A season of lassitude

The Blue Jays are having a great season; more fans are attending than at any time since the early 1990s. Through 56 home games including Sunday, attendance at the Rogers Centre is 2.3 million, up more than 600,000 compared to the same time last year, the biggest year-over-year increase among all major league baseball teams. Everyone’s wearing Jays merchandise. Buying a beer or a hot dog takes forever on line.

But what sort of fans are these? Like the Jays, this is my 40th season. I’ve been going since the first ball was tossed out at Exhibition Stadium in 1977 and I’ve never seen such a reluctant group in all that time. In the ninth inning on Sunday, before a near-sellout crowd of 46,000, with Roberto Osuna throwing strikes and the game tied 2-2, nobody was standing, nobody was applauding. A small group in the right field corner tried several times to start the wave but it rolled for less than two sections, flattened, and then faded away.

Most of these new so-called fans are just joyriders on a bandwagon. The Jays are doing well; let’s go take selfies. Their bored behaviour gives new meaning to fickle. I liked better the half-full Rogers Centre of yesteryear. You knew you were with baseball lovers. This bunch wouldn’t even know a baseball if it hit them.

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