Monday, April 14, 2008

Don't "Blame Canada," Blame the Beer

A good-natured riot? Fighting and (sort of) streaking in Toronto

by Matthew Taylor

Here's hoping that Bird watchers at Camden Yards know what they're getting into if they decide to taunt Jays fans during this week's two-game set with Toronto. Two dollar Tuesdays - the Blue Jays' answer to "T-Shirt Tuesdays" in Baltimore - showed that our Canadian, baseball loving friends have a little fight in them. Make that "a lot of fight."

Fighting Fans jeopardizing Jays $2 Tuesdays

Paul Godfrey, the team president and chief executive officer, said yesterday that alcohol sales would be banned from the $2 sections for this season's three remaining promo nights and that, if the unruly behaviour persisted, the program could be scrapped entirely for the future.

"This is not some Saturday night bar," Godfrey said before last night's game against the Oakland Athletics.

"We were disturbed by the excess drinking, both opening day (Friday night against the Red Sox) and Tuesday.

"We want to make it perfectly clear we're not going to tolerate this. We're not going to have a few ruin it for the fans here to see a ballgame.

"If (the alcohol ban) doesn't work, $2 Tuesdays will be gone."

Jays Notebook: $2 Tuesdays beer ban in effect

Fights interrupted the game for a large portion of the upper deck stands in right-field during Tuesday’ game against Oakland. Similar violence erupted during the game against the Red Sox, which also featured two partially-clad patrons running across the field.

While nobody needed medical attention as a result of the various scraps on Tuesday, Godfrey said the team will be halting alcohol sales on the 500 level of the Rogers Centre and in the 200 level outfield seats on the $2 promotion nights.

“If it continues to cause the fans who are interested in baseball a disturbance or a lack of enjoyment in the game, then I’ll consider scrapping $2 Tuesdays,” said Godfrey. “It’s unfortunate because it’s a good way to attract people.”

Godfrey offered no apologies to fans who might resent the policy.

“They don’t have to come,” he said. “That’s why we’re going to tell them in advance.”

Brawls jeopardize $2 Tuesdays
"We're not going to tolerate that kind of behaviour,'' Godfrey said before last night's game. "You don't associate that with Toronto and you don't associate that with this ballpark. It's not going to continue.'' There were also several melees in the stands during Friday night's home opener against Boston, video of which has found its way on to YouTube. About 100 fans were ejected that night and another 100 fans were tossed Tuesday. Both times the trouble was in the upper 500 level of the Rogers Centre and was "alcohol related'' according to Godfrey.
And now to the video ...






Somehow it seems fitting that this happened while Boston - home of the stereotypical drunken baseball fan - was in town.

Ten Cent Beer Night
... Disco Demolition Night ... and now $2 Tuesdays? Where does this rank in the history of baseball promotions gone wrong?

2 comments:

Enchanting Sunshine said...

If I had to make a wager, the Boston fan had it coming. I've wanted to put a beat down on a few of them myself. Now that I think about it, $2 Tuesdays might be just the thing that OPACY needs to reclaim itself. Whatever it takes to shut up Red Sox/Y fans, I'm for it. The streaking sounds like an added bonus.

Matthew Taylor said...

Thanks for the comment, Enchanting Sunshine. The Birds are doing "Student Night" for Friday's game against the Yankees - $6 upper reserved seats. Could be interesting.