TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays banned selling beer cans in the upper deck at the AL Championship Series after fans threw them on the field during a ruckus earlier in the playoffs.
Starting Monday night at Game 3 between Toronto and Kansas City, beer will be poured into plastic cups in the upper deck at Rogers Centre.
The Blue Jays made the change after some fans reacted to a ruling on a bizarre play in the seventh inning of Game 5 in the Division Series against Texas by pelting the field with cans.
Mario Coutinho, vice president of stadium operations and security, said that the new policy for beer sales was the only change made for the ALCS. The Royals lead 2-0 in the best-of-seven series.
“We reviewed all our staffing levels and police deployment and we’re confident that was adequate,” Coutinho said. “We did our own internal assessment after (Game 5) with the police and then Major League Baseball followed up as well.”
Coutinho wouldn’t say how many Toronto police officers would be at Monday’s game, but said the number was “fairly high.”
The Blue Jays reserved the right to cut off beer sales after the fifth inning if there are any problems.
In the seventh inning of Toronto’s Game 5 win over Texas, a raucous crowd turned rowdy when Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin’s seemingly routine return toss to the pitcher hit Texas batter Shin-Soo Choo.
The ball rolled loose and the go-ahead run for the Rangers. During an 18-minute delay to sort out the ruling, fans tossed beer cans among other debris. Many of the cans didn’t reach the field, striking fans in the seats close to the field.
Toronto scored four runs in the bottom of the inning and went on to win 6-3.