Today Curtis Rush of the Toronto Star posted an excellent email exchange he had with Gregg Zaun, who was in the news this week for his bang-on excoriation of J.P. Arencibia.

In the piece Zaun is asked if there has “ever been a comment [he] regretted making,” which he affirms, explaining that he was disciplined internally for a comment made last year about Alex Anthopoulos, in which on Prime Time Sports he said that the GM was a “bean counting sabermatrician.” Despite multiple email apologies, and admitting to Rush that he was wrong and that the “extremely amateurish” comment was a too glib attempt to get his point across in the closing ten seconds of the program, he hasn’t spoken to AA since.

Sure, that’s a regrettable professional moment, especially given how Anthopoulos has supposedly reacted.

Unfortunately, Gregg might have new champion of regrettable comments on his hands, as the interview in the Star also included this nugget:

Have you been instructed to lay off on your criticism?

They (Rogers) told me when I came on full-time to be honest, be opinionated, as I tend to be, and to be fair. They have never asked me to censor myself or be a homer. They only asked that I not attack “The Man.” I was told I was free to criticize and praise performances all I wanted.

Say what?

Just to be sure I was reading what I thought I was reading, I took to Twitter– enlisting the help of Star writer Cathal Kelly, who had tweeted a link to the piece– hoping for clarification that didn’t make me cringe as much as I feared it would.

Now, to be fair, while I have never been told such a thing explicitly, I know damn well that it would be a career limiting move if I attacked the company that employs me. Not that I would ever have a reason to ;) — but… uh… theScore doesn’t own the baseball team I cover. There’s little chance for conflict of interest, at least until I get assigned to write about mobile sports apps that are kicking ass and taking names. ;D

Rogers, however, has a tonne of analysts and hosts and reporters and media members of all stripes covering the Jays– many of whom, to be fair, did attack the lack of financial support given the Jays prior to last winter’s explosion of payroll cash– and that’s where the whole thing gets a bit sticky, doesn’t it?

That’s especially so because it’s not as though the question of the objectivity of Rogers-paid folks doesn’t come up a whole lot out here among the unwashed masses. And it’s also not like the fortunes of the team on the field aren’t inextricably linked to the fortunes– and the equitable dispensing of them– of “The Man.”

In terms of how these folks, Zaun included, deal with issues involving actual play on the field, they are, I think, beyond reproach. Jays Talk callers sometimes want to insist otherwise, but that truth is quite obvious. I mean, the only reason Zaun was spotlighted in Rush’s piece was because of the critical eye he took to the play of Arencibia, and the ramifications that stance has had. There are plenty of other examples, too– Dirk Hayhurst was also tattled on earlier in the year by Arencibia, and Jack Morris (and Alan Ashby before him) has taken a critical eye to the Jays’ lack of fundamentals, while Bob McCown, Jeff Blair and others are plainly critical when they feel it’s warranted.

Stephen Brunt addressed these sorts of issues on the radio earlier in the year, which I transcribed in a post titled On Homerism And Media Fights. He was responding to a Simon Houpt piece in the Globe and Mail, in which the author expressed concern about the abundant and glowing coverage given the Jays by Rogers-owned media outlets this spring– referring particularly to Brunt’s piece on the Jays’ Dominican connection, which appeared in Sportsnet magazine, as well as on TV in documentary form.

Whenever these issues come up, Rogers asserts its editorial integrity by noting the critical comments made about its teams by Sportsnet personalities such as Greg Zaun and Bob McCown,” Houpt wrote. “Still, it’s a short step from a media boss such as Mr. Pelley urging his network executives to give the Jays wall-to-wall coverage, and the toe-curlingly partisan play-by-play commentary that characterizes so much of the regional sports networks in the United States, which are often owned by the local teams.

Calling the comments “something ridiculous written in the Globe and Mail– my former employer,” Brunt made the case for Rogers-owned objectivity:

If Yunel Escobar writes a homophobic slur on his eye black, you’ll hear about it here. And if John Farrell walks out on them, or if they don’t sign Yu Darvish, you’re going to hear it here. And you know what, Rogers doesn’t care about that– because the conversation around a team is part of– the good, the bad; the high, the low; the winning and the losing is part of it. That’s it. They don’t want people to say the sky is blue when the sky is grey around a team– no one is going to believe that. It’s about being credible. So, it’s ludicrous this notion that– we’ll pay more attention to the Blue Jays, probably. You know, we will, than the other guys will. They’ll pay more attention to the Canadian Football League than we will. … That’s a guarantee. And everybody knows that going in. And no one’s going to sit here and tell you they’re good when they’re bad. That’s not– this is a conversation about sport. About good, bad, heroes and villains, all of that stuff, and that’s part of the mix, and that’s exactly what our job is.

. . .

I just– that is what I’m sensitive to. And I know, having sat beside you for quite some time now, if you believe the guys next door in the big tower are being cheap bastards– and I believe you use that phrase occasionally to describe them. That’s part of the churn around sports. No one is censoring anything here, no one is directing coverage.

He’s not wrong about the “cheap bastards” stuff, nor is he wrong that everybody knows what’s what going in, so I don’t know if I want to make too much of this. I don’t even know if I necessarily think the patina of objectivity we try to insist our journalists not scuff isn’t wholly detrimental. We all have biases, institutional or otherwise– why not lay them out there and let everybody see the mess for what it is instead of trying to untangle ghosts?

The only thing is, that’s not necessarily the world we operate in, nor is it what’s Brunt’s saying. He’s saying “No one is censoring anything here, no one is directing the coverage.”

Now Zaun is telling us that “they only asked that I not attack ‘The Man’.”

That raises a lot of questions– some of them uncomfortable, even if the answers may be innocuous.

Is the standard different for someone in Zaun’s role than for reporters or other commentators? If so, is that OK? If not, do we care or did we always kind of know and accept this? Is the definition of “attack” maybe more narrow than it sounds?

Is the even the correct interpretation of the comment? I’ll take the author’s word– not to mention his syntax– on it, but lots of people are reading the comment as meaning that he was told not to criticize the player as a person, just the performance. Maybe?

Either way, like Brunt says, it’s about being credible. Unfortunately for some of those drawing a paycheque from Rogers– even though I think they did a sound job of maintaining theirs through the years in which the club’s payroll was inadequate and their pursuit of revenue sharing dollars too fervent– Zaun’s admission very possibly puts a dent in that.

I think.

Or maybe nothing changes at all. I know I certainly won’t look with any more skepticism than I already did at the work of those in Rogers’ employ (which isn’t terribly heavily, I should note). Regular readers know that I already snarkily note scoops on the “Rogers-owned Jays” as coming from reporters of the “Rogers-owned Rogers Sportsnet,” when they occur– it’s not like we’re not all aware that the connection is there, and so benign as to poke fun at. It doesn’t change anything about my view of the great work done by Shi Davidi and Ben Nicholson-Smith and Mike Wilner and all the talented folks covering the team over there.

It’s just not going to make these questions go away any easier. But maybe that’s OK– maybe it’s good to have a reason to give us pause about the information we consume, rather than to just suck it back, varnish and all. As an alternative voice of coverage, completely independent of any Rogers influence, the skepticism of them certainly doesn’t hurt me, does it?

But on an instinctual level, it’s still kinda weird. They asked an analyst to not be overly critical of the team’s ownership? Leafs fans might want to have a little think on that nugget, too.


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Comments (113)

  1. I think this is a spelling, capitalization issue. When I read the quote I took it to mean he can criticize a players play, but not attack him, the man, personally.


    • Funny enough, that was my interpretation as well.

      • Mine too… I’m somewhat surprised this meaning has caught on online.

        • It has caught on because the person who wrote the piece and had the conversation with Zaun says that’s what was meant. Why the surprise, then?

          • Right, but it appears (which I may be wrong about) that he’s interpreting it based on the capitalization. The capitalization, and the interpretation, make it more awkward than assuming Zauny might not be a grammarian and he capitalized “the man” because he thought it looked cool.

            But I’m also making assumptions too.

            • I wondered about that too, but I also noticed another part in the interview where Gregg actually ended a sentence with “LOL”. That suggests to me that it was an email interview, rather than a phoner or in-person conversation – who the hell says LOL in person? Sure enough, I looked at the beginning of the article and it says “Here is an edited email Q & A with Zaun”.

              Therefore, we can only assume that the punctuation are Zaun’s doing, and the capitalization of both “The” and “Man” are intentional. If he were trying to convey a desire not to attack a player in a personal way (and focus on the player’s play) then the quotes would be appropriate, but the capitalization would not. It would just read as, “the man.”

              Then again, a man who cites Don Cherry as his hero might not be as dutiful with grammar concerns as those of us who parse apart his writing…

              • Yes, which is what I wrote. The reporter could both have accurately copied what Zaun wrote, and be interpreting it incorrectly. The Rogers interpretation relies on Zaun-as-Linguist as it stands now, and the statement as a whole makes less sense (why did he not say “player performance” in the next sentence?) if you look at it that way.

                I don’t understand why the interviewer didn’t ask for clarification (or maybe he did).

                • That’s just it, Justin– why do you assume the interviewer didn’t ask for clarification? Why do you think it’s not exactly written the way it is because that’s what it’s meant to say?

                  • Because he doesn’t specify. That’s my point. Zaun could’ve (and probably did) written (write) it as written on the star, the author could’ve (and probably did) transcribe it exactly as written, and I still don’t think it’s clear without clarification.

                    Interpreting it as no personal attacks makes more sense given the next sentence than does interpreting it otherwise.

                    • He did specify. That’s what the quotes and the capitalization does.

                      Besides, there IS clarification. See the tweet from the author. How is this still confusing?

                      As for within the context of the paragraph, read it again. Neither option makes more sense than the other. Except, y’know, the one that means exactly what it says as written and exactly what the author says it means when asked for clarification.

                    • Reply to Stoeten with regards to your fucking shitty comments to Radar: Fuck you and the horse you rode in on you pathetic arrogant dick. How fucking dare you continue to treat someone who had frequented your site so shitty. You sir are a reversed troll so go hang with Damien Cox and please turn the blog over to Archie.

                    • Tom, Radar gets treated as shittily as he treats me, even if maybe he doesn’t understand it. I’ve endured enough of his self righteous bullshit, and his self appointed expert on this site stuff that I sure as fuck don’t have to take shit from you for telling him about it. Maybe, since you seem new, you think this was an isolated incident. It’s not.

                      Then again, maybe you’re not new, given your dumb forum comment, in which case you have no excuse for this horseshit.

                    • The “he” who clarified isn’t the “he” whose intent is questioned. I don’t see that as terribly confusing, either.

                    • But why would he clarify to Twitter if he hadn’t clarified it with the person who said it? Why would he transcribe it to mean one specific thing without clarifying with the person who wrote/said it?

                      Basically, you’re going to believe he did a shitty job as a journalist, based on nothing, rather than believe that Zaun said it meaning Rogers, based on how it is very precisely written and the unambiguous statement from the journalist who conducted the interview confirming that’s what he meant.

                      You honestly don’t see why your view makes infinitely less sense here?

                    • This is ridiculous.

                    • And by this is ridiculous I mean we’ve both spent far too long on this already.

              • To be pedantic a little here, I did say in the first sentence of this post that it’s an email exchange, FYI.

                But it’s not an exchange that’s being re-printed verbatim, despite the LOL. Yes, mistakes can happen, but the way I see it there are two possibilities here. Either Zaun meant it precisely as it’s written, or the 30-year veteran Toronto Star journalist was lazy in reprinting the text as is, and disingenuous when affirming, with no ambiguity, that he understood “The Man” to mean Rogers, AND it slipped past a copy editor without any questioning.

                Either one could be true, but which do you think is more likely to be true?

    • ‘The man’ is the person. Don’t attack the person himself, but you can be critical of his play.

      • I like how certain you are that your interpretation is right.

        Wait, no I don’t.

