12:45 AM Eastern

Turns out the Rays had the Blue Jays right where they wanted them – leading by a run heading into the 9th.

It wasn’t as ugly as last night’s debacle – at the very least the Rays earned this one by swinging the bat, but it left as sour a taste in the mouths of Blue Jays fans.

Shaun Marcum was dealing through eight innings.  He hadn’t allowed an earned run (with some help from Sean Rodriguez skipping over third base on the way home) and had retired seven hitters in a row, getting through the 7th and 8th innings on just 13 pitches combined.  His pitch count was in the mid-90s, and given what had happened last night, there was no reason for him not to start the 9th.  And he started the inning with back-up, with Scott Downs and Jason Frasor warming up at the beginning of the inning.

The inning started with a pair of very hard-hit singles by Sean Rodriguez and Ben Zobrist, and Marcum then got a ground ball to short from pinch-hitter John Jaso that wasn’t hit hard enough to turn a double play.  Zobrist drilled Aaron Hill at second, preventing a throw to first, but there was one out.

Dioner Navarro followed with a safety squeeze, which was defended perfectly by Lyle Overbay until it was time to throw.  Overbay had trouble getting the ball out of his glove and couldn’t get off a good throw home, so Rodriguez scored the tying run.

At that point, with runners at first and second and one out in a tie game and Marcum’s pitch count having reached 110, it was time to get the Jays’ starter out of the game.  Instead, though, an old unwritten rule was followed – Marcum had pitched well enough to win (of that there is no doubt), so he needed to be given the opportunity to get out of the inning tied so he could still be the pitcher of record if the Jays scored in the bottom of the 9th, and get the win.

So he was left in to face Reid Brignac, who has struck out against Scott Downs in each of his two career appearances against him (irrelevant, but important to the manager), and Brignac doubled in the go-ahead run.  Then Jason Frasor came in and walked B.J. Upton, and Downs came in and served up a grand slam to Carl Crawford.  Game, set, match.

It’s too bad it ended that way, just as it’s too bad that Tuesday night’s game ended the way it did.  I know a lot of fans don’t see it this way, but the fact that the Jays went into the 9th inning with the lead in all three games against the Rays is actually a terrific sign.  Twice they didn’t hold the lead, but those things are rare events indeed.  The Jays are now 27-4 this season when they take a lead into the 9th inning.  There’s no doubt they can compete with the Rays, even though they’re 2-4 against them this year.  Just like there’s no doubt they can compete with the Red Sox, even though they’re 1-5 against them this year (four one-run games and a two-run loss).  Next up, the Yankees.

I mentioned at the beginning of tonight’s Miked Up LIVE! that I had had a lovely discussion with the manager before the game, and that it was probably the last time we’ll talk, and some of you wanted details.  Here you go:

Before the game, I had a discussion with Cito Gaston about the things I pointed out in last night’s blog post – about how he’d painted himself into a corner by not holding Shawn Camp and Scott Downs back.  In the pre-game media scrum, Cito mentioned that taking Gregg out for Rommie Lewis or David Purcey wasn’t an option, but that if he’d still had Downs or Camp or Frasor available, he would have made a move before the Rays had taken the lead.  So I asked him why he had removed Camp after having him only throw six pitches, with the ninth hitter at the plate, two out and nobody on in the 8th.  Cito’s answer was “Have you looked at the stats?”.  I said no, but that I couldn’t have imagined that Brignac could have more than three at-bats against either Downs or Camp, so it wouldn’t matter.  His answer, again, was “you should look at the stats.”  So I did, and they showed that Brignac had never faced Camp, and that going into last night’s game, he had faced Downs once and struck out.  Obviously, one at-bat means less than nothing.  It’s the same as having had no history against him, like Camp had.  Cito asked a few minutes later if I’d seen the stats, and I told him the numbers and he said “that’s right”.  Still wanting a real answer, I said “but you trust Camp, right?  You’ve used him against lefties.” At which point I was interrupted by the Jays’ communications staff, saying that a question had been asked and answered.  I explained that I was just trying to point out that he could have had Downs for the 9th had he left Camp in, and then Cito told me to look at Downs’ stats against the Rays (I’m sure the Crawford slam only adds to that argument).

Downs stats against the Rays as a whole were irrelevant to the discussion, since Cito had already said that if he had had Downs available in the 9th, he’d have used him to bail out Gregg.  But I didn’t get to make that point, because Cito went on to tell me that it’s a lot tougher in his seat and that he can’t just sit there and blurt out anything that comes into his head.  That was enough of the discussion for me.  I think he also suggested I should come down and try managing, and I’m regretting that I didn’t take him up on the offer.  I’d say that I’ll say yes the next time he offers, but I doubt it will come up again.

It’s unfortunate that I can’t have a legitimate discussion about strategy with the manager without him feeling as though he’s being attacked (or at least reacting as though he’s being attacked – I don’t know what he was feeling), but such is life.  I don’t need to be belittled by the skipper in front of the entire assemblage when I’m asking legitimate, rational questions about a situation that he brought up earlier in a conversation.

It was definitely a rough day for me at the ballpark, and then a rough day for the Blue Jays.  I’m very much looking forward to the day off.

Here’s tonight’s edition of The JaysTalk, for your listening pleasure:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Tonight’s edition of “Miked Up LIVE!” got awfully busy again, which is both good and bad.  Starting with Friday night’s game, I’ll be putting up a link to an FAQ page, which I hope will cut down on some of the repetitiveness, and I’m going to ask for a few things from the contributors, such as no predictions (he’s gonna hit a homer here), no stating the obvious (they could really use a double play) and no celebratory comments (wow! or what a terrific play by whomever).  The goal of the exercise is for as many of you to get as many of your comments posted and answered as possible, and when someone makes a terrific play and I have to run through 40 “wow”s, it makes me fall way behind in the posting and leads to deleting some points of discussion that might otherwise be really good simply because I have to fight too hard to catch up.  Hopefully, that’ll help.  If not, I’ll go back to the drawing board, I guess.  Here’s tonight’s transcript:

173 Responses to “Again?”
  1. 1.

    Cito vs. Mike Wilner

    This situation is not unlike many rational, reasonable blog commenters or callers on Jays Talk who offer differing opinions to yours or challenge points that you “have brought up earlier” yourself.

    Just like it’s easy for you to take the easy way out and refuse to engage legitimate and rational callers/bloggers — borderline belittling some callers —Cito doesn’t have to get in a detailed debate with you.

    Not every manager in baseball is going to go over every situation in fine detail with a reporter questioning every move.

    It’s not personal.

    - Ken Pagan
  2. 2.

    maybe Cito didn’t think your comments were rational or reasonable.

    - jamiedew
  3. 3.

    Mike, I rarely post on here anymore knowing that comments dont get answered here. But after reading this, I feel compelled to.

    It takes guts to do what you do. You are a legit journalist in a world where that entity is going the way of the Do Do bird. Its easy to go with the flow and not ask the tough questions. So many reporters do. They want to be in the good graces after all.

    You knew you were opening yourself up to some resistance going down your line of questions, yet you went in anyway. That is admirable. Your points and questions are completely legit, and many of us fans had the same questions, yet are not able to ask them. For that you are our mouthpiece.

    I think (and this is sheer speculation) that Cito behaved the way he did because he HAD no good reason. There really is no good reason. To conjure up stats as the reason is

    a. not supported by the stats.
    b. not the way cito operates anyway.

    i think this blog and now its new form, the live blog, as well as the jays talk have done so much for jays fans across the continent. journalistic integrity is one of the main reasons why these forums have met with such success. we know you are not a company schill and that the ideas you put forth are truly from the hear/mind.

    but about overbay…….just kidding.

    - General Zod
  4. 4.

    Mike,
    While most of the time I find you very short with callers (mainly why I don’t call in), I’m glad you took that attitude to Cito. The first Rays win was Cito’s fault, and even though it can be debated both ways, I believe the second Ray win was also his. Marcum, sitting at 96 pitches did not need to start the 9th, and anyone worth their weight in salt knows that after pitch 95, the quality and control drops exponentially. Cito is supposed to help the team win, not allow Marcum to lose by himself.

    - Chris
  5. 5.

    Thank you for these reports. I appreciate receiving your perspective as it helps to keep me interested in following the Jays.

    I’m very glad that you put Cito’s feet to the fire. Keep it up!!

    Enjoy the day off.

    Bring on the Yanks!

    Bill Oliver

    - Bill Oliver
  6. 6.

    Good on you Mike for asking the legit questions you did! Not surpising at all that Gaston would answer as he did and come across like he was being attacked. That is typical Cito, a guy who is so insecure when it comes to anyone having a question about any of his in-game moves that it removes the chance of having any kind of meaningful or sensible conversation.

    Pathetic is more like the word that comes to mind when people react in a way that it makes it impossible to continue a conversation!

    Yes, I agree it was Marcums’ game to win or otherwise. However, a half decent field boss is going to look at his starter closely in the ninth, be aware of his bullpen readiness and make the appropriate move. His starter was done before the tying run was scored yet he (Gaston)made the choice to leave him in there. Gaston has shown time and time again he is incapable of making the move when he should and more than able to make the wrong ones at critical times.

    As to your questions and/or conversation on the previous nights game. “Have you looked at the stats”? What kind of answer is that? I would say it was his only answer as he was obviously not aware of the stats himself! The appropriate response to his question, and in this case was; “have you”?

    You put him in a legitimate position, nothing unfair or questionable about what you asked him and I am damn sure AA is asking himself the same questions with regard to his skipper! I would not doubt there is a little friction in the front office with AA questioning the Jays skipper’s lack of moves or moves in general and with Beeston defending them.

    I feel for you Mike as a result of your ordeal with Cito. It is just so frustrating when anyone has to deal with that kind of defensive positioning that others put themselves in at times like you just experienced. He is very good at shutting down a conversation that he perceives as a personal attack on him. Too bad he could not get that good at doing his job!

    I think, had you said “yes” as to doing his job it would have made you look foolish, which is exactly what he would have wanted. You made the right move by backing away from that situation.

    Tha Jays will be fine, with proper managing there was a better than average chance of sweeping the Rays over these 3 games and I am sure their confidence is as strong if not stronger than before when it comes to playing against the division leaders. Look out Yanks, you’re about to get an ass kicking.

    Keep up the great work Mike! Here’s to better days ahead for you at the ballpark. It’s no loss for you if you never have any further conversations with the field boss. You would do better speaking to a 3 year old, when you get responses like you did. Someday Cito will get it, that is is better to be thought of as being insecure, than to remove all doubt by doing again what he did with you. I take solace in the fact that even a guy with about 17 years MLB playing experience (Alan Ashby) either directly or in-directly questions some of Citos’ moves or lack of during the games many times.

    - Bob (Burlington)
  7. 7.

    A p.s. to my previous comment.

    Thanks Mike, for asking the questions that many of us would love to have the opportunity to do so. Times like this are one of the biggest reasons that I enjoy reading your post game blogs far more than I do the beat reporters.

    I get a laugh and I get ticked off when I read columns by some of the sports scribes in Toronto when it comes to the Jays. They get nervy at times when questioning Gaston and his moves or lack of – but only in print. It’s a joke! At least you have the guts to openly ask the questions that many of them would never even think of doing, but without a doubt are pleased that you do.

    So, thanks again Mike for being the voice of the Jays fans and in particular the voice for the MLB fans in general. Journalists like yourself are few and far between.

    As I always type in closing my comments, “keep on doing what you do best Mike”! It could not be more appropriate or fitting as right now! Take care.

    - Bob (Burlington)
  8. 8.

    Mike, I got your back on this one. I am sick and tired of Cito. He was a good manager and is a good hitting coach. I RESPECT the man, but he is to old school, in my opinion. Here are some of my recollections where Cito has cost us games:
    1. Home opener, Tallet going one extra inning and allowing the game to be tied. Followed it by bringing in Accardo over Gregg in the tenth
    2. Forgetting about Randy Ruiz in the the third KC game.
    3. In the past he has lifted Camp for Janssen a couple of times, promptly followed by Janssen blowing up. (I re-call the TB and Bos series in mid April)
    4. Using up all Camp, Downs, Janssen and Frasor from innings 6-8 leaving him with only Gregg, Roenicke/Purcey/Valdez/Lewis.

    Those are some that stand out for me and I am sure there are more. I am glad he is leaving after this year and the Jays will have a serious manager after 2010!

    - Shakeel
  9. 9.

    I agree with the last few posters. I’m glad you are covering the team and asking Cito the hard questions. Keep up the great work!

    - Jeff Phillips
  10. 10.

    Hi, Mike:

    I know that you are no longer answering these blog comments, and since for various reasons I don’t participate in the live blog, I don’t know of any other way to raise a point that is beginning to really intrigue me — so here goes, in the hopes that you may find a way to address it at some not-to-distant future date.

    I have been tracking the Jays minor league teams all season, and notice that two Canadians are really raking in New Hampshire — Adam Loewen and Shawn Bowman.

