Blue Jays relief pitcher Anthony Bass made his first appearance at Toronto's Rogers Centre since he set off a firestorm after sharing a video promoting anti-LGBTQ boycotts of companies such as Target and Bud Light. The crowd, to put it lightly, was not all that fond of seeing the Jays reliever as he ran out of the pen toward the mound.
Showering Bass with boos and jeers for essentially the whole half-inning he was out there, a large chunk of fans let the 35-year-old hurler know exactly how they felt about all that transpired the past few days.
Game operations tried their best to drown out the tense reception (which was even noticeable on the television broadcast) with music for the near sell-out crowd inside the stadium, but their efforts did little to hide fans' displeasure.
Anthony Bass receives a healthy smattering of boos here at the SkyDome pic.twitter.com/P0J4KjSRDj
— Mike Gould (@miketgould) June 1, 2023
As far as on-the-field goes, Bass was actually pretty solid during his appearance, giving up a walk before getting Joey Wiemer to pop up, striking out Christian Yelich and inducing a groundout to end the inning with no damage done.
(Toronto wasn't able to generate anything in the bottom half of the inning and fell 4-2 to the Brewers.)
Still, fans were clearly not going to let this slide, no matter how good Bass was on the mound, as every strike and out prompted a mix of boos and cheers from the crowd — with the former seemingly much louder than the latter.
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness) June 1, 2023
On Monday, Bass shared (and did not delete) a video, which broke down the "biblical reason" those of Christian faith should boycott Target, Bud Light and other companies that publicly support LGBTQ rights and Pride.
The Blue Jays released a statement to blogTO after Bass shared that video to his Instagram story on Monday:
"Individual player sentiments are not representative of the club's beliefs." The team reaffirmed its commitment to "providing an inclusive and welcoming experience for all." The team later said Bass would face no internal discipline over the incident.
As long as he remains on the roster and his views in the forefront, Wednesday's showing will likely be how every Bass appearance inside Rogers Centers looks, sounds and feels, no matter how many strikes he throws.