Writers Bloc

Jeff Blair. Stephen Brunt. Richard Deitsch. As long-time journalists they’ve all experienced writer’s block, but they’ve never run out of things to say Opinions, insight and analysis from three of the smartest sports observers in the country. Writers Bloc… sharp takes, not hot takes.

Listen live weekdays from 2:00 to 5:00 PM on Sportsnet 590 The FAN.

Recent Episodes
June 14: Jays on the offensive; the CFL returns
Jun 14, 2021
Jun 14, 2021
June 14: Jays on the offensive; the CFL returns

Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt look ahead to what should be a busy week in sports, the CFL’s return, and look back to the weekend: notably Euro 2020, and the frightening sight involving Denmark’s Christian Eriksen on the pitch. Hamilton Tiger-Cats President Scott Mitchell discusses when he first sensed that the province of Ontario would allow CFL games to take place in August, when we can expect to see fans back in the stands, hosting the Grey Cup in December, if fans will need to be vaccinated in order to enter stadiums, the importance of returning to the field in 2021, and if this news impacts their talks with the XFL (25:20). Sportsnet Euro 2020 analyst James Sharman discusses today’s matches, recaps the early results in the tournament, and chimes in on Canada’s upcoming second-leg match against Haiti (39:27). 31Thoughts’ Elliotte Friedman discusses Jeff Petry’s injury for the Canadiens and when he could be back to face Vegas, the quality of the Golden Knights compared to the other teams Montreal has faced, and the futures of Dougie Hamilton and Rod Brind’Amour in Carolina (50:04). Sportsnet Blue Jays play-by-play voice Dan Shulman joins Blair and Brunt in-studio to share his thoughts on the Blue Jays’ offensive explosion at Fenway Park, if the lineup is sending a message to the front-office to get pitching, and the breaking news that Steven Matz re-tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss a minimum of 10 days (1:10:37).

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliate.

Jun 11, 2021
June 11: The NHL’s Final Four

Jeff Blair and Richard Deitsch open the show discussing the news of Pascal Siakam’s shoulder surgery and players around MLB who have yet to be vaccinated and the competitive disadvantages that could present to some clubs. The Toronto Star's Doug Smith comments on when Pascal Siakam may return to action after undergoing shoulder surgery, when the forward may have sustained the injury, how much this impacts Bobby Webster's offseason plans, the possibility of Serge Ibaka returning to Toronto, why he doesn't see the Bucks getting past the Nets, and the potential for Brooklyn to be a dynasty (23:01). USA Today’s Bob Nightengale comments further on baseball players deciding whether or not to be vaccinated and the sport’s current issue regarding “Spider Tack” and other foreign substances (34:00). Nick Kypreos of Line Movement breaks down the semi-finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs, what faces the Maple Leafs in the offseason, and Colorado’s exit (48:05). Blue Jays Central’s Joe Siddall previews the Blue Jays weekend series against the Red Sox and the usage of the team’s bullpen without a designated closer (1:09:50).

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

Jun 10, 2021
June 10: Lou’s Clues to Playoff Success

Jeff Blair and Richard Deitsch talk about the Islanders advancing and the raucous crowd at the Coliseum. Islanders President of Hockey Operations Lou Lamoriello (17:53) discusses whether the formula for playoff success is the same now as it was when he was winning Stanley Cups with the Devils, his club's subpar play just before the postseason began, how the 2021 club is different from the one that lost to the Lightning in last year's semi-final, the impressive crowd support at Nassau Coliseum, the job done by Barry Trotz, the decision to leave the Maple Leafs for the Islanders, and the contributions for Kyle Palmieri & Travis Zajac. Euro 2020 analyst Craig Forrest (37:88) previews this year’s edition of the tournament and discusses which players and teams could surprise. NHL insider Renaud Lavoie (47:54) discusses this year’s Hart trophy nominees, the Jets underestimating the Canadiens in the second round, the status Colorado Head Coach Jerad Bednar heading into Game 7, and Jeff Petry’s status for the next series. ESPN’s Jeff Passan (1:10:49) joins Jeff and Richard to go in-depth on pitchers in baseball using foreign substances, and the task at hand for Major League Baseball to find a solution.

The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the hosts and guests and do not necessarily reflect the position of Rogers Sports & Media or any affiliates.

Jun 9, 2021
June 9: Scheifele’s Ticked & Baseballs that Stick

Jeff Blair and Richard Deitsch open the show discussing Toronto’s CN Tower being lit up in the colours of the Montreal Canadiens and the reaction it caused around the city and between sports fans. WFAN’s Sweeny Murti talks about Gerrit Cole’s awkward media availability with reporters, the doctoring of baseballs within MLB, and the New York Yankees recent struggles on the diamond (21:02). Golden Knights analyst Mike McKenna breaks down Vegas’ thrilling game 5 OT win and how much the city’s residents have embraced the team each and every season since expansion (39:17). ESPN’s Karl Ravech shares his thoughts on baseball’s latest "sticky situation" with foreign substances and how the Blue Jays stack up in the AL East with the Rays, Red Sox, and Yankees (50:24). NHL on Sportsnet analyst Jason York weighs-in on the Boston-Islanders series ahead of Game 6, Tuukka Rask’s play in the series, Mark Scheifele’s comments post-elimination and more from around the Stanley Cup Playoffs. (1:15:07)

Jun 8, 2021
June 8: Carbo, Cuthbert, and Southside Baseball!

Canadiens great Guy Carbonneau discusses whether there's concern Dominique Ducharme's squad may get too much rest ahead of their next series, the belief the Montreal players have in one another, how Carey Price compares to Patrick Roy, if Marc Bergevin's & Ducharme's jobs are safe no matter what happens in the semi-final, and what it takes for a young player to succeed in the postseason (20:00). NBA Radio host Mitch Lawrence discusses the latest around the playoffs, notably the Nets impressive Game 2 win over the Bucks and how good Kawhi Leonard will have to be for the Clippers to advance past the Jazz (34:17). Chris Cuthbert of the NHL on Sportsnet provides his thoughts on the finale of Jets-Canadiens series, what’s the difference between Canadiens now and earlier in the playoffs, and broadcasting games this season in a silent arena (48:01). Chicago White Sox and ESPN play by play voice Jason Benetti discusses this year’s version of Sox and how Tony La Russa has fit in with a young roster despite the criticism surrounding his hiring (1:12:04).