Winners Blaze Their Own Trail

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Vince Lombardi Trophy

Championship teams got to where they are through creativity and originality. They didn’t follow what other teams are doing. The Toronto Blue Jays blazed their own trail in winning the World Series in 1992 and 1993. This despite the media and their disciples who pleaded with management to go rip off other teams. While teams that win Stanley Cups or World Series or Super Bowls often extract ideas from other championship teams, that doesn’t mean all plans are one-size-fits-all.

Noted baseball agent Scott Boras continued his rant towards the Blue Jays specifically pointing out the club’s policy of not signing players to contracts of more than 5 years. He believes Jays management would be wise to do things the same way as other teams. Remember the time when the Blue Jays term limit was 3 years? That didn’t hamper them from winning back-to-back World Series championships. It’s nice of Boras to show his concern about our baseball team. Maybe he can enlighten us as to the real reason Alex Rodriguez dumped him in 2010. Then perhaps we’ll take him seriously.

For those who want the Blue Jays (or the Maple Leafs for that matter) to follow some other team’s model, maybe you should consider following another team. Paul Beeston and Pat Gillick were the architects of two World Series championships because they did things their way. They are truly original in every sense of the word. Today, Alex Anthopoulos wants to build a championship team and, to his credit, he is following his gut instead of listening to critics or some bitter agent. We tried using Moneyball just like the Oakland Athletics did. So how did that turn out? I can bet Richard Griffin at the Toronto Star couldn’t wait to crack open the champagne after JP Ricciardi was fired by the Blue Jays.

Same can be said with hockey. After the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 2006 with a European captain and a slightly-above-average goaltender, there were cries from the media to have the Maple Leafs follow Detroit’s system. Then there was that stupid reporter who asked Brian Burke why the Maple Leafs have not followed the “Pittsburgh model”. There is no charge more damning in the journalism world than being accused of plagiarism yet they are encouraging those to lift other people’s ideas.

It is so easy to simply jump on the bandwagon of say the San Franciso Giants or the Seattle Seahawks just because they won championships. But they didn’t exactly go about stealing another team’s playbook nor did they achieve their success overnight. It required them to do a lot of planning and then executing it in order to achieve greatness. Sometimes it involves years and years of trial and error before succeeding in the end. Perhaps if more people went about taking care of their own business, no one would be talking about the problems that are happening in the world today.

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