Toronto Blue Jays

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 425: Mike Wilner Returns

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 425In this 425th episode, Mike catches up with Mike Wilner as they talk Vladdy, Jr., Roy Halladay, Richard Griffin, JaysTalk, the broadcast booth, and Domer. This episode is exactly 1:29:42.

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Mike Wilner and me

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Roy Halladay Inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame

Doc Halladay, who passed away in November 2017, has been elected into the baseball Hall of Fame. He's the first player drafted and developed by the Blue Jays to be inducted.

I have no doubts he'll go into Cooperstown as a Toronto Blue Jay. He's the greatest starting pitcher in Blue Jays history and I absolutely loved watching his entire career. We were lucky to have him. Here are a few of entries I wrote over the years about Roy Halladay:

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Josh Donaldson Traded to Cleveland for PTBNL

How does it end for Josh Donaldson as a Toronto Blue Jay? To quote T. S. Eliot, "not with a bang but a whimper."

But what a bang, and what a whimper! The bang started when Alex Anthopolous sent Brett Laurie and others to Oakland for Donaldson. By mid-season 2015 he had the most All-Star votes in MLB history. Remember his walk-off homer during the pennant race of 2015? He was a key member of the most exciting Jays team since '93 becoming only the second Jay to be named AL MVP.

He was great in 2016 as well, leading the Jays to their second ALCS appearance in a row. Then, a strong but injury-plagued 2017 and a 2018 season to forget. The whimper was heard last night when the Blue Jays traded Donaldson to Cleveland for a player to be named later. That was the market value of the 2015 MVP.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 367: Keith Hampshire

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 367In this 367th episode, Mike chats with Keith Hampshire about his successful recording career, his work in TV and radio, and most importantly, his performance on OK Blue Jays. This episode is exactly 1:40:16.

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Greatest Blue Jays Defensive Plays

I haven't watched much Blue Jays baseball these past two months. I watched quite a bit in April, but by mid-May I found myself doing other things. It was clear the Jays weren't contending for a title this year, and I found myself more inspired by their AA team, so I decided to take a break.

On reddit today, there was a discussion about the greatest Blue Jays defensive plays of all-time. That post has inspired his one.

Here are five of the greatest defensive plays in Blue Jays history.

Roberto Alomar vs. Lenny Dykstra

Josh Donaldson vs. David DeJesus

Buck Martinez vs. Broken Leg

Kevin Pillar vs. Luke Maile

Devon White vs. David Justice

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The Elusive George Bell

Ten days ago, I shared an important message from George Bell. My pal Mark Hebscher met George at a charity golf tournament and was kind enough to record that message for me. I love it.

While Hebsy was recording George, he managed to ask him a few questions about his first big league game, his infamous drop-kick of Bruce Kison, and the Drive of '85. George is so elusive, this is a real treat for us fans of #11. Here's the video.

By the way, Hebsy has been sharing clips like this at the end of each episode of his new podcast, Hebsy on Sports. Hebsy on Sports is recorded twice a week in my basement, and we talk for thirty minutes about what's happening in sports, always with a GTA slant. And don't worry, it's 95% Hebsy, only 5% me.

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An Important Message from George Bell

George Bell

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Watching the Blue Jays on Facebook

The Blue Jays game against the Kansas City Royals is taking place at the dome right now, but it's not on Sportsnet. This game is a Facebook exclusive.

I thought I'd check it out, so I logged into Facebook and searched for "Blue Jays". Lo and behold, there was a link to watch the live feed from the game.

On my laptop, there are these icons that fly up from the bottom on the right side. There's also this live chat on the right that's super annoying. (Update: If you click the icon to go "fullscreen", the icons and chat disappear - and I just discovered "quiet mode" which seems to do the trick.) Here's how the game looked, with those aforementioned icons, when I wasn't "fullscreen" or in "quiet mode".


Luckily, I have Chromecast, and that's how I watch Netflix and CraveTV and YouTube and every other form of streaming video. So I put the game on my TV via Chromecast and the annoying chat and flying icons disappeared. Much better.


Not the most fluid stream, however. It's a little pixelated for my liking, and there's a slight lag now and then. I don't ask for much, but a clear HD image without buffering is rather important. I don't experience the lag when I watch on the laptop, just when I Chromecast it to the big screen.

The commenters aren't great, either. One guy just asked how it is we don't have an ice storm every winter "considering it's minus 100 every day". Of course, this may be because I'm not used to them. They don't really call the game, they just sort of chat while you watch the game. Change of this magnitude can be jarring.

When projected on my TV via Chromecast, the "LIVE 60K" overlay is right over the score chyron, which makes no sense at all. On my laptop, it was in the top left corner, where there's no interference.

It's not awful, but there are some wrinkles to iron out. I certainly wouldn't pay for this experience. Only one more Facebook exclusive game to go.

Go Jays Go!

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Ben Wagner and Dan Shulman Calling Jays Games on the Radio this Summer

When Jerry Howarth announced his retirement from calling play-by-play for Blue Jays games on the radio, we had a spirited discussion about who would replace him. Click over and read the comments for a refresher. I stated that Dan Shulman was in the city and the ideal replacement, and if he wanted the gig, it was his for the taking.

Today, Rogers announced that Buffalo Bisons play-by-play man Ben Wagner and Dan Shulman are replacing Jerry Howarth. Mike Wilner continues to be a part of the broadcast team and will host Blue Jays Talk throughout the 2018 season.

Dan Shulman is also getting his own podcast, because why not?! Everyone else has one! Dan, if you're out there, it's time for you to appear on Toronto Mike'd.

Now let's play ball...

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Stuck at 11

It's an interesting coincidence that both the Blue Jays and Raptors have strung together multiple win streaks of 11 games but never 12. I believe the Jays have hit 11 at least five times now and I know the Raptors have reached 11 at least twice. When I have time, I'll try and find precise numbers.

With the Raps loss today to halt their streak at 11, here's the longest winning streaks in franchise history for each of Toronto's main five professional sports teams.

Raptors - 11
Blue Jays - 11
Maple Leafs - 10
Argos - 10
TFC - 6

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