Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition


by mike in boston / @mikeinboston / hatemailaccount – gmail – com


A huge thanks to everyone who participated in the discussion last week. I thought some really good points were made on all sides. It will interesting to follow the Blundell story as it evolves. Thanks to those of you who emailed me to share your thoughts privately. Also, thanks to Jim Lang. 


I am going to use this week’s column to clear out a bunch of things I wanted to comment on, not all of them from this past week.


The Sterling Saga


This week the Clippers were sold for $2 billion by the Sterling Trust headed by Donald’s ex-wife. Donald Sterling also announced that he would be suing the NBA for $1 billion. Finally, the news came out that Donald has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. What this means for the sale of the team and the lawsuit is unclear.


Bob McCwown opined that one of the biggest pieces of leverage Sterling will have in fighting his expulsion from the NBA would be his knowledge of the skeletons in the closets of the other NBA owners. The thought is that Sterling will have a good legal case if he can show that the league is treating him in an arbitrary fashion. If he can show that other owners are scumbags too, then he has a solid shot at blocking the sale. Part of me hopes this comes to pass, though I doubt this will ever make it to court. More likely is that the league will settle with Sterling privately.


Mark Cuban voiced his concerns about the process of removing Sterling. His comments and the fallout were widely discussed elsewhere. I don’t want to dwell on Cuban the person — he strikes me as a bit of a meat-head — but rather the content of his comments. Briefly, he talked about the fact that we all have biases. While Sterling may be an extreme version, we all should acknowledge our own prejudices and work in our lives towards correcting them. This is a totally cogent point that was lost in the furor over his choice of examples.


I’m  not trying to side with Cuban, I just think that he received an unfair shake and that a more eloquent person would have been able to phrase things in a way that kept the focus on the main issue. It’s easy to declaim Sterling. He’s a bigot. What is less easy is to shine a light on the ways in which people who would never self-identify as prejudiced behave in ways that contribute to racial inequality.


FIFA’s Qatar Problem


The world cup of soccer starts soon in Brazil. There have  been lots of stories on how much money the country spent on this event, while ignoring pressing domestic economic problems. There are currently protests, featuring the notorious Black Bloc, going on in Rio. All of that will shuffle to the background once the games begin and the (somewhat silly) nationalism that defines international soccer takes over.


The most interesting story though lies elsewhere. Sepp Blatter, head of FIFA, recently admitted that giving the 2022 world cup to the nation of Qatar was a mistake. He cited the heat in summer as the reason for wanting to move the games to the winter. As you might recall, human rights advocates were incensed when FIFA selected Qatar as host nation. There were at least two reasons to be angry: 1) the games would require a huge amount in stadium costs that will leave no benefit at all to that nation’s poor, and 2) Qatar is a nation where homosexuality between men is punishable by jail or deportation.


Well, this month reports by ESPN emerged that many migrant workers hired to build FIFA’s white elephants had died to due the working conditions. One report estimates that 4,000 workers will die by 2022 at current rates. My main complaint is that all of this will be shuffled under the rug by plenty of good people because the world cup is a lot of fun. While the Olympics arguably are a forum for amateur athletes to meet and compete at the highest level, the world cup is basically a professional sports league. As a league, they can be punished by the market (consumers and advertisers) for failing to behave decently.


It’s a little frustrating that they choose not to set standards for the countries with which they do business. I mean, how hard would it be for FIFA to draft a policy of fair treatment and enforce it? This might eliminate countries like Qatar from competing to host the tournament, but so what? There will be plenty of other countries willing to throw piles of money at FIFA for the chance. There is little doubt that FIFA is an economically corrupt organization in the same way as the IOC. Does that mean they have to be morally corrupt as well?




A few things here:

  • JP Arencibia is still bitter about his time with the media in Toronto. I feel sorry for the guy and hope he manages to rebuild his career in the minors.


  • Ratings are way up this month while attendance continues to languish. This is such a tired story. Attendance always sucks until we hit the summer. The real test will be how attendance looks if the Jays are still in 1st place on July 15th. Also, it’s worth pointing out that at 55,000 seats, it’s easy for the Dome to look and feel empty. Newer parks are much smaller.


  • The team has played well of late and a lot of people are going with “this is the team we all knew we had last year!!!!” I think it is too soon for that judgment. Last year’s team won 11 straight and finished with fewer than 75 wins. Hopefully Rogers allows AA to go get the starter they need.


  • Go Jays! It would be so nice to have a team to cheer for this summer.


Quick Hits


  • ICYMI: Simmons wrote something dumb about analytics. SkinnyFish over at PPP gave it the treatment is deserved. Are we seeing the death throes of Simmons the writer? All of this smacks of a desperate attempt to stay relevant.


  • The Atlanta Braves are building a new stadium. The county is pitching in a bunch of money, but opponents of the plan were prevented from speaking at the hearing. Hooray democracy!


  • Fox was recently caught cutting corners in its baseball coverage. I wonder how MLB feels about this. They have invested a huge amount of money into the way their product looks on TV/web, and Fox might be risking its rights in the future if it keeps this up.


  • A media member in Philly got into a confrontation with a player after Tweeting the player’s wife in an attempt to get some facts/gossip for a story. Hopefully someone asks Brian Burke what he thinks about this. Prediction: the word “gutless” will appear in his response.


Low Hanging Fruit


  • Naylor has a new segment called the Opening Bell where he talks about the issues of the day. It’s very very good. See his May 22nd discussion of the relationship between meaningful games and the lack of fighting in the NHL  for an especially good example.


  • PTS featured a roundtable of Blair, Cox, Shannon, and Doug Smith yesterday (per iTunes). Why does Don Kollins hate listeners? Quick Poll: if you were trying to make even worse radio and could substitute in one person, who would would you add and who would you take out? Show your work.


  • TSN Radio has a new Program Director, per Darren Dreger. I wonder who Jeff MacDonald is, and whether Rob Gray is leaving voluntarily or was fired. I’ll see what I can find out on this front. UPDATE: I have just been informed that Rob Gray has been promoted to manage TSN’s radio chain. People at the station have known about this since December. Jeff MacDonald was previously at the NHL network. Hopefully he cares about things other than hockey.



enjoy the sunshine

thanks for reading and commenting

mike (in boston)



  • comment-avatar

    A few weeks ago, sid hosted the roundtable and i said that line up might be the possible combination.

    Not a fan of Naylors Opening Bell segment. I dont like when hosts start with a written out take, because it sounds stilted. Rather have them be spontaneous.

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    Lee (Oakville) 6 years ago

    MIB, I find it strange that in your 2 reasons provided to immediately dislike the Qatar selection you do not mention female apartheid or religious persecution. I guess we all have our biases.

    As for Mark Cuban, I interpreted his initial reaction to the NBA’s Sterling ruling to mean that due process still needs to be followed and that he was uncomfortable with a ruling that could be interpreted to be arbitrary (and possibly against the law) and could be used against any owner in the future. No matter how abhorrent Sterling’s statements were, the NBA cannot take business law into their own hands without the possibility of a lengthy and expensive lawsuit that may not be supported by all owners.

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    MIB, on your question I would possibly take out Smith and put in Toth (the annoyance factor) or Friedman (Cox, Shannon and Friedman have a “special” kind of chemistry as evidenced by previous cases).

    To arrive at this conclusion, I thought it would be interesting to think about the worst qualities of a guest, as opposed to attaching the specific names… we have the contrarian shit-disturber, the know-it-all who constantly gets things wrong… what other qualities in a guest really grate on your nerves… I’m hard-pressed to come up with equivalent or worse qualities.

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    Oh, I forgot, I should have said the know-it-all who both constantly interrupts and gets things wrong.

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    Jim Corsi himself was on one of the shows this week ( I think Naylor? Could be wrong ) and he said analytics can help but you can’t rely on them which I think most people would agree on. I know this Corsi debate gets heated but I’ll stay out of it. I’m a numbers guy and I love obscure stats but have to agree with Corsi. Simmons sure draws the vitriol. I don’t love him or hate him.

    Blundell sure has an easy delivery – Macko & Cauz could be in trouble. I really don’t see Blundell pairing with Blair when he comes back from filling in for vacationing Bobcat. Blair & Blundell? Really?? I would think that any Blundell fans who have been drawn from the Edge will hate Blair and tune out.

    Brady seems to have added more music to his show to give it some life, including playing music over their voices for a while each time they come back from commercial. This has helped a bit; show was becoming drab. Brady and Walker should focus on quality of content and guests rather trying to be Mike Richards; they’re not, and don’t have to be. When Brady asks a guest about one of the people they follow on Twitter – that’s a simple, easy thing to do that ends the interview with a laugh – more things like that. Also, there has to be SOME early rising experts out there who get up early, need better guests in the 6-7 AM slot and at least one as a regular. Once the national TV deal takes over maybe they will get a bit of a bump as SN’s exposure & prestige level surpasses TSN for the fist time ( inevitable given what is about to happen ).

    Note, I’ve been saying ‘Brian Hayes show is the best in the market’ which isn’t true. Leafs Lunch 2-4PM is the best show – only show that has me occasionally laughing out loud. From 2 – 4PM I only listen if Hayes has a good guest. Their ‘which player uses the most Ninja Dust’ segment was A-1 yesterday – funny, without leaving the realm of sports like Richards does with his ‘Victor Newman’ and whatever else bullshit. The only critical thing I can think about Leafs Lunch is that because O’Neill and McLennan are TV on-air personalities they frequently miss the radio show because of travel or working late the night before – there isn’t any consistency and I am frequently disappointed when either one or both don’t show up.

    O’Neill is better on radio than on TV, he’s still a bit reserved/nervous on TV, we’ll see where he goes. He’s like Kypreos in that he calls everything like he sees it but does it in an entertaining and engaging way without delivering it like he’s a Russian head of State ( yes, I know Kyper is Greek). Kypreos looks like he wants to jump through the screen and beat the crap out of the viewer to make his POINT! TSN seems to be trying O’Neill out in every show they have on radio or TV to figure out where he lands ( he must be testing incredibly well in focus groups) They should quit trying to fit a square peg in a round hole and just give him his own TV show or bump McLennan off TH2N in favour of O’Neill who would be a much better pairing with Kouleas – we’ll see how he evolves.

    Re Poll – take out Doug Smith. Add Roger Lajoie to any show and its done.

    Nobody hammers on getting rid of fighting in the game more than Naylor. Millard is a close 2nd: at the winter meetings he almost started to cry about an incident the night before, sulking, ‘Game hasn’t changed at all since I started covering the game.” He is as stupid as you think – game has changed considerably in the last 20 + years he’s been a sportscaster. Just because now there are 8 different angles and super-slo-mo of last night’s elbow doesn’t mean ‘game hasn’t changed’. Millard is a dork.

    I sigh every time there’s a fight or a bad hit at night because I know I won’t be able to listen to Naylor the next day because he just bludgeons the topic to death. For an entire WEEK after Ray Emery attacked Braden Holtby he led every show with ‘What is the NHL going to do about goalie fights?” He was incredulous, saddened and exasperated EVERY day. Then they interview Chris Osgood or Martin Biron and they just shrug and say ‘there’s too many rules about goalies already. Leave ’em alone’. The only reason he keeps yakking about it is because he really can’t let the harsh reality set in which is that nobody in hockey really gives a F about anything he has to say. Same with Bruce Arthur. ( insert reporter name here ).

    Qatar – they can build an entire city in 9 years but Toronto can’t fix 3 kms of the Gardiner in 2 years?

    Cuban – another example of a smug rich person who actually thinks he can speak intelligently about every subject in the world just because he’s rich. A lot of people rolled the dice in the dot-com boon – Cuban got lucky, now he gets to be a high profile idiot the rest of his life because he has a fat wallet. Given the hoodie comment and his earlier comments on ‘slippery slope’ if you get rid of an owner because of what he says – I almost think Cuban is a closet racist.

    Sterling – he’ll shut up soon. Even racist’s have some empathy for their grandchildren getting taunted as ‘racists’ at school. Hopefully he gives a lot of that money to ethnic charities. ( doubt it ).

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    (Another) Andrew 6 years ago

    the games would require a huge amount in stadium costs that will leave no benefit at all to that nation’s poor

    I’ve relatives living in Qatar on an expat work contract. They say there are no poor Qataris but lots of poor (and very poorly treated) guest workers from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and a few other Asian countries. But it is OK. Qatar is an American ally so it can do what it likes, including arming terrorists in Syria. Anyway, these relatives say that things are built in such a shoddy way that preventable accidents from things like like stair collapses, elevator disasters, and children’s playground equipment malfunctions are happening all the time, few of which ever get reported. Last year 13 kids and 4 teachers were killed in a kindergarten fire. My relatives say fire exits and similar safety features we take for granted are non-existent. The World Cup could be…interesting.

    Incidentally, Bein Sport, the sports channel that has exclusive Canadian rights to Spanish soccer, and all the English language rights to Italian and French soccer is owned by the Qatari government.

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    (Another) Andrew 6 years ago

    Hopefully he gives a lot of that money to ethnic charities. ( doubt it ).

    He gave so much to the NAACP they were planning to give him a lifetime achievement award.

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    RE PTS round table. There are three people on that station that require immediate channel changing: John Shannon, Jeff Sammutt and George Rusic. So putting these guys together would be the apex of horrible radio. Oh, and if you can bring back Doug Farraway to host, that would be the ultimate black hole of dribble.

    Blair, Cox and Smith all have a credibility in my mind. While none of them are trained broadcasters, they all have made a living covering sport and writing about it. I do understand why some might not like them however.

    @sam comment of “know-it-all who both constantly interrupts and gets things wrong” is dead on. I would suggest that your least favorite politician gets things right more often than Shannon.

    I am thankful for one thing Don Kollins has done, which is to introduce CBS Overnight. I love Scott Ferrall, so I just listen online to the feed in lieu of the clowns Kollins has on the air.

    It amazes me that such a large market like Toronto, listeners are offered such weak on-air talent after 7 pm. I wonder sometimes if they are paying Bob so much money, that there is nothing left to pay for any additional talent.

    My 2-cents worth…

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    John M. 6 years ago

    Donald Sterling is still married to Rochelle.

    The Olympics long ago stopped pretending they were for amateur athletes, with the notable exception of boxing.

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    Chris 6 years ago

    Damien Cox fired a shot at TSN in one of his last full-time articles at the Toronto Star.

    I wonder why the Star would go with that item when it might have just been cheaper to have Rogers purchase a full page add.

    The worst part of having seen and heard Cox on air is that I hear his irritating, arrogant voice in my head as I read his work

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    Sam in Scarb 6 years ago

    @ yaz..Salute the best line EVER I have read on this site:

    Qatar – they can build an entire city in 9 years but Toronto can’t fix 3 kms of the Gardiner in 2 years?

    Hopefully don kollins still not his REAL name (what are you hiding ??) does not read this Oh he/she will but not admit to it.

    Quick Poll: if you were trying to make even worse radio and could substitute in one person, who would would you add and who would you take out? Show your work.

    Well double switch Doug Smith out..Gord Kirke in cox out Ben Ennis in, try listening to that for 33 seconds without mixing yourself a cock-tale of Pine-Sol & Anti Freeze !

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    Re attendance – I think it’s a tired subject too. Anyone who doesn’t think this team can draw crowds doesn’t exactly have too look far back to be proved wrong. Last year. They had an insane offseason, fans got excited and bought a bunch of tickets, and crowds were pretty great.

    This year, they had what was perceived to be a terrible offseason, capped off with a story that Rogers cut the budget and players had to pass a hat around to sign Santana.

    Jays keep this up, we’ll see good crowds regularly. Jays make the playoffs and have a nice offseason, I’m sure we’ll see better next year etc.

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    The Roundtable – I usually can’t stand Shannon and find Cox pretty bad. But actually, I thought that roundtable was decent.

    I actually think Blair might have been the difference maker there. McCown is fantastic, but (at least with baseball) Blair just has so much more knowledge than McCown on baseball and is so much more clued in. Having a moderator who was really on the ball kind of kept Cox and Shannon in check.

    I actually think Blair really shines on PTS. I enjoy the Blair show, but I wouldn’t hate it if PTS alternated Blair and Brunt as cohosts, and booted Cox and Shannon.

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    Quick answer to the quick poll: If you have Cox and Shannon on the roundtable, it can’t get worse – you have already bottomed out, no matter who else is there.

    As a soccer guy, I was appalled when Qatar was awarded 2022 World Cup. Blatter has dragged FIFA down to the very worst level of the IOC. For all the reasons listed, Qatar is and will be a disaster. I thought Russia 2018 would be dubious, but that now looks good by comparison. I will be giving the 2022 World Cup a miss if they insist on holding it there. I would hope others will also.

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    @Daniel I agree. I decided to listen to the PTS podcast before rendering a judgment. No one had too much airtime and Blair moderated well — but so did Cox. He seems to fancy himself the “policeman” when he’s on the roundtable (witness the incident with Micaleff a few weeks ago and with Ken Reid before that). Cox doesn’t let folks speak in generalities about things they really don’t know much about. He did this a couple of times with Shannon on Friday. Shannon has made a career of making obvious observations sound like ground-breaking analysis. McCown often lets Shannon have too much airtime — something that often leads to grating radio.
    @Sam: Other qualities we hate in radio personalities:
    Condescension, the ability to make others feel like their contributions are inferior: Shannon, Kypreos, Cox
    Annoying Voice or Voice Habit: Roger “No question” Lajoie; Butch “All right?” Carter, Jeff Sammut, Shannon, Elliotte “I just think…” Friedman
    False modesty, behaviour that is intended to seem humble but comes across as fake: “But Bob… But Bob…” Shannon will bleat in full shrill. Terrible.
    Too many insider comments/jokes: Millard, O’Neil, Hayes, Shannon
    Folks who are brought in for insight but rarely provide any: Shannon, Kypreos, Friedman?
    One name seems to pop up in many of these categories…

    Here’s another poll question: What are the worst ads on sports radio? If I hear Jack Berkovits (I refuse to say his store’s name) one more time, I might lose it. The condescension; the “too good to be real” pricing numbers; the Oakville location that’s been closing for months. (like he’s really going to sell things at a loss versus selling them from his Toronto location). It’s the worst thing about TSN radio.

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    Westdale Rocks 6 years ago

    Re: The Fox note in ‘Quick Hits’. Disgusting. I was called by this organization last year and offered a freelance job. The “offer” was for a rate that was one-quarter the standard rate for the job. I turned it down, but saw the production I was asked to work on. It was a debacle… get what you pay for, Fox.

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    – I find Leafs lunch works the best with all three (esp with Ferraro) – take out one and its not the same. O’Neil is decent but he needs to pace himself – normally he can’t take a thought more than 20 seconds.
    – great quote “Qatar – they can build an entire city in 9 years but Toronto can’t fix 3 kms of the Gardiner in 2 years?”

    – Roger “Station Identification” Lajoie, Daren “Out Of The Gate” Millard, Nick “Let me say this” Kypreos. Agree that Kypreos is over-serious… must be watching too many Dreger videos.

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    Another Steve 6 years ago

    I’m not sure how great that quip about Qatar is, since it’s understood that you can do a lot of stuff quickly with slave labour.

    (That reminds me too much of Justin Trudeau’s comment/gaffe about envying China.)

    Personally, I’d much rather compare/contrast Toronto’s inefficiencies with places that respect human rights.

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    Lee (Oakville) 6 years ago

    Another Steve, I was just about to post the same comment. I’d rather have inefficiencies in a secular, democratic society than ‘efficiencies’ created by exploited labour in a theocracy that has an active disdain for the rights we take for granted.

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    Just updated the column to reflect some fresh details about Rob Gray’s new role at TSN.

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    Someone needs to tell Buck Martinez that the end of the inning is after the HOME team has finished batting. By Buck’s reckoning, there are about 18 innings per game.

    “And that ends the inning” could be a good drinking game.

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    Claire A Fye 6 years ago

    Really Curt? You know better than Buck Martinez when an inning ends? While you’re at it, I think Bob Cole called something icing when it was really offside. Please alert the proper authorities.

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    Wow, why are you such a bitch? It’s common knowledge that Buck screws up…a lot. I’m having a little fun with it, that’s all. Lighten up for God’s sake.

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    Lee (Oakville) — that’s a fair point. I was being hasty and should have included a more complete list of reasons why Qatar should fall below FIFA’s moral threshold for hosting the world cup.

    In case anyone is interested, there is some speculation that FIFA might use corruption as a pretext for changing the venue of the games. See:

    (Another) Andrew — thanks for the insight. When I wrote that I wondered if there are actually any poor Qataris who would be better served by more intelligent domestic spending. That’s the dominant theme for Brazil’s games, but you’re right that the issue is different in Qatar given their reliance on (and mistreatment of) migrant workers.

    Sam 10/10 … hilarious work.

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    Chunky 6 years ago

    @Yaz Totally agree on Leafs Lunch! I’m not even kidding, as an obsessed Leaf fan, I love that there is a show that focuses on my favorite team. Honestly, when Hockey Central at Noon started becoming more of an all encompassing NHL show, I tuned out. There’s enough radio and TV programs like that, I want to hear debate about who should be on the Leafs 4th line. No sarcasm here, legit.

    I hope that TSN 1050 hasn’t brought in some hot shot PD who will try to change the show. Although the chemistry between Hayes, Noodles and O’Neil is so natural.. Gotta say I’ve enjoyed their takes on the playoffs so far.

    I don’t like trashing people on the internet but Richards’ impressions are what turned me off… I don’t know if he still does them but when you start every impression off with “this is ” that is the sign of hackery.

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    Drumanchor 6 years ago

    I seem to be in the minority here, but if I was to add a broadcaster that would make PTS more “unlistenable”, it would easily be Jeff O’Neil.

    Although his hockey observations can be insightful, I find his delivery full of contempt and arrogance. He pompously talks down to his co-hosts and has become a major turn off for me. It’s come to the point that I’m surprised no one hasn’t reached across the desk and dropped him.

    Anyway, second choice would be Mike Toth and I could see them replacing Cox (whose writing I like, but I find him a tad antagonistic on PTS).

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    If FIFA does pull the plug on the Qatar World Cup it won’t be because it is the right thing to do, but only because it will avoid a huge PR backlash and the subsequent loss of sponsorship. However it happens, FIFA need to find another host for 2022.

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    Claire A Fye 6 years ago

    @Curt I’m not even a Buck fan, but that you would be so arrogant is astounding. You’re talking about a guy who’s been in baseball for a long time, as a player, a manager and a broadcaster (one who does national games in the U.S.), and you know better? You lighten up, and accept the guy for what he is. Jeez, everybody wants perfect, and everybody else is wrong. That’s my way of saying you can dish it out, but you can’t take it. Deal with it.

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    No, this is about me disagreeing with a post you made a couple of weeks ago where you said that Mike in B shouldn’t be a contributor to this site because he doesn’t live in Toronto. And now I have my own personal troll.

    And no, for the record, I don’t even contribute to that site. But it is funny.

