A conversation with Omar White

My conversation with writer, blogger, and hockey savant Omar White of Pension Plan Puppets and A Winning Habit, whose affiliations with SB Nation and FanSided have further underscored his brilliant work as a foremost authority on all things Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens.

We talked about his experiences with PPP and AWH, what sets aside one brand of sports fandom from another, the polarized reality of different cities across the Canadian hockey landscape, if he thinks the Habs will surprise anyone or if the Leafs may end up struggling with the burden of expectations, his candid take on the current playoff format, and the enormous adversity of getting deep into the NHL post-season in the social media era.

Be sure to follow Omar (@olw93) on twitter and check out his literary prowess at pensionplanpuppets.com and awinninghabit.com today.

Ari Shapiro on Sportsnet 650 (Vancouver) with Mira Laurence (09-06)

My baseball insider appearance on Sportsnet 650 (09-06) in Vancouver with host Mira Laurence (@laurence_mira) discussing: trade deadline conclusions, reflections on the unceremonious departure of Josh Donaldson, candid thoughts on the enigmatic Aaron Sanchez, a quick nod to the legendary Dave Stieb and his quest for perfection, Rowdy Tellez and his indomitable rise to the big leagues, why Vlad Guerrero Jr. could become a thorn in the side of Mark Shapiro’s ability to rationalize things, and the final days of John Gibbons and his love of leaning back on chairs.

A conversation with Jesse Goldberg-Strassler

My conversation with author, broadcaster, and podcaster Jesse Goldberg-Strassler, who is known around industry circles as a versatile and multi-talented force; he’s written and published The Baseball Thesaurus, is the radio voice of The Lansing Lugnuts, and hosts the Around The Nest Podcast.

We discussed his candid take on the Josh Donaldson saga, how the front office was at cross purposes from the start, on the perception of player value when it came to Mark Shapiro’s plan for contending and rebuilding, if an $18 million dollar qualifying offer would have solved everything, whether or not Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez can make this team competitive in 2019, if the claims of having the third best farm system in organized baseball will minimize the pain of transition, his rookie projections for under-the-radar names, if Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki are the cavalry or the fallout, and how Vlad Guerrero Jr. will stop attendance bleeding and keep the team from descending into irrelevancy.

Be sure to follow Jesse (@jgoldstrass) on social media and check out his website at jessegoldbergstrassler.com.

A conversation with Jamie Thomas

My conversation with veteran sportscaster Jamie Thomas, whose work with the Winning Jets as both an insider and host along with his prodigious Sportsnet & TSN exposure has garnered him the admiration of countless hockey fans across North America.

We talked about his thoughts on how the Jets will handle the loss of Paul Stastny, why Winnipeg remains the gold standard for having the most talent-laden team in Canada, his take on Laine versus Matthews when looking back at their accomplishments, if the Oilers/Sens/Habs will fall victim to a dispassionate and increasingly disinterested fanbase, on the true value of luck in the NHL, and why he believes Kyle Dubas will be able to keep the Maple Leafs core together for many years to come.

Be sure to follow Jamie (@JamieThomasTV) on social media and watch him during the season at Jets TV (@NHLJets).

A conversation with Tony Ambrogio

My conversation with prolific broadcaster, host, reporter, and writer Tony Ambrogio, whose journalistic efforts have spanned multiple decades across the North American landscape as a fixture for multi-sports coverage and credibility.

We discussed his candid take on social media today and what it takes for someone to succeed in journalism at a time when the industry is in decline, if he could ever remember a baseball season filled with such calamity and woe, could the Blue Jays have done more from a public relations and asset management perspective to leave fans with a better taste in their mouths, and the reality behind banking on raw prospects when building a credible sports offering for the fans.

Be sure to follow Tony (@Tony_Ambrogio) on social media, and check out his fine work on TSN and TSN 1050 radio. His website can be found at tonyambrogio.com.

A conversation with Roger Lajoie

My conversation with author, teacher, and hockey executive Roger Lajoie, who also happens to be one of the most popular hosts at Sportsnet the Fan 590 radio in Toronto, and has been known to have me on his show from time to time.

We talked about the baseball melodrama that is the Josh Donaldson saga, on rationalizing the success and failure of a Blue Jays rebuilding phase, how the value of MLB managers has changed in the modern era financially for the worse while their intangibles still remain, the concept of rewarding young underachievers in the NHL with contracts better suited for veteran overachievers, and how the Maple Leafs penchant for drafting effectively has turned them into a true competitive hockey juggernaut.

Be sure to follow Roger (@TheRog590; rogerlajoie.com) on social media, and check out his fine work with the AHL’s Belleville Senators, his teaching efforts at the College of Sports Media, and his sportscasting work live on the air at Sportsnet radio (@Fan590).

Ari Shapiro on TSN 1260 (Edmonton) – The Dean Millard Show (08/30)

My latest appearance (08-30) on TSN 1260 Radio (Edmonton) with host Dean Millard (@DuckMillard) as we discuss the current status of Josh Donaldson, how the Blue Jays failed with asset management in 2018, why there’s a disconnect between the fans and the front office, if there was a realistic chance of recouping anything back from the impending divorce, the surreal nature of The Bringer of Rain’s recurring injuries, and what the future of this team will feel like without his mercurial presence.

A conversation with Tao of Stieb

My conversation with Tao of Stieb, one of the most popular literary contributors to Sportsnet whose baseball insights are renowned for their gravitas, authenticity, and poignancy.

We discussed his expectations for the final month of the 2018 baseball season, his feelings on the Blue Jays now ranked third overall in farm system development across MLB, why fans must remebered that prospects are just prospects until otherwise proven, his candid thoughts on the future of Troy Tulowitzki and Josh Donaldson, the importance of the “sixth tool” of good health, the impact of certain albatross contracts coming to their merciful end, and the fate of Russell Martin and Kendrys Morales.

Be sure to follow Tao (@TaoofStieb) on social media, and always check out Sportsnet for his latest columns and existential perspectives on all things Toronto Blue Jays.

A conversation with Austin Owens

My conversation with acclaimed writer, blogger, and podcaster Austin Owens, who recently joined The Score as a copy editor and is a graduate of the sports journalism program at Centennial College.

We talked about his feelings on the novelty of landing John Tavares, if Kyle Dubas will realistically be able to sign all three of his young superstar guns, his thoughts on the power play between the old guard (Lou/Hunter) and the new (Dubas), his take on how the Maple Leafs have drafted philosophically in recent years, which under the radar prospects impress him the most, if the Maple Leafs defensive corps really has what it takes to win in the post-season, and if the Atlantic Division reminds him of the AL East in baseball as a serious barrier to success.

Be sure to follow Austin (@_AustinOwens) and listen to his great work with the Tip of the Tower (@TipOfTheTower) podcast alongside David Morassutti (@d_morassutti).

A conversation with Jim Lang

My conversation with author, sportscaster, and radio morning host Jim Lang, whose previous work at Rogers Sportsnet and The Fan 590 has added to his profile as a widely respected and popular journalist across Canada.

We discussed his perspective on the changing seasons of sport and how MLSE has upped the ante for basketball/hockey expectations across Toronto, if he gives any credence to a state of competition between franchises fighting for fan’s disposable (and diminishing) income dollars, why it took so long for this supposed world class city to understand the value of long-term planning and strategic drafts, and his personal take on the nature of analytics in a cap-based system versus unlimited spending.

Be sure to follow Jim @JimLangSports, listen to him on 105.9 FM (The Region), and check it out his literary prowess with “Bleeding Blue” and “Shift Work” available from Simon & Schuster Canada.

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