Jays top Yanks in extra innings, reminding us of the good ol’ days

Jays top Yanks in extra innings, reminding us of the good ol’ days

The Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees turned in a classic barnburner last night. The hometown Jays rallied against closer Mariano Rivera for a two-run ninth—including a run-scoring bunt single from John McDonald, another sign that this year’s squad is going to be nothing if not fun. This brought the game to a five-all tie before Travis Snider crushed a game-winning double in the bottom of the 10th, giving the Jays a decisive 6-5 edge.

The thrilling victory took the ball club’s faithful fans back to the halcyon days when the Jays were the toast of the American League East and the Yanks were mere also-rans attempting to replicate Toronto’s string of success. But while that rivalry may no longer exist on the field, it’s time alive and well in the stands whenever the Yanks visit the SkyDome—er, Rogers Centre. With that in mind, we offer four reasons why the best days at the ballpark are the days when the boys in the black-and-white pinstripes come to town.

1. The place is packed
The ballpark experience is always more important than the action on the field. Sports events in general are more entertaining when the stadium is full, and when the Yankees are in town the Rogers Centre draws some of its biggest crowds. Last night, the official attendance was 25,250 and the second game of the two-game series tonight should be much of the same.

2. The opposing fans are rowdy
Yankee fans don’t only show up in droves, they show up ready to be loud and proud. Derek Jeter jerseys are littered throughout the stands and the stateside guests are never afraid to share their opinions with the others 25,000 people attendance. The effect: Jays fans respond in kind, jeers are exchanged and sometimes a baseball game even breaks out.

3. The air thick is with New York accents
Baseball is one of the best sports for hecklers (there’s a lot of downtime), but a quality jeer from a gruff guy with a gritty New York accent brings the experience to a whole new level. If he has a hot dog in his hand and mustard stains down his shirt, it’s almost transcendent. It’s worth the price of admission just to hear the insults fly.

4. They’re good players on the field
The Yankees are a team everybody loves to hate. New York boasts a star-studded line up year in and year out with names like Jeter, Rivera, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and A. J. Burnett. This year, they even have Canadian kid Russell Martin starting behind the plate. Sure, the team tries to buy its World Series wins—but you still can’t help but marvel at all that talent collected in one place.

• Late comeback lifts Jays over Yankees [Toronto Star]
• Jays’ Snider wins redemption [Toronto Sun]
• Jays rock Rivera and Yankees [Globe and Mail]
• Jays pull out unlikely win [Sportsnet.ca]