- The Rogers Centre's retractable roof. The stadium may have some warts and publicly funded skeletons in the closet, and the roof is a little dated compared to other fully retractable stadiums around the league. Jay fans still don't have to dress for the weather, nor will we have to deal with snowy ugliness ever again. But once humidity takes over as the dominant weather force, nothing beats sitting in the sun watching a game. We literally get the best of both worlds. We also get the added bonus of not paying through the nose for the privilege of staring directly into the setting sun for three innings, while sitting in a seat that faces the left field corner. Or sitting directly beside a giant garbage bin.
- Roy Halladay. The sublime pleasure that I derive from watching Roy Halladay pitch every fifth day is difficult to qualify. Sometimes I think he is playing a completely different game. His heady approach combined with his ridiculous work ethic makes any Halladay start one worth watching. Add his no-nonsense, quick working style to the mix and I'm a happy boy, out buying beer at a much more reasonable price after a proper 150 minute game.
- The Quality of Jays Coverage. It starts at the top. The nation's most venerable paper employs a most entertaining and enlightened voice in the form of Snarlin' Jeff Blair. Mike Wilner on the radio brings brutal honesty, informed opinions and a genuine love of the game. Jays blogs run the gamete; from statistical know-how, dry theologian wit, left-handed analysis, newfie charm, to the inane babblings of a madman. Let us not forget the drunken pied pipers themselves.
- Good Seats Still Available. I understand the value of selling out a building every night, but excuse me if I don't pine for a constantly packed house. The Jays have a solid fanbase and attract a consistent number between 25 and 30 thousand a night. Luckily, the dome seats 44 000. That means plenty of tickets at face value, and some below if you are willing to dip into the murky scalping waters.
- A Sense of History and/or Nostalgia. This happenend, and nothing will ever change that.
- Scott Rolen in exchange for Troy Glaus. Don't get me wrong, Troy Glaus is all well and good, and I harbour no ill will towards him. This isn't about Troy, this is about the pleasure of watching Scott Rolen play third base for (fingers crossed) 150 games this season.
- Three National Television Networks Vying For your Affection. In the true spirit of capitalism, we the consumer benefit when there is competition. Our reward, 144 games in HD, both home and away. For those unable or unwilling to get to the ballpark, there is no other way to fly.
- Win or Lose, We Still Live in Toronto. When the game is over, there is no sudden white flight from the horrors of a dilapidated inner city. Nor is it a quaint small town where baseball is the only show in town. Game is over, night has just begun.
- A Look to the Future, A Nod To the Past. Flashback Fridays are fun. A somewhat puffy former Jay gets to walk out on the field again, to bask in the cheers of polite and tolerant fans. This years exciting and hilarious wrinkle - POWDER BLUES! While obviously driven by the desire to sell throwback jerseys, seeing Frank Thomas in blue pajamas will be its own reward. I wonder if Cliff Johnson is available for a Friday night in June.
- A Puncher's Chance. The Jays chances this season are legit. The Yankees are a series of questions and senior citizens. The Rays are a few years away yet, the Orioles are in 100 loss territory. This is no pipe dream. I don't think this is a case of "as long as everything goes right" as much as "so long as everything doesn't go wrong." They'll be there in the end.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Much is made of the MSM's fear and loathing of blogs, and the vitriol and invective that spew forth from the blogosphere. I will concede that this space is guilty of plenty of hate, and a substantial amount negativity. In honour of
Jesus cheating death a three day weekend, I will instead focus on 10 things that make it great to be a Jay fan.