    In the last 10 games, their slash lines are as follows:

    Loewen-.382/.462/.706/1.167
    Bowman-.385/.415/.615/1.030

    Loewen is now at .291 for the season, with 7 HR (.291/.389/.497/.886).

    Bowman is even better: .315/.411/.515/.926, with 5 HR.

    Loewen has had a certain amount of publicity, in that everyone knows his “history” as a pitcher with the O’s, now trying (apparently with some success) to convert to a hitter.

    Bowman has pretty much flown under the radar, I believe, but with third base being one of the perceived “weak spots” in the Jays’ system, he looks like he could be a good one, providing his defense is ok.

    The fact that both of these guys are Canadian is certainly “incidental” to the big picture, but it would not hurt a bit from a marketing viewpoint if either of them were to make it to the bigs as a Blue Jay.

    I’d be grateful, Mike, if you could work into one of your regular blogs a comment about some of these perhaps “lesser” prospects who are on the way — we hear quite a bit about Wallace, Arencibia, and the host of good young pitching, but I’m sure would like to know more about some of these other guys who are doing really well so far.

    Thanks, Mike

    - Norm
  11. 11.

    The average IQ of the callers tonight seemed to be somewhere between 80 and 90. Makes for a rough night for a radio host.

    - The Watcher
  12. 12.

    after watching the Jays flounder these last two games it is proving my argument about Clarence. I watched madden switch players to get the desired match up while clarence sat in the dug out twidling his thumbs and fiddling while Rome burned.

    Your conversation with him only proves what I have thought all along. He is out of step with the modern game and has deluded himself into believing that he is infallible. There is a reason he wasn’t hired on anywhere else when the Jays cut him the first time, and it’s not as he suggests, because of racism. He simply isn’t up to the task at hand

    - Daniel Gallagher
  13. 13.

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for asking the tough questions.

    - Fraser
  14. 14.

    I agree that Cito totally mismanaged the last two games. He may lose the team over this as he apparently did at some point last year.
    However, some Jays fans may remember that this situation is not dissimilar to the 1983-84 seasons when good young Jays squads were just not quite good enough, having no dominant closer in the pen.

    - Jason Smith
  15. 15.

    michael,
    point very well made re: the positive side of the fact that this team took leads into 9th on 2 occasions vs. an apparently perceived more talented & better team.
    “should not” be overlooked.
    not like the previous orioles series or other examples similar where the opponent wasn’t even in the game from the get go & really never had a sniff because at the end of the day, just simply weren’t as good.
    stock needs to taken on that reality it seems to me.
    and on the cito thing. well there’s no more to be said is there? except maybe… that he’s got bruce walton the pitching coach of this team snuggled in beside him game in & game out. and they do seem to be talking about things on a constant basis. and pretty sure they’re not talking about the hitters.
    so let’s give that notion a possibility in fairness can we? are we saying that the manager gives all the respect in the world to the players to do their job & lets them play it out but doesn’t do the same for his coaches. they’re conversing for a reason i’m quite sure, even if he has the final say it’s after those same conversations with his pitching cohort side kick.
    just sayin’………

    - darrell bishop
  16. 16.

    Beeston allowed his personal attachments to dictate his handling of the manager’s spot and it is now bearing fruit.

    this team’s development and progression should not be compromised to massage the ego of someone coasting off a 17 year old resumé.

    ABC – anyone but Cito.

    - mike
  17. 17.

    Good for you Mike!

    There is a reason why you are the best reporter in town.

    - JB
  18. 18.

    “Marcum, sitting at 96 pitches did not need to start the 9th, and anyone worth their weight in salt knows that after pitch 95, the quality and control drops exponentially. Cito is supposed to help the team win, not allow Marcum to lose by himself.”

    Geez, I’ve been following baseball closely for 43 years, and I sure didn’t know that everytime a pitcher throws 95 pitches that from that point on his performance automatically drops. Cito’s been in profesional baseball since the 1960′s – yet somehow he hasn’t quite caught on either..

    Definitely one of silliest blogs yet…

    - ken
  19. 19.

    Mike,

    Tony Larussa once said that any reporter can question him on anything he wants, all he asks is that he talk to him before doing so.

    Do you regularly talk with Cito about things you question him on? It would seem fair from a journalistic point of view to get both sides of any discussion before passing judgement?

    I notice that you do not comment on posts anymore, which is unfortunate.

    Thanks for the time

    - Sean
  20. 20.

    I do not call in either.

    Last night for example, one called had about 6 words out of his mouth and you jumped all over him.

    Please allow the callers to articulate themselves, if they are wrong you will have plenty of time to tell them about it.

    Thank you.

    - Sean
  21. 21.

    Keep up the good work Mike. I don’t post ever, but I appreciate your work and specifically appreciate your analysis of in-game strategy. Hope you don’t let Cito’s reaction affect what I perceive as consistently fair and balanced analysis.

    - Matthew Hills
  22. 22.

    And about Overbay… there may not be such a thing as a clutch hitter or very few but career numbers for Lyle show that his batting average with RISP is 26 points lower than his batting average…0.249 vs 0.275…

    His defense is great but I don’t think he should ever have been put in a high RBI spot like batting 5th..

    - Jay Anderson
  23. 23.

    Although any MLB manager can make mistakes, we’ve seen several from Cito this year.

    Had Cito been new to management, I suspect there’d be far more scrutiny on these “rookie mistakes”, but as a senior manager, the free-pass effect continues.

    I think you (we) have the right to discuss them, and certainly I appreciate your cajones in brining it up to him in person. Your point is completely legitimate.

    That being said, I think you’re in a tough position Mike. No manager will appreciate detailed criticism, so you’re in a lose-lose scenario:

    -talk about it on air as a valid discussion point and you come across (by some) as anti-Cito and not willing to bring it up to him in person;

    -bring it up to him in person, and you risk offending him, and lose out on future interviews.

    Tough spot.

    Anyway, keep it up Mike – you do an amazing job, and your insights (even if “offensive” to Cito) are what make you so worthwhile listening to.

    - Implied Aural Consent
  24. 24.

    Mike,

    I direct you to this quote from Cito on things Fred Lewis needs to work on (defense, base running, etc) from today’s Globe:

    “I can see sometimes that he needs some work here or there, but I think that’s something that whoever’s here next year will address,” Gaston said.

    Why wouldn’t The Manager do something about it, you know, THIS year?! Is that statement not telling about his mindset as a manager this year? How much more stuff is he letting slide because it’s his last year and he just doesn’t want to deal with it?

    - Kevin A.
  25. 25.

    Hi Mike
    Great assessment of the game. Cito is on the hot seat from my perspective for this and a number of other games where he has not handled the late innings well, potentiall costing the Jays wins.

    i wanted to ask you about blown calls and wether MLB should institute the ‘instent replay’?

    Did we not see another example of why there should be instant replays the other night in Detroit when the ump blew the call, costing Gallaraga a Perfect Game! Unbelievable.

    shouldn’t close plays that could cost a team a win or a pitcher a perfect game be reviewed. They do it for foul balls, home runs, why not for ‘bang bang plays’.

    To a lesser extent, during last nights Jays game, Rodriguez stepped on the third base bag in the 9th with his heel and the ump missed the play, costing the Rays a run on the challenge by the Jays. (all for not, unfortunately for the Jays, but it could have been the difference in the game)

    Interestingly enough, both of these misses were very similar.

    The play was unusual in that the first basemen in the Detriot game and base runner last night both went to the bag in an awkward fashion, tagging the base with the heel of their foot. Umps typically see the play the same way every day and are not conditioned for quick, unconventional plays.

    In both of these cases the call was blown, in both cases the play was unusual. A review would have made it right.

    what’s your take?
    Enjoy your day off!
    Thanks,

    - Sheldon
  26. 26.

    michael,
    and how about that carl crawford ?
    he’s certainly some kind of ballplayer.
    don’t get me wrong, he’s no fred lewis but he’s pretty good.
    and here some were thinking that carl c. would be a real nice pick up. but by looking at our guy freddy l. it seems we won’t be needing carl l’s services any longer.
    loving our guy freddy l. & what he brings to the table, for a small pittance of the money…..
    way to go freddy & way to alex. a.
    nice pick up….

    - darrell bishop
  27. 27.

    Enjoy your night off, Mike. Tough luck last night against Cito, but what did you expect? Maybe the stats he had didn’t match the stats you had or maybe he’s looking at a class of hitters instead of a single hitter. Still, I don’t get Cito’s decision making at all. Unwritten rule or not, Marcum was dying out there on the mound and to leave him out there was absolutely ridiculous.

    Last night, I made a comment that the Jays have a propensity to lose to the Rays in the 9th or later with a lead or tie. Let’s look at 4 particular examples last year:

    July 7: Jays in Tampa tie the game 1-1 at the top of the eighth. Burrell hits a home run against Brandon League in the bottom of the 11th.

    July 8: Jays in Tampa tie the game by scoring 3 in the top of the 7th. In the bottom of the 9th, Scott Downs with one on and two out (Crawford on 2nd) comes on to face Pena. Crawford steals 3rd and Pena walks. Zobrist hits a single to score Pena to win the game.

    July 24: Jays at home were tied 2-2 at the end of the 3rd which held until the top of the 10th (Downs pitching) when Longoria doubles to the gap in left, scoring Upton (FC) and Crawford (BB). Tampa wins 4-2.

    July 25: Jays at home was up 9-1 at the end of 6. Tampa scores 4 in the 7th, 2 in the 8th, and 2 in the 9th to tie. Pena and Aybar tied it in the 9th with Downs on the mound. Joe Bartlett doubles at the top of the 12th against Shawn Camp to drive in Zobrist and the Rays win 10-9.

    What’s in common: Scott Downs in 3 of 4 last inning losses. Luck, or does the Jays have Scott Downs’ number?

    - Tim
  28. 28.

    Mike,

    I’m presuming you still read these but I might be wrong. I think my concerns about the bullpen are playing out.

    I still don’t think this is better than a 70 win team in this division, but there is a potentially excellent core with Hill, Lind, Snider, Romero, Marcum, Cecil and some minor league arms.

    I miss our debate about minor leaguers….counting last year I listed the Jays minor leaguers as non prospects:

    J. Jackson, Ahrens, Hechavarria, Wallace, Cooper, Arencibia, Drabek

    So far this year they have all played at a level that strengthens my belief that they aren’t really prospects (with the possible exception of Drabek – although I still don’t think he’s done anything particularly exciting – he just hasn’t played to a level that makes you say dream on).

    On a good news front – Loewen just keeps getting better….886ops and seemingly getting better ever month since his transition..this is a cool story.

    Jerolman (who you might remember I said was a way better prospect than Arencibia) has 1.005 ops and a .468 ob%. His K rate is way too high for him to hit much above .250-.260 or so in the majors but those walks and his reported strong defence could make him a real decent catcher.

    Collins is still a little wild 4.5bb/game but 15.23K’s per/game at AA. This guy is a potential closer. I don’t give a crap how tall he is – anyone who can strike out guys at this rate is a potential star closer.

    - Jim Maron
  29. 29.

    Thanks for all of your hard work, Mike. I’m just starting to follow the Jays again this year, and have been loving this season so far. As for last night, I have no problem letting Marcum stay in for the night, but as soon as he had two base runners, I’d have gone to the pen, as at that point he was no longer in the position to win. Cito left Marcum in, and the rest is history.
    We’re actually coming down to the Big Smoke for Saturday’s tilt. Here’s hoping for a good one!

    - Randy
  30. 30.

    I regret your intent was misinterpreted by Mr Clarence Gaston of the Toronto Blue Jays. I especially regret it because you give an intelligent and eloquent voice to that which many serious fans wonder and worry about every game.

    For the Blue Jays to not realize that you speak for the fans who don’t have your kind of access is a shame. You are still my kind of guy, quick witted, thoughtful and reasonable. Please keep on doing what you do, it is in the best spirit of your profession.

    - Greg W
  31. 31.

    Cito has always given the impression of a calm, warm fatherly-like figure, but he’s always struck me as a bit of a prickly character with a chip on his shoulder.

    Good for you for pressing your point!

    In this game of egos and prima donnas and big money, wasn’t it nice to see how classy Armando Galarraga handled the blown call? People should watch his post-game interview. The umpire was fantastic too. It’s amazing that when given the right type of people, a negative can be turned into a positive.

    - OzRob
  32. 32.

    Great comment by Ken above on Cito vs Wilner. I was going to make the same point but Ken made it in better fashion. Mike Wilner should think of Cito the next time he blows off a caller he doesn’t agree with by going off on a tangent to avoid the issue. It happens all the time. And that’s a rationale, reasonable comment.

    - John
  33. 33.

    Hey Mike,

    With the draft coming up Monday, maybe as part of your Jays talk you could play some clips from years back, if available, of what J.P or whoever said about their thoughts on the top Jays picks right after the draft. It would be fun to hear a few years after the draft as to how they turned out compared to initial expectations.

    Keep up the good work!!

    Steve

    - Steve
  34. 34.

    @Ken Pagan
    Are you kidding? Listen to the Jays talk embedded in this post: most of the people who call in just make up facts — and that happens just about every day. I have rarely heard a rational caller get belittled by Mike. He can be somewhat sarcastic when he disagrees with someone, but those callers are usually sarcastic or aggressive themselves.

    - terry the censor
  35. 35.

    What a day yesterday as a buddy and myself made the trek down the QEW to Buffalo to watch pitching phenom Stephen Strasburg showoff his stuff before heading to the big show.

    This guy is for real without a doubt! A fastball that can reach triple digits (not yesterday however) and curveball that will leave many looking like statues at the plate.

    I never like to compare one player another, however I guess if you had to compare this guy to anyone it would be to a young AJ Burnett – only this guy has the control AJ never had at that age! He is going to be a real treat to watch in MLB.

    Coca-Cola (Pilot) field is about as close as you can get to having an MLB feel for a minor league ballpark. We sat in the field level seats and were just in awe of this young mans’ talent. It was a real treat.

    I don’t know if you ever saw this guy in Fla during spring training or not Mike, but when you do and being the baseball crazy guy you are, your gonna love watching him work.

    Keep on doing what you do best and thanks for the opportunity to keep on commenting here on your blog.

    - Bob (Burlington)
  36. 36.

    Neither Downs, Frasor or Janssen are going to help this team much against contending teams. Frasor just throws fastballs, Downs just throws cutters, and Janssen has no stuff to begin with. Downs used to be dominant when he threw about 40 to 50% curves. He doesn’t do that anymore. And when he’s in the game, whether he gets outs or not, he always gets hit hard. Frasor is afraid to go to any secondary pitch it seems, and he will pay against the better teams. While Janssen has been mostly awful ever since he returned from surgery last year.

    - Will, Oshawa
  37. 37.

    Hey Mike,

    I know you probably havn’t talked about the Draft this Monday much, but this is just me throwing it out there and saying that I hope AA choses Karsten Whitson with #11 spot if he’s avaiable !

    The guy is legit and has top flight stuff – definetly on par with a Kyle Drabek but with more velocity and the best slider in the class as opposed to the curve.

    Its to bad you had a bad day Mike but Cito manages from his gut, and his gut told him that, “people make their own ‘stats’ fate, Billy Zane Titanic.

    Its ok if you didn’t get the office reference, but the msg is clear, you don’t need to be educated and rational to manage a baseball team, you just have to follow our friend Billy Zane’s advice.

    Here’s hoping Karsten Whitson is the #11th name called on monday and Billy Zane willing, Austin Wilson at #34.
    (i’d settle for Barrett Loux though)

    Thanks Mike take care and all the best!

    - Miles
  38. 38.

    Mike I don’t understand how you lessen the importance of these 9 games against the Rays and Yanks, but now only after 6 games agianst the Rays your proclaim that there is “No doubt” that the Jays can compete with the Rays. If you can’t take something significant away from 9 games, how can you do that with 6?

    - Ryan McCallen
  39. 39.

    I know this is not the forum for this but I’m hoping someone can help me out.

    I’m a huge Jays fan and a big Wilner fan. I love the post game shows as much or more than the game itself. Is there anywhere to download the post game shows so I can listen to it on my iPod?

    - PChagas
  40. 40.

    Cito seems to have a really thin skin when it comes to anyone questioning him in anyway. I find him very much like Sam Mitchell in that way. Cito is just a less obviously obnoxious. Come to think of it the Leafs coach Ron Wilson is much the same way.

    Don’t worry about being dressed down by Cito – you should think of it the same way Trudeau did when told that Nixon called him an asshole….he replied – “I’ve been called worse by better people.”

    - Jim Maron
  41. 41.

    I just read Lott’s story on the national post which broke about 1/2 hour ago.

    Honestly, if it’s true, and if your “benching” wasn’t voluntary, I’m absolutely disgusted.

    I realize that you work for Rogers and that the Jays is a Rogers product as well. But honestly, you have the right as a baseball journalist (or anyone for that matter) to say what you want and not be disciplined. You should have editorial license, absolutely, as you are a commentator, and a damned good one at that. You and the Jays may report to the same VP (indeed you do), but technically you are a member of the press and should have editorial license to say what you need to say about the Jays.

    That said, you and Cito have your differences and you shouldn’t be surprised by his response.

    Take care, man, and look to blog with you again soon.

    - Tim
  42. 42.

    Heard you got the weekend off, via John Lott. I’ll try to be an adult about my response to hearing that…. take a well deserved rest. And I hope nobody asked you to apologize for anything. You shouldn’t.

    - Greg W
  43. 43.

    Bring Mike back ASAP, please, please, please, pretty please, with a cherry on top. He keeps me interested in following the Jays. Do NOT mess this up.

    - Rob
  44. 44.

    Mike,

    I hope you let us know what happened with management..

    If you are being suspended for questioning Cito`s strategy, then whoever is involved better be prepared for some backlash..

    What makes you great, is that you challenge conventional thinking, and don`t just agree with others… It`s makes for great radio..

    It`s only a matter of time till we lose you to a bigger role, and an incident like this is going to hurt if another market comes calling…

    - Stevie H.
  45. 45.

    I just read about Rogers or the Fan pulling you off the air for the weekend. I am very upset by this move. It strikes of corporate cowardice to me. Fear that Mr Gaston might throw another fit in the media.

    Didn’t see them pulling McCown off the air when Cito called him a racist. Cito is a bully – he uses any card he can whether it’s I’ve played the game, I’ve won World Series or even race to try to win an argument. He is simply a very poor strategic manager and you simply called him out on it.

    I will be voicing my displeasure with the management at the Fan.

    - Jim Maron
  46. 46.

    I am very disappointed in this stations decision regarding mister Wilner. I question how I can support a station, (rogers), or a professional sports team,(rogers), that treats its employees in such a manner. If this situation is not corrected today(Saturday), I will not be attending any further Blue Jay games this year.

    - Brandon
  47. 47.

    Message to anyone who reads this blog. We need to voice our displeasure with Rogers and the Fan590 for their cowardly and wrongful act of pulling Mike Wilner off the air….this is corporate cowardice.

    I have written the Fan590 and voiced my displeasure with the senior management of the Fan and Rogers. I urge you to do the same.

    - Jim Maron
  48. 48.

    Mike,

    Hope to have you back soon! As a season ticket holder, I am very upset the way this Cito thing has been handled. I thought Rogers and the Jays were a class act.

    I look forward to your Blogs and post game commentary as much as the game itself.

    - Adrian Kumar
  49. 49.

    I just saw in the Toronto Sun that Mike has been sent home. Wow! I want to hear if this was the Jays or the Fan 590 pulling the plug on him for his questions to Cito. Who’s next? The Bobcat?

    Either way it seems unacceptable, but I do have to agree that Mike can be harsh to callers. But, I like it as it makes them accountable and it is entertaining. I call in once in awhile and have no trouble as I am able to back-up my comments and/or concerns. Some callers shouldn’t even be calling in and that’s where Mike’s arrogance kicks in. If you called Welland Pirates games you too would be able to rip callers for saying the Jays should go with a bullpen by committee and then a month later jump all over Cito for not doing the same. Good on ya Mike.

    Here’s hoping Dave Trembley or Trey Hillman will be managing the Jays before the year is out. It’s only going to get worse in the dog days when this crusty old fool is below .500. I can smell another player revolt.

    Bring back Mike!

    PS I take offense to Mike’s Blog before this one where he gives Ken Fidlin credit for his idea on Monday to call up Kyle Drabek. I told my brother this at last Saturday’s game and even said I’d call in after the game to tell you! Wish I had as I was ready for your response: “How would they make room on the 40 man roster for him?” I still want to know that answer (as I did try and figure it out), but my response was going to simply be: “I don’t know, but that’s why they pay AA the big bucks.” Kinda like Cito…

    - Shawn in Caledon
  50. 50.

    I applaud Mike for his conversaton with Cito. I thought it was part of the Managers responsibility to meet and answer questions. Why can he not maybe take the high road and just state: My strategy failed this time.

    - Dennis Watson
  51. 51.

    Have you ever heard Mike Wilner on the call in shows. He is a class ‘a’ *&^% ! Talk about being belittled.

    I don’t usually care for his style but for him to ask pointed questions to Cito that every fan was probably thinking and then be disciplined for it well I thin it speaks volumes about the Jays PR department .

    One thing is for sure you watch Cito manage and half the time you wonder if he is watching the same game! And he is very thin skinned.

    - Mark
  52. 52.

    Mike I’m glad you asked the questions you did of the lame duck manager. The fact that Rogers gave you the weekend off is absolutely ridiculous. Rogers censuring news scares me as it should all Canadians. What else has Rogers not allowed us to know?

    I will give Cito credit for his handling of the offense. however he has never been a strategic genius (contrary to what those who forget his mismanagement of the bullpen in 90 – 98 may think). Cito has never been able to give legitimate, statistically based reasons for what he does with pitchers. This and his pride at having to interview (not his race) were the reasons he has not managed any other team.
    Mr. Beeston, It’s time for this relic to go and for you to give your head a shake as the real genius on this team is AA. If you lose AA you may as well fold this team as most Toronto baseball fans will walk away for good.

    - Keith
  53. 53.

    To: the station manager
    Re: Mike Wilner
    Dear Sir,
    I was stunned to learn this morning that Mike Wilner has been suspended from his Fan 590 duties for this weekend’s big series with the New York Yankees. I am an avid listener to Wilner’s pre- and post-game interviews and analysis, as well as a subscriber to his daily blog e-mail that I look forward to reading every morning after a game. You are certainly hurting my enjoyment of the Yankees series – perhaps the most important Jays series of the year, to date – by keeping Mr. Wilner off the air.
    After reading the National Post article this morning and thinking through the possible scenarios, there’s only two possibilities as to what happened here:
    1) Cito, or the Jays PR staff, asked you to punish Mr. Wilner for persistently questioning Cito’s handling of the bullpen the other day. You complied.
    Or:
    2) You somehow felt that Mr. Wilner went “too far” in his criticism of Cito, and you told him to tone it down or face consequences. He refused to agree to censor himself, so you suspended him.
    In either scenario, you come off looking extremely bad. If it occurred as scenario 1, then you have proven that the ego of a baseball manager is more important to you than your journalistic and entertainment integrity. If your allow the Blue Jays and Cito to control your content, then what’s the point of being an independently-owned station? You may as well cede control of the production of Blue Jays Baseball on The Fan 590 to the Jays PR staff, and save yourself some salaries. Then watch your listenership plummet.
    If it went down as in scenario two, then you show yourself to be completely clueless as a program manager, and you should lose your job. Mr. Wilner’s honesty, baseball knowledge, strategic mind, and occasional combativeness, are the reasons we listen to him and love his commentary. If it comes down to a choice between coming back as “a different Mike” or resigning from his job, I hope he resigns. Another station will benefit greatly from his talents; he will be better off with an employer that appreciates him; and you will be left with a duller broadcast, a smaller listening audience, less traffic to your web site, and a station stripped of all its integrity.
    I ask that you return Mr. Wilner to his job, no strings attached, in time for today’s pre-game show.
    Sincerely,
    Neil Flagg
    Toronto

    - Neil Flagg
  54. 54.

    Mike, just heard about your day off (watched the game on TV last night, and didn’t put 2 and 2 together hearing Jerry on Jaystalk when I caught the very end of it.) I’ll just say what I expect a lot of (real) fans to say – this kind of back room move has no place in baseball. I could say a lot more things about honor and honesty, but what’s the point. Cito should take a page from Jim Joyce.

    Over the years, I have learned the hard way to accept the opinions of journalists like yourself, and Richard Griffin. Hope springs eternal at the start of every season, and in years where it might be obvious the Jays don’t have enough, I find myself hoping every player will have a career year. As we all know, what’s supposed to happen, usually does over 162 games. And this is where journalists like you, Richard etc. help out. Somehow you dish out the reality of the situation, without entirely bursting our bubbles. My point is, we need that honesty – the same honesty that you approached Cito with.

    And the blog bears that out – fans enjoy the straight talk. (by the have you noticed the numbers on the MLB/Blue Jays blog go up – that’s as result of the popularity of your blog – something to consider).

    Anyway, as Billy Joel once said, “Don’t go changing…”

    - Bruce Robb
  55. 55.

    Mike,
    I disagree with most of what you say and how you say it. And, I’ll fight anyone who denies you the right to say it.
    good luck and shame on the Fan.
    J.C.

    - jc henry
  56. 56.

    It’s about time Fan management swatted you, it was long overdue…Maybe,it will make you understand how little you know about the game and should check your massive ego at the door before taking any calls from fans..Keep up the good work Fan management

    - gerry
  57. 57.

    Mike, I just read the article in the Sun and have gained a much greater measure of respet for you. Gaston is undoubtdly one of the worst in-game managers in baseball history. That being said, he also is one of the best in winning and maintaining the loyalty of his players. Qualities, you have pointed out numerous times. If he can’t stand the criticism then he should get out of the kitchen. He certainly comes across as nothing more than a big baby or a coward. He called McCown a racist for his criticism and he had to get the bigwigs to intervene in your situation. Honest dissent is the conerstone of any democracy or arganization. Obviously Gaston doesn’t like his deficiencies exposed.

    - brian
  58. 58.

    There is a certain arrogance the Blue Jays management has along with some players in their treatment of you.

    A good example is Beeston’s ignoring of the outrageous concession prices.

    But both you Mike and the Jays are doing a good job this season at the job.

    - Chas
  59. 59.

    Can you confirm the rumour that you’ve got the weekend off because of this incident?

    - Rob M
  60. 60.

    It’s amazing how Cito takes stuff like that personally. If what I’ve heard is true, that confrontation is the reason you are “taking a break” this weekend, which is just plain ridiculous. What ever happened to free press

    - cjohnson
  61. 61.

    Mike while I disagree with a lot of your opinions on baseball (and your love affair withe Beatles) I can’t believe you’ve been banned from the yanks series by the Fan 590 for your comments about Cito. Cito best before date has long since come and gone and I hold him responsible for both those 9th inning debacles against the Rays. I think your bosses underestimate your importan ce on these broadcasts. If Cito can’t take the heat tell him to get the hell out of the kitchen!!! Why he is still managing is an absolute joke. If AA deosen’t have the stones to fire Cito…..somebody else should. He may end up costing us a playoff spot with his ridiculous managerial decisions.

    - Blair Martin
  62. 62.

    Now that the shoe is on the other foot, wear it… You are dismissive of callers to your show, why should Cito not dismiss you?

    Managing baseball is more an art that an exact science, sometimes it works and other times it does not.

    The problem here is not that you questioned Cito about his strategy and actions but it is your continuous attack on the manager. From your stand point Cito is not responsible in anyway for the teams current success but any failures are totally his…
    I think Cito was reacting to your constant arrogance and bashing.

    BTW, as the fans listen to your show, I wonder why they would attend a game to see according to you an inept manager.

    be fair in your comments and treatment of people; you are not the story; the Blue Jays are.

    - Milani
  63. 63.

    Well Mike, at least Cito didn’t accuse you of being a racist like he did with Bob
    McCown.
    I’m sick & tired of Cito’s B.S.
    I can hardly wait until the Jays get a REAL manager.

    - Lobo
  64. 64.

    Mike,

    it is sad that you have to sit for asking a simple question.

    Surely Cito could rise above, respond professionally and explain his reasoning.

    It seems like you (and everyone) has no right to ask critical questions.

    Does your employer prefer you to lob softballs?

    What pitch (Jose) did you hit out?

    What told you the starting pitcher was done?

    Cito is criticism-adverse. Next the ugly race card will arise – because who are you to question him?

    As if.

    Please, keep asking real questions and should your employer disagree, maybe they might reconsider what a reporter’s job is all about.

    If your job was to wear pom-poms, well fine. But real questions merit answers, not contempt.

    Keep up the good work.

    C

    - Cam French
  65. 65.

    Agree 100%. He could have said the he makes judgments all the time. Some will work out, some don’t go so well, and the job of guys like you is to talk about it, but he has to decide on the spot.

    And that’s all he had to say. It would have been big league of him to do so.

    Rogers subsequent reaction is bush league, and raises very real ethical issues.

    “It’s unfortunate that I can’t have a legitimate discussion about strategy with the manager without him feeling as though he’s being attacked (or at least reacting as though he’s being attacked – I don’t know what he was feeling), but such is life. I don’t need to be belittled by the skipper in front of the entire assemblage when I’m asking legitimate, rational questions about a situation that he brought up earlier in a conversation.”

    - Joe Katzman
  66. 66.

    Glad you got reprimanded for your pathetically obnoxious behavior. Every respectable journalist in the MLB manages to get the answers he requires without making a spectacle out of himself like a petulant child. Nobody should care about what you want and why you want it, nor what you think the manager should do. You got your answer, but since you still didn’t agree with his actions you decided to push your personal vendetta to the point of disrespect in front of a host of other reporters trying to get their own answers.

    Enjoy your weekend off, feel free to go searching for some humility with the free time.

    - Mat
  67. 67.

    This is total b.s. When did the Fan become the Politburo? This is really appalling, and unprecedented. If you need me for a sit-in or protest march or fire bombing, I’m in.

    Keep up the great work!

    - Occam
  68. 68.

    Mike…

    I am a LOYAL Reader of the BLOG, but have never responded and am regular listener to you on the FAN and on the pre and post…..have called often and disagree often with you as well….BUT, I respect your work tremendously whether I agree with you or not!

    In light of what has happened this weekend to you, I am compelled to WRITE!..

    Plain and simple, IT SUCKS!…..and I will be calling on every fan call in segment I can to question your ‘ benching’…..the fact that the Jays run their shop the way they do never mind the fact that it sure looks like your new boss Mr. Kollins has Bowed to the Team, well, all I have to say, it’s a VERY DANGEROUS precedent and for a TEAM that needs to get back to their roots of being a classy organization, WOW, this sure isn’t t way ….Muzzling the conduit to FANS like me, NOT GOOD!

    Hang in there….and I know for others like me, you are missed!

    Look forward to your return……

    ps….I guess the positive is not having to deal with your pal Jeter at the Yard this weekend.

    Keep up the GREAT work and CHIN UP!….don’t change!

    David – Toronto.

    - David Forma
  69. 69.

    Unless there is something we don’t know, it’s absolutely absurd that you got shut down today. I may not always agree with you (prob 85%), but you deserve better for asking some tough but fair questions.

    Free Wilner!

    - Darren
  70. 70.

    Zack or Mike:

    Would you please post the podcasts of the JaysTalks from Friday and Saturday? I love listening to them but can’t always listen live and missed those two, which given the wins I am eager to hear. Help please. Thanks.

    - Bob Bott
  71. 71.

    Why does Cito have to explain himself to you? Yes, you have every right to ask a question but Cito has the same right to choose not to answer. Furthermore, perhaps it wasn’t your question that upset Cito but instead the passive aggressive way you presented your query. If you treat him in the manor that you treat your callers I am not surprised that he was short with you. Your inability to show any respect toward callers who do not have the same knowledge as you is especially troubling. You tend to treat them in an insulting manor and do not even listen to their whole point or admit when you are wrong.

    Besides, I remember a few years ago when I called you out for stating that Travis Snider was ranked the #1 prospect in baseball. This was incorrect and I repeatedly asked you for your source to which you responded along the lines of “I can’t remember but I know I read it somewhere”. If one of your callers answered a question this way you would have torn them a new one. Personally I have tuned out of Jays talk for the past year as I found myself getting angry at the shameful way you treat your callers. Hopefully you will learn from the necessary discipline and get off your high horse. When you started on Jays talk I thought you were a FANTASTIC addition and brought a modern perspective to the program. Hopefully you can get back to that in the future and drop the shock jock antics.

    - Dave
  72. 72.

    For your consideration, Mike:
    http://thesouthpawbaseball.blogspot.com/2010/06/free-wilner.html

    All the best regards.

    - WillRain
  73. 73.

    thanks Mike for doing a great job and good luck in the future

    - dave
  74. 74.

    Interesting that Cito called for a sacrifice bunt, from Lewis, advancing Encarnacion. Hill, then, drove him home.
    You have consistently negated the sacrifice bunt (as has Cito, I might add). It looks like surprises never cease!

    - Lex Mackenzie
  75. 75.

    Mike, I’ve been listening to you religiously for six years now. Your blog is the best Jays coverage online. Thank-you for asking Cito the type of question that I as a fan want answered. All this red tape that has come of this is bs, I can’t wait for you to come back.

    - Andrew in Ottawa
  76. 76.

    Hey Mike thanks for all your time and work on the blogs and Jay’s talk and all that, its a big part of my summers. Sorry about the absurd way you were treated this weekend by whoever made that decision.

    - Alex Dineley
  77. 77.

    I am tired of people saying that you are rude or arrogant. I frequently listen to your show, and you are only ever rude to people who really deserve it! Don’t change anything man, you are awesome!
    I hate the Cito was afraid of Brignac. Brignac? Oh man.

    - Kevin
  78. 78.

    Come on people, there’s an awful lot of whining going on here. Are we really that insecure that we can’t have Mr. Wilner offering up opinions other than our own? It seems a lot of Blue Jays callers think Mr. Wilner should just stroke their egos when they call in-regardless of how uninformed their points are.

    Wilner should not be asked to be a propagandist, homer, or cheerleader. As a Blue Jays listener/caller, he’s not there to stroke my ego, especially if I phone in spouting foolishness like “let’s trade our spare parts for another team’s MVP.” He’s not there to agree with me to make me feel good even when I say the most foolish or inane things.

    Mr. Wilner is one of the main reasons why I listen to Jays broadcasts. He’s knowledgeable, intelligent, and a straight shooter. I learn a lot. I’ve never heard him belittle anyone personally, even if he disagrees with what they say. When I’ve been listening to Jays talk, he has been very fair with Cito Gaston and sometimes sticks up for him or gives him the benefit of the doubt. Rather than getting personal, Mr. Wilner backs up what he says with rational explanations.

    I’m disappointed that Mr. Wilner has been ‘given the weekend off’ for asking tough questions that made Mr. Gaston uncomfortable.

    - Stefan
  79. 79.

    This is a direct complaint against the Fan590 and this weekend’s “break” given to Mike Wilner. Mike has been a great member of the Blue Jays broadcasts offering both insightful commentary and valid criticism.

    Mike, I for one hope that if this break has anything to do with sending you a message about what is “off limits” for you to discuss or comment on, I hope that you are able to find an employer who will value the mix of baseball knowledge and journalistic integrety that you have always brought to your work covering this baseball team.

    - Paul Santolin
  80. 80.

    Welcome to N. Korea Mike.

    - Rob
  81. 81.

    I might not always agree with what you have to say, Mike. But I absolutely would defend your right to ask the questions you do of Cito or anyone else.

    You are getting an outpouring of support from all over the place, and that is a reflection of your work.

    Keep it up, don’t back down, even if it drives everyone crazy. I know you want the facts, not the spotlight.

    Cito was wrong.

    - Vince
  82. 82.

    oh, and for the record, i was meaning in my earlier post i agree with you 85% of the time, not that i disagree that much. it was not clear in that post.

    - Darren
  83. 83.

    I really enjoyed the weekend series with the Yankees.

    What is missing is Mike and hearing his perspective.

    Get him back on the air soon – very soon!

    - Bill Oliver
  84. 84.

    Mike,
    I normally agree with most of the things you say. You are really close to the team, and your insight provides a layer that the fan could never be privy to. I don’t get the Cito thing. I know he can be called out on a few things here and there, but is this team not playing unbelievably good baseball? It’s not a fluke, for sure. It’s also not entirely because of the coaching. But, I mean sheesh, Cito must be due SOME credit…why all the hate?

    - dAVEs
  85. 85.

    What comes around goes around. You are routinely belittle callers. Now, Cito gave it back to you. If you cannot not take it, don’t give it. That being said, you should not have been suspended.

    - Aswani
  86. 86.

    Hey Mike,

    I’m really proud of you for asking what needed to be asked. Managers should be accountable for their actions or lack thereof. You were merely doing your ****ing job. I’m not at all surprised that Rogers would do something like this.

    - Adam
  87. 87.

    Mike i hope you get fired. you are very arrogant and i cant stand you.

    MW: Thank you. I hope you lose your job and can’t house or feed your family, too!

    - ryan garson
  88. 88.

    Mike, I totally support you in the rediculous suspension by management. Cito is in way over his head in this division at this time. His decisions are tentative and repetitive. He has no creativity and is unable to think on the go. I either expect to see a written apology from Roger’s management to you for this situation, or I will boycott all advertisers on the Fan.

    All my support.
    Doug Mitchell

    - Doug
  89. 89.

    You got what you deserved Wilner. You ARE very short with your callers, and you never admit when you are wrong. You need to learn how to speak to people who take the time to call into your show, and also to take the time to listen to what they have to say. Cito Gaston is a major league baseball manager with 2 World Series titles under his belt. You’ve been knocking his decisions from day 1. Who are you to think you are better? Here’s hoping your suspension is prolonged. Your act is getting old.

    - Animal
  90. 90.

    M-Dub,
    Missed you this weekend. What happened is a load of crap. Hopefully this helps you to understand what a “Police State” the baseball experience in Toronto is becoming. I’ve bugged you about it before, maybe now you see it for yourself?
    Come back soon, dude. Not having you on the pre and post is similar to not having more than 15000 people on a weeknight.

    - slobberface
  91. 91.

    Hello Mike…Whatever happens Mike never change…sure I dont agree with all your comments but like I said before you are the middleman between the fans and the Jays.You have to keep your own credibility eventhough you are working for a radio station that doesnt have your back and in a sense has you on probation now …hopefully you can find the same kind of work with another radio station because I cant see you working in an environment where there is no trust..poorly done Fan 590!!

    - Mark from Thorold
  92. 92.

    I believe these comments are completely moderated (i.e. deleted if not liked) by Wilner.

    Mike, you live by the sword, you die by the sword. How does it feel?

    - Bob Parsons
  93. 93.

    Mike,

    You must’ve been laughing off your seat after watching yesterday’s game….Once again, Cito made some questionable moves in the 8th inning which blew another strong performance by a Jays starter!

    P.S. I think this whole gag order the Jays have put on you (with respect to Cito) is ridiculous!

    - Bernard Singh
  94. 94.

    Hey Mike,
    My web link is a link to my blog where I am calling on all baseball and sports fans to take issue with your perceived suspension due to critically analyzing the game during the media scrum with the coach.

    I hope you’re back soon with no change to your approach at critiquing the game.

    Whoever is to blame, if the perception is true, should be ashamed and concerned for what may affect the level of interest fans will have in the reporting of games. I don’t want recaps. I want analysis. If we remove critical analysis, then the media is dead.

    - Michael
  95. 95.

    Mike (and whomever is monitoring this in his absence), I never call in to your show as I am usually in my car driving. I enjoy hearing your analysis, as you know the game better than 99% of the listeners. Too many people seem to have an axe to grind with nothing to support their theories, and the way you handle them is great. When I first heard about the tete-a-tete between you and Cito, I thought “great” here’s someone who simply wants the truth. The way it was subsequently handled by both the Jays and the Fan 590 is disgusting. I wrote to both organizations expressing my extreme disappointment, and plan to boycott both until the issue is resolved. I’m not sure what the Jays would want to lose another fan (from their dwindling numbers), but they are getting there quickly.

    I have your back Mike Wilner.

    - Jeff Stuart
  96. 96.

    Mike, I am just catching up to all that went on (or what seems to have gone on) over the weekend and it sickens me. Keep your head up and stay positive. Not sure if the full story will ever come out, but based on what I am hearing and reading it seems like the line between the ownership of the Jays and that of Rogers Communications (ie. The Fan) is getting too blurred for my liking. I’m glad that your colleagues in the media have your back in this matter and from this fan’s perspective it better get cleared up soon, and publicly.

    - Vava
  97. 97.

    Hey Mike.

    I am a long time, frequent listener of FAN (including Jays broadcasts). Despite Cito’s history of not taking criticism well from the Media, I am of the opinion that you paved the way for this confrontation.

    Your questions were fair ones and, from a strategic baseball standpoint, completely logical.

    I think this speaks to the smug attitude you take with people when it comes to baseball. I don’t know if it is your intention to come off this way, but make no mistake, that when it comes to talking baseball, you are a pompous, arrogant jerk on the air. I fully acknowledge your vast baseball knowledge, but the manner in which you belittle and dismiss the opinions of others is akin to the comic store owner on the Simpsons poking fun at kids for not memorizing every rule in the a Dungeons and Dragons manual – You may very well know a lot, but you come off as a tool.

    I hope you realize that this is not meant as a personal attack on you as a person – but I think your on air demeanor turns a lot of listeners (and managers) off.

    You are by no means the only arrogant on air personality, but there has to be some endearing quality to offset the arrogance – another quality that keeps listeners tuned in. I honestly believe that you should rethink how you deal with people on the air.

    Fan-of-the-fan.

    - Fan-of-the-Fan
  98. 98.

    I find it both disturbing and disgusting that the station felt the need to sit Mike Wilner down this weekend for his comments to Cito Gaston. As you had removed him from the station for the weekend, I removed your station from my radio for the same time period. I usually have my radio in my car tuned only to your station, but this weekend it was on another station.

    When I was at home, I did not turn on the blue jays game on the television. Further more, I stayed away from any advertisers that I know promote their product on your station.

    This is all a slippery slope and both the station and the blue jays organization need to apologize to their fans and listeners for muzzling someone who was asking legitimate questions.

    - chang Sao
  99. 99.

    i agree with Ken above. mike, unless i’m wrong you haven’t managed in the majors, yet you constantly second guess and expound on “what you would have done” in key situations. that’s a bit hubristic wouldn’t you agree?

    i think it’s not so much that we dont’ sympathize with you having to deal with lesser informed fans (tho, that is your job btw) it’s your supercilious, know-it-all attitude that tends to grate.

    i’m not the only one who can sense you rubbing ‘real’ baseball people the wrong way: Ashby, until this year really, has always conveyed a paternal tolerance to your presence on the broadcasts… i would have thought you’d cotton on to that by this point. well, now you know.

    take a step back mike. cito won 2 world series. you work for a local radio station made up of generally sub-literate fat guys who can’t get enough of their own voices. maybe it’s time to dial it back a little; maybe listen a bit more to how jerry conducts himself on the broadcasts; it might teach you something about restraint and the role of a broadcaster in this great game.

    all that said; life is about taking your lumps. get back on the horse wilner! hopefully you’ll be a better broadcaster for it.

    MW: Aside from Tom Cheek, Alan Ashby is the best human being I have ever worked with in this business – we routinely have debates and discussions about the game and he has a huge amount of respect for me and I for him. Paternal tolerance? Seriously.

    - cb
  100. 100.

    Mike wilner is obnoxious and arrogant.
    He comes from the same “school” feschuk on the raptors and berger on the leafs.

    Say obnoxious and negative stuff about the home team and you get caller/readers lined up.

    Wilner on the radio is the worst. He thinks he knows more about baseball
    than any anyone.
    he never listens to what the callers are saying just goes on spouting
    whatever he wants to spout.

    When you’re in a press conference with the manager of a Major League
    team you should be respectful and he wasn’t.
    Cito has been in pro baseball longer than this guy has been alive.
    You may not agree with him, but give him that respect.

    I’m glad that he got slapped down and I hope this teaches him a lesson.

    - rubeus
  101. 101.

    we want moke. We want mike. We Want mike. We Want Mike. WE WANT MIKE. WE WANT MIKE!!!!!!!

    - darrell bishop
  102. 102.

    Hi Mike,

    I really can’t believe this happened. I have to say I am greatly disappointed in the Fan and the whole approach Rogers is taking to muzzling any negative opinion spoken by fan and media alike.

    Your situation with Clarence is EXACTLY the reason why he should never have been brought back to manage the Jays this season. This is total ***T. I hope things work out for you.

    Rogers can kiss my $$ goodbye for the rest of the season.

    - Colin
  103. 103.

    Hey Mike,

    It’ll be good to have you back blogging on Tuesday.

    I did send an email to the Fan displaying my concerns over your ‘benching’ with the hopes the message of, ‘you can’t censor legit baseball questions just because you don’t like them’ is heard.

    I’ve never had an issue with your delivery and mannerisms toward the Jays or the callers/posters. Some of the questions asked on here and on the air are absolutely ridiculous and people, learn to spell! Open up Word and cut and paste into the site if you must but holy cow, figure it out! And three hours of Overbay debate is a bit too much as well.

    Do I always agree with you Mike? No. Do I think you are a one-trick pony as some on here have suggested? No. Broadcasters and journalists have the right to make opinionated statements, rightly or wrongly, and in no way should that be costing a person his/her livelihood or wages. The true measure for any person in media is listenership and ratings. That’s what should determine your work status. If people don’t like Jays Talk or the blog turn the channel or write your own – it’s your democratic right.

    If some of you think Mike is rude or aggressive with the callers flip to some other stations – there are far worse.

    Going forward you will continue have my full support and I look forward to debating the Jays’ issues of the day with you in the near future.

    Thanks again Mike!

    - Cameron
  104. 104.

    Sent Emails to the Jays and Fan590 about this situation.Not that it probably matters.

    It would appear your questions were fair and needed to be addressed.

    Gaston, of course, took exception as he had no answer other than those lame references to stats.

    Interesting article in the Sun about the 4-3 lose about Gaston, and I quote:

    “Those pining for the end of manager Cito Gaston will have a field day as just about every one of his decisions in the eighth backfired.”

    Decisions backfired. Again.

    How many of his “decisions” have cost, and will cost, the Jays games this season? No doubt a lot. He is in over his head, has no idea how to use the bullpen and seems very reluctant to ask for assistance from anybody who has a knowledge of the pitching staff. Time to retire and become a “consultant” whatever that means….
    When are you coming back????

    - dugger
  105. 105.

    Gaston has two world series titles under his belt for sure but when was that?

    Time has past Mr. Gaston.

    The starting pitching staff is NOT an experienced staff and they need a manager who will make decisions and NOT ask a relief pitcher,for example, no matter how many appearances this pitcher has made, which hitter he wants to throw to, as Gaston did on Sunday and this probably cost the Jays a chance for a win.

    Two World Series wins in 1992-93, I believe? Times have changed and passed Gaston by.

    He reminds me of an old movie star trying to live on past accomplishments. It’s what have you done lately that counts. All Gaston has done is cost the Jays some games….

    - dugger
  106. 106.

    hello Mike, I do agree that Cito did treat your questions defensively. How to word questions & doing what you do is not easy. I do sympathize with you, however I do hope this incident won’t make you rant & rag on Cito even more for revenge just because you have a radio spot to & the power to do it on The Fan. I think Cito was in the wrong in how he responded to your questions however he is a human being. He has said this year he doesn’t take criticism like in the 1990′s but he is a human being like everyone else. He could be just saying that for T.V purposes.

    Having said that Mike, he may have listened to you program & Jays talk & heard you rants about him before. So, if anyone had a show about ranting & ragging on you without you on there defending yourself, you probably wouldn’t like it either…Or who knows, maybe one of his family members catches your Jays talk & tells Cito about your ranting about him. I know the morning show, whenever you get on air with Mike Hogan, you two gang up & bash him or you end up egging Mike Hogan in doing so. There are so many great things to talk about with this team. I agree that you have not done it as much on Jays talk recently as at the beginning of the season but the ranting & Cito bashing should stop. The team is doing great & there are so many positives to talk about.

    In some of your Jays talk, you bash Cito non stop & that is what you make what Jays talk about. If you disagree with his decision, you should say that & move on from that. Callers calling in & disagree with Ctio is fine but you end up egging them on & it’s like you want them to rant on Cito with you.

    The team is surprising great & they are way over performing.
    Cito & the coaching staff do have something to do with that. Players are the main reason but the coaching staff has a bit to do with it too, if not more. Even Joe Girardi recognizes that & offered Cito a coaching position at the All star game this year. Cito is not the best in-game manager but he does so many other great things & most of those doesn’t get mentioned. How many managers in the league would put Jose Bautista in the starting lineup this year & show confidence in him as much as Cito??..Probably no manager would do that & we all see how Bautista is doing. Stuff like that does not get mentioned but stuff like how Lind & Hill are hitting gets blamed on Cito & the coaching staff. No manager is perfect & no matter which manager is managing, there will always be second guessing & criticism. You have not given Cito an ounce of credit for all the good he does & how the team is performing this year…And now with this incident, I’m sure you don’t want to & refuse to…As a long time listener, I hope it doesn’t make you think it’s ok & justify you to make your Jays talk all about ragging & bashing him.

    - David F in Etobicoke
  107. 107.

    That Rogers would take issue with Mike’s comportment is no suprise – You can’t criticize a man’s professionalism and abandon you own in the process….This Gaston-Wilner feud is a dark cloud over a very bright season – continue to question the play-calling but take Jerry’s attitude and see this for what it is…a fun game.

    Its very hypocritical to say you’ve been “belittled” by someone when this is exactly what you’ve made your living doing to other people for years.

    Take this as an opportunity to learn the boundaries (I don’t believe you’ve got immunity to common decency as a member of the press) and move on. I enjoy listening to your baseball savvy, but I’ll take a pass on the petulant tone all day.

    Looking forward to this Tampa series….2 out of 3? We’ll take it!

    - av
  108. 108.

    Mike,
    This is turning into a real uprising. I like you and your views and also don’t like some of the things you do. If I ran your station I would never lose sight of why you are all employed: listeners. It is the job of the onair talent to attract listeners- bottom line. If I managed the FAN I would not care if people like you- just that they call. You drive traffic to the website and listeners to the radio- therefore by definition you are doing your job well. I look forward to hearing you again. As for all these idiots commenting online here and everywhere- they need to give their head a shake- no one deserves to lose their job for stupid reasons. We all have families and I hope yours is doing well under the circumstances. My father always told me that you find out who your true friends are in the times of most difficulty. You should be proud that you have so many friends.

    - Bobby
  109. 109.

    Hi Mike,

    I just want to say that I’ve been a Jays fan all my life and as I got older, I started craving a more in-depth analysis than what was being provided to me at the time. I started reading Baseball Prospectus, Rob Neyer and others while venturing out on my thirst for baseball knowledge. I became aware of the post-game show from a family friend member who always had it on giving me a ride home. I have to say you have been one of my favourite writers and commenters to follow over the last few years because of your honesty and your fairness. Your attempts to raise the level of discourse are the reason why I’ve continued to listen to the podcasts for many years now. I’m in South Korea now for my first time overseas and I really miss watching the Jays live and on TV. However, with the blog and your podcast, I have been able to follow the team every day. Your hard work is why I’m still able to follow my hometown team. When I’m feeling homesick, I turn on the podcast and feel like I’m back in Toronto, laughing at the random yet predictable calls you tend to get.

    I have no idea about the situation that is currently affecting you, your job or your family, but I just wanted to say Toronto baseball wouldn’t be the same for me without Mike Wilner. I’m waiting on the other side of the world hoping to see another podcast up soon to catch me up to speed about things other than the box score and the obvious.

    Take care,

    - Ryan S. from South Korea
  110. 110.

    Hi Mike
    We’re right there with you buddy. Cito’s style of managing has cost this team the ability to be in the wild card spot right now!
    Let’em have it!
    Mark

    - Mark Hoffberg
  111. 111.

    Having received the Wilmer rude treatment on the air once in the past, I think it’s about time your arrogance resulted in some sort of penalty. A weekend suspension might be just what you needed to take you down a notch! It’s your arrogance that made me stop listening, let alone calling! It was nice to not hear from you this weekend, LOL!

    - KAR
  112. 112.

    Mike – keep up the good work. I want to hear your objective view on a go forward basis, shame on Rogers if they did stifle you this weekend. You are a man with integrity, and I like how you challenge things and correct people when they call in. You are the best baseball mind I’ve heard on the Fan ever.

    - chris
  113. 113.

    Mike,

    Just wanted to offer my support in this whole debacle with your employer. If we had a Blue Jays manager with half the passion and knowledge that you possess we would be much further ahead. This is just one more reason that it made absolutely no sense to bring Cito back as manager. I love Cito in a nostalgic way, but it pains me to watch the only sports team I have ever truly loved and supported be held back by such a closed-minded, and apparently senile manager. I mean he couldn’t remember who had just pitched the eighth inning. Embarrassing.
    Keep you head up, and I can’t wait to hear you back in the booth.

    P.S. If it can’t be Butterfield managing next year, maybe you should try. You couldn’t do worse than Buck Martinez right?

    Justin Wells

    - Justin Wells
  114. 114.

    Mike,

    Just wanted to throw in my support, for whatever it’s worth.

    Reporters should be able to ask legit questions without fear of being reprimanded. In my opinion, the Fan’s actions suspending you are totally wrong… and pretty offensive to us fans who want smart, thoughtful baseball discourse (including bullpen strategy).

    Looking forward to your return and I sincerely hope you’re not kept on any sort of leash.

    All the best,

    - Siguy
  115. 115.

    I can’t believe the arrogance of the Blue Jays and Rogers’ management. If anything, Cito should be fired for stupidity. He caused the jay’s to lose 2 games to the Ray’s and yesterday’s game with Yankee by not leaving the starters in. He should realize just how weak the bullpen is. In my opinion, Cito couldn’t even manage a washroom.

    - Dan the man
  116. 116.

    Seriously – Because Mike Wilner hasn’t been a major league manager he can’t criticize Cito? C’mon.

    Looks to me like the overwhelming opinion (not that these blog comments are scientific) is to keep Mike and get rid of Cito.

    I’m fine with that.

    Here’s the alternative:

    “I am a robot. I am the replacement for Mike Wilner. I agree with everything Cito Gaston does. Beep. Beep. I agree. Rogers rules. Beep.”

    - Rob
  117. 117.

    Hey Mike,

    Just wanted to say that I’m a big fan of your work – I don’t always agree with your opinions but your baseball knowledge and passion is something I greatly appreciate. I feel that you are an important part of the fabric of Blue Jays broadcasts.

    I sent an email to both the Fan590 and the Jays, voicing my displeasure with your imposed weekend away from the park (and I encourage others that feel the same way to do similarly). Obviously I don’t know the reason why you were grounded, but I disagree with the negative perception that was unnecessarily created. That was unfair to you and warrants an apology to us, the listeners/readers. Though Zack did a great job off the bench, I’m looking forward to hearing you back on Blue Jays broadcasts.

    Take care Mike, and keep up the great work!

    - Tim Callan
  118. 118.

    Ridiculous – Wilner is usually right. That’s the problem with the Jays, they lose key games in the 9th and they suspend their broadcaster. Maybe they should suspend their shortstop instead. I hope the publicity turns into a plus for him. He deserves it.

    - Os
  119. 119.

    Mike, i have to admit i’m not your biggest fan, but when I heard about all of this I had to take a look for myself and I have to say I’m on your side. While I don’t agree with your opinions all the time I do feel you do a great job informing us about what is going on around the league and with the Jays. You were right in what you asked and they were very simple questions to a manager who was clearly frustrated with some of the outcomes from his moves. I find it unfair to punish someone who clearly was trying to ask a question and get a proper answer. More power to you Mike and keep up the good work. All the best!

    - Jamie
  120. 120.

    Hi Mike ….

    I hope this wakes you up and you learn to treat the callers with a little more respect. You talk to callers like they are children and you are a Professor. Just stick to talking Jays and avoid all the holier than thou talk from yourself. You are half the broadcaster Scott Ferguson ever was.

    - Virgilio
  121. 121.

    Mike, what amazes me is that at the very end of your previous post, you basically belittle your callers who make comments regarding the end of the Jays run, or whether Gregg should be the closer. While it might be a little soon to jump to both conclusions, they are entitled to make their opinions known.
    Then you cry foul about Cito putting you in your place regarding his management of the game. The fact is, regardless of your know-it-all attitude, you’re not the manager, nor have you ever been. There’s probably a reason for that. We have all played arm chair manager while watching a game, and while we might be right on occasion, we’re wrong more often.
    You’re a radio host for a reason Mike. You’re paid to offer opinions and take calls from the fans. You’re not paid to belittle your callers and then cry foul when you claim the same has happened to you by a manager who does not answer to you for his managing style.
    It’s that combination that causes many of us to ask pot or kettle?

    - Pete
  122. 122.

    I have never been impressed with you Mike. I always thought you fell into your job because you knew someone, not because of any talent. Your arrogance is a veneer for your insecurity and bravado. I still cannot believe you even landed a TV show.

    And your total support of J.P. Ricciardi, a hack two-bit “General Manager”, exposed your meager baseball assessment abilities.

    Shame on you for crossing with Cito Gaston, a man who did a lot for this city and for the Blue Jays.

    You should quit and get a job somewhere else.

    Robert Moses

    MW: When did I land a TV show?

    - Robert Moses
  123. 123.

    I am not a fan of cito gaston’s managing style by any means and I often disagree with his questionable managing decisions – however he has won 2 World series and has an impressive baseball resume to back him up. What do you have Wilner? you have the ability to be very rude and obnoxious with callers on your show (main reason I don’t bother to call in even though I am a huge Jays fan). I agree with many of the points on your blog and I know you do have good baseball knowledge but I also think it’s high time someone teaches you about diplomacy and how to deal with people in a more civil and polite way. It doesn’t feel good when the shoe is on the other foot does it? I hope you learn something from this experience and become a better Broadcaster for it.

    - Bert Vanular
  124. 124.

    To prove his arrogance, read his own words in his blog.

    “But I didn’t get to make that point, because Cito went on to tell me that it’s a lot tougher in his seat and that he can’t just sit there and blurt out anything that comes into his head. That was enough of the discussion for me. I think he also suggested I should come down and try managing, and I’m regretting that I didn’t take him up on the offer. I’d say that I’ll say yes the next time he offers, but I doubt it will come up again.”

    He’s of the opinion that he could do a better job with absolutely 0 experience, against a guys who’s been coaching and managing in pro baseball for 25+ years.

    Can you imagine how he would react if the jays hired a journalist with 0 experince to
    manage the team. Yet he thinks he could do it easily and better than Cito.

    - rubeus
  125. 125.

    I must have missed something in your entry. As far as the evidence is identified, Cito Gaston has TWO World Series rings as the Manager of the winning team. Would you please let your audience know how many teams you have managed to World Series wins?
    Time to get another job.

    LS

    - L. Samuels
  126. 126.

    “i agree with Ken above. mike, unless i’m wrong you haven’t managed in the majors,”

    cb, I would suggest that requiring anyone who comments critically on a thing to have direct experience doing that thing is a wildly unrealistic standard.

    Or should only former presidents ever criticize a sitting president?

    - WillRain
  127. 127.

    Hey Mike,

    Seems you’re as polarizing a figure as Cito.

    99 entries to a blog you don’t reply to – not bad. As Wilde said – “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”

    - Jim Maron
  128. 128.

    I was stunned to hear that one of my favourite media personalities, Mike Wilner, had been given “the weekend off” by the Fan 590. I am among the many that don’t always agree with Mike, but I ALWAYS appreciate what he has to say. I have learned a lot listening to Mike, as well as reading the live chat logs, the blog and its many comments.

    Here’s to hoping the Fan (or whoever instigated the aforementioned weekend off) will see the error of their ways, and re-instate Mike to the nightly broadcasts. Here’s also to hoping that upon return, Mike will not be censored, and will be able to share his side of the events as they transpired.

    - DaveR
  129. 129.

    It’s funny how the armchair managers all come out to tell us what they would’ve done to win us the games Cito “lost” for us. I assume you’re all coaching AAA teams somewhere or something of that sort? Cito Gaston has 2 World Series rings, how many do you have? Where’s your track record or proof that you can lead a team to a championship? It must get extremely annoying to see the same guy questioning you night after night, especially when you know all the guy does is talk the talk. Cito has a great track record and has proven time and time again that he’s a solid manager, where’s yours Mike? And all the armchair managers posting here, have you managed outside of MLB 10 The Show? Give me a break! It’s easy to say “I would have – should have – could have..”, but there is no way you can prove your so called strategies would have fared any better than Cito’s. The guy’s been around baseball all his life, he knows the game much better than any of us. Question him all you want, but until you know all the stats and players as well as he does, your arguments are not one bit valid.

    - Byron
  130. 130.

    In response to ‘Fan-of-the-fan’@8:44am, for a moment there I thought he was refering to McCown and posted in the wrong blog. Seriously, the things attributed to Wilner can also apply to McCown and I don’t see people calling for his head.

    Welcome back, Mike. I don’t always agree with you (in fact, I disagree more than I agree), but don’t change anything. And when you get inane callers on your show, I always get a good laugh listening to you taking those calls. Keep calling it how you see it.

    - Mort
  131. 131.

    @Ken Pagan
    …. I have rarely heard a rational caller get belittled by Mike. He can be somewhat sarcastic when he disagrees with someone, but those callers are usually sarcastic or aggressive themselves.

    - terry the censor

    i guess you werent listening to the show last year, the day before the jays let the chisox take rios of waivers for free

    every caller that asked about the possibility of this happening was rudely shouted down by mike and treated like they were idiots. the next day after the jays let the chisox take rios off waivers for free mike didnt say a word about how horribly he had treated his callers

    that speaks to mike’s character or more aptly said, his lack of any

    i join the others who say this suspension is too light….mike i too hope you get fired! jays broadcasts would be much better for it

    - Prokopec
  132. 132.

    yes mike. paternal tolerance. seriously. you’re obviously very sensitive these days but it wasn’t intended as an insult.

    i think you keep missing the concept of humility and the sense i got is that Ashby (who i enjoy immensely) has always had a benign tolerance towards your precocious opining on the game.

    i chose the word paternal in order to convey to you the feeling that an older, more experienced person has for those younger and greener in their respective fields.

    - cb
  133. 133.

    Welcome back, Mike.

    It’s a sad day indeed when someone is suspended for doing their job and doing it well.

    And along those same lines, thank you to the Toronto chapter of the BBWAA for their support of you and for freedom of the press.

    - rpearlston
  134. 134.

    Mike’s comment that Alan Ashby is “the best human being…” is an example of his frequent use of hyperbole. His wording immediately suggests that he believes that Alan is a superior human being to Jerry Howarth.
    Who is Mike Wilner to know which of these men is the superior human being? He regularly makes sweeping remarks like this, no doubt creating all sorts of collateral damage. Sure it is entertaining at times, but if you get on your own ego roll too much, live in your own radio and blog world too much, ignoring that other people out there in the real world have feelings, you will accumulate enemies.
    People who are not naturally extraverted radio commentator types don’t fare well in Mike’s world; I think everyone would agree that Cito is not an extravert.
    So if you want to get a “real” conversation going with him, maybe you have to make some effort to operate in a less snarky atmosphere. Obviously, with Cito, it is too late for that.

    - maggie
  135. 135.

    Mike,

    I want to commend you for all that you do and support you 100% in this latest ordeal.

    I can honestly say you have a very big part in turning me from a “casual” Jays fan to a pretty hardcore follower.

    I love your insight, and the fact that you answer questions exactly the way any of us would answer one of those questions if they were asked by our buddy at the bar.

    Don’t change the way you conduct yourself, it’s what makes you who you are and has earned you huge respect from my end.

    Not sure what the chain of command was that led to your suspension, but hopefully it subsides and you get past this.

    Knowing you and your integrity, you won’t let it affect the great service you provide to the listeners.

    Even if it escalates and something were to happen where you lost your job at the FAN, I wouldn’t sweat it too much (I know, easy for me to say).

    I’m sure there are several media outlets that would jump at the chance to get you on their side, and know that at least 1 loyal listener will follow.

    Cheers and keep up the good work.

    - SK
  136. 136.

    Hey Mike,

    I think this situation raises a fair few points, and while they’ve likely been stated by other people commenting already, I want to throw them out there anyway.

    I do find it ironic that you are so insulted by Cito belittling you when, as much as I hate to rub it in, but when I listen, that is very similar to the way you talk to listeners.

    I’m sure there is strategy to it. Everyone has to leave their mark, after all. I’m sure Bob McCown wouldn’t be where he is if it weren’t for his abrasive on-air attitude, and it’s not like anyone wants to hear someone who agrees with every caller and never stirs the pot.

    Having said that, I think you go a little too far to suggest Cito will never talk to you again. Mike, I sympathize with you. In more than a few situations in my life, I have confused personal confrontations with business. And let’s face it: in the sports media, everyone loves to throw in their two cents. I learned this lesson when I criticized Barry Davis on Twitter and he tossed a zinger right back at me.

    At the end of the day, were you right? I don’t think there’s any question that you were. I’m almost positive you’re not the first reporter to question Cito’s handling of the managerial position. However, much as you’re insulted by him belittling you in front of the media scrum, couldn’t you argue that you were belittling him by telling him how to manage?

    Cito’s in his 60s. As they say, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. We all know Cito is going to do things his way until he’s done with managing (which luckily for us fans is not too far away). Stating his mistakes in writing is perfectly admirable, but when he reacted childishly like he did (referring to completely irrelevant stats), you should have turned the other cheek. Nobody would have put you in the wrong if you had.

    Am I suggesting you censor yourself? Absolutely not. Your points are absolutely valid, you’re an intelligent baseball mind, and stirring the pot is what keeps this industry fresh, since so many have no clue how to report anymore. But you’ve got to know when to let something go. If someone’s not biting, they’re certainly not going to warm to you if you keep rubbing their face in the dirt.

    Also, as I’m sure you’ve heard many times already, but this should give you some perspective as to how many callers must feel when you suggest their points are ludicrous. Remember, in the sports media, everyone is trying to be fresh and original, and everyone wants to be that guy who stirs the pot and makes points that nobody has thought of before. Not only have you been there before, but you’re there right now.

    Having said all that, I’m nothing but an aspiring journalist, so who am I to tell you how to do your job? But I hope that you gain some perspective on all this, and keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    AMGR

    - Asher
  137. 137.

    How can Howard Berger ask the questions he does of the leaf coaches and nothing happens to him. Look forward to you coming back.

    - Dave Earhart
  138. 138.

    You have my support Mike and A LOT of others I have talked to as well.

    - Scott
  139. 139.

    The comments about Mike being arrogant and the such on-air are pretty much irrelevant and absurd. I think he gives respect where it’s due.

    It’s great when broadcasters tell it like it is. As long as they don’t cross the line (and very few do), it makes for better radio.

    Obviously, everyone isn’t going to agree with one another, and I think that’s part of what makes the show great. It’s good to have different opinions.

    (On a side note and aimed slightly at the poster above) I had the privilege to sit down with Mike a few years ago for a college assignment and he (and everyone in his office) were nothing but kind, informative and respectful. It really looks like you’re grasping at straws here. It’s his job to provide insight, and whether you agree with his assessment or not, does it really matter?

    That aside, there’s nothing wrong with pressing Cito or any player/coach in all sports when things aren’t going well. I wouldn’t expect Cito to be thrilled answering certain questions. It’s just part of the job on both ends (media and the athletes/coaches). Everyone’s got to take the highs with the lows.

    Anyways, I think I’ve said all I needed to.

    Keep up the good work, Mike.

    - Tom
  140. 140.

    Mike,

    I used to post quite regularly on your blog, however after having constantly heard you belittle callers on your show and on your blog I decided to quit reading and contributing. I find it very ironic for you to get upset over the fact that Cito treated you the exact same way that you treat many of your readers/listeners. As many other people have suggested, you come off as insanely arrogant. Sure, Cito did belittle you in front of your peers, and had it been most other reporters besides yourself I would have had sympathy. But you are also the same guy who will allow posts to be shown on your blog so you can do nothing other than critique the spelling and grammar while completely ignoring the question that was asked-thus belittling/embarrassing the contributor, when you could have just as easily not bothered to post the question in the first place. As many others have said, “what goes around comes around.” Here’s to hoping you learn something from this.

    - Kyle
  141. 141.

    Wilner, I’m not a big fan of yours. I find your confrontational style out of place with the tradition of Blue Jays broadcasting. All these guesses as to why you had the weekend off are only guesses. I enjoyed not hearing your negativity for a couple of days. I 100% agree with the last post that you have been treated with paternal tolerance by the senior members of the broadcast crew. They’ve been very gentle with you when you’re playing the jack-ass. I agree that it’s time to take your lumps and learn to play within the style of the team your with, or move on. I’m sure there’s a GM position with a little league team you could grab.

    - trevor
  142. 142.

    Mike, you’re a whiner. You’ve been trying to get Cito fired for a long time, and now you’re talking about feeding your wife and kids. What a hypocrite!

    I wonder if you question all your bosses decisions in the same tone that you question Cito and the fans. If you don’t like doing a call in show, don’t do it. It’s your bread and butter, live with it like a gentleman or walk away.

    Stop whining about being belittled. You were trying to embarrass Cito and you know it. Now you’re trying to paint him as some kind of tyrant for recognizing what you were doing.

    - Dave
  143. 143.

    Mike,

    I’m glad to hear that you’ll be rejoining the Jays broadcast on Tuesday, though it was stunning that we had to see you leave, even if temporarily.

    While many journalists will focus on the stories behind the game and the players, perhaps appealing to a more casual fan (which is, of course, fine), I feel that you represent the objective voice of reason for those fans who are more interested in objective analysis and the study of the game.

    Fans who are interested in casual cheerleading, emotional criticizing, wild speculation, and knee-jerk trade suggestions have other outlets to do so if they choose, and again, that’s fine too.

    Your work represents a more reasoned view. You back up statement with fact. When you see something is wrong, you question it. If you don’t ask the question, there is the risk that nobody will, and we as fans will never get an answer.

    To Mike, please continue to do what you do. It would be both easier and safer to do what everybody else does, but that’s why I listen to you, and I read your material, and in doing so continue to support Rogers, their products and
    properties.

    To those involved in the organization, I recognize your conflict of interest, but censorship is not the answer. Please do not make this mistake again.

    - Chris
  144. 144.

    Hi Mike,

    Just a note to say that I am extremely disappointed in the FAN’s decision to give you the weekend off as a result of your confrontation with Sir Cito Gaston. We do not live in North Korea and the media should be free to ask questions… especially when they reflect the opinion of a large proportion of the fan base. In my opinion this is more than an unacceptable move by Rogers.

    Dear Rogers, as a result of this I have already made arrangement to have a nice grey dish placed on the side of my home courtesy of BELL.

    - Adrian
  145. 145.

    not sure who will ever read this,,,but shame on THE FAN and ROGERS for disciplining m. wilner….nice to know BIG BROTHER is alive and well

    - john
  146. 146.

    Mike, followed the whole first round of the draft and i have to say it must be great to be a Red Sox fan.

    Like the Red Sox, the Jays and AA have promised a dedication to scouting and the youth movement – but unlike the Red Sox, the Jays simply talk and talk. AA proved tonight that he does not have a huge budget or the support of Rogers to go out there and invest in the draft.

    Boston proves again why they are the franchise which all other franchises follow, picking up three top 15 talents despite having a lower draft position then us and less picks. Vitek, Ranaudo and Brentz ? Honestly what a haul, defenitly the best one of the night.

    And yes the Jays chose to skip on #14 rated Bryce Brentz so they could chose an affordable pick Aaron Sanchez.

    And if we really had a reported budget around 15 mil, then why not spend the 3mil asking price for a top ten talent like Castellanos instead of wasting it on Noah Skaragaard who should sign for slot ? Well at least Detroit got Castellanos, glad we could help them out.

    I guess i shouldn’t complain to much, we did get one top 15 guy, though it would have been nice if the Jays didn’t pick the cheapest of the highschool guys that all expect will sign for slot.

    - Miles
  147. 147.

    Deck Mcguire is a College pitcher with a ceiling of a #3 starter who is expected to sign for slot.

    Sorry i called him a highschool pitcher in my little rant. Sorry Mike, I had to say it, it just looks like Blue Jays fans have been lied to again and its hard to take though i should be used to it.

    Though, if the Jays pick up AJ Cole or Austin Wilson, or even both with their picks tommorrow ill eat crow (happily!) but i really don’t feel like AA will force me to do any such thing.

    Im sure well see some other uninspiring picks, probably canadian like Knecht and Bisson.

    Im glad we saved all that money by trading away Halladay now. Whats worse is how AA is going to try and spin this.

    - Miles
  148. 148.

    To all the cowards out there who can only jump on Mike when he is down:
    If you don’t like the way Mike does things DON’T LISTEN OR READ. There are other blogs and shows out there that are for you. If you thought he was arrogant and was afraid he would berate WHY DID YOU CALL. Media personalities are entertainers and their manner of speech or writing is their act. There are many entertainment acts that I find offensive and I JUST DON”T LISTEN OR WATCH THEM (i.e. Mccowen who is much more obnoxious but nobody calls for his head I wonder why?!?). Obviously there are many people who do like Mike’s insight otherwise he wouldn’t have a job. The industry is run by ratings, obviously his ratings are good.
    As a side note I would also be annoyed if people called with the same stupid questions every day or made dumb baseless comments with nothing to back them up. I am sure that not even one of the above whiners has even half the baseball knowledge and acumen than Mike does.
    I don’t like many things he says and I don’t agree with everything either but ultimately I enjoy the blog and Jays talk, otherwise I WOULD’T LISTEN OR READ. I’M LOOKING FOR ENTERTAINMENT NOT A ROLE MODEL.

    Good luck Mike, and good riddance to all the jump on the bandwagon bashers!!!!!!!

    - Steve
  149. 149.

    You’ve gotta be careful Mike. There are not that many of these gigs out there, and your recent actions are indicative of a guy that isre getting a little trigger happy. The “Cito is punishing Overbay” comment was a bad mistake, and so was putting the details of your encounter with the manager on the blog. You come across as an informed and intelligent guy, but dude, you or how you feel you were mistreated are not the story. We care about Vernon and Ricky Ro and Hill and Lind and Marcum and Cito and Alex A…and much less about the guys that blog and write and talk about them. We all know Cito is far from perfect, but I really have a difficult time envisioning what you thought you would accomplish by writing about this encounter, especially so shortly after having to backtrack on the Overbay issue. As I said above bro, being involved with baseball certainly seems like a cool gig (but with your skill-set you could likely make much much more on Bay St if the almighty dollar means anything to you), but in my view the above examples are anything but ‘reasonable and rationale’. Peace bro.

    - Eddie Barzoon
  150. 150.

    Hello Mike.

    I`ve only posted here a few times,and although i doubt you remember i always signed something like ” both entertained and sometimes infuriated”.
    You thought that was kinda cool…the reason i was entertained was quite frankly your insight and baseball savvy…the reason i was sometimes infuriated was your attitude toward callers…no…not the trade Overbay for Pujols guys…but legit questions from people…maybe they made a spelling mistake…maybe you answered it 1000 times before…maybe you just simply didn`t agree.
    Your attitude,or i guess your responses i should say…belittled them.Sometimes with a vengeance.
    And here we are…Cito belittled you…you say…sucks eh? I guess you know how a lot of callers feel now.
    It`s a tough job,no doubt,but maybe give up this blog,or the call in show for a bit…although i guess you just did…sorta.Blair maybe as a replacement?
    In closing,i guess what`s lost in all this,and i dont think has been mentioned,is that i think you have a fantastic future in maybe play by play or colour commentary.I`m a long time radio listener,and catching you in spring training a time or two and when Alan was doing TV i gotta say i was impressed…i mean that.
    If you come back to this same gig,try to be more patient.If you don`t,good luck in the future.

    Dave

    - Dave
  151. 151.

    Keep up the good work Mike. The vocal minority love to complain, but at the end of the day you’re giving us exactly what we want: rational, reality-based analysis of the game we love. Ignore the haters that jump on any chance to belittle you for their own amusement, it seems.

    - cjohnson
  152. 152.

    Cito is a terrible, nonchalant manager who is more than happy to plug in the same line up day after day instead of trying to find ways to get his extremely underused and talented bench players (ie. John Mcdonald)into games. I do not understand how he could hang his pitchers out to dry on Tuesday and Wednesday night without even making a trip to the mound to get a sense of their emotions, their frustrations or their confidence.
    Sure, he has two world series rings, compliments of Pat Gillick and Paul Beeston, but he never coached for another team in the major leagues until returning to the Jays, no other team believed in his merit as a manager.
    Cito has always played favorites, he sticks to a reliever until he wears them out (see Carlsson, Camp etc), preferring veteran players in the starting lineup instead of giving young rookies a chance (see sitting Shawn Green for Reuben Sierra in 1998).
    I am so glad this will be Cito’s last year with the Jays, as far as I am concerned he has coached for us far beyond his welcome.
    I know he is an older guy, wanting to spend time with his family, but his refusal to help coach the All-Star team, in which some of his players will be participating, further showcases his laziness and lack of commitment to the great sport of baseball and the wavering Blue Jays fans.
    I say fire him tomorrow, today, yesterday, and find someone who cares about the club, not the paycheck, someone who cares about the fans, his players and the city of Toronto.
    Maybe that someone is the one who talks about the Jays every night on the radio and knows his stats and isn’t afraid to make his point.
    Mike, your suspension is ridiculous, especially because you care about the Jays and the fans and about what is best for the team. I wish Cito could somehow learn a lesson from you, or at least learn something from someone with a heart.

    - Allyson
  153. 153.

    Mike,

    I’ll be honest…..I’ve never been a big fan of yours but in this situation I support you 110%.

    Rogers and the FAN screwed up bigtime!

    - Azim
  154. 154.

    WOW – I can’t believe this happened to you Mike! At first I thought this was some kind of joke!

    Assuming (I hate doing that) the reason for the suspension is based on the interview with Gaston or the writing of it on your blog later on this, is ridiculous beyond belief.

    The Fan 590 has belittled themselves by doing what they did! They have made themselves into a “bush league” sports station and embarrassed the city of Toronto!

    So I guess we can all expect to hear interviews of Cito from here on in sounding like the pre-screened ones that Jerry Howarth does with him. And don’t kid yourself people those interviews JH does with CG are well rehearsed with Cito having access to the questions before hand.

    The Fan 590 needs to listen around the league on other sports stations at some other cities and the questions reporters have for players and managers. Toronto is timid in comparison.

    I can’t for the life of me think the Jays organization would have anything to do with this. I would certainly hope not as this would make for a miserable life as a reporter doing his job! Beeston denies having anything to do with it – I hope this is not one of those “it isn’t a lie” kind of response that came from JP last season.

    I would not however put it past Beeston to protect Cito at any cost. If the Fan 590 thinks by suspending you they are doing a service to us; the listeners, they are way off base. I for one have a totally different view of them at this point. I had no idea the Fan 590 had become part of the CBC.

    Hey, look at it this way Mike, you have joined an elite group headed by none other than Don Cherry – pretty good company I would say as to those who hold back nothing when it comes to telling it like it is.

    Hold your head high Mike, you did a great service for most of the listeners to the Fan 590 by allowing us to see just what they are made of and just who it is in reality that runs the station and pulls all the strings around there!

    Censorship in sports leaves a horrible taste in my mouth! It is sickening that someone within the Fan 590 has enough pull to publicly hold you accountable for their wrong doing and gutless approach to running what is supposed to be a “free thinking” all sports radio station.

    Comments like you made and questioned Cito on; happen all the time in other cities and even in Toronto when it comes to NHL hockey. Why is it ok for hockey and not baseball. Why is it Howard never got suspended for asking Ron Wilson even tougher questions than what you did with Cito. I think it comes down to someone at the Fan 590 does not like your approach Mike and that’s that!

    Take care my friend and get back to doing what you do best. The Fan 590, the Toronto Blue Jays and the fans of both, were the losers over the weekend not Mike Wilner.

    MW: Cito does not get Jerry’s questions ahead of time.

    - Bob (Burlington)
  155. 155.

    There is a big difference between Cito and Mike. As a MLB manager, Cito gets paid to answer hard questions from the media. If he doesn’t like it, then too damn bad; get out of the game.
    It is Mike’s job to ask these hard questions and be entertaining. One of the ways to be entertaining is to be hard on callers. Ever listen to Stormin Norman Rumack?
    I think Mike is a breath of fresh air, because he will ask the hard questions that us fans want answered. He isn’t one of those “homer” broadcasters who ask the boring, easy questions. There are far too many of those.

    - Dane Mugford
  156. 156.

    Hi MIke I hope you enjoyed watching the FULL game, at leisure . I think Zack survived.
    Way too much ink spilled. I am for journalistic autonomy.
    They only thing that came to mind was what you say about umpires.
    You can’t show the umpire up.

    It’s only till the end of the year. Just one more year.
    Things will improve.
    Barb

    - Barb
  157. 157.

    michael,
    this may sound like this is coming from a defender of mr. cito g. but i’m actually not that in truth. i’m very much on the fence on this one on this go around of his.
    his way of seeing the game & how it is to be played out & managing the game at the end of the day is what it is fortunately for some & unfortunately for alot of others it seems.
    the man puzzles me with certain moves he makes or in other cases doesn’t make there’s no doubt about that.
    but at the same time i fully respect tha man’s knowledge of the game, whether or not he seems to be sitting on his hands at times during the course of a particular game.
    but here’s the question i have i suppose.
    the perceived notion out there these days is that his moves (or lack thereof) has in fact cost this team more than a few ball games already and more to come in great probability.
    and all at the same time, this team is “right in the pennant race thus far & right on the heels” of arguably the 2 best ball teams in all of mlb.
    so is that to say that with a different, better, more shrude manager this team would actually be ahead of those teams right now & the blue jays would actually be the best team in the game? cause’ that’s the impression one might get by listening to the common fodder these days & then seeing how close they are.
    is he doing that? and more importantly is this team in fact that good & is
    more than ready to compete for a world series with the current roster, just needs the proper manager?
    just an observation of course. i don’t know the answer to that to be honest but me thinks not if i ahd to guess. but is a fair question to ask i believe based on alot of the opinions i’m hearing.
    and one other thought. what is this man’s record this go around when you tally up his first season in, last yr. for the first 2 months + & now the record of the team thus far this season. those #’s added up i’m sure are staggering. but of course you do have to incorporate the record from june 1 on last season to be totally fair. but still a pretty decent record i would think for a team that i always thought wasn’t nearly good enough to compete with the ny’s, bostons,tampas etc…..
    but no, not as good as them i suppose even though we seem to have every bit as a good a team if we just had a better manager some are angling to suggest by the looks of it seems…………
    maybe a rational way of looking at the big picture here. or maybe not……….

    - darrell bishop
  158. 158.

    You know, even if Mike was wrong about the issue (which anyone who understands the first thing about bullpen management knows he wasn’t), the Jays stomping on a reporter for DARING to ask a single tough question is ridiculous. Real reporters ask tough questions; if Jays management can’t deal with that they should take jobs that don’t require them to answer questions (or make 7 figures).

    There are actually people on here supporting a team’s decision to censor a reporter for asking a couple of non-sycophantic questions. Incredible.

    The people taunting Mike over this disgust me and every knowledgeable fan I know. 10 to 1 they are the same people who call the show, call demand to know why Overbay has not yet been traded for Justin Morneau and three 1st round picks, and then get miffed when they are justly treated like idiots.

    - Jon
  159. 159.

    Mike isn’t nearly as critical of Jays managment as the Prime Time host is. He went off like a lunatic until he was put in his place by Buck Martinez. When he got challenged by Buck he shut his trap and had nothing to say but when Buck got off the air the stupidity continued.

    I like Mike and think he might have mishandled this but a suspension might have gone a little too far. That said, I don’t know his history with these types of problems.

    - Mike
  160. 160.

    Hello Mike:
    I am not a fan of the money ball method of baseball, yet I am aware that there are some valuable parts to it, but for me its not the end all and be all. You tend to support it to the hilt.

    That being said I was dismayed to learn that you were benched on the weekend and it maybe as a result of your encounter with Cito and his handling of the bullpen in one of the games versus the Yankees.

    If this is try, it represents a troubling turn of events since Rogers owning both The Jays and the Fan 590.

    Though I may not agree with you regarding the way the game is played, I feel that benching you because of your questioning of Cito should not have occurred.

    If this is true, nothing good can come of this action, what next, censoring Mike Hogan and Bob McCowan for their criticism of Cito?

    Let’s hope not.
    Philip

    - Philip
  161. 161.

    Hi Mike,
    Thank you for the great work on the radio as well as the blog and live chat. I really appreciate your perspective and knowledge of the game and good for you for standing up to ask the tough questions that us fans always ponder. Keep up the good work.

    - Leo
  162. 162.

    Re: post # 53

    I totally concur with Neil Flagg…Couldn’t have said it better myself…One thing I give The Fan credit for is allowing us fans of Mike to post our thoughts without them being deleted/edited.

    I think suspending Mike on the weekend of the Yankees series is the ultimate slap in the face to his integrity…Cito Gaston cannot manage the bullpen properly…truth hurts!

    I hope Mike gets some sort of apology from the Program Director…Nelson Millman would’ve never done such an insultive thing!

    P.S. Mike, I’m the guy who sent you pics with you and Cito a couple of years ago at a GM appearance…I wouldn’t blame you if you’ve torn them up already!

    - Bernard Singh
  163. 163.

    Mike – i think you do a great job. Yes you can be short with people, but 99% of the time they are idiots.

    You should be allowed to ask the manager legitimate questions on strategy – i think the reality of this situation is that Cito blew it and wouldn’t admit it.

    I’m very concerned with The Fan giving you the weekend off – it’s ridiculous based on what i know (through what has been reported).

    Mark

    - Mark
  164. 164.

    Morrow had a 4-hit shutout vs Yankee$$.
    He hits a batter to start 8th inning and he is taken out.
    I can’t see why .Can you?

    - Chas
  165. 165.

    As a previous post noted, you don’t have to take calls from everyone. That is what your producer is for. I would assume that your style is the result of a professional decision. You have decided on your public persona and you have to live with it. You have some valid questions, but over all you appear to have more of a vendetta than anything else. You sure didn’t ask questions of JP with that churlish tone in your voice. Telling a major league manager what you would have done is disrespectful and rude. You treat tactical errors as if they were moral outrages. I’d love to see how a room full of athletes would respond to having you at the helm. The respect you would command would be something to behold. Maybe you think you’re the next Buck Martinez and that you’ll be managing nest year. Martinez was a bust, and he had real baseball experience, not fantasy league bragging rights. I’m not a fan of you and your style at all. I hope that Rogers forks out some dough and brings in some one with some class. I don’t listen to the Jays for WWE-style trumped up controversy.

    - Pete
  166. 166.

    Far too much bull in this to comment on. But maybe the one that bugs me most: How are we supposed to know which members of the broadcast crew “tolerate” another? Jerry and Alan could hate each other, for all we know. (Not likely, but just sayin!)

    - DaveR
  167. 167.

    Mike, it’s clear you would have fewer enemies if you took some of the edge out of your impatience. But you’ve got a better-than-average baseball knowledge and IQ and against your occasionally independent backdrop, the cheerleaders on the FAN are more tolerable. Rogers can’t silence independent thought, it will only pop up in more virulent form elsewhere. We’re hoping that you will be back in fine form soon.

    - Mark
  168. 168.

    Mike,

    You love to pounce on your callers over the pettiest of details… Now you have finally received your comeuppin’s.

    - Ja Rule
  169. 169.

    The questions you fired at Cito were definitely fair. However, it certainly seems like Cito reacted to how you asked them, rather than what you were asking. I wasn’t there, but I do know that only 8-10% of communication is done with the words we say. Body language, intonation, timing and the like, is what Cito reacted to. (Plus whatever buildup might have existed.)

    Mike, while I enjoy your journalism, you can have a combative tone, at times. But, that’s okay, you are being who you are. And, honesty is something I ask from every journalist. I appreciate it, even if I disagree sometimes.

    It’s tough for someone like me to have an opinion on the scrum, because I wasn’t there. However, you should not have been suspended. It’s an over-reaction. And, the right people are getting the persecution in the press.

    Glad that your back. Always enjoyed your blog and radio shows.

    MW: I don’t understand how you, or anyone who wasn’t there, can have an opinion about how a question was asked.

    - Rome
  170. 170.

    You just don’t get it, Mike, Cito won us two World Series titles! How many have you won? None, that’s how many! That’s because you’re not Cito!!!

    - Squints
  171. 171.

    I have often been accused of not suffering fools well. Mike, I imagine you are similarly afflicted.

    And this presents a problem to a radio host.

    The intelligence bar in society is low. And in the world of sports fandom, it may well be lower yet.

    And, sadly, there’s the rub.

    You *need* those mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers to phone in… because, well, they are your audience. They are every sport’s audience. They are sports fans. Irrational, loyal, vocal… and not terribly clever.

    - Another Sufferer
  172. 172.

    Mr. Wilner,
    I’m a big fan of your program and respect your views on this beautiful game. I believe that you take seriously this wonderful opportunity you’ve earned in covering the Jays. From the outside looking in you have done nothing that deserves censure. If you’ve been given the short stick for doing your job, it saddens me and diminishes my opinion of those above you on the Rogers food chain.
    I look forward to your continued commentary and insights on the Jays.

    - Moyashi from Japan
  173. 173.

    “I think he also suggested I should come down and try managing, and I’m regretting that I didn’t take him up on the offer. I’d say that I’ll say yes the next time he offers, but I doubt it will come up again.”

    Remind me again how many World Series rings you have in your “illustrious” managerial career, Mike? Oh yeah, that’s right…none.

    - C Fletcher
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