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Barriera vows to make teams regret passing him up after Blue Jays take him at No. 23 –



LOS ANGELES – The wait to No. 23 was agonizing for Brandon Barriera, and not just because he was rocking a dark suit on a 34 C afternoon that was scorching even in the shade at the L.A. LIVE entertainment complex.

Uncertainty about the future isn’t easy and the 18-year-old left-hander was eager to figure out where he was going. He didn’t expect it to take two-plus hours for his name was called. He didn’t know the Toronto Blue Jays were really on him until two picks before it was their turn.

Emotions struck once it was official. He hugged his family. He broke down on TV during his first post-selection interview and then vowed to make the other 22 teams regret passing him up.

What a ride.

“I’ll stand by that until I make my major-league debut and even then, it makes this game a whole lot easier now,” Barriera said in an interview. “I’m actually thankful all those teams passed up on me because I’m going to use that and work to get better and become the best player I can be.”

That mix of confidence and competitiveness made for quite a first impression and, in combination with his athleticism, mid-90s fastball, plus slider, changeup and breaking ball, helped hook in the Blue Jays.

His skill-set checks many of the boxes they seek out in pitchers, even if “there’s a greater risk when you’re selecting a high school pitcher in that area,” said amateur scouting director Shane Farrell. “Somebody like Brandon, with his pitch mix, we’re excited about the quality of stuff he’s going to bring to the field.”

Picking in the bottom third of the opening round left the Blue Jays unable to zero in on a couple of players, instead building out a group of options they felt would be available in that range. One major surprise early in the draft – the Texas Rangers taking right-hander Kumar Rocker at No. 3 – had a trickle-down effect that led to several other changes.

As the machinations played out, Barriera waited and waited – “it’s not a great feeling just kind of sitting there,” he said – and once his name was called, there was “a lot of relief on my shoulders. That was the hard part. Now comes the easy part. I get to go and play baseball.”

The Blue Jays were an unexpected landing spot, but they were also a welcomed one.

Barriera, identified by area scout Adrian Casanova, is committed to Vanderbilt but the No. 23 pick’s assigned value is $3,075,300. In the second round, at No. 60 overall, they took shortstop Josh Kasevich out of Oregon, at No. 77 they picked switch-hitting infielder Tucker Toman out of Hammond High School in Columbia, S.C., before grabbing Cade Doughty, a second baseman from Louisiana State one pick later.

The Blue Jays will have a total signing bonus pool of $8,367,700 to work with, boosted nearly $1.7 million by the compensatory picks at Nos. 77-78 for the departures of Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray.

“We feel like we’re in a good place,” Farrell said of signing all four picks. “We don’t foresee much difficulty in getting things done as it stands right now.”

The infielders were all projected to go higher than they did in the third-party rankings and the Blue Jays were to “to manage our bonus allotment in a way that allowed us to acquire two hitters that we believe in and some upside in acquiring two high-school players today, as well,” said Farrell.

Kasevich, drafted by area scout Ryan Fox, is a high-contact, high-walk, low-strikeout hitter with a chance to stay up the middle.

Toman, selected by Mike Tidick, is the big swing here, someone Baseball America described as “one of the better hit/power high school players in the class” but also as a “fringy defender.”

Doughty, scouted by Chris Curtis, showed increased power this season, driving balls into gaps “with higher exit velocities than seen before,” per Baseball America.

“We acquired three different types of hitters,” said Farrell. “Josh, very much contact-oriented. Tucker we believe has some power potential and Cade is just a good hitter in his own right. We’re excited about all three of them.”

Barriera was born in New York and grew up a Yankees fan mesmerized by lefty Andy Pettitte but moved to Florida when he was nine. At 11, he joined the Cannons Baseball Academy, where director Nick James worked with him on his pitching and coached him in travel ball.

Their bond is such is that he was with Barriera and his family at the draft and praised the person as much as the “good stuff.”

“Most of this year he was 94-97, up to 99 a few times. Real power slider. We had it over 3000 RPMs quite a few times this spring in training. Good breaking ball, 11-5 shape on that. His best pitch may be his changeup,” said James. “But the thing that people are going to find out that they love about Brandon in Toronto is what a great teammate he is. Everywhere he’s ever been, he’s a team-first guy, he’s a program-first guy, wants to do whatever it takes to win and he celebrates his teammates just as much as he enjoys his own success.”

