Put your drink down. The Globe and Mail reached deep into its pulpit and published a time-travelling editorial on Thursday declaring, “Toronto has a drinking problem.”
It came days after one Toronto Blue Jays fan tossed a beer can over Baltimore Orioles player Hyun Soo Kim as he reached up catch a seventh-inning fly ball in left field on Tuesday.
A beer can lands near Baltimore Orioles left fielder Hyun Soo Kim as he gets set to catch a fly ball on Oct. 4. (Photo: Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)
The beer can throw was — and to some extent continues to be — widely talked about on both sides of the border as an embarrassing show of emotion.
The newspaper wrote that it’s “incomprehensible” that throwable cans of beer are available for purchase at Rogers Centre. Rather than focusing on Pagan, the editorial board squared the blame on the team’s telecom owner — before taking a swipe at the sport itself:
But the problem at the ballpark isn’t just the mode in which beer is delivered. The intoxicant itself is the issue. Rogers Communications, the owners of the Blue Jays, have fostered a party atmosphere at their stadium. Baseball is generally a slow-paced, cerebral and potentially boring sport ... Wiser team owners would consider an alcohol ban at the ballpark.
Despite its call for resurrecting prohibition rules for contemporary major league sport, the 172-year-old paper acknowledged Rogers isn’t likely to purge its coolers of the money-generating beers anytime soon.
According to Team Marketing figures from last year, the company makes roughly $9.03 in revenue for each beer sold in its stadium. That’s higher than the league average of $7.95.
Laurence: ‘You can't condemn an entire club’
Rogers CEO and president Guy Laurence told The Huffington Post Canada that the Globe editorial is off base in its claim Rogers is a conduit for a club’s alcohol-fueled sports problem.
Toronto Blue Jays player Troy Tulowitzki celebrates in the clubhouse after defeating the Baltimore Orioles at Rogers Centre on Oct. 4 in Toronto. (Photo: Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
“The only party atmosphere we have been encouraging is to make the Jays a great way for families and fans to come together and enjoy a winning Canadian team,” Laurence said.
The top Rogers executive also noted the number of families with children has “increased dramatically” in recent years before coming back at the Globe for its probationary cry.
“You can't condemn an entire club based on the actions of one loon ball who is not welcome back,” he said.