J.A. Happ Round Three?

We all want the Blue Jays to make some pitching additions this off-season. Perhaps adding somebody from the New York Yankees? Maybe a left-handed starter?

Apparently, according to Jon Morosi, the Blue Jays have expressed interest in doing exactly that, though it isn’t the Yankee lefty you’re probably hoping for.
Nope, not James Paxton to satisfy your need for CanCon. The Blue Jays have shown interest in old friend J.A. Happ.

Sources: #BlueJays interested in free agent LHP J.A. Happ, who had two prior tenures with the club: 2012-2014 and 2016-2018. Happ, 38, ranked fourth in ERA+ this year among free-agent pitchers who threw at least 40 IP. @MLB @MLBNetwork
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) November 22, 2020

Ben Nicholson-Smith and Arden Zwelling mentioned the possibility of the Jays circling back to Happ as a veteran pitching addition last week, so it isn’t all too big of a surprise to see his name mentioned here. Also, it seems the Jays are checking in with literally everyone so this might not mean anything.
Anyways, J.A. Happ, Round Three? Why not, I guess?
This obviously wouldn’t be the top-of-the-rotation upgrade we’re all hoping for, but Happ is still a fairly …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Who will play center for Raptors in 2020?

The Toronto Raptors have many decisions to make during the off-season in 2020. There are options if it’s not Serge Ibaka or Marc Gasol. The Toronto Raptors will have to make some hard decisions this off-season, and chief among those choices is who will play center? This past season it was Marc Gasol and Serge […]
Toronto Raptors: Who will play center for Raptors in 2020? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

John Tortorella Defends Sheldon Keefe Following Leafs’ Elimination

John Tortorella is a coach who always finds a way to make his media availability interesting, and today’s session following the Blue Jackets ousting the Leafs from playoff contention was no different.

Full quote from #CBJ coach John Tortorella, who felt the need to come to #LeafsForever coach Sheldon Keefe today at the start of the Blue Jackets’ media availability: pic.twitter.com/g5Ft2xozVE
— Aaron Portzline (@Aportzline) August 10, 2020

Torts very neatly put into words here what many players have implied but never outright said over the years: Toronto is a brutal hockey market. The fans, the media, the reputation around the league make The Toronto Maple Leafs a difficult club to play for.
Of course there are many, many benefits to playing for the Leafs: this team is steeped in hockey history, and when they’re good the players are heroes to the city and broader fanbase. Obviously, their financial success can make for a luxurious stint for players, as well.
But as coaches, GMs, and many players have experienced, when things go wrong they go really, really wrong, and nobody is immune from harsh criticism. Not even a brand new …

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Author: MerOutLoud / The Leafs Nation

Leafs send Tyler Gaudet back to the AHL

Let’s not make this into more than it is. Gaudet was recalled by the Leafs to be on the roster when the team went on the road to Nashville, where he played last season. This is what we’ll come to recognize as the “Reverse Babcock” where the team actually treats players decently. With the team returning home from this mini-trip, he’s back to the Marlies.
Given his big league salary of 700k on the two-way contract, I’m sure Gaudet appreciated the few days of NHL pay. Well done, everyone.

The @MapleLeafs have loaned forward Tyler Gaudet to the @TorontoMarlies (AHL). #LeafsForever
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) January 30, 2020

 

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

Should the Leafs consider trading Morgan Rielly?

If this post is going to make you upset, please keep reading. If it isn’t, please keep reading and then send me a note of agreement when you’re finished. I’ll appreciate it.
Yes, I’ll say it: The Leafs should consider trading Morgan Rielly. I’d go a bit further and speculate they’ve already talked about it. They wouldn’t be doing their jobs if they didn’t.
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this under the premise of “All players should be available and open to evaluation on the trade market”. While that might be partly true, or you may personally believe in it, I still think Rielly in particular is a player this front office would target as needing a lot of discussions in regard to what they want to do with him in the future.
There’s a chance that future is now, or not far down the road. The Leafs have decisions to make on how they want their blueline to look, and Rielly likely isn’t untouchable. He shouldn’t be.
There& …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

The Toronto Raptors shouldn’t trade for Andre Drummond

Maybe the Toronto Raptors should make a move before the trade deadline. But it is about making the right move and that is not acquiring Andre Drummond from the Detroit Pistons. Trade season has officially begun. The first player who appears to be on the move is Andre Drummond. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that […]
The Toronto Raptors shouldn’t trade for Andre Drummond – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mark Birdsell / Raptors HQ

Should the Toronto Raptors trade Marc Gasol or Serge Ibaka?

The Toronto Raptors could have a choice to make deeper into trade season. If they had to, would it make more sense to trade Marc Gasol or Serge Ibaka? Trade season is finally upon us and proceedings in the NBA will start to hot up over the coming months. That leaves teams in a position […]
Should the Toronto Raptors trade Marc Gasol or Serge Ibaka? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Thomas Valentine / Raptors HQ

Comparing the 2019 non-tender team to the 2019 Blue Jays

Some Major League Baseball teams had to make some difficult decisions as to who to non-tender this week, causing an inevitable stir and debate as to who should (or should not have) been non-tendered. Beat reporters rushed to get news out and swamis or fans pulled out stat sheets to compare their choices against those of the general managers and executives who actually made the decisions
As is always the case, there are those who aggregate such players and compare them to already existing clubs in a quasi-OOTP fashion. 
One of them, John Metzler, an astute Blue Jays fan who can found on Twitter as @bluejaysbeat, put together a list of the most valuable (and most intriguing) players who were non-tendered before Monday’s 8 PM EST deadline.
In a semi-sarcastic tone, Metzler posited that the team of “rejects” could finish higher in the standings than the 2020 Baltimore Orioles. While that’s certainly possible, it’s not entirely easy to predict. The offseason is far from over and the Orioles could conceivably still add to their team to increase their chances of putting together a passable team.
But what about the 2019 Blue Jays? 
In a short and potentially useless bit of …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation

Sheldon Keefe Brings a Different Perspective – Both On and Off the Ice

I try to make a habit of never delivering hit pieces, as a general principle.
When I was in college, I damn near turned alcoholic consumption into an Olympic sport. I once got grounded — as a senior in high school — for forgetting to tell my parents I was spending the night at a friend’s house and then slunk home the next morning toting a hefty parking ticket earned for illegally leaving my car in front of her house.
My first post-grad boyfriend broke up with me because I was, per him, “just too mean to deal with every day”. Stones and glasshouses, and all that.
So it was entirely in jest that I offered up a ‘holier-than-thou hit piece’ on Sheldon Keefe and the relationship he had back in the day with disgraced player agent and coach, David Frost. But given that I promised I’d deliver the piece the day Babcock got canned ~*on the day that Babcock got canned*~, it’s hard not to deliver the goods — as best I possibly can.
So. Sheldon Keefe, eh?
Keefe has, by all accounts, been a phenomenal, forward-thinking coach as he’s quickly risen up the ranks of the hockey …

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Author: Cat Silverman / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors 2019 Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are here! Make sure you’ve got all the Toronto Raptors fans in your life covered. We’re here to help with this item showcase. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Toronto Raptors fans! But before you start chugging egg nog and filling up on cookies, you need to take care of your […]
Toronto Raptors 2019 Holiday Gift Guide – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Nathan Cunningham / Raptors HQ