It's been like forever since we've had a story worth doing a wrap up on but what the @#@!#@! here we go:
Never know what turns life will take, I always wonder if this is the last time. It's been a great 15 seasons, here's hoping for 15 more. pic.twitter.com/uvxgaeLdzA
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) October 20, 2016
I know he takes a lot of crap, but I give the guy a ton of credit. Wilner, good or bad takes every call, and responds to what appears to be every tweet and does so with a hell of a lot more patience than I could.
Staying on the radio side, hats off to the entire radio crew from the Fan 590. Maybe I am a homer, but I will say having lived in a lot of different places the Blue Jays radio crew do as good a job if not better than anyone other group I've heard RECENTLY.
Question for you, if not Jerry, then who?
Although they haven't been doing games in the playoffs I think we give positive grades across the board on the TV side too don't we? I mean having Toronto's own Dan Shulman doing Jays game back just seems right doesn't it. I am not huge fan of Buck doing pbp and prefer him as an analyst however I think he's improved as time has gone on.
Did you like the 3 man booth this year? If not, what changes would you make?
Me? I'd like some more Matt Devlin doing Jays games.
Special hats off to Zaun who has become one of the most entertaining guys on air in Toronto if not Canada.
Sticking with radio, not sure anyone talks more day to day x's and o's of baseball than Andrew Walker. I wonder if he could figure more into the broadcast side of games.
Scott MacArthur does a really good job on the TSN side. Don't be surprised if he starts appearing more on your radio dial in some way.
No one is more controversial than McCown, but no one is better on the radio when they Jays are in the news. There is a common theory out there that broadcasters can't be fans, well McCown throws that out the proverbial window doesn't he. He is clearly a Jays fan and he is at his best when they are in the thick of things.
Credit where credit is due, Cox has been much better in the co-host seat during the Jays run. Let's see where things go now that the season is over and things turn to the Maple Leafs and Raptors.
I've saved Blair for last as he's become the Rogers baseball MVP. His show with Brunt is must listen to for all things Blue Jays. I don't give a rats a!@ about the stuttering that so many of you complain about. In terms of content the show is awesome. Add in the hour with Barker and it's a real cherry on top. I have no clue if what Barker is selling is legit or not, but he is entertaining.
Across the dial, I give the TSN folks credit for getting good guests talking baseball. The morning show's regular rotation of guests, Arthur, Simmons et all in addition to steady rotation (like the pun?) of baseball guests made for a good stretch of listening over the last couple of weeks.
Kudos to the OD team for talking baseball when it's really not their preferred cup of tea. They brought the same energy and focus on the Jays and it made for really good radio.
"But we’ll always look back with fondness on the Jays teams that made people care, that brought out so much emotion. It was nice, you know. It was nice when this franchise, so content in the meaningless middle for so damned long, finally tried to do too much."
That from Bruce Arthur in the Toronto Star capped off the feeling pretty well for me too.
I refuse to link to it but I remain baffled at how the Star employs Rosie or allows her to write about important things like the Blue Jays. If what she has put on Twitter recently is really from her account I suggest she'd be fired at any other publication.
"The Jays may have been talented enough to advance to the World Series, but they did not play well enough to advance to the final level, shut out by the Indians twice and scoring a total of just eight runs in five games."
Not the best article written by the Star's Richard Griffin but it tells the story accurately too.
"What must hurt most is that this looked like a genuine chance. Not a just-happy-to-be-here moment, but an opportunity to take a strong across-the-board team into a World Series with home-field advantage and maybe win it.
That chance is probably gone. Several key cogs on this team will leave. Even assuming whatever replaces them is of equal or greater quality, it will take time to gel."
That from Cathal Kelly at the Globe and Mail
"In the Toronto Blue Jays clubhouse on Wednesday night, as players exchanged hugs and packed up lockers, GM Ross Atkins walked in. He stood near Marcus Stroman, who was busy putting things in a bag. Moments ticked by. Then Stroman realized someone was standing there, and looked up. Atkins reached out a fist. Stroman bumped it. The whole scene was laboured and awkward, which makes it a fine metaphor for the Jays’ upcoming offseason. There is a lot to sort out, and it won’t be easy."
An interesting start to a very good article by Scott Stinson in the National Post.
"Jose Bautista was the last man to leave. He walked slowly, singularly towards the Blue Jays dugout. He didn’t wave, didn’t tip his cap, didn’t look up, wasn’t sure at the moment what to do or what to think.
This was the end."
That from Steve Simmons in the Toronto Sun.
Scott Mitchell had a nice piece about RA Dickey, the Jays forgotten man:
"I’ve tried to hold it lightly, but it’s hard, in particular because of the relationships,” Dickey said. “The relational component to this is something that most people on the outside of this room don’t really get, but that’s the thing that’s most valuable to me, all the relationships I’ve been able to establish and grow over time here. That’s hard for me. That’s going to be the most difficult part.”
The aforementioned Scott MacArthur filed a report after the game:
"There are two more names which will eventually adorn the façade between the third and fourth decks in Rogers Centre: Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. The future of these two men and whether they remain Toronto Blue Jays into the future will be determined in the coming months. Neither seemed particularly inclined, understandable given they’d just tasted playoff defeat moments earlier, to discuss his future."
Shi Davidi filed his usual great work post game:
"So what happens next with the pending free agencies of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista – and let’s be clear, they’ve had Level of Excellence careers in Toronto – is going to be tricky for the Blue Jays to navigate. Especially given the sentiment around a fanbase eager to see some reciprocity after leading the American League in attendance at 3,392,099."
Jeff Blair wrote what I think was the best article summarizing the Jays season and outlook on this day:
"There will be stories that come out in the next few weeks, I’m sure, that shed light on what happened during that players-only meeting in early September, and probably touch on some of the competing agendas brought on by the free agency of Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista. Only then will we be able to fully appreciate Gibbons’ steady hand."
Michael Grange offers an ominous look at things with the Jays:
"The Blue Jays season is over, and more significantly, this era of Blue Jays baseball, the one where the script flipped almost overnight from tumbleweeds blowing around the Rogers Centre on a Tuesday night to 15 months of Toronto and Canada re-emerging as one of the most dynamic baseball markets in the game, might be over too."
So, I think that just about sums it up…
The day certainly seems darker, with a lot less hope sans Blue Jays to cheer for. It's funny, for me anyway, the hope and energy around the Leafs hasn't sunk in yet. Maybe it will soon.
Here's hoping there's a stead flow of Jays news over the next couple of weeks to keep our interest up as we head into the dark days of winter.