Spotlight on Blue Jays Attendance & Down The Stretch For Maple Leafs & Raptors

By TSM

Quick hits on a day of inspiration as hundreds of thousands of students rally around the world for change.

We sit less than a week from The Toronto Blue Jays opening day, and still, we have no idea who will be calling balls and strikes on the radio station owned and operated by the same company that owns and operates the team. Has radio become so irrelevant? I don’t know about you, but I grew up listening to Tom and Jerry on the radio. Many a night they put me to sleep as the Jays were on the west coast. On many a road trip, I would hit the scan button trying to follow the game listening to static-filled stations trying to listen to the game. Radio used to matter. Perhaps no more.

Elliott Price is apparently calling the games in Montreal. He’s tweeted that he is not getting the full-time gig- which he should by the way.

Speaking of the Jays, a great story this week by Rob Longley.

Club president Mark Shapiro is already on record saying that season ticket totals have dropped from 20,000 to 13,000 for this season and you can bet there will be an indifference among the traditionally strong walkup crowd as well until it is convinced there is something to buy.

This appeared to be the theme of the week as the team prepares to head north. Shi Davidi had an equally interesting, “exclusive” interview with Shapiro:

We’re definitely going to have a decrease in attendance because season tickets are down dramatically for the reasons I explained. I hope we are back in the post-season and we rise back to the same league leading levels once again next year.

This theme continues in today’s Globe and Mail:

Even by the organization’s low standard in this regard, it’s been a dull spring full of the usual stuff. Donaldson is probably hurt already. Troy Tulowitzki may have to go full Six Million Dollar Man in order to be able to play baseball again. Stroman is irritated by something.The most notable thing we’ve learned about this team thus far is that closer Roberto Osuna of Mexico considers his jailed Sinaloan neighbour Joaquin (El Chapo) Guzman a “hero.

It’s great to see all the coverage on the Jays as they head north. It is going to be fascinating to see how the coverage evolves based on how the team performs. There is a strong belief that those on the outside of the Rogers empire have a very strong anti-Rogers theme to their work. Winning cures that. By the same effect, how those within the family cover the team when they do not perform is equally interesting. Yes, the old Rogers bias gets tossed around. To be honest, how the media behaves is almost more interesting then how the team does.

Switching to hockey, Kevin McGran has an awesome behind the scenes look at life at Hockey Night in Canada. It’s well worth it to read. This appears to be a new trend for Kevin. I like it and look forward to more of it.

Interesting tactic by the folks at the Athletic to draw in Canadian eyeballs. This is what I see every time I browse to their homepage. The most recent article appearing is from February 2!

Notwithstanding that, Mirtle’s article on the Leafs is the type of coverage that makes every penny worht the price of admission.

Seriously, if you are a sports fan, how are you not subsciribing? No, I am not being paid to write this. There are at least 2-3 articles on the network that I am happy to be paying for.

I think we now have a new winner in the clubhouse for shortest tenure as a Canadian radio host in a major market:

An insider tells me that Darling jumping ship saved Rogers from having to make a very uncomfortable decision.

With the Raptors, it was interesting being in the USA to see they were the talk of the NBA media this week.

Interesting to see these two articles from USA outlets. SI and ESPN with two very different takes.

I feel for the Raptors. Another amazing regular season, and so many unwilling to believe they can do more given the failures of the past. The truth is until they slay the dragon the naysayers will speak and they have the ammunition to do so. Many a talking heads before the game vs. the Cavs this week were saying before the game, if the Raptors win it’s meaningless, it doesn’t mean anything unless it’s a playoff series. When they lost, they said with smiles, see they can’t even beat them in the regular season. Put up or shut up time Raptors. It’s really that simple.

Finally, I wrote last week about the tragedy in the Toronto hockey community. No, MLSE didn’t do anything, but Don Cherry showed, in my opinion, the only reason he still deserves his pulpit; nobody does this better than Don. Well done!

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