Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Adventures In Toronto 2014: Day One

Today was a good day. Tiring, exhausting, but it was worth the trip. Not even the news that John Rocker (New York Public Enemy No. 1, circa 1999) was cast for Survivor could dampen it.

The trip to Toronto was uneventful. We were barely in the air, and we made good time. The only hiccup was when we went to the wrong gate to pick up the shuttle bus, the same one I took back in 2011. My mother kept apologizing for the mistake. It's easy to forgive her, especially when it's a boneheaded move that I would have pulled off on my own.

How is my mother as a travel companion? Well, she's a bit slow, so I'm not nearly as mobile as I am when I'm solo. Still, after draining our brains on TLC (the network, not "Tender Loving Care"), we wound up trooping over to the Rogers Centre to see the Blue Jays play the Red Sox, and she didn't complain once. As far as going to stadiums in Canada go, I think this was an upgrade for her over the time we went to Olympic Stadium in Montreal to see the Expos. Remember them? The place was so ridiculous, we kept expecting the clowns to come out. Once again: my mother didn't complain once about the walking. However, I am forbidden from telling her how many steps I registered on the pedometer. Otherwise, I might wind up eating it. BTW, I logged in 15,108. So far, so good.

[Hang on . . . I gotta pretend that I know about baseball these days]

The Blue Jays haven't changed much since I last saw them. They were in the hunt for the wild card, but they've faded out of the picture. If the Royals advance to the playoffs, the Blue Jays will be the only team in the majors not to make the postseason since 1993, when they last won the World Series. On the other hand, they could be the woeful Red Sox, the defending champions that have fallen into the American League East cellar.

We wound up getting cramped seats in the outfield. I would've gotten a better seat, but I'm not used to dragging somebody with me. We didn't get to explore the stadium, and we wound up near some "fans" who were vocal about two things: how much first baseman Adam Lind sucked, and catcalling Red Sox centerfielder Mookie Betts. As a lapsed Mets fan, it hurts to see a Mookie get booed that hard for no real reason. I don't think you have to drink the be a Blue Jays fan, but it probably helps.

The game itself was eventful. We got to see Jose Bautista homer off the left-center stands to give the Jays a 1-0 lead. Marcus Stroman pitched wonderfully until the sixth, when he wound up giving up two runs. He wound up stranding two Red Sox on base to finish the inning.

The seventh inning was when the Jays broke loose. Juan Encarnacion doubled, chasing starter Joe Kelly from the game. Tommy Layne came in, gave up a single to catcher Dioner Navarro, then left the game for Junichi Tazawa. And then pinch hitter Danny Valencia stroked a three-run homer to left field -- once again, got a good view -- putting the Jays up, 4-2. They tacked on another run in the inning. A well-rested Stroman came in to get two outs in the eighth before giving up a hit to Dustin Pedroia. Stroman left after 112 pitches, and he wound up getting the win after Brett Cecil got the final out in the eighth, then struck out the side in the ninth for the save. Oh, and David "Big Papi" Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a RBI. I was hoping he'd go deep, but it wasn't meant to be.

What else? Well, I wound up losing a subway token. They cost C$3 apiece, and are way too friggin' small to keep track. On the bright side, you can use loose change to get on the subway. The doors connecting the train cars were open, making things pretty spacious. We wound up going to Union Station, where I introduced my mother to the Dairy Queen Blizzard. She liked hers, though I don't think she was into it as I was. Back home, there's a DQ in the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, and that's it.

Tomorrow is going to be interesting. Since my mother doesn't want to deal with hills and stairs, she might pass on going to Casa Loma tomorrow. I figure we can go back to Union Station and go to the aquarium that opened up recently. Then Mom will go check out the CN Tower, while I go off to Fan Expo. No matter what, the real vacation begins tomorrow.

And seriously . . . as long as John Rocker is on Survivor, I don't want to hear one word about how bad "Twinees" Natalie and Nadiya are. Not a single damn word.

No comments: