Toronto Sports Media Sunday Musings


So all the excitement of the Toronto Blue Jays off season seems to have subsided hasn’t it. Even on the Friday round table on PTS with Bob McCown and others there were cracks in the usually pretty pro Blue Jays press club. This was before Melkie Cabrera signed over the weekend. The guru’s on Bob’s show were starting to seem a little concerned about the current state of the team with “the field” improving around the squad.

A couple of writers are starting to allude to the fact that Rogers hasn’t provided the Blue Jays with the money some others once thought he was going to have.

There’s no question Rogers is spending an insane amount of money on the Jays. However, it’s not as much some would have liked us to believe.

It’s interesting how little has been written since the Cabrera news broke hasn’t it.

I wonder how long before we start hearing all the negative stories about him now that he’s gone.

Richard Griffin has a good story on Cabrera:

Anthopoulos has the reputation of being ultra-careful and very thorough when it comes to decisions of signing or trading players. He investigates all angles then makes up his mind. He explained two years ago that he had asked his office for a study of all players, not necessarily just those that been caught but had even been suspected of PED use, players in the same age group as Cabrera. Recall Melky had been suspended with the Giants on the way to an NL batting title in 2012.
The results of the Jays’ unofficial study showed that performance in those first two years was mostly at the same level but, after that, results began to vary, suggesting to Anthopoulos a two-year contract would be relatively safe for Cabrera in 2013-14, and the price was very club friendly.

Some people at Rogers who always return calls, haven’t returned calls this week. It’s like they’re in hiding. The corporate media relations wing indicated that Rogers will not comment on “rumours.

That’s the second hard hitting attack by the media on Rogers for it’s treatment of Paul Beeston. This one from Steve Simmons, the other was Bob Elliott.

Interesting to hear Damien Cox after the second period of the Leafs game mention that there are Rumours Brian Burke isn’t happy in Calgary. His team seems to be doing fairly well. I guess time will tell.

This really is a funny city. The Buds completely shit the bed and don’t raise their sticks and there is a firestorm for days. The entire city is talking leafs. They go on a really good run and you have crickets. At least as far as hockey goes, or maple leaf fans anyway, there seems to only be excitement when their is turmoil.

As we head into 2015, I wonder what the Raptors have to do to get a little more respect, I mean coverage….


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December 15, 2014 9:04 am

Real Leaf fans are just enjoying the ride…if we aren’t hearing wisecracks about “plan the parade”, now we’re hearing “Leaf fans don’t care”? …Really?…The old adage “act like you’ve been there before” applies here and that’s what real fans are doing…This current run harkens back to the Pat Quinn, Gary Roberts, Mats Sundin days…But the Leafs haven’t really won anything yet. They are supposed to win – they were supposed to cut down the shot differential – and they have. And making the playoffs would be great, but its no reason to drive around honking your horns and flying car window flags—Act like you’ve been there before and just enjoy the ride Leaf fans.

Rogers is a joke – I predict they will sell off some of that content starting next year…(Strombo and his jeggings need to go upstairs and replace Ghomeshi)

December 15, 2014 11:52 am

I think Maple Leaf fans, and even the media to some extent, feel that this recent “success” is, just maybe, another exercise in smoke and mirrors. They really aren’t playing all that well and we have seen this before. I suspect we will see how good this team might be after their long road trip playing good teams.

If they get through that without reverting to old ways and play reasonably well during the end of the season, then the skeptical Leaf fan can let down their shoulders a bit.

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
December 15, 2014 1:54 pm

Is it ever a surprise when Rogers screws something up. This latest fiasco with Beeston is just the latest. Did they not know that the fragile relationship they had with Bell would be trashed when they took the whole NHL deal. Sure they’re in business and want to win. But with one hand you stab the competition and with the other yourself. Of course it’s not like the wound is economic. All it means is fans bear the brunt of a fractious organization trying to run three sports franchises that have horrid track records. You can only hope one party gives up and sell out. But I fear like in many divorces it won’t end until the whole situation is a complete shambles.

I’m sure am not surprised to hear old Burkie isn’t happy in cow town. I am betting he hates that he’s the GM of a team with no real profile. Even if they’re winning. It’s not really about the team, it’s about him. And he wants attention , even if it’s from the media he so dispises.

As for the Leaf profile recently it’s no surprise. This town has developed a fixation, a need to talk about the bad stuff. It sells. It gets people invloved. Bad news always delivers audience. If they keep up the solid play it will turn at playoff time. Only then does good news sell.

Dave in Bolton
Dave in Bolton
December 15, 2014 7:06 pm

id gladly welcome back Burke to the Leafs with open arms. big mistake firing him in the first place

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
December 15, 2014 7:26 pm

All due respect Dave but Burke’s tenure here was hardly successful. Calgary has been great this year but seems to be fading and who knows what Burke has done to contribute other than tell players he wants truculence. His success in Anaheim was largely renovation not build. Plus there is the hair. A major negative. No, we don’t need Burkie back. He should head up to Edmonton, insult the media, and take all attention away from the team. Diversion should be worth 3 years at $1.5MM to live in the frozen north.

December 16, 2014 8:36 am

Burke was a disaster in Toronto. Lots of bluster, lots political posturing and nothing accomplished. Thank God Bell didn’t buy his act.

December 16, 2014 9:37 am

I’m not a fan of a corporate entity like Rogers owning my favourite sports franchise.

That said… This ongoing narrative that all journalists and broadcasters who work at the fan are constantly shilling for the Blue Jays is not only getting tired… but it’s stupid, unfounded, and brings down the level of discussion here at TSM in my opinion.

Give it up.

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
December 16, 2014 12:07 pm

I don’t think the numbers would support your point Dog. In the off season the city’s most followed team, the Leaf, don’t get much mention at all. This off season TSN 1050 talks sparingly about the Jays. On the other hand the Fan590 talks Jays all day long. It’s just part of the ham handed cross promotion Rogers employs. It’s like when the magazine comes out and every show has to have a segment on an article. This typically runs over a few days. Didn’t used to be this way on the Fan. Personally I think the line between journalism and advertising has been breached. To be clear I don’t blame the talking heads. It’s a decision from on high I’m sure. Something that pervades much of how Rogers properties operate.

December 16, 2014 4:09 pm


-Citation needed.

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
December 16, 2014 5:56 pm

As I said “I don’t think the numbers……” I have no hard numbers, they’d don’t exist. I am simply going on my habit of listening to too much sports radio. And I turn the dial quite often whn the Fan pipes up about the Jays. Not so much when I am on TSN. The bigger point as I wrote is the Jays issue is part of a broader overuse of cross promotion at the Fan. And to be fair it’s not like TSN doesn’t do it too. I find it less personally. Just my thoughts.

December 16, 2014 9:38 pm

Fair enough.

I don’t believe “cross promotion” and outright shilling for the team are the same thing. It’s one thing to complain about Rogers stations promoting the team with more Jays talk. That’s fine, I suppose. But questioning the integrity of on-air hosts and SN writers for pumping the tires rather than calling out Jays management is really weak.

I suppose my dislike of this comes from being science guy and a part of a lot of online skeptic forums. I spend a lot of time debunking myths on 9/11, health quackery, and my favourite, “Chemtrails.” *shudder*
I almost get called a paid shill daily, and it’s not from the most intelligent folks. So perhaps I come from quite the biased position whenever I hear claims of shilling.

That said, I think there are some fantastic journos at Rogers/Sportsnet, and still don’t think they would all conspire together to only say good things about the Jays offseason moves for instance. It seems preposterous to me.

Steve Jones
Steve Jones
December 17, 2014 10:41 am

No, I don’t think the on air hosts are shills. Wilner, I think he’s a huge shill. Or maybe a cheerleader. He’s an immediate turn the dial. A guy like Bob gets branded I think because he has history with the team and doesn’t necessarily take the easy route if things are not going well. He does look at the situation most times objectively and asks callers for example how they would fix things. Most times of course they have no suggestions or ones that are hardly plausible.

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