Embarrassment at the Blue Jays’ Home Opener.
The game had to be stopped tonight. How embarrassing. Flashes of an NFL game in Cleveland a few years back came to mind. I thought it only happened on Sportscenter. Fans throwing things on the field. But these were not beer bottles directed at referees, they were baseballs aimed at outfielders, Curtis Granderson and Josh Anderson. They were cups of coke, randomly thrown on the field. They were large paper airplanes and beach balls that had to be removed by staff. It was embarrassing.
In all of my days as a paying Blue Jays attendant, I have never been so embarrassed. Unlike the fans in Cleveland, who believed they were being cheated by the referees, the fans in Toronto had absolutely no way of justifying throwing things on the field. This is not to say that the fan in Cleveland were justified, but the fans tonight were unprovoked and had no reason to interrupt the flow of a professional baseball game.
It was a great game and an amazing experience until the bottom of the 8th inning. We were so close. It was 9:30 pm. I figured the game would end by 9:45 pm, rush out of the Dome, head to the bar and catch the Naismith Award ceremony and watch the second half of UNC-MSU. We were so close.
After Adam Lind singled in Aaron Hill for his 6th RBI of the game, a baseball comes flying in from the 2nd deck of the left field stands that almost hits Curtis Granderson. The umpires are notified. Next batter is Scott Rolen, who hits a sacrifice fly to cash in Alex Rios. After the roar of the crowd settles, a second ball is hurled from the same general area, this time at left fielder Josh Anderson. Anderson calls time, shows the umpire and the umpires call the players off the field. I put my head down in shame. When I lift it back up, the game still has not resumed. I look at the clock and it is 9:40 pm. I look to the second deck of left field and a large cup of coke is hurled onto the field. What. The. Fuck.
Plenty of people in my section were thrown out, fighting with each other and were too drunk. I expected a ruckus crowd tonight, but not this. Not the embarrassment of having a professional game halted because of unprovoked actions by clearly amateur baseball fans. Real baseball fans know better than to disrespect the game like that.
If I was playing in the game, I would have done the same thing as Anderson. I refuse to play in an environment where I could be physically harmed outside of the rules of baseball. How would you feel if you were at work and there was a crowd of people constantly behind you trying to throw baseballs in your direction.
Unfortunately for the Blue Jays organization, the product on the field was overshadowed by the poor performance in the stands.
Adam Lind had a great night with 3 RBI’s going 4-5, including a home run to center. Travis Snider hit a home run, which I missed because assholes in front of me were getting in their seats mid-inning. Every Blue Jay had at least one it. And how can we forget about the Doc. Not as brilliant as we are used to, but enough to post a win. Great atmosphere, when the fans were not acting like idiots.
I questioned the Rogers Center decision to elect “dry” days at the Dome this season, but tonight fully justified their resolution. It is a shame because 47,000 out of the 48,000+ fans that were there came to the game with good intentions, were well behaved and just wanted to see a good game. It is the embarassing actions of those select few that punish us all. It is like elementary school all over again.