This past July I went to my first Major League baseball game. It was the Toronto Blue Jays against the Tampa Bay Rays. They were playing at the Rogers Centre in Toronto (Skydome to me) and it was also the first time I had been inside Skydome. I know nothing about baseball, as I have discussed before in this blog, I lead a very sheltered life.
That being said, I am unashamed of how uninformed I am and have no problem looking like an idiot because I get very excited about new things, turns out baseball was no different. We had really good seats in the first deck and it was a lot of fun. The day was blazing sunny so the dome was open. This was before the Blue Jays started doing really well and in fact they lost the game 3 – 2 to the Rays. That did not dampen my enthusiasm, however. My husband very, very patiently answered my myriad of questions throughout the game, many of which were also uttered by the six-year-old boy sitting behind me to his equally patient uncle. Between these two tolerant men, I managed to get a decent sense of, “what are all those letters on the score board?” “What’s a throwing error?” “Who’s that guy?” “Why does that guy suck?” and the infamous, “Why can’t he hit the ball?” The highlight of the game for me was when Jose Bautista hit a home run. Turns out he’s pretty good at that.
My dad played baseball when I was a kid and I remember attending his games regularly, he was a catcher and I paid about as much attention as you would expect of a little girl. His mother, my little Québécois nanny, was a huge Blue Jays fan and I remember visiting her often with the game on in the background, she had to watch ‘her jays.’ Wherever she is now, she must be a very pleased spirit. I also remember playing baseball, exceptionally poorly, in gym class. No one wanted me on their team. That was probably because I could not catch, throw or hit the ball well. Makes sense.
Turns out I like baseball, at least live. And what a fortunate year for me to discover this. There is one Major League baseball team in Canada, which you may recall is the second largest country in the world and has a population of 36 million people. One. The Toronto Blue Jays. Since the early 1990’s, they have pretty much sucked. Most of the players on the team are not Canadian, but Canadians don’t care much about that. Wednesday, they beat the Texas Rangers and are now in the American League Championship Series. 9 Million Canadians watched the game, which I find impressive. By four o’clock that day, Canada was a ghost town, and everyone said the same thing, got to get home to watch the game.
This is completely lame, yes, but we Canadians are a boring people. There is a lot to be said for our boring, comfortable existence. Let’s face it, nothing really happens here and that is usually a good thing, no news is good news should really be the motto of this country. Nine nights out of ten, the lead story on the national news will have something to do with the weather or an accident. Weather or an accident can trump even federal election coverage here. NOTHING HAPPENS HERE. Some times we import news from the U.S. or Europe just so our reporters have something interesting to talk about. Some days after watching twenty minutes of news, you honestly wish they had just said, you know what, Canada? Nothing all that interesting happened here today, so carry on, instead of the filler they come up with. If you talk to most Canadians for say, ten minutes, you will find that almost every stereotype pertaining to us is true. Yes, we flock to Tim Horton’s like it’s the golden gates. Yes, most of us do like hockey. Yes, we do say ‘eh’ a lot. Yes, we are very nice and yes, we apologize constantly for everything.
Some people are upset that everyone in the country is jumping on the Blue Jays bandwagon because they’re winning, people that aren’t ordinarily fans and don’t normally care. Personally, I think it’s nice. We don’t galvanize much in Canada, we don’t get excited and we don’t cause scenes, usually because it’s either too hot or too cold out for us to bother, hence all that news coverage. But the Blue Jays are winning and people are excited. People everywhere are wearing Blue Jays gear, watching the games, talking about them, and just having a good time. This is a big country and there is a lot of literature about how little different areas of if have in common. That may be valid, but right now everyone has the Blue Jays in common and it’s a lot of fun. I don’t know if they’ll keep winning, but it’s been a fun ride. And I’ve learned a lot about baseball. Go Jays!
Posted on October 16, 2015, in Articles, Baseball, Sports, Toronto Blue jays and tagged baseball, Jose Bautista, major league baseball, rogers centre, skydome, Toronto Blue Jays. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.