About Last Night – Blue Jays Edition

Title: About Last Night – Blue Jays Edition
Date: April 7, 2009
Original Source: The On Deck Circle
Synopsis: Following a huge season opening victory, the Blue Jays had provided the fanbase with a glimmer of hope for the 2009 season.

On a snowy April night in the lately-drab sports city of Toronto, the Blue Jays gave the city a night of hope that has been long overdue.

Buoyed by 6 RBI from too-young-to-DH Adam Lind and a strong all-around offensive performance, the Jays gave 48,027 live and more watching at home a glimpse of what this team could be like if all of the ‘what ifs’ fall their way. 12 runs, 15 hits, 7 for extra bases, and only a solitary 1-2-3 inning, with big hits from youngsters Alex Rios, Adam Lind, and Travis Snider (whose opposite field home run, strictly power, was a thing of beauty).

Fittingly, Roy Halladay, making his franchise record 7th straight opening day start, went into Jack Morris mode, copying the MLB record-holder for consecutive opening day starts (14) by easing up and allowing a few runs with a big lead. It was meaningless, as Halladay probably cares little about his pitching line beyond the W, and the bullpen came in and cleaned up nicely (especially Brandon League, whose stuff looked live).
 More after the jump!
This was the first time I’ve missed the home opener in several years. The NCAA National Championship game was on, and my remote control nearly melted flipping through Extra Innings to consume every at-bat I could on MLB’s true opening day. Surprisingly, I was glad to not be there – the embarrassing act a few people in the crowd put on in the later innings was disgusting and almost tarnished an otherwise very enjoyable opener. Still, the Jays almost filled the Dome on a snowy Monday night, and the crowd was audibly in favor of the Jays for the first time in a long time.

A quick look at my MSN Messenger and Facebook showed an amusing trend – statuses and names with over-the-top sarcastic Blue Jay proclamations. Phrases like ‘World Series Champs,’ ‘Bring on the Sox/Yanks,’ and ‘I need new pants’ (that last one was mine) send a very clear message – the Jays, while not short on fans, aren’t fooling anyone. The public has a pretty good idea of what this team is (a .500 squad, give or take a half dozen wins), but it appears, for now, people are willing to watch and enjoy.

And that’s the beauty of opening day. Mao Zedong wrote, “A clean sheet of paper has no blotches, and so the newest and most beautiful words can be written on it…” Nobody is saying that, at 1-0, the Jays have gone from pretender to contender, but alas, there is faith. A potent offense, run support for Roy Halladay, and a near-capacity building on an ugly day for baseball. The Jays stand 1-0, undefeated, and the only way they can lose is if somebody beats them.

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