6:30 PM Eastern

I was going to write a post on another very disappointing loss for Jays’ fans, watching Felix Hernandez pick apart a team that’s been back in its offensive struggles for most of this homestand and watching the hitters waste another fantastic outing by Shaun Marcum, but then I turned on the radio on my way home.

I heard callers ripping me, which is cowardly but fine, I guess, but I heard Mike Toth encouraging them, which, well…………. At least Toth let me come on to defend myself at the end of the show, and I think I answered all his concerns.

I’m a big boy, and I can handle slings and arrows just fine. In fact, I get to go on the radio with open phones for about an hour every day from the beginning of April to the end of October. If anyone has a complaint, a criticism, a suggestion, heck, an insult, any and all are welcome. But seriously, complaining to Toth about me? If you want John Gibbons fired, then call in to Toth and tell him you want Gibbons fired, he’ll agree with you. If you think the Jays should trade Marco Scutaro and Jesse Litsch for Jason Bay, or Vernon Wells for Tike Redman, go ahead and call Toth, and I’m sure he’ll be all for it. But to rip me when I’m not around to answer? Come on, people, you can do better than that.

The one thing that irks me the most though (other than one broadcaster encouraging criticism of another) is the whole “condescending” thing. People seem to think that I’m condescending, one going so far as to even comment that the way I say “hello” to callers is condescending. I don’t think I am, and I definitely don’t mean to be. But if a caller says something stupid, I’m going to tell that caller that he said something stupid. If a caller says something that’s factually incorrect, I’ll supply the correct information. I’d rather that from a radio host than to have a caller say “Alex Rios hits into a double play every time he comes to the plate” and have the host say “you’re right, he does”. So that’s not going to change.

I know this thing is supposed to be about baseball, but after two segments of getting attacked on the radio, sometimes a little defense is needed.

Toth mentioned a few times that I always say “it’s a marathon, not a sprint.” Aside from the fact that I rarely say that, the meaning holds. I said a few times on The JaysTalk today that it’s not summer yet, and that’s a pretty significant thing. The Jays are 34-34 right now. Disappointing, to be sure. Unquestionably so.

At the close of business one year ago today, the Yankees were 30-31, the Phillies were 33-31, the Cubs were 28-34 and the Rockies were 31-32. They all made the playoffs, and all but the Yankees had combined for a grand total of one playoff appearance over the last 9 seasons.

The Tigers were 36-26. the Mariners were 34-26, the A’s were 34-28, the Braves and Brewers were both 34-29 and the Dodgers were 36-28. None of them made the playoffs.

It’s a long season. It’s exceedingly early. That’s not going to change just because the Jays keep finding horribly frustrating ways to lose but somehow still remain at .500

Toth also asked me when the time is to press the panic button, which he has asked before, and I’ve always answered “never”. As I said to him today on the air, panicking is the stupidest thing that you can do, it leads to rash, irrational and regrettable decision-making, and is the sort of thing that does cost people their jobs.

A lot of people also seem to want the Jays to sell low on all the hitters, which is also self-defeating.

So, all in all, today was a pretty frustrating one, both on the field and off. And sometimes you guys aren’t the only ones who need to vent.

Here’s today’s The JaysTalk:

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Comments are encouraged, as always, and feel free to a-ha it up!

310 Responses to “Take On Me”
  1. 1.

    Hang in there, Mike — it’s great reading your blog and its refreshingly balanced perspective.
    I went to the ballpark today.
    Things I liked:
    - all the kids in attendance
    - Marcum, again
    - Thigpen’s dbl play
    - Stairs getting the run in
    Things I didn’t:
    - the lineup. With the club off until Friday night, and not travelling, why does everyone need to rest?
    - Vernon swinging for the downs when what we needed was contact
    - not seeing Mac in the 9th when Eck made the last out in the 8th
    - the fans booing. Guys, when Marcum allows a run, it’s ok to groan. Booing should be reserved for our players when they don’t hustle, their pitchers when they throw at us, and the umpires.

    MW: I think the booing is just general frustration at this point. I didn’t mind seeing Barajas and Rios sitting, Rolen probably didn’t need to (though two straight days off is a good thing for a guy who otherwise plays everyday), but Inglett played for him and reached base three times.

    - roy hughes
  2. 2.

    Im not the type to “call someone out” or anything like that. I appricaite your honest and direct approach to how you do your job. The thing is that the way in which you direct your comments and statements to people needs adjustment in my humble oppinion. You often cut people off and jump on them before they finish there entire thought, which i find rude. I just find that you come off extremely angry when people suggest an opinion that is different then yours. My friends have dubbed you “Angry Mike” due to that. As far as Toth, hes Mike Toth, a walking gimmick. He brings little to know sports knowledge to the radio, and often contradicts himself. You with out a doubt are the most knoledgable person on the air as far as baseball stats and theory of the game.
    Thanks for your work on the blog, your dedication is outstanding.

    MW: I do cut people off, but usually only when they present something as fact that’s incorrect, and I far more often than not let them finish their comment after they get their facts straight. I’m not angry, I don’t think.

    - Sean
  3. 3.

    Hey Mike. I heard JaysTalk and Toth today and although I don’t disagree with some of the comments about the fact something needs to be done, I thought it was totally unprofessional for Toth to do what he was doing. So good for you coming on and defending yourself. I think the main reason that Blue Jay fans don’t want to listen to you say it is early and compare other teams records at this point last year is because for many years now we have been around 500 and done nothing the rest of the season. I personally don’t see why this team should be more successful than say the team of 2006 which was able to get 12 games over .500 in July. I know you say this team is capable of going 14-4. But this team is also capable of going 4-14.

    MW: Yes, it is. But the fact that they’ve been hanging out around .500 for most of the last 15 years doesn’t change the fact that they could hit closer to their potential for the rest of the season, which would be more than good enough to get in the race. Again, what had the Cubs, Phillies or Rockies done in the last few years that would have made anyone think they were capable at this point last season?

    - Justin
  4. 4.

    On a side note, how ’bout Adam Lind’s 339/395/544 line in AAA? I know there’s currently no space for him, but the Jays should consider making space. And if he does come up, he better get more than 19AB’s.

    MW: He’s having a great year down there.

    - Jeff
  5. 5.

    Don’t worry about all the haters, Mike. Anytime they call in on your show and try to take you down they get put in their place so they must resort to calling other shows and trashing you instead.

    Now on to my question, do you think the Jays will pick up Barajas’ $2.5M club option next year? Would that spell the end of Zaun or could he come as a backup? I’m guessing they bring back Barajas via the option and bring up Diaz. What are your thoughts on the Catching situation heading in to next season.

    MW: I have always thought that the Jays would bring back one of Zaun or Barajas next season, just haven’t been sure which one. If The Captain keeps this up (and there’s nothing at all to indicate that he will), picking up his option is a no-brainer.

    - Matt S
  6. 6.

    Michael Michael Motorcycle,

    you should have countered by taking Toth to task for his oft-used phrase “if ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we’d all have a Merry Christmas!” OK, maybe not oft-used, but I’ve heard him say it. Tough day for you, but being a big boy, I’m sure you’ll handle it just fine.

    IF, and I repeat IF, the Jays are completely out of it come August, I’d much rather just see the team DFA Wilkerson, Mench, maybe Stewart, and just run Lind out there full time and have a look at Buck Coats as well to see if he can be that extra guy next season. Spend the AJ money wisely in the offseason rather than a rash move at the dreadline (intentional misspell there).


    MW: Wilkerson seems to be coming around, and it’s worth keeping an eye on him to see if he might be able to help out in the future. But yes, I’m all for taking a good, long look at Lind and Coats (Purcey, too) if there’s nowhere for the Jays to go this year.

    - JC
  7. 7.

    I think that we just have to resign ourselves that this team is simply a .500 team. Thank goodness they have assembled a pitching staff, otherwise we would be buried deep and hunting for the first pick next year.

    I think that simply put, you probably annoy a few listeners because you have done the research that they have not to refute the opinions by stating facts back to them. It’s like fighting with my wife, if I start I invariably get beat, because I use emotion when arguing, she uses fact.

    Don’t take it to hard.

    MW: I don’t think you should resign yourself to the fact that this is a .500 team. It should be, and has the ability to be, much better than that. Which is why everyone is so incredibly frustrated.

    - Bob
  8. 8.

    Hernandez had filthy stuff today-Jays were lucky to get 1 run-Wells had no chance in the AB when the runners were on 2nd and 3rd.

    Hernandez had pitched very well and won in Boston last Friday-some days however you’re hitting pitching will just beat you.

    Re Toth when he breaks from his insufferable attempts at being funny he’s never offerred a sports opinion I’ve agreed with.

    It’s still hurry up and wait time.

    - Matt
  9. 9.

    Suck it up princess. Need anymore cheese with your whine? It’s about time someone called your pompous attitude out…

    MW: I love the name-calling, it raises the level of discourse so much. You’ll note that never in his inappropriate rant (at least, the part that I heard) did Toth resort to that, nor will I. Well done, though.

    - Cory from Regina
  10. 10.

    Hey Mike,
    I don’t think Gibbons should be fired yet but can you explain why Rios and Rolen had the day off on the same day? I know Hernandez is a tough pitcher on righties but seriously. You have to put in your best players every day! It happened a few weeks ago on get away day against Detroit also. When you have a day and a half off after the game I don’t think it is really needed to give them the time off. I just wanted to get your logic on this .. maybe they are hurt? Thanks Mike!

    MW: Rios has nagging back and groin injuries, at least. I haven’t heard anything on Rolen.

    - David
  11. 11.

    Toth is probably the worst broadcaster I have ever seen on TV and heard the radio. His opinions are crap he’s not funny and hes just downright boring. Nobody listens to his show and nobody tunes in to PTS when hes hosting this is a fact. He has about 1/60th the baseball knowledge you have. His hair annoying. What I’m trying to say basically is that he’s a jackass.
    Unlike Toth you probably will have enough respect for your colleague not to post this.

    - Howard
  12. 12.

    How about a little good ol’ fashioned revenge??

    Mike Toth is a joke. I can’t believe this is the best the Fan can do when Bob McCown goes on one of his 26 yearly vacations. He’s got about as much wit as a tree trunk and a voice made for scuba diving. So how about this “Tother”: stick to junior hockey and move back to Moose Tooth.

    - Jay Money
  13. 13.

    you’re a moron

    MW: Do you know Cory?

    - dave
  14. 14.

    At the close of business one year ago today, the Yankees were 30-31, the Phillies were 33-31, the Cubs were 28-34 and the Rockies were 31-32.

    Yankees have an allstar lineup, it was only a matter of time. Phillies pretty much had 4 potential MVPs. Rockies were a fluke, took it and went with it. This team has no heart, and no manager to drive them, they could never pull that off. We’ll go on a streak of 3, and Gibbons will think it’s a good time to sit Rolen, Rios, and Wells.

    That being said, though I dont’ like anyone to get injured, but I’m really liking Wilkerson out there. I think he’s found his stroke, and is the Wilkerson of old. He’s hitting to all fields, and his swing looks great.

    What do you think about bringing up Sandoval, and riding his hot bat out? He won a batting title a few years ago and has been on fire since we picked him up. I’m not too sure of his glove but he seems like a good all around athlete.

    MW: Phillies had four potential MVPs (really, Burrell?) but had never done anything, so they’re in the same boat as the Jays, who have four potential Cy Young winners. Don’t you think people in Philly and Chicago were saying that their teams had no heart last year? As for Danny Sandoval, hey, last year the Jays called up McGowan and Litsch when they were hot to take advantage of it. He certainly is raking in AAA and Scutaro has come back down to earth offensively. But I don’t know if he can play second, and do you want to yank Scoot for him?

    - ju1ced
  15. 15.

    Hi Mike
    I think that you do a great job don’t worry about Toth he’s a moron.

    Why do you think that there is such a difference between pitchers at home and away? A great example is Mcgowan he has an ERA over 6 on the road and under 2 at home, why is this?


    MW: No clue. It doesn’t make sense, because Rogers Centre is usually a better park for hitters. Sometimes these things just happen.

    - ben
  16. 16.

    Mike, sounds like you’re still on your “it’s still early” stance?

    It’s June 11th, not May 11th and the Jays are about to fall 7 games behind Boston How much longer are you going to use this excuse to defend this team?

    MW: Until it’s no longer too early and/or real, contending teams get way ahead of the Jays.

    - Sherrymon
  17. 17.

    I’m just wondering what the callers said about you on PTS. Also, what’s up with Dustin McGowan glasses? Will he wear this forever?

    MW: I’m assuming he’ll wear them for the foreseeable future, so that his future can be foreseeable.

    - andrew
  18. 18.


    You are justified in your frustrations. Many sports fans in Toronto (some broadcasters included as well) are so used to the Leafs being losers that they have come to expect Toronto teams to fail, and look for reasons to predict their failures. It is pathetic.

    You have only stated the truth,that it is still very early in the season.

    It is possible and quite likely that the Jays will have a winning 2008, and could very well make the pundits and their ill-informed flock eat their words come September.

    Why can’t people recognize the fact that even the best teams in baseball lose an average of two games out of five, and that a .500 team would usually make the playoffs in other professional sports? Why is a record that includes 85 wins considered at all comparable to the failures of many major sports franchises, including the Leafs?

    What was the record of the 1985, 1989, 1991-1993 Jays at this point in their respective seasons?

    The Jays would be foolish to panic now!

    MW: Since you asked, as of the end of June 11th – 1985 – 37-19, 1989 – 26-34 (7 games out), 1991 – 31-27, 1992 – 38-22, 1993 – 35-26.

    - andrew - KW
  19. 19.


    Don’t get too hung up on Toth’s comments, I know you can’t say it, but are thinking it, he’s an idiot. I didn’t hear the whole segment, so I don’t know if he mentioned it today specifically, but a while ago he claimed the jays should hire Cito Gaston as manager, what a fool. Just listening to him on a regular basis he genuinely comes across as a guy whose baseball knowledge is pretty limited.

    By the way, how about Shaun Marcum? His era is now at 2.43, that’s incredible. Could he end up starting the all star game?

    MW: He won’t start the all-star game, because he doesn’t have enough wins. Stupid, I know, but that’s the way it is. I just hope he gets there.

    - Terry
  20. 20.

    C’mon, Wilner, save your “wrath” for this pathetic offense. Please just come out and say it for once: “This is a bad offense.” It was bad last year and without Thomas it’s even worse this year.

    MW: It’s not a bad offense. At least it shouldn’t be. It’s not a good offense, by any means. It should be an average offense, and that’s all it has to be with this pitching staff.

    - Robert
  21. 21.

    Many of us missed your little scuffle with Toth, can you please have it posted in the audio section?

    You’re a living legend Mike! SSSEE YA!

    MW: I can only post The JaysTalk, I don’t have access to the other stuff.

    - Joey Stevens
  22. 22.


    Mike Toth made an interesting comment this evening. He was wrapping up an interview with Scott Moore, Executive Director at CBC Sports. And Toth commented that Moore was always honest and (to paraphrase), the first time he met Toth, he said that he belongs in insurance, not in broadcasting.

    Don’t let the chumps like Mike Toth get to ya! You’re to the Jays what Swirsky is/was to the Raptors – intelligent talent!

    MW: Oy.

    - Tito
  23. 23.

    Why before an off-day does Gibbons “rest” Rolen, Rios, Barajas – all at once – when it’s obvious to everyone in the majors the Jays are desperate for offense, with rumours flying that the Jays may part with Jesse Litsch to get another hitter?

    I get the “day game after night game” thing, and that excuses Barajas – but this is a long, comfortable home stretch. There’s an off-day tomorrow. The Jays have been blowing all sorts of games they’re supposed to win because of a lack of hitting.

    They did the very same thing 4/21 against Detroit – “resting” Vernon the third week into the season.

    We need all the hitters we can get! So many games we’re just one hit away…

    MW: Vernon was sick that day, Rios was hurt yesterday, I don’t know about Rolen. What rumours flying about Litsch?

    - Travis
  24. 24.

    You are easily the best sports writer/sports talk host that I read/listen to on a regular basis, it isn’t even a contest. Don’t let others who are less professional than you get you down. You don’t always tell people what they want to hear; in my opinion that’s why people choose to attack you from time to time. I say keep up the good work!

    MW: Swell of you to say.

    - Mike M
  25. 25.

    Mike i think you have the right to correct fan when they get something wrong. dont worry about these callers they probably dont know what they are talking about. Anyway my questions: since the jays are on the 500 mark and inconsistent so far dont you think they need a move to improve? and what would you do differently?

    keep up the good work!

    MW: What would I do differently? I guess I’d tell them to hit the ball out of the infield with runners in scoring position, but I don’t know if that would work. I’d probably treat Alex Rios differently, and move Lyle Overbay up in the batting order, for starters.

    - mario
  26. 26.

    Hey Mike,

    Actually great to hear you vent a little bit. I always think to myself, “How does this guy not go a little nuts?” It’s bad enough that some fans rip you but yeah…when Mike Toth encourages it, that’s just bush league broadcasting not to mention just plain bush league as a person. Personally I don’t think Toth knows baseball from his elbow and is more like a fan (who might just have a secret longing to be a comedian)than a knowledgable professional. I always appreciate when you don’t let knee-jerk callers say things like “he ALWAYS pops up” because he popped up twice that game. You are truly a voice of reason Mr.Wilner and it doesn’t go un-noticed. When the Jays lose a frustrating game and I’m feeling like I want to pull all my hair out, I always look forward to Jays Talk and your comments because you have a brilliant way of reminding us to keep things in perspective, to look at the big picture (which works for life as well as baseball by the way). You’re a baseball guru in my books and always will be. Keep bringin’ the truth!

    I’ll finish with a question. Do you watch Jimmy Kimmel at all? Because I think Brad Wilkerson looks a lot like Cousin Sal. I also think Scott Rolen has a Chris Cooper thing goin on. Thoughts?

    MW: Thanks, I appreciate that. I don’t watch Kimmel, not because I don’t enjoy him, but because I’m usually on my way home from the ballpark then. I don’t see the Rolen/Cooper thing, though.

    - Scott B
  27. 27.

    Mike barely ever listen to the fan590 anymore except when your on and theres a reason for it. Every isn’t going to like everyone. Just know that I love you and your work and I know theres alot people like me out there.

    PS. Reading your blog is the best part of my day alot of times and thanks for all the work you put into it.

    MW: Thanks!

    - Dan M.
  28. 28.

    Hi Mike
    Love the show and you do a GREAT job

    Why do you think some pitchers pitch so differently at home than at on the road? Mcgowan is an example he has an ERA under 2 athome but over 6 on the road, Why?
    Also why do you call Barajas the captain?


    MW: I covered the McGowan thing (I don’t know) and someone quoted the whole Captain story in the comments section in the last day or three.

    - ben
  29. 29.

    i feel the same way about the jays being .500 its no time to panic. even if the jays make the playoffs nothing is ever enough for toronto fans but i have a good feeling about this years jays. About the litch and scutaro for jason jay deal i think thats a good move.

    MW: Yeah, that would be a good deal. And Neal Huntington would be fired on the spot. Well, maybe not, but I doubt it’s a deal the Pirates would make.

    - jeremy
  30. 30.


    You seem to defend J Gibbons and JP feveriously. I like your answer to this question. Why the hell is Gibbons resting 3 starter when tomorrow is off day and they’re at home? What Managing is that? There is no reason, and I couldn’t understand for the life of me. That is stupid. J Gibbons need to go and immediately.

    There is so many things fans can point out what he has or hasn’t done, but I don’t have to because it is so obvious. This direct to JP, this haven’t work with J Gibbons, and keeping this barely over .500 life time coach with the best pitching staff in the major league is a waste.

    MW: I have already answered that question about a dozen times.

    - Irvin
  31. 31.

    Just wanted to say that I enjoy your show. The fact that you place emphasis on intelligence makes it listenable.

    MW: I try, thanks.

    - Mark
  32. 32.

    You Go Girl!!

    MW: Oooooooooooooooook

    - Alex - Cambridge, ON
  33. 33.

    I’m not trying to fan the flames or whatever, but just so you know, it was definitely Toth that made you the topic-du-jour for his callers. He started talking about you (and how he thinks you’re losing it) right at the beginning of the show, so that’s without a doubt why people called his show to criticize you.

    MW: I’d love to have heard the first half-hour.

    - darren
  34. 34.

    Hey Mike!

    Considering the pressure is mounting on Ricciardi et al and the criticism of the fans is escalating, shall we start sharpening the knives for a sacrificial lamb? Do you think Denbo will go first if the slump continues?

    MW: No, I don’t. How many hitting coaches can one fire? And J.P. doesn’t listen to criticism from fans, nor should he. If he did, the Jays would be on about their 17th manager in the last three years.

    - Jon
  35. 35.

    I’ll just add that I really like your style (on the radio and on the blog) and think that the media (not just the sports media) could use more of it. Everyone does have a right to an opinion, but in spite of what many people seem to think, not all opinions are equal. Opinions based on misinformation or a lack of information should not be taken seriously, and I think it’s great that you point out such things rather than saying something like “you’re entitled to your opinion, I just happen to disagree.”

    Saying that it would be helpful to their playoff chances if the Jays were well over .500 at this point is a fair point. Saying that every bad series makes it a bit more difficult to catch up later is also a fair point. Saying that they “must win” a game or a series (before late September of course) is just wrong, as is saying that they “need” to be over .500 at this point in the season to be in contention.

    Keep up the good work, Mike.

    MW: Good points all.

    - darren
  36. 36.

    Hey Mike, sounds like you need an e-hug. Well, here it is buddy. You do a great job…not condescending at all…maybe just cautious because you never know if it’ll be a smart baseball caller or a boob next on the phones. And (I know you’re not asking for this, but I’ve got to get it off my chest), how does Toth get to be the one to replace Bobcat? I turn the channel immediately when I hear his voice…. Keep up the good work!

    - Jeremy W
  37. 37.

    Hi Mike, here I go, long time listener, first time blogger, haha. I have never called in, but if I did I wouldn’t rip on the radio, I like your style. I don’t get to hear your show as often as I’d like, but I have a question that you may have already answered – if so, my apologies. has JP ever talked to you lately about Reed Johnson? is he looking back now and saying “wow I released the wrong outfielder there”? What’s your take on that – a mistake or not? or do you think Stewart is still better overall? Cheers! keep up the good work EH!

    MW: He hasn’t talked to me about Reed Johnson, but I don’t think he thinks he released the wrong outfielder. As much as Stewart hasn’t worked (but for that two-week stretch before he got hurt), Reed has been almost the same for the Cubs, and still can’t hit righties. I think Ricciardi would rather have Wilkerson than either one of them.

    - bob from guelph
  38. 38.

    Mike Toth has absolutely no baseball knowledge whatsoever. I loved when you actually brought up a point with a basis in facts, something that he had no idea about, and then he responded by bringing up some ridiculous other point.

    That said…the Jays need to bring up Adam Lind or sign Barry Bonds now. It’s getting pretty ridiculous.

    MW: I don’t remember that part.

    - Steve
  39. 39.

    The whole condescending thing is ridiculous. These people want you to tell them how smart they are for saying the Jays should go after some big bat and give up nothing for it, or that the coach must go in order to make these guys hit. They always fail to give a logical answer as to how this is going to happen and when you tell them how wrong they are they can only say that you love JP. I think too many of your callers think that real life is just like a video game and you can trade anybody any time. People lets be realistic

    - sgt94
  40. 40.

    Hang in there bud…i’m a fan of the facts…and i’m a fan of those who are straight to the point…i also don’t think a radio host needs to be everyone’s friend…these are reasons why i have issues with some hosts on the station…especially those that get the opportunity to be on during key timeslots…i turn the radio off…

    A couple of things…One big change I noticed from Gibbons bench management sytle was that he would continuously sub in bench players for a game or two to keep them sharp and to keep the regulars fresh…he seems to be moving away from that a little and only moves players in if there are injuries…do you think it’s b/c of the increased pressure to win that he’s always going with his big guns??

    Not sure if it was J.P. that mentioned that the hitters approach seems to change with hitters in scoring position. You see more games then me. Do you agree?

    Whatever happened to Domingo Martinez (I think that’s his name)? He looked like a big scary hitter. I think he was called up about 7-8 years ago and hit a couple of home runs in his first few at bats and then disappeared.

    Have a good night and keep the callers in line!

    MW: I think Gibbons does a good job getting his bench players in often, unless they’re already in the starting line-up because of injuries. In that case, when his bench is full of guys who wouldn’t otherwise be here, he doesn’t worry too much about getting them in on a consistent basis. J.P. did mention that the hitters’ collective approach seems to change with runners on, I do think something is different for sure, but that still doesn’t explain why they don’t seem to be able to get that duck snort or broken bat looper in that situation. Domingo Martinez, huh? Wow. I haven’t heard that name in a long time. He was a big bat, first-base prospect who never made it, got into 15 games in 1992-93 and was traded to the White Sox in the spring of ’94 for Mike Huff. He may have been the ultimate AAAA player. I used to host a call-in sports show on Channel 10 in the early ’90s, and one of the best Jays trade proposals I got in ’92 or ’93 was Domingo to the White Sox for Jack McDowell, who was about to win a Cy Young Award.

    - AK
  41. 41.

    Time and time again I’ve heard JP discuss this but I just don’t understand his reasoning.

    Why is Adam Lind not up with the big club. He’s hitting .341 at this exact moment and slugging 544 or something. We waited for stewart to get going, wilkerson, etc… Do you honestly believe any of them are any better than Lind.

    If the time is now then let’s play our best players.

    MW: Wilkerson is doing just fine right now. I’m perplexed about Lind, too, but they know a lot more about him than we do, and sometimes we forget that.

    - Chris
  42. 42.

    Well I didn’t hear what went on, on the radio today…maybe thats a good thing, but I’m behind you Mike, your not the GM, Manager or President nor are you part of the coaching staff, your a reporter, what you do is pass on information and make educated guesses on what you think is happening and will happen. Honestly, your right a lot more than your wrong and in my book that means your awesome at your job, as for Toth…well we don’t see him on sportsnet much anymore, nuff said there. Just putting in my two cents, keep up the good work Mike we really apreciate it.

    MW: I appreciate the comment a lot Nick, but you have to get to work on the “your” and “you’re” thing.

    - Nick
  43. 43.

    Mike–you are the best baseball voice in the city, bar none. The only schlepper who ranks even close in my book is the departed Geoff Baker.

    Don’t let Bob McCown’s fill-in get you down. What little insight one gets on baseball from Prime Time Sports comes from Dan Shulman or Keith Laaw; definitely not the host.

    Keep up the good work!

    MW: Oy, Geoff Baker? Seriously?

    - Zack
  44. 44.

    lets be honest about the talent on this jays team, it is mediocre at best. you are right to say that Gibbons does not deserve to be fired. As the saying goes you can’t make a silk purse from a cows ear. Vernon Wells who is probably one of the more talented on the team would not in all probability be able to oust Ellesbury on the Boston Red Sox

    MW: That’s not quite the saying.

    - shirley
  45. 45.

    Nice column, Mike. It’s never easy to keep the season in perspective after a tough loss like today, but you did a great job.

    As far as defending yourself, you should never have to. I have no idea how you manage to keep relatively cool after every game when so many of the callers are inane, repetitive, inflammatory, and just plain wrong. Anyone who complains should take a minute and think about how they’d react in the same situation.

    As far as the long season, like you say, “never” is the right time to start to panic if you’re involved with baseball. People who live and die with every game are like a thorn in the side of baseball fans who prefer not to let the daily ups and downs get to them.

    On another note, when’s a good to start feeling sorry for our starting pitchers? If I was a hitter on this team, I’d be apologizing every day for making them work their hearts out for a measly one or two runs’ support.


    MW: If I was a hitter on this team, I’d probably be embarrassed to show my face around any of the pitchers.

    - Eric
  46. 46.

    I think people would just like to hear you admit the Jays need a bat and that if JP doesn’t make a move for one by the deadline then this team is in serious trouble and the GM should be as well.

    MW: I can’t count how many times this season I have said that the Jays could use a big bat. I don’t use the word “need” because I don’t think they need it, they just need the hitters they have to hit the way they have in the past.

    - kit
  47. 47.

    PS. question for you cause I really do trust you as a baseball source. Whats the deal with the necklaces that the pitchers all seem to wear? They all have a little sporting brand on them. Maybe its just a fashion trend in the league but it seems lots of players wear them.


    MW: They’re made by a company called Phiten and they’re supposed to have some sort of positive effect on the body’s energy or something.

    - kit
  48. 48.

    Mr Wilmer, a couple of Peter Points

    Peter Point 1) Is it possible to stop comparing this current team 2008, to the 1989 Jays. That team’s core (Moseby,Bell,Fernandez,Whitt,
    Stieb,Henke,Key) had actually won something before. They were expected to win in 1989, and made the playoffs. This current team has the good pitching, but no clutch hitting. So I don’t expect this bunch to be much better than 500 by the end of the year. They will have a strong September for window dressing, but will already have been out of the race by the end of july.

    Peter Point 2) it’s highly possible that JP, Paul, Ted and the rest of the boyz,have overrated some of their players (Wells,Rios,Brunett, and Ryan). If so, we are stuck with some hefty contacts.(Except for Brunett,who will opt out for mo money in the winter.)

    Peter Point 3) We serously need a hitter who can put the fear of god in you. I don’t think there is one hitter in this lineup who would intimidate. If Vernon is the best we have, we will not win with this lineup. We need a 40hr/125rbi guy.(Like a Fielder,or Belle,or Griffy, or Rice,or Ortiz,or Parker).The 5 homeruns and project 15 out of our first baseman, is not nearly enough, regardless of his OBP.

    Peter Point 4) Mr Wilmer, at what point will you stop saying its still early. Is 68 games not enough time to have a feel of where they are going ? They have to play 596 ball the rest of the way to just get to 90 wins.

    Peter Point 5) Can you ever have a “Thursdays with Paul Godfrey”? I would like to hear what his opinion is on the progress of his team.

    MW: Paul Godfrey would come on whenever I ask, but he’d say the same stuff I do, I think, except that he’d be more effusive in his praise of J.P. Ricciardi. This team is very similar to the 1989 Jays, they have players like Rolen, Eckstein, Scutaro and Barajas who have won things before. I think you’re pulling the chute far too early on B.J. Ryan, along with Wells and Rios. the Red Sox won the World Series last year with 17 home runs out of their high-obp first baseman. I’ll stop saying it’s early when it’s no longer early.

    - Peter
  49. 49.

    This is what our line up should have been at the beginging of this year.
    Lofton LF
    Hill 2B
    Wells CF
    Bonds DH
    Rolen 3B
    Overbay 1B
    Piazza C
    Rios RF
    Macdonald SS
    Feel Free to tell me it sucks.
    Thanks Mike

    MW: Well, the Piazza C part is a huge mistake. I’d have gone with Lofton/Rolen/Bonds/Thomas/Wells/Overbay/Hill/Zaun/McDonald, myself.

    - Paul
  50. 50.

    There’s a reason why you have your own blog and radio show from April to October and some other “on air” talent get less and less face and air time by the minute. Not saying there’s anything wrong with going from regular tv time to fill-in when the full timers are on vaction gig. Hey we all have to feed our families at the end of the day. But really, how many Alberta referenced jokes can one say in a given hour? (you’d think the dead silence would give someone a hint) I’ve been following your radio show for two years and blog for the last year and i can’t remember a time that you ever took a shot at a colleague or athlete or encouraged anyone else to do so. Honesty, a bit of intelligence, and good humour will keep people interested. Clearly the # of bloggers prove it. NO MIKE DID NOT PAY ME TO WRITE THIS. CHEERS

    - Aaron
  51. 51.

    Mike. I appreciate your tone and complete lack of homerism on the radio. This is very different from the Leaf broadcasts. I respect your opinions and the fact that you raise the brain bar on sports radio quite significantly. The fact that you never refer to an athlete by adding a “y” to their last name is also refreshing. The moment I hear a broadcaster say “Zauny” for example I cringe because even the illusion of objectivity is lost…and I like my illusions. The Jays make me despair at times. But that is the soap opera of the season. These days I break up with the team several times a week but like a cheap date I always welcome them back. I regroup with jaystalk. One little thing while I’m here. How can the ads on your station say that Rogers is a “proud sponsor of the Toronto Blue Jays?” They aren’t a sponsor of the Jays. They own the Jays. That would be more accurate.

    MW: I think it’s because Rogers Media owns the Jays, and Rogers Communications is the proud sponsor. Such is life in the world of big business. And thanks.

    - nick
  52. 52.

    Hi Mike,
    Never called your show- I enjoy listening to your views even though I don’t agree with you all the time. Just to let you know there are some concerns expressed by many that are warranted at least in my opinion. Weather you chose to use some of the criticism out there to your benefit is up to you. For my two cents:
    1) You do come across as condescending on the air- but I think it is just your personality. It sounds like you expect everyone that calls in to be on the ball like yourself. It is great to have that expectation of all people but not everyone is the same. Sometimes you should remember that you are a radio host by trade and baseball is a very large aspect of your life, not everyone is at your level that calls in. If somebody says something out of left field that sounds insane, doesn’t mean they deserved to be talked down to or even made fun of. When someone keeps asking you how you are doing when they call, they may just be nervous, not everyone is as comfortable on the radio.
    2) If we took a poll even on your blog- it would be easy to do from your end- I am more than sure the majority of people would consider you to be- I can’t think of a nicer way of saying it so I apologize- a Jays apologist. As fans most of us understand that only a certain number of teams make the playoffs and that this is not hockey, etc. etc. but the bottom line is we have had no success (by success I mean playoffs or at least meaningful games in mid September) in years. As a fan it is not my role to analyze how many injuries we went through, what the coaches are doing wrong/right, I can in the end look at results. Nobody can say the last few years were successful. Why even try to sugarcoat it? Either we are a middle of the pack team- which we have been in the last few years or a contender- which we pretend to be every year. People just don’t want to keep hearing the same old company line: excuses and preaching patience. Sports is similar to many other fields in life: when things go bad- a million excuses/reasons and when things go well- everybody takes the credit. In my opinion, this team is what it has been and it might improve but we need a new attitude and a new perspective at the top.

    Thanks for letting me rant. I hope you don’t take things so much to heart- just because people might criticize you about a few things don’t forget there are many more good things that you do on a daily basis. Also as I have heard you mention in the past that you were in the Toronto area growing up- I am sure that you use to listen to Jays Talk back in the day. Did you enjoy the work that Scott Ferguson use to do. I was also a big fan of his and if you use to listen to him back in the day I am sure you might remember how he had to deal with similar callers such as you do now.

    MW: Feel free to rant anytime, I still don’t think I talk down to people, though. It’s about fairness and big picture, though. I mean, if you want to look at 83 wins in 2000 and 83 wins in 2007 and think that’s the same thing, that’s your prerogative, but I look more at how they got there and what it means for the future. I liked Scott Ferguson on the JaysTalk, but thought he was far too kind to a lot of his callers.

    - Bobby
  53. 53.

    Well to be fair Toth is an excellent source for baseball insight, with his many years of experience covering Major League Baseball, his many player interviews, and the baseball-centric shows he regularly hosts. Oh wait, I think that was you.

    Well Toth is at least a top-notch hockey analyst, with a great deal of insight into the game and a progressive attitude towards it’s future. Oh wait, he isn’t really that either.

    Well, at least Toth is an excellent radio host, beloved by all of his colleagues and listeners alike. Oh wait…

    I have nothing personal against Mike Toth, but I do find him annoying and boring as a radio host and find his views out-dated and often very close-minded, and I have told him such in responses to his articles on sportsnet. Taking criticism as a radio host from Mike Toth probably just means that you’re doing things right.

    In my personal opinion Mike there is only one host who prefer (McCown, and only because I am fascinated by the business of sports), and that said if I could only listen to one show would pick yours simply because you always talk baseball and are knowledgeable and base your views upon facts.

    And as for the suggestion that you are rude; I do not understand this at all. You are honest and don’t waste time, but you are not rude (or at least you’re never rude first). Also, if you were the most pleasant man to ever grace the airwaves you would have a very boring radio show. McCown and Rumack make a living on being abrasive and controversial, but for some reason when you argue with a caller it’s a strike against you as a host.

    MW: Such is life, I guess. But then, the two of them have been on the station a lot longer than I have.

    - Colin
  54. 54.

    I missed the game. Hate the 9-5 life! I am really disappointed. Toth encouraging the callers to rip you when you were not there is really cheap. Your baseball knowledge is second to none and for a guy like Toth who has a limited baseball knowledge, this was really uncalled for. But this is not the first time he has stabbed a colleague in their absence. When there was a talk back in winter about the possibility of Steve Nash playing for Canada in the qualifying tournament and then Olympics, he ripped and made fun of Chuck Swirsky for taking Nash’s side. Enough of Toth!

    Anyway, we love you and appreciate the work you do. The reason I like you is you call spade a spade. You don’t agree with people just because they called on your show, other Fan590 hosts do that(except bobcat) a lot and it really sucks. And then they have the courage to call you rude! If you were rude you would not take so much time out of your day to answer our questions. You are the only blogger who takes time for us fans EVERYDAY. How can they not see it? I’ve never heard a rude comment from you in all these years. What are these people smoking?

    I can speak for myself only, I like your work and I’ve learnt a lot of Xs and Os of the game from you. You have taught me a lot about baseball and I am sure hundreds of people will say the same. I am really disappointed by what happened today. It’s annoying the hell out of me. But I am 101% sure you have seen such non-sense before and you will bounce back. Looking forward to a great summer talking ball. Go Mike Wilner!

    MW: Thanks!

    - Beburg
  55. 55.

    I heard Prime Time Sports tonight. The negativity of some people just amazes me. Anyway keep up the objective opinions.

    MW: Will do.

    - Stan
  56. 56.

    Jays are still paying for their terrible start in April.

    MW: Well, kind of. They’ve been really bad in June, though.

    - bruno
  57. 57.

    Yea Mike I don’t think its fair for fans to attack you like that, especially when your not even able to defend yourself. Everyone’s opinion is different but yours is always fair. You say what you believe, and you believe what you say. This is a long season, and it could be a lot worse then .500 the way this offense has performed this year.

    - Jon Bell
  58. 58.

    Mike, You Rock, I listen to you every game and love the way you tell it how it is to every caller.

    You are still, in my opinion, one of the most knowledgable people when it comes to baseball and the Jays,(other than my grand-father), and I respect your opinions and views about the Jays very much.

    Keep up the great work you do each day on the JaysTalk and your blog.

    MW: I’ll gladly take second place to your grandfather.

    - Zachary
  59. 59.

    Hey Mike,
    Kudos for sticking up for yourself … I’m not going to come on here and bash Toth, but lets put it this way: you are factual, informative, and rational when it comes to baseball and the Jays. Sometimes we callers/writers want a sympathy, not rationale (for that, we can call Toth). I love your blog; I love Jays talk; I am increasingly frustrated with the Jays. I don’t agree with all your opinions … but that is what is intriguing with you, the show, the blog, and the Jays. Please, I hope we start building above .500. Keep up the good work.

    MW: Thanks.

    - Michael
  60. 60.

    I noticed you mentioned Kenny Lofton’s name today. I know a few people who liked to toss his name around as a suitable LF solution and a prototypical leadoff guy way back in the winter. Seemed to make sense to me at the time. Why was this never explored? Did Lofton express interest in playing ball anymore, or is he looking to latch on to a contender late?

    Also, if Mench continues to post a sub-.700 OPS against lefties, do you think there’s anything to be said about DFA’ing him, DH’ing the Captain, have Zaun doing the catching and keeping Thigpen around in case? There’s nothing to suggest that Barajas would be an ideal half of a DH platoon, and there’s obviously no way of him swinging the bat like this for an extended period of time, but there’s not much there to think Stewart is any better a solution.

    MW: Except Stewart’s entire career. The story I’m hearing on Lofton is that he insisted on a two-year deal from anyone who was interested in him, and nobody would go for it. As for Mench, I’m really surprised he hasn’t picked it up against lefties yet, if he doesn’t, then it’s not a bad thing to have both Zaun and The Captain in against lefties. When everyone gets back, Scutaro could even get some extra work that way, and McDonald has hit lefties well lately, too.

    - NK
  61. 61.

    Mike Toth is among the blandest of radio personalities on The Fan. I think this may be a way of spicing up his show and or personality. Nothing like a little controversy.
    I enjoy the show (Jays Talk) and the blog keep up the good work. I don’t in any way think you have the ear of J.P. ,so in no way can you influence any moves. I think this team can and will be in the wildcard race. Yes I am an optimist but I felt the same way in 92

    MW: They were in way better shape in ’92, though.

    - Larry
  62. 62.

    If I could use 3 words to describe baseball, it would be “anything can happen” and that’s what makes baseball so great to watch. however, I think after watching this series I think the jays have no chance to compete. alan ashby said on the radio that there is no reason to believe that the jays offense will improve. that being said I believe that the blame now falls on gibbons. It seems that most of the time all the jays need to do is score 3 runs to win. If so and if the jays have little power and little speed and can’t hit with risp then it seems to me the next best option is to hit and run and use squeeze plays as MANY TIMES AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. EVERY time there is a runner on third with less than 2 out the jays should run a squeeze play. and the jays should hit an run to stay out of double plays as well. this may limit big innings but I think the jays should just try to win games 3-2. And EVERYONE should be learning how to bunt. but this will never happen because gibby just does the same thing every game and hopes for a different result.

    MW: This is what frustration has brought some fans to. You can’t squeeze every time you have a runner on third and less than two out, nor can you hit-and-run every time first base is occupied with less than two out. It’s a losing strategy, and guarantees that you’ll only get two or three runs a game, if that.

    - rocco
  63. 63.

    Losing 4 of 6 from Baltimore/Seattle is inexcusable.

    The Jays stunk it up like this in April and are doing it again in June.

    2nd and 3rd with one out and NO RUNS???????

    My question to you Mike is why is it that JP is always so hesitent with the young guys.

    If you look at teams like Arizona, LA Angels, Tampa Bay, and Colorado (although they are terrible this year), they all went with their young guys, allowed them to play through mistakes and sure enough they have all made the playoffs, with exception of Tampa, but they look damn good.

    Adam Lind tearing up AAA will not help this team, if this team is going to lose every night 2-1 without him, we may as well lose 2-1 with him and see what he can do.

    Also, the Jays should sell high on Burnett and let Purcey take his lumps, it is not like the Jays will make the playoffs and I’d rather the team get something for Burnett while he’s healthy rather than nothing.

    I was going to put money on the Jays to go over 85 wins this year…..I am sure glad I did’nt..I will place a bet now that they only win 83 games. Mike you can call me on it if they exceed and/or fail to reach that margin.

    What would the cost be if I lose?

    Finally, I did not hear Toth at all today, because I would rather hear 24 hours straight of Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings than listen to him try and talk about sports intelligently.

    MW: I won’t call you on it, because I’ll have long since forgotten, and I don’t suspect I’ll be hearing from you if the Jays turn around and are in a playoff race. Now is not a sell-high point on Burnett – his numbers are as bad as they’ve been his whole career, and his contract is up at the end of the year. Shame the Jays don’t play their kids, though, except Marcum, McGowan, Litsch, Carlson, Wolfe, Accardo and Hill.

    - Mark
  64. 64.

    I am sick to death of hearing about JP’s five year plan. If you simply do a search you can find out exactly what he has said in interviews. I could not find him saying that but he did say in 2004 that the best jays teams will be in 2005, 6, and 7. So he himself gave a 4 year window to contend. It’s now 2008 so that window has passed. Also he said that he would have a hard time giving a pitcher more than a 3 or 4 year deal. He then gave BOTH burnett and ryan 5 year deals. it’s been 7 years, his time is up

    MW: Well, he really only gave Burnett a four-year deal, since it’s a five with an opt out over three. Good for you for doing the research, though! I don’t make the same leap as you on the window passing thing.

    - rocco
  65. 65.

    Mike, I’ve been listening to you since 04 and have nothing but the utmost respect for you, even when i disagree with some of your comments. You always back up what you belive and argue rationally for it. Also, unlike another Fan radio personality, I have never found you to be a real s.o.b. to any of your listeners and you get some extremely inembriated callers.

    Now on to the Jays. I don’t feel panic yet as the team is .500 not ten games below, and they are still within striking distance of the sox with FOUR months left to play, very doable. Also I feel the offense will get better in the allstar break as most of core hitters (Wells, Hill, Overbay) have had strong second halves in the past. Also management will be pushing hard because i do believe this will be a do or die year for Gibbons and maybe JP. On that note come deadline day if the Jays are 6 games back expect to see a trade to help the team and even further our back half beating on the AL. All we have to do is stay close till the end of July and then turn on the jets. It is still very early.

    MW: Don’t worry about being within striking distance of the Red Sox. The division doesn’t matter.

    - Andrew
  66. 66.

    I’ve been out of the loop for a few days.But holy crap what’s this talk of trading Scutaro and Listch for Bay.Are those people crazy?
    The last 3 series were totally winnable for the Jays and there has been burps in the pen. We all knew it would happen. It does to every team.Just with the Jays, a burp in the pitching magnifies the offence not producing in the clutch on a regular basis.In my opinion,Gibby is managing pretty darn good to overcome the lack of offence.One player or a new manager is not going to solve this problem. These guys all have good track records and just have to get it going when they have the chance to go for the kill.

    - TP
  67. 67.

    Hi Mike,

    I don’t envy your job. Do not let these uninformed fans get to you, (including fill-in broadcasters who are really only there to entertain without really understanding the business nor the game itself). It’s funny, I missed the game today, but heard Jays talk on my way home and realized quickly the Jays had lost based on the phone calls you had to field. You are a well-informed baseball person and I enjoy listening. Do people really think it’s Gibbons’ fault that the Jays can’t hit good pitching? There are many examples this season where Gibbons has earned the team runs by staring runners or pulling off double steals. Can a new manager really get these guys to hit with runners on scoring position? Come on people. Look around the league.

    Question- what is the Blue Jays record this season against opponent’s number one or number two starters? It seems to me that the Jays just can’t catch a break (nor create any offense) against quality pitching. Could you imagine them facing their own five every day?

    Keep up the great work.

    MW: Facing their own five every day? That’s too scary to contemplate. Against other teams’ 1-2 starters, huh? By my reckoning, they’re 10-15.

    - Garry
  68. 68.


    You’re one of the most rational and level-headed journalists I’ve ever read or listened to, whether in a sports context or not. Thankfully, though not surprisingly, you have enough intelligent and witty things to say that you don’t need to mock your colleagues for self-fulfillment.

    That said, I actually think it’s time to give Gibbons the boot. How many times do we (Jays fans) have to go through this? With an off day tomorrow, an insane 4 off days this month and an even more insane 6 off days in a five week period, there’s no reason for Rolen not to play. Big whoop, he hasn’t hit well the last few games. Perhaps Rios should have played for the same reason, since, apparently, he was healthy enough to play yesterday. But even granting Rios not playing, even more so Rolen should have been in the lineup. It’s as if Gibbons is yearning for yet another excuse to score just one run and leave Marcum as the best pitcher of all time with just 5 wins at this point in the season. As for the way he handled Marcum himself, I’ll leave my comments to your imagination.

    MW: Sometimes you have to lose a battle to win a war, and that may have been the case with sitting Rolen, I don’t know. As for Marcum, he had given up five hits over his last two innings, you have to trust your bullpen and, of course, you have to score.

    - Shmuel
  69. 69.

    I both disagree and agree with the condescending comments you’ve posted. I enjoy listening to you because you tell people they are saying something stupid, but at the same time you say some pretty sarcastic, boardline mean things to people, myself included. But I am big boy and I enjoy and respect your opinion.

    As for the panic button, your right. But at some point you have to decide if you are buyers, sellers or holders. I do not think that the Jays are in position to be holders this year as the O can either get it down or needs a change.

    MW: There’s a big difference between being a buyer/seller and panicking, though.

    - JW
  70. 70.

    Mike, I agree with those who feel that you are condescending, I would like to add, you are sarcastic and insulting. Everyone who is a sports fan in this city wants a winning culture on the teams in which they root for, whether it is the Argo’s the Raptors, The Leafs or The Jays. The fans desire for a winner must be respected by the players and the owners of these franchises. Many of these fans here in Toronto have supported their favorite sports team since day one, therefore the reasonable opinions of these fans must be respected and not taken for granted.

    The media which serves as a sports fans bridge to their favorite team, should not be unreasonably ripping into fans who are pationate and disgruntled at not seeing their favorite sports franchise contend for years. Broadcasters should also serve as a medium of accountability.

    With you it has been quite the contrary
    Mike it has been your outright philosophy to hold noone other than the players accountable, which disqualifies the architechs of this team from taking the heat. This is insane. An organization is built from the ground up beginning with the president right on down to management. Unfortunetly we have seen in sports if a franchise does poorly for years but they are in a very supportive market(fanwise) the performance of the team may be overshadowed by the financial success. I believe this has been the case with this current Blue Jays regime. The Blue Jays marketing ploy’s over the years have increased the numbers at the Rogers Centre, Therfore J.P and Godfrey have been able to keep their jobs. I am glad the fanbase is starting to respond by not supporting a team that continues to be mediocore, the growing lack of support of the fans will eventually affect the bottom line which will ultimatly lead to consequences in the front office and beyond. Why should the fanbase continue to pay into mediocrity and a system that consistantly seeks cheap players hoping to get a bang for the buck.

    Just remember
    frustated paying customers don’t care about stats that have no relevance to the current situation. Which is a weapon you seem to use to demean the fanbase. Neither does frustration care for meiocrity which describes the past and present Jays Frustrated customers look for winning results.

    MW: Oh, Neil. There are some things I can always count on.

    - Neil
  71. 71.

    Mike, Mike, Mike – I guess you need a little love so I, for one, continue to say you are doing a fantasitic job! I don’t know anything about the Mike Toth stuff. I love your show and I think you are more than fair with your callers. Personally what I would like to hear more of is a little criticism of the Jays. I know it is a home team broadcast but it wouldn’t kill you to provide a little constructive criticism of the team now and then where it is warranted ofcourse. Yes it is a long season and anything can happen – I still thing the Tigers are going to get back in this race. Keep up the great work. Again I would like it if for once you questioned a JP or Gibby move or expressed disappointment in a Jay player. We all love the Jays that is why we critisize them so much – the same goes for you!

    MW: You need to listen (and read) more often if you think I have never questioned a JP or Gibby move or expressed disappointment in a player. But there’s a difference between saying that a player failed in a situation and that he ALWAYS fails or that he sucks.

    - Daniel
  72. 72.

    P.S I want you to know if they gave you more airtime, I would liste. Theirs no question in my mind I would rather listen to you talk about sports for 3 hours today then Toth,

    MW: I left that part in because it was the only part that’s clean.

    - John Mcroberts
  73. 73.

    Mike just to lend you some support (even though I know you don’t need it). Sometimes listening to the Fan590 on the internet from Ottawa it does seem like its you against the world. From what I hear on that radio station and I listen fairly regularly, most feel or communicate fairly strongly that JP and or Gibbons has to go. And more often than not they (the host of these programs) seem to share opinions about the team, well lets just say they are rather reminiscent to many rather ridiculous comments found on this blog and post game show. In fact because I am such a regular listener to the Fan590 (yes I have no life) some of the comments by particular fans are almost a word for word (use of similar phrases uttered everyday by certain hosts on this radio station) recording of “expert” opinions expressed earlier that day on or around 4pm and on. I know there are only so many ways to say things and very quickly in sport it becomes cliche but it is rather humourous to say the least. I don’t want to drag other radio hosts into this because like you’ve expressed earlier this is not a forum for such discourse and the unnamed hosts are unable to properly defend themselves. Furthermore it very quickly reduces to a tit for tat affair which usually proves fruitless and adds nothing to the discussion. I for one joined this forum to participate in an exchange of ideas and hopefully increase my knowledge and overall enjoyment of the game. I did not want to join a blog where the level of discourse would disintegrate into a name calling affair or thinking that by gathering up the largest contingent of like minded individuals (meaning you think you have the greatest numbers on your side) means you must be right. I wanted to share in a reasonable level of exchange of ideas. Let the debate be about ideas and not descend into the personel. That is what I enjoy so much about this blog that you Mike have put together and try to maintain. On a lighter note nice reference to a-ha. I to am a kid from the 80′s.

    Take on me
    Take me on
    I’ll be gone
    in a day or two

    Take care

    MW: Yeah, I didn’t want to go that far because I’m hoping that I won’t be gone in a day or two. Thanks for the comment, though!

    - Troy
  74. 74.


    Your show has been one of the most consistent things about the Blue Jays season thus far. While I don’t always agree 100% with everything you say, such is life, baseball and talk radio. I do, however, have to say that the manner in which you conduct yourself is a true pleasure. If a caller is intelligent and knowledgable, acknowdledgement is given regardless of whether or not you agree. If they are not, you are appropriately dismissive.

    It’s a marathon and not a sprint and just like you don’t play the “I told you so” card everytime the Jays go on a win streak after many have written them off, so to should fans remember that there are many ups and downs in a ball season, and the downs don’t need to be taken out on a broadcaster.

    Looking forward to your continued commentary on what is still a very long season of baseball to be played.

    MW: I do play the “I told you so” card a lot, though. And it’s fine for fans to take out their frustrations on me and vent to me – just do it when I’m there, is all I ask.

    - Mike
  75. 75.

    Hello Mike. You are right – cowardly!

    Just a couple comments:

    I love the Jays Talk and the bloggage. I have always admired how you refuse to allow callers to rip on other broadcasters. It is very respectable and shows class.

    Also, sometimes your comments and responses to callers are laced with bits of sarcasm and wit, which some may perceive as being condensing. But I find it humorous and together with solid arguments backed swiftly with stats and good ol’logic, it makes for great sports radio listening and bloggage reading.

    I am bummed about the Jays’ performance in June so far. But we have seen them turn it around (May, anyone?) I’m not pushing any panic button just yet.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, Mike!

    -Chris, Waterloo

    MW: Thanks

    - C. Bogdon
  76. 76.

    The last thing you should get upset about is Toth’s unprofessionalism. Listen to just about any of his segments and you will hear hypocrisy and sweeping statements. You are one of the most straightforward and knowledgeable hosts The Fan has. Keep up the great work and thanks for always answering questions on this blog. I have emailed Toth several times to call him on his statements and he never replies.

    - The Chad
  77. 77.

    I hope Mr. Mike Toth reads this because he hasn’t posted any new blogs on Sportsnet.ca regarding the Jays.

    I am not an apologist, or a total MW-fanboy (sry Mike :p).

    Also, I’m not a Gibbons/Burnett/Zaun fanboy either. I don’t hate them, I don’t love them.

    I’ll get to Toth’s ridiculous takes on the Jays in a bit.

    MW, it is technically “EARLY.” But still, 42% of the season has come and gone. And it has been warm-hot for the last week to see that the summer’s here. Rather than saying “it’s early” and “It’s not summer yet”, I think it’s less frustrating to hear something like “Jays aren’t playing October 1st One Day Playoff games not for another three weeks.”

    I don’t know. Some people sound like they take “offence” or HUGEE frustration by hearing words like “early” or “not summer” around this time.

    To another Mike, Toth:
    I don’t dislike Mr. Toth, he is funny. It’s an understandable frustration, but the rationales to the frustration are just mind-boggling.

    He suggests firing Gibbons just for sake of change. Nothing else.

    Anyways, he suggested a few people for replacements:
    1) Bobby Valentine: Do some research. Valentine isn’t leaving Japan any time soon. Guy loves it there and has been considering signing a LIFETIME contract. Go ahead, type “Bobby Valentine, Japan” on Google.

    2) Gary Carter: Let’s promote Marty Pevey

    3) Bob Brenly: I thought he could’ve been the guy after Tosca was gone. Then again, why hasn’t a team like KC consider him? Why hasn’t he found a job in 4 years?

    4) Joe Girardi last year (sort of): It was so obvious that he was waiting for the Torre job in the YES Booth — Especially after declining the Oriole’s job offer.

    AGAIN, Do some research. What has Pittsburgh been seeking for last two-three years? An established ace pitcher. They got Matt Morris to be a mentor-figure, but then he left soon after.

    They would ask at least McGowan/Marcum. And Mr. Toth has not addressed this issue.

    I mean when Bobcat addresses his issue about the Jays, he addresses it with some wit and insight right or wrong. Mike Toth just throws them out there like a clueless fan in NY, who would immediately put Joba in the rotation after two bad starts from Ian Kennedy.

    Honestly Mr. Toth, have some sense as a broadcaster to provide proper insight instead of some rash daily stupidity that people already hear on radios and read on Facebook and other online discussions.

    Just a question for fans: Why do you think teams like Cinci make June 15th the day of No-Trade clause expiration this year?

    Look at the date. And how MLB seasons usually go.

    As far as the Jays’ recent performances go, it would be nice if they pull 1989, but they better pick it up soon or the early losses will cost them.

    Put Rios out of the leadoff hole and put Eckstein in the leadoff. MW, I know you see Eckstein as a 9th hitter, but Eckstein is a .290+ hitter in the last three years in the leadoff spot. Give him a chance.

    MW: Eckstein doesn’t get on base enough to lead off. But this is a team without a lead-off man. I say Overbay!

    - BK
  78. 78.

    I didn’t hear PTS today, but from the sounds of it, Toth kind of pull a cowardly act of taking shots at his own collegue.

    In any event, I don’t agree at all with your line of thinking on this team. It makes no sense, you keep saying that the Jays are capable of winning X games, based on the past performances of the players on the team.

    This team hasn’t proved anything, no one knows what they are capable of. You keep referring to past performances of the players, yet when you gauge the Jays’ chances of getting 90 wins vs the Yanks and the Indians, you look at where they are at to date this season. At least with the two later teams, many of their active players know what it takes to win 90 and their is a winning culture that people can buy into.

    If the Jays fail this year, JP needs to go. I don’t see a debate here.

    MW: It depends on your definition of fail. If simply not making the playoffs is a failure, I don’t agree.

    - AK
  79. 79.

    Mike, two questions.

    1.Does Lind being held in the minors add to his trade value since he can play everyday there and post loftier numbers?

    2.Do you think opposing hitters have picked something up about post Tommy J. B.J. Ryan or is he just going through a tough streak?

    Thanks and as Bono says, don’t let the bastards grind you down.

    MW: The answer to both questions is I don’t think so – at least to the first one and the first part of the second one. Ryan has had three poor outings out of five after a great month. These are the things that happen just in general and also when one is still recovering from major surgery.

    - Jason
  80. 80.

    Well for me Mike here’s the comparison – when I hear Toth is covering for Bobcat I turn to some music instead. When I catch Eric Smith say Wilner will be on a segment after 10pm, I’ll listen to his program to wait and hear what you have to say. Now after reading your post today I don’t blame you for taking a pass and sitting one out. I’m sure you had a better option at the Jays charity event. I’ll look forward to hearing about it on a future post.

    Great points on your post about the playoff team records on this date in 2007. Should be some encouragment for the chicken-little’s but you know it won’t be.

    Keep up the good work Mike. Hang tough Jays Nation. It is indeed frustrating but tomorrow is another day.

    Bye the way – I’m takin’ my daughter to see my favourite (now former) Jay play the outfield on Sunday….and I’m gettin’ me a Blue Jays BBQ apron !

    MW: Not sleeping over Saturday night, huh? I feel bad for stiffing Eric last night, but it was just way too noisy.

    - Ian C
  81. 81.

    What do you think about trying to get Richie Sexson on the cheap off the Mariners? I know he has been horrible for the past year and a half, but he has put up good power #’s throughout his career, and Seattle might be looking to get him off the books. We could platoon Overbay/Sexson at DH and first base.

    MW: He’s been horrible for the past year and a half.

    - Jason
  82. 82.

    Adda boy Mike, good vent man. It is spineless to talk behind someones back, especially someone like yourself who is so accessable. I’ve disagreed with ya plenty, but you’ll be the first to hear it, not some other radio personale. Does Toth have a blog? I belive a comment is in need of posting.

    MW: People have been mentioning that he has a blog, I’m guessing it’s on the sportsnet site.

    - Keith
  83. 83.

    Hey Mike,

    Yes people will call in and say stupid things, but why do you never come clean when you say stupid things. You and I have had the Zaun/Molina conversation 4 times since the beginning of last year. I said JP signed the wrong catcher and you still profess that Zaun is a SUPERIOR (your words) catcher to Molina. Molina is one of the best hitters in baseball this year (and was very solid last year). You still will not back down, your pride is getting in the way and making you sound silly. Zaun in his 125 at bats this year is producing nothing. Oh he gets on base right? That is what we need more guys sitting on base, Molina is driving them in like crazy. At the beginning of this year you said “of course Molina had a lot of RBIs last year Bonds was always on base” What about this year?? No Bonds! Actually a very slim team. Lets not talk about how Zaun controls the staff because with Barajas our pitchers are still dealing hot.

    You have the ability to rip callers by hanging up on them and continuing your point without interjection so fair is fair if they want to repay the favor.

    MW: I don’t hang up on callers unless they’re being rude, and I don’t continue to rip them once they’re gone, except to sometimes briefly say why they’re gone. Molina has not been one of the best hitters in baseball this year, though he’s having a terrific season. He’s still an awful defensive catcher and I don’t believe he has any sort of innate ability to drive in runs.

    - Matthew
  84. 84.

    …bye the way Mike…from Buffalo Springfield to Finnish 80s pop ? wow. Your musical references have more range than Robbie Alomar.

    MW: Thanks for noticing.

    - Ian C
  85. 85.

    Sorry to hear about your day, Mike. Some days we’re the dog and some days we’re the hydrant.
    I’m sure you know that most of us respect your knowledge and your opinions, even if we don’t entirely agree with you.
    Personally, I won’t listen to Prime Time if Toth is hosting. To call him a ‘halfwit’ would be entirely too generous.

    - Randy Winter
  86. 86.

    Hey Mike -

    I was actually listening to Toth rip you and you know what – I was kinda feeling bad for you too. He’s pretty obviously one of the guys at the Fan/Sportsnet who gets up for Hockey and that’s about it. Keep on doing what you’re doing. This whole 24/7 Jays talk thing is really awesome. You’re right when you say that radio would suck if you just agreed with everyone. I hope you know who your loyal listeners are and are able to put all the shots behind you. You rock dude.


    MW: Thanks.

    - Andrew Sorlie
  87. 87.

    During the Broadcast on Wednesday, Alan Ashby indicated there is no real good reason to believe the Jays hitting will get any better.

    But he then noted that things can often change in Baseball.

    In dealing with the players like you do, do you get the sense they think they’ll snap out of it, or are they beaten mentally now that this swoon at the plate has gone on so long?

    MW: I don’t think they’re beaten mentally. They’re down, for sure, and pressing, but all it takes is one small thing to happen to snap them out of it. You just hope that this time they’ll snap out for more than 18 games.

    - Cam Birnie
  88. 88.

    Your fairness and level-headedness is what has gotten you most of your listeners.

    With popularity comes criticism. I’m sure you can shed it.

    Regardless, no matter how much the Jays lose, they won’t lose as many games as Stoeten has lost hairs . . . and we can all take comfort in that.

    MW: Yeah, but I’m catching up.

    - Beau
  89. 89.


    I find that sports media in Toronto like to gang up and make judgments that just aren’t true. They never want their “conventional wisdom” challenged with facts, which is why I can see they have a problem with you.

    Since the first day A.J. Burnett signed, for example, Toronto media concluded he was a .500 pitcher that was immature and overpaid even before he took the field. For the next few years, they go out of their way to say “see I told you so.” It is easy to predict what the Toronto Star will print when he leaves after this year. Never mind the quality starts and the fact that he is actually “cheap” in this market.

    I suggest that you keep challenging “conventional wisdom” with facts and doing a great job on Jays talk. Meanwhile, blog readers and callers will continue to do the same with you.

    MW: Thanks!

    - Jim B
  90. 90.

    Hey Mike – Steve Phillips the MLB expert on TSN said that the Jays should absolutely trade AJ. I mention this only to vindicate the many fans who were considered idiots for offering the same view. I like AJ and hope he gives the Jays some good starts. However as Phillips says this could be our year to go for it and we’ve got enough pitching – we need OFFENCE!

    MW: If the Jays trade A.J. they’ll no longer have enough pitching, and who will give up big offense for him anyway?

    - Daniel
  91. 91.

    Mike, people think you are arrogant and condescending because you have no respect for other people’s opinion and you always claim you are right and everyone else is wrong but in fact you are pretty much wrong on everything. here are just a few examples: baltimore will lose 100 games – WRONG, jays will outwin oakland by 10 games – WRONG, jays offense is “average at worst” – WRONG, second last in runs scored is not average, barajas is a “horrible” hitter and “watch him the next 2 weeks” – WRONG he went on a hitting rampage in case you forgot, JP only signed 1 bad contract! – WRONG, burnett, ryan, thomas, wells, rios, koskie, hinske are all bad contracts. start admitting you are wrong mike and we will forgive you.

    MW: I’ll admit I was wrong about Baltimore and Oakland when the season is over. Or when the Orioles get their 63rd win, whichever comes first. IF I’m wrong about that, and I don’t think I will be. The Jays’ offense is average at worst, but it’s severely underperforming. Barajas did go on a rampage with Zaun on the DL, which I didn’t think would happen – definitely wrong about that. Burnett, Ryan, Wells, Rios and Hinske were not bad contracts. Burnett’s contract is a really good one, actually, and because Hinske didn’t work out doesn’t mean it was the wrong move at the time. Thomas was a bad contract, which was the one to which I was referring, and I’ll give you Koskie, too.

    - rocco
  92. 92.


    Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy your coverage of the Jays both on the radio and through the blog. Thanks, and keep up the good work.

    - clint
  93. 93.

    Good lord, I just came here to read your latest blog after watching some YouTube clips of the abortion of a new channel that is Fox News. What does Fox News have in common with Mike Toth? Irresponsible journalism, and sadly, it’s everywhere today. Even more shocking is that that kind of garbage has a huge audience. Apparently people really DO think Barack Obama is a Muslim and a terrorist who does “terrorist fist jabs”. Apparently, there are actually Jays followers who think the season is over and that Gibbons and JP are the reason. I’m always shocked when I see and hear stuff like that but maybe I shouldn’t be. After all we live in a society where ignorance rules and facts and reason are second class citizens.

    - Shawn
  94. 94.

    Your best blog entry of the year Mike.
    You are the voice of rationality in a sports town of lunacy.

    MW: Thanks!

    - George
  95. 95.

    I love marcum, but i believe his stock won’t be any higher than what it is right now. If this team continues to borderline .500, trading him for a legitimate bat should be something that is explored

    MW: No, it shouldn’t be.

    - TS
  96. 96.

    Man, if you think John Gibbons is doing as good a job as can be done with this team then people have the right to rip that opinion because it stinks. Not to mention your views regarding bunting. Those two things alone are enough to infuriate most baseball fans. You are entitled to your opinions, but if it’s a little more respect you are asking for then I suggest you reconsider sounding so uniformed about the game.

    The facts that: 1. Gibby isn’t getting it done and 2. that this is a team that should be playing small ball, aren’t matters of opinions, Mike, they are truths. If you are going to continue to deny both of them then have a good season because discussing anything further, about the Blue Jays, would be a waste of time.

    MW: I’m glad you’re choosing to waste your time here!

    - Jamie
  97. 97.


    Love the blog. I have a suggestion to make it even more totally spectacular – is it possible to get your web dude to make a change so that where we currently click to play the Jays Talk program we can also download the file?

    What’s currently used in the “audio on demand” section would be perfect in your blog for that purpose.


    MW: I’ll check with the web dudes.

    - Chris B
  98. 98.

    Hey Mike,

    Firstly, I realize you won’t comment on this cause you don’t want to feed the animal, and you are better than that… But I have to say…

    There is a lot of politics on the Fan.. I notice it as a listener. It is evident that when certain key players go on vacation they tend to give the sub roles to people who are less than ok… And one cant help but wonder if this is to appease the hosts’ ego…

    You’re time is coming where you are going to have a full 3 hour a day show…

    Don’t worry about the classless Toth…. I am shocked if he isn’t punished for what he did today, because it was classless and illogical…. But then again, I think thats why Bob likes him being the backup!

    MW: I don’t agree about the political stuff. I don’t believe Nelson Millman thinks that way, he wants the best possible programming on the station at all times. And I don’t want a full 3 hour a day show, I love what I’m doing!

    - Stevie H
  99. 99.

    I have to say Mike that I think that every time that I have heard you speak to people on the radio you have been patient and forthright. I mean what is it that people expect. I disagree with some of the things you say but certainly not how you say them. I respect the job you do and feel that the you are owed at least the chance to respond to comments made against you.

    The biggest compliment I can give the Jays crew at the Fan is that I always feel that you (meaning you, Jerry and Alan) are always honest and informative.

    Keep up the Great work,

    MW: Thanks!

    - Aaron
  100. 100.

    Really want to say that i think you are the voice of reason for the jays. Great job. I have to also say that i was in the minority that was willing to side with JP at the beginning of the season. I really thought that it was a reasonable bet that it was a combination of injuries and off seasons that struck the offense last year. I was really excited for the offence this year, thinking that if everyone just had a decent year we were going to have one of the best hitting clubs in the league. JP staked his job on these guys and i think both of us turned out to be wrong. I now think these guys are trying hard but they are just not as good as everyone thought they were. Great pitching but time to rebuild the offense next year.

    MW: It’s still early.

    - Rob Auckland
  101. 101.

    One single question Mike, when will the Jays Front office wake up and realize that they have a hitter in the minors. ADAM LIND!!! Honestly he couldn’t be worse than anything they have right now hitting??

    By the way Toth doesn’t have half the knowledge you have when it comes to the Blue Jays! Keep up the good work!

    MW: Ricciardi addressed the Lind thing on Tuesday night. With Wilkerson and Wells hitting, would Lind replace Rios or Stairs?

    - Christopher
  102. 102.

    Do you understand people frustrations when they vent on the air? I’m very frustrated on how the jays are starting. What can the jays do to improve their offense cause this offense looks deporable.

    MW: Of course I understand the frustration! This Jays’ team has given the fans tons of reasons to tear out their collective hair this year. There’s nothing they can do right now to improve the offense other than be patient. Soon, the trade market will be a lot more open than it is now.

    - andrew
  103. 103.

    I’m resigned at this point that I’m just going to have to be patient and eventually things will get going. I’ll just have to be glad my team has managed (so far) to stay at or above .500.

    Don’t listen to the haters Mike, I’m glad anytime I can get a chance to listen to Jays Talk, which being out in Alberta usually means the podcast. You do an excellent job even if I don’t always agree with you.

    The only time I think you come across condescending is when people say something mind numbingly stupid. I actually find your responses to those type of calls amusing.

    Because I’m from Alberta let me say one more thing: Don’t let Toth get to you. He’s a circus monkey. I haven’t liked him since the first time I saw him on Sports at 11 on the ol’ 2&7 Calgary. I hope he reads your blog so he sees this. From some of his blogs on sportsnet.ca (on the rare occasion he blogs baseball) he comes across as pretty ignorant about the sport in general and the Jays in particular. Basically he just tries to stir the pot.

    Keep the good work, and let’s hope the Jays get going soon so I don’t have to take up binge drinking.

    MW: I can understand the Jays needing to win to assuage the fans’ frustrations, but to save your liver? That’s a lot more important!

    - Sean Court
  104. 104.

    Mike, I can’t believe this loss today. I know hitting with runners in scoring position has been a major problem for the jays this year, and as a avid fan of your show i am used to hearing there is no rational explanation for all these hitters hitting below their career averages. My Question Mike, is if this somehow (I know you don’t think this can continue) continues for the rest of the season, What is the Jays plan for next season?


    MW: Blow it up.

    - Hari
  105. 105.

    Hey Mike,

    Give ‘em hell!! I agree with what you said. To bash someone on somebody else’s show is cowardly and quite frankly disrespectful.

    I see a lot of people on your blog that say negative things about some of the Jays’ television guys and you have never once thought any of them were worth a response. Good on you!

    People, if you have an issue with Mike call him and tell him so. Quit being morons. With some of the STUPID comments and calls you’re lucky he even talks to you or replies – I’d hang up on you or block your email address.

    The Jays are frustrating as hell right now and I take it is hard as the next the person – likely more so but lay of Mike. We’re just lucky we have someone who is knowledgeable enough to post a blog and do a talk show.

    As for you Toth – don’t get me started. You should know better!

    Now on to a baseball question – Blair wrote today that A.J. might be moved if possible – any idea what kind of return they could get for a pitcher of his caliber?

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

    MW: It’s hard to imagine they’d get anything more than a couple of good prospects, because only a contending team would be interested in Burnett, and I doubt they’d want to break up their big-league roster.

    - Cameron
  106. 106.

    Amen, Mike
    I heard callers ripping on you and I agree, it certainly wasn’t fair. You defend what you say on your show with facts and in the uncommon scenario that you’re wrong, you admit it.

    Two questions:

    1. Were the Jays a bit quick to fire Mickey Brantley? The Jays had just come off an outstanding offensive 2006 only to have our 2007 lineup decimated by injuries. I can’t help but feel he was let go just a bit too soon.

    2. As much as I’d hate to see him leave, how much trade value does Brett Cecil have? Every week he comes on the show, J.P. seems more and more open to a trade. Could he and Lind be packaged together to bring in a decent young bat? Or does Cecil have a bit more to prove before he has any sort of trade value.

    Keep up the good work

    MW: I didn’t understand the decision to fire Mickey, the rest of the coaching staff got a mulligan because of last year’s injuries. Cecil has a lot of trade value, they could get something good for him for sure, with or without including Lind.

    - Christian
  107. 107.


    I used to serve Toth as a waiter in Richmond Hill and he shows no respect at a restaurant either. Mike, despite the Jays horrible losses I still can’t help but feel like we are on the verge of a really great team and that maybe just one extra bat could complete the picture. I think that if we are patient A fans we will see that trade later in the season. However, I did notice J.P. mention the other day that the team has to help him out in order to get a deal done. Two questions: Do you think this reflects a position put to J.P. by the folks who own the team or a position of J.P. himself? What mark do you think the Jays need to be at (when a trade could happen) to convince J.P. that they are good enough to give away prospects to make a run for it in the near future?

    MW: J.P. also said he considered five games out to be “in it”, so that’s where they have to get to, I guess. And they’re right about there. I think that he needs to see that one big bat will actually help, which means most of the hitters have to hit a bit.

    - Jeff
  108. 108.

    We love ya Mike! Keep it up bro!

    - Dave
  109. 109.

    I’ve had my criticisms of you in the past (and some in the present as well) but you’re right….if someone has a problem with you, they should confront you….not some wannabe Bob McCown….

    Question for you Mike: You’ve said in the past that there has never been any mention by JP of the infamous “5 year plan”…yet so many people (including myself) seem to think that there was such a plan. Countless writers, such as Richard Griffin in the Star, and some in the States, have referenced this plan as well. If I’m not mistaken, you’ve also said in the past, and I’m paraphrasing here, “show me where JP has said that there is no plan”…well I cannot find any articles from his first press conference here….I’m wondering then, can you prove that he didn’t say anything about this plan (i.e. by producing an article, transcript from this press conference, that would clear his name, so to speak?)

    MW: He says there’s some article from the Sun in his office, and I’m going to ask to see it tomorrow. Otherwise, it’s impossible to prove a negative.

    - Shawn
  110. 110.

    C’mon Mike – all of us realize it’s your blog and that you control the content and all, but do we need to hear you sulk? Maybe you’ve heard the “hey Mike, how you doing” too many times and have finally decided to open up. Well, we’re not your shoulder or pillow buddy, so suck it up and talk baseball already.

    MW: I did talk baseball.

    - Todd
  111. 111.

    Hey Mike,

    I’m sure you’re not fishing for compliments here, but in my mind yourself and McCown are the two best sportscasters in the city. As well, I’m a huge baseball fan, and I would consider you easily to be the most knowledgeable baseball guy in the media here. By leaps and bounds.

    I just lost a lot of respect for Mike Toth. It’s bad enough to rag on another host on air (which seems pretty unprofessional to me), but for him to moan about one of the only knowledgeable baseball guys in this hockey-crazy city, when he clearly doesn’t know much about the sport is mind blowing.

    It doesn’t bother me that he’s clearly ignorant about baseball, but I can’t believe he’s arrogant enough to attack one of the only radio people who actually knows a lot about the sport.

    The Fan has gotten so hockey-centric, that it’s lost a lot of appeal to me. They need more guys like you who at least know what you’re talking about.

    I’m certainly not going to listen to any show with Toth on it anymore.

    MW: Well, you should still keep listening to the Fan at all times, though.

    - James H
  112. 112.

    Wow, Mike! Journalism gets personal.

    So, would you have a beer with Mike Toth, or would you rather punch him in the face?

    MW: Punch him in the face? Nah, that’s not right. Violence is never the answer.

    - JCL
  113. 113.

    Good for you Mike and you’re entitltled…anyone who knows anything about baseball in this country knows you are a voice of reason in a sea of idiots…Toth??? seriously??? who listens or watches this guy? Don’t mean to bash a fellow “journalist” (in the loosest sense of the term)..but this guy is insufferable. It actually makes me ashamed of our broadcasting schools in this country whenever I see/hear him speak.

    - Jason
  114. 114.

    Mike, I love you like a brother.

    - Justin H.
  115. 115.

    I dont think i’ve ever heard so many negative calls on jays talk in one sitting. Wow! I love how everyone thinks they have a trade that will work. Mikes right. No ones trading anywhere just yet, so be patient. Its not over yet folks.

    - Dave
  116. 116.

    Hello Mike:

    Since we don’t get regular radio broadcast of anything baseball here in Calgary I am, by necessity, a daily visitor to your blog (as well as DJF, Tao of Steib, Mockingbird, etc). It is like I am a baseball island in a sea of hockey…

    I have always enjoyed your provocative, yet balanced, statistical and fair observations.

    Concerning Mr Toth’s comments tonight, I would like to weigh in.

    A decade ago I would occasionally watch Mike Toth (& his sidekick Mike Lownsborough) on the local Calgary evening sports broadcasts. I unfailingly found them both to be the media-equivalent of dorks at the high school prom. They were bereft of a viewpoint that wasn’t juvenile & self-serving. Since his promotion to national television I have seen nothing that would make me think otherwise.

    On the other hand, I find your program (when it is broadcast here) to be consistently objective, intelligent, facts-related, and highly listenable.

    While I don’t always agree with your opinions, I respect you for not suffering fools and for always calling an ace an ace. Thank you for endeavoring to be educational, entertaining & provocative!

    With respect to Mike Toth, he continues to be a pandering self-absorbed “sports-guru-wanna-be”. To you I respectfully offer the advice of a good friend: “Don’t let the b****d get you down!”

    Keep on keepin’ on!

    Cheers…Wayne in Calgary

    - Wayne
  117. 117.


    I didn’t listen to the attack or to the post-game today or to the Tothcat on Primetime….however no offence to you but you are totally condescending to a lot of the callers that call you. Its something to do with your answers and something to do with tone. It almost seems as if you are bothered by half the people that are calling you. You seem to play devil’s advocate 80% of the time to whatever people are saying and frankly you are rude to a lot of the callers.

    I tried calling you last year after the world series and suggested that a show of sportsmanship after a 7 game series would be a nice thing and shaking hands or giving some nod to the losing team ( A.k.a. the NBA, NHL and NFL) or seeing the managers shake hands would be nice you 100% ripped that saying that you thought it was dumb….i just think you basically pick the opposite point of so many of the calls just for the sake of having something to do.

    I guess whatever works and is keeping people listening or reading your blogs.

    Anyways i hope the Jays can turn it around…some nights wonderful and some nights horrible…classic .500 team

    I do like your point about a lot of the playoff teams from last year all being sub .500 at this point in the year…..its a long summer.

    Why doesn’t JP go out and sign Mr. Bonds…..we are in desperate need of a left handed power bat and this guy is sitting in the SF Bay waiting and chomping at the bit.

    If we let the Rays or BoSox snag him ( apparently Boston is interested depending on the extent/seriousness of Big Papi’s wrist injury?) i will never forgive Blue Jay management.

    Anyways maybe soften up a bit on the radio….its not a courtroom or a boxing ring….try to sound some nights like you are enjoying your gig which easily is among the top 10 best gigs to have in baseball in this city.

    Chag Sameyach and Happy Shavous!

    MW: I love the gig I have, but I get as frustrated as a lot of the callers are. I remember your call about the handshake, though the NHL is the only league that does that, but I feel the same way now as I do then – it’s just a show, doesn’t mean anything, and I have no problem with baseball not doing it. I’m sorry if you thought I was rude to you. I don’t play devil’s advocate, by the way, I never take a stand in which I don’t believe.

    - Philip C
  118. 118.


    For what it’s worth, I think you’re a great broadcaster, and its my opinion that if you want to, you’ll be calling games at the Major League level in the next few years.

    You and I have sparred a few times over the radio, and while I think I’ve been correct (insofar as someone can be correct in an argument about baseball) in our arguments, I think it’s great that you demand that your callers know what they’re talking about and present evidence for their assertions. I know that for me, it’s made me think before I call, and I’ve made better points on your show because of it.

    On the whole, I’d say you’re overly optimistic about this edition of the Jays. I don’t blame you. Rather, I respect you for sticking to your guns, and tacking where appropriate, rather than pressing the panic button. I’ve always wondered about that expression-I mean, I can’t imagine a situation in which it would be the right decision to panic, so why do people ask whether it’s time to panic yet? It might be time to change your strategy, or to throw in the towel on a given season, but panic? Never.

    Anyway, nil illegitimus carborundum, and I hope that you’re right and I’m wrong about this year’s Jays.

    MW: Tacking where appropriate?

    - Ian
  119. 119.

    Don’t sweat it, Mike. You’re doing a great job. I can see that all the way from here. Also, here’s the DJF article for others. http://www.drunkjaysfans.blogspot.com/

    - brent in Korea
  120. 120.

    I have no idea who Mike Toth is, but if he’s another one of these guys who puffs himself up by blasting the local sports teams, while having never actually broken a sweat while wearing an athletic supporter himself, then I’m not surprised. There’s a word for guys like him, he’s what I call a “girlie-man”

    Truthfully Mike, I am not patronizing you, but I for one, appreciate the work you do to make “Jays Talk” an entertaing show everyday, and the effort you put forth for “The Blue Jays this Week” and this daily blog. I don’t think other people realize how much time and effort you put forward that you could be spending doing other things. If you decided to dump the blog tomorrow I can assure you that I would be disappointed.

    Unfortunately, you said something the other day and I can’t remember if it was in this blog or on the air, and that comment was that “the 1994 baseball players strike made it fashionable in Toronto to hate baseball”. No truer words were ever spoken. The Toronto media is full of individuals who I believe hate the Blue Jays and would love to see the club run out of town. Their columns and on-air programs are full of venemous negativity which I find childish, gutless and petty. They remind me of 12 year old girls in a fight on the playground. I believe there are people in the local media who love it when the Blue Jays lose and love to call for the scalps of J.P., Gibby and Mr. Godfrey. I heard one host call Paul Godfrey a “liar” on the air last year bcause the club did not come clean with the immediate truth about B.J. Ryan’s injury, as if the public had a right to know the intricate details of the situation. A club needs to have a “poker face” on the injury front in case they want to make some sort of trade and if another club knows they’re desperate, the value of a player you might trade for goes way up. Certainly all those critical brainiacs out there can understand that much. These same media types hate to see any team in Toronto enjoy any success that might over shadow their beloved “Maple Leafs”. When the Jays won back-to-back World Series titles, it placed an emphasis on the Leafs futility in recent years. In their twisted minds, since the Leafs are rotten, whay should the Jays be any different (or the Raptors for that matter).

    I find you to be highly professional and remarkably consistent. When a caller calls your show to bash someone like Rance Mulliniks or Pat Tabler you have always stopped them dead in their tracks, which I believe is the proper thing to do. If the idiots calling this Toth joker don’t like your show, then they should not listen to it.

    I consider your approach to be positive and yet realstic. I appreciate that more than you’ll ever know. I am afraid that there are just too many people out there who are not smart enough to form their own opinions and are tainted by the idiots whose columns and programs they listen to and read everyday.

    Finally, name another GM who is kind enough to go on the air and talk to the fans. There isn’t one. J.P. does not owe this fan base any time out of his schedule. If he ever leaves, I can just hear the “Jays Talk” callers calling in and complaining because the “new GM doesn’t have a radio show like J.P. did”. I for one, hope that J.P., Gibby and Mr. Godfrey keep their jobs. I hope they are all there to hoist the World Series trophy the next time the Jays win it, and I hope the idiots who bash the club miss the game because they were too busy watching the Leafs lose to the Columbus Blue Jackets. That’ll serve them right.

    I don’t care if you don’t agree with me, Mike. Thanks for letting me vent.

    MW: The only thing that was out of line was the “never played the game” comment. That’s not fair – one doesn’t have to have competed at an elite level in order to understand or have a valid opinion about the game. I certainly never did.

    - Jim Branscome
  121. 121.

    hey Mike few things…one mike toth is not worth the time we are taking now defending you and the bluejays instead of learning more about the game and having arguments based on facts not bandwagon opinions…two I know you would prefer Rios in that number 3 slot in the future for the jays line up but I really like the idea of him hitting first.He runs the bases well and can steal,hit,and can really get in a grove sometimes.Shannon is great but I’d rather have someone there thats an everyday player opposed to shannon who really was brought in to platoon with Stairs.We keep losing these close games and I’d like to have a guy there that could hit and run the bases as well as he does and play at that spot consintaintly.Would you like to see him at 1 or maybe further down the line up still in the future…three I get the feeling we might lose either Travis Snyder or Adam Lind considering the talent overload we got at the outfield positions.Do you think one them we’ll be gone before the seasons done and could you give me an idea of what strenghts and weaknesses each one has and let me know your opinion on that whole situation…oh and one last thing.Did you call mike so you could defend yourself?Or did mike call you to defend yourself…Thanks alot Mike and keep up the good work…oh ya and don’t let factless,classless “radio personalities” get to ya(which happens to be most of the guys on the radio station)…catch you next time on the BandwagonFan590

    MW: I don’t like Rios leading off or in the 3-hole. Right now I think he looks like a 6-hitter (maybe 2, if he could get hit groundball percentage to drop). I don’t think either Snider or Lind will get moved this season, but I wouldn’t have a problem dangling either one if the return was right. It looks as though they’re both going to be terrific hitters, Lind can become an above-average defender (based on the strides I saw his game take last year), I’ve never seen Snider play defense. I called Toth to ask what was going on and he invited me on the air.

    - stewy
  122. 122.


    After last week’s BJ Ryan blown save in New York, you stated the Jays would work it out and head home to heal up against a couple of what you called “soft touches” in Baltimore and Seattle…How’d that work out for ya?…Seems to me the soft touch resides in Toronto….Ok Blow Jays, let’s play ball!!!

    MW: Yeah, that didn’t go well at all.

    - ronald james
  123. 123.

    I am an intelligent and thoughtful individual who tunes in very regularly to the FAN590, but I must say that I am extremely disgusted and disturbed by Mike Wilner and how he conducts himself and Jays Talk.

    I caught the segment in question by Mike Toth and it was like such a wonderful breath of fresh air. I thought that finally, what has been on my mind for so long is finally coming to light and being discussed in a public forum not moderated and controlled by the very source of our dissatisfaction.

    I am 32 years old and have been a sports fan and a listener of sports radio for most of my life. I have never, ever encountered an individual who shows such disdain and disrespect for the listeners and fans as Mike Wilner does. This is not about who is right and wrong about statistics, or who has more baseball knowledge and experience. This is about an individual who has been allowed to abuse and bully the sustaining life force of the FAN590 – the committed and loyal fan – who continues to tune in and participate, despite the sarcastic egomaniacal malevolence of a very bitter and grumpy gentleman who clearly has no love for his work and a general indifference to the responsibility he has to his company and listenership.

    My frustration with this programming has morphed into anger as I have witnessed caller after caller be insulted, belittled, their opinions disregarded, thoughts rudely interrupted, ideas snuffed out by an impatient, intolerant and seemingly uninterested host. I have wanted to write to the FAN590 for a long time now to voice my grievance and dissatisfaction, but this ugly and caustic attitude put me in a frame of mind that somehow my input would be disregarded and ignored, much like that of the average caller.

    So I return to the subject of the segment hosted by Mike Toth. He spoke for me that day, and I’m sure for a great many others as well – and that is exactly what I expect of the FAN590. Not to preach and lecture down to me, but to represent me and my attitudes and opinions, and to discuss precisely what is on my mind. That is what Toth did and he should be congratulated for it. Not chastised as Mike Wilner would wish, for daring to break from the rank and file and have the nerve to call out a fellow colleague. All industries that have witnessed such collusion and corrupt values have been the victim of such practice. …doctors blindly defending their colleagues from malpractice despite their knowledge of wrongdoing…politicians supporting their colleagues despite knowledge of corruption…and I could go on and with no shortage of examples from within the world of sports as well, but I hope my point is made. Mike Toth does not work for Mike Wilner, nor does he owe him anything beyond the most basic common courtesy. He works for Rogers and he works for the fans, and I applaud him for having the intestinal fortitude to finally shed some light on what has become such a dark and cloudy miserable excuse for a sports talk radio forum.

    I will always listen to the FAN590 because I very much enjoy the hard work and integrity of every other on-air personality they employ – but that feeling I get when I start my car and discover that Jays Talk with Mike Wilner is broadcasting is more than enough to make me tune out to almost anything else.

    MW: Wow. That hurts. Who knew I was akin to a rogue doctor or crooked politician?

    - Not Important
  124. 124.

    mike, don’t take it so personal dude. You’re a minor celebrity now and there’s no such thing as bad press. Make sure you parlay your new found celebrity into a bigger paycheque and fughedabuddit…

    Anyway, I believe this team offers a very good dichotomy of leadership:

    For the pitching staff you have Roy Halladay. A gutsy leader, who is intense as all get-out, and he leads by extreme example. The pitching staff follow in his tow.

    For the everyday players you have Vernon Wells. A player far more comfortable in a role-playing situation, or as a complimentary bat. He exudes a very laid-back approach to the game. He can beat up on you with his amazing talent, but doesn’t out-compete anyone. The entire offence, in my opinion, has become reflective of his ball-playing personality.

    I don’t believe the Jays will make the playoffs this year. But I think they will have a decent season. Looking ahead to 2009, I really feel the Jays need to address this leadership gap.

    MW: That’s an interesting dichotomy that you present. But why is it that you assume the hitters take their lead from Vernon and not from, say, Scott Rolen or Matt Stairs? You’re not the only one who does, of course.

    - Paul O
  125. 125.


    I can’t imagine how frustrating that must be. The majority of the people I discuss baseball with value and respect your opinion. You are doing a great job. Now on to the fun stuff. Cubbies tomorrow. For the first time. Should be an exciting weekend and as great a record as the cubs have this year they are 14-16 on the road just like everyone else. And we all know how the Jays play at the level of their competition. So, we all should see some stellar play from the Jays this weekend.

    Keep it coming Mike.

    MW: I’m really looking forward to this weekend. The atmosphere should be awesome.

    - ian
  126. 126.

    Hello Mike, hope you’re well. So, I finally get to see BJ Ryan pitch live, and he coughs it up. Crap. I would have been frustrated, but it was a nice day out at the ball park, and we had to try and drive out of the city, so that was real frustration! It was an exciting game to watch anyway, and Marcum is just really impressive, isn’t he?
    I do have a question for you regarding the game: what was the deal with the strike zone? We had great seats on the first base side, and couldn’t always tell if it was off the plate, but man, so many pitches that looked great were called balls. I wasn’t surprised at Gibbons coming out to argue. Am I right that the strike zone seemed pretty arbitrary depending on pitcher (lefty or righty), or not? Thanks Mike, hang in there, we don’t all hate you!

    MW: I didn’t think the strike zone was all that bad, but maybe I’m used to it. It’s just not possible to get the perfect strike zone all the time. That’s why I want robot umps!

    - kita
  127. 127.

    It can be summed up like this:


    NO WINS!!!!

    The total lack of fundamental baseball skills that this teams shows in unacceptable and somebody has to take the fall, so either the Manager must go or we need to clean house……..

    The Red Sox and Yankees don’t accept this from their teams so why are we supposed to accept it?

    MW: How did the Yankees not accept this last season when they were under .500 at this point in time? I see plenty of emotion and plenty of desire – and as many wins as losses.

    - Beans26
  128. 128.

    I just wished that the blue jays just listened to your advice and sign Barry Bonds. I’m just wondering why won’t the jays sign him?

    MW: J.P. Ricciardi said signing him would be akin to selling one’s soul.

    - andrew
  129. 129.

    I was reading my favourite sexist, Richard Griffen’s baseball mailbag just now. He said something that struck me to be absolutely true, and it reminds me why I want Ricciardi as well as Gibbons gone:

    “Instead of buying high-priced veteran talent around the diamond and filling in the gaps with the best homegrown or cheap, released free agent talent available, the Jays need to introduce two or three new, talented homegrowns every year and fill in around them with veteran free agent talent.”

    He goes on to make the point that our farm teams are weak and we aren’t getting the talent there to grow through the system and then be helpful at the major league level.

    I think he’s absolutely right. Unfortunately. Because it means that we have to go into a complete rebuilding phase for quite a few years before we see the kind of teams we had in the late 80s and early 90s. He did comment that we might ‘catch lightning in a bottle’ one fluke year. I hope we do that shortly for Halladay’s sake.

    MW: Rare is the team that actually introduces two or three new, talented homegrowns that contribute every year. In the last few years, though, the Jays have introduced Marcum, McGowan, Litsch, Wolfe, Carlson, Hill and Rios.

    - reyes
  130. 130.

    Hi Mike.

    I heard you on Prime Time last night and understand that you are upset. At the same time, many people are frustrated that you continue to defend the organization, and specifically Riccardi and Gibbons, in spite of their records. Their records span years, not 68 games.

    You have never given substantive reasons why Gibbons should remain as manager, only saying it is not his fault. You won’t acknowledge that he is accountable for performance. To be honest, his style turns many people off and that is part of the issue too.

    With Riccardi you accept the excuses, such as injuries, but pointed criticism is in short supply.

    So it appears that you are not objective, or are even obsequious. The condescending comments may not come so much from putting down dumb comments — you have to cut off people who don’t have anything useful to contribute to the show — but rather from the fact that you don’t address these issues head on. Often you focus on side issues, or move on to say that the team could still finish with X wins.

    What they could do is not the issue. We are talking about what they have done — the track record. The fact that the Jays have failed in so many clutch situations here only magnifies the failures. I know you think it’s just bad luck, but at the end of the day you make your own luck. There is something wrong.

    I would like to close by saying that I think you are good on the radio and have a ton of good observations and sound knowledge of the game. That’s why I have become a bit of an addict to your show. The only concern we have — I feel I speak for many here — is that you cut too much slack to an organization that has been mediocre for years.

    Keep up the good work.

    MW: Obsequious is a pretty low blow, I have to tell you. But I’m not going to go negative or start being a knee-jerk reactionary just so that people don’t think the Rogers connection is keeping me from being critical. I call it like I see it, and when you make the argument that the Jays have been mediocre “for years”, you simply lump the time that they were paring payroll and trying to rebuild while not totally sucking into that, and that’s not fair. The pointed criticism that everyone else seems to level at Ricciardi either has nothing to do with his baseball ability (he’s arrogant or caustic), not true (he only brings players in from Oakland, doesn’t care about speed and defence, likes fat, slow guys who walk) or too early to assess (he can’t draft). I also don’t get what it is about Gibbons’ style that turns people off. His accent? His inability to drive runners in from third with less than two out? What I do know is that the overwhelming majority of his players have loved playing for him. And I don’t believe that you make your own luck. I do believe that if you’re good, you put yourself in a position to be lucky more often than others. The Jays have had themselves in that position countless times this season, and not been lucky almost at all.

    - John
  131. 131.

    Wow, Mike…

    First off, great post.

    Secondly… as much as I was mired in self pity yesterday for cheering for a team who had just lost two of three games to the worst team in baseball, I found myself thinking last night about how much worse things could be. We have a .500 baseball club that can’t hit (figuratively speaking). That’s pretty damned impressive if you ask me! If the bats come around, and they will have to, I have a hard time seeing us slow down.

    A lot of my friends say I’m gripping at false hope, thinking the bats will, but along with those teams you mentioned, the Houston Astros (of ’05 and ’06, I believe) were wayyyyy back and had huge second halves to make it to not only the playoffs those years, but the World Series one of those years, and were there the other time if not for a deep home run by Pujols.

    My knee jerk, “I hate this team” immediately after each loss will no doubt continue, but JaysTalk and the Miked Up blog always seem to rekindle my faith!

    Keep up the great work, Mike!

    MW: Thanks

    - Luke
  132. 132.

    Loved your blog and the stuff
    about Mike Toth…We don’t
    particularly like him..You have the facts on the Jays and that is good..Toth does not..keep the phone in show
    going,we love it!

    Robert and Betty Goodwin

    - Robert Goodwin
  133. 133.


    - Moyashi
  134. 134.

    Mike, don’t even worry about what some people are saying. I have listened to you on the radio for the last five years now and I thoroughly enjoy it each time. I know that you get a lot of callers who, while they may be passionate, sometimes don’t think before they call in. I agree, if they are saying something stupid, they need to be told that they are wrong. I have noticed that when a caller makes a valid point but you just disagree then that’s fine. You just argue with them and then usually you two agree to disagree. But if they start making absurd comments, or start making up stats, then they need to be corrected, and that’s what they do. As for Toth, I will not say anything that would bring me down to his level. Ripping on a fellow colleague is totally unacceptable and I have lost a lot of respect for him as a broadcaster. Toronto sports fans are passionate but they place way too much importance on one game. Perhaps its because they’re used to an 82 game hockey schedule and forget that baseball plays 162. 34-34 with 94 to go is not great, and yes it is dissapointing. But the honest truth, which you have been saying all year is that the Jays are still very much in the race. Fans should be using their energy to support this competitve team, not ripping on a radio host cause he maybe hurt their feelings by telling them the truth.
    Mike, keep up the good work, both with this blog and with the radio show.

    MW: Thanks!

    - CP
  135. 135.

    MR. Wilner if you weren’t such a pompus a** on the radio, MAYBE PEOPLE WOULD GIVE YOU SOME SLACK. But because you DRINK AND EAT EVERY LINE OF CRAP THAT J.P. RICCHARDI THROWS TO THE JAYS FANS YOU ARE RIGHTLY VILIFIED FOR IT. I talked to you earlier this year and told you that the Jays beat the good teams, but don’t show up for weak teams they shold beat. Your ego got out of wack and you called me insane over the air So now you are getting your just desserts. When J.P. gets fired at the end of the season, I HOPE HE TAKES YOU ALONG WITH HIM. Scott Ferguson, who did the reports
    before you, did them with class. You do the post game show classless. Toth and the callers are right, YOU HAVE LOST IT AND you had better regain control or at the end of the season J.P. WON’T BE THE ONLY ONE WITHOUT A JOB. Mike you are triing, but triing on people’s patientance doesn’t count anywhere. COME DOWN FROM YOUR PERCH AND COME BACK TO THE LIVING. LOSE YOUR EGO.

    MW: Name-calling, what a wonderful debating technique. I wonder if the fans have lost their patientance with me, though.

    - Ross Dean
  136. 136.

    I was going to wait for Friday’s postgame to call in and ask if it’s ok to criticize Toth – after all, turnabout is fair play, right?

    Seriously though that guy sounded like every irrational caller rolled into one except you couldn’t hang up on him. That was kinda frustrating.

    MW: It won’t be OK to criticize Toth on my show.

    - Doug
  137. 137.

    Good job Mike,

    It is getting pretty sad that people are resorting to calling somebody else to complain about you. It must be frustration about the Jays and they need someone to take it out on.

    One word sums up the season to this point: FRUSTRATING!
    On a positive note, your truth about last years playoff team records speaks loudly. If you look at the A.L. there appears to be more parity than ever before. In my opinion the wild card race is wide open. I just don’t think Tampa Bay can maintain their pace, so why not the Jays? Just get those bloody bats going!

    Hang in there Mike, keep the Jays talk going.

    MW: Thank you!

    Thanks as always.

    - Rob H.
  138. 138.

    Very well said Mike and I for one was really put off by the way Toth was allowing and encouraging others to keep on “throwing you under the bus” so to speak.

    I admire the way you disregard and discourage others who write into your blog to complain about the TV personalities by always telling them to direct their complaints directly to the source and not to you – that’s being professinal.

    Mr. Toth could learn a few pointers in that regard and as to what is right and wrong.

    I tried to get through on the phone to PTS yesterday afternoon to reiterate exactly where you stand as to not accepting others to do what he was allowing during the call in time of the show. Shame on those who used that forum to get that personal and express how they felt about you as well.

    “Condescending” – I bashed you pretty good on your blog when I first responded to it and apologized for doing so after “getting to know you better” via your show, your broadcasting, your comments and your blog. I thought of you as condescending and rude also at that time – however now and since being more of a loyal listener and reader I have realized you are far from condescending far from being rude and for the most part you do just “tell it like it is”.

    It took some time for me to realize this is who you are – a “straight shooter” albeit your responses can be taken out of context at times (I was guilty of that). You do have “well placed meant to be sarcasm” which I now chuckle at as I finally realize this is part of your “gig” and it works very, very well.

    Your shows (Jays Talk etc) would be pretty boring and “run of the mill” if you just went along with what some callers were saying and not being for the most part a very good voice of reason.

    So for me Mike this seems like the perfect timne to once again forward my apologies to you for the early season undeserved bashing I gave you and total kudos to you for actually posting it – that is when my respect for you took hold.

    What happened on PTS was totally unprofessional conduct by the host and totally undeserved towards you. Keep up the good work Mike – yes your a “big boy” as you put it and don’t need anyone sticking up for you etc – however supporting someone you believe in is a good thing!

    No doubt when you turned on the radio for your drive home it must have floored you to hear what was going on – especially when one of your peers was egging it all on and he can’t deny that for sure.

    Wrong thing to do Toth – as much as my respect for you Mike and your work has increased – my respect for how Toth handled the callers to the show has diminished greatly. That was not “talk radio” that was an all out cowardly attack from both ends towards you! Shameful!

    All of you who listen to Mike and read his columns/blogs are entitled to your opinion and no one says you have to “like” his shows or comments. He is the guy you all know allows you this forum to take your shots at him and for the most part he responds to each and everyone of you – try to find a blogger who does this.

    The negative callers from yesterday should all be hanging their heads with some shame today – Mike Toth showed total disregard and disrespect for one of his peers and should also be ashamed of himself today.

    Keep up the good work Mike – I am sure you have a lot more positives than negatives going for you and what you do and will likely see that support today with responses to your blog.

    Wish I had taken the time to really get to know how you handle your shows and callers etc. I always do my best to “use the hesitantcy allowed by the clutch before I put the lip in gear” – never did it with you – and regret it – once again my apologies! Take care.


    MW: That’s very big of you, thank you.

    - Bob
  139. 139.

    Mike, I listen to your show and read your blog everyday. While I don’t agree with everything you say, I agree with most of your points. The whle point of your show is to talk baseball and let people express their views and you do a good job of doing that. I also agree it is your job to voice your own opinions and call someone out when they come up with a suggestion to trade a middle bullpen relief bullpen guy and a minor leaguer for a big power bat whether on some other team. Oh if only all the GM’s were that stupid then we would have a winning team for sure. I think the criticism you get mainly stems from really passionate fans who love the Jays and just get so frustrated when the Jays lose they need to direct their frustration somewhere and that seems to be where you get it. Maybe it is because you are optimistic and people like to vent as you say. I am frustrated as a fan as I would think we all are, But I think people should recognise that you are fan as well. By the way, you ever notice that when Gibby sits his regulars, he likes to sit a bunch of them on the same day like he did yesterday. I noticed the same thing last year as well and he often did it when we had our #5 starter on the mound (not yesterday). It is like saying…”please take the win on us” I would think he should spread it out and not lump them all together.

    MW: Yesterday he had to sit Barajas, and Rios was hurt. I’m sure we might find out something about Rolen, too. I wonder what would happen, though, if I did a show where I agreed with everyone who said the season is over, everyone should be fired, and yes, that the Jays should trade Jesse Carlson and Marco Scutaro for Albert Pujols.

    - Ken
  140. 140.

    I feel for you Mike. I think a lot of this comes out of the irritability of a fanbase that is tired of the underachieving. Toth’s role was bush league and although you drive many of us nuts at times, you are respected because you do use facts. Also remember, there is no such thing as bad publicity! Think of yourself as a WWE wrestler who is booed, but still a headliner. Like Umaga.

    - Wojtek
  141. 141.


    I love it…..rivalries between broadcasters is good…it keeps things interesting to say the least….I guess you and Toth will be the replacements for Swirsky and Marty York ??

    MW: I didn’t know Swirsk and Marty had something going on.

    - Bernard
  142. 142.

    On to baseball – tough loss yesterday. You can’t blame it on BJ and in reality not even to some extent on the hitters as it was a well pitched game by both starters – ok the Jays offence does have to do better than this – especially since it was the Mariners. Speaking of the Mariners they better go on a bit of a run here or I will be dissapointed the Jays lost the 2 games here – more than the Mariners won them.

    I truly hope I am wrong but things are looking like a “shake-up” might be coming and we all know what that means – no not a trade – but a change in managers – hope not as I really like what Gibby brings to the team everyday – and he sure can’t go up there to hit.

    Perhaps the best things to happen to the Jays right now are two things – one a day off and two tough competition coming in with regard to the Cubs.

    Looking long range – a .500 team goes 81-81. I think this year it will only take an 89-73 record to be in the post season or even a 90-72 record! So going only 8 or 9 wins over the .500 mark doesn’t seem so tough now does it!


    - Bob
  143. 143.

    People seem to want to jump off a cliff everytime the Jays lose these days.
    Boston is looking like they will run away with the division, but the wildcard is still very much up for grabs.
    Look on the bright side – Shaun Marcum (26) is proving he’s for real, Dustin McGowan (26) just threw a complete-game 5 hitter, Roy Halladay is, well, Roy Halladay, and Jesse Litsch is 7-2, 3.42 and only 23 years old and still learning how to pitch. That is a VERY good, and very young, pitching staff, all of whom are under the Jay’s control for many years. The farm teams have Purcey, League, and Brett Cecil, all of whom look like they’ll be able to make an impact on the big league club in the next few years.
    Vernon Wells is back. Johnny Mac is back. Aaron Hill is on his way back.
    Oh, and Joe Inglett hit a 95mph fastball from King Felix yesterday for a double.

    Chill out, people.

    - Scott Shepherd
  144. 144.


    Trust me though it may not seem like it there are many fans out there (including myself) who admire you. In my personal opinion you are the most enjoyable and knowledgable Blue Jays correspondent this side of Jeff Blair. What Toth did is not only unprofessional but he comes off as an attention seeker.

    So thats my rant. So question. Do you think the type of game the MLB is used to is changing? Prehaps its due to the steriod era but it seems that in previous years the game seemed to be all about Power, Slugging and experience. In today’s MLB though the success on the field seems to stem from youth, speed and contact. Young and fast teams such as Tampa, Oakland, Arizona and Florida are having great success this season. In contrast teams like NYY, TOR, DET, NYM and CLE are all having offensive problems this year. That being said its true many of these teams are expections and could very well turn it around in the 2nd half. Is it time for JP to think about 2010 and re-tooling for the future. Prehaps trading some of our “core” (prehaps some of our bullpen) for youth and prospects the same way the Brewers did a few years back. It would be nice to see more than one top prospect back in BA’s top 50 list.

    And quickly one last thing. Last year JP started with the experienced Okah, Zambrano and Thompson trio but ended with much younger and more talented Litsch, McGowan and Marcum. Why cant Lind get the same deal. I know you really like Wilkerson and granted hes done much better than many expected but if Lind was playing instead of Wilkerson we might be able to see what we can expect from one of our most promising hitting prospects.

    Basically Wilkerson will not win us a WS this year. Lind will not as well, but whats the harm in trying to develop him for a possible title run down the road.

    MW: I don’t “really like” Wilkerson. In fact, I’m stunned to see that he’s doing as well as he is. But so long as he is, I don’t have a problem with him playing if the Jays want Lind to get some more development time. I’m going to wait for at least the whole season until I answer whether the game is changing or not. And, man, that might have been the shortest rant ever!

    - Tarun
  145. 145.

    How about the professionalism of Shaun Marcum. Just listening online to the 20/20 updates and he’s keeping his cool – saying he’s not upset with BJ and so on – “We’ll just move on and get ready for the Cubs”. I’m impressed – sounds like he’s got some character. Unlike Milton Bradley. Hey Mike – got a tip from you – don’t ever say anything bad about Milton Bradley – that is – he may climb 4 levels of stairs and come attack you with a bat in the radio booth. (http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news;_ylt=Ak5.qnDq5O1lYq.FAuygJLMBbgM6?slug=ap-rangers-bradley&prov=ap&type=lgns

    MW: That would be bad. But at least my mortgage would get paid.

    - Andrew Sorlie
  146. 146.

    The frustrating things for me, as a Jays fan, is two-fold:

    1) Looking at this lineup, I don’t see a single significant hitter that I would trade out of town. The only way that this team is going to get a hitter who is going to make a significant dent in this lineup is to deal a pitcher and I think it would be a mistake to do so. So, really, this is the team we’re stuck with, which on paper, is fine.

    Which brings me to 2). While this team on paper is fine, on the field, it’s .500. If the offense heats up, they’ll go places. If the pitching cools down, they’re doomed. But over the last season and almost a half, we’ve seen a team struggle to score runs. We’ve seen lineup changes (3B, LF, SS, C and the bench), we’ve seen the hitting coach change, with no progress.

    So the questions I have is if you leave the roster as is and you leave the coaching staff as is, why should we as fans expect this team to be anything more than a .500 team come October?

    I like John Gibbons, but in my opinion, I think the time might be coming up to make a change in philosophy. It’s obvious that J.P.’s job is on the line this year and I’ve got to believe that if by the All-Star break this team is still struggling offensively and trailing the division, a change is going to be made with the skipper.

    And if it does happen, my first choice would be Bob Brenley. Proven winner, different kind of attitude than Gibbons that maybe could start something with this team.

    MW: Bob Brenly scares the heck out of me. I thought he did a terrible job during the ’01 World Series and that, in fact, the Diamondbacks won that in spite of him. And I almost never say that about a manager.

    - Adrian
  147. 147.


    Mike, I listened to the first half hour or 40 minutes of yesterday’s PTS show, and was so disgusted with Toth’s negativity, and his allowing/encouraging the callers to rip both you and the Jays, that I did something I very rarely do — I hit the “off” switch on my radio.

    So I missed your call in/rebuttal! I repeat — Nuts!

    Do you know if that segment of the show is available anywhere as a podcast?

    MW: I don’t believe so.

    - Norm
  148. 148.

    Mike, if you were the GM of the Jays would you bring Adam Lind and his almost 1.000 OPS up to the bigs or would you continue with Stewart, Wilkerson and Mench all of the sub .700 OPS?

    MW: I much prefer a sub-.700 OPS.

    - Chris Jones
  149. 149.

    I listened to the start of PrimeTime with Mike Toth and was pretty disgusted by the obvious path he was taking. I am a big fan and think you handle the people that phone into your show, a lot of whom seem to know very little about baseball, with class. I consider myself to know quite a bit about baseball and have less patience than you when dealing with inane “fans”.

    MW: Thanks.

    - Nick D
  150. 150.

    Toth is punk Mike. He should be ashamed of himself for selling out another broadcaster — who works for the same station no less! — with no basis in fact.

    It’s what he does best and it’s why only morons listen to Prime Time Sports when the Bobcat is on holidays.

    You may not hold hands or say what people want you to, but your honesty about the Jays and baseball is appreciated by real, knowledgeable fans.

    - Buck16
  151. 151.

    Hi Mike,

    First, I encourage you to keep the good work. You’ve partially transformed me into the “optimist” side of baseball. While being the cause of frustrated fans going nuts in your program, your unique style is also the reason why you’re among the best in the business.

    Just two pieces of stats, because you like stats, to find the positive and negative sides of things, but at the same time realize that the Jays need to start improving their clutch hitting…

    The current RISP average is .234

    Taking 2007 as benchmark (consider all the injuries and slumps), the Jays hit .276 with RISP. For the 2008 team to reach the mediocre benchmark established last year, they would need to hit .297 with RISP for the reminder of the season. Unless something magical happens, I don’t expect this to occur because that was more or less what the Yankees hit last season with RISP (.293).

    The good news is that the Jays do not need to hit with RISP at their mediocre benchmark level in 2007 to still have a chance! For instance, Arizona’s RISP average last year was .249 (29th in MLB). To get to the Arizona standard, the 2008 Jays would need to hit approximately .257 in the remainder games, which is a more realistic challenge to overcome in spite of their mediocrity (that means, continue their poor hitting trend as of now, but adjusted up for 26 more hits for the rest of the season)… More good news: Jays pitch just as well as Arizona did last year, so I don’t even worry about the pitching numbers! Bad news: Arizona played in a weak division…

    Mike, the other teams you mentioned in your blog had RISP averages of .276 (Colorado), 259 (Philly), .278(Chicago cubs), respectively. Obviously these are higher standards! I will tip my hat to the Jays if they get to even the Philly standard!

    This means that at any rate, the Jays need to do something to rise that RISP average… unfortunately, it is easier said than done.

    Keep your good work Mike!

    MW: I’m not even sure they need to raise it that much. What they need to do is get the right kinds of outs in the right kinds of situations, which they haven’t been doing, and just hit better with RISP. It’s amazing, when you look back at the season, what even SIX more well-timed hits would have done.

    - Axel
  152. 152.

    I rushed out of work at 4:30 yesterday to turn on the car radio and find out what the heck happened in the game, and what do I get? Mike Toth and some ignoramous caller dissing MW ridiculing the Jays players and management. Toth filling in for McCown. Gawd help us all. I was totally disgusted and turned the radio off. What a waste of air space.

    We love you Mike. Keep fighting the good fight.

    - Jayjay
  153. 153.

    Hi Mike,

    I really enjoy listening to your show.

    A quick question for you, don’t know how many times it’s been asked – but what exactly is wrong with Rios? Don’t get me wrong, I really like him as a player, this isn’t a rhetorical question.

    Are there mechanical issues with his swing? Confidence problems? It can’t be that he is a victim of the new drug policies (I feel, but I have been wrong before). Just no protection in the line-up?

    Does anyone know?

    Anyhow, don’t let these attacks get you down, you have plenty of fans.



    MW: There seems to be a big mechanical issue that’s taking away his coverage of the outer half of the strike zone. I doubt the drug thing has anything to do with it but, of course, there’s no way to know for sure.

    - Rory
  154. 154.

    Hey Mike….Just wanted to voice my support for you…HOW DOES THAT BROADCASTER GET SO MUCH AIR TIME?????…..yesterdays call in was one of the low moments in radio…insane. I understand the frustration after losing like we are but come on….segments like that on the phone kill my brain cells I don’t listen cause there is nothing stimulating from….Toth needs to learn quick, bashing a coworker in any workplace is b.s…and shows his weakness as a host….keep up the good work.

    - Rock
  155. 155.

    I like your work, and I generally think your views on the Jays are more intelligent and balanced than most of the commentators. I also commend you for having the stones to be contrary to popular opinion from time to time, it’s much easier to jump on the criticism bandwagon than to recognize the positives in among the disappointments.

    Having said that, you make your living publicly dissecting the work of others. The nature of the business is such that you too will get picked apart. You’ve got a great job, this is one negative that comes with the territory. Deal with it.

    MW: It depends on when and where the picking is done.

    - Grant
  156. 156.

    Any way to post the Toth-Wilner interview? That sounds like it was more exciting then Jays talk.

    MW: I don’t think it was that earth-shattering, but I don’t know how to post it, either.

    - Shmuel Yitzchok
  157. 157.

    Firstly, I’m from the west so I don’t hear Fan 590 all the time. But, for one, don’t listen to the other Toronto media. From what I can tell, most are in Leafs mode 24/7. The sky is falling mentality, where every last thing has to be magnified and blown into a national story. Every loss shoul mean somebody gets fired or traded. You do what all radio hosts should do – present a balanced, realistic, fact/stat-based assessment of where the Jays are. Don’t change. Especially since you’ve talked me off the ledge with this team about 8 times this year with that style. Thanks.

    MW: No, thank you.

    - Masterclark
  158. 158.

    Hey Mike,

    Enjoy your sense of reason on the blog and on Jaystalk. There’s no doubt that you share the fans frustration; you’re just frustrated and realistic rather than being frustrated and panicky.

    It seems as though Steve Phillips from ESPN also has very little knowledge about the Jays situation as he was interviewed by TSN last night and said that the Jays must “definitely trade A.J. Burnett.” He also said that A.J. will probably not opt out of his contract (and this guy was a GM???). I wish that Phillips would call into your show to get a good dose of reality. Burnett will pitch better the rest of the season, lower his ERA this season to around his career average and leave the Jays without being traded. Those people who say that Burnett isn’t competitive and isn’t motivated is ridiculous. He’s pitching for millions of dollars in offseason money, why wouldn’t he want to pitch the best he possible can?

    The law of averages will work out with this team. The pitching staff will give up slightly more runs than it has the first 2 months, the offense will produce more runs and we will be within 5 or 6 games of the wildcard come September.

    MW: I think they’ll be closer to within two games, myself.

    - Marc
  159. 159.

    Mike, you’re a little condescending. Oh, first – how you doing?

    I find you correct callers for the slightest mistakes. Nothing wrong with that – it can be anoying to hear people mispronouncing the name’s of folks you work with, or around, all day (among other simple mistakes).

    And if you let that kind of stuff slide, we’d have another Andy Frost. (That was not an insult. Merely a comparison.)

    ps. I’ve put one mistake in this post. Can you find it?

    MW: Was the mistake misspelling annoying, putting an inappropriate apostrophe in a plural, putting a parenthetical sentence on its own or not using punctuation for the abbreviation “p.s.”?

    - Stevie K
  160. 160.

    I listen to your show whenever possible, sometimes only once a week. You’ve angered me on several occasions. Then i realised that I was listening and living as a Toronto Blue Jays fan. Wanting the playoffs to start yesterday with the blue jays in the drivers seat.
    While I am a fan, I also (use to) be a baseball fan ie the both leagues and all teams. I’m not sure when that changed on me but when i became a TBJ fan only i started to live and die (Figuratively)with every game and sometimes every inning.
    Thank you Mr. Wilner for putting things in there proper perspective AND keeping them there.

    MW: Thanks, I try.

    - Alex Campbell
  161. 161.

    Hey Mike,

    I don’t always agree with what you say, and at times I find myself talking to my radio in response to some comments you make, however…I was listening to Prime Time last night and I was blown away by the behaviour of Mike Toth.

    I’ve often heard callers speaking to radio hosts about other on-air personalities on the same station and the response from the host has almost always been “if you have concerns about (insert name here), you need to talk to them”.
    This response is the expected, professional road to take. Taking one of you co-workers to task in the public forum is unnacceptable. Encouraging others to do so is even worse.

    To make all of this worse, Mike Toth is not even a full-time employee of the Fan 590. This is like a supply teacher coming into a classroom and complaining to the school kids about the poor job the regular teacher is doing. Unacceptable.

    Mike, I encourage you to take the high road, and deal with this issue (if you feel there is a need to do so) behind closed doors. Don’t sink to Toth’s levels.

    Keep up the good work.

    - Scott
  162. 162.

    Mike, I completely agree with you. Yes the losses are disappointing but panicking is the worst thing the team can do. Also, I don’t agree with people bashing you on the air when you’re not around to defend yourself. People have to understand that you have a job to do and you have to do it the way you know best. If someone says something you don’t agree with, you challenge them on it and that is what you should be doing.

    On that note, remember the caller (I believe it was last Sunday) who first said that Toronto fans knew very little about baseball and then went on to say that Joe Inglett couldn’t hit a 90 mph fastball (he later revised this to 95 mph)? Well Joe Inglett was the only Jay to get an extra base hit yesterday. I don’t recall if they were fastballs that he hit but to say Inglett can’t hit a major league fastball is ridiculous. It’s about accountability and you hold people who call into your show accountable for their statements. Now if only someone would hold Toth accountable for his!

    Great job Mike and keep it up.

    MW: The caller said 91, and said he could prove it, though he them amended it to 95. One of Inglett’s doubles yesterday was on a 93 mph heater, according to the scoreboard. I didn’t check the other one.

    - Derek
  163. 163.

    Mike, Toth is an idiot. I’ve told him that on his own Blog on the sportsnet website. He’s so brutal I can’t even listen to Prime Time Sports when he’s hosting in place of Bob McCown. He’s so bad he makes Jim Kelly and Stephen Brunt seem bad…and they’re very good. Anyway, keep on keeping on…anyone who appreciates good baseball analysis isn’t going to worry about Toth. He should stick to talking about minor hockey because he can’t speak coherently about anything else.

    I didn’t see or hear the game today, but from the boxscore, Marcum was awsome…too bad the bats were terrible.

    MW: Name-calling, not a good way to make a point.

    - Chris - Kitchener
  164. 164.

    Frustrating game, yes — but don’t let the b*****s drag you down, Mike. I don’t always agree with what you say, but I still love reading it. The media and general discussion on the Jays would be much less interesting and informative without you. Seriously. Keep up the great work.

    - Mark
  165. 165.


    Don’t let this get you down. For every angry, misguided caller, there are many more that appreciate the hard work you do for the Jays community. For me, baseball on the radio wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable without a little JaysTalk to cap it off, win or lose. Some people need to get a grip and stop living and dying with this team, it’s embarrassing.

    MW: There’s nothing wrong with living and dying with a team, that’s what sports fandom is all about. But riding the roller coaster 162 times just isn’t good for your health.

    - Erik
  166. 166.


    Toth is sucking up to the reactionary fan – you, on the other hand, speaks to the knowledgeable fan – or at least tries to. I think it was Marv Levy that once said “If you listen to the fans, you’ll soon be sitting among them”. Keep up the good work.

    - Dan
  167. 167.

    Because of computer issues, I haven’t been able to see if the Yanks lost night, but I think the frustration from fans and everyone with this team is that, with the exception of 4 games, we have been in every one. It’s one of those, I would rather get blown out and know the other team was better on that day, than have to deal with knowing you could have, and probably should have pulled it off.

    I have to cut this off, but I will send another comment later.

    Keep up the good work. I heard some of those callers after the game in an attempt to get the score. Just be you, and that is all people can ask.

    Do you think the strikezone complaints in the game were legit?

    MW: Honestly, I’m not sure. I don’t have a monitor and don’t have the best perspective where I sit. I didn’t think anything stood out as being particularly awful, though.

    - Aaron Ker
  168. 168.

    Albeit you do, on occasion, remind me a tad of Voltaire’s Pangloss, Mike, I certainly have no intention of venting on you. You seem like a fine gentleman to me and your show is excellent.
    J.P. and Gibby, however, are another matter. Previously, I had been sitting on the fence on J.P. but when I heard him say what a great mangager Gibby is, I now feel he’s got to go as well. Gibby is simply a horrible manager. I know it has been frequently said that a manager really only decides a net 5 games in the standings but when Gibby is -5 and a good manager is +5, that’s just too big a handicap for this team to spot. Examples of his egregious mismanagement abound. Take yesterday’s game, for instance. He sits 2 of his best hitters – Rios (just coming off a 3 for 4 night) and Rolen – and 1 of his hottest hitters – Barajas – and neither Rios or Rolen never even get to the plate in a 2-1 game. Yes, Gibby’s his own man and certainly likes to go against the percentages as they so well verbalized on yesterday’s broadcast, and that’s precisely what makes him a bad manager. If Gibby keeps going against fundamental baseball probabilities, he will continue to lose the preponderance of close games. One prime example that springs to mind is his love of the IBB. The Jays staff leads the AL in this dubious stat by a landslide – having awarded more IBB (26) than Boston (7), Kansas City (5) and just about any other AL team not named Detroit (who are a robust 2nd with 22 IBB) combined. There was even a game where Gibby walked Milton Bradley intentionally with runners on 1st and 3rd. If that ain’t mind numbing DUMB, then I don’t know what is. I could go on and on, but why bother. ‘Twould appear the man ain’t going anywhere anytime soon. Which is a crying shame because this team is, imho, good enough to make the play-offs.

    MW: Yesterday’s line-up has been addressed a bunch, so I’m not going to do it again. But you’re misremembering the Milton Bradley thing. Bradley has been intentionally walked by the jays twice this year. Once with runners on second and third and none out in a tie game in the 11th (to get to Adam Melhuse, Ben Broussard and David Murphy), and again with a runner on third and one out in a tie game in the 13th. Both times, despite the mind-numblingly dumb managerial move, the Rangers failed to score in the inning.

    - Jack
  169. 169.


    You told the other Mike the Toth the whole Toth and nothing but the Toth. Good for calling in to defend yourself, it was another Mike ‘WOW’lner moment in my books!

    On your show, JP said that if the Jays were 5 games out of a playoff position at the start of September they would be in good standing to make a run. I agree.

    As frustrating as the 2008 Toronto Blue Jays are to watch, at the moment they are 5 games out of a playoff spot – so far, so mediocre, but they are still within reasonable striking distance of an extended season. No need to panic.

    Go Jays Go!

    Are you aware of any automatic balls and strikes issued since the new ‘hurry up’ attitude MLB took a couple of weeks ago? Have any of them made a difference in the outcome of a game?

    PS – I loved the Home Hardware Out of Town updates Wednesday afternoon!

    MW: I haven’t seen the automatic strike or ball issued yet, much to my chagrin. And thanks, that scoreboard was a tough one!

    - Aneez
  170. 170.

    Don’t worry about it Mike. Toth just likes to stir the pot. Your rational approach to the Jays’ woes are an enlightening engagement aside from pure bitching. Keep up the good work.

    - RJ
  171. 171.


    Just keep doing what you’re doing because it works. Being yourself is never the wrong decision, and you wouldn’t be in your job if you were all those negative things some of your listeners say you are. I personally love your use of stats and facts to back up claims or defend players. You certainly use the same to dish out objective criticism, and that’s conveniently ignored by any who do criticize you. As far as the Jays go; Man that was a frustrating game to listen to! People kept peeking over my cubicle to see what I was “awwwwwww”ing about, but few would commiserate with me since they are not sports fans. Oh well, nobody’s perfect…

    One last comment: not related to this particular game, but perhaps we can get a petition going to get Barahahahahas a bigger glove so he can catch some balls at home plate now and then…

    Keep on keepin’ on!

    MW: Thanks!

    - Vava
  172. 172.

    Hey Mike, why don’t the Jays sign a player with a big bat from Japan? I don’t want to have give up a prospect or pitcher to get a Jason Bay. Japan has very talented players and we it would only cost us cash and not players:)

    MW: There hasn’t yet been a big power bat from Japan who has come over and been a big power bat on a consistent basis here, and you can’t get those guys in-season, regardless.

    - Curt
  173. 173.

    Hang in there Mike! You are the best thing going on the FAN.

    Now for a Jays comment: You are absolutely correct that a .500 record at this point in the season is nothing to overly fret about. But what do the Jays have to lose by immediately promoting Adam Lind into the LF position fulltime, giving him a few months to show what he’s got? It could scarcely be worse than the production they are currently receiving from that position. I realize many others have said the same thing, but the guy has been touching green all season long in AAA, and barely had a sip of coffee in the bigs thus far in ’08.

    MW: They’re currently getting very good production out of Wilkerson, and they love him.

    - Stu
  174. 174.

    I think that many fans are feeling the cumulative effects of going on 15 non-play-off seasons. I know that I am.
    That, coupled with this club’s unbelievably frustrating inability to hit with runners in scoring position, is even more galling. To see how many quality starts this team has wasted this year just adds even more frustration.
    I, for one, am not one to suggest trading this guy for that guy. In this day and age, trades during the season (except at deadline time) are virtually non-existent. Firing the manager sometimes works, but I can’t really blame Gibby. He’s not the one stranding all those runners.
    What really concerns me, though, is the fact that this organization has produced few blue-chip boppers, and with the exception of Snider, none appear to be on the horizon at the moment. With the emphasis on signability through the first 5 years of JP’s tenure, the club has been really hamstrung, limited to drafting mainly signable, but low-ceiling players.
    I still wish that they would bite the bullet, and give Lind another 250 AB at the big league level.

    MW: See above.

    - Foxy
  175. 175.

    Mike how is this team going to win a higher percentage of games in the later part of the year given its current hitting situation. Notwithstanding the horrible hitting with runners in scoring position,this team is just not built from an offensive standpoint to score a lot of runs. The power numbers are horrible (doubles and home runs) and the team has average to below avergage team speed. This leaves them with get a walk and two singling there way to maybe scoring one run(see lack of team speed). Over the long haul this isn’t enough. Their pitching and team defense especially when Barajas catches is excellent but something has got to give. With the starting pitching the Jays have this team should be playing .500 ball when we match up against the other teams better pitchers and beating up on their 4th and 5th starters. This lack of run scoring is not isolated. They have not been a big run scoring team for several years even when they did hit for a higher team average (see 2006). What is your case for optimism with this group?

    MW: My case is mostly centred around the pitching. The hitters don’t have to be that good with the pitching the team has, just average. I would dispute your notion that the team has average to below average speed. Outside the catchers, Matt Stairs and Lyle Overbay, everyone in the regular line-up has above-average speed.

    - mike glatt
  176. 176.

    Hey Mike, I have caught your post game show on more than a few occassions and quite frankly I must admit that I found you to be far too defensive of the blue jays. When callers do try to voice their concerns you almost always become upset and border on insulting their intelligence. The truth is, people do not want to air it out with you because they know that it is a battle they can not win whether they are wright or wrong. I myself am a very educated and most reasonable sports fan. I find it difficult to listen to you because of your one sided approach. The reality is that the Jays have been mediochre for all of JP’s tenure and while it may not be prudent to panic it certainly is time to question what it is that keeps this team hovering around 500 year after year. Rest assured Mike, this trend will not suddenly cease, theses are the JP jays and as long as he sticks around they will continue to be. One thing you need to consider is that if so many people (fans who you and the jays indirectly work for)are having these feelings about you, it may be time to take a good hard look at yourself, can all of these baseball fans really be so wrong? Please understand I did not intend for this to be a bash mike wilner comment I am just trying to help you understand why many people feel the way they do and hope that you will get a better perspective on the situation.
    Thanks for reading.

    MW: No problem, but after reading the 200 or so comments preceding yours, I’m confident that it’s a very small minority who feel the way you do.

    - peter
  177. 177.

    Couldn’t agree with you more Mike. I remember laughing at my dad when he got so upset that Bill Caudill gave up a two run double to George Brett in the 9th to lose a game—-in the second game of the year!. I told him—”time to panic, Jays are 1 gm out of first with only 160 games to go”. He kinda went quiet. Keep up the good work Mike—enjoy listening to you.

    MW: Good story.

    - Steve
  178. 178.

    Mike, I have followed the jays since their inception and listen to you fairly regularly on the Fan. This is only my take. Take it for what it is worth. The fans are looking for some impartiality from you when discussing the Jays. My sense is they hear the “homer” in you, which is understandable recognizing your role with the Jays, but the fans do want to hear the other side of things, maybe just a little more balance in your thoughts and opinions to earn their respect. Personally, as a sports fanatic I respect balance opinions from a reporter or a broadcaster, but when it is all too slanted towards the team, I tune out. I support you on Barry Bonds. Why not give him a try. Idon’t agree he would be that much of a distraction and we need a big bat in here.
    Many fans I listen to when they call in just look for glorified trades, rumors etc… which may sound totally absurd to you but let them feed their imaginations and go wild. Some of these fans have no clue what they are talking about. Ignore and move on to the next caller. I know that you do not subscribe to this but Toronto fans love it. Whether it is with the leafs or the jays etc…..I don’t think you are a condescending individual at all, but recognize that the power of one’s voice can sometimes inflict may meanings when listening on the other side of the radio. Fans just want to be respected and having listened to the Fan since since it was CKFH 1430 years ago many just want their 15 seconds, but at the same time want to be respected. Continue challenging and correcting fans with their information because you are very credible withe information/stats that you provide, but at the same time respect their opinions, even if they are totally in left field.

    Re Mike Toth, I thought he was unprofessional in his comments about you and I thought he fed the fire a little too much. We both recognize he is always a little off centre. He should never have hung you out to dry like he did. On the other hand I did not totally disagree with his commments on firing Gibbons. Some form of a shakeup is needed as mentioned earler. I too am sick and tired of being a .500 team. If history repeats itself, like it has for so many years Mike, the outcome will not be positive nor change if we stay the course. I don’t care if we are still not at the midpoint of the season and that it is a marathon, something needs to be done. We are impatient. Ricciardi talked about a plan over the last 4 or 5 years and this plan is beginning to become very unclear. Personally I am not a fan of Ricciardi. He reminds me of too many other mgt types. I call them “teflon” because nothing ever sticks to them. He needs to stand up and be accountable for his actions and he has not.I think a shakeup is needed, somewhere on this team.

    Your job is a tough one. You will never please everyone all of the time. Stand back and take inventory of things and maybe take one nugget away from everything discussed over the last 24 hours.

    Good Luck with the back. I am in the same predicament presently.

    Pat Sweeney

    MW: Back problems suck, I wish you well. I’m playing tonight, and hoping not to hurt myself. When you say that J.P. has not been accountable, though, what do you mean? I’m assuming that you believe he should have resigned by now, because how else has he not been accountable? Also, I don’t see myself as a homer, though I understand a lot of people do. They have short memories, though.

    - Pat Sweeney
  179. 179.


    Toth is considerably more opinion than fact, I wouldn’t worry much about what he has to say. As far as the Jays, I keep hearing people saying that this is likely JP’s last year as GM if the team doesn’t make the playoffs. I just don’t see how that is right. As a Sabres fan, I have watched how stable leadership can help push through many peaks and valleys, and to me, changes need to be made, but I would look at players not management. Lastly, why has Cito never managed after the World Series titles?


    MW: It depends how the Jays don’t make the playoffs for J.P.’s future. Cito hasn’t managed because he hasn’t been offered the right job. I understand he was offered a couple of jobs but turned them down, and now he says that he won’t interview. If someone wants to hire him, he wants them to just offer him the job. I think he could do a very good job for some team in the right situation.

    - Chris
  180. 180.

    Got your back. Listening to Blue Jays baseball the past (8?) years has been a pleasure since you’ve been around (even before you were on broadcasts). I have never been one to want to call a show, or write to a blog, but I have found you to be a challenging person to discuss topics with (a compliment) because you have a strong, strong knowledge of the game. Are you biased, eternally optimistic and always looking for a silver lining? Absolutely, but what the heck is wrong with that? You stay true to FACTS and STATS, which is the only thing in this crazy, stupid, frustrating game you can use to evaluate. Please don’t tar all your callers/listeners with the same brush. Normally, people with nice things to say aren’t the ones calling and writing.

    Having wrote that, I’m going to go 180 degrees here (VVVVVVVEEEEEENNNNNTTTT)…this offence sucks. If it wasn’t for the pitching (the best pitching maybe in baseball) this team would be worse than the Mariners (VEEEENNNNTT). Mike, I know there are 90+ games left, and there is always a chance for the Jays to make a run, but it would not be in the true character of this Jays squad (VEEENNNNNNNTT!). What we’ve seen so far this year (and going back to last) is who the Jays are, a barely +.500 team. I hate to use this example cause I’m sure you’ll rip away, but if I’m reading a 162 page book, by page 68 I may not know exactly HOW the book will end, but I’ll have a pretty good idea if the book is a comedy, or a drama or a horror. (VA-VA-VA- VEEENNT)
    A trade is needed. Please JP, get Jason Bay.

    MW: I don’t agree with the book part, because the ending is written well before you read page 68, and I don’t agree with the character thing – but you knew I wouldn’t. And me, biased and eternally optimistic? I certainly don’t think so.

    - Ryan
  181. 181.


    Toth is and will always be an idiot. At least, that’s my opinion!

    Yes, there will be people who don’t like you, but I always find your take refreshing. There are so many callers on shows like yours that simply don’t have a clue. I appreciate when the host tells them when they’re wrong. You have a strong group of loyal listeners (well, some more loyal than others) and we all love ya!

    Keep up the good work.

    And geez, when will the Blue Jays turn this thing around? (haha! Gotta throw some baseball talk in here). I was watching through MLB Gameday, and BJs performance was especially disappointing.

    - DaveR
  182. 182.

    Well done Mike!

    - Gary
  183. 183.


    A note of support. I for one can understand your frustration and it drives me crazy when I am listening to callers or host going on about some of the things they alk about.
    I look forward to your show after the games for a few reasons. Most importantly being the to the point factual way you go about reporting things. I want to hear whats going on……not the gossip crap. I must admit I tend to turn off when callers phone in suggesting trades…..there is a reason they are not GM’s.
    You sometimes are short with them and condensending…keep it up.
    To me Bocat,Toth and others like Don Cherry on CBC are all flash and no substance.
    I want sports facts….

    Keep up the good work


    - Doug Mitchell
  184. 184.

    Great vent! Won’t critisize another broadcaster in yr forum but safe to say I don’t listen to prime time when Bobcat is away.
    As a baseball fan (and former player) who listens to your show I find many (not all) of your callers are factually incorrect or misinformed about the game/strategy/stats/players and knee jerk. Drives me crazy and I often wonder how you actually stay as calm as you do. Kudos.
    The losses this yr are painful because expectations are so high. (4 me anyway). It sometimes feels like we are 20 games below 500…even though we are not… and for sure not out of it. I keep reminding myself of last years rockies and keeping the faith. with our pitching we could do what the rock did last year.. but
    Q1 – can JP afford to let this continue through to the all star break? what could he do to improve. would he just wait it out? If he did and it stayed the same is his job in any jeopardy?
    Q2 – Why would gibby rest his best available Rolen, Rios, Barrahas in a day game, that would win you the series vs a crappy team, (and at least make them 500 v crappy teams on the homestand) with an off day today? Couldn’t they have rested last night and all day today… and Friday would be a night game with almost another full days rest? Were they that hurt? To borrow a line from the movie “the program” if your hurt you can play, if you’re injured you can’t. That’s the difference” Not blaming the players, but knowing there was already a day off shouldn’t he have gone with his best? i fully expected them to win 5 of 6 v O’s & M’s. Disappointed is an understatement.

    sorry for the length. first timer. will be briefer in future.

    keep the jays talk up! great program and insight.

