Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

 photo: The Sun/bad strategy

 

by mike in boston – @mikeinboston – hatemailaccount gmail com

 

Way too much to cover since my last post so please feel free to add any interesting links or items for discussion in the comments. 

 

JaysTalk – Anthopoulos

 

Michael Grange had a column this week arguing that AA has earned the right to continue as Jays GM.  (warning – Sportsnet usually auto-plays ads with sound. I have adblocked the hell out of the site. Click at your own risk). I fundamentally disagree with his argument, though not necessarily with his conclusion. It’s a good read and makes for a good discussion. Let’s go:

 

“The Blue Jays are 138-149 since flipping the switch in 2013. They were never in the playoff race a year ago and now, after going 4-10 so far in August, they look like a long shot at even earning the second wild card spot in the American League. It’s not much of a return for $260 million or so in payroll.”

 

Right. These are the facts.

 

“But even as the Blue Jays look likely to miss the playoffs for the second time in what Anthopoulos and Beeston described as a three-year window to contend, the current roster is a better argument for Anthopoulos returning than him getting the boot.”

 

The roster is not winning. We just agreed that those are the fact. Yet the roster that is losing more games than they are winning over the last 2 seasons is also evidence of his success? Interesting. How do you figure?

 

“What level of commitment Rogers provides him (or his replacement) to work with is the wild card. Beeston has said the club’s payroll will increase for 2015, but what if it doesn’t? That’s not Anthopoulos’s call, yet he’s shown he can manage on a budget.”

 

Grange goes on to cite the team friendly contracts to JB and EE, the rise of some of the young pitching, and a few other things. All of that is true but at the end of the day, what exactly has he shown he can manage (on a top 10 budget)? Oh, right, that thing we agreed on earlier: a losing record.

 

This is a classic example of shifting the goalposts. Grange is arguing the team is well set up to win … later. He’s saying that even if they don’t win this year, and didn’t win last year, AA has done some good things for the future. We’re back to selling hope — the coin of the Jays’ realm for most of the last 20 years — rather than focusing on the missed opportunity this season. (Jeff Blair started shifting discussion to next year’s rotation about a month ago.)

 

“Steady, disciplined and patient aren’t adjectives that are as easily crafted into a saleable image, but they are the qualities that make for a good executive. Anthopoulos has them and going forward the Blue Jays are going to need plenty of all of those attributes, which is why he deserves the chance to extend his run.”

 

This point is not argued for at all in the piece. And it needs to be. Yes, not trading Sanchez looks like patience. But we don’t  know that AA was allowed to make trades for major leaguers at the deadline. So it’s hard to credit him with patience for making no trades of consequence all season. Furthermore, his last signature trade was not patient. Patience would have been waiting to see how the team performs in 2013 before trading his top prospect for Dickey. Patince would have been trading for a rental player that would not have cost so many prospects instead. That trade was a mistake in both conception and execution and it has not yielded a good enough return.

 

I’m not arguing AA should be fired. I think that this team can make a run for it next year, if Bautista and EE decide not to ask for trades and if they manage to land a #1 pitcher who can pitch 200 innings at a consistent quality. But if this team is going to rebuild then I would rather someone other than AA be given the job. His performance is not miles better than Riccardi’s over a similar amount of time, and with a much bigger budget.

 

So I disagree with Grange’s logic here. The roster has both strengths and weaknesses. AA has not done any one thing beyond reproach – drafting, developing, trading, scouting, spending – and that leaves open the discussion of whether someone else might do better.

 

JaysTalk – Beeston

 

Shi Davidi had a nice scoop about the possibility of Beeston retiring at the end of this season.

 

All I can say is please, please, please let this happen. This organization is addicted to the past. Cito was brought back. Beeston was brought back. Gibbons was brought back. Time to turn the page for good.

 

“One possible scenario if Beeston doesn’t return is for the new president to assess Anthopoulos first-hand in 2015 before deciding whether or not to extend him again. That would follow a similar pattern to what happened with Ricciardi when Beeston took over from Godfrey.”

 

This is what I expect will happen. We will get one more year of AA + Gibbons and then a house-cleaning of both management and players in fall 2015. I expect the 2016 roster will be a massive youth movement. The main question for right now is: what Rogers does with the Jays’ payroll for next year?

 

Budgetary constraints will end up defining this season. From the embarrassing salary deferral story during spring training to the lack of money at the trade deadline, this year has been one of the most frustrating for Jays watchers. I can easily see Rogers leaving the cap at $130 but I can just as easily see them dropping it to $100. If that happens then the division crown will again be but a dream, and the team may or may not compete for the chance at a 1 game play in. Then we can have a discussion about which player will have wasted more talent here, Halladay or Bautista.

 

In fact, that’s a pretty good question for Toronto sports fans generally: which player do you feel deserved better than to spend his prime years playing in Toronto? Sundin has to be pretty high on that list.

 

Quick Hits

 

The Bertuzzi settlement means no day in court. Good read here by the Globe’s Gary Mason. Like many people, I was hoping to see the NHL code put on trial and am sad that won’t happen. I have to wonder if Moore’s statements about wanting his day in court and this “not being about the money” were sincere, or a bargaining tactic, or both. The deal is not finalized so who knows, maybe there is another twist coming.

 

Cohon leaving as CFL commish. Good read here. The league seems to be doing well everywhere except Toronto, but that situation seems more hopeless than ever. Cohon seemed great at his job and I haven’t read anything that satisfactorily explains why he is leaving. Does anyone have any educated guesses? (see next item)

 

Leiweke leaving MLSE. To be honest, I care less about this story than I thought I would. It’s a mixed bag. Rick Westhead talks about potential replacements featuring lots of quotes from the often quotable Richard Peddie. Westhead also has an exclusive on doping in CIS. (I’m going to let this story breathe a bit before commenting on it.)

 

Low Hanging Fruit

 

  • Thankfully someone else is keeping track of what stupid things Simmons is up to on Twitter. I’ll say this again: Steve, you are great on TSN radio and terrible at everything else you do. Please consider retiring from writing and TV.

 

  • I’ve been listening to Brady without Walker and enjoying it more than I thought I would. Brady is actually quite funny most of the time.

 

  • Arash Madani’s star seems to be rising at Sportsnet. He is getting bigger stories and more airtime. What do people think of the quality of his work? I mostly know him from his marginal role on Jays broadcasts.

 

  • good first column by Bruce Arthur’s replacement, Scott Stinson.

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (in boston)

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Raptors Devotee
August 23, 2014 12:54 am

I follow tennis very closely Mike (In Boston), and with Sportsnet covering pretty much all tennis outside of the Majors, which TSN has, and especially Davis Cup, and now Fed Cup with Genie onboard (at least for now), Arash is parachuted in to provide coverage. He was all over the Rogers Cup with the men here in Toronto, and sometimes will cover some other Masters 1,000 events too.

His line of questioning on tennis when he deals with Milos, Vasek, Daniel, and Genie is more on the emotional/psychological side than the actual tennis, which is fine by me, as I rely on Tom Tebbutt to fill in the rest of those gaps for me, but sometimes he gets really weird in his questioning and the players kind of tune him out and don’t take him seriously.

The quality of his work covering tennis is fine, but more for the short interviews and exposes that he does. Anytime that he fills airtime covering tennis that takes away from Damien Cox, I am all for.

He does seem to be having a lot of success covering the CFL, where he comes up with some scoops and provides pretty detailed coverage, especially during the recent labour negotiations and the broadcast deal with TSN that was consummated. I don’t follow the CFL, but can’t help but notice his presence there.

He is a jack of all trades for Sportsnet, and does a reasonably good job of it. One thing I do want to point out is that on Twitter when I have asked him questions or responded to his tweets, not once did I get a reply, so he avoids all interactions in that way. That is his choice, at least he does not block you if there is a hint of constructive criticism like Damien Cox.

Arash is a pretty affable guy, and I can see why he fits in so well at Sportsnet, where he has great chemistry when he is on with Tim and Sid as well.

Sam
Sam
August 23, 2014 7:52 am

Looks like the Moore Bertuzzi affair isn’t going to court which was going to be the highlight of the year. Would love to know how much Moore got. While he maintained he wanted his day in court, perhaps the NHL made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Westhead is already the best twitter account in Toronto Sports Media.

Ken
Ken
August 23, 2014 11:26 am

I find Madani to be one of the biggest frauds on the air. There is nothing more annoying than a 30-something pretending he has seen and experienced everything in sport. He comes off like Brunt, but without any of the experiences that Brunt has.

I do not mind young reporters; we are all young at some point, but lay off the ‘know-it-all’, ‘seen-it-all’ shtick.

yaz
yaz
August 23, 2014 12:54 pm

It was good to hear Brady back — the B & D team ( Ennis with Sammut i think ) was driving me over to Macko & Cauz. The one of those two who chugs cases of wine every night – he’s actually funny and not just about sports. Seems a quick wit. Funnier than Richards.

Bryan
Bryan
August 23, 2014 2:05 pm

Yaz the pairing was not (Ben Ennis and Jeff Sammut) it was the pairing of George Rusic and Jeff Sammut who usually host Sportsnet Tonight from 11-2.

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
August 23, 2014 3:14 pm

sometimes he gets really weird in his questioning and the players kind of tune him out and don’t take him seriously.

Several times over the years Madani has asked odd questions of players right after they finished a match. Questions that would be fine in a sit down interview but oddly out of place when the player is still breathing hard from the match. Otherwise he’s fine. The one time I recall him on PTS he only spoke when he had something to say and it was usually a sensible contribution ie no trolling or feigning expertise on topics he didn’t know about.

yaz
yaz
August 23, 2014 4:31 pm

@Bryan. Thanks – I knew there were a couple of different pairing – there’s was worse than whomever Ennis was with. But it is summer. Looking forward to Leafs camp opening and all the Rogers / TSN A teams going at it as it gets colder here.

Dan
Dan
August 23, 2014 7:45 pm

I don’t read Sportsnet.ca or watch Connected, but I was under the impression Grange which strictly a basketball guy. Am I incorrect on this or have they started using him on other sports also, and if so, does he actually know what he is talking about when covering other sports or is more like Bruce Arthur who hasn’t a clue?

Mullah_Kintyre
Mullah_Kintyre
August 24, 2014 10:47 am

I’m not the biggest CFL fan, but I don’t see it disappearing from Toronto any time soon, if that’s what you’re implying by “hopeless”. If Braley is unable to find a buyer, the league will just take over the team, as they’ve done before with Toronto and Hamilton (at the same time I think). With the small number of people showing up to their home games (as opposed to the fictional number they announce) and perhaps only about 3000 season tickets as McCown alleges, even after leaving Rogers Centre they could still probably have their home games at York University (where they already practice and could possibly arrange for some temporary extra stands), or Varsity Centre where they’ve already had their home pre-season game for the last two years.

Poker Guy
Poker Guy
August 24, 2014 11:05 am

Arash is wooden and montone. His big pause as he signs off is ridiculous.

“At the Rogers Cup……………….this is Arash Madani………………Sportsnet.

I was at quarter final Friday at the Rogers Cup, and after Federer had won his match, Madani was going to conduct the post match interview. I told my wife to listen to this guy’s stiff delivery. As Arash delivered his usual goods, she just laughed.

Raptors Devotee
August 24, 2014 1:58 pm

Arash is I believe my age Ken, around 50, so he has certainly seen his fair share over the years. I like the guy, at least he has a different style and personality that is unique to him. Would he be able to work in the States, like Adnan Virk was able to do for ESPN, mostly baseball coverage I believe, is doubtful. Virk was more straight-up and appeals to more of a broad stream audience, where Arash can easily rub you the wrong way.

Ken
Ken
August 24, 2014 5:51 pm

Raptors Devotee, Arash was born in 1980, as per his Sportsnet Bio

GreyCountyMike
GreyCountyMike
August 24, 2014 7:41 pm

@ Mike In Boston

“A classic example of shifting the goalposts.” Well put.

The MO of every division of Rogers, including the Jays, starts and ends with messaging. And Grange, in this case, is simply the messenger.

Go Jays
Go Jays
August 25, 2014 3:52 pm

More nonsense on the Jays ….. Anthopolous deserves to be back because he has built one of the best organizations in all of baseball. The team hasn’t won due to injuries. It’s just that simple. No other team could have survived the kinds of injuries the Jays have suffered.

Grange is right – they shouldn’t be wasting money on free agents or trades when they clearly have stars in the wings. AA has proved that he can develop talent.

Wilner is right too ….. what kind of a message does it send to the players on the team when people talk about needing to trade at the deadline? You have to stick by the players who got you there. Smart management by the Jays. People who don’t know how to support the team shouldn’t be commenting.

Rob In Aurora
Rob In Aurora
August 25, 2014 4:09 pm

Macko and Cauz is worth a listen. Cauz is the funny guy and Macko(wicz)keeps the show on the rails. Both are well informed and intelligent. Tune in when they are both there. (Vacation time now, so weak on air subs). It is better than anything on the Fan, so are TSN’s noon to 4 shows

Neil
Neil
August 25, 2014 6:20 pm

Go Jays,

Are you the potential replacement for Wilner? No other team can survive the injuries? What are the Yankees doing right now. Yankees at one point or another in this season has been without all five starters yet they are ahead of the jays in the standings. Rays at one point without three key pieces yet they are 2 games behind the jays when at one point they were 18 games under 500. What talent did Alex develop, Bautista, EE, Lind, Jansen, and Cecil are all products of the previous regime, Dude you are trying to have it both ways you can’t say that Alex developes and then say the reason the jays are losing the season is because of injuries. If he’s developed so much talent as you state, where is the developed talent 1-9 that can fill in for the injured players. O wow franciso, Kawasaki, Reimolt. Is that the developed talent your reffering to, what ‘s the comnine average of those players. If your going to be a jays fan at least be rational.

Poker Guy
Poker Guy
August 25, 2014 6:55 pm

So today is the day TSN launches it;s new channels. Promising more coverage of sports. So, I get in just past 6pm tonight looking forward to my choice of US Open matches to choose from.

On TSN – The Milos Raonic match
On TSN 3 – The Milos Raonic match
On TSN 4 – The Milos Raonic match
On TSN 5 – The Milos Raonic match

Good strategy on TSN’s part to get these channels. Well done!

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
August 25, 2014 7:35 pm

@ Rob In Aurora

Yes,I find Macko and Cauz quite good.Both seem to have a good grip on many areas of sports and also can be funny at times.
Most important they both have broadcasting experience unlike that studderrr of a fool they are up against from 9 AM till Noon on that other sports station.

Matt
Matt
August 25, 2014 9:01 pm

Cauz is actually quite funny and has grown on me a bit. The show, when on it’s regular schedule, is more interesting and informative than Blair. No thanks to the call in portion of any radio show, to which Blair usually devotes a good chunk. M and C also cover all the majors well and while off beat is quite entertaining.

GreyCountyMike
GreyCountyMike
August 26, 2014 6:29 pm

Anyone catch Wilner on with Sid and Tim today? Completely defensive of his Jays … wouldn’t concede anything. He did stop briefly in his tracks, though, when he was questioned about the likelihood of the ’92 and ’93 Jays winning with any manager — as he had kind of suggested about other MLB teams that have won. The guy is such a homer.

Curt
Curt
August 26, 2014 9:02 pm

“Homer” is being kind. Wilner is a Jays groupie – like most of the sportsnet/Rogers employees. Nobody really takes him seriously, do they?

Another Steve
Another Steve
August 26, 2014 10:28 pm

I take him seriously and enjoy listening to him – so yes, someone does.

Curt
Curt
August 26, 2014 10:31 pm

So, you’re the one.

Another Steve
Another Steve
August 26, 2014 10:40 pm

whatever…

Neil
Neil
August 27, 2014 1:44 am

Steve,

with Mike Wilner, you can throw all journalistic integrity out the window, simply because there is little or no objectivity. A true journalist is the voice and mind of the public. Mike has never taken a player or coach/manager to task, except for a coach he really hated in Cito Gaston(this was more personal than anything)
I’ve always stated sportsnet(radio and TV) is a PR department for the Toronto Blue Jays. Whoever believes otherwise is a victim of some serious brainwash.

Another Steve
Another Steve
August 27, 2014 10:28 am

This is my only point on the matter:

It’s possible to like Wilner and not be a fool, because I enjoy listening to him and I’m pretty sure that I’m not a fool.

I certainly don’t have any problems with people saying that they dislike Wilner and stating the reasons for it. That’s why I usually don’t respond to those comments.

But I do become bothered by people who speak in absolutes, as if their opinions held some great deal of objectivity, which they don’t. And I don’t like it when people suggest that nobody could possibly hold an opposing opinion to theirs, for that is a childish argument. People who think that there can’t be an opinion different from their own are partisans, and partisans, whether they are in the field of politics or entertainment, are generally incapable of rational thought and/or argument.

Myself, I can see why people may not like Wilner, but I can also see why I like him. Equally, I don’t really like Macko and Cauz, yet I can certainly see why others do like the pair, for I accept that my tastes aren’t the same as those of everyone else.

Again, I like to listen to Wilner, and anyone who suggests that I’m a fool for doing so, well, then it just says more about you than it does about me.

Mike V
Mike V
August 27, 2014 11:22 am

Yes, Wilner can be a homer but I’d still take his analysis over the likes of Gregg Zaun.

“A true journalist is the voice and mind of the public.”

Um, no. A journalists’ job is to report the facts and truth without favour or interference, regardless of what the popular public opinion at the time is.

Curt
Curt
August 27, 2014 12:03 pm

Wilner appeals to the superfans – because he is one himself. But those who follow the Jays and see fundamental problems with this organization (and try to voice those opinions) are regularly and arrogantly dismissed by this fanboy. From that perspective, it’s impossible for the man to have much, if any, objectivity.

Wilner said on T&S yesterday that there shouldn’t be major changes to the roster or management for next season. So that that would be three years running with basically the same mediocre to bad team and expecting things to go differently. That’s the definition of insanity isn’t it?

Neil
Neil
August 27, 2014 3:36 pm

Steve

All that you’ve described as a pet peve of yours regarding peoples personalities (people who speak in absolutes, nobody can hold an opposing opinion to there own,People who think there can’t be an opinion different from thir own partisan) sounds identical to the on air personlity traits of Mike Wilner, Especially the one you mentioned about people who think there can’t be an opinion different from their own partisan, Mike is largely partisan when it comes to the Jays, Which I truly think hurts his integrity as a journalist. He takes a negative fact and spins it as if the negative does not matter.

Take a listen to last nights Jays talk. Someone called in rightfully sounding like he was coaching Mike on how to properly deal with callers that disagree with him, because there will always be those callers. The caller also went on to add that other on air persolalities on the fan take a harder stand when it comes to criticing the team and that it may simply be a difference of opinion than his(To me it’s also a difference of motive). The Caller went on to add that he believes that Mike’s motive for being barely critical is to enhance his chance for future opportunities with the Jays braoadcasting. Mike did not shoot down the callers hypothesis.
Mike believes that all his words are gospel and everyone else is like false doctrine, his response to the caller was, “it is ok to disagree”, But and these are Mike’s words “Your opinion is not always valid” Mike thinks that numbers can quantify everything, in a game where game play is not always quantifiable by numbers.

If Mike possibly haa a motive which it becaomes more obvious year by year. How can anyone get listening enjoyment .

Neil
Neil
August 27, 2014 3:58 pm

Mike V,

A journalists’ job is to report the facts and truth without favour or interference, regardless of what the popular public opinion at the time is.

There is plenty of interferance in Mike’s commentary.

it’s called bias.

It’s abundantly clear that you guys have never listen to Dan Shulman one of the great baseball play by play announcers in the bus now working for Espn Dan use to call this market home and use to do Jays talk. let me tell you, you don’t get to where Dan is today by being an ass like Wilner. It’s pretty much a General consensus that next to Tom Cheek Dan was probably the best voice this country has ever spit out. Wilner is not close. Dan is the essence of Journalistic Integrity.

Daniel
Daniel
August 27, 2014 4:04 pm

@MIB – I haven’t looked it up, but I’d be willing to bet in most of Gibbon’s years managing, the bullpen numbers have been strong.

I think Gibbons makes smart bullpen and substitution moves. Usually seem more stat based and less ‘gut based’. So I’d be happy with Gibbons back.

I think there is a good core to this team. Reyes, Bautista, EE, Lind, Lawrie. All good. Very excited about Stroman, Sanchez, Hutch, Norris going forward. But they absolutely have to do the work this offseason they neglected to last offseason. Get a solid second or third baseman. Shore up the bullpen. With Stroman and Sanchez looking good, MAYBE they don’t need to make major adjustments to the rotation, but it sure wouldn’t hurt.

Daniel
Daniel
August 27, 2014 4:07 pm

Even though 2013 and 2014 have been disappointing… I do think they still have to go for it in 2015 and 2016. Having Reyes, Bautista and EE in your lineup is quite an asset. And a real shame to waste.

I think the Orioles have shown you don’t need to be the late 90s Yankees to make a run of it. Just have to be deeper than this team is and have ownership willing to shore up holes with players who might cost a bit.

Robert
Robert
August 27, 2014 5:53 pm

Neil

I agree with your comments about Dan Shulman, but let’s be clear – he’s never worked for the team he covers, like Buck, Tabler, and Wilner. When he called Blue Jays games for TSN, Labatt’s/Interbrew owned the team, so he could afford to be objective. Same now with ESPN. I wonder what he would be like if he hosted Jays Talk. I would think his objectivity might be less clear if he was being paid by the team, or the owner of the team. That’s just human nature. There are countless examples of team employees on the air for every major league team in every sport, and their objectivity might be more or less favourable to the team, but I would bet it’s always on the favourable side.

And who said that Wilner is a journalist, or has to be one? He’s not writing game stories for a newspaper or blog, he’s writing and giving his opinions, whether you agree with them or not. That’s what newspaper columnists do – that’s how newspapers get labeled left or right wing or pro certain politicians. They provide journalism and opinion. Rogers does provide journalistic coverage of the Jays, for example Shi Davidi. But he’s not a Blue Jays employee.

It’s just that Blue Jays employees provide only opinion, mostly favourable to the Jays. Having said that, I think Rogers uses Zahn just to provide some balance and show that it’s not always pro-Jays, but even his criticisms are mild compared to what fans are saying.

Curt
Curt
August 27, 2014 7:21 pm

There is no difference between being a Rogers employee and a Blue Jays employee – they are one and the same. The pay stub says “Rogers” whether you’re Shi Davidi, Mike Wilner, or Jose Bautista. And that’s the problem. You need some separation there.

Regarding Gregg Zaun, he was told last year in the off-season to not be as critical of the Blue Jays this year. And he’s been a “good boy” since his wings were clipped – about as interesting as dishwater.

Andrew
Andrew
August 27, 2014 8:35 pm

Here’s what you can do with Curt’s post. Substitute “NHL” for “Blue Jays” Substitute the various puckheads for the ball heads. Substitute Damian Cox for Gregg Zaun after Cox goes crazy the first time there’s a goon event.

Meanwhile over a TSN, we will have indepth and ongoing reporting about the effects of concussions and fighting in hockey. How much do you think we’re going to hear about that on Sportsnet?

Mike S
Mike S
August 28, 2014 10:33 am

Madani is a solid reporter………..but on Twitter and sometimes on radio he can be pretty sanctimonious at times………..not as bad as some in the Toronto sports media but he is well on his way

Has anyone else noticed that Naylor has been off his 1050 show almost as much this summer as McCown?…………part of that was because of the World Cup radio coverage but it seems like he has been away for the entire month of August………..maybe he has been doing work on the TV side but it just seems strange for a show that is only 18 months old to have their host away for that many weeks

sinnacle
sinnacle
August 28, 2014 2:21 pm

Minor point about Dan Shulman. There is no doubt he is a class broadcaster but TSN was launched back in 1984 backed by Labatt ad dollars who in turn showed Blue Jays that Labatt owned will into the 90’s.

Mike S
Mike S
August 28, 2014 2:37 pm

Here is an announcement from rogers about the new NHL package:

“The NHL on Sportsnet today unveiled its big-name broadcast team – including 39 hosts, play-by-play announcers, analysts and reporters – who will bring fans the biggest plays, analysis, stories and highlights from both the rink and the studio throughout the 2014/15 NHL season”

The full NHL on Sportsnet broadcast team is as follows:

Hosts

George Stroumboulopoulos (Hockey Night in Canada, NHL on Sportsnet)
Ron MacLean (Rogers Hometown Hockey, NHL on Sportsnet)
Leah Hextall
Jeff Marek
Daren Millard

Play-by-Play Announcers

National
Bob Cole
Jim Hughson
Dave Randorf
Paul Romanuk

Regional
Rick Ball (Calgary)
Kevin Quinn (Edmonton)
Paul Romanuk / Dave Randorf (Toronto)
John Shorthouse (Vancouver)

Game Analysts

National:
Gary Galley
Glenn Healy
Mike Johnson
Craig Simpson

Regional:
John Garrett (Vancouver Canucks)
Kelly Hrudey (Calgary Flames)
Greg Millen (Toronto Maple Leafs)
Drew Remenda (Edmonton Oilers)

Studio Analysts and Insiders

Don Cherry (Coach’s Corner)
Damien Cox
Elliotte Friedman
Glenn Healy
Kelly Hrudey
Billy Jaffe
Mike Johnson
Chris Johnston
Nick Kypreos
Doug MacLean
Scott Morrison
Darren Pang
John Shannon
Mark Spector
P.J. Stock

Rinkside Reporters

Cassie Campbell-Pascall
Arash Madani
Roger Millions
Dan Murphy
Scott Oake
Gene Principe
Christine Simpson”

Neil
Neil
August 28, 2014 3:24 pm

Robert and sinnacle

Whlie Labbatt (later interbrew) was the owner of the Toronto Blue Jays, and founder of TSN in 1984. Dan was employed by TSN and also at one point hosted jays talk on 1430. Dan was never as dissmisive as Wilner, being a broadcaster he was in the same situation as Wilner, in that he worked for the media company that was a sister company of the team however he chose to maintain integraty, especially when dealing with fans on the phone. Wilner choses to be an over the top homer, because he thinks one way or another he’ll be promoted within the fan or on the blue jays/mlb side of things. Mike thinks he is the heir to Jerry Howarths throne.

Robert Im not sure what you mean that Dan could be more objective, Why do you think he had more rope than Mike to be objective when he was employed by a media company that shared the same owner as the team he covered? I think Where the people get confused is, wondering where Wilner gets his check. Does he work for the jays or the fan. Well since these two companies are under one umbrella and in the sportsnet world everything is about synergy you will get virtually the same editorials everything pro jays.

Sam in Scarb
Sam in Scarb
August 28, 2014 4:19 pm

@ Mike in Boston

“I have been trying for months to get basic comments from the PD’s office there with no luck. It seems like a rudderless ship right now.

Cleary,TSN has taken the ROBBERS approach to the summertime…..
Basically , phuck the listeners we will put on FILLER and the dummies will still listen….
Prime example pts..bbblair & ken reid…….
JUST how stupid can the listeners be??????????

Wish that everyone starting next Tuesday..when the “big guys” come back with a thunder like “the Jays will NOT make the playoffs (No shirt Sherlock)

AND starting on sports net on Wednesday is Hockey,Hockey,Hockey
The only thing that will ever change ANY SPORTS PROGRAMING Is that listeners IGNORE their ads…never ever buy from them…………It`s the ONLY way things will get better…KICK EM IN THE SACK WITH THE ADS

Then see what happens……….

Julian
Julian
August 29, 2014 11:24 am

Or it’s incredibly reasonable to view Mike Johnson as a much more considerable asset to their overall hockey coverage than a Leafs reporter who provides audio clips of the players. Johnson’s a valued game analyst who would be doing 150+ games a year I’m guessing. Is there a can’t-go-without function Alter provided? I’m not being snarky, but I doubt Brady should lament on-air that their station will be without David Alter.

I’d also guess the money spent by TV on hockey coverage isn’t going to compromise what 590 spends on it’s talent, either. By that logic, TSN Radio now that they’re not spending money on the NHL should be upping the ante and adding talent to get out of the radio basement. Have they?

Sperk
Sperk
August 29, 2014 1:43 pm

Very interesting debate here….In regards to Shulman, ESPN has it’s biases just like every other network does and Dan adheres to them just like any other broadcaster. It’s human nature and the reality of corporate owned media. That being said, Shulman is the best in the business and, as such, they aren’t as blatant and obvious as the hacks currently employed up here (especially by Rogers).

Wilner – I agree that Wilner’s homerism isn’t really the problem it’s his need to demean his listeners even if the facts they are presenting represent a valid point/opinion. I think it’s a prime example of the sizzle being more important than the steak. Wilner made his name yelling at and telling stupid callers that they were wrong, that’s his brand now and the brand is more important to him than facts or logical discourse. Cox is the same way, if someone makes a good point he needs to sabotage it just because that’s what he does. I’ve said before that this one of the main reasons I don’t listen to the FAN anymore, it seems that the personalities on the station are what’s important and they are the story as opposed to focusing on what happens on field.

sinnacle
sinnacle
August 29, 2014 2:21 pm

@Neil

I realize I didn’t get my point across as well as I wanted too. As you pointed out and I tried too I wanted to say Shulman was in the same role as Wilner yet never comes off as a corporate mouth piece.

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
August 29, 2014 4:54 pm

So today is the day TSN launches it;s new channels. Promising more coverage of sports. So, I get in just past 6pm tonight looking forward to my choice of US Open matches to choose from.

On TSN – The Milos Raonic match
On TSN 3 – The Milos Raonic match
On TSN 4 – The Milos Raonic match
On TSN 5 – The Milos Raonic match

They’ve done that a few times this week. This afternoon two TSN channels were showing the same match (Ernests Gulbis) but with different commentary teams. All in all it has been pretty good though.

The main problem is the Trivago ad being played every single break, possibly some times twice in some breaks. I work a lot from home on my computer and so can put the tennis on in the background, however this week I’ve turned it off several times due to the annoying repetitiveness of the ads. I’ve lived in quite a few countries but in none other than Canada do they put the same three or four ads on a loop all day long. It’s the main reason I never liked global’s NFL coverage.

One other thing about the new TSN feeds is that on my carrier they are out of order. They go from the lowest channel number upwards: TSN 5 then 4 then 3 then 1 then 2. No big deal and not TSN’s fault (I think) but weird.

Sam
Sam
August 31, 2014 6:23 am

@MIB no column this weekend? Too bad was looking forward. Perhaps consider putting up an open thread since we get the A teams back next week. have a good weekend!

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
September 1, 2014 11:59 am

I don’t know why the Globe & Mail thought it would be a good idea to send tennis know-nothing Cathal Kelly to cover the US Open? His last couple of columns are not only full of nonsense but are also so pretentious (particularly the one on the state of US tennis) that it is no wonder readers both at the paper and a tennis board (where I saw the link) are having fun mocking him. I think the Globe also sent Jeff Blair, who doesn’t like tennis, to cover the same event a few years ago. I understand getting a different perspective from a non-specialist of a particular sport once in a while but Kelly’s columns are just embarrassing.

Clair A Fye
Clair A Fye
September 1, 2014 2:24 pm

@(Another) Andrew I don’t see your point Andrew. I thought the column was pretty thoughtful and gave an interesting opinion on the dynamics and differences between the 2 countries. I would be willing to bet the people on that tennis board are American, and have no idea what Kelly is talking about…which is exactly the point. I understand you may disagree, but it’s an opinion piece. I’ll go further and suggest your reaction is typically Canadian: apologetic to the Americans who were offended. Or even worse, laughing with them because you too don’t get the point either.

Kamlesh
Kamlesh
September 2, 2014 1:43 pm

Just listened to the Friday 6pm podcast of PTS. I wonder if Dave Perkins is going to be on the show again. At around the 24th minute he said this about Edward Rogers.

“….Teddy’s gone,Teddy’s son thinks because he inherited all that money, he’s smart…”

Teddy can’t even claim he had a tough childhood, like these guys.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlIXn0r0AY8&index=4&list=FLchXgLtNyywy-0Y_v2SKoXw

Maybe Bob will find a way to save Perkins.

Mike S
Mike S
September 2, 2014 4:08 pm

Naylor is back and he just said that Tim Graham (Buffalo News) will be his co-host every Tuesday for the next several months…………I don’t know if that means Dave Hodge is down to one day a week (Wednesday) or if he is out of the picture completely

Jamally
Jamally
September 2, 2014 6:15 pm

Stephen Brunt is back guys! That is to say, Bobcat had Masai Ujiri on and he didn’t say ONE word. Even puckheads like Shannon and Cox make an attempt. He asked about Africa and non sports related questions. This guy is a joke….

alex
alex
September 2, 2014 7:06 pm

And when Shannon and cox do, people here complain.

Brunt was pretty engaged with Alex and the tfc gm.

(Another) Andrew
(Another) Andrew
September 2, 2014 7:20 pm

I understand you may disagree, but it’s an opinion piece. I’ll go further and suggest your reaction is typically Canadian

I’m not Canadian (or American), though I think most readers of his newspaper are and judging by the comments they were equally unimpressed. Kelly’s entire piece was a mess. Tennis was not a sport until John McEnroe arrived? Why? Because he was a brat and the same ethnicity as Kelly seems to be the answer. BTW I don’t think Kelly knows what a chav is either, though he probably just threw that in there to make it sound like he knows something about British slang.

In one of his previous columns he sounded like a troll saying women’s tennis (8 different finalists in majors this year!) is not only more entertaining (a personal preference, that’s OK) but “better, full stop” (absurd) :

then the question should not be whether the women can raise their game to the grinding, big-bodied, max-effort level of their male counterparts.

It’s wondering why the men don’t aspire to play the game more like women.

Umm, maybe because they wouldn’t even get to the qualifier stage! Sharapova can’t even beat 16 year old junior boys. Basically, he’s someone who just doesn’t like tennis. That’s fine, but it is absurd to say the men’s game is exclusively about brute force, merely playing checkers whilst the women are playing chess. He doesn’t know enough about the sport to know he’s talking rubbish.

I guess the rise of Canadian tennis is like soccer’s growing popularity to those already entrenched in the parochial Canadian sports media scene. In the past they could ignore these sports they don’t understand or like but now they are forced to write or talk about them as if they’re something profound to say. In soccer, it’s always the same: not enough scoring, get rid of offsides or even the goalies, too much diving, why are there draws? For tennis I guess Kelly is getting the ball rolling with the too much brute force argument. Maybe he’ll watch Federer tonight and change his mind. Up next – too many rallies, not enough Americans throwing temper tantrums, they’re not as tough as hockey players, etc.

Nanaman
Nanaman
September 2, 2014 11:18 pm

@kermally
I find both Brunt and McCown to be exceptional interviewers. Because they are well-read and not sports fans per se, they provide greater insight and depth than the usual questions and cookie cutter answers or cliches.

I, for one, love to hear about pinball Clemons charity work or ujiri’s connections to his native land. The other media outlets already asked the questions you wanted to know….

Great job by Chris Berman at Tim Horton’s field (the coffee grounds).

Nanaman
Nanaman
September 2, 2014 11:19 pm

Sorry @Jamally

Kermally was a colleague.. Oops

Drumanchor
Drumanchor
September 3, 2014 10:35 am

@Jamally. Sorry, mister, but by saying that Brunt is a joke only confirms that the joke may be staring back at you when you look in the mirror. I would guess that the vast majority of people on this post would agree that he is one of the best journalists in the land. Tremendously thoughtful and insightful with virtually everything he does.

I enjoy what he brings to the table when he is on PTS.

Curt
Curt
September 3, 2014 10:56 am

Brunt is okay (great when compared to other PTS co-hosts), but he and Bob were disappointing in the Anthopoulos interview yesterday. Regarding the historic Blue Jays collapse this season, Brunt asked, “What happened in August?” To which Alex gave his usual rambling non-answer answer. No obvious follow-up questions like, “Do you think your inability to do anything at the deadline and the players reaction to that impacted the team’s performance? And if so, who’s responsible? The players? The manager? The general manager? All of the above?” But, no. Just soft ball questions about call-ups and a lot of droning bullshit responses. I hoped for better, but expected what I got.

GreyCountyMike
GreyCountyMike
September 3, 2014 11:06 am

Drumanchor: Brunt WAS one of the best journalists in the land. Since joining Rogers, he has fallen into relative oblivion … and, most often, comes off as a corporate booster, ie. NFL in Canada, Blue Jays promotional pieces.

Drumanchor
Drumanchor
September 3, 2014 3:12 pm

@ GreyCountyMike: Excellent point. WAS might be the operative word here and the optics are that he is coming across as a company man. That being said, to me he is not a joke.

@ Curt: True, and Bob could have been more hard hitting and I agree, Anthopoulos was rambling and saying, virtually, nothing.

@mike (in boston): I did not hear the whole show, but “Massively”? Maybe I’ve just consumed the purple kook-aid.

Great stuff, guys. Thanks.

Sam
Sam
September 3, 2014 3:38 pm

Because I was too lazy to get off the couch and change the channel I listened to the AA interview yesterday.

Same as usual. AA says nothing, he does kind of a corporate ramble. He never says anything interesting, except that time he made a mistake I think it was the last winter meetings where he said that payroll would increase if attendance improved (paraphrasing… it was something to that effect).

GreyCountyMike
GreyCountyMike
September 3, 2014 6:23 pm

mike (in boston): Of course, there’s a possibility Beeston himself may not even be around Rogers Centre after this seasoh. Not sure if that’s a positive for the Jays or not; he’s had a good run, but is he yesterday’s man?

GreyCountyMike
GreyCountyMike
September 3, 2014 6:30 pm

To me, the fundamental issue with the Jays remains the same year in and year out: This organization was acquired by Rogers to, first and foremost, provide content. Do the suits want to win? Absolutely. But, like the boys down the street, it’s not critical. There’s a lack of urgency in the Jays’ front office that mirrors that of the 1967 crew.

Nan Young Lee
Nan Young Lee
September 3, 2014 10:07 pm

Nice discussion with Bob and Brunt at 5pm on the the changing ways of consuming sports. Brunt was superb as he usually is when he brings his intelligence to larger themes surronding sports. There might be a SN magazine article expanding on the ideas touched on today.

On the 4pm hour Keith Pelley didn’t mention what the Rogers Game Centre Live would cost. Engadget.com had a breakdown of services offered by other leagues:

http://www.engadget.com/2014/04/02/watching-sports-is-now-easier-than-ever/

Mike S
Mike S
September 4, 2014 10:21 am

The people at 590 just made this announcement………..I guess maybe this means no more Ric Nattress ???

“Former Toronto Maple Leaf forward Mark Osborne has joined Sportsnet590 The Fan’s coverage team. Ozzie will join Gord Stellick on Sportsnet590 after every Maple Leafs game”

Antonio
Antonio
September 4, 2014 10:38 am

Brunt should stick to writing – and that’s it. He doesn’t have the personality to be on the radio or TV.

He’s also aware of the limited jobs in media today and thus, is very careful not criticize properties of his bosses (Rogers).

Kamlesh
Kamlesh
September 4, 2014 3:38 pm

This morning Brady and Walker had Bob on. He talked mostly about is winery. Has Brady and Walker jumped the shark already? Their ratings are so good (the highest at the station, with maybe the most competitive time slot) that now they may be trapped by success and will file their rough edges to try to be all things to all people. Maybe that’s why Brady is being kinder to the Jays and Walker is posting pics of kittens on twitter.

So it’s Edward Rogers vs. Terry Pegula for the Bills. Why doesn’t E. Rogers just end bid $1.4 Billion and end this thing. It’s not like he’s done anything to earn the money. Perhaps that great truth teller, Dave Perkins, needs to slap some sense into him.

It’s a TRAGEDY that TO doesn’t have a NFL team. And Edward probably works about as hard as Robin Gibb (the middle one) in this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSq_KmikENc

Neil
Neil
September 4, 2014 4:27 pm

Hey Guys

Im big into the business of sports and business in general. Want to know what the business world thinks about Rogers Communications watch this clip with a portfolio managers perspertictive on the telecom Giant. Trust me folks rep on bay st is not the greatest.

http://www.bnn.ca/Video/player.aspx?vid=416280

Neil
Neil
September 4, 2014 4:43 pm

Here is some more perspective on what the big boys on bay street think about Rogers. As portfolio managers downgrade their recommendations when it comes to buying into the company stock, you’ve got to think how will this eventually affect some of the low revenue generators like the jays, magazines etc. cable tv etc. Check this out, not as brutal as the previous protfolio manager that just burried Rogers but nonetheless not something Rogers wants to hear. Soon every single jays player will be trying to raise money to sign free agents if this hate on Bay St continues.

http://www.bnn.ca/Video/player.aspx?vid=425748

alex
alex
September 4, 2014 9:50 pm

Brunt seemed to indicate that he will be around more as co-host in the near future.

I know some of us hoped it would happen with Cox and Shannon being pulled off for nhl coverage.

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