Let’s take a moment to appreciate Marcus Semien’s season, which was one of the best in Blue Jays history

Marcus Semien is a shortstop. Yes he played all season at second base, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he spent the previous 6 seasons playing short. This is not a bad thing, in fact, it’s a testament to how insane Marcus Semien was this past season.

18 million without giving up a pick has never looked so good. The phrases “Semien was good this season” or “Semien will get paid” are both understatements. While I won’t speculate on the figures he’ll make this upcoming off-season, I feel the need to write about just how damn good he was. Yes, even better than Vlad or Ray.
Slash line:
I like using slash lines as it’s a good basic statistic to use. If you look at Semien’s, it doesn’t particularly stand out. If I said a .265/.334/.873 player should receive MVP votes, you may look at me and say “why?”. To that, I say, the stats, while a nice tool, doesn’t actually show how valuable the player is.
It’s the same as basic statistics for defensive play like fielding percentage. It looks great on paper, but it can be incredibly misleading. However, there …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Best parts from Chris Bosh’s Hall of Fame speech

Toronto Raptors: Best parts from Chris Bosh’s Hall of Fame speech

For the first time in NBA history, a Hall of Famer who played the majority of their games in Toronto was inducted into the hallowed halls of Springfield, as former Toronto Raptors star Chris Bosh took his rightful place among the greatest to ever play this game. While he was inducted with some very noteworthy […]
Toronto Raptors: Best parts from Chris Bosh’s Hall of Fame speech – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: This Mavericks trade gets Goran Dragic to Dallas

Toronto Raptors: This Mavericks trade gets Goran Dragic to Dallas

Goran Dragic has not played a minute for the Toronto Raptors, and he may be more trouble than he’s worth. It’s not that he’s injured, a bad basketball player, or even too old. It’s that he may not even want to be in Toronto. After seven consecutive seasons, five straight with 50 wins and culminating […]
Toronto Raptors: This Mavericks trade gets Goran Dragic to Dallas – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Getting to know Blue Jays prospect Sem Robberse

Want a list of all MLB players that have played from the Netherlands proper who pitched 500 innings or had 1000 plate appearances since the colour barrier was broken?

Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven and Didi Gregorius.
While there are many notable players from the Dutch Antilles (Curaçao and Aruba), it’s safe to say that baseball is not a priority sport in the Netherlands. Quite frankly I could have left this paragraph blank and you’d get the point. The Netherlands produces high-quality footballers, it’s not quite so easy to find a notable baseball player from Holland.
So, you may be asking why I’m talking about a non-baseball European country in a Blue Jays Nation article and it boils down to the Blue Jays’ ability to find high potential prospects on the International Free Agent market. Sem Robberse may be one of those players in the eventual future.
2019 IFA signings:
If you know me or follow me on Twitter, I rant and rave about the Blue Jays and their success on the International Free Agent market. They went shopping in 2018, signing a potential generational talent in Orelvis Martinez. The next season they followed that up by signing relief …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

AL East Report – June 21

Well, that week sucked. The Jays played three against the Yankees and three against the Orioles and only came out with two wins thanks to a sweep at the hands of the former. 

On the bright side, the Blue Jays actually gained games on the Rays going from 8.5 games behind to 6.5 games behind, however they dropped 1.5 games to Boston. The biggest loss, of course, came to the Yankees due to the sweep. 
As they played two divisional rivals, I will touch upon how the Jays did against them in the Yankees and Orioles section respectively. Yes, that means Baltimore will be longer than a text you receive from your angry girlfriend…
Boston Red Sox:
Wait, isn’t Tampa First? Nope. We’ll get to that, but how did the Sox do this week? Well in all honesty, mediocre. First, they played the sub .500 Atlanta Braves in that weird AL/NL series where they have two games sandwiched between two off-days. They won both of them and then went to play the lowly Kansas City Royals. In Kansas, they lost two of three finishing the season.
This week, the Red Sox have two pivotal series against the Red Sox starting Tuesday …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Marlies and Me: The week of the standouts

The Toronto Marlies have played five games in the last seven days — not a small feat for any team. But they’ve made the most of it — winning three of those five games. As a team, the Marlies are playing some of their best hockey against the top team in their division.
When I look back on Toronto’s season, there’s a lot of growth within the team. Each week, the Marlies bring something new to the table. First it was the success of Joseph Woll, who’s having a great year in the AHL. In the last four games, the 22-year-old has a .923 save percentage and has made some really big saves in key moments for Toronto — like this one:

Joseph Woll with some big saves in the third period for the #Marlies. pic.twitter.com/DUGoRvWWqC
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) May 15, 2021

Oh, and like this one (which is even better):

Joseph Woll, my god. pic.twitter.com/WrUo9hJbnE
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) May 9, 2021

“I think I’ve made some big changes both mentally and technically on the ice,” said Woll on Wednesday after a 3-2 win against the Laval Rocket, “that comes from looking at last year and …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Marlies and Me: Alexander Barabanov, Nic Petan, Joseph Woll shine in debuts

It was almost a week off for the Toronto Marlies who hadn’t played since last Saturday before facing off against the Laval Rocket on Friday night. Heading into it, there was a lot at stake; if Toronto loses they go under .500, their confidence could diminish a bit and the frustration levels could rise.
However, they didn’t lose. They played really great actually, defeating the Rocket 4-3.
There was a lot that happened on the eve of this game — Nic Petan, Alexander Barabanov, Timothy Liljegren and Mikko Lehtonen (who’s now off to Columbus) were being sent down to the Marlies. The main reason for it was to get them some ice-time but in their debut, it looked like they’ve already been logging significant minutes.
Petan and Barabanov were slotted onto the first line along with Alex Galchenyuk, which I would consider to be the most dangerous line the Marlies have had since the start of their season. The 26-year-old Russian-born winger was a part of three of Toronto’s four goals against Laval. Assisting on two goals, Petan’s first of the season and Galchenyuk’s second of the year, and also scoring his first-ever AHL goal.



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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Second night of a back to back goes predictably bad for the Leafs

The Leafs are coming off of three hard played decisive victories over the second place team in the division, so it seemed somewhat inevitable that some level of fatigue might catch up with them, and the banged up Leafs fell flat against the Canucks, in what was a bit of a freebie scenario for Vancouver as the Leafs fell 3-1.
Now, that’s a lot of excuse making for the Leafs, but in a game where the potential netminder could have been any one of Andersen, Campbell, or Hutchinson, only to have it end up being Plan C, Hutchinson getting the nod at the 11th hour points to game that wasn’t one the Leafs seemed likely to win. Of course, the Canucks are also a very bad team, and for a team that was so dominant against Edmonton, expecting a win was a fair way to go into the game as well. Should we takeaway much in that it ended in a loss to the Canucks, no, probably not. Saturday’s game will be much more important in evaluating how these two teams line up against each other.
The game didn’t get off to the strong start, and …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

How Justin Holl has been so successful against Connor McDavid

After last night’s 6-1 win, the Leafs have now played seven games against the Oilers and won five of them (a 5-1-1 record overall). Throughout the three-game mini-series, Toronto held Edmonton to just a single goal and kept Connor McDavid off the scoresheet entirely.
While we’re on the subject, each passing game between the two clubs has seen McDavid struggle when matched up against Justin Holl which has resulted in Leafs fans constantly making jokes about how Holl is McDavid’s father. It has no doubt been quite the fascinating storyline of seeing Holl make life miserable for McDavid, but how exactly has he been able to do what few have achieved?
One thing that is working in Holl’s favour is he has a significant height and weight advantage over the “Best Player in the World.” Standing at 6’4″ and 205 lb, he is significantly higher than McDavid’s 6’1″ 193 lb frame. Despite not being faster than McDavid (actually, no one is unless you are Ilya Mikheyev), Holl balances it out by getting enough speed and having a larger wingspan to get sticks in the lane. It forces McDavid to the outside where he would have to …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Maple Leafs bring the heat with a 4-3 win over the Calgary Flames

From a near perfectly played first period, to a couple of unanswered goals, the Toronto Maple Leafs come back to hand the Calgary Flames their second regulation loss of the season with a 4-3 win. Wayne Simmonds wasn’t holding back and opened up the scoring less than four minutes in the first period as he capitalized on Justin Holl’s rebound with a shot that made it past Jacob Markstrom.

WAYNE SIMMONDS
FLAMES KLLER! 1-0 pic.twitter.com/8j6973o39e
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 27, 2021

The Leafs were dominating the game and held the Flames over 11 minutes without a registered shot on goal. The Calgary Flames had a chance to tie it up on a Power Play as Pierre Engvall was called for Tripping, but they were unable to convert. The Leafs then had their chance to double their lead on a Power Play as Elias Lindholm was called for Hooking, and they did just that. Auston Matthews delivered and made it a 2-0 game with a beautiful pass from Mitch Marner.

AUSTON MATTHEWS
WHAT A SHOT! pic.twitter.com/ZMwQQkt2k0
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) January 27, 2021

The Flames were coming hot in the second period as Johnny Gaudreau cut the Leafs’ …

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Author: Roxanne Khasow / The Leafs Nation