I don’t mean to be that guy but…..
This weekend Mike Wilner was benched for a “confrontation” with Cito Gaston where he feels he was “belittled.” Wilner wrote about the exchange and if you can, please show me exactly where during the discussion Wilner was “belittled.”
I don’t need to be belittled by the skipper in front of the entire assemblage when I’m asking legitimate, rational questions about a situation that he brought up earlier in a conversation.
In fact, I would argue that it was Wilner himself who was showing up the manager in front of the assemblage. Yes, asking the manager about in-game strategy and decisions is fine but when your schtick is challenging (second guessing) the manager on every single detail of every single game and expecting him to debate all points with you – well, needless to say it gets old pretty quick. Everyone is up in arms that this is a freedom of the press issue and that Wilner is being censored by big brother Rogers blah blah blah. I think what it comes down to is Wilner’s grating style and Rogers is giving Wilner a time-out to think about his approach. Kudos to them.
At the end of the day Rogers is in business to generate interest in the team and to attract viewers to Jays broadcasts, both radio and television. I don’t listen to JaysTalk or radio broadcasts when Wilner is on because of his style and I know there are others who share the sentiment.
It is interesting that Wilner takes such offense to being “belittled” – as he puts it – by Cito, while he belittles many of the callers who phone in to his JaysTalk program. He is especially sensitive when his opinions are questioned. For example, I was speaking with Early about an edition of JaysTalk where a called had this to say to Wilner: “Mike, you said that Tampa making the playoffs was a fluke. There are in first place now, do you still think that they are a fluke?”
Wilner’s response went something like this: “This is JAYS TALK! Why would you call in and have a question about the Rays? How stupid can you be?!?! What a fool.”
So Wilner, you can dish it out but you can’t take it? Noone likes to be second guessed. Sometimes you just reach your limit, like Cito.
Just to be that guy, here’s an exchange I had with Wilner.
In Wilner’s blog post “My First Day of Spring” he writes:
I have seen Jose Bautista, Aaron Hill, Randy Ruiz, Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay look very good so far. Granted, it’s stupid early, but it’s better to look good than not. I still don’t understand why the way has been paved for Bautista to have an everyday job, but they can’t find a spot to give Ruiz a legitimate chance to play. Ruiz is older and far weaker defensively, but he’s had nothing but success as a major-league hitter. Bautista has had many years of mediocre offensive production in the big leagues.
My response is below, with Wilner’s final response in bold:
You can’t understand how the way has been paved for Bautista? Under the tutelage of Cito and Geno he hit 10HR after Sept. 1st last year. If you are going to give credit to Arencibia for mashing this Spring, save some for Bautista too – he’s been no slouch. He can play all OF positions in addition to 3B and plays them well. Ruiz can play 1B – barely. As you know Mike, defense is just as important as offense. That is why Bautista is a lock while Ruiz continues to battle for a spot in the 1B/DH log jam against proven hitters (more than 200MLB ABs) and those that can play D.
MW: I don’t think it’s that simple. As I said, why does Bautista’s September matter more than the five years of major league production that preceded it?
Is that even an answer? If you are going to chastise Cito for avoiding your annoying reporter routine, take a look in the mirror first. Then keep asking those “hard questions.”
Cito did not complain to get Wilner suspended: http://sports.nationalpost.com/2010/06/06/gaston-says-he-didnt-complain-about-broadcaster/