In 1992, Winfield wanted noise. In 2017, Jose Bautista knows he doesn’t need to ask for it.
More and more people are going to Blue Jays games. That’s a fact. Recent success has droves of fans filing in on a nightly basis; in 2016, the Jays drew more than 40 thousand spectators per game for the first time since the 1994 season. Due to this, the crowd in Toronto has been getting a certain reputation. During Game One of the ALDS between Boston and Cleveland, Ernie Johnson called Progressive field “Toronto Loud” after the Indians hit three solo shots in the 3rd inning.
Unfortunately, some people are against what Blue Jays games have become.
As I – a frequent attendee of Blue Jays games over the past five seasons – and many others can tell you, Blue Jays games have been a heck of a party the past two seasons. But like any party you’ve attended in your college days, it only takes a few popped-collared, sunglasses with the dome is closed, tight shirt wearing, overdrinking bros that make you question why you even like the sport.
So, if you’re a newcomer to the Skydome in 2017 or if you’ve been attending games for years, gather ‘round and let’s talk baseball etiquette!
THROWING YOUR BEER
It’s a well-known fact buying a house is the most painful and expensive process in the city of Toronto. It’s a lesser known fact that buying a tallboy at the Rogers Centre is a close second. That’s why knowing a good pregame spot close to the Dome is so vital in the summer (shout out to the bars on Front Street) so you can get a good buzz on to go yell at Joe Kelly pitching in a major league game despite looking like your tax guy.
But when those bullpen doors swing open – and to your horror – you see Aaron Loup coming out in a high leverage situation, you sometimes need to find some booze ASAP. It hurts to drop $10+ on a can of beer in the first place, let alone hurl it onto the playing surface in a drunken rage, especially when you sometimes have to stand in line and miss a few outs because you can’t find a beer guy in your section.
I get it; it’s great to hate the Rangers and the Orioles. They clearly deserve it. Let’s just collectively find a way to properly express that without wasting precious liquid gold. And, you know, hurling harmful projectiles at people. This isn’t Jersey Shore. Don’t throw beer at people.
WEARING YOUR GLOVE TO A GAME
I don’t know why, but it’s always grown men who do this. It’s almost as if the dream never died and they envision making the highlight reels with a sick catch in the stands. If you’re over the age of 15, it’s probably wise to leave your mitt at home. Statcast doesn’t care. Nobody’s looking at your route efficiency.
Actually, since you were smart and decided to not throw your beer onto the field, you can use your cup!
This is easily the hot button issue with baseball fans. It was the “pineapple on a pizza” argument before Twitter realized that only savages put fruit on a pie. Look, the wave is visually appealing. There’s something fascinating about a packed house standing up and then sitting down. The kids love it. I get it.
There are certain times to do the wave. Don’t be the person that gets too drunk, stands up and spends an inning yelling at a section to start it, only to get mad when everybody would rather watch the Jays hit with the bases loaded in a close game.
However, if those bullpen doors swing open and Aaron Loup comes in to pitch with a ten run deficit, go ahead and do the wave. Last call is in the seventh inning so you’ll need to find something else to keep you entertained.
FOUL BALLS DOWN THE LINE
GET OUT OF THE WAY. If Jose Bautista is trying to make a play, just stand back and let the professional do his thing. A baseball doesn’t cost that much. It’d be cool to get one, but not at the risk of interfering with Jose Bautista and then having him stare into your soul.
Don’t become the next Steve Bartman and get kicked out of a game because you didn’t know not to reach over the wall and into a player’s glove. Curses are real.
Unless it’s Ryan Braun. In that case, you don’t owe him anything.
WATCH THE OUTFIELDERS
Okay, this might be the most important thing you learn this year.
There’s nothing like the embarrassment of being wrong about a home run. We’ve all been there. Your favourite slugger is up at the plate and you think he got all of it, sending it to the fifth deck. The dismay you feel when you realize the second baseman is camped under it is inexplicable.
By watching the outfielders you can save yourself from feeling like you disgraced your family. If they’re making a beeline for the wall, it may have a shot. If they’re running in, it’s going to take an act of God to carry the ball out. By doing this, you may even get to witness one of the most beautiful things in baseball: the home run hit so hard and so far that the outfielder just slowly turns to watch it fly into the stands without taking a step in any direction.
So there you have it! By not breaking these rules, you’ll almost be certain to not get kicked out of the game or be despised by people sitting in your vicinity.
The Blue Jays look like they should be competitive for yet another season. If everything goes well, the Skydome will be host to another party all summer long.
Stay safe and give them hell, Toronto.
Lead Photo © Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports