We were ready to go nuts about the invasion of Rogers Centre by Red Sox Nation this weekend, and were in a bit of a Costanzaesque rage about all of the goofballs strutting into the stadium in their Red Sox regalia.
But a funny thing happened in the midst of this weekend's home opening weekend: the Red Sox fans made it better.
Don't get us wrong. We're not going to turncoat on our team, nor do we let Paul Godfrey and Kevin Elster's dumber brother off the hook for the arrogant and short sighted way that they went about selling tickets to Red Sox fans before their own. In the long run, this franchise will be judged not for merely putting bums in the seats, but for reigniting the passion and interest in the game within their own community.
If there massive amount of powder blue and retro gear around the stadium this weekend was any indication, there are a lot of people who are hungering for those glory days to return. Unfortunately for the Blue Jays front office, you can only sell nostalgia for so long.
But back to the Red Sox and their fans. There are two essential reason that we observed and that we can't deny about why it was good to host Red Sox Nation this weekend.
The first was that in spite of all that we had heard and had expected, they were by and large respectful. Most of them that we encountered at the stadium and around town were polite, and their worst crime committed (so far as we know) was cheering for their team.
Which brings us to second reason it was good to have them there. Whenever Red Sox fans cheered, Blue Jays fans cheered louder. When the applause would rise for Papi or Manny or Youuuk, the boo-birds would drown them out. And when big moments occurred, the crowd this weekend was as loud and engaged as we have heard in a long time. If it takes having a few thousand of the other team's fans in the house to offend our sensibilities and get Toronto baseball spectators off their god damned hands for minute or two, then we're for it. (With reservations.)
Then again, if the Red Sox had swept the Jays and we had to spend all weekend hearing about it, we might have a different feeling tonight.