Embarrassing incident in Wednesday's game brought out the worst in Blue Jays fans
By Eric Treuden
When the Toronto Blue Jays' home ballpark, the Rogers Centre, underwent some massive renovations over this past offseason, one major change may have not been thought through too well.
The bullpens, both home and away, are now much, much closer to the fans. For Blue Jays relievers, this means that the players will now be practically face-to-face with fans of the team, perhaps making in-game socializing a bit easier. Unfortunately, this means the same for opposing teams. In Wednesday's game, it was the Tigers pitchers who were exposed to the worst of Jays fans.
In the bottom of the ninth inning, right in the middle of the dramatic comeback the Blue Jays were putting on, Tigers reliever Trey Wingenter was just not getting it done on the mound. AJ Hinch, a longtime manager who has remained a respected figure despite the Astros cheating scandal, had left-hander Chasen Shreve warming up. With Wingenter melting down, Hinch made the call to the bullpen to bring Shreve in.
While Shreve was exiting the bullpen, he had to walk past a group of fans who were now closer than ever to him. One fan in particular took it upon himself to scream directly into the face of Shreve, pointing at him and quite clearly throwing insults his way. The pitcher took the high route, unlike Anthony Rendon of the Angels, and continued his walk. Ballpark security did not intervene (although they certainly should have), as the fan followed Shreve on his walk to the field and was red in the face screaming at the reliever.
Here is a video posted on Reddit of the incident. Completely uncalled for. Clearly, we are not the only ones to have caught this ridiculous incident.
Fans get rowdy at games all the time. Blue Jays fans are especially passionate, but this display was just downright disappointing. Hats off to Shreve, who did an exceptional job of just ignoring it and moving on. We as a collective unit need to do what we can to avoid future incidents like this. Opposition or not, these players do not deserve a drunken tirade like this being screamed into their faces.