Can The Maple Leafs Follow The Blue Jays?

Can The Maple Leafs Follow The Blue Jays?

By TSM


Good evening!

So you read Jeff Blair’s article on the state of the Blue Jays farm system and you can’t help but get giddy. Of course there are no guarantees but when the local media start to get positive it’s hard to not get giddy.

“It is the levels of talent that are impressive. D’Arnaud, McGuire and Drew Hutchinson (numbers eight and nine) and pitcher Chad Jenkins are lined up behind Drabek and knocking on the door for 2012 if needed. They will at worst be September call-ups. Gose, rated No. 2 by Baseball America, will push the envelope by cutting down on his strikeouts.”

What I am left wondering most is what could have been had the Maple Leafs followed a similar path. Yes, it’s much harder to stockpile and amass draft picks but you know what I mean. What if Burke came out at his first press conference and said, the job ahead is massive, there are no quick fixes, it’s going to take a long time and we are going to build it slow.

I wonder if that route had been taken if today the Leafs may to be on the cusp of becoming something special as opposed to having to have a mini training camp in late March.

I wonder.

As for the Blue Jays, tell me Jays fans, is the minor league cupboard as stocked as the experts claim? Is there reason to believe?

Back to the Leafs, we all know what’s around the corner. Brian Burke will take to a podium and tell us how pissed he is that the Leafs didn’t make the playoffs again. He will tell us that he doesn’t blame the current group for the years of failure that preceded them or him.

What we don’t really know is what else he will say.

The media I think will be rather blunt, unforgiving and relentless. Their jabs have been consistent over the last couple of weeks. With the exception of one article in the Globe and Mail suggesting that the Leafs aren’t far away as may appear, the press are going after the leafs, and well given the product we’ve seen, it’s hard to blame them.

Remember this:

“The Leafs are not there yet, but they’re closer than their play in the past month would have you believe. With a little more experience, in goal and on defence, and with a fresh voice behind the bench, it’ll happen. Soon. Promise.”

Eric Duhatschek wrote that. Have you seen anything remotely optimistic since that?

Raju Mudhar is looking into his crystal ball as to what Burke may say, or at least face. Or, at least I thought he was given this headline “Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke in eye of media storm as another dismal season winds down”.

Instead, there isn’t much in his article about the end of the season at all.

“The real question is whether his style will mesh with the increasingly corporate culture as the team’s new owners come in. They might like the idea of Burke as the lightning rod and deflector of criticism, as it is something he’s really good at. It’s everything else that looks like it could use some work.”

Must be the late hours I am keeping. Here I thought I’d find an article about Burke is about to face, but rather a poorly written headline (not by the author of course) regarding how Burke will do given new ownership that includes to massive media companies.

To bad, I’d love to have read what he thought was coming.

TSM

Photo available from here

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 3
  • comment-avatar
    itchy butt 9 years ago

    More Burke teet sucking as usual.

    So experts are saying the Jays are stocked with talent, but you want to ask a bunch of navel lint pulling puck heads if this is true…….Leafs are sucking as usual with another awful season in the books, and you are basically “optimistic”.

    lol……

  • comment-avatar
    Bryan 9 years ago

    The maple leafs are akin to what the orioles tried to so in baseball last year, take shortcuts. It’s a damn shame that Burke really couldn’t see it coming. Even if they did succeed what evidence is their to suggest he would have to make the right draft choices. I see nothing at the nhl level to tell me otherwise.

  • comment-avatar

    “As for the Blue Jays, tell me Jays fans, is the minor league cupboard as stocked as the experts claim? Is there reason to believe?”

    I’ve never seen any of these prospects… but I can tell you a couple things.

    For one, the praise of the prospects is unanimous. Every list of best farm systems has the Jays in the top 3 or 4 (one specifically said it expected the Jays to be #1 by 2013).

    Another point is that this isn’t ‘same old, same old’. The Jays never had a particularly highly regarded system under JP. In his last year they were ranked something like 26th or so. It make sense if you think about it. Not many real high impact young players came up during the JP years. Hill, Lind, Marcum might be among the best. Good players (some years), but not really stars.

    The nice thing about this farm system, is that the big league club should continue to improve either through guys coming up, or being moved for MLB talent. The Jays are probably not a playoff team for 2012 (though I think we will see meaningful late season baseball). But the nice thing is that this should just be the beginning of the push.

    I do understand impatient Jays fans, but the Leafs are a great example of why not to stop short on rebuilding. It’s painful at the time (ie Jays attendance/interest level particularly at the beginning of 2010), but in the long run looks to be the best way to transform an organization.