Opening Day 1
The good news, as a Jays fan, is that the club defeated the Detroit Tigers on Opening Night by the score of 12-5. The bad news was that it was the first time in my 32 years that I was ashamed to be a baseball fan. Last night's game in Toronto was delayed about 20 minutes when Detroit manager Jim Leyland pulled his players off the field when fans began throwing balls, paper and other items onto the field, which Leyland rightfully felt was putting his players in danger.
If the fans had not gotten themselves under control, a forfeit of the game could have occurred and the Jays - leading 12-5 at the time - would have been credited with the loss, according to the announcers Jamie Campbell and former MLB player Pat Tabler (KC, Cleveland, Toronto).
Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but I am not sure it was the Blue Jays fans that were throwing the items at the Detroit players. No. 1, a large number of Detroit fans had driven down to watch the game given the close proximity of the two cities and more than 48,000 tickets were sold. No. 2, why would fans of the winning team be throwing things when their club was leading by seven runs and also had runners on and were in the middle of threatening to score even more? That sounds more like a situation where the losing team's fans would be in an uproar. No. 3, Toronto fans have been lambasted in the media on more than one occasion by players on local teams who say Canadian fans are too quiet, too polite and need to be more vocal.
It really doesn't matter who it was; it may have been fans from both cities. It was inexcusable and embarrassing. What makes it even worse is that it happened during the first game of the 2009 season. I hope it was not a sign of things to come in Major League Baseball and professional sports, in general.