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Jack Morris is the new Alan Ashby.  Morris will be the play by play guy on radio and cover on TV when Buck or Tabler are on vacation.

Is this good?  I don't know, has anyone ever heard Jack do analysis?

Meanwhile Sportsnet announced their spring training coverage....six TV games starting February 23rd, and all the games on radio or web.



Most of the games will be on the web, by my quick count there will be ten games on the radio and twenty four on web broadcast only.

Here is the release.

 

Tonight is the annual state of the franchise event at the Rogers Centre so look for lots of warm feelings coming from that.

Morris To The Airwaves! | 45 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
JohnL - Tuesday, February 05 2013 @ 05:01 PM EST (#268541) #
Never heard him broadcast, but having heard him being interviewed (typically after he's missed out again on the HOF), he's definitely a self-promoter; something his predecessor certainly wasn't.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 05 2013 @ 05:20 PM EST (#268542) #
I am sure that he'll go 9 innings every broadcast. 
blu-j - Tuesday, February 05 2013 @ 05:53 PM EST (#268543) #
I imagine he'll have amazing insights when the games are close--Possible Frick Award consideration level commentary; but he'll lose focus and ramble on whenever the Jays get a big lead, causing the announcing sabermetricians to sour on him.
Thomas - Tuesday, February 05 2013 @ 05:57 PM EST (#268544) #
He'll announce to the score.
Thomas - Tuesday, February 05 2013 @ 05:59 PM EST (#268545) #
Beaten to the punch.
SJE - Tuesday, February 05 2013 @ 07:02 PM EST (#268546) #

Jack seems to have a great voice and will probably add a lot of insight. The broadcast booth seems to be overflowing with old school guys. Throw in Zaun as well. A little different perspective would have refreshing using some the new metrics, and I remember when the Expos were a new franchise

greenfrog - Tuesday, February 05 2013 @ 08:43 PM EST (#268547) #
I propose a single all-encompassing stat for broadcasters: VAR (Voice Above Replacement). Or maybe EAA+ (Earned Audience Average Plus).

For example, I imagine Ashby as having a career EAA+ of 112 (maybe with peak seasons around 115 - 125) -- roughly the Shaun Marcum of broadcasters (minus the beard).
Oceanbound - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 03:27 AM EST (#268551) #
He's outright hostile towards advanced stats, so get ready for a lot of veteran scrappiness and playing the game the right way and pitcher wins are the most important thing I guess.
Richard S.S. - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 03:54 AM EST (#268552) #
If you can listen to the "State of" address on Sportnet, do so as it has interesting tidbits offered. I don't know if there is a link.
Chuck - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 06:41 AM EST (#268553) #
He's outright hostile towards advanced stats, so get ready for a lot of veteran scrappiness and playing the game the right way and pitcher wins are the most important thing I guess.

The little I have heard him broadcast has lead me to come away with this same impression. In his particular case, it's those darned advanced stats, and the purveyors thereof, that have impeded his "rightful" path to Cooperstown, so he figures to hold them in even less regard than the average ex-player. While I am open to the possibility of being pleasantly surprised, I am not optimistic about this decision going well.
Jonny German - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 06:53 AM EST (#268554) #
I wonder what the "casual Blue Jay fan" thinks of Morris - do they remember him as a winner who helped push the Jays over the top in 1992, or as a Detroit Tiger who was not particularly good in Toronto? It would seem Sportsnet has estimated the general feeling to be positive.

I'm not old enough to have a hatred of the Tigers, but I am aware of the stats enough to have negative associations towards Morris the player.

Too bad Dave Stieb hasn't pursued broadcasting. Now that would be cool.
Jonny German - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 06:58 AM EST (#268555) #
Gibbons named his rotation at the State of the Franchise, thusly:

Dickey
Morrow
Buehrle
Johnson
Romero

Sounds sensible to me.
Thomas - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 07:10 AM EST (#268556) #
From what I've read on the internet, Twins fans aren't upset at his departure.
Geoff - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 01:10 PM EST (#268562) #
do they remember him as a winner who helped push the Jays over the top in 1992, or as a Detroit Tiger who was not particularly good in Toronto?

Or remember him as the guy who dropped cold water on the Jays postseason hopes in 1991 with two wins in the ALCS?

I predict that he will be okay for the regular season now that we have acquired him from Minnesota, but then come playoff time he will have a hard time summoning his old magic and his bandwagon will empty. Then next year we will all wish he was signed on a one-year deal and wonder how the Jays will get him off the team.

But the real reason Morris is being brought in? So that fans will never get to stop being reminded that this was once a championship-winning franchise.

Jerry: So, Jack, tell me what story do you have today from '92 or '93? How does this team share similarities to those teams?

Dewey - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 03:06 PM EST (#268564) #
Wonder if Jack will rumble into the dome on his Harley every day?

This appointment seems to me one theyíre going to regret.  I like Johnny Germanís suggestion that Steib in the job would be 'cool'.  Or hot maybe.  Anything to moderate Jerry's general sappiness will be O.K. though.
hypobole - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 03:26 PM EST (#268567) #
I think we're going to regret the Morris hiring much more than Sportsnet will. From what I can gather, the more one understands the sabermetric side of baseball, the more one will find Morris irritating. However, if JaysTalk callers are representative of the audience, most listeners will be more than happy with Morris.
JohnL - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 03:37 PM EST (#268568) #
Did he get fired from both his Detroit and Minnesota broadcast jobs? I got that impression from some internet news, and his own comments at last night's "State of the Franchise" event. The video of the event is posted on the Jays site
JohnL - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 03:41 PM EST (#268569) #

Sorry, that Jays link only had a story. it was a different video.

The video is still up on The Star's website. I watched some of it last night, but the buffering was really bad, and it seemed to finally stop about 30 minutes in.

greenfrog - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 03:46 PM EST (#268570) #
I agree with Gibbons' proposed rotation. That's how I would have lined them up too. Now let's see if all five are healthy and tuned up when the season starts.
John Northey - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 10:43 PM EST (#268583) #
No question the rotation matches dead on my ideal one - knuckle/R/L/R/L with Morrow next to Dickey so he gets the maximum advantage as he is signed for a few more years while Johnson is not. 

As to Morris, not a big fan of 'old school' if they just do the standard 'it takes guts to win' type stuff.  Was hoping for the Garfoose myself but it is too soon in his career for a full-time gig I suspect.

whiterasta80 - Wednesday, February 06 2013 @ 11:09 PM EST (#268584) #
I am willing to give Morris a shot: I didn't think Ashby would be anything special and boy was I wrong! That being said I have never liked his interviews so I am not optimistic.

I too would have been interested in Garfoose and don't really see a downside to his selection.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 12:52 AM EST (#268585) #

I like the proposed Rotation, prefering a power arm to follow R.A. rather than a lefty. Janssen is the Closer because they don't know what Santos will bring. I can see using two Closers this season because of the work load, as this Team will be in a lot more games. One important decision is who's the "fireman"? Who's always the first Reliever off the Bench?

I like Jack Morris and any decision before 30 games is unwise. 130-140 games on Radio with 20-30 games on T.V. He's signed for 3 years so we had better get used to him.

Dirk Hayhurst was a Blue Jays Central at Noon host for a few months last year. He needs more experience despite being effective in his TV work.

bpoz - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 10:43 AM EST (#268589) #
I listened to radio broadcasts when the Jays were winning and also when they were not. I cannot remember if you broadcast differently.
John Northey - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 11:00 AM EST (#268590) #
Just checked the Jays broadcast schedule to find the radio stations to see what channel to use up here in Thunder Bay and was disappointed to see nada.  Nothing.  El-zippo.

Well, that is frustrating.  In the GTA I had 590, 570, sometimes 610 to choose from.  Guess I should've seen it coming though - not a single AM radio station is up here, or at least none with a strong enough signal for my car to pick up.  If I knew anything about how to do it (and had some cash to risk), I'd look at getting an AM license up here and just buy rights for Jays games and some basic talk radio stuff to fill the hours and probably make a lot since anyone looking on AM would find me and nothing else.  The city is full of baseball diamonds - far more than I ever saw in Georgetown (where I used to live) or Cambridge (where I grew up, and is of similar size to Thunder Bay) so you'd think there would be a market for it.  Sigh.

Is MLB Gameday Audio any good?  $20 for the year - just have to hook my cell phone to the car radio when driving around without the kids (who demand to have on movies or MP3's of stuff like One Dimension).
Geoff - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 11:25 AM EST (#268591) #
The Buehrles have been featured again in their fight against canine haters. If it wasn't for these pooch stories, I wonder how much Buehrle would fly under the radar among all Toronto's new acquisitions? So easy to get distracted by Dickey, and Reyes, and Cabrera, and Johnson. Makes me wonder: what is the record for number of players acquired in the offseason that would appear in that following year's All-Star game? Could Toronto have four? Five?

I can attest that MLB Gameday Audio is terrific. I stream games from my phone to car's stereo via bluetooth and couldn't be happier.

Mike Green - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 11:25 AM EST (#268592) #
The Gameday audio broadcast is fine on a computer at home, and I imagine it would be fine through a cell phone on a car radio speakers.

There sure are a lot of holes in the radio network.  No Kingston, no Ottawa, no Sudbury, no Soo.  I wonder if you can get the Winkler, MB broadcast in Winnipeg.  They've sure got Saskatchewan covered though.

Lylemcr - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 11:54 AM EST (#268594) #

I think Steib would be a better broadcaster than Morris.  :)

Paul D - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 12:38 PM EST (#268598) #
You can pay $15 to get all the games, on the radio, on your smartphone, with the home or away feed.
92-93 - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 12:48 PM EST (#268600) #
GameDay Audio is amazing. Now if only Rogers could put in wireless internet so one could listen to the radio broadcast on his phone while at the game.
whiterasta80 - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 02:53 PM EST (#268604) #
Ottawa had coverage last season on 1200. Before that we had occasional coverage on 1310. But it really is disappointing to have to look so hard for radio coverage. There was a time you could almost drive across this country coast to coast and get coverage.
dan gordon - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 03:39 PM EST (#268606) #

That rotation is exactly as i was hoping it would be, and I was happy to hear Gibbons name Janssen as the closer, which wins me a bet with a friend who figured it would be Santos.  So far, Gibbons is 2 for 2 in my book.

Not optimistic about Morris.  As a guy who really appreciates stats, I expect to be very unimpressed with his addition to the booth.  If he's as bad as I fear, he'll combine with Howarth to make a nearly unlistenable combo.

Great to have some more spring games on TV/radio.  Eventually, I think they'll get the majority of the spring games on TV.

Named For Hank - Thursday, February 07 2013 @ 09:54 PM EST (#268615) #
The quality of Gameday audio is excellent, even with poor connection speeds. Part of that has to do with how it buffers: when the connection is good, it grabs as much as a minute ahead of what you are currently hearing, to cover for gaps in coverage or drops in connection speed. This also makes it worthless for listening to while watching the game, as it is about a minute behind.
Magpie - Friday, February 08 2013 @ 01:03 PM EST (#268621) #
Not optimistic about Morris. As a guy who really appreciates stats, I expect to be very unimpressed with his addition to the booth.

But who wants Morris - or any analyst - to look at the stats anyway? Anyone can do that. I'd be quite happy if Morris can provide some insight, based on his own considerable experience, of what the pitcher is trying to achieve - why he's throwing this pitch to this hitter in this situation. That's much more interesting to me. I can look at numbers myself, thank you very much.
AWeb - Friday, February 08 2013 @ 01:52 PM EST (#268626) #

Morris could be OK, but so much of an analyst depends on the P-b-P guy - what questions are asked, the chemistry, etc. I've heard him interviewed, in the context of his own HoF candidacy. Not surprisingly, it was terrible. But his voice seemed OK, and he's not likely to be a shameless homer or shameless yankee lover (looking at you, Rod Black). It's all about what he's asked to do and how well he meshes with his partners. If they are professional and don't spend their time on air sucking up and deferring to Morris (a frequent problem with famous ex-players in the booth with non-players), then it might be OK. But since the games are hard to find on the radio here anyway (NS), it won't matter much. Analyst has the hardest job of anyone, trying to provide insights and stories...there are limits to what they can do. I used to like Tabler's comments, until I heard them on an endless loop for years.

 I would imagine, for instance, there's a general understanding that Morris won't be constantly running down current pitchers for not completing games, or not being tough...he's a team employee now, not self-promoting on his own time.  

