This is Paul Godfrey's burrito out the car window. (Video by Drunk Jays Fans.)
The fallout from the Blue Jays letting Tigers and Red Sox fans -- especially the latter, some (not all, mind you) of whom are beer-flinging louts with sewer mouths and social attitudes not of this century -- have first shot at tickets for a couple of April series pretty much reprises the middle act of Anchorman. With a simple act of selling out, everything changed. This is pretty much, "I'm Paul Godfrey. Go fuck yourself, Toronto."
The Jays blogerariat, which like Toronto itself, takes in all kinds, even if you're a Drunk, a Taoist, a Bottom, a Chucker, a Ghost or even a Base player, pretty much spent the weekend hammering out a conclusion that as far as Jays fans should be concerned, Paul Godfrey's ass is grass.
Hardcore fans were pretty much quietly resigned to having Godfrey as president of the Jays. It was much the same as how, on a scale that is a million times more important, that bleeding heart liberals like me back in the first half of 2005 were resigned to having George W. Bush as leader of the free world. With Godfrey, you shrug off his call to play God Bless America at the seventh-inning stretch, the reality he long ago killed any part of himself that could embrace loving something so irrational as a baseball team and the likelihood that he went to a stylist or image consultant before he grew a beard in order to better resemble a human being, never mind an actual man of the people.
What could you do? It's business as usual in Toronto, where purely business decisions rule the day with the local teams.
OH SAY, CAN YOU SEE?
The common thread is there didn't seem to be any way to get through to people. It was only after the levees broke in New Orleans and Anderson Cooper emoted on CNN that people finally got it about Bush and Dick Cheney. Obviously, this a huge overstatement for rhetorical effect. No one should try to trivalize Katrina.
However, the Jays being so bush-league finally makes it clear what has been wrought by Rogers Communications' uninterested ownership (thanks again, Dan Rowe).
Other than for money, why would you want some of the fans from Boston as guests? Some of them have a little trouble accepting they were guests in a foreign land and the customs are a little different. That much was obvious during the 2005 home opener, when many got sauced on the higher alcohol content of Canadian draft beer and started tossing refrigerator magnets out of the upper deck, striking their social betters in the good seats. Of course, this being Toronto, a few people had to imitate the Americans.
The Jays should be busting ass to give Southern Ontario every reason to turn out in greater numbers, not take the lazy way out. God knows (but Godfrey will never understand) that you put up with enough to be a baseball fan in Canada relative to following hockey or the NFL. You give up summer days and nights to watch the team on TV (not that hockey fans' dedication is supspect, but when it's minus-20, the decision to stay in is made for you.)
You suffer people who are serious when they why Joe Carter is not in the Hall of Fame, or whether Roberto Alomar will be. You balance criticizing J.P. Ricciardi with getting mad when cable sports networks and the Toronto dailies when they get it all wrong by acting like missing the playoffs in baseball is the same thing as missing the playoffs in the NHL, which has twice as many playoff spots and no divisional rivals with $200-million payrolls. You put up with second-rate TV announcer crews since there's almost nowhere in this country for anyone who also has to pay for food and shelter to learn the craft of calling a baseball game -- and if we do come up someone who can such as Dan Shulman, ESPN will snap him up.
For all we do, Paul Godfrey and his corporate masters figure that they can sell our seats to people from Boston. The Jays should be busting ass to give Southern Ontario every reason to turn out in greater numbers. Instead they take a lazy way out and wonder why more people won't commit to their team.
That's all for now. Send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.