(This cool patch was created by my friend, The Button Machine)
Most Canadian cities are feeling the shitty winter minus-sigh cold press on in this spring and we’re all pretty much ready to be kissed by the warmth of the damn sun. The MLB season has begun and a lot of the North-Eastern teams are feeling the minus garbage weather that good ol’ Mother Nature is hurling at all of us.
The Toronto Blue Jays have just finished their first homestand of the season and are now set and ready to begin their first road trip, starting in good ol’ Texas, where they will set foot on the grass and dirt in Globe Life Park and take on Jeff Banister and his trash Rangers – no really, they are going to be bad this year.
So, the Blue Jays are 4 – 3 and have finally gotten themselves over the .500 mark, something that they were not able to accomplish all of last season. And the Blue Jays already have 4-wins. It took last year’s shitty-luck-team until April 21st to pick up their fourth win of the season, as the Birds sat with a disheartening and piss-poor record of 4 – 12… gross.
We all know that last April the Blue Jays were garbage and everything that could possibly go sideways went sideways hard and fast, as they finished up the month with a woeful 8 – 17 record… woof. But, that was many yesterdays ago, amirite?
This year might be a bit different and maybe a lot of fickle fans out there will soon come to realize it because last year’s baseball team could have easily found itself in the wild card game against the Yankees if, ya know, all that could go terribly wrong in baseball didn’t happen to the damn Blue Jays.
Now, in a piece by the ‘maverick’ Richard Griffin, he objectively looks at the attendance thing at the place we all call Dome, as it’s crystally clear that there were a lot of empty seats, especially for the White Sox series. And, honestly, so what?
There is no reason to become a clown about this and jump on the shitty negative train and fill the air or Internet with dumb blah thoughtless whatever because it’s fine. And, of course, if the Blue Jays win a lot in April, it could help attendance, but we don’t need to write about low hanging fruit like that, do we?
I live in Toronto and this city loves its Birds and I have seen more Blue Jays hats this week than I have all winter long and it’s absolutely the sea of blue that I love to see when I’m walking around these windy streets trying to get from one place to the other in this crazy April weather.
The MLB season opened up earlier than usual and the weather has been totally shit and it has been a bit confusing with the snow and the cold and it being baseball season – at least, for me.
When I think baseball, I think fresh, spring thoughts, no more toques, no more parkas - just baseball caps, people sitting on patios, and, lazy, hot summer afternoons. This early low attendance thing at the Dome doesn’t reflect any kind of fan apprehension at all; it reflects nothing of that sort. Some people are talking about the low numbers for this mid-week Chicago series, but no one is talking about the fact that 2.03 million people tuned in to watch the home opener, setting the record for the highest audience in Sportsnet’s history.
If you’re going to measure the Blue Jays fan base, the most accurate way to do this would be through TV ratings because the good Birds of Summer are Canada’s team and not just the people who live in or near Toronto. I live a block away from Uncle Ted’s stadium and couldn’t wait to hurry home and watch the game on my terrific flat screen and tweet with the rest of the Blue Jays fam during the game. It’s kind of funny how ridiculous certain fans can be when they see a few empty seats and it’s pretty dumb.
The Toronto Maple Leaf are 48 – 25 and about to dive into some fun Stanley Cup hockey and Turonno is completely hyped for what this fresh, young Buds team might be able to do – it’s still a hockey city, first and foremost.
And then there are the Toronto Raptors, who are first in the Eastern Conference and about to hit the hard court playoffs very soon. The city of Toronto is ready to watch their Buds and Raps get into some spring playoff dogfights and if any of these two teams are playing in the city when the good Birds of Summer are in town too, then the attendance at the Dome is likely to suffer.
But, that doesn’t reflect the support that the Blue Jays have from a fan base that stretches from the Donair-loving East Coast through the Prairie-Oyster-loving Prairies all the way to the Nanaimo Bar-loving West Coast, does it? One thing we all have in common is that most of us are a bunch of bacon lover Canadians who love the Birds.
The Toronto Blue Jays have a massive fan base and that is not going anywhere. The spark that was lit during 2015 will not go out and it’s dumb to even consider that the team is about to lose its fan base because there were some empty seats in late March and early April. And that spark is why Shapiro and Atkins chose not to blow this team up when they had to chance and this is why the team isn’t going to be this year's Chicago White Sox.
If the Blue Jays are first in the AL East in May and are playing a home game on the same night that the Leafs or Raptors are hosting whoever the fuck, the attendance will be down at the Dome. And if the Buds or the Raps somehow manage to get themselves to the finals, holy shit this city is going to be lit with that buzz, but that doesn’t mean that this city or the people who live within driving distance aren’t going to Jays games because they are angry and hate everything that is Shapiro and Atkins.
Any sensible Blue Jays fan can appreciate the fact that the Blue Jays front-office has created a deep roster that has a very real chance to punch its damn wild card ticket. This organization is crossing a bridge to the 2020 future and everyone in this country is excited about it and any kind of success that comes our way before the future takes flight is a big bonus.
As a local Turonno ground-stomper for over ten-years now and a fan of everything Turonno, I can’t help but look at the Buds and see the future Birds. A young team with a lineup filled with its own draft picks who are exciting and primed to win.
The Blue Jays are heading in that direction right now and it’s only a matter of time before the big bad Vlad Birds arrive at the Dome. And until then, enjoy everything that you liked from the 2015 baseball wave because some of those players are still on the field and are still good, especially Josh Donaldson. But, don't ever doubt the love Toronto has for their Birds because home is where the Dome is.