blue jays wild card

People are upset about the times of the Toronto Blue Jays Wild Card Series games

The Toronto Blue Jays will host the Seattle Mariners in the American League Wild Card Series opener at 4:07 p.m. ET on Friday, and while many fans are biting their nails in anticipation of the first postseason game at the Rogers Centre since 2016, others are crying foul about the mid-afternoon game time.

Toronto residents are not pleased with the announced afternoon start times for the three-game series, reacting on social media with a cascade of angry messages.

Several responses are directed at the MLB, including a handful accusing the league of treating a team that represents an entire country like a small market.

Many fans are disappointed that they won't be able to catch portions, or in some cases, the entire game due to their work responsibilities.

It's got to be even more upsetting for fans who pre-purchased postseason tickets but are unable to get the afternoon off to attend the series opener.

And even if you manage to make it out of work before Alek Manoah throws the first pitch to a packed Rogers Centre, the city is pure gridlock on a Friday afternoon, and even worse on game days.

The timing of the first pitch — right in the midst of school pickup hour — also makes it difficult for fans with children to tune in to watch the game or attend in person, though radio remains an option.

Global TV’s Mike Drolet tweeted, "I half expected MLB to put the Jays at 1pm on Friday. I'm guessing 4pm was in deference to Seattle fans so they're not watching baseball over brunch. Primetime was NEVER going to happen, not with the Mets and Cards playing. Toronto is big market but not US big."

As Drolet's tweet suggests, the timing comes as little surprise to most fans. In recent postseason appearances, the Blue Jays have consistently been allocated garbage start times.

This includes all three home games in the five-game 2015 ALDS, with Jose Bautista's unforgettable bat flip homer.

Aside from the 8:08 p.m. Wild Card game, they played their entire 2016 playoff run with afternoon games.

That includes all three games in the 2016 ALDS versus the Texas Rangers, and all five games versus the Cleveland Indians (who, thankfully, have been renamed the Guardians).

Most recently, Toronto played both 2020 AL Wild Card games with mid-afternoon start times, so it should surprise absolutely no one to see the MLB snub Canada again.

Meanwhile, league darlings like the Yankees and Mets are given top billing with evening starts during primetime television hours.

Lead photo by

Jack Landau

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