It’s incredible how quickly things can change in the matter of one week. Last Sunday, the Blue Jays narrowly clinched a playoff spot in the dying moments of their game against the Red Sox.
One week later, the Blue Jays are now one win away from returning to the ALCS. Baseball has a funny way of working out sometimes, doesn’t it? One week, you’re this close to missing out on October baseball, and the next, you’re almost one of the final four teams.
As the series shifts back to Toronto with the Blue Jays up 2-0 and Aaron Sanchez on the mound, all the momentum is in favour of the Jays. They’ve knocked around the Rangers’ two best pitchers and Texas is resorting to throwing Colby Lewis out there to save their season.
This series isn’t over by any means – as it wasn’t over when the Texas Rangers went up 2-0 on the road last year and the Blue Jays came back to win three straight – but you have to like the Blue Jays’ chances to win at least one of the next three games.
Due to a few recent developments this morning, there are a few things to keep in mind, whether you’re going to the game in person or witnessing it in TV.
No more tall cans for the rest of the playoffs
This news came down earlier today and really isn’t all that surprising, but after the incident during the Wild Card game on Tuesday involving a fan chucking a beer can at an Orioles player, beer will now be served in plastic cups for the rest of the playoffs.
This is now the second consecutive year in which beer cans have been outlawed at the Rogers Centre. Last year, tall cans were removed from the 500 Level after Game 5 of the ALDS. And at this rate, it’s moving towards a complete ban of cans from now on at the Rogers Centre.
Obviously, that’s going to mean pouring every single beer into a cup (or more draught sales), which is going to increase serving exponentially. So if you’re at the game tonight, expect even longer lines at the beer stands.
And when they say “plastic cups”, one can only assume this is what the Blue Jays are referring to.
"All beer will be poured into cups throughout the stadium for the remainder of the Postseason." pic.twitter.com/bLP7njPDvy
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) October 9, 2016
The pre-game ceremony starts at 7:10pm
For many, Game 3 of the ALDS coincides with their family’s Thanksgiving dinner celebration, so make sure you give thanks to your family for rearranging dinner to fit in tonight’s Blue Jays game.
According to the Blue Jays, the on-field festivities will begin at 7:10pm. I wonder if the Blue Jays might unveil a Wild Card banner atop the Rogers Centre.
Not all MLB teams acknowledge a Wild Card win with a banner, and I agree it may seem a little lame to fly a flag for a winner-take-all Wild Card game. However, banners have been so sparse at the Rogers Centre for the last two decades that I’m kind of okay with it.
With it being a home playoff game, that also likely means a “celebrity” ceremonial first pitch at the Rogers Centre. Since the Blue Jays had a parade of former players toss out the first pitches last season, one wonders who they may have tabbed for tonight’s game.
Of course, part of the subway is shut down
It wouldn’t be a weekend in Toronto without a major event going on downtown unless there was a TTC closure. Due to construction, St. George to Pape will be closed on the Bloor-Danforth Line.
This will likely throw a wrench into the plans of anyone in the East end, so schedule accordingly and make alternate transportation plans if you were anticipating taking the subway down to the Rogers Centre.
The Roof will be closed
As cool as it was to experience an open-air playoff game in Toronto in October, the roof at the Rogers Centre will be closed for tonight’s tilt between the Blue Jays and Rangers.
With the temperature forecasted at around 10 degrees close to first pitch, there’s no chance the dome would be open for tonight’s game. Remember, the sweet spot for operation of the roof at the Rogers Centre is 10 degrees, any less than that and the Blue Jays say “it could lead easily to mechanical failure”.
With it being the postseason, the decision is out of the Blue Jays’ hands anyway as MLB dictates whether the Rogers Centre roof will stay open or closed.