I like 4pm weekend starts. Not every day, but some days. Bluebird Banter had a nice summary of some of the good aspects of 4pm (versus 1pm) starts. Personally, I’d add one more point: a 4pm start allows me to take my son, aged 19 months, to a game without interrupting his nap. If you don’t have kids, know this: Don’t mess with the nap schedule. You’ll regret it later (typically, in the middle of the night).
Saturday was a nice September day – about 18C – and the roof was open. It’s worth noting that an open Skydome on an 18C evening is not at all like an open Skydome in an 18C late afternoon. It was hot, hot enough to make one regret wearing a dark blue jersey over a T-shirt. Nonetheless, it’s been a long time since I was at a game in September with the ‘dome open, so that was a welcome surprise.
And so was the crowd, a fairly vocal gathering of 30,000. Yes, Baltimore is a playoff contender and was last year, but I don’t think those 30,000 seats were all sold before the season started. It’s heartening to see that the Jays are still drawing enthusiastic support, despite the miserable way the season has turned out.
I didn’t expect my son to make it through the whole game, but fortunately, it was a “Junior Jays Saturday” and that kept him occupied. Full disclosure: Up until yesterday, I had never noticed anything different about “Junior Jays Saturdays” versus a regular Saturday game. I had heard the announcements about kids being able to run the bases after a game, but nothing beyond that. Anyway, he had a blast… there were games, photo opportunities, a colouring station, and motorcycles for kids to sit on. Good times for him, even if he only watched about 1 ½ innings. If you’re hesitant to bring your toddler-who-won’t-sit-still to a game, give it a try on a Junior Jays Saturday. Just don’t expect the adults to be able to see the whole game – Mrs Roberto missed most of the game keeping an eye on him. Junior Jays is not daycare.
For myself, I moseyed around various levels of the stadium, hanging out with my little guy through the mid-to-late innings, and wound up standing behind s. 128 for the final inning. Esmil Rogers looked pretty damn shaky at times, but his 6 innings of 3-run, 7-K ball against a team fighting for the playoffs tells me a lot more than his 7.2 shutout innings of the punchless Twins did. Casey Janssen keeps on racking up saves – 30 for 32 now. And Colby Rasmus hit his second home run in as many games, cementing my impression of him as a pretty valuable player.
Gibby playing 3 centrefielders (from L to R: Pillar, Rasmus, Gose) in the 9th inning was a thing of beauty. Now, if only Pillar and Gose could hit.