Toronto Sports Media Holiday Monday


I read a report over the weekend that suggested that we love long weekends because they are the exception not the rule and that if our society ever went to a 4 day work week we wouldn’t appreciate having Monday off as much as we do on days like today. I, for one am willing to be the test dummy for a couple of years to gauge if I like having Monday’s off every week as much as I do a couple of times a year.

So Bon Jovi, more like his handlers, issue a letter to the city of Buffalo and the Toronto media are already declaring Toronto dead as a potential NFL city. “As such, the latest iteration of that long-running serial, ‘Will the NFL move to Canada?’ is dead. Not Walking Dead dead. Fully dead.” wrote Cathal Kelly in the Globe and Mail.

I don’t know about you, but I read Bon Jovi’s letter and took nothing from it. The Bills lease is firm until 2020. That’s a long way off and a lot can happen between now and then. More importantly, in my opinion anyway, its about the process not the end result here. Follow the expansion process over the last little while and there are a few examples of where a potential owner is only successful in landing a team after failing to purchase one first. The Raptors, as you may recall were awarded in a round of expansion. The round followed failed attempts to buy existing teams. Is the NFL looking to expand? Even if the answer is yes, Toronto would be behind at least one major USA market, LA. Toronto wouldn’t be priority number one.

In the end, as I said too many times, the Bills in Toronto series didn’t gauge squat. The success or failure doesn’t predict any future in any way. Sticking exhibition or random meaningless games in Toronto was doomed from inception. Let’s have the Columbus Blue Jackets play the Nashville predators in an exhibition game in Hawaii to see if Hawaii is a good market for ice hockey. Put the Superbowl or a meaningful matchup in Toronto and then we can talk. At the same time, I am not sure that the entire bidding on the Bills for this group wasn’t just a first step, a necessary part of the process. Dead? As Billy Crystal said in The Princess Bride, it’s only MOSTLY dead.

Perhaps I am going to take it on the chin here, but I don’t have nearly the problem that a lot of others do with Jose Bautista saying he was disappointed.

What Bautista did to Alex Anthopoulos on Thursday by speaking out about the inability of the Blue Jays to acquire anyone at the trade deadline may have come from the heart and may have been truthful. For honesty, applaud him. For his disrespect, though, question him. that the Blue Jays didn’t make a trade on deadline day.” That from Steve Simmons column in the Toronto Sun.

Primarily, I just don’t think it’s that big of a deal and it certainly not nearly as big of a deal as lots of folks have made it out to be. I could be wrong, and I probably am, but I would be stunned if Anthopolous felt like his players were throwing him under the bus. It’s been almost 2x my oldest kids entire life since the Blue Jays played a meaningful game (for them at least) in the season and the players were hoping for a little help to get them the rest of the way. I’m good with the passion. I’d love to know what some of the critics would have had to say with any of these guys would have to say if the players said something like, no, were aren’t disappointed we have all the talent in the room we need to win. I’m fairly certain it’s the robotic answers like that which makes athletes the worst type of interview possible.

What I think this really boils down to is the continued love affair between the Toronto media and Alex Anthopolous. He doesn’t get a free pass all the time, but I am not sure a Toronto GM has ever had it any better than AA has in his tenure.

Best quote from Simmon’s article?

Fired Dave Poulin has told people that the best conversation he had with Shanahan was the one in which he got fired. Poulin pretty much knew he was getting fired. Before that, they hardly spoke at all.

Whether true or not, and I will go with true, it’s an awesome line and telling insight to the Shanahan regime.

Still with Simmons, I hope those of you who have been around through years had a good chuckle with this

“Toronto didn’t seem to like it when J.P. Ricciardi ran the Blue Jays but never moved here. But hardly a peep that Brendan Shanahan and Dave Nonis run the Maple Leafs and neither has settled here”

Confused or out of the loop? I’ve written that about Nonis since his arrival. Truth is, things like that don’t seem to matter when the person or persons are well liked by the media. Nonis is, JPR not so much. Shanahan? lets check back in a few months.

Last bit from Steve, I promise:

“I hope this isn’t true but I keep hearing that Joe Bowen won’t be doing any Leafs games on television this season. Radio only, I’m told, for the voice of the Leafs. … “

Two thoughts, a good part of me hopes that this is indeed the case. It’s time for a change in my opinion. However, it would have to be an upgrade over Bowen to make the change. Bowen is in place because those who do the hiring haven’t found a suitable replacement. A billion dollar franchise, that’s hard to believe.

Best post deadline article I’ve read on the Blue Jays? Shi Davidi:

“We absolutely had the financial resources to add at this trade deadline,” Anthopoulos declared with a definitiveness he’s lacked previously. “Any deal that we felt was a good baseball deal, the finances were certainly there for us.”

The issue of whether or not Anthopolous has fiscal handcuffs on has been debated since the first round of winter meetings last offseason.

Throw in all the Blue Jays’ waiver-wire bottom-feeding during the summer and the spring’s bungled attempt to sign Ervin Santana via deferred money from Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle, R.A. Dickey, and Jose Bautista, and the facts offer a pretty sound challenge to Anthopoulos’s claim that he “absolutely had the financial resources” to swing a deal.

Exactly what others have been saying all along. Changes at Rogers and now the NHL deal have made life more difficult at Blue Jays HQ. Davidi’s piece gets better though:

When a team has money and a depth of talent, it acts like the Tigers, dealing away Smyly and Austin Jackson to get Price, unworried about how the lefty’s projected $20 million salary will impact the 2015 payroll.

When a team has money and no prospects, it acts like the Yankees, taking the unwanted contracts of other teams and gladly paying them as long as the players offer an upgrade.

When a team has prospects and no money, it acts like the Rays, flipping top-end talent once it gets too expensive to sustain itself with younger, cheaper replacements.

And the Blue Jays?

Until proven otherwise, they look like a team with a good payroll in the upper third of baseball, but also what appears to be a rigid cap that even a golden opportunity at the playoffs can’t nudge upwards, and a handful of coveted prospects that it can’t afford to give up because their cost-effective production will be crucial in years to come.

Great analysis in my mind. The question isn’t whether or not they should have been in on Lester or others, to me anyway. We know Rogers has committed serious amounts of money before and that the Blue Jays are well funded. However, in the years they won they weren’t just well funded, they had one of the biggest, if not the biggest payrolls. Toronto is not the dream destination for baseball talent so money will have to be spent. The fans have shown they are prepared to spend money on the team when they win or are competing. It says here that Rogers could miss a golden opportunity by placing strict handcuffs on AA and company right now.

Hands down though, the article of the week has to come from the world of golf. Dustin Johnson apparently is a huge fan of life on the tour.. In fact he thinks he is in fact ON TOUR. Johnson has allegedly been suspended for multiple failed drug tests. However the best part of the article is this gem:

“Johnson’s conduct has long been a topic of conversation among close observers of the Tour. He is often seen in bars near his home in Jupiter, Fla., and is also known to have had a sexual indiscretion with at least one wife of a PGA Tour player.”

At least one????? hahahahhahahahhaha

Those are fighting words. I’d think if they aren’t true we’d see at least the threat of a lawsuit from Johnson. So far nadda….

Enjoy the Monday if you are on holiday….


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August 4, 2014 9:42 am

I work a compressed work schedule and get every other friday off. They are not taken for granted. We had to switch back to 5 8-hour days for a while and most people hated it.

August 4, 2014 9:49 am

As a general rule I don’t like players calling out the GM for not making a move. It’d be like AA calling out Bautista for not hitting enough homeruns. You’re supposed to let the expert do his job. First, what Bautista know of the deals on the table? And second, it bugs me that players want upgrades without saying who they’d trade from the room? Bautista can be disappointed, but he shouldn’t air it, or needs to get specific on whatever deals he thinks should have been made.

August 4, 2014 10:38 am

Regardless of players calling out GMs or ownership, these guys need to win. Winning solves a lot of problems. Gms can’t replace every single injured player and/or under-performing players with one from the outside every single time. Similarly, a team cannot mortgage a future for a championship every single time. There’s no reason for disappointment over how a trade deadline went; what matters is where this team finishes at the end of the season. Excitement or disappointment will be measured at that point.

mike (in boston)
August 4, 2014 11:44 am

Both EE and JB took hometown discounts. Both have every right to be upset with AA/Beeston in my opinion. I have no problem with the players voicing their displeasure publicly. Doing it behind the scenes doesn’t apply pressure on ownership.

I would not blame Bautista one bit if he asks for a trade this off-season.

Mike S
Mike S
August 4, 2014 1:12 pm

But I thought Michael Grange told us that Bautista was wrong to be upset:

Grange really does say and write some bizarre things sometimes

Mike S
Mike S
August 4, 2014 1:55 pm

I am currently stuck at work on a holiday Monday afternoon and here are my three local sports radio listening options:

– Ben Ennis on 590
– Andy McNamara on 1050
– Jim Rome on 550

What did I do to deserve this?…………the only thing missing is another shift on 590 from The Rog

August 4, 2014 3:51 pm

Hoping that the Bowen rumour is true. Not being a Leaf fan I like to hear the names on the other team too. Also hoping that McCown is back today. The last two weeks made my ears bleed at times. It could only get worse if Shannon & Butch Carter were on at the same time. A few months ago I thought Ken Reid might be a good substitute on PTS but the more I listened the more I changed my mind.

August 4, 2014 4:09 pm

The sooner people understand that Rogers is not overly focused on the media side of the business the better. Rogers is squarly focused on A. Wireless, The wireless business has the biggest impact on the bottom line and it is being killed right now by competitors B. Cable. Rogers has lost it’s stanglehold on this business to iptv(bell fibe),Netflix and other online tv mediums. The empire and the new king of the castle MR Lawrence have fatter fish to fry. The last thing Rogers is concerned about is the payroll of their tax right off Toronto blue jays. Have a listen to what investors are saying about Rogers, investors right now are staying clear of the stock because of it’s 2013-2014 performance. Trust me Folks the Jays are not going to help uplift any investors prespective on where this company stands right now in the business sector. Pretty low in the pecking wouldn’t you think. How many publically traded conglomerates own sports teams? Answer, 2 or three. It just doesn’t make sense. Well In Rogers view winning or losing in Toronto still generates huge audiences especially on radio and tv so why not own the team if you can consistantly use your media properties and personalities like Mike Wilner Bob Mcowan, Jeff Blair etc, to constantly put a positive spin on everything to fool the masses.

August 4, 2014 5:33 pm

Funny day even for a holiday.

Macko and Cauz for richards.
Hayes for naylor
Friedman for bobcat

August 4, 2014 8:13 pm

Why is it that the hockey puckhead media are the most ignorant of all media? Even your most football centric US media guy can discuss baseball, basketball, and even hockey if they needed to in a roundtable format. As terrible as American sports media is when covering soccer, it doesn’t compare to hockey people trying to discuss other sports.

Nan Young Lee
Nan Young Lee
August 4, 2014 8:37 pm

Interesting interview by Macko and Cauz with Colby’s father Tony Rasmus. Worth seeking out.

In that youtube vid that Kam posted, Alex Honnold sounds like Brunt, especially at the end on the summit. This video shows Honnold’s true greatness (the climbing starts at the 3 minute mark):

Brunt or Gary Joyce should write about him.

Nan Young Lee
Nan Young Lee
August 4, 2014 8:55 pm

When Sid returned to Tim and Sid he mentioned that on the morning show you had to hit the same topics every hour (Brady also mentioned it on the Toronto Mike interview). While this probably helps ratings for Brady and Walker with the new listeners waking up or getting into their cars every hour, it hurts the show a little if you want to listen to the whole 3 hours. If Kollins et al find a way to loosen up on this the show would be even better. Either way once NHL/NFL stars the show should be even better, maybe the best in North America.

Maybe Brunt should take up rock climbing. He’s got the voice for it. What could go wrong?

August 4, 2014 9:52 pm

“Hoping that the Bowen rumour is true. Not being a Leaf fan I like to hear the names on the other team too.”

This perfectly sums up the comment I was going to leave myself.

Steve in Waterloo
Steve in Waterloo
August 5, 2014 10:23 am

Mike in Boston – I would argue that the Jays DID already load up in support of their commitment (primarily) to Jose Bastista, but also EE. Those signings took place in advance of the trades with the Marlins/Giants in which TO loaded up and became the talk of MLB.

AA weakened the organizations minor league strength in order to load up, thus fulfilling his promise.

August 7, 2014 12:24 am

Bowen is best suited as a radio broadcaster. If true, this is a good decision, although I suspect that Mr. Bowen is not pleased.

Abe F
Abe F
August 8, 2014 12:11 am

Bowen is ok on radio…if he remembers he us on radio and would give the time and score on occasion. Which he rarely does.

Bowen is overrated, just like the team he covers. Simply because he happens to broadcast the Leafs. No problem if he is replaced, as long as it is not simply to find someone cheaper. Needs to be an upgrade.

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