Blue Jays fans hurled more than a beer can at the Orioles


Last night Bill wrote about how a Blue Jays fan threw a beer can at O’s outfielder Hyun Soo Kim as he attempted to catch a Melvin Upton Jr. fly ball. That wasn’t all that Jays fans in the outfield hurled last night. Bob Nightengale:

Jones confirmed he heard racial and ethnic slurs towards him and Kim, a native of South Korea. Yet, as cruel as it may be, he’s become almost numb at the slurs he hears from opposing fans.

“I’ve heard that so much playing baseball,’’ Jones said. “I don’t really care anymore. Call me what you want… I get it. That’s fine’’

Except it’s not fine, for obvious reasons. Indeed, it was just the latest in a series of obnoxious acts from fans in Rogers Centre.

The beer can last night. The multiple cans and bottles hurled on the field during Game 5 of last year’s ALDS, following a controversial call involving a toss of the ball back to a pitcher. The series of incidents involving thrown objects and drunken rowdiness in the stands for Jays games.

I fully expect Jays fans to rush to the comments to say that I am unfairly generalizing. That these were just isolated incidents. That “not all Blue Jays fans” behave this way. That fans of other teams behave poorly on occasion as well, and that fans in Toronto should not be singled out. It’s a defensiveness we’ve all seen from any fan of any team when an incident occurs.

But before you do that, understand that I fully acknowledge not all of you do this and that I am not painting with a broad brush here. But such an acknowledgement doesn’t change the fact that last night was ugly as were many other nights at Rogers Centre. One does not have to agree that “all Jays fans” do this to acknowledge the ugliness of this stuff. And one does not make themselves less of a Blue Jays fans to admit that this is absolute garbage behavior.

Clean it up, Toronto. Blue Jays: ask yourself if your alcohol policies are reasonable and if they’re being enforced. Rogers Centre security: ask yourself if you’re doing enough to punish this behavior. Blue Jays fans: ask yourself if you’re, in any way, egging on, encouraging or, at the very least, accepting such behavior of your fellow fans to go on without a word, out of some misplaced sense of fan loyalty.

This crap is unacceptable, even if it is only one person doing it. In Toronto, it’s obviously more than one.


Red Sox employees “livid” over team pay cut plan

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Even Drellich of The Athletic reports that the Boston Red Sox are cutting the pay of team employees. Those cuts, which began to be communicated last night, apply to all employees making $50,000 or more. They are tiered cuts, with people making $50-99,000 seeing salary cut by 20%, those making $100k-$499,000 seeing $25% cuts and those making $500,000 or more getting 30% cuts.

Drellich reported that a Red Sox employee told him that “people are livid” over the fact that those making $100K are being treated the same way as those making $500K. And, yes, that does seem to be a pretty wide spread for similar pay cuts. One would think that a team with as many analytically-oriented people on staff could perhaps break things down a bit more granularly.

Notable in all of this that the same folks who own the Red Sox — Fenway Sports Group — own Liverpool FC of the English Premier League, and that just last month Liverpool’s pay cut/employee furlough policies proved so unpopular that they led to a backlash and a subsequent reversal by the club. That came after intense criticism from Liverpool fan groups and local politicians. Sox owner John Henry must be confident that no such backlash will happen in Boston.

As we noted yesterday, The Kansas City Royals, who are not as financially successful as the Boston Red Sox, have not furloughed employees or cut pay as a result of baseball’s shutdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps someone in Boston could call the Royals and ask them how they managed that.