A tale of two teams

On my way to the Blue Jays game last night, I caught up and passed another fan wearing an Arencibia shirt, the worst-hitting catcher we’ve ever had. We traded J.P. to Texas but he got his vengeance when he clubbed a three-run homer last time he was through town. Anyway, I asked this man, “How are we going to do tonight?” To which he replied, “Depends on which team shows up.”

Indeed. The Bad Blue Jays showed up and we lost 9-3. I’ve been down to the ballpark nine times so far this season and the Bad Blue Jays have shown up for six of those games. I’ve only seen three wins.

Fortunately, there’s a rhythm to these events that begins well before I’m seated. There’s the flow of fans along Front Street, the piper in front of the convention centre with his left shoe tapping the pavement, a stop at the Don Juan chip wagon for a hot dog and fries, the scalpers and the panhandlers, Batman and Spiderman (where’s the silver Elvis?), and Ralph, who’s been selling programs since the Jays played at the CNE. Ralph and I always have the same conversation. I say, “Hi Ralph.” He looks at me quizzically and asks, “Where do I know you from?” And I say, “Here, Ralph,” and keep walking.

On the field are more rhythms: R. A. Dickey’s pump-handle windup, Jose Bautista’s back-bending antics with his bat while he’s on deck, Edwin Encarnacion spitting in his glove, and the choreographed moves of Jose Reyes greeting a teammate who hits a home run and arrives back in the dugout.

The Jays organization has gone to some trouble this year to reach out to fans through social media. As a result there’s all kinds of silly contests involving tweets and something called the Chirp Chair where famous players from the past like Robbie Alomar sit and smile for the camera.

Instead of all this jim-crackery I’d prefer another month like our high-flying May when anything seemed possible. Meanwhile, just don’t mess with the rhythms of the game. 

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