Posted tagged ‘sportsnet’

40 in 40: UNIQUELYEST (sic) Blue Jays

June 15, 2017

The folks at Sportsnet recently invited us to submit a list of the 40 greatest Blue Jays from the past 40 seasons. Like you, I will sit down in front of a computer and spend many agonizing hours putting together a list. I’m very excited for the vicious internal debates I intend to have with myself.

But first…

I recently created a list of the most unique players to ever wear a Jays uniform. Remarkably, I managed to come up with 40 names.

So what criteria did I use when creating the 40 “uniquelyest” Blue Jays?

I essentially followed three rules:

Rule #1 – A player would not be considered if he was already on the 60-player shortlist that was put together by Sportsnet.

Rule #2 – Stats be damned.

Rule #3 – Go nuts.

These are Blue Jays who are memorable for reasons other than being an all-star, a slugger, an ace or unstoppable reliever. They’re on my list because they were “blue collar” players, had famous dispositions or had one or a few “15 minutes of fame” moments. Heck, some made the list for simply having great hair, awesome facial and bodily features or just a cool name. I’ve even included some that became infamous.

By no means is this list perfect. In fact, it’s really a toss up after the top three. Almost all of the players on this list are from the early 90s and up. That’s simply because I wasn’t alive in the 70s and wore diapers in the 80s. I also doubt this list would ever lead to a documentary by Fadoo Productions.

Anyway, here are the 40 uniquelyest Blue Jays in team history! Questions and/or clarifications? You know where to find me. Feel free to make your own list.

  1. John McDonald
  2. Munenori Kawasaki
  3. Doug Ault
  4. Joe Biagini
  5. Jeff Frye
  6. Brandon Morrow
  7. A.J. Burnett
  8. R.A. Dickey
  9. Reed Johnson
  10. Frank Catalanotto
  11. Marco Scutaro
  12. Steve Delabar
  13. Jason Grilli
  14. Travis Snider
  15. Charlie O’Brien
  16. Matt Stairs
  17. Joe Inglett
  18. Mike McCoy
  19. Shea Hillenbrand
  20. J.P. Arencibia
  21. Sal Fasano
  22. Brett Lawrie
  23. Rick Bosetti
  24. Dustin McGowan
  25. Colby Rasmus
  26. Gustavo Chacin
  27. Gregg Zaun
  28. Scott Downs
  29. Craig Grebeck
  30. Rob Butler
  31. Marc Rzepczynski
  32. Willie Canate
  33. John-Ford Griffin
  34. B.J. Ryan
  35. Brian Tallet
  36. Russ Adams
  37. Jon Rauch
  38. Brandon League
  39. Marty Jenzen
  40. Mauro Gazzo

ER

Retro Blue Jays – Days of the Telemedia Sports Network

April 13, 2017

Posted by Catch The Taste.

​It’s scary to think how the majority of mainstream Blue Jays content is from one specific channel, streamlined for various forms of consumption. I could get upset about it, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world.

However, there are times when I yearn for the past when the stadium, the team and the broadcast rights were owned and operated by separate parties.

So it brought a smile to my face when I found this old radio intro on YouTube.

At the time – and up until the end of the 1997 season – the radio rights were owned by Telemedia. CJCL 1430 – known today as Sportsnet 590 –  was the flagship station.

Having listened to more games on the radio than watching them on television, the best part of the clip is the theme song. It’s simple, bubbly and has a strong 80s influence. If you were a young Blue Jay fan of the late 80s and early 90s, the tune should be an instant flashback to a simpler, yet exciting time. In addition, it’s much better than the heavy, “armageddon-ish” anthem Sportsnet has churned out over the last few seasons on the TV and radio broadcasts.

Also enjoyable was hearing the late Tom Cheek reading out the sponsors, followed by Jerry Howarth setting the scene.

ER

Episode 66: The Big 50 with Shi Davidi

May 26, 2016

In tune with the Blue Jays’ 40th anniversary season, Sportsnet baseball columnist Shi Davidi has written a new book that presents a combination of 50 moments and people that impacted the team. It’s called The Big 50: Toronto Blue Jays.

Davidi joined DNJT to discuss his new book.

Episode 66 Direct MP3 Download

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Retro Blue Jays – Dan Shulman In The Booth

November 24, 2015

Posted by CatchTheTaste, FlightSimFanatic and MLB.

