If you watched, you know – if you didn’t, I’ve got some really shaky video:
Once again, I got sat by drunk Jays fans (there’s apparently an honest reason there’s a blog with that title), and dealt with their jeers at our players, and slightly annoying ignorance of the fact that there are no actual Canadians on their active roster. Michael Saunders is apparently a “traitor”. Riiiight. I just need to accept that this is going to happen to me every single time I go to a Jays game, and that last year was an absolute fluke, because not only was it jackass-free, but because I actually ran into friends I didn’t know were there, so it was a far merrier occasion. But I guess we’re back to my typical luck this year. At least I know where I stand.
The night started off alright – the bullpen area is open a little earlier these days, so Conor and I secured our Felix-watching spot at the metal bar that now lines the bullpens, and over the course of the next hour and a half were joined by dozens of others. I also helped a fellow get a baseball for his (very) baby son, directing him over to the woman who helps keep the drunks on an even keel by the bullpen gate. He was successful, and I felt like a better person for it. The little guy won’t remember the event, but he will grow up with a major league baseball in his possession, and may even collect some pretty cool autographs on it.
I took a few snaps of batting practice, but only a small group came out remotely well. I have been dealing with the fact that my eyes may be getting worse over the last year, and I think glasses are in my near future. After the Mariners took BP, the Jays were up next, and a very familiar face was in the outfield, playing catch with his new team:
I didn’t stay long. I have a lot of nice pictures of Felix, and there were people accruing behind us, so I did the nice thing and got out of their way. Also, I needed a strawberry and Nutella crepe. You do, too, trust me. I also found out last night that ESPN broadcaster Matt Pitman and our very own David Aardsma also recommend the new pizza joint down there, and that the pizza joint is technically within home run range. I have not had it yet, but maybe some day.
After photos were taken, a dog and hot cocoa were procured – at 7pm, it was already getting far colder out than my layers and three (THREE!) fleece blankets could fend off. My bleacher seats are really good this year, in just the second row , a few spots off the aisle. But being outside after dark at this time of year is still very cold.
And we watched the baseball unfold before our eyes. Wait a minute, that’s not right…
We watched “baseball” unfold before our eyes.
I’m not going to pretend that I can analyze what happened last night properly, but the words “three ring circus” come to mind as a general description. Our offense was terrible, our defense was terrible, and Felix was really making a case for the Cy Young voters to use ERA against him. I sat on my metal bleacher, with a blanket between me and the metal, and two blankets wrapped around my legs, still freezing, listening to jeers from Jays fans and watching some of the worst baseball I’ve seen in a while. Then the wind kicked up, and it seemed like every vendor who wandered into earshot was yapping about “ice cold beer”. There was even some woman sitting in the front row, also wrapped in blankets, eating Dippin’ Dots. Did I mention the awful baseball?
When the score was run up to 7-0, I figured I might as well try to put the feeling back into my toes by walking down to the bullpen, even though there was no real reason for them to warm anyone up other than Aaron Laffey, because really, where were we going with this? But Aaron Laffey had a pretty easy 7th inning. And that was where things started to go all wonky. David Purcey was put on the hill for the Jays, and that turned out to be a terrible idea for them. Purcey loaded up his bases, and Octavio Dotel was pulled in to rescue the situation. And he didn’t. Instead, he walked in two of our guys. Dotel was replaced by Marc Rzepczynski, who walked another guy and gave up a 2-RBI single to Justin Smoak. Rzepczynski was replaced by Shawn Camp, who managed to get Miguel Olivo to GIDP, but the damage had already been done.
Feeling exhilarated but still cautious, we wandered around the main concourse toward the home plate entrance, firmly believing that we were going to lose. A nice usher in the 132 area let us sit in the uppermost row, and we watched the top of the 9th with Josh Lueke taking care of business, and then, finally, the chips were down.
Had it not been for Chone Figgins injuring his thumb while trying to make a play earlier in the game, Luis Rodriguez would never have been subbed for him at third, and the video I posted above never would have happened. We might have well be stuck with our 8th loss, and a 6-7 score in favor of the Jays. But Figgins did, Rodriguez was, and we weren’t.
I got to bypass the Walk of Shame last night, and it was sweet. Before I watch Michael Pineda throw against Toronto on TV tonight, I leave you with this: