Authorities in Toronto are urging the fan who tossed a beer at Baltimore Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim to turn themselves into police. (WJZ)
Editor's note: This editorial is reprinted with permission of the Toronto Star, which published it in its Oct. 6 edition. Subsequently, Toronto police released a photo of a suspect they believe threw a beer at Orioles outfielder Hyun Soo Kim during Tuesday's Blue Jays-Orioles game.
We're sorry. Really, we are. We know we messed up.
The Blue Jays fan who threw a full beer can at Orioles left-fielder Hyun Soo Kim as he tried to make a catch during Tuesday night's wild-card game doesn't represent us. To be absolutely clear: we're ashamed of what he did. We hear Orioles centre-fielder Adam Jones when he says, "You don't do that. I don't care how passionate you are." We don't disagree that "that was about as pathetic as it gets."
Jones says that as he screamed into the stands, furious that a fool among our fans had put his teammate in danger, he was met with racist slurs from the crowd. That, too, is deeply alarming. Our city is among the most diverse in the world, something that's a source of great pride. We're ashamed of these Torontonians, if that's what they are, who understand so little about the strength of the city to which they claim allegiance.
We're aware of the talk that this was part of a larger pattern of bad behaviour at the Rogers Centre. We're as bewildered as you are about why this is happening, in Canada of all places. We need to do some self-reflecting.
To be perfectly honest, we're happy to have vanquished your Orioles, to never again have to face your unrelenting lineup of power hitters or that behemoth of a closer you claim to be human. We won't apologize for our superior baseball prowess.
Nor do we hold with those who say Jose Bautista's bat flip or Edwin Encarnacion's choice to lovingly admire his decisive bomb as it arced its way onto the upper deck on Tuesday night are symptomatic of the same disrespect toward opponents and the game more generally. Baseball has changed. It's more fun now. In the scheme of sports celebrations, these are still rather mild. To these critics, we say: get over it.
But throwing a beer can at an unsuspecting player from a great height in a misguided attempt to win what is after all just a game? That's childish, but worse it's dangerous and it's totally unacceptable. And racism? That just isn't us.
Perhaps it will come as some consolation that police are looking for the baseball hooligan. Still, we know this isn't the first time we've failed in this way, and we agree it really ought to be the last. We need to do better.