Blue Jays Nation

It was August when I became a temporary member of the Red Sox Nation, sitting in the Pavilion Club section, between home plate and third base at historic Fenway Park, munching on a frank and drinking a beer. The weather couldn’t have been better on that fine summer’s eve. Jon Lester was on the mound for the Red Sox, the home team jumped out to an early 8-0 lead and went on to post an 8-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

Equally important was the mood of the place. Entire streets were closed off for the festivities; there was fan appreciation in every pitch and play. The next day, wherever I went in Boston, the game was dissected right down to that two-seam fastball Mike Timlin threw in relief.

Last night, the Red Sox bowed out and the newbies go on. I hope Tampa Bay’s success does not give Blue Jay management any ideas. The Rays dropped the Devil part of their name this year and went from worst to first. The Jay have already changed their logo so many times they look ridiculous.

And I worry about seeing Paul Beeston as Acting CEO. With Cito Gaston signed up, what’s next? Will Pat Gillick rejoin, too?

Whatever route they take, here’s the outcome I’d like. I want to be able to go into a corner store in Toronto the day after a Jays game and talk about plays in detail with strangers the same way I did in Boston that week. After more than 30 years with a Toronto team in the show, I’ve never had that pleasure.

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