        It’s certainly plausible, though. But I’m fine with taking the word of the person who actually had the email exchange. I’d argue, though, that there’s no need to capitalize and put in quotes “The Man” if you’re referring to the person. We all know that “The Man” is a clearly defined thing. If the formatting changed from how Zaun wrote it, then that muddies the water, and it’s certainly possible that his intent was different than it reads, but as it’s written I think it’s quite a bit of a stretch to say that he’s referring to anything but a higher authority. And I don’t see a reason not to trust Rush to have published it as written and intended, but sure, mistakes could happen.

        • I mean, check Rush’s twitter bio. Been with the Star since 1981. Served as a police reporter. I think he probably knows by now not to leave such an ambiguity in his work– you sure can’t do that on the police beat. And how do you avoid the ambiguity here? By clearly capitalizing and putting “The Man” in quotes when that’s what the intent was.

          Again, yes, mistakes can happen. I can’t say with certainty that it isn’t wrong as written, but it think it’s a bit silly that people are getting their back up about the possibility that it’s correct.

          • “The Man” is the one who makes decisions that no one else can make. My first impression was AA or the execs at rogers. But the whole company identity thing, could totally see that angle being played.

          • wow, are you really as dunce as you look? the only thing silly about this is your stance on it. or perhaps you need some controversy to drive traffic to your blog since a lot of fans have tuned out the jays…

            • Hey dunce, I’m interpreting it the way it’s written and the way the author of the piece says it is supposed to be written. Not sure what’s so confusing about that.

    • That’s how I interpreted it as well… If a guy can’t hit worth a fiddlers fuck then rip him for it, but don’t attack him as a person.

  2. Saturday night. First!

  3. Dahhhhhh fuck!

  4. Everyone read that Globe and Mail article about the Jays asking for another 20-25M for next year?


  5. It’s kind of like Fox News. If they didn’t insist on proclaiming to be objective and unbiased, would as many still have a problem with them?

    What I’m saying is maybe it’s true Rogers employees have less liberty to talk badly about their employers, but maybe that’s okay. There’s no lack of quality independent writing on the Jays.

    • Mark: missed. Have you ever heard Jack Morris routinely rip them for lacking the ability to execute fundamentals? This is the cowboy who refers to the team as “we”, rather than “they”. This season has convinced me even further that there are no puppet strings holding up the broadcasters.

      Want a basis for FOX-like comparison? See Eckersley, Dennis.

    • Except Fox News is… you know…actual news. We’re talking about sports, which I love, but which ultimately don’t matter when compared to “news”, so who really cares?

  6. Criticize the Jays’ moves, or criticize the players’ accomplishments (or lack of)….that’s fine. That’s warranted.
    But calling the GM a “bean counting sabermetric”….that’s getting a little personal, and probably not professional in ANY business.

    • Which would be the kind of ad hominem that would lend credence to the more benign interpretation of “not criticizing (T)he (M)an”…

    • +1.

      I can’t see AA being too upset about being called a bean counting sabermatrician.

      He has frequently acknowledged the fans being upset with the teams performance.

      I could see Rogers executives being upset about being called cheap bastards.

      • Except that’s the complete opposite of what’s being said here. So… no sure why you can’t see that.

        • @Stoeten.

          The theme of yourpost was about Zaun vs Rogers but you had mentioned Zaun not talking to AA.

          I am surprised that Zaun hasn’t spoken to AA in over a year. Is that normal?

          Don’t broadcasters/analysts talk to AA all the time?

          I assume “The Man” in your article is Rogers Corp.

          Rogers Corp doesn’t like to be attacked by Zaun.

          I vaguely recall Zaun going on the radio after the Jays didn’t get Darvish or Fielder & he was very angry at Rogers for not spending the money to get these players.

    • If only AA were a bean counting sabermetrician. He is more of an old school tools/ scout guy. that is how you end up with a bunch of athletes who cant actually play baseball

  7. I thought it meant do rip the guy not Rogers. Maybe Rogers is the problem ?
    Shit rolls down hill

  8. I think by not questioning some of Gibby’s moves, certain people are guilty of giving a free pass to ‘The Man’.

    How about AA not bringing up Jim Negrych instead of having 17 bullpen guys?

    • Jim Negrych July OPS: .505
      Jim Negrych August OPS: .491

      Do you still really not understand why he wasn’t called up?

      • Just seemed like “the right thing to do”. Fuck, this is a club that has Munenori Kawa-fuckin-saki as its goddamn DH right now. I’m pretty sure Jim-bo could use a look.

        • Aside from the OPS, I think it had a lot to do with; do you give the 28 year old who has shown promise, but bounce around a couple of organizations a shot; or do you give a 25 year old who has shown promise and was drafted by this organization a shot. It’s unfortunate for Jim, but he probably know this, the organization has a lot more invested into Ryan, and the fact that he is younger, it’s really a not that much of a surprise.

      • Uh, with an OPS like that, he should be our catcher!

    • @Garfoose.

      Derosa had some good points about Gibby this year. With the WBC & all the changes it made no sense for Gibby to be a drill sargeant with a team of veterans.

      Next year is a different story. The team hasn’t earned a country club 2014 spring training.

      The players will be humbled & hopefully be better prepared or 2014.

  9. When I read Zaun’s comment in the above post prior to reading the rest of the post, I instantly thought “The Man” was Alex Anthopoulous.

    Am I the only one who thought that?

    • I also thought that.
      Then again, I’m about as welcome around here as Billy Koch is in the Skydome clubhouse these days.

      • You’re fine Garfoose, but some people will have a differing opinion.In fact expect it.That’s why DJF is popular.
        Lot’s of opinions,debates and information.You can agree or disagree or form your own opinion from what is said.
        Just don’t piss off Stoeten ( LOL)

      • Given that ‘The Man’ was capitalized, I hope Zaun was asked exactly what he meant to say before the interview was reported. Because he could have meant Rogers. Or the character of any particular player–in an age of possible PED usage that would be something Rogers lawyers would want to be careful of. Or he may have meant AA. I doubt this last one only because it would put inappropriate journalistic restrictions on the situation.

        • Exactly. And as I’ve said in prior comments, this is a journalist who has been with the paper since 1981, and who was a police reporter– where printing ambiguities like the one people want to believe exists here could lead to some issues.

          I’m not saying it’s impossible that he didn’t do his job, but I certainly don’t get why that’s the assumption by so many here, and not that– y’know– it’s written the way it is because that’s how he meant it.

          • Not particularly arguing but here’s a hypothetical: when Zaun answers the question he raises his hands into those two ‘quotation mark’ gestures. The reporter can write that. Doesn’t have to ask any further questions. He can just leave it up to the reader. The copy-editor will check back and be told Zaun himself created the quotation marks.

            And again, not to cast aspersions on this journalist, but a cut line in this week’s Globe & Mail named our Prime Minister as ‘Steven Harper’ and that presumably went by all the copy guys as well…

  10. This gets a big meh from me. If I were to attack the university that employs me, I might get a talking to. Well founded and fair criticism is fine; attacks are not. I understand this issue is slightly different as it relates to journalistic integrity, but it seems like is just saying that he was told not to lose his shit irrationally (which he seems somewhat prone to). That doesn’t really offend me.

  11. Why would anyone attack Stan Musial anyway?

  12. “s the standard different for someone in Zaun’s role than for reporters or other commentators? ”

    I think this is likely true…. Different people within the organization have different roles… I mean, I don’t expect Mike Wilner to be Stephen Brunt (or vice versa). Wilner’s role with, say, Jays Talk has a bit of a PR function to it, IMO, and Wilner’s been punished for being overly critical before.

    I wouldn’t expect Brunt to be sent to reporter jail for writing a piece criticizing Cito’s managerial style, as Wilner was, and I think that’s a function of the roles they play within the larger Rogers organization.

  13. Wilmer wasn’t suspended without pay for criticizing Cito’s managing style. He’d done that all year on his program and nobody cared. He was disciplined for showing up at a press event and behaving like an asshole despite being told to stop by Jay Stenhouse or one of his staff, and then complaining about it on Rogers’ website.

  14. I quite like Zaun, although you need to remember like most players he’s not all that sabermetrically inclined.

    Also when you’ve made $ 18 million in your baseball career it certainly gives you a certain degree of freedom to be critical and not have to worry about your next pay cheque.

  15. “They only asked that I not attack “The Man.” I was told I was free to criticize and praise performances all I wanted.”

    Looking at both halves of that comment, I just can’t see how it can be interpreted as anything other than a directive to separate the person from his performance. If you’re told you’re allowed to criticize performance, you should be permitted to criticize the performance of players, coaches, managers, general managers and owners. If you’re told to avoid attacking The Man, that should be taken as a request (he was “asked”, after all) to not make it personal.

    And really, if there was a chance that Rush could have taken it any other way, he should have asked for clarification on exactly who “The Man” was — the fact that he didn’t indicates that he must not have seen any ambiguity in the comment. Neither should we.

    • Thanks for your input councillor.

    • I interupted it the same way shaggy.

    • Seriously, Shaggy? The “fact” that he didn’t ask for clarification? How do you know that he didn’t? Why would you not assume that he DID and that it was written precisely that way in order to indicate that he wasn’t talking about “criticizing the man,” but criticizing “The Man.”

      You’ve started from the belief that it’s written incorrectly and worked backwards to find a way to make you feel like that’s the truth. Look at it without such presuppositions– you won’t need to make the giant leaps in logic that way.

      The person who wrote the piece says, without ambiguity, that it’s a reference to Rogers. Your suggestion rests on him first being lazy, then lying about it. Why is that more believable than that he did his job and printed it so as to be understood to mean Rogers?

  16. Are we sure Zaun wasnt in the middle of saying that upper management told him not to talk about “The Man…in White”….but he passed out drunk while typing his email reply before he could finish the sentence?????!

  17. I take it more to mean that Zaun, as a former player, with no baseball experience aside from playing, was asked not to criticize ownership or the front office because he has no credible expertise for doing so. To me, it just feels more like Zaun was asked to stick to the on-field personnel because that’s what he knows. I don’t know about you guys, but I wouldn’t want a life-long carpenter criticizing my accounting, especially if he’s never kept books a day in his life.

  18. Who gives a shit? Last I checked the requirements for stating sports opinions, be it at the bar or on TV, were a pair of vocal chords and a beer.
    This is hardly watergate

    • Love this comment^^^^

    • Because I presented it as Watergate? Read the damn post.

      For fuck sakes.

      • I did read the post. And it is still a non-issue.
        Employee told by employer not to bitch about them in public. Good story.

        • Seriously? You read the words that I wrote and you still don’t have the foggiest clue how I’m presenting it? Sad.

          • Maybe I don’t get it. Who knows. I read this as you discussing the link between the Jays ownership and the fact that they have a hand in the media that covers the Jays. Something to that effect. I’m saying who cares? This isn’t 60 Minutes, is baseball commentary. Whether or not someone is a shill for the owners is pretty inconsequential to me. I mean, they get a few different types of personalities — the analytical guy, the “straight shooter”, etc to voice a cross section of opinions, and that’s really all that happens. Whether or not the script gets approved by the owners doesn’t change the fact that 80% of it is cliches, and who is a “baseball guy” and who has a “winning culture” or yadda yadda yadda. And still for some reason I find it entertaining (as I’m sure the majority of people reading and posting around here do) because baseball is awesome. So, in summary, who cares if Zaun was told not to insult “the man” whoever that may be? He’ll keep saying the shit he says, and the other guys will keep saying the shit they say, and when they’re gone, someone else will come in and will say the shit that they say. And baseball will still be awesome.

            • OK, that’s fair enough, actually.

              I think it’s a bigger issue if Rogers’ attitude bleeds over to actual journalists, who shouldn’t be asked to do their PR work for them, but there’s no evidence to say that’s the case.

              • I absolutely agree with that. And I also completely see why for you, as a sports journalist, the issue of independence and integrity amongst sports journalists is of critical importance. For me, as the viewer, it is less so.

    • Well played!

  19. Rogers owns 10% of so don’t piss off “the man”

  20. I think he’s referring to “The Man” as the person, not the player. All this said, my guess is Zauny’s gone soon. Too much drama, right or wrong.

    • Disagree.
      Helps produce interest.
      I don’t think it’s a fluke that Hayhurst has been included with the pregame.
      You got Zuan as the old school,opinionated,non Saber,get off my lawn crumudgeon.
      As a foil,Hayhurst is the younger, hip,Saber guy,in tune with the current player.
      Makes for two different perspectives on the same situation.

      FWIW-Enjoying Campbell in this role. I think he’s found his proper calling.

      • Bang on Radar.

      • Absolutely. Every bit of the emergence of Zaun Cherry is calculated, I’m sure

        • Don’t get me wrong — I think he’s a buffoon. But he’s an intentional buffoon.

          • Cantona.
            He’s definitly gregarious.But after 17 years in the bigs and with what he’s seen, he has that right.
            I think most of us,would do the same.

            • I’m not sure of exactly what you mean. I mean, he can say anything he wants, but like Cherry, I think he calculates his wording etc. for maximal controversy, to the extent that one can generate Blue Jays controversy. And I’m sure his employers are happy with him doing it, and wouldn’t be surprised if they encourage it. We live in a world where celebrities are told what to wear when they go grocery shopping, who to date when, when to release their sex tape, and so on, all to maximize exposure. On a much smaller scale that’s what Rogers does with Zaun. If they ever had an issue with anything he said, they could fire him. And they haven’t. So there is really nothing to see here.

              • Of course! If the guy sat there and blandly explained the game would you watch or even discuss it on this forum? Note to Stoeten: Yes it has become a forum plus please give Archie full control of everything because his writing is the right stuff.

      • Agree. Loved Jamie’s interjection today -”need to pay the bills here.” He’s great in his current role.

        • Agree! In fact, I told Jamie that when he came up to chat with me this spring in Dunedin. He was way more cool with me than he needed to be, considering the history of this site. Seemed like a great guy.

    • I think Zaun is great! Rough around the edges and absolutely the kind of guy you love to hear if you love the “old school” aspect of the game. Call it as it is because sometimes this game that I love can’t be described with a fucking calculator.

      • @ Tom W

        It’s something that I’ve said to Stoeten for years. It pisses him off but It’s just the way it is.
        People watch the game differently.Some are trying to analyze splits and percentages, some are watching the strategies and moves to be made, others are watching other things.
        It’s what’s great about the game.You can debate just about every play.

        • @Radar I agree with you to the utmost Radar and I like to believe that us old school folk understand the game (as it was meant to be) just a little bit better. The game is for you me and the kids not for accountants, mathmagiion and corporate America……..come get in my microbus and watch a minor league game one day…..the beer is on me.

        • It pisses me off, RADAR, because it’s dismissive know-nothing horseshit. Nobody who is into advancing their knowledge of the game they love is looking at it through a fucking calculator screen the way you suggest, you fucking dimwit. You say shit like that to elevate yourself– constantly– while paying lip service to some nebulous concept of “stats” you pretend to like, which is just a disguise to be a fucking change-hating dinosaur.

          You don’t have the secret key to the beauty of the game that us calculator boys can’t understand, and posturing like you do makes you a real fucking clueless asshole.

          • Stoeten, I sense you’re upset again.
            That’s okay, let it out, release those inner emotions.
            You’ll feel better.
            For you to assume that we all watch the game from the same viewpoint or that we should watch the same way, is truly myopic.
            You see things from your experiences ,I see them from mine,others will see them from theirs.
            I accept that.You on the other hand seem to discount anybody that doesn’t blindly concur with your statistical analysis.
            Sorry, I have my opinion which is based upon talking to many baseball people who know much more than you and I, and the rest of this board put together.
            I understand and use stats but they don’t govern my complete baseball experience as they seem to do to you.I try to keep them in context.
            Take a (now considered) basic stat, WAR.
            In a recent player poll of MLB players,over a third had no idea what the WAR stat was.And of the 2/3 of the players who knew what it was, a majority had no idea what their own WAR rating was.Yet, in sabermetric analysis, it’s vital in comparing players.
            It’s also a very difficult stat to calculate. Most of us trust FG or BR to figure it out, very few people know the exact formula.
            We also know how UZR values can skew WAR ratings. Yet again UZR depends on the human eye test and judgement of plays. Most experts say that UZR is not accurate without 3 years of data and the inventor of the UZR stat claims that it has flaws.( i can provide the link)
            And yet it used in the WAR stat calculations.
            Does this mean the stat is useless?I don’t think so. I think there’s value in it but it’s not an absolute that should be used as a taunting weapon to bully people.
            Baseball,to me, is a blend of many things,a part of which, is stats but it’s just a portion of the game as a whole.

