Toronto Raptors merchandise sales still among the very best in the NBA

Toronto Raptors merchandise sales still among the very best in the NBA

The Toronto Raptors might not receive the same level of coverage from large segments of basketball media due to the fact they are a geographically isolated team in Canada, but that doesn’t erase the fact that Ontario has largely united behind them to form one of the most passionate and supportive fanbases in the game. […]
Toronto Raptors merchandise sales still among the very best in the NBA – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Vladdy has arrived. What’s he doing differently now and will it be sustained?

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is playing on another level right now.

A triple slash of .389/.507/.667 is Bonds-esque, his 232 wRC+ ranks fourth in all of baseball behind, Acuna Jr, Trout and Mercedes. His 1.2 WAR is tied for second and matches what Vlad did in 2019 and 2020 combined. What’s most impressive about this stretch isn’t necessarily the power and the big exit velocity, it’s his plate discipline. Vlad has 11 walks and 11 strikeouts. This is the Vlad Guerrero Jr. everyone saw in the minor leagues.
We have never seen Vlad hit this well for this length of time in the big leagues. Seriously, look at his stats by week on this FanGraphs leaderboard; three of the six best weeks of Vlad’s career have been this season.  So what is Vlad doing differently this time around? Is this just another hot streak and how does this streak compare to other successful stretches for Vlad?
First, we need to establish the best stretches of Vlad’s career. Using the leaderboard above, I went through and found the five best stretches of Vlad’s young career.

Year
Dates
Plate Appearances
wRC+

2019
May 11 – May 31
76
163

2019
July 19 – August 4
66
241

2019
August 10 – August 30
61
152

2020
August 16 – August 30
63
172

2021
April  1 – April 18
67
232

Vlad has had …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

What to expect from The Goat this summer

Freddie Gauthier probably frustrates me on the same level that Martin Marincin frustrates a lot of you. It’s not that he’s a defense first forward, I’m thrilled the Leafs have those in the lineup. It’s not the lack of offense, in fact he seems to come out of nowhere every so often to prove me wrong on his offensive abilities as well.
Gauthier has landed in a platooning situation for the fourth line, and that seems like it is the permanent fit for him, unless the team and player decide to part ways this offseason with Gauthier being an arbitration eligible free agent. The playoffs will be the last chance to see if Gauthier is still ahead of Adam Brooks, Pierre Engvall, etc. as the fourth line center option. And does he bring enough to the Leafs to justify keeping him. Or is he just a great guy you like having around the team?
By the numbers

So Freddie doesn’t see too many offensive starts in his role, but one of the things I wasn’t really prepared to see was how consistently he has moved the puck up …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: Top three Kyle Lowry games of 2019-20

Kyle Lowry continues to perform at a high level as the leader and point guard of the Toronto Raptors. What are his top three performances from the season so far? With the 2019-20 NBA season shockingly suspended indefinitely due to the spread of the coronavirus disease, it has become anyone’s guess as to when the […]
Toronto Raptors: Top three Kyle Lowry games of 2019-20 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Aditya Chandran / Raptors HQ

Vlad Jr. destroys some baseballs, comes second in Home Run Derby

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. displayed his immense level of power tonight in Cleveland and shocked the whole baseball world while breaking some records on his way.
The MLB installed that new format for the derby and it provided some sheer entertainment, a lot of it coming from Vlad Jr. In just his first round, the 1-8 matchup against Oakland’s Matt Chapman, Vlad Jr. broke the record for most home runs in a single round with 29. The previous record was Josh Hamilton with 28, so it fits perfectly that the Blue Jays destroy the Rangers yet again.
Not only did Vlad break the record in the first round, but he matched his total with another 29 homers in the semi-final of the derby, facing off against Dodgers’ Joc Pederson. These weren’t simple flyers that just sneaked over the fence either, Vlad was bringing his typical explosive swing.

VLAD JR. #HRDerby pic.twitter.com/q5uDsjaDU5
— MLB (@MLB) July 9, 2019

If there is any space left, this should be put up in the AGO and never taken down.
In total, Vlad Jr. hit 91 home runs — more than four teams have in the first half of the 2019 season. That 91 carries throughout derby history as well, …

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation

Welcome to the Jurassic Kingdom, America

Scotiabank Arena hit another level last night for Game 1 of the NBA Finals. And it’s time everyone realized Toronto is a basketball city like no other. The crowd in Scotiabank Arena was on-point the entire game. Deafening chants of “Let’s Go Raptors” — at one point mercifully overwhelming Game Ops’ asinine insistence of trying to make “This is Our House” happen — shook the building.
The cries of “De-Fense” came at exactly the right moment. Chants of “Danny”, “Freddy”, and “Lowry” rocked down from the upper bowl. The inevitable ‘M-V-P’ for Kawhi was heard too. Really all that was missing was a bespoke celebration for Pascal Siakam (I humbly suggest “Spi-cy, P!” to the tune of “Let’s Go Raptors”).
Even the “Ref, You Suck!” chants were on point, in that, for a game that was pretty damn well-officiated, they were largely left out of the proceedings.
It was a pump your fist, pound the railing, bounce-on-the-balls-of-your-feet-for-the-eternity-it-takes-a-Danny-Green-corner-three-to-splash-through-the-bucket, high-five your neighbour, and tell-the-guy-behind-you-who-was-bringing-the-bad-energy-into-the-building-to-stop-being-a-jinx kinda night.
It was sublime. It was breathtaking. It was also familiar.
For anyone who has been in the ACC/Scotiabank Arena, or hell even the old Skydome, during a big game it was something you had heard …

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Author: ConorMcCreery / Raptors HQ