The TV Team Is The Radio Team For Blue Jays Broadcasts This Year…And Beyond?

I’m going to try really hard to give them the benefit of the doubt on this one because circumstances dictate that things probably have to be different, but it’s hard to see the citing of COVID protocols as much more than a convenient excuse for Rogers to phase out dedicated baseball radio broadcasts and never bring them back. We’ve been in the Rogers and Bell own all of the sports and all of the stations era for so long now that I’m surprised that it hasn’t happened already, honestly. Neither company has seemingly ever met a cost it can’t cut, quality be damned.

In an effort to minimize travel and closely adhere to team, league, and government protocols related to the pandemic, Sportsnet will be streamlining production for the 2021 season by simulcasting TV broadcasts on Sportsnet 590 The FAN and across the Sportsnet Radio Network . Blue Jays fans can now enjoy the legendary voices of Buck Martinez, Dan Shulman, and Pat Tabler on both TV and radio. Ben Wagner remains part of the Blue Jays on Sportsnet broadcast team, joining Jamie Campbell, Joe Siddall, Hazel Mae, and Arash Madani in covering all the bases throughout the season.

At least they have the right person fronting the broadcast if the goal truly is to not have it sound like absolute shit. Dan Shulman has years and years of experience calling baseball for both radio and television, so if anyone can recognize that there are vastly different audiences to be served simultaneously and then successfully balance the needs of both of them, it’s him.

In the short-term, this will do. But I absolutely do not like where this is going.

I Deeply Apologize For This Impossible Accident

I’m not an expert on Ottawa’s municipal politics, but I feel fairly comfortable questioning the judgement of the city’s deputy mayor, George Darouze. He strikes me as the sort of guy who either is legitimately stupid or thinks that everyone else is.

First things first, it’s never a good sign when even before you get into the meat of the very dumb thing that brought him to my attention to begin with, you’re greeted by related headlines like “Darouze’s letter a threat to ‘shut up’ wife, Osgoode couple says” and “Darouze used power to ‘bully and intimidate’ Facebook critic, report finds”. But we’re not here for those things, at least not now. We’re here because according to his own self, Mr. Darouze has managed to do something that I don’t think anyone has ever done before. I know I certainly haven’t, and not simply because I can’t drive.

Osgoode councillor and deputy mayor George Darouze initially joined the 9:30 a.m. meeting from what looked like his kitchen, and even asked a detailed question about the accounting procedures surrounding the city’s public-private partnership at Lansdowne Park, one of the audits tabled Tuesday.

Around 11:30 a.m., the livestream showed Darouze getting behind the wheel of a vehicle. He put on his seatbelt, as well as headphones, presumably to keep listening to the meeting. His device appears to be sitting in the passenger seat, the camera facing him.

He began to drive — the passing scenery clearly visible through the driver side window — and pulled out a cell phone. He then began to text with his thumbs, taking his eyes off the road several times. At one point, Darouze fumbled around with his right hand to find his glasses, then put them on.
Eventually, Darouze looked toward the second wireless device in the passenger seat and turned off the camera.

Ok, so he was texting and driving. What’s so special about that?

That’s not why we’re here, even though I will take a second to call that out as being shitty, dangerous and something that people really ought not do. The amazing part is what happened next.

The councillor didn’t respond to a request for comment, but posted the following brief apology on Facebook:
“This morning, I inadvertently texted while I was driving. I apologize for this and commit to my family and residents that this won’t happen again.”

What?

“Inadvertently”!

I don’t even.

Again, I cannot and do not drive. Some may argue that this renders me unqualified to have an opinion on this issue. But those people are what I would charitably describe as being as thick as George Darouze’s silly ass apology. For while I do not drive, I do text. And it has been my experience that the only way you can send a text entirely by accident is to have something press on your phone in precisely the wrong way. It has also been my experience that that thing is never your own hands making a typing motion. These have been my experiences in spite of my not possessing a degree in telecommunications as Mr. Darouze does. This was a series of deliberate acts. The only inadvertent part was forgetting to turn off the camera.

At some point, somebody must have clued him in to how ridiculous his statement sounded, because he later replaced it with a new one.

This morning I was texting and driving. This was stupid thing to do and I should not have done this. I commit to my family and residents that this won’t happen again.

Better, although I hope he means the texting part and not the getting caught thing.

Is Darouze always like this? If so, did he at least manage to save it until he tricked you into voting for him twice?

There’s Nothing Like A Nice Day At The Bleach

It’s an old story that some of you may have already heard, but I feel the need to highlight it anyway just because it’s so…so…so…so fucking stupid.

In preparation for the easing of some COVID lockdown measures last April, an area in Spain decided that it would be a solid children protecting move to hose a bunch of stuff down with disinfectants in order to help eliminate the virus. Cars, streets, train stations, a couple kilometres of beach, buil…hold on, what was that last one?

A picturesque beach in the Spanish province of Cádiz has been sprayed with diluted bleach, in a misguided and environmentally unfriendly attempt to protect children from the novel coronavirus.
“It’s totally absurd,” María Dolores Iglesias Benítez, head of a local environmental volunteer group, told the Guardian. “The beach is a living ecosystem. And when you spray it down with bleach, you’re killing everything you come across.”
The beach, Zahara de los Atunes, was doused in bleach last week in preparation for an easing of lockdown measures brought on by the covid-19 pandemic. Speaking to the BBC, local official Agustín Conejo said the decision to spray the beach with the powerful disinfectant was “a wrong move” and a “mistake,” but that it was “done with the best intention” to protect children.

Hey Google, how do you say the road to hell is paved with good intentions in Spanish?

How successful the dousing was at killing the Coronavirus isn’t known, but it sounds like it and the sprayer tractors used to carry it out did a pretty good number on the other wildlife in the area, from insects right on up to the protected migratory birds.

No charges had been filed against anyone at the time the Gizmodo story was published, but an investigation was said to have been ongoing.

The Wednesday Night War Comes To Canada

For the first time ever, Canada is getting a live wrestling war!

This would be much bigger news to me personally if we were living in 2001 instead of 2021, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t historically significant if you’re a Canadian wrestling fan. And I suppose if you’re still a crazy person who tries to consume more of your wrestling live than not it’s pretty cool and a big deal. You have decisions to make now, and hopefully a VCR to help you along.

Sorry, was having Monday night flashbacks there for a second.

Speaking of which, I am happy that access to both televised wrestling and technology is so much better now than it was back in those days. No more wrestling with TSN to figure out when or if Raw and Nitro were going to be on. They both allegedly had time slots, but rarely has the phrase “card subject to change” felt more appropriate. If there was literally any reason to preempt wrestling or punt it into the middle of the night somewhere, TSN would find it. Hockey, baseball, table tennis, tiddlywinks, all of it was higher priority programming than wrestling, no matter how popular wrestling was. Does anyone else remember phoning TSNs automated programming line to hear the weekly wrestling schedule? Thankfully it was usually right, but it was completely ridiculous. If you remember to set your VCR or are home in the middle of the afternoon we might have a complete Nitro for you, or maybe you would rather this severely edited one we’ll throw on for a few minutes in almost prime time before we show the same episode of Sportsdesk for the 37th time. That’s right, I said Sportsdesk. I still have trouble remembering to call it Sportscentre sometimes.

WWE and Canada’s Sportsnet announced Monday that NXT will begin airing live on both Sportsnet 360 and SN NOW beginning this Wednesday at 8 PM Eastern.
The deal expands a relationship that already includes Raw, SmackDown, Main Event and This Week in WWE airing on Sportsnet 360.

Like in the U.S., NXT will go head-to-head with AEW Dynamite which has aired live on TSN since their launch.

All My University Memories Are Belong To History

I know I say this all the time, but I feel so old! Here’s the latest example. The All Your Base meme turned 20! Yup, it sure did! I remember living in the university residence, and all I kept hearing blasting from room to room was this! The first few times, I was drawn out of my room by the synthesized voices. Then I was trying to figure out what they were actually saying. Really? All your base are belong to us? And what was with the “Make your time” part? I would stand transfixed in the hallway trying to figure it out…until it just sort of blended into the background of the residence along with the repeated plays of “Killing In the Name Of”

and the repeated drunken choruses of “I’d rather be an aggie than a fucking engineer” that straggled past my doorway.

As I sit listening to this again, I am taken back in time. I think of trying to get my work done, only to have my concentration broken by a resounding “Yiiiiiiiiiiip!” I don’t know what made Tweeter yell Yiiiiiiiiiip, but we all knew that sound, and for years after, Steve, J and I would let out the occasional “yiiiiip” because of him. I remember finding shaving cream on my door thanks to Tweeter. I wonder where Tweeter is now?

How many times did I walk down the hall of the residence and step in who knows what. Why is there a big puddle of ketchup on the floor? I remember walking into the kitchen to wash dishes and wondering what happened there. Could you even consider that kitchen clean? And why does it smell like it’s covered in beer and rotten things? And even the showers could be scary places sometimes. *shiver*. You’re not supposed to find crap in there, but I did once…and once was enough!

But I have many happy memories of my time in residence too. How many times did Steve stay with me for way longer than I was supposed to have guests? How much music did Steve and our buddy J play, often drawing crowds? How many times did we sing songs and get a little, or a lot, tipsy?

That was 20 years ago! I am so so old.

Yeah Boss. I’m Super Sick. If You Don’t Believe Me, You Can Ask This Error-laden Documentation I Just Knocked Together

A 34-year-old Santwon Antonio Davis of Morrow, Georgia, finds himself in some legal trouble after allegedly doing a pretty sloppy ass job of tricking his employer into believing that he and his mother had Coronavirus so that he could take advantage of the company’s we’ll pay you while you’re stuck in quarantine policy.

A manager at the plant informed Davis that if he did indeed have covid-19, the plant would be forced to shut down for cleaning and quarantine procedures for colleagues with whom he’d had close contact, the complaint states. Davis was also asked to provide documentation of his covid-19 diagnosis, and Davis emailed a copy of a letter that claimed he had been admitted to Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center Hospital South on March 20 and should self-quarantine for two weeks. Notably, the letter did not include test results, according to the complaint.
But the HR department at the plant noticed some issues with the document, namely that the letter stated Davis was discharged from the medical facility on November 10—rather than in March, when he claimed he’d been there—and that the letter had no formal letterhead or signature. When the company contacted the medical center, a staffer told the company that it was not performing covid-19 tests. A further investigation turned up no record of Davis being present at the medical center during the time he claimed to receive his diagnosis, the complaint states.

The company got in touch again to make sure that he really wanted to go through with this, at which time he told them that yes, he had COVID symptoms. They must have been really bad ones, because after that conversation he stopped responding to any of the company’s texts and phone calls.

His employer, who was not identified, is apparently a fan of neither being ghosted nor being ripped off to the tune of $100000. Mr. Davis discovered this the hard way when he was suddenly out of a job and into the federal justice system.

Speaking of the justice system, the justice department notes that our friend Santwon here did eventually admit that he was never sick, at least not with Coronavirus. Whatever mental condition caused him to think that any of this might be a good idea is another matter for another day, and perhaps another department.

It’s Official. I Have A Messed Up Head

It seems my brain has been kind of warped by this pandemic. I will hear things spoken, and before I can realize what they’re about, I’ll have a knee-jerk reaction that’s totally wrong.

Exhibit A: I heard a commercial that started with the words “Restart live shows.” Out of my mouth spewed the words “Are you nuts?” before it dawned on me that this was a commercial for Rogers, and more specifically, a PVR that could allow you to rewind a live broadcast.

Another time, I was distractedly watching TV and heard the words “Let’s Brunch!” I said “No thanks!” before realizing this was a commercial for a show called “Let’s Brunch”.

But the worst one happened when Steve turned the channel to hockey. Suddenly, I heard Joe Bowen say something like “Then the puck goes to the virus…” The virus? No, you dumbass, that’s Tavares. But for half a second, I was trying to figure out why they were talking about the virus there. Will I ever be able to think normally again?

A Very Sweet Valentine’s Day

We don’t often make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. Usually it involves looking at our restaurant gift card stash and picking a place where we want to go for dinner, having a great meal and only having to pay for tips because the rest is on the gift cards. But because restaurants are out of the question, we had to do things a little bit differently.

I was terrible. I did things the way a stereotypical guy does. He realizes Valentine’s Day is approaching, so scoots into the nearest place that might have stuff with a Valentine’s Day theme, buys something and runs out the door hoping she likes it. That was kind of the way I did it. Thankfully, Dana Shortt Gourmet had the perfect basket, and delivered it quickly. At least I didn’t look like a total fool.

But Steve got me the sweetest thing ever, literally and because that makes a good pun. He heard about this One Stop Candy Shop place. I guess this kid started this business as a project for school to make it easy to buy candy and bring it to people’s doors. He’s saving 45 percent of the profits for school-related stuff, 45 percent for fun and 10 percent to donate to charity. I think that’s great!

I wish I had taken a picture of the box before I dismantled it so Aira could tell me what all was in there, because I’d post it here. The box Steve ordered was a Valentine’s box, so it had a theme of sweet things and heart-shaped things and kisses and all that sort of thing. We are going to enjoy the heck out of that box, and get a warm fuzzy feeling because we helped out a local kid.

Keeping Track Of Packages Sent Across The Border

I wanted to pass this on in case other people were like me and didn’t know this little tidbit before now. Oh. I was the only one who didn’t know? Oh well. At least I can find it again easier in the future.

This was a year full of receiving packages in the mail because I shopped online as much as humanly possible this Christmas. And for some people, I had to ship their packages out. I’m weird and like to track my packages whenever I can, but this year after our UPS fiasco, I tracked everything I sent. For stuff going through Canada, Canada Post’s tracking is pretty good. You can even do it with an app if you want to. It doesn’t tell you about every leg of your package’s journey, but it’s a lot more informative than what happens if you ship a package via Canada Post and it crosses the border. At first, it’s great, but as soon as the package crosses the border, you get less and less information. It even says they have to rely on being given information by the USPS so they don’t know anything anymore.

I tried to ask the Canada Post’s virtual assistant chat bot thing if there was a more efficient way to track packages once they left Canada, and I got a whole bunch of useless responses. None of them included that I could just hop on over to this USPS tracking site. Part of that was my fault. I stupidly thought that once parcels left Canada and went to their destination country, they would get a new tracking number, so my old Canada Post tracking number would be dirt useless. But I was wrong! They keep the same tracking number and it works just fine in the USPS tracking system.

Once I got that tracking set up to send me notifications, I got much more frequent updates, which made me feel a lot better. It turns out Canada Post’s delivery date of December 23 was off by about a month, so I’m glad I decided to track it by USPS. Funnily enough, Canada Post did start giving me updates when it got really close to its destination, but if I had been waiting for those and didn’t have other updates, I would have been losing my mind.

So if you’re like me and occasionally send packages across the border, and you’re also like me and like to track them, don’t just rely on your country’s postal tracking. Figure out if the destination will track as well, especially now with everything being turned on its head.

Talk Is Cheap. Dead Air Is Cheaper

This is supposed to be satire, but it’s a little too on the nose. Bell is just the worst. I’m not sure if there’s anything for which they can be criminally prosecuted for blatantly stealing all of that COVID emergency business relief money, but if there is, may it rain down upon them like vengeance and death from above as it would on you or I.
Bell asks Canadians to stop talking

Bell Media shocked the radio market Tuesday when it shuttered three of its sports-themed stations as part of an ongoing layoff streak, following their recent “Let’s Talk” mental health campaign with a restructuring move called “Chat’s Over, Pack Your Shit.”
Critics of the layoffs condemned the broadcaster for sudden mass firings in the middle of a pandemic, seemingly incongruous with their annual mental health awareness message. But Bell has embraced the contradiction, saying it needs to focus on the supply side of depression too.
“Sure, ‘Let’s Talk’ is a great way to get millions of dollars in free publicity by building a shameless ad campaign on the backs of the suffering masses,” Bell Media president Wade Oosterman told reporters. “But if we don’t cultivate that suffering, we won’t have enough anxiety and depression out there for next year’s crop. Those employees we ruthlessly fire today will be the benefactors of our ‘Let’s Talk’ campaign in 2022. It’s the circle of marketing.”