A conversation with Ben Reiter

My conversation with Ben Reiter, senior writer for Sports Illustrated & SI.com since 2004 and author of Astroball: The New Way To Win It All, where he prophetically predicted in 2014 that the Houston Astros would win the World Series by 2017.

We discussed what inspired him to dive deeper into the modern day baseball methodology when it comes to payroll/asset management, how his thinking evolved in contrast to the Moneyball realities of the game, his thoughts on Jeff Luhnow and the fateful decision to acquire Roberto Osuna amidst a character-driven modus operandi, why Ken Giles will be a valuable part of the future of the Toronto Blue Jays, and his candid take on the dwindling nature of batting averages and bases on balls over the voracious appetites for witnessing home runs and rampant strikeouts.

Be sure to follow Ben (@BenReiter) on social media and pick up a copy of his new book while enjoying fine work over at Sports Illustrated.

Ari Shapiro on Sportsnet 650 (Vancouver) with Mira Laurence (09-26)

My latest baseball insider appearance on Sportsnet 650 (09-26) in Vancouver with host Mira Laurence (@laurence_mira) talking about the departure and legacy of John Gibbons, if he would have been successful in leading the next generation of Blue Jays rookies, what fans will miss most about him, if he was too “old school” for the game of baseball, various reasons to be excited about the 2019 season, and thoughts on the Toronto Maple Leafs and Vancouver Canucks.

A conversation with Maurizio Bevilacqua

My conversation with the Honorable Maurizio Bevilacqua, the Mayor of Vaughan and member of parliament for 22 years where he holds the record for most votes ever received by a municipal candidate in Canadian political history.

We talked about his thoughts on the impact of professional sports and the taxpaying citizen, who should be responsible for keeping grass roots and community-oriented sports thriving, which player and team was his favourite growing up as a child, on the awesome power of nostalgia and what inspires him in life, thoughts on the double-edged nature of fan escapism, his candid (and mayoral) take on the Toronto Maple Leafs upcoming season, and his feelings on the crucial nature of political leadership and why it’s vital that “one serves before they should lead.”

Be sure to follow Maurizio (@mbmayor) on social media as he continues his fine work as a pre-eminent public servant working to make his community a better, worthwhile place.

A conversation with Mike Stephens

My conversation with writer and blogger Mike Stephens, whose passionate work with The Leafs Nation, Editor in Leaf, and the FanSided network has made him into a highly respected authority on all things Toronto Maple Leafs.

We discussed his initial thoughts on training camp, how far the Leafs have come in being legitimately recognized as a Stanley Cup contender, what he thinks might keep the team from being competitive this year, on the power of distancing a time-honored brand from a toxic environment and returning with a vengeance, which under-the-radar player has impressed him most during the pre-season, and the importance of having a winning culture at every level of a hockey organization from day one.

Be sure to follow Mike (@mikeystephens81) on social media and enjoy his brilliant coverage of the Toronto Marlies across all platforms.

A conversation with Mark Masters

My conversation with multi-sports journalist and hockey reporter Mark Masters, whose professionalism and candor is a true reflection of his venerable academic roots and industry ambitions.

We talked about his appreciation for fan value and their disposable income, if the Blue Jays can learn from the example of the Maple Leafs and Raptors, his candid take on William Nylander’s future contract destiny, on the annual enigma that is Jake Gardiner, his appreciation of Kyle Dubas and thoughts on this grand rebuild, and a hot take on the US Open fallout and the future of tennis.

Be sure to follow Mark (@markhmasters) on social media and check out his splendid work on TSN including That’s Hockey, and That’s Hockey 2Nite.

A conversation with Dave Feschuk

My conversation with veteran journalist and Toronto Star sports columnist Dave Feschuk, whose talents and versatility are always on display with his thought-provoking articles and incredibly well-written perspectives on everything involving major professional sports, eSports, and The Olympics.

We discussed his thoughts on the transition from baseball to hockey in the city of Toronto, if this was the absolute worst season he’s ever experienced from the Blue Jays, on the concept of Brendan Shanahan versus Mark Shapiro, how to start rebuilding credibility with the fans to avoid the prospect of living through baseball irrelevancy, on the innate satisfaction of covering the Olympics, his take on tempering Raptors and Maple Leafs expectations this year, why injuries have become a rampant financial drain on payrolls everywhere, and on the growing legitimacy and massive popularity of eSports as a legitimized form of sports competition in the world today.

Be sure to follow Dave (@dfeschuk) on social media and enjoy his prodigious output with The Toronto Star.

A conversation with Luke Fox

My conversation with staff writer and managing editor Luke Fox, whose brilliant literary efforts at Sportsnet have made him into a household name for hockey insight and expertise. He’s also a member of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association with over 15 years of print and media experience in his saddle.

We talked about his feelings regarding the polarization of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens, his take on the power of true franchise asset management, the modern day value of naming a captain, how the William Nylander saga is likely to play out, his take on the change of NHL philosophy when it comes to coveting forward depth, and his candid thoughts on internationalism and the next major evolution in the sport.

Be sure to follow Luke (@lukefoxjukebox) on twitter and check out his dynamic articles on Sportsnet affiliates across the country.

A conversation with Kyle Bukauskas

My conversation with rinkside host Kyle Bukauskas, whose excellent work with Hockey Night In Canada and Rogers Sportsnet has elevated his profile to new heights of industry credibility and journalistic insight.

We discussed how he prepares for a new hockey season of on-ice engagements, if the Ottawa Senators will leave him with nothing but sad memories, his candid takes on all seven NHL Canadian teams, how to deal with the emotional roller-coaster of a long regular season, his feelings on the impact of social media with athletes in different sports, perspectives on the youthful nature of the game, and his authoritative take and prognostications with the upcoming Toronto Maple Leafs season.

Be sure to follow Kyle (@SNKyleBukauskas) on twitter and enjoy his weekly coverage across Sportsnet affiliates and Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts.

A conversation with Adam Wylde

My conversation with radio personality and host Adam Wylde, whose passion for hockey and innate media savvy is a testament to his character and success across Canada.

We talked about his thoughts on the emotional transition from a mediocre summer to a promising winter, on the level of hope in Toronto and if too much pressure on a franchise can almost invite failure, how the respective Toronto sports brands measure up against one another, and his candid take on how luck plays against the analytics campaign during a long NHL season.

Be sure to follow Adam (@AdamWylde) on twitter and check out his brilliant work as host of the Steve Dangle Podcast on Sportsnet.ca and across all major podcasting hubs and apps.

A conversation with Ian Tulloch

My conversation with writer, podcaster, and hockey analytics guru Ian Tulloch, whose work at The Athletic and with the OHL Mississauga Steelheads is a testament to his savvy expertise `on the game of hockey.

We discussed his thoughts on the Maple Leafs window of contention, the challenge of cap system and if Toronto can lock up all three of their young superstars without difficulty, on the issue of being a tough enough team against sandpaper and glue types like the Boston Bruins, his expectations on the way Mike Babcock uses his assets compared to last year, and which Leafs player he believes will be a true darkhorse for fans to enjoy in the upcoming season.

Be sure to follow Ian (@regressian) on twitter and check out The Leafs Geeks Podcast on soundcloud along with his great literary contributions at The Athletic.

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