“Today will be the best night of my life.”
That was the tweet sent out by rookie centre fielder and Mississauga, Ont., native Dalton Pompey prior to the Blue Jays home opener on Monday.
Pompey would have been better off sending the message directly to Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi, because he obviously didn’t get the memo.
Although there is nothing that could fully take away from Pompey’s thrill of realizing his boyhood dream, Odorizzi sucked the life out of the Rogers Centre right from the get-go.
The Rays starter went eight innings, allowing only two hits.
Sitting in the outfield I didn’t have the best view of the pitch Odorizzi calls ‘The Thing’, but it is apparently some type of change-up-split-finger wizardry that he specifically acquired to “clean up messes.”
On this night, the only thing Odorizzi had to clean up were the broken hearts of 48,000 deprived Jays fans.
Too bad it couldn’t clean up the mess that was the Rogers Centre turf, but that’s a whole other issue.
In the end, Pompey probably left the stadium feeling a bit dejected, going 0-4 with one strikeout.
I shared his sentiments and even decided to forgo my customary post-game trip to the Loose Moose Tavern - too depressed for any sort of nightcap (not that I needed it) after the Jays 2-1 loss.
To make matters worse I didn’t even get to see the only run the Blue Jays scored.
In the fifth inning, while Devon Travis was busy hitting an RBI single to right, I was stuck in one of those ungodly home opener beer lines.
Honestly, I probably watched half the game on the concourse TV.
There was some more excitement in the ninth when Jose Bautista walked with nobody out. When Edwin Encarnacion stepped to the plate I doubt there was a soul in the place who didn’t think they’d be seeing a famous ED-WING...
You just had that feeling.
The seats were thundering, the rally caps were inside-out, shoulders were dislocating as fans violently waved their rally towels. Chants of “let’s go Blue Jays” rang in the rafters once again...
But it was not to be.
I could go on to describe the utterly deflating strike em’ out throw em’ out that ensued, but it’s still too soon. After witnessing, in person, four straight home opener losses, I need some more time to process.
But the beauty of sitting behind the opposing bullpen is sometimes you get to make your own fun.
Even when the game itself is lacking in excitement there are always a few rowdy fans eager to provide a jolt of energy.
The best line of the night in section 108 came in the eighth inning, as Tampa Bay Rays closer Brad Boxberger was warming in the pen.
“Hey Brad... Norris’s van is more famous than you are.”
Follow Tyler and Section 108 on Twitter @tylerjoseph108