Gerrit Cole got really mad when he saw the Blue Jays were beating Minnesota on Sunday

This weekend was a bit swing for the Blue Jays in the wild-card race, thanks in part to Cleveland.

The Blue Jays took care of business against the Twins on Saturday and Sunday. They won 6-2 on Saturday behind a good start from Steven Matz and then they won 5-3 on Sunday after a five-run explosion in the first inning.
Elsewhere, the Yankees couldn’t get the job done in their series against Cleveland. They got drilled 11-3 on Saturday night after Cleveland put up a seven-run fifth inning. On Sunday, ace Gerrit Cole took the mound in a huge game and wound up getting smacked around for seven earned runs over five-and-two-thirds innings in an 11-1 loss.
With the Yanks down 4-0 in the third inning, Cole looked to the out-of-town scoreboard hoping for some help. He did not find it…

Here’s Gerrit Cole reacting to the Blue Jays’ 5-0 lead. (Young children should watch this on mute.) pic.twitter.com/NnvjGu8uLY
— Minor Leaguer (@Minor_Leaguer) September 19, 2021

Cole audibly yells FUCK as the scoreboard is updated to show the Blue Jays leading Minnesota by a score of 5-0 early in the game.
Another thing about Cole to note …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Well, that was amazing

What a weekend. Holy shit.

The Blue Jays took care of business against the A’s, sweeping the three-game series and ultimately made up all three games Oakland had on them in the standings.
With Boston and New York losing on Sunday, the Blue Jays are now four games back of a playoff spot. It’s still a big climb, but it certainly looks a lot more doable after what went down this weekend.
Look, whatever happens this year, whether they make it or not, you really have to just sit back and enjoy competitive baseball in September, because, sometimes, it results in insane, unforgettable weekends like this one. And since this weekend was such a fuckin’ blast, let’s go through and talk about all of the good stuff we witnessed…
Friday’s comeback…
Things looked pretty bleak in the opener of the series. Alek Manoah allowed a two-run double in the first inning and he would wing up getting tagged for six runs all told over five. In the seventh inning, Nate Pearson made his much-anticipated return and promptly got smacked around for a pair of runs. 8-2 Oakland. Not ideal!
And then the bottom of the eighth …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Injury Updates! Jordan Romano is expected back soon, Teoscar Hernandez is COVID symptom free, and more!

The weekend in Kansas City was ugly but we got some positive injury updates in regards to some key players. Let’s go through them all…

Teoscar Hernandez tested positive for COVID-19 and has been away from the team since the series last weekend against the Los Angeles Angels. Thankfully, Hernandez has recovered and is now “symptom-free,” which is a great sign. Of course, per MLB’s COVID protocol, Hernandez has to be quarantined from the team for a 10-day period and he has to test negative before he can join the Blue Jays. That would mean that, if he can test negative, he’ll be eligible to join the team on April 23, which is the beginning of this weekend’s series in Tampa against the Rays.
Speaking of that series against Tampa, we might also see George Springer finally make his debut this weekend. According to Ross Atkins, Springer isn’t quite at 100% but “all signs are exceptionally positive,” and Charlie Montoyo noted that Springer has resumed all baseball activities.
This, of course, would be a game-changer for the Blue Jays lineup. The team pretty much only has two players, Bo and Vlad, who are hitting right now, and …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays are off to Texas to (hopefully) kick the crap out of the hapless Rangers

Opening Weekend went about as well as anybody reasonably could have expected for the Blue Jays.

They rolled into Yankee Stadium without George Springer, their top two projected starting pitchers, and their closer, and they managed to take two of three games thanks largely to some impressive pitching performances.
Now they have a really good opportunity to get off to a hot start to the season as they travel to Texas to face the Rangers, who, on paper, are arguably the worst team in baseball. According to ZiPS projections, the Rangers are expected to win just 66 games this season, which is better than only the Baltimore Orioles (65 wins) in the American League.
The Rangers will also become the first big-league team to welcome fans back at full capacity for their home opener on Monday. What could go wrong!
How they’re doing…
You generally don’t want to draw too many conclusions from Opening Weekend but Texas’ three-game set in Kansas City with the thoroughly mediocre Royals validates the notion of how bad the Rangers supposedly are. Texas lost the first two games of that series by a combined score of 25-14 and salvaged things on Sunday with a 7-3 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays Nation Radio Ep. 2: Getting a Yankees fan perspective on the Blue Jays

That was an excellent Opening Weekend for the Toronto Blue Jays.

The good guy rolled into Yankee Stadium and made a statement by picking up the series win despite having a couple of key players on the Injured List. There’s a loooooong ways to go, but it looks like the Blue Jays are poised to go toe-to-toe with the Yanks this year.
So, what do things look like from the other side? We welcomed Joshua Diemert of Pinstripe Alley on the show to talk about the Yankees, what he expects from them this season, what he thought about the Blue Jays based on this weekend, and what it would take for Toronto to jump New York and win the American League East.
Beyond that, we also talked about our three up, three down from this weekend, ranging from great performances from the Blue Jays bullpen and some big hits from Randal Grichuk to an awful bunt attempt by Danny Jansen and Cavan Biggio’s difficult start. We also previewed what we’re going to see over the next week as the team heads to Texas to face the Rangers and then heads home to Dunedin to host the Los …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

How the schedule details released today impacts the Leafs

The NHL has been working hard all weekend finalizing the details for the 2020-21 season. Today, we’ve been getting a lot of details about key dates for some the biggest events of the season. While some of these could be changed barring any complications with COVID-19, and the politics surrounding it (especially with Canada and the NHL team’s provinces), let’s take a look at some of the important dates for this season.

So, to recap:Puck drop: Jan. 13Trade deadline: April 12End of reg season: May 8Expansion draft: July 21NHL draft: July 23-24Free-agent Frenzy: July 28July 29: LeBrun goes to cottage https://t.co/um2EkAIOc6
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) December 20, 2020

Training Camp
Based on the current dates, the Leafs will start their training camp on January 3, something Pierre Lebrun reported on Friday. This will be the starting day that most teams will have, while the teams that weren’t in the playoffs in the summer will get a few extra days.
This will give the Leafs 10 days before the start of the season to get their systems in place and figure out their lineup. That will be important because there will also be no preseason games, similar …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Montoyo on Giles: “We called from the bench and he said he was fine.”

Opening weekend was a rollercoaster for the Blue Jays.

The team’s inspiring 6-4 win on Friday brought on some serious optimism about the team’s chances this season. And, as a result, that win and its subsequent optimism made Saturday and Sunday’s back-to-back losses all the more frustrating.
The target of Blue Jays fans’ frustration? Charlie Montoyo.
First, it was Montoyo’s questionable bullpen management that made him the target of criticism. With the game tied 1-1 in the eighth inning, Montoyo opted to bring in mop-up guy Sam Gaviglio to hold the tie. Gaviglio, as you’d expect from a guy who doesn’t have the stuff to pitch in these types of situations, got smacked around, surrendering three runs.
The Gaviglio thing was frustrating because it seemed that everyone other than Montoyo could see that he wasn’t going to thrive in that situation. But, to be fair, this was more ill-advised than it was egregious. There weren’t many options available and Montoyo wanted to see how Gaviglio could perform in a one-inning role. So long as this doesn’t happen again, it …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

It really looks like Nick Robertson has fast-tracked his way to the Leafs

Next weekend the Leafs will be playing in playoff games. Call it the “play-ins” or “play-downs” or whatever, but for all intents and purposes, when Toronto goes up against Columbus on August 1st, they’re in do or die mode. Lose 3 of 5 and go home. It’s as important as any other postseason matchup they’ve been in over the last four years.
And here is 18-year-old Nick Robertson, with just ten days until these all-important games get going, taking reps with the Leafs’ main group — looking more and more like a regular part of the lineup.
This isn’t really the way it was supposed to be. If you could plot out the development curve for a typical 2nd round pick, you’d think a year back in the junior ranks followed by a year or two with the Marlies would be the standard path. But for all the ways we’ve struggled with handling the hype around Robertson and his 55-goal OHL season this past winter, it’s looking like he’s going to play games for the Leafs this summer. Otherwise, what are …

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Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation

News and Notes: Next steps in NHL’s return-to-play planning, players discuss isolation, and more

Over the weekend, the NHLPA voted heavily in favour of accepting a 24-team playoff format in the event the NHL resumes the 2019-20 season later this summer. This is just a very small step forward to getting the league going and there are some large, complicated hurdles left to overcome.

While the 24-team format was passed with a 29-to-2 vote (in which Carolina and Tampa Bay voted no), the next vote, which will be on accepting the details and logistics for a summer playoff tournament proposed by the league, could be more contentious.
Michael Russo, a Minnesota Wild reporter with The Athletic, spoke with Devan Dubnyk, who has plenty of experience representing his teammates on the NHL Players’ Association’s executive board. Dubnyk said that the yes vote was for the 24-team format, and another vote, perhaps one involving as many as 700 players, will be needed to pass through things like logistics, cities, travel, testing, and economics.
“I think it’s really important to start having these conversations with as many players as we can about, ‘Guys, what scenarios are we OK with?’” Dubnyk said. “From what it sounds …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Absolutely, The Leaf’s Madness Bracket is live

Thanks to everyone who participated in our survey over the weekend to help build out our bracket for Absolutely, The Leaf’s Madness. I think I’ve learned a lot about Leafs Nation in the process, but the main thing is that crowd sourcing led to a pretty solid looking bracket.

The main regional matchups will get underway on Wednesday, and we’ll do our best to keep voting every weekday for the next couple of weeks, but you’ll notice that there are three play-ins on the bracket, and those will get underway tomorrow.
Play-ins
Your Grandpa’s Leafs Region
Frank Mahovlich is awaiting his first round rival, and he’ll be facing off against either Hap Day or Bobby Baun
Hap Day has pretty much filled every role you could possibly ask a player, coach, executive to fill and he’s won in each of those roles.
He goes up against the Stanley Cup legend that is Bobby Baun. Since I was a child I heard the tale of Baun recovering from an injury to return and score the game winning goal for the Leafs, and while it may …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation