The Blue Jays are severing all ties with Roberto Alomar amidst sexual misconduct allegation

Major League Baseball has placed Hall of Fame second baseman Roberto Alomar on its ineligible list following an investigation of sexual misconduct allegations, commissioner Rob Manfred announced on Friday.

Alomar had been working with Major League Baseball as a consultant in Puerto Rico and is now banned from working in the league office or for any team in the majors or affiliated minors. He had also been working with the Blue Jays as a special assistant but was let go as part of an overarching restructure by the organization back in September of 2020.
The Blue Jays have announced that they support MLB’s decision and will be severing ties with Alomar. This means that the team will be removing Alomar’s name from the Level of Excellence and removing his No. 12 banner from the rafters at the Rogers Centre.
Here’s a statement issued by the team and one from Mark Shapiro…

Finally, the Hall of Fame issued a statement saying that Alomar’s plaque at Cooperstown “will remain on display in the Hall of Fame in recognition of his accomplishments in the game, and his enshrinement reflects his eligibility and the perspective of the BBWAA voters at that time.”


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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah will start in Triple-A, Simeon Woods Richardson, Jordan Groshans, and Austin Martin to Double-A

The Minor League Baseball season is right around the corner!

It’s been quite some time since we had Bisons or Fishers Cats or D-Jays or Canadians box scores to fawn over as the past year-and-a-bit has seen all minor-league ball streamlined into Alternate Training Sites.
This year will be a little different for the minor leagues. The Bisons will be playing in Trenton, the Fisher Cats will remain the same in New Hampshire, the Dunedin Blue Jays are now a Low-A team, and the Vancouver Canadians, who are playing in Oregon, are the new High-A team. There also isn’t Rookie League anymore and the Bluefield Blue Jays no longer exist.
We don’t yet know the full rosters that the Blue Jays farm teams will be operating with, but we learned yesterday about where a few key names will start their seasons.
Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans will start with the Fisher Cats in Double-A. The last time Groshans played was all the way back in May of 2019 with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts while Woods Richardson made six starts for High-A Dunedin after being acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade.
And then there’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah will start in Triple-A, Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans to Double-A, no word yet on Austin Martin

The Minor League Baseball season is right around the corner!

It’s been quite some time since we had Bisons or Fishers Cats or D-Jays or Canadians box scores to fawn over as the past year-and-a-bit has seen all minor-league ball streamlined into Alternate Training Sites.
This year will be a little different for the minor leagues. The Bisons will be playing in Trenton, the Fisher Cats will remain the same in New Hampshire, the Dunedin Blue Jays are now a Low-A team, and the Vancouver Canadians, who are playing in Oregon, are the new High-A team. There also isn’t Rookie League anymore and the Bluefield Blue Jays no longer exist.
We don’t yet know the full rosters that the Blue Jays farm teams will be operating with, but we learned yesterday about where a few key names will start their seasons.
Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans will start with the Fisher Cats in Double-A. The last time Groshans played was all the way back in May of 2019 with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts while Woods Richardson made six starts for High-A Dunedin after being acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade.
And then there’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Alek Manoah will start in Triple-A, Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans to Double-A

The Minor League Baseball season is right around the corner!

It’s been quite some time since we had Bisons or Fishers Cats or D-Jays or Canadians box scores to fawn over as the past year-and-a-bit has seen all minor-league ball streamlined into Alternate Training Sites.
This year will be a little different for the minor leagues. The Bisons will be playing in Trenton, the Fisher Cats will remain the same in New Hampshire, the Dunedin Blue Jays are now a Low-A team, and the Vancouver Canadians, who are playing in Oregon, are the new High-A team. There also isn’t Rookie League anymore and the Bluefield Blue Jays no longer exist.
We don’t yet know the full rosters that the Blue Jays farm teams will be operating with, but we learned yesterday about where a few key names will start their seasons.
Simeon Woods Richardson and Jordan Groshans will start with the Fisher Cats in Double-A. The last time Groshans played was all the way back in May of 2019 with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts while Woods Richardson made six starts for High-A Dunedin after being acquired from the Mets in the Marcus Stroman trade.
And then there’s …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

We’re two weeks into the season and Yankee fans have snapped

The New York Yankees are dead last in the American League East. Their fans are pissed.

After getting walked off by Bo Bichette and the Blue Jays on Wednesday afternoon, the Yanks went home with a forgettable 5-7 record. Next up, they faced the Tampa Bay Rays, another pesky divisional opponent that they need to beat in order to take control of the American League East.
That didn’t happen. The Rays took a 2-0 lead off of opener Nick Nelson and then a comedy of errors led to Luis Cessa allowing four runs, only one earned, in a disastrous fifth inning. The Yanks bats were able to get virtually nothing going off of Michael Wacha, and, by the time the eighth inning rolled around, their fans let the team know how they felt.

Fans at Yankee Stadium stopped play by throwing several baseballs into the outfield pic.twitter.com/VHof1Fc2vN
— Talkin’ Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 17, 2021

Fans at Yankee Stadium are throwing baseballs onto the field.
Stop this nonsense and act like adults. pic.twitter.com/Mn8XvyBy7w
— Dillard Barnhart (@BarnHasSpoken) April 17, 2021

In the eighth inning, a collection of fans in the outfield starting launching balls on the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Top KHL Free Agents in 2020-21

The 2nd best hockey league in the world just wrapped up their regular season, 60 Kontinental Hockey League games for teams in Russia, Finland, Belarus, Latvia, Kazakhstan, and China.
The usual suspects sit atop the league with CSKA Moskva and SKA St. Petersburg leading the West, Ak Bars Kazan and Avangard Omsk tops in the East. That’s not what concerns North American teams though, their focus is on poaching the talent that elevates teams to the top of the KHL. Artemi Panarin is the most impactful example, finishing in the top 20 in NHL scoring each season since signing with Chicago in 2015.
In the 5 years or so since Panarin came to North America there has been plenty of other skaters to sign out of the KHL. Not all of them met expectations, or even played a game in the NHL. Still, the opportunity to land an NHL contributor for under $1 million is a massive incentive to scout the KHL. If it takes three tries to land a player like Ilya Mikheyev, NHL clubs should be willing to take three swings.
Before the NHL season started I spent a lot of time watching KHL games and highlights, and narrowed down a list …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Staturday Weekly Column #10: What’s going on with John Tavares, and why?

As the Captain and one of the highest paid players in the league, a lot is expected of John Tavares. When he decided to join Toronto in the summer of 2018, it was a joyous day. Adding a top flight center to what was already an elite offense brought mouthwatering visions of having two 30-plus-scorers (good name for a new dating site) on one team. His first season in Toronto seemed a blessed one, scoring 47 goals in a nearly unstoppable combination with Mitch Marner.
In this season, Tavares hasn’t had the same punch to his play. With 6 goals and 17 points in 21 games, it’s not like he’s been terrible in a producing role. However, something seems to be up with his ability to be an impactful player that can change the game the way an Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and even William Nylander can.
The “What?” — Production Stats
We know that Tavares is billed, primarily, as a points-scoring forward. There’s some talk of his defensive ability as a center — we’ll talk about that misnomer later — but, primarily he’s a scorer. All stats in this section are from naturalstattrick.com, unless otherwise noted.
Production Rate
There’s …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

NHL announces enhanced COVID-19 protocols

The National Hockey League and its player association has announced a new set of COVID-19 measures aimed at enhances what’s already in place.

The league said they will be in place until at least Feb. 28 as they continue to monitor their implementation and effectiveness.
The measures, which were announced and took effect yesterday, will see more testing, stricter quarantines, better masking and the utilization of player tracking, amongst other things.
A pilot project utilizing data from the player tracking system has been launched to work to measure the manager and degree of interaction between players as an enhancement to the contact tracing process.
“The goal of this project is to more precisely determine which people should be considered for enhanced monitoring and/or quarantine based on close contact with potentially infected Players,” they said.
Additional POC testing for U.S.-based clubs 
Furthering current testing protocols, the league will be adding point of care rapid testing to be administered on game days to all players, club personnel and on-ice officials that work in or around the benches during games. If a positive test is returned, the individual will be immediately isolated per league protocols. The league said they are …

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation

Cavan Biggio and Hitting High Velocity

Cavan Biggio has had an impressive start to his Major League career.

Over 159 games he has a 118 wRC+, 24 home runs, a 16.1% walk rate, a triple slash of .240/.368/.430 and has even stolen 20 bases without being caught. Putting it all together he’s been worth 3.8 wins above replacement. Defensively, the Blue Jays have turned him into a super utility type playing him all over the diamond.
However, despite Biggio’s impressive start, he has one major flaw that could potentially hold him back in the long-run. He hasn’t been able to hit fastballs. That has led to some thought that pitchers will start challenging him with fastballs, plummeting his walk rate and take away from his offensive strength. We saw Tampa Bay take advantage of this in the post-season.
Biggio saw 30 pitches over two playoff games, 23 of which were fastballs. Just five of those fastballs were less than 95 miles per hours. Biggio struck out six times in eight plate appearances, five of which came on fastballs. This obviously a small sample against a really strong pitching staff, but it highlighted a deeper issue for Biggio and why some think he may not last long in the big leagues.
Let’s get …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs place Aaron Dell and Jason Spezza on waivers

It raised eyebrows around the league when the Leafs decided to keep Aaron Dell on their opening night roster as their third goaltender, mostly because the Leafs were only able to carry one extra player on their active roster due to salary cap limitations. Keeping a third goaltender left the Leafs with next to no roster flexibility, as Alexander Barabanov (aside from Ilya Mikheyev) was the only player that could be sent to the taxi squad without having to clear waivers.
The Leafs made that move prior to their game against Ottawa on Saturday night, recalling rookie forward Nick Robertson for his NHL regular season debut. Unfortunately for Robertson and the Leafs, he suffered a knee injury in the first period and is expected to miss some time pending the results of an MRI scheduled for Sunday.
In order to receive an emergency recall exemption for a player with a cap hit of $1 million or less, the Leafs would have first had to play a game with just 17 skaters. As a result, the Leafs were forced to create the flexibility to recall reinforcements from the taxi squad by placing Aaron Dell and Jason Spezza on Sunday’s waiver wire.

Aaron …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation