Seen & Heard – Mid-Week Edition

by mike (in boston) hatemailaccount )at( gmail  dot com


Rather than having links spread around the various line-up threads, I’m hoping we can have regular mid-week and weekend posts where we talk about what we’re reading and hearing. Please post any interesting links in the comments. I’m also hoping we can find a way to pin this thread so it stays up on the front page until the next edition of Seen & Heard. Thanks to Rob G for letting me use his title, and thanks to TSM for lending me the keys to the car.


Jays Talk:


The Jays are keeping tickets price the same for 2014: link


Good on Beeston for seeing the season for what it was. You can bet the Jays planned on raising ticket prices in 2014 at the start of 2103. The trendiness of the Jays is great to see but this fan base still needs to be convinced to come out. This will help. The new bar on the 200 level is great, and there is a lot of value in buying a cheap flex pack and just hanging out there rather than the 500 level seat you’re actually paying for.


The Jays also let one of their hitting coaches go while the other retired. Lott has a good write-up about Mottola’s firing: link


Odd that the hitting is the focus of the firing squad, given how bad the pitching has been. My own opinion is that they should be looking for a veteran manager with a history of coaching winning teams this off-season. The Gibbons hiring was more about familiarity than managerial credentials. It didn’t work out and there is now a chance now to fix that mistake. The Bautista leadership/temper saga has been exacerbated, in my view, by the fact that the Jays lack a guy at the top with the track record to demand accountability and professionalism. This is two years in a row now that fundamentals and attitude have been among the lead talking points. But Gibbons also lacks the ability to handle the media. People often talk about managers and coaches doing things to take the heat off their players. This has not happened during the Gibbons era. Instead, his press conferences make it sound as if a bounce here or there and this team would have won 90 games. He made things worse with his “that’s just baseball” attitude.


This is a team that needs to get better. There is room for an upgrade at the manager’s spot. The Red Sox went worst to 1st with a manager change and some smart free agent signings, as well as bounce-back years from their pitchers. That could be the Jays in 2014. Jim Lang has a new blog (thanks to Mike S. for the link) and draws some comparisons between the Jays’ ex-manager and the current one: link


Rays pitcher David Price went after TBS commentator Dirk Hayhurst on Twitter:  link


As Griffin points out, Hayhurst seems to make enemies wherever he goes. Hard to know if it’s his crippling obsession with the word “narrative”, his way of talking that suggests he has no real need for an interlocutor, or his lousy major league stats.


I can see how Hayhurst’s know-it-all approach about baseball would drive a current major leaguer crazy, but you can’t go there. Whenever a player goes after a media member because they either “didn’t play the game” or “couldn’t play at this level” the player is admitting defeat. Either argue the case or shut up, but don’t attack the source. The audience can tell when an announcer is being obnoxious (see Skip Baylis) to cover up for lack of intelligence or insight. We’ll make up our own minds about who is and is not credible. Price issued a non-apology later on. Link (warning auto-play video)


Healy & Friedman trade barbs on HNIC: Link


Have a look at the clips linked at The Star. Healy’s line doesn’t really make sense, and was just a pretext to bring up the fact that Tortorella was recently fired. Friedman doesn’t need to embarrass Healy by calling him a “14 year old”, but I’m OK with it in this case. Someone has to speak on behalf of the viewer, and Healy was clearly letting his personal issues get in the way.


Question: if the CBC loses HNIC, who is let go and who is retained by TSN or SN (assuming one of those two takes over)? Each has its own stable of NHL “insiders” and so some of the current HNIC would presumably be redundant. Who are your top 3 and bottom 3 from CBC’s hockey people?


Schilling being sued: Link


I know I shouldn’t delight in the misfortunes of others, but this couldn’t happen to a more deserving Masshole. For a (clearly slanted) background on Schilling’s shortcomings, see link



Low Hanging Fruit – Radio Edition


Every now and then I will try to pass along some feedback from the audience to the people who fill the airwaves or news pages on a daily basis.


Radio Reminder #1: No matter how funny or sarcastic you think it sounds coming out of your mouth, no one wants to hear what you think about the chances of the Leafs going 82-0 (see also, will Jose Bautista finish with 162 HRs?). It’s never funny, or witty, or ironic. It’s just dumb and you sound dumb by asking the question.


Radio Reminder #2: No one cares about your NFL picks. No one. Same goes for your fantasy football team. If you’re bringing those things up you either lack the kind of filter needed to be a good radio host, or you have not done enough show prep. Either way, the audience would really appreciate it if you were to knock it off. We don’t care.


Special Memo to TSNR #1: there is a reason PTS doesn’t have ex-athletes as co-hosts. Jeff O’Neill is coming along nicely but is like a fish out of water discussing anything other than the NHL. His conversation with Naylor about the NFL was painful. Example: everyone who watches the games knows that teams have moved away from having a “feature” running back and now share the load between 2 or 3 guys. The league has been a passing league for several years now, yet this came as a revelation to Jeff. Painful radio.


Special Memo to TSNR #2: is it really that hard to post full podcasts of TSN Drive on a regular basis? Your podcast feed is an inconsistent mess. If you want to build an audience for the show, allowing people to access it regularly would be a good 1st step.


Until next time …

mike (in boston)

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