Fanbase Friday Vol. 3: A Mix Between Ocean’s 11 and Beverly Hills Ninja

Welcome back to Fanbase Friday. This week we’re checking in on our friends to the north. Here to tell us about Blue Jays twitter is @yeahiroy, from twitter dot com. Let’s get started.

TD: How long have you been active in Blue Jays twitter?

Roy: I’ve been a Jays fan for a long time, and followed along in the comments section of blogs through college. By the time I graduated and moved from Buffalo, that’s about when sports twitter was really taking off. So around 2012. It was seriously self-deprecating for a while until the 2015 and 2016 ALCS runs, then Jays twitter started to blow up.

TD: How would you describe Blue Jays Twitter?

Roy: The great thing about Jays Twitter is it represents all of Canada and parts of US (like me.) You might think its “Canada Nice” but they have the tendency to gang up on anyone that badmouths Canada or the Jays, or any player confused by milk in a bag (link: https://www.mlb.com/cut4/blue-jays-j-a-happ-doesn-t-understand-why-canada-sells-bagged-milk-c189712654). Overall it’s just insanely fun on the good days, with banter, puns, jokes, and continuous dunking on the Baltimore Orioles (Trash Birds) and the Texas Rangers (the sons of Jose Bautista). Demographically, it reflects Canada, especially the GTA (Greater Toronto Area) and Ontario.

TD: Does it live up to the standard of Canadian niceness?

Roy: See above. There’s limits. There’s lines you don’t cross. But there’s also a certain sect that despise anything American, and I see it in their interactions with me and other US Jays fans. Overall Blue Jays twitter is great, and without bias a Top-5 MLB online community. I haven’t been to Toronto since I became involved in Jays Twitter, but I’ve been invited for beers at Left Field and Bellwoods Brewery and ramen throughout the city by a handful of people there, and I am confident they’d follow through if I managed to drag myself down I-90 and the QEW to the Skydome.

TD: Can you fill us in on some of the best memes in Blue Jays twitter?

Roy: There’s been a recent shitstorm over making puns from player’s names, especially Bo Bichette, but we’ll stay away from that one right now. Jays fans are clever and they’ll bounce on an opportunity to meme up any moment. Reese McGuire rubbed a lot of fans the wrong way in Spring Training this year, and resulted in an explosion of memes across Jays Twitter, all in regards to the catcher’s, uhh…gear usage. I’ll spare you the erotic details, there’s no shortage of media material out there. [Editor’s note: If you do not understand this reference, for your sake, I beg you not to look it up]

https://twitter.com/The_Road_Guy/status/1287131732928614405
If you want memes, though, you have to hit up @CaptMaverick85. He’s quick with the photoshop and video edits, suspiciously so, even. I’ve had one good meme in my day, really representing that self-deprecating personality of so many fans: https://twitter.com/yeahiroy/status/853067706274373633?s=20
Until today (7/24) the Jays were essentially homeless, so we saw a ton of mock-ups for 2020-only Jays logos:
https://twitter.com/ToddRadom/status/1285922993869393921
https://twitter.com/ToddRadom/status/1286325554220802049
https://twitter.com/eyezeezeeoh/status/1286362184738635776

But in the end we found a home in Buffalo:
https://twitter.com/MarcSessler/status/1287510612835106817

TD: Every year an invasion of Canadian locusts descends upon T-Mobile Park, laying waste to all in their path. Ok maybe not but we need to talk about this. It makes Mariners fans lose their minds every year. How is this pilgrimage viewed within the Blue Jays community? Do you all embrace the trolling of the hometown fans, or is it purely about the opportunity to watch them play there? Does the reception from Mariners fans ever feel legitimately hostile?

Roy: Even though most of the Blue Jays base is normally asleep for those games, we celebrate this series like a holiday. It’s a chance for a lot of Ontario residents to visit the West Coast, and some will even visit Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles while they’re out there and just follow the Jays for a week. It was never intended to slight Seattle fans in any way, but I always see a few tweets about the locals being upset that another team takes over their stadium. Seattle is so much easier of a trip for someone from British Columbia, so it feels like a home game to them.
I’ve never made the trip, but it’s high on the list, so take @bkuhn‘s word for it:

Living in Western Canada, we get tv/radio/news coverage of the Blue Jays like they are OUR team, despite the distance between us and the Rogers Centre. My grandpa was from eastern Canada, and he was my introduction to Blue Jays fandom, but the coverage and ease of access to what happens with the team made it easy to be a committed fan. As a Vancouver area resident, Safeco (I still struggle with T-Mobile) is the only major league ballpark remotely close to me. It’s a gorgeous park, and I LOVE to go to games there, regardless of the opponent. However, I always plan a trip down the I-5 whenever the Blue Jays roll into town, as it’s a rare opportunity to see my favourite team in person, as well as an opportunity to take in a truly unique fan experience. A sea of blue takes over the entire stadium, and the in game atmosphere is a level above what you’d experience anywhere else. Western Canada Blue Jays fans get 3 games a year to support their favourite team in person, compared to the typical 81 for a home fan. This helps elevate the atmosphere and emotional attachment to each pitch, as Blue Jays fans give it the same level of importance that a playoff game would carry. I was sitting behind the Jays dugout when Jose Bautista took Edwin Diaz deep in the 9th to tie the game up 1-1, and it was one of the most goosebump-worthy sports atmospheres I’ve ever been lucky enough to experience. The first base camera had the perfect perspective of Jose (the GOAT), his backwards trot, and a blur of blue all rising out of our seats, arms in the air, celebrating such a high stakes moment. Last year, I was fortunate enough to take my then 2 year old son to his first ever major league game. Blue Jays coach John Schneider gave him a baseball, and he was beaming. It was such a special father/son moment that I will always cherish, something that wouldn’t have been an option if I didn’t have the opportunity to make the quick 3 hour drive to Seattle. I will miss the opportunity to do so this year, especially as my son is now 3 and would appreciate it even more. I can’t wait until August 13th, 2021 when I will get my next opportunity to see the Blue Jays in person, and soak in the pride that Western Canada has for this team.

TD: What are your thoughts on the team’s official twitter account?

Roy: They’ve improved so much in recent years, and they executed a really good en Español account as well, @losazulejos. They became a meme themselves last season with this gem:
https://ftw.usatoday.com/2019/04/toronto-blue-jays-twitter-justin-smoak-fan-owned
They’ve become much more interactive, especially in recent months – probably out of boredom and lack of news to report. Their Instagram is great – it’s essentially a highlight reel of Bo, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Lourdes Gurriel Jr. – as it should be.

TD: Which AL East Fanbase is the worst online?

Roy: It’s the Yankees and there’s no argument against that. There’s some Jays fans, especially Maritimers where their ranges overlap, that hate the Red Sox almost as much, but it’s not even close. Yankee fans appear in coach buses for every summer series in Toronto, and seem to think the city is located on some godforsaken rock in Hudson Bay – which they’ve also never heard of. If the atMLB account posts a Vlad Jr. home run, just watch as the “Judge better” replies roll in. It’s nauseating and awfully unoriginal.

TD: A lot of times fans have a fringe/role player that they all latch onto. Does Blue Jays twitter have one of those?

Roy: There always seems to be one, but since 2016 they’ve essentially stocked their roster with those guys. Munenori Kawasaki was a tremendous personality on some poor teams, and we rode him hard. Recently, Freddy Galvis, Eric Sogard and Ezequiel Carrera have filled that roll, unfortunately Galvis was the club’s best player not named Lourdes or Bo in 2019, and he was gone at the deadline to similar fandom in Cincinnati. In 2020, I can see Santiago Espinal becoming that guy.

TD: Is there one who drives Blue Jays twitter collectively nuts?

Roy: This is a tough one right now. I myself have a miniature meltdown every time known baseball Adonis Vladimir Guerrero Jr. pounds an eight-hopper at 105 MPH to the shortstop, but the biggest complaint is the team’s brutal outfield. In their Jays tenure, Brandon Drury and Derek Fisher have been abysmal, Randal Grichuk is buddies with Aubrey Huff on Twitter and fights with Marcus Stroman (a devastating sin to exactly 50% of Jays Twitter), Billy McKinney shouldn’t be in the MLB and Anthony Alford looks like the greatest player on the continent until he sees a bender. It’s rough right now.

TD: You have 24 hours to pull off the heist of the century, and one Blue Jay can help you. Who’s it gonna be?

Roy: There’s a Blue Jays prospect, Alejandro Kirk, who has risen quickly through the minors with some eye-catching stats. He’s also very…round, and Blue Jays twitter loves their rotund Jays. We know so little about him, so we have nothing to do but dream on him. In this heist scenario, I’m seeing a mix between Oceans’ 11 and Beverly Hills Ninja.

TD: Same question, but a member of Blue Jays Twitter?

Roy: This one is tough. But I would have to pick @RyanDifrancesco. On nearly every topic, whether it be the Jays, minor leagues, or even literature, we’re on the same page. I think the similarity there would help that mini group dynamic, and the conflicting Irish (me)/Italian (Ryan) stereotypes would lead to some wonderful banter. Add in Alejandro Kirk from the previous question and that’s an unstoppable crew.

TD: Give us 5 must-follow accounts on Blue Jays Twitter.

Roy: Writing and analysis: @AndrewStoeten and @DrewGROF. Back in the origin days, they were our fearless leaders. @Baseball_Jenn is also a terrific baseball writer and can be taken much more seriously than the rest of us.
Jokes, banter, etc.: @Lesley_NOPE, @The_Road_Guy
Capybaras: @pugganoche
Crazy Complex Stats and Theories: @jeffquattro
(5 is actually 7 with the exchange rate.)

TD: I know nothing about exchange rates, but I did enjoy this exchange. Thanks Roy. See you next week, everybody!

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