Toronto Raptors: Grading the Raptors last 3 games played on Halloween

Toronto Raptors: Grading the Raptors last 3 games played on Halloween

It’s the time of the year we review the Toronto Raptors scary past. It’s Halloween and it’s that time of the year to watch scary movies… actually, this time around we’re the ones in the scary movie with everything going on in the world right now. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun and […]
Toronto Raptors: Grading the Raptors last 3 games played on Halloween – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Alexandro Fidanza / Raptors HQ

NBA Restart Recap: Toronto Raptors grind out win over Houston Rockets in 1st scrimmage

The Toronto Raptors are BACK in action in the NBA. We’ll review just how well the Raptors were doing against the Houston Rockets. The Toronto Raptors took on the Houston Rockets in their first scrimmage game of the 2019-20 NBA Restart and while all the players showed an inevitable amount of rust, there were plenty […]
NBA Restart Recap: Toronto Raptors grind out win over Houston Rockets in 1st scrimmage – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Michael Walton / Raptors HQ

Toronto Marlies 2019-20 Season Review

Welcome to the 2019-20 season review for the Toronto Marlies. Today we are going to take a look at the 15th season in franchise history, examining what went right and what went wrong for the Marlies.

Overall, the 2019-20 season for the Marlies was disappointing to say the least. The team was on pace to miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2010-11 season. Between injuries, NHL recalls and coaching changes, the Marlies went through it all this season. With the AHL finally cancelling the remainder of the 2019-20 season on Monday, it’s time to review the year the Marlies had.
Offseason
If I had to pick one word to describe the 2019-20 Toronto Marlies season, I would probably go with ‘Transition’.
After the Calder Cup victory in 2018 and a surprise playoff run to the Conference Finals in 2019, the transition first started in the offseason. Kyle Dubas, the architect of those last two Marlies playoff runs was promoted to General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Dubas would fill the void he created by hiring Laurence Gillman as his Assistant GM and also GM of the Marlies.

There was a lot of roster turnover …

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Author: Brendan Mori / The Leafs Nation

20 Things: Finding a role for Teoscar Hernandez

Welcome to Blue Jays Nation’s Season In Review. Instead of doing boring-ass, standard player-by-player reviews or handing out some arbitrary report cards, I’m going to talk about 20 things that are on my mind heading into 2020. Today, we have Teoscar Hernandez’s role on the team. 

Teoscar Hernandez is an enigma.
There’s quite a bit to like about him as a player. Mostly because he does stuff like this…


But he’s also an incredibly frustrating player. Mostly because he also does stuff like this…

There’s a big bat there with a tremendous amount of upside. There’s also the very real issue of his glove. You want to have Hernandez in the lineup, but you don’t know exactly where to put him on the field.
There was a point in time last year where the answer to that question was “Who the hell cares? Play him wherever you want in Buffalo.” Hernandez had a nightmarish start to the 2019 season. By mid-May, he was slashing a .189/.262/.299 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

20 Things: Pitching depth has become a legitimate organizational strength

Welcome to Blue Jays Nation’s Season In Review. Instead of doing boring-ass, standard player-by-player reviews or handing out some arbitrary report cards, I’m going to talk about 20 things that are on my mind heading into 2020. Today, we have the impressive stockpiling of pitching depth up and down the system. 

When the Cleveland Crew took over the Blue Jays in 2015, they inherited a farm system that had mostly been sold off in order to fund an incredible and very necessary playoff run.
We all know the history here. Alex Anthopolous traded away a million prospects to get, over the span of a few months, Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, David Price, LaTroy Hawkins, Ben Revere, and Mark Lowe. And it was absolutely worth it. The Jays made went on an epic run and made the playoffs for the first time since Joe Carter hit his walk-off homer to win the World Series in 1993.
Shapiro came in and apparently scolded Anthopolous and other members of the front office for going all-in and selling off so many prospects in such a short period of time. It perfectly represented the difference in philosophies between the two executives, as Anthopolous was …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

20 Things: The love for Derek Fisher, the forgotten Anthony Alford, and the Blue Jays’ gaping hole in centre field

Welcome to Blue Jays Nation’s Season In Review. Instead of doing boring-ass, standard player-by-player reviews or handing out some arbitrary report cards, I’m going to talk about 20 things that are on my mind heading into 2020. Today, we have Derek Fisher and Anthony Alford and whether one of them can take an opportunity and run with it. 

When Derek Fisher became a Blue Jay, there was virtually zero fanfare attached to the acquisition.
The only ones excited by the addition, it seemed, were members of the front office. Ross Atkins came out and publicly talked about how thrilled the brass was to acquire Fisher, a unique player who featured a blend of plus speed, great power, an elite eye, and fair defence. Unfortunately, Fisher looked, uh, nothing like the player Atkins had raved about.

Meanwhile, Aaron Sanchez and Joe Biagini, two of the three players heading back to the Astros in the deal (along with interesting prospect Cal Stevenson) combined to throw a no-hitter just days after the trade was made. The immediate optics of the trade really couldn’t have been worse for the Blue Jays.
So, right off the hop, you have a …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

20 Things: It’s sink or swim time for a handful of young-ish Blue Jays

Welcome to Blue Jays Nation’s Season In Review. Instead of doing boring-ass, standard player-by-player reviews or handing out some arbitrary report cards, I’m going to talk about 20 things that are on my mind heading into 2020. Today, we have the futures of multiple young Blue Jays bubble players. 

I haven’t done one of these review/preview posts in a little while, but now that the dust seems to have settled on the Blue Jays’ off-season and we have a good idea of where the team stands heading into 2020, it’s time to dive back in.
I think it’s safe to say, at this point, the Jays are done making major additions to their roster. We’ll likely see some veterans relievers added to the ‘pen and perhaps a utility guy with a good glove who can be the backup shortstop, but there won’t be anything major.
The front office’s work this winter has been in building the team’s starting rotation. They added in ace in Hyun-Jin Ryu and some veteran depth in Chase Anderson and Tanner Roark to completely flip the rotation …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

20 Things: The contention window isn’t going to open itself. When’s the right time to kick it open?

Welcome to Blue Jays Nation’s Season In Review. Instead of doing boring-ass, standard player-by-player reviews or handing out some arbitrary report cards, I’m going to talk about 20 things that are on my mind heading into 2020. Today, we have the contention window.
I wasn’t planning on writing about this topic until closer to free agency, but Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins’ end-of-season media availability kind of made it the topic de jour this week. When should the Blue Jays kick their contention window open?
Before I get into that, I’ll preface this topic with the reality that this Blue Jays team isn’t going to just stumble blindly into contention. We got to see the growth of a very exciting core this season featuring Bo Bichette, Vlad Jr., Lourdes Gurriel and Cavan Biggio, but that’s just a start. This Core Four (which could very likely expand to a Core Five in 2020 when Nate Pearson gets called up) is going to need some help.
If you were hoping for the Blue Jays to have an out-of-the-blue Braves-style breakout in 2020, you’ll more than likely be disappointed. Beyond the Jays having “put together an entire starting rotation and …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

20 Things: Nobody wants to watch a loser

Welcome to Blue Jays Nation’s Season In Review. Instead of doing boring-ass, standard player-by-player reviews or handing out some arbitrary report cards, I’m going to talk about 20 things that are on my mind heading into 2020. Today, we have the attendance issue. 

Major League Baseball is struggling with an attendance epidemic and the Toronto Blue Jays are right in the middle of it.
For the second-consecutive season, the Blue Jays saw the biggest decline in average attendance in baseball. In 2017, the Jays averaged 39,554 fans per game. In 2018, that average dipped down to 29,066 fans per game. In 2019, it dropped again, this time, all the way down to 21,683 fans per game. Over the course of two years, the Jays saw their average fan turnout nearly cut in half.
This is a pattern we’re seeing all around baseball. According to Eric Fisher of Sports Business, MLB had its worst total attendance figure in 16 seasons. The total attendance for 2019 was 68.5 million, which represented a steep 1.7 percent decline from 2018. It also represented the sixth time in seven seasons that MLB saw a decline in attendance from the previous year.
While many people in decision-making positions are stressed out about things like the pace …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Atlantic Review: Montreal’s off-season was highlighted by a moral victory

Welcome to The Leafs Nation’s 2019 Atlantic Review in which we take a team-by-team look at the other seven teams in the Atlantic Division. Today, we have the predictably unpredictable Montreal Canadiens. 

The Montreal Canadiens have been all over the grid the past few years.
In 2014-15, they were one of the best teams in the league, putting up a 110-point season behind Carey Price’s legendary showing. In 2015-16, an injury to Price resulted in them cratering to an 82-point season. In 2016-17, the Habs bounced back for 103 points, though they lost in the first round. In 2017-18, they bottomed out again, finishing with just 71 points.
Here we are in 2018-19. The Habs were expected to be bad last season much like they were the season before that. But, thanks to a pretty solid rebound performance from Price and some very good play from a bunch of depth players, Montreal had a strong season. Had it not of been for where they stood in their division behind three elite teams, Montreal surely would have been a playoff team.
They might not have actually accomplished anything tangible, but it was a moral victory for the Habs in 2018-19.
In between …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation