Was the Jays’ home opener a metaphor for the season to come? Let’s hope not
As every statistic-loving forecaster or rational journalist will tell you, the 2010 Blue Jays are not likely to make the playoffs. “Rebuilding” is the term most commonly used, short for “watch early in the season, because the Jays will likely be getting whipped in August.” If that’s true, then last night’s home opener was nothing less than a microcosm of the season to come. Strong out of the gate, the Jays blew their lead late in the game and then went down one-two-three in the 10th. The sellout crowd of 46,000 had been thinning out since the eighth inning—the prospect of a car-free Gardiner was obviously more interesting than some “free” extra baseball. Once boisterous (though not out of control like at last season’s home opener), the crowd slowly wound down. All that was left was a sense of dread. That usually doesn’t kick in until June.
The 8-7 loss may hint at bad things to come, but the team is still 5-2 so far this season, and the baseball was pretty damn fun to watch (we were lucky enough to be there). Here, seven key observations from last night’s game:
• Scalpers were asking $100 apiece for seats in the nosebleeds (usually $14). Add in $10 per beer and that’s a pricey night out.
• Dingers! are what people come to see, and dingers! are exactly what they got. The two teams combined to crank out five home runs.
• According to the Jumbotron, which never lies, Blue Jays players prefer Family Guy’s Peter Griffin to Homer Simpson, proving that athletes suck at pop culture.
• Olympic champion Alexandre Bilodeau threw the first pitch, which is good because Stephen Harper has been having more practise at softball lately.
• Fans waved a sign that read “Overbay moustache fan club,” which prompted a smile from first baseman Lyle Overbay, who is sporting a ridiculously not handsome Fu Manchu this season.
• In the funeral-like silence after the loss was official, one fan belted out, “You still stuck, Rios,” at the former Jays centre fielder who was traded to Chicago last season.
• Rios had tipped his hat to the crowd before the game, something neither the politest fan nor the unruly drunks liked. He was booed mercilessly all night.