WE HAD A TOTAL BLAST – ALMOST

My wife, son and I went up to Progressive Field last night to catch a game between the Indians and Toronto Blue Jays. The main attraction – other than watching a major league baseball game – was the Jason Kipnis bobble head promotion. Kip is a favorite of ours and we hadn’t been to a game in a while.

A few raindrops while waiting for the gates to open was not a deterrent and we soon found our seats. We were treated to a great pitcher’s duel between Danny Salazar and Marcus Stroman. Given the fact that Salazar had not pitched in several weeks, we didn’t expect the kind of performance he gave us. He went seven innings allowing one hit and no runs while facing the minimum. It was a blast to watch him.

After Andrew Miller gave up a home run on his first pitch to tie the game at one, we got the added bonus of extra innings. When Francisco Lindor blasted a game winning home run in the bottom of the tenth we were all smiles. The Rock n Blast fireworks after the game was, as always, exceptional. If you have not had the chance to see pyrotechnics at Progressive Field, you need to do so. They were, quite simply, a blast!

Everything pointed to a great evening except for one thing. There’s always one guy…

When we got to our seats we found that we were in the midst of a couple dozen Toronto Blue Jay fans. I chatted up the young guy beside me and found out that he was on a baseball team (13-15 year olds) and they had played a couple of games over the weekend with another to play on Sunday. Saturday night though was a chance to see their Jays and take in a new ballpark.

Unfortunately there was one Canadian guy sitting directly behind us that was, simply put, obnoxious. Fueled by several adult beverages, he was profane, dropping several F-bombs during the course of the game. Despite the fact that women and children were in the immediate vicinity, this guy was loud, vulgar and – in my opinion – not exactly an expert on baseball. That of course, did not stop him from running his mouth.

We were sitting in the upper deck well down the right field line. For the first five innings I could not tell where the ball went when contact was made. The sun and the distance made it difficult to see. That didn’t stop the guy from challenging the umpires ball and strike calls. I guess he felt he could see well enough to criticize. He alternately praised and then criticized his own team. When an Indian hitter struck out, he suggested they should go have a seat. When Carlos Santana went down face first when a pitch came at his feet, the guy suggested he should get up. We can ice it if need be was his comment.

I had no problem with the Canadians cheering for the Blue Jays. The phrase “here we go Blue Jays, here we go” was uttered throughout the evening. Hey, it’s OK to cheer on your team. The guy though, was annoying. When Lindor hit the walk off I simply smiled while the guy wanted Toronto manager John Gibbons fired. Apparently he did not like his choice of relief pitcher for the tenth inning.

In all my travels to major league ballparks, I have long since argued that the most obnoxious fans were found in New York – Mets, Yankees, take your pick. Boston Red Sox fans were a close second. It’s a good thing I didn’t run into this guy when I was in Toronto or I might have to revise my list.

The view from my seat suggests that people should observe proper decorum when attending a sporting event. I’m certainly not judging all Blue Jay fans by the actions of one guy, but I am curious. I wonder what the other Toronto fans sitting in the area thought of this loud mouthed bore?

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