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.

A conversation with Pierre Page

My conversation with former NHL head coach, general manager, and sports director Pierre Page, one of the most highly respected and accomplished hockey professionals in the game today.

We talked about his thoughts on the changing nature of hockey and if today’s game is in good hands, if there exists a way to improve the sport without damaging the essence of what the NHL has worked to accomplish in terms of parity and balance, his thoughts on the much maligned concussion protocol and if the league is doing enough to protect their players, his candid perspective on the upcoming 2018-2019 Toronto Maple Leafs season, on the pressure of winning the hardest trophy in professional sports, his feelings on the other Canadian-based franchises and their ravenous fanbases, and how the John Tavares signing couldn’t help but remind him of the great Eric Lindros.

Be sure to check out Pierre’s fine work as the Founder of Peak Gold Performance (PGP) and the current head coach of the EHC Red Bull Munchen in the DEL German Hockey League.

A conversation with Jim Tatti

My conversation with legendary sportscaster and TSN host Jim Tatti, whose work in the industry has spanned over four decades.

We discussed his thoughts on the sports climate and general feeling on the dog days of August, if he was surprised at the Blue Jays failure to compete in 2018, why we’ve seen the rise of overpaid and underachieving athletes in Toronto, the tough sell of a typical Blue Jays ticket and his opinion of their business model, on MLSE stepping out and if the novelty of their moves has worn off yet, his thoughts on early Vegas prognostication, and if he thinks the baseball management team will learn anything from the Raptors and Maple Leafs.

Be sure to check out Jim’s fine work @jimtatti and on TSN Radio 1050/1150.

Ari Shapiro on Sportsnet 650 (Vancouver) with Mira Laurence (08-17)

My recent baseball insider appearance on Sportsnet 650 in Vancouver with host Mira Laurence (08-17). A lively and engaging look at the recent eSports surge of popularity, Shi Davidi’s comments regarding the fate of Josh Donaldson, my magnanimously opulent comments on the future of John Gibbons, the reality of Jose Bautista’s true staying power, and my unabashedly candid lament of the Urena suspension.

Ari Shapiro on Sportsnet 590 (Toronto) – The Roger Lajoie Show (08/11)

My latest baseball insider appearance with the inimitable Roger Lajoie of Sportsnet 590 in Toronto, talking about the Blue Jays 25th anniversary of their 1992/1993 World Series championships. We also covered: the quagmire that is pace-of-play initiatives in the sport, what to expect from the starting rotation in 2019, Kevin Pillar’s regression and what it means for this pop-gun offensive lineup, the challenge of bringing up Vlad Guerrero Jr. in a lost year bereft of competitive purpose, and how to deal with the 46 remaining games of a long and miserable baseball season.

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