The 2023 Toronto Blue Jays and Toronto Maple Leafs show many similarities to each other
By Edward Eng
Having the Right Mix of Core and Character Players
The current Leafs’ core is built around Auston Matthews, a perennial MVP candidate who is relied on heavily to carry the team when needed, and Mitch Marner, who excels almost at everything and could also be an MVP himself, whom were homegrown talents. John Tavares is included in this list as well after he was acquired to be the veteran leader on the team. The Jays’ core is built around Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (their perennial MVP candidate and often expected to carry the team) and Bo Bichette (who consistently excels almost at everything approaching MVP levels, except maybe defense for now), and George Springer, acquired to be the veteran leader on the team.
The Leafs also brought in players like Ryan O’Reilly and Noel Acciari, who brings with them tons of leadership and postseason experience, with O’Reilly successfully hoisting the Stanley Cup. Whereas the Jays did the same in getting Brandon Belt and Kiermaier, who tend to lead by example and who have had their own successful runs in the postseason as well, with Belt being a major part of two World Series championships.
In addition, the Leafs have players like goalie Ilya Samsonov, whose interesting quips in post-game interviews help capture the love of the fans.
Similarly, the Jays have players like Alek Manoah, who sticks up for his teammates no matter what, capturing also the love of the fans and the city.
With the current similarities in their style of culture and play, it’s no wonder they fully support each other in their winning ways, as it’s almost like they are watching themselves on their way to success. Hopefully, by the end of the Jays season, we will be seeing the Leafs do the same and cheer on heavily for the Jays’ own postseason run as well, and that both can bring home the biggest prize of all. Either way, Toronto fans definitely will have a lot to cheer about, both currently right now and beyond.