Go Ahead And “Expect”

TORONTO (Oct. 9) — It’s the oldest ploy in the management arsenal of professional sport: Use the media to temper expectation before the season. If things go sideways, you can therefore remind everyone “hey, we told you so”. To varying… Read More

Division The Leafs Biggest Obstacle

TORONTO (Oct. 3) — In my last blog, I wrote that the Maple Leafs are “deep and talented enough” to play in the Stanley Cup semifinals next spring. What I didn’t write is that Round 2 could be their biggest… Read More

The FAN–590 is 25 today

TORONTO (Sep. 4) — The names have changed with ownership and the unquestioned priority of television over radio — from CJCL AM–1430 to The Fan–1430; The FAN–590; Sportsnet Radio The FAN–590 and, today, Sportsnet–590 The FAN. What will never change… Read More

Shanaplan Worked, But It’s Over

TORONTO (May 19) — I find it intriguing that the majority of Maple Leaf fans are so fervent about “trusting the process” — a virtual slogan as it pertains to the hockey club. The “process”, of course, is a synonym… Read More

Leafs May Have Been Best Ever

TORONTO (Apr. 1) — Despite what you may infer, there is nothing “April Fool’s” about the headline to this blog. With a bit of luck and accuracy in extra time, and some early defensive acumen in third periods, the 2016–17… Read More

Bet’cha the Leafs Aren’t Done

TORONTO (Mar. 5) — With Detroit next up for the Maple Leafs, it’s an appropriate time to wonder if the last meeting between the pre–expansion rivals supplied the demarcation point in Toronto’s schedule. That would have been Jan. 25 at… Read More

Oliver Ekman–“Leafs”son?

TORONTO (Nov. 22) — In their interminable quest to secure a legitimate, No. 1 defenseman, the Maple Leafs could be eyeing Oliver Ekman–Larsson of the Arizona Coyotes. So says one of my Phoenix bird–dogs. “This is for later in the… Read More

Cancer Strikes The Booth — Again

TORONTO (Nov. 17) — God–friggin’ dammit! For the second time in just more than a decade, cancer has reared its despicable head in the Toronto Blue Jays radio booth. Only this time, we’re anticipating a far–better result. Eleven years–and–a–bit since… Read More

Generation 2 Getting Its Fill

TORONTO (Oct. 5) — The moments are beginning to pile up for second–generation fans of the Toronto Blue Jays. Primarily, the Millennials that experienced an initial pennant race and playoff run by the long–dormant club last Autumn. Such first–generation observers… Read More

Perky’s Yarns Are Overdue

TORONTO (Aug. 31) — I remember saying to myself: “Howard, just watch Dave Perkins. Observe the way he comports himself around athletes and you will learn immeasurably.” So, that’s what I did. It was Aug. 17, 1987. At Pearson International… Read More

This Is The Blue Jays Year

TORONTO (July 9) — What better time than the 25th anniversary of the 1991 Major League All–Star Game at SkyDome to make a proclamation about the 2016 Toronto Blue Jays? Here it is (mark it down and remember the date):… Read More

Most Coaches Have Two Left Feet

TORONTO (May 10) — Among the hidden stories of Guy Boucher becoming head coach of the Ottawa Senators this week (replacing Dave Cameron) involved unspoken evidence that Boucher would have been hired by the Toronto Maple Leafs 12 months ago,… Read More

For Baseball Eyes Only

TORONTO (Apr. 8) — Tonight, just after 7 o’clock, the Toronto Blue Jays will begin their 40th home opener — facing the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. I will be there, as I was 39 years ago yesterday for… Read More

Ranking the Jacks

TORONTO (Oct. 23) — With the Blue Jays still alive in the American League playoffs on the 22nd anniversary of Joe Carter’s “touch–’em–all” home run (God bless you, Tom Cheek), there may be no better time to rank the five… Read More

Brilliance Is About Team

TORONTO (Sep. 28) — It was the greatest moment by the greatest player of the greatest Toronto Blue Jays team in nearly a quarter–century. Otherwise, it wouldn’t have mattered. The bottom–of–the–ninth, walk–off home run by Josh Donaldson on Sunday that… Read More

Being Jewish on April 7, 1977

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 7) — You don’t have to be Jewish to remember the first–ever Toronto Blue Jays game. But, it doesn’t hurt. It’s amazing how many friends of mine recall feeling so desperately cold and hungry 38… Read More

Hoarding the Blue Jays

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Apr. 6) — The Toronto Blue Jays began their 39th season Monday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, vying — now infamously — to end the longest playoff drought among teams in the four major professional sports in… Read More

Could YOUR Zaidi Be a GM?

By HOWARD BERGER TORONTO (Nov. 8) — The Los Angeles Dodgers, earlier this week, hired a 37-year-old Zaidi as their new general manager. Where I come from, that’s an awfully young Zaidi. You see, Zaidi (or Zaida) is a popular Read More
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