Raptors Flashback Friday: How Ted Stepien almost killed Toronto basketball in the 1980s

Raptors Flashback Friday: How Ted Stepien almost killed Toronto basketball in the 1980s

The Toronto Raptors were announced in November 1993, and they began their first season of play in 1995. The following decades have seen the team captivate Canada with their brand of basketball and take home a championship for the first time in 2018-19. However, they were almost beat to the punch by…the Toronto Towers? Outside […]
Raptors Flashback Friday: How Ted Stepien almost killed Toronto basketball in the 1980s – 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 might have a high-leverage reliever in Trent Thornton

On November 17th, 2018, the Blue Jays sent an average hitter in Aledmys Diaz to the Houston Astros for Trent Thornton.

At the time of the trade, Trent was considered the Astros’ 24th ranked prospect and was ready for MLB innings. The Astros didn’t have room in their starting rotation, but in comes the horrendous 2019 Toronto Blue Jays. This trade used a surplus of middle infielders for starting pitching that the team desperately needed.
This year was a rebuilding year for the Jays as they traded Stroman mid-season and they finished fifth last in baseball. There were bright spots of course since this was the rookie season for Vlad and Biggio. We also got to see a little bit of Bo Bichette, basically a taste of what was to come. However, the starting rotation was quite frankly very poor — except for Trent.
Thornton’s breakout 2019 season
Trent finished the season with a 4.84 ERA, 4.59 FIP and a strikeout to walk ratio of 2.44. While those numbers don’t necessarily pop, it doesn’t tell the whole story. 
It’s August 11th, 2019. I live in Ottawa so I’ve only been to one other Blue Jays game up to this point. The Blue …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Phillies, who say they lost $2 billion in 2020, might be trying to trade Zack Wheeler

Times are tough in Philadelphia.

As we learned back in November, the Phillies had themselves a difficult year financially. Word came out that the team lost $2 billion in 2020 so they’re going to have to tighten things up.
Now, look, if you believe that the Phillies lost $2 billion last year, I would love to take you on a trip to the Sahara Desert to sell you some sand. But the point here is that the Phillies did lose money and they’re doing poorly enough they felt compelled to leak information that they’ve lost a cartoon sum of money to essentially validate the fact they aren’t going to be signing any free agents this off-season.
I’ve already discussed how this could result in the Blue Jays ending up with J.T. Realmuto as their big free-agent splash this winter. Beyond no re-signing Realmuto, though, the Phillies might also be looking to shed the salary of their big free-agent addition from last winter.
According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Phillies are open to trade talks around Zack Wheeler. This generally wouldn’t be much of a rumour to talk about given the fact teams say they’re …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors need to cut Terence Davis already

Toronto Raptors need to cut Terence Davis already

The Toronto Raptors have until November 29 to decide Terence Davis’ future. I understand that everyone should be considered innocent until proven guilty, but the Toronto Raptors are making a mistake by having not walked away from Terence Davis already. When the news broke on October 28 that Davis had allegedly “hit the victim in the […]
Toronto Raptors need to cut Terence Davis already – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Stephen Nixon / Raptors HQ

The Leafs’ worst contract is actually Phil Kessel’s retained salary

Although it feels weird to say this in November, we are well into the dog days of the NHL offseason. Meaning we rarely see much news regarding transactions and announcements (with a few notable exceptions) while waiting for the return of hockey on XX/XX/2021.
It also means sports talk radio shows will look to find any sort of content to keep viewer interest up, leading to stuff like this:

Tavares’ contract might be the Leafs’ worst, unless they win.@OverDrive1050 discusses: https://t.co/ndTbopnJGA pic.twitter.com/0hgHaEfvi5
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) November 25, 2020

Even if it were true that the Leafs did indeed overspend on John Tavares, he was a free agent back in 2018 and could have easily accepted the San Jose Sharks’ offer of $13 million per season but instead took less to play for his hometown team. We don’t even need to get into whether or not the Leafs overpaid Mitch Marner on his extension.
Instead of responding with anger and fury over this take from the OverDrive team, I would like to instead present a counter-argument. As the title of this post outlines, the actual worst contract on the Leafs is Phil Kessel’s retained salary.


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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves

Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves

The official start date for Free Agency is November 20, and the Toronto Raptors will have a lot to think about at the Center position. The questions keep accumulating for the Toronto Raptors when talking about who will be their Center/s next season. Serge Ibaka will be looking for a lucrative deal, and Marc Gasol […]
Toronto Raptors: 4 Reasons Aron Baynes is the perfect pick up if Ibaka leaves – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

‘Your heart hurts a different way’: Oceans away from his family, Justin Nicolino starts anew in Taiwan

On an ordinary November afternoon in 2012, Justin Nicolino was shopping inside a Nordstrom Rack in Tampa, Florida. Then a month away from turning 21, he was picking out clothes for a trip to Las Vegas he was planning with his friends Kellen Sweeney, Mike Aviles, and Nick Punto. He was one of the top prospects in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, having been drafted in the second round of the 2010 draft, and was living in Palm Harbor with fellow up-and-coming hurler Aaron Sanchez.
While browsing, he received a call from a Canadian number. Unsure of its origin, he let it go to voicemail. There’s no way he was being cut, he thought to himself. After all, he just finished a stellar season with the Low-A Lansing Lugnuts in which he pitched to an ERA of 2.46 and was named to the Midwest League Postseason All-Star Team. What could it be?
Minutes later, he checked his messages. It was Andrew Tinnish, the Blue Jays’ assistant general manager. Nicolino had been traded to the Miami Marlins in a deal that he was told included some big names. Tinnish told him that his inclusion in the deal was the only way to …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors dominant November key to season-long success

The Toronto Raptors had a great month of November and let people know that they still are a team to be reckoned with in the NBA. The Toronto Raptors weren’t given high expectations to start the season. After losing Kawhi Leonard, many expected the Raptors to be a middle of the pack team at best. […]
Toronto Raptors dominant November key to season-long success – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: William Ricks / Raptors HQ