BJN Radio – Ep. 50: Welcome to Heartbreak

That wasn’t the storybook finish we were hoping for.

The Yankees rolled into Toronto for what was a playoff-like series at The Dome. Capacity was upped to 30,000 and the Blue Jays had a chance to catch the Yankees in the standings and ultimately put themselves in a position to earn a playoff spot. The table was set.
Unfortunately, it was the Yankees who showed up to play while the Blue Jays didn’t bring their best. The bats were silenced in the first game on Tuesday, Bo Bichette led the team to a win on Wednesday, and then, with a chance to pull within one game of New York on Thursday, Robbie Ray got lit up in the sixth inning and Toronto’s bats couldn’t solve the Yankees’ bullpen the rest of the way.
It was a heartbreaker, a gut-punch, and an energy-sucking loss.
We talked about a bunch of stuff on this episode of BJN Radio, including Bo’s amazing series, Nate Pearson having some good outings out of the ‘pen, and the decision by Charlie Montoyo to keep Ray in the game when it looked like the Yankees had him solved. We also looked ahead to …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors: March hero Johnny Juzang might be in Tampa for draft business

Raptors: March hero Johnny Juzang might be in Tampa for draft business

The Toronto Raptors are hoping and praying that a player with elite talent inevitably slips into their drafting range, as they own two consecutive second-round picks in the middle of that round. While he didn’t show his skills as frequently as some scouts would like, UCLA’s Johnny Juzang proved that he is worthy of a […]
Raptors: March hero Johnny Juzang might be in Tampa for draft business – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 Toronto Raptors players who must step up without Pascal Siakam

3 Toronto Raptors players who must step up without Pascal Siakam

The Toronto Raptors are hoping that a return to normalcy could help Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and the rest of the squad return to the postseason after their sabbatical in the lottery. With one fell swoop, the Raptors saw their chances of contending take a major hit thanks to Siakam’s shoulder. Siakam will miss a […]
3 Toronto Raptors players who must step up without Pascal Siakam – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors: 3 bargain bin trade targets Toronto could add

Raptors: 3 bargain bin trade targets Toronto could add

If you are hoping to find a major, game-changing addition for the Toronto Raptors to elevate them back into the mix of the top Eastern Conference contenders, there are plenty of intriguing possibilities that Masai Ujiri could consider. If the front office wants to cut costs, however, that won’t exclude them from making some quality additions at […]
Raptors: 3 bargain bin trade targets Toronto could add – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Fisher / Raptors HQ

J.T. Realmuto might fall into the Blue Jays’ lap

We’re all expecting (or, at least, hoping) to see the Blue Jays make a big splash this off-season.

Who might that be? We’ve heard Toronto connected to just about every name out there this winter. George Springer seems like a natural fit to fill the need in centre field, DJ LeMahieu would also help fill holes around the infield, and Trevor Bauer would give the team another top-end arm.
But the Blue Jays’ big splash might end up being someone unexpected — J.T. Realmuto.
The Mets, like the Blue Jays, are expected to be a big player in free agency this off-season. They have a new owner who’s willing to spend and their name is attached to virtually every player available. If the Blue Jays want somebody, there’s a good chance that they’ll be in a bidding war with the Mets.
Realmuto was one of those names that the Mets have been associated with all off-season as the solution to the team’s woes behind the plate. But, according to the New York Post, the Mets are instead interested in James McCann, who had an excellent showing in 2020 in a very small sample size.
The …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

NHL hoping 2020-21 season can be played in full

The NHL says they’re hoping for the 2020-21 season to be played in full.
The NHL’s Bill Daly told TSN’s Pierre LeBrun they don’t want to disrupt the next season.

Notable takeaway from our interview with Daly, when it comes to all the different scheduling scenarios:“The only definite for us, is we certainly don’t want to do anything around a resumption of play this season that will impact our ability to have a full season next year.’’
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) March 18, 2020

“The only definite for us is we certainly don’t want to do anything around a resumption of play this season that will impact our ability to have a full season next year,” Daly said.
In the last few days, reports have surfaced about top NHL players recommending playoffs be played in the summer, while NHL front offices appear to favor a 24-team playoffs with a best-of-three play in. 
The league is clearly trying to exhaust all options for awarding a Stanley Cup champion this year, but they’re also making it clear they don’t want it …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

A return to basketball in June would create history for the Toronto Raptors

NBA executives are hoping for a mid-June return to basketball. For the Toronto Raptors, that would mean a little slice of history. For all the wrong reasons, the world is facing unprecedented times. Life as we know it is currently at a standstill as world leaders look for a solution to COVID-19. Businesses are closing […]
A return to basketball in June would create history for the Toronto Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Raptors vs. Warriors NBA Finals Game 2 Thread

With Toronto hoping for a 2-0 result, the Raptors prepare for a second onslaught from the Warriors. Who will come out on top? Let’s watch. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Raptors do have a distinct chance tonight to go up 2-0 on the Warriors in the 2019 NBA Finals. Am I jinxing the entire endeavour by thinking and writing this way? It’s possible. Or maybe the Raptors are just that good, and the Warriors just that compromised, to make my way of thinking not just possible, but probable.
We’ve been seeing a lot of unlikely things lately. Outside the arena, legions of people are currently (and voluntarily) wearing Burger King-style paper crowns sponsored by New Balance that say “King of the North” on them. This is not something anyone could have predicted back in, say, November. Meanwhile, inside the arena, the Raptors are feeling confident. I’m projecting of course, but can the idea be proven wrong? Unlike the Raps of the past, this squad knows how to stay the course better than before, and is able to bounce back or build on past performances better than they ever have in all …

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Author: Daniel Reynolds / Raptors HQ

Raptors look to take 2-0 lead over the Warriors: Preview, start time, and more

After a rousing victory on Thursday, the Raptors are hoping to take care of business at home with a Game 2 victory over the Warriors. Think back to the opening minute of Game 1. Kyle Lowry, after the Raptors won the tip, turned the ball over to begin the game. The Warriors came back the other way and were unsuccessful themselves with a Klay Thompson miss. Pascal Siakam got the rebound, brought it up the court, worked his way close to the corner where he found an open Danny Green. At this moment every Raptors fan held their breath in hope of Green breaking out of his shooting slump. He missed.
One shot doesn’t make or break a game, specifically in the opening minute, however there was a different feeling to that miss. Everyone wanted to see it go in, no one more than Green himself. He’s struggled these playoffs and even more so in Round 3 vs. Milwaukee. But that one shot from Green, 47 seconds into the NBA Finals, would have meant a lot for the Raptors had it gone in.
Like Fred VanVleet and the bench finding their rhythm in the latter half of the Milwaukee series, Green’s …

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Author: Satbir Singh_ / Raptors HQ

Raptors vs. 76ers Game 6 Thread: Updates, TV info, and more

The Raptors are in a close-out scenario, while the Sixers are hoping a healthier Joel Embiid can extend this to seven. In the playoffs, it’s very hard to carry momentum from game to game — but, damn it, could we have it just this once? The Raptors played to their truest form in Tuesday’s Game 5, showing what happens when someone besides Kawhi Leonard shows up to make shots. Kyle Lowry and Marc Gasol were shooting without thought. Pascal Siakam seemingly shook off an injury to return to form. Fred VanVleet had his best game in a millennia. The Raptors won by 36 damn points.
If Toronto was to carry that team into tonight’s Game 6 — well, there’d be a lot less to worry about. Elimination games in Philadelphia haven’t been kind to this franchise in a small sample size, but it would appear that the Sixers are starting to run out of answers. Ben Simmons has been swallowed up, as some expected he would be. Mike Scott and James Ennis have faded. Jimmy Butler has been asked to do too much.
The one behemoth casting a shadow on Game 6 is Joel Embiid. Dealing with an overzealous digestion system …

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Author: John Gaudes / Raptors HQ