Last week, Rogers announced that Dan Shulman will be joining the Blue Jays’ broadcast team for the next two seasons. It will be on a part-time basis as Shulman will continue his duties with ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Nevertheless, there was a sense of nostalgia and excitement.

Shulman had a prominent on-air role during the early years of Sportsnet 590 (back when it was known as the FAN 1430). He was even the host of Prime Time Sports at one point.

Certain Jays fans will also remember Shulman as the team’s play-by-play voice from 1995-2001 on TSN. He worked alongside Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler.

In honour of Shulman’s return to the Jays’ broadcast booth, here are some clips from his TSN days. Starting off is a commercial he appeared in with Martinez, Roger Clemens and Benito Santiago. Next are seperate intros with Martinez and Tabler, followed by a play-by-play clip from a 2001 broadcast.

 

 

 

 

ER

Retro Blue Jays – The CTV Years

September 4, 2014

Posted by Travis Doucette, CatchTheTaste, Angela Grace Carriere and boobycluck.


 

 

 

It seems like there’s at least one “hate tweet” directed at Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler during every Blue Jays game. Sometimes, it’s appropriate constructive criticism. Sometimes, it’s over the top and unnecessary. Regardless, this running critique of the Sportsnet broadcast team recently inspired me to reflect on what Jays games use to look like on television.

When I was a child, the Jays’ television rights were usually divided among three networks: CTV, TSN and CBC. Sportsnet didn’t exist back then. Since my house didn’t have cable TV (go rabbit ears!), I could only watch games on CTV and CBC.

The CTV broadcasts hold a special place in my heart. The first time I ever watched the Blue Jays, it was on CTV. The first time I ever watched  the All-Star game and World Series, it was on CTV. Every Wednesday night at 7:30pm, I would turn the channel to CTV’s Toronto affiliate – CFTO, Channel 9, Cable 8 – and watch Labatt’s Blue Jays Baseball. Wednesday night was easily my favourite night.

Sadly, there doesn’t appear to be a website the chronicles the history of the Jays on television. Therefore, I have to rely on Wikipedia and my memory.

CTV aired games from 1981-1996. The broadcast would feature on-field reporter Fergie Olver, who usually started things off with “How about those Blue Jays!” Colour commentary was first provided by Tony Kubek and later by Tommy Hutton, who currently works on the Miami Marlins’ broadcasts. Play-by-play duties were handled by the late Don Chevrier.

Chevrier was a versatile broadcaster. He was knowledgeable and had a great voice. It’s a shame most fans born after 1993 missed out on watching him call games.

The clips in this post represent what a CTV broadcast looked like.

The first clip is a promo for an upcoming game. The second clip features a video intro, graphics and one of the theme songs. Clip three features different graphics, plus live intros from Olver, Chevrier and Kubek.

The final clip is a half-inning from the May 1, 1991 broadcast – Nolan Ryan’s seventh no-hitter. One common trait of a CTV broadcast would be taped interviews conducted by Olver that would occasionally play between at-bats. Chevrier and Hutton provide the play-by-play and commentary.

You’ll also notice how Ryan dominated the Jays that faithful evening. It also helps when the home plate ump has a generous strike zone. Not that Ryan needed it, of course 😉

Eric aka @TheHek

If I Was President…

August 19, 2014

Shi Davidi’s article about Paul Beeston’s employment status provoked this tongue-and-cheek post from yours truly.

That tongue-and-cheek post got me thinking: What if – by some miraculous fortune – I was hired by Rogers to be the President of the Blue Jays? What would I do? What changes would I make?

I gave it some thought over a lunch of toast and blueberries. Ultimately, I came up with ten items my presidency would undertake.

1)  Bring back the 99-cent hot dogs. Technically, the 99-cent hot dogs still exist, except they now cost over five bucks. And since the penny was eliminated, I’d have to round up and call them dollar dogs. For added value, I would also bring back the dancing hot dog cartoon that use to be shown on Skydome’s  Jumbotron to advertise the product.

2)  Bring back BJ Birdy. I have nothing against Ace, except for his generic name. There’s just something about the former Jays mascot that the current one doesn’t have. Perhaps it’s because BJ Birdy conjures up memories of the glory years, while Ace is a reminder of several disappointing and frustrating seasons. I would still keep Ace for the Saturday Jr. Jays games. I’d even bring back Diamond and Domer. But at the end of the day, BJ Birdy would be the “ace” of the mascot staff.

3) Changes to the TV play-by-play crew. Almost every game features at least one hate-tweet directed at Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler. Buck is no Vin Scully, but he’s better as a colour commentator and has more experience sitting in that chair. Therefore, I would have a platoon of actual play-by-play broadcasters. More specifically, Matt Devlin and Jim Hughson. Devlin sounds great every time he fills in for Buck and Hughson has done play-by-play for the Jays before (he also worked alongside Buck for the TSN broadcasts of the early nineties). As for Tabler, he can be the third man in the booth or (more preferably) he could join Jamie Campbell and Gregg Zaun at Blue Jays Central. Of course, with Devlin and Hughson’s commitments to basketball and hockey, there might be a need for a third play-by-play man. My suggestion: Rob Faulds or Sam Cosentino.

4)  Bring back the Flashback Friday promotion. By far, my favourite in-game promotion. Powder blue throwbacks, a returning former player and a wicked music video to start things off. It’s a shame the Jays discontinued it.

5) More appearances from the Sunday organist. I have a fever and the only cure is organ music at the ball park. Having an organist helps create the perfect baseball atmosphere. It sure beats having a Friday night DJ at the stadium.

6) Eliminate the techno version of OK Blue Jays. They’ve been playing it for years and it has never sounded right. You just can’t beat the original arrangement.

7) Grass field, ASAP. In an interview with Mike Wilner last year, Colby Rasmus compared the field to “running up and down a basketball court.” That’s not good. Grass must be installed and it cannot wait for the Argos’ contract to expire. It’s not a simple or fast fix, but the process and research needs to start.

8)  Blogger Press Box. Okay, I’m a little bias for this one; but wouldn’t it be great if all us bloggers had our own spot to congregate at Skydome? We could use the football press box since it’s empty most of the time.

9) Change the stadium’s name back to Skydome. That just goes without saying. Also acceptable: Rogers Skydome, as suggested by a few individuals.

10) Get carte blanche from the Rogers brass. Definitely a daunting task. I would request a blank cheque and get it in writing. Then I would print the document on a giant flag and have it fly outside the stadium. That way, I won’t have to deal with all the “ownership is cheap and trying to screw the team” comments. There might be some truth to it, but unlimited bags of cash doesn’t lead to World Series titles either.

As for AA and Gibby…Sorry, I’m holding judgement until the end of the season 😉

Eric aka @TheHek

Photo: BJ Birdy Appreciation Page (http://www.geocities.ws/Athens/Atlantis/2816/bluejays/bjbirdy.html)

Photo: BJ Birdy
Appreciation Page (http://goo.gl/gjXdpa)

Retro Blue Jays – Mark Hendrickson Goes Deep

July 10, 2014

Posted by MLB’s YouTube page

Despite being a two-sport athlete, you won’t find Mark Hendrickson enshrined in Cooperstown or Springfield. However, the tall left-hander does hold one notable honour: The first (and only) Toronto Blue Jay pitcher to hit a home run in a regular season game.

The moment occurred on June 21, 2003 at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. According to Baseball-Reference.com, 11, 483 fans witnessed it.

Hendrickson was starting for the Jays that evening, while the Montreal Expos countered with Sun-Woo Kim. Already staked to a 1-0 lead, Hendrickson led off the 5th inning against Kim. On a 2-1 pitch (noted by Baseball-Reference.com), he sent a fly ball that cleared the wall in right field. As seen in the clip, Hendrickson showed no emotion as he rounded the bases. The Jays’ dugout, in comparison, was ecstatic.

Hendrickson looked good on the mound as well. He threw six innings, 92 pitches; gave up 1 earned run, six hits, two walks and stuck out two batters (Baseball-Reference.com). He left the game with the Jays leading, 5-1.

Unfortunately, the Expos would score seven runs in the bottom of the eighth inning, en route to an 8-5 victory.

Hendrickson last pitched in the majors in 2011. Along with the Jays, he also played for Tampa Bay, Los Angeles, Florida and Baltimore. He’s currently throwing for the Atlantic League’s York Revolution.

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Sidebar: The clip was taken from the Sportsnet broadcast. The play-by-play crew was Rob Faulds and the late John Cerutti.


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