Rumour Dump: The Blue Jays are in on Tomoyuki Sugano, Jake Odorizzi, and Jackie Bradley Jr.

We’re at a point now where it seems absurd to post about Blue Jays-related interest rumours individually, so I’m going to dump the most recent three names into one post. Today, we have Tomoyuki Sugano, Jake Odorizzi, and Jackie Bradley Jr.! 

Tomoyuki Sugano… 
Sugano is one of the big names from Japan on the free-agent market this winter. He was officially posted by the Yomiuri Giants last week and will be available to Major League teams until Jan. 7. The Blue Jays, along with the Texas Rangers, San Diego Padres, and Boston Red Sox are teams who have reportedly shown interest in signing him.
Given this year’s fairly weak market for starting pitching, Sugano picked the right time to make the move over to North America. Trevor Bauer, the reigning National League Cy Young winner, is clearly the top arm on the free-agent market, but it gets shallow fairly quickly after that.
Sugano is coming off an excellent season for Yomiuri in which he posted a 1.97 ERA over the course of 20 starts with nice peripherals (8.6 strikeouts per nine and and 1.6 walks per nine). He’s a two-time winner of the Sawamura Award (Japan’s Cy Young) and turned 31 …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Guest Post: How Garret Sparks Helped Me Love Hockey

As absurd as it is to say, Garret Sparks is my favourite hockey player. 
That statement demands some qualifiers. I should stress that I do not believe Sparks is above criticism for his performance last season, nor do I see him as some paragon of goaltending that is unfairly viewed by Leafs fans. Instead, I would like to share my story of how my love of hockey evolved, and how Garret Sparks unwittingly played such a central role in helping me get to where I am today. 

To put it bluntly, I have lived a fairly privileged life.
I am an LGBTQ+ person, but I live in a country where I am not punished for being honest about who I am (it helps that I am “straight passing”, I am aware). I struggle with my mental health, but I have access to resources that allow me to manage my situation without financial penalty. Most importantly, though, I have had amazing educational opportunities, culminating with my enrollment at the University of Toronto as a Masters candidate in 2016.
These opportunities also brought their challenges; leaving home while my parents dealt with my grandmother’s Alzheimer’s was a heartbreaking choice, and I …

Read More

Author: Dan William / The Leafs Nation