Game #8: Royals at Blue Jays postgame

On Monday night, I could barely hear myself think inside the pressbox — thanks to the 50,000-plus in attendance. Tuesday, some 22,000 fans came to the Rogers Centre, but the noise level was still pretty high. Wednesday? Well, everyone in the stadium had to put up with the constant heckling of one Toronto fan, who had no problem making himself heard among the 15,218 who purchased a ticket.

The best line of the night from Mr. Anonymous:

"Hey LaRue! You’re hitting .143! No joke needed!"

Royals catcher Jason LaRue smacked a double to right-center field right after that comment, prompting the fan to respond with: "I just got punked!"

There’s always a dropoff in attendance following home openers, and I know it was the Royals in town for the opening series, but the crowd on hand was pretty pathetic Tuesday night. Don’t just take it from me, either. Hear what Jays reliever Jason Frasor had to say about it:

"Hopefully we get more fans," Frasor said. "It’s a lot more fun and we play a whole lot better when there’s at least 25,000. Yesterday and today, it felt like it was dead — like a boring intrasquad game or something."

Ouch. Pick it up Jays fans.

EARLY EXIT: Toronto manager John Gibbons didn’t wait long to turn to his bullpen Tuesday. As soon as Reggie Sanders sent Gustavo Chacin’s 79th pitch into right-center for a double to lead off the sixth, Gibbons pulled the left-hander from the game. "They don’t call me Captain Hook for nothing," Gibbons joked afterward.

In reality, though, Chacin had given up a few hard hits, including a homer to David DeJesus, and Toronto’s ‘pen was plenty rested. Frasor looked sharp — fanning the side in the eighth — and B.J. Ryan picked up his third save. At the time Chacin was pulled, it seemed questionable. In hindsight? You can’t really complain with the results. And that’s all that really matters. Still, the Jays would love to be able to consistently get six out of Chacin.

WALKING WOUNDED: It’s not every day that John McDonald (seven career home runs) will come in to pinch hit for Troy Glaus (259 homers), but it happened in the eighth with the bases loaded. Gibbons said afterward that Glaus’ "legs are beat up" but he’ll be in the lineup on Thursday. Glaus has been playing with a bone spur in his left heal.

PLAY OF THE DAY: With runners on first and second with two outs and the Jays up, 5-4, in the seventh, Frasor induced a grounder from Sanders. The ball was hit sharply back toward the mound and, somehow, Frasor was able to reach back and grab it out of the air. If he doesn’t make that play, KC notches the tying run and has another runner in scoring position. "I don’t know how I did that," Frasor said.


I can’t help with the noise level at the Dome, but the Jays’ trips to the left coast work out really well for me: Weeknights in the SF Bay area and weekends everywhere else. I could make it to 13 road games this year.

The Jays attendance always falls sharply with the start of the NHL playoffs. It is just the reality of being located in a hockey-crazed country. Having the Royals in town doesn’t help things much either. However, people need to start showing up to support their team. I can’t make weeknight games as I’m located in Ottawa but am making the drive down to Toronto this weekend to catch the games on Saturday and Sunday.

Worst decision I have ever seen in my life sending Glaus home on Rios’ hard hit double with bases loaded and no outs.I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Butterfield wave him home. This is exactly the kind of thing that should make people immediately realize that this team has incapable people in very important positions.There is no reasoning or excuse whatsoever to have made that decision. Hopefully Gibbons and his crew won’t be around much longer as this team cannot win with them in place.

While it was in retrospect a brutal call to send Glaus, there is about 90% more to Butterfield’s job than that duty. Certainly not worthy of firing someone.

I disagree that non-Leaf hockey affects attendance much at all. Same attendance decreases occured in the 2005 lockout season. And with a four game series coming up with the defending AL Champs, and Dice-K and the Red Sox next week, if I’m going to one or two games in the next week, it certainly wouldn’t have been yesterday or the day before (even though I try to get to all games). Most people are probable to check out Doc/Bonderman/Otto Velez night on Friday, Saturday with AJ, or next week with the Red Sox before Towers or Chacin on a weekday.

I guarantee that a solid crowd shows up Saturday/Sunday and continues throughout the Sox series (regardless of how many Sox fans make the trip).

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