How many Overbays would be enough?
This almost slipped between the cracks, but Sunday after the ball game the Blue Jays held their annual barbecue for season-ticket holders and, eventually, the team came out to sit at a long table and sign autographs for what looked like a very long line.
Four or five of the Jays, including Vernon Wells and Ricky Romero, came out wearing a Lyle Overbay uniform top turned around, with his name and number on the front.
Overbay, as everyone knows, is wildly overdue to break out of a terrible slump. He also had made a costly error in Sunday’s ninth inning during the eventual 3-1 loss to the Angels. One Blue jay official suggested this was a good team-type thing, that players were rallying around a teammate going through tough times.
The cynical among us thought it was their way of maybe avoiding signing too many autographs. Anyway, with all the whining and moaning about Blue Jays attendance, there weren’t even 15,000 in the park Sunday. Not to belabour this point, because these things go in cycles, but Baltimore drew 9,000 at home and Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, they didn’t even draw 11,000 – and nobody is saying the teams are finished there.
Go back to the 90s and the three toughest tickets in the league were Toronto, which sold out every night; Baltimore, after Camden Yards was opened; and Cleveland, which sold out the Jake constantly. They’re down now, but they’ll come back when the teams do.
And if you really want to cry about lousy attendance, wait and see what the Jays draw for these games this week at home to the Kansas City Royals. It won’t be pretty.