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Toronto Blue Jays

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Win-win situation for the Blue Jays at the start

The Sports Xchange
Win-win situation for the Blue Jays at the start · Roster Report · Notes, Quotes

It's early, but the Blue Jays seem to have won over the fans with their rebuilding project under general manager Alex Anthopoulos.

As might be expected, the opening-night crowd was boisterous at Rogers Centre on Friday as the home team beat Minnesota, 13-3. It was Friday night after all.

But the usually quiet Toronto baseball crowd maintained its enthusiasm through Saturday's 6-1 victory and Sunday's 4-3 loss when a ninth-inning rally fell short.

The announced attendance for the first three games of the season was 110,683. That included 35,505 on Sunday, when Jose Bautista bobblehead dolls were handed out to the first 10,000 fans.

The roof was closed for all three games and that only enhanced the noise level.

This enthusiasm has not been lost on the Blue Jays.

"It's a great atmosphere," said utility player Jayson Nix, who hit a home run in Saturday's game. "Being in the dome, it's pretty loud. The fans get into it and they're pretty energetic fans. I was thinking about it opening day. If we can get where it's like that on a nightly basis, or most of the time, that would be a great home-field advantage."

"To play in front of a home crowd such as this validates what the players felt," manager John Farrell said. "It's something we envisioned, to gain that trust. Hopefully we're doing just that."

Said left fielder Travis Snider: "The fans were awesome. Three of the best games I've played here in Toronto from a fan standpoint."

"When you get two strikes on a batter, big situation, everybody's standing up, it drives us a little bit more," left-hander Brett Cecil said. "It really helps out."

There have been no promises of a playoff contender yet and that might not come for another year or two or more. Don't tell that to the players, but the fans seem to like the direction in which the team is going.

For the first time in several years, there is a sense of direction and a sensible plan. Just like the old days.

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