It sure did.
I just saw the greatest idea for all you couples, young and old- go for a Hippo Tour Ride around Toronto, through thick water and thin road, til you've had enough! But hey, how about today's Canada Day debacle?
Yeah, that was a completely out-of-place advertisement at the fabled Dome today, that Hippo thing. And the KFC bucket running promotion? Ridiculous. The Blue Jays' awesome Canada jerseys? Amazing. Even the weather would cooperate long enough before, of course, dinnertime showers, to produce one of those lazy summer afternoons while getting fried by the sun! Yes, I have a burnt nose. Thank you for asking...
All the latter though were just the premises, including the angry downtown security dude who didn't like my parking job at an underground Blue Jays Way parking lot enough that he had the will to walk down five floors to get me to straighten out a slightly crooked car! And come on, it wasn't that bad....well, I guess, in a city of perfectionists, every angle must be straightend, and every wrinkle must be ironed. The Blue Jays certainly felt that way heading into today having lost four in a row in convincing offensive futility- they'd scored just two runs all series.
We'd all known how well Ricky Romero had been pitching lately, and even some of the lesser baseball purists could understand why, as the menacing stat line of Romero's previous five starts in which he had a sub-3 ERA and a WHIP of 0.80, was only bettered by eight shutout innings of four-hit baseball from the lefty that wasn't even thought of to break camp with the Blue Jays until Brad Arnsberg turned him into the pitching whiz he is today. Suddenly, Jays fans got the impression that the rookie might be a future ace one day. This kid's got the stuff. If you've ever watched the left-handed Romero, you realize that the hitters have no idea what he's going to throw. It's hard to isolate what he's going to do. That's why he's so good!
And you just couldn't help contain yourself but let out thousands of decibals of euphoria when Adam Lind and Scott Rolen went back-to-back to cap off a game that had been dominated by pitching, finally chasing Big Game James Shields in the 8th inning. Were they just homeruns? No, they were rockets. Rockets that were just the prelude to the dazzling Canada Day video tribute and the light show of loud popping fireworks that were to follow.
In the midst of it all, Rolen yet again managed to reach base via hit and homerun, continuing his three-week tear in which he's batted north of .400 while riding the longest hitting streak of his life, a 19-gamer, which is currently the longest streak in the majors!
I did err caution for a moment though, I must admit, as one of the fireworks made it's way into the outfield stands along with another defected piece which flew just over the outfield wall. But that's the way it was. It wasn't pretty at times, but the Jays found a way to win against the Rays with the stellar defense they've shown all season long, a couple lucky breaks like Overbay's scorched ground ball through the legs of Pena scoring a run, and finally, Ricky Romero's crafty eight innings!
Oddly enough, too, was that the last time the Blue Jays won a game Romero was on the mound. But remember, folks, that was just one win. The Jays have a lot of winning to do. But maybe, and just maybe, what transpired today is the beginning of a trend into this hallowing 10-game road trip that goes through every city not named Boston in the American League East. It's first the Yankees for 4 games at the Brand New Yankee Stadium though on Independence Day Weekend. And how's this for another quirk? All the games will start at 1:05 EST. The Jays win the first day game of five- but the question is, can they win the next four? Or is that too unrealistic to ask even with their best going later on the series? It would be a feat, that much is for sure.