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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Gregg Zaun: Blue Jays fans are getting drunker and drunker

Blue-Jays-fan-beersThe Toronto Blue Jays have assembled a contender for the 2013 season. The team is off to a disappointing 8-12 start, but there is a lot of baseball left to be played. Last season, the Blue Jays finished the year ranked 23rd in the MLB in attendance. This year, they rank 10th and are drawing an average of just under 30,000 fans at home games.

According to former Jays catcher Gregg Zaun, the early-season losses have resulted in those 30,000 becoming some of the most unruly in baseball.

“It’s very, very prevalent at the Rogers Centre, especially in the later innings when the Jays are losing that people lose their minds,” Zaun told The Toronto Star when asked about the reputation the fans are earning. They’re getting drunker, and drunker and drunker and it’s because fans are getting younger and younger.”

Zaun said he feels that profanity should not be tolerated at all, but he also expressed concern over fans tossing stuff onto the field.

“As a player who played for 16 years, anytime I saw a fan throw something onto the field, I got them ejected,” he said. “I pointed them out to security.”

Throwing things onto the field is dangerous and should not be tolerated. Profanity is going to happen, and it would be impossible for stadium security to walk around ejecting every fan who muttered the F-word after a Blue Jay grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Earlier this month, Deadspin posted a video of a Blue Jays fan puking as he was leaving his seat late in a game. Around that same time, we showed you a fan who rushed the field in Toronto and slid into second base. On Friday, a report surfaced of Toronto fans heckling pitchers in the Yankees bullpen and throwing peanuts at them. The Yankees’ security had to alert the Rogers Centre staff and the fans were escorted from the park. Blue Jays spokesman Jay Stenhouse said he is not worried about what is being written about the team’s fans on blogs.

“We are not going to respond to a blog post about our fans in relation to all other fans based upon a blog site,” Stenhouse wrote in an email. “I have not seen any reliable survey that documents fan conduct around baseball.”

In reality, the fans in Toronto are probably no worse than some of the maniacs we have seen in places like Philadelphia. The fact that people are used to seeing the Rogers Centre half empty just makes it more obvious when fans are acting unruly and doing stuff that warrants being tossed out. The irony is it will probably get worse if the Jays start winning. The more wins, the more fans. The more fans, the more idiots.

H/T Hardball Talk



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