Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Anthony Bass took the mound at the Rogers Centre on Tuesday night to close out a blowout 7-0 win against the Chicago White Sox. It was the pitcher’s first appearance for the Jays since April 17, the day after the 35-year-old reliever shared a tweet that would go viral, thrusting him and his family into controversy.
On April 16, Bass took to Twitter to voice his outrage after his 22-week pregnant wife was asked to clean up popcorn discarded by their two-year-old child on a United Airlines flight.
Ten days later, the tweet has been viewed over 73 million times, generating intense debate over the responsibilities of parents.
Toronto Blue Jays player outraged by being asked to clean up after kids on plane https://t.co/kRTNf32NqJ #Toronto #TorontoBlueJays #BlueJays #MLB
— blogTO (@blogTO) April 17, 2023
Bass would spark further controversy when he brushed off the anger directed at him by defiantly sharing a photo of his two-year-old with a huge bag of popcorn.
He would further draw the ire of fans a few days later, when he quote-tweeted controversial right-wing television host Tomi Lahren, who claimed to be a friend of the Bass family.
The pitcher’s April 17 mound appearance drew little discussion in the wake of the initial popcorn tweet, but the debate and controversy have only grown in the days since.
By the time Bass took the mound in the 9th inning on Tuesday night, a large share of Jays fans were well aware of his social media antics, creating the perfect conditions for a troll storm on Twitter.
Several comments poked fun at Bass’ apparent inability to clean anything up for himself.
Anthony Bass coming in with Jays up 7-0. Good move, he doesn’t have anything to clean up.
— Miles (@MainManMulesy) April 26, 2023
These ranged from jokes about cleaning up a victory to dusting off the home plate.
I hope ump refuses to clean off home plate and Anthony Bass walks off the field
— Marcus (@mchiang105) April 26, 2023
Others made cracks suggesting Bass was acting entitled regarding PopcornGate.
Call your manager because Anthony Bass is back
— Mike (@gosensgo101) April 26, 2023
Bass’ supposed right-wing political beliefs were also lampooned, including a joke suggesting the pitcher was grieving through Fox News’ firing of Tucker Carlson.
What a comeback for Anthony bass, closing the game after grieving from
the loss of Tucker Carlson
— Jay (@unusualdelivery) April 26, 2023
Others weren’t in a joking mood, like one commenter who called out the Blue Jays, asking, “what r u doing to deal with the fact your employee Anthony Bass is using his position of power to control public opinion of employees from the hospitality, travel & service industries?”
The comment continues, “don’t want to watch your games if ppl like this are playing.”
But how did fans react in the stadium? Bass was not met with mass jeers when he took the mound Tuesday night, but one fan who attended the game told blogTO, “Bass came out, and the person in front of me yelled, ‘pick up your own popcorn!'”