Toronto Raptors: 5 most important games in team history

Toronto Raptors: 5 most important games in team history

Tough times ahead. While the Toronto Raptors have lately enjoyed by far the most successful era in team history, this past season along with the foreseeable future is likely to take a downturn. The 2021-22 Raptors have plenty going for them, but as far as historic games go, we may have to wait a while. […]
Toronto Raptors: 5 most important games in team history – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Bad times at The Trop, the Kiermaier thing, an out-of-town scoreboard update, and more!

Chaos, bad times, and excitement to leave — that pretty much sums up your normal week at The Trop.

After taking two of three from the Rays last week in Toronto, the Blue Jays travelled down to Tampa Bay for a rematch with the American League East leaders. Things didn’t go well at all and the Blue Jays now sit out of a playoff spot.
Robbie Ray’s tough start
Robbie Ray started the first game on Monday with a legitimate opportunity to lock up the American League Cy Young award.
On Sunday, Gerrit Cole got knocked around by Cleveland, pushing his ERA for the season from 2.75 to 3.03. With a good start against Tampa, anything similar to his dominant one in last week’s series finale against the Rays, and the Cy Young would have been all his.
Unfortunately, Ray wasn’t able to capitalize on the opportunity. He laboured through four-and-two-thirds innings and scattered three earned runs on seven hits and two walks. It was far from a disastrous outing, but it didn’t move the needle in the Cy Young race.
The truly frustrating part of this game came in the ninth inning.
The Blue Jays entered the …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 46: A statement against the Rays, Charlie Discourse, and more!

The good times keep rolling!

After sweeping Oakland and New York and then scoring 1000 runs over Baltimore in a four-game set, the Blue Jays returned home to face a big test — the American League-leading Tampa Bay Rays.
And it went really well, as the Blue Jays took two of three in the series, including a commanding win on Monday night. I was joined by our good pal BK to take about the series, which featured amazingly good starting pitching, the slaying of the Ryan Yarborough Dragon, and some positive vibes when it came to George Springer’s health.
We also dove into some Charlie Discourse, as Montoyo made a puzzling decision on Tuesday night late in the game that pissed a lot of people off. Is Charlie Montoyo the guy who’s going to lead this team to glory? I mean, he’s got a good chance of winning Manager of the Year, right?
Finally, we looked ahead to the upcoming series against the Minnesota Twins!
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

It looks like Julian Merryweather will be joining the Blue Jays soon

The good times keep rolling!

As we’re all still riding high from this weekend’s sweep of Oakland, news has come out that Julian Merryweather is with the team in Toronto. There’s no word yet on what’s happening or if he’s been activated, but that’s obviously a good sign.

Julian Merryweather just walked onto the field so safe to say he’s up with the #BlueJays
— Kaitlyn McGrath (@kaitlyncmcgrath) September 6, 2021

Merryweather has had a pair of appearances for the Bisons during his rehab assignment. On Friday, he tossed a scoreless frame, and then on Sunday, he got tagged for a couple of earned runs while recording just one out. Given the fact he pitched yesterday, you’d assume he won’t be activated for Monday’s matinee game with the Yankees.
Getting Merryweather and Nate Pearson back around the same time is a huge win for the Blue Jays bullpen. Jordan Romano has pitched a lot and looks gassed and the same goes for Trevor Richards and Adam Cimber. There aren’t many consistent options back there right now, so let’s hope either, or, ideally, both of Merryweather and Pearson can be difference makers …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 28: Burn down The Trop, Robbie Ray’s next contract, the Nelson Cruz rumour, and more!

As usual, times at The Top weren’t the best.

The Blue Jays’ bats went limp on Friday and Saturday but they managed to avoid being swept by the Rays thanks to Robbie Ray throwing a seven-inning one-hitter on Sunday. The team is now heading into the All-Star break with a good-not-great 45-42 record, so there’s plenty of work to be done in the second half.
We talked on this episode about Ray’s excellent season and what it means for his next contract, the interesting rumour that the Blue Jays have ticked tired on slugger Nelson Cruz, the early returns from the couple of bullpen trades the front office has made over the past few weeks, and what to expect from the upcoming draft.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays Nation Radio Ep. 7: Good Times at The House of Horrors

Good times at The Trop? What world is this?!?!

The Blue Jays rolled into Tampa Bay and saw the Rays for the first time since getting swept away in the Wild-Card round of last year’s post-season and things went quite well. Steven Matz was excellent on Friday, Jordan Romano imploded in Game 2, and the bullpen put together a masterful performance in Game 3 for the Blue Jays to take two of three.
We talked about all of the things that were good, like the bullpen being insane, Robbie Ray not walking anyone, and Santiago Espinal’s presence on the field and in the lineup, and we also touched on the things that weren’t so good, like Bo and Vlad going 1-for-25, Hyun Jin Ryu suffering an injury, and Romano’s worrying outing.
We also welcomed Mat Germain from Rays The Roof on the show to talk about what to expect from the Rays for the rest of the season. He went into some detail for us about some exciting arms the Rays have on the way and when we can expect to see Wander Franco, baseball’s No. 1 prospect, make his debut. Germain also reiterated his pre-season prediction about …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays have signed Michael Brantley to a three-year contract

Keep the good times rolling!

After the Blue Jays inked George Springer last night, there was plenty of speculation that Michael Brantley, his former teammate in Houston and close friend, would join him.
According to Hazel Mae, the Blue Jays and Brantley have agreed to a three-year contract…

Michael Brantley in agreement on a 3 year deal with #BlueJays per source.
— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) January 20, 2021

As I’ve mentioned before, Brantley is a name that Mark Shapiro and Co. are very familiar with. He was one of the players that Cleveland got back from Milwaukee in the CC Sabathia deal back in 2008 and he went on to play 10 seasons with the club.
Brantley has spent his last two seasons as a member of the Houston Astros, where he played a combination of left field, right field, and designated hitter. He slashed a .309/.370/.497 line over 824 plate appearances in Houston with 27 homers and a 94-to-68 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Soooooo… wow! Adding Springer and Brantley to the lineup is one hell of a swing for the Blue Jays. They’ve now added an elite centre fielder and one of the best veteran contact hitters, a lefty to boot, to a lineup that was already in …

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Author: Cam Lewis / 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

What will the Leafs reverse retro jersey look like?

There are few times the NHL gets something right. The early days of the Winter Classic, the bubble approach to the Return to Play this summer, and now we might be able to add fun jerseys to that list. The teases and leaks we’ve seen from other teams so far have been encouraging, but that leaves us with an important question, what will be done for the Leafs?
Based on the image above, we can assume two things.

It will be based on the 1970 jersey design.
It will be blue, with either white or grey accents.

The first is appealing because the Leafs haven’t done much with the Ballard era jersey design, likely because of its connection to the Ballard era. The second, at least for me is decidedly less appealing since it’s the same colour scheme we’ve had since the beginning of time. It might not exactly lend itself to a fun design.

Rather than focus too much on what it will probably look like, we’ve asked the writers of The Leafs Nation to tell us what they want the Leafs reverse retro jersey to look like. Remember to tell us who got it …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Cleveland is apparently seeking three MLB (or close to debuting) players for Francisco Lindor

Even when times are tough, Francisco Lindor speculation keeps the content wheel turning.

Everybody knows at this point that Cleveland is going to trade Lindor. They don’t want to pay him the ~$300 million it’ll take to keep him around long-term and they don’t even want to pay him the ~$20 million salary he’s going to command for the 2021 season.
The Blue Jays are expected to be one of the teams in on Lindor this winter. There’s an obvious connection there because Lindor was drafted back when Mark Shapiro was with the organization so he’s a player that Toronto’s President and CEO knows well.
On Wednesday, Jon Morosi listed the Blue Jays as one of the five teams who are believed to be the strongest candidates to land Lindor. He lists the Blue Jays, Mets (who are looking to make a big splash under new owner Steve Cohen), Yankees, Phillies, and Cardinals.
We’ve heard a million times that the Blue Jays are probably going to try to acquire Lindor so this isn’t really anything new. But Morosi provides an interesting nugget later on in his article that sheds some light on what a …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation