On May 7, I was in Toronto for my annual baseball pilgrimage and was inside the friendly confines of the Skydome to witness “history.”
Justin Verlander dominated the Toronto Blue Jays from start to finish, en route to recording a no hitter.
I may be in the minority here, but I am a Jays fan whose mood is drastically altered depending on how the team is doing. Watching the Jays lose is one of the most frustrating things for me and one of the least enjoyable activities I can think of (yet I still subject myself to watching exactly that many, many times each season). On the flipside, when the Jays win my day is a little bit brighter and there’s no doubt I’m a touch more cheery to be around.
Watching my favourite team get no hit and utterly dominated? I’m sorry, call it history, call it special, call it whatever you will. I call it a three hour piss off.
All credit to Justin Verlander, he made the Jays look like a peewee team, and I suppose it’s not difficult to do so when you are throwing 102 mph with good location.
That being said, I have never understood the baseball ritual, of fans of the opposing team all of a sudden jumping on the pitcher’s bandwagon and starting to cheer for the opposition when a no hitter begins to form. In the ninth inning, with two outs and the no no seemingly unavoidable, everyone in the stadium stood up and began to cheer. I stood up too, but only because I wanted to watch the rest of the game and not look at the back of the person in front of me. There was no clapping coming from my end. I was the one silently wishing (for fear of upsetting the new legions of Tigers fans if I had been more vocal) that the Jays would scratch out a hit and avoid all the hoopla that comes with a no hitter.
I hate watching other teams celebrate a win against the Jays and I hated it even more when it was a joyous celebration of how bad the pitcher had made Toronto’s offence look.
Maybe it’s me, but I wasn’t all too keen on perhaps the only time the Jays will lead off an American sports highlight show this season being due to their offensive futility. As a side note, I will add that while I will never have it in me to cheer for the opposing team (even when the game is effectively over anyway and the Jays have no chance of coming back), I also will never boo the opposing team either. I don’t really see the point of that either, and I know I’m in the minority there, as many fans seem to think the point of a game is so they can come and boo everyone in opposing colours. I should also add that had Verlander done this against any other team with whom I have no emotional attachment, sure I would have been happy to witness it. Even further if he did it against the Red Sox or Yankees, I would have been overjoyed. My point is only that I’m not simply a baseball curmudgeon who doesn’t want to see anyone ever succeed unless they are wearing a Blue Jay uni.
Since the game has been in the books and the dust has cleared, I’ve had people tell me how lucky I was to witness a no hitter, or how cool that must have been. Ummm, sorry, but no. I have in the past few years seen the Jays flirt with many no hitters, taking some into the 7th, 8th and even 9th innings, and some of those have been games I’ve been in attendance for. When one of those finally comes to fruition, I will be more than happy to go crazy and be exuberant and reflect back on how cool it was to see it or be even a small part of it as a fan.
Until then, I’ll save my applause for my own team and pray I don’t have to endure the Jays being completely shut down on offense again this season.