Usually in sports, the fans are a big part of what gives a team home field advantage – if you’re the Toronto Blue Jays though, it all starts in the customs lineup.
Last week the MLB players association sent a warning to its members (titled “Immigration Problems for Players Entering Canada") that if you’ve been arrested or convicted of something, you should get in touch with the union before you head to the great white north.
A copy of the memo soon found its way onto the web:
"Individuals who are not Canadian citizens may be detained at the border and, in certain cases may not be permitted to enter Canada at all, if they have any sort of past criminal record. Recently, Canadian authorities have stepped up enforcement of these laws, resulting in several non-Canadian players traveling to Toronto with their teams being detained at the border because of a past criminal record."
The memo went on to say that even something that happened years ago could wind up getting a player detained – and could wind up affecting their ability to enter the country at all.
Well, embarrassingly enough, the first player I’ve heard about actually being detained was wrongfully detained.
The Huffington Post reports that Baltimore Orioles All-Star outfielder Adam Jones was held back for a few hours on Thursday night, but it turns out they mistakenly thought he was a different Adam Jones - perhaps the one who plays football and was arrested something like six times since being drafted in 2005.
"They said I had a criminal record. My mom raised me better than that. I've never done anything like that, been involved in anything criminal in my entire life. It was a long, pointless situation because of the circumstances, but I'm glad everything got cleared."
Jones was eventually let go after a few hours later (at around 5am).
Looks like he could have used the extra shut-eye too – on Friday night, he went 0-for-4 at the plate with one strikeout in a 5-0 loss.
If someone at customs mistook this Adam Jones for that Adam Jones simply based on his name, that’s absolutely outrageous. While they’re at it though, the Jays have the Rays and the Yankees coming to town next…