New York Yankees fan who got Aaron Judge home run ball in Toronto got to meet him

Sports rule.

No matter what side of the fanbase you sit on between the AL East foes in the Yankees and Blue Jays, you can’t help but feel good for nine-year-old Derek Rodriguez.
You see, Torontonians Derek and his father, Cesar, are both massive Yankees fans who had tickets to all three games of the series between the two teams. Derek, a massive Aaron Judge fan, was donning a shirt the players’ number 99 on the back.

Enjoy the kindness.
Aaron Judge and this very generous Blue Jays fan made this kid’s night! pic.twitter.com/qgFe9j8BTX
— MLB (@MLB) May 4, 2022

When Judge juiced a sixth-inning no-doubter to left field, it bounced into the second deck right where Blue Jays fan Mike Lanzillotta was sitting.
“When it came to me, and I picked it up, and I was just like, ‘Wow, like, I got to give it to this kid,’” Lanzillotta told The Athletic. “It’s his player, his T-shirt.”
Cameras picked it up right away caught a heart-melting hug between the two and
And ahead of the rubber match between the two teams Wednesday, both Rodriguez and Lanzillotta got welcomed into the Yanks’ dugout to meet Judge.

Last night, 9-year-old Derek Rodriguez was given @TheJudge44’s home run ball by Mike Lanzillotta
Today, they both got to meet Aaron before the game.
We are crying too. pic.twitter.com/fmGwEv9Xgv
— MLB (@MLB) May 4, 2022

You can’t pick up what was said in any of the clips posted, but you can just see the joy beaming from the young Rodriguez’s face.
Lanzillotta, meanwhile, didn’t walk out of it all empty-handed as George Springer went out of his way to give him two signed jerseys.
How can you not love baseball?
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.
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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

New York Yankees fan who got Aaron Judge homerun ball in Toronto got to meet him

Sports rule.

No matter what side of the fanbase you sit on between the AL East foes in the Yankees and Blue Jays, you can’t help but feel good for nine-year-old Derek Rodriguez.
You see, Torontonians Derek and his father, Cesar, are both massive Yankees fans who had tickets to all three games of the series between the two teams. Derek, a massive Aaron Judge fan, was donning a shirt the players’ number 99 on the back.

Enjoy the kindness.
Aaron Judge and this very generous Blue Jays fan made this kid’s night! pic.twitter.com/qgFe9j8BTX
— MLB (@MLB) May 4, 2022

When Judge juiced a sixth-inning no-doubter to left field, it bounced into the second deck right where Blue Jays fan Mike Lanzillotta was sitting.
“When it came to me, and I picked it up, and I was just like, ‘Wow, like, I got to give it to this kid,’” Lanzillotta told The Athletic. “It’s his player, his T-shirt.”
Cameras picked it up right away caught a heart-melting hug between the two and
And ahead of the rubber match between the two teams Wednesday, both Rodriguez and Lanzillotta got welcomed into the Yanks’ dugout to meet Judge.

Last night, 9-year-old Derek Rodriguez was given @TheJudge44’s home run ball by Mike Lanzillotta
Today, they both got to meet Aaron before the game.
We are crying too. pic.twitter.com/fmGwEv9Xgv
— MLB (@MLB) May 4, 2022

You can’t pick up what was said in any of the clips posted, but you can just see the joy beaming from the young Rodriguez’s face.
Lanzillotta, meanwhile, didn’t walk out of it all empty-handed as George Springer went out of his way to give him two signed jerseys.
How can you not love baseball?
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at zach@oilersnation.com.


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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Six eliminated from the Isobel Cup Playoffs by the Boston Pride, in the semifinals, again

In a bit of sports deja vu, the Toronto Six suffer exactly the same fate they suffered last season. In the semi-finals game, they faced a lower-seeded Boston Pride team, who then beat them by 4 goals. Last year it was 6-2, this year it was 5-1.
Last year, Boston also went on to win the Isobel Cup, so we’ll see if that’s the case again.
The disappointment comes after losing the top seed to the Connecticut Whale, who were able to beat a 5th-seed Minnesota Whitecaps team to earn their spot in the Isobel Cup finals. There’s no saying that Toronto would have done the same, but I think everyone involved with the PHF would agree that Boston was the toughest team to face from the quarterfinals. If the Six had finished first, no matter what, they wouldn’t have had to face the Pride.
Boston continued its already dominant playoff run, after they beat the 6th-seed Buffalo Beauts 6-0 on Friday in the quarterfinal matchup. They clearly are showing an ability to turn something on come playoff time, which comes not just with experience in general, but experience together. Also, great coaching from Pau …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

If there ever was a time to use Petr Mrazek, that time is now

Petr Mrazek is basically a sports car parked in a garage that you occasionally wax. He’s a first edition comic that is never read and immediately sealed to keep it in mint condition. Petr Mrazek is all the analogies of things that people spend a small fortune on but never actually use.
The Leafs $3.8M goaltender has seen the Leafs net just four times over the course of the last 3+ months. Some of that is due to injury, and some of that due to cancelled games making it easy to stay with the one time hot hand of Jack Campbell, and let’s be honest, some of that is to do with the fact that Petr Mrazek is yet to have a game with a save percentage over .900. His record sits at 2-2-0, with a .882 save percentage, and only one quality start during his time as a Leaf.
As underwhelming as that is, that’s not far off of Jack Campbell’s 4-1-1, .893 sv% January. And while I think people will comfortably say that at the end of the day Jack Campbell is the better goaltender, we are now in uncharted territory when it comes to Campbell’s workload.
Campbell now has two more starts this year than hi …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Report from the Rock: Drama boils over and the city wins, for now

It’s a dark day for sports fans in the city of St. John’s. Perhaps the darkest it has seen since the day it was announced that the St. John’s Maple Leafs were leaving town… or the day it was announced that the St. John’s Fog Devils were ceasing operations… or the day that the St. John’s Ice Caps got relocat- wait, I’m sensing a pattern here.
This morning it was announced that St. John’s city council and the St. John’s Sports and Entertainment committee, which manages the Growlers home arena (formerly Mile One Centre, recently renamed to Mary Brown’s Centre… yes the chicken franchise) have evicted the Newfoundland Growlers just nine days before their home opener, citing accusations of disrespectful workplace conduct towards the staff of the arena.
I wanted to write about the Growlers’ 4-0 record to start the season, the stellar play of prospects like Keith Petruzzelli, Noel Hoefenmayer and Ryan Chyzowski, and how much I was looking forward to the home opener for the opportunity to cover a game in-person for the first time, but instead we have to talk about this crap, so let’s get into …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

It looks like 2022-23 will be the cap hell we’ve been promised for years

In this the magical time where newspapers and sports radio are freaking out about a USports goaltender sitting on the bench, and trying to manufacture salary cap concerns for this season, I feel like getting a jump start on their freakout for next season, where it looks like our long promised cap hell will actually come to fruition.
We’ve been through one of these before. Paying a first round pick to have Patrick Marleau’s contract taken off the books, so the Leafs could turn around and throw a blank cheque at Mitch Marner certainly seems to fit with cap hell, but it also demonstrates that the Leafs have been able to wriggle their way out of bad situations as well, even if I’m not sure I’d use this as an example that left Leafs fans feeling particularly happy.
Toronto will have $67.8M committed to the salary cap for next season. If the cap stays flat (thankfully we’re hearing it won’t) that would leave Toronto with $13.7M to spend on filling a minimum of six roster spots. That leaves the with $2.28M for each spot available open. On the surface that doesn’t seem to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Are you the 2021 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year?

Are you the 2021 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year?

Are you the best sports fan in the country? Prove it! FanSided is searching for our Fan of the Year and we’re giving away awesome prizes. We’re all fans of something. Here at FanSided, that fan spirit is what brings us to work every day, working to connect your fan communities with the stories that […]
Are you the 2021 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ian Levy / Raptors HQ

News and Notes: Matthews skates, some new lines, and a timeline for the Leafs cuts

News and Notes: Matthews skates, some new lines, and a timeline for the Leafs cuts

Understandably most Toronto sports eyes on the Blue Jays today and because of that there might not be a lot of interest in what’s going on in Leafs camp today. That’s fine. It’s hard to keep up interest in training camp and the preseason when nothing else is happening and today with a full day of meaningful baseball games that will decide the postseason fate of the Jays probably means the Leafs take a backseat.
That said…

Auston Matthews has departed practice early
Seney now taking reps between Ritchie-Marner
Gogolev with Gusev-Abramov
Leafs remaining pre-season games: Monday, Tuesday and Saturday
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 3, 2021

Auston Matthews participating in the contract drills and staying out with the Leafs longer is encouraging. The fact that the Leafs are saying that it has happened ahead of schedule is also something you’d love to see.

Sheldon Keefe today on Auston Matthews: “He did a lot more today than we were expecting. He wanted to keep going, he felt good. He shot the puck a lot harder, I thought, today. It was the first time I saw him really leaning into one-timers.”
— Jonas Siegel (@jonassiegel) October 3, 2021

The fact that Nick Ritchie …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Scottie Barnes fits the Toronto Raptors and their developmental culture

Scottie Barnes fits the Toronto Raptors and their developmental culture

Toronto Raptors fans and sports pundits were generally gobsmacked by the team’s pick of Florida State’s Scottie Barnes with the No. 4 Pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs had been the betting favorite for weeks, but the Raptors decided to shockingly go in a different direction. Suggs is strong both […]
Scottie Barnes fits the Toronto Raptors and their developmental culture – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Cece Scott / Raptors HQ

Are you the 2020 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year?

Are you the 2020 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year?

Are you the best sports fan in the country? Prove it! FanSided is searching for our Fan of the Year and we’re giving away awesome prizes. We’re all fans of something. Here at FanSided, that fan spirit is what brings us to work every day, working to connect your fan communities with the stories that […]
Are you the 2020 FanSided Sports Fan of the Year? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ian Levy / Raptors HQ