Blue Jays sign 18 international free agents

On January 17th, the Toronto Blue Jays announced 18 (soon to be 21) new signings through international free agency. Their names are listed below…

Jonathan Bautista (Outfielder)
Kendry Chirinos (Third Baseman)
Aneudis Escanio (Shortstop)
Jose Fernandez (Shortstop)
Eninems Flores (Right Handed Pitcher)
Raudy Gomez (Right Handed Pitcher)
Ivan Gonzalez (Right Handed Pitcher)
Jorge Guerra (Right Handed Pitcher)
Jean Joseph (Center Fielder)
Ali Lucena (Outfielder)
Carlos Meza (Right Handed Pitcher)
Luis Meza (Catcher) 
Albert Millan (Catcher)
Fernando Perez (Right Handed Pitcher)
Omar Romero (Shortstop)
Railin Tejada (Outfielder)
Luis Torres (Left Handed Pitcher)
Carlos Vasquez (Catcher)
Recently, I wrote an article on Luis Meza, but despite the Blue Jays post announcing that there are 18 signings – there are actually more. According to Sportrac, the Jays have also signed catcher Frauk de la Cruz and shortstop Darlin de Leon.
According to reporter Francys Romero, the Blue Jays have also signed 16-year-old catcher Maikel Minoso. If that last name Minoso sounds familiar, that is because Maikel has relations to hall of famer Minnie Minoso.

Cuban C Maikel Miñoso (16) officially signs with the Toronto Blue Jays. He trained at Y.P. Academy and is a family of “Minnie” Miñoso.Bonus deal: $ 20,000. pic.twitter.com/KsuwQYzOHk
— Francys Romero (@francysromeroFR) January 17, 2022

They are surely going to be more IFA signings in the future, so stay tuned!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Why Raptors star Fred VanVleet is outperforming Darius Garland

Why Raptors star Fred VanVleet is outperforming Darius Garland

Toronto Raptors point guard Fred VanVleet and Cleveland Cavaliers dynamo Darius Garland are both looking to become All-Stars for the first time in their careers. In the recent batch of votes, VanVleet and Garland placed 8th and 9th, respectively, when it came to guards in the East. VanVleet accumulated 350,806 votes and Garland gathered 227,813 […]
Why Raptors star Fred VanVleet is outperforming Darius Garland – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Sai Pirapakaran / Raptors HQ

Leafs react to Toronto’s snow day

Well, if you live in Toronto or the GTA, you’ve likely experienced the biggest snowstorm that we’ve seen in a long time today.
It’s being reported that some cities around the Greater Toronto Area could experience up to 60 centimetres of snow. That’s madness.
The blizzard has been so bad that it forced the closures of the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway, so they can assist people stuck on the highway.

HIGHWAY CLOSURES: Due to extreme weather and for the safety of drivers, the @TorontoPolice is temporarily closing the DVP and Gardiner. All ramps will be closed. This is to help move any existing vehicles that are stuck and allow snow plows to clear the routes. ^CdK
— Toronto Police Operations (@TPSOperations) January 17, 2022

Slowly and surely, the city has reopened the Gardiner, but as I write this, the DVP is still closed.
But for the Maple Leafs — they still had a practice today. I don’t know how everyone got there, but they somehow did it.

Tavares said the #leafs pretty much had a full team at practice today despite the blizzard that has dumped more than a foot of snow on the city & closed Hiway 401 & the Gardiner Expressway. Said it took almost an hour to clear his driveway this morning. pic.twitter.com/VIw4w2Q9Pj
— Mike Zeisberger (@Zeisberger) January 17, 2022

John Tavares was up early shoveling his driveway. He even had a helper.

Alexander Kerfoot ended up trying to drive to the rink, but he only got so far. After he gave up with his “little car”, the 27-year-old called an Uber.

Alexander Kerfoot and his little car eventually gave up trying to solve the snow and Uber’d to practice.
John Tavares needed over an hour trying to clear a path out of his driveway but pushed through: “Luckily I have …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

PHF Weekend Review: Toronto dominating Buffalo at hockey in the PHF too

As the Toronto Six get back into action this weekend, it was a weekend full of goals and celebrations for Toronto.
After some roster shakeups earlier in the week, and the weekend prior’s games being postponed, the Six had every excuse to be a little bit flat this weekend. They chose instead to dominate their opponents, the Buffalo Beauts.
Saturday’s game
Here was Toronto’s lineup for the game:

Lineups for this afternoons matchup! pic.twitter.com/RrpRoq6aiX
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 15, 2022

And Buffalo’s:

Here is todays #Beauts lineup against the Six! #FortBeaut #PHF : @jsantalucia96 pic.twitter.com/pGWaQIb7eb
— Buffalo Beauts (@BuffaloBeauts) January 15, 2022

In the first game of the weekend, the first action for the Six players since 2021, Toronto came out strong early with a 3-0 lead. Rookie Leah Marino started it off with her second goal of the season on a great primary assist by fellow rookie Stephanie Sucharda:

Leah Marino gives the Toronto Six the early lead! pic.twitter.com/Rl30hE2hvc
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

Less than 4 minutes later, the team’s superstar Mikyla Grant-Mentis picked up a loose puck from a shot block by, I think, Saroya Tinker, and blows by Buffalo’s defence to beat Carly Jackson for what was called an unassisted goal:

Grant-Mentis because of course she did! 2-0 Toronto Six! pic.twitter.com/C01jQMNKAQ
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

Then, about 5 minutes before the end of the first, Toronto’s first ever draft selection Amy Curlew roofs her first goal of the season on a slick backhand, cleaning up a bit of a mess in front of the net. This goal comes with very well-earned assists by Natalie Marcuzzi, who rejoined the team recently, and captain Shiann Darkangelo:

Amy Curlew with a wicked backhander top shelf! pic.twitter.com/OPDMFC21d9
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

Into the second period, Beauts goalie Carly Jackson tries to put pressure on Meagan Beres as she tries to cap off the 3-on-2 rush, the puck slides past Jackson and it looks like Stephanie Sucharda taps it into the net, but the goal was credited to Beres (Sucharda still gained an assist on the play). The team gave her a “1st goal” puck so perhaps that will get changed. Take a look and see who you think scored it:

The Toronto Six are putting on a show for the viewers on TSN 4! pic.twitter.com/nsVTIydEqu
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

That was all the action for this 2nd period. Into the 3rd period, Toronto’s Taylor Day got one, then Buffalo followed up with one to make it 5-1, but Toronto squashed any hope of a comeback pretty quickly with Leah Marino‘s second goal of the night, and six goals on the night for the Six:

Leah Marino scores again and the Six have six! pic.twitter.com/GCpzxPKkpn
— PHF (@PHF) January 15, 2022

That’s how the game would end, with the Six taking down the Beauts 6-1. Here were the 3 stars for the game:

Sunday’s game
Toronto’s lineup was unchanged except for Tera Hofmann getting her first start with Toronto:

Congratulations to @TeraHofmannnn who gets her first start as a member of the #T6 pic.twitter.com/NifhfOxh4N
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 16, 2022

And Buffalo made a few alterations after Saturday’s crushing defeat:

Here’s todays lineup against Toronto Six!! #LetsGo #FortBeaut #PHF: @jsantalucia96 pic.twitter.com/AGrBqGP2aq
— Buffalo Beauts (@BuffaloBeauts) January 16, 2022

You would think that it would be difficult to follow up such a dominant performance with another one, but the Six did exactly that.
After the Beauts opened the scoring, assistant captain Emma Woods with this bar down snipe on the powerplay:

Emma Woods goes bardown on the power play! pic.twitter.com/pqxLHJFJIL
— PHF (@PHF) January 16, 2022

Toronto scored another one on the powerplay, and then the Beauts scored a couple on Toronto to make it 3-2 at the end of the 1st.
Those would be the last goals Buffalo would score this weekend, as the Six ran the show for the remaining two periods. First, Emma Woods got her second of the night, then it was Brooke Boquist finishin …

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Author: Ryan Hobart / The Leafs Nation

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Heat Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Jan. 17

Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Heat Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Jan. 17

The Toronto Raptors manage to rebound from a very difficult loss against the Pistons by surprising the defending champion Bucks on the road. The latest Raptors odds don’t seem to think they will carry that momentum into their next game, however, as they are scheduled to fall in defeat against another East contender. The squad […]
Raptors Game Tonight: Raptors vs Heat Odds, Starting Lineup, Injury Report, Predictions, TV Channel for Jan. 17 – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

What should the Raptors rotation look like going forward in 2022?

What should the Raptors rotation look like going forward in 2022?

Fred VanVleet and the Toronto Raptors should be extremely thankful that they have been able to leap out to a 21-19 record. Considering that VanVleet and Pascal Siakam are putting together All-Star campaigns even though they have the worst bench in the league. The Raptors have been dealt a few curveballs this season. Due to […]
What should the Raptors rotation look like going forward in 2022? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

3 Raptors-Spurs trades that get Jakob Poeltl back to Toronto

3 Raptors-Spurs trades that get Jakob Poeltl back to Toronto

The Toronto Raptors rumors over the last few days have centered (no pun intended) on San Antonio Spurs rim protector Jakob Poeltl. After Masai Ujiri burned a lottery pick on him and used the talented Austrian to land Kawhi Leonard, rumors of a reunion have sprouted up. Marc Stein mentioned in his latest column that […]
3 Raptors-Spurs trades that get Jakob Poeltl back to Toronto – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Leafs 3 stars of the week: Auston Matthews makes franchise history, Michael Bunting bouncing back

The Toronto Maple Leafs began their six-game road trip last Saturday in Colorado to take on the Avalanche and I think we all know how that game ended up for Toronto. They took an early 3-0 lead and then a 4-1 lead but then proceeded to blow it and lose 5-4 in overtime. However, at least they grabbed a point on the road in a tough building against a very tough opponent. This week began in Vegas to take on the Golden Knights for the second and last time this season and, just like the game prior, the Maple Leafs grabbed an early lead and then proceeded to blow it. However, they managed to grab the win this time in a shootout and begin their road trip with three out of the possible four points.
They were on a back-to-back and were now on their way to Arizona to play the Coyotes for the first time since November of 2019 – which was Sheldon Keefe’s debut as Head Coach – but, unlike the two prior games, there wasn’t a lot of scoring going on and Toronto ran into Dominik Hasek himself in net as Karel Vajmelka made 4 …

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Author: Joseph Zita / The Leafs Nation

1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors insane comeback win against Bucks

1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors insane comeback win against Bucks

Pascal Siakam and the Toronto Raptors went into the second half of a back-to-back against the Milwaukee Bucks with as little momentum as possible. With Scottie Barnes and Gary Trent Jr. out once again, it fell on the likes of Yuta Watanabe and OG Anunoby to pick up the pace. The Raptors looked like they […]
1 stud and 1 dud from Raptors insane comeback win against Bucks – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Why Scottie Barnes’ new role helps Raptors’ long-term prospects

Why Scottie Barnes’ new role helps Raptors’ long-term prospects

Toronto Raptors fans became accustomed to seeing Scottie Barnes atop any sort of hypothetical rookie power rankings. In the last few weeks, however, Barnes has lately been floating between second and fourth in the race. One could look to his recent drop in raw stats for a culprit. Since the Raptors returned from their COVID […]
Why Scottie Barnes’ new role helps Raptors’ long-term prospects – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