Sunday Hot Topic: Why Do Jays Media Hate Fans?

Sunday Hot Topic: Why Do Jays Media Hate Fans?

by mike in boston / @mikeinbostonemail

 

Jonah was supposed to write this weekend but was bitten by a mosquito. Here’s a semi-open thread on a topic that we’ve been kicking around the the Seen & Heard office this week.

 

 

I’m old enough to remember the days before Wilner and the current “attitude” era is not the way things have always been. Scott Ferguson had the good fortune to be a lead voice at a time when the team was building its march to back-to-back Word Series wins but that alone doesn’t explain why his tenure at the helm of JaysTalk felt much friendlier. My impression is that, even with the Jays’ recent success, few media have dialled down their disdain.

 

Further, I have lived in a few baseball cities now — Boston being one of them — and find the tone of the baseball media in Toronto distinctive. When the Red Sox won their 1st Word Series in 86 years there was a noticeable détente in fan-media relations. Perhaps a championship in Toronto would bring the same, but I am not convinced.

 

Pay attention to the number of people who write or post simply to say “boy , check out these morons!” or “sigh, I guess I’ll explain this to you one more time …” Then make a list of the people who don’t. Add to the first category people who don’t seem capable of having seeing more than one side to a debate. Add to the second people who lay out all the evidence and invite others to help interpret the data. Column A outnumbers column B by my math.

 

I don’t want to paint with too broad a brush here: there are several media who rarely frame their opinions with the preface “dumb people think X, whereas I on the other hand think Y”. However that general sentiment is pervasive.

 

 

I don’t make a living arguing with people about sports on twitter. I imagine that this can be a draining aspect of the job of the modern day journalist. If you get paid to do that 40+ weeks a year, it’s going to take its toll on you, and you might occasionally snap off 140 haughty characters.

 

However for contrast have a look at the feeds of folks like Richard Griffin or Shi Davidi or Ben Nicholson-Smith. These examples prove that it is possible to write and talk about the team without excessive superciliosity. No one ever accused Griff of being a fence-sitter. But for the most part he manages to avoid scorn directed at the fanbase while delivering his opinions. On the other hand, when it comes to scornful tweets about Jays media, Griffin sometimes lets loose:

 

 

There are plenty of rumours about Barry’s relationship with the players and the rest of the media but I won’t repeat them here. His post post-game career has moved in exciting new directions — ex-Jay Brandon Morrow is on his podcast this week — and he will always have a special place in the hearts and minds of the fanbase, and at least some of the players.

 

 

While some Jays media would welcome a hug from a Jay, others will do anything to avoid one. Exhibit A:

 

 

The folks over at reddit were quite unhappy with Arash for leaving Biagini hanging. Personally, I can’t find fault with someone — especially someone who works for Rogers — for taking himself seriously as a journalist and wanting to maintain professional demeanour and distance from a subject while on live TV. Further, can you imagine if the roles were reversed and a sideline reporter tried to hug a player on the field? Players would, I hope, complain.

 

Lastly, in my opinion, Arash is miscast in this role. Hazel is the best and should be doing all home games and all east coast away games.  The broadcast is always better with her on it, and we don’t have to watch her try the local fried food as some networks do with their female hosts.

 

If Sportsnet insists on having Arash on the Jays broadcasts, flip him with Jamie Campbell. Arash and Zaun might make for compelling TV. I have a half written piece on misuse of talent in sports media that I’ll post later this summer.

 

With the playoffs basically out of reach for 2017 most of the media attention will now turn to trades and developing a strategy for g/etting back to the post-season as quickly as possible. Lott has a good piece on different approaches the team could take. I am staunchly in the reload/retool camp. If you’re going to have a top 10 payroll then you don’t need to gut your team in order to improve significantly. If you’re willing to take on or eat salary this makes you a better trade partner than other teams. Stripping things down to the bolts is easy. Combining declining veterans who can still contribute with established and promising youth is much harder.

 

It will be interesting to see if Shapiro is up to the task. If he can get this team back to the playoffs in the next 2 years people will forget all about AA. Speaking of forgetting, I am going to miss José when he goes. He has been the most interesting Blue Jay in my adult life. Flashback read: here’s Brendan Kennedy of The Star on the Bautista Sportsnet boycott over Devon Travis’ unpaid suit.

 

It will also be interesting to watch the media debate each other over the current state of the Jays and whether this outcome was ineluctable given the poor off-season they had. I find “prediction-talk” to be some of the lowest form of conversation, but others revel in it.

 

 

If you’re scoring at home, here’s how I have it:

 

 

 

Other people spent the day focusing on other important matters:

 

 

If Sunday was the last meaningful baseball game (™️Bob McCown) until April the media deserve a round of applause for the hard work they put in on twitter. If you care about professional journalism, support your local papers and websites!

 

Over to you: here are specific questions to get things started:

 

1) Do you agree that Jays media collectively have a somewhat hostile relationship with the fanbase?

 

2) Is it noticeably more hostile as compared to Leafs and Raps media? Argos? TFC? Marlies?

 

3) Who does the best job interacting with the Jays fanbase without imperiousness?

 

p.s. – I have more followers than TSN1050 PD Jeff MacDonald and I have almost caught up with 590’s Dave Cadeau. Help me reach this important personal milestone. I’ll donate $20 to charity when I pass him. That’s a deal you can’t refuse: follow me.

 

p.p.s. – I am going to write about the end of Sportnet magazine in the next few months. I have spoken to many people at this point but if you have thoughts and we have not connected, please reach out. With the ludicrous video-only trend picking up speed, a sports journalism magazine would stand alone in the marketplace.

 

 

thanks for reading and commenting,

until next time …

mike (not really in boston)

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 81
  • comment-avatar
    Paul 4 weeks

    .

  • comment-avatar
    Cirroc 4 weeks

    I find that Blair has become unbearable in his smugness. I don’t really twitter but I had to unfollow him just because he was clogging up my newsfeed with his asshole behaviour.

  • comment-avatar

    mike (in boston): Great column, as always. Thanks for all you do to foster great discussion.

    Trying to remain positive, I will skip right to Q3: Agreed on Richard Griffin. Guy knows the game and the business better than most if not all, yet doesn’t rub it in the face of the market.

  • comment-avatar
    Pete 4 weeks

    I do agree that the media has a somewhat hostile relationship with the fanbase. For me, it comes down to the fact that the ownership of the media arm of the team is also the owner of the team. The lack of objectively is quite apparent and I think it frustrates the fanbase and causes friction between the two.

    Flipping Campbell for Arash? I don’t see it happening, nor do I see any reason why it should happen. I think Campbell has found his niche in the role after being cast aside from play-by-play calling, and he and Zaun have great chemistry. If anything, Arash should be given more of a spotlight in the role he is in that Hazel has taken a chunk out of.

    I’ve never commented on the Arash/Biagini “incident”, but it was awkward to watch. From Arash’s end. I get wanting to maintain journalistic integrity, especially when the reporters of the team are considered fanboys. But it was a rare instance where a player bucked the typical robotic trend of athletes and it would have been fun to see it reciprocated. Of course Arash (or any other reporter) couldn’t ask a player for the same (at least on air). But no one gives a damn about the reporter (Arash) when an athlete is standing beside him.

  • comment-avatar

    @cirroc – Agreed about blair – Blair and Wilner(the unbearable) are the prime examples of what happens when they think they are far more important then their readers/listeners –

  • comment-avatar
    Twc 4 weeks

    I went to Jays spring training in Dunedin a few years ago, and there was an event at the hotel for the tour group I was part of where a couple of people and afew people from Jays media were in attendance, including Mike Wilner. A photographer was taking a photos, so I asked Mike to take one with my son and I. He graciously accepted, but as the photo was being taken when the photographer said “smile”, Mike said “say something stupid, like the callers.” Pretty much summarized his thoughts on his listeners.

  • comment-avatar
    mario 4 weeks

    Thanks great read. I agree some of the posters. Maybe it all comes down because the Jays are owned by Rogers and the Argo are owned by Bell. Jays on a larger scale they get more attention and are followed more closely and people just hate them for it.

  • comment-avatar
    Curt 4 weeks

    Good column. For me, it comes down to reporters being fans – which is largely the case at SN. (Though I will say that Steve Philips at TSN rivals anyone at Rogers for fandom – maybe he sees his future there.) The problem is obvious: objectivity goes out the window when reporters and players are paid by the same employer. Call it willful ignorance, maybe.

    From a reporter/fan perspective, that’s fine when things are going well. But when it becomes clear that things aren’t going well and these reporters/PR guys start blowing smoke, trying to convince fans that “it’s early” or “these players are too good to be this bad,” etc, then the more realistic fans start feeling like their intelligence is being insulted. That’s when the breakdown happens. Fans push back and the likes of Wilner and Blair opt for the condescending beat down of anyone who dares look at the club with anything other than rose-coloured glasses.

    That said, Toronto does seem to be turning into the new Boston where, traditionally, there is neurosis in abundance on both sides of the reporter/fan divide. The Jays could now be in for a few bad years and it’ll be interesting to see where all this bottoms out.

  • comment-avatar
    Tighthead 4 weeks

    Much of the sports media in general is condescending. Most of them rarely consider contrary opinions with any seriousness, just dismissing them with a laugh. The groupthink is huge.

    Bob McKenzie seems like one of the more open minded ones and nitbshcokingky he is widely liked and respected. Melnick in Montreal does a pretty good job of having an opinion, but entertaining opposing ones.

  • comment-avatar
    Hec 4 weeks

    In defense of Wilner .. have you ever listened to his post-game show? Some of the callers lead me to wonder if they should take an IQ test before calling. I blame the format OR his call-screeners. btw Arash really is terrible but Campbell does alot with what he’s got. Go Jamie!

  • comment-avatar
    McIvor 4 weeks

    “for taking himself seriously as a journalist and wanting to maintain professional demeanour and distance from a subject while on live TV.”

    My God, man, he is covering sports, not Parliament. Learn to have some goddamn fun. When you’re on your deathbed, will you be proud that you went through life with a stick up your butt?

    Some of you people treat sports like it is life and death, a more serious subject to cover than politics or war. It is something people watch because it is fun, why can’t you get that through your thick heads?

  • comment-avatar
    Paul G. 4 weeks

    A couple of questions for MontFromLondonOnt; if he would be so kind?

    Residing in a city that has decades of exposure and support for the Detroit sports market; I would appreciate hearing your comments on today’s topic as it applies to the Detroit media and the teams they cover.

    Do you find the media across the border to be more critical of that city’s teams or similar to that of their Toronto colleagues?

    Also, have you observed any difference(s) in how they interact with the Detroit fan base.

    Thank you and looking forward to reading your response.

  • comment-avatar
    WestdaleRocks 4 weeks

    For some unknown reason, many media personalities feel that success means being controversial and being controversial means being arrogant. Take McCown and Wilner. Both have a high level of arrogance. But McCown also has a sense of humour along with a broadcasting skill set that few possess. So we forgive the arrogance of Bob. I don’t defend Wilmer for his behaviour towards fans. It’s his own fault that he’s an apologist for the ball club. I realize it’s tough dealing with callers day in and day out, many of whom shouldn’t be allowed on the air. But you get around that by having better call screening and having a quick trigger finger to end a call. You can end a call without being rude or arrogant. As for Blair, his ability to dismiss an opinion is legendary, notninna good way. Knowledge is knowledge. Blair has it, so why be a jerk about it? Be like Griffin or Elliott’s. Controversy and arrogance may get a few more “likes”, but it won’t get respect.

  • comment-avatar

    Great article mike.

    I don’t find Blair comes across overly hostile with the fans. Likes to expose the odd moron but will take calls and look for good points. Wilner’s unbearable most of the time. The first take he doesn’t like he just throws an arrow at it. Bad tone also.

    Walker’s always blatantly calling out the fans, sounds like he wears a superfan belt to the games. Smart takes overall w Jays but why always bark at fanbase. Sure there’s a new wave out there, let them learn.

    Davidi never seems to get agitated, consistent and honest. At the Letters boys just crank out good info, no baggage.

  • comment-avatar
    Omar 4 weeks

    With social media access fans have nowadays it is understandable that there are more instances of media persons being prickly. I suspect that the older generation of scribes (Dunnell, Proudfoot, Beddoes et al.) would have been the same if the general public had points of contact other than a letter to the editor.

  • comment-avatar
    yaz 4 weeks

    Blair opened his show with 15 minutes of fan contempt today, basically barking at fans about how they are idiots for wanting a tear down/rebuild.

  • comment-avatar
    Anthony 4 weeks

    @Paul G

    While I’m not Mont, I do spend quite a bit of time in both Detroit and Boston on business and listen to sports talk while I’m there. Only difference that I see is everything seems more amplified. Everything is made a bigger deal, everything is louder, everything is more brash. A story that we talk about here would be amplified and gimmick up every which way.

    @TSM

    I think your being unrealistic to expect humans not to have human reactions to things said to them. Like I said in the previous paragraph, the same things happen in the states, its just amplified. When someone calls into a Boston station to offer the same type of dumb trade or thought that is offered to anyone on the FAN or TSN, they mock the caller two fold.

    I don’t believe this is just a Blue Jays thing either, scroll back James Mirtle’s twitter feed a year or so and see how he reacted to dumb things said to him on twitter. Not that he’s the public face of a media movement, he’s much more reserved, probably because hes trying to sell subscriptions. Before that, he was the most condescending writer in Toronto towards hockey fans. Steve Simmons, Damian Cox, they all treat Leaf fans the same way that they treat Jays fans, its more to do with their personality, not the sports teams.

    I don’t have an issue with the condensation myself, fans are emotional and lack knowledge for the most part, they spend all winter crying over signing Justin Smoak, make up false narratives, and when they are wrong, they never call back and say so. All that’s fine, but when you make dumb claims (manager has lost a team, manager cant manage) without having any actual knowledge, you have to prepare for push pack.

    And all add, If Mike thinks Toronto media personalities are hard on fans, I wonder what he thinks about Boston sports personalities
    https://twitter.com/LouMerloni/status/856253929621008384

    Be careful what you wish for, ill take condescending vs. threatening violence.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 4 weeks

    It’s not the media’s job to entertain every ridiculous notion that fans come up with. I’m glad there’s some pushback against the reactionary part of the fanbase, otherwise what’s the point of them? And the fans who want an Astros/Phillies type teardown are a part of that (I suspect they’ll also be the first ones to tune out as the team loses 90+ games for the next 4 years).

    Is it worse in baseball? Maybe, because baseball’s variance of results is so much greater than the other sports (i.e. a great team being expected to win just 63% of games, and winning just 53% is entirely possible) you get a lot more noise in the results that some fans amplify and try to craft wide narratives around it. But I’ve seen some similar things in Leafs coverage, wouldn’t say Jays reporters are exclusive.

  • comment-avatar
    Hans 4 weeks

    I see it as a “I know better than you” appeal to authority type of attitude (like the kind that Steve Simmons, Damian Cox and Bruce Arthur tend to display) that many have with the fans. I almost want to say it’s a class issue where many of the Jays media see themselves as being above the fanbase and see the fans as being a “lower class” to them.

  • comment-avatar

    Last year Walker took great delight in saying “I told you so” to many “dumb” Jays fans when Tulowitzki rebounded with some decent play after a very slow start to the season……..this year Tulo got off to another slow start but this time he hasn’t rebounded so far……….maybe the “dumb” Jays fans weren’t so dumb after

    In other Walker news, he has now been confirmed as the drive time co-host at Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver……….apparently he will be a guest on 590 today and tomorrow will be his last show as co-host on 590………..starting on Wednesday the afternoon show will be called “Sportsnet Today with Ben Ennis”

  • comment-avatar
    Original Mitch 4 weeks

    It’s social media, plain and simple. It has exposed the arrogance, jerk journalist. We know exactly who they are based on the tone of their tweets.

    If you want to get down to more nitty gritty reasons. Here’s my take
    Sportsnet has long employed personalities who aren’t likeable, generally speaking and have let go the ones who were (dreger, ferraro). For some reason they decided early to stick to a formula of arrogance ( broad strokes I know but we can all name a long list of their personalities who are). Just take TSN hockey panel versus SN and they me which ones have fun and seem like good guys vs which one is brash, arrogant and know it all (pre Ron days, think Millard at the helm).

    Then they went out and bought their way to the top of the sportscasting world thanks largely to the baseball club they own and the absurdly large NHL deal. So now, on top of being arrogant to begin with, you add the fact they yap on social media AND the fact they have to defend this baseball club no matter what or face employment penalties. So now because they are number 1, we are exposed to them a lot more and with jays struggling we are exposed to their condescension a lot more.

    I don’t know why SN employs this bully sportscaster mentality but as one pointed out, it works in the States. However I think you can still be stubborn and nice to fans. I don’t see why you have to make a point and condescend the caller/tweet. It’s why we hold Shi or Elliot with high regard. They are geneuinely nice people.

  • comment-avatar
    Anthony 4 weeks

    @Mitch

    Its not a sportsnet thing, its a human thing. Most of the examples that MIB used have nothing to do with Sportsnet. I linked to a Boston sports personality who threatened fans with a bat to the head. Thats not an isolated incident.

    I don’t think its a bad thing, Fans say dumb things, they should be called out over them. Lord knows fans love to call out media types.

    I actually noticed a bit of a trend recently. I don’t think its just Toronto media guys hate tweeting Toronto fans, I think I see more media guys in general hate tweeting Toronto. I can’t count the amount of Edmonton or Montreal media types who mock Toronto for some reason or another. I remember MIB mocking Jack Todd over one of his tweets.

    Social Media allows the worst of the worst to get a voice, be it fans, media or others. End of the day if you engage someone, and its a bad tweet, you should expect a bad response, regardless who you are tweeting. The bad response is on you.

  • comment-avatar
    Anthony 4 weeks

    ‘But I’ve seen some similar things in Leafs coverage, wouldn’t say Jays reporters are exclusive.’

    +1

    Anyone who wants to make this a ‘Jays’ thing is simply ignoring other sports because its July.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 4 weeks

    Sounds like Cadeau hasn’t figured out what to do with 1-4 yet with that generic title they’re going with.

    Bloomberg has a story about The Athletic getting another round of funding last week. In it, they mention that Toronto has over 10,000 subscribers already. Very strong support here so far.

  • comment-avatar
    Omar 4 weeks

    Its not a sportsnet thing, its a human thing. Most of the examples that MIB used have nothing to do with Sportsnet. I linked to a Boston sports personality who threatened fans with a bat to the head. Thats not an isolated incident.

    Lou Merino didn’t threaten anyone with a bat to the head. He didn’t even mention a bat.

  • comment-avatar
    Omar 4 weeks

    *Merloni

  • comment-avatar
    Dan (Sackville) 4 weeks

    Sounds like Cadeau hasn’t figured out what to do with 1-4 yet with that generic title they’re going with.

    It should alaways have been a generic name after Brady left. After years of paying insane $$$ for the worst daytime slot I’m betting they go for the cheapest option possible. Ennis is already the cheapest fulltime guy so I’m betting they leave it as is, or tack on a producer or one of the update guys. The current show is pretty bad and it’s going to stay bad but who cares.

    The progressive option is to add a woman but all of them have cushy eye candy gigs reading from scripts. If Hazel Mae would ever agree to it, she would be great. Not sure what her deal is but she got bumped from a desk show and shares Jays with Madani. Hazel can’t do TV forever. A full-time radio gig with some TV every now and then might be the best of both worlds for Sportsnet.

  • comment-avatar
    Paul G. 4 weeks

    Mike V

    Thank you for the Bloomberg link. The Athletic has taken/grown far more to date, than I thought it would.

  • comment-avatar
    Anthony 4 weeks

    @Omar

    Ball, autocorrect. Either way he’s being a dick to fans, hopefully the point was taken.

    Another point about the media going after Leaf fans, shall anyone remember Patrick O’Sullivan’s twitter feed? Its just media, not Toronto Blue Jays media.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike 4 weeks

    Blair came across like an idiot today in his rant against the fans who want a rebuild.

    The whole gist of his argument was that the Jays shouldn’t tear the team down Astros style because “Toronto can’t sign big name free agents”.

    Doesn’t that make a full tear down even more imperative? I mean if you can’t sign big name free agents how else do you get superstars?

    How about drafting and developing them and/or racking up a tonne of prospects to flip in a trade for a superstar?

    He’s not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. Arrogant and stupid is a bad combination.

    Blair should also explain how the 2016 Indians and 2015 Royals happened – because they sure as hell didn’t build their teams by signing big name free agents or riding a 75-85 win treadmill with a team of 30+ year olds.

    Who knows, maybe he’s just ballwashing his employer.

  • comment-avatar
    Big G 4 weeks

    Mike,

    I could not agree with you more. below is an example of Jeff Blair’s warped level of reasoning

    free agents aren’t coming here
    We have old players
    no one has trade value

    Oh ya by the way if we rebuild Rogers the multi billion Dollar company is in trouble.

    By the way Mr Blair Rogers has nothing to loose on a rebuild this is a company that makes most of it’s revenue through it’s other entities like Internet and Cell phone service. The Jays are way down on the pecking order. I would guess that this company has reported a loss on this business many many times with no harm to the company. I’m glad you realize your show will take a big hit in the event of a rebuild.

  • comment-avatar
    Carl A 4 weeks

    If you want to see Sportsnet media attack all you have to do is criticize John Gibbons. They circle the wagons to defend him. It seems to me that the only one who will criticize the Jays is Greg Zaun. The rest seem to be singing from the same sound book.

  • comment-avatar
    Mike V 4 weeks

    There very likely won’t be, nor should there be, a full scorched-earth type rebuild. How hard is that to understand? I really don’t get the fascination from some that want the team to be purposefully terrible for the next 3+ years to get a not-significantly-better chance they’ll be great in 2022.

    Yes, Rogers would notice the impact of the Blue Jays losing 100 games or more. Even if you ignore the revenue hit from lower interest (or assume its offset by slashing the payroll to bare bones which is questionable given Tulo/Martin), the team doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Fewer fans in the seats and watching on Sportsnet means fewer chances to flock cellphones, internet packages, Sportsnet Now, whatever else they want.

  • comment-avatar
    Joe 4 weeks

    The role of reporters who report the news and columnists who provide opinions have, in many places, merged and become the same thing. When times are tough for a team, fans expect reporters to agree with the sky is falling mentality. Something that a traditional columnist will do but possibly not a traditional reporter / beat writer whose job may be different. The reporter/beat writer will often take a more measured approach and this leads to clashes with fans. It happens to Doug Smith all the time – people irrationally hate him for not being emotional or invested in the success of team.

    As for John Gibbons, this team is not 10 games under because of him. But, Jays fans hate him for a variety of reasons, including because he was not the big name they were hoping for. If you gave the option of Showalter or Gibbons, Jays fans would choose Showalter 9 times out of 10, even though it was not Gibbons who made the worst managerial decisions in wildcard game history.

  • comment-avatar
    Jay Bird 4 weeks

    Interesting topic/read this week- thanks. And as always- I enjoy the comments that others post and the breadth of ‘takes’ on things. My 2 cents:
    As the Blue Jays are Rogers, and Sportsnet is Rogers, and the Fan 590 is Rogers, and Rogers calls the shots at Rogers…well, you get my drift- I firmly believe the lines have become blurred beyond repair wrt the Rogers branded ‘media’ and the Jays. They are one in the same, and frankly it became nauseating a few years back.
    Full disclosure- I love the Jays and love baseball in general. I know the game, understand its nuances, and at the expense of sounding arrogant- I know more about the game than most of the Rogers Sportsnet talking heads ever will. I don’t need the condescending noise they create to tell me how to watch/listen/feel about the team or the game.
    I turned off the Fan 590 a very long time ago, and have never missed it, not for one second. Of course, the ONLY exception is to listen to a ballgame on a summer day/night. Jerry and Joe do a great job of setting the scenes.

    As for the Campbells/Madanis/Wilners/Maes/Barkers/Blairs- call them apologists, or faux-contrarians, or whatever you like- but they know who signs the paycheques. For example, a few years back, when Wilner falsely thought he was empowered to be a ‘sports journalist’, he found himself in the Rogers doghouse- an employer-issued suspension for stepping out of line from the Rogers/Jays’ marching orders. The culture and the expectations are clear. Buck, Pat, and even Jerry from time-to-time have all fallen victim to it.
    So, it stands to reason that when any type of criticism is levied upon the Jays by the fandom, the collective reaction by the Rogers ‘media’ towards said fandom becomes one of instant backlash. But can you really blame them? The risk of ‘agreeing’ with a critical viewpoint might be a Rogers-issued timeout in the corner, or worse. Don’t get me wrong- I feel zero need to defend these folks. They should just get over themselves and be honest with themselves and their listeners/viewers about their roles. Pretending to be objective, unbiased, ‘journalists’ with the empowerment to provide critical opinion is foolish. Get off the high-horse, save some integrity, and embrace the thing through a bit of a different lense. As an earlier commenter posted- it’s sports, not world politics.
    Judging by the tone of dozens of comments on this forum, Wilner and Blair in particular must be continuing their real or caricatured disdain for their listeners. Of course, this strikes me as odd because those very fans are their CUSTOMERS. But the facade of deep-thinking ‘insiders’ and smart guys has to continue I suppose in order to justify their existence.

    My suggestion: do yourselves a favour (if you haven’t already)- take a step back from bothering to listen to them at all. Embrace the game again for the beauty of the game itself, cheer for your team and raise questions as the intelligent fan that you already are- and stop letting the Rogers ‘media’ tell you how you dumb you are for asking…

  • comment-avatar
    Omar 4 weeks

    @Anthony
    What Merloni wad saying is how would someone react to standing in the batters box facing down a 95mph heater? He didn’t threaten anyone. Yes he’s prickly but that doesn’t equate to threatening voilence.

  • comment-avatar
    Omar 4 weeks

    I dont find Jeff Blair to be an apologist. He has gone out of his to point out under performers. I find his frankness a refreshing change from most of the Rogers talking heads. I enjoy his take on all things baseball. I think he does a great job. ~No, I am in no way affiliated with Rogers.

  • comment-avatar
    Paul G. 4 weeks

    Caroline Cameron co-hosted the first hour of PTS today with Bob.

    Personally, I thought she did a good job and Bob appeared to have a good rapport with her. When Eugenie Bouchard’s appearance was delayed until the second hour, he asked her to stay back for that interview.

    Along with Elliotte Friedman (co-hosting today), it made for a good and informative piece without the usual arguments and put downs; that too often these days define the airwaves.

  • comment-avatar
    Big G 4 weeks

    When will people stop this ridiculous notion

    there is absolutely no connection between Jays fans and Rogers home phone, internet, cable etc success. This is the most ridiculous business notion I have ever heard , yet fans and even Rogers puppets Jeff and Bob spew this stuff all the time to the point that I called Bob on it. If your a bell mobility customer which thousands of Jays fans probably are, this doesn’t mean that they are automatically going to switch their cell phone service if Jays win the world series. Jays are not exactly apart of the Rogers bundle packages, It’s simply a ridiculous assumption. When people call Rogers are the reps mandated to talk Jays?
    The backlash is simply ignorance to how this business works and ignorance to the fact that jays are pretty much nothing in the big picture of this enterprise. Yes that’s right Jays do not move the stock price.

    Rogers simply has nothing to loose by blowing this up. The radio guys are against it simply because the baseball guys like Blair no nothing else and so a team blow up would mean less time for Blair to spew his garbage.

    Many forget and many weren’t born when Rogers acquired this team and J.P Richardi was brought in, they blew it up because the team coming from interbrew was hemraging money (yet they still bought it), nonetheless Rogers now has annual revenue of 13 billion dollars not to mention after the blow up they still acquired Sprint Canada,(Callnet) Fido(Microcell) and much later a 37% stake in MLSE, I say this to say the company is not largely affected by their baseball holdings hence the reason they bought it when it was loosing a lot of money. NHL different story. The baseball team is peanuts in the grand plan of such a large corporation, Take note of the fact that media companies no longer have ownership in any mlb team because it’s nothing in the overall. Time Warner divested of the Braves, News Corp divest of the Dodgers, Disney Divested of the Anaheim Angels. Also take note of this a blow up would be a very tax friendly move for Rogers. Corporations this size are all about tax loopholes, a rebuild would bring about some more years of Rogers reporting losses from the baseball side. Rogers will leverage the jays with or without a large fanbase just as they have done in the past

    Jays TV and Radio numbers have historically been strong even in the down years as has the merchandise sales, so I’m not sure why people are griping about a rebuild or care about how bad it is for business as oppose to the fact that it will make them stronger later again ignorance to how the business works.

    I’ve held a ton of Rogers stock for over a decade now and I see the bigger picture beginning from the time they hired Shapiro who has done fairly well in drafts, drafting some big names and setting records in attendance using young home grown controllable talent. Rogers has many times in there history in different businesses taken a step back to move forward. This is how Ted built the company and thrived. Jays in their current state are a declining stock so a restructuring needs to be undertaken. IF they were an actually stock listed on the TSX they would have tanked on the premise of uncertainty and with a unknown plan and very little upside.

    Another note for those that think that Jays are so important to this multi-billion dollar empire that they can’t rebuild, lets remember the Rogers Centre is a very large entertainment centre that not only host their baseball team but many other venues annually. Don’t worry people Rogers will be just fine financially if they blow up the team as will the Wilners and Blairs. Rogers will not any time soon start divesting of assets because of a Jays rebuild.

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    Mike V 4 weeks

    there is absolutely no connection between Jays fans and Rogers home phone, internet, cable etc success.

    Right, an average captive audience of a million fans for 162 games does nothing for the rest of the business lines. Might as well stop marketing altogether if you’re going to take that view.

    Rogers puppets Jeff and Bob spew this stuff all the time

    But if everyone on Sportsnet is just a Rogers puppet doing whatever management wants, and most of them are against an Astros-type rebuild, wouldn’t that indicate that Rogers is not going that way?

    Rogers simply has nothing to loose by blowing this up.

    Except half the TV audience and 1-1.5 million tickets sold.

    Many forget and many weren’t born when Rogers acquired this team and J.P Richardi was brought in, they blew it up because the team coming from interbrew was hemraging money (yet they still bought it), nonetheless Rogers now has annual revenue of 13 billion dollars not to mention after the blow up they still acquired Sprint Canada,(Callnet) Fido(Microcell) and much later a 37% stake in MLSE

    Look, no one is suggesting that as the Jays go so does the rest of Rogers in lockstep. The company won’t implode on a rebuild. But to say that the team is nothing in the business plan, some piece of junk being dragged behind the rest of the empire on a chain and that they could bring all the Fisher Cats up for 2018 to go 32-130 with no impact is foolish. Also, interesting you included MLSE, more sports teams.

    I say this to say the company is not largely affected by their baseball holdings hence the reason they bought it when it was loosing a lot of money.

    Or you know, they saw value in having the asset.

    NHL different story.

    Wait, hold up. Why is the NHL a different story? Oh so hockey revenue is key but baseball isn’t.

    Time Warner divested of the Braves, News Corp divest of the Dodgers, Disney Divested of the Anaheim Angels

    And how did those trades work out? Time Warner is paying the Dodgers hundreds of millions a year for the rights on a channel they can’t get distributed in LA and the team is worth over $2B.

    Shapiro who has done fairly well in drafts, drafting some big names and setting records in attendance using young home grown controllable talent.

    No one is saying they shouldn’t still be drafting well… and Cleveland with attendance records?

    Rogers has many times in there history in different businesses taken a step back to move forward

    People are arguing for 3-4 years in the wilderness to maybe get back to the fan support they currently have… look at the Raptors and how long they were lost. It’s arguable that even though this team has had more success, the team was still more popular overall in the Vince Carter years.

    lets remember the Rogers Centre is a very large entertainment centre that not only host their baseball team but many other venues annually.

    How much is a 30 year old baseball stadium worth? Sure, it hosts a dozen or so concerts but that is not making up for a big drop in game attendance.

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    Daniel 4 weeks

    @Big G

    I agree with all of your premises. But I think the theory and reality of business can be quite difference. While it can’t be proven in any way that the Jays success is linked to phone, internet sales I believe that consumers can be extremely irrational, and if someone is upset with their cable service, but they Jays are in the playoffs, or in a playoff push, there is less incentive to call and complain, just because the consumer is distracted by Jays successes, leafs young talent ect

    Also, if you’re the President of the cable division (sportsnet = Jays), the cellular division (Jays games streaming = data), internet division your bonuses are dependent on your divisions income. Jays being competitive can only help your divisions. wouldn’t you push the higher ups to keep the jays competitive? Wouldn’t you push hard? its no skin off your back. there’s only upside there. and I’m sure if you have enough divisional presidents pushing to keep the Jays competitive, as a CEO wouldn’t you be listening to them? wouldn’t they be influencing your decision? I think they would

    Also, if you’ve owned publicly traded stock for a while then you know people make decisions that help a company in the short term, but kill them in the long term. they do this because they already know that they won’t be at Rogers 3-4 years from now, but they need their bonus and stock options for 2017. and 2017 is the only year they care about

    All of your notions make sense in theory, and its how a GOOD company would operate (long term > short term), but I would argue that Rogers is not a good company. They are a bad company with an oligopoly and a hand shake agreement with Bell to keep 1) prices high 2) barriers to entry high which allows them to continue to be poorly run AKA don’t rebuild the jays

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    I have to be totally honest: I don’t understand what the the argument is about. Here are some facts:

    • Rogers media revenues were 2.15 billion on 13.6 billion total revenue in 2016
    • sports are about 55% of that revenue, and the Jays are a portion of that [suppose 50%, which might be high)
    • for easy math, that means Jays brought in ~$600 million in revenue in 2016
    • media yields about 13% profit overall, so the Jays might have been worth $78 million in profit in 2016 (when they went to the playoffs for 2nd year in a row)
    • wireless brought in $3.3 BILLION in profit in 2016

    Everything right now is driven by cable, internet and wireless with the last category being the most important. There are lots of ways to sell cell phone contracts. The Jays are one way, but hardly the only one. If Rogers were to move on from the Jays they would lose something of value but would replace it with something else of value that might yield more than 78 million in revenue.

    The Teacher’s Pension Plan saw fit to cash out of the Leafs. That was inconceivable to everyone, but made financial sense to lots of smart people. Clearly, the business implications to Rogers of selling the Jays could make sense despite the current synergies they bring. Let’s not pretend like this is impossible.

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    yaz 4 weeks

    Is that EBITDA? Asking for Bob.

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    Best comment yet delivered by yaz … broke me up! Well played, sir!

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    Daniel 4 weeks

    Anyone else notice on twitter how up in arms Vancouver sports fans seem to be that Andrew Walker has worked in Toronto? The guy has lived in Western Canada his whole life, but because he took a job in Toronto for a couple years, they’re worried that means he’s going to go there and be mean about the Canucks now or something? Good lord.

    I thought Torontonians were insecure about the ‘are we a world class city stuff’, but this takes the cake. As if anyone here even batted an eye that Elliot Price was from Montreal for example. It’s kind of embarrassing for them.

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    Big G 4 weeks

    There is absolutely no evidence to show that a happy jays fan makes a potential rogers home phone internet or cable customer. Cross marketing has been around forever fact of the matter is this is very hard to quantify furthermore now more than ever people these days are unlikely to give all their services to one provider. The assumption can be made sure, the monetization is impossible to know. I would guess that when people talk jays the conversation doesn’t automatically turn into cell phones and internet. Bottom line Rogers has always been the kingpin in the wireless and Internet space, simply because they jumped out way ahead of their competitors and built their infrastructure. Do the Jays help via advertising, sure?? but not to the degree that people are making it out to be. Rogers posted very strong quarterly results does this mean Q1 next year will be a pull back based on the team missing the playoff?
    Just two years ago during the Guy Lawrence tenure the entire media division was under review for possible divestature. This would not be the case if the media assets were so relavant

    Based on what Ted stated this was more apart of his Canadianess, however shareholders and Tony Viner the former Roger Media CEO were dead set against it based on the hemorrhaging of cash. The real estate however was a big draw, especially now given that Rogers has plenty of real estate holdings.

    Time Warner divested of the Braves, News Corp divest of the Dodgers, Disney Divested of the Anaheim Angels. The fact is Time Warner Cable is paying the Dodgers rights not Time Warner Inc. Time Warner Cable is owned by Charter Communications. It was spun off by Time Warner Inc. former owner of the braves and never rebranded.

    Rogers has many times in there history in different businesses taken a step back to move forward

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    Tighthead 4 weeks

    Daniel – it’s crazy. They are furious that an “east coast media guy” is coming into their market. Those fans need everyone waving the Pom poms. His tweet from 2011 saying he didn’t like the Canucks is getting lots of play.

    I hope he doesn’t tell them the team is garbage and the ownership nutty. Could be a rude awakening.

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    edge 4 weeks

    It’s clear that the Rogers/Jays deal is good in some ways and bad in others. It’s “free content” for Rogers, and the Jays are a ratings bonanza, arguably moreso than the NHL. It gave them a relatively cheap building on absolutely prime real estate. For the Jays, it means every single one of their games is a national broadcast. Other than the Raptors, no other Big 4 sports team can say that.

    But then there are downsides. Because they’re owned by their broadcaster, the Jays can’t monetize their rights the way other clubs can, like the monster deals that the Cardinals and Cubs get. And for Rogers, the fact they cover the very team they own means its hard to take their news coverage of the team seriously. Even if it is unfair to generalize all their Jays reporters this way, it’s hard to ignore the fact that they all work for the team, and their independence is compromised as a result. Some of them don’t even try to hide their homerism. It’s especially amusing in this period where they are a last place team. To paraphrase a popular show, “It’s Always Sunny in Toronto”.

    For everyone involved, it would be better if the Jays were sold. I’m not holding my breath though. Rogers would have to conclude that owning and running the team were not worth it to the overall brand. I only see this happening if cord-cutting continues.

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    Joe 3 weeks

    I don’t understand Big G’s point around former media companies that sold their sport franchises. Those media company were huge, way bigger than Rogers, and in many cases, it made no sense to own them given the size of their businesses (Disney owning baseball and hockey teams – why?) and the diverse geography that they serve. All those US media companies were large national companies owning a very local team. Rogers is not that. The Blue Jays are the team for a much larger geographic area (owns TV rights to all of Canada) with Rogers acting more like a regional player.

    Regardless, the separate between teams and broadcasters does not exist. There are a whole host of big league teams that own portions of the cable channels that show their games, sometimes wholly owned by the team or multiple teams and sometimes partly owned by Comcast or other communications companies with the teams. Baltimore, Chicago, Yankees, Dodgers, Mets all own part of the channels that broadcast them.

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    1) Do you agree that Jays media collectively have a somewhat hostile relationship with the fanbase?
    Collectively? No. Do many of them conduct themselves in a misguided fashion? Absolutely. Agree with others above that Shi and Elliott are role model journalists that shake off the wilder questions. Some questions/scenarios that are posited by fans are worthy of a debate and/or the occassional dismissal but that should be a rarity rather than the norm we see from Wilner.

    Speaking of Wilner. The very best part of PTS is the fact that Bob never lets him on his show for a nanosecond. I wonder if Blair is given that option on his shows.

    2) Is it noticeably more hostile as compared to Leafs and Raps media? Argos? TFC? Marlies?
    I think it’s more hostile. For instance Wilner has no peer amongst the other five sports.

    3) Who does the best job interacting with the Jays fanbase without imperiousness?
    Shi Davidi, Richard Griffin, Bob Elliott, and I haven’t seen Gregor Chisolm lower himself at all. For a hockey guy, Elliotte Friedman does a great job of interacting with the Jays fan base when he’s at the helm of PTS.

    Btw, whomever made the point above on re-tooling versus re-build is spot on. I wouldn’t sacrifice any of their prospects in trades but I would offer up Liriano, Estrada, Bautista (despite his historic and amazing contribution to the franchise), Pillar, Pearce, and Smith. If that entire group was dealt in various deals, maybe they haul in 8 prospects and hit on one or two of them. That would be worth the gamble in my eyes.

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    yaz 3 weeks

    Tonight on The National, the CBC did a piece on Ken Pagan. It is largely a first person account of his bad moment Oct 4, 2016. Regardless of your opinion on the beer tossing, it is worthwhile to see his description of that night.

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    Anthony 3 weeks

    @Yaz

    I didn’t see the segment, but it sounds quite similar to the CBC online article. Issue I had with the article is that he claims he wanted to turn himself in the next morning.

    Issue is, he did an interview with Post Media after he was named saying it wasn’t him and he was innocent.

    One article he’s remorseful, another interview he denies guilt. Something doesn’t add up.

    The cynic in me suggests that he changed his tune regarding innocence once he knew he couldn’t get out of it, and is now playing up the ‘poor me’ card. I think the guy has been vilified enough, but he seems to change his story as it suits him.

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    Mike V 3 weeks

    The CRTC decision to single out the Super Bowl was wrong but claiming it cost Canada over $150M is laughable.

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    @Matt Garrow – I completely agree with you about Bob(PTS) and Wilner – When Bob is hosting
    I know it is a Wilner Free Zone and generally will not tune out – I would love to know the reasoning behind that decision –

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    Hans 3 weeks

    The cynic in me suggests that he changed his tune regarding innocence once he knew he couldn’t get out of it, and is now playing up the ‘poor me’ card. I think the guy has been vilified enough, but he seems to change his story as it suits him.

    That’s the take away I got form reading the articles I read on CBC and TSN’s site. I actually was even more cynical in thinking that maybe this was someone in the media being helped by some media pals by playing the victim card for sympathy.

    In my mind he got caught and went through the legal process and that’s the last we need to hear form him. He is not Toronto’s version of Steve Bartman.

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    Anthony 3 weeks

    @Hans

    Agree. He ended up admitting guilt, did his time. Move on, we don’t need a redemption story here. He did something stupid, he shouldn’t get media media over those who accomplish much more within our society.

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    robinauroa 3 weeks

    Well, with few exceptions (I think Richard Griffin and Steve Phillips are excellent) this Jays fan effectively hates the Jays’ media, so we’ll call it even. Pretty much anyone who works for Rogers is a shill…(I am OK with Shai Davidi)…The rest? I tune them out. I can’t (refuse and won’t ever) listen to Mike Wilner, so he isn’t even a problem for me. I have no little or no respect for anyone on Rogers’ roster of Jays reporters. And those on the periphery (Fan and Sportsnet staff members) I mostly tune out/never listen or watch….That’s easy for me…Jerry and Dan are fine with me (great at their jobs)…too bad they work for such a shoddy employer.

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    McIvor 3 weeks

    Why do McCown and Cox think people give a damn about their golf games? I know for a fact that they have been asked to stop talking about their personal golf games several times in the past. It’s part of why the former producer left for Tim & Sid.

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    Holy Christ, I see Damo Cox is in rare form tonight, my God, does he just wake up Friday’s and say, “Let’s see who I can argue or piss off on tonight’s show”. Must have been a really tough day, Ya know, he had to play 18 holes of golf before going to the show for 5:00! SMH

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    Mike V 2 weeks

    Simmons and The Sun continue to show why they are the worst in trying to make Stro-gate a thing.

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    I’m on assignment for the next few weeks so Jonah will have to break down the Stroman stuff. There’s one thing I did want to get on the table. It is important, I think, to distinguish two aspects of the Stay True Saga

    1) Stroman’s on-field excitement (at umpires, at the opposing dugout, dancing, screaming, etc.)
    2) Stroman’s comportment with the local media in the clubhouse

    Most people are lining up in camps that either do or don’t have a problem with both 1 and 2. Please keep in mind that it is possible to have no issue with 1 but take issue with 2 and vice versa. The two don’t necessarily rise and fall together.

    #getitright #StroShow #visionary #hashtag

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    I get a kick out of everybody circling the wagons to defend Marcus Stroman – A couple of years back McCown described him as cocky bordering on arrogant – He was correct – A couple of years in the league and the big guys are starting to figure him out – He doesn’t like it and starts to act up – Suddenly a season high six walks and giving up eleven hits in his last few starts is okay – He is arrogant as can be seen with his on field actions and his attitude with beat reporters – To suggest that all is well with him is simply silly – Professional sports writers/columnists don’t pull their stories out of their rectal areas – Where there is smoke etc…- His attitude will start to cost the Jays close calls just as the attitude of Bautista has over the years and the front office will tire of his posturing and he will be traded or moved to another team – Then the true stories will suddenly surface as to what a clubhouse cancer he was etc and the Wilners and Blairs and other apologists will just move on to protecting who ever is next – Stroman should be moved while he is still an asset and before he pouts his way deeper into the doghouse –

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    Anthony 2 weeks

    @Mont

    People are defending him because he’s good. He has the 4th best pitchers WAR in baseball. That’s pretty good.

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    Mike V 2 weeks

    Anthony, it’s also because he hasn’t done anything so bad to warrant this backlash. So what if Stroman is confident and lets people know it? Like how is that necessarily a bad thing?

    Yes, terrible sports writers like Simmons make up narratives to suit their biases and they do it all the time. Case in point: his premise is that Stroman, a player with almost five years of MLB playing time, needs a veteran mentor and the Blue Jays are literally the oldest team in the league full of them.

    Also, notice how none of these articles get to explicitly saying what the problem is. All of it relys on innuendo, dog whistles and “if you were only there to see what I saw”. It’s because “he blew me off one time after practice and doesn’t recognize my sense of self importance” isn’t a convincing argument even to those pre-disposed to not like Stroman.

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    Paul G. 2 weeks

    Simmons is good at not providing specifics….like where to find the “phantom hot dog vendor”.

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    Curt 2 weeks

    A few years ago there were stories about Brett Lawrie and his punk-ass behaviour on and off the field. There was also a similar fan backlash then. It’s natural – fans don’t want to read or hear bad things about their local sports stars. Whatever they write or say about Stroman aside, they seemed to get it right about Lawrie…

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    Mike V 2 weeks

    Lawrie was also traded for a MVP who provided nearly five times more value the next season. The sub-2 WAR was the real problem with Brett.

    Also, similar stories were written about JD for why the As were getting rid of him. This stuff is bread and butter for some writers.

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    Anthony 2 weeks

    @Mike V

    I honestly think the success of The Athletic is due to the fact that they don’t really bring alot of these ‘narrative’ hit pieces that we see from some authors (Phil Kessel made up hot dog story). They stick to numbers, facts and performance on the field to break down plays and not ‘he doesn’t love the game’, ‘he is a bad teammate’ that all feel made up to an extent. They stay away from ‘hot takes’ and sensationalism and just focus on things we know, which is nice.

    The ‘hot takes’ will sadly always have a place in the media because it’s lowest common denominator stuff for those who are upset and looking to read things that justify why they are upset. The Jays are loosing, people get pissed off and they want to read things that justify why they are angry. For those who are looking for stories based on facts and not ‘narrative’, its a great option.

    I honestly think that’s why they are doing well, while Post Media is begging the government for a bailout.

    @Curt

    If Lawrie was performing, healthy and the Jays where winning, I don’t think there’s any issue (there where no negative Strolman articles when the Jays where winning). Winning cures all. That said, as Mike pointed out,the reason Lawrie was moved had alot more to do with Josh Donaldson.

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    Note re: comments.

    With the spike in traffic we have seen over the last 6 months we have spared no expense and engaged the latest algorithm based moderation technology. It calculates a score for comments based on things like poor spelling + grammar, troll-like phrasing, repeating points already made, repeating comments already made, posting too often, slurs and insults, incoherence, ad-hominem arguments, as well as a “grade-level” writing threshold.

    If a comment receives too low a score it doesn’t get posted. This is not a case of me deleting comments after they have been posted, but an algorithm deciding the community would not benefit from reading the comment. I get a report at the end of each week showing me which comments didn’t make the cut and why.

    It’s new and I am still learning the settings so bear with me.

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    @MIB – The spike in traffic is obviously a sign of a well received product –
    As to ‘not making the cut’ I had a rather innocuous post in reference to Stromans WAR deleted –
    Will the reasons for deletion be available so corrections by the poster can be made ?

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    Original Mitch 2 weeks

    Stroman was suspended in college so I assume a few negative articles emerged back then. He was also hurt for most of the magical season so obviously no negative stories written about him. Since his return there have definitely been stories about his over the top attitude but are now growing in numbers because his antics are getting worse and worse. An ejection and a fight in back to back starts against awful clubs with zero rivalry ? Yes at least his pitching is good and as far as we all know he’s fine off the field in terms of scandals and whatnot. Plus, can you imagine if he didn’t work for a company that tells their employee to cheerlead the team? I suspect the negative articles (warranted or not) would rise exponentially. He plays in the easiest market in all of sports. He’s quite fortunate.

