Blue Jays: The end of an era for Mike Wilner in Toronto
After 20 years as one of the voices of the Blue Jays, it was announced on Twitter that Mike Wilner will not be back in 2021.
We’re still waiting on more news when it comes to the Blue Jays’ pursuit of roster upgrades before next season, but that didn’t stop them from making a different kind of personnel change.
On Friday we learned that long-time radio voice for the Jays, Mike Wilner, will not be returning next season. The veteran broadcaster made a series of posts on Twitter on Friday afternoon, thanking fans, different people he worked with over the years, and the of course, the organization.
Although the reason hasn’t yet come out, it doesn’t appear as though it was a mutual decision. Wilner expressed disappointment and left the impression that the news came as a surprise.
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Wilner has held several different roles for Sportsnet and the Blue Jays over the years. Most recently we’ve heard him working with Ben Wagner to call the games on the radio network, a full-time gig he began prior to the 2019 season. Prior to that he served as a back-up announcer, but was also well-known for his post-game show, “Blue Jays Talk”. I know I called in to the show many times over the years, and I’m sure many of you can say the same.
To his credit, Wilner is leaving the organization with a classy message, and while he’s admitted that he’s “heartbroken” and that “dreams can come true, even if they don’t always last as long as we’d like them to”, he had nothing bad to say about the situation, when there’s a decent chance he could have taken a different attitude.
There were a lot of years, especially during his “Blue Jays Talk” days, that I wasn’t his biggest fan. That said, I’ve found that he’s endeared himself a lot more in recent years, and I had really come to enjoy his work.
Unfortunately this year has been very hard on the media industry, and it’s possible that Wilner is being dismissed as a part of industry-wide cutbacks. Unfortunately that happens sometimes, and we here at Jays Journal wish him all the best in whatever comes next.