It looks like Mark Shapiro and the Blue Jays have agreed on a new contract

I don’t think should really come as a surprise, but it looks like the Blue Jays have come to an agreement with Mark Shapiro to remain as the organization’s President and CEO.

Shapiro, of course, joined the organization after the 2015 season on a five-year contract, replacing Paul Beeston. That contract came to an end after this year’s World Series and it always appeared as though the two sides had a mutual interest in carrying on.
I think the fact there was virtually zero talk about a new contract gave an indication that something was going to get done. If there was turmoil or a poor relationship between the two sides and it looked like a deal wasn’t going to get done, we probably would have heard about it. If all things are going well, it’s business as usual.
Anyways, the report of Shapiro apparently having a new deal comes from Ken Rosenthal over at The Athletic. Rosenthal did a post about the New York Mets seeking a new leader for their front office as new owner Steve Cohen let go of the current group who had been working under the Wilpon family.
Rosenthal mentions Shapiro …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Another way too early look at the Leafs and the expansion draft

Given that we don’t know when this season will start or end and when we’ll see the expansion draft it’s probably a bit premature to start planning for how the Leafs will approach it. Of course we’ve looked at this draft twice before on the site, so we’ve set a precedent with being okay with that. With new faces on the roster that changes some of the views on who the Leafs should protect and expose and some additional work that may need to be done will be highlighted below.
Like the Golden Knights draft, the Leafs find themselves in the optimal situation of, 1. sending a player to another conference rather than having them stay in the East, and 2. easily being able to protect their core players, and having most of their young players exempt from the draft. Not having to worry about losing or protecting players like Robertson and Sandin will be huge, as either one of those players can likely be counted on to replace whatever player is taken from the Leafs in the draft.
The rules for the expansion draft remain the same as they were for Vegas:

Current NHL teams can …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Michael Hutchinson 2: Electric Boogaloo

The Leafs certainly are making sure they don’t find themselves in the awkward situation of having Michael Hutchinson as their backup goaltender again. The way they are ensuring that is by bringing back Michael Hutchinson as their fourth string goaltender.
The press release:

The Toronto Maple Leafs announced today that the hockey club has signed goaltender Michael Hutchinson to a two-year, two-way contract. The contract carries an NHL average annual value of $725,000.

Hutchinson, 30, split his 2019-20 season at the NHL level between the Maple Leafs and the Colorado Avalanche and had a 5-9-1 record, posting a 3.47 goals-against average and a .888 save percentage. In four appearances for the Avalanche during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he was 2-1 with a 2.75 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage. Hutchinson also appeared in four games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) during the 2019-20 season and went 3-1-0 with a 1.98 goals-against average and a .943 save percentage. In 127 career NHL games between Winnipeg, Florida, Toronto and Colorado, the Barrie, Ontario, native is 51-52-14 and has a 2.80 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage.
Hutchinson was originally selected by the Boston Bruins in the third round (77th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft.
So, there’s …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

WATCH: Braves organist trolls Reese McGuire by playing “Beat It”

Sorry, Reese, I don’t think you’re ever going to live this one down.

As we all surely know by now, Reese McGuire was arrested back during spring training for allegedly jerking off in a Florida parking lot. McGuire pleaded no contest and was fined $450 after initially being charged with exposure of sexual organs, a first-degree misdemeanour.
Anyways, here we are now, a few months later, and the jokes are still coming in. Last night in Atlanta, the Braves organist played Michael Jackson’s hit “Beat It” for McGuire as he came walked up to the plate.

Earlier this year, the Blue Jays’ Reese McGuire was arrested for public masturbation.
Listen to the song the Braves played for his walk-up music last night.
This is literally the greatest thing that has happened all year.
pic.twitter.com/keUBbrwZjV
— Not Jerry Tipton (@NotJerryTipton) August 7, 2020

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays announce 30-man roster for Opening Day

We don’t know where our home is going to be, but we know our roster.

The Blue Jays announced their 30-man roster for Opening Day on Friday, per the team’s Twitter account…

There are only a few surprises, none of which are really major.
Nate Pearson isn’t on the roster, but he’ll be travelling with the team on its Taxi Squad. So, as soon as his service time has been manipulated, he’ll “join” the team. Also on the Taxi Squad is Ryan Borucki, which suggests that he isn’t going to be the Jays’ fifth starter off the hop. One (or both?) of Anthony Kay or Thomas Hatch, who are on the 30-man roster, will presumably be Toronto’s fifth starter until Pearson gets added.
A.J. Cole and Brian Moran, two non-roster invitees to spring training, have been selected to the active roster, meaning they need to also be added to the 40-man roster. Cole, who had a pretty strong showing in Cleveland last year, seemed like a lock to be added, but Moran is a bit more of a surprise.
I had …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Staturday: Less is more when it comes to Cody Ceci

I guess you don’t really need to see the numbers to know that the lower the playing time the better off the Leafs are when it comes to Cody Ceci. At the close of the 2019-20 season we will finally be down to the target number of zero minutes and the cruel twist of COVID is that while many of us were hoping to be done with Ceci by now, we’re going to be spending the summer with him.
Nevertheless, he’s a Leaf for now, and that’s not ideal, but it’s interesting to see how Sheldon Keefe might have cracked the code on Cody. It seems like a pretty simple one, and it’s to stop playing him like a top pairing defenseman, and put him on the third pairing as much as possible.
Under Mike Babcock, Cody Ceci’s most frequent partner in every single game played until Babcock’s dismissal was Morgan Rielly. There were two games where he tried Ceci with Muzzin in shutdown situations, but even in those games his primary partner remained Morgan Rielly. Not to throw Babcock completely under the bus …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Father’s Day gifts for the Toronto Raptors fan

Father’s Day is nearly here. Don’t wait until the last possible moment to get dad something awesome. Instead, get him a Toronto Raptors gift. Father’s Day is June 21. It’s time to celebrate dad for being… well, dad. For all the tidbits of knowledge given, for all the time spent… it’s time to say thanks. […]
Father’s Day gifts for the Toronto Raptors fan – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nathan Cunningham / Raptors HQ

Support your Toronto Raptors for charity with these NBA face coverings

Don’t let something like a pandemic keep you from displaying your intense fandom (and supporting charity). Instead, get yourself some Toronto Raptors face coverings.  These are trying times we’re in. But, this too shall pass. In the meantime it is important for Toronto Raptors fans (and everyone else) to stay as safe as possible. The […]
Support your Toronto Raptors for charity with these NBA face coverings – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nathan Cunningham / Raptors HQ

They’re playing baseball games (without fans) in Korea

I don’t know if I’ve ever been so excited after reading a tweet from Jon Heyman, but here we are. It might not be much, but Heyman’s report that baseball games are being played in Korea offers us a slight glimmer of hope.

They are playing baseball now in Korea. Gives us something to aspire to.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 21, 2020

And here’s what Hanwha’s intrasquad game looked like today. pic.twitter.com/9DitLXaF4O
— Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) March 17, 2020

Live Intrasquad Baseball featuring the Kiwoom Heroes
Live at https://t.co/y17uCEGXlG pic.twitter.com/fSwAiKs4VP
— Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) March 18, 2020

The Korean Baseball Organization, who, just like everybody else around the world, had its season postponed due to the COVID-19 breakout, has started to play intrasquad games. These games are just little exhibition matches between players on the same teams and they aren’t played in front of fans, but it’s a start.
What this should give us over in North America is something to aspire to. Korea has received praise for its COVID-19 strategy, as they rapidly tested everybody in order to identify and isolate the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Nick Robertson is recognized by the OHL as the best hockey boy of the week

You don’t need me to tell you that Nick Robertson is damned good. Maybe you do? How closely do you follow the OHL?
Anyways, Nick Robertson’s 55 goals in 46 games is pretty impressive, and he had a particularly good week last week…

#OHL #OnTheRunPlayer of the Week | @MapleLeafs prospect @nickrob2001 of @PetesOHLhockey.
PERFORMANCE RECAP : https://t.co/kfcn06PJnp pic.twitter.com/sdSwSJMExS
— OntarioHockeyLeague (@OHLHockey) March 9, 2020
Toronto, Ont. – The Ontario Hockey League today announced that Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Nick Robertson of the Peterborough Petes is the OHL ‘On the Run’ Player of the Week with 10 points in three games including five goals and five assists along with a plus/minus rating of plus-8.
Robertson led the Petes to a perfect 3-0 week, outscoring opponents 25-2 in the process as he increased his goal-scoring total to a CHL-leading 55. The third-year winger scored a goal in Thursday’s 8-0 blanking of the visiting Hamilton Bulldogs. He earned first star honours with two goals and two assists in Saturday’s 5-1 victory over the Mississauga Steelheads on home ice, finishing the game with seven shots …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation