I used to watch Mike Wilner on a cable 10 show called "Let's Talk Sports". I'm thinking it was around 1990 when my brothers and I would tune in to watch Mike Wilner and this other guy discuss current sporting events. I thought Mike knew his baseball then, and I think Mike knows his baseball now.
Mike Wilner was suspended from working this weekend's series against the Yankees for The Fan 590 following an exchange he had with Cito Gaston.
During Gaston's daily media scrum on Wednesday afternoon, Wilner raised questions about the way Gaston had used his bullpen in Tuesday night's 7-6 loss to Tampa Bay. A brief but tense exchange followed.
Later on his Fan 590 blog, Wilner wrote at length about the exchange, asserting that Gaston had "painted himself into a corner" by using relievers Shawn Camp and Scott Downs too early. Wilner also wrote that Gaston had "belittled" him in front of other reporters.
The optics here are terrible for The Fan 590. The Fan is owned by Rogers, the same company that owns the Blue Jays. From what I've read or heard, Wilner did his job as a reporter. For that he was suspended, essentially a shot across the bows for other Rogers employees (and remember, it's not just The Fan, but Sportsnet as well) regarding criticism of the Blue Jays and Jays management.
When your pay cheque is signed by the same person financing the team you're covering, should we expect unbiased, fair and balanced reporting? Clearly not.