By: Jordan Cope, Assistant Sports Editor
Toronto, where do I begin?
With the few hundred out of control fans who caused pandemonium at the Rogers Centre by throwing beer cans on the field, or with Jose Bautista disrespecting the game of baseball by flipping his bat after hitting the go-ahead home run? No matter where I begin, Toronto, I can honestly say that you robbed sports fans of arguably one of the greatest innings of baseball in playoff history.
For those who didn’t watch the game, everything unfolded in the top of the seventh inning when Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin’s throw back to pitcher Aaron Sanchez, was deflected off the bat of Rangers batter Shin-Soo Choo, which in turn, allowed Rougned Odor to score from third, giving Texas a 3-2 lead.
What ensued was, arguably, the most classless thing I have witnessed in my 19 years of watching sports. A few hundred fans began throwing beer on the field and yelling obscenities at the umpiring crew and Rangers players.
While many at home and in the stands tried to wrap their heads around why anyone would throw anything onto the field over a baseball game, the Toronto dugout was more concerned with arguing what they believed to be a bad call. That was until a small boy was hit with a flying beer from the upper level.
Which left me asking – and I am sure many others – who has less class? The few hundred rowdy fans throwing beer, or the Toronto dugout that didn’t stop fans from throwing beer until a toddler was hit?
As if that wasn’t enough to rob us of a great inning of baseball, Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista hit, at the time, the go-ahead home run, and what proved to be the game-winning home run. After cranking the ball to deep left, Bautista stared down Rangers pitcher Sam Dyson, then the Toronto crowd, before forcefully flipping his bat and rounding the bases.
Oh, and did I mention that Toronto fans threw more trash onto the field? Yes, even after their own player hit a home run.
While I would love to give Bautista the benefit of the doubt and say that his emotions got the best of him, Orioles fans know all too well that this was not the first time Bautista has pulled a stunt like this. After hitting a home run against Darren O’Day two years ago, Bautista stared down his home run and chirped with O’Day while he was rounding the bases. It is evident that Bautista has no respect for the game of baseball as fans have come to see over the years.
Now, here we are. The American League Championship Series will feature the Blue Jays and the Kansas City Royals, two teams that Baltimore Orioles fans can’t stand and would probably prefer to see either team lose.
Stay classy Toronto – or should I say – stay classless.