Embarrassment at Blue Jays' Home Opener

Miikeee D.Correspondent IApril 7, 2009

TORONTO - APRIL 6:  The C.N. Tower stands above Rogers Centre prior to the Detorit Tigers taking on Toronto Blue Jays during their Opening Day game April 6, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo By A.J. Messier/Getty Images)
The game had to be stopped tonight. How embarrassing. Flashes of the NFL game in Cleveland a few years back came to mind. 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. Cups of coke, 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 attendee, I have never been so embarrassed. At least the fans in Cleveland believed they were being cheated by the referees. The Toronto 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 eight 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 sixth RBI of the game, a baseball comes flying in from the second deck of the left field stands and 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 lifted it back up, the game still had not resumed. I look to the second deck of left field and a large cup of coke is hurled onto the field. What. The. F**k.

Plenty of people in my section were thrown out for being too drunk and fighting with each other. I expected a ruckus crowd tonight, but not this. Not the embarrassment of having a professional game halted because of unprovoked actions by immature 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 would 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 behind you constantly trying to throw baseballs in your direction?

Unfortunately for the Blue Jays organization, the great product on the field was overshadowed by the poor performance in the stands.

Adam Lind had a great night with 6 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 hit.

The Doc was 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 Centre 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.

The majority were well behaved and just wanted to see a good game. It is the embarrassing actions of those select few that punish us all. It is like elementary school all over again.