Why am I hoping for a sub par Blue Jays team? I’ll tell you.
“The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.” Harvey Dent, The Dark Knight.
Yeah, I know that subheading is a little jarring, but stick with me for a sec.
For those that only have a passing knowledge of the Toronto Maple Leafs, let me bring you up to speed. The Leafs were bad; bad,bad, bad for many years. Some would say 50 years, but they would be wholly inaccurate. Yes, they haven’t won a championship in 50 years but advancing into the semi-finals of the playoffs on multiple occasions during that 50 year span goes a long way to dispelling the argument that they were bad for a half-century.
They were bad, but they aren’t now. They have a cutting edge management team in place. They’ve drafted exceedingly well and boast having the rookie of the year as the crown jewel of their franchise. Things are looking up. Scratch that. Things are UP!
How does this tie into the Blue Jays?
In my opinion, the Jays will be where today’s Leafs are, 3-5 years from now.
Most levels of the Blue Jays farm system have top flight prospects. The lower levels, especially, are brimming with names that look to be fantastic players once they hit the bigs.
The Blue Jays have a management team that is unwilling to part with these coveted assets and ARE willing to swallow the pain of a few years of ineptitude to give said assets time to grow into the MLB roster.
Read that again. The Jays are going to continue to draft and develop.
The Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros are all examples of teams that have had to look up from the bottom knowing that the top is closer because of it. All are loaded with players they have drafted.
The Blue Jays tried the “trade to get in” routine in 2013. It failed. They acquired assets in 2015 and got in but couldn’t get over the hump.
Maybe it’s time to try something else.
For me, the opportunity to see someone like Bo Bichette make the roster and grow into a major league force is something I am really looking forward to.
It might come at the expense of the casual fan, but, my guess is that because the Toronto Maple Leafs have explored the waters of “honest awful,” fans have already been acclimated to the idea.
Here’s the least you need to know:
Shapiro and Atkins have a history of drafting and developing. That history is bearing fruit, and very sustainable fruit in Cleveland. 3-5 years from now Guerrero Jr., Bichette, Tellez, Urena, Reid-Foley, Greene, Harris and Zeuch could be the names your chanting whilst at the Rogers Centre.
When can we start that?
I’m dangerously excited!