Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

photo credit: reddit

by mike in boston

 

Lots of little things to catch up on this week. No major douchebaggery on Twitter to report on, thankfully.

 

Lawsuit Round-Up

 

Rick Westhead has returned to sports reporting for the Star and we are so much better off as a result. He is, in my opinion, one of the best people writing for any of the papers. He is covering the Moore lawsuit against Bertuzzi and the Canucks. Westhead was on TSN Drive on July 2nd (3rd hour).

 

The details are well known at this point. The assault took place 10 years ago, and in the time since Bertuzzi ended Moore’s career the former has earned $25 million as an NHL player. At issue in the lawsuit is what Moore’s expected earnings would have been, had he continued in the NHL. What is most curious is why this has not been settled out of court. One theory is that Moore wants his day in court, and wants Bettman and Daly and others to have to testify under oath.

 

The most interesting aspect of this trial for me is that it has really put hockey’s culture of violence front stage centre. If this goes to trial then I suspect we will hear a lot about “the code.” The Bertuzzi assault was part of an elaborate series of events designed to make sure Moore paid in full for an earlier hit on a member of the Canucks. This invokes hockey’s unwritten rules about dirty hits, and players policing the game even after penalties have been assessed on the ice.

 

The most disturbing part of this saga is how many people believe that Moore “had it coming to him.” It is very hard to quantify how man fans believe this, and harder still to put a figure on how many players and executives do as well. I haven’t heard enough hockey people come out and say that nothing Moore did on the ice warranted the assault at Bertuzzi’s hands. Some media members have (Naylor and Simmons spoke out recently) but so many others have been silent on the issue.

 

The other big lawsuit is Donald Sterling’s attempt to block the sale of the Clippers. He tried to take the case to federal court this week and lost that appeal. At issue is his his mental state, and whether his wife had the authority to sell the team. SI has an incredibly detailed piece on the case, which I highly recommend. You can also follow along at The Score for some amazing testimony by Donald Sterling. Here’s a choice quote: “[The NBA] is the worst corporation in America. Everyone will find out how dishonest and terrible they are.”

 

I’m sure the Sterlings are bad people, but I am not sure due process was followed here. The NBA seems all too pleased to go along with any outcome that will scrub the Sterlings from the league as soon as possible. I’m glad Donald is fighting this.

 

Lastly, the NLRB is hearing amicus briefs for both sides on the case involving student-athletes at Northwestern University and their attempt to unionize. I have written a lot in this column about the sham that is American college sports, and it was again on full display in some of the filings.

 

“The institutions’ mission is education, and virtually no institutions earn a surplus from the athletics program. Student-athletes participate for their own benefit; they do not render services for compensation.” That’s what the American Council on Education said in defense of the current system. Under this system basketball and football coaches earn in the millions annually, and universities make a ton of money of television contracts to broadcast the games. In addition there is a huge alumni network that pours money into the pockets of those employed in these athletic programs. Everyone is making money except for the athletes who actually play the games.

 

The consequence is nothing short of corruption of the university. The most public example comes from the University of North Carolina where the Af-Am department set up dozens of fake courses for athletes, and professors took money to “teach” these courses. Similar things happen at most Division I schools. The ACE’s quote is laughable. The current relationship between big money college sports and universities is toxic to the mission of higher education. I’m skeptical that paying the athletes will solve all problems, but it would be a start.

 

JaysTalk

 

After a run of several weeks in 1st place, the party is over for the 2014 Jays. Poor play on offense and defense, as well as numerous base-running errors, have dropped the Jays into the middle of the pack in the AL. There is still time to recover, but the injuries have been piling up and minor leaguers are again playing prominent roles on the big league club.

 

After the starting rotation, the main complaint going into the season was that the roster lacked depth at 2B, catcher, and the bench. That has been on full display these last 3 weeks. AA has many strengths as a GM but one of his flaws has been the addiction to dumpster-diving for gold on the waiver wire. This has proven to be a fool’s errand, when he should have spent time in the off-season signing major league talent to wait in the wings for when injuries strike.

 

One of the biggest issues right now is what you do with Colby Rasmus. Jays beat writers are split on what to do. TSN’s MacArthur thinks that Colby has proven himself to be a platoon player with his .619 OPS against lefties. Griffin disagrees. The trouble with Colby is that AA has a lot invested in him, and it is not obvious whether the Jays would be better off with or without him going into next year. It’s not like Gose has forced the issue.

 

As Morosi noted on the FAN, everyone around the league knows the Jays are in trouble and will be trying to extort as much as possible from AA in trades. He is in for a rough next few weeks as he attempts to salvage the season. But the lack of right-handed bats has been a known issue since last October, and it is a little frustrating to see that issue hamstringing the team in July.

 

Quick Hits

 

Chael Sonnen has officially been fired from both the UFC and FOX for failed drug tests. If there’s more to this story, I haven’t seen it yet. I was listening to one of the radio stations this week and people were discussing whether the recent cancelation of the Toronto card was an indicator that interest in the UFC is on the decline. I’m not a followed of the sports, but maybe those of you who do follow can educate the rest of us. Is the UFC in trouble?

 

The MLS has a new deal with its television partners that triples the previous one. I’m sure everyone is hoping there will be some spillover from the World Cup to fan interest in their local teams, but even without that the growth of soccer in the U.S. and Canada is starting to show results. I wonder what a long playoff run for TFC would do to vault them into the sports conversation. Right now they seem destined to be on par with the Argos. Is anyone more likely to watch TFC this summer?

 

Lastly, the death spiral at the CBC is getting more and more painful to watch. This recently leaked document outlines their strategy going forward, and it makes no sense at all. I can’t help but wonder how things would be if the NHL had elected to sell part of its package to the CBC rather than to Rogers. I know some people who work at the CBC read this site. Is there any hope that the network will still be able to function as a content creator in news, arts, amateur sports, documentaries? If this is all necessary trimming that keeps those endeavours going, then I’m OK with it. If this is just a stage in Canada losing its public broadcaster, then I’m not.

 

Low-Hanging Fruit

 

  • Walker did well without Brady. He can carry a show on his own. I have to think his bosses have noticed. Given the popularity of Tim&Sid, I wonder if Don Kollins (if that is his real name) will consider shifting them to the higher profile morning slot, and giving Walker a shot at running his own show.

 

  • I forget when this was, but McCown + Peddie was actually a lot of fun. Their back and forth was thoroughly enjoyable. I follow Peddie on Twitter and he comes across as much more down to earth than when he was with MLSE.

 

  • Congratulations to Gareth Wheeler for doing a really good job during the World Cup. I got in the habit of listening to his show after the game ended and he was well-suited to the role.

 

Thanks for reading and commenting,

Until next time …

mike (in boston)

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 40
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    For those of is (including me) who bitch about McCown phoning it in 99% of the time we should see better consistency with the Steve Moore proceedings. Will be fascinating, the trial itself and how the media players react. Wonder if Westhead will do both tsn and Rogers.

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    I think UFC’s decline in recent years has a lot to do with overexposure and overexpansion, as well as losing most of the stars from the boom period. The only real cross-over star of recent years is Rhonda Rousey and she could well be on the path of Gina CArano in leaving MMA for hollywood.

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    Nan Young Lee 5 years ago

    I think the CBC is just waiting for Justin Trudeau to get elected and restore all the Harper cuts(and more). I don’t care if the tv side of the CBC went away. They’re pretty chummy with power on the tv side, whereas on the radio the excellent Anna Maria Tremonti regulary hold politician’s and businesses’ feet to the fire. And compare Eleanor Wachtel’s wonderful interviews with James Wood and Susan Sontag with the triviality of Peter Mansbridge’s interviews to for more evidence of the mediocrity of the CBC tv.

    Is Rogers Centre really going to get a grass field or is Beeston hoping Rogers Board memeber, John Tory becomes Mayor and gets the ball rolling on a new taxpayer funded stadium for the Jays? I don’t believe this delay is because they care so much about the Argos. Maybe David Peterson, another member of the Rogers board, will help get Kathleen Wynne on board.

    Don Kollins is Brent. Like Walker he’s from Saskatchewan. From a 2011 Hamilton Spectator article on Kollins:

    “His neighbours in Ancaster’s Meadowlands neighbourhood know him as Brent. Don Kollins, it turns out, is a radio name. But everyone knew him as Brent back when his radio life began as a teenager on a large family grain and cattle farm in rural Saskatchewan.”

    http://www.thespec.com/sports-story/2196032-radio-wars/

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    Drumanchor 5 years ago

    CBC – it is a shame and coupled with the recent job losses at Bell Media, does not reflect well on Canadian broadcasting at all.

    Anyway, two observations about the CBC.

    1) Can anyone, honestly, list a “must watch” TV show, other than Hockey Night?

    2) As naive as this will sound, how is it that the BBC can produce continually decent programming on both their TV and radio channels? I know they get more funding and that helps, but they do not run ads, I believe, They appear to have more television and radio channels than CBC, more unionized employees, I bet, and they have an excellent news website. The quality that they produce has always been very good, yet our CBC ring their hands and blame government cutbacks being the reason for their demise.

    They have yet to produce many, if any, television shows (besides their investigative reporting shows) that have anything worth watching. They still believe King of Kensington and Wayne and Shuster were wonderful, for goodness sakes.

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    Another Steve 5 years ago

    The simple response is that the BBC receives tonnes more funding than the CBC does. It’s not even comparable.

    I imagine there are lots of inefficiencies within the CBC, and, as in most organizations, places where cuts should be made, but it’s the only place that I trust to deliver the news.

    The problem, as I see it, is that too many Canadians view the CBC from an American perspective, calling it a “state broadcaster” rather than what it really is, a “public broadcaster.” Along with that, there is an agenda among the right-wing media and politicians to end the CBC, since they are always labelling it a left-wing institution, when the only evidence they have to back it up are references to David Suzuki.

    I find this last point very curious, because I can count many more conservatives in the news on CBC-TV than I can think of liberals (Rex Murphy, Andrew Coyne, Kevin O’Leary, off the top of my head). And when the Liberals were in power federally in the 1990’s the CBC attacked them – because they were the government, and the role of the media in a “liberal democracy” is to question those in power.

    I agree with most of what Nan wrote. I spend most of my time moving between sports radio and 99.1 CBC Radio, and I fear greatly for the future of the CBC.

    By the way, I think that “The Fifth Estate” is pretty good still, but it’s a current affairs show.

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    (Another) Andrew 5 years ago

    I hardly ever watch the CBC but it is awfully convenient for Bob McCown, a well-paid employee of Rogers, to complain about its government funding. Plenty of corporations (including Rogers) use lobbying power to get indirect benefits from government such as laws and regulations that just happen to protect them from up and coming competitors (usually justified with some social conscience bullshit or cynical patriotism). McCown’s employer recently lobbied against allowing a “pick-and-pay” subscription model. Many of us find that more offensive than the CBC’s relatively modest funding.

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    Sam in Scarb 5 years ago

    @ mike in boston……re fan..”Don Kollins (if that is his real name) ”
    His first name is Brent started in Hamilton then Kitchener ..
    Still lives in Hamilton….maybe TSM can identify him and ask him what he has done so bad over the years that in a management position at a major corporation his REAL name can’t be used??
    Hummmmmm

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    (Another) Andrew 5 years ago

    Speaking of the CBC their World Cup coverage is dull. Replaying highlights with each analyst taking turns identifying the players involved and saying what happened is neither insightful nor interesting. Their pre-game shows are OK but the analysis on TSN Radio (including last Saturday when Alf De Blasis filled in for Kristian Jack) has been top notch.

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    I laugh at the conspiracy theorists regarding Don Kollins, and whether it’s his real name. You must believe that Obama is an African Muslim. The bottom line, who cares?
    Jim Van Horne/ Dave Melnyk

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    The other thing to consider with the Bertuzzi/Moore court case coming up is the fact that Bertuzzi requested trial by jury, while Moore requested trial by judge. Civil trials can have as few as six people on (I think). I am thinking that Bertuzzi and his lawyers are hoping to find some friendly faces on the jury who might understand the nuances of hockey, rather than one judge handling all the deliberations.

    Also, for those inclined on Wednesday July 16th 7:30pm, there is a documentary produced by McCown’s Fadoo Productions called “Pantload” and looks at 25 years of PrimeTime Sports. Looks like appointment viewing for those interested in sports radio.

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    Do you pay a license fee for CBC like they do for the BBC in the UK?

    If not, the similaritities prob end there.

    And the BBC is under heavy fire from the right (well, always has been).

    Someone recently floatedthe idea of changing the BBC license fee to a subscription fee for their iplayer online service.

  • comment-avatar

    Agree with Jim Van Horne re Don Kollins.

    People are so weird about him on here. Really don’t understand why. He fired some guys who had been there a long time, hired some new guys, rating have gone up. Personally, I think the station is a lot better now. What’s the problem?

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    @Nan – I would love a new stadium, but I don’t see any way there’ll be a publicly funded one.

    Guys who seem to know the Jays inner circle well like Blair, McCown and Brunt seem to think the grass thing is for real. Although I’m with you that it seems strange they’d put it off for the Argos, a team the don’t own. Maybe just don’t want to appear as though Rogers (with its apparent NFL aspirations) is trying to kill the CFL.

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    The Richard Peddie interview by McCown was on Tuesday July 1 during the 5 PM hour………..the interview starts about 24 minutes into the podcast

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    Sam Wonder if Westhead will do both tsn and Rogers.

    I had the same thought. He’s one of the few free agents in the Toronto sports media. Can anyone think of any others?

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    The Sterling issue has larger implications beyond the context of sports. Right or wrong, if the NBA didn’t try to oust him the U.S. may have been facing the possibility of civil breakdown devolving into riots. And who wants that? I would wager that behind the scenes Obama weighed in with Daniel Stern. If Stern didn’t cut off the head of the serpent there would have been the daily release of more abhorrent audio. ( and there was anyway ) Due process doesn’t apply here; NBA owners signed off on their own internal agreement to be able to rid themselves of idiots like Sterling for racism or anything they deem unworthy. Bettman stated the NHL has similar measures installed.

    The Moore case I would imagine will be settled out of court eventually with the league paying damages and Bertuzzi possibly issuing another apology. The league provided the theatre for an action like Bertuzzi’s to take place. Let’s face it- worse things have taken place with less injurious results. Ultimately a court won’t condemn Bertuzzi for doing what happens all too often. I feel bad for Moore but don’t see him winning in court. If it was so clear cut, the case would have been settled long ago. This is ancient history.

    And I actually had an lol at the comment about screwing with the Fan’s morning sked. As if! Best ratings in the network’s history for the 530 AM – 9 AM slot, Brady goes on vacation and Guy Caballero is going to risk the ratings and his job by juggling the schedule??? lmao. I like Walker but a week with Ben Ennis and whomever doesn’t warrant any changes. The comment is so ridiculous I can only guess it was put up there to fire up responses. Tim and Sid don’t draw from the same demo, shifting them to AM slot isn’t happening. Then what, Walker takes the afternoon show and Brady goes to 1010? Might happen if Don Kollins wants to get fired. Brady carries that show by a long shot.

  • comment-avatar

    And love Rick Westhead, his in depth article on the board of MLSE a few years ago ( featured on HNIC ) was fascinating and objective without the scorn of an Al Strachan ( though I love Al’s work on the Leafs as well ).

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    @yaz – I think you’re right about the schedule juggling. Things seem to be going pretty darn good with the 590 schedule as-is. It’ll probably stay this way for a while until a) ratings how a dramatic, sustained dip, or b) things plateau and don’t show growth warranting a “shake-up” of some kind.

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    Dave in Bolton 5 years ago

    @yaz Brady sucks no way he carries that show. If it wasn’t for Walker id leave it on TSN and not go back. Brady can go back to Detroit or where ever he came from for all I care i’m just tired of listening to the popes ass. I still think his days are numbered in Toronto and prob will move stations on his own.

  • comment-avatar
    Nan Young Lee 5 years ago
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    With the All-Star Break upon us, there will no doubt be lots of analysis about where this Blue Jays outfit is. It will be interesting to contrast the Rogers spin vs. the views put forward by others.

  • comment-avatar

    Can someone help me out here, why does Rogers still own the Jays? A. The Jays never turned a profit since the day they were purchased. B. The jays have not been able to recapture the audience it had at the stadium in the late 80’s early 90’s C. Rogers is a publically traded company, C. in this day and age what can a sports team not named the Yankees, Cubs, or Dogers do for your stock.

    This just in people. Rogers cannot get customer service Reps to walk around the dome trying to get you to buy a cell phone, internet service or any other service they sell. By the way if it’s content play, this particular content call baseball will soon be taking a backseat to the lucrative NHL package not to mention a back seat to soccer a up and coming sport In North America.

  • comment-avatar
    Sinnacle 5 years ago

    Why does Rogers own the Jays?

    http://www.crtc.gc.ca/eng/publications/reports/BrAnalysis/psp2013/individual/196.htm

    Sportsnet (not counting Sportsnet One either) close to $57 million in pre tax profit in 2013. Close to $200 million in pre tax profit since 2009 is why.

  • comment-avatar

    @Dave in Bolton. As a media person stated here earlier – ( Van Horne?) if successful 40% of your audience loves you, 4o% are indifferent and 20% hate you. You’re in the 20% for Brady, I’m in the 20% for Richards; neither is going anywhere in the 2-3 year term. I’ve seen other people post with similar Brady criticisms to yours.

    590 believed in Brady enough to dump Lang and bring a new guy in it was a risk that paid off with historic ratings. Brady was happy as hell and he should be. He isn’t going to go to anotther station nor would 590 have any desire to want to ruffle a successful, recently restructured show. ( good riddance Mike Eppel!!)

    I liked Brady/Lang more than Brady/Walker and Brady/Watters on 640 even more than Lang. Walker is 15 years old, draws from too shallow a well of sports knowledge for me but is good paired with Brady.

  • comment-avatar

    The more Walker boosts the Blue Jays, the more obvious it is how he came to be where he is today. This morning, he even managed to make Wilner sound somewhat journalistic.

  • comment-avatar

    Nice of Bob to have someone from longtime PTS sponsor Bodog on under the guise of news. I guess advertorial content is alive and well at the FAN.

    Some of you will be glad to know that Arthur just tweeted out that he will be writing and tweeting less this summer.

    Scott MacArthur has really grown as a Jays writer in the last few months. He has some excellent blog posts on the state of the season over at TSN.ca (if you can find them on the convoluted mess that is their soon to be updated website …)

    hope everyone’s week is off to a good start.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 5 years ago

    “A. The Jays never turned a profit since the day they were purchased. ”

    Exactly where did you get this information? MLB is awash in cash and the owners make boatloads.

  • comment-avatar
    Dave in Bolton 5 years ago

    @yaz well count me as the captain of the 20% hate club bc every time he opens his mouth its switch to TSN 1050. his love for Detroit gets on my last nerve and picking on Jim Leyland made me wanna break my radio. I get it Brady you don’t like him as a manager. 590 in the mornings has never been the same since he joined the stations, he’s a mediocre radio personality at best and 590 would be better off having Walker talking to a broom for three hours then having brady as a co-host.

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    Antonio 5 years ago

    @Dave in Bolton
    Walker is good but the show needs Brady. I admit, Brady brings a certain amount of snarkyness to the show but he’s a pro and knows his stuff better than anyone on radio today – including Walker.

  • comment-avatar
    Kamlesh 5 years ago

    The broom has a job calling Raptors’ games on TV.

    Who will take over for Bob in a few years? I think it will be either Walker or Bryan Hayes. Both are 30 years old or so.

    Hayes is funny and he played the game.

    http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=55189

    Why doesn’t 590 use Stellick more? He could do a Grapeline like so with Leaf anecdotes (maybe with Damien who he has good chemistry with). He seems to have tons of stories and is well connected and could easily find an sponsor for the segments (or Brother Bob could). I also think he would be good subbing for Brady or Walker when one is on vacation. Or he would be better than Jim Ralph as Bowen’s sidekick. Ralph could do the Leaf post game shows.

  • comment-avatar

    @ Kamlesh: You raise an interesting question about Gord Stellick.

    Over the years, he has grown on me. He was clearly overwhelmed in the morning drive-time slot – his lack of broadcasting training caught up with him in a big way – but he sure does come across as a good guy wherever he pops up these days. He’s pleasant to listen to and always has great anecdotes and stories.

    And, you’re 100-percent correct, he was the one guy who actually had some kind of on-air chemistry with Damien Cox way back when. I got the impression they liked each other and fed off each other – Stellick taking the nice guy role vs. Cox being … well … Cox.

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    Dave in Bolton 5 years ago

    @Kemlesh and @GreyCountyMike its bc Stellick sucks as well and is boring. the broom is more interesting then Stellick.

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    Kamlesh- it is interesting to note that Gord Stellick had all of those aforementioned positions you spoke of.

    Of course he was on in the morning with Don Landry, and I’m not sure that they want to give a former host too much of a rub in the coveted AM drive show when they have a lot of younger on-air talent they can use.

    He used to have a show with Damien Cox in a simmilar spot to Tim and Sid. He also did a show with Barb DiGulio which was pretty good. Anybody remember the classic Fan590 “Pool Parties” that he used to do in which he would bounce from guest to guest pretending they were at a pool party? The best parts were when either a guest did not get it or did not play along Eg Gord: Lets go to Chuck Swirksy whos passed out in the dip on the patio” Chuck: “Um, no Gord I’m in Chicago…”

    Stellick also used to be Joe Bowen’s radio colour man in the late 80’s and 90’s.

    In short, there has not been a job in radio that Gord Stellick has not done 🙂

  • comment-avatar
    Nan Young Lee 5 years ago

    There was a good idea in Slate about having an annual July 4 (non World Cup years) soccer game between the US and England. Canada should do the same thing (doesn’t have to be against England) on July 1 or sometime during the baseball all star week when there is a dearth of sports on TV.

    Looking forward to the 25th anniversary of PTS on Sportsnet tomorrow at 7:30pm. There are 2 legends in TO radio, Bob and John Derringer even if they aren’t what they once were.

    Though I don’t want to see it happen, I can’t believe North American sports teams won’t allow advertising on uniforms one day soon. Manchester United’s new deal with Adidas is for $128 million a year for 10 years.

    http://www.thestar.com/business/sportonomics/2014/07/15/manchester_uniteds_13_billion_deal_with_adidas_boosts_both_bottom_lines_immediately.html

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    Only a matter of time for the NBA ads

  • comment-avatar
    (Another) Andrew 5 years ago

    There was a good idea in Slate about having an annual July 4 (non World Cup years) soccer game between the US and England. Canada should do the same thing (doesn’t have to be against England) on July 1 or sometime during the baseball all star week when there is a dearth of sports on TV.

    Waiting until July would be awkward fro the top European based players as it would be in the middle of their off season. They’d prefer it right after the EPL ends or before it starts.

    The idea reminds me of the British Home Internationals tournament from my early childhood. Every year the four ‘home nations’ (as England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are known) would play each other in a mini-tournament – just three games each. I was very young when it ended in the mid-80s but I remember how big a deal it was back in the days when we didn’t get much live football. It was a particularly big deal to the three small nations but even Englishmen over the age of 40 talk nostalgically about it. Today’s English though would see it as too small time for them. They’d probably prefer the Slate idea.

    I’d like to see the Copa America (CONMEBOL) and the Gold Cup (CONCACAF) merge their tournaments. That would be great for soccer fans in July.

  • comment-avatar

    Mike V says:

    July 14, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    “A. The Jays never turned a profit since the day they were purchased. ”

    Exactly where did you get this information? MLB is awash in cash and the owners make boatloads.

    Mike of 12.5Billion in consolidated revenue this team and it’s earnings only accounts
    for 2% of that. Being a shareholder, those figures do not help the company to yield higher dividends or help the stock price. It simply does nothing to appease sharholders.

    Sinnacle is certainly on to something when he refernces tax. Questionable investments like the jays always has tax incentives written all over it.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 5 years ago

    Saying that a baseball team makes up a small percentage of a cable, telecom and media conglomerate is one thing. Saying that team has never turned a profit for said conglomerate in 11 years is something else entirely.

    The Slate article makes passing reference to scheduling but I think it would be a lot harder than the writer realizes. 2016 Euro runs until July 10 so that’s out, next year’s Gold Cup starts July 7 (not impossible to have a friendly 3 days prior but why would USA want to) and in 2017 the Confederations Cup, which USA has a better than 50—50 shot of being in, is in Russia until July 2. Basically the game would be played one out of every four years if they’re lucky.

  • comment-avatar

    Hey Raptors Devotee…………your boy Milos Raonic was just live in studio on the Tim & Sid show………..if you missed it you should check out the podcast

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    Don River 5 years ago

    “Saying that team has never turned a profit for said conglomerate in 11 years is something else entirely.”

    Story about the team’s financial position in the first few years of Rogers ownership: http://individual.utoronto.ca/andrew/vox.pdf

    I recall a comment by or attributed to Ted Rogers before he died that the Jays had not turned a profit since Rogers bought the team, and had amassed massive losses, but I can’t find a reference to this statement.

    Recently on PTS, McCown said the Jays wouldn’t be close to profitability with the recent increase in payroll. Now whether the Jays have been profitable in any of the years after Ted’s death up to 2012 is open to speculation, but it’s also not totally unreasonable to assume the Jays have never made a profit under Rogers ownership from 2001-14. Only someone who worked for Rogers and wasn’t toeing the party line would know for sure.

    Ultimately though, being owned by a major corporation shields the Jays from whatever losses the team incurs. Otherwise, I suspect the team’s payroll would have been substantially lower over the last 14 years under an individual owner.