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    Curt 2 weeks

    Lawrie was a star in Toronto, though, regardless of his actual performance. You can’t deny that. And when his attitude was brought up in some stories as a problem, a lot of fans pushed back (even Griffin defended him). Now a serviceable MLB infielder is frozen out of the game. (I don’t feel sorry for him either, btw.) I’m not saying that’s going to happen to Stroman, who is obviously a better player and is having a great season, but that’s not my point. If writers/broadcasters want to address these issues, which are there for the world to see, then why shouldn’t they?

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    Big G 2 weeks

    @Mike V

    I honestly think the success of The Athletic is due to the fact that they don’t really bring alot of these ‘narrative’ hit pieces that we see from some authors (Phil Kessel made up hot dog story). They stick to numbers, facts and performance on the field to break down plays and not ‘he doesn’t love the game’, ‘he is a bad teammate’ that all feel made up to an extent. They stay away from ‘hot takes’ and sensationalism and just focus on things we know, which is nice.

    The ‘hot takes’ will sadly always have a place in the media because it’s lowest common denominator stuff for those who are upset and looking to read things that justify why they are upset. The Jays are loosing, people get pissed off and they want to read things that justify why they are angry. For those who are looking for stories based on facts and not ‘narrative’, its a great option.

    I honestly think that’s why they are doing well, while Post Media is begging the government for a bailout.

    @Curt

    If Lawrie was performing, healthy and the Jays where winning, I don’t think there’s any issue (there where no negative Strolman articles when the Jays where winning). Winning cures all. That said, as Mike pointed out,the reason Lawrie was moved had alot more to do with Josh Donaldson.

    <

    blockquote>

    I don’t get the notion of slagging the media for writing objective viewpoints on a player who in his young career has had personality conflicts, a PED suspension and a issue with the coach. Marcus Stroman is certainly not void of controversy. It’s possible Stroman may have to go back and examine how Dennis Eckersly’s career ended. Eck did the same in game antics(Stare downs, trash talk) until he was humbled by Roberto Alomar in game 5 of ALCS with that massive home run that eventually obliterated the confidence of Eckersly not to mention the series, Eck was never the same.

    Lawrie situation was the perfect storm for the Jays, they wanted to get rid of Lawrie for a variety(contentious period) but feared the backlash of getting rid of the Canadian kid. Along came Donaldson at the right time (although he was still under team control for a while.) and certainly with Donaldson’s track record this would mitigate the backlash. One thing we know about Rogers is that it is quick to act following negative press. Stroman will eventually be moved as he does not seem like a Shapiro type guy.

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    Mike V 2 weeks

    Sure, Lawrie was a marketable player because of his citizenship but the real problem with him was his performance decline not his rough personality. And if you want to compare how they were covered look at this Jeff Blair article from 2013. Notice how he gives two specific examples of Lawrie’s in-game actions/lack of situational understanding as being problematic that hurts team performance, and dismisses the rest as “just frat-boy jack-assery” that’s not a significant worry. That’s entirely different than the tone of the Stroman articles this past week where his alleged jack-assery is all painted as the crux of the issue.

    humbled by Roberto Alomar in game 5 of ALCS with that massive home run that eventually obliterated the confidence of Eckersly not to mention the series, Eck was never the same.

    Eck was 38 when this happened. I thing age had more to do with his subsequent performance than a smashed ego.

    So I’m still trying to figure out why some in the media are making it like Stroman is a problem for the Blue Jays.

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    Curt 2 weeks

    And yet Darwin Barney and Ryan Goins, each with negative WAR ratings, continue to be employed. While Lawrie with a career plus WAR is sidelined. I think “frat-boy jack-assery” does play a factor in club decisions, despite what Blair says.

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    Anthony 2 weeks

    @BG

    There’s absolutely no issues with a well thought out article with actual evidence suggesting a player needs to change aspects of his game, problem is the post media articles don’t offer that. Most of Simmons ‘hit pieces’ are like that, the only actual fact in the Kessel hit piece was made up (daily hot dog stand). Jeff Blair offered facts (imagine that, a rogers guy 😉 ), Simmons did not. Buffery actually tweeted to Andrew Stoeten that facts where a bad thing (If you can imagine that). Simmons job is to antagonize and generate hits, he’s Toronto’s Skip Bayless.

    Like I said before, I don’t think its random that The Athletic, which focuses on analytical, fact based writing is thriving while Post Media is going to the government for a bailout, but to each their own, I like facts, others may not.

    I do find it interesting when the media ‘decides’ when a player is bad for the room. Alomar was loved in 1992-1995, in 1996 he all of a sudden became a cancer, when the team stopped winning. Today he’s once again loved. Kessel was ripped hard and many media guys (Simmons, Shannon) suggested you ‘cant win with him’. He’s won two Stanley Cups. When Boston was winning Cups Tyler Seguin was a hot shot rookie, after they fell off he became a problem child. Now he’s one of the most talented players in the NHL. The narrative changes depending on the success of the team. I could go on.

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    Mike V 2 weeks

    Some sports and other ratings data for the season so far. Nothing that unexpected. Blue Jays down but overall still quite strong. CFL on a similar path just lower. TFC up a ton but overall still pretty low.

    Thing that really stands out is the 9% yoy drop in primetime viewers. And that’s for all ages, the drop in demos would be even worse (When Sportsnet released the detailed 2015-2017 numbers earlier this year, you could see the 18-34 TV audience dropped 16%, while total viewers were only off 4.5% in the same time). I’m usually not one who doesn’t believe the ratings data that comes out but we are not that far from treating reported TV viewers as “what the 40+ crowd watches”.

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    yaz 2 weeks

    I work for the largest cable company in this country. Ted Rogers invented cable. What I can tell you is sports television and sports radio is less than 1% of their revenue and certainly a lot less than 1% of the profits so to suggest that sports somehow is going to impact dramatically on the future of cable television just isn’t reality. Bob. About 25 mins into Pod from 6 pm hour Aug. 9.

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    Mike V 2 weeks

    And to think he used to have a business of sports show.

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    Big G 2 weeks

    I work for the largest cable company in this country. Ted Rogers invented cable. What I can tell you is sports television and sports radio is less than 1% of their revenue and certainly a lot less than 1% of the profits so to suggest that sports somehow is going to impact dramatically on the future of cable television just isn’t reality. Bob. About 25 mins into Pod from 6 pm hour Aug. 9.

    Bob is somewhat correct here, as sports has not seem to slow down ESPN’s subscriber losses south of the boarder and on a grand scale cord cutters in North America. The numbers we used to see 10 20 30 years ago for profits driven by cable TV are gone.
    The margin for cable tv is become thinner and thinner this is why when you bundle you will not get a substantial savings unless cable tv is involved in the package, cable providers are really trying to cpr cable. Rogers and the NHL Deal and other huge national deals in their media portfolio in addition to their partnership with vice media are a prime reaction in trying to stop the hemorrhaging in cable space but the hemorrhaging continues. Bob is incorrect however about Ted Rogers inventing cable, he is absolutely way off there. Interesting Ted invented cable yet he or the family never seems to make this list of forbes top 500. Huge difference between an invention and a license to sell a product.