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    Worst commercial these days is the one that begins ‘Hey Kiki you wanna take a selfie with me?” In the voice of an adult trying to feign a shrill annoying teenager’s voice. The voice does that x 10. I guess making an ad purposely annoying and offensive is a tactic that must work, how else do you explain ads like this or the McDonald’s ‘Whaaaat’ commercial?

    Note to broadcasters you are cannibalizing other commercials. As soon as I hear the beginning of that or some other crud, I reach for my ‘off’ button or switch to another station faster than my hand would reach for my groin if I had the misfortune of a horsefly entering my urethra. Then I might be on a call or caught up in my driving and end up listening to commercials on another station and maybe a portion of a segment on another station before I switch back.

    @Drumanchor. I love O’Neill but can see how others may have that point of view. Somebody posted on another blog here that any successful show roughly has 40% of people that love the show, 40% are indifferent, and 20% hate it.

    Re Ferraro – he does offer great insights and moves fast which I like and I do listen to his full segment at 1 PM on TSN Radio but he sounds like such a hoser! He would fit right in with Bob and Doug McKenzie. People keep saying Blair should get some voice coaching, how about Ferraro? Ray Ferraro is the only broadcaster I know that can turn the word ‘Coach’ into a 3 syllable word.

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    Dean Blundell is on Newstalk 1010 right now.

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    I agree with Alex………..I don’t think the “Opening Bell” segment on Naylor’s show is necessary………..I think he is trying too hard to sound opinionated………..there is plenty of time in a three hour show for strong opinions without trying to force it

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    A few thoughts:

    Don’t care about the Sterling saga…once the team is sold, Donald Sterling will fade into obscurity, where he belongs. Way too much talk about a virulent racist with more money than brains.
    In comparison, the Qatar/FIFA mess is a far more important story. Of course we all know that both FIFA and the IOC think nothing of trampling human rights in order to stage their two week parties, at exhorbitant financial cost. There was a great article by Doug Saunders in Saturday’s Globe & Mail about this, describing the facilities built for the 2004 Athens Olympics now as basically overgrown ruins. It was obvious when FIFA first awarded Qatar the 2022 Cup that it was bought and paid for, so that part of the story shouldn’t be a surprise. My guess is that sooner, rather than later, more and more countries will see the folly in spending billions on these events, and that FIFA and the IOC may have to resort to permanent sites.

    Re: PTS, the more I listen, the more I confirm my belief that people like J Shannon may have great experience in broadcasting, and great connections…but they know nothing about the game. Listening to him talk about the Kings/Hawks series was painful. Kept talking about ‘Is Crawford capable of playing as good as Quick?’ Well gee John, Crawford was good enough to beat the Kings in five games last year. But worst PTS panelists? Shannon would top the list, followed by Butch.

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    Guys is it just me or Is something big about to happen between Bell and Rogers. With TSN Expanding it’s TV platform to Five nationally televised stations and Sportsnet acquiring TSN vetran/CFL Football guy Dave Ransdorf it would almost appear that Rogers will be definitely sub licensing NHL games to TSN( Hence the reason for the tv stations extension) in exchange for some of TSN’s NFL games(Hence the reason for the Randsdorf move). With Tanambuam/Rogers family Nonscensicle push for a NFl team n Toronto and with TSN being the NFL rights holder on all platforms for the next 12 years Rogers probably understands that they have no choice but to share some of the hockey content if they want any access to any NFL content. Rogers has a lot to prove to the NFL A. after an abysmal Bills in Toronto business agreement b. An abpurt end to this years a likely future games in the agreement.

    Just a thought.

    In regards to the Mark Cuban remarks I thought it was a huge cop out. Cuban was basically referencing stereotyping in his entire statement. Sterotyping I agree is a commonality between most human beings, some even have stereotypes based on their own culture or race, for Mark Cuban to draw examples of stereotyping was way out of context and off topic. Mark needed to address bigotry which was the real issue at hand. One has to wonder if Mark threw up a smokescreen by taking about steroetyping in order to hide his defence and support for Sterling.

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    Drumanchor 6 years ago

    Just a quick aside here. Got home late to catch the ninth inning of Jays/Tigers game and could not help but notice Buck’s call on the 3 run homer hit by Detroit in the bottom of the ninth.

    It was a rather major homer that made a 5-0 game much closer and he barely acknowledged that it happened! By the cadence in his voice, you would have thought the batter had hit a lazy foul ball down the line.


    Now, I understand that he is a Blue Jay announcer, and all that, but are we now touching the low-rent Tampa Bay Lightening bush-league-announcer stage? Scream like you just won the lottery when we score and barely breath out the words when the other team does?

    Am I alone on this?

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    You’re not alone. I have bought MLB’s streaming package and could not be happier. Right now I’d say that 75% of other announcers are better than Buck, and the rest are equally bad or worse.

    In the same vein, I have tried to keep my opinions of Wilner the awful post-game host separate from my opinions of Wilner the play by play guy on radio. But I can’t listen to him scream and shout whenever the Jays do anything well anymore. I know he is a huge fan of the team, but it’s pretty unpleasant to have that carry over to his announcing.

    I hope they clean house next year and get some fresh voices. Jays fans deserve better.

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    I completely agree. While Buck is actually pretty good when he’s an analyst (not the play-by-play guy) on TNT during the postseason, he’s downright awful as the Jays announcer. His homerism is approaching Hawk Harrelson proportions. It’s so small time and it’s really turning me off.

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    I think a house cleaning of all the Blue Jays commentators would be good… time for a fresh start.

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    Blair, Cox, Shannon and Doug Smith? Take out Doug Smith, put in Sid or Ken Reid. All it’d take is for one of them to make a sophomoric joke and there wouldn’t be any sports talk at all, they’d just get into a feedback loop of worse and worse lowbrow humor and insults.

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    On what @Drumanchor said about Jeff O’Neill. I find a lot of former players/coaches to be really arrogant as analysts/co-hosts. This is why, even if they have good analysis, I don’t really like listening to Butch Carter or Gregg Zaun. They both come off like they’re the geniuses that everybody in the game should be listening to, and that all the people playing it/coaching it now are too stupid to understand simple things they would do in their place. It’s great for fans because fans want to believe the players are just missing obvious things that would solve everything, but it makes me wonder why they aren’t coaching teams then if they could turn everybody around so easily. Also, it leads to mistakes, like when Zaun said that Mike Aviles strikes out as Kelly Johnson when he hadn’t looked at how often Aviles struck out at all (half as much), and Bob took it as gospel because it’s Zaun and he must know what he’s talking about.

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    On Buck’s call, I think that was more because he wasn’t sure if it was going foul. I heard it too, and from my interpretation, he thought it might be foul because he was calling it the way he calls foul balls.

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    Brady just said the spring ratings came out yesterday and Brady & Walker had highest ratings in Rogers history for 530 to 9 time slot. This was for the Mar/Apr/May ratings. When is @yyzsportsmedia gonna tweet them? This also means he didn’t Tweet out the ratings for the previous period at all.

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    Nan Young Lee 6 years ago

    Here are the ratings that Brady tweeted:

    590 seemed to pick up listeners from other Rogers stations. 680News and CHFI ratings way down.

    Is the Dean Blundell and 590 experiment over?

    “Dean Blundell @ItsDeanBlundell · 7h
    Back on @newstalk1010 next week for fun. Thx for all the kindness. Peace and love.”

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    Sportsnet was about 5 mins quicker in reporting the firing of Dan Bylsma then TSN was. Everyone better be all excited and jump up and down about whose insiders reported it first – unless of course you are TSN folk who in this business just got Ricky Bobby’d – it you ain’t fist, your last!

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    Thx @nan for the link. But those ratings are too general. Hope this site gets a hold of and posts the detailed timeslot ratings now vs. previous period. Especially considering that the ratings have a bearing on a lot that is discussed here.

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    New column is up with some ratings info.