In that way, he’ll fit right into the culture the Blue Jays are trying to sustain, with a chance to boost the cadre of young arms the team has at double-A New Hampshire and single-A Vancouver.

Like Ricky Tiedemann, who has emerged as the club’s top pitching prospect, Barriera is comfortable throwing any of his pitches at any time, with a “bulldog on attack” mindset on the mound.

“I’m not going to take anything off just because you’re the ninth-hole hitter, or if you’re 0-for-3 with three strikeouts – I’m still going to go at you the same way,” he said. “At the end of the day, in a way, I want to make the hitters look silly. That’s pretty much what my mentality is out there.”

While Barriera focused on Pettitte when he was young, in recent years he’s locked in more on Luis Severino, the electric right-hander who “is not the biggest guy on the field, but he plays big, his stuff plays big, and he goes out there with a lot of emotion and plays with a lot of energy.”

That admiration for Severino and the Yankees will have to change, something that donned on him as he sported a crisp, new white Blue Jays jersey over his suit and blue cap on his head.

“Oh yeah,” said Barriera. “I’m 100 per cent Blue Jays now.”

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Canada takes on Slovakia as World Juniors continue on TSN – TSN



Team Canada has had its first taste of summer hockey at the World Junior Championship and will continue the quest for gold tonight against Slovakia.

Watch Canada vs. Slovakia at 6 p.m. ET on TSN4, and the TSN App. TSN’s coverage of Thursday’s games at the tournament begins at 2 p.m. ET with Finland facing Czechia.

Connor Bedard, a top prospect for the 2023 NHL draft, opened the scoring for Canada (1-0-0) and added an assist in a 5-2 win over Latvia (0-0-2) on Wednesday.

Sebastian Cossa got the start in net and made 22 saves for a Canadian squad quickly looking to build chemistry in Edmonton.

Canada’s head coach Dave Cameron said prior to the game he wanted to see “disciplined 200-foot hockey” and that the effort against Latvia was pretty much what he expected.

“It’s early, this is really only our second game, so you knew it was going to come in ebbs and flows,” said Cameron. “I like that we stuck with it and found a way to get that fifth goal which was huge and took a little bit of that pressure off towards the end of the game.” 

Canada has reached the podium in four of the past five tournaments, including gold medals in 2018 and 2020. Canada last won gold on home soil in 2015.

Cameron was quick to say that getting prepared to play hockey in August is not an issue.

“Not a chance, it’s what I do,” said Cameron. “I’ve done summer tournaments before … hockey’s hockey.

“It doesn’t matter the environment, the city, the number of people in the stands, anything like that. We’re hockey people and when that puck drops – game on.”

Slovakia (0-0-1), which features another top 2023 draft prospect in centre Dalibor Dvorsky, fell 5-4 to Czechia in their first match of the tournament on Tuesday. 

TSN’s Mark Masters reports that Dylan Garand is expected to start against Slovakia. 

Riley Kidney and Carson Lambos are projected to be scratches, while Brennan Othmann and Ethan Del Mastro will draw in for Canada. 

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Tom Brady Steps Aside From The Buccaneers: Details – HotNewHipHop



Tom Brady is one of the best players in the entire NFL, and this season, he is looking to win his eighth Super Bowl title. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are looking good right now, and there is a real sense that they will win the NFC South, once again.

Unfortunately, Brady has had to put a halt to his training camp efforts as he is dealing with a personal matter. According to Ian Rapaport, Brady was not at practice today due to the issue and it seems like he won’t be returning to the field until after the team’s upcoming preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, which is set to take place on August 20th.

Brady is one of the oldest quarterbacks in the history of the league, and it is nothing short of impressive that he is still performing at such a high level. Many pundits believe the Buccaneers are favorites to win it all, yet again, although they will have to prove themselves following a disappointing end to the season in 2022.

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for The Match

This is a developing story so stay tuned to HNHH for all of the latest news and updates. 

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Watch Live: Oilers pay tribute to Ben Stelter –



Ben Stelter was an inspiration to many in the sports world and beyond.

Two months before his fifth birthday, Stelter was diagnosed with glioblastoma — a form of brain cancer. After meeting the Edmonton Oilers, he quickly became a motivation for the team during their run to the Western Conference Final.

Stelter died at the age six, his father had announced Wednesday.

The Oilers will speak publicly starting at around 12:30 p.m. ET, and their comments can be seen in their entirety on Sportsnet through the video player atop this page.

Note: This live stream has ended.

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