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The latest tempest in a teapot surrounds the ad that appeared in some papers in town this weekend (since I'm in Hamilton, I only get the Hamilton paper, so I missed it). Apparently the ad encourages fans to boo Hideki Matsui on opening day, and it's got Joe Torre's dander up.

Well, I don't know what to say about this, especially since I haven't yet seen the ad. All I can say is, I think it's a good thing to remind people that Matsui is in town, that it's one of the most anticipated unveilings since Geraldo opened Al Capone's vault, and if you want to tell people in twenty years' time that you were there, you need to get off your butt and get down to the ballpark. I hope people don't actually boo him (also, it would not be taken well in Japan) but I hope they go to see him strike out against Roy Halladay.

I suspect that it's part and parcel of the team's ad campaign, which has been rather witty and (I think) effective. It's good to show Tosca and the players off, to make the players the stars of the show.

Now if the ad had encouraged us to boo Derek Jeter... *that* is something we can all get behind.
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_Jonny German - Sunday, March 30 2003 @ 11:59 PM EST (#92001) #
The Boo-O-Meter: My game plan for opening day.

U.S. National Anthem: Very reserved applause.
Canadian National Anthem: Loud applause.
Halladay: Huge applause.
Jeter: Boo.
Giambi: BOO.
Matsui: Slight applause
Mondesi: Laughter.
All Blue Jay hitters, especially Wells, Hinske, Phelphs, Woodward, Hudson: Loud applause.
Any sighting or mention of David Wells: BOO!
Any sighting or mention of J.P.Ricciardi: Big applause.
God Bless America: Respectful silence. I don't agree with the decision to play this song or with the war itself, but I'm not going to be ignorant about something that means a lot to a lot of Americans.
Escobar: Applause. Let's encourage him to do well and get a good return when traded.
Game Over: Loud cheering for the Blue Jays first win of the season.

Did I miss any major game events? Differences of opinion on the above?
_King Rat - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 12:34 AM EST (#92002) #
I'd reverse the Clemens and Wells boos, simply because I find David Wells to be the most annoying thing in the history of things, and I wouldn't applaud Matsui, because it drives me nuts when opposing players get applause for anything other than the extraordinary (Cal Ripken was always a trial) but it looks like we would be doing more or less the same things, were I going to be at the game.
Coach - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 08:49 AM EST (#92003) #
When the crowd at the open practice spotted Wells, they booed. They were curious and respectful about Matsui; he generated a buzz no matter what he did. Excellent hitter; I was expecting a 50 HR guy to be mostly about pulling the ball, but he is more like a bigger, stronger Ichiro -- hits it where it's pitched, uses the entire field.

I had never seen Jim Bloom, and was confused when he was absolutely swarmed by the press, until I found out who he was. Last night, in one of those clips on TV, Bloom said the ad "is like a Warner Brothers cartoon" -- not meant to be taken seriously. Duh; the sense of humour is what makes Baseball North a very clever and enjoyable campaign. However, while it may draw a few extra fans or stimulate discussion around office water coolers, giving opponents something to post on the clubhouse bulletin board isn't doing the Jays players any favours.

Prediction: Clemens will try to get Phelps out with Mr. Splitty; he's afraid to throw Josh another fastball strike, because the last two (combined) travelled over 900 feet. There's an alternative to booing -- the sarcastic cheer. Everybody: "Rog-errr, Rog-errr..."
Dave Till - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 09:51 AM EST (#92004) #
Phelps is smart enough to adjust at the plate. If Clemens tries to get Phelps out with Mr. Splitty, Mr. Splitty is going to meet Mr. Fourth Deck.

I agree with the other posters on this thread: why boo Matsui when there are more enjoyable targets at hand? Booing Clemens will be fun, but I fear it will be counterproductive: he feeds off that sort of thing. Boomer, on the other hand, has rabbit ears.
_Lanny Durham - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 10:23 AM EST (#92005) #
Jim Bloom, the marketing director, is an embarrassment. He should be fired for the Matsui ad, as apparently he will not do the honorable thing by resigning. In some respects, it's a relief to know that Bloom is an American; the embarrassment caused by this ad would be even greater had it been created by a Canadian.

Suggesting fans boo Wells or Clemens, that's fine. They brought that on with their own comments about Toronto and its fans. But targeting Matsui is "bush league".
_King Rat - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 10:38 AM EST (#92006) #

He shouldn't have to resign for this. Sure, it wasn't a great joke. But it wasn't really over the line, and the guy's other work has been almost uniformly excellent. Besides which, I'd bet that nothing is going to happen with regard to Matsui. Clemens and Wells will get earfuls, but I can't see Jays fans booing Matsui just for the hell of it. I'm more worried about idiots booing God Bless America in the seventh. I don't think that the Jays should be compelled to play it, but now that they have been, people shouldn't make our country look like a land of idiots while simultaneously insulting more than half of the team they claim to support.
_Mike H. - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 10:45 AM EST (#92007) #
Jim Bloom, the marketing director, is an embarrassment. He should be fired...

I'm not so sure about that. The ad has drawn buzz, it even made ESPN's baseball page. When was the last time the Jays made that kind of press? Being in the States, I haven't had the chance to see any of the ads that have been featured this offseason, but from what I've heard in the Box, they've received pretty good reviews. Yes, there are other, bigger targets (Jumbo Wells pun intended) that the Jays should boo, but from previous experiences in SkyDome, the marketing department should try to get anything out of the crowd.

Bloom's been doing his job well so far, which is trying to sell a team that will most likely not make the playoffs this year. Let's not get on his case too much for one lapse in judgement.
_Jonny German - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 10:49 AM EST (#92008) #
Good call Coach, let's give Roger the Roggg-errr. I'll represent for the 200 level and you and Spicol have the 500 covered... Anybody available to whip up the 100 level crowd?

As for why I would Boo him more than Wells, it has a lot to do with the backhanded respect implied by booing... Where Wells pitched well in Toronto, Clemens was the best we've ever seen in a Toronto uniform. Where Wells left a bad taste in leaving, Clemens left us feeling like something had crawled into our mouths and died (to paraphrase Calvin & Hobbes). Wells wants to be a bad guy and will do anything to get attention; Clemens refuses to stand behind his own actions or give a straight answer. Wells is a clown; Clemens is a snake.

I wonder if it wouldn't bother Wells more if we completley ignored him, but since that's not going to happen I'll happily join the booing.

I agree that cheering for the opposition just for showing up is lame, but Matsui is arriving in special circumstances. Does anybody not respect what he's done in Japan? Until he stands in against our man Halladay, he's not yet the enemy and it's "Welcome to the American League, Welcome to Canada.". Then he waggles the bat and Halladay sets, and it's "Now eat some heat and head back to New York with your sorry tail between your legs".
_Mick - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 11:29 AM EST (#92009) #
My goodness. Such venom directed at your friendly neighbors to the south. I'm shocked. Shocked! It's not as if the Yankee fans ever lord their 26 World Series Titles over the rest of baseball. is it? Or the 42 Hall of Famers, that never comes up. Can't we all just get along? C'mon, Canada, follow the lead of the good and friendly people of the Empire State. Applaud politely, greet the opposition with a smile and take yer whippin'.
Mike D - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 12:04 PM EST (#92010) #
Mick, let's not forget Mystique, Aura, Tony Womack and Rally Monkey.
_King Rat - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 12:15 PM EST (#92011) #

I suppose applauding Matsui during pregame introductions is something I can understand, just as applause for Ripken in the introductions was okay. It's applause for the other team as they bat in the fourth that drives me nuts.

As for the relative loathsomeness of Wells and Clemens...I dunno. They're both on the very short list of people I heckle/boo at games, which currently comprises five people (the others are John Rocker, Bobby Cox and Bill Madlock. Obviously, the last one doesn't come up much.) I just think that Clemens has not gone quite as far out of his way to belittle Toronto fans, and the fact that he's a better pitcher and more deserving of grudging respect also tips the balance. For me anyway.
Pistol - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 01:01 PM EST (#92012) #
Don't rile the Yankees up. They might get pissed and not allow the Jays to dump another salary on them. Of course, the Jays won't have salaries to dump pretty soon, so.......

Yankees suck!
_jason - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 01:06 PM EST (#92013) #
Whenever I see a Jays/Yanks game at the Dome the most enjoyable part for me is being around the NY fans that have come up for the game. They are the greatest hecklers I have ever heard, the opposite of the very reserved Jays fans.

It sounds like the NY fans are going to have multiple reasons to get riled up. This game promises to have some of the best heckling I will ever hear.
Dave Till - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 04:45 PM EST (#92014) #
Mick: the Jays would have had a better shot at World Series titles recently if they'd had zillions of dollars to spend like the Yankees do.


In the Canadian spirit of compromise, here's a statistic we can both enjoy:

World Series Titles Since 1990:
New York Yankees 4
Toronto Blue Jays 2
all other (and hence lesser) teams: 1 or less

Have fun on opening day. One of us is guaranteed to be happier than the other by the end of today, but that's what baseball's all about.
Pistol - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 07:40 PM EST (#92015) #
Clemens sure has balls. Throwing at Josh Phelps to load the bases in the first inning. Of course the Yankee announcers said that 'it got away from him', ignoring Phelps launching some bombs against him last year.


Nice to see Halladay get one back. Of course hitting Mondesi on the butt isn't going to discourage Clemens as much as throwing one high and tight to Jeter.

So would Clemens throw at players as much if he was in the NL?
_Mike H. - Monday, March 31 2003 @ 08:21 PM EST (#92016) #
Clemens would probably be Clemens, even in the National League. Remember the "payback" that Shaun Estes gave him in the much anticipated rematch of the Mets and Yanks.
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