The Toronto Blue Jays home Radio booth was vacant for the first time ever in Toronto during the Yankees series at Rogers Centre
Ben Wagner sent out a Tweet yesterday advising us that he was quarantining due to having a close contact with COVID. Wagner advised the fans that the television crew will have the simulcast call for the series against the New York Yankees at Rogers Centre.
Wagner returned to the radio booth in Toronto July 30, 2021 when the Blue Jays came back to Toronto. After months of simulcasting the television and radio broadcasts while the Jays made homes in Dunedin and Buffalo, fans were ecstatic to hear Wagner, even if it was as a solo act that was going to occupy the home radio booth for the rest of the 2021 season.
Wagner, like the television crew, did not travel on the road for the 2021 season. For the 2022 season Wagner has called games from the radio booth at Rogers Centre, and the Sportsnet studios in Toronto.
The Toronto Blue Jays home radio booth has always had someone in it for Toronto home games since day 1 in 1977. When we were kids, we didn’t have all 162 games available on television, so when Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler called home games from home it wasn’t the first time the home television booth sat vacant. It has many times before in the early years of the ball club.
I was outraged when I found out Voice of the Buffalo Bisons Pat Malacaro was at the ballpark. Pat, I’m 150% positive would have gladly accepted an assignment to cover his dear friend and former partner Wagner for a series in a Major League Ballpark. How about a phone call to Eric Smith, one of the great voices of Toronto Raptors Basketball, and a huge Blue Jays fan. I’m sure Eric would have gladly stepped in if he was offered the invitation.
I understand the late notice of the situation. I can’t accept the reluctance to produce a radio broadcast.
I hope the brains at Rogers Media realize that Baseball deserves to have its own radio broadcast. You can simulcast hockey I think, and maybe other sports, but you can’t do it with baseball. They have to remember Hall of Famer and Icon Tom Cheek along with his long time partner the great Jerry Howarth. Cheek also came to work for 4306 straight games. By continuing to not give the radio broadcasts the proper respect it deserves, Rogers slaps tradition and Blue Jays fans right in the face.
Do better Rogers, some of us still