    MW: I expected them to win at least four, and probably five. See above for the resting the starters stuff.

    - Nathaniel
  185. 185.


    Since I got lumped in with Toth yesterday over at DJF, I decided to write a response myself.

    I think you’re one helluva great voice on the Jays and respect everything you say.

    Have a read of the piece and I would love to hear back from you about it.

    Keep up the awesomeness,

    MW: Thanks, I’ll check it out.

    - Spencer Kyte
  186. 186.

    interesting quote in espn sport today where a player in the AL East commented that the Jays have the most talented team in the AL, but don’t know how to win, and have too many nice guys… I always say, you need a few SOBs on any team to give it an edge

    MW: I heard about that, too. It is interesting. I don’t buy it, but it’s interesting. Roy Halladay, Shaun Marcum, Aaron Hill, David Eckstein and Scott Rolen (among others) are nice guys, but I get the feeling they’d chew their right arms off and beat you to death with them if they had to in order to win.

    - Paul O
  187. 187.

    Dont sweat it Mike, the kind of people who have to call Mike Toth (who is a crappy substitute even for Bob Mccowan) are the same winners who call in to Jays Talk after every single loss and say dumb ass things like ‘We should get Jason Bay’ and ‘Dont ya think we should get that Dunn Guy eh’ ‘a.j is a 500 pitcher and overbay sucks’…..see what I mean…real winners. Brush it off and consider the source. Now lets hear some JAYS talk next blog.

    - Mr.Caz
  188. 188.

    Well first off Toth is an Idiot and I have told him so. I dread the day he takes over for The Bobcat because I WILL no longer listen too PTS, they already lose me when The Bobcat is on vacation. Secondly my only complaint is that you seem to sometimes defend JP’s moves over zealously (maybe he get’s some sort of Roger’s brotherhood discount, just maybe), and that’s only because your opinion is different from mine. :) Otherwise I think you are a pretty good broadcaster.

    MW: Thanks. But you should read the archives of this blog from when the Jays signed Eckstein and Barajas.

    - Michael Krimmer
  189. 189.

    Why does everyone start screaming TRADE! TRADE! everytime their team has a bad run? It’s not time yet! Soon, but not yet. Nobody is ready to trade anybody of value this early in the season and nobody is standing in line to fight over our cast-offs. Sometimes I think we fans need to take a break and watch some other teams play for a week or so. It isn’t just our team that loses heartbreakers, blows saves, loads the bases and fails to score. It happens, to the good, to the bad and to the indifferent. When I first started following baseball, I didn’t pay attention to the standings, didn’t understand how the wild card worked, didn’t care how much money the players made or what their stats were. I just watched the game. Each new pitch, each swing of the bat was a beautiful thing. Maybe a jaw-dropping curve, maybe a sweet swing, maybe a beautifully turned double play, or a diving catch in the outfield. For a little change of pace, maybe a nose-to-nose brouhaha between manager and umpire, maybe some dirt-kicking and cap-throwing. Who won and who lost was secondary. Hell, I even cheered for the opposing team when their play warranted it. Man, that was fun. I think I’ll be doing that for awhile. It’s a beautiful game, and tomorrow there will be another one. Woo hoo!

    MW: That’s the beauty of the game.

    - jayjay
  190. 190.

    What are your thoughts on the offence? I don’t see one player in that lineup that I would call frontline offensive talent. It seems just about the entire team has taken a step back aside from the starting pitching which is probably the best in baseball, and maybe Marco Scutaro (of all people).

    No way this team wins the required 95 games to get into meaningful October games.

    MW: Rod Barajas has taken a significant step forward offensively, as well. Wells, Rios, Rolen, Hill, Stairs, Overbay all have the potential to be frontline offensive talent. 95 wins won’t be required to get into the playoffs.

    - Michael Tothenberg
  191. 191.

    Hi Mike,

    I don’t mean to rip you but I must say that I feel you are condescending towards some callers but that isn’t what bothers me about you.

    The thing that does bother me is you come across as someone who thinks he knows everything about baseball. I can respect an opinion and you are entitled to yours but you make your opinions come across as facts. For instance I remember one time a season or two ago you counting the number of mistakes that the manager had made that year. I laughed when you did this because how are you qualified to determine the number of mistakes that a manager makes in a season? Again I don’t mind you doing this as an opinion but you come across as whatever you think is 100% correct. Its examples like these that irk the baseball fans on this station about you.

    MW: It wouldn’t be my opinion if I didn’t believe it, though. And I’m not obstinate about opinion, just fact.

    - Corey
  192. 192.

    Hi Mike.
    It is funny how people view the same thing completely different. It seems some people find you condescending and feel compelled to complain. My wife and I listen to you often and we both have the exact opposite reaction: you are far too patient with people. Anyone who listens to some of the callers you get has to feel for you. There are a lot of idiots out there and many of them seem to have you on speed dial. Humouring a caller just for the sake of humouring them is stupid, and I have always appreciated the fact that you tell them how it is. My immediate response to anyone who says they do not like a program on radio or television is: don’t tune in. If you do tune in, you are excepting the fact that what you are going to see or hear is okay. Calling in and complaining is not worth the effort and just makes you look even more idiotic.

    So Mike, in the end, keep doing exactly what you are doing. You are a breath of fresh air and I certainly appreciate it. I know what I am going to get when I tune in, which is why I tune in. Keep your chin up and keep putting the idiots in their place.

    MW: Much obliged.

    - James
  193. 193.

    You deserved better than that
    treatment on PTS whether some of it is true or not. You are fair and consistent about your broadcast ethics I’ll give you that.
    Fire the Manager………..I go to most games and all I see are a bunch of individuals wearing the same uniform…..we need someone who can light the fire.ignite the team. It may be easier said than done and that there may be one of JP’s stumbling blocks…….for instance: firing Gibby and replacing with an interim manager will do little to change the clubhouse chemistry, they like Gibby so why would firing him “Fire them up?
    They need a manager that means buisness and can take control and turn these guys around………..Sparky or Earl…..
    Mike is there anybody out there they could possibly
    get now or would it be best to wait out another season and see who’s available then?

    MW: Sparky or Earl wouldn’t be the right fit, I don’t think. Honestly, I don’t believe the manager is the problem, but hey, Davey Johnson, Jack McKeon and Bob Brenly are all available if you want them.

    - Greg
  194. 194.

    Jays are sitting alright, tied with the Yanks and a couple of games up on the Indians in the loss column.

    We have the pitching, but the sticks are not producing. I would rather be where we are with this situation, than have the sticks but no pitching to back it up.

    If Rios isn’t going to be pounding the ball out of the yard, I think him leading off makes the most sense to utilize his speed. It’s only the first AB of the game that he is actually leading off, and if he is considered our best hitter, you want him getting the most AB’s, plus he is using his speed to steal some bases.

    Jays need to finish this month strong and be rolling heading into the AllStar break. Hopefully the extra day off for Rios, Rolen and Barajas (at least not playing the whole game) will rejuvenate everyone.

    It seems liek the teams at the top are starting to falter a bit, so time for the Jays to start making up some ground.

    - Aaron Ker
  195. 195.

    I know you don’t like people bashing other broadcasters, but Toth is actually really irritating to listen too. He has a weirdo man crush on ‘the Bobcat’ that makes him sound really uncomfortable and insecure. I couldn’t believe he was allowing the Mike bashing that he did. By the way, however, you do sound condescending sometimes. Sorry. But you also sound smart. Clearly the target demographic audience for baseball in this country is somewhat more educated than the other sports. You can distinctly hear the difference, kind of like how the different papers are written for different grade levels. (Although it does seem sometimes, via Jays Talk, that a lot of callers would still like the Jays to sign Tie Domi out of retirement.)

    - pete
  196. 196.

    Toth probably thinks that the Jays should bunt more often and put the hit and run on every time there is a man on base.

    Further — he also thinks and that dudes like David Eckstein and John McDonald (guys who ‘play the game the right way’) are magical cures for every struggling team.

    MW: Zack Grunfeld!!!!!!!

    - grunberg
  197. 197.


    I heard the drama on the air yesterday and tried to call in only to be dropped in favor of you.

    I’m also one who doesn’t ever feel the need to “panic” in a season. I think your stats above about where some playoff teams were at this time last year are real zingers for all the “blow-up the team” chanters out there.

    Here’s my question, when has firing a manager suddenly propelled a franchise mid-season into sudden polish and grace? Maybe I’m wrong but I can’t think of one, let alone many mid-season firings that suddenly turned a team around and jolted them to greatness and playoff success. Am I wrong on this one? Are they suddenly going to hit because of a new manager? Is it Gibbons’ motivational speeches? Is that why they’re not hitting!? come on!

    MW: Sorry for bumping you yesterday. The Jays hired Cito Gaston 36 games into 1989, and a 12-24 team got to the playoffs, but lost in five games to the A’s. The Marlins hired Jack McKeon 38 games into 2003, and a 16-22 team won the World Series. The Astros hired Phil Garner 88 games into 2004, and a 44-44 team won the wild card, but lost the NLCS in seven to the Cards. Just the examples I remembered quickly.

    - Jonathan
  198. 198.


    I am hopeful that you will show honest reporting of the responses that you receive towards this blog. I want to express that I am laughing at your blog because it includes some shameless charges. The fact that you are angered about not being able to be present for a direct defence to any kind of bashing towards you is deplorable. Take some time and listen to your own show and how you actually treat some callers. It may be too difficult for you to perceive your attitude towards others as one seldom knows one’s own negative character flaws. Mike, I ask you this: how many times have you abused your responsibility as a broadcaster and continued to bash a caller once they have been cut off from their call? If you are going to be bold enough to bash them then keep them on the line and let them respond to your bashing. You very well know the host has the power of the final word and thus an unfair advantage. You can go on and on while the caller you just dismissed is sitting at home or wherever and cringing their jaw. Mike Toth let you go on his show and respond, a luxury that the callers you hang up on and bash do not have. Bob McCowan bashes everbody but he clearly understands that he is fair game to criticism. It is a burden for radio personalities that try to be brash. I hope I have been respectful.

    Thanks for your time.

    MW: You have been respectful, I think, but wrong. How often do I bash callers once they’re gone? Very, very rarely, and the lines are always open for them to call in the next day if they feel I’ve done them wrong. You’re right, always having the last word is an unfair advantage, but I don’t abuse it, I don’t think. My post-call bashing very rarely goes beyond telling the next caller to be better than the last guy. I wouldn’t allow someone to criticize another broadcaster on my show, and I don’t think McCown does, either, nor do other broadcasters at the station criticize him on the air when he’s not around.

    - A E
  199. 199.

    Attaboy Wilner. You’re a rudey, don’t let nobody tell you otherwise. While I am frustrated as *** about the Jays, and blogged about such frustration last night, your example of teams who made the playoffs and their records at this point last season is telling. it is a marathon.

    and i’m not a big toth fan. he’s one of the most annoying sports television personalities this city has ever known. he tries way too hard, man, and it’s laughable. for him to encourage his callers shows what type of person he is. stay classy, toth.

    and remember, mike, we’re always here for you when you need to vent, just like you’re always there for us.

    you wanna hug it out? let’s hug it out.

    MW: Rudey? And watch the language, please – this ain’t the drunks.

    - eyebleaf
  200. 200.

    Toth is a ‘Yesman’ that only regurgitates what people want to hear, it seems he has no original thought. You tell it like it is Mike, and I don’t know how you keep doing it. Night after night, when these clueless people keep calling in…at first I laugh at them, then I just want to punch myself in the face!

    Keep it up Mike, the rest of the realist Jays’ fans know what you’re talking about.

    MW: Please don’t punch yourself in the face.

    - Marls
  201. 201.

    Mike that was the most classic piece of radio since perhaps Stormin’ Norman and Mr. Boston 15 years ago or Vito from
    Woodbridge dual.

    Toth is passionate about his Jays quite obviously as well are you. Don’t let this go to your head, but I anticipate Jays Talk more than I do the actual Blue Jay games. I feel I learn more listening to your answer than I can from watching the games. I hope you stick around for a long long time. Your popularity is in no jeopardy whatsoever at this time.

    Nor do I feel you are condscending. It’s because people can’t beat ya in an argument so they take cheap shots at you. I’m sure you’re a great guy and even say hello to little old ladies you pass on the street. I think it’s the phoniness of the question that bothers you. How are you, Mike? People will ask this of you without ever really considering how indeed you really are. They don’t pay your bills, do your grocery shopping, take care of your house…what do they really care when they ask, How are you? People don’t care.

    Now about the Jays. I’m really down on BJ Ryan. I don’t like him anymore. I wish he was gone. He’s a liability and yesterday’s hero. I’m really POed with Ryan. I just want him off the team. He’s washed. Not at all the way he was and it’s killing us. I hope a good closer is on the shopping list for JP because BJ’s a lame duck. God open the eyes of JP.

    Finally my 2 cents on the team. Save for the Hamilton Tiger Cats under Bob Young, I have never felt so disheartened by a professional sports team as I do this Blue Jays Baseball team. The season has morphed from comical to hillarious in 68 games, but I’m not laughing. I would rate this team last out of Sports’ All-Time Worst teams in the history of sport. Dead last.

    MW: Vito, I love ya!

    - Vito From Hamilton
  202. 202.

    Mike, BJ’s frustration will end this weekend when he shuts out the Cubs lineup.
    He is still one of the best closers in the AL and I give him credit for his 17 saves thus far.
    Anyways, I think the Jays take two of three against Chicago.
    And I’ll be there Friday to see Burnett get the win.

    What’s your prediction for this weekend?
    (Please leave a legitimate guess)

    MW: Ryan only has 13 saves this season. I try not to do those kinds of predictions. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Jays swept the series. Nor would it surprise me if the Cubs took two of three. I predict that Reed Johnson will get either at least one HUGE hit or make at least one massive defensive play, though.

    - SHANE Waterloo
  203. 203.


    If someone were to ask.

    How can Mike Wilner be seen as unbiased media personality when the team he covers and is expected to offer opinions on are owned by the same company?

    I for one am a little uncomfortable with Rogers owning the media that covers the team and the team.

    Any thoughts on this?


    MW: You’re not wrong to be uncomfortable, if I didn’t know me, I’d be uncomfortable, too. But I wouldn’t be doing this job if there were limits on what I was allowed to say.

    - Dave G
  204. 204.

    Mike, I usually enjoy listening and reading your shows/blogs – but – one question/criticism. Why do you always get upset when callers say “How are you”?Isn’t that a common greeting in our society? e.g. Your waiting on hold forever to speak to the phone company or your turn in line at the bank, and finally someone answers your call or its your turn, your first reaction might be how are you, eventhough you don’t care how this person is. The same applies when were waiting to get on the air (have you ever being on hold for 20 minutes waiting your turn to speak on the radio?). Anyways, many other radio hosts, other stations included, manage to get by this annoying question, so I don’t see what’s the big deal.

    MW: To me, it’s that “how are you” seems to have replaced “hello”, and more than half the time, people say “how are you” and then move on without even giving someone time to answer the question. It’s irksome, one of the things that gets me.

    - Shmuel Yitzchok
  205. 205.

    By the way, if it makes you feel any better, the drunken jays fans are out defending you too.

    MW: They’re a smart bunch. Says so right on their logo.

    - Shmuel Yitzchok
  206. 206.

    Did Toth have no other topic to discuss? It just shows how much better the show is when Bob McCowan is there.

    Really glad to see so many people come to your defence. Keep up the good work. Your comments are about all that keeps me sane regarding the Jays (and the hitting).

    MW: Thanks!

    - Colin
  207. 207.

    It looks like you’ve gotten a lot of well deserved support above. Mike, I don’t always agree with you (the whole Burnett-Silva thing comes to mind), but I always respect your point of view, at least as it relates to baseball.

    There are a lot things I’d like to say regarding this incident, all of which would ensure that my comments are not posted. Doesn’t much matter though – the good folks at Tao of Stieb and Drunk Jays Fans have taken care of that. I echo their comments completely.

    If I may quote the great Emmitt Smith, attempting to quote the great Jim Valvano, “Don’t quit, don’t even quit”.

    - James Fireman
  208. 208.


    I have never posted before, but I could not let this one go.

    I know it is beneath you to criticize Toth, but if I hear Toth mention one more time that he is not getting enough gigs at Sportsnet Connected, I may end my listening until Bobcat comes back. Prime Time Sports should not be used as a platform to politic for another job or complain about ones boss.

    You, Alan and Jerry do a great job and make what would be otherwise a very difficult team to follow, enjoyable.


    MW: Thanks for coming out of the closet!

    - Bryan
  209. 209.

    Hey Mike,
    I thought it was definitely unprofessional of Toth to make it personal yesterday and he could have made his point without naming names. I don’t know what was said about you being condescending to idiot callers but you definitely come across as a jerk. But that’s why I love the show, you call it like it is and I would be the absolute same jerk if I had to listen to people talk about how the Jays should be dealing slumping hitters for prolific power hitters or top prospects. Don’t change a thing. Except for wanting Bonds.
    Keep on keepin’ on.

    MW: Thanks. And whether I want Bonds here or not, it ain’t happening.

    - Jeff
  210. 210.

    Hi Mike
    Tough loss and by what i am reading a tough day for you.Honestly Mike if people didn’t appreciate you and the knowledge you bring do you think this blog would be this busy or your phone in show would always be jammed.I don’t agree with you all of the time but what I can say is the you always make a good baseball point.I like you am not ready to jump ship on this team yet.The pitching is just too strong and there is 90+ games left.You said once that the leafs ruined this city’s sports fans ,I agree with you wholehartedly.People jump on and off the wagon with every pitch Boing Burnett for a bad outing that was ridiculous.It is encuoraging to see someone stick to their beliefs when caller after caller calls in with stupid suggesstions like trading Burnett For Hamilton because Texas needs pitching help.Although it probably never happened I think you understand the point I’m trying to make.Keep your head up keep up the good work and remember if you weren’t causing controversy then you would be doing a lowsy job.
    Go Jays!!!

    MW: I don’t know about the last part, but thanks!

    - mario
  211. 211.

    Mike, I appreciate the job you do.

    I must say that your blog piece has turned into a big Mike Toth bash. That’s pretty hypocritical, and the banality of the comments people are posting about him certainly sinks beyond whatever he said or encouraged about you on the radio. Will Mike Toth get an opportunity to respond to these potshots? Probably not.

    You should have taken the high road.

    MW: I’m posting every comment made, as I always do, except the profane. I did consider editing the ones that criticize Toth, but felt that it was better to give the overall picture of the commenters’ opinions.

    - Mark
  212. 212.

    Mike can you give Ashby a couple redbulls before the games. He sounds like a golf commentator.

    Am I the only one who has noticed that ever since they put the Euro blerg ahead of yours the Jays have struggled? Also who would win if you and Toth fought?

    MW: Alan has been dealing with a cold the last week or so, the power will be back in that voice soon. I hadn’t noticed that about the Euro blog.

    - Jason
  213. 213.

    The Fan/Sportsnet should trade Toth for a mike-stand.

    The Jays should trade Scooter for Utley. I tried that on my fantasy league. Maybe the Jays will have more luck.

    MW: That’d be a good trade, somebody call Gillick!

    - Weez
  214. 214.

    Hey Mike remember our conversation about payroll and division. How come you never state these facts regarding payroll. Is it because you state convienant stats and tell convienant truths.

    In 2003 When Florida Marlins Won the world series they were in a division With the Mets who spent
    116,253,927 and Atlanta who spent
    Florida’s Payroll was 63,281,152
    The Blue Jays payroll was 61,175,638 inferior to the division rivals Boston Red Sox who’s payroll was 104,873,607
    and the Yankees $180,322,403
    The Jays finished 15.0 games out of the division and 9.0 out of the wildcard.

    This year the Marlins payroll is $21,836,500 (last in the league) they have a record of 36 and 29 second in the NL east above the division rival Mets who have spent $138,293,378 and Atlanta who has spent $102,424,018.

    The Jays have a payroll of $98,641,957 12th in the league
    behind the Yankees $209,081,579 And Bostons $133,440,037
    And ahead of Tampa Bay’s second to last $43,820,598
    the Jays currently sit 7.0 Behind Division leader Boston Red Sox and 5.0 games back of Wildcard leader Tampa Bay Rays

    This should put to rest previous excuse of division and payroll. It’s all about drafting which apparently florida and Tampa has done well over the years and wise allocation of dollars.

    Stairs-41 years old belongs on a contender, definetly has nothing to do with the jays future.
    John Mcdonald- Offensively Challenged
    Wilkerson- Best days behind him(recycled)
    Mench(I still have not seen him crush anything in 47 @ bats, As I said your stats are irrelavent.)
    Shannon Stewart(recycled)- Definely not an improvement from Reed. Shannon batting .240 in 175 @ bats with 1 home run and 14 RBi’s. Reed batting 267 in 160+@ bats
    3 home runs 10doubles and 27RBI’s.
    Scott Rolen- A Downgrade from Glaus in terms of power. 2 home runs in over 100 @ bats.
    Last year 8 home runs in 390 @ bats.

    JP supporters should be ripped on the radio.

    MW: I’m pretty sure you didn’t make any of this stuff up, the numbers all sound right. The opinions, well, baby steps.

    - Neil
  215. 215.

    Holy posts! I bet Toth’s blog doesn’t recieve 108 hits a day, let alone 108 comments.
    Let’s hope having the Cubbies come into town wakes up the bats and the Jays can get some momentum in june.
    I am off to see if I can even find Toth’s blog to rip him.
    Keep up the good work

    - Pat
  216. 216.

    Hi Mike,
    Love the blog and reading your take on things and comments of everyone else.
    I am an eternal optimist when it comes to the Jays and will never give up on them.
    On the Toth thing- I actually saw him walk off the set once in the middle of a segment because the guy he was working with said something about Toth’s dog !

    - Kim
  217. 217.

    Mike, I’ll be very frank.

    I listen to PTS because Bob very often makes a lot of sense, and I listen to you because you use the facts.

    I happened to hear it all on Wednesday and I was more than a little shocked!

    Mike Toth should be severely reprimanded if not cancelled on the spot for back stabbing you on the air. I don’t think that I’ve ever heard anything like that since the Fan was born. If Toth had pulled that stunt on McCown,he’d be toast, for sure.

    Really, I can’t believe your Program Manager would allow such an unprofessional performance. It was slimy, unfair and unacceptable. He, actually, was lucky that you were in time to stand up for yourself “on air” because he was truly fanning the flames and burning you at the stake in your absence. Despicable!


    - BRick from Oakville
  218. 218.

    I enjoy listening to your show. I live in Rhode Island where Jays fans are scarce. I can only say I hope things improve for the Jays. As far as Toth, this guy is a clown. He probably started talking trash to upset you or for ratings. If things don’t improve soon, I think Gibby has to go. Hire Buck Showalter or Bob Brenly or give Ernie Whitt a shot?


    MW: Again with Ernie Whitt? Whoops, I’m not allowed to criticize.

    - tom stewart
  219. 219.

    I think the Jays are off Monday and then have 6 games in NL parks.

    What do you think about starting McGowan Sunday and Marcum Tuesday?-both would be on their regular rest-McGowan would get another home start and Marcum would get 2 NL games where his batting would put us at less of a disadvantage.

    MW: I’d love to see Marcum get two NL-park starts, and it’d seem to be the smart thing to give McGowan that extra home start, but it’s not going to happen. They’re going to need McGowan to start pitching well on the road in order to be good enough, though.

    - Matt
  220. 220.


    Just a few comments about your performance:

    1. You are an excellent radio broadcaster. You speak fluidly on air, are knowledgeable about the game, and interact well with Jerry and Alan.

    2. Your rapport with the callers on JT has declined significantly over the past few years. Clearly, this is not all your fault. The callers and bloggers who resort to name calling are behaving like children. You have every right to cut those people off. My only criticism of your interaction with other bluejay fans is that you appear way to eager to correct callers or bloggers about anything, even things which are incidental to their expressed opinions. For example, I have even noticed you correct blogger’s spelling mistakes at times. Is this really necessary? We are not submitting term papers here. Can you not see how your eagerness to point out the flaws of others may lead some to say you are condescending to fans? Challenge them, correct them when necessary, but I suggest you show them a little more respect. And yes, respect is a two-way street.

    I have stopped listening to JT this season, not because I don’t like you or something (I’ve never called in btw) but because the segment is no longer pleasant to listen to. Hopefully that will change.

    Sorry for the long post.

    MW: I’m sorry that you find the show unpleasant to listen to. Luckily, you’re in the minority.

    - Greg
  221. 221.

    Mike, I want to talk about B.J. Ryan. I posted this over at DJF, but Ryan’s problem seems quite evident to me and I’m surprised no one else has brought it up.

    Thirteen months ago he had Tommy John. The mantra with TJ we’ve heard over the last ten years is that first, the pitcher builds back arm strength, then the stuff begins to come back, and eventually, much later, the command begins to return. Well, B.J. Ryan relies on two things – deception and command. Without his command (and it’s a problem that’s dogged him all year, not just since the Angels series), he’s getting by on deception alone. Well, big league hitters are adjusting to the new BJ by waiting him out. In the Yankees game, the result was a flat slider right over the heart of the plate, while in the other two game it’s been guys working him for walks. He’s still got mound presence and he’s still got closer stuff and sometimes that’s enough to get him by, but I wouldn’t be opposed to giving him some time to work on finding the strike zone again either in the minor leagues or at the very least in a reduced role on the major league club as a LOOGY.

    MW: I think that’d be an overreaction to an up and down week (two great outings, three poor ones).

    - Simon
  222. 222.

    Alright, the Jays CAN make the playoffs, but it is highly unlikely. I have looked at the American League East for the past six years, and here’s the dope. From May 1, only three times has any team maintained a better than .600 winning percentage for the remainder of the season – that’s three out of 30 instances in the Jay’s division. If the jays were to play .600 ball for the remainder of the season (looking at the time from May 3 until today), there have only been two days when such a percentage would have given them more than 93 wins on the year. That’s a very tight window – only two days since early in the season when a 6/10 remainder run MIGHT put them in the playoffs. For a statistician that’s like saying – “100% probability within 5%, 95 times out of 100 of no playoffs.”
    So yes, they CAN make the playoffs, but it would be similar to the Yankees’ runs in 2004 and 2005 and that’s pretty rare. So, I wouldn’t bet on them – would you? Should any fan? Should management of the club?

    Not with those numbers.

    BTW, I wish you would look at the teams you mentioned from last year and see how many times they were close to a playoff position in the early season with a good percentage run – my expectation would be more than two days out of two months. That shows a contending team – not the Blue Jays this year.

    MW: What do you mean close with a good percentage run? As in – if they go 10-2 right now how close would they be?

    - charles
  223. 223.

    Hi Mike,

    I am curious as to who hangs around together on this Blue Jays Team.Thanks.


    MW: I don’t know who hangs out with who outside the ballpark.

    - Gerry
  224. 224.

    Mike, keep at it please. You are the best sports personality in the country. Don’t let a bunch of ignorant ‘Neils’ get you down.

    MW: Had to take out the offensive stuff there.

    - Renegade
  225. 225.

    Living outside the GTA, I didn’t hear the Toth show that everyone is talking about, but . . .

    I’m a longtime baseball fan (40+ years), and I do find your tone condescending at times. I have no problem with the caustic approach when you’re reacting to a personal attack or a really stupid question or comment–and you DO get some of the latter. But too often you come across as harsh and utterly impatient with anyone who disagrees with you. MW your opinions are informed because you’re paid to have informed opinions, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right ones. If there are “right” ones. So have a sense of humor once in a while . .. baseball is supposed to be fun.

    All that said . . . your Blue Jays post-game show is consistently interesting and it’s one of the best shows of its kind on the air — head-and-shoulders above the Yankees and Mets post-game shows, which are readily available on-air out here in Eastern Ontario, where I live. (No Jays games on radio out this way . . . damnit!)

    MW: Call your local radio station and DEMAND the return of the Jays’ broadcasts! And hey, if you find my show consistently interesting, then I must be doing something right!

    - Ken from Kingston
  226. 226.


    Don’t worry about Toth…If I were there I’d give you a big man hug!!

    P.S. Do you think Alex Rios resembles Javier Vazquez?
    If so, who do you think is better looking (i.e. cuter)?

    MW: Somehow, I doubt this is Don Landry.

    - Don Landry
  227. 227.

    I forgot to mention it will be a Soriano-less Cubs team. That should play a factor in this series right?

    MW: Nah, just means Reed will play every day.

    - SHANE Waterloo
  228. 228.


    There are two type of broadcasters/journalists.

    Type A: Uses controversy and gimmicks, to propel arguments. Views/listeners tend to love or hate these people, depending on whether they share similar opinions.
    (stern, cherry, toth)

    Type B: Does their homework. Knows the facts, and most importantly stays at an even keel throughout the duration of a season.

    Thanks for being a voice of reason, and I for one, would be very disappointed with any radical personality change on your part.

    Here’s hoping that your still taking callers when Travis Snider is approaching retirement.

    Ps. First blog, perhaps I’ll muster the “courage” to call in one night.

    MW: Thanks very much.

    - Irish
  229. 229.

    Honestly… i agree with Mike Toth. It’s time.

    There are disturbing things that this team does (even in the good times… which is AGAIN 50% of the time) that are the signs of bad teams.

    I get that it’s a long season… but it’s the same ole road. Terrible positional hitting and plate strategy IS something that the manager can effect. And if he’s trying and they are not responding… then it’s time to flip the gibby switch

    MW: We’ll have to agree to disagree. I have a problem with removing someone from his positions because of things he can’t control.

    - Dave Carrol
  230. 230.

    Don’t worry Mike…I think you’re cuter than Toth !!

    MW: OK, well, now you’ve confirmed it. Landry would never say that!

    - Don Landry
  231. 231.

    From Kingston again . . . in case you’re wondering. Out here in teh boonies we hear the post-game show via the Internet or the cracking, static-filled FAN 590 radio signal, which is very faint most nights, better for day games.

    - Ken from Kingston
  232. 232.

    Hi Mike,

    Callers ripping you on other people’s show’s is nothing new. I listen to the fan almost all day at work and there’s a lot of it especially on Bob McCown’s show. The difference is McCown and Swirsky (as an example) are professional enough to not even let the callers say anything and they always state that if you want to rip the person do it on their show.

    I like Toth but he shouldn’t have let the callers do that; it wasn’t fair. Keep up the great work.

    MW: Thanks

    - Chris
  233. 233.


    i think there is no problem with the jays being .500 at this point in the year. they are still in the hunt so everyone calm down. like everyone else i would like to see them make the playoffs but most tornto fans wont be happy with them just making the playoffs. i think i would do scutaro and litch for bay it sounds amazing just put camp in for 5th starter or bring up persy anyways ty and keep up the good jays talks.

    MW: The Pirates wouldn’t do Bay for Scutaro and Litsch.

    - jeremy
  234. 234.

    Hey Wilner,

    I was one of the callers to Toth’s show yesterday. I tried to get on your show, but you let your callers go on and on with ridiculous trade possibilities so you can’t take as many calls. I stopped trying until Toth opened the flood gates with his comments about you, most of which I agreed with, so I called back and gave my two cents.
    I respect your work for the most part, but I don’t understand your take that nothing should be done right now. Gibbons has made countless errors managing his roster this year and he should be the one take the bullet.

    MW: I don’t see the countless errors.

    - Jeff
  235. 235.

    It’s not a bad offense. At least it shouldn’t be. It’s not a good offense, by any means. It should be an average offense, and that’s all it has to be with this pitching staff.

    This, I find, is one of your biggest flaws. The inability to just “admit” that there is a problem with the offense and call it what it is, which is a BAD offense, seems to be almost impossible for you to do. It’s clear you have a Jays bias. Whether it’s because you are around a lot of these players and coaches and so you become sensitive towards constant criticism guided towards them, or because you don’t want to strain relationships with the team… I think people just get tired of hearing you defending the team with mere statistics. Numbers are numbers. They go a long way in baseball but to rely on numbers to extrapolate optimistic expectations is irrational.

    Especially in team sports where there are so many dynamics involved in winning. To point to the Phillies or Cubs or whomever, is not a productive exercise. If anything, look at past performance of the very team you are contending will right the ship… the Blue Jays. Give me one season in the last 14 years where they’ve been able to right the ship and get into the post-season with such a mediocre start.

    Instead, you resort to statements like above, where instead of addressing the state of the Jays offense which is downright horrible, you are telling us that the offense “should be average”. Well it’s not average. It’s horrible. They’ve scored the seventh fewest runs in the league and it’s not like this team is going through any discernible patterns or cycles. It seems to be a consistently weak hitting performance throughout the season with the occasional offensive outburst.

    And I find it surprising that you would say that this offense on paper “should be” average. Wasn’t this team supposed to be built on offense? All I heard last year from JP was that he was looking to add pitching because he had the bats. The bats he was referring to was specifically from the likes of Rios, Wells, Thomas etc. So from his assessment and most other baseball people (not sure what your stance was at the time)… this offense was supposed to be a run producing machine.

    As for people calling in and trashing you while you aren’t able to respond. I think this is comparable to you cutting off people, hanging up on them and then trashing them while they have no opportunity to respond. I know you will contend that these people are idiotic and don’t have a clue anyways.

    Nevertheless, they deserve some respect because without their outlandish remarks and comments, your show and success wouldn’t be where it is today. And when so many people comment on your attitude and demeanor on the show, you have to realize that people’s perception is what it is.

    MW: People’s perception will always be what it is, but as you can see from the couple of hundred or so comments above, people’s perception of the same thing can stand in diametric opposition. As for the offense, look at what these hitters have done their whole careers, and look at what they’re doing now.

    - Ragz
  236. 236.

    Do you find that any of the players hold a grudge against you (ie. dirty looks, snark comments) because of your objectivity?

    Just curious because I would assume thats why guys like Jamie Campbell and Pat Tabler make sure they never say a bad word about a Jays player. Usually if a player makes a bone head mistake, they just go silent for 10-15 seconds.

    MW: I don’t think the vast majority of the players have ever heard me on the radio, or care in the slightest about anything that I say.

    - Jack
  237. 237.


    This is your “intern” speaking. May I just say puckety puck puck puck. It makes me want to pucking puke how puck-centric the “sports journalism” is in this town/country. So many of them are hired for their hockey knowledge and because they work at “all-sports stations” they are forced to weigh in on the non-hockey sports and that’s when we see the men getting separated from the boys.

    What Mr. Toth did was unprofessional, puerile, playground-like, bullyish, cheap, classless, and unfortunately something that is done far too often on “Talk” (more like scream and rant) Radio. It’s basically a cheap tactic to whip the hoard into a frenzy and the hoard falls for it all too often. I’ve noticed that anytime a caller calls in to rant about another broadcaster, you politely decline to discuss it because so and so is not here to defend themselves and they should find a way to get in touch with that broadcaster if they have a beef with them. I hope you can keep this up Mike. The cheap shot is easy, but taking the high road, while difficult is probably the best way to go. Don’t lower yourself to that level in this case Mike. He’s not worth it. You will probably be baited by callers for the next little while to go after Mr. Toth. After all, we all love to watch a good playground fight, don’t we?

    Enough of that. Onto another pet peeve of mine. The five year plan monkeys (as in “monkey see monkey do”). Find the quote or shut up. Hint: The next time you’re in the area of a library, check out the microfiche for newspapers around November 14, 2001, particularly the Toronto Sun, which is where J.P. said the actual quote would be. He says he said “It’s not like we have a five year plan or anything.” or something to that effect. Given the amount of budgetary hacking and slashing he did early on, it’s a reasonable time frame for success. There is one thing he said that he needs to be called on though. In his first interview (you can still find it if you google something to the effect of november 14, 2001 “j.p. ricciardi”. The cbc page was the best one. No mention of a five year plan though.) he said and I quote “The payroll is not an issue.” Now, he does have the right, as we all do, to change his opinion after spending a few years of watching the beasts of the East engage in an escalating payroll war, but that was his original assessment.

    I also have to agree with the person who wrote into the blog a while back that J.P. is a very good offseason GM and much better at drafting than most give him credit for, but his ability to get things done in the regular season leaves a lot to be desired. He’s good at getting the scrap heap guys, but the big deals seem to elude him. It could be that big in-season deals aren’t done as frequently as the pre-wild card days, but I have no data to back that up. Big deals still get done, but I don’t think they’re as frequent as they used to was.

    Anyways, keep up the great work and demanding facts to back up opinions. I have one question for you though. Why do you diss batting average as a stat (I do too), but then use it to back up some of your arguments? Is it because it’s the first stat the common fan looks at? No big deal, just something I find somewhat contradictory, which doesn’t exactly make you unique, just human. Take care,

    MW: I never use batting average alone to back up an argument. There are times (when looking at a specific segment of a season), that I don’t have the time to calculate obp or slugging, but I’ll always throw in how many walks a guy has and/or extra-base hits.

    - Tom
  238. 238.

    MIke, You are a homer. Thats ok because you are paid by, and approved by the Blue Jays, you are supposed to be a homer. Over the years it is obivious that you ALWAYS give the Jays the benefit of the doubt.

    For example, Reed Johnson is coming to town with 27 RBI – no Jay has more. Thomas has hit 319 since joining Oakland.

    Do you really believe that the Jays that take the field against the Cubs tomorrow would not be a better team if Johnson and Thomas were in the lineup?

    MW: I think they’d be a better team against lefties with Johnson in the line-up. As for Thomas, I always said that he would start to hit in mid-May, and he did.

    - wayne
  239. 239.

    To Rocco, Re: Post #64 —

    First, how does 2005, 2006 and 2007 add up to a “four-year” window? Looks like only three to me.

    Secondly, would you not agree that the “super-unusual” injury list of 2007 should logically result in a “mulligan” for that year? Sure, we could argue that every team suffers injuries, but I think every rational fan would agree that the injuries of 2007 were “above and beyond” anything that anyone could have reasonably expected — especially someone making a “prediction” (if that’s what it was) in 2004!

    This is not to say that I’m happy with the results so far in 2008 — but neither have I given up on the year, with still over 90 games to go.

    All that has to happen is that they get 3 wins out of each turn through the rotation the rest of the year (does that sound so unlikely?), and they’ll have 90 wins — and that should be enough to be “there or thereabouts” for the playoffs.

    - Norm
  240. 240.

    Mike, do you hold any personal grudge towards Mike Toth? I really think he reacts like a typical fan. With the Bob Cat, he has a very objective view on the jays, whether you disagree with him or not, he objective. Why can’t Nelson Millmen notice this and fire Mike Toth?

    MW: I don’t hold any personal grudge against Mike Toth, not at all. I hardly know him.

    - andrew
  241. 241.


    Cubs win 3-2 in the 11th inning, on a pinch-hit, none out, bases-loaded Hit By Pitch, by…. Reed Johnson!


    MW: Could be, except Reed will more than likely start all three games.

    - Norm
  242. 242.

    Hey Michael.

    I have to completely agree with you. When I heard that business get started with Toth I was shocked. I never call in to any show because I get too nervous talking on the radio, but I sure was tempted when I heard that. I don’t always agree with you, but that was awful. And, to your credit, you never allow callers to do the same to other journalists or broadcasters. Sadly, I turned off before you came on to have it out with Toth. Any chance of getting that clip posted as a podcast: I’m sure it would be intriguing listening.

    Thanks. Hang in there, dude. You’re a great radio personality and obviously know your stuff.

    - Mikie
  243. 243.

    I have a comment i want your oppinion on would singing jay gibbons as a lefthanded bat instead of kevin mench make any sense. I know he had a bad last year but the rest has been fairly good with decent power numbers.

    MW: Mench hits right-handed.

    - sean m.m
  244. 244.

    See you’re right more than you are wrong, sorry about the bad grammar, I get sloppy when I get steamed. Anyway thought of a question this time. Do you think Litsch should be shopped? based where they drafted him could they get much more in return than he could give them over the next 10 years? Basically is Litcsh worth more to them to keep or trade? Personally I think a solid pitcher doesn’t come around often, and the Jays have something other teams would kill for 4 of them under contract under 30 (I may be slightly off on that but still a great situation for a rotation).

    MW: You’re slightly off, Halladay is 31. I don’t think the Jays can get as much in return for Litsch as most people think.

    - Nick
  245. 245.

    Hey Mike,
    Personally I like the way you deal with idiots on air, it’s refreshing when people are allowed to call it as they see it.
    Unfortunately for Gibby I think he may end up getting the heave-ho sooner rather than later because he’s more easily moved than a player. Not that I think a managerial change would necessarily change the scene much.
    Had a couple questions for you
    1) Does it strike you as odd that the Jays finally seemed to be coming around and VWs return coincides with another hitting slump? It’s starting to seem a little fishy to me
    2) What do you do with Rios? He’s obviously not a lead off man but where do you find rom in the line up for anyone thats hitting that poorly?
    Thanks, Keep up the good work

    MW: 1 – No. Wells has mashed the ball in all but two games since his return. 2 – Rios isn’t hitting as poorly as everyone seems to think, he’s just not hitting for any power and grounding into a lot of double plays. I’d drop him to 6th right now.

    - Dave
  246. 246.


    Never got a chance to hear Toth, but I think it’s pretty ‘bush league’ that he called you out on PTS. Isn’t there a code amongst the media not to do that?

    However, since you asked, I want to provide some critical assesments as well as give you some props.

    1. I do think at times you are condescending and arrogant to callers. Not necessarily when they do not agree with you, but more when they have a comment or question, you are quick to cut them off and give them your two cents or make a minor rectification. For instance, when a caller says ‘J.P’s 5-year plan’ and you quickly cut them off and say ‘J.P never said that’. I know this has been stated ad-nausem, but the fact is, there are many media personalities that have documented they believe J.P said it, so if callers want to believe those individuals, then it’s not a fact that you can disagree with (unlike, Overbay ALWAYS hitting into double plays). The other example is when a caller said ‘next week will be the half way point of the season’ and before the caller gets his point across you cut him off and say ‘actually it’s two weeks’. Just let the callers make his/her point, and then give them your retort. I think it would prevent this image of you being condescending, arrogant and/or a ‘know-it-all’.

    2. This J.P. defending has got to stop. I realize he’s your boy and that you can not be as unbiased as other media members in your criticism of him, but come on already. This team has not made the playoffs since he’s arrived, in fact since his arrival only 10 teams have not made the playoffs (Bal, KC, TB, Tex, Cin, Mil, Pit, SD, Wash and Tor) so I guess that would put them in the bottom third of the league if results is what one should be judged. Has J.P. done some good things? Absolutely, but he’s not the 2nd coming of Pat Gillick, so stop trying to compare him to the only GM who has won a world series for the Jays.

    3. Callers and writers on this blog are fans of the team first. They may not have the knowledge base that you have or the statistical referencing, but nevertheless are passionate about the team. There is no need to degrade their comments and/or suggestions. No one in their right mind believes the Jays are going to get Jason Bay for Jesse Litsch and David Purcey, however, when a caller suggests it, there’s no need to make them feel lower then pond-scum. At the end of the day, this individual is a fan, who probably purchases tickets and concessions at the Rogers Centre to watch a game being played. The last thing you want to do, is turn off paying customers when it appears the Jays need all the fans they can get.

    Now I would be remiss if I only bashed you so I have a few positive things to say as well.

    1. You’re knowledge of the game makes the fans want to listen and write to you. I think your even-keel, while at times frustrating, is a good thing. Trading Rios for a bag of balls because he has stunk the joint out for the past few months sounds like a great idea, but the fact is, he’s still a young kid who needs time to develop. It’s good that you take the emotion out of the game and give the fans a dose of reality and facts.

    2. This blog. I know many of the commenter’s employer’s are not too content with it, but you have given all of us a forum to post our thoughts and comments 24-7. The fact that you take the time to respond to each and everyone (regardless of how insane) is a testament to you, and I for one want to thank you, because God knows what else would I be doing at work :-)

    3. The fact that you are a proponent of bringing Barry Bonds to this team. I have been saying this from the beginning of the year and April only made my point stronger. However, everyone I ever spoke to about this told me I was nuts. It’s good to hear that I had you as a backer on this issue.

    All in all Wilner you’re doing a great job so keep it up. Even if I don’t agree with what you have to say, I still try and listen as much as possible (usually online), and read the blogs throughout the day. Not everyone is going to agree with you, but as long as they respect you, it’s all you can ask for.

    MW: I’m glad I’m giving you a reason to be less productive at work. As for your criticisms – I feel I have to correct right away, and then let the caller continue, because otherwise I’ll forget. I have NEVER EVER EVER EVER said that J.P. holds up to Gillick. He’s got a long, long way to go for that. And finally, 300 comments right here; I don’t think I’m turning too many fans away. But thanks for the comment!

    - Bobby
  247. 247.

    Hey mike, i just want to know your opinion on how gibby has been pulling the starting pitching at the wrong time over the past few weeks. It seems every time he pulls a guy out, the other team scores. Also I truly think that you should not let Mike Tooth’s commets bother you because he really does not know what he is talking about when it comes to baseball. As to what other people are saying about you they obviously have not been listening for the past couple years because that is who you are and why your show is so interesting. Keep up the good work, and lets get this team going.

    MW: I don’t have an issue with how Gibby how been using his starting pitchers. I mean, there’s a game here where I think he took a guy out a little too soon, and a game there where he left somebody in a little too long, but in the overall, it’s been fine.

    - Michael Larocque
  248. 248.

    a couple of questions did JP or the Giants back out of the Licecum for Rios trade, and who backed out of the Lilly howard deal? JP has made some good trades over the years, but I think has stayed away from the ones with to much risk. I hope in the next month he takes a gamble on a big deal. Even with our great pitching, if we don’t contend this year were back to retooling this team.

    MW: The Giants backed out of the Rios-Lincecum deal, and I don’t believe there ever really was a straight up Lilly-for-Howard deal.

    - jason
  249. 249.

    Tough day eh Mike. As much as I sometimes disagee with you I cannot question your integrity. I think there are a lot of us out there that are frustrated with the Jays play and need to vent.I confess that I am one of those people. Watching the Jays sometimes is like watching “Groundhog day” How many times have we seen have the bases loaded with no one out and come away empty? How many times do we see a pitcher pitch his heart out only to lose,while sitting on the bench, when the opposition scores on a late rally? How many times do we see the Jays get behind in a game and fail to show they have a clue as to what the other pitcher is doing? These repetitive scenarios indicate to me that there is something inherently wrong. I agree with you that the talent is there. So where do we look for change?You seem to think the problem is not with John Gibbons. I do think it is. We can agree to disagree but only time will tell. Thanks Mike, I feel vented now!

    MW: Happy to be the window to ventage.

    - leigh cockburn
  250. 250.

    To turn our focus to a more Positive time…….how many critics will we see in St. Mary’s on June 29 to see Tony Fernandez inducted into the Cdn Baseball Hall of Fame?
    PS I’ve got more respect for you now, seeing as you posted Mr. “not important”‘s ludicrous rant. Although anyone who remains anonymous after a rant like that has zero crediblity.

    MW: Thanks. It’s always good when someone has the courage and conviction to stand behind his or her opinion, isn’t it? And critics? What do you mean?

    - Greg Quinton
  251. 251.

    Hey Mike, I think it’s time to reevaluate JP and JG but it should wait till the season is over! They haven’t worked out and it’s time to take a hard look at the club from top to bottom!

    MW: If the time is now why should it wait?

    - Baseballguy
  252. 252.

    Hi Mike,
    I wanted to let you know that I enjoy your blog and post game show. It’s because of people like you, Ken Rosenthal, Jordan Bastian, Dan Shulmen and Buck Martinez (when the latter 2 were doing play by play on Jays games) that i’ve grown to enjoy baseball. I don’t know many people who like talking about the Jays so whenever the opportunity presents itself to read/listen to any of the guys mentioned above I tune in or read. I use to be a casual observer (At one point it was only Leafs that I would cheer for) but thanks to a greater understanding of the game due to your work, amongst a few others, I am now a big Jays fan. I still have a few things to learn, mostly how to be patient in a 162 game season, but I enjoy the game more then ever. For that, I thank you.

    P.s. Keep the grammar, sentence structure and spelling corrections comments coming. I like them and it helps keep me sharp. I’ve even learned new words off you (caricature to name one off the top of my head.)

    MW: Thanks! If I expand the lexicon of just one reader, I’ve done my job!

    - Dilson
  253. 253.

    Also, Mike Toth mentioning Gary Carter as a manager show how little knowledge Mike has about baseball. I mean you wouldn’t hire Gary Carter if John Gibbons was fired?

    MW: I wouldn’t even call Gary Carter.

    - andrew
  254. 254.

    You carry yourself with more class, your show illustrates that. For Mike Toth to do that speaks dividends.
    Your show is not only entertaining but it also very informational backed by facts, not dry jokes or rants.
    I dont know what else to say, maybe it was Toths family calling in to cause a razz to boost his ratings? Ha, Thanks Mike

    - Ryan
  255. 255.

    Mike – your knowledge & intelligence about the sport you cover are both refreshing & enlightening. And I find nothing arrogant or demeaning about your presentation.
    If Toth were half the professional that you are, perhaps he’d still be doing ‘Connected’ on Sportsnet. Keep up the very good work!

    MW: I don’t know what that means. I understood he wanted to move to the radio side.

    - Larry McGregor
  256. 256.

    One last thing on Mike Toth and it’s on record.
    Him and Hoagie were discussing some special Boston burgers on their show that they are very big hamburgers and so forth. Here’s what Toth said while trying to be funny(alas, never works). He said ” a child from a third world country would give his left hand for half of that burger”. First he made fun of the poverty in third world countries and then he brought up a child in his discussion and all along he thought he’s being funny. What a classless human being! I emailed Hoagie about this comment and he apologized on Toth’s behalf.
    He’s a backstabber who preys on his colleagues, just trying to show his value. All he knows is junior hockey, his knowledge about the other three sports is close to zero.

    Mike Toth, be a man. If you wanna rip your colleague, do it in his face. You never had a lot of fans in the first place, please don’t lose the 10 or 12 fans who might like you.

    - Beburg
  257. 257.

    I have to admit, I agree with Toth and his overall undertone that you’re a bit of a ***** with callers. RARELY, is anyone right, or factually correct as they’re not sitting in their press box with stats at their fingertips. You always have a way of making someone wrong, when sometimes all that they’re trying to say is that they don’t like Wells, or that they like the amount of base stealing this year. You might want to remember who you cater to once in awhile, as without the listeners you could be just a guy talking to himself in the shower one morning.

    MW: Talking to yourself in the shower is a little odd.

    - Chris
  258. 258.

    Mike, you said the trade market will heat up “soon.” How soon? Days? Weeks? Months?

    Do you think JP is committed to this season enough to make a big splash in dealing prospects (Cecil, Lind, Purcey etc.) for offense sooner rather than later (ie. ASAP)?

    MW: I think weeks, and that affects how long ASAP will be, but yes, I think that he’ll try his best to make a big splash.

    - andrew - KW
  259. 259.

    Mike, keep it down or people’ll start talking. lol. Mike, it seems you win again. How do you feel about Dan Shulman from ESPN? Well, you probably heard it for yourself but Toth brought him on as a guest. Toth was looking for some justifcation for his views on Gibbons and Shulman shot him down. He explained that he does not think it would be the right move to axe Gibbons right now because then you’d have an interm manager because the best candidates will appear at the end of the season. So he feels it prudent to hang on until then.

    He also said that it is a good reflection on the clubhouse that not one pitcher on this team has come out and stated that the hitters need to hold up their end of the bargain. He said it’s a strong clubhouse and the possible reason for that is John Gibbons. Mike, now next to you, Dan is probably the most knowlegable man in the game and I like the man, respect the man, and miss the man. So it seems Wilner wins again and Toth is eating some crow. Give him a bottle of Ketchup to go with it, Mike. It might go down easier.

    MW: Saying that next to me, Dan is probably the most knowledgeable man in the game is a massive compliment, and one of which I’m not worthy.

    - Vito From Hamilton
  260. 260.

    Sometimes you do have to lose a battle to win a war, but you never have to put up the white flag when you have the resources to win both the battle and the war. I can’t fathom a reason why a healthy Rolen should sit when he has so many other opportunities to rest over the next few weeks. In order to score (consistently), you have to play all of your best players whenever possible.

    As for Marcum, how many times this year has he given up even one run in two consecutive innings? In two innings of the same game? Sometimes you have to trust someone like Marcum to bounce back, especially late in a tie game, to salvage a win for the team and himself. If anybody is motivated to pitch well and keep his team in a close game, it’s the guy who can’t buy a win despite his dominance.

    MW: We don’t know if Rolen is totally healthy, but if he is, sometimes it’s not a bad idea to give a guy three days off in six, which is what he’ll have gotten by the time the team leaves for Milwaukee. As to the Marcum point, amazingly, he hasn’t ever given up runs in consecutive innings, but that’s part and parcel of leading the league in ERA, among other things. It doesn’t mean that he wouldn’t have given up a run in the 8th just because he gave one up in the 7th. Downs didn’t give up a run in the 8th, either, and had Marcum come out and pitched a shutout 8th, Ryan was still coming out for the 9th.

    - Shmuel
  261. 261.

    Man, if Gary Carter should be hired, why can’t Roberto Almour be our next manager?

    MW: Or you?

    - andrew
  262. 262.

    what if the pirates put in like brett cecil, adam lind scutaro or litch any of those players in some kind of package? becuase for me aslong as you dont have to move mcgowan or marcum do what ever you can to get bay becuase he has power speed and hes a good lf so why not mike what do you think?

    MW: Like I said before, I’d prefer a lefty bat, but I’d do any of those four for Bay, easily, and probably any two, depending on the combination.

    - jeremy
  263. 263.

    On a different note, what is up with Vlad in L.A.? Do you know what is wrong with him. (Though he seems to be having a good week now). Same with Delgado in NY.

    MW: The Mets watchers are saying that Delgado is done, he was awful last year and is again, and Vlad had a bad couple of months.

    - Paul B
  264. 264.

    aswell as dont you think the pirates will go after young pitching?

    MW: Yup. Everyone wants young pitching – even the Jays.

    - jeremy
  265. 265.

    I would love to listen to that segment of PTS where Toth made a fool of himself and lost the little credibility he had in this city. Is there any way that you or one of the producers can get a hold of it and post it somewhere….anywhere.

    At least those who didn’t listen to it can get their own opinion of him. That way those who want to complain can go and complain to him and not resort to complaining on another’s blog. (As much fun as that would be it’s not right. AND I realize that I contradicted myself by criticizing him in my opening statement but I just had to. I’m sorry).

    - Nick I.
  266. 266.

    MIke, I think Toth was just doing his job. He echoed the feelings of many fans. I know you use lots of logiic and statistics to make your argument and on that basis it is valid. But in the gut, for everyone who reads this blog and follows the Jays, we all know that the chances of THIS jays team to win anything are weak to non-existent.

    Consider thisL we would need the entire team to have career second halfs AND several other teams to go into the ditch at the same time.

    Not to mention that we have many games to play in our own division and NYY and Bosox are always tough, but now so to are the Rays and O’s.

    Sadly, for anyone with a nose for baseball, this one is over.

    MW: I guess the facts don’t mean anything to you. And no one on this team needs to have a career second half for the Jays to turn it around.

    - wayne
  267. 267.

    Are the jays going to raise the outfield walls another 10 feet to help the pitching. It wouldnt change the power numbers much. (joking)

    - Joey
  268. 268.

    Does singing jay gibbons make any sense?

