I will be missing my first Toronto Blue Jays home opener in ten years. This has only partially sunk in, and it still hurts more than a sharp icicle being jabbed through my eye socket into my brain’s heart.
Unless you’re a Mets fan, home openers occur at that point in the season when things are still hopeful. No matter how horribly your team falls apart in August, and they always do, you can enjoy the promise of another season that hasn’t fallen by the fucking wayside quite yet.
Even in a rebuilding year, there’s still hope. Travis Snider hasn’t burned out. Brandon Morrow hasn’t had to visit Dr. James Andrews. Jason Frasor is still a commodity on the trade market. Lyle Overbay hasn’t grounded into a double play with the bases loaded. Cito Gaston hasn’t . . . okay, well there are still a lot of reasons to be optimistic.
We’ll have the next few months to gripe and groan over disappointing baseball, unexpected injuries and horrible managerial decisions. For the next 24 hours, we should focus on the home opener, and the delusional hope that, just like an eel, creeps up inside all of us, finding entrances wherever they can, getting right up inside us, squirming around, boring through our anus, through our tummy and through our mind.
Which brings us to the first point.
In all likelihood, this season is going to be a wash. Take advantage of the fact that the Jays currently sit atop the AL East. It’s true. Check the fucking standings. And take a mental picture because the chance may not come again.
For some of us, there isn’t much more to live for than sitting on a hard plastic chair with a cold beer in hand, watching pitchers from the stretch, listening to the crack of a bat and telling the racial minority in front of you to simmer down after they stand up and shout for every single motherfucking routine fly ball as though it’s a home run.
As one of my friends once said in the sixth inning of a home opener a few years back, “You can go to a bar with a field, or you can go to a bar.” I’m not sure what he meant either, but I’m fairly confident that it best encapsulates how you should treat your team’s first home game of the year.
Which brings us to the next point.
Pre/Post Game Libation
If you weren’t already aware, there happens to be a little brewery that sits south east of the Rogers Centre and across Bremner Boulevard that I like to call Steam Whistle. Upon walking into the brewery you may initially confuse it with heaven because you will be given two free samples of beer.
Smarten up. There’s no such thing as heaven, and as a godless pagan, you should know this already.
In addition to two glasses of beer, the brewery employees will try to talk you into taking a tour of their workplace.
Don’t bother with the tour, but do bother with picking up a six pack of beer for a very reasonable price.
I’m not about to advise breaking the law, so I’m not going to tell you to walk around to a nearby park and discreetly drink your recently purchased bottles. And since I’m not going to tell you that, I don’t have to emphasize that for everyone’s sake, discretion is key.
Speaking of discretion, I tend to avoid the whole 500 people get-togethers with matching T-shirts that have a play on words with BJs. It’s incredibly lame, and like most group activities with men, it inevitably results in homo erotic behaviour, which is quickly overcompensated for by making random women feel uncomfortable.
As usual, the bars around Blue Jays Way are going to be a clusterfuck of first time drunks and total amateurs.
If you can’t afford the public intoxication ticket and actually want to get served, check out Bar Wellington at Portland and Wellington. It’s just far enough away to avoid the foot traffic, but close enough that you won’t have to get a taxi or jump on the TTC to get to the game.
Stop by after the game as well and enjoy a celebratory Caesar with a pickled bean and some serious hot sauce. The healthy dose of Tabasco sauce rids your mouth of the stale aftertaste of the ten beers you drank from draught machines that haven’t been cleaned since the Jays were last in the playoffs.
Don’t Be Total Douches To Ushers
Let’s be honest, you’re probably going to be incoherently drunk by the third inning. Pretending otherwise is about as effective as hoping that teaching abstinence will curb teenage pregnancy.
However, your fortification doesn’t mean you have to be a total douche to the usher who asks you not to stand up on your seat and holler “Who gives a fuck?” at Alex Rios in front of the two six year olds sitting in your section.
Yes, a minority of the ushers and usherettes (purrlo!) are total power trippin’ cunts and cuntettes, but the majority are fans just like us. They’re already going to have to tolerate a season’s worth of college kids getting drunk for the very first time. Don’t be a shit in their cut.
Avoid Physical Confrontation
I know what you’re thinking. Pacifism is for pussies. Well, you’re wrong meathead.
Are you seriously in kindergarten or are you just not clever enough to think up derogatory comments on the fly? Only the stupidest fucks in the universe prefer fists to words. Don’t be one of them.
It’s a given that there are going to be dickheads getting wasted at the game. I’m pretty sure it’s in Proverbs or something: wherever people are gathered, dickheads shall be present too. Don’t be surprised if you feel yourself getting the Matt Stairs eyes over some douche bag with manicured facial hair acting like it’s 28 Days Later, and he’s the only person on earth.
Steady. Hold. Steady. Unless he’s insulting your girlfriend, mother or sister, stay calm. Call him out on his plucked eyebrows. Laugh at how he’s forced his girlfriend to look like a tranny just to keep up with his cosmetics purchases. Ask him if the rest of the cast of Jersey Shore is as stupid as he is.
Just don’t get all mouth breathing Australopithecus and challenge him to a fight.
Yo, it’s actually not cool to run onto the field during the game.
But if you really didn’t get enough attention as a child and you enjoy getting it in the most ill-advised ways possible, don’t be half-assed about it, take off ALL your clothes . . . and can you please be an incredibly attractive hot chick, and not a frumpy whale.
Read The Drunk Jays Fans Guides
Look, it’s likely been at least six months since you were at your last game. Even the best of us will be a little bit rusty. Fortunately, we’ve got you covered.
Check out the frame to the right of this post. You should find all the information you need to start your baseball season on the right foot.
Skip the guide to sneaking down because even the mightiest DJF can’t pull that shit at the home opener, and the reading guide was done soberly and ill advisedly . . . and the interweb guide isn’t really all that relevant, nor is spelling Rzepczynski . . . but the rest, yeah, the rest will tell you all you need to know from where to park your car, what beer to buy, what to do when you catch a foul ball and what to do with your foul balls.
I certainly didn’t get ahead in life by remembering shit. And besides, I know it’s a lot to take in, and the only thing you’re going to be retaining tonight will be alcohol, so here are some quick reminders, you can copy down or print off:
Think before you wave.
If you’re going to drive, park on Front St. but west of the Dome where you don’t have to pay.
If you’re taking TTC, get off at the Bremner stop on the Spadina Street Car. You’re going to want to get off at Front, but don’t do it, man.
Don’t use a glove to catch a foul ball. Catch it with your bare hand and give it to a nearby kid, a single woman, or the girlfriend of a man you want to emasculate.
Don’t lose your shit for a free T-shirt.
Unless you like warm beer, don’t buy beer from the Harry Potter-looking tallboy peddler. His arms are weak and so he only carries half the ice of the other vendors.
Buy your program from the Falling Down dude who is wearing the shorts with semen stains.
Bring cash. The cash machines at the Rogers Centre run on a server that makes FAX machine sounds.
At the end of the game, use the exit ramps near section 108 or section 135 to get the fuck out of there.
Read it, learn it and love it.
As always, don’t you dare fucking pass out!