            Would you like to discuss what I think about the value of Pythag Wins?

        • @Radar


          It’s fun to share different opinions about the game

  21. Brutal,Brutal call

  22. I like the 2nd Wild Card. It makes all of these late season games that much more meaningful. Especially in the case of the Reds and the Pirates. The Reds went into the day of Sept 20th trailing the Pirates by 1 game in the WC with 6 head to head games remaining. In previous years, one would figure that whichever team played the best in the 6 head to head games would position themselves better to win the one WC spot and head on the ALDS. But now, even if the Reds win 5 of 6 and leap frog the Bucs in the WC standings, they still would have to play that one game WC playoff at the end of the year and miss the real “playoffs” by losing that one game despite playing better baseball at the end of the year when it counts most. Aren’t I a genius?

  23. No offense to my fellow Jays fans but if the Rays can somehow get into the WC I’m all in.

  24. If Zaun comes on TV and says, “I wish I could get my email on this shit Blackberry but I’ve got Rogers service, so you know that’s not going to work. I’d head home and watch TV, but this game is only on Sportsnet 1 and you know I’m not paying for that shit. ” Then there would be problems.

    The man is Rogers Corp. The guys who sign his paycheck. He’s an employee, nothing shocking to me here.

  25. Tip of the cap to Gibby for letting Dickey head out for the 8th and a possible Complete Game. He deserves it. Aside from the Ortiz bomb, everything else the Sox hit today was a muffin. 10 stikeouts, including three against Victorino!

  26. It’s “the Man” as in “Homie just socked it to the Man.” That is, Rogers. Don’t say Rogers is shit for splashing ads all over the dome or charging $6 for day-old popcorn which the server probably jacked off in. Just stick to baseball.

  27. I realize I am getting to this late, but I am pretty sure that by The Man, they mean lay off criticizing Manny Lee.

  28. I read that article, expecting to scroll down and see a dozen or so comments…….holy fuck people.

  29. either way what is the big deal about Rogers telling Zaun its ok to critize the team and players but not to heavily critize Rogers as a corporation? maybe I’m tired considering it is Monday morning but I don’t get how this is a big deal.

    • the big deal is that rogers manages the baseball team… so he can be critical of the players and how they play but not critical of the management that puts the team together? its fucked up.

      the overwhelming majority of the media most people get on the baseball club is through rogers owned entities… and now we know they are muzzled in what they can say about management. brutal.

      so basically, zaun can say this is a last place team that plays shitty defence and does a poor job executing fundamentals etc, etc…. but he can’t say GM (president, whatever) made a bunch of mistakes and generally did a shitty job managing the club’s assets. even if he thinks both parts are true he can only ‘tell it like it is’ about half the story. fucking BS.

      • isn’t AA employed by the Toronto Blue Jays? I don’t see why he can’t say that AA made some mistakes as long as he isn’t making personal attacks. realistically, I think everybody already knew that attacking Rogers was not an option for any Rogers employee. Remember what happened to Wilner when he made comments about Cito a while ago? I’d say that was a lot worse than this….

  30. I interpreted it as not attacking ‘Rogers Communications’, but don’t have a problem with that. Greg Zaun is employed to talk about baseball. Anything baseball related, he’s free to say what he likes. He’s not employed as a media/business journalist, so Rogers don’t want him saying ‘Rogers phones suck’, or ‘Rogers is a crappy company’, or ‘the Rogers board of directors are bean-counting idiots’.

    That said, we all recall Mike Wilner getting ‘benched’ for asking perfectly legitimate questions of Cito Gaston, so … Rogers certainly will undermine its journalists’ independence when it wants to.

  31. thanks for this stoeten… missed the article initially.

    do you think its possible they have different standards for brunt and zaun? because reading brunts little rant brings to mind the Shakespeare quote “the lady doth protest too much, methinks” lol.

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