    MW: I don’t know, but hum a few bars and I’ll try.

    - sean m.m
  269. 269.

    wow 245 posts! that must be a record. the number of posts is directly proportional to the patheticness of the loss. did you enjoy spending the 10 hours it took to respond to all these posts? Have you tried building pyramids in your free time instead? moving on, I found it very infuriating when JP said that sammy sosa can’t hit anymore. the guy proved that a skinny sammy CAN hit for power last year. the guy still wants to play and will cost nothing and has no baggage so why not take a flyer on him? sign him to a minor league deal and see what he does. what is the worst that can happen. he did the same thing with benitez. this team is desperate for hitting and all we hear from JP is that he likes these guys. I would much rather have sammy sosa over mench. last year he had an INSANE 92 rbis in only 114 games! His OPS vs lefties was over 1000!!! And this guy is not good enough to play on the bad news blue jays?

    MW: I’d have taken a flyer on Sammy before going for Mench, but it’s troubling that he now hasn’t played for so long.

    - rocco
  270. 270.

    Rios has an injury! Colour me unsurprised. I’ll bet he’s had it for a while.

    And in other news, Mike, according to Chicago it is now considered bad style to punctuate PS, since the word ‘postscript’ has now replaced the original Latin. So if you must punctuate, put a period after the ‘s’. However you failed to notice that the poster omitted to cap the ‘P’…

    MW: According to Chicago? The band? Because that would be really cool. And hey, does anyone know what “25 or 6 to 4″ means?

    - reyes
  271. 271.

    PS He should also have capitalized the ‘s’.

    MW: Sure, if you want to do it that way. But there has to be a period after the “s”.

    - reyes
  272. 272.

    Mike, after reading the first, let’s say 5 replies to your blog, I have to wonder, did you pay them to say that stuff. Anyways, I will get straight to my point. I listen quite regularily to your show and call in quite often to voice my opinions. I have to say, most of the time, you don;t agree with anyone most ofthe time even when they have a valid point. You are condenscending, not all, but a lot of the time.
    I had to laugh the other day when you said and you did, that you would rather have A.J Burnett and his calibre of stuff, even though he doesn’t get the job done all the time, than a Jack Morris, who may not have had the best stuff, had a BIG ERA, but got the job done when needed. This is just another example of you having to be right, but not actually thinking about what you were saying. Maybe you were, I don’t know.
    Also, yesterday you were speaking of the 1989 team that went 12-24 in their first 36 games, and mentioning on how they did not panic.
    True they didn’t, but they did get rid of the coach. You must remember also, that team had many of the same players who won in 85, and lost in 87. These players had been through the battle before in meaningfull games. You will also remember thay brought in Tom Lawless and Mookie Wilson, two players again who had been on the playoffs before. This year, the Jays bring in Brad Wilkerson and Kevin Mench, where have they been.
    Again Mike, this rationale that you made seemed to me that you needed to be right and the callers and listeners had no clue what they were talking about.
    Thanks Mike for letting me vent.
    And yes, I have hit a fastball, not a 95, but definately an 85.

    MW: Congrats on getting around on an 85 mph heater. The 1989 Jays got rid of the manager (that’s what they’re called in baseball – sorry, that was actually condescending). You can’t honestly believe that the presence of Tom Lawless led them out of the wilderness. The Jays this year brought in Eckstein, Rolen and Barajas, all of whom have won World Series. Doesn’t that count? All The JaysTalks from the last month, at least, are here on this blog. If someone could point out where I said I’d rather have A.J. Burnett over Jack Morris, I’d like to be pointed there to hear it in context.

    - Jason Deneaul
  273. 273.

    RE my Newsflash post (#241) — this was not a prediction, but rather an actual report of what happened in today’s game with the Braves.

    MW: Yeah, I found out about that later. Cool finish!

    - Norm
  274. 274.

    “Paul Godfrey would come on whenever I ask, but he’d say the same stuff I do, I think, except that he’d be more effusive in his praise of J.P. Ricciardi.”

    Mike, you didn’t just say this. In all honesty, are you hoping J.P. will take you along as some sort of PR guy on his next stop? That’s really the only way to explain your homer mentality.

    You shouldn’t be proud of being a mikepiece for Paul Godfrey.

    MW: I’m not a mikepiece for Paul Godfrey, but he sees a lot of things the same way I do (at least that’s his public stance).

    - Stephen
  275. 275.


    Is there anywhere on the site where I can listen to that PTS on Wednesday?


    MW: Not that I know of.

    - Zachary
  276. 276.

    Mike I think the earlier poster was making a comment about today’s game where Reed drove in the winning run with a HBP… not predicting a game this weekend.

    MW: He was indeed, but I didn’t know that at the time.

    - Chris
  277. 277.

    Long live The JaysTalk. By the way, when did you move from using an indefinite article in front of JaysTalk to using the definite article, “the”?

    I hope you enjoyed the digital photo I sent you (of you) taken from my perch in section 518 amongst thousands of screaming children.

    Looking forward to interleague action this weekend and hearing you remind people that Reed Johnson was not Ty Cobb in a Jays’ double-knit – he only idolized him.

    MW: If only the Jays wore double-knits. I haven’t received any picture, though. I think it was this season that it became The JaysTalk – it seemed time.

    - Adrian
  278. 278.

    Hey Mike,
    I really enjoy your post-game show. You have an unbelievable knack with stats.
    However, you should show a little more patience with some of the meatheat callers with their ubsurd comments. When in your mind would you say is the last straw with J.P. and the Jays record?

    Regards Don

    MW: The last straw is if all these hitters turn out to be busts.

    - don
  279. 279.

    I didn’t like how Toth one day a couple of months ago referred to you as his new found “jewish friend”, I found the comment moronic and insulting, has this guy never met a jewish person before….please…..where is this guy from, pluto. Does he refer to black people as my “black friend”.

    MW: That was kind of off-putting, but he was trying to be funny.

    - James
  280. 280.

    Speaking of Don Landry, can you share the inside story (if there is one) about why Landry makes you sound like you’re always asleep or really tired in his comedy bits? There must be some inside joke??

    MW: It stems from years ago, when I was on the morning show on a relatively regular basis, and they always woke me up to put me on the air. It’s tough to get home from the ballpark at midnight, wind down, get to sleep, and then have Brian Angus wake you up at 7:20 AM. I sounded it.

    - Rob M
  281. 281.

    Contridiction alert:

    You’ve been on record saying that you think the rays could end up winning 85 games, and now you say that 89 wins could be enough to make the playoffs. Yet you continue to maintain the rays will not be in the race come september. Those 2 things don’t add up.

    MW: They do if the Rays fall back, then pick up a bunch of meaningless wins in September once they’re out of it. But I really think they’ll be closer to an 80-82 win team.

    - Terry
  282. 282.

    Personally, I find you rude and sarcastic much of the time. When that occurs, I simply change stations. Some of your comments are simply outrageous and foolish and detract from what baseball knowledge you have. Two instances that I can remember distinctly are 1. Esteban Loaiza was pitching for the White Sox and had won 5 games early in the year (May) and a caller asked you if he would continue to be so successful for the rest of the year. You said that he wouldn’t win 10 games. He won 20. 2. You have stated repeatedly that Baltimore will lose over 100 games this year. Considering their record and the passion and effort that the Orioles exhibit each day, this is highly unlikely to occur. A little more humility and respect on your part would be nice for the listeners. You may see it differently, but you constantly come across as a J.P. apologist. The Blue Jays under his leadership are basically a third place team. Those are simply the facts.

    MW: You hurt me by using “passion and effort” to describe the Orioles. I still believe they’ll lose 100 games. I was wrong about Esteban Loaiza, very obviously, but one good year doesn’t change the fact that he is an exceptionally mediocre pitcher. Even a blind pig can stumble across an acorn (or the 2003 Detroit Tigers for six starts) every once in a while.

    - Brian
  283. 283.

    Hey Mike,

    Right now, I see 245 comments on this post in the span of about 30 hours, and there are probably many more that you have yet to read. I think it is great that you take the time to respond to nearly every post. I, along with many other Blue Jay fans, truly appreciate it.

    I would also like to commend you on your great wit. Every now and then on the blog you come up with a response that just has me lauging uncontrollably. My personal favourite from this year was your response to the guy who wrote about the “pre-Madonna” Yankees. That was absolutely hilarious.

    I have a question about teams exchanging baseball players for cash. It seems as though players are exchanged for small amounts of cash every now and then, but blockbuster cash deals (the kind you see in the European soccer leagues) don’t seem to happen in baseball. The only one that I can think of occurred when the Red Sox paid that posting fee in order to negotiate with Daisuke. However, why don’t we see large cash deals between major league teams. Are there rules against it? Do teams just not like to do it?

    Here’s a hypothetical example where such transactions could be useful: Team A has a superstar player tied up in a long-term contract, but the rest of Team A stinks. Therefore, Team A wants to exchance this superstar for some young talent. Team B really likes the superstar, but they don’t have the right mix of young players that Team A wants. However, Teams C, D, and E have an abundance of young players that Team A really likes, the problem is that Team A cannot trade one third of the superstar to each of these teams. This situation can be fixed by having Team A trade the superstar to Team B for a large sum of money. Team A can then use this money to purchase the young talent from Teams C, D, and E.

    Basically, without having huge cash deals, baseball requires a double coincidence of wants in order to make a trade (or a triple coincidence of wants in the case of 3-way trades). By allowing the exchange of money for big-name players, teams would no longer require this double coincidence of wants.

    So, why doesn’t this happen?

    MW: Any trade that includes more than $3 million (I think) has to go through the Commissioner’s Office. Straight cash deals for big-name guys have been frowned upon, especially since Charlie Finley tried to sell three of his top players in the mid-70s. The deals were quashed by then-Commish Bowie Kuhn.

    - Jason
  284. 284.

    I personally think that Mike Toth, whatever he may be as a person, as a broadcaster isn’t worth a bucket warm hutt drool. I can’t stand his style, the way he talks, the way he presumes that he’s good enough to step into the shoes of other greater broadcasters.

    It’s one thing for Bob McCown to constantly say that the Jays need to be blown up, but that’s just doing what he always does – it’s Bobcat making us think about why we hold the opinions we do, whether it be about Vernon Well’s contract, or keeping the red line in hockey, or whether the NFL will come to Canada. What he says is usually unpleasant, but it’s required in order to make the fans in general and those who listen to his show actually think about sports in a critical and objective way. One of the questions he asks most often when people call in is why.

    THen we have Mike Toth. ’nuff said.

    In terms of the Jays start, they’d be 37 and 31 or so if the Bullpen hadn’t blown a few games. It happens. I”m always impressed by BJ’s composure on the mound during these last few outings. I can’t really justify it, but watching his reactions in his bad outings makes me less than worried.

    I know it’s a long time away – but what are the Jays likely going to do for shortstop next year? Since Johnny Mac is coming to the end of his contract are he and Eckstein both going to walk at the end of the year?

    MW: McDonald has one year left on his contract. I don’t know what they’re going to do, though. Go after Rafael Furcal, Orlando Cabrera or the newly-LASIKed Cristian Guzman? Bring back Eck for a year? Go with McDonald and Scutaro for a season? Make a trade? There are lots of options.

    - Sam McLean
  285. 285.


    What do you know about Gustavo Pierre and what are your thoughts on this market?


    MW: I don’t know anything about Gustavo Pierre other than he’s a big, 16 year-old shortstop from the Dominican and there’s a rumour that the Jays have signed him. What do you mean this market? Latin America? There have been TONS of great players that have come out of there.

    - Chris
  286. 286.


    This post is particularly addressed to those of you who find MW condescending. Let me try to re-frame it for you by suggesting that perhaps by taking him too personally you’re missing what I perceive to be his underlying message.

    Any fool can phone into a radio show and vent their spleen and throw around terms like “character”, “grit”, the belief that “so and so has lost the room/the respect of his players”. It makes for mind numbingly boring, predictable radio and a 3 game winning streak will clear it up and a 3 game losing streak is sure to bring it back again.

    Maybe, just maybe Mike is trying to get you to do better than that because HE KNOWS THAT EVERYONE CAPABLE OF FORMING A RATIONAL THOUGHT IS CAPABLE OF DOING MORE THAN SPOUTING THE USUAL TRIPE SPORTS CLICHES, WHICH AFTER ALL ARE THE DOMAIN OF THE SIMPLE-MINDED. Sorry for all the capitals Mike, but screaming for lack of a better word is good. Screaming works (sometimes).

    Perhaps all Mike is trying to do is get you to “raise your game” and bring your Baseball I.Q. up a notch. I find this quite refreshing and I think a lot of others do too, judging by the number of comments that say “Mike, you’ve taught me more about baseball than anyone except my dad/grandfather etc.”

    Now, why would Mike want to do this? Well, from a selfish perspective his ratings should go up because the general level of discourse should go up as fans learn more about the game they call baseball. But, I’m not convinced that’s the extent of it. I think Mike enjoys the role of teacher/coach and like any good teacher or coach he enjoys pushing people to get better. I think he feels it’s part of the job to help the listeners become smarter baseball fans and “pass it on”. How am I doing so far Mike?

    I’ll close with a personal anecdote. There’s a Jays blog still in existence and I was a long time lurker there and decided it was time to make my first post. I was full of p**s and vinegar (and myself) and vented my spleen about how so and so should be fired etc etc and used no tangible, objective evidence to back these rambling assertions up. There was a member there who happens to be a teacher by trade and he tore a strip up one side of me and down the other. “What a jerk” I thought and avoided that blog for a few days while licking my wounds. Thankfully, I found a way to look past what I thought was a personal attack and eventually came to realize that I could probably learn something from this experience.

    It’s easy to surround yourself with people that agree with your point of view. Kind of gets stagnant though. William Blake said: “Expect poison from standing water” and I’d have to agree with him. So what are you waiting for? There’s room for you in the river, why are you choosing the swamp?

    - Tom
  287. 287.

    mike, being called a “rudey” is a good thing. doesn’t mean you’re rude, not at all. it means you’re a, umm, swell chap. a stand-up guy. so, you’re a rudey.

    and my apologies on the language. won’t happen again!

    MW: Where does the term come from?

    - eyebleaf
  288. 288.

    Hi Mike
    Had a little case of insomnia. A question came to mind.
    How often did Jays bat with a runner at 3rd and how did they fare.
    I threw out walks and just looked at average. Derek (clutch) Jeter was thrown
    in for context. Year 2008 Source MLB.com No particular order
    Player AB avg
    Wells 1 for 8 .125
    Rios 2 for 7 .286
    Wilkerson 2 for 2 1.000
    Stairs 1 for 5 .200
    Scutaro 1 for 4 .250
    Hill 1 for 5 .200
    Rolen 0 for 7 .000
    Overbay 0 for 5 .000
    Eckstein 2 for 8 .250
    Mench 0 for 1 .000
    Inglett 1 for 1 1.000
    Zaun 1 for 3 .333
    Barajas 1 for 3 .333
    D.Jeter 2 for 11 .182

    MW: That’s for the whole year? I’m surprised at how low the AB numbers are, but you did throw out walks.

    - Larry
  289. 289.


    So since you’re sticking with the “it’s still early and it’s not even summer” stance … what if the Jays were to go on a Kansas City type losing streak of 10 games or so from now until the all star break? I assume that won’t matter in the least because it will still be early and it will just be one of the downs of the long baseball season.

    MW: Right – again, this attitude I don’t get. I’m not someone who is going to tell you it’s raining when I’m doing something else to your shoes. If the Jays are 10 games under .500 and 15 games out of the wild card at the all-star break, they’ll need a miracle to make the playoffs. Stranger things have happened, just ask the Houston Astros, but they’ll need a miracle nonetheless. Note, though, that I don’t believe for a second that’s where this team is headed. But then, if I’d told you after April that they’d be 20-10 in May, you’d have just said that I was a homer and an apologist.

    - Peter B.
  290. 290.

    I can’t remember when I have heard a broadcaster who had the stones to call up and answer his ill-informed critics. My estimation of you as a man and a broadcaster has risen again, Mike. We at the Southpaw extend to you a hearty “Attaboy!”

    MW: Why thank you.

    - WillRain
  291. 291.

    Hey Mike

    You point out that the Redsox won the world series with a 17HR/high on-base 1B. True, but the Sox had 40+ power in other spots (dh/lf) that the Jays just don’t have. Our offense is underachieving for sure, but i think the pitching has overachieved to this point. In the end, although i hope i’m wrong, i don’t see this team winning more than 84-88 ball games and they will finish 5-10 games back of the wildcard spot. When this happens, i hope JP gets fired for not signing Bonds and getting this team to the playoffs.

    Anyways, keep up the good work, I very much enjoy both the blogs and the post game chats….

    MW: Thanks – J.P. won’t get fired for not signing Bonds, because the people above him are the ones who wouldn’t let him sign Bonds. You’re right about the Manny/Ortiz thing, but my point stands. Saying you can’t win with a 15-homer 1b simply isn’t true – you do have to have some power in other places, though the Yankees did win three World Series in the late ’90s without a single player who hit as many as 30 homers.

    - rick
  292. 292.

    Mike, this one’s only for you and not for the blog. You don’t have an email, so I can’t contact you any other way.

    MW: I read it, and didn’t find it condescending at all, and while I agree with you on certain points, I’m not going to change the way I do things with regard to language. I actually didn’t know that about Chicago, I just know about the CP style guide.

    - reyes
  293. 293.

    re: post #141

    Yea, Marty has a hate on for the Swirsk….(don’t ask me why??) …..He also has a similar one on for Rance Mulliniks (calls him a homer)….I like all of them, so I’m not gonna take sides…Maybe next time he’s umping one of your games you can get the inside scoop??

    - Bernard
  294. 294.


    Here’s a quote that, for some reason, I’ve had implanted in my mind since childhood:

    “Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocore minds”

    – Albert Einstein

    I don’t want to suggest that you’re Albert Einstein, or the most brilliant baseball strategist that ever lived, nor do I want to insult any of your callers or fans, but the quote is apt in light of the vast audience you communicate with every day. It’s also apt given that other “hockey” commentators in this city are obnoxiously opinionated when it comes to baseball.

    I think Mr. Einstein’s simple message has to be: believe in what you do, and keep doing it regardless of what others think.

    MW: Einstein and I share a birthday.

    - RB
  295. 295.

    I really like your blog and share your feelings on grammar. In reply #223 on the “Take On Me” entry, you blew it. “I don’t know who hangs out with who outside the ballpark.” I’ll let you correct it for the readers.

    I am really hoping for a turnaround for the Cubs series. The hitting with RISP is hard to beleive, it just has to get better, doesn’t it?

    MW: It does. I can never get “who” and “whom” right. It’s one of my major failings, along with logarithms.

    - Matt
  296. 296.

    mike are you legitimately upset with toth?
    have you guys spoken since his show on Wedsnday

    i mentioned on an earlier blog I think the jays need to establish more of a base stealing threat, i dont have the stats on me but they must be towards the bottom of the leageu in base stealing attempts and total bases stolen as well could you check that out for me

    MW: I’m definitely not happy about it, but it’s over. I haven’t spoken to him, but not for any particular reason. It’s not like we hang out or anything, but then, it’s not like the Fan hosts in general hang out. The Blue Jays are 6th in the league in stolen bases, as close to 4th as they are to 7th, and 4th in the league in attempts – they’re averaging just over one attempt per game.

    - josh
  297. 297.

    We love you, Mike. You’re the rarest of sportscasters… you’re REASONABLE.

    (But I still think the Rays are a better team than Toronto, and the White Sox and A’s need to be taken seriously.)

    MW: Thank you – and check again in September, though I’m starting to come around on the White Sox.

    - Michael
  298. 298.

    I just listened to the inane babblings of the cretin filling in for the Bob-Cat and I’m just stunned. I mean I know the guy has all the intelligence, charm and wit of the average blowfly but what a p****!

    As many would know I’ve been a long time listener to Hogie’s show but since very early in his co-hosting days I’ve always tuned out whenever Toth came on. When he subs for Bob-Cat I simply don’t listen or watch the show regardless of who the guests might be. How the co-hosts or members of the round table on that show put up with him is beyond me. The man simply suffers from a bad case of Stellick-Swirsky syndrome – too high on the sound of their own voice and with nothing intelligent to say.

    In the proudest of Aussie traditions my hpe would be that someone in authority somewhere finally gives Toth the swift kick in the a*** he so richly deserves and reminds him there is only one Jim Rome and that he’s an idiot too!

    GO CUBS!

    - "Aussie" Mike
  299. 299.

    Mike I really like how Dan Shulman respondee to Toth’s question. Toth asked Why are broadcasters so sensitive when they dish out harsh critisism as well. Dan responded by saying, we would all be surprised at the number of broadcasters that are very sensitive, He also went on to say that, when you are a braodcaster it is very important to relize that you don’t know everything and you could never be at a point where you have learned all you need to learn. therfore as a broadcaster you must be open to opinion and critism. If you are not, that is when you begin to take things the wrong way.

    Mike can you honestly say that you respectfully disagree, when you disagree with an opinion, or do you arrogantly throw the individual under the bus, by quoting stats that don’t even apply to the current scenario, your stats many times reffer to the distant past. To be quite honest fans and players do not care about ten years ago or even two years ago they care about now.

    By the way do you need people to tell you how much they love you and how much they support you, I would think the only I love you that matters when your in this line of work should be Nelson Nauman’s. You did say your a big boy and you can defend yourself didn’t you?

    MW: I can honestly say that when presented with an opinion that is backed by truth and facts, not feelings and/or faulty memories (or just plain made up stuff), I am respectful in my disagreement. When disrespect is presented, it’s returned. You mean Nelson Millman, by the way. As for what Danny Shulman said, I agree. No one knows everything, and I certainly don’t think that I do. However, I’m confident in my opinions (backed by facts) and wouldn’t take a position on something unless I felt it was right – you’d get wishy-washy radio otherwise. I’m fine with being criticized, but I’m not fine by being thrown under the bus by a teammate when I’m not around.

    - Neil
  300. 300.

    Mike, you should read over the transcripts I believe from the weekend. It was after AJ’s beautiful start(sarcasm) and everyone was calling in and slamming him. Some caller phoned in and started taking about his overall recore in a lifetime, his pitches, or something like that. He was saying that AJ wasn’t good enough to get it done for instance like a Jack Morris with lesser sruff. And you said, and I heard you, that you would take a Burnett and his STUFF over Morris any day. You said it, I heard ya. i wouldn’t make it up.

    MW: The day of A.J.’s start? I’ll listen. But that sounds like something I would say. If you ask me if I want A.J.’s stuff or Morris’ I want A.J.’s.

    - Jason Deneaul
  301. 301.

    Hey Mike,
    I’m a long time listener, and love your show. When listening to your show, I often wonder at your patience (although being the son of teacher… it’s probably genetic)! While there are some good questions, a majority of the callers tend to ask the same questions (or slight variations) over and over again. Your wit is what keeps it interesting :) Personally it’s my weapon of choice as well.

    Thanks for all the brilliant shows!


    MW: My pleasure!

    - Jen
  302. 302.

    Your radio program functions as a public service, teaching argumentative logic to the masses.

    I’ve always commended you for having the cajones to treat commercial sports-talk radio as an opportunity for academic, if often tragically one-sided, debate.


    MW: Why thank you.

    - MG
  303. 303.

    Re Jack Morris:

    “Stuff” aside, Morris was a legend because he could often win the big game. He was way better than a .500 pitcher.

    Burnett has broken 200 innings twice (barely) in his career. You would have to agree that you would take the make up and character of Morris over Burnett. Wouldn’t you?

    MW: I would, but more the durability. But I still like Burnett’s stuff better.

    - Rob M
  304. 304.

    Mike, although I never heard what Toth exactly said, I just want you to know that I think that you are a great broadcaster. Keep up the great work. I also wondered where I could listen to Toth’s comments so I could hear exactly what was being discussed. Thanks, Mike.

    MW: As far as I know, they’re not available.

    - Ross
  305. 305.

    There is no legitimate baseball reason to give a healthy, all-star calibre everyday player three days off out of six. Therefore, if Rolen was healthy, he should have been in the lineup.

    You raise another point that bothers me about the way the Jays are being managed. If it’s true that B.J. Ryan was going to pitch the ninth regardless of how long Marcum pitched, then that is irresponsible managing. If Ryan still needs to come into certain games as part of his healing process, then he should still be in the minors. You can’t put one player ahead of the team. If he had been in a zone and pitching lights out in recent games, that would be one thing. The way he’s pitching, he should not be brought in when the game is tied.

    MW: I don’t believe Rolen is healthy, and I don’t believe that Ryan would have pitched in the 9th because of the healing process, but because he was the best option.

    - Shmuel
  306. 306.

    Mike, I just commented on another thread, but, for what it’s worth I think Mike Toth crossed a line in terms of letting one show be used ‘against’ another show. But remember, people rip people behind their backs all the time. Do people only insult Paris Hilton when she’s in the room? Do people wait until Stephen Harper can hear them until they call him an idiot? The world does not work like that. Sure – you should also have the guts to insult people to their face, but you can’t entirely write off people’s right to express an opinion. So Toth crossed a line. The callers were just saying what they thought, given a platform. I would not have done it, but I don’t think they were unethical.

    I can imagine you two are chalk and cheese in terms of your approach to bsaeball (and Toth’s really a hockey guy, no?) However I also have to say I really like his shows. I sort of look forward to him filling in for McCown. On Friday’s PTS Toth seemed to be a bit apologetic, and implied he got into a lot of trouble, maybe from the bosses?, so maybe he’s learned his lesson?!

    He’s been brave in his own way over the years – I’ve heard him talking about depression and the problems it caused his first marriage, and how he used to hide under his desk to avoid people. That takes some guts in the macho Fan590 building I would guess. It also could seriously threaten your career prospects! So I think he was wrong, and I think he is a fundamentally different sort of broadcaster to you, but I think he also has his place.

    Oh. Keep Burnett. he’s the best 5th starter in baseball. A serious trade up from John Towers. (I’m only being partly tongue in cheek.) Why not pay a gazillion dollars for your 5th starter when your 2nd, 3rd and 4th cost peanuts? In only 8 years of watching baseball it’s seemed to me you should never trade away good (or even moderate) starters. Period.

    MW: Chalk and cheese? I like it.

    - Ben
  307. 307.


    I rarely listen to the radio or read the papers anymore due to the reactionary, venom-filled, and inaccurate reporting, as well as reliance on “motivation” and “effort” to explain sporting results.

    By happenstance I turned on the Fan while in the car on Saturday and came across a voice talking about Eckstein and his two World Series rings.

    I was overjoyed when this person was correctly called out by you, while Eckstein was indeed on two champion teams, that is far more due to luck than anything.

    I will now make an effort to listen to you more often. Perhaps you could be more civil, but so long as you don’t venture into the name calling business that many of your peers have I don’t have any problem with it.

    Thanks again from a new fan.

    MW: Glad to have you aboard!

    - Brent
  308. 308.

    “When disrespect is presented, it’s returned.”

    Not that I should be talking, but don’t you think radio personalities should be able to take the high ground?

    MW: Why?

    - Dan W
  309. 309.

    There is an amazing ability to hate the anonymous person out there (just ask Willie Randolph), but it seems to me the Jays are 1-2 solid young-ish bats away from being contenders.

    Reed Johnson – great singles hitter v. lefties but not much else. Really no huge loss for the Jays.

    You – hey, its very difficult to be honest and not get hostility. Just remember how many people despised Cosell (not that you are similar, but valid comparison). To quote Harry S. Truman, former PM of the United States “I don’t give ‘em hell, I give them the truth and they think its hell”.

    MW: I like the Truman quote.

    - Ilan Woll
  310. 310.

    How is it fair for broadcasters and writers to critique and judge players, yet they feel they should be free of all criticism? Broadcasters/writers should be held to the same standard as those they write about or discuss.

    MW: Who says that broadcasters and writers should be free from all criticism?

    - Dave
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