

I mostly enjoyed this holiday roundtable, and it’s just nice to have a roundtable without either Cox or Shannon (much less both), so it was easier on my ears.

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