Richard S.S. - Friday, February 08 2013 @ 02:01 PM EST (#268628) #
Any dweeb can parrot stats and be boring at the same time.   On the Radio side, Morris is the play-by-play caller for alternate innings.   While on the TV side, he can cover different ground.   Reading stats (or for those without a life - memerizing stats) is basicaslly reading of a script, sometime Morris wasn`t hired to do.   (Intolerance is just another word for racism and bigotry.)   Wait until we see how he is before we throw him under the bus.   Costs absolutely nothing.
Mike Green - Friday, February 08 2013 @ 02:01 PM EST (#268629) #
Anyone can do that. I'd be quite happy if Morris can provide some insight, based on his own considerable experience, of what the pitcher is trying to achieve - why he's throwing this pitch to this hitter in this situation. That's much more interesting to me. I can look at numbers myself, thank you very much.

That would be great.  I'd also like if Morris told me when a pitcher looked tired on the mound and how he knows, or about the pitcher's pacing, or about the communication between pitcher and catcher.  Joe Morgan is a traditionalist with some irritating views, but, as a broadcaster, he can tell you things that no stat sheet will illuminate. 
zeppelinkm - Friday, February 08 2013 @ 02:35 PM EST (#268630) #
AWeb, I find 95.7 plays a pretty good chunk of the games here in Halifax. Any other stations you've been able to hear them on?
AWeb - Friday, February 08 2013 @ 05:32 PM EST (#268634) #
zeppelinkm, I guess I just lost track of where the games were a few years ago and didn't figure out where they were again. I usually watch on TV or listen over the satellite radio in the car, so it hasn't been a big problem. But thanks for the tip.


Parker - Saturday, February 09 2013 @ 11:22 AM EST (#268640) #
"...just have to hook my cell phone to the car radio when driving around without the kids (who demand to have on movies or MP3's of stuff like One Dimension)."

I'm not quite sure if "One Dimension" was intentional or not, but if so, well done. I laughed.
Seamus - Saturday, February 09 2013 @ 03:37 PM EST (#268642) #
@John

I couldn't recommend GameDay Audio more.  $15 bucks for the whole year, and you get the radio play by play of every MLB game (home and away teams).  It'd be great for Jays games, but it's also awesome to tune into games around the league.

Also, the Jays buzz hasn't been higher in years.  Beest said 3 million in the dome this year was a possibility.  If your area doesn't carry Jays games on the radio, might as well send out a few emails to local radio stations imploring them to go on board.  If there ever was a year they might be open to being convinced, this might be it.

Named For Hank - Sunday, February 10 2013 @ 09:43 AM EST (#268645) #
I was a little disappointed in the Jays representation on the radio dial in Ottawa, but then I remembered that I didn't pack my radio when I moved here.
hypobole - Sunday, February 10 2013 @ 12:29 PM EST (#268646) #
Minor Leaguer from BBB attended an hour long Q & A with Paul Beeston at Seneca College. A few bits I found interesting:

- Rogers Centre will need about $250 million in retrofits and renovations over the next decade
- No more Windows Restaurant - will be an open porch
- Most players prefer the roof closed all the time.
- Details behind the Chapman non-signing, Syracuse eviction and search for a new affiliate.
- AA has a one-on-one not only with each of the 25 man roster, but also his NRI's.

http://www.bluebirdbanter.com/2013/2/10/3971316/paul-beeston-goes-to-class-speaks-about-the-blue-jays
JohnL - Sunday, February 10 2013 @ 03:44 PM EST (#268649) #

Thought I'd toss this here, as it seems to be the most general thread active at the moment.

Very interesting piece written by RA Dickey ("with the assistance of sportswriter Wayne Coffey") in the NY Daily News about his experiences in India with his daughters. Not exactly a huntin' and fishin' off-season.

PeteMoss - Sunday, February 10 2013 @ 05:07 PM EST (#268651) #
Really the only issue with GameDay Audio is the data it uses. Its not huge, but have to watch your data plan and usage to avoid getting a big bill in the mail. If you're at home listening to it in the backyard and on wifi that isn't an issue obviously.

Richard S.S. - Sunday, February 10 2013 @ 05:09 PM EST (#268652) #
Does Felix Hernandez have Elbow Problems? Interesting tidbit from MLB Trade Rumors.
Morris To The Airwaves! | 45 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.