Fan Appreciation Day at the Rogers Centre Sunday on the final day of the Blue Jays season could have been better, at least where I sit up in the 500 level. I won't divulge the section but I'll provide a hint _ the first three numbers are 517.
It wasn't packed up there - crowd was announced as 44,156 - but it was a lot busier than usual and the lineups for the concessions showed it.
They were long, real long on the 500-level during the game. Don't know why it should take so long to pay high prices for so-so stuff but it did.
A man in my section with two youngsters was gone a long time for a trip to the concessions and came back to say that after finally working their way to the front of the line they were told that there were no hot dogs left. I wasn't sure whether to be happy for sad for the fellow. But you can understand his frustration.
It was another lovely day though, one of those days that makes you wonder where the season went - the players get younger and the season goes faster every year _ and wish that we could have just a few more days, providing the weather stayed this way. And some of those in attendance thought it appropriate to boo general manager J.P. Ricciardi when he appeared on the JumboTron.
That's understandable since upon his hiring the club's president and CEO Paul Godfrey immediately gave him a buildup to the point where no one could live up those expectations. And he certainly hasn't.
It was an interesting season if you follow baseball and not merely the Blue Jays. And it wasn't such a bad season for the Blue Jays, considering the injuries to some key players. The injuries aren't an excuse, they're a reason. There were some unrealistic expectations for this team coming out of spring training, anyway. But if the development of a few of the young pitchers this season carries over to next season that would be a positive.
On Sunday, the fans also booed some as A.J. Burnett pitched himself into a sixth-inning departure But as he left, he was given a surprisingly warm send off, considering that he is a career underachiever who can turn any 0-2 count into a 3-2 count in a twinkling.
Perhaps the crowd identifies with him. You know he takes a summer holiday every year just like them, something like that.
Or perhaps they appreciated his undefeated participation in the between-innings Chilis race when he was on the disabled list.
Don't take the general manager's word for it that he intends to stand pat with this team. If he does it is because he has to. This is just a guess but you would have to think that of there was any interest in, say, Troy Glaus or Burnett from other teams, the Blue Jays would be listening.