BJN Radio – Ep. 107: The Dog Days of Summer are over

After an up-and-down month of August (well, months of April, May, June, July, and August, really), the Blue Jays are into September clinging to a playoff spot.

We talked about the series with the Chicago Cubs, which featured some clutch home runs and excellent relief appearances, but also left a sour taste behind as the Blue Jays weren’t able to sweep a weak opponent.
After that, we talked about Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro both doing media rounds during the week and why the timing is a little strange. We also talked about the rosters expanding to 28 in September and what that means for the team.
Finally, we looked ahead to the three-game series in Pittsburgh this weekend and explained why we’re feeling a wee bit nervous despite the fact the Pirates are very bad.
You can listen to the episode here…

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays steal back-and-forth affair in 6-5 win, sweep Red Sox

In August, you’ll take wins any way you can get them, even if they’re not the prettiest!

The Toronto Blue Jays swept the Boston Red Sox with a 6-5 win tonight, in a game that featured both teams spoiling opportunities to put the game away. Every time one side took the lead, they would let the other side back into it. For context, tonight’s game featured five lead changes and 25 runners left on base between the two teams.
For the second straight night, the game would go into extra innings, and again, it was George Springer with the tie-breaking RBI. With Cavan Biggio at third base in the 10th inning, John Schneider put the contact play on with Springer at the plate. Springer grounded a ball to Xander Bogaerts at shortstop, and Biggio took off as soon as the ball was hit. Biggio slid under the tag at the plate, and the Blue Jays took the lead for good.
Both teams swapped punches in the early innings of the game, as starters Kevin Gausman and Kutter Crawford could never establish a rhythm.
Bo Bichette got the Blue Jays on the board in the first inning with a two-run double to right field. The ball fell just shy of the short wall in right, and with runners on t …

Read More

Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Previewing the 2022 Women’s World Championships

It’s been an unusually busy month of August on the hockey calendar. After the rescheduled 2022 World Juniors and the various national team camps that came before the tournament itself, the international hockey content is far from slowing down as the 2022 Women’s World Championships begin Thursday in Denmark.
This is the first time the Women’s World Championships are being held in the same year as the Olympics. Previously, the World Championships were skipped in an Olympic year. Back in September 2021, the IIHF announced the change to play the tournament every year including Olympic years, with the tournament taking place in August of an Olympic year rather than the usual slot in April for a non-Olympic year.
As such, we have even more summer hockey on deck. With only a handful of months since the last major tournament in February, there will be plenty of storylines and statements to be made at the Women’s World Championships over the next two weeks. Let’s get into the participants and who to watch for throughout the tournament.
Group A
Canada enters the 2022 World Championships as not only the defending champions from last year’s tournament but also the defending gold medallists at the 2022 Olympics. This event will be far from a walk in the park, as Canada will be looking to win back- …

Read More

Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

As free agency dwindles, try-outs come to the forefront: some good PTO fits for the Leafs

There’s a certain point each August where the well of news and excitement in the NHL offseason almost completely dries up. We are at that point. The well begins to refill as prospect camps and full team training camps approach, but we’re not quite there yet. We’re in this weird, quiet dead of the summer for hockey. Some resort to watching baseball or spending time outside with loved ones, but me, I choose to look at what remaining free agents could be good choices to bring to Leafs training camp on a Professional Try-Out (PTO) agreement.
It’s quite common for the Leafs to bring in PTO players. Last year, they brought notable forward Joshua Ho-Sang in on an AHL contract and a PTO for the NHL training camp, however he ended up remaining just with the Marlies without an NHL deal. They also brought in another small playmaking forward in Nikita Gusev, both of whom did sign with the Leafs or anywhere else. With their skill levels, if some chemistry or a really good fit developed in training camp, then a contract could easily have materialized for either of them. Over the last 3 years, over 40% of players who signed PTOs went on to …

Read More

Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

It’s Time to Fire Charlie Montoyo (Next Week)

In this space in August of 2019, way back in the before times, I wrote an article advocating for the Blue Jays to move on from Charlie Montoyo.

You can go ahead and read it if you’d like, but the gist of it was that Montoyo was a truly awful tactical manager that wasn’t only costing the team victories, but was also leading to players getting hurt. I felt those deficiencies in his style were not worth whatever intangible positives he brought to the clubhouse with his mentorship and vibes, for a lack of a better term. The Blue Jays front office clearly disagreed, as, much to the chagrin of many fans, Montoyo is still around.
I believe the time has come for this conversation to happen again. Ironically, I think Montoyo has drastically improved his in-game management since 2019. The number of mind-boggling moves that he is responsible for nowadays is much smaller than it was previously, and I would even go as far as saying that he has had numerous games this season where he has managed perfectly. Another complaint you often heard about him was that he didn’t stick up for his team enough when umpires were costing them games, and he has also corrected that flaw, getting ejected often this year to the point where he is giving John Gibbons a run for his money.
He’s made great strides and has worked on his weaknesses, to the poin …

Read More

Author: Gideon Turk / Blue Jays Nation