Fred VanVleet, Raptors fans should be insulted by All-Star fan vote

Fred VanVleet, Raptors fans should be insulted by All-Star fan vote

If anyone on the Toronto Raptors is going to make the 2022 All-Star Game this season, the most likely candidate is point guard Fred VanVleet. Not only does he have Toronto back in the postseason picture, but he’s averaging career-best marks in most key offensive categories. VanVleet is averaging 21.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 6.7 […]
Fred VanVleet, Raptors fans should be insulted by All-Star fan vote – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Bulls Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 22

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Bulls Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 22

The Toronto Raptors were finally going to face off against DeMar DeRozan and the Chicago Bulls for the second time this season, but some unfortunate new COVID-19 developments crippled Toronto’s hopes. The latest Raptors odds look extremely grim. The Raptors forced seven players into the health and safety protocols over the last four days, including […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Bulls Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Dec. 22 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

No need to worry about Pete Walker as the Mets hire Buck Showalter to be their manager

Not much going on lately, but here’s something of interest!

The New York Mets filled their manager role this weekend by hiring veteran skipper Buck Showalter.

Buck Showalter brings an extensive MLB resume with him to the Mets. pic.twitter.com/Ef3RBiIaXi
— SNY (@SNYtv) December 18, 2021

Showalter has 20 years of experience as a big-league manager with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers, and, most recently, the Orioles. He’s known around these parts, of course, as the guy who left Zack Britton in the bullpen while Edwin Encarnacion launched a ball into space off of Ubaldo Jimenez to walk off the O’s in the 2016 American League Wild-Card game.
Anyways, this is worth noting because there was a ‘rumour’ going around earlier this month that Pete Walker was a name to watch in New York’s managerial search.
This was actually just a Tweet from Jon Morosi saying Walker was a ‘name to watch’ because he’s respected in baseball, so it really wasn’t anything more than pure speculation. But if you were one of the ones to take it seriously and demand Walker get promoted into Charlie Montoyo’s gig before it was too late, you can now exhale. 


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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Spezza’s suspension adds to a growing number of key absences for the Leafs

It comes as no surprise that Spezza was going to be suspended. The “in-person” hearing was definitely made the suspension a lock, and set the bar of Players Safety targeting around 5 games or possibly more, with Spezza having the opportunity to maybe negotiate it down. With Spezza’s long career suspension free career there was certainly a possibility of that, but then again Players Safety is about as predictable as a goaltending prospect.

Toronto’s Jason Spezza has been suspended for six games for Kneeing Winnipeg’s Neal Pionk. https://t.co/DDlM0Tdzw3
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) December 8, 2021

So here we are. Jason gets six games. No Spezza until the Leafs play the Kraken on December 19th. (The things people will do to avoid an Alberta road trip.) The suspension is certainly warranted as there is little doubt that Spezza deliberately targeted Pionk, and even if the intent wasn’t to injure, he certainly wanted to make him hurt for what Pionk did to Sandin. Of course the fact that Spezza is missing more time than Pionk got for the Sandin hit is an irony not lost on Leafs fans.
Having Spezza out of the lineup at the same …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 stats that prove Raptors leader Fred VanVleet is an All-Star

3 stats that prove Raptors leader Fred VanVleet is an All-Star

If the Toronto Raptors are going to send anyone to the All-Star game this year, Fred VanVleet may be the most likely candidate. With Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby both missing some serious game time due to injuries, VanVleet has helped keep this Raptors attack firing on all cylinders. VanVleet was tasked with the gargantuan […]
3 stats that prove Raptors leader Fred VanVleet is an All-Star – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Blue Jays are reportedly among the teams who have been “most aggressive” in pursuit of Seiya Suzuki

There isn’t much going on these days as we wade into the nothingness of the lockout, but we learned this weekend that the Blue Jays were among the teams who were pursuing Seiya Suzuki, an outfielder from Japan.

According to an MLB Notebook post in the Boston Sports Journal by Sean McAdam, the Blue Jays, Yankees, and Red Sox are apparently the teams who have been the “most aggressive” in pursuit of Suzuki.
The Renfroe-for-Bradley swap has more than a few people in the game believing that the Sox are intent on landing Japanese outfielder Seiya Suzuki, whose posting process was frozen when the lockout went in effect. The thinking: Suzuki could play right field for the Sox, replacing Renfroe both defensively and as a productive right-handed bat. The Sox could then keep Kike Hernandezin center and Alex Verdugoin left. That may well be true, but though one major league source reports the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Red Sox have been the most aggressive in pursuit of Suzuki, teams can hardly be certain of the player’s attention. The Sox could, after all, be the highest bidders for Suzuki, only to learn that he would rather play on the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Leafs Nation Power Rankings: Depth, Defence, and Dominance

What’s going on, Toronto? Welcome to my weekly Top 5 Power Rankings! Each week I’ll be sharing my favourite moment of the week around the Maple Leafs. These moments could be hockey related, feel good moments, Twitter interactions, basically anything that stands out. Each new article will be released on Sunday’s and be sure to let me know what moments YOU think should be added in my Top 5.
Got it? Good! Let’s start.
5 – Canada Soccer 
Now I know that Canada Soccer has nothing to do with the NHL, the Maple Leafs or even Toronto but Canadian history was made this week and it needs to be talked about. 
Okay, onto the good stuff! Did you know that the last time the Canadian men’s soccer team beat Mexico in a World Cup Qualifying match was in 1976? Well, that all changed on November 16, 2021 at Commonwealth Stadium also known as “Iceteca” when John Herdman and company smashed a 45 year old record.
As much as the storyline was about breaking records and World Cup qualification, mother nature also wanted in on the action. With a massive snowstorm hitting the night before, both teams woke up with a big match to …

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Author: Caroline Szwed / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays are apparently in the mix for Justin Verlander and they made an “aggressive” offer for Noah Syndergaard

Such as was the case last winter, we’re going to see a lot of ‘the Blue Jays are in the mix for _____’ reports in the coming months.

Here’s the newest one from Wednesday, in which Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Toronto is among the teams, along with the American League East rivals, the Yankees and Red Sox, who are in on Justin Verlander. Sherman also notes that the Blue Jays and Red Sox made aggressive offers to Noah Syndergaard, who wound up taking a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels…
Verlander will pitch at 39 next season. But the last time he was healthy, 2019, he won his second AL Cy Young Award. He likely doesn’t have to throw another pitch to be a Hall of Famer. Word is that the teams that were in on Syndergaard also have interest in Verlander. That includes three AL East clubs — the Yankees, Blue Jays and Red Sox. Toronto and Boston made aggressive offers for Syndergaard. It is not publicly known if the Yanks did.
The Verlander thing is no surprise, as the Blue Jays were among the teams to attend the 38-year-old’s throwing session in …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 56: Talking about José Berríos’ contract extension

José Berríos is going to be a Blue Jay for a long time.

Word came out on Tuesday that the right-hander had inked a seven-year contract extension with the Blue Jays worth $131 million. It’s the biggest contract for a pitcher in Blue Jays history and is the second-largest contract ever handed out by the club, behind only George Springer’s deal from last winter.
We had an emergency podcast to discuss Berríos’ new contract, why it’s a win for the Blue Jays, and what we can expect next.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

There’s some reason for optimism one month into the Leafs season

The season has now been going on for exactly a month and that’s given us a reason to be a bit reflective on what we’ve seen so far. Right now the Leafs are sitting in a relatively comfortable spot in the standings, things have gone fairly well after what we’ll understate as a rocky start, and now that people you want to see getting points are getting points, and the Leafs have established themselves as a team that wins more frequently than it loses, we’ve earned an optimism post on TLN. Criticizing the Leafs is easy, and honestly this site wouldn’t have grown to where it is today without the opportunity to criticize the Leafs, but that doesn’t mean we don’t enjoy the things they do right as well.
Here are some of contributors thoughts on what has been the most pleasant surprise of the season so far?
Mark Norman:
For me it’s Jack Campbell picking up where he left off last season. I was worried about him coming down to earth but he seems to prefer playing in the stratosphere. He has played brilliantly, and has given cover to a few …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation