I’m a pretty big Jays fan so I’m always excited for the home opener. The dome is packed full of fair-weather fans who, for one night, cheer and shout for their hometown team. There’s always a great energy in the dome that gets me (and maybe the players) revved up. So even though I know the masses are only temporary, I appreciate their support.
Well, I did… until this year.
There has always been questionable behaviour — at all games, not just the opener — but with so many more people in the dome on opening night, I was overwhelmed.
For a sport as civilized as baseball, the fans in Toronto really suck.
For one thing, they boo everything. Not just bad calls, or a player getting hit. Not just for a really big screw-up. No. They boo any player they don’t like, anytime the visiting team scores a run or an umpire calls “safe.” Basically, anytime something happens that is not a point for the home team, people boo.
And closer to my lustful thoughts heart, they booed Alex Rios. Apparently people were mad at him for not being great in Toronto the past two seasons. I admit, he wasn’t great. But he had been great in the seasons before, and he never made any dickish statements suggesting that he hated Toronto or the Jays. He just had a bad run. Besides, now he’s playing poorly for Chicago.
But worse than seeing people shout at my Alex, it really ruins the game. The constant boos fill the air with negativity.
Instead, I’d like to see people cheer for the sport: great plays — even when they’re by the opposing team (as long as my team doesn’t lose of course) — should be applauded because they’re fantastic to watch. Check out this unusual throw by Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox. That’s great baseball!
Of course it would be easy to miss a great throw like that because of all the people blocking my view!
It’s not that they’re standing because they’re so excited and want to cheer. They’re standing to go get beer, go to the bathroom, or talk to friends in another row. They’re not watching baseball. And yet this could easily be solved by just waiting for a change in batter or inning.
Where did the etiquette go? People know not to talk in movies or in the middle of a speech. Why is this different?
But the worst offense happens when the game is moving slowly and the crowd gets rowdy. Suddenly, someone has the brilliant idea to throw a paper airplane on the field. Then another person sees that and wants to compete. Soon there are dozens of airplanes littering the stands and the field.
I’ve ranted about this before. The idea that throwing things on the field that a) could hurt players and b) could cost the team to forfeit blows my mind. But it is because somehow The Jays have attracted a “fan base” in this city of people who aren’t fans of the game.
I know not everyone likes baseball. That’s cool. There are lots of things I don’t like. But I don’t show up at your event an act like an ass, so maybe you could do me the favour of skipping mine.
But if you insist on